Cherry on the top

My work meeting finished at 4pm. I still had minutes to type but was also due to meet a friend for dinner and the theatre at 6:30pm on the other side of The Bridge.

Anybody who lives in Sydney knows that trying to get across the Sydney Harbour Bridge by car into the city from 5pm onwards gobbles time. So I made the journey at 4 and typed the minutes here. A lovely way to end the work day.


I’ve had the good fortune to travel to Shanghai twice in the last 6 months for work. On my most recent trip there, I was lucky enough to be shown around by wonderful hosts, and so I got to see the some of the incredible architecture in the Pudong area for the first time.


This is the interior of the Shanghai Grand Hyatt hotel from the top floor, a view not for the fainthearted.



I’m in a city of 14.50 million

(give or take a few, including me)

souls. I know no-one

here. I’m a nano-human, a speck

in the smog. I make myself big

riding the subways with no-one

with light-coloured hair. No-one notices

the gweilo; the ghost-person, I think,

until I step into the deluge at Shanghai

Library, and a dark-haired

girl steps in time beside me,  her umbrella

banishing the rain, her words, my ghostliness

“Where are you going?

Can I take you there?”






About 19 years ago, I spent two months working in Vancouver during the Summer but never got to Vancouver Island. However, in mid-November, I was fortunate enough to return to Vancouver  for work, and my brother said I absolutely must try and get to Vancouver Island and see the Butchart Gardens and Victoria. So on a gloomy, grey Fall day absolutely deluged with rain, I made the 90-minute ferry trip to the island, and, although I ran out of time to see Victoria, I managed to spend a wonderful few hours in the Butchart Gardens, an extraordinary place of beauty.


Butchart Gardens



Back from Behind

I like to do things backwards, don’t ask me why.

When I read a print newspaper (yes, some of us still do), I often start at the back page and work my way forward. Same with magazines. I can’t help it. (Although, I haven’t yet acquired that peculiar habit of reading the end of a book first. Horrors!).

Anyhow, I don’t like the thought of taking a blog break without announcing it upfront, but, somehow, my unintended break got away with me. So I should have told you that I was taking a blog break. But I didn’t. So now you know.

I’m back from behind.

As if you’ve noticed.


Style Guides Stole My Brain

I was certain
of semi versus colon
phrase versus clause
en versus em
stop versus pause

but now
Defence does it this way, Academia, that
and for each I must wear a uniquely styled hat
Tech sector, plain English; Marketing, spin
little wonder my head’s in the shape it’s in
and I spend my days completely confounded
debating if words should be merged or compounded
and whether it’s ‘a ton’ or ‘1 ton’ or ‘one tonne’

(get that one wrong and your career’s good as done)
if I can dash with impunity or must double-dot
and when I must…
..and when I must not
and the comma, the commaoh, don’t get me started!
it once knew its place; now it’s upped and departed
my participally dangling brain in revolt

Oxford, Strunk and Chicago,
it’s your @:^#;$\,&*! fault


Thanks to The Laughing Housewife for her CoWA this week which cheered me up immensely after a rather gruelling morning at the dentist 😀

Desk Daydreams (inspired by the 4minutewriter)

Reduce waste, improve service levels

I’m sailing down the Mekong

implement LEAN techniques

lilt of Mandarin in my ears

reduce bottlenecks, manage cash flows

building schools in Vietnam

forecast seasonality peaks

to the sound of children’s cheers

filming critters in the Galapagos

giant tortoise and marine iguana

orangutans in Borneo

and Amazonian flora and fauna

dining in the Shanghai Bund

cycling through rural China

catching Tokyo no kabuki-za

and jazz in a New York diner

capturing Northern winter snows

ancient men in Parisian alleys

icebergs in Antarctica

vineyards in Chilean valleys


camping out on English moors


for some creative brooding


writing that novel in my head

but right now work’s intruding!

Read the 4minutewriter here

A day at the office

Under the fluorescent lights,
she takes him
through the details of the report,
but he is undone
by her scent
and thinks, instead,
of them as one, his lips
on hers, silencing
the banality of profit peaks and dips;
of her sensible shoes carelessly
discarded in a tell-tale trail;
of liberating her
chastised fireball hair
into a cascading
mess across his chest;
of her  scent, illicit, on his thighs…
“Do you have any questions?”
He sighs ,
“Sorry, can you repeat that. I was distracted by the cost blowout in the 3rd quarter.”

Under the flourescent lights,
his devil-dark eyes
intoxicate her, the arousing effects
of his easy smile
and casual wearing of perfect clothes,
undiminished In the rude glare,
but, she knows
dreams of them are hopeless; he barely
notices her when they meet;
he isn’t even listening now as she speaks:
“Do you have any questions?”