A roller-coaster ride.

Early in the week I attended the funeral of an old friend. It reminded me of the old movie, “Goodbye, Mr Chips”. He’d been a teacher and had just retired at the end of last year. He was one of those wonderful educators who poured his life into his work and into his students, which explains the number of young people who attended his service. They loved him and so they should. He’d wanted to make a difference and he achieved that beyond measure. Inspiring stuff. As I listened to the accolades and noted his accomplishments I was challenged: what have I done to make a difference? What have I achieved? What will they find to say about me when I’ve kicked the bucket? (That’s right: it’s all about me!) The Old Boy and I made a...

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Nobel Prize. Whacko!

Congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for literature. Well done, that lady. Now I confess: I’ve never heard of her. I gather she’s an elderly Canadian who writes short stories about life on the Canadian plains. Sounds intriguing. I’m a little stunned that someone has won the prize for short stories. Okay, I know Hemingway got it for his short stories (or was it the Booker Prize? He definitely won something for them) and I’m a bit of a fan of his. He knew how to distil the essence of the story into the barest possible number of words, so that one sentence was worth someone else’s paragraph. As I’ve never read any of Ms Munro’s work, I have no idea how she goes about it but it must be pretty good....

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Family

House clean: check. Laundry done: check. House and Wonder dog sitter organised: check. Wonder dog bathed: check. Food sorted: mostly check. Bags packed: not yet, but soon. Okay I think I’m almost ready for a long weekend holiday with the family. You heard right: the Old Boy, the kids, the grandkids and I are all off  on a holiday in an old (no longer in production) copper-mining town near the sea.  The only ones left behind will be the dogs, cats and bird. Some of us will feel guilty about leaving them behind and the rest couldn’t care less. An old mining town? you say. That’s a strange choice. That’s where you’d be wrong. It has everything our family likes. There are old ruins; an abandoned mine (that’s for the boys); a lovely...

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