As 2016 beckons, it’s time to think about plans for making the New Year better than this one. In a moment of despair last year, I wrote down the top 10 issues I thought I would address to improve our society, if I were the democratic dictator running the country.  I found them at the bottom of my in-tray (yes, I still have a ‘tray’), perused them and thought they all still seemed relevant.  Perhaps though,  I have a slightly different order now that the Paris conference has put a 1.5C agreed line in the sand for global temperature increases.  So here they are:Read More »



Thank you for reading my blog and for the comments you have given me.  I’ve enjoyed writing it so far and I’m glad so many of you are enjoying reading it.

As Christmas is upon us, I won’t blog more till after it is over.  I’d be glad to hear from you about what you would like me to blog about, or not blog about (!) and any ideas you have for making this better for you.

Merry Christmas and I look forward to resuming after the festive season is over.


It’s Christmas time and most people are out shopping hard, spending furiously, hoping to bring happiness to others. The more they spend, they greater the happiness they hope to bring.  But – really – happiness is mostly free!  So many wonderful experiences cost nothing, but create great value, bring great happiness.  Happiness is (mostly) free!  Let me explain.Read More »


Clementine Ford is an outspoken Australian feminist opinion writer. I’ve admired her work for some years because of her ability to get underneath conventional thinking about social relationships, to argue for women’s rights to determine their own agendas and behaviours and to call out men, particularly straight white men, for their sexist or misogynist attitudes.  Her writing is full frontal, confronting, insightful and accurate, if unpleasant (for men) to face.

As a result, she receives a torrent of online abuse, mainly from men, telling her what they want to do to her, or what she should do to herself. Personally, I couldn’t take it.  I stopped corresponding with a close friend when I received a single personally abusive email.  Yet she has no choice but to ‘take it’ if she wants to keep publishing her confronting feminist views.Read More »


I was doing my usual exercise walking in the streets early in the morning. Ahead of me, about 100m away, I saw a woman walking towards me.  She walked slowly, in casual working clothes, smallish, middle-aged, normal.  As we got to within 30m, she veered on to the road, as if to cross to the other side.  I kept walking.  We passed without recognition, a parked car between us.

The strange thing was…there was no footpath on the other side of the road. After we passed, I turned to see that she had come back on to the footpath behind me.  Why had she done this?Read More »