An Interview with Lyndon Riggall

This is an interview conducted, as part of my media course, with my awesomeness cousin, Lyndon Riggall – you can check out his blog  right here.

Ben: Today we have with us an inspired and very, (very) good literature driven Australian, who has so many online blog posts, and so many online book reviews that you could be reading all night.

In 2011, he went in the Australian Poetry Slam, where he went into the finalists, and eventually the runners up.  In 2012, he set off to travel 2224 kilometres, the same distance that Frodo travelled to Mordor in the Lord of the Rings series.  And recently he’s been reading lots of children’s books, because he’s part of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, which requires you to read every children’s book released in the past 12 months, about 400 books.  So Lyndon!

Lyndon: Hi!

Ben: Thanks for being on the show!

Lyndon: Thank you for inviting me.

Ben: So what inspires or introduced you to literature, and what about it keeps you pursuing it?

Lyndon: I think for me it probably began… I was really lucky that I grew up in the Harry Potter generation and so when I was a kid, Harry Potter came out and I was probably in Grade 2, and I read it and it was new and exciting and of course I’d like to say that now because ah look *I was ahead of the trend.*

But I read it, and I was completely in love with it.  And then as the years went by, everyone else read it and everyone else fell completely in love with it and the movies came out. And it was probably the first time… and in fact it’s still used as a benchmark for… it’s about as big as a book can get. And I think when you grow up through that it often has an effect on you, the things you grow up with… so for me…

Ben: Kind of the fact you get to watch it grow and expand.

Lyndon: Yeah that’s it, there was no convincing me that books weren’t important when you see something like that happen. So yeah.

Ben: So in the Australian Poetry Slam that you went in, in 2011, how was your experience with that? And for those that haven’t seen it, maybe you’d like to explain what your poem was about?

Lyndon: Yeah, so my poem was a little bit controversial, it was based on a true story about… it dropped into fantasy… but it was a true story about Jehovah’s Witnesses coming and door knocking on my door. And it was sort of about the attitude they have when they come to your door – because I find it a really strong and terrifying attitude, ’cause I’m not the sort of person who thinks that the world is ending… you know… and that we’re all going to die.  So for me, to wake up in the morning in your dressing gown, to go to the door, and to just be immediately hit with that is a really funny experience. So I wrote about that and performed it in Launceston and eventually got to take it to Sydney… and that was really scary. I performed on the stage at the Sydney Theatre where, obviously I wasn’t in a play, but people like Jeffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett and lots of really famous Australian people have performed there – and I didn’t get to take my family with me, so I was all alone, in front of this massive Sydney audience.  Which is nothing like you’d see here,  but it was amazing.  It was a room of thousands of people screaming and cheering over poetry… which is kind of nice.

Ben: Which audience do you think took your poem the best, the Launceston or the Sydney one?

Lyndon: I think probably the Sydney one. (The) people in Launceston are probably a bit more tentative about coming up and talking to you afterwards, and maybe it’s part of being in a small crowd, that they have people they came to the show with, that they’ll talk to them. But even as I was walking up the stairs after finishing it, people were trying to grab me and say, “My mum’s a Jehovah’s Witness and I need a copy of that poem so that I can show it to her, and she’ll find it really interesting.” And that was really exciting. Yeah, that was nice that people wanted to share that.

Ben: So quite a journey of course from Launceston to Sydney, not quite  as big as your 2224 kilometre trip. On the fan forums, the Internet, it said that apparently it’s estimated that Frodo took about six months. How long did it take you on your journey?

Lyndon: Yeah, I decided to try and walk the… it’s often confusing for people so I will explain. I didn’t try to go into the wilderness and take bread wrapped up in leaves or anything like that in the Lord of the Rings books.  But what I tried to do was, just to get a sense of how far that really is, how far that journey is.  I started on January the 19th 2012, and I wanted to finish by the day that the Hobbit came out, which was boxing day. And so I made it… but all I had to do to keep up with that was six and a half kilometres a day. But yeah, it took me twice as long as it took them.

Ben: Do you have any plans for literature driven journeys in the future? Not necessarily exercise based.

Lyndon: I would love… on that front, I’ve had lot’s of friends say, “Can we walk around Westeros?” which is the Game of Thrones world, and I would love to work that out.  But I was really lucky with the Lord of the Rings people, who have really nutted out all of those details. Tolkien inspires people to get really obsessive about tiny details, and so I was lucky that I actually had someone who had done most of the maths for me, I just had to convert it into kilometres and work out where I would have to be at each point to actually chart the whole journey of the books.

But in terms of my own literary journey, what I’m doing next, I’m trying to write a book. Which is probably much more scary than walking. Yeah, so I’ve finished a first draft but what’s interesting about books is that first drafts often aren’t anywhere near ready. So it’s still hiding from the world at the moment.

Ben: Okay, and finally your a member of the Children’s Book Council of Australia… what’s it like reading 400 children’s books?

Lyndon: *Laughs* Really interesting! So what the Children’s Book Council do every year, they give, and you may have seen them, their little medallions that they put on the books.  So they get a gold, if they’re considered the best of that year, across various categories.  And then there are honoured books, and notable books.  So I signed up and asked it I could perform that process for them, without really thinking the quantity of books you’d have to read.

I mean it’s logical that if you want to choose the best book that this country produces… you have to read every book that this country produces.  And I should have thought of that.  But sure enough, pretty much every two weeks, until very recently,  I get about 30 books in the post, and I go through them and make notes on them and send them off – and they gradually fill up all the space underneath my bed.  But it’s really hard, sometimes you get a box of picture books, and you know, it’s stories about babies and food and stuff like that and they take 5 minutes – but sometimes they are really big novels.

But one of the really good parts of the experience, is finding terrible books… and Australia produces very few really bad books, but everyone who wants to write – should read bad books.  Because when you read a bad book, firstly you teach yourself what’s wrong with it, and you know, some of the books I’ve read I start to see problems and I go, “Oh, that might be a problem in the book that I’m trying to write.”  And the other thing that’s really good about it is that you really get a sense that… (if a ‘bad book’ gets an award, that perhaps your book has a chance in it all.)

Ben: (Thank you) So this of course is Lyndon Riggall! You can check out his blog at for more, maybe the rest of that sentence will come to light on the blog.  Thanks so much for watching, and we’ll see you all next time.

Hey guys!

Hope you enjoyed this painstakingly-written-out version of this interview I recorded for my media studies in school!
I just wanted to let you know that at some point I’ll be doing a major refresh of this site – as you can see it’s been a bit glitchy recently, and I think I know what I have to do to fix it.  MAKE IT A BLOG AGAIN.  I’m going to be getting rid of the social ‘Facebook Profile’ like area of the site because all it does is cause compatibility issues with every single theme I use it with – and I honestly don’t have the time to go through and code myself a theme right now that works.  So I’m going to remove the cause – get it out of the way – and get back to a pretty stable blogging site – all ready for Vlog my Blog 2013… I mean… what?




Sunsets and Closure

Sunsets and Closure

‘Sunsets and Closure’ – a photo of mine that I’ve released under Creative Commons on Flickr… so far it’s my first photo on there… but I hope to release more.  If you would like to download it as a wallpaper, it’s here too.

Greetings once again… I’d like to complain about my own lack of commitment when it comes to writing posts… but I fear that that would require – well, commitment.  Plus I’ve found that looking at everything you haven’t done but had planned on doing during your holidays potentially depressing.  Thankfully, being an Earth-dweller, I’m able to experience that magical conclusion of day that is, the afternoon. It’s at this time of day that everything meets it’s closure – mentally at rest, as the sunlight possesses all that it touches with it’s golden streams of warmth.  All worries about lost time, tasks incomplete… the clockwork of human life simply put on pause – as you observe something far more important.  It’s although the sky and the sun are sharing their colossal amount of wisdom with you for only a few moments before the sun vanishes beyond the horizon.

This all seems very naturalistic – some may think to themselves “bloody tree hugger”

But if a thought even enters your mind in that stance you’re not seeing it.  Because thoughts are human – opinionated, ignorant, categorized.  We label, blame and make up stories about leaders and control.  We assume and argue about wrongs – wrongs that have been formed and identified by ourselves.  If anything, the word ‘Human’ in the dictionary should stand for ‘complicated beings, who make up complicated things.’  Stand and bask in the afternoon’s closure.  There are no dark thoughts in the wisdom of the sky.  Even if the sky is engulfed by the moodiest storm clouds, the sun still shines brightly behind them. In the end… we fear each other.  Because the actions of a stranger can be unpredictable.

The life that Humans have created is one structured upon poisoned thoughts.

The Joke, The Solution, The Consequences.

Hey everyone, girls and guys alike! Welcome to the new school year, some are Grade 10, 9, even 11 in some cases (if you are going to college).

I was sitting in English today, thinking away about what just to write about. School, my job, my family, maybe even a simple thing I noticed while walking down a street… then, one of my friends thought up an idea, a post based on a joke I said to him at some point during the day.

It goes like this:

“Pollen is essentially ‘plant sperm.’ Therefore, Hay fever is an STD.

Because pollen is not voluntarily taken in by humans, we are all being raped by trees.

Conclusion: Deforestation is the key.

So take that environment. You rape us, we rape you right back!”

I came across this joke while browsing Facebook. Quite intrigued by the joke, I put it up on what was my “wall,” and received multiple ‘likes’ and several comments…

You may be thinking something along the lines of: “Why the heck is he writing about this??” or “This joke makes no sense in terms of preventing hay fever.”

I will tell you something right now. It does, but with serious consequences and flaws of course. Firstly, if someone decided to destroy an entire ecosystem, they would be thrown into the psych ward of the nearest hospital. Then, they would be put in solitary confinement if they still planned to go ahead with their project.

Secondly, if you actually managed to cut down every tree in the world, we would eventually run out of oxygen and end up a bit like the planet Venus. Besides, as some may be thinking now, hay fever is not just caused by trees, it is caused mainly by grass and a variety of plants…

An absolute maniac would now be saying, “Burn the land!! Destroy all the grass and plants that cause hay fever!!”

Lastly, if the world somehow went to drastic measures like these, there would be panic all across the globe with people preparing for the worse. This is where Julia Gillard steps in and says, “Bring on the Carbon Tax policies!!”

So, if I come up with a plan like this, please put me up against a wall and shoot me.

Until next time,


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The Body of Control

Water, nice cold water. Ahh, sorry about that, slightly distracted.

SO! First day back at school, and it was relatively warm, and since I’m incredibly organised I didn’t bother buying a new drink bottle or cleaning one out in time. Hence, I spent the day in a roulette of thirst, all dependent on which classrooms had the air conditioning on.

[Just noticed because of a typo that, add a ‘H’ to ‘air conditioning’ and you really do get quite a different sentence.]

This isn’t a post about surviving thirst, there’s not going to be an elaborate story that includes snake skins and a full bladder and a non-existent gag reflex. I’m talking about when I finally was able to purchase a bottle of water from the shop at the end of the day.

Now my Society teacher would probably ask me to add what I just wrote to our first work unit on, “What living standards are like in Australia,” as: being able to purchase clean drinking water, but again… this isn’t a post about that either.

What I had in mind is more do with our body’s control over us. “Ben, have you taken your medication today?” I’ve mentioned something similar to this before, where I spoke about how in sex education they the informed us thoroughly about sexual feelings, and how much it seemed to me like the body hanging a carrot on a stick trying to get us to breed like rabbits… I wonder if the carrot hanging on a stick has something to do with the rabbits insane breeding patterns? …Anyways.

As I poured the icy cool water down my parched dry throat, I found it curious that it felt incredibly relieving, how it made you feel good. I noted that it’s almost like your body liked the fact you were finally giving it the water it ordered numerous hours ago when it initiated it’s dry throat protocol, and was rewarding you for it by releasing endorphins.

Could this be the case? Could our sub conscious really be our ACTUAL body? We’re like taking the reins of this moving living thing, and the sub conscious is just making sure we drive it right?
“Hey moron! You left the tap on! NO YOU NEED FOOD NOW! Yuck, why did you eat this, this isn’t good for you at all, take it back!”

Think about it, it sounds pretty plausible, I mean, we don’t choose to throw up food if we eat too much, or something that doesn’t agree with us, sure, we can force ourselves to throw up, but our body can do it by itself without shoving anything down our throat. Our body decides when to sweat, breath, blink, yes we have some control over some of these things, but still. If the body ever needs something it fires the alarm, something to let us know, almost as if it can’t directly communicate with us, but it can let us know via different methods.

What do you think?

Is your body running the show?

Thanks for reading yet another insane post (I don’t mean as in AWESOME…)


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Life Ruined? Oh please.

Okay, I’ve about had it.
I’m sick of everyone being way, way too over-dramatic.
Yes all you people on MySpace are the main target of this post, I
can’t believe you.

Why do you people say that your life is ruined?
Well from what I’ve read it’s because ‘people don’t like you’ or ‘your
boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you’ or ‘you can’t get a
Gawd, you people need help.
Because your worlds revolve around relationships, around ‘Needing to
be popular’ about people ‘needing to like them.’

It’s not the end of the world!
Your life isn’t over just because someone dumps you, cos you think
no one likes you.
Half the time people do like you! But a few people aren’t enough for
you! You need everybody to like you! Life doesn’t work that way buster
so deal with it!

And as for girlfriends and boyfriends! Many of you have had 8 even 12
already! Some people haven’t had any and they are happy as can be.

The main problem here is that many of you have meaningless
relationships, only going out cos you thing you have to, heaps of
people go out for a day or a week and stop. Classic examples of
meaningless relationships.

The relationship has to be genuine for it to be emotionally efficient.
Meaningless relationships lead to being emotionally depressed.

Grow up,

Get a life and stop having to rely on other people for you to be happy!

I think I’m done now,


Interesting Points About Religion

Okay! Now I am not going to be picking on anyone or anything.
None of that stuff.

I’m just mentioning a few things about religion that I find interesting.
People may comment and list a few more interesting points about it as well.
Keep in mind any comments offending anyone, (Not that I can talk) will be deleted.


The 1st thing that I find interesting about religion is to do with the storyline.

In the Christian storyline a Great Flood was sent by God to remove evil from the world, this brings in the story of Noah’s Ark. The man who built a giant ship and went round the entire Earth gathering 2 of every animal.

The interesting point here is that 2 of an animal would not bring back the species. There would be mutations and relatives would be mating with relatives and it would all go crazy and that beautiful deer over there would be standing there with 5 legs.
Whether the number of animals has been changed because of translation error, I wouldn’t know.

The other interesting point to do with the Great Flood is that the Chinese religious storyline also speaks of a Great Flood. Which leads to the conclusion that the Great Flood was historical event.
Whether to do with God or a natural disaster.

Now moving on.

Interesting point to do with Christmas and Easter.
We are always being told that on Christmas day, Jesus was born.
In fact he was born late November, far from the 25Th of December.
Easter is supposed to be the date of his death/rebirth. But the date of Easter changes every year.
The reason for this is due to the Romans.
During the time of the Romans there was a lot of forced beliefs and so forth, the Romans believed that Christian was the true religion. So off they went, converting countries and countries of people to Christian.
They came across a group of people they had a hard time converting. These people were Pagans.

In order to convert the Pagans the Romans had to adapt some of the Pagans traditions, Easter and Christmas. Easter is a celebration that changes according to the moon cycle.
Not the death or resurrection of Jesus.

In a way it’s made it all quite confusing.

But very interesting indeed.

If there is a God floating around,

What would he say about all this?