Statement regarding Guide to Modern Living

An important statement from the First Dog on the Moon Institute

The groundbreaking satirical radio program First Dog on the Moon’s Guide to Modern Living was broadcast on ABC Radio National’s Sunday Extra program every Sunday morning for four years, ending in 2016. First Dog on the Moon (Walkley award winning political cartoonist with The Guardian Australia) wrote and presented the program each week with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s vast technical infrastructure (especially the sound effects library) along with Mr Jonathan Green, who was the host of Sunday Extra providing editorial oversight and occasionally funny voices also some jokes but not the good ones.

In mid 2016 the news came through that Mr Green’s tenure at the Sunday Extra show was coming to an end and that he was to be replaced by Tom Switzer formally of the IPA but who it turns out is actually quite nice despite that, he was opposed to the Iraq war apparently. While no information about the Guide to Modern Living was forthcoming it was assumed that “The Guide” in its current format at least, would be finishing when Sunday Extra changed presenters.

First Dog on the Moon responded by drawing a snide cartoon about how short sighted ABC management were and how the IPA was taking over the public broadcaster and it was all a disgrace. Everyone was quite upset and wrote letters and complained on the internet.

In mid December 2016, First Dog on the Moon received a call from the Head of Spoken Talking and Noises at ABC’s Radio National Editorial Program Content Management Facilities Department who said “did you want to keep doing the guide it wasn’t cancelled we just didn’t get our shit together to call you until now – Tom is quite keen to have the show keep going”.

Mr Onthemoon who had been worked up into quite a state of indignation suddenly discovered that the radio show could keep going it wasn’t some huge right wing conspiracy or even a small one.

This could have been hugely embarrassing however fortunately First Dog on the Moon has no shame and thought the whole thing was actually rather funny. It was decided that the First Dog on the Moon Institute would release a public statement retracting the baseless claim that the Guide had been cancelled for ideological reasons it hadn’t been cancelled at all. Here is that statement you are reading it.

However along with the need to virtually relocate The Guide to Sydney from Brunswick and to do the whole thing alone (without Jonathan “The Frog” Green who actually did most of the work but not the good jokes) and frankly 4 years is a long time First Dog on the Moon decided the radio version of the Guide would take a break, however the program would be turned into a book and a live action comedy spectacular which would be ready for the end of 2017.

Grateful for the opportunity to present the show for four years and also mindful of the need to suck up to management in order to get back on the tax payer funded public broadcasting gravy train later, First Dog on the Moon thanked everyone concerned especially the listeners and went and had a lie down.

You’re welcome.

Day 8

Dear Diary, this was the hardest day ever. No you can laugh but we rode our bikes up Bakers Tier about 70k from Bothwell to Miena – and because of the distance and the hills we could only use the power on the biggest hills. A v long day. It all started nicely in Bothwell, posted some postcards and tootled along. The first hill and we were like is that it? It wasn’t that bad, but the second was and the third, fourth and fifth and they just kept going. We arrived at Miena finally which is on top of a mountain and has a nice lake. The great lakes hotel is by far the worst accommodation we have had it is like living in a cave. Do not stay here ever. The pub part was quite nice and the lake is very lakesque. The bread for the toast is mouldy and there is no one here to replace it they have not heard the last of this.

Day 8


Rest Day! So deserved. Got up late and tootled out to the Nant Distillery – had a lovely tour and tasting and then lunch which included haggis. Nant is very nice. Came back to the pub and fixed the bikes JON GOT ANOTHER FLAT NOT EVEN DOING ANYTHING! Was repeatedly told by the locals how bad Baker’s Tier is – that is the hill on the way to Meananana where we are going on day 9. Did some postcards and flapped about. Chatted to Helen on ABC Radio Hobart 427 (not sure that is the number) Watched media watch. Met the publican’s dogs. Lovely.

Day 7ish


Dear Diary, Day 7, if that is what it is, started with a tour of Redlands Distillery. It was the first birthday of Barrel number 1 – their first ever cask and we had a taste and it was pretty good for something only a year old. Nice dark colour too, redlands are going to be something. We met Dean their head distiller – he got the job answering an ad on Gum Tree so there you go. Beautiful spot and everyone was lovely. We cycled to Pontypines which is a small town near the nightgarden (abc 4 kids joke) look it was something like that. Pootville or Pontywonty Valley I don’t remember i was busy trying not to be run over. Most Tassie drivers have been good but some have been BAD. On the way to Ponkvale we stopped at the DeathCorp Pulp Mill and i took a photo and security turned up and said “no photos if you take a photo you can be prosecuted” and i was all like “mate this is australia what are you on about” and he was all “mate” and i was all “maaaate!” Anyway while we were talking i secretly took a photo and put it on instagram TAKE THAT TREE HATERS! We had a not very good lunch at Pinky Town and then got a lift with Ian to Belgrove because we are lazy and old. The distillery at Belgrove is mental, we met Peter who is a farmer, distiller and award winning sand sculptor. He is a proper renaissance person and also makes his own biodiesel. We saw his sheep and drank something called Ginger Hammer which made me want to cry it was so good. Then to Bothwell and the biggest hill yet on the way. At Bothwell pub we met Dennis and his stuffed fox Basil who he uses to trick the Tasmanian Government Fox Finding Taskforce into thinking there are foxes. There was goat curry on the menu and Jon had some. I explained to Dennis my theory about goats. He did not seem very interested.

Day 95

Dear Diary, we awoke at Jon’s Shack and saw a bandicoot! V exciting. Then we rode to Bob’s Fruit Farm and saw Bob and a lot of fruit. The musk lorikeets had gotten under the nets and into the nashi pears. We discovered some were caught! I rescued one and was given a nasty bite – then we combined our efforts to rescue another with a string wrapped all around it feathers make it difficult we couldn’t even see the string. Someone said it wasn’t flying away because it was tired. Jon held it down and I painstakingly untangled it we are heroes. It flew away and we cheered. Then to Brighton so I could leave my ipad there – then we got a puncture then our support crew delivered the ipad and we rode to Redlands but we were late NO FOOD. No help from the internet we had to rely on our wits and instinct to survive! Got a cab into town and had chinesestralian at the Shanghai. Delicious! Home to bed in another taxi. This is the greatest adventure of my life although Jon is a bit mean.

Day Something

Day Something – Starting out at the Port Arthur Villas headed for Dogues Ferry – Stopped at the Devil Appreciation Society Zoo thing and saw feeding time. Devils are great but zoos are sad. Roadworks and rain made riding exciting. Then Dunnally! Seafood basket for lunch and they have a nice dog there. Rode to Dogues Ferry to Jon’s shack. Met up with Ian and Eric and went abalone hunting. Eric is a herpetologist did you know there are only 20 reptiles native to Tasmania? 3 snakes and 17 skinks. Skinks are great. Jon caught some abalone and we went back to the shack, Dave turned up and we ate abalone and drank tasmanian whisky and japanese whisky and said funny mean things about each other it was great.

Day 4

First Dog’s Diary Day 4 – What an exciting day! We raced to the jetty to meet Denis and Anita on their former Sydney – Hobart sailing yacht boat. Denis is french and used to be a fighter pilot so that meant we would all be very safe or die horribly. In order to get the bikes in the yacht we had to take the front wheels off but THE TIDE THE TIDE we couldn’t wait so we had to take the wheels off ON THE TINY BOAT in the bay they have electrics and tiny screws and OH MY GOD the drama, the waves. We finally got the bikes in the hold, swabbed the poop deck, slopped the pigs and frotted the yardarm. We told a lot of old timey pirate jokes we are very funny. We boated along for AGES the water down there is very big and also quite beautiful there was an albatross and some jellyfish that floated past upside down as you do.

We arrived in Umbedungadangarong which Jon said is the aboriginal word for lobster or béchamel i forget Jon says a LOT of things. We put the wheels back on and Jon’s blunny FELL IN THE WATER AHAHAHAAH we laughed and laughed he is an idiot. Then we said goodbye to Denis and Anita and the crowed of slightly terrifying rural and regional Tasmanians that had gathered and we cycled to William McHenry’s Distillery! His distillery has natural springs and a helipad it is the best. We hung around for ages and made it back to our hotel in time to go to the Ghost Tour at Port Arthur. Port Arthur at night is terrifying and we saw some horrid cruel history and some of the buildings there are seriously scary. However our Tour Guide Fred was utterly incapable of telling a story without buggering it up or letting the place tell its own story so the whole thing was rendered not scary even though it should have been terrifying. Jon and I frightened ourselves later in the hotel room describing the rooms as we remember them, even though we weren’t frightened at the time. Weird. SPOOKY EVEN. WORST GHOST TOUR EVER. Isn’t this diary just going on and on. Bye.

Day 3


First Dog’s Diary! Day 3 – first actual cycling day. Today we must have ridden 200 or 300 kilometres it was very far. Cycled the scenic mountain route to Margate and bought some whisky. Missed the ferry at Kettering because of the road works and then missed the next ferry because we had a flat tyre, then mixed the next ferry because we had the wrong tool it was Jon’s fault. Rode to Bruny Cheese and met Cheese guy and his dog Tofu that was very nice also got some cheese! Rode to the accommodation on a dirt road, at the bottom of the last huge hill my battery died. Jon offered to take the whisky because it was “heavy”. HE IS TRYING TO KILL ME SEND HELP! I Rode up the hill to the very nice accom, and spent the evening tasting whisky and cheese together with our new quoll friend this island is pretty great.

Day 2

First Dog’s Diary – Day 2 of the tour was AMAZING! We got the tyre on the bike fixed and then we met Brett he runs actual whisky tours in tassie and so we were spending the day with him in a car! Not even an electric one. We went to Overeem and tried some whisky which was very good then went to Sullivan’s Cove home of the 2014 WORLD’S BEST WHISKY And we tried some whisky it was also very good – we didn’t drink the award winning one, but the the best friend of the award winning one they sit next to each other.

Then we went to richmond and had a scallop pie which is the national food of Tasmania. Then we had some whisky and went to Lark Distillery where a very friendly and large beardy man and some huge hairy cows showed us around the distillery and we… wait for it… drank some whisky it was very good. Then we drove back to the Lark Distillery bar in Hobart and we drank some more rather good whisky and talked to Bill Lark he has a peat bog. Then Jon made me walk to the hardware store but it was closed because everything in Hobart is always closed it is the national food here. Then we had a parmy at a pub that wasn’t closed and went back to Jon’s place and I talked to his cat. Day 3 the bicycle section of the whisky tour starts properly.


Day 1 of the greatest project ever whisky tour

Today was DAY 1 of the tour and it was very exciting met “Tim” who knows more about whisky than you have had hot dinners and I met Jon’s cat Solly who at some cheese from my pastrami and salad roll for lunch. We were interviewed on the ABC and also the red bike got a flat tyre which I am sure is Jon’s fault I am just not sure how yet. We also went to a whisky tasting dinner and tasted whisky which was not unexpected. The weather is very nice which is unexpected. Tomorrow we will be doing something else including getting the tyre fixed can I just say electric bikes are so great.

The itinerary is up on the other website!

Actual Thing That Happened