Saturday, 1 January 2022



A list of the local stories about Boronia, the Basin, Mt Dandenong and surrounding areas that I have written over the years. 
The bulk of these posts have appeared in the Boronia and the Bain Community News but the ones published here are unedited and usually have more content and pictures.
I try and be as impartial as I possibly can when writing local history, which I think is important because opinion will only distort the story.
Most are a story of discovery as I wander around this area searching for things that are no more or have slipped into obscurity. Others are just stories reliving the marvellous places that exist in our backyard. 

Alternate Worlds 
Local Comic creator Day April 2021 
The Original City Loop 

Wednesday, 1 December 2021


 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year approaching.

Here is a free comic for surviving 2021.
No emails needed, no mailing lists to join.
Just click & download.
All stories by me and art by a list of the most talented illustrators in the business.

Thursday, 11 November 2021



Over the past year during CoVid, myself and a team of talented folk have been building up to this under the guidance of Reverie Publisher Gary Dellar.

Ric McClune as a loveletter to Reverie publisher/creator/writer Gary Dellar's late father.

Ric McClune is a Western style character based comic featuring enigmatic Ric in the main role.

Now all has come to fruition as Ric McClune "The Second Fastest Gun In The West" has started its KICKSTARTER campaign for release in March 2022.

It's already begun strong by becoming fully funded within 3 1/2 hours of the campains release.

Unlike most comic Kickstarter campaigns where you pledge your money, wait a few months get a single issue and then hope in vain there may be a second issue to complement the "to be continued" first issue. Ric McClune is 5 full colour "single shot"  story issues, each building on the character that is Ric McClune and with all issues complete, there is no waiting for funds to complete the the process/ pay the artists / whatever the usual pit falls are in this kind of fund raiser.

The list of writers and artists is a who's who of local new talent include Ben Sullivan, Dave Dye , Jeff Edis (colours) , Rob Lislr, Darren Close (letteres) James Broadhurst, Haydn Spurrell, Clovis Batebola, Don Ticchio with Erwin J. Arroza doing all covers. And of course me, writing the sciece/horror/Western that is The Badlands for Issue 3.

Reverie. Revitalizing the Western genre. GET ON BOARD.

Monday, 1 November 2021


 The IMPOSSIBLES - a revisit. with song.

Source: Wikipedia 


Posing as a trio of young rock 'n roll musicians, The Impossibles were actually crime fighters, with superpowers, dedicated to battling evil supervillains of all shapes and sizes. When performing for their adoring fans,the lads would play their mod, futuristic-looking guitars atop an equally futuristic bandstand (emblazoned with their "Impossibles" logo on the side) that could convert into a car (the "Impossi-Mobile"), or a jet (the "Impossi-Jet"), a speedboat, or even a submarine. Their standard catch cry when called into action was "Rally ho!"

Each member of the Impossibles had a specific and visual superpower:

Coil-Man - Short, barrel-chested and sporting a mod haircut, blond "Coily" could transform his arms and legs into impossibly stretchable or coiled springs, allowing him to bounce to avoid attacks, deliver long-range punches, or drill through walls. Coil-Man usually drove the Impossi-jet, and his guitar contained a small TV receiver through which "Big D" (voiced by Paul Frees, who also served as the voice-over narrator in almost every episode) could contact the group and deliver orders (Big D used Multi Man's guitar in "The Fiendish Dr Futuro," "Beamatron" and "The Diabolical Dauber"). Because of his presumably metal coils, Coily could be held in place by a super magnet, but could also conduct heat or electricity with his coils. He hid in a closet disguised as a wire coat hanger, further implying that he was at least partially made of metal. Coil-Man's costume was purple and blue and included a purple mask and a cowl crested by a triangular fin.

Fluid-Man - Dark-haired Fluid-Man, a.k.a. "Fluey", could morph parts (or all) of his body into a liquid form, allowing him to, for example, sneak up on an enemy though a water faucet. He could also vaporize himself into a cloud or storm, but could be soaked up and trapped by a sponge ("Televisatron" and "Return of the Spinner"), or frozen solid inside a block of ice ("Not So Nice Mr. Ice"). Fluid-Man's costume resembled a lime green wetsuit complete with diver's mask and swimfins. Fluey's speaking style indicated that he was the beatnik of the group.

Multi-Man - Multi-Man, a.k.a. "Multi", could create infinite duplicates of himself that were often destroyed, leaving only the original behind. His duplicates rarely, if ever, functioned independently, and were often used as camouflage, a bluff, for extra strength or transportation (he could fly by continuously creating replicas above himself). When duplicating himself, he could push tons of rocks out of the way or crack a block of solid concrete (in which he and the others were entombed). The character had shaggy orange hair that covered his eyes (his eyes, in fact, are never seen) and he usually holds a shield for apparently decorative reasons. Multi showed the ability to repel bullets with his bare hand ("Fero, the Fiendish Fiddler"). Multi-Man's angular, red and black costume resembled a stylized 'M', and included a short, triangular red cape. Favorite saying: "You got them all except the original."

And of course the catchy hit song.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Navigating the N.D.I.S and discovering A Twist of Willow.

 Navigating the N.D.I.S and discovering A Twist of Willow.

Originally published boronia and the Basin Community Newspaper March 2019

Click on the icon in the bottom right-hand corner to enlarge.

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) created a lot of expectation and stress for many Australians as it was gradually rolled out over the last year.  Regardless, it’s a fantastic concept that helps those who are severely injured, disabled or mentally and physically disadvantaged to become more active in society. Having a young adult child who qualified for assistance under the scheme was an exciting prospect for us as parents, to be able to have new opportunities present themselves so that our child would have a better chance for the future and more importantly a better quality of life as they grow older were encouraging.

Of course, it was never going to be easy. The scheme is a massive bureaucracy responsible for billions of dollars annually. There are plans and budgets and new people to meet and for many who qualify for the scheme (not just their carers), it was a leap into the unknown and a scary process.

The NDIS kicked into gear July 2018 and to say we were fully satisfied with what could be achieved was far from the truth, it wasn’t the scheme’s fault or the organization as a whole, there were just so many options and roads to travel that we accepted the fact that experience was something we would learn on the way and probably seconds after we really needed it. It is not without its faults, but we got lucky. I write that because without the NDIS and the constant meetings and toing and froing we would never have discovered A Twist of Willow. (Now known as the Yarra Valley Nocturnal Zoo)

A Twist of Willow is a bed and breakfast accommodation – nocturnal zoo in Mt. Evelyn run by Steven Handy and Loo Scoon.

Steve and Loo moved to the current location 12 years ago with their growing family with the plans of operating a Bed and Breakfast on the property. Steve who had some building experience built the accommodation on weekends and holidays whilst both he and Loo worked their normal day jobs for the Department of Human Services.

The zoo and its collection of native animals grew as an extension from the B&B as many Asian tourists were keen to see native Australian animals.

 When the NDIS was being developed, both Loo and Steven with their years of experience working with people with disabilities in the DHS realised that the zoo would be a perfect placement under the scheme. Thus, the development of the Zoo Keeper program.

A wonderful idea where NDIS participants, usually young adults with a love of working with animals come in up to three days a week and get a chance to prepare, feed, clean, and all other assorted duties in relation to caring for the animals.

This was perfect for our daughter and the instant results from her demeanour and self-esteem were evidence of the success of the program

Loo and Steve’s experience was evident with their attitude and patience with their charges and the lines of communication that they keep with parents and carers. They even attend outside of work parties of their charges such is their dedication and level of care.

The Zoo though not open to the general public is host to tours by International visitors and recently schools which the NDIS participants are helpful guides, something that proves the success of the program because I could never believe our child could do this anytime last year.

We were very fortunate this Christmas, as part of the A Twist of Willow holiday break up party we were treated to a night tour of the animal enclosures.

At night the zoo takes on a whole new appeal. With many natives held at A Twist of Willow being night creatures, it’s the best way to see things many Australian’s rarely see, even though some of these animals may visit their backyards any other night. Marvelling at how an owl can silently pass by your head even though it is flapping its wings or have a Sugarglider fearlessly sit on your shoulder are some of the experiences that are on offer.

The Lodge and zoo itself are very low key and easy to pass unnoticed from the road, even from the footpath. But the layout is a testament to Steven and Loo’s imagination and creativity.

The property is on a sloping incline and the zoo enclosures built behind the family home and guest accommodation. Paths intertwine a citrus grove onto the animal enclosures which are made of recycled wood and other materials to give a lovely rustic charm. A fake church fascia here a wagon over there that doubles as a food store a mine tunnel complete with coal trucks in another spot, these structures holding anything from dingoes, wombats, possums, a crocodile and even several species of Owls. This doesn’t mean that everything is on top of each other as the back of the property opens out and there are open paddocks that hold kangaroos, emus, horses and even a wedgetail eagle. As well as some real surprises like a white peacock and kangaroo.

Running around among all this are the house cats,  chickens, ducks and Red Dog the local legend farm hound.

A Twist of Willow
being a registered zoo also is active in many breeding programs to help endangered and threatened species. They just recently procured four quolls’, a species extinct on the Australian mainland since the 1960s and an animal closely related to both the Tasmanian devil and tiger (Thylacine).

As mentioned earlier, though not open to the public for day visits, the zoo has recently invited schools to visit as educational excursions and with the help of the NDIS helpers are able to give a helpful happy and informative tour that is helpful for both student and guides.

A Twist of Willow is a great initiative and it’s fantastic to see people putting so much back into the community and the things they are passionate about, if you want to know more about the accommodation and the zoo visit the website. or visit their facebook page.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Alien Vs Pooh

For the life of me, I don't know who this is or who made it. I must have known who it was a decade ago because I linked them in one of the group music challenges in the old Redbubble days. All I know is the author goes by the name Godxiliary. This is their work Alien Vs Pooh by C.H Burger.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Bands and artists that have been Simpsonized Part Three


Bands and artists that have been Simpsonized Part Three

Bands who have been immortalized and parodied on the world's longest-running prime time cartoon show.
Actually, there has been so many bands and artists that I had to cut this into three posts -this being an update from the two earlier ones from 2013.

Judas Priest: "Steal This Episode"

Justin Bieber: "The Fabulous Faker Boy"

Sigur Ros: "The Saga of Carl"

Ted Nugent: "Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson"

The Village People: "Simpsons Tide"

Fall Out Boy: "Lisa the Drama Queen"

Moody Blues: "Viva Ned Flanders"

Morrissey & Johnny Marr: “Panic On The Streets Of Springfield”