Hockey Night Down Under! ebook

My #novel Hockey Night Down Under! is only available now as an #ebook, so if you want to download a copy to your ipad or whatever, find it on Amazon, Kobo Books, iBooks or Barnes & Noble.


Dear Mr. President …

Dear Mr. President Joko Widodo  … … we respect your commitment to reducing the drug problem within Indonesia. It is a serious issue for your country and deserves priority. However, we believe that Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have displayed contrition. They’ve already been in gaol for a long period of time. They made a BIG mistake. They were young and stupid. We believe that they are reformed and deserve to live. Please show mercy and let them live.

CD artwork for the track My Son (The Prison Song)

Artwork by Rylee for the track My Son (The Prison Song)

Van Morrison : Carrickfergus (Elegy for Vincent)

I love this writing, and Van’s rendition of Carrick Fergus.

The Immortal Jukebox

The Unfinished conversation:

‘There you are …… ‘

‘Grand, Grand ….’

‘Isn’t there a fine stretch in the evenings now’

Aye – there’s a fair dazzle of daffodils over the old road’

‘Did you hear that McCoy’s retiring! And didn’t he drive in a 14/1 winner, at the front every step of the way, at his last Cheltenham.’

‘Sure, many a time I’ve seen him near lift an animal over the line to get a winner’ – we will not see his like again.’

‘If you had to guess who, in their seventies, would record an album of songs associated with Frank Sinatra and pull it off who would you pick?’

‘Not Bob! But after the Christmas record who could ever be surprised again!’ We will not see his like again’

‘You’d hardly recognise the lad now – he’s up to my shoulder’

‘God bless him – isn’t it natural…

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Chernobyl – Fukushima … where to now?

When I wrote the song Children of Chornobyl in 2000, 14 years had passed since the world’s most infamous nuclear accident in Ukraine.

Why the Song?
The song was one of several I was writing at that time for a musical play I wanted to create about the impact of the disaster on the people who worked at the power station, lived nearby or were press-ganged as clean-up crews.
I felt the world had neatly put aside the radiation issues by readily accepting the idea that a sarcophagus to be built over the site would contain the radiation forever, and we could all live happily ever after.
Worse still, the effects of radiation on people had been played down by official reports; the estimate of potential sufferers and fatalities reduced; victims forgotten.
The news media had long lost interest, with its limited interest in environmental issues.

History repeats
Yet here we are, many years on, and what have we got? Chornobyl is still leaking radiation and another nuclear disaster has occurred at Fukushima in Japan.
As I write these notes (Sept 2013), the latest news from Japan is that radiation-contaminated water is flowing into the sea at a dangerous level, with the likelihood that there is no way of containing the increasing level of contamination, or the volume, of the water entering the sea.
Again, as with Chornobyl, reports on Fukushima are stating that the potential ill-effects from the radiation leaks and spills are minimal. Similarly, the estimate of deaths over time has been reduced to the number of fingers on both hands.

The Lesson not Learned
The Chornobyl meltdown happened in April,1986. Fukushima occurred 25 years later, in March, 2011.
What happened in between these two events to address the major issues associated with nuclear power – 1. The safe disposal of nuclear waste. 2. The construction of safe nuclear power stations?
I can’t tell you because I’m not an expert in anything. All I know is that nuclear disaster has happened again … and the aftermath is eternal.
As a citizen of the world, I remain deeply concerned about the use of nuclear power.
Some people argue nuclear is the ‘cleanest’ and ‘friendliest’ form of energy generation … but that’s only in comparison with coal-fired stations.
To live in Australia, with no nuclear power, is turning out to be a great blessing. We still need to tackle the issues associated with coal and we can do that. The state of South Australia, where I live, now generates about 30% of its electricity from wind energy. Solar panels are booming.
We can do even better if we get the political support. But the whole world needs to do better.

A Moody Future
I wish the Moody Blues had not produced an album titled To Our Children’s Children’s Children in 1969. That’s the title we need now to help ram home the message that wherever we live around the globe we are all affected by radiation contamination … as will be future generations. Radiation does not go away.
Radiation fallout from Chornobyl and Fukushima contaminated other countries ‘downwind’ at the time. These countries include the UK and parts of the West Coast of America.
Currently, scientists are arguing over whether the wild animals in the forests surrounding Chornobyl are mutating or thriving while living and breeding in the highly radiated ‘dead zone’. Incredible!
Tourists even turn up there to view the destroyed reactor. Irrational!
Japan is enduring widespread nuclear contamination of land, buildings, food sources and oceans. Unbelievable!
Ever heard of zeolite? Well, you might soon. The Japanese are using it to treat the radiated water pouring into the sea. Zeolite can, apparently, absorb and lock-in radiation. Let’s hope world supplies are massive!
Meanwhile, it’s worth pondering whether we will now have Children of Fukushima

There was a time, in living memory, when life was simpler

Gone Troppo’s latest release Picture On The Wall was inspired by a painting by Canadian artist Linda Kukulski. It’s a depiction of a bowl of lavendar flowers against a brilliant yellow background. It brought to mind a bygone era of a world that we’ve left behind, when people talked and took their time.  Check out Picture On The Wall on CDBaby.

Check out Gone Troppo’s latest tracks!

‘To Do It Again’ and ‘Make This Thing Fly’ are two of Gone Troppo’s new releases available on the CDBaby website. Find out all about them and other Gone Troppo tracks.