Tuesday, October 6, 2009

true story, but not recent, found in my notepad

Tram time again. Another monotonous trip to my monotonous job that I hold only to pay the rent, keep a roof over my head.
I open my distraction. A comic. Hellblazer volume 1. The collection of the first series where John Constantine had an identity away from Swamp Thing. Jamie Delano’s writing is superb; the art rough, but suited.
I am distracted by a fellow passenger and a card falls out of the book. The commuter who caught my attention retrieves it from the floor; she hands me a postcard and a smile. Must have used it for a bookmark some time before.
It has a photo on it. Old. Black and white. A man at the beach; short cropped hair and a big moustache. He is profiled, looking back over his shoulder at the camera, and is wearing loose knee length and a matching sleeveless top like they used to wear, so many decades ago.
I don’t remember it, but it must have been one of those free ones picked up from the rack at some café or another.
Such a pile of these collectables I have; images of a fridge or door wallpapered in true wish-I-was-still-a-student style.
I turn it over. He is Alfred Deakin, the 2nd, 5th, and 7th Prime Minister of my home country. 1903-04; 1905-08; 1909-10. Brief stints of popularity, and of, one would hope, service. But a man of note, photographed at Point Lonsdale in 1910. Important enough to have a university named after him, among other things.
I smile at the lady across from me. A nod of thanks. I replace the card in my comic, return to the story; pass the time until I reach my stop.
Continue my meaningless employment.
Put food on my solitary table.


  1. I like Deakin. There's a story about how, when once being hassled by a drunken tradie wearing a blue uniform at a public meeting, after the tradesman left, quick as a flash, Deakin replied (from Milton):

    At last he rose, and twitch'd his mantle blew:
    To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new

    Also, he was heavily involved in spiritualism:

    It was also during this time that Deakin's interest in religion led him to spiritualism. Eastern mysticism, séances and other explorations of the spirit world were extremely fashionable, and Deakin's intellectual curiosity and fascination with religious topics led him to become involved in the movement. In 1877 he even published 'A New Pilgrim's Progress', an allegory of the progress of a soul towards perfection purportedly channelled via Deakin from John Bunyan himself. It was also through spiritualism that he met his wife to be, Elizabeth Martha Anne Browne ('Pattie') whose family was involved in the movement. Deakin and Pattie were married in 1882, despite some opposition from her parents who were wealthier than Alfred's family and who were concerned about his long term prospects. However they had a happy and fulfilling marriage which produced three daughters: Ivy, Stella and Vera. For Alfred, his family would prove to be a continual source of joy and contentment.

    All things considered, one of our more interesting PMs.

  2. Wow, indeed he does seem to be. Thanks for that, man. :-)