“Civilisation begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos” or so said Will Durrant American historian and philosopher. But what do you see when you hear the term civilisation? Ancient Greece, a modern European city, your creation on Forge of Empires? The oxford dictionary defines civilisation as “an advanced stage or system of […]

Would You Want This Job? by Paul Hannah

It is common for Australians to say that our politicians are overpaid, they set their own wages and conditions and that they don’t earn the money they get. Why should we pay them anything? Last thing first. Politicians are paid as a result of an initiative proposed by the Australian Labor Party in the very […]

Setting Goals by Fiona Taylor

Another new year has begun and if we haven’t felt the urge to set new goals then we are often reminded by those around us with the annual question. What is your new year’s resolution; what are you going to do better this year? But, is this the best way for us to enjoy life […]

On Loss by Vicki MacPherson

Bill Roorbach the author of Writing Life Stories, challenges memoir writers to a series of practical exercises with the aim of improving their writing. This exercise from page 75, “On…” encourages the writer to choose an abstract noun to go with ‘On’, something everyone can relate to, something we are all expert on. Then, just […]

Fiction is like a Trojan Horse by Fiona Taylor

“Fiction is like a Trojan Horse”, Fatima Bhutto explained at last year’s Edinburgh Book Festival, as it can carry uncomfortable, difficult or dangerous ideas in a form more easily accessed. Literature in all its forms has the capacity to change us without us even noticing.  It exposes us to new worlds, new ideas and new […]

Why Do We Work? by Fiona Taylor

“I honestly believe human beings are not meant to live like this.  We are meant to live in loving communities and be around nature every day and grow our own food and create art and not work every day and night until we die.  This longing for another life is not human nature, it is […]

We Need New Stories by Fiona Taylor

I have recently been reading a book on the prehistory of Britain and Ireland and it has revealed to me that so much of what I was taught in history at school was only one theory among many competing ones. Yet for convenience or time constraints it was presented to me as if this was […]

The Passing of the Poet by Stephen Leacock

Studies in what may be termed collective psychology are essentially in keeping with the spirit of the present century. The examination of the mental tendencies, the intellectual habits which we display not as individuals, but as members of a race, community, or crowd, is offering a fruitful field of speculation as yet but little exploited. […]

Language is Powerful by Fiona Taylor

Most of us never stop to think about the mechanics of language. We learned to speak before we were conscious of learning, and to read and write before we could question our teachers.  The first time many people are forced to face the construction of language is when they undertake the challenge of learning a […]

More Questions from Fiona Taylor

To steal a recent New York Times headline, “What Happens When Women Stop Leading Like Men?”.  This was of course a response to the world wide love and respect for Jacinda Adern’s handling of the aftermath of the Christchurch shooting and it raises quite another unwritten question, are women essentially different from men or have […]