Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Adventures of Prince Philip

     A battered paperback version of a book published in 1960 once turned up in my parents' house. It was entitled, Prince Philip and what made it more interesting was that the author was his admiring cousin, H.M. Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia. Thus, we find that everyone we know by a royal title appears under a family name. One has to remember that Uncle Georgie was the King of Greece, Uncle Bertie the King of England, Uncle Dickie Lord Louis Mountbatten and, of course, Lilibet was our future Queen Elizabeth.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Strange Story of Antechinus

 Or Why It Doesn't Always Pay to be Too Macho
    A few decades ago, when my mother was still alive, we both happened to take a short stroll through the rainforest at Mount Glorious, west of Brisbane, when suddenly we noticed an animal like a big mouse come scurrying up the trunk of a tree. Gazing at its pointed, foxy, most un-mouselike face, I suddenly exclaimed, "Good heavens! It's an antechinus! We are lucky to see such a thing during the daytime." A short time later, the penny dropped. We had been incredibly lucky, for we had arrived during the only two weeks of the year when it would have been active by day: the mating season. It had only been while I was at university that the remarkable life cycle of these mysterious creatures had begun to be unraveled - in fact, not far from where we had seen it.