Other Stuff


What I'm up to. What I'm reading, listening to, writing, watching, cooking, thinking about.


Major Pettigrew's Last Stand was Helen Simonson's debut novel, and unsurprisingly it was an international bestseller, translated and published in twenty one countries. I say unsurprisingly because it's such a delightful book. I downloaded the audio version (free) from my local library website and found it a perfect comfort read. The narration by Bill Wallis was excellent.

The blurb says, "Honour, duty and a properly brewed cup of tea. The sweet, moving and uplifting story of a highly unlikely relationship between a very proper English gentleman and a widowed Pakistani shopkeeper." Highly recommended.


Observations from a shut-in

I'm driving down Johnston Street toward the library in Carlton. I've missed the library more than almost anything. I may never go back to shopping in the supermarket, standing in queues at the post office, topping up my Miki at the Tatts kiosk but going to the library is sacrosanct. I'm a member at four different municipal libraries.

I cross Hoddle Street. Road works are still on the go here and there. Women in masks hold 'slow' signs that spin to 'stop'. Keep reading ...


Open For Inspection - Short Story

Elizabeth took a colour flyer from the well-groomed real estate agent.

‘Name and a contact number please?’ the woman asked.

‘Mrs Smith,’ said Elizabeth, then before the woman could ask further, ‘Harriet Smith.’ Well someone had to actually be named Smith, there were pages and pages of them in the phone book.

It was more a mansionette than a house. Elizabeth passed it every weekday on the bus to work and had often wondered who lived there. Double front doors led into an impressive entrance hall. It was bare except for a large rubber plant and an enormous framed print, the sort they had in cafés. Retro, Elizabeth thought they called them. The house reminded her of a museum, there were Persian rugs and artwork everywhere. Keep reading ...


My handy Birdlife Australia app says, "Male Australian King-Parrots are the only Australian parrots with a completely red head; so it looks like I've identified this beautiful bird that I snapped a few days ago. Apparently more of us have got into bird watching since Lockdown. I started a few of years ago, when we moved to a leafy suburb with more native trees. We have a window at the back of the house with a eucalypt of some sort nearby, and I started writing by that window - rather than in my study. I'm funny that way. Must be all those years of doing homework on the kitchen table. Since then I've become quite enthral to our amazing native birds.