My 2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


The Refuge

I started writing The Refuge in 2010.  Now, four years on, and here it is published in the American literary magazine Mused.

There is a little bit of truth in the story. It would be hard to write convincingly about the experience of living in a women’s refuge unless the author has done so herself.

When I heard recently that in New South Wales, Australia, women’s refuges were being put out to tender by local government, the contracts almost invariably won by the corporate giants,I felt inspired to revisit the original draft of my story that had remained untouched for years.

The Refuge portrays what it might be like to find yourself in a corporatised women’s refuge. It’s dystopia.

Tragedy in Peshawar

Pakistan and so many children slain. What a terrible terrible sadness.

Maybe there should be a second spot in Martin Place for the flowers for these children. Seventy times as many flowers please, for there are 141 gone. If we were to see such a thing, then we would know we have risen above an ingrained nationalism, reached beyond our borders, expressed a true humanitarian empathy. We would have far extended the principle of #iwillridewithyou It would be a remarkable expression of unity.

Meanwhile, I was intrigued to hear the comments of the ”expert” on the telly of the causes of the tragedy in Pakistan and possible solutions to the ongoing violence. She didn’t say what I will say in my letter here.

Dear America,

You have created yet another bloody mess, you and your bestie Saudi Arabia. Back in the 1970s, as Saudi  exported Wahhabism to Pakistan, to the madrassas, radicalising the young and the poor who had fled Afghanistan, you  trained the mujahideen in order to fight the Russian foe. And so together you created the Taliban. Together you fanned the flames of fundamentalism.

And it is you who have nurtured the formation of Islamic State.

You are the ones who know exactly how to turn psychologically vulnerable types into unhinged killers.

And I do not doubt that you have exported this expertise to your little brother Australia. And now we too find ourselves at the mercy of unhinged killers.

Gee, thanks!

A Tribute to Alex Legg

24762_233684     It is with huge sadness that I write this. Not twenty-four hours have gone by since the passing of consummate songwriter and performer Alex Legg.

This morning I was so moved by all the messages of love and goodwill on facebook  I wrote a short story to contribute to his memory. It’s no more than a vignette. I wanted to capture something of the private Alex, the man I knew so well; his humour and imagination that bubbled continuously behind the scenes. Incredibly, the ABC have published it straight away.  This story is for his son, his siblings, his family and for his ark of fans and friends who leave no room aboard for even a fly.


Follow the link to read it: Alex Legg, born 1952


I was fortunate to spend two sweet years with Alex. I went to all of his gigs and applauded every song. I guess I lived inside his song bag so to speak, and each one grew on me so that now I’m covered in them like a rash.

His music is a feast for the ears and the heart. His lyrics have an aerodynamic quality found in the great master songwriters, such as Paul Simon or Bacharach. Each song is carefully crafted with all the hooks and sweet melodies of truly great pop. He wrote in many genres: blues, folk, country, pop. He will be dearly missed but his music will live on.  Here he is playing I’m Down at Camelot, Sydney.

Alex was a passionate man. We shared a take on the world and all its flaws. His views came out in songs.   You Gotta Laugh Sometimes

And here’s one of my favourites. Some Old Junk Shop

Photographer and artist Marg Thompson has created this tribute to Alex – Thanks for Everything

Rest in Peace my friend.             Me and Alex