We don’t do spring break

We don’t do Spring Break here in Oz. We take breaks whenever we feel like it, instead.

But, having posted absolutely nothing over the last few months and inspired (as usual) by others – in this case by J-dubs, I thought I would add a little pic from long long ago that features my very long term (and long-suffering) partner in life in her natural state (so to speak).

The picture was taken before we had met, in fact, but it captures a cheerful positivity mixed with a healthy cynicism that I have long treasured.

The picture itself also captures the playfulness of young women in general, when they are relieved of the burden of expectations from their elders as well as the restrictions of self-consciousness placed upon them when too many boys are around.

Technically it is not a particularly good photo, I suppose – and it has faded with time – two facts that make it all the more endearing for me.


Weekend writing prompt #95

I decided to post a few things … quick fire … minimum thought or editing. Pick prompts at random (I’ve only missed the first 94 of this one) and see what popped out.

Very little, I’m afraid.

It’s just a notion

Not devotion

But I like you quite a lot

It’s magic potion

This raw emotion

And I find you really hot


OK …. I know there’s a lot to be said for self-restraint and moderation. I get it.

But, holy shit, there’s a lot to be said for absolute fucking decadence as well.

We were fortunate enough to have Josh Lipps (who none of you have ever heard of) drop around yesterday and do some lunch for our friends.

I never refer to myself as a ‘writer’ because I read a lot, and I know what a real writer can do. I aspire to achieve, one day, a piece of work that may allow me to be confused with a writer.

And I enjoy cooking a bit too. And I’m, like …. OK at it. Better than my mother was. But I will never be mistaken for a chef. I watched this all happen in front of me yesterday and I was blown away by the ease, and the confidence, and the beauty (and, of course, the taste) and the sheer art of it….

Isn’t it just wonderful to observe a artist at work?

Where in the world am I? #2 (And where’s the tea?)


I have actually never been to Boston. But I have been to Starbucks.

He was tired. And lost in a strange city. And so he sat nervously at a table with his suitcase, equally unsure of its position, sitting beside him. He needed a cup of tea. For, as his father had once explained to him, “one requires only a sip of Twinnings for one’s soul to be transported magically back to the motherland.”

His own preference was for Earl Gray and, whilst he acknowledged the faint French influence in that particular blend, he viewed it nevertheless as being quintessentially English. Alas, there was no such choice available, and so he ordered what was simply described as ‘tea’. When it arrived it did so in a paper cup from which dangled a string. Further investigation revealed the string to be connected to some sort of tiny sack which was now swimming in steaming discoloured water. He could not help but be reminded of women’s sanitary products.

Searching for more palatable alternatives he inspected the menu again, but recognised only one name. He examined his Rolex. It was 3:26PM. And surely, even here, they knew that no gentleman would order a ‘cappuccino’ after midday. All the other offerings, however, were unintelligible to him and had evidently been created by someone under the impression that a word could be translated into Italian simply by the addition of the letter ‘O’.

The café itself had a name he assumed to have been derived from a cheap science fiction novel and, thinking about it now, he wondered if he was still within the civilised world at all. Perhaps, as he slept, his aeroplane had been mysteriously diverted, mid-flight, to another galaxy inhabited by a life-form intent on imitating humanity, but falling somewhere short of success. Or perhaps he had been through a time vortex of sorts and had landed in a future where culture had undergone some kind of horrific mutation. This was, he suddenly remembered, ‘New England’.

And whilst the other inhabitants were speaking what sounded like his own language he could only make out occasional words. Everyone seemed to be wearing running shoes but showing no other signs of athletic exertion. Hats were being worn indoors. Backwards. He was horrified.

And everywhere there were red socks.

SoCs – cele

SoCS 3/3/19

The kid and the choirboy

Here’s something that they claim to combine. Celebration and Celibacy. What could possibly go wrong?

And who could imagine that a normal human being who commits themselves to such a life might be, in the first place, a bit strange? Or, after a few years in the gig, might be even a bit stranger?

So who could imagine that our own dear Cardinal Pell, who has done such a fine job of protecting the church from countless accusations of kiddy fiddling might be found guilty himself, of accidentally finding a choirboy’s penis in his mouth?

So I hope that he meets some good and like-minded friends in prison. With whom he can openly discuss such matters in the showers.

And where his supercilious superiority and arrogance might not count for much.

And where, at last, he might have to watch his own back.

What kind of day did you have?

I don’t really know what this is all about. I was playing an old (and virtually unknown) song called ‘Essay in Paranoia’ which goes like this…..

“What kind of day did you have?

What kind of day did you have?

Was it as bad as the papers said?

Was someone really killed?

‘Cause that’s how they read.”

And then, for whatever reason, I started thinking about a man who might have had not only his financial wealth but also his sense of self-worth invested entirely in the stock market. He returns home one night, to his trophy wife, after a long and disastrous day when everything has come crashing down hoping that she might love him still – in poverty as she has in wealth. But knowing that she won’t.

This is what came out…….

They told me all about it

Before you went to sleep

The stars were falling from the sky

As you were counting sheep

A market fall. A margin call

When we were in too deep

Money falling everywhere

But none for us to keep.

In its own way, a special day

A day long overdue

And I suppose I’ve had of those

Some better days, it’s true

But it’s ok. We got away

Our love will see us through

So tell me how you feel today

How was the day for you?

Imposter Syndrome

I read something from someone somewhere here the other day about ‘Imposter Syndrome’. “It’s a terrible thing,” this person said, “but we know that we all have it.” And I thought about that statement for a while and found that I had to disagree with it. Because we don’t know that we have it. We just hope that we do.

Because the primary symptom of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ is not knowing if you have it or not, but suspecting pretty strongly that you don’t.

And then I imagined a conversation with a psychologist on the subject.

This is the conversation ….

She sat across from me looking over the top of her glasses with a fountain pen poised theatrically above her notebook. The first thing I had noticed about her office were the books. I wondered if she had read them all. There seemed to be a disproportionate number of them concerning sex. Sexual abuse. Sexual disfunction. Sexual disorientation. Sexual reassignment. Why were psychologists always so obsessed with sex? Didn’t they care about all the other traps that God had set just to fuck you up?

And then she was trying to deny that she was even a psychologist at all.

“Don’t think of me as a psychologist,” she said, “just think of me as someone to talk to.”

“My grandmother is ‘just someone I can talk to’”, I replied, “but not at $150 an hour.”

“But you can tell me things that you can’t tell her.”

“You obviously don’t know my grandmother.”

But I knew were she was going. She wanted to talk about sex. “I don’t want to talk about sex,” I blurted out.

“That’s fine,” she said. And then we just sat there and looked at each other. She wrote something down in her notebook. What could there possibly be to write down already? I hadn’t even said anything. Except one offhand comment about sex. I felt like I was attending a job interview and somebody else already had the job. She was just waiting for me to slip up and reveal myself as totally unsuitable.

Eventually she broke the silence. “You’re a writer,” she told me.

“Yes. Well … maybe. I don’t know. That’s the whole thing.”

“And you think you suffer from imposter syndrome?”

“Yes. Yes. I’m almost sure of it. I sent you a chapter of my novel. Did you read it?”

“I did,” she replied and jotted down something else about me in her notebook. It was becoming annoying.

“And what did you think?”

She smiled at me in a manner which I interpreted as being condescending and let out a sigh. “I’m not a literary critic, Mr Richmond,” she advised me, “I’m a psychologist.”

“Yes. But you’re a person. A reader. And you’re ‘someone I can talk to’. So tell me,” I begged her, “what did you think?”

“Today, I’m afraid that I can only answer as a psychologist.” She wrote something else down. It was infuriating. I’m not sure that she was even listening. Perhaps she was compiling a grocery list.

“All right then,” I conceded in the end, “Have it your own way. As a psychologist, what did you think of my novel?”

“As a psychologist?” she asked, as if it had been my idea all along. “as a psychologist ….. I don’t think you are suffering from imposter syndrome.”