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Artworks by Florent Diverchy of WordsnClouds, with gratitude

All Those Christmases at Once


You know my feelings about asylum-seekers and the way they are treated by TROWC (and I agree: the Opposition has no alternative to put forward). Perhaps you should know this, as well …

Originally posted on howardgoldenberg:


Christmas Island tragedy: Screams, yells and then they drowned…Devastated Christmas Islanders …witnessed yesterday’s horror…

After three days on Christmas Island it is my turn to take night call as doctor at the Detention Centre. At ten PM I receive a call from Team Leader, the always-smiling Henry. I hear no trace of a smile in his voice: “Security is bringing five men in to the clinic who’ve slashed themselves and another man who tried to hang himself.”

When I arrive in the clinic, all cubicles are full. There are the five men who have cut themselves, and not one, but two, who’ve tried to hang. I don’t know where to look first. I don’t want to look at all.

In the nearest cubicle a man lies flat on his back, his throat livid in the glare of the examination light. He does not move.

I speak…

View original 899 more words

A masochist ? – moi ?

You mean, just because I lost track of the fact that Audible is an Amazon company, and when my younger sister sent me a $50 Amazon voucher for my birthday I ordered the audio version of Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” ON DISK direct from Amazon …?

And I could have ordered it as (the world’s largest) download from Audible …?

And I wouldn’t have had to pay freight ?

AND I wouldn’t be sitting here now transferring 28 disks onto the PC so as to be able to dub ’em onto the little SanDisk ?

How DARE you insinuate that I’m a halfwit by agreeing with all that ? – I’m a quarterwit !     :-(

Not just a review of the book …

… but of its shy and retiring author !

Christine J. Randall has a lot to answer for. She has written about my book in such a way that it made me spill my coffee because I was laughing so much !!

Her review is comparatively brief, inasmuch as part of it is her … ahh … view of the current me, sitting here atop my blog like a [casts about for words] … like an intelligence nazi ? – yup, that’ll do.     :-D

I must explain something to her and possibly to you(se) because she’s made a very valid point: my book is indeed published as “And then like my dreams: a memoir”, but this is not the title under which it was written. For all those long months during its inception, and most of those during which my Fremantle Press editor had me shift some things around, etc. (I refuse to elucidate on the “etc.”, but I think it was all very normal editing), the manuscript was entitled “And then like my dreams: Still and moving pictures”. I LOVED that title with its tag. I mean, I REALLY LOVED IT. To me it was a kind of summation of the entire 31 years of living with a stills photographer then writing about losing him.

But it went out the window because the publishers wanted to put David Stratton’s short but very pleasing opinion on the cover: it would SELL, they told me. (Subsequently I became of the opinion that the distributors must have decided that the Stratton short quote would sell without need of their actually getting it onto displays in bookshops.)

And as my own blog is the one place in which I can reference – channel ? – that wonderful tag she said modestly, it’s there. But Christine’s right: it will confuse. Sighh …

ANYWAY ! There was a good reason for my including her in the group of blogs I listed daily over a month; and you will find a part of it in her review.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do !

ATLMD-coverAddendum: and here is a screengrab from my final version, so that you can see I’m not talking bullshit.

I put a lot of thought into that tag, right at the beginning.

And in fact, I had to fight like a demon to keep the actual title: publishers like book titles to be short and snappy, and thus memorable.

Moi non. Pas pour mon livre …


Forest Man

This is a truly lovely video from “Colossal”: it’s 16 minutes long but I didn’t grudge a second.

So if you can find the time, make yourselves a cup of your preferred poison and take a short break to watch “Forest Man”.

It will warm the cockles of your hard hearts.     :-)

Talk about kind …!

My blogging mate up there in the US of A who is doing absolutely brilliantly on a weight adjustment program – self-administered ! – and who teaches as well as running her household, found time some weeks back to review ATLMD. It’s one of those amazingly enthusiastic pieces of writing that has impressed many, and no wonder !

So today what does she do ? – she gives it another run !

I am apparently not as self-effacing as she. Cos if I was I wouldn’t post this, would I …? I shall tell myself (and Steve !) that I’m doing it because it will please her, OK ? ;-)

I missed Ann Christine’s review :-(

My dear Swedish blogging friend Ann Christine, whose site “Leya: to see the world in a grain of sand” is one of my top 30, read my book and reviewed it IN SWEDISH !!

And I, too caught up in various technical problems, missed it.

I am an ungrateful person, it would seem … But I’m not really, I promise ! – I am more grateful for every kind person’s reading the book than I could ever indicate, let alone utter sufficient gratitude for reviewing it !!

So here it is – my very first review in another language !

What’s that ? – how the devil do I expect the vast bulk of you to read it ?

If you use Chrome for your browser, it’s a doddle; you just right-click anywhere in the opened page and choose ‘Translate this page’.

However, if you don’t, it is a horse of a different colour … OTY for that.     [grin]

And THANK-YOU, Ann Christine !!! – I wish I had been totally on the ball, rather than letting your review sit there for several hours before getting to it.

DAILY PROMPT: Can’t Watch This

When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?


Let me see … why, I believe it was yesterday – one in a l-o-n-g line of days during which my Sony Bravia will insist on showing me appalling sights that make me cringe.

The first thing I do is hit the mute button. saying pettishly, “You have NOTHING to say that I want to hear, you shitbag !”. This is relevant to my setting eyes on any one of the following (let alone a grouping of more than one !)

Tony Abbott
Joe Hockey
George Brandis
Scott Morrison
Julie Bishop
Christopher Pyne
Kevin Andrews
Greg Hunt
Mathias Cormann

who might be about to open his mouth on-screen.

You will think I am exaggerating, probably. I’m not. I honestly can’t STAND to listen to this pack of useless bastards, these mealy-mouthed liars who spent the previous period of government attacking  from the opposition benches in totally negative fashion such as to make the business of government more difficult than it’s ever been. They make my blood boil.

To make it worse, they have the ABC in their sights, which means that said media organization, having recently had a huge slice of its budget removed painfully (with not threats but promises of more to come – or go !), is bending over backwards to appear as ‘unbiased’ as it can. Which inevitably results in bias towards the guvmint’s views.

Scary – very. Cringeworthy – always. Tacky – to the nth degree.

Possibly useful tip – possibly not

I suppose most of you know already about enabling images to be seen outside your blog, eh ? – but I KEEP FORGETTING, being the idiot I am. And anyway, last time I asked, I was told a different program, and it wasn’t nearly as simple as this one !

As discussed with Christine yesterday, I use an absolutely marvellous little FREE software called PrintKey for screen-grabs: it will do just about anything you want with an image.

‘Custom rotate’ is something Christine and I were talking about – you know, when what you just shot turns out to be a bit off the horizontal or vertical …? – for that you need FastStone image editor.

You can do fancy borders if you want – before adding an image to your media library.

There’s tons more stuff you can do with PrintKey: I can’t recommend it highly enough. And it’s simple enough for me to master in no time – THAT oughta encourage youse !     [grin])

With the ability to take screen-grabs however you want to do it, the discovery (for me) of as contributed by kokkieh there is TERRIFIC. Of course it can be used in any situation where you want to be able to show someone something that you have no other means of showing ‘em.

Addendum: turns out no-one needs to have to go to the trouble of downloading and setting up PrintKey for the purpose of putting something into, which itself allows you to crop and edit whatever you grab with your own PrintScreen button !

Oz politics seen with humour !

No idea who First Dog on the Moon actually is, but his (political) cartoons very seldom fail to make me laugh. In a miserable kind of way.     :-\

They say you have to laugh when it all gets too much, don’t they …?!

When I’m feeling more than usually pissed off by the unspeakable antics of TROWC, I remind myself that the true satirists – the cartoonists – are as one on today’s Oz politics.

And then I can wipe the tears from my cheeks and laugh … Until the next time some arsehole like that tiny little shit George Brandis stands up (possibly on an apple-box) and announces a new and even more appalling limitation on our freedom.

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