Where’s the love?

The other day a friend said, “With all the horrible things happening in the world – all the horrible, hateful, violent things – where’s the love? Where’s the goodness gone?” I understand what he meant. We are bombarded constantly with news of another atrocity, another killing, another bombing, another starving country, another flood/fire/earthquake… It’s easy to think that the world’s going to heck in a hand-basket and we might as well all slash our wrists now and be done with it. It’s hard to believe in a rosy future for a world in which a group of teenage boys are slaughtered by a mob of murderous thugs (IS) because they were watching a soccer match on television. (I think they were probably watching...

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Je suis Raif

Today’s blog is in honour of Raif Badawi. For those of you who haven’t yet heard of him, Raif is a Saudi. He is a blogger who tried to encourage discussion about religious and political matters. He was found guilty of insulting the clerics of Islam and therefore Islam itself. His sentence: 10 years imprisonment, a fine of about AU$330, 500 (give or take a dollar) and 1,000 lashes given 50 lashes at a time, every Friday for 20 weeks. He’s been held in jail since mid 2012 and had the first bout of lashes on Friday, January 9 this year. So far he’s still waiting for the next lot because the doctors have declared him unfit. They want him strong and healthy so they can beat him again. Nice. Thank God for Australia and western democracy. Here in...

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“Heaven is Real”.

So, it turns out the Boy Who Came Back from Heaven book is fiction. The young lad has admitted to making it up for “some attention”. I would have thought that the horrific injuries he sustained in the car crash, that left him in need of full-time care, would have provided enough attention. I guess he meant the sort of attention that would make him feel “‘special”. He’s not the first person to make something up and then watch it spiral out of control. He’s also not the first person to write a book and get it published as “truth” when it wasn’t. There was that guy who was sponsored by Oprah: James Frey. He wrote a “memoir”- A Million Little Pieces – that proved to be full of falsehoods....

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A week of contrasts

It’s a week since the fires began in the gorgeous Adelaide Hills. The fire was officially declared “contained” a day or so ago. Since then we’ve had a constant downpour of rain. The meterologists have said it’s the “biggest rain event in 30 years”. Places further north are preparing for flooding, and the Hills’ folk have been warned that they too might experience flash flooding. Yep, it’s one big roller-coaster ride when you live in ‘Straya. I’m reminded of a poem I learned while in primary school: I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains; Of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains. I love her far horizons. I love her jewelled sea. Her beauty and her splendour, the wide...

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Hot, windy and scary.

I should be thinking about my blog this morning but I can’t settle to it. Serious fires are raging not that far away from me and many people I know have had to leave their homes to find safety. Last night, I drove to my daughter’s house (we were going out together to see The Hobbit) and it wasn’t that far from the fire front. I could see it ahead of me, like a giant red mushroom cloud. It looked like an atomic explosion. Since then it has gone berserk and is rapidly eating up the beautiful Adelaide Hills with its gorgeous little towns, beautiful farmland and its plethora of wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies and koalas. The roos will probably get away but those little koalas can’t run any faster than me. (And I never run!) Some of...

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