Thursday, 26 December 2013

Same Language, Three Versions.

Foe some time now I have felt that as one gets older the words I have used all my life seem to have a different meaning to different generation groups, all of whom seem to have their own versions and meaning of the same words.

Let us say that young people speak in Youngese,(YE) the middle aged, children, mortgage, debts, worries etc, speak in Midese (ME)  and the oldies speak in Oldese (OE). ..Try these samples.

YE:..Butterflies, flowers, nonsensical Japanese symbols, Scorpions, animals, names etc, everywhere. They last forever .
ME: Fun transfers that wash off in a day.
OE: Edinburgh.

YE: A cool machine that can do 0-60m in less than ten seconds.
ME: A latge vehicle to carry kids ,dogs, prams, cheap to run
OE: A byus pass

YE: A total must have electronic gadget, non posession of which means  living in total social die for.
ME: Something to wear at cricket or high impact sports.
OE: Something absorbent you place in your underwear.

TE: Something to drink before you go out to the pub,for a drink.
ME: Something to drink with a group of friends in the pub.
OE: A  foreign import, rubbish.

YE: As often as possible, anywhere with anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, or suitability.
ME: Once a week..  when allowed, unless you are playing away from home. As often as you can manage on your own.
OE: Whassat?

YE: A Chance to make a complete tit of yourself along with all of your girlfriends, might even get a sneaky legover behind the pub... definitely get to grope the male stripper, just to remind you of what you are passing up on. (for males just change the gender)
ME: When one hits your pub avoid the drunken harlots like the plague, unless there is the chance of a quick legover behind the pub.
OE:Nice in a plastic basket with chips.

YE: A grands worth of looking cool
ME: Cheapest from M&S
OE: The one I got married in might last until the cremation.


YE:Luvly Jubbly,
ME: Picking the kids up from swimming.
OE: "I would rather chew my foot off"

Are you getting the general idea..try it out at home.

RJ Dodd

The Magic of Maginty's Quest

"MAGIC"..a word that has caused fear,terror, enlightenment, delight and awareness for many centuries.
In the old world anyone connected, even remotely, with what was perceived at  that time to be "Magic" was also considered to be in league with "Auld Nick" himself.

Today of course we are much better informed and we all worship at the cinematic feats of those who wave magic wands, mix potions,mutter strange words, right wrongs and create evil.

Magic and it's practitioners are now  creatures of Hollywood, there are no such things as spells, time travel, the ability to speak in tongues, for exotic annd wonderful creatures to converse with each other, of course not, we know it is all a spoof.

The magic stops when the Director says "CUT"

Or does it....not in the world of Maginty, who just happens to be one of the worlds least loved creatures, an Octopus.

MAGINTY(Who has a passion for Prawn Crackers) and his two companions,DEACON, a turtle and navigator (He can get lost in his large underwater cavern) along with SISSY, an electric eel (She has a slight speech impediment,which she quite likes) are charged with protecting the family of a notorious Pirate of the Spanish Main, Red Rufus Maginty.

Are you still with me, if you have travelled this far then the magic has already entered your soul...

Maginty and his team accept the role that has been thrust upon them and settle down to wait for the takes several hundred years and it arrives via that most wonderful piece of modern magic which we all take for granted, the humble TV receiver.
 The call also means they have to travel many thousands of miles from their home in the Carribbean to far away England, London to be precise..Chelsea to be absolutely exact.

They face many dangers when they arrive but that is where more magic plays its part in a mysterious way.

MAGINTY'S QUEST...The new novel will be published in late January 2014...It is a good yarn for the young adventurous reader aged between 9 and the meantime I am involved in the sketching of over fifty small drawings for chapter headings, now that is really where I personally need some magic.

The book will be available on   initially then on all of the other worldwide amazon outlets in kindle and paper book form...share the magic moments.

More details nearer publication the meantime tou can read, by the same writing team of MaryLou Clarke and RJ Dodd two vastly different novels.

The Sandrunners   @      witten under the pen name of Chelsy Swann.

The Stack    Set mainly in Australia,   by RJ Dodd    also on

Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Stack, Australia and Norfolk Island

Why a blog on Australia, such a large country and a blog is a very small item.

It is not just the physical size of Australia that I find interesting, the country is matched in size by the character and vitality of its relatively small population.

Where to begin to describe what Australia is and what it has meant to me over nearly five decades.

Let's go way back to my frst landfall,  January 1970.

As a young film technician working for a newly formed but large TV production company in the UK, I, along with other members of the crew were advised to always carry our passports with us ..just in case. So it was on a wintry January morning I was informed that two days later I would be off to Canada, for a three month trip with a famous reporter of that time..  Alan Whicker.

Just after lunch I was informed that Canada was cancelled, we were going to Australia instead.

To say I was diasappointed would be an understatement.I really wanted to go across the Atlantic to the mainland of the Americas, I did not want to go to a dustbowl at the bottom of the world..

What a fool.

We landed late at night in Western Australia, in Perth.The approach to the airport should have given me an inkling of what to expect as we turned in from the ocean to see the twinkling lights of that city and the dark line of the ocean but instead it was with a heavy heart and a little jet lag, that we trudged through the arricvals hall and took our short drive to our hotel wher we had a couple of drinks at the bar and then went to bed.

My induction ws to begin very early the following morning, a ring on the door  "Room Service Sir, the breakfast you ordered"

The breakfast I  had ordered was delivered by a six foot tall blonde haired well tanned beauty wearing the shortest black leather mini skirt I had ever seen outside of Carnaby St London  and she was carrying that great OZ discovery, a proper breakfast,  a massive ribeye steak covered with two fried eggs , plus all the trimmings..I instantly fell in love.

Perth was fantastic, I  went flying with Lang Hancock, quite an experience, he was looking for white flowers among the hillside rock, an indication of some sort of ore, and I was wetting myself looking at the rapidly approaching walls of rock. He was an able pilot.
His daughter threw a gret party at their riverside home and we went out to Wittenoom for a barby, Wittenoom was a deserted boom mining town, streets of deserted houses, no one lived there, but the traffic lights on the only crossroads were still working, just blnking away all day.Surreal.

I adored Sydney and still do, out first hotel was the Sebel Town House, with wonderful views over Rushcutters Bay, on a recent vist we stayed at the ANA. hotel. What a delight.

Pull back the curtains and to your left is Darling Harbour, straight ahead is the famous bridge and below that the Rocks, great food area, to the immediate right is the fantastic Sydney Oprera House and beyond that the spread of Sydney Harbour with Manly in the distance.

Sydney should be a mandatory visit every year'

Adelaide, we were locked in our hotel because there were hordes of screaming females outside the front door. they weren't there for us,Dire Straits were in residence. It was considered dangerous for young English lads to go outside.Pity.

Brisbane, a delight, soi st he run up to Noosa, great resorts there and of cousrse a bit further north is the entrancing Heron Island, a nayure reserve and well worth a visit to a perfect coral atoll.

Darwin and the Northern much happened up there it will keep for another blog if requested..but an amazing area.

Western Australia..Superb, I love deserts and spent a lot of time there ..we were made Ambassadors to the court of Prince Leonard and hs wife in the Hutt River Province, listened to some Californian cattle men who told us they had contributed to Kennedy's assasination fund,, that was scary, and been attacked by wild Emu's at forty miles an hour as we drove across the desert, they were running alongside pecking at our faces.

I have a mountain of stories about OZ but one of the more interesting ones is about Norfolk Island'

This former penal colony sticks up out of the Pacific ocean like a broken tooth about a thousand miles from Sydney. It was where the really bad lads were sent, they never returned..

Originally, I am informed, the Island was discovered by Captain Cook, he was carrying a hold full of sapling Norfolk pine and wanted somewhere to plant them, this semi barren island seemed a likely place.Why Norfolk pines?.. It seems these tall straight, strong trees were favourite for the masts of the Royal Navy and the Brits ,with some forethought sought to plant a continuing supply in faraway places for use of generations of ships..Clever.
So now this once grim place is smothered in these rather magnificent trees, there is a sound that comes from them as the continuous wind from the wide Pacific blows through their branches, it could  have been the only sound that the prisoners in their underground open topped cells must have heard.

One other aspect to the planting of the trees, during world war 2 the Japanese ,in their insane sweep across the Pacific wanted to use the Island as a forward air base in order to bomb Sydney, no one told them about Cooks tree planting mission and they were thwarted. The Americans with more machinery later knocked down a few teees and built a very short runway.

The inhabitants seemed to be of the hippy variety, but they had a very pleasant lifestyle doing what they darn well wantetd. There may have been changes in recent years but as one of Australias well hidden jewels in its jewel encrusted crown it is well worth a visit ..just to go down to the remote prison area at night and listen to the wind in the trees.

It is also worth looking at the Islands waste disposal units, sharks, big ones, hundreds of them, at the bottom of the rubbish tip cliff, nothing is refused.

Which nicely brings me to The Stack, a novel written with deep affection for this faraway country, which my partner and I have visited many times, we hope to have captured the essence of the place and its great people, I supppose only Autralians can really give a comment on that but we are ready to come back and have another go if anyone has a complaint..
The Stack is on Amazon

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Ancient Story Tellers.

Some years ago I was on a documentary assignment with the US Military, in a country that was foreign to both me and the soldiers I was filming..During one of our informal chats we discussed the quality of the local motor cars.
They were all in very bad condition, not surprisingly, and my military companions put this down to the inability of the locals to make good get this...They all agreed among themselves that as vehicles had been around for several hundred years the locals should have made some improvements in their production lines...I did point out that the country we were in did not manufacture vehicles of any sort ..  ever ..they bred sturdy camels tho.

Why mention this odd thought process, well I did some more research among film crew members, most of them being graduates from various film colleges, it was a common theme that computers had always been around, TV also, planes, phones, electricity, fridges, foreign package holidays..the list is almost endless..all of these recent techy advances were all taken for granted.....which brings me to the point of this article.

Story tellers, particularly from ancient times were the frontrunners in what has become one of the more enlightening experiences of mankind,the ability to read stories.....but these ancient fellas who wandered around the small villages, in virtually every country in the world and who told their wonderful stories to awestruck villagers in smoke filled shacks, huts, village campfires, you name it.

They did not store their stories on paper, just memory, which no doubt changed slightly with the numerous tellings, no point in having paper because they probably couldn't read anyway, nonethe less they would entrance their audiences, after all there was very little in the way of entertainment in those far off days.
 The storytellers were the pioneers of our modern day writers, screen writers, play rights, Directors.If they had been around today there is litttle doubt they would have been in the entertainment business.

The same could be said about someone like Will Shakespeare, forget Stratford on Avon, that lad would have gone straight to LA.

One thing always impresses me about the writers such as Shakespeare,Mark Twain, Dickens,  RL Stevenson,The Brontes, Carroll.. et al..  there were dozens of them churning out stories that were all the products of amazing imaginations, they sat in darkened rooms with a quill and some candles and conjured up breathtaking tales, all from the mind.
What did Shakespeare know of the Traders of Venice, the Royal Court of Denmark etc.. Treasure Island is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish, what did the writer know of the ways of pirates, who can forget Blind Pugh struggling along the storm swept coast road to reach the Admiral Benbow, to deliver his message of death,the Black Spot.

The readers of these stories were hooked from the first chapter.

Which brings me to another more relevant point..who taught these brilliant storytellers, just like the ancient forerunners of their trade, the simple answer is..  No one.

There were no computers or search engines, all of these writers and storytellers created their own world.So is it really necessary to go to college to obtain a degree in Literature, to analyse every single sentence and motivation, to examine the subplot,the gauging of dialogue and its delivery.Not a quiestion I can answer really, but I think I  would rather spend an evening in a smoky old hut listening to an ancient story teller than spen timewith  a sophisticated group of Professors of Literature elaborating on  their theories...Why don't they just go home and write another blockbuster adventure story instead of talking about it.

These are the personal views of RJ Dodd.
Please feel free to disagree.