Oct

31

The Urban Dictionary

Juvenile most of the time, reviled some of the time, but never banal, the Urban Dictionary provides an alternative take on the everyday, and the night-time in-between. It is dressed downwards of mature sometimes, maybe most of the time, but that is why it is the “urban” dictionary—just like a city, you do not visit […]

6 Comments

Oct

15

What Hope a Decent Brew?

“Go to the French cafe by the departure gate. It’s got really good coffee, and sandwiches too.” Dressed like a character from a Jack Kerouac novel, a connoisseur of places subterranean, my friend knows his coffee, and the city he lives in does too. Forget paired and halved slices of bread, I have been in […]

0 Comments

Oct

12

Long White Cloud by Alan Spence

My stories often have their origin in something that actually happened – an incident, a memory, something heard. (In this case it was the leap out of a plane at 12000 feet – one of the scariest things I’ve ever done). It’s then a case of finding a voice, letting characters take shape, coalesce round […]

1 Comments

Oct

12

Airport Anxiety or a flight down memory lane

The following story has sentimental value for me far beyond whatever worth it may possess of its own right and writing. Not only was it written in Japan, penned during the final hours of first visit to a land that has always had a mysterious, wasabi-strong pull, but it was more or less my first […]

0 Comments

Sep

09

The Zen of the Hubble Deep Field

Find an empty space in the sky and stare into it. Anywhere. Up there, over here, left of somewhere or right of over there, it doesn’t really matter, just pick a spot and stare, stare and stare. What you find might change the very universe. And it will almost certainly blow your mind… In 1995 […]

8 Comments

Sep

05

Prime Ministers’ wives are from Venus

Japanese Prime Minister-elect Yukio Hatoyama did the impossible last week, a landslide victory won for his Democratic Party of Japan, an unprecedented reversal of election fortune over the incumbent Liberal Democratic Party, who have ruled Japan for all but 11 months since 1955. Retired actress, author, lifestyle guru and wife of the Prime Minister, Miyuki […]

1 Comments

Jul

27

Short Black Temper

Monday morning, 9am, back on the contracting treadmill again, contestant and collaborator in the nine to five daily grind, my services as an Art Worker required and hired by an inner city design studio. It has been a while since I’ve worked in an office—my work is mostly from home and for my own clients […]

14 Comments

Mar

23

Inspiration-Letters: Destiny Edition

Thrift stores, cheap chocolates and masterpieces by Van Gogh and Cezanne—so begins the 16th edition of Inspiration-Letters, magazine style forum for inspired writers of the Sri Chinmoy Centre. A fitting beginning it is too, for all the authors are koan-carrying members of a meditation group espousing a philosophy of merging the heights of spirituality with […]

6 Comments

Mar

17

On Journeys Through the Australian States

Time passed writing about passing time in an airport coffee shop… Travelling. Again. In Melbourne Airport, for four and half hours, but not my final destination, or even second to final in this marathon, budget airline leapfrog across the Pacific, Tasman and Indian Oceans. I am in an airport café sipping the oh so treasured […]

2 Comments

Mar

16

The 108 Steps of Perfection

Karate, kata, perfect form and perfectionism in Japan At the age of seven, the result of an I don’t know from where interest in Japan, I began learning karate, lessons undertaken at my own insistence, my mother’s weary acquiescence. Perhaps she sensed that it would be either breaking blocks of wood or chopping bones on […]

3 Comments