Republic of Moreland

January 6, 2008

The vegetable-domestic complex

Thanks, Max Franc, for telling me to get off my arse and do another post. Following Marty’s great comment about his concrete patch turned native and vegie garden, here are some before and after snaps of my own.

Like Marty’s, our garden has a very different microclimate to what it had a year ago. These pics don’t show my beloved urban crops, but on the roof you can see my plastic planter boxes with lightweight medium and pumpkins planted within.

But these pics are old — now the pumpkin crop is covering a great expanse of rooftop. Their superb soft green solar panels are harvesting sunlight and turning it into sweet cellulose, while cooling our house. Joy. The most inexpensive solar-panel-carbon-uptake-insulating-beautifiers ever. I’m hoping the Moreland City Council will get cranky with me for breaching some by-law by having pumpkins on my roof. If this happens, I’ll bludgeon them with the green roof policies of Toronto and Germany, where there is now a whopping 14 per cent of green roof coverage in urban centres, thanks to policy incentive. That’s right: more than one in ten buildings there have some rooftop vegetation!

A world expert on green roofs, Germany’s Professor Manfred Köhler, is coming to Melbourne soon to give talks about green roof policy and practicalities. Come along and see him! There will be many green roof experts there.

I’ll put some current photos up of my rooftop crop soon.

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The vegetable-industrial complex

Filed under: environment,food,health,politics — Kath @ 6:13 pm

A superb article by Michael Pollan.

December 7, 2007

Happiness

Filed under: gardening,urban farming — Kath @ 10:41 am

is the first ripe tomato of the season.

December 6, 2007

Christmas on The Avenue

Filed under: art,Coburg,events — Kath @ 2:20 pm

Urban farmers should be freed from water restrictions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kath @ 2:01 pm

After all, we have less of a carbon footprint, and use less water than rural farmers. The stuff I’m always banging on about is in The Age today. Thanks, Bane. And thanks Marty for pointing out the petition on this topic. Sign it!

November 28, 2007

Moreland objects to Brumby’s GM decision

Filed under: environment,food,health,politics — Kath @ 7:49 pm

Moreland State MP Carlo Carli supported Victoria’s ban on GM food crops. So did The Greens, of course, and so did Moreland City Council. And so did between 70-90 per cent of Australia’s polled population, including farmers. But John Brumby, learning nothing from Howard’s spectacular defeat, made the secretive and undemocratic decision to overturn the ban yesterday. Sigh. From today’s Crikey:

Coinciding with Jeffrey Smith’s Australian tour to promote Genetic Roulette: the documented health risks of genetically engineered foods, yesterday Victorian Premier John Brumby bowed to pressure from big agribusiness and announced, without consulting caucus, that Victoria would overturn bans on GM food crops.

Gene contamination knows no borders, and New South Wales has also lifted its bans, to the rancour of other states.

But, even facing the threat of revolt among up to 40 of his own MPs, Brumby refused to release Victorian Chief Scientist Sir Gustav Nossal’s review of the impact of lifting the ban before his announcement. Sir Gustav was appointed to lend scientific credibility to a review whose terms of reference were strictly and solely economic: not scientific. As the review itself states: “It is not the purpose of this panel to judge… health and environment assessments.”

Overturning the bans was widely regarded as a done deal at least a year ago, prompting an un-named MP to tell The Age Brumby was “treating caucus like idiots”.

So why was Brumby secretive? Perhaps he feared market revolt. Last Tuesday, Coles government relations advisor Chris Mara told a Parliamentary forum that “Coles listens to our customers and over 90% do not want GM ingredients in their food.” Goodman Fielder, Australia’s largest food company, also backs the bans. Tatiara Meats, Australia’s largest lamb exporter, and 250 other food companies also want the bans kept.

Why? Because the public does. In polls taken by AC Nielsen, Roy Morgan, Millward Brown, The Age, and Swinburne University and Choice magazine, a whopping majority of Australians (between 70 and 90 per cent) don’t want GM foods. In this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald poll, 84 per cent of respondents don’t want it.

Despite agribusiness bodies giving the nod to GM food crops, 80% of farmers surveyed in a 2002 poll taken by the SA Farmers Federation supported a ban. In an August 2003 Biotechnology Australia poll 74% of farmers surveyed were not considering using GM crops. A Biotechnology Australia 2006 study found that “The Australian public see great risks from GM foods and crops and concerns are continuing to rise.” This followed an ABC report that there was “no market” for GM canola in Australia.

As big UK, Japanese and US chains remove GM food from their shelves, the EU is discussing the withdrawal of five GM crops. “Consumers are rejecting GM foods. Markets in Europe, Japan, and elsewhere are closing and domestic markets are likewise threatened. This is driving prices down,” Canada’s National Farmers Union reported.

This also comes at a time when scientists and farmers internationally are warning about the economic and health perils of GM food, some of which is unwittingly eaten because of inadequate labelling laws. Whether or not Brumby believes these warnings is irrelevant. He has forgotten that in a democracy and a marketplace, the customer is always right.

November 22, 2007

More on the safety risks of WiFi

Filed under: environment,health — Kath @ 11:55 am

Further to my earlier rantings, here’s an extract of a Crikey article on WiFi technology:

Around the world, government organisations, including schools, are facing a backlash for imposing wireless internet signals on citizens.

In the US, a class action lawsuit filed by parents at an Illinois school claims prolonged exposure to low intensity microwaves emitted by WiFi networks “can break down DNA strands, cause chromosome aberrations.” Lawyers acting for the class action claimed to have collected “more than 400 scientific articles, summaries and references outlining health risks… most of which have been researched and written after 1995.”

In the UK, the Teachers Union is calling for a ban on WiFi in schools, and universities are also starting to ban WiFi from campus. Canada’s Lakehead University president Fred Gilbert said that “microwave radiation in the frequency range of wi-fi has been shown to increase permeability of the blood-brain barrier, cause behavioural changes, alter cognitive functions, activate a stress response, interfere with brain waves, cell growth, cell communication, calcium ion balance…” and so on.

And last month, an international working group of senior scientists and public health policy academics, The BioInitiative Working Group, released a report listing serious health risks and urging tightening of international standards, particularly around children. The report gives a meta-analysis of more than 2000 studies and concludes that “existing public safety limits are inadequate to protect public health.” It recommends no WiFi in schools.

Another appeal, reportedly signed by 36,990 doctors, also claims existing standards are set too low, because they’re based on the erroneous assumption that only thermal heating of cells cause health effects. Yet as EMR Australia has reported, many studies suggest serious health impacts from non-thermal effects of low intensity radio-freqency signals like WiFi. The Freiburger Appeal signatories believe wireless devices, including portable home phones, have triggered “a dramatic rise in severe and chronic diseases”. Following this appeal, a reported 50,000 more doctors’ signatures were gathered on the Lichtenfelser Appeal, the Bamberger Appeal, the Hofer Appeal and the Helsinki Appeal.

Then there’s the Benevoto Resolution and the Catania Resolution both of which cite health risks and recommend wireless zones in cities. There are citizen groups like the San Francisco Neighbourhoods Antenna-Free Union and Australian groups like Tower Sanity Alliance.

November 12, 2007

Government to destroy hoons’ cars

Filed under: environment,Sydney Road — Kath @ 9:20 am

Check it out. Just what we need in Moreland.

November 7, 2007

Green roofs on sheds

Filed under: Backyard experiment,environment,gardening,urban farming — Kath @ 11:33 am

Green Roofs Australia reports that this rooftop garden cost around $35 per square metre to install. This is because the plants are hardy herbs and sedums, which don’t require watering (so no expensive roof irrigation).

A couple of months ago I put a green roof on the chook shed, which has a corrugated iron roof. I put down dam lining, and an old wadding doona for filtration. Most green roofs would require better filtration than this (carpet underlay is good), but since the water runoff from my chook shed goes straight into the garden, nutrient-rich runoff isn’t a problem.

Next, I put compost, and I (quite literally) threw a few sedums on top. The borders are old fence posts. I have photographed the start of my green chook roof, and I’ll
put up before and after pics in a few months, as well as pics of my (house) rooftop pumpkin crop.

October 22, 2007

“Like the guy in that ad with the microwave”

Filed under: books & writing,nonsense — Kath @ 6:27 pm

This semester I started teaching first-year writing students at a university rated at the very bottom in the Best Universities Guide. It’s located in Zone 3 — or what was until recently, when Zone 2’s girth expanded. Most of the students are from suburbs listed on the bottom rung in the real estate valuation pages (those suburbs topping the unemployment charts); many are first-generation Australians; many are the first in their families to go to university. I’m guessing they wouldn’t think to describe themselves as I’ve just done, and sometimes I feel like an impostor.

I love my students — I really do. As a colleague said, they don’t have tickets on themselves.

Sometimes I find myself teaching them tenets of good writing I’m yet to learn myself. One class exercise was to minimise adjectives and let our verbs do the hard work (I wish!). Each of us had to write a passage describing someone in the room, and then read it to the class.

Knowing that adjectives would indeed flow, I became anxious as students started scribbling. Polite restraint isn’t characteristic of my class, and I was fearful of the offensive descriptions that might ensue: of flesh billowing out of too-tight jeans; of try-hard piercings; of swampy complexion, fussy synthetic track pants, prim hijabs, a smile that goes down instead of up, nicotine fingertips, overstated bling, service-station sunglasses, solariumed cleavage, lank hair.

The adjectives did pour out, but not as I’d second-guessed, with my Zone 1 prejudices. A scarf was described as knotted noose-like around the wearer’s neck. (The wearer chortled.) A woman was described in purple prose (by the lank-haired lad) as having hair that cascaded mermaid-like on to the pleasing tension of her t-shirt. (I swallowed and looked at the woman, who grinned, unblushing.) Another woman named every shade of grey in a headscarf: dove-grey, rain-grey, corporate-grey. Someone was “like the guy in that ad with the microwave…”

I love my classes: they are so intimate. Semester is almost over, and I’m sad.

October 12, 2007

Wisdom from Raymond Carver

Filed under: books & writing — Kath @ 5:20 pm

“Writing is trouble, make no mistake, for everyone involved, and who needs trouble?”

September 28, 2007

Get Up!

Filed under: environment,politics — Kath @ 3:22 pm

To help this ad get screened, go here.

September 4, 2007

Lawn days over?

Filed under: Coburg — Kath @ 10:08 am

Does anyone know what’s happening with the Moreland Bowls Club in The Grove? It seems to be abandoned. I had heard a rumour some months ago there were some shifty dealings going on with a developer…

August 25, 2007

Told you so

Filed under: health — Kath @ 8:54 am

I’ve calmed down, now. But these are my concerns. I’m still in the dark about it. I’ll keep you posted.

August 16, 2007

Stonewalled

Filed under: politics — Kath @ 3:23 pm

Hell hath no fury as a mother whose efforts to protect her young child from health risks are being stonewalled by bureaucracy. Whose quest for answers is being met with spin.

Be afraid, faceless bureacrats. Be very afraid. Watch this space.

July 29, 2007

blue

Filed under: Brunswick,crime,Sydney Road — Kath @ 8:45 pm

Yesterday I visited my beloved hardware store, a family business, a dusty vestige of old Brunswick, where they greet you by name, serve you from behind the counter and sell nails by the kilogram.

I was there to buy a tap and pvc pipes and elbows for our new tank. From behind me a small voice said, in a broad Australian accent, “Whatya boyin them for?”

I turned and saw a slight woman. A blue woman. The skin on her face was blue, her hands were blue, her limp, mousy hair had blue streaks, as did her synthetic tracksuit. In the few seconds that followed, some possibilities flipped over in my mind. She’s a performer, perhaps a mime artist, perhaps a circus player. Or else she’s got that peculiar skin condition some Vietnamese people suffer, where blue-black freckles appear as you age.

But these weren’t freckles, and this was a most unnatural electric blue. No, vibrant, aquamarine blue.

I said something and looked away, but I noticed that the bluest region of her face was around her lips, and when she spoke, the pink fleshy insides of her mouth looked almost obscene against it. And then I saw what she was buying: three cans of vibrant-electric-aquamarine-blue spray-paint.

She sniffs it! I whispered to C——, one of the storekeepers, as she took me up the back to choose some threaded pipe fittings. C—— told me: I know, I know, but what can we do? We’ve called the police, and there’s nothing they can do, either. Then C—— said: It’s terrible. I’m hard, you know, but I feel sorry for her. And she has kids, too.

July 27, 2007

Text and the city

Filed under: books & writing — Kath @ 1:27 pm

Just as I put up a post about the paucity of novels about Melbourne, The Age’s Melbourne Magazine makes a liar of me. Today it features authors who write about Melbourne: Tony Wilson (I think Faith mentioned him), Alice Pung (was Unpolished Gem about Melbourne?); Elliot Perlman; Sonya Hartnet and Kate Holden. I’m wondering what their criterion is: Kate Holden’s memoir was about her life as a prostitute junkie in Melbourne, sure. But using that criterion, they left Arnold Zable, Helen Garner and Christos Tsoilkas off the list. How wide a net do we cast?

(By the way, I also exempt Andrew Stafford’s Pig City from my claims about Brisbane literature. It’s non-ficiton, anyways. Helen exempts He Died With A Felafel etc: I never read it, only heard repeated charges of “Hey, that bit was my story: John Birmingham pinched it”. I remember Stuart Glover wrote a similar thing about Nick Earls’ Zigzag Street, in a wonderful essay in the now-defunct Imago magazine.)

July 17, 2007

Permablitzing the suburbs

Filed under: environment,neighbours,urban farming — Kath @ 10:46 am

This is great!

July 7, 2007

Melbourne just not very novel

Filed under: books & writing — Kath @ 12:15 pm

The time to read books is on public transport, of course. (Who has the time otherwise?) Little One and I are in Brisbane for the school holidays, and we’ve used so much PT that I’ve caught up. Just finished David Marr’s His Master’s Voice and Clive Hamilton’s Silencing Dissent and Frank McCourt’s memoir, Teacher Man (all good). Re-read, for the third time, Janet Malcolm’s The Journalist and the Murderer (brilliant). Caught up on two issues of The Monthly (okay) and The American Scholar (always tremendous).

Running out of material, I visited The Avid Reader in West End. Its co-owner, Fiona, is usually excellent at finding exactly what you want. “I want a memoir,” I said. She suggested a few. Nah. How about this, then? She presented A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka.

It’s a novel. My fiction-reading days are over. (The last novel I enjoyed was Mark Haddon’s wonderful The curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I rarely enjoy fiction.)

But the praise plastered over the cover was superfluous. “Outstanding”, “Splendid”, “Hilarious” “Remarkable”, “Rare”, “Enthralling”, yadda yadda yadda. These reviews were from reputable sources like The Times Literary Supplement. The book was shortlisted for prizes. I bought it.

It was competent and fairly engaging, but annoying. Its high drama, big characters and heavy-handed humour shat me. Its narrative devices were obvious and in your face, treating you like a mug. I was always aware of the author devising the darned thing in order to be clever.

Which got me thinking about the spate of cringeworthy, self-conscious novels (with the exception of Andrew McGahan’s Praise) written ABOUT BRISBANE. Including stuff by Nick Earls, Venero Armanno, and an artless novel by a woman (forget her name) that I won at this event and promptly donated to the school fete. Since the late 80s, there have been heaps of Brisbane novels.

I was wondering if Melbourne novels were as poor, but I can’t think of any. Sure, there have been novels set in Melbourne (Garner, Tsiolkas, Hardy, etc), but try as I might to think about a novel largely about Melbourne, I can’t. This may well say more about my ignorance than the state of things, and I’m happy to be shouted at if I’m wrong, but I’m venturing a theory. Melburnians don’t need novels about Melbourne; but post-Bjelke, Brisbane folk need novels about Brisbane.

June 25, 2007

Outing Moreland’s filthy kitchens

Filed under: cafes & pubs,Coburg,crime,food,health,Pascoe Vale — Kath @ 12:42 am

2006 was the year of renovating, and consequently the year of takeaway dinners, many home-delivered. One morning, it occured to me that I always get the runs (sorry) after eating a meal from a particular Coburg Indian restaurant. Not an especially good — or even moderately good — Indian restaurant (are there any around here?), but a cheap one. At beer o’clock after renovating, almost anything will go down.

I thought little of it. But one evening, sitting down to orders from said restaurant, Bloke on The Avenue and I noticed a hair in our dinner. Deal with it, you might say. But this wasn’t any old hair. About 7cm long, it was exceptionally thick and coarse. It could only belong to an animal like a goat, or a camel. Or a llama, or mule, or wild pig. Then we noticed a second, and a third, and then dozens. We could only imagine what was going on in that kitchen.

We complained to Moreland Council, and played a little phone tennis before we gave up on the matter.

I’d had a very different Council experience not long beforehand. On a sweltering day, Little One and I went to the Queen’s Park Pool in Moonee Ponds. The pool was closed. Now, any parent of a preschooler knows disappointment on outings is to be avoided if you want to keep things nice. So I hastily offered to buy Little One a gelato at Queen’s Park’s ice-cream van. Something I’d never done before, because we’re principled about the kind of treats we encourage. Until that day, Little One knew ice-cream vans only as ‘music trucks’. (And don’t get me started on the crap listed on “kids’ menus” — as if kids are incapable of selecting the real food they’ve enjoyed for centuries. And don’t get me started about the thoughtless parents who succumb to this poisonous marketing.)

Anyway, as the man was scooping pink gelati into the cones with no serviette wrapped around them, I noticed his hands were covered in scabby sores, some weepy, and his fingernails were FILTHY. It was sickening, but I had one of those moments where it would seem embarrassing to make a fuss. And nor did I want to disappoint Little One yet again, no Sir.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to poison my child, either. So I paid for the cones, noticing that the van’s interior, too, was grimy, and I swiftly suggested a game of throw-gelati-at-the-seagulls. Thank heavens Little One thought that was much bigger fun than eating them. We came home unsullied and I called Moonee Valley City Council, which promptly undertook an inspection, and the next week told me they’d suspended the poor man’s license.

I have so many Moreland food stories, including the one where Sydney Road’s Three Stooges Café (now under new management) served a scone carpeted in mould. So it was interesting to read the article in yesterday’s Age about the limitation to Councils’ power to publish results of health inspections. Lord knows there are many that wouldn’t pass the test in Moreland. What was more interesting was the push to give:

councils the power to name premises that have been successfully prosecuted.

Overseas studies have demonstrated the health benefits of naming foul premises. After Los Angeles introduced a public grading system for restaurants in 1998, the number of food-borne hospitalisations decreased by 13 per cent.

Surely, then, there’s a public interest argument here?

June 20, 2007

The perils of multiculturalism 2

Filed under: Brunswick,food,Lygon Street,mischief,nonsense — Faithh @ 10:16 am

A while ago I walked into the little Italian pasta shop on Lygon St, the one where you can buy fresh pastas and sauces they’ve made themselves. While not exactly regulars (we are capable of whipping it up ourselves), we have shopped here before on several ocassions without mishap. The old guy shuffled out into the store and I asked him for some bolognese sauce. He looked slightly bewildered but shuffled out back where he vanished for a very long time. Far longer than usual. When he came back he was holding a dozen eggs! Which he had apparently taken some trouble to put together. They don’t even sell eggs!

pict0421.jpg

He had been gone so long and I was so flabbergasted and intrigued by this complete miscommunication that I didn’t correct him. I then picked out some cheese and spinach ravioli from the freezer and asked again for bolognese sauce. He shuffled out back and quickly re-appeared with bolognese sauce. I went home with ravioli, bolognese sauce and a dozen eggs.

Something similar happenned to me once before living in an area very similar in many ways to Brunswick, just one of the quirkier joys of multiculturalism. Has any one else had similar experiences? Would you have tried to explain you didn’t want the eggs? And if so how? Strange theatresport moments as you try to act out ‘egg’ in the negative? My gut instinct has generally been if I stuffed up such a simple message then maybe it’s best to leave it.

June 8, 2007

Kick!

Filed under: Brunswick,Coburg,films,neighbours — Faithh @ 9:53 pm

About five days after we moved into our Brunswick house, we were accosted by a location manager from Storm productions who cheerfully informed us that our street was about to become “the Ramsay Street of Brunswick”. I don’t think speechless horror was quite the reaction he’d been looking for. Anyway, the result, Kick, will premier on SBS on Saturday 9th June at 8pm.

I’m not sure how much I’ll watch — it seems marketed to 13-year-old girls, and pink features heavily in the trailers. Our street and those around it have of course been renamed; Hope St and Love St, which may sound corny, but the original proposition was for Wog St, so I think we got off lightly. Just so you know, it’s Albion St that sports the name Love St, or Lerv St, as we now like to think of it. (Instead of doing the Albion St slalom we now go ‘gliding down Lerv St’).

Virtually all of the series was filmed around Brunswick and Coburg, so it will be fun to watch just for that alone.

Just to give you an idea of the premise, here’s how it starts out:

“Miki Mavros, a beautiful Greek-Australian performer, owes a whopping three thousand dollars in parking fines, so she’s forced to seek refuge at her parents’ place on multicultural, working class Hope Street. It’s nothing flash but it’s home. “

Multiculturalism is of course the theme. The Age focused on this today.

I’ll have to wait until I see the series to be sure, but it did strike me at the time that it was a rather clichéd multiculturalism. I don’t think anyone in the series will be heard to drop It’s very new Brunswick meaningfully into any conversations. The characters are of Greek, Italian, Lebanese, Serb, Vietnamese, Indian and British descent, virtually all of whom are represented in our street, along with a few more, but when I think about the diversity that attracted me to Brunswick it’s more than this. If we think of culture in a broader sense, there are quite a few not represented in the series, but well represented here. There’s the old-school Aussies (pre-immigration, endangered species that they are), the students, the greenies, the heroin dealer, the token ‘skip’ (that would be me) and let’s not forget the resident funksters!

The multiculturalism I enjoy is all of this in combination with the diversity of nationalities and ethnicities. (And okay, I wouldn’t mind if we lost the heroin dealer).

I’d be interested to hear what anyone else has to say about multiculturalism in the greater Republic of Moreland. Is it about time we redefined it to go beyond references to nationality? And I’d love to know what you think of the series if anyone gets the chance to watch it.

As for me, I’m really looking forward to telling people I live on “multicultural working class Hope St, just down the road from the resident funksters in Lerv St. It’s very new Brunswick!” In the meantime here’s a trailer with some nice views of Brunswick and Coburg.

Yes, I know that’s not my nature-strip

Filed under: notices — Kath @ 9:35 pm

To those who emailed me to exclaim what hogwash I’m posting on the interwebs (“That’s not your nature strip! You don’t even live in that street!”), may I point out that The Republic is a group site? Try as I might to dominate and bore people senseless by banging on about my obsessions, Faith also makes posts here. (She’s ‘Vaguely Specific’). Leonaardo makes posts here, too, but he’s hybernating awhile, while he gets his exhibition together, which I’m sure we’ll hear about. To determine who wrote the post, just check the grey byline at the top of the post, next to ‘filed under’ 🙂 Fanks.

June 5, 2007

The grass is always greener

Filed under: Brunswick,Coburg,environment,food,gardening,gardens,mischief,neighbours — Faithh @ 11:11 am

As promised, oh so long ago, I took some photos of revegetated nature strips I’ve stumbled across (sometimes literally). There are actually a lot more than I was expecting, once I started looking for them, so I’ve created a spot for them on flickr. This also means others will also be able to upload any photos they have that they think are worth sharing. If you go to http://www.flickr.com/groups/republicofmoreland/ you can see the ones I’ve uploaded, upload your own, and also start other topics relevant to the greater Republic of Moreland. Of course what we really need is some photos of guerilla planting in action!

What I can show you right now is my own first tentative steps in nature strip revegetation. Our street doesn’t actually have nature strips, just some holes in the asphalt where the council planted trees several years ago. Discussions with the neighbours reveal that almost every tree without exception was trashed by, well, they got a bit vague at this point, but it finally came out that it would have been by their sons and friends. The sons are now older and I think even they would look down their noses at tree trashing these days. One neighbour has planted an olive and donated one to me so I have supplemented it with some grasses from my front garden. I plan to imperceptibly extend the boundaries of my ‘nature strip’ until the breadth of our house has been ‘greened’ without anyone having really noticed it. I’ve also promised another neighbour that if she provides a tree I will plant it and then provide all the grasses she needs from my garden. If you are interested in Moreland’s Naturestrip Beautification Guidelines (!) you can download them from here.
its a beginning

June 4, 2007

Passive-aggressive notes

Filed under: art,books & writing,nonsense — Kath @ 12:27 pm

This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Moreland, but I just couldn’t resist. I don’t normally take much notice of WordPress’s most popular site list, but over the last week a blog called Passive-aggressive notes from roommates, neighbors, co-workers and strangers has topped the list. This site rivals Brunswick’s Mrs Washalot blog for originality. It’s hilarious: take a look.

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