Edited extract of an article I wrote for The Canberra Times, March 2013
It’d be St Paddy’s Day soon and not just in Oiland. All over, like. Oi’ll be turnin’ meself into a cliché to get in ehead of the rest of yiz. You can drop the accent now. Keep it for Thursday 17th March, 2022. But why do the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s Day globally by channelling Leprechauns, talking blarney, swilling green beer and slurring ‘When Irish eyes are smiling … da da dada’ because no-one can remember the lyrics? Happy St Clichés Day.
I have the Irish in me. What with the Meehans, the O’Donnells and the O’Mearas, Irishness has been layered in my soul like lines of sediment in a fossilised rock. I’ve inherited the fist fighting fury, the lilting poetry, the blarney and, Holy Mother of Sweet Jesus, bog Irish Catholicism. I’d have pure Irishness throbbing in my veins except for one grandmother, a Beardsell of English stock, sent among us, I suspect, to make the rest of us eat with the proper fork.
to read the full article click on title below:
Just having fun with friends. My take on the Queen’s Speech.
It is easy to forget how a 5 year old thinks. The world looks totally weird to a 5 year old. In 1997, when this article was first published, I received many letters from junior school teachers saying ‘Soooo true.’
I have a school hat. It’s big. It goes down to my nose. And I have to put my head back, right back, to see things. And I falled over my bag. But you’ve gotta have to wear your hat because ‘otherwise you’re dead.’ That’s what my sister says. But the teachers they don’t wear hats. They’ll be dead soon.
When we gotted to school my mum wouldn’t let go of my hand. Ami from my kinder was crying. But I’m big. I can do big jumps. I can do wrestling. I can punch dragons. I can. My sister. She’s Grade Free. She says ya can’t punch dragons ‘cos they will barbecue you with one breath. But you can punch dragons. When they’re asleep.
My school is called St Hello Wishes. And it’s big. It’s more bigger than Africa. But my school hasn’t got lions because they eat people. But teachers think there is lions. Because that’s what the teacher says when you go to school. She says ‘Get in a lion boys and girls.’
Get in a Lion, Kids published Herald Sun (24 Jan 1997) and as The First Day of School, The Advertiser (SA 27 Jan 1997). Read full article: My First Day at School Ever
Also, for kids starting High School see: Sometimes It’s the Class Clown that Performs Well in Life
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
Ministers of Education have been alarmed in the past to discover Australian High School Students know very little about the history of this country. The following essay by Ashlee M, Year 8, Coolathanu High is believed to be included in some bureaucratic report somewhere.
Australia is a large incontinent that lies in the Specific Ocean except for Tasmania which doesn’t know where it is. Australia is very hot because the Topic of Popracorn is in Queensland somewhere, which means Queenslanders are sweaty and can grow topical plants in their ears. But the most important topic is the topic of Cancer because if youse get sunburnt, Omigod, ya gonna die.
Full Article: Captain Hook and the History of Oz
I grew up in Kyneton next door to the CFA, the volunteers who risk their lives for the community, fighting fires in, often, 40°+ (104F°+) heat
We Aussies aren’t big flag-wavers … but, for so many reasons, the CFA makes me proud to be an Australian.
In view of recent events and the fact that I’ve just had a crime novel published, I had to ask ‘Does writing about violence encourage violence?’
Researchers say ‘No!’ for some writing genres. There is, however, one genre of writing that encourages violence and that is in the marketing of guns. You’ll find this research and links in an article I wrote for Independent Australia titled The NRA: fear, hatred and how to sell guns.