Wednesday, January 9, 2013



Here's a case of derring-do;
A plucky little creature who
Is just about to cross the gap
And snatch the cheese from out the trap.
His helmet may give some defence
But still he's looking rather tense.
It seems he simply can't resist
A morsel that should not be missed.
Why 'derring-do', a curious phrase,
Left over from more ancient days?
It started out as 'dorring don',
A phrase that has completely gone.
Chaucer used it way back when,
Describing knights as courageous men.
'Daring to do' was what was meant
And changes came by accident.
Edmund Spenser wrote 'derrynge do'
And, after that, changes were few.
Sir Walter Scott used the modern form
And his novels took the world by storm.
Today the word is rarely used
But I thought my readers might be amused
To see this little mouse, so bold,
Likened to the knights of old!
From my favourite local cartoonist.


I write in defence of Australia, which, you may think, is like hell!
Peter Lewis captured the situation very well.
Now there's no doubt Global Warming will have great impact here.
But there's a certain aspect that I must make very clear.......
Australia's NOT on fire all over and end to end;
And bush-fires, though they're in the news, are not a recent trend.
Bush-fires have ravaged Australia since the start of time
(Though some, and this is dreadful, result from arsonist crime.)
Most fires occur in places far, far from the public eye;
They burn and burn for days and days and eventually, they die.
It's rather like the earthquakes which occur with frequency
But in the remotest areas, with no-one to hear or see. 
The country is so enormous........ we're huddled round the rim.....
That millions of us don't see fire, though TV scenes look grim.
We pity the poor graziers who lose so many cattle,
But farming in Australia has always been a battle.
And we're sorry for the people who live among the trees,
Who live in fear whenever fire is carried on the breeze.
(Though, to be fair, it is their choice to live among the gums;
They know it's always risky when a blazing bush fire comes.)
But ninety percent (my dodgy maths!) are, plain and simply, HOT!
And there's absolutely no chance that the fire will reach their spot.
Another cartoon of Peter's sums it all up very well.......
Life is uncomfortable just now, but it's not a living hell!

From today's Herald


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