I was nervous during the ceremony. Although I fumbled with the ring at one point, I managaed not to drop it, and my nervousness was accepted as part of the standard jitters. During the photographs I was ushered to the side as Alice and her bridesmaids took centre stage and hammed it up for the photographer, flouncing around in their silk dresses and looking, I thought, a little tarty. Feeling spare, I moved away and leant against the trunk of a weeping willow. From this aspect, I had an even better view of Charles than I had before. His body, still caught by the snag, bobbed gently up and down with the flow of the current. I admired the neat cut across his throat and the way his body had been sliced open to allow his intestines to swim free in the murky water of the Murray.

— Sleeping Dogs by Geoffrey Maloney and Andrew Baker


New home, new environment, kids happy in school, Lyn studying, everybody happy.

All we’ve needed to complete the sea change was for me to find a new job.

Let’s be honest, working for the Tax Office was only the base line– it was drudge work, more often than not, soulless and uninspiring, and whilst I might have liked the majority of people I worked with, it was no longer enough– a 75 minute train journey each way to a workplace that was in great danger of becoming just another rostered call centre was not how I envisaged my working life. I liked the people, but the work and the infrastructure has become increasingly restrictive, increasingly unskilled and droneworthy. Something had to go. I had to go.

I’ve been looking. And I’ve found.

From tomorrow, I’ll be the Community Development Officer in the Arts & Culture Office of the City of Rockingham. Ill be working with a team whose responsibility it is to enable artists within the local area to access the range of skill sets, grants, and busines structures available, to help them to become self-sustaining. I’ll also be part of a team making sure the public art within the region continues to reflect and emphasis the values and attrributes of the City.

Cool job, but the title will look terrible on a t-shirt.

I grew up in Rockingham, at least, I lived there between the ages of 8 and 21. When we moved there, in 1979, it was a town of 26 000 people, connected to the somewhat-distant state capital by a bus service that can only be described as sparse. Now there’s over 100 000 people in the area, it has its own University campus, and is a large part of a conurbation that stretches to Clarkson 100km to the North and Mundurah 30km to the South. Art flourishes within the region, particularly public art. It’s a vastly changed place from the one I left 17 years ago, but then, I’m a vastly changed person.

The truth is, I’m 39 now. I’ve settled into the town, and house, in which I hope to spend at least the next 20 years as my children grow up and move into their own adult lives, and grandchildren begin to arrive on the scene. I want to enjoy my life. I want to create art, and be with my family. I want the space and time to become the successful artist I’ve wanted to be for a decade. To support these goals, I want to be at a job that rewards me and doesn’t take 75 minutes just to get home from.

It’s taken me until almost 40, but I might finally have found the final piece in my puzzle– a job that satisfies me and gives me the chance to do something concrete in a field of endeavour that means something to me. Time will tell, but maybe, just maybe, I’m set.


I’ve not been the same since libraries started stocking DVDs. Especially as they seem to like stocking DVDs of all the old comediy shows I grew up with.

Thanks to Rockingham Uni Library, we introduced Blakey to the wonder of Morecambe & Wise the other week, and I’ve been on a jag ever since.

Here’s one of their best moments. Bring me sunshine? They always did.


Apologies for missing Wednesday– things and stuff and junk arose, which I’ll mention in the next post or two (it’s dead exciting). Until then, enjoy:

The problem with poison is that it can grow stale. The first one hundred times, you know, it was interesting. Then you start recycling. You start tasting the same poisons you’ve already had. You start having de ja vu.

“I’ve died this way before,” you think. And you have. That’s the problem. There are only so many poisons in the world, and so many ways to take them.

So you start to combine them. Mix hemlock and cypripedium. The first is cold, you remember, and the second burns. You combine the two, hoping for something crazy, something that will take your head clean off, separate your teeth from your jaw. All that happens, instead, is a mild burn. The fire from before, that first fire, it’s absent. All that’s left is something lame, something unoriginal, something worse than pure.

— Poison or the Knife by BL Hobson


Under a streetlight, no sudden moves. Looking like a lost motorist. Give directions, he thought, like a good girl. Don’t be scared, he said to himself.

She walked back and leaned over to peer into the window. Even with the streetlight, he flicked on the dome. The girl was a good yard onto the sidewalk, not getting within reach of the window. Not yet.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” he started. She smiled at that. Good.

God. He swallowed. Braces.

— Carnal Knowledge, by Don Norum


“This very day they descend on Paris.” The Monk stabbed a finger westward and heads swung around to follow his gesture. Odile shrank back against the wall. “Swathed in their black finery, borne on the backs of Catholic servants!” Pain flared in Odile’s head, the sickle-thorn burying deep.

“These crimes, this effrontery, can not–must not!–go unchallenged!” One of the strangers, a red-capped young man, leaned in to his neighbour. His neighbour nodded vigorously.

“The Calvinists and Lutherans have no desire to simply go their own mistaken way in peace.” The Monk’s face twisted into a snarl, baring yellowed teeth, and the thorn dug deeper with each word. “They would see us crushed in their wake, rent and devoured and shat upon the earth!”

— The Hand of God, by Jason Crowe


What did she think she was doing? She looked at her babies, snoring in their bassinets, and nearly abandoned her plan. They might not mind if we stay, she reasoned, as she got up to tuck blankets around their shoulders. They’ll never know what we’ve lost.

A few bars of ‘Happy Birthday’ drifted in from the other room; her mother warming up for later.

Theresa ran her tongue around the thick scars inside her mouth, then clenched her teeth. “Mum?”Her voice was too quiet. She inhaled, exhaled slowly, tried again. “Mum?”

“What?” came Evelyn’s voice, echoing from the kitchen.

“I forgot to get candles for the cake. Can you run out and get some? I’m going to give the kids a feed before everyone gets here– and we can’t have the party without candles.”

— Tiny Drops, by LL Hannett


The usher guided a replacement couple into the newly vacant seats a row ahead of Max and his date.

Max’s date gripped his thigh, fingernails like talons. “Run,” she hissed at the new couple, but they were already concentrating on the movie. An usher swooped in at the end of the aisle and squeezed perfume into the air.

“Just inhale,” Max said. “It helps.”

His hand clamped around his date’s arm. She winced in his grip, refusing to inhale the cinnamon haze that drifted onto them. “No, no, no.”

She tried to stand. Max gripped her head, made her look at the freshly-vacated seat by his side. She stopped struggling, eyes wide and tired.

–The Movie, by Graham Fielding