I am an octogenarian who has enjoyed two interesting and reasonably successful careers. My first career was as a translator in military intelligence, a career I would loved to have continued in except for the fact that it didn’t pay well. Then one day I switched from Indonesian to Fortran, a computer language and that led me into my second career in the Information Technology industry.

I like to think that I am a bit of a wordsmith, comes from being a translator. I have written my own autobiography primarily for my children and their children who knew nothing of my time growing up in the UK. I also like writing short stories.

As well as that, I enjoy writing letters to The Age newspaper and have had some success.

Getting old has its downsides but it also has its plusses such as experience and hindsight. I hope anyone stumbling across this blog will find some enjoyment in my literary ramblings.

Feel free to comment or add your own thoughts but please be sensible and thoughtful.  Rude comments will not be accepted.  I realise that many people won’t agree with my thoughts and I accept that.  The best ideas come from good debate over opposing views.

Short Stories

  • The Silent Generation - I was born in England in 1941, one of the Silent Generation that preceded the Baby Boomers. Our generation has been subjected to phenomenal change and it hasn’t always been easy to accept and adapt to it.  Life as we know it will continue to change but surely at a slower pace than the last […]


  • Panic stations - As young parents, my wife and I were committed Catholics, we attended Mass every Sunday, we baptised our children and sent them to Catholic Schools. I am no longer a practicing Catholic but consider myself a man with Christian ideals. With these beliefs, I can’t accept how we can keep refugees locked up in undesirable […]
  • Coping with tragedy is hard - If I were the father of one of the children who died in the Devonport tragedy, I’m not sure how I would cope with all the media attention I would be getting. I personally would want to grieve privately and personally with my family and friends but I wouldn’t be allowed to. Reporters and cameras […]
  • We deserve better then this - Australia’s reputation in the world has worsened these last few years and it all comes down to leadership. Where are today’s equivalents of John Curtin, Bob Hawke, Alfred Deakin, Ben Chifley and Robert Menzies? We have a Prime Minister with a professed belief in God who keeps refugees locked up, refuses to release reports and […]
  • Do we need career politicians - Politics is regarded as a career and a very lucrative one at that. But I do remember the time when potential politicians didn’t see that as a career change. They had a career that they expected to go back to one day and that attracted a different type of candidate than it does today. There […]
  • A more equitable form of government - I am a swinging voter but vote Labor more often than I vote Liberal but I do believe that equitable government for all Australians can only be achieved if government is shared between the two major parties. I wouldn’t want to see either of the two major parties to be in government for a long […]
  • Nuclear submarines - The American Hawks in the Pentagon must be very happy.  When Donald Trump was uncharacteristically feting Scott Morrison, my immediate concern was – what is he after from Australia?  I can’t help but feel that Joe Biden has concluded what Trump started.  The Pentagon Hawks want a presence in the South China Seas but want […]
  • Credit where it’s due - I can’t help feeling that we are under-estimating and undermining the common sense and resilience of today’s children.  If they keep hearing that they are struggling mentally, then they will but if we keep telling them that they are a resilient lot and will cope, then they will.  Once again, we are feeding negative attitudes […]
  • The ABC - I fully understand why certain people in the Federal Liberal Coalition believe that the ABC is anti-government and should be privatised.   One of the duties that many people see as the responsibility of the ABC, and indeed of the quality newspapers such as The Age that are not controlled by self-centred media barons and shareholders, […]
  • The Lockdown hokey pokey - Now its Lockdown in Now its Lockdown out Now its Lockdown in And we shake it all about You do the Lockdown pokey And you turn yourself around That’s  what it’s all about Oh, the Lockdown pokey Oh, the Lockdown pokey Oh, the Lockdown pokey That’s what it’s all about
  • Freedoms & Rights - Everyone has the right to have a voice, or do they?  I used to have a Twitter account and was having a harmless discussion with a stranger, but unknown to me she had forwarded what I considered a harmless tweet to another person who then tweeted me saying: “what’s your problem – get a life […]
  • National Cabinet - When Covid first reared its ugly head and the Prime Minister established the national cabinet, many thought that was exactly the right thing to do and it immediately gave us hope.  Scott Morrison and Dan Andrews were suddenly good friends.  But it didn’t last long before selfish political ambitions took over destroying the harmony that […]
  • Pity the children - I wonder how much thought went into the latest federal government ad campaign to encourage us to vaccinate.  Many  young children have already suffered enough stress so far during this pandemic and images of a lady struggling to breathe are only going to further affect their mental well-being.  And I am certain that there are […]
  • Simples - “What’s in a name” asks Jeremy Browne (The Age 13/7).  I totally agree.  Life would be so much easier if we all had ID cards.  We can’t use the driver’s licence because not everyone drives but why not consider possibly scrapping the driver’s licence and issuing a form of ID card to everybody – say […]
  • Penalty shootouts - I feel so sorry for Saka, the teenager who missed the crucial penalty in the European Championship shootout.  He will never forget and many English people will never let him forget.  He will be booed and jeered in public and it will affect his mental health.  Soccer is an International sport played by over 250 […]
  • Julia Banks - There are, of course, two sides to every story, and I have heard plenty from listening to and reading about Julia Banks (in The Age).  I haven’t heard anything of substance from “the other side”, only insignificant comments, typical throwaway lines we have come to expect from our politicians.  I would love to see a […]
  • The Limbo dance - Yes Judith Morrison (“A most galling rising”, The Age , 29/6), or is it a lowering?  Australian federal politics has lowered the bar yet again and even the best limbo dancer will struggle to slide under.  But imagine if Lucy Turnbull was the Prime Minister.  They say that behind every successful man is a smart […]
  • Australian roulette with apologies to Russian roulette - The success of our tackling the pandemic from day 1 was down to the State Premiers, all of them, while the Federal government played politics.  The vaccine rollout was the Federal government’s responsibility and they have failed  miserably.  Now Covid has raised its ugly head again and things look grim.  But very little is coming […]
  • Is advertising our new mental health villain? - There are many reasons why people suffer from mental health issues. As well as helping people cope with their issues, we need to look at the causes and see how they can be addressed.  In discussions I have had with numerous people including a doctor, one potential cause in the future, if not now, is […]
  • We get the government we deserve - Thomas Jefferson once said that the government you elect is the government you deserve.  I can accept that if we had a meaningful choice of candidates to choose from but we rarely do.  Looking back over the past 25 years, if asked who I would have voted for if asked to vote for who should […]
  • Biloela family - I can understand why the po-faced Peter Dutton would never change his stance on refugees but we have a Prime Minister who claims he is a Christian. He is seen being a ‘happy clapper’ at his Horizon Church and seems to believe that God actually listens to him. He even wanted his pastor to accompany […]
  • Privilege…….. - The ABC’s role is to present the news in as equitable a way as possible.  This isn’t always easy.  From time to time it has to hold the Federal and State governments to account.  This is their obligation to the public.  Whether the governments are Liberal or Labor is irrelevant.  The ABC mustn’t and shouldn’t […]
  • Privilege…….. - The ABC’s role is to present the news in as equitable a way as possible.  This isn’t always easy.  From time to time it has to hold the Federal and State governments to account.  This is their obligation to the public.  Whether the governments are Liberal or Labor is irrelevant.  The ABC mustn’t and shouldn’t […]
  • Loyalty….. - I have watched with considerable interest how the Federal and State governments have behaved during this pandemic and I feel that one of the casualties is loyalty.  It used to be the case whenever there was a clash between Federal and State governments, that senior politicians would remain faithful to their State and electorate.  But […]
  • At least our children care about us……. - Both my wife and I received phone calls this morning alerting us that Anglesea was a hotspot and that we mustn’t go out not even to buy a take-away coffee.  It’s strange that people in their 50s and 60s seem to think that their doddery parents don’t know how to look after themselves.  But fair […]
  • I couldn’t have done better - I concur with all the letter writers who are asking “have we learned nothing from the previous lockdowns?”.  We are battling a pandemic that has the potential to kill millions of people across the globe.  To date we have done a fantastic job despite the incessant carping from various people and organisations.  Of course there […]
  • Parliamentary Theatre - As a young man in the 1970s, I had aspirations to go into politics.  I wanted to do something that might make a difference.  My then wife was supportive but said she wouldn’t vote for me.  She was a committed Labor voter whereas I had Liberal leanings back then.  Many years later, looking back, I […]
  • Federal Responsibility - It seems to me that the focus in Canberra by both of the major parties is winning the next election.  Meanwhile a Victorian man completes his hotel quarantine in South Australia and returns to Victoria only to find he has caught the virus whilst in quarantine.  Once again we are now tackling yet another outbreak […]
  • Olympic Greed - IOC official John Coates says that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead. “The desire of the athletes is as high as ever. We want to give athletes the opportunity to compete.” I’m sure it is but how will the athletes feel should anyone die from Covid as a result of the Games going ahead?
  • China - China is increasingly being seen as a threat to Australia and it will remain a threat while we continue to antagonise them for the sake of political posturing.  While we continue to  misunderstand China, we will not resolve this situation.  We need to understand its history.  Around about 1900, the Chinese peasants rose up against […]
  • Democracy is dead - The American GOP Representative Elise Stefanik was so sceptical of Donald Trump’s inflammatory style and hard-right stance when he won the Presidential nomination in 2016, that she refused, even when pressed, to say his name.  But all of a sudden she is pro Trump and has been voted in to replace Liz Cheney who had […]
  • Going in the wrong direction - Our efforts at solving the major issues of today such as violence against women, aged care support to mention just two are doomed to fail.  I believe that the people tasked with running government are too inexperienced. Having just obtained my OBE, looking back over the last 50 years, I am truly amazed at how […]
  • How much are footballers really worth? - Wayne Carey thinks that the Carlton captain Patrick Cripps is worth at least $1million a year (The Age Sport 14/5).  No footballer, no matter how good he is, is worth that amount of money to train in the sport they love in order to play 22 games of football plus some finals games if they […]
  • Still too much testosterone methinks - One would have thought that with all the discussion about the treatment towards women in Canberra that the testosterone levels would be slowly reducing, but no, quite the opposite it seems.  The Prime Minister seems even more determined to upset China.  David versus Goliath.  Peter Dutton has come out of hibernation telling James Merlino that […]
  • The Evil One - Scott Morrison believes that social media is being used by the “evil one”.  I’m not quite sure what he means by the “evil one” but I presume he doesn’t mean the leader of the Labor Party. He also admits that he asked God for a sign during a difficult run on the 2019 election campaign […]
  • Waste - We are constantly being reminded to be less wasteful and to be ultra-conscious of what we dispose of and what we recycle. In last Saturday’s Age newspaper, there was a 50 page glossy DOMAIN magazine, a 40 page glossy Harvey Norman magazine, an 8 page travel glossy plus the regular travel section.  All went straight […]
  • It’s tax time - Every year the gap between the haves and the have-nots gets bigger.  The high earners are earning more money than they can sensibly spend and still they want more and they will get more.  One can only make a profit if one has something to invest.  The low end of the scale isn’t growing and […]
  • Vaccinations - Anglesea is a coastal-rural town.  We are blessed with excellent medical facilities and a well-run nursing home.  When the Medical Centre receives supplies of the vaccination, my doctor will contact me and give me my jab. The nursing home residents ought to be able to receive their Covid vaccinations from the local doctors, but they […]
  • Biloela family - It is three years now since the Biloela family were taken into detention and nineteen months since they were sent to Christmas Island.  How these two girls can still smile is truly amazing.  They must be very strong.  It breaks my heart to see this picture.
  • Political leadership - Unless one is a dyed in the wool, paid up Liberal voter, it is clear to anyone with a conscience that our leadership in Canberra is abysmal, and the same can be said for the other mob, especially among the male politicians.  If I were the chairman of a large corporate organisation looking for a […]
  • Overpaid University Vice Chancellors - In 2018 the former Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University earned $1,589,999 compared with $1,304,999 the previous year (1).  Clearly the current Vice-Chancellor will be earning a lot more than that.  It is no wonder that the Universities are desperate to bring the high paying overseas students back into the country.  The average salary for a High […]
  • Refugees - Like many writers to The Age, I too am horrified that we still have many refugees in deplorable  conditions in detention.  But I gave up writing about this a long time ago and I wonder why so many people bother to still write about it.  I’m sure neither Scott Morrison nor Peter Dutton read The […]
  • Barnaby Joyce - After a one hour Zoom Empathy training course run by Katherine Teh, Barnaby Joyce’s comments were that: “Empathy probably has a much stronger role to play in an organisation with a single purpose.  But by its very nature, Parliament has the objective that one side has to get rid of the other, and vice versa.  […]
  • Labor leadership - Bill Shorten lost the unlosable election and was replaced by Anthony Albanese who is most likely going to do the same thing as Bill.  With the current situation in Canberra regarding the treatment of women, blind Freddy will tell you that if Labor were to appoint Tanya Plibersek as leader and Penny Wong as deputy […]
  • Social media - With regard to the incessant and disgusting trolling of anyone on social media, the answer is patently obvious.  Don’t use it.  I only use Facebook to hear about local and family news and visit genealogy groups.  I don’t use any other form of social media and I don’t miss it.  I did have a Twitter […]
  • Lucky Scott - We have stumbled through the Covid-19 pandemic despite the absence of someone being in overall control.  The Federal government has mostly left the hard yards to the State Premiers who have all done a very successful job of it.  Yes – the Prime Minister did establish the National Cabinet and initially heaped a lot of […]
  • China - I hope the Morrison government takes heed of Philip Flood’s advice – “Call for ‘more nuance’ in China stance – The Age 1 Feb”.  As a former top diplomat he would understand better than most how to deal with countries like China and their differing cultures.  We need to stop being a US lapdog content […]
  • For some the chains grow heavier - A memory from 1 July 2000 – the day the GST was introduced in Australia. I resigned from IBMGS on 30 June 2000 – if I hadn’t, I would have had a fortnightly increase in my pay packet of around $140 – the tax compensation for the introduction of the GST.  That day I wrote […]
  • Arrogance - There is only one word to describe this photo – arrogance. Four men supposedly on their smart phones and another walking away with his back to the person speaking. Who just happens to be a woman. Is this un-Australian? That’s debatable.
  • Anyone can be a pollie - If I wanted to be a doctor, I would need very high marks in order to get into University, and then spend several years studying, and still have to pass in order to be qualified.  If I wanted to be a tradesman, I would probably have to do a TAFE course and an apprenticeship to […]
  • Disasters and Pandemics - There have always been disasters and if one believes in Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, these disasters will continue.  Disasters such as droughts, floods and bushfires, and also viral pandemics, will continue to happen and to increase in severity. I get sad […]