“Ladies and gentlemen, though I use that term loosely,” the pub laughed, and the MC smiled. Laughter signalled the crowd was well lubricated. The publican would be happy. “It’s the final of tonight’s Lagermind,” the MC continued. “Calling Thommo and Moley back to the stage. Or should I say, stagger back?”
The group trekked for several weeks over rough terrain to reach the border town. On the way, they pooled their meagre resources and precious reserves of e-credits and cash to buy food and water and begged when these ran low. Finally, they arrived exhausted and hungry at the border and found no queue for visas.
Michael Palin embarked Around the World in 80 Days in 1988 and again from Pole to Pole in 1991. My wife and I were avid watchers of his adventures on BBC TV. And inspired by Palin, we left England to travel overland to Australia following his "Pole to Pole" route and means of transport in 1995.
The golden glow of Norman's youth was a distant memory. The passing years had added aches and pains and padding, and his soft and doughy love handles had long since served no purpose with Alice. But when he looked in the mirror, Norman recognised the man he had once been. Just wiser and more wizened.
I've blogged about how my son stopped reading for pleasure in his teenage years. And yet, despite his ongoing disinterest in them, he still surprises me with books for my birthday, Fathers Day and Xmas. Pathfinders: A history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW by Michael Bennett is one such pleasant surprise.
When I was 10 years old, I pestered my dad into letting me have a dog. I researched breeds in the library and decided on a yellow Labrador. I was in boy heaven when we brought home my new puppy, whom I named Duke. However, by my teenage years, the responsibilities of dog ownership had become chores.
At primary school in Perth, Western Australia, in the 1970s, I had a teacher who was also a lay preacher on the weekends. Before schoolwork, he started the day at our (supposedly) secular state school with the Lord's Prayer and gospel readings. And his favourite scripture topic was Signs of the Second Coming.
My wife and I spent ten days backpacking through Syria in 1995. Former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig once described Syria as the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism. We had our difficulties along the way. But in Damascus, I met a tailor who asked me to tell the world, Syrians love peace.
Covid-19 was the best thing that happened to my daughter. Her cocaine supply dried up, and she discovered she was an introvert. She turned twenty-four on the first of May, a May Day child without a cause. It was not always so. Dux in Year 10 and a black belt in taekwondo, before she fell prey to anorexia.
Forty-eight-year-old Corbett Thomas, a one-hit wonder of the 90s, now works as the lead sommelier at Napa Valley’s hippest restaurant. Set to become one of the few Master Sommeliers in the world, Corbett self-destructs during his final exam, ruining his last chance at recapturing the stardom of his youth.
When mum opened the passenger door, the dog, named Jessie, jumped up and straight onto Mim's lap, licking and wagging her whole body. Mim had a huge smile on her face. 'Mae, look who's here!' The little dog jumped through the car and onto the kid's lap. Mae was a bit unsure. Jessie was full-on.
Señora Gabriela is a respected storyteller. Her exact age is unknown, but it is years more than ninety. One warm afternoon, Señorita Margarita, a fourteen-year-old girl, spies on her. The girl knows it's wrong, but she wants to learn where Señora Gabriela hides her treasure chest of untold stories.
"Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner." A quote by Neil Gaiman and a perfect description of A Couple of Things Before the End: Stories by Sean O'Beirne.
The writer John Banville observed, "Memory is imagination, and imagination is memory. I don't think we remember the past, we imagine it." I have vivid memories of my early childhood (I believe they're memories, not imagination), which is why the #5YearOldSelfie challenge on social media caught my eye.
There were many grammatical errors, typos and howlers over the ten years I published my dog club newsletter. In my defence, I caught most of them during the final read — after I'd photocopied it! Oh, how I wish I'd had my editor and proofreader friend, Grammarly, back then.