Will the real Santa stand up?

Advent season is upon us. The jolly fat man in the red suit rode into town a couple of weeks ago (Christmas pageant), so the kiddies know the Big Day is coming soon. Of course the shops have been trying to tell us that since late September. The way they’re going it won’t be long before Christmas stuff will be in the shops all year round! I’m speaking at a Christmas luncheon soon and thought I’d give a quick history of the legend of Santa Claus/Father Christmas. Interesting stuff. The original St Nick (St Nicholas of Myra) was born in 280AD and died in 343AD. He was a lovely fella who was particularly generous to the poor. He had a delightful habit of throwing money, or gifts, through the window; or in through an open door; or down the...

Read More

News and books

Apologies for not posting last week. My cold turned feral. Some good news: Wet Ink has accepted a short story and it will be published in the December 2010 issue. (Doin’ the happy dance. Point the toes, wave the arms, shuffle the feet…) It will be one of the ‘sneak read’ stories on the Wet Ink website, so if you can’t buy a copy of the journal you’ll be able to read it online. I’d like to recommend three books I’ve read in the past few months. 1. Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, Picador, 2008. (Adult fiction) I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to read it. What an amazing book. There aren’t enough adjectives to do it justice. The man is a genius. The main narrator is Death, but he’s not a comic...

Read More

It’s not a big deal, but…

I’ve caught a cold. It’s not a big deal. I’m not dying; I haven’t gone blind; I’ve still got all four limbs… But, my throat feels as if I’ve swallowed a packet of razor blades, my chest is sore, the gunk machine in my sinuses is on overload, my head’s thumping and every time I sneeze I…no, that’s too much information. I feel lousy. When I feel lousy, I feel just a tad crabby. So, here’s my whinge for the week: Why do manufacturers always assume we, the general public, are stupid? There’s a particular example that always gets my knickers in a knot. Egg companies. When I see the same mob’s brand on both cage eggs and free-range eggs, I think, “Ooh, I bet the lucky chooks that get...

Read More

Twitchy at the pump.

(Please note: if you want to leave a comment you need to register or it’ll get sucked up by the spam filter.) There are a number of life’s little necessities that make me nervous: going to the dentist; remembering where I’ve parked the car at a shopping centre; plucking my eyebrows… All of them are based on a real experience that has taught me to beware. I had a most unpleasant experience at the petrol station a while ago, which has left an emotional scar. (Actually, I’ve had several but I’m only going to tell you one of them today.) I hadn’t filled the car up for quite some time, as my darlin’ usually looked after it. This particular petrol station hadn’t bothered to change the labels on the pumps for years,...

Read More