Fifth news item

"You've Got to Sleep With Your Mum and Dad" is now available on Amazon. Childhood angst, marathon swimming, international exploitation and the threat of impending pinniped intimacy. on 2014-08-13
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Fourth news item

Have a look at my page on Amazon. Still plenty of summer left for challenging literature. on 2014-08-13
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Third news item

Check out my Amazon Kindle page. 'The Baby Who Killed People for Money' is now available. An utterly charming child with a unique and lucrative skill. A father with no defence against his daughter's impulses. Would you take your little girl around Europe for a spot of murder tourism? Of course you would. on 2014-06-30
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Second news item

My story on the Tate gallery website on 2013-11-11
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First news item

A Thousand Natural Shocks An anthology that includes two of my stories. Available now at Amazon. on 2013-11-11
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Posted January 31, 2014
  Posted by in Uncategorized

This sounds like more fun than it was. I used to work in a girls’ school in England. There were a lot of charitable activities. In one of these, someone had the wonderful idea of bringing in someone to wax some of the teachers for charity. I think I volunteered to get my legs waxed but the comically hairy nature of my back was revealed by some of my ‘friends’ with whom I went swimming. Hence, one lunch time, there I was on the stage in the main hall, lying on what looked like a surgical bench, with an efficient woman tearing clumps of hair from my back. Not such a bad idea, I thought.

At this stage, a colleague thought we might be able to make a bit more money if students paid a pound for the privilege of tearing one of the strips off. Then followed an unending stream of girls queuing for the unique sensation of ripping hair off a male teacher and seeing him in pain. Things became worse when we ran out of back hair and shifted to the chest. I could probably have called a halt at this stage but the general air of excitement and continued calls of ‘We’re making so much money’ meant that the uproar would have been considerable.

The chest waxing really hurt. Each waxing strip looked like a dead squirrel when it came off and left a field of pinpricks on my chest. There was quite a bit of blood. The girls were fascinated. The look of schadenfreude when some of them ripped another patch of skin off me was frightening. The whole horrible thing was only halted by the bell at the end of lunch time. The waxing woman decided to end with a flourish and wax all of my chest except for a little hairy heart right in the centre. My wife did not find this in any way funny or stylish or romantic.

The Heart of Hair, complemented by a similarly Valentinic pastry

The Heart of Hair, complemented by a similarly Valentinic pastry

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Posted November 11, 2013
  Posted by in Uncategorized

I’m thinking of producing a classification of Australian Lizards based on their bites…

Shingleback, Sleepy Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) – huge mouth but surprisingly painless, lets go immediately

Common Bluetongue (Tiliqua scincoides) – Big mouth, more painful than Sleepy, hangs on longer.

Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueuri) – real pain here, it clamps on like a jagged nutcracker and adjusts its grip occasionally, mashing a finger fairly convincingly. These could swim to the bottom of a swimming pool and stay there for three hours.

Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) – a bit of a sweetie, this one. I think these only bit me when they were eager for whatever food I was giving them.

Common Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata) – more likely to bite and bite harder than the central beardies. Still not too bad.

Golden Water Skink (Eulamprus quoyii)A beast. A small skink, looks fairly harmless until it latches onto your hand and doesn’t let go. A black fingernail at the very least. Several species of striped skink also bit me but I could never work out an identification to species level. They were innocuous compared to the Golden Water Skink.

Cunningham’s Skink (Egernia cunninghami) – Painful. Another one that grabs and doesn’t let go except to adjust its grip when it senses that you’ve lost a bit of attention.

Frilled Lizard (Chalamydosaurus kingii) – Afer all that energy expended on the threat display, the frilled lizard desn’t seem to have much left for the bite. A quick nip at most. Can draw blood but its heart’s not in it.

Long-nosed water dragon (Physignathus longirostris) – An amazing beast. We called them bicycle lizards as they ran on two legs. I don’t know whether they can do the basilisk trick on water. Sharp, painful bite that they inflicted quickly, then tried to run away.

Stoke’s (Gidgee) Skink (Egernia stokesii) – similar in appearance to the Cunningham’s Skink but nowhere near as virulent in the bite department. Gidgees didn’t seem to have that killer instinct of hanging on and on.

Gould’s (Sand) Goanna (Varanus gouldii) – Surprisingly non-injurious considering the size of the beast. Draws blood but then calls it quits. My brother was bitten by a Perentie (Varanus giganteus), which pierced an artery and sent spurts of blood the length of an EK Holden.  He needed several stitches.

Pygmy Ridgetailed Monitor (Varanus acanthurus brachyurus) – needs a very good excuse to bite someone. It’s small and inoffensive. I think bites were mistakes, when I had been preparing mince mixed with egg and the poor thing couldn’t tell the difference between my hand and its food.



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