unorthodox 2

In Unorthodox1 – Cack Handed we were thinking of Jewess’s.

There was a woman I could have got keen on at the department after I’d arrived in Tasmania.

She was the PA to the boss. We bantered across desks over the five-foot beige woollen covered room dividers. She was a real whizz at MS Word too.

Working in the same open space was Lorraine. God, I can’t remember her name for the life of me, and Lorraine was PA to the 2IC. Lorraine was as dumb as dogshit. When MSWord failed her as it often did, the whole office knew that it was bloody Bill Gates himself who had orchestrated whatever calumny had befallen her. Apparently, she had organised the figure skating at a State level in Western Australia, which was something there was little use for in Tasmania. Being a nurse, or was it nurse’s aide before her daughter’s birth some twenty years previous her nursing endorsements had long since lapsed.

Department and office codes on dalliances twixt colleagues were unwritten, unclear, murky, position-dependent and subject to review by gossip. Generally, gossip could only extend to a job grade above, but to any number of job grades below. The reasons were clear. Any gossip about a job grade above could always be used to scandalise a boss or their rival. Chatting about colleagues was fair game and about inferiors, a sense of smug self-satisfaction gained, if not disciplinary processes invoked. When a CEO got it on with the canteen supervisor though shibboleths went crashing.

I spent my time seeking company outside of work oblivious to the meat at my table. These efforts were generally unsuccessful. I didn’t read the signs. though what the signs were I’m still buggered if I could see them. They were pointed out to me when it was all too late. My murky understanding of the colleague rules, plus the ever-present shifty eye glances of the office aunties kept us in check.

I needed to adopt a more unorthodox style.



Unorthodox 1- Cack-Handed

I’m now reading Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman.

After having not been able to put down A Very Stable Genius, I wondered what others might have thought.

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Thinking she may also have read it I emailed L A,

ME TO LA: Wuhan Virus has lead to an intensity of reading I’ve not experienced for ages. Recently it was ” A very stable Genius”. darn, I could hardly put it down. Now its :Unorthodox: You heard of it” likewise I’m finding it so fascinating. You read or heard of it?

And sure enough day or so later a reply

LA SAYS: Deborah Feldman? If so, yes I have. Yes. There’s also a Netflix series methinks.

“Ah-ha”, I thought, ” She’s read it, I thought she may have.

We’d not been in touch for a while. This was a confirmation I’d been right about her taste.

ME TO LA: Yeah Debbie. It’s a nice read.

And I thought so too. The story of the shedding of an ultra-orthodox religious upbringing, a coming of age by thirty years old.

I’d thought of my own upbringing. Mentally compared where I might have been, had I not shed my upbringing’s stifling strictures. My younger brother, now deceased, may God rest his soul, took a path our father, who’d also gone to the Lord, would have felt pleased for his sons to have embarked upon. Christian Missionaries. But I didn’t.

A smart-arsed Chemical Engineering career sparkled ahead of me, the money I was making ensured a flash Datsun 1600 [red] by age twenty, a salary where my annual tax was equal to my Dad’s annual wage when he retired. Fuck life was good.

Deb’s book of her experiences took me back to high school days I’d recently been writing about. Scribed from fragments remembered, given titles to identify the place, PHHS, Princes Hill High School, PHHS – BAGUNG LANE 19PHHS-TOLHURST,

LA TO ME: Made you think of me because I’m the token Jew in your life?

” What the fuck,” I thought as I scanned the line,

so I scanned it again,

“Made you think of me because I’m the token Jew in your life?”

The sentence dripped of many things, more as time went by.

The inherent self-centredness of ” Made you think of me.”

“Did I” I ruminated.

“Nope,” certainly not to my way of thinking. I figured I was sharing thoughts about two books being read actually. Interested that we’d read, or she’s seen a TV drama based on one of the books, the other book being about a drama in real life, skilful timelines, narrated with some first-rate journalism.

Like treacle flowing off of the warmed top of sticky date-pudding, the oozing continued,

“…..because I’m the token Jew in your life?

“Ah-ha, the token jew in my life.”

I tried to think of the other token people crowding my life. Since retirement, I’ve thinned their ranks. Gone, the ne’re-do-wells in the public service, who even when working there were barely tokens. Then, the folk from Toastmasters. Gone.

None left really. But they certainly weren’t classified by religion. Perhaps by race,

sexual orientation, political leaning, food preference, house renovation style, pro-Beijing stance, environmentalism, refugeeism or climatechangeables.

Perhaps “The Slap” was was all the more resounding as I’d spent a little too much time on the Princes Hill High School Survivors facebook site recalling my secondary schooling

As many of us have we’ve lost touch with most of our high school buddies whose backgrounds were as is said more fashionably – multicultural.

The Slap?

It felt as they say, somewhat Cack Handed.


Hummus is due for an overhaul.

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Like the pizza before it. Pizza is a dish with a past, Pizza comes from way back, maybe even panis focaccia, a flatbread with topping added, in the Mediterranean.

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More recently claimed as a New York invention in 1905 by Lombardi’s in Manhatten’s Little Italy the dough frisbee has moved on.

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Nowadays pizza is what you say it is. Stick anything on it. Is it vegan? Even better.

Better still sold by the slice.

Hummus too is due for this treatment too. With a name derived from the Arabic words hummus bi tahini, ie chickpeas with tahini, it’s too damn bland.

Sure there’s been dips and so on with the added chopped olives. It is though just the carrier for other earthly delights.

Recently I’ve been sticking in dollops of Dijon Mustard, Kewpie Mayonaise [ Regular, Wasabi and Chilli, though not at the same time], seeded Mustard, Honey. Whatever is available that really. Yum.

Oh yes, and to complete the loop the New Hummus is to be sold by the spoonful.

I’m yet to try vegan options, any suggestions?






Homage – Dumbest Blog Ever

In Blogland, screens are filled with acres and acres of pixels. The fall winds fail to sweep the pixel litter into burnable heaps. Dead, dying and should be dead ideas, remain, littering WordPress.

With Wuhan Virus in the air, Jake settled in, to scan the news, and WordPress blogs. Being from Tasmania, Jake was known for being uninformed, he was a stereotypical Taswegian. An island, at the bottom of Australia, Tasmania is famed for the magnificence of its cherries, sold in Nanjing, the scenery to be absorbed in a day by cruise ship passengers, and a recent massacre at its iconic 1840’s penal ruin.

Headlines filled with the usual stuff, the paid content which Jake had to see ‘cos he couldn’t pay enough not to see it. News of a president in a land known as the united states of america filled some of the headlines like below, the rest left him cool.

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Jake was bored. He switched to WordPress. Travel blogs, folk reposting stuff expressing other’s opinion, cooking things, cats and many English things. Maybe, there’ll be something on the fiction pages. There wasn’t.

Perhaps there’s a better way to select material for reading pleasure. Forget the sassy headline, seek out folk who know themselves.
And that’s how he came across

the dumbest blogger

Jake’s done the work for y’all. Get following this blog too.
It’ll make your day.

Dang! When the Other Shoe Drops

Some people say in days of yore when folk came home from day’s toil, they dropped a shoe noisily on the floor of their tenements. All the while, downstairs dwellers anticipated the sound of the second shoe to be taken off and then likewise dropped.

What’s remarkable about this is that ” Some people say..”

It’s at least one source of the expression ” Some people say” which is used extensively by POTUS.

But I digress.

This is all about shoe dropping,

Johny Bolton was asked about the cleansing of Lafayette Square by POTUS.

There’s been commentary both ways, hated on the right, despised on the left. Its been a tough call as to whether he’s a fool, self-interested or a damn canny player.

For me a damn canny player.

His calculation is really that DT needs to go. Impeachment was never gonna work and achieve this aim. His alignment is not left, just wanting competence in the POTUS role. His calculus is of achieving that end. If he makes some on the way, that’s fine, but DT gotta go.

So when asked if he had still been in the White House, would he have helped cleanse Lafayette Square with DT?

Would he have taken that walk of shame?

“I have to say in all honesty, I probably would have,” Bolton said.

One shoe drops.

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And waiting in the tenement below we wait, we hold our breath while John goes on:

“And I would have regretted it later.”

Shoe two.

Understanding America

Far away in deepest Tasmania, we only hear snippets of life outside our bubble.

Hearing “news” from around the world it’s easy to despair why things are as they are.

In the days of the Wuhan virus, perhaps a little too much time is being spent on-line. Then again the weather’s been crap. You-tube turns up funny and tragic offerings. Here’s one.


and then of course the Irish Classic Clamped bike. 

It’s well worth a watch, really.

However, enough lightness.

I’ve had to reconsider visiting the USA of A as in  The US of A – Off Of My Must See List  and The US of A – Off Of My Must See List #2

I’ve been happy in my decision, roll on international travel so I can get on with it. Imagine my delight when I found this upload which reinforced my decision. Of course it’s confirmation bias at its worst, but danmit , why not!

So for your pleasure :




I don’t think I need a further post The U S of A – Off Of My Must See List #3

Do you agree?

Penned in at Pt Arthur!

“Comrade Commisar Gutwein has decreed that he has graciously lifted the travel bans one week early, to allow Taswegians to spend the celebratory weekend for Her Majesty the Queen of England’s Birthday, at their shacks!

“Fuck isn’t that great!” I continued enthusiastically.

I surveyed the horizon, hung with the haze from evaporating oils of millions of eucalyptus leaves. Taswegians searched northward for a land so far away, they were trapped in Gutwein’s grip. No one can go anywhere, save for furtive masked trips to the local shops to buy necessities.

In past times, martial law and savage dog chain at Eagle Hawk Neck effectively penned folk onto the peninsula at Pt Arthur.

Image result for eaglehawk neck tasmania

The dog chains are now replaced by border controls. Prevents flying anywhere.

So, with a stoke of his pen Gutwein grants an opportunity to ‘go to the shack’. A sop to the middle class, and its aspirants, but classes above or below in the social hierarchy snigger.

Got me thinkin’. What class do we fit into now? We’re retired. Being retired do you give up your place in the class you were in before retirement, or is there an up or downgrade into another class? A kind of bronze, silver, gold and platinum status class. More likely another class for retired folk to shuffle quickly into, to complete volunteerism, reading and death.

“Hey love, how about we slip off to the shack this weekend?” I tried.

She looked over at the dog, curled on the carpet, shedding hair as he lay.

She lifted her gaze to me, across the empty kitchen bench, clearly wondering if I’d lost my noodles.

“Shack? What shack? We don’t have a shack!” She shouted back.

Image result for shack

I looked around for the noodle bowl, damn there wasn’t one, so perhaps I hadn’t lost my noodles after all.

“Well, you know you’re right there,” I replied.

“We’re shackless.”

Is that a word?