Sometimes I really don’t like the way the Universe pretends to be conscious. Exampley-poo:

I started writing The Boy from GOBLIN three weeks ago. In the very first session, I needed to name the woman who runs the Home my protagonist, Daniel, runs away from. I call her Miss Fitch: it’s a nice, harsh sounding name, a name you can hiss as much as pronounce. Sorted. One passing mention, move on.

Today, a whole bunch of scenes later, she comes up in conversation between Daniel and his new friend, Gygax: a Grotesque, and total wide boy, from the East End of London. I look up the Cockney rhyming slang for ‘bitch’………

I don’t like you, Universe.


I love living in Australia. I love being Australian. I get highly shitty when anyone plays the “You’re a pom, you’re not a real Australian” card on me. I’ve been resident in this country since I was 5, a citizen since I was 11. I watch the world. This is, in many ways, a truly great, great country in which to live.

So wouldn’t it be nice to make it great for everyone? Not just in the relative political, judicial, and social safety we enjoy without thinking about; but emotionally and (though I hate to use the word), spiritually, as well. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a day we could all feel that good about, without having to really consider the implications? If, instead of hearing somebody say This date causes my people pain because of these reasons, the response was less Strayaloveitorleaveitturnbacktheboatsfootygobackwhereyousecamefrom and more How can we help lessen your pain? ? More, I don’t know… Australian?

Wouldn’t it be nice just not to have to argue about it, because we could simply. just. agree? Continue reading “HAPPY AUSTRALIA-FOR-MOST-OF-US DAY”


“Don’t move.”

The voice at his shoulder was deep, and filled with gravel. Daniel started in shock. His legs tensed, pushed off from the roof. The bag of liquorice fell as his arms rose. He dove away from the intruder…… and made it as far as half a centimetre before something heavy and enormous fell upon his shoulder, pinning him to his place.

“You deaf, or summat?” the voice whispered in his ear. “I said don’t move.”

Daniel froze.

“I’m not afraid of you,” he managed to croak.

“You ain’t seen me, yet.”

Daniel’s voice gave up. His mind watched it leave, and joined it. Millimetre by millimetre, he risked shifting his gaze towards the hand gripping his shoulder. What he saw turned control of his body over to his bowels. The hand wasn’t a hand. For one thing, it was grey. Dark grey, like stone that had been left out in the elements for too many years without being cleaned. For another it, was stone. Actual stone, heavy and unforgiving. And it was huge, easily twice the size of a normal hand, more a paw than a human appendage. Long, thick fingers ended in curved claws that hung down Daniel’s chest, their tips resting gently across the base of his pectorals.

As Daniel stared at it in terror, a head slowly slid into view. Massive, monstrous, the size of a bear’s skull. A vicious hooked beak came first, like the prow of some predatory ship. Fangs peeked out from under its upper lip. A heavy, leonine head followed, sleek carved feathers coating it in an obscene, terrifying, rippling, head dress. Predator’s eye peeked out from beneath a heavy brow. As Daniel watched, the beast blinked. A stone lid closed with an audible click, then slid back upwards with snake-like grace. The eye rotated towards him. He could see the stone iris widen, then narrow again as the best focussed on him. The beak opened. A grey, marbled tongue protruded, ran along the line of fangs, then slipped back inside. The beast leaned closer.

“What about now?” it said.


Writing again, writing again, jiggety-jig. First project of the year is The Boy from G.O.B.L.I.N., a humorous kids novel about a boy recruited into a secret organisation of monsters. Four days in, and I’ve got 3500 words down. There’s some urgency to this project: 4 weeks from now, I’ll be working part-time at the local high-school, teaching two English classes a day, which will cramp my writing time substantially unless I become a master of time management. Which, as I haven’t managed it in 48 years so far, requires me to get as many words down as I can beforehand.

Continue reading “THE BOY FROM G.O.B.L.I.N”


It’s going round Facebook. This is how I spend my time and imagination, these days…

▪️First job: Tennis coach at my local tennis school
▪️Dream job: Author
▪️Favourite foot attire: Skin
▪️Favourite lolly: Licorice bullets
▪️Favourite ice cream: Boysenberry ripple
▪️Where are you right now : At the kitchen table
▪️Favourite pizza : Whichever one is in front of me.
▪️Favourite movie: Blade Runner
▪️Favourite TV show: The Prisoner
▪️Favourite day of the week: The one with the sleep-in
▪️Favourite flower: Self-raising
▪️Tattoos: 3
▪️Piercings: 1
▪️Like to cook: Dinner
▪️Favorite Colour: burgundy
▪️Gold or silver: Not since the 2000 Olympics. I’ve told you a million times: My career is over. Somebody else needs to carry the mixed pole vaulting legacy.
▪️Do you like vegetables: Very much so. I think we should set them all free and stop using them for food.
▪️Do you wear glasses: Only for seeing.
▪️Favourite season: Of the Witch.
▪️Dream travel location: Paris. The 1920s. First. Should be drunk enough to lead Hemingway and the lads on a raid to steal the TARDIS by noon.


Late in 2017, while making resolutions for our upcoming sojourn in the Pilbara, I was struck by the desire to set a specific goal around my ongoing failure to lose weight. At the same time, Luscious and I stumbled across a documentary about the 2015 CrossFit Games. Apart from developing instant envycrushes on Mat Fraser (and in a subsequent doco, Rich Froning) and three athletes we thought of as ‘The Dottirs’ (Annie Thorisdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir), we were also introduced to a particularly hellish-looking piece of business known as ‘Murph’.

Murph is a competitive routine named after a US Navy Lieutenant and crossfit enthusiast, Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. It consists of the following elements:

  • 1 mile (approx. 1500 metre) run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • Another 1 mile run