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Friday, February 26, 2010

TROYES: "Cooeee! Every day in every way I'm getting better and better!" yodels Payton L. Inkletter, earnestly trying to harness his tardy subconscious

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
26th February 2010

Friday: Another day of stifling heat, a mere 40 something Celsius, but I was trying to sleep for the majority of it, feeling so much worse energy-wise than usual, and that's saying something. It happened to be mid morning or so before I actually got to bed.

And not before managing to read a couple of postings at The Punch, and posting a comment on one, Leigh Sales' 'Well readhead' column, today's subject title: 'Avatar, Dylan and Monty Python suck': I was struck a tad by her courage in declaring her dislike of and/or nonchalance towards several monuments of widespread public adoration, even including the purported good looks of Brad Pitt and the watchability of Lord of the Rings; she certainly drew some agitated commentators out of the jungle; good on her I say, while not sharing all of her dislikes. And I am indebted to her for the link she listed to a cat playing the piano: Janny and I loved it, despite knowing it had to be somewhat contrived; for myself, I was won the moment I discovered that it included two of my great loves: pussy and tickled ivories.

While Ms Sales displayed courage in her post, I felt Carrie Miller was somewhat attention seeking in her post 'Home ownership is a trick being played on you': if so, she also succeeded judging by the comments her post elicited.

I surfaced close to seven in the evening, and joined The Dear Leader and The Dear Missus for tuck tuck in front of My Beloved and Stateline. The Dear Missus drove The Dear Leader home after this, and I was so exhausted I vegetated in front of Aunty and SBS (Hitler's Bodyguard – the third episode I've caught so far) all night, finally finishing with The Graham Norton Show, on which Dame Shirley Bassey sang, proving she's still got it and then some: Janny and I had a rare musical agreement by rating her performance singing The Girl From Tiger Bay as wonderful; bearing in mind that the dame was a whisker short of 73 at this rendition. Do take a look at the video of her effort here, and watch for the teddy bear on her acoustic guitarist's guitar.

Buried in the middle of all this was Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: this lady looks so good when outfitting herself in the simplest of garb, and tonight was proof if needed. Ms Sales chose a blue shaded long sleeved blouse, no jewellery but for diminutive earrings, and a slightly flaired hairstyle; fabulous, feminine, faultless. Her interlocutors of old for tonight's Canberra weekly Friday night fight club were George Brandis and Craig Emerson, both in a word looking dapper, in two words, decidedly dapper, back to one word, crisp, and who early on got quite animated with each other, but Ms Sales took it in her stride.

Of course the pollies were as predictable tonight as a Methodist minister at someone else's Sunday roast, with Mr Emerson doing his best to force rose coloured glasses on the listeners regarding the insulation program debacle, and Mr Brandis doing his best to paint it as the worst example of poor leadership and government in the history of the world. Clearly, however, Labor has burnt itself badly over this shambles, but I did note that Tony Jones' guest the other night on Lateline, Australian Industry Group's Heather Ridout, stressed the salient point, to her credit, that '…I find it really very distressing that employers have played fast and loose with the lives of employees, apparently through this scheme. We take a very dim view of it. And that worries me.

I mean, it's all very well to shift the blame to politicians, but as an employer you have a duty of care to your employees and I feel that very, very strongly. And it's a major ethic and value in our organisation, among our membership.

And I can say to you when there is a death in a company that's a member of ours, it's a shattering thing. It is a shattering thing, culturally. It hurts the whole organisation. And in many cases, it costs millions of dollars in lost time in industry as well. So OH&S is the number one top issue in our agenda.'

Hear, hear! Ms Ridout.

The good natured ease with which Ms Sales handled the childishness of these two pollies tonight was approaching a revelation, not quite a revelation, but somewhat inspired: she managed to overtalk them when necessary, yet gave them enough rope to hang themselves, all the while keeping the vibe rather light hearted: WELL BLOODY DONE I say.

Now this was all just the filler for my highlight of the week: The (Stephen) Long and Short of It: Stephen Long began by giving us almost three seconds of his inimitable idiosyncratically lovable smile, and as far as I'm concerned he'd won me over regardless of whatever he chose to say after that: but as always, the man proved yet again that he is a font of economically analytical wisdom, this time on the Greek sovereign debt crisis.

Mr Long is spot on regarding the ominous possibilites: 'Well, the worst case scenario is that possibility of a contagious sovereign debt crisis resulting in a new wave of the global credit crash and the global financial crisis. The other prospect realistically more likely is that because you've got this terrible dilemma for highly indebted nations, particularly in Europe, that they're now under enormous pressure to cut their public spending. But it's public spending that's been keeping the economies ticking over and a lot of these countries are still in recession, so there could be a serious double-dip recession and a decoupling of Europe, or possibly at best stagnant growth, tepid growth. So, whatever way you look at it, it doesn't look too good.'

And if there is to be a domino effect, one result in my opinion will be an acceleration of even greater concentration of economic power into Germany's hands, already the nation within the EU with the most power, and such will become a mighty mixed blessing: recent history demonstrates this nation's lethal impatience with pussyfooting with irritations from elsewhere, perceived and actual, genuine and contrived.

If it were possible, Ms Sales glow increased when she introduced Mr Long for this chattus economicus, and their charming chemistry was as good as it's ever been. I only wish two things: that this pair could speak for longer, and every week night. And yes, Mr Long's Mum had tousled his curly mop again, just so that she could kiss it back into shape.

And so then, after enjoying the following very lively and good natured Graham Norton and the incomparable Shirley Bassey, I was falling asleep at this stage, unable to stay awake for Letterman, so, breaking a promise to Sidrah and the tooth fairy, I joined the fickle femme fatale in the cot without flossing, brushing, and gargling, about midnight.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

LARGE MAGELLANIC CLOUD: "Kaboom! Pow! Poof! Flash! Zap! Light bulb moment! Woosh! Illumination! Crackle! Bang! Holy moly!" P.L. Inkletter star-struck.

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
23rd February 2010

Tuesday: The ovenlike conditions are beginning to crank up, and fortunately I managed to throw some water around courtesy of the ¾" garden hose in the backyard before retiring well after dawn this morning. My bamboo worries me, for so few of the clumps have put up new culms this season; there must be something they want that I'm not giving them.

And so the day proper began late for me, mid afternoon, and after a rare and enjoyable chat with my brother-in-law Phamajames in Broomehill by phone, I set to outside watering the peripheral bamboos that I hardly ever get to, as well as the heavy duty worm farms sunk into the ground out in the deepest wilderness of the backyard.

It wasn't till about six that I got to start doing this week's most important outside job: selecting things to put on the verge for the bi-annual junk collection next week. Our approach always is to put out the most useful stuff first, which in fact we've been doing a bit of for a couple of weeks now, resulting, to our joy, in everything put out so far being taken by someone; we prefer this by a long shot to having it buried.

Moving from a hoarder to a clutter free bod is a difficult process for me, but I'm getting there VERY sloooowwwlllyyy; Missus Inkletter is most longsuffering, and can hardly contain her happiness to see me doing this. One day we actually won't deserve the moniker Steptoe and Son.

I came in for din dins and My Beloved, then enjoyed the second part of Kerry O'Brien's interview with former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, on The 7.30 Report. Mr Fraser has become far more likeable over the decades, but I still think he is too blinkered and starry eyed with his views on multiculturalism. For the record, I advocate strong and dynamically rich and changing, laterally very broad monoculturalism, if one's linguistic toolkit can sustain the stresses of the former expression, rather than 'multiculturalism', which is so badly applied in Britain and Australia, witnessing too many home grown and academic Australians, who should know better, praising and encouraging certain citizens who adopt a ghetto-type fragmentation that is increasing in this nation. The worst by numbers and obviousness are Muslims, far too many of whom segment themselves in a manner unhealthy for our nation, rather than strive to assimilate into the Australian way of life. This includes dress standards, but extends to much more important things such as support for principles like separation of church and state, mature toleration of different and non believers, and such like.

Poor Janny has been rather unwell today, so I watched the remainder of Insight with her on SBS before doing another couple of hours outside on the carport under lights, inching my way through a thousand years of accumulation, uncovering items surely of interest to the Antiquities departments of innumerable institutions around the globe.

I returned to the relative clutterlessness of the lounge to eat a huge plate of apples and cheese while watching Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Looking highly professional with the simplest of couture, Ms Sales radiated with subtle make-up, beautiful hairstyle, and a dark sleek jacket complemented with the simplest thin necklace and tiniest jewel. Her co-interlocutors for tonight's interview were ANU's Professer Hugh White, smartly turned out with his blue grey tie contrasting and complementing his jacket and shirt well, reminding us that he is one of the most well groomed bearded older men in Australia, and a younger Dr Carl Ungerer of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, resplendent in an unbuttoned suit jacket with a huge blue with light dots tie strangling his neck, looking unintentionally like Gomer Pyle. The subject was today's counter-terrorism white paper released by the Federal Government.

Ms Sales was obviously aware that this pair of gentle gentlemen were not going to engage in a stoush, and so we were treated to a civil discussion, if a tad bland, but there was a matter raised here and there that animated me by way mainly of agreement. The only things I'll mention for now are, firstly, how much I agree with them both that the highly questionable military involvement Australia is engaged in in Iraq and Afghanistan have no meliorating effect upon the terrorist threat against Australians at home or abroad.

Secondly, Hugh White raised the sense of marginalisation felt by many Muslims: "…a large number of Muslims around the world feel that their faith and the culture that goes with it is marginalised by the global order. Now, I don't think that's right, but I think we have to take seriously the fact that many people believe that…" Yes we do, but the job is so much harder because the philosophy of the religion encourages the self creation of significant barriers between the believers and unbelievers (and it is not the only one: take fundamentalist Judaism for but one other example). For a minor example, we have had near neighbours for over ten years who are Muslims, but long ago I gave up trying to wave to the wife of the family, simply due to the fact that she is so covered up that I cannot reliably identify whether I'm waving to her or a woman visitor who I don't know and thus somewhat spook. What a pity, for one of the basic nice rituals of life is sending a greeting to a neighbour across the street.

Mr White went on to say "I don't think we see nearly enough of Australian politicians today reaching out to the Islamic community and doing a kind of an overt series of gestures to make Islamic communities feel engaged, feel wanted in Australia." Probably so, however, the best way Islamic communities can feel engaged and wanted is to be less Islamic communities, and more Australian community. Not politically correct perhaps, but political correctness is more the tonic of the timid and the irrelevant, and of actual danger when tackling genuine national security issues.

I had a very late walk around half two on this devil windy night.

Monday, February 22, 2010

ROSLIN: "By golly, hello Dollies, fond mammaries are aplenty!" says Payton L. Inkletter sheepishly. "Do part on good terms, baahh!" Hear, hear! Snuppy

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
22nd February 2010

Monday: Upon the advice of the bellicose beauty, I suspended my plans for several hours of activity after midnight last night, including a late late walk, and came to bed before one a.m. As a result, I felt marginally more alive after my several hour long wake-up routine.

I did a frantic car wash, breaking the rules by daring to spray the car with the garden rose to get me started and to wash the suds off, as well as potting a dozen or so Aloe vera plants I have had soaking in diluted liquid seaweed for a day or so. The last ones I potted several months ago have done brilliantly, due to a combination of better sunlight control and pure worm castings from my no-holds-barred worm farm bins buried to their gills along a bamboo hedge; these worm farms are the ones that I throw everything into, including meat scraps, from the kitchen, and with fly control via glass coffee table tops until they no longer attract flies, I then introduce worms to perform their magic. At least 12 months later I have the most sweet, fertile, bones permeated, worm casting compost imaginable. And at the beginning of this year I had enough Aloe vera for the first time ever to begin swallowing daily about a third of a leaf's gel, scraped out with a spoon, taken neat, with much Tim the Tool Man grunting and strutting. I am still alive almost two months later…

Then the good lady and I bundled ourselves into the Swift and headed south, with Willie Nelson's 'On the Road Again' thumping from the onboard boom box, and spent the afternoon with my mother, taking her shopping at Booragoon and here and there, bumping into her sister and hubby (Aunt Win and Uncle John) by accident in the process. And all of this on The Dear Leader's 80th birthday, with whom we spent the afternoon yesterday celebrating one day early together with Umple Dais and The Babies Ink&Peggletter in their pad in Adelaide Terrace. They put on the most delicious meal, the equal of many top restaurants, and the main course was cooked on their Weber rotisserie barbecue, permeating the prawns, chickens, and stuffing with a exquisite hickory smoke flavour! Droolers eat your hearts out!

In what's become a delightful ritual from my standpoint, Mum treated me to a lunch at Miss Maud's at Booragoon first off (the preternaturally self-controlled peppercorn
doesn't eat lunch), the old dear (Miss Maud that is) having obviously picked the pumpkins for the sweet potato and pumpkin roll just this morning, about dawn.

We didn't make housefall till near seven. The day had been warm to hot. We were buggered, to put it politely, and just from driving and walking around shopping aisles, and a bit of eating by me. Yet the devoted devotee made me din dins, and I got My Beloved and The 7.30 Report under my belt.

We went for a walk about half nine in the local park by half moonlight for an hour, with our usual half time sit down on the only bench to break up the exercise for the fragile frisson. I consider myself to be her personal trainer, and she makes me work hard often, when she doesn't want to go, due, to be fair, to her exhaustion or pain, but invariably she thanks me afterwards. Janny's blood sugars are responding very well to the exercise, to support the work the Byetta is doing.

Did I say Byetta?: many times over the past more than a year I have mentioned in this blog how nauseous it had been making Janny every day, even resulting in all out vomiting several times a month. It turns out she was using it incorrectly, waiting an hour before eating after the injection, rather than 45 minutes. She is certain this was the first face to face advice she was given in late 2008 when she started on the drug, the Gila monster goosie venom. For three weeks now since a check up with her wonderful specialist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital's Dr Joey Kaye, she has had but a fraction of the nausea she previously was enduring.

Additionally, the gradual weight loss seems to be resuming, all from a gentle but regular stroll in the local park, aided admittedly by a whip cracking husband, but one who was and is granted permission to wield said whip. I do understand rather well, however, the range of painful impediments Janny has to struggle through to achieve what we're doing. If anyone deserves the health improvements (liver, kidney, blood sugars, plus more) that she has gained since the Byetta trial, this gal does. And I am very proud of her. I do believe that I will deserve some kind of medal also, when we reach all the health goals she's set herself, for the hell on earth she's put me through during the regime's enactment, the cantankerous cuddlepot (reducingly) that she is (am I joking?).

And so, we got back after Lateline had been going for some time: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: tonight felt like déjà vu, for surely I made this complaint last Monday?: Ms Sales doesn't appear to understand the poor look of skin-toned camisoles or modesty panels worn by female presenters on serious programs such as professional current affairs. They have a place elsewhere: I suggest they look fine for shows such as RocKwiz, Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, Spicks and Specks, Good News Week, where women are expected and tolerated, even encouraged, to emphasise, to accentuate, their feminine physique both literally and by suggestion. Not in programs like Lateline. Just because it is not uncommon throughout the news media, especially in the commercial world, doesn't make the breach of this principle any less opportunity-costful.

Precisely what is my complaint?: the use of skin toned modesty panels give the impression at first glance and casual glance that the woman has a far deeper plunge to her neckline, which if it were so, would be a huge faux pas in this genre of program. And the déjà vu continues from last week: immediately following Lateline, Whitney Fitzsimmons on Lateline Business, yet again was a superb example of professional dress for a woman in such a position, and her modesty panel was an excellent contrast to both her skin and her jacket. Ms Fitzsimmons is flying high the dress and make-up standards flag that Ali Moore so long carried with such grace and wisdom.

Having rabbitted on about Ms Sales' darned skin toned camisole now for ages, let me add that she looked superb, but for this one detraction for this particular genre. She would be spot on wearing such skin tones for events such as a media award night, at which, incidentally, she deserves to win several book stops for her quality journalism. (Her husband should hide that damn camisole until such events.)

And so, now that I am all but a spent force barely able to muster another sentence tonight, I will make reference to her interview from London with The Times' boyish looking chief political correspondent Sam Coates, but only in the general: the UK election, likely in May, I think will be a very significant event, for the party that governs after that date will have a leviathan task ahead of it to try to salvage the once Great Britain from a mess of its own making, just as must try the U.S.A. The current lot are damaged goods, both sides, with scandal upon scandal draining public trust, just when men and women of the highest ethical and moral fibre are needed to bring a nation, on its knees, back to standing tall and leading with the best of the few world nations that stand a chance of so doing.

And the voters must choose from the current lot! God help them, God help us all! Our leaders these days need more than ever to be of far superior character than the rank and file public, or we're destined to take a stultifyingly long time to be proud of the human race's self-governing achievements, suffering terrible costs of every kind along the way.

I headed off for a constitutional of my own about three a.m., in the cool humid air of this February week in Perth which is shaping up to be one long sauna by week's end.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

LONDON: "Never mind the Toddlers' Truce, what about one between Hill and the BBC?" asks Payton L. Inkletter, with a lusty wink at his 53 y. old Missus

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
16th February 2010

Tuesday: After what was a marathon day and night I got up mid afternoon, still deadly tired, but at least six hours sleep is way better than none. Katie I-don't-recall-who conducted her 15 minute phone health related interview from 4 o'clock as arranged, and I admire her for knowing how to process my often complex answers and get them onto her form. I hope the study can benefit many.

I chatted then to the once wunderkind for some time in the lounge trying to coax energy into my system to perform acceptably for the hours ahead.

Before I knew what, it was time for the birthday girl to be taken by her brother, Umple Dais, to the local shops to buy fushunchups – his shout – and with The Dear Leader we four had dinner as a simple celebration of my darling wife's birthday.

I fell asleep by the end of The 7.30 Report, and remained largely in this state until half way through QI, then revived enough to take Missus Inkletter for her evening exercise walk to the local park. I kept thinking during the walk along the central path about a tree branch falling, and on one of our laps I thought very specifically about the fourth tree which overshadows the walkway, confirming to myself that it's a matter in life of having to accept the risks of walking under any tree, and carry on with ordinary life. A minute later on our return lap towards that tree we heard cracking, and a branch large enough to kill one if it hit one's head fell down, beside the path.

But two days before I was discussing premonitions with The Babies Ink&Peggletter, and how they represent, if real, a transcendence of time, and that I have had so many in my life that I've long been convinced it is a real phenomenon, and Missus Inkletter would have twenty for every one I've every had.

I had recorded ABC television for the duration of our constitutional, and after a chat and putting the alabaster dragon to bed, I watched Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Looking very smart in her suit style dark grey jacket and dual-contrasting white camisole, most ideal hair style and subtle make-up, Ms Sales had a most interesting fellow on for an interview tonight: Mark Halperin, political analyst for Time Magazine and editor at large, who looked crisp in a black and blue business suited theme, even though his upperlip sported a five o'clock shadow.

They discussed Halperin's co-authored book (with John Heilemann) 'Race of a Lifetime', about the 2008 US presidential election campaign. What shows with interviews such as this one is the research that Ms Sales does in advance: she obviously has read the entire book, and her questions benignly betray this. The pair were a pleasure to listen to. Halperin is an articulate man.

I didn't have the time to watch Lateline Business, but noted at commencement that Whitney Fitzsimmons yet again was dressed according to consummate awareness of what works in the position of a female presenter of serious current affairs.

I did some writing after midnight, before taking off for my walk before 3. I noticed the Stirling Council had fixed the sprinklers on the large oval that I reported as vandalised last night – that's quick action. Dawn was rapidly approaching and I was still not anywhere near ready for hitting the sack.

Monday, February 15, 2010

RAMSGATE: A little white light arrives destined to leave Nachlasslessly, with relative gravitas in the process of fluxing Heraclitus, missing clarity.

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
In other news…
15th February 2010:

Monday: This is my first Fool's Paradise main site and 'In other news…' blog posting written on a Windows 7 machine, but don't get me started: it's quite a mixed bag this Win flipping 7! Another terrible night of broken sleep – when it eventually arrived – and with a weird dream or two (speaking of weird dreams, the strawberry sweet and I decided to rest in our respective recliners in the lounge yesterday afternoon after The Babies Ink&Peggletter left, in the airconditioning while 37 celsius roasted the outdoors, and I fell asleep for awhile and had the funniest dream, in which former Prime Minister John Howard was sitting in our lounge, and Baby Inkletter, as a 25 year old, came in and sat on his lap. I begged Mr Howard to hold the pose while I shot off to get my camera, which Missus Inkletter had moved and and couldn't remember where she'd put it, resulting in us having a spat. By the time I got back to the lounge the former PM was gone. It would have made a great shot for posting at Fool's Paradise, even if it was just a dream.)

Oh, and yes, we did have a little Valentine's Day treat yesterday, last night in fact: we bought Subway and drove to the beach, cracked open a bottle of Apple Norfolk Punch (incorrectly labelled, as it turned out, as Original), and got lost in each other's eyes, forgetting that between us we're a hundred and five, sitting and walking along the Sorrento beach front. We had to employ the usual subterfuge to get the time to ourselves. Later we drove to continue our mutual enchantment at Mullaloo beach, only to find dozens of drunk youths disporting themselves in the park opposite the hotel, openly urinating, flaked out on the grass, and whatnot; it's times like this that one feels less than assured about our nation's future. We decided to call an end to our evening at this juncture, and come home. It was a lovely time for ourselves, and rare.

So back to today: I was up at sparrows but feeling awful, and after a phone call to Wangara Suzuki fixed a service time for early afternoon, rather than this morning, and returned to the sack for some more fitful sleep.

I left the chagrined chefette to her full day of cooking, some for the Deeler family, whose poor wife and mother, Meg, has had two more cancers diagonosed, on top of last year's neck cancer, and put the Swift in for its 1000 km service, at a bit over 2200 kms. After this I called at several places on the way home buying and attending to sundries, and was whacked out – from doing next to nothing – when I arrived back to find the delicious derringer whacked out from doing heaps: the luscious ladle had cooked up a storm.

I put on my helpless male act to pressure her into cutting up four Fuji apples with cheese, and we chatted in the lounge while I devoured them.

In the evening we did our walk to the park for her exercise, and the champion that she is, Missus Inkletter, with back pain, did 7 back and forths of the long central path.

On our return I watched Tony Jones' Q&A, before Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: It's Monday and Tuesday nights, a breather, then Friday nights for Ms Sales this year, and she looked her usual picture tonight, but for the mistake she too often makes: not wearing sufficient contrast against her skin, this time her camisole showing through her jacket was not as good a look as an unmistakeable contrast would have been.

Her interview with US Deputy Secretary of Defence, William Lynn, dressed smartly, was hard work for the poor journo, with Mr Lynn giving rather lapidary responses throughout. Lesser journalists would have concluded the interview in half the time allotted, bereft of ideas to keep the man talking, and denied springboards to anything new from his feedback. You could be forgiven for believing that the Deputy Secretary was believing that his every word was being listened to by hordes of enemy operatives itching to pull a myriad of triggers the moment he let slip anything of counter-operational value – hang on, that's probably not far from reality, in that if he let anything of strategic import slip it would likely be in the possession of deadly opponents within minutes. To be fair though to Mr Lynn, who would want a job like his, and his boss Secretary Gates, trying to put a positive spin on the ill thought out and disastrous succession of US military adventures since the Second World War?

I engaged in a huge kitchen clean up after midnight for the sacrificial saint, and managed a very late walk in the cool but humid night air. I heard a different sound on one of the local ovals and saw that twenty or so large sprinklers were shooting into the heavens as geysers, thanks obviously to the uplifting efforts of hoons. I got through to City of Stirling security on my return, and they were grateful of the information. Without being told, in this hot weather the first that might have been noticed would be some huge dying areas of grass with polka dots of green around the geyser pools.

It was well after dawn before I got to lay my weary head on the pillow beside the birthday girl…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DESIRE: The story of Awakening Love was never told so well. Payton L. Inkletter's review of Gladys Hobson's steamy yet refined novel, 1st of a trilogy

Be all that as it may, here's why:

In other news…
10th February 2010:

(Click here to read this review with an extra 4 steamy pics!)
Wednesday: Here is a novel, Desire, also published as Awakening Love, that I thoroughly enjoyed from an author, Gladys Hobson, who quickly pulled me into the lives of her characters, set in the restlessly reenergising world of post Second World War Britain.

It was easy to empathise, if not fall in love with, June Armstrong, a stunning and very young woman from humble beginnings who was determined to carve a career for herself, as well as establish an outlet for her astonishing creativity, in fashion design, and whose naivety regarding her great beauty and high-potency sex appeal quickly saw her the object of desire and more of several rich, charismatic, powerful – and some ruthless – men. That she wrestled with her own searing awakening sexual desires – the equal of her suitors – pitted against her moral sense, with chequered success, was not a surprise, but made excellent reading.

It quickly became obvious that this writer, surely, was weaving a tale of truth tantalisingly close to actual reality from those days, she tells it so well; only someone who has worked in the industry, fashioned the cloth, walked the corridors, and experienced much adoration of her own beauty and charisma is likely to be so convincing; alternatively, it would have to be someone who can marshal the visceral visions in her imagination to breathe and live on the written page.

Gladys Hobson had me admiring June's fiancé Arthur, while wanting to take to her boss, and later business associate, Rob, with a cricket bat to teach the bastard how not to treat women; I give Ms Hobson full marks for how her wordcraft got me so engrossed.

Explicit sexual encounters there are aplenty, yet painted with such taste and consummate restraint, that I would happily have let my early teenaged daughter read this book had I owned it then, to help her understand and anticipate the world of sexual promise and pitfalls out there in the big bad world.

I have an enhanced and valuable insight now to what the class conscious Britain of those times was like, as well as a quickening of my understanding of primal human nature, thanks to reading Desire. Also, it is a pleasure to read a book written by an author who has garnered much wisdom: their books are the better ones, the wisdom glistens from page after page, and only time and enlightened self-examination can bring such a harvest.

As a writer myself, there were gems aplenty that caught my eye and informed me among Ms Hobson's paragraphs. And try as I might to destroy my copy of this high quality book from AG Press, through some (inadvertent) very rough handling of mine involving gymnastics upon its spine, it stood up to the abuse and laughed at me, remaining robust and intact.

I commend the author for her remarkable achievement, and I will be reading the sequels.

Payton L. Inkletter (writer, thinker, humorist)

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