Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I’ve just finished an enjoyable and very quick stopover in Malaysia where I worked a day at the Australian International School in KL. The students were wonderful and very responsive and after five shows in a day, I slept most of the overnight flight to Paris to wake to a perfect spring day and thousands of french people chain-smoking outside government buildings; young women in high heels fondling obscenely large cheeses in fromagaries; old ladies walking ugly pug dogs down cobblestone lanes; tourist lines snaking around the corner at Notre Dame; and not one French person being rude or unfriendly. If you try and speak their language and make a complete fool of yourself, then without doubt the French will respond with courtesy and passable english. Today’s example was arriving to our hotel at 8.30 in the morning and trying to explain in childish french jibberish that we’d like to leave our baggage here until we’re allowed to check in at the appropriate time. The desk clerk smiled and offered us the keys to an available room. Try doing that at an Australian motel early in the morning.
Fact I didn’t know: Number One
The owners of the huge palm oil plantations in Malaysia release deadly cobras to protect their precious fruit from rats. When it comes time to harvest the crop, the workers wear big boots and long pants and watch where they walk. It’s illegal to kill a cobra. Not sure if it’s equally illegal to be killed by one.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I've just received in the letterbox, two reprint copies of the my first verse-novel "love, ghosts and nose hair" from UQP, who, being a friendly publisher, always send me copies of every new reprint. I open the book and see that this is the ninth reprint since the original was released in 1996. I'm very pleased and proud. It makes "nose hair" my second-best seller behind "the simple gift" which this year went into it's eleventh reprint.