I was boring you all recently with my promotion of (old) Australian cinema. It started with a thought about Richard Roxburgh that led to Doing Time for Patsy Cline

Now …. also featuring in that movie was Miranda Otto, so I can continue the 3 degrees of separation thing by commending Bliss, featuring Barry Otto, Miranda’s dad.

When it screened at Cannes about half the audience walked out, apparently … so I guess it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I think it’s a classic. So there.

As an aside – I was watching a game of cricket some time ago. It was a fairly high level thing and drew something of a crowd. One of the bowlers was getting the better of one of the batsmen. Heated words and threats of violence were being exchanged. Just at that moment someone beside me drew attention to a rather strange looking individual behind me who was taking special interest in the altercation. “Hey,” this person said, “there’s a guy behind you that thinks he’s Barry Otto”.

So I turned to look. “That IS Barry Otto.” I was able to report.

The batsman who was about to be dismissed was my son. The bowler who was about to win the day was Barry’s son, Miranda’s brother.

My son went on (briefly) with professional sport. I don’t know what Barry’s son did. So there.

Bliss is a book by Peter Carey, by the way. I commend that to you as well.

Doing Time for Patsy Cline

Has anyone else seen this?

This morning I read The Bag Lady promoting ‘Rake’, an Australian series featuring Richard Roxburgh. It’s well worth a look. I thought I would add to that thought. ‘Doing Time for Patsy Cline’ certainly received mixed reviews but most are in agreement about the stellar cast …

Richard Roxburgh, Matt Day and Miranda Otto – I say ‘stellar cast’ but they may, in fact, be virtually unknown other than here in Oz.

Anyway …. has anyone else seen it?

Don’t you remember?

I am making a habit of this. I read other people’s carefully considered and beautifully articulated posts and then I add some brief and pedestrian comment of my own only to brush it down later and republish it. I pretend, in other words, that I did all the thinking myself – which is far from the truth.

I did it only this very morning to Stella and here I am again already repeating the offence courtesy of Sandra

Sandra was suggesting that if, indeed, there was a ‘soul-mate’ out there somewhere for her then perhaps she had already brushed shoulders with him. Perhaps she has.

And …. you know …. I am always brushing shoulders with strangers and I am nothing, if not an opportunist.

So here is what I had to say on the matter ….

Don’t you remember?
Don’t you remember?

It was in a cafe in Barcelona, or it might have been Buenos Aries or Milan, and you rushed in with you hair all messed up like you had just come out of the shower and were about to miss a bus or something and then you turned to me, a complete stranger, and you said, “Is this rain ever going to stop?”
And I said, “Maybe it just did.”

Don’t you remember?

The man on the wall

I was reading a poem of Stella’s and thinking of a reply. Some of Stella’s poetry can be a bit on the blue side (tastefully, of course) …. so you have been warned.

Anyway …. my mind followed a path of wondering how someone captured on canvas might feel. I think that it must be a bit frustrating to be frozen in time by those that love you – something of a mixed blessing.

As it happens there is a painting of my own father during his last years right here on the wall at home and I get the impression sometimes that he’s none too pleased about it. He had a full and interesting life – but he would have wanted more.

This is what came out, and I hope Stella will forgive me for reusing it.


An artist paints me in the past
Deep etchings in my skin
The lines of age conceal the rage
That flows like blood within
A replica upon the page
Denies the will to live
Let me explore this world some more
I still have more to give
Let her see me as I am
Let her call my name
Let me escape this prison
Within the picture frame

Who doesn’t like a bit of nudity?l

Well … not me, anyway. And when Nortina (Naughtyna) made reference to the subject it was like honey to this bee. And so I ran with her idea (though not with, it should perhaps be stressed, her consent).


Show me every inch of you

Show me how you’re made

Expose to me the hidden bits

The secrets you won’t trade

Show me what you’re hiding

From your head down to your toes

Show me all the special things

Those things nobody knows

Show me where you’re going

And where you’ve been so far

When you show me what’s inside of you

You’ll show me who you are


I have no idea who Dawn Robinson is, by the way. A little more high-brow than the authors I normally read, perhaps.

The Rhythm of the City

Another day.

So he rises from his house of cardboard and rotting blankets to greet the dawn. He lights the remainder of a cigarette discarded in the gutter overnight.

Slowly, slowly the rhythm of a city envelopes him and a tune comes to life in his mind. A song is singing in his ear ….

‘I’ve spent my days just chasing shadows
Looking for a winner
Set in my ways I have become
An unrepentant sinner
Surrounded by the also-rans
My fans are full time losers
They’re junkies, drunks and prostitutes
But beggars can’t be choosers

Such is life.


Carrot Ranch Challenge

99 words – no more, no less.

Miss Queensland Country 1954 – NYC Midnight SS 2019

Some of you may be familiar with my fractured relationship with the NYC Midnight Challenge writing competition. This year’s Short Story Competition has transported me into new territory in that I have broken with tradition and actually advanced to the second round by placing 3rd in my heat. A clerical error, no doubt.

The second round prompt was Romance/A retirement plan/ A jogger, and so I wrote a remarkably trite and boring story about football. They weren’t expecting that, I hope!

If you have time to waste …. here it is Miss Queensland Country 1954