Winter time ::

[The following is a short story I wrote for the National Portrait Gallery’s The Big Chill: Fireside Tales short story and poetry competition. The prompt was the photo below, which was taken in Sydney by Dr Julian Smith some time in the 1940s. Nothing is known about the subject, so entrants were asked to use her as their inspiration.] Her father’s arm is around her … Continue reading Winter time ::

Marcus Clarke (1846-1881), on the Ocean ::

When the sea hisses, it speaks, and speech breaks the spell of terror; when it is inert, heaving noiselessly, it is dumb, and seems to brood over mischief. The ocean in a calm is like a sulky giant; one dreads that it may be meditating evil. Moreover, an angry sea looks less vast in extent than a calm one. Its mounting waves bring the horizon … Continue reading Marcus Clarke (1846-1881), on the Ocean ::

One hundred words on the most successful chain of shopping centres in the world ::

I work at Westfield Belconnen, est. 1978. The best way I could envision for you a day inside it is as a cut-scene from a news story. The news story is about rising rates of obesity. The cut-scene is one stories about obesity always use: a landscaped herd of bulging waistlines heaving towards and away from the camera, thick hands clutching large postmix soft drinks or half-eaten Subway sandwiches, … Continue reading One hundred words on the most successful chain of shopping centres in the world ::

Why swim with elephants? ::

I’ve had three blogs prior to this one. None of them exist today. I designed them for specific purposes and named them accordingly. That was their death knell. When I became disinterested in that purpose or felt constrained, the blog went to the glue factory. So when I started ‘Swimming with Elephants’, my chief desire was that it survive. I had to defuse my desire … Continue reading Why swim with elephants? ::

Written on my Grandmother’s Typewriter ::

This machine was my grandmother’s. It would have been my grandfather, though, who kept it in working condition. From what my mother has told me, Thomas Arnold Thomson was fascinated by the mechanics of machinery. If anything in the house broke, Thomas Arnold Thomson’s solution was to purchase a manual explaining how the thing worked and fix it himself. So that he bought a typewriter … Continue reading Written on my Grandmother’s Typewriter ::