What’s life without a celebration!


Since I arrived at Zoo station I’ve been strategically reminding the higher ups that we have no public toilets at zoo station.  At least twice a day someone asks me for them.  At last some Covid rebuilding money became available and last week this nice little building arrived.  I couldn’t resist making a celebration out of the whole thing with a bit of ribbon cutting and doughnut eating. (Yes that’s me in the mask)



A foot in both camps

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A young Muslim woman in a black head scarf came though the station this week. She was modestly covered in a black tunic and black jeans.  Except that the clothes were torn and held together with vast numbers of safety pins, she had a lock and chain round her neck and she was sporting a pair of black platform women’s combat boot with chains and other metal bits.  (See above)

A nicely judged mix of modest and edgy, I thought.

The Perch

Back in 2010 when I was doing my blog about Flinders Street Station, I learned about the Perch. It’s the steel railing in the station concourse against the window between Platform 3 and 4 and Platforms 5 and 6. Here the train drivers perch on the rail and hang out while waiting for their next driving shift. “I never go there” said a woman train driver back then – “They just talk filth and give number ratings to passing women.”
Myself I doubt it was ever that exciting.

But this week -a mere 9 years – later I went through Flinders Street Station and discovered the Perch was entirely occupied by women drivers. What a change! I wonder if they were also talking filth and giving number ratings to passers-by.

Flinders Street Railway Station Concourse. I couldn’t find one of the Perch.

Shadow in the Empire of Light Launch

Author Jane Routley and Michael O’Brien of Chaosium Books. Thanks to Robert Love for the photo.


Yesterday at the Post Office Hotel, Chaosium publisher Michael O’Brien launched my latest book.
The occasion glittered most satisfactorily.
Michael O’Brien said “It’s called ‘Shadow in the Empire of Light’, has been described as like “modern Jane Austen with magic” (by critics) and “with Bridgerton overtones” (by me)”

Available from Simon & Schuster: https://www.simonandschuster.com/…/Jane…/9781781088340/

Or direct from Solaris https://rebellionpublishing.com/product/shadow_in_the_empire_of_light/


Jane signs a book. (Note: attractive pandemic accessory on her arm In case of need to socially isolate.)
Thanks to Neil Kerlogue for the photo



Are Possums symbolic?

A Brushtail possum engaging in its favorite activity

The day after the very contested Australia/Invasion Day I see my local possum climbing out of the bin holding a piece of vegemite toast in his mouth.  It all seems vaguely symbolic though I’m not sure what of.  Is this a You Beaut Aussie battler possum celebrating our great country’s favorite snack?  Or is it symbolic of the degradation of our native fauna by invader culture?

Both at the same time maybe

Or maybe just symbolic of the opportunistic nature of hungry possums.

Fantasy Hive – Author Spotlight

The lovely people over at Fantasy Hive have hosted me for an Author Spotlight

Even if you don’t want to read about me, go over and take a look at the site. They cover all kinds of good stuff such as Cosplay and Gaming and they also run the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off every year.

Pug Boy

A young man is sitting on the station wearing a mask – a paper mask showing the face of a cheerful pug dog with its tongue hanging out. I’d already noticed him waiting through two trains and now he’s put on this mask. Definitely time to ask.
“Are you O.K.?”
He pulls up the mask.
“Yes I’m fine,” he replies cheerfully.
In the face of such cheeriness, I feel a need to explain my officious behavior.
“Sorry, it’s just that when you work at a station you need to look out for people’s um… mental health,”
“Sure. I don’t blame you for asking,” he replies, smiling and putting his mask back.
So that’s that. He seems sane enough.  But he’s wearing a pug mask. On an ordinary weekday.
The mystery is solved -sort of – when the next train came in and a young woman gets off and greets him.
She doesn’t acknowledge the mask, but she seems pleased to see him.

Signs of change.


Good to be reminded. Words of comfort graffitied on the Upfield Bike Path just after the first Melbourne lock down.


Uniformed school kids on the station today.

Just a bunch of slouching, spotty adolescents. Unprepossessing really.

But also –

School kids on a zoo excursion!!!

Such joy!

Just like the good old innocent pre -Covid days.

It’s been so long.

Could it really be over?