Naming rites

January 29, 2013

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This story was published in The Big Issue in January 2013. A shorter version was broadcast on ABC 774 on 20 January 2017. IT IS the day before Australia Day 2012  and a man is asking me the name of this part of the country. The traditional name. It is six in the morning, on […]

Water talk

November 13, 2017

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We stood talking in the water. Waist deep. 6.30am. Saturday. I’d just managed 100 metres in the shallows without drowning. He was about to do an easy 1500. Probably more. I was heading into shore. He was heading into the deep. We stood talking in the water. Common humanity. He farewelled me with ‘See you […]

Posted in: Sea stories

Down the Garden Path (preview)

September 23, 2017

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The Big Issue has just published Down the Garden Path. Here’s how it starts: My neighbor pulls up as I’m standing in my front yard looking, again, at all the weeds, wondering where on earth to start. “What’s the plan?” he asks cheerily, closing his car door. “Oh, there’s no plan,” I say. “There’s never […]

Posted in: Life, The Big Issue

Tour de Failure

July 28, 2017

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Here’s the cycling story The Big Issue ran a few weeks back under the headline Tour de Flat. (#540 30 June to 13 Jul7 2017). Cheers. Flat tyres fill cyclist Vin Maskell with dread but he always gets back on his bike. Eventually. I was stranded by the roadside, about eight kilometres from home.  Flat […]

Posted in: The Big Issue

Stereo Story: Alexandra Leaving

July 23, 2017

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Here’s a new Stereo Story of mine. Based around the Leonard Cohen song Alexandra Leaving, it’s a tribute to my late sister-in-law, Jan, who died just over 12 months ago. Regards Vin. Alexandra Leaving Stereo Story

Posted in: Song stories

Tour de Failure (preview)

July 1, 2017

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Never thought I’d be in a magazine with Nicole Kidman on the cover. The latest edition of The Big Issue Australia features the Kidman story (written by Margaret Pomeranz), an interview with Ben Mendelsohn, a look at The Handmaid’s Tale – and a yarn about cycling and the existential perils of getting a flat tyre. […]

Posted in: Life, The Big Issue

A parcel for John Clarke

May 5, 2017

3

In the mid-1980s my friend Pat Hayes was letters editor at The Age. In May 1985, amongst the usual letters about politics and news and issues of the day, he started receiving letters about a curious sport known as farnarkeling. The letters were riffing on the imaginary sport created by satirist John Clarke. Open to […]

Posted in: Life