ON A CHESHIRE NATIVE DISCOVERING THE BUNYIP

My office is a mess. But one of the advantages of chaos is that it can spark. So having C.J. Dennis’ book of Aussie Argot poetry ‘The Sentimental Bloke’ [Sydney, Australia, 1919] rubbing shoulders with ‘Arthur Mees Cheshire’ [England 1950] among the disordered tangle of books, bills and newspapers, has ignited a peculiar connection that links the village of Marton, Cheshire to Bunyips.

The link is a convict named William Buckley who was born in Marton in 1780 and who died in Hobart, Tasmania in 1856.

BUILDING PERMANENT ESCAPES FROM POVERTY

The 2014 Human Development Report - Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.

According to income-based measures of poverty, 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day.

MYOPIC / ‘MY BACK YARD’ COMMENTS FROM LOCAL ECONOMISTS

A couple of weeks back I laid into NZIER’S Guru Shamubeel Eaqub for his short-sightedness, impracticality and partiality in warning NZ Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler that:

‘Raising rates is a huge mistake at a time inflation is incredibly low and you're only doing it because of the housing market in Auckland. It scares the hell out of me because the collateral damage rises with each increase.

THE BALLAD OF HACKING’EM FAIR

Ian Blair, Ian Blair, lend me your bay mare.

On the 7th May 1945, WW2 ended in Europe. On the 14th of June in the same year my grandfather died aged 66 in Westcott, Surrey. His wife Constance had died in April 1941 aged 55 and my father had been killed flying with the RAF on 14th October 1943. Harry had been a Stock Brokers Clerk in the London Stock Exchange and he retired to Westcott from South London.

Offending against

Thy Divine Majesty

By thought, word and deed

And the greatest of these is word.

Epaminondas is black

Oyzmandias lies least

And Parsimonius the priest.

I will spend forty days and forty nights

In the desert, stubbing my toes on rocks

And the lamb will lie down with the lion

And I will rail against the fig

And return to cry out in the market place.

LINE DRAWING BY SAMSON JOHNSON BODKIN [AGED 11]

EVIL CLOWNS

It seems that Coulrophobia [an aversion to clowns] is almost universal among children. I have never entirely got over mine.

And the case of John Wayne Gacy who murdered a minimum of 33 youths and young men in Chicago over the period 1972-1978, and who liked to parade as Pogo the Clown, only heightened my skin creeps.

NASTY, BRUTISH AND FRAUGHT?

As Jane Austen lay back on her pillow, flexed her tired writing pinkies, itched the welts left by her stays and snuggled down her nightie under the covers (clutching her well-thumbed copy of Don Juan) her thoughts flickered with the candle-light around the notion that:

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged by women that no man, be he as noble, selfless and sympathetic  as John Keats, will supplant a rival who is as mad, bad and dangerous to know as Lord Byron, exc
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