Category Archives: Contemplations

Health check #4

I am released!!

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Like Magwich, a convict, an escapee on the long bogs of rural England, I have burst forth from Fremantle Prison …. I mean, Fremantle Hospital after 4 long weeks of recumbency and tests and observations. Continue reading

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Soft Doll Land


A new doll, gifted creation using fabrics from the fetes and bazaars of Pakistan

From the billowy landscape of fabrics – felts and velvets, silks, calico, fringing and lace – a figure twists and breathes, and there is new life on the horizon.

This is the world of my sister’s soft dolls, mysterious and heart-racing, a riot of colours, imagination and textures. Continue reading

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On Sondheim: on ambivalence

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Like most of us, having found in life a preferred writer, I followed them addictively, fanatically. I attached myself to ‘the great Spirit’, and I have been a disciple ever since. Let’s get one thing clear, however; this wasn’t the same teenage crush I had on Olivia Newton-John and Abba, or the early adulthood veneration of Barbara Streisand or the later delight in Broadway legends Mandy Patinkin, Barbara Cook and. Chita Rivera. This was serious, considered, deep, literary. This was a man’s crush, and in its maturity it was breathtaking. It wasn’t only the style, the wit, the breadth of writing that held me in this writer’s orbit once engaged, it was the life lessons held before the attentive listener/reader: the writer is Stephen Sondheim (1930-), and the theme under discussion here is ambivalence. Continue reading


Filed under Contemplations, Theatre_, Writing_

80 over 40

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80 over 40: It could be the title to a juicy New York Times best seller – a Stephen King paranormal mystery. Or a video game about warring zombies. Or a naughty film about an older gentleman and a younger woman (or fellow!). But it’s not; it’s my blood pressure, and I find it to be alarming. Continue reading


Filed under Contemplations, Parkinsons_

Pronoun-ciation: putting the ‘u’ back into the ‘i-Niverse’

There is a stink in the air, and it fouls my love of the city (more on that some other time). Time to take arms (slender though they may be and by nature linguistic), and write.

On my car, a ladybird ... hello Lady!

On my car, a ladybird … hello i-Lady!

“Only connect” wrote E.M. Forster, urging us to find ways to belong together,and yet we pull apart and separate and disconnect. We have become more selfish and mean and foolish than ever. And this is evident in our words, in our common place speeches, and in this, it is the marketing man who is Beelzebub.

It seems to me we live in a new I-ce Age; the Age of the i-Generation, thanks to Apple and it’s i-everything – iPod, iPhone, iTunes. Observe how the personal pronoun is at the middle of everything we are told we should acquire; an epidemic of I’s and Me’s, leading the charge in what I like to think of as ‘the pronoun-ciation of the world’. Can it be that we have bought the lie that we can make the world after our own likeness? Sadly, yes, and the self- centred behaviour that seems to accompany this phenomenon is revealed in our commonplace speech. Somehow we’ve learned to put the em-PHASIS not just on the wrong sy-LLA-ble but on the wrong speech part. We think self centredly, we speak self centredly, and we act accordingly. If I know any of this for certain it is because my education began in the theatre at the hands of that titanic pedagogue, John Milson.


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Enjo for Puppies?


Couldn’t believe it! But there it was, on the back of someone’s SUV, drving down St Georges Terrace, personal number plate. “PET ENJO”.

Fantastic! Fibres for Furballs. Love my Enjo (and my Neways) This would be perfect for Maddy.

Then I looked again. “PETENJO”. Oh, sorry Pete & Jo. But if ever you want a start-up business, it’s all in your name.

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Cyclists; great legs, tight buns … but no bells

Cycling is good for our health and the environment, and isn’t it great to see the number of shared pathways which authorities have created so that cyclists are not subject to hoons on the road and the objectionable road-rage of intolerant motorists. Then why is it that this protected species can’t extend the same courtesy back to their cousin the pedestrian, especially their neglected second cousin twice-removed, the-pedestrian-dog-walker?

I walk Bubbles (real name withheld to protect the innocent) down from Malm Street toward Mout Street via a shared pathway that would cause Runway 6 at the Perth International Airport to blush with shame. Cyclists by the score dash past us Continue reading

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