The Bangla-Dash (or how I became friends with the great Marc Favre)

I think it might have been Henry James who said “Tell a dream, lose a reader.” That’s a lie – I don’t think, I know; I checked it in Google and then changed George Eliot to Henry James in my draft. (And while we’re on the subject of confessions, when I found that I’d got it wrong I said to myself “Ah, of course – Henry James” even though I don’t know who either he or George Eliot is. I think one of then might have been, or still is, a woman, but that’s about as good as my knowledge gets.)

(I did a Literature degree at university.)

Anyway, what I think this bloke/woman was getting at was that a dream is the ultimate item of esoterica – almost nobody can relate to your starring role in a game of Gaelic football played between a team of creatures from Greek mythology and an assortment of your childhood heroes, including Sooty and Ricky Jackson (unchanged since 1991), played on a hybrid ground, one half of which is lined with silver ash, the other half of which resembles the Punt Road end of the MCG. Very few people care that you played as a ruck rover and had license to roam far and wide, taking both courageous last-line-of-defence marks while also slotting thirteen goals (not to mention the eight or nine Joe the Gooses you unselfishly popped over to Ricky Jackson).… Read the rest

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The Flinders Street Stakes

Sometimes in the morning when I cross Flinders Street to get to the station from the Young and Jackson’s side of Swanston Street, I imagine that I’m in a horse race.

Is that childish? (That’s not a rhetorical question – I want you to answer it in the comments section of this page.)

I don’t have a good turn of speed; I don’t steam home from the rear of the field like Kingston Town. I’m more like Manighar; I grind away and try to out-stay more mercurial pedestrians.

I consider the edge of Swanston Street to be the running rail and try to position myself one off the fence, partly because it’s always a straight race and you can’t save any ground, but also because there are inevitably two or three runners ahead of me – dawdlers – who don’t have the class to win the race. If I’m stuck on the fence with these donkeys holding me up in the final furlong (or six metres), I give myself no chance of winning.

Sometimes other runners – mostly corpulent businessmen who’ve lost their bearings, their dignity and any basic human decency – lay in badly during the race, halt my run and force me to stop riding.… Read the rest

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The Grape Men

I grew up in well-established suburb of Melbourne, so it was a novelty to have horses over the back fence.  They roamed around in a thin expanse of undeveloped land that spanned an entire block lengthways and sometimes Dad would lift me up so I could feed them grass and pat their noses. (To this day, I like horses for the fact that they prefer the grass out of a person’s hand to the grass coming out of the ground. They are humouring us like a kind uncle humours a dim-witted child, and I appreciate it, despite the fact that once you know what they’re doing you can’t help but feel it’s a tiny bit condescending.)

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Haught starter

Do blogs need introductory posts or do you just wade straight in and start floundering around, not like a flounder (possibly the stillest creature in the marine kingdom) at all, but like a juvenile okapi, thrashing helplessly in a particularly deep section of the Congo with your preposterously inadequate Bambi legs and a look of desperation on your face that quickly turns to a look of resignation before sinking, with the rest of your head, below the cool sheet of water which only moments ago you were lapping at contentedly?

That’s not a rhetorical question; I really really want an answer.

Speaking of a sheet of water – narcissism: that’s the only reason you’d start a blog, surely. Last week I said this to a friend who had suggested I begin putting my thoughts down for public (digital) consumption.

He said, “So – why not?”

I said: “Because it’s for narcissistic clowns.”

He said, “Then what’s stopping you?”

And he had made a good point. Nobody likes the sound of their own keystrokes more than me. Narcissus, of course, was around in a time long before it became possible for people  to self- publish earnest, illiterate and vomit-inducing poetry and make it available to every single person in the world who owns a computer and access to the internet.… Read the rest

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