Just picking it up and resting it on my knee gives me a buzz.

I don’t even need to play anything. Just by running my pick down the strings, I can feel the essence of so many songs I grew up and fell in love with. The vibrations drive deep into my chest and I can feel my heart growing stronger as a song starts to form, like a flock of birds heading for the trees as thunder echoes through the mountains. Like a violin and cello had a threesome with a drum. Like the Tree of Life offered its lungs to the God of Wisdom, and he wisely set them upon the wings of his giant Hummingbird, and he released that bird to the eternal freedom of music that comes from the very soul of anyone who ever loved a song.

Please wait your turn, Mr Jagger. The music is still playing.

Should our Gibsons one day bequeath to those with smaller, softer hands, all they shall need is a pick and a heart to feel the echoes of our thunder, and to hear the songs of our birds. Hail to the Tree of Life. Hail to the good vibrations. Hail to the Hummingbird.

What Is India Like


I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question, What is India Like? My wife and I recently returned from a four week trip around a fair chunk of the country.

First answer, Religious. No great surprise there. Every religion known to man is in one big melting pot, having either begun there or somewhere nearby. For me, it represents the world’s entire population beautifully in that with over a billion different versions of what life is all about; most likely none of them being the one truth; everyone still likes to believe they are on the right track toward finding it.

Resistant. Not just resistant to change, which it is, but resistant to conflict under enormous pressure. As a modern westerner, I would like to think our part in world history will be marked as a positive turning point in human equality, but I think India and other ancient cultures kicked it off, well before we were even discovered and developed. They just morphed a little differently.

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Madilla is a novel I self published and is now available through most major online retailers, or through my website in Australia. I am publishing chapter 1 as a teaser. I hope it as enjoyable to read as it was to write.

Madilla cover mimimised



Mayahe Katah

“Mirror Soul” (You are the mirror of my soul)



“Do not look at the sparrows, Madilla,” Mama scolded. “Shaloma is teaching you now.” Mama was always very serious about the stories of our people. The same stories had been told by Kirra women since our ancestors came to the mountains, and Mama said they were very important; but I was more interested in other things.

“Yes, Mama.” I turned back to face Old Shaloma, hoping she would finish soon.

“And Kala’unga was carrying her firs’ child,” she said. I looked at my best friend Tanya. She was watching the sparrows too, but her own Mama was not there to scold her.

“Madilla!” Mama caught me looking at Tanya.

“Yes, Mama.” I turned back again as Old Shaloma continued.

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