It’s only love

Goodness. I seem to have gone brain dead (or brain deader) and can’t think of much to say. Nothing of value, anyway. I just returned from Alaska and maybe I indulged in too much visual and sensual stimulation (there can be no question that I indulged in a few other things to excess, too) and it has sucked any remaining vestiges of creativity out of me.

I just thought that I should post something to indicate signs of life.

And I have been a bit nostalgic.

I am a bit nostalgic quite a lot, to be honest.

So I entitled this post ‘It’s only love’ because, right now, I think everything is about love (certainly every story or silly poem I have ever written is about love in one way or another) but it really doesn’t have to mean that much …. you know? It’s only love. Get over it.

And the picture above is of my old pals Mike and Bill (Bill left the planet a few years ago, alas) but they did once produce a little tune with the same title as my post.

You can listen to it here if you wish.

And they did another song called ‘Disco Dilemma’ which I understood so well …. but if you weren’t a male in the 70’s it would mean nothing to you. But the last few lines echoed a teenage experience for me ….

She can’t hear what you’re saying

Another record is playing

So you don’t get to say


As you push through the crowd

The music’s playing so loud

No one hears you’ve got tears

In your eye


As I say …. I’m feeling a little nostalgic and melancholy.

But this is just me saying hello, really.


The Wedding Speech

As some of you may recall – I am in Alaska at present for the purposes of attending a wedding which will occur in a matter of hours from now.

I have been sitting this morning with the groom and best man attempting to come up with a suitable speech. The majority of attendees, we are assuming, will be Alaskans but there will be a strong contingent of Australians as well. The event is, after all, to some extent at least, to mark a union between the two cultures. The trick will be to come up with something that is sensitive to both but remains unashamedly Australian.

We have conducted extensive brainstorming and research. Most of the jokes have been, reluctantly, discarded.

In the end we have based something vaguely around the following (admittedly a 21st birthday speech and admittedly by a New Zealander).

What do you think?

Alaska Update

Bear survival techniques have thus far proven successful. Speaking to them (politely but firmly) seems to do the trick.

Killer Whales (Orcas) seem, on the other hand, to be completely disinterested in idle chit chat. We spent a few hours this morning thinking that we were chasing them but we were, in reality, just keeping out of their way.

Majestic creatures.

More of the same. Still no bear attacks.

OK. So ….. people have let me know that this bear threat is very real. So I have been doing some research via the signs that I am seeing more and more of on the paths that I tread. Apparently it is important to let the bear know that I am human. Bears take issue, it would seem, with visitors from other galaxies. Fair enough. Me too.

Apparently I should talk ‘normally’ to the bear. That is not a problem to me, of course. These are American bears that I am dealing with, and they are comfortable with English. But I saw some Japanese people earlier this morning and I am very worried that their lack of conversational expertise with bears may be, potentially, life threatening.

Anyway ….. I climbed Mt Roberts today. It was an act of utter insanity. I may be crippled for life, as a result

But, up the top, the view was special.

Haines (Alaska) and Bears

A made a visit to Haines today, folks. I’m really not much of a photographer … but I do like going for a walk now and again. And I took a couple of snaps. Please let me know if they bore you.

During my walk I came across a few warnings about bears – ‘you are in bear country’, one of them said. Since becoming aware of this advice Mrs Richmond has been checking behind every tree.

I am aware that visitors to Australia assume that they will be eaten by crocodiles, snakes, spiders, sharks and kangaroos the minute they step out of the city. Which is laughable, of course. Should I be laughing now? Is there an Alaskan out there who can give me some perspective in terms of the actual bear threat?

Foreign Correspondent

Some of you may be aware that I am in presently in Alaska. Actually, I am attending a wedding, but going about it in a very round about sort of way. There’s nothing terribly unusual about that, I suppose. Alaskans do it all the time. But it is unusual for me.

Yesterday I was in Wrangell. Has anyone else been there? It’s not the sort of place you just stumble upon when you are out shopping for fruit and vegetables. A friend had some sort of dental problem so we had to find him a dentist. There is just one dentist in Wrangell.

It is summer in Alaska, of course, and the fact that it is cold, overcast and wet does not prevent the locals appropriately observing the season. When we greeted the dentist we were wearing ski jackets. He was a big man with a big beard and big hair. He was wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It seemed very natural. And it seemed that he was a skilled dental practitioner. The dental emergency has been resolved.

I met another young lady who ran a small health food store. I bought some nuts from her. She spoke very highly of Wrangell and its community. She had moved there from Southern California and had been made to feel very welcome in the community. She was quite attractive. That might have helped.

I asked her what the political flavour of choice was in town. “God,” she replied, “just have a look around you.”

So I did. Everywhere there were American flags and banners celebrating and supporting that guy from the ‘reality’ TV show. There were quite a few bumper stickers stressing the importance of building a wall. I wondered what sort of impact a wall in Mexico might have on life in Alaska. Perhaps they were lobbying for a wall with Canada.

But it was a nice place. I didn’t have time to check if the fishing is, indeed, great. Or if it needed, like America itself, to be made great again. It would have been nice to find out.

But we had to keep moving.