Wednesday, 22 August 2012


I'm taking a little break from writing posts for this blog.

Quite aside from a lack of topics to inspire a burst of writing, I still haven't managed to replace this rather unreliable laptop, and the precious few waking hours I have with the family on a typical weekday require my personal attendance.

I'll be back once the muse returns and clears away the excuses.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Average Australian Olympians

Being an Australian during the 2012 London Olympics is a very mixed experience.

We have a romanticised idea of sport as a central element of our national psyche, and the expectation that we will "punch above our weight" is ever present. This both drives and underpins an amazingly parochial television coverage, where the viewer is sped from one event to another, with barely time to place each athlete into context - and we're only ever focusing on the Australian athletes. You'll only see a medal presentation when there's an Australian on the dais. It makes annoying viewing.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Cruel and unusual punishment

Mrs G and I were of a mind when it came to naming our minions.

We didn't want to saddle them with a name they would end up hating, so their second names had to be "sensible", a back-up name by which they could choose to be known. Where possible, their names had to be capable of dignified shortening. Their initials could not be allowed to spell anything rude or even pronounceable.

Also, they needed two middle names, after we were told a story by a photographer we met, about the police knocking on his door one night with a warrant for the arrest of someone with his exact three part name and a birth-date in the same month who, nevertheless, was not him. We figured an extra middle name wouldn't be that hard to come up with, and should prevent any such thing happening to our children.

We now joke that, should we have a "surprise child", we're over being responsible. A female daughter will be named "Epiphany Persephone Stephanie Rhapsody Serendipity ..." and on we go inventing further middle names on the theme until we've made each other laugh enough. It's our own "Truly, Madly, Deeply" game. A male child will be named simply "Minion". But we're joking. We wouldn't actually do that.

It is from this perspective that I see the naming of many babies these days as cruel and unusual punishment.