Out of your comfort zone

I was reading Ben Elton’s Meltdown the other night when I realised that some of the characters really pissed me off. Well, I didn’t realise it exactly. My wife, prompted by a few too many huffs and puffs, asked me gently if I was alright.

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In a dirty word

If we’re pet lovers and we faithfully pick up our dog’s dropping, we refer to that steaming offering as poo, don’t we? But when we step in a hunk of it on our way to an important meeting, it suddenly becomes dog shit.

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Your first book

Can you remember the first grown-up book you read? I went to see Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood the other day. I’d been waiting for the movie with an uncharacteristic and almost overwhelming sense of excitement that reminded me of Christmas Eve as a youngster.

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In a word – no!

I was having a chat at a good friend’s place the other day when he offered me a cup of coffee. I declined, having already driven caffeine into my system with a powerful long black in one of my city haunts earlier that morning.

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A dog’s view

I was doing a downward facing dog the other night when I noticed something extraordinary. A tiny sign on the side of a timber table leg proclaimed that this product should not be eaten.

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Words of war

I was listening to a loud conversation the other day. I hesitate to say that it was in a café because a number of people have commented recently that rather nice cafés seem to be where I spend most of my time, and have asked if I ever actually write.

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Other people’s words

Many years ago, I gave my then friend, Jane Teresa, a swag of articles I’d written. I felt an enormous sense of pride as I handed them over. After all, JT, was a published author, and she was interested in my work – a rare combination.

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The secret life of a ghost writer

Getting a ghost writer in front of a public microphone is as difficult as persuading a photographer to appear at the sharp end of a camera.

“But there are questions to be answered,” my lovely wife, Jane Teresa, insisted.

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On the phone

In her novel Dreams of Speaking (2005 Age Book of the Year Award), Gail Jones introduces us to Mr Sakamoto, a Japanese survivor of Hiroshima. Intelligent and urbane, he’s also an expert on Alexander Graham Bell, the pioneering engineer credited with inventing the telephone.

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Signs of the Times

We have a new tunnel. It dives under the Brisbane River, linking the south with the north and bypassing the city centre in a most convenient way.

When the tunnel opened, the toll was suspended to allow motorists the opportunity to test drive (and hopefully get hooked on) the new route.

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Losing can be winning

Do you ever get a weird feeling somewhere around the pit of your stomach? I’m talking about something that ranges between an imperceptible tingle and a full-on lurch depending on what triggers it.

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What’s your name?

I’ve had my name, Michael Collins, for as long as I can remember. It’s not an unusual one, but it does have famous connections. Google it and there are almost eleven million hits, and most of them are that long dead bugger, Michael Collins the Irish rebel, and the movie about him which always comes top of the list.

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