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What next? …

I don’t think I could handle another year of daily posts … nor the 50 word limit.

So this new project will be considerably more sedate and a whole lot more wordy.

My new project (again somewhat self-indulgent) is like a “down-the-rabbit-hole” tour … a variation on game I’d sometimes play.

Play a song and from that song choose another that connects with it … where do you end up. Well, of course we’d all end up at different places … and at different times the journey would take a different course.

Anyway … here is the link to my next little trip, if you want to come along, it would be great to have you aboard.

Oh! It’s called:

At the Crossroads … destination unknown.  (this link takes you to the “About” page).

And the first post is called:

Crossroad 1: Cross Road Blues – Robert Johnson


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The last memory has passed.

To anyone who has read one – thank you.

If you enjoyed it – that makes me feel as I did in #139.

A special mention:

Bill Joyner’s box of memories & memorabilia, enthusiasm, insight – valuable, valued.

Now, Bill, … the River project?*

A collaboration?

“I’ll let you into my memories, if I can be in yours.” (Apologies Bob Dylan)


* We (Bill & I) have discussed the idea of a project aimed at giving expression to the vital role The Nepean River has had in shaping us as individuals and communities – if you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them.

The final words …

I hope your 2013 is filled with
events, experiences, adventures that become
wonderful memories in future years.

Happy New Year!

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Mum & Roger (circa 1954)

Mum & Roger (circa 1954)

Hey! Mum’s crying. We’d better … !

Tears rarely interrupt the stoic,

But when they do …

We are more conditioned to

Loud laughter livening parties

Or frustration driving a flailing “iron cord”.

But tears!! No way! Worlds melt.

Amidst our raggle-taggle chaos,


Bold italics, strong fun.

And so,

Our worlds’ heartbeat.*


* Not only for us boys but almost everyone I meet from the region has been taught by Mum or is related to someone taught by Mum. As a primary school teacher she seems to have had an immensely positive impact on those who found themselves in her classroom. Primary & infants teaching is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated and under-paid roles in our society … yet it is also one of the most important. Much the same as being a Mum … so weren’t me, Steve, Pete, & Phil exceptionally fortunate?

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At first a battle of wills

Novice parent versus wilful child

History transforms post-war gratitude

Into anti-war anger

Generation gaps becomes personal.

Paths set to political differences.

My capitalism finances your socialism.

Framed in paradigms, caricatures and “isms”.

Lifetimes of fun, fights & insights,

Finally revelations, understanding:

Roger’s a legend.*


* My involvement in the restructuring of Panthers in 1991 provided a major insight into Roger, helped reveal fundamental errors in my thinking.  The restructure  was taking a traditional organisational management pyramid completely dismantling it and rebuilding it as an organisation driven by a network of self-directed teams. A daring, radical, innovative move that gave practical life to a belief that organisational health is dependent on building: structures that distribute power away from individuals; cultures that allow individuals to grow, create & flourish (to be individual); and the tools to give people leverage.

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The Iron Cove Bridge - taken from approx where trailing rejoined Nissan.

The Iron Cove Bridge – taken from approx where trailing rejoined Nissan.

Nissan Patrol trundling along

Empty trailer trailing.

Speed good, no traffic.

Onto Iron Cove Bridge.

Unusual rattle. Hmmm.

Check mirror. Nothing!

Glance right,

Motoring along alone, the trailer.

Hits edge, heads left.

I stop.

Trailer careens toward its uncoupled partner

Slows & gently nudges.

Not another vehicle in sight.

Re-couple, double-check, continue.

Going their separate ways.

Going their separate ways.







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Sitting together,

Patterns, textures complex.

Watching TV.

At the football,

Riding on trains.

Click, click, click!!

A comforting sound


Speaks of home

And imminent warmth, when

Rapidly, but carefully, cast stitches

Rapidly become

New jumpers, cardigans

Patterns complex colour & texture.

Knitting needle percussion


Beats out the rhythm of the

World’s Best …






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Metal sprigs on football boots.

Another captivating sound,

And the composer is me

Walking a footpath.

Metal sprigs on a hard cement surface

Ring & chime, clink & crack

(Surface change, tone shift)

The rapid fire rhythm

Multiplying, echoing, repeating

With changing pace, altering gait,

A teammate striding alongside.

An instrument,

Silenced by moulders of football boots.

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Off to the movies,

A short drive

To Kingswood Drive-in.

Kingswood Drive-In.

Car after car, lined up

On asphalt terraces.


– behind one row, in front of another –

To snack bar – treats.

Speaker hooked up.


First – squabbles?

I can’t see! I wanna sit there! Muuuuum!

Settle down.

Feature starts.


Cat Ballou.

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Celebration day

Others think of me.

Causing conflicting desires –

Hide in the shadows

But stand in the spotlight.

I can’t remember details

Of a single birthday …

Except one,

Made (in)famous

By unquantifiable consumption of …

No matter.

A huge event

At 46 Boundary St Paddington.

I should not remember but I do – clearly.






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Gaunt, emaciated

Can’t hear, can’t see.

But skin soft, silky as ever

Imagination & drama alive, well.

From his Hospice cot, in his delerium

He abuses a taxi driver.

For weeks his hand gently held, caringly stroked.

As he  talks, yells, laughs,imagines.

He breathes

Then, 21 years ago today …

He stops.


This memory is from 1991 and is outside the period it is meant to cover (up to my final year at school) but  …

I was last to arrive at St Vincent’s Hospice on this day. Roger, Mum, Stephen & Phil were outside, on a balcony a little way from Peter’s room. I joined them. As we consoled each other someone announcement:

Max, we had a family meeting and decided the last to arrive today has to do a eulogy at the funeral.

We laughed. I did it … you can find it here.

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