Found — a whole stack of my old entries!

14 Jan

I mentioned the Way Back machine in the last entry. Now I find that an even earlier manifestation of my blogging habit is represented there: the dreaded, with 29 entries from 2001 to early 2005, a small sampling.

For example:


And this:

Ninglun’s Journal   Chippendale 1

Saturday, April 19, 2003

By 1984 I was back at work, but not in teaching. In travelling about distributing copies of the magazine Neos, within the limits my continuing agoraphobia allowed, I visited a number of bookshops, including a small one, Harkers in Glebe. I got to know the proprietor, a young man who was to be the Liberal Party candidate in the Federal Election that year. I put a proposition to him about an English Teachers’ Book Club, pointing out that thanks to my experience in schools and at the University of Sydney I had good contacts. He bought the idea and employed me to work in the shop six days a week, and to run the Book Club.

The Club really worked, by the way, being the only part of the business that was making a profit by mid 1985, not the proprietor’s fault as he was caught by the floating of the Australian dollar and made a significant loss on the American text books he was importing in quite large quantities for the University and other specialist markets; his profit margins had been cut to the bone to compete with his more established competitors, and though we sold books hand over fist, when it came time to pay for them the drop in the Australian dollar against the greenback took all the profit.

So the business eventually failed, and by that time I could go back to teaching. But I am grateful to Harkers for the experience and the work. The Book Club, or a version of it, though now run by an ex-colleague from Sydney University, continues in modified form as part of Gleebooks and also of St Clair Press.

Thanks to this employment, and to my friend Nina, I moved during 1985 from Glebe to Chippendale. Nina decided she needed a pied-a-terre in Sydney for her theatre and restaurant going, bridge competitions, and Communist Party meetings, so she agreed to share the rent. It was the most luxurious accommodation I had ever had, an enormous two-bedroom apartment in a warehouse conversion in Buckland Street. It had a master bedroom almost as big as the unit I now live in, and a space-age bathroom with spa.

It was also, though I did not know this, very close to a gay bar, known as Beau’s, formerly the Britannia Hotel. As the Britannia it had a formidable reputation. Those who have seen the docudrama Blue Murder will have seen it, as just a few years before it had been the meeting place of Roger Rogerson and Warren Lanfranchi, and it was in a nearby lane that Lanfranchi was gunned down. It’s transformation into a gay venue was something of a wonder with which many of the locals coped very well. The hosts when I first went there were David and Rene; David was about 20 (I’m not joking) and Rene was maybe ten years older, though he didn’t look it.

It was in Beau’s that I first really “came out.” But more of that next time.

Victoria Park, which separates Glebe, Sydney University, Darlington and Chippendale. Image at

* * *

But most amazing is this:

Only some of that has found its way into the Big Archive.

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Posted by on January 14, 2008 in blogging, memory, nostalgia, personal


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