Stuff me: Mind your language

I have been swearing a bit lately, particularly in my written work. I suppose I should stop. There was a time when I wouldn't have uttered anything like a swear word — in fact, when I emigrated to Australia at the age of 15, the Aussie schoolboys (who used the word ‘fark’ even when asking the … Continue reading Stuff me: Mind your language

Darth Vader and the problem of evil: The worst sermon ever preached

Some moments are so embarrassing, so cringeworthy, so regrettable, they deserve to be canonised. If it's true that we learn from our mistakes, it's probably also true that our mistakes can teach others. And if not, well ... maybe they'll just give them a bloody good laugh. The worst sermon ever preached in the entire … Continue reading Darth Vader and the problem of evil: The worst sermon ever preached

A Queen story: You buggers can sing harder than I can

Bohemian Rhapsody was the first song I remember being aware of as a kid. I have a clear memory of us kids singing it in the schoolyard and making up lyrics because, clearly, no one knew what the actual words were. Those memories are filed alongside other powerful ones from the time: the smell of … Continue reading A Queen story: You buggers can sing harder than I can

Sam Hunt: Telling the story, telling it true, charming it crazy

In February, 2013 I had the best day of my journalistic career. I travelled with my publishing and editorial assistants, Gabriela Guedes and Meg Williams, to the Kaipara farm of famed Kiwi poet Sam Hunt. It was an unforgettable day, during which Sam verbally abused a woman over lunch because she was speaking too loudly … Continue reading Sam Hunt: Telling the story, telling it true, charming it crazy

The Idiot Revisited: The Tale of the Maison Trudon

I am terrible at buying birthday presents. I don’t know why, I just am. Especially for my wife. I just seem to get it wrong, year after year. So birthday shopping for me is a source of extreme anxiety. Blurred vision. Tingling fingertips. Shortness of breath. Diazepam. The whole lot. Some people feel this way … Continue reading The Idiot Revisited: The Tale of the Maison Trudon