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Plans A, B & C

I think I might need a Plan B to remember people’s names. My Plan A is to run through the alphabet to try to stimulate a recall; which is hard, if I am, at that moment, engaged in conversation with the very person whose name I am trying to remember, and doubly hard if someone…

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A better harvest

This year I’m determined to be a more serious viticulturalist. Over the last few years, I’ve only needed one toe to crush the harvest and a thimble to measure the yield. My mistake has been to give the plant too much water and to think that luscious green foliage is a sign of health and…

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Four square millimetres

Today a swollen tonsil forced me in for a covid test, and into the mandatory isolation that follows the ‘torture by taper’ until the verdict is determined. Actually the test was quite straightforward and anything but torture, and I was glad for the gentleness of the nasal-nurse who took the swab. And I have dutifully…

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Fraternal Twins

Thankfully we don’t get asked the question anymore. When the twins were young and enjoying a ride in the stroller, we were often asked if they were identical. To which we would patiently reply that one was a boy and the other was a girl. “Yes, but are they identical?” would inevitably be the next…

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It is, what it is

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “It is, what it is”.  It’s an interesting assessment of the way things can sometimes be, and the statement is not without its truth. Some situations just can’t be changed, and the sooner we come to the point of acceptance and look for some…

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The Holy Curator

Not long to go now until the announcement of this year’s Archibald finalists. I always enjoy visiting the Gallery, and not just to smile or smirk at the entries, but to try to appreciate the Director’s placement of the artworks in terms of sequence. I dare say it’s easier when the works being exhibited come…

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Ode on an Ephesian Urn

During the last month I’ve enjoyed some Keats, and reacquainted myself with his famous Ode that I remember learning at school. What a picture he paints. Those lovers who grace the urn’s side, so close to sealing their affection with a kiss, but caught forever in the ‘potential’ and never in the ‘actual’. Are they…

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Nonna’s roast lamb

While I was doing some weeding in the church garden recently, I chanced upon a Nonna breaking off a few sprigs of rosemary. She’d not realized I was there, and a little flushed, explained that she needed some for her roast, and then added: “I think the baby Jesus would be very unhappy with me…

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The Knuckle-cracking Choir

I wish I could find a supportive scientific paper to warn others about the danger of knuckle-cracking. So far, all I’ve been able to find is a small study involving one parent and two children. In this study, which has been in progress now for approximately three years, the children are called the “irritants”, and…

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Naming rights

Apparently if you discover a new plant or animal, you have naming rights. Except there’s a convention that says, that whatever name you choose, it must be Latinized. Quaint really. The idea that the once proud Roman Empire can still lay claim to everything. Once upon a time it did. In fact, such was its…

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