Saturday, January 5, 2013

Let's start the year off with a small guessing game. See if you know the answers before peeking.

The newspaper adage has it that Dog Bites Man is not news, but Man Bites Dog is. Well, The 'Pie can go one better - journo bites bird.

Yep, the old fella has been savaged by no less than an award winning Bulletin journo (that's a small field, can you guess? Clue: it's not Tony Raggatt.)

Also, how the world turns - we all know that Peter Lindsay is now Tony Mooney's boss, but you'll never guess who else comes under Prince Peter's sway.

The third guess is how much money Britain has coughed up to stop South American cows farting and arranging meetings between climate change folks and African tribal rainmakers.

Plus the week's most apt name, and Bentley takes on the ageists of the motoring world, all here in the nest at

The Name That Fits The Bill this week goes to the Westpac senior economist interviewed last Thursday on the ABC 7.30 Report ...  Justin Smirk. Unfortunate in the extreme when you work for one of the biggest corporate bastards in this country which short-changes the general population to make obscene profits and executive payments.

Life is funny-peculiar in other ways.

The 'Pie has always been tickled by the fact that Prince Peter of Lindsay, the former Laird of Herbert is now the chairman of Guildford Coal. That makes him Tony 'His Radiance' Mooney's boss, who works as a community relations person or somesuch.

We all know this man is the boss of ...

...this man.

It is reported that nowadays, Pete and His Radiance get on famously, having put aside their former political differences - which weren't all that different underneath the zinging and pinging blather - both appeared to be heading towards crypto-fascism as they approached the end of their public careers. 

But cop this - Guildford Coal has a subsidiary company holding some mining leases and business interests in Mongolia. And who sits on the board of that lesser company?

This man ....

... he is also the boss of this man?

None other than Manadrin-speaking Craig Cuddlepie Wallace, Queensland's former Minister for Mean Roads, now resident in Shanghai with his Chinese-born wife and family. 

So Peter Lindsay is now Craig Wallace's boss, too! 

It's a fair bet that Cuddlepie nowadays refrains from slinging the mud and telling porkies about The Prince - if he wants to keep his job. 

One group on the international scene who shouldn't keep their jobs are the ninnys who drafted a whole raft of British contributions towards assisting climate change - worth a cool 2.9 billion pounds.  Fair chunks of this money mountain will go towards trying to stop South American cattle farting, and to help arrange meetings between meteorologists and African tribal rainmakers. Read this and realise that Australia's pink batts, school sheltersheds and grocery watch are models of prudent  government policy next to this nincompoopery. 

Another matter of interest coming out of Britain is the latest YouTube blast from the very articulate and - for The 'Pie's money - well-argued Pat Condell. You may recall his previous appearance on this post, sticking it to the medieval Muslim protestors. Well, he's at it again - this time giving his take on the Palestinians - and The Magpie finds it hard to fault his reasoning, all the more effective for Mr Condell's clever construct and emotionally muted delivery. Well worth the watch here.

Emotionally muted is hardly the phrase we can apply to resident doodler Bently, who has gone all out of shape over the perennial space filler in the news columns - let's make older drivers get medicals and submit to annual driving tests. The Magpie could bang on about this silly-season, quiet news day staple, but a single Bentley picture is worth a thousand Magpie words on this issue.

Bentley's lady driver may well have also said 'Well, at least I've made it this far. Will you?'

Kath Skene's winning smile hides  a desire
 to be praised for her achievements only
by those of whom she morally approves.  
On the local front, this week, Daily Astonisher reporter Kathleen  Skene - a deserved Walkley Award winning journalist - wrote the following to The 'Pie, presumably to square off with her colleagues and her management to prove she is no particular chum of, or communicator with, the old bird. Worth the read, because it's not often one gets a massive fact-free spray simply for praising someone's work.

'Malcolm Weatherup, I do wish you would stop endorsing me here, as the feeling is most assuredly not mutual. Your inexplicable animosity towards bright young journalists you have never met is matched only by the pure fantasy of your content. I don’t come here often because it makes me sad to see a man who I used to think was quite good company, turned so blindly, hypocritically and obsessively bitter. For a person who is, ostensibly, a stickler for accountability and fact-checking in the media, you run your anonymous blog based on 100% rumour and off-the-mark assumption. When we worked together, I used to think you were a nice bloke. A shithouse journalist, but a nice bloke. Only one of those opinions has changed. I hope you find some happiness in 2013 ‘Pie. It is not healthy for a person to live their life hanging onto the frayed strands of a sad past. I reckon there are people out there who miss the nice bloke you once were, maybe you could consider bringing him back for their sake.' 


The 'Pie is absolutely outraged.



You will obviously do anything to besmirch a hard won reputation. Ann 'Attila The Hen'  Roebuck will no doubt - for once - wholeheartedly agree with The 'Pie. 

But a few small points are raised in your argumentum ad hominen missive, a truly sterling text book lesson in playing the man and not the ball, well worthy of a Walkley winning wordsmith like yourself. (For those not up with their Latin, argumentum ad hominen is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.).  

It is an unusual oversight for such a highly decorated journo as yourself, but Kath, sweetie, in your uncharacteristic, foam-flecked rant, you fail to mention a single issue on which you base your free character reading, it just seems to be made up pf soft-focus, vague elements of all sins short of The 'Pie honking his hooter in the shower. 

1. The Magpie's professional opinion of you has nothing whatsoever to do with your personal/professional opinion of him. And it ain't personal, Kath, The 'Pie has no reason to grease you, it is just that you are in the public eye and therefore must accept whatever comes your way. That may, apparently much to your distress, include praise and congratulations from someone you see as much your inferior.  And a Walkley won by someone at The Bulletin is a thing of wonder in itself - or should The 'Pie ignore the journalist's pinnacle of professional achievement. Whether you like it or not, it should also be something of which the community can be proud. Hmmm, 'community' ...and 'pride' ... ah, perhaps that's your blind spot. 

2.You chide The 'Pie for a perceived 'inexplicable animosity towards bright young journalists you have never met'. That's a very curious statement - even ignoring the word 'bright' -  suggesting the old bird should personally know the people he writes about, and by clear inference, perhaps change his opinion of their work. 

The Magpie, and the now 18,000 pages that his readers open each month, know your 'bright, young journalists'  well enough through their work, which is on public display and open to comment. And that's the ONLY basis on which to judge them.

The Bulletin has always been arrogant about its former role as the sole gatekeeper of detailed information around here, which allowed the paper to occasionally get away with bloody blue murder. But galloping technology has changed all that. The paper itself coming under the microscope and being held to account for some of its snide policies and practices makes management very uncomfortable. And angry. 

There is a clear inference in your words that The Magpie blog is disdainfully dismissed and airly ignored by folks in Ogden Street, which means you have not been privy to the risible and pathetic half-arsed attempts to bully this blog into cowed silence. That includes your next boss becoming so frustrated with my accurate summation of his shenannigans that he tried to bully my completely uninvolved daughter (in Melbourne, for Christ sake), an idiocy for which News Ltd in Sydney forced him to personally apologise. 

3.' ... you run your anonymous blog based on 100% rumour and off-the-mark assumption.' This assertion is made in the grand old News Ltd tradition of offering not a scintilla of evidence, as they say in court. Not a single example of rumour that turned out to be untrue. Or an instance of an assumption that was off the mark. Just a 'shoot the messenger' basis, with not a single refutation of any issue raised by The Magpie.

There are no doubt some such examples, but they won't include the accurate forecast of further mass sackings at the paper - the first round of which in part prompted The Magpie's resignation from the paper. There was also the spot-on forecast that most of those jobs were to go south to Brisbane, all of which rated nary a mention in The Bulletin. And then there were the undeniable supression of other stories for commercial reasons - just some among the many more assumptions which strangely enough, turned out to be absolutely right. 

And I'm hardly anonymous - The Magpie ran every single Saturday in the Bulletin for eight years under the byline Malcolm Weatherup. In fact, when I made a joke concerning the editor's paranoid whinge about 'cowardly anonymous bloggers' you yourself, in the one email communication we've had in two and a half years, suggested exactly that - .'you're hardly anonymous, 'Pie '-- in exactly those words.

So if you wish The Magpie to stop 'endorsing (?)' you, stop winning Walkley's and start writing like some of your less stellar colleagues. Oops, that last bit's wrong, because that REALLY would attract the old bird's attention.

It seems you are slowly being coaxed over to the News Ltd dark side, Kath. To paraphrase a bit of your own purple prose,  ' ... it is not healthy for a person to live their life hanging onto the frayed strands of a sad future'.

But if that be so, when you head down to The Coast to join Typo, make sure you don't spend those 30 pieces of silver all at once.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar, where The 'Pie hopes to bebubble some suitable companion with a view to her later playing the man ... and she can also play the - oh, never mind. No doubt the old bird is hanging on to the frayed  strands of a sad hope.



  1. I wonder if Ms Skene was bullied into writing that? How sad when I know that the 'Pie always gave a hand to up and coming Jurnos, no credibilty of any type left at the Astonisher :(

    Soon they will be paying readings to buy their "rag"

    1. Dad: Journos always write for an audience - even self serving, ambitious and paranoid ones. In crafting this string of personal stabs at you, it occurs to me that this woman's only intended audience is Peter 'Bully" Gleeson. It can't be comfortable to be praised by someone her soon-to-be boss considers an enemy. In the NewLtd culture that kind of praise can be construed as something more conspiratorial. Nope, best to nail that puppy and post a comment on the blog itself, that'll show 'em.

      And you have perhaps helped her cause in publishing her missive, the tone and delivery of which conjures images of a gum-chewing, hair-twirling school girl trying her pathetic best to be nasty. I found myself thinking the same thing… "this is written by a grown-up, right?"… as when I first read the threatening emails sent to me by Peter Gleeson when I was working at News Ltd. But then the meteoric rise from cub reporter on the Herbert River Express to the dizzying heights of News Editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin can perhaps account for such a ungraceful attempt to get in good with the new boss.

      In this instance I find her writing insightful and compelling in one aspect - we Magpie readers now know that you are indeed hitting the nerve.

      Keep turning the knife, Dad, let's see how many more will gift you material for your blog.

    2. What a top daughter and spot on too! You see when Ms Skene said 'It is not healthy for a person to live their life hanging onto the frayed strands of a sad past.' etc it's like she's trying to cover up the dreaded past. She wants to expose her Indigenous story and win awards, and yet, not within her own ranks. Asbestos exposure is not award winning enough I guess.

  2. Always good and entertaining.

  3. I am a former photographer. I will happily discuss the daily vicissitudes dished out to me.

    1. A photographer using the word 'vicissitudes' - and spelling it correctly, immediately piques the curiosity. So discuss away - send an email in confidence, nothing is printed automatically, The 'Pie has to approve everything first, so he can have a yarn after hearing from you. As always, confidentiality guaranteed.Thanks.

    2. I recall a photographer who was sent out to the local prison with a work experience student. She was under age and did not have an id.

      The poor photographer had to leave the student in the carpark. She was innocently taking pictures with her camera and was immediately surrounded by the security and dogs.

      This also happened to another photographer who's chief of staff laughed at the photographer at the end of the phone as if it was a deliberate joke and she knew it was illegal and wanted the photographer to get their name marked.

      This happend all the time. This included: Mickey Mouse asking photographers to take sunny pictures at night time? What the?

      Also, the rosters were never up to date. This is for starters.

  4. One question Kath. Will you please let us know when we will see some articles from the "bright young journalists"? The young "cubbies" that are writing at the moment (especially Simpleton) dish out sensationalized biased rubbish that is obvious to anyone who has their eyes open in this fair city.

  5. One thing you've never been in my eyes, Malcolm, is a "shithouse journalist", but what would I know - I'm not a journalist, just a reader.

    Are you sure someone else didn't jump onto Kath Skene's computer while she was getting a cup of tea?

    1. 'It is not healthy for a person to live their life hanging onto the frayed strands of a sad past.'

      Yes, Kath. It was a sad past governed by psychotic HR department, Editorial cover ups, asbestos and so much more at the Astonisher.

      Everyone can win a Walkley, most have been fired and dead wood floats to the top.

  6. Just Asking You KnowJanuary 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    would be interesting to know how many people stopped buying Saturday Bulletins after the magpie left. guess we'll never see that in the Astonisher! I personally know several. on Let's start the year off with a small guessing game. See if you know the answers before peeking.

    1. The answer - blush - is around 4000 - almost immediately. The 'Pie was in two weeks of negotiations before confirming his departure from the paper.BUT he did offer to keep doing The Magpie as a contributor, however, such was the hubris of both Typo and particularly Michael The Ogre Wilkins, they distainfully declined the ocontinuation, on the grounds that The Magpie had been 'disloyal to the masthead'. It was a funny claim to make; I would have thought standing against the rapidly plummetting standards which were glaringly against the community interest was actually being 'loyal to the masthead' and just disloyal to the carpet-bagging southern blow-ins who wanted to Sydneyise the 'Ville and cynically exploit a captive market without giving anything in return. It's been mentioned in passing before, but three weeks after The 'Pie took flight, Saturday dropped from just 42,000 to 38,000 ... and they only recovered 7-800 of that. The paper did this wilfully - they knew through focus groups that The Magpie column had an estimated 20/25,000 readers weekly.

      At the risk of receiving another couple of angry sprays for being nice to them, it must be said that the column was greatly enhanced by the brilliant subbing and assitance from Di Kennedy and Janine Lucas, with extra polish from Ralph Henerdon's photographic manipulation and wit.

    2. Several occasions images had backgrounds taken out and replaced only to be called news stories.

    3. Malcolm your so f$&king good! Now get your hands out of your pants!

    4. Care to give yourself a name? ... or are you too busy in your own pants, looking for those two things you obviously lack...

  7. Excellent retort Magpie. I can't help but wonder how Ms Skeene will accept your reply. Is this case the old head vs new head perhaps. For mine the comment of "shithouse journalist..." struck the worst. I have enjoyed your journalistic work since your first saturday column - the only reason i ever bought the paper and have obviously read other pieces not directly credited to you. Your runs are on the board my man as far as the facts you have mentioned above, and how most eventuated.
    I even had the pleasure of sharing a coffee with you once and i reckon you were good company too. Oops sorry was that an endorsement.
    You win this one.

    Thouroughly enjoyed this post Malcolm.

    1. Hey, watch those endorsements, sport, or The 'Pie might have to give you a spray ... seems to be the fashion (chortle, snurffle gasp).

  8. Lindsay, shimsey.

    Kath says

    'It's not that I haven't enjoyed this past two years writing 400-odd words a week about whatever pops into my head - I've had fun with all of them - even the ones that resulted in thousands of strangers abusing me for daring to think differently to them. (you like the attention, I recall the article Ms Skoon)

    This column has, for me, been the oft-sarcastic light to the shade of reporting general news, where the stories I have shared sometimes left me feeling sad, frustrated or helpless that I could not do more.

    That comes with the territory, I suppose.'

    Says it all Kath. Enjoy the Goldy, you won't last.

  9. Conan the GrammarianJanuary 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I've seen some bloody stupid reactions in my life, but this spray by Ms Skene is up there in the Top Ten.

    Paraphrasing the Mahatma, "What do you think of our bright young journalists?" "Oh? Marvellous! When do they start?"

    Give 'em Hell, 'Pie...

    1. Does your tractor talk? My John Deere doesn't.

  10. Paul Anderson of PimlicoJanuary 5, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    My mama gave me some good advice early on, which I've not always heeded, but I've never rued the times I actually did listen to her when she said: 'Son, if you ever feel you need to blow off steam at somebody, you go ahead and write them a letter...but then put it in a drawer and sleep on it. In the morning, if you still feel like sending it, you still crumble it up and throw it away.' You cover it up pretty well, but I can tell this incident has really rattled you, and why not? All you did was heap praise on this person, and look what you got in return. Another piece of advice I've been given is that when someone pays you a compliment (as you've done), even if you don't happen to feel it's warranted, or welcome, you still reply with a modest 'thank you'. 's only polite...

    1. Sage advice from your mama, Paul. But you're wrong about being rattled - the only part of the old bird that rattled was his laugh-box, to think an ostensibly intelligent woman could walk into such a swinging door. But then I realised she IS leaving, heading for the tender ministrations of Typo on The Coast, so it would not have been written if she was staying. Toadying up to the boss, one would conclude.

  11. I read this blog not Skene's. Says it all

  12. I just wonder how many people think Guildford Coal is in good hands and would invest on that basis? Not me honey bee.

  13. Very calm Mr Pie.
    I know people that would drive half way across the state to confront the person that slandered in such an unprovoked way.
    Still, something doesn't read right. A women scorned perhaps (re. bunny boiler)?
    anyways,I can only hope she finds someone else...

    1. Now, now, settle down. As far as The 'Pie knows, Ms Skene is a happily (that's one of the famous Magpie assumptions) married mum as well as a working gal. If you are suggesting that it was The Magpie who scorned her, you'd better get back on the medication quick-smart - no one let alone Ms Skene would be interested in a cranky old codger who is so old he no longer buys green bananas.

      But one supposes on the available published evidence that she may well occasionally cook dad and the kids unskinned boiled rabbit when she's miffed about something.

  14. You are always so entertaining Pie, as I sit here choking (with laughter) on my muesli, reading your wise words. Having moved here a year ago, I thank the gods I do not read the "Bully" - and I see now I am wisely saving my money - when I can read the Pie instead and see what is really going on at the local rag. Keep it up Pie, keep it up...

    1. My dear lady, you eat muesli? That no doubt makes you a regular reader. Happy New Year,

      It has been suggested by another correspondent that, Lady Byron, you have a crush on The Pie. Will the cantankerous old bird now have to spend time keeping the Byron at bay?

    2. Muesli, keeps you regular. Your readers are regular as your posts.

  15. Well done Pie. I can't understand why Kathleen would stick up for the twerps that infest the newsroom. Tempo, or should I say Simpo, is the most arrogant and talentless hack I have ever met. His Mummy recently bought him a house in Brisbane so he can spend weekends and days off at the Courier Mail office. I have heard, from someone high up in Bowen Hills, that Tempo has demanded he be allowed all access to editorial meetings at the Courier Mail because he thinks he will be the next state political reporter. What a joke. He is nothing but an idiot and a Mummy's boy!

    1. We'd like to see you again former Bully J. You're most welcome here.

      Pie is great fun. We'd enjoy your comments.

      Miss Lou

  16. Ahhhhh. Peter Lindsay taking over as chief of Guilford Coal from Tony Moooney. Wouldn't have anything to do with the change of government in Qld would it????
    So Prince Peter, what deals are you doing for Guilford in the corridors of the Newman Government in Brisbane.
    We watch your actions, and the State Government's reactions with interest - especially in relation to funding for that rail line Guilford needs to be built.

    1. Ah, Watcher, me old fruit, the answers are 'no' and 'no, at least not directly'.
      His Radiance was never chairman - to The 'Pie's knowledge, he's always been some sort of community liaison wallah who will come into his own when the ill-informed bedwetters start spreading disinformation about the effects of coal being shipped through the Port of Townsville.

      Peter Lindsay's appointment was likely negotiated and planned long before The Brisbane Bantam got into power, but no doubt Guildford probably took a punt because, like everyone from the tea lady on up, they could see that the Blight On The Landscape was headed down the that bottomless pit of broken political dreams. No, it was probably a done deal, but one that Newman would have welcomed with one of his Hobbitt-like hugs. However, just because Blight is gone doesn't mean the private power plays of self-interest aren't alive and well, so perhaps ypu have a point in amongest your mangled facts - make no mistake, Prince Peter is still one of the major LNP shotcallers in Queensland, so -hmmm - just maybe ....

    2. What's this? The Pie going soft around the beak.
      Blind Freddie can see what those good old Labor boys at Guilford are up to.
      Question: How do you get the Newman Government to build a rail line for a company involving Tony Mooney?
      Answer: Find an influential Liberal to do some lobbying.
      Now just sit back and wait for the announcement on the State Government funding their rail line, no doubt with some of the cash they have saved by sacking Queenslanders!

  17. Skeney. What have you done? Such a churlish and infantile rant hardly becomes you. And just when I was starting to like you....despite a bad start to our relationship (although I was chuffed to be quoted by you).

    I admired your courage when writing the series of articles concerning the health service. As one who worked with Gerry Hand in the '80's trying to confront the endemic corruption, fraud, nepotism and standover tactics within Aboriginal Housing Companies in NSW and Q'land at the time, I had some appreciation of what you were up against and the personal pressures that would have been placed upon you.

    As the late and great Freddy Mercury said "but now you've gone and blown it all away".

    As for your asinine observations regarding The 'Pie - si monumentum requiris, circumspice.

    Former Bully Journo...thanks for the insights into that snotty cockalorum. Crystal ball time...Simpo shall end up as a grubby little media advisor to a grubby little politician. Both careers shall end badly. Mummy will be so disappointed.

    Paul Anderson...leaving the letter in the drawer was indeed sage advice. However that was before the advent of the bloody "Send" button.

    Note to Anon (Simpo??) with the "hands in pants" comment - "your" or "you're" - there is a difference, you know. Unless, of course, you meant to suggest that Malcom does, in fact, possess a "so f$&king good". If so, may I please borrow it?

    1. Nice classical flourish there, Grumpy, with si monumentum requiris circumspice. Most apt in one sense, since it was written about another bird, Sir Christopher Wren - it is his epitaph in St Paul's Cathedral in London, which he designed - 'if you seek his monument, look around'.

      An over-flattering comparison, however, he's dead and The Pie ain't - although Ms Skene is reported to have been seen buying the latest copy of Guns'N'Ammo.

  18. hahaha the bully boys and gals are alive and well at... The Bully. A culture that is encouraged and rewarded throughout News Ltd, without censure it seems. At least News Corp got a kick in the ass for it.

    1. The culture? It has no moral code. Typo is a great example of no moral code.

      p.s Typo, you looked like a car salesman on the Today show.

    2. Mickey Mouse has morals? Nah, lies, lies and more lies!

      Can't wait to read the exclusive 'defense stories'

  19. Old saying, the harder you suck the higher you get, this maybe Ms Skenes ploy.
    But this woodduck has been an avid reader of the old pie for many years, and hopes it stays that way.
    Good work as always pie.

  20. With the current profile that Cr Les Walker is building up (he's even returning phone calls) could he be considering a tilt at State Politics at the next election..

  21. I'm happy that Kath is leaving for the bight lights of the sleezy Goldie.

  22. excellent observation on skene's love letter 'Pie. the woman does not know what she is talking about. she is after all a bit self-righteous and self-absorbed to know

  23. The Arsetonisher's BIGGEST stuff-up yet ...
    On today's page 30 the bastards have repeated the comics from last week, now I have lost continuity of Walter Wombats' latest Z series and won't be able to sleep tonight worrying whether the Phantom was mauled by a lion.

  24. Christ, now they're REALLY in trouble, wait until the normally likable old local man-about-town John Lyons gets hold of them. The last time the paper decided to interfere with The Phantom - 20 or more years ago, they decided to drop the strip - John proved he was one of the world's most ardent Phantom fans by riding a white horse just like The Phantom's Hero into the reception area of the newspaper in protest.

    The paper had a sense of humour in those days and was responsive to reader sentiment, so relented and the masked man who wears his striped undies on the outside of his tights has been in residence ever since.

    John isn't just having a joke about his fondness for the comic book hero - in the late 80s, he named his Alligator Creek fisherman's donga development Phantom Retreat.

    1. They're at it yet again - to the best of my (fallible) memory there have been no phosgene toxic canisters washed up on The Strand, but on page 5 of today's fairy tales there is a pic that implies (no disclaimer) that 2 have been "found" on The Strand, ain't "Photo-Shop" wonderful?

    2. "Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Station Officer Peter Marten said four of the silver containers, which are about 30cm in height and 15cm in diameter, had washed up in the plast seven days."

      I wish I could concur with you on the photoshop, but it hasn't been photoshopped. Im not sure where you may have got the stats that there were no canisters?

      Keep looking , I like your interest.

    3. ps. as to why a snake on a plane should make front page on the astonisher, Advertising or branding?

  25. Observation: No bi lines for images on the Astonisher's website.

    Are they using work experience students to take the pictures?

  26. yep, No Rad, No Mont, No Fi, No Morganonly contributed images and Brian's social snaps.
    Why no bi lines?

    Are they on strike/ where's the video section? Didn't the designer get elected by Atil to video news stories?

  27. Skeen might have 'morals' but at the end of the day, one can say she 'might' have lead a blind eye to what went on in there. Like most inside there.

  28. Well, whatever Malcolm is these days, he was always good company - especially when he ran what we officially considered the world's best wine bar.

    Even when me, rocky and kiwi john decided to "sample" the best of the cupboard wines and stupidly left the empty bottles under the table.

    Rocky reckons all the other diners enjoyed 'em too.

    Geez, those were the days ... from what I can remember of 'em.

    Cheers champ, and hope all's good. (And from the contents of this blog, sounds like you're not short of a thing or two to do up there.)

    BTW, for those who think's Malcolm's gone troppo, not so - he was always like that.