He sat back in his chair and steepled his fingers, considering his words. Then he gave an oily smile and said, ‘It’s not a scam at all Jennifer. We are simply helping people to reclaim their money – for a small fee of course’. His smile was smirky about the edges. Continue reading
Putting together a history from one’s own knowledge is like crossing a stream, jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone, conserving momentum and only hitting the high and dry rocks of the things you know. This is an ill considered manner, where nuance is lost and veracity is only proven if the rock can support enough weight to get you to the next stone.
Perhaps a better way to put together a history is to build a bridge. It requires planning, a careful sighting of the beginning and ending point, the meticulous selection of stone, and the ability to fit them together like a grand jigsaw. Continue reading
There’s nothing quite like an autumn morning at the beach – The crisp morning air flows across dew covered lawns and past the steady drip-drip-drip of leaves shedding droplets. It travels over the dunes, where it teases the waving seed heads and is steadfastly ignored by cold, heavy sand. From there it sweeps over the barren beach, over the clumps of weed and sticks washed up by the last high tide, and out to sea, massaging the lumps of energy that roll towards the shore. As the waves stand tall, watery fingers project out from the lip and grab at the wind, but the wind only skims the fingers, peeling off a misty spray. At this point of morning the sun is only just beginning to peek over the horizon, but already it promises to send the chill wind packing.
I went to the servo this morning to fill up and popped open the fuel tank. I looked down feeling perplexed – something was wrong – then it dawned: there was no fuel cap.
Instead all I saw was the mouth of the fuel tank agape in a dismayed O shape, as if it were shocked by the loss of its pacifier.
I thought back to when I last filled up, trying to remember anything odd about it – cause losing your fuel cap is more of a Beagle thing to do, rather than a Rouben thing.
Time passed in my mind, creeping like the winter chill across a barren field. Nothing living stirred there.
15% Inspiration, elation, and feeling like God’s own weapon on Earth.
84% hard work, consisting of sitting in a chair despite the day outside, the surf, the news, an entire season of Game of Thrones, facebook, a house that needs cleaning, friends, online shopping and redtube….
1% crippling self-doubt*.
* this can range as high as 100%
Forget Cirque Du Soleil – the Four Seasons is the greatest touring show ever put on. It’s a perpetual daily show, one that is commented upon and speculated about by all walks of life. From white smiled TV anchors, sunday drivers, tradies, suburban soccer mums, pessimistic farmers, optimistic surfers and all the way to people with crappy conversational skills.
Of all the majestic acts in the Four Seasons lineup, Spring has to be the shiniest jewel in the crown. Continue reading
To the Dude who sells The Big Issue in my neighbourhood:
Look, I have no issue with you as a person.
I pass you a couple of times a week when I buy groceries – we usually say hey to each other – and I walk on pretending not to notice the copies of The Big Issue laid out next to you. Continue reading
I awoke feeling really zapped, which was weird because I’d had a good sleep, though not weird when you consider that’s how I feel most mornings.
Whatever. I had to get up and get on with it. Such is life. (Note to self – that’d make a sweet tattoo).
I get to work and while carrying last night’s left over Taco provisions through the car park, I drop the towering glass jar of Taco sauce (the integral player that ties any Mexican fiesta together).
The humungous jar loses structural integrity upon impact. The aftermath looks like the Waco Fertilizer plant explosion.
I sigh and resign myself to cleaning it up in a wee bit. Continue reading
ARE YOU A MIDDLE-AGED WHITE MAN?
HAVE YOU RECENTLY RETIRED?
DO YOU LIKE WINE AND GOLF?
ARE YOU A LITTLE OVERWEIGHT?
Then join the SPORTS SANDAL™ association today. Continue reading
I never knew what it was about that tree, why it wanted me or what curse had befallen it, but I could always sense its foul intentions as it slid past my bus window on the way to school.
It was an imposing tree – its trunk thick and covered in black bark and its long branches bare and skeletal, even as the trees around it bloomed. The branches were twisted and knotted, as though each agonizing shoot of growth was wrought through torture and taint. The few leaves that sprang up in hope from its boughs quickly yellowed and fell, only to spread its darkness further.
A joy of being a local kid in a small town is knowing all the shortcuts – the nameless alleys and strange little linking walkways that adults and their fancy cars aren’t privy to. I remember strolling along one of these aforementioned alleys, one which happened to run along the back fence of some of the town’s more affordable housing. The fences were low – low enough so that even at the burgeoning age of thirteen I could still see over them without a tippy toe.
I swear I wasn’t peeping.
There are small patches of this fair earth, precious patches, patches special for no other reason than the peculiar symptom of having never had a human foot upon them. That may be because of isolation, or simply because they are sheltered by their own plainness – but it is still a precious rarity in a world where human life saturates and conquers almost every habitable corner of the crust. And if you do find yourself upon one of these lonesome places, you can stand there pondering, wondering, and more or less contemplating the fact that everything you dream, think and do has almost certainly been dreamed, thought and done before by an innumerable cast of predecessors – all except for standing on that patch of hallowed soil, an uninterrupted link between you and the universe, from now to the beginning of all existence.
How about that.
Jonty and Myles sat out in the sun, rolling about in the dust and talking about general cat life, licking their paws and play fighting.
‘Jesus’, said Jonty, ‘You know what happened this morning?’
‘Well there I was sitting by my bowl, you know, waiting for my due. Then the rough Hindwalker – the big one with the patchy fur on his face – he trots in, looks down at me and makes one of those dullard noises they make – one that doesn’t even mean anything. I mean, it’s just a noise, what am I supposed to do with that?
I have a secret wave, one I only ever surf by myself.
It’s always a solid 8-10 foot and the emerald green lip pitches so thick and heavy that the world descends into darkness when I’m in her belly. I tell my friends about it, but they just laugh at me and think I’m winding them up.
Well screw them, it’s their bad luck.
MY STREET’S A DEAD END…
Not that anyone ever died there, not since I’ve been in residence anyway. Except for the leaves that is. They drop off with a regularity that comes about all too quick, although probably not quick enough for the old woman at the end of the street.
She spends a lot of time on her lawn, always staring down, standing with feet lined up just so against the juncture of grass and concrete. It’s as if she is unable to comprehend the concrete’s edging, as though it’s making some grand statement she can’t quite understand. The whole while she has this bewildered look on her face, like she was told over breakfast that her whole life never really happened and her memories belong to others.
A storm gathers, dear readers.
The air may be still and clammy, but the pressure is dropping fast. The animals know – they’ve always known. You can read it in their eyes as the fear presses in on them. You may even feel it yourself, if you can but for a moment, rise above life’s distractions.
Imagery of the Australian Charater
Late night at the supermarket is the witching hour of consumerism, when the disorganised mix with the disenchanted and the dark has driven the masses to their beds. Teenagers with dirty hair and pimply faces arrive in universally prescribed groups of three, magic threes, hunting refined sugar. That holy trinity always consists of a lovesick young couple and a training wheel, invariably the guy’s best mate. These are the formative years of romance, and any parent whose son or daughter still roams in triplets should rest easy. The moment that training wheel becomes a third wheel is the day their child has fallen from the innocent fog of youth into the steely world of carnal knowledge. Continue reading
It started out like any other summer’s day in Adelaide. The sun was baking the sidewalks and aside from a few lazy thermal whirlys the air barely stirred. It was mid morning on that scorcher when my mate, Timmy Mac, piped up with, ‘Hey Roub One’ (Roub One = Me), ‘we should go for a snorkel at Noarlunga reef, or what Bruss?’
Mac, like me, had picked up a bad habit of throwing ‘Or what Bruss?’ on the end of most sentences from our mate Goodge. It had started as a bit of a joke, but like most noxious weeds, it quickly took root.
I was lying on the cold bathroom tiles in my jocks watching a line of ants march past me. As I pondered what on earth the ants had found to eat in our barren pantry, it occurred to me that a swim mightn’t be such a bad idea. Continue reading
The old surfer sat on his own in the calm evening waters, perched on his surfboard with the ease of years of practice. The sun was not too far from setting and the only wind was an occasional puff, ruffling the otherwise oily waters. The waves were somewhat inconsistent, and shoulder high at best, certainly not pushing the old boy’s boundaries, but worth a paddle.
Once upon a time war drove progress. But now the battle lines have been redrawn and more and more we see sport forging scientific development.
These advancements have generally been seen in sporting leagues with major financial backing, like the Northern-Hemi Premier League and the American Football League (formerly the NFL). But this year the world’s attention is focused solely on the upcoming 2032 Australian Football League season. All it took was one leaked photo and two tails. Continue reading
It’s not alarming like pins and needles, nor is it uncomfortable like a blush. In fact, it’s almost like some kind of small euphoric rush of electricity, one that fades out as quickly as it springs forth. If it were a sound it would be a brief fanfare of celebration Continue reading
It was a chilly morning outside the windows of my car, but the Subaru’s heater and the kiss of the winter sun had the inside as warm and cozy as a womb. I was in that peaceful meditative state that can only be found after too many early starts, when the rhythm of the world seems more like the song of a snake charmer than the beat to march to. I was startled from my reverie by a blaring horn, a jet of anxiety blooming through my veins at the indignance. The horn blared again before I realised I had an entire car length ahead of me open in some otherwise stalled traffic. Continue reading
Little white dogs in Australia are not the finest example of Man’s best friend. In fact, they are actually the antithesis of every fine quality humans regard in a pooch. You’d even go as far as calling them utter snivelling bastards.
Much like overly aggressive short fellas with little man syndrome, little shitsu-esque hounds feel the need to be heard and feared, puffing their chests out and thrusting their chins forward in a big-mouthed display of belligerence. In both cases this is obviously a classic over compensation for frail insecurities in a world that all too often values size. Continue reading
Kit was a ferocious feline, a tomcat in every sense. He had tattered ears, a scarred face, and the kind of heavily muscled chest and arms that would make a big buck kangaroo quiver.
Surviving in a household of boys with an affectionate matriarch watching over allowed him to develop into a fiercely competitive, confident and loving panther. He was the king of his territory, so feared by the neighborhood cats that at the height of his reign violence rarely broke out, with most cats grovelling weakly in submission. He would go to great lengths to protect his territory, matching blood-letting blows with dogs and cats alike. But his blood lust wasn’t fueled by fear, but rather the need to protect his family from marauders. Continue reading
From as far back as I can remember my dad was always quite a fit and active person. Sure he enjoyed many of the finer things of life, often even to excess, but this rarely ever slowed him down. In fact, as kids my father would almost always be found in the kitchen on a Sunday morning making big pancakes and bigger jokes. Sure sometimes he was a little gruff, maybe even dusty, and there may have even been a few times he was still drunk. But regardless of the excesses of the night before, he was still there with a playful jest and a lot of laughs. Continue reading
I’m a depressive, moody prick. No doubt about it. Quite regularly I march myself down the depressive spiral staircase only to drag myself back up it a few days later, emerging not as a butterfly but as a brittle version of my former self. To those who know me really well this will come as no great revelation, but to most others I’m sure this is a surprise. Talking to a friend recently I revealed the problems I suffer, much to her astonishment. ‘But you seem so comfortable and in your element’, she said. Considering I’m usually quite self conscious and racing in my own mind, this got me pondering. Continue reading
The pair of young Surfers pulled into the parking lot, perhaps a little too quick, but their nerves were tense with all the promises their minds could conjure up. On the drive down through the bush enclosed road they had caught glimpses of the ocean through the trees. ‘I see Lines Bro! YEEWWWWW, stacked to the horizon. It’s bloody corduroy!’ The surfer’s perspective had them tuned to the world in wholly different manner, like a tv on a different channel. The two friends had each been watching the synoptics, noting the local winds and the long range swell that had marched relentlessly for a thousand kays to greet them. Continue reading
Shen Zhen was our first taste of life in China, bunking down at the residence of Shanghai Mac, a most affable chap if ever there was one. Mac was our lifeline in a country where we knew nothing of the language or the culture.
Dr Mick and I walked around eyes-a-gog at the grass roots commerce occurring at any given location an enterprising person felt they could get a niche. There were vendors on corners with strangely appetizing unnameable meats sitting in the open air next to a small gas burner. Tanks of live fish sat patiently awaiting their doom. Continue reading
There is something odiferous about China…
Perhaps it’s the amalgamation of raw sewerage, bin juice and car exhaust. Perhaps it’s the overflow of used toilet paper in the bin next to the squatter that barely flushes. Perhaps it is actually the smell of tonnes of plastic biodegrading, mixed with the viscous flow of mucacious spittle flooding the sidewalk. Maybe it is just the stench of exploitation and the rich-poor divide. One thing is for certain though is just how this distinctive, smoggy, and almost tangible odour has been seared into my brain. Sometimes my total recall is so thorough I wake up screaming ‘Boo Yow! Boo Yow!’ only to realise I’m not being swamped by voracious peddlers selling flimsy plastic trinkets, dubious chicanery and knock off clothing. Continue reading