Stories

Valediction for Peres

President Peres, you have blood on your hands
As of today, the number of murdered stands
At 788 innocent civilians, from the other side
But we know it’ll just keep rising like incoming tide
190 of them were children; did you hear their cries?
How do you explain erasing those unwritten lives?
Shall this go on until one side has launched
Its final ammunition?
Will it not end until each man, woman and child
Is dealt their execution?
This isn’t war, it’s a massacre
Of Judgement Day, have you no fear?
Look God in the eyes, my man
And say you’ve served him well
May He let those young lives then decide
If you belong in hell.

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Arts and Culture, Food, Travel

Ode to Edinburgh

Hiking up to the Wallace Monument

Hiking up to the Wallace Monument

Where a magnificent view awaited

Where a magnificent view awaited

The Ninja Turtle could not resist a quick 25-minute trail run

The Ninja Turtle simply could not resist a quick 25-minute trail run

Visiting Glenturret distillery, the oldest working distillery in Scotland

Visiting Glenturret distillery, the oldest working distillery in Scotland

Where they got to choose which one of four versions of the Famous Grouse blend to try

Where they got to choose which one of four versions of the Famous Grouse blend to try

The distillery houses the world's biggest bottle of whisky, and is certified by the Guiness Book of World Records

The distillery houses the world’s biggest bottle of whisky, and is certified by the Guiness Book of World Records

And a tribute to Towser the Cat, who caught a record number of mice in her 24 years

And a tribute to Towser the Cat, who caught a record number of mice in her 24 years

Scotland's best kept secret - the weather is actually fabulous (which may explain the constant English invasions throughout their shared history)

Scotland’s best kept secret – the weather is actually fabulous (which may explain the constant English invasions throughout their shared history)

Three voyagers come from afar
Paid homage to fair Edinburgh
Its castles carved of stone we saw
Its emerald hills left us in awe
And lost amidst a sight so fine
I recall the bards’ tales wove ‘auld lang syne’
Of brave men lost in freedom’s fight
Good lads defendin’ the poor man’s right
O splendid memories that make hearts sing
Fair Edinburgh, what joy you bring
And thus with sorrow we now must part
But Edinburgh, you live on in my heart

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Arts and Culture, Running

The Essence of Running

What is the essence of running?

To run is to be fearless
Listen to the multitude of voices on the web
From all types of runners in this world
One community
One common trait – fearlessness.

Runners are not afraid to try –
And fail
Runners are not afraid to cry –
They will.

Runners are not afraid of the elements
The sun, the wind and the rain
The snow, the sleet and the hail
Are inconveniences, not barriers.

Runners are not afraid of pain
DOMS, blisters, chafing
MTSS, ITBS, plantar fasciitis,
Are just some risks we are willing to take.

To run is to say: I am not afraid
Of setting out in search for more
Of finding myself along the way
Of challenging my pre-conceived limits
Of humbly respecting myself
Because I wasn’t afraid to give 100%.

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Arts and Culture, Stories

Remembering Who We Really Are

Once in a while, it seems like we lose sight of who and what we really are.

Some things are eternal. We're not one of those things.

Some things are eternal. We’re not one of those things.

Countless of sunrises have preceded our fleeting existence, and millions more will follow our demise.

In the grand scheme of things, we’re so very small, and our time here, so very brief. We all live on borrowed time.

It’s good to like what we are experiencing in this world of ours, but we should never forget:

We are not owners of any of it. We are simply caretakers.

We are not owners of any of it. We are simply caretakers.

This place doesn’t belong to us. It’s not ours to stake our claims on, and certainly not ours to spoil.

It’s not even a matter of safeguarding it for future generations. It’s about right here, right now, doing the right thing.

If we are a part of it, then let us learn to take better care of ourselves. If we are apart of it, then let us learn to tread softly and leave no trace behind.

True beauty is a delicate thing. Let us not be the ones to shatter it.

True beauty is a delicate thing. Let us not be the ones to shatter it.

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Arts and Culture, Travel

The Wind in the Willows v2.0

Setting of the Play:

The Yarra River at Fairfield

The Yarra River at Fairfield

Characters:

GodzillaPin (of course)

GodzillaPin (of course)

The Ninja Turtle (in a supporting role)

The Ninja Turtle (in a supporting role)

Our new friend Ducky

Our dear friend Ducky

And... the elusive, mysterious, sexy Naked Mole Rat

And… the elusive, mysterious, sexy Naked Mole Rat

The Storyline:

Ducky and the Naked Mole Rat were old friends of the Ninja Turtle

Ducky and the Naked Mole Rat were old friends of the Ninja Turtle. After a long time of not seeing one another, they finally got together for a little reunion.

After plenty of fun doing various slightly questionable activities

They went down to the riverside and made a day of it.

They went down to the riverside and made a day of it.

And Ducky made the most of the situation by cracking the whip on GodzillaPin and the Naked Mole Rat. It was less

And Ducky made the most of the situation by cracking the whip on GodzillaPin and the Naked Mole Rat. It was less “row, row, row your boat”, and more “row, row, row, death row”.

All was calm. All was peaceful. The tranquility was remarkable. They saw little ducklings.

Fluffy, fluffy ducklings... duckly duckly fluffings.

Fluffy, fluffy ducklings… duckly duckly fluffings.

They paddled upstream, then floated down stream again gently. They let the currents push them along, bobbing around a bend, when all of a sudden, they heard a child’s piteous wail. It was the most unearthly sounding horror and it shattered the scenic silence that had thus far enveloped the story, save for a brief megaphone announcement calling out for two teenage boys to “come back, your mother wants you to turn around”.

The quartet looked around. They detested being roused from their pleasant reverie of companionable silence. There, not forty yards from their boat, was a family of tourists stuck upon the riverbank, and their boat was wedged into the bank. The young girl was crying to go home. A passing boat carrying a young couple requested: “Can you help those guys out? They are stuck and don’t know how to paddle.”

What followed was rather dramatic. The young couple failed to make much progress paddling upstream against the currents themselves, and were rescued by the two teenage boys who were earlier called back by their mother on the bank. The family stuck on the riverside managed to unwedge themselves with some directions from GodzillaPin. As instructions were called out, it became evident quite quickly that the two men on the paddles could not only NOT work together, they could not even work alone. Something had to be done. And quick.

Yarra River Rescue! (Like Bondi Rescue, only 1000% funnier.)

Yarra River Rescue! (Like Bondi Rescue, only 1000% funnier.)

The Naked Mole Rat and GodzillaPin aimed towards the other boat, and Ducky quickly seized onto the rope. Thus began the heroic efforts of the lads to paddle back upstream with another full-to-capacity boat in tow. They rowed harder than they ever did before, and after five minutes, someone in the group noticed that they had done little more than beat the currents, for they hadn’t budged from the same spot. Another strategy was called for.

GodzillaPin had the most rowing experience in the group, having done it in high school. Hence, he was sent over to the other boat, while one of the men in the other boat had to come over to balance out the rescue boat. This also gave GodzillaPin less weight to carry. The Ninja Turtle and Ducky then took over the paddling to give the Naked Mole Rat a much-needed break. Suddenly, they were sailing along smoothly again.

GodzillaPin was such a good rower that despite there being one of him paddling for 5 passengers, and two of us for 4 on board, he beat the rescue boat to the boat hire point. The family was very relieved, and the patriarch of the family gave every one on the team a handshake. They found the much maligned teenage boys at the platform being told off severely by their mother, with one of them protesting “but we were saving people!” but the mother would have none of it.

Alas, the friends didn’t get to see the Badger, but they sure had one heck of an adventure
This tale will follow them for life; their bonds strengthened once more by shared strife
And the riverbank’s calm thusly restored, we hope our dear readers have not been bored.

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Arts and Culture

A Whole Lot of Nonsense

Language Showdown

Languages are difficult, as the couple can attest
And how the duo bicker over which language is the best
Too often one has to faire gaffe, in case one makes a gaffe
Or risk the confused fury of their better half

So here is GodzillaPin’s case, on why English is rot
Even abiding by the rules, one is often caught
In a snare of exceptions, suffusing the written word
And even worse when said aloud, for he’s often been misheard

The nightmare that is –ine, it never fails to thrill
The Ninja Turtle when he reads aloud the following spiel:
The car I drive has a strong engine, in it, I’m feeling fine
Oh how I love that speed machine, of which I do call “mine”

Of plurals so irregular, he never quite understood
Why bother writing up the rules, he’d ignore them if he could
He wore a sock on his left foot, but shoes on both his feet
Yet if it were a left boot, did that mean he wore beet?
In France he taught her to eat geese, how she does love a fat goose
To go along with smelly cheese – or does she just eat choose?
Thank God they have no mice at home, for good cheese loves a mouse
Just as Turtle loves her rice, she eats them rouse by rouse

And now the Ninja Turtle shall expound her view
Why French, for Anglophones like her, is simply pas facile
If I’m rather thirsty, je bois un verre d’eau
But bois is also where a lot of big trees grow
And when I’m late, je rate le train
Yet rate is spleen, you know
And pêche is what she eats, when she pêche un poisson
From an étang which truly étang*, it was her péché mignon

When the Turtle asks Lapin to get a small job done
Understanding what he means is only half the fun
It’s hard to tell if he means no, as when he says, c’est pas fait
Or if he’s done it perfectly, like when he says c’est parfait

So which is really harder, English or Français?
Both make no sense to newbies, so it’s really hard to say
Yet a small consensus, the couple, they have reached
If you think learning’s challenging, wait until you teach!

* OK, to be fair, this one is Breton, but it still counts.

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