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Not just the royal wave

I remember during one of the Queen’s visits to Australia, that I actually saw her royal person drive by in her special royal car, and that she waved….. at me! Well, I think it was me that she waved to, but I can’t say exactly for sure. (That’s actually the extent of my brush with…

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Flawed but not shredded

There are some red faces at the moment at the Australian Mint, for not spell-checking the new $50 note before going to print. I’m not sure who has taken personal responsibilty. Ooops. There it is. The offending word. Responsibility sans an ‘i’ three places from the end. And yet, according to the Mint, the note…

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I dreamed a dream

I picked up an acorn the other day, and dreamed a dream. I dreamed of the day when that acorn would become a huge oak, under which my family would gather and play. I can see the picture in my mind’s eye: tartan rug rolled out over the autumn leaves, grandchildren swinging from the strongest…

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In my right mind

The reason I believe in creation, according to a book I’m reading on left-handedness, is because I’m strongly right-handed. Which means, for all people who are “strongly handed”, left or right, their corpus callosum (the internet cable that joins the left and right hemispheres of the brain and enables the transfer of information) is smaller…

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Easter Treats

‘Digestives’! Who ever gave that name to a chocolate biscuit? A doctor? A nutritionist? A gastroenterologist? Really! It’s like naming a box of Turkish Delight, ‘Duodenal Delicacies’, or a bag of Cherry Ripes, ‘Colonic Charms’. I’m a newcomer to these chocolate pleasures, and quite fond of them, but I wonder how many people pass them…

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Shadow puppets

Earlier this year I watched a master puppeteer in action. His ‘puppets’ were shadows, and he moved his hands in front of the light with incredible dexterity to make wolves and rabbits and even an elephant. But my favourite shadow was two monkeys, sitting on their haunches, and laughing and making up mischief. What a…

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Sneaky Scrabble

Apparently the 2015 French language Scrabble championship was won by a New Zealander who didn’t even know his ‘merci’ from his ‘maori’. Nigel Richards won the tournament by memorizing all the words in the French-language Scrabble dictionary. Some analysts of the game suggest that Richard’s feat means that Scrabble is not a game of words…

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An Easter IQ

I failed Question 7 of the IQ test that my son brought home from school. But I’ve not the least doubt that it was the book’s fault! Let me explain. Said the question: “Insert the word that completes the first word and starts the second. (Clue: Leave.) I N (…) T E R.” The answer…

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On the making of spirits

In an article I perused recently on the making of whisky, the writer described the manic way that whisky makers choose a cask in which to mature their spirit. “It’s a mania that takes many forms, from tracking the oak from source to final cask, to insisting on the wood from a particular part of…

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The Year of the Pig

Happy Chinese New Year! Hurstville today is all aflame with red lanterns and golden pigs, and all in expectation of a year of wealth and happiness. For that’s the hope: a time of adding money to one’s “piggy-bank”, and the wish of putting more spring in one’s tail, and the thought of having a crackling…

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