Can I Pat That Dog?

Can I Pat That Dog?

When my son was a five-year-old, I gave a talk at his child care centre called, Can I Pat That Dog? I based the talk on a book of the same title written by Susan McLaine and Karen Damiani and illustrated by Margaret Power (Angus and Robertson 2004). And though it’s over ten years since that child care centre visit (and my “little boy” is now a sixteen-year-old who towers over me!), I still highly recommend the book. Continue ReadingCan I Pat That Dog?

More Albums That Changed Your Life (Part 2)

Albums that Changed Your Life - Queen, A Day at the Races

The purpose of the Albums That Changed Your Life blog post was to unleash me from the constriction of the Facebook challenge rules and write a short piece about each album. But even a “short piece” about 18 favourites ends up being a long blog post, so I’ve split the post into Part 1 (albums 1-10) and Part 2 (11-18). Continue ReadingMore Albums That Changed Your Life (Part 2)

Albums That Changed Your Life (Part 1)

Favourite Albums - The Babys

A friend nominated me for a recent Facebook challenge. If you haven’t joined the movement to delete Facebook, you will have seen it, “Albums that changed your life”. It also appears as the “Ten album challenge”, the “Pictorial music challenge”, the “Seven all time favourite albums” or as “what-the-heck, I’m just posting my favourites!”   Continue ReadingAlbums That Changed Your Life (Part 1)

Writing Can Be Lonely

Lonely teaspoons

Writing can be lonely, especially if you’re living on your own in a cramped flat, in another country, far away from family and friends. So when I lived in England in the early-1990s, I volunteered to work one afternoon a week at the local Oxfam shop, to get away from my writing desk, to get out of my flat, and to meet and mingle with people. Continue ReadingWriting Can Be Lonely

The Vietnam War – Boy from Perth’s Perspective

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As a kid growing up in Perth, W.A., in the 1960s and ’70s, I didn’t learn about the Vietnam War from classroom history lessons. Vietnam and the broader Indochina War were on our radio and TV news every morning and evening, and in the front page headlines of our daily newspapers (though unlike some of my precocious school friends, I can’t claim to have read beyond the headlines). Continue ReadingThe Vietnam War – Boy from Perth’s Perspective

Queens Park Dog Walkers

One day in 2001, I saw Amy the yellow lab in Queens Park with her owner, “The bloke with a beard”. He told me that ‘John had died’ and ‘Amy was missing him’. It took a few moments to realise he was talking about one of my fellow dog walkers, “The old bloke who walked Amy the lab for his neighbour”. Continue ReadingQueens Park Dog Walkers

32 Years of Diaries

In a loft cupboard at home is a cardboard box containing all the daily diaries and travel journals I’ve kept since I set off backpacking from Australia in 1987. The travel journals are typically student exercise books, with each day’s sights and highlights recorded over two or more pages. By their nature, daily diaries of work and everyday life are less exciting than travel journals and it took me many years to settle on a format which gave me room to jot down the day’s main events without feeling like it was a chore to do so. Continue Reading32 Years of Diaries

My Favourite Libraries

A friend shared a Facebook post by Architectural Digest inviting the reader to “Step Inside the World’s Coolest Library”. The futuristically designed library in Tianjin, China, aptly nicknamed The Eye, is cool, lined from floor to cathedral high ceilings with bookshelves that follow the curved contours of the building and, most importantly for the avid reader, are stocked full of books. Continue ReadingMy Favourite Libraries

22 Pushup Challenge for PTSD

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The purpose of the 22 Pushup Challenge was to raise awareness of the effects Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PSTD, on returned servicemen and women. When I started the challenge I struggled to do 22 pushups and knew little about PTSD. Continue Reading22 Pushup Challenge for PTSD