A Unique Way of Forecasting Weather


Someone told me once you can tell what the weather

Will be like by studying cows in a paddock.

If the cows are standing, so she said, there’d be

a good chance of rain, whereas if they are prostrate

You could count on fine weather. Or it might have been

The other way around. What a load of bull, I thought.

What if half are standing and half are lying down?

Would that mean a 50% chance of fine weather, or to put it another way,

A 50% chance of rain, depending on whether you were

A glass half full or a glass half empty person? It seemed a little dodgy.

What if, for instance, in one paddock all the cows were prostrate

while in another, they were practising synchronised standing?

Wouldn’t one cancel out the other? And why only cows?

What about prognosticating pigs, lambs, Billy goats?

I decided to go back to the Bureau forecasts.

At least they get it right half the time.


Locked Out


I don’t know if I was the only one but for three days I was locked out of my own blog, akin to being locked out of one’s own house when the key doesn’t work anymore. There was no earthly — or unearthly —explanation, in fact there was none offered by Word Press. It was a mystery. I had almost given up on the idea of running a blog, an activity I have been happily engaged in since 2012, when on an impulse I checked this morning and voila! The blog was up. Why, is another mystery.At least it has given me something to write about J

Barfing in the Bushes


There’s a couple in a car tearing down a roller coaster and the woman says to the man, “With you screaming all the time, I can’t hear myself scream.” Women think men are so unnecessarily noisy especially when it comes to discomfort. When I began barfing in the bushes at a country fair — it must have been the pizza — my partner said, “Can’t you barf quietly? Everybody is watching.”

The Parable of the Red-tail Hawk


All writers take note. This is a lesson from ‘No Country for Old Men’ which I’m reading for the fifth time:


Sheriff Bell ‘came across a hawk dead on the road. He saw the feathers move in the wind. He pulled over and got out and walked back and squatted on his boot heels and looked at it. He raised one wing and let it fall again. Cold yellow eyes dead to the blue vault above them.


It was a big red-tail. He picked it up by one wingtip and carried it to the bar ditch and laid it in the grass. They would hunt the blacktop, sitting on the high power poles and watching the highway in both directions for miles. Any small thing that might venture to cross. Closing on their prey against the sun. Shadowless. Lost in the concentration of the hunter.’



The Cannibal in the Mall


Strolling through the mall with my four year old grandson slung over my left shoulder, I couldn’t help but notice the determined tread of someone moving up to my side. I slowed down and turned. An elderly woman with a purple bouffant came up and rubbed my grandson’s cheeks. “He’s so gorgeous,” she said, “I could eat him.” At this my grandson, having been reared on a diet of child-eating ogres — thanks brothers Grimm — burst into tears. “Oh dear,” said the woman, “I didn’t mean to make him cry.”

Don’t worry,” I said. “One day he’ll see it as a compliment,” She smiled. Still, I didn’t much like the look in her eyes. I made a detour and lost her when I went into the bottle shop.



I like queues. You could say I have a thing about them. Most people try to avoid them, curse their luck if they’re caught in a slow queue because the length of a queue does not automatically equate with the amount of time you spend in it. Long queues can be zippy. Short ones leaden.


People handle queues differently. Some use them as social occasions, striking up conversations with strangers. Others text, listen to iPods. A few fester. Me, I read magazines, books, newspapers. I’m pissed off when a long queue suddenly truncates and I’m halfway through a chapter.


I get so much reading done in queues that sometimes I drive to the supermarket to find the longest queue and join it. It’s a great way to catch up on some reading. I recommend it.


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I am sitting down reading to the drone of bees.

A copy of the TLS lies open on my knees.

We must get a frizzle, my partner exclaims

Apropos of nothing then goes off again

To attend the roast, while I attend to the Times.

There’s a lost poem by Hardy which clumsily rhymes.

A frizzle or two? Whatever can she mean?

I scratch my head then read once again.

I take another sip of my beloved cab sav

While she takes a pee in the outdoor lav.