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Here’s an exclusive sneak preview of Christmas stock at Longreach’s Spinifex Collections, thanks to owner Sue Smith.

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Delighted delighted delighted

anthology cover FINAL size borders title j title

Delighted to announce the launch of a new anthology of creative writing from local writers in the Moorabool Shire, central Victoria, Australia. It represents the rich and diverse creative talent working in regional Victoria. The Moorabool Library Services and Moorabool Shire Council provided resources (=$$$ and in-kind support) to make this project possible. The anthology was edited by the Writers Craft committee, I handled final editing, design, production and publication through Strictly Liter@ry™.

Here are some of the pre-review reviews we cobbled together :-)

‘I keep this book by my bedside. Essential reading for budding dictators.’ Mao Tse Tung

‘Would have been handy on D-Day.’ Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

‘A Ripper read.’ Aaron Kosminski

‘These writers have obviously suffered for their art. Now you can, too.’ The Moorabool Literary Supplement

‘Who said the author was dead? They’re alive and working in Moorabool.’ Roland Barthes

‘Steal this book!’ Ned Kelly

‘Better in bed than Marc and Julius.’ Cleopatra

You can buy a printed copy here or an ebook version here or (naturally) a Kindle version here.

It’s a shipfront

Tony Abbot promises to shirt-front Putin …

My partner Pip says Russia has now SHIP-FRONTED Abbot

What do you think?

Now we’re getting media releases from Australia Post

141010 Media Release

Here’s a few pars of what we received this morning — note the accent on NSW and Victoria … never mind those of us who live elsewhere:

Media Release
For further information, please contact:
National Media Line
03 9106 6666
10 November 2014

Australia Post today officially opened its upgraded Sydney Parcel Facility, part of a $2 billion investment in capability across the country that will dramatically increase capacity in time for the Christmas rush.

The upgrade to the Chullora facility includes state-of-the-art equipment and technology that will double processing capacity, improve reliability, provide greater tracking and bolster employee safety.

A similar makeover at Australia Post’s Melbourne Parcel Facility at Sunshine West, will be unveiled later this week, meaning businesses and consumers will benefit from a doubling of capacity and significant capability uplift in Australia’s two biggest markets.

Australia Post Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Fahour, said the world-class expansion of Sydney Parcel Facility was one of several key proof-points demonstrating Australia Post’s commitment to meeting the changing needs of customers.

… <blah blah blah>

“Each and every parcel that enters our network in New South Wales and Victoria will benefit from the extensive upgrade and investment we have made to our truly world-class parcel service in advance of the peak Christmas period.

“Last year we processed record parcel volumes over Christmas and we expect to do so again this year as more Australians shop online and rely on Australia Post to deliver their Christmas gifts. Residents, businesses and consumers can rest assured that we are ready and raring to go this Christmas,” added Mr Fahour.

Yep, he’s right … Christmas is coming and parcels will be at the forefront of our collective minds, won’t they?

Meanwhile we’ve received other mail concerning our disappearing parcel … here’s a new service which the owner says is trying to solve the problem of lost parcels … http://www.whereismyparcel.com … and one of our LinkedIn friends shared this news article from The Australian … if you can’t read it, it refers to the new parcel company Sendle.com which claims to be “post without the office”.

I can’t wait.

Latest on Australia Post failure to deliver


News from Australia Post yesterday … our parcel disappeared on October 21; it’s now November 9 and they have just launched an investigation. What if the parcel was “really important” … more than a (mere) birthday present? We are now hearing stories that many many parcels sent with Australia Post have gone missing. Is this a Titanic iceberg?

Digital delivery seems to work … not for solids, though

zombieSometimes people complain about the Outback that it’s hard to “get things in” from the Big Smoke. However, we get more of one thing out here in Longreach than in any other place we’ve lived previously … computer viruses and malware/ phantom programs like the one above. Scarcely a day goes past when some hacker somewhere in the world gets through my firewall and plants something, which I then have to track down and terminate.

Which on the face of it is ironic, since Good Old Australia Post still haven’t delivered our one little terrestrial non-digital parcel sent on Oct 16 and which arrived at the Longreach Post Office on October 21. All indications are that they have given up, What do we do now, when they can’t even continue to chase our complaint?

Australia Post situation gets worse

This morning Australia Post sent me this message:

Thanks for engaging with us on Social Media. I just wanted to let you know that this post will no longer be monitored for comments, so if you have any further questions or concerns, please send us a Private Message or post a new comment on the wall.

Later today they sent this message:

Thanks for getting in touch with us with these details.
Before we begin an investigation, I just need to confirm a few more details. If you could provide the following information we can advise further.
- Did you receive a parcel item awaiting collection card in your Post Office Box?


- Have you checked with your daughter the item was addressed correctly?

- Have you asked your daughter what name she placed on the item? Sometimes we may use nicknames or titles (Mum, dad etc)

- Description of the contents of the item

ANSWER: Birthday present
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,

Australia Post still sucks

AP Posts

Want to see something very interesting/scary/depressing on this case, which received quite a lot of interest yesterday? Visit the Australia Post FaceBook page and scroll down until you see a pointer to “Posts to Page” … click on that and read hundreds of complaints almost identical to mine about lost articles with tracking numbers. I’d say Australia Post is seriously in melt-down. In the 1980s I worked in public relations for Australia Post and we’d hang our heads in shame (and run and hide) if we had this level of complaint. And we’d bust a gut to fix anything like this. Shame it can’t happen 30 years later …

Australia Post Sucks

AustPost Few things irritate me more than having to complain about poor service. If you have to complain about poor service, that business has lost you and you’re probably not going to go back. But what if that business has a near-monopoly on the service you need? Like postal services … such as Australia Post. That’s how it is where we live, in Longreach, Outback Australia. So when there was a problem last week with delivery of a birthday present — sent by tracked parcel post from Brisbane — we approached the postmaster to sort things out. At this point, Monday morning, October 27, the parcel basically has been declared lost and it looks like we’re going to miss out on the expensive birthday present sent from daughter … even though we have the tracking evidence (above) that the item was indeed sent, travelled and was logged into Longreach post office last Tuesday, October 21, “awaiting collection”. Oh-oh, but that’s only the start of it. The postmaster, standing there at the counter, is now suggesting that there are only two options: either we have collected it and lost it; or the parcel was wrongly addressed and has gone to someone else.

So I decide to escalate the matter to HQ. The good old last resort. The postmaster writes down a number for me to call with my complaint: 131318. Turns out that’s the central “customer service” number and there is no “option 1-4″ for complaints so it’s impossible for me even to lodge a complaint. Haha, nice dead-end strategy, that. But hey, I find the complaint number on the Australia Post website (it’s 03 8847 9045 if you need it) and call.

Now I’m stumped … after 20 minutes listening to “on hold” music I give up, having heard “we apologise for the delay. we will take your call as soon as possible” about 20 times and “sorry, all our consultants are taking calls at the moment” about five times.

Would you help me out, please, by sharing this post as widely as possible and let’s see whether we can scare up some help from Australia Post using good old viral people power?

HALP, I’m in housework


TODAY I wrestled my mother-in-law’s vacuum cleaner, a Dyson DC20 Stowaway. It was the arch cleaning icon of its day and clearly I was not handling the animal gently or correctly … any advice ladies?

Anyway, next week we’ll unpack the Wertheim 7000 we imported from Ballarat. It too is imposing but at least I know the beast.


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