Monthly Archives: December 2020

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol



He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Clash, clang, hammer, ding, dong, bell. Bell, dong, ding, hammer, clang, clash! Oh, glorious, glorious!

Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!

And may we all be filled with compassion as Scrooge was after his visitation from the three Spirits. As Dickens says in another part of this book

It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.



Christmas carol for the times

Australia’s magnificent ABC has been a wonderful resource and support for people confined at home over the weary pandemic months. In November ABC Classic invited people to join a virtual choir to sing a new Aussie Christmas carol by Yorta Yorta singer and composer Deborah Cheetham. 1500 people of all ages from all over Australia, and expats all around the world, did.

Continue reading Christmas carol for the times

Anthony Horowitz – Magpie Murders

By my rough estimate Anthony Horowitz is the author of around seventy-four books, not counting anthologies he has edited and the odd screenplay (He is the creator of Foyle’s War and wrote most of the episodes, as well as quite a few Midsomer Murders). He has, with the permission of the Conan Doyle Estate, written two Sherlock Holmes stories, not to mention dozens of young adult books and a couple of James Bond. He is a professional author of the highest calibre and has been on my radar for some time. Continue reading Anthony Horowitz – Magpie Murders

John Gray: Feline Philosophy


Herodotus writes that when an Egyptian house was on fire, the inhabitants were more concerned about their cats than their property. When a member of a visiting Roman delegation accidentally killed a cat in 59BC, the man was lynched despite intervention from the king. And the Egyptian sage Ankhsheshonq warned, “Do not laugh at a cat”.


Continue reading John Gray: Feline Philosophy

Jack Kerouac – Haiku



Shall I say no?

-fly rubbing

his back legs



In my medicine cabinet

the winter fly

has died of old age


The summer chair

rocking by itself

in the blizzard


Evening coming-

the office girl

unloosing her scarf



from Barbara Louise Ungar  in the Haiku Path , The Haiku Society of America 1968 – 1988