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From Clive James, Unreliable Memoirs:

"... It was the usual Australian Christmas dinner, taking place in the middle of the day. Despite the temperature being 100°F. in the shade, there had been the full panoply of ragingly hot food, topped off with a volcanic plum pudding smothered in scalding custard. My mother had naturally spiced the pudding with sixpences and threepenny bits, called zacs and trays respectively. Grandpa had collected one of these in the esophagus. He gave a protracted, strangled gurgle which for a long time we all took to be the beginning of some anecdote. ..."

"... The only asphalt road in the area led down to the railway line at about the same angle as a door-wedge. It might not sound a very perilous incline, but I was able to prove that it was more than steep enough for a small boy on a tricycle to attain terminal velocity. The pedals became a vicious blur. There was no hope of getting my feet back on them. It was apparent that I would arrive at the bottom of the hill just in time to be flung on to the line in the path of a train even them looming out of the cutting. Hearing my screams, my mother came after me like the back half of Zeno's paradox about Achilles and the tortoise, if you can imagine Achilles in drag and the tortoise screaming its head off while balanced on a shaking bicycle seat with its legs stuck out. She caught up with me at the last moment. ..."

"... Two of the worst Australian spiders are the funnel-web and the trap-door. One is even more lethal than the other but I can't remember which. [...] The funnel-web is a ping-pong ball in a fox-fur. [...] But the real horror among spiders was more likely to be encountered in the lavatory itself. This was the red-back. [...] It had the awkward habit, in unsewered areas like ours, of lurking under the lavatory seat. If a red-back bit you on the behind you were left with the awkward problem of where to put the tourniquet and not long to think about it. Nor could you ask anyone to suck out the poison, unless you knew them very well indeed. ..."

From Clive James, Falling Towards England [Unreliable Memoirs II]

"... they were tanned a colour so reddish it was almost strawberry. It was another episode in my long history of unsuitable shoes, a story which is not yet closed and would need a book of its own. Let's just say that even now, when I have learned to dress as plainly as possible, I still get so impatient with the whole time-consuming business of covering up exposed skin that I will buy the first thing that catches my eye, and that when it comes to shoes the first thing that catches your eye is the last thing you should ever put on your feet. It is almost better to be an impulse shirt-buyer than an impulse shoe-buyer. I have worn shirts that made people think I was a retired Mafia hit-man or a Yugoslavian sports convener from Split, but I have worn shoes that made people think I was insane."

"At the time I left Australia it was already on the verge of becoming one of the great wine countries of the world, but I won't pretend I was in any way au courant with the incipient viticultural breakthrough. My idea of a fine wine was one that merely stained your teeth without stripping the enamel."

From Clive James, May Week was in June [Unreliable Memoirs III] :

From Pamela Stephenson, Billy [A biography of comedian Billy Connolly]:

From Bruce Dessau, Rowan Atkinson [A biography of actor Rowan Atkinson] :

From John Shelby Spong, Here I Stand:

From Tom Baker, Who on Earth is Tom Baker?:

From My Name Escapes Me - The Diary of a Retiring Actor by Alec Guinness (Penguin, 1996):

From The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro by Iain McCalman (Flamingo, 2003):

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