Ducklings at Flinders Street

Metro Newsfeed (edited)

Friday 19/11 13:33

Flinders Street 13:27
Ducks reported walking in pit Platform 10
Train stopped. Altered platform working.
Station Staff to attend. Announcements to reflect “Delays due to wildlife rescue
at Flinders Street”

Friday 19/11/ 13:44

All Ducklings in box.
Train about to move.

Friday 19/11 13:45

Update Flinders Street
Wildlife Rescue Victoria attending.
Wildlife (ducklings x 6) clear of through suburban lines
Normal platform working and routing to resume.
Residual delays of 4 minutes “Due to an earlier wildlife rescue”

Just to clarify, Melbourne’s central station Flinders Street sits on the banks of the Yarra River.

Protectors of Public Lands


Photo credit – Pixabay



The Protectors of Public Lands met at my station last week.  This community group are battle hardened if somewhat less knight-in shining-armour than the name suggests.  They are determined to get a Zebra Crossing between the station and the zoo.  Their excellent underlying aim is to persuade the zoo to encourage more use of public transport rather than putting more of Royal Park under parking.

I took the opportunity to bend their ears about (lobby for) some the things my station lacks – good signage to the zoo entrance, a video display of train arrivals, weekend station staff.  Then the Protectors were off to take a news photo of themselves stopping traffic on the road along with a couple of women with a pram they co-opted on the spot and a large white Samoyed dog who I think was only in the photograph because the news photographer thought he was really cute.

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:…/Jane…/9781781088340/

Or direct from Solaris


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.

Mad Hatter

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. “Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,” thought Alice; “only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.”
The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: “No room! No room!” they cried out when they saw Alice coming. “There’s plenty of room!” said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.

Travel in a time of Covid 19

Machinery, Albion station

Earlier this year but still during lockdown, work sent me over to the gritty industrial west of Melbourne to a station where I’d never been before. I’m from the middleclass eastern suburbs and grew up regarding this place as very much the wrong side of the tracks.
On this cold misty morning it’s all grit and grime.

Against a cold grey sky huge trucks roar as they belt over the bridge above. Derelict wheat silos loom across the tracks, rotting industrial machinery strewn at its feet. The only other person in sight is a man in a black hoody crossing the weed pocked car park. Of course. Maybe a drug dealer?
Here be dragons.


silo at


Except that someone has decorated the platform with planters of flowers.
And I’m somewhere new! During the Covid lockdown I’m somewhere new. Woo Hoo!
As I watch the man in the black hoodie begins to skip.

Flowers, Albion station
Flowers, Albion station