The Nobel Peace Prize


The person, whom within MY lifetime, has done more for Peace and the preservation of good Literature in my lounge room, is the inventor of the MUTE BUTTON.

Eugene Polley of the Zenith Radio Corporation is credited with creating the first wireless TV remote that could turn off the sound. The marvellous invention came into being in 1995. Yes, that recently, only 22 years ago.

He did receive the Technology & Engineering Emmy Award (1997); IEEE Consumer Electronics Award (2009).

Unfortunately, this genius passed away in 2012 at the age of 96. This makes him ineligible as the prohibition of posthumous awards fails to recognise achievements by an individual who dies before the prize is awarded.

So, next best thing to do is to confer a Saint Hood, as this is an obvious miracle, witnessed by and of benefit to billions around the world.

FC Mickey Benefiel

Looking Back

Looking back from 20 years in the future

You are only 5 minutes late, don't get so bothered about a little delay.

I can remember when people had to line up for hours just to get on one of those big cramped, noisy aeroplanes in order to go from Hobart to Sydney. Then it took well over an hour to get there!

No Quick Cabs in those days. Everything was sub-sonic. Of course they used petrol driven jet engines back then and they had severe limitations on speed and weight, so they just crammed all the people they could into a plane and only went from one airfield to another. Oh, how I hated waiting for the suitcase to come off the plane and out on the conveyor belt, before I could even get out of the airport.

No door to door at all ! You had to take a cab or a rent a car to get to where you actually wanted to go. Now when I want to visit my son in Helensburgh, they put me down on the footpath right in front of the house, and my luggage as well.

And of course the high speed underwater ferries didn't even exist! I don't think anyone had even thought of such things back then. Hydrogen powered locomotion and aqua dynamics engineering have made a huge difference to all forms of transport, but especially getting back and forth to England or Canada. It took Jet aircraft 12 hours just to get from Perth to Cape town! Can you imagine, sitting in a chair for 12 hours!

Back then just about everyone drove cars. There were just as many idiots in the world then, so you can imagine how dangerous it was. Now when you call for a pickup to go visiting or for an outing, it may take a few minutes for the transporter to arrive; but they have progressed tremendously since they got the trucks off the transways. Used to call them roads in the old days, before they put everything underground.

So settle down in the recliner there and have a cold beer. Fortunately, some things never change.

Mickey Benefiel

Where the Wind Comes From

A storey for Fia

A little girl named Fia sat watching the leaves being swirled in the air by a Dust Devil when her Grandfather came and sat beside her. "you look very thoughtful, what are you thinking about?", asked the old man.

"Where does the wind come from, grandpa?" said the girl, squinting to keep the dust from his eyes. "And why does it make such a mess?", she continued.

"Mother Nature owns the wind, but she doesn't always do a good job of making it behave. Some days it just gets out of hand and runs wild."

Pointing to the sky Fia asked, "Does it blow the clouds around too?" They watched the thin layer of scratchy cloud, strung out in long streamers across the horizon.

"Sometimes it does, other times the clouds and the wind are just playing chasings."

"Does the wind make it rain?"

"Oh no. The clouds own the rain, and the wind is jealous about that. Sometimes they don't get on very well at all, the wind and the clouds. The wind will make the clouds angry and that's when they get all dark and cover the sun. If the wind gets too pushy the clouds throw rain and roar with thunder and lightning to try and scare it off, but the wind just keeps on blowing and that's when we get bad storms."

Fia frowned. “The wind is always bad!”

No, wind makes peoples windmills work and sailors are always needing the wind to make their yachts go. Sometimes the wind cools the land after a real hot day, but that's when it just puffs up a breeze. It dries the washing on the clothes lines and helps you fly your kite. The wind can be really good when it wants to. It just doesn’t try very often."

They sat in silence for while, thinking about the wind and clouds, then Fia looked very seriously at her grandfather and said "when I act bad mum makes me stay in doors and I can't go out and play. I wish I was the wind, then I could do whatever I wanted to, and no body could boss me around."

"Now don't get me wrong dear, the wind doesn't always get it's own way. Mum Nature has her own punishments she hands out. She gets angry and makes the wind spend days out blowing the water into waves. Hard work that. Then another time she gets cranky with the clouds and makes them SO cold, that the rain freezes into ice and snow and the clouds can't hang onto it and they dry out, loose their thunder and lighting and sometimes just turn into fog."

"Wind can be real cold too", said Fia. "Does she cause that as well? Because I don't like it when it gets real cold."

"yes she does, but to make up for that she lets us have the fire place to get warm again. She owns fire too."

Animals in my Garden

Hello to the Animals in my Garden

I am sitting in my small secluded back garden, the air around me is redolent with the perfume of roses, the trees and shrubs sway in a light breeze. I am watching the tiny silvereye birds joyfully playing in a terracotta bird-bath which I had just filled with freshwater. It stands between two rose bushes, which give a protective cover and an escape route from marauding cats or bossy larger birds. The birds are like small children at the seaside, jumping in and out of the shallow water. This is repeated many times.

I speak to them softly, "Go on my pretties, enjoy yourselves."

As long as I don’t move they continue to bathe and drink the water. The sun catches their shiny olive-green backs and wings as the drops of water sparkle on them.

Another day, same place, I heard a rustle from the dry leaves that had fallen from the magnolia tree, my most prized garden plant. I sat still, listening intently, leaning forward to try to see what animal was disturbing the leaf litter. A glistening scaly head, beautifully patterned in amazing geometric precision, appeared. "A snake," I thought, getting ready to jump on the garden seat.

I couldn't take my eyes away from the beautiful creature. I sat very still as it crunched and crackled its way through the dried leaves. About sixteen inches were visible now. A sigh of relief escaped me when a small leg and foot appeared. It was a wonderful blue-tongued lizard! The biggest I have ever seen.

"You are welcome to my garden," I said, "and to the snails as well."

The most frequent four-footed visitor to my garden is a small wallaby. She is a female because she was pregnant last year. and now she is quite slim, although I never did see a joey. She’s a quiet little thing, she stands and listens to me as I speak in a gentle even tone. She will sit and listen, unmoving, as I talk to her about the weather, or pruning the roses. I haven’t got a dog, so its nice to have this uncritical, quiet little companion. She sits about ten feet away from me but if I make a sudden move she turns and quickly hides in the shrubbery. But still she comes back again and again. She poos a bit but I don’t care. I like her tranquil company and she loves my garden. I think she likes me too!


Borders of Sleep

I have come to the borders of sleep,

Yet my eyes will not close.

I am wondering why.

Was it what I ate tonight?

I’m wondering.

Or the wine that I drank;

Or perhaps the heat of the day

Which has continued till now.

I’m wondering. Why?

Is it the warmth of the body

Now slumbering next to my own?

Or the beams of bright light

Filtering through to my face

From the round golden Moon

Which I’ve watched half the night

As the eclipse passed mysteriously by.

I’m wondering why.

Or maybe, just maybe,

twas the movie we watched:

a classic whodunit, but gory and bloody

and full of strange spirits.

We both were excited, but scared just the same.

I’m still not asleep and I’ve counted more sheep;

Done deep respirations and tried to relax

But still I’m not sleeping

And wondering why.

We put out the light and turned off the cat

So why am I bothering any more about that?

And now it is raining, a little at first,

And now there is more and the wind’s getting up

And keeping me wakeful

The more I ignore it.

We’re away in the morning - a holiday trip;

Our bags ready-packed, await in the hall,

But now I’m remembering, now wide awake,

I should take a towel and my swimmers forgotten.

Need some more money; there’s never enough.

Won’t worry right now cos I’m trying to sleep.

Will the taxi come early? Or late?

We’ll need to have breakfast

And time to wash up.

The sheets are all ruffled,

The doonah too heavy,

It’s no wonder I’m restless

Yet bordering on sleep.


I can’t . . . I can’t . . .

The clock . . . says . . . three . . .

Three . . . I forgot . . . forget . . .

For . . . ever . . . and . . . ever . . .

Aa . . .m . . .en . . .


Waste, ain't it!

“Mum, Mum, wait till you see this!”
The girl was hard to see in the darkness: a vague silhouette, slithering over
piles of rotting rubbish, fruit, vegetables and other unsold and out-of-date
foodstuff. Behind the shopping centre a yard was enclosed by a brick wall,
high, but not high enough to stop determined scavengers bunking up and over
to look for anything which might fill an empty belly.
Lily was always hungry. There never seemed to be enough money for food.
What did Mum do with it, she wondered. Smokes? Drink? Pokies? She could
not be sure but they both did this nightly round of the grocery chuck outs.
Her hands slipped over more rotten fruit: bananas oozing from split skins;
apples, some still firm, most slimy and not worth a second touch, oranges
covered in films of mould; mushy plums, apricots, grapes getting pongy,
squashed tomatoes: a jumble of stale bread rolls, cream buns, tacky glazed
icing, crumpets, doughy muffins, smashed cream cakes. Lily’s fingers dipped
in and out of her mouth: the taste was good but it was too dark to see what
she was eating.
A rat scurried away.
Her hand fingered inside a fibre carton: packets of something unopened,
several of them. She pulled one out in front of her face. “Hey Mum, come
over,” a loud but muffled whisper, “wait till you see what I got.”
Her mother, a formless shadow slid around the jumbled garbage. “What is it
then? What yer got?”
“Doughnuts, packets of ’em. They’re in boxes like this. I seen ’em in the shop.
Cor. I love doughnuts.”
“OK, put ’em in the bag. We’d better be orf ’fore security comes round.”
“I got a few rolls as well.”
“OK, that’ll do us dinner. Come on.”
“Mum, how come all this food don’t get sold in the shops?”
“Dunno luv. Waste, ain’t it.