Card Showers On Mother’s Day

In my lifetime I’ve been blessed to celebrate :

Cards to my mother,

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Cards to my wife

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Cards to my daughter

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cards to daughter in laws

And Cards to my daughter’s twin sister, celebrating Twin Aunty Day

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dang I’m gonna stick to emails.


Sliding Into Retirement

Readers of sensibility are warned that this piece contains helpful visuals of dangers of eating hot meat pies, you’ve been warned

I wondered as I drove slowly along to the suburban drab suburban shopping centre where all these folks had come from. Old folk, pre-school kids with sassy tight lycra wearing moms. Why aren’t they at work came to mind?

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shopping in spandex

Six months into retirement I’m slowly realising that waking up is not for just work. There is a world of folk who aren’t doing that, lives determined by what someone else wants, either that time is done or if you’re young enough has not yet started.

‘I’m one of them,’ I recall thinking.

“One of who?” replied the other voice in my head. I couldn’t work out what choice I was challenging myself to make.

The two voices and I surveyed the scene. The guy wearing a crumpled trackie outfit, totally mismatched the “Dodgers 4” polo fleece he was wearing, hoodie down. It didn’t fit properly anywhere on his shambling frame.

He plonked down heavily on the two and half seat vinyl covered brown padded bench with an explosion of the cushion’s breath into the air.

“Whoosh!” then sound of creases being eased as he adjusted his butt to be more central on the seat.

I watched him and began thinking if maybe he was me? My doppelganger?

Meat pie and sauce, or in the vernacular dead horse

Once seated he slowly tore at the open end of the brown paper bag, deliberately avoiding the creases of the edges. He was on a mission. His hardened calloused thickened fingers suggested he may once have been a welder or bricklayer. The fingers were nimble enough to grasp the bag and tear the printed Banjo’s logo apart. Clearly he’d done this before. He didn’t tear all the way through the bag side to the base. He opened the bag into two flaps, allowing the hot pie to present itself to his mouth, the underside of the pie base supported serviette style. He tipped the pie’s edge up towards his open mouth in anticipation.

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The hot pie’s meaty aroma tickled his hairy nostrils as his worn teeth bit across the pie seam. Under the jagged bite pressure the seam between the flaky puff paste top and the short crust base came slightly apart. A small squirt of hot liquid gravy and perhaps some mince sprayed upwards inside his mouth. The spraying jet seared the soft palette of the roof of his mouth, and then a thicker flow of gravy mince flowed lava like from the pie seam and onto the soft skin between his clutching right hand’s thumb and index finger web. It rested momentarily, then flowed on until it cooled. The downward movement of his hand made it flow a little further.

It scalded all the way.

“Faarrck, shit,” was all we heard. The shoppers turned and looked astounded, fearing there’d been a knife attack. Sassy mothers quickly reached for the ears of their pre-school aged kids trying to save them hearing in a public space language which they were already used to at home.

I wondered why they bothered. Perhaps some sense of public display to indicate their upwardly mobility or maybe just reflex.

“Fuckin’ pie,” he seethed through clenched teeth. He could feel the little stalactite bits of skin tissue hanging down from his upper palette.

A large glob of gelling meat and sauce plopped on to the carpet, then another. He was about to throw the whole pie floor ward but instinct took over as he thrust his lips around the opened pie seam, pursed his lips and sucked. He figured, why waste this sucker, at least sucking up the gravy meat would stop the flow onto his right hand thumb web. Thankfully it did, but as the hotter centre gravy reached his lips the scalding of his palette resumed.

“Shit! Shit!” he gasped,” too fuckin’ bloody hot!”

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scalded upper palette frequently experienced by Australians devouring meat pies in haste

By now the damp serviette provided by his careful tear on the underside of the pie was full of hot pie filling from the opened seam on the back of the pie. The sodden brown paper bag plies then gave way allowing the sides of the pie to collapse into each other. A near perfect meat pie fajita!

He dropped the soggy bag, the pie and his dignity to the carpet.

“Fuck, what a waste!” He cursed.

The air sucked back into the seat inhaling a reverse “whoosh” as he rose, grabbed his plastic shopping bags and stomped off.

Leaving me to wonder, was I really like him, I sincerely hope not.

Land Of The Brave

thehobartchinaman owes a debt to someone. Who? Dunno.

Wordsmithing can require acknowledgement of cute ideas.

Simple ideas can have deeper meaning,.

Some wag came up with a rearrangement of the following letters,


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Stars and Stripes – Land of the Brave, home of the Free?

once seen, not forgotten,


Whoever you are, thank you.

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Inadvertent Haiku.

in the never ending struggle to rid the world of Occidental Haiku, thehobartchinaman realizes, a way to destroy the enemy is from within.

And so, he offers this ditty for consideration. Readers are reminded of Utenzi’s form,

aaab, cccb, dddb,

and are encouraged to pen their own.

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Savannah grasslands, Swahili home, birthplace of Utenzi

Tried Utenzi yet?

Break poetic stranglehold

on Anglo meter.

Damn, I slipped into the dreaded form!

Please forgive

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Daffodil pasture – a Tribute to Wordsworth and iambic pentameter


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We’re going to Formosa, when Wuhan Virus restraints ease. Planned a year ago plans were truncated when borders closed. Circumnavigating the isle clockwise, planning was complete, accommodation arranged, just fares to book.

Westerly visit to Quemoy from southern Kaohsiung, the whole nine yards. A year later I thought to revise our plans. Formosa, some now call it Taiwan. Unreconstructed I persist.


Brought to mind Joe a bloke from my days at Concord plaster mils. He was a loner, very a loner. He shared driving the front end loader with Max Newton. They never said g’day to one another at shift change. One left before the other arrived.

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Joe lived in his Kombi in the car park in the cross street in front of the site. Sleeping bag, spirit cooker and smell of living rough pervaded, but he was never late to work.

A month or so before a long forgotten Christmas, Joe spent a few nights courtesy of Her Majesty, locked up for drunkenness or some other minor misdemeanour. He missed his shifts, and felt the shame acutely.

Three days before Santa 🎅 was to arrive at Joe’s Kombi, he hanged himself.

He was a Maltese immigrant

Vale Joe Formosa,