For sale: haunted bed!

November 23, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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One owner.


Used to considerable effect in cult 70s child-abuse series.

May trigger sweats, night terrors and near-fatal apnoea.

Forced sale; moving to new life.

Will swap for Datsun 1000 ute or late-model Kreepy Krauly.

Make an offer!

(Pick-up only.)



To keep me in coffee, you may wish to

Whatever the sum, I’ll toast your health.


Waters of love

January 5, 2017 at 6:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Psyche Ward’s hot water is on the fritz.

And Fritz must send away for a part.

I’m offered a shower in the Mother and Baby Ward.

On reflection, I can’t estimate the likely net hygiene outcome of such a sortie.

I’m tempted to ask if the kerosene baths still work.

But these seem like nice people,

so I spray some cologne instead.

I immediately rue my choice,

as it’s called

Allure Homme Sport

Eau Extrême.

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Your smallest kindness will keep me going strong. With many thanks, Paul.

Head case

January 4, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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The psyche nurse knocks at 7.30 am.

‘Come in’ I say.

She introduces herself

and explains that she’s doing a headcount.

I say it’s nice to meet her.

And that I have


She smiles faintly

but not in a ha-ha way.

Then she withdraws,

quietly closing the door.

And yet,

under the circumstances,

I feel

pretty damn


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Your small act of kindness will keep me going strong. With many thanks, Paul.


December 20, 2016 at 9:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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It was with a small measure of rare pride that I entered the psychiatrist’s room.

Not nearly enough to brim over, but sufficient to coat the floor of a 250 ml lab flask if you swirled it.

It felt so different to have something positive to report.

For once.

Two things, in fact.

The first was that my wife and I had downsized to one car.

Apart from cutting costs, I felt this was better for the environment.

I also felt that with my wife needing the car to commute, I’d be forced to walk and cycle much more often.

My old bike had been chained to the house for years – gathering dust, rust and spiders.

I was going to get it fixed, then decided to do something unprecedented.

I bought a new bike, with a rechargeable battery, to help me over the hills that dotted my usual journeys.

The purchase was a success.

I began riding around town at an average speed of 24.1 km/h, with a record downhill sprint of 52.8 km/h.

The website had promised this bike would make me smile.

And you know what? It actually did.

So I considered this sequence of events my second ‘good thing’.

I proudly told the psychiatrist that I’d overcome decades of self-hate to buy myself a gift.

In so doing, I’d also trounced 4000 tonnes of inertia to get my fat, sclerotic body outside and moving again.

The psychiatrist quizzed me about the bike’s battery assistance (which is modest, optional and variable).

I happily filled him in.

Then he said:

‘Why didn’t you get fit and buy a real bike?’

I found this


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 Just a buck or two will keep me going strong. 🙂

My day at the Royal Commission – Part 2

March 2, 2016 at 11:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Into the light.

Into the light.

Read Part 1.

A female usher, as immaculately groomed as the young man with whom I’d been laboriously chatting, politely asked if I was ready.

I felt pretty jolly far from ready, but it seemed a waste of a trip not to go ahead.

She guided me down a corridor and I got the sense that the whole hotel floor had been booked out for this exercise.

I saw no guests, but imagined tense victims and grim revelations behind the various doors.

We at last came to ‘my’ door.

The usher bade me to enter, which I nervously did.

The entrance opened into a room dominated by a round table.

Rising from this table was one of the commissioners.

I was very surprised by this, as there are only five commissioners (plus the Chair).

I had expected my evidence to be taken by some underling – not one of the ‘head honchos’.

My Commissioner stood and offered her hand in welcome. As she did, her silhouette was perfectly framed by the morning sun streaming through the window.

It looked like a remastered version of Patrick Swayze heading to heaven at the end of the movie Ghost.

If felt like I was meeting a broker of power, a shepherd of truth and a wielder of the sword of justice.

I said as much, and the Commissioner seemed to find it amusing.

I said I figured she’d be glad of a giggle, given the hundreds of hideous stories she must have already heard.

She confirmed that the road had indeed been long, but that every person who came forward had a right to be heard.

I asked if the Commission’s funding would permit it to run for as long as it took. As this was up to the government, however, she wasn’t sure.

Next to the Commissioner was a young man with an array of small yet expensive-looking audio equipment.

When asked if I’d be prepared to have my testimony recorded, I readily agreed.

To be continued.

Pic by the Commission.

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Your smallest kindness will keep me going strong. With many thanks, Paul.

My day at the Royal Commission – Part 1

February 22, 2016 at 9:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Weighing my words.

Weighing my words.

I chose to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.

A nice lady advised me to attend a certain inner-city hotel on a Monday morning.

Nervous, and not overly trusting of public transport, I arrived 45 minutes early.

I walked around the empty Queen Victoria Market – which is always good for a bit of old architectural detail.

Time dragged, so I picked it up and carried it into the hotel foyer.

The desk staff seemed to know what to expect, as they quickly ascertained I wasn’t a new or returning guest.

On divining my purpose, they directed me to a dimly lit waiting area, populated by small tables and high-backed couches and chairs.

In scanning this space for threats, I was impressed by its suitability for damaged denizens.

For distributed around the room, with seemingly mathematical precision, were islands of human wariness.

Eyes down, yet peripherally alert. Folded into themselves and away from all others. Tensed with the burden of their stories – perhaps about to be told for the first time.

I found my spot in the series and assumed a kindred attitude. A large window showed ‘normal’ people heading to work and going about their lives. I watched and waited long enough to slide into a light reverie.

This was abruptly shattered when a male voice barked ‘MR HASSING?’ from directly behind my chair.

I sprang up startled and was sufficiently discombobulated to garner an immediate apology from the young man whose task it was to usher me upstairs.

I apologised for my reaction and wondered with concern how his angle of ingress had escaped my inventory. Then again, the best spot had been taken before I arrived.

In the lift, the man promised to modulate his approach to future witnesses. I assured him they’d be mighty grateful if he did.

He led me to a suite that had been converted to a waiting room. On a table was a panoply of sweet and savoury treats – none of which elicited the faintest desire.

Also present, a full range of beverages – excluding the alcohol for which I was fast feeling the need.

Expecting to be left alone in this place until summoned, I was disconcerted when the man sat across from me. I realised this was designed to comfort me before my session, but it had quite the opposite effect.

When I found that his previous job had been in advertising, I felt even less assured. But he was a very nice chap, and the time eventually ground through its course.

Then came a discreet knock at the door …

Read Part 2.

Pic by the Commission.

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Even a buck or three will keep me in the hunt. With many thanks, Paul.

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