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When our cruise returned to Sydney on the 2nd March there was no Covid-19 check. The alarm had not yet sounded.

Thanks to our chats with the old hands over various meals we were becoming more cruise savvy. So to avoid another tiresome queue we carried our bags off ourselves and went straight to the Mosman ferry - which was conveniently waiting, as if for us to arrive.

My car had been parked, at my usual place nearby, for a fortnight. Unfortunately it was under a tree and the birds had been unkind. Quite a lot of cleaning was required! Yet it was good exercise - and I had the time - as the washing machine indoors and the sunshine without - refreshed our big pile of well travelled clothes.

Now where was that waiter with my afternoon tea?


Yet little did we know that just six days after we returned another cruise ship, the Ruby Princess, would set sail from the same terminal in Sydney for New Zealand. on an 11-day cruise to New Zealand.

As could just as easily have happened to us, someone infected with Covid-19 had boarded the ship in Sydney, either on the 8th March or on the previous cruise that left in February. The Ruby Princess evidently provided a more crowded and boisterous cruising environment than the Queen Elizabeth.

By the time she returned to Sydney on the 19th of March at least 100 passengers had become infected.  Due to a miscommunication between authorities passengers were allowed to disembark, some to interstate and international destinations, with nothing more than a vague recommendation to self-isolate.

In the weeks that followed, the Ruby Princess would become infamous as the sauce of Australia's first large coronavirus outbreak. Around 666 people (the devil's number) would test positive and 28 people would die.

This death toll was soon put into the shade by Melbourne's hotel quarantine debacle, that would kill 768 people. A hard lock-down in Melbourne, lasting almost four months, would be necessary to refine the Victorian strategy and eliminate further community transmission.

By year end, over two million people worldwide had been killed by the virus; and despite the development of several vaccines and their emergency approval, the death toll remained substantially unabated as we began 2021.

So it turned out that the local administration in Rabaul had been well advised. Papua New Guinea remained largely unaffected throughout 2020. Unfortunately this quarantine did not succeed indefinitely. Papua New Guinea fell victim to the pandemic in 2021, initiating an emergency response in March 2021, assisted by Australia, as cases escalated.






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In October 2011 our little group: Sonia, Craig, Wendy and Richard visited Brazil. We entered Brazil from Argentina near the Iguassu Falls.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Craft




The Craft is an e-novella about Witchcraft in a future setting.  It's a prequel to my dystopian novella: The Cloud: set in the last half of the 21st century - after The Great Famine.

 Since writing this I have added a preface, concerning witchcraft, that you can read here...


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Opinions and Philosophy

Science, Magic and Religion


(UCLA History 2D Lectures 1 & 2)


Professor Courtenay Raia lectures on science and religion as historical phenomena that have evolved over time; starting in pre-history. She goes on to examine the pre-1700 mind-set when science encompassed elements of magic; how Western cosmologies became 'disenchanted'; and how magical traditions have been transformed into modern mysticisms.

The lectures raise a lot of interesting issues.  For example in Lecture 1, dealing with pre-history, it is convincingly argued that 'The Secret', promoted by Oprah, is not a secret at all, but is the natural primitive human belief position: that it is fundamentally an appeal to magic; the primitive 'default' position. 

But magic is suppressed by both religion and science.  So in our modern secular culture traditional magic has itself been transmogrified, magically transformed, into mysticism.

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