The people: my family and friends, Chevalier College staff and students, the indigenous NPWS mob at Morton NP, The Chaser posse, John Safran (perhaps the scariest and bravest man on TV), The Spicks n Specks gang, HG Nelson and the Bush Slam makers, all involved in constructing the first season of Underbelly, Shaun Micallef, Sacha Baron Cohen, the Eremaea regulars, all those at Copenhagen who tried to embrace the Earth, not stuff it up further.
The places: Monga National Park, Braidwood, Melbourne (particularly Collingwood, Fitzroy and Carlton), Morton National Park, Budderoo National Park (mainly the Budderoo Plateau), Berrima, Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale (for Seymour Park, my home away from home), Carrington Falls, Belmore Falls and Fitzroy Falls, Canyonleigh, Mt. Gibraltar, Yarrawah Brush, Robertson, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, the wetlands at Mossy, Wombeyan Caves, Mannings Lookout, Kangaroo Valley, Cambewarra Lookout, Hyams Beach, Homebush Bay and Mason Park, Canberra, Lake George, various Southern Highland wineries, Sydney (particularly Glebe Point Rd. and King St. and Red Eye Records and the glorious harbour).
The words: Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Paul Ham's Kokoda, Dave Cullen's Columbine (a sobering, raw and incredibly dense analysis of the massacre at Columbine High School ten years ago, showing the killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were not victims of bullying and members of the 'Trench Coat Mafia' as the media reported, but confident, scheming psychopaths and bullies who hated the world and wanted to be remembered for murder), Robert Adamson's Inside Out, Mark Tredinnick's The Blue Plateau, Nikki Gemmell's Why you are Australian - A Letter to my Children, Dorothy Porter's The Bee Hut, Nicolas Rothwell's Another Country, Deborah Ellis' Parvana, Peter Lach-Newinsky's The Knee Monologues and Other Poems, selected essays in Five Bells (Vol. 15 No. 4 & Vol. 16 No. 1), Andrew Lansdown's Communion and Other Poems, various poems by Jennifer Compton published in Quadrant.
The films: The Wrestler, Avatar, District 9, The Combination, Seven Pounds, I Am Legend, Closed For Winter.
The music: Dreadzone, BAD (for unearthed track from '85 Electric Vandal), The Big Pink, UNKLE, Faithless, Boxcar (ah, they're back!), Depeche Mode, Bad Lieutenant, Pet Shop Boys, The Prodigy, Salmonella Dub, 7 Worlds Collide, Paul Dempsey ('Ramona was a Waitress' the best Aussie song of 2009), Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Imbruglia.
The birds: Lewin's rail (my first tick for the year), olive whistler (my other tick for the year), sooty owl, ground parrot (munching on stems on the Budderoo Track), superb lyrebird (listening to its extraordinary impressions of a myriad of other birds and wild music, when foraging at Fitzroy Falls, was awesome), bassian thrush, eastern bristlebird, southern emu-wren, beautiful firetail, dollarbird (skimming Lake Alendandra), peregrine falcon (circling my car and getting aggro because I was disturbing it from its fresh kill, a crested pigeon!), yellow thornbill (two of which landed on my Astra's revision mirror and proceeded to check out their reflection for twenty minutes at the Moss Vale wetlands), yellow-throated warbler (on its teardrop-shaped hanging nest at Fitzroy Falls... finding nest fallen and destroyed with broken eggs some weeks later).
LJ, December 31 2009.