Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kate P and the Facebook Wake

Yesterday I turned on my phone after my flight landed, went to the Facebook app, and saw a message that made my blood run cold. It was a message from one of my FB friends (who is also a real, proper, 'I've stayed in her house' kind of friend), to another FB friend - Kate - whom I have never actually met. And Kate will always remain a friend I never met, because the message was one of condolence. Kate has died, taken away in the prime of her youth. The last FB status she ever wrote referred to how ill and pathetic she was feeling, and how she only had the strength to lick the flavour off Pringles. It's still there, that status, and to read it is horrifying and tragic and so terribly, terribly sad.

Some might argue that to me, she wasn't really a friend, and how could I feel any kind of grief for someone I never actually met, or spoke to, or so much as shared a coffee with? Kate became my FB acquaintance through a writing network, and as someone who had a mutual interest in writing, I agreed to add her to my list of friends. And I'm glad I did - I loved reading her quirky, cheeky, optimistic and occasionally tortured way of looking at the life of an artist.

Friend. It's a funny use of that word, when it's in the context of Facebook. Recently on the Sydney Morning Herald website, someone wrote about this, and the majority of comments were howls of derision. 'If you wouldn't lend them money, they're not really a friend.' 'How can you be friends with someone you've never met?' And this: 'People who make friends on Facebook are either desperate social wannabes, or career mercenaries.' I think this is missing the point that in the FB context, 'friend' is simply another name for someone who forms part of your network. Yes, I have real friends to whom I would lend money. But I also have the FB 'friends', like Kate. And when one of those 'friends' is suddenly no longer there, and you go back through their page and read their past statuses, and begin to see hints between the lines that make you wonder if you could have seen this coming, it becomes very real. And let's be under no illusion that it's grieving, not in the same crippling way that we grieve when a 'real' friend or a family member dies, but grief nonetheless.

In one of the several FB threads that have come out of Kate's sudden, untimely and - some might argue - merciful passing, in amongst all the 'I'll miss her cupcake kebabs' and 'I loved her rainbow toe-socks', someone asked 'What are we doing here? Is this a Facebook wake?' And I suppose it is.

There's one more thing that I think about when I ponder on all of this: who deletes that Facebook profile? A family member, or a lover? Is it like cleaning out the wardrobe and the chests of drawers and putting it all in cardboard boxes ready to take to St Vinnie's? Or is it rather more practical - clicking on a 'Delete Profile' button? I hope I never have to click on that button.
(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What if I DON'T like it?

I'll say it - I like Facebook. I use it as a professional networking tool as much as a social networking tool. I keep in contact with friends and colleagues, learn of links and connections and industry goss, watch the occasional funny video.

But there is one thing about FB that I find rather irritating. It's the groups with views that might be seen by some as worthy of challenge or further discussion; some examples might be fundamentalist religious groups and prosperity Christians, or conspiracy theorists, or anti-immunisation groups, such as VINE. I find that these groups won't allow you to comment unless you "Like It!". And often we don't like it. But we can't respond. We can't discuss, engage in dialogue, perhaps even learn, unless we agree that we "Like It!", ergo, join the group. And we don't want to do that. Which means that these corners of Facebook remain the sole domain of people who all believe the same thing, and foment those beliefs.

I use the example of VINE, or the Vaccination Information Network. I was in a discussion with a friend about the pros and cons of childhood vaccination, and found my way to VINE, which vehemently opposes vaccination. (Incidentally, this site also likes to provide "evidence" for all manner of conspiracies - the government is gathering data on you so you'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes, the 9/11 attacks were an inside job, drop-bears aren't real, etc etc.)

But the bit that made me sit up straight was VINE's claim that whooping cough is neither "dangerous nor life-threatening". I beg to differ. Almost 300,000 people died globally from pertussis last year, and furthermore, I've personally nursed babies in PICUs who are on life support due to whooping cough. So naturally, I wanted to comment. But I couldn't, unless I joined. I wanted to send a direct message to the person who runs the group. That link was disabled. Meanwhile the regulars on the site are agreeing, agreeing, agreeing, all the while remaining blissfully unaware - or deliberately ignorant - that there is another side to this story.

I'm not saying that FB should shut the site down - I welcome discourse on pretty much anything. But let's at least have the conversation.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Be generous, dammit!

As some of my friends know, in a previous life I was a registered nurse, working on Wade Ward, the adolescent unit at the Children's Hospital, Westmead. I met a lot of wonderful people there, but the ones who really stuck in my memory were the young people with cystic fibrosis. CF is an absolute arse of a disease. There is no cure... yet. Research continues, but it's expensive. The only relief available to a person with CF is a transplant, sometimes lungs, sometimes heart and lungs. My friend Kylie Polglase had one of these. It almost killed her. But now she's taking part in the 7km CF Walkathon, on October 24, in memory of her dear friend Lisa Buckley, who passed away from CF not that long ago. So far her team has raised over $3,000, but they could always do with more. It's very easy to donate - just go to the link, and select Kylie's name from the team list, and do it. Donate! Go on! You'll feel good! Kylie's walking 7km, damn it, and last time I saw her she needed a mobility scooter to get the length of the corridor! Seriously! So get in there, folks!

Here's the link again, just in case you missed it last time.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Random ruminations on being an unknown

I was recently asked by Lateral Learning Speakers Agency to present a masterclass for the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year Award finalists, and as part of that experience was invited, with the finalists, to tour the archives of the Mitchell Library with the Exhibition Curator, Paul Brunton. The special highights Paul selected included a lock of James Cook's hair in a casket that Cook's crew hand-carved from the timber of Resolution; the hand-written manuscripts for Thomas Keneally's Schindler's Ark and Kate Grenville's The Secret River, and, most significantly for me, the hat, pen and death mask of one of my literary heroes, Henry Lawson. They also had the copy edit of his short story collection While the Billy Boils, complete with his red editing marks.

But that's not really what I sat down to write about here. No, my major rumination has to do with a thought I had the following day, when I sat down for the lunch in the Dixson Room of the State Library of NSW. The man sitting beside me, who works for Fairfax, introduced himself, and I told him my name. 'What do you do?' he asked, and I told him that I'm a writer. 'I'm very sorry, but I'm not familiar with your work,' he replied.

We writers get that a lot. We don't feel hurt - it's just how it is. But at the same time, it's easy to wonder how far one is from being a 'known', rather than an 'unknown'. And to feel a bit despondent.

But then I spun it. I thought, if I'd been seated next to someone I knew, and who knew me, that would offer me very little in terms of improving profile, forming connections, networking, whatever you want to call it. And to be completely mercenary, that's why we go to these things, right? But here I was next to someone who didn't know me or my work (I wasn't familiar with his either, by the way) and I was suddenly in a position to create a new and possibly very useful connection. And from a networking point of view, isn't it more useful to shake hands with a stranger, have a long conversation and exchange cards at the end than yack about the same old stuff with someone we've known for years?

(Photo by Sara Fishwick)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tim Burton

If you happen to find yourself in Melbourne before the 10th October this year, you must, must, must go and see the Tim Burton exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, at Federation Square, Melbourne. Even if Burton's particular brand of kook and creep isn't your thing, it's worth it to see someone's creative journey so clearly plotted out, especially from his very earliest motivation - escaping the boredom and banality of Burbank, California in the 1960s and '70s. Personally, I think that idea is best summed up in the scene where the cars all reverse out of the driveways at the same time, drive off, then return the same way at the end of the day. And of course there is this vision of suburban malaise...

But what struck me most strongly - and I tell my creative writing students this all the time now - was how normal his writing was when he was in middle school. The exhibition contains a number of his creative writing pieces, and while they're not bad, they're no better or worse than the average piece of creative writing I see from regular, everyday middle-school kids. I see this as encouraging evidence that while success as an artist must owe something to natural ability, it probably owes just as much to identifying an area of interest and persisting at it. Clearly Tim Burton has talent in bucketloads, but I'd also argue that a clear vision and a strong drive for success played a pretty major part as well.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bogan hospitality

This is where I come on all small-l bleeding-heart liberal lefty, but I can't help it - I have to say something. Last week on The Chaser's "Yes we Canberra", the boys came out to the federal seat of Lindsay, which is next door to the one I live in, and vox-popped some of the Penrith locals, asking whether something should be done to "stop the boats", a phrase which fills me with embarrassment and shame every time Tony Abbott or one of his colleagues uses it. Or the PM, for that matter. And predictably enough, for no other reason than what took place in the editing suite, every single punter they spoke to (each of which was more boganny than the bogannest bogan you've ever encountered) responded exactly as you'd expect: "Yep, we should stop the boats, we don't need any more boat-people, I'll vote for anyone who can stop the effin' boats."

OK, so these punters might have been edited into prominence, but it's also true that they're out there, in most corners of Australian society. Which is why it struck me like a ton of felafel when I was sitting in the Penrith Westfield food court today, and this is what I saw, left to right: Thai, Italian, Japanese, American, Anglo, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, more American, traditional Aussie roast, Lebanese and Turkish, Indian. And a bit more American. And if I was in any of a number of other suburban food courts, I might have even found some African. (What I haven't yet seen in any food court is bush tucker, but maybe one day soon that will come.)

But here's my point: is that what the average Australian wants, for all prospective immigrants of all flavours to come here, leave their family recipe books, then bugger off back "home"? "I don't want any of that foreign muck - I'll just grab a pizza or a doner kebab on the way home from the pub?" Really? If so, say goodbye to me right now, because I'm off to live in Nauru...

Friday, July 30, 2010

The most boring "debate" EVAH!

Gawd, I've worn pants with more personality than these two.

Of course, I'm talking about last Sunday night's Leaders' Debate. Or should I say, the "Leaders" "Debate".

This was nothing more than a glorified press conference. Pre-boxing bout weigh-ins have more of a free exchange of ideas.

Solution, maybe for next time: Tony Jones on the Q&A set with Leader A and Leader B at the desk, and 150 interested and articulate audience members who are able to actually ask questions. You know, tough, non-flagged questions. Questions that make the leaders think, and present answers that can be cross-examined. That I would watch. But what we actually got the other night was absurd, and utterly, utterly pointless. Vote 1 for the Worm!

Ostrich "scientists"

Ruben Meerman, a.k.a. The Surfing Scientist, and I were discussing climate change and global warming in the green room at a recent festival. This topic of conversation was kicked off in reference to a fellow presenter, who likes to get up in front of school kids and suggest to them that climate change is a big fat conspiracy.

Ruben put it in these terms: Imagine you go to see a renal surgeon, who examines you, and your scans, and your blood tests, and says, "You have a large renal tumour. It needs to come out as soon as possible." You go for a second opinion from another renal surgeon. He says the same thing - "You have a tumour, and it MUST come out." You see a third, fourth, fifth, twentieth renal surgeon - in fact you go and see 10,000 renal surgeons, and they all tell you the same thing. But then you go and see an ear, nose tha throat surgeon, and he says, "It's all a renal conspiracy - there's actually nothing wrong with your kidney."

Who are you going to believe?

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Proust Questionnaire

What is your most marked characteristic?
Thoughtful. Not in the "thinking of others" way, although I think I often am that, but in the "thinks about stuff a lot" way.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

What do you most value in your friends?

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Envy and resentment. OK, that's two, but the're linked.

What is your favorite occupation?

Being with friends.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Sunday morning + window seat + sunshine + guitar.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Not being able to help your child feel better.

In which country would you like to live?

France looks nice, and I'd like to spend at least a year in New York. But if you can't find somewhere in Australia that suits you, you're pretty hard to please.

Who are your favorite writers?

Roald Dahl, Philip Pullman, Kurt Vonnegut, Annabel Crabb.

Who are your favorite poets?

Hmm. Not really a poetry guy, but I do like the elegance of a well-crafted haiku.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Yossarian from Catch-22.

Who is your favorite heroine of fiction?
Lucy from the Narnia books. I also used to have a bit of a lit-crush on Nancy Blackett from Swallows and Amazons.

Who are your favorite composers?

Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven

Who are your favorite painters?

Jeffrey Smart, and the Heidelbergers.

What are your favorite names?

Anything spelt conventionally.

What is it that you most dislike?

Injustice and deceit that leads to injustice. I'm looking at you, footballers of the world.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to draw like Shaun Tan.

How would you like to die?
Peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

What is your current state of mind?

Excited about the opportunities before me, slightly stressed at how little time there is to achieve them all.

What is your motto?

"A drop of ink may make a million think." (Byron)

(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Top 10 girls

CMIS Fiction Focus recently compiled a list of the top ten female protagonists in recent Australian YA fiction. And guess what? Anonymity from Anonymity Jones is there! You go, girl!

At risk of stumbling blind into a debate for which I am completely unprepared, is it telling that only two of the ten in the initial list are written by blokes? And for the record, I'm not making a statement either way, I'm just pointing it out...(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at

Why does it have to be so hard? (A bit of a rant.)

Be warned, this is where I turn into a bit of a bleeding-heart small-L liberal, but can we please, please, please stop using vulnerable people as political footballs. I'm talking to you, Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott, and retrospectively to you, Mr Rudd, and before that, Messrs Howard and Beazley. I'm talking to all of you, and I refer to the current debate surrounding asylum seekers.

I feel that Heather Ridout said it best when she was on Richard Glover's radio show earlier this week. She suggested that we should put the issue aside until after the upcoming election, so that it's not used as a leverage for political gain. Then, after that, the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader - whomever they might be - can sit down together and come up with a humane and considered solution. A bilateral solution. Gasp!

Agreed, we need to eliminate people smugglers, who are, by any measure, bad people. Yes,we need to protect our borders. But no, despite the best efforts of some to convince us otherwise, we're not being swamped by refugees. And no, we certainly don't want to return to the Howard years. But please, powerful people in Canberra, let's keep some sense of compassion for people who ill, for whatever reason, climb (with their families) aboard rusty, overloaded fishing boats and set out for Port Hedland.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Far East and feeling guilty

Four weeks away from home is a long time. It's even a long time when your family comes and stays with you for ten of those twenty-eight days.

Now, I want to be very clear - I'm not complaining. Traveling is fun, doubly so when someone else is paying for you to do it. Traveling to places you'd never really planned to go to and finding them surprising and enchanting and wonderful and terrifying and challenging is what
the whole "be a traveler, not a tourist" meme is all about.

That was China. I spent less than a day in Shanghai, ten days in and around Beijing, and everything else was in places that many travelers - no, tourists - would never see. Hard, bustling, non-nonsense, sensory-overload places like Shekou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Dongguan; ordered, mostly-organised, planned cities like Chengdu; ancient, twisted Chongqing; gorgeous Suzhou (often called the Venice of the East on account of all the canals and arched bridges. And it was surprising, and revealing, and made me a little more aware of my place in the world.

Then Japan. Wow. Japan. What a place. And again, surprising. For me, the highlight of Japan was visiting Hiroshima, with its "stuff you, we're back" attitude and palpable optimism underpinned by a grim determination to ensure that their past is never visited on anyone else.

At some time I'll put together a more thought-out recollection of all of this, but for now, I want to reflect on something else: how does a family man reconcile traveling for work? And I don't really mean the kind of traveling I've just done, but the bread-and-butter fortnight in Brisbane/Melbourne/Adelaide/Albury/Dubbo/Collinsville kind of work.

It's easy to justify on one level. I have to provide for my family, my royalties aren't adequate, and there simply isn't enough work in my home town. And to not work in schools would be to go back to a job that I hated, and thereby make my family miserable.

Similarly, I can remind myself that the best writers are those who see more of the world than their own study. Of course. It's a no-brainer.

And yet coming home to feel like you're a stranger in your own home can be weird, and source of friction. Billy Connolly says that when he's been on tour, his wife sometimes has to remind him not to get into the back seat of the car. I sort of know what that's like. While I'm feeling sorry for myself as I slowly digest an RSL roast in a motel room in the middle of nowhere, my wife is helping with homework, making dinner, putting on the washing, making lunches...

Recently I had lunch with the wife of a writer friend, and I was saying how fortunate I feel, living the writer dream that I've always had. She began to cry, and asked me how lucky my family felt about my realised dreams. She talked about her husband going away for weeks, and coming home, and getting back into work, and meanwhile she' was left feeling somewhat forgotten.

So I want to say, to my family and to the significant others in the lives of my friends who travel for work, that with the exception of trips to places like China and Japan, it's not glamorous traveling for work. But we also know that it's even less glamorous for you, as you prop up your end while we ring for new towels.

(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The first chapter of Anonymity Jones

This is the first chapter of my new book, Anonymity Jones, available from Monday 1st March (Woolshed Press). If you like it, please go and buy the whole thing. Even if you don't like it, one of your close friends or relatives might. And failing that, buy a copy for you Welsh cousin whom you never, ever see, but still buy birthday presents for.

ONCE, IN A STREET not very far from yours, there lived a girl called Anonymity Jones. She lived with her mother – who had over the years changed her name from Corinne Randall to Corinne Jones, then back to Corinne Randall – and with a man called John, who behaved as if he was Anonymity’s stepfather but wasn’t in fact her stepfather at all, since he wasn’t really married to her mother.

Anonymity’s older sister went by the name Raven even though she’d been called Megan when she was first born, and some of the way into high school. Raven loved dark, brooding, frightening things, and didn’t live with her family any more. She’d finished school and was hoping to become a writer but hadn’t yet worked out what she was going to write about. So instead she’d gone travelling to see the world, even though Europe is only a small part of the world, and she was seeing only small parts of Europe.

Anonymity’s father, Richard, had once been very much in love with Corinne. They’d met at the accounting firm where she was a receptionist and he was her boss.

At that time he’d had a wife, Virginia, with whom he was no longer in love. Virginia knew about the receptionist from Richard’s work, and would pretend not to notice when, in conversations about things that happened at the office, he would mention Corinne’s name, before hesitating.
Virginia had also pretended to be surprised when she learnt by accident that the five-day conference Richard and Corinne had flown to lasted only two days and that the rest of the time they weren’t listening to long presentations about tax law, and how to run a private accounting firm, but were in fact ordering meals up to their eighteenth-storey hotel room, which had a balcony overlooking other hotels built beside a beach.

Anonymity didn’t know that this was how her parents had met until Corinne used it against her father. This wasn’t because her mother was an especially unkind person, but because she was doing what cats do when they are cornered, which is to spit and hiss and scratch until whatever has cornered them either runs away or has been stripped to ribbons. And since Corinne was a Leo, this might have made sense to anyone who believes in such things.

Anonymity heard Corinne use this information against her father when he accidentally let slip that the conference in Hong Kong wasn’t in fact a conference at all but a two-week holiday with a sales rep who had visited him in his office and left behind several notepads, two pens, a lava-lamp paperweight with the name of a software company on it, and a piece of her underwear.

It was this very lava-lamp paperweight which Corinne Randall, who was still Corinne Jones at the time, had thrown at Anonymity’s father. The sound of the paperweight crashing into something on the other side of her bedroom wall had made Anonymity jump in her bed. She’d been almost asleep, but after the terrible thump and the sound of raised voices in the next room she grew concerned. Her parents had been known to fight from time to time, just as all parents do. But, until now, nothing had been thrown, ever.

‘You must really think I’m some kind of bloody idiot,’ shouted Corinne, who very rarely swore. ‘And maybe I am. Maybe I should have seen this coming.’

‘Why would you say such a thing?’ Richard shouted back.

‘Because you cheated on your first wife, with me! Do you remember?’

‘Look, Corinne ––’

‘Why would you do this to me? Are you trying to punish me for something?’

‘Don’t be ridiculous.’

‘Are you looking for a way out? Because if it’s too hard, with what we’ve got to deal with around here, I’d understand. I would. But can’t we talk about that without introducing a third party? Christ! Again, Richard?’

The argument didn’t last very much longer. For a while, all Anonymity could hear from her room was the sound of their voices, but indistinctly. Then, just when she was beginning to think that perhaps the argument had been nothing more than a rehearsal for another, larger argument to be staged at some point in the future, she heard her mother screaming, downstairs.

‘Get out! Get out! Get out!’ Over and over she screamed it. ‘Get out! Get out! Get! Out!’

By the time Anonymity had come downstairs, her father had gone. Surprisingly, he hadn’t slammed the front door, and Anonymity stood at the bottom of the stairs and frowned at the back of the door.

Corinne was in the kitchen, leaning against the bench with her head pressed against the overhead crockery cupboard.

‘Mum?’ Anonymity said.

Then she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was Raven, who was still living there at that time because she was two weeks from sitting her final school exams.

‘Hey, sis, leave it and come back up to bed,’ Raven said. ‘Just leave it.’

‘But Dad’s gone,’ Anonymity replied, and as she said it she heard the sound of his car roaring away.

‘I know. But there’s nothing you can do now. Come back to bed. Where’s Sam? Has he headed for the hills?’

‘Yeah, he ran out the back, I think. He couldn’t stand the shouting.’

‘Poor thing. He probably won’t come back in for ages now. I’ll go and get him in a minute. But go back up to bed, sis. There’s nothing we can do about Dad right now.’

As she went past her parents’ room, Anonymity looked in there and saw the lava-lamp paperweight lying on the floor at the foot of the bed. It wasn’t broken, because the paperweights that sales reps leave in offices are not usually made of glass, but of a heavy, unbreakable plastic that can easily smash a hole in the door of a walk-in wardrobe.

(c) James Roy, 2010

(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Oh, to be the son of an oceanographer...

I'm currently trying to sell a car. It's a Holden Commodore wagon, 8 seats, towbar, aircon, all that jazz. It's been well-loved, done quite a few miles, but at $5000 negotiable, it will suit a growing family very nicely.

So. I put it in the classifieds of the local paper. Got a nibble, which might yet turn into a sale. If so, it'll be $18 well spent for the classified ad.

I also put it on an internet car sales site, run by a large Australian newspaper company. In the last nine days since the ad went live, I've had nine enquiries. And they all go something like this:

I am an oceanographer/petroleum engineer/geologist/naval officer, and I'm currently at sea/in Cape Town/out of the country. I would like to offer you $5,300 for your car, which will be a gift for my son/father-in-law/brother/cousin. Unfortunately, I can only pay with Paypal, so if you give me your Paypal email, I'll deposit the money, and then, when you have the money, my agent will come and pick up the car.

How can that possibly be a scam? They put the money in, you take it out, they sign the paperwork and take the car, and it's all sorted, leaving me with something like $500 more than I expected to get for it. So it's their fault if they want to buy a car sight unseen, and in a couple of cases, even arrange to ship it to the UK. Isn't it? How can I get hurt?

Here's how it works. They put the money into your Paypal account using a credit card. Then, when they've picked up the car and driven away, they go to their credit card company and dispute the sale. The credit card company then comes after the seller for the money. (I'm not sure how this bit works, but I'm assured that it does.) So the seller has to return the $5,300, but the car is gone, probably to a chop shop, or has been cannibalised for parts worth more than the car in its whole form, and is henceforth untraceable.

Two things perplex me about this. First, how barefaced these scammers are. One of the nine who contacted me made the original offer without telling me what his 'occupation' was. Wanting to have a bit of fun, I replied by saying that I wouldn't take Paypal, unless it was from someone reputable 'like a geologist, or and oceanographer who is out of town.' He came back ten minutes later with, 'Well yes, as it happens, I am an oceanographer, currently at sea.'

The second perplexing thing is this: if little old me, who is attempting his first ever car sale on the internet, is getting an average of an enquiry a day, there must be others getting the same kind of scammer interest. So if it's so rife, why hasn't the constabulary set up a sting, to nab the 'agent' when he comes to pick up the car? It wouldn't be hard to organise, would it? I'd offer to help in that regard, except I've little interest in pissing off an organised crime outfit.

So be wary. Be warned. Cash or bank cheque only. Or alternatively, leave the car in Evelyn Lane, Kings Cross with the keys in the ignition next Wednesday night. Damn, did I say that out loud?

(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at

Friday, January 29, 2010

I guess not...

Spotted in the foyer of a hospital. I guess they think everything is just fine the way it is.

(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Written by a Year 6 creative writing student:

My grandma makes the best homemade Bacon and Egg McMuffins...

(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at