Before I started working at the Tweed Daily News I didn’t know

there was a game called “banana toss”

I learnt about this game while writing an article about the Tweed Valley Banana Festival. It’s fairly easy to play – it involves tossing bananas.

Lionel Morgan was the first Aboriginal to play rugby league for Australia

That was in 1960. In the course of doing a story on the Seagulls Rugby League Club’s 104th Anniversary Reunion, I discovered Lionel Morgan used to play for them. The editor’s headline for my online article was “Seagull players flock to reunion”.

dogs can help kids learn to read

Dogs being non-judgmental, apparently they’re ideal reading companions. This charming fact came to light during research for an article on an exhibition of children’s book illustrations at the Tweed River Art Gallery. In Murwillumbah there’s a group called Story Dogs who lend out their dogs to assist kids who are having trouble learning to read.

the Spanish painter Francisco Goya was deaf

Like Beethoven, Goya went deaf in mid-career. This bit of trivia turned up while writing a piece about an exhibition of Goya’s Los Caprichos series of etchings from the 1790s. Hardly trivial for Goya of course. Or Beethoven.

“Men can’t write sex.”

This alarming statement was made to me during a phone interview about a Romance Writers and Readers Convention to be held at Surfers Paradise. Further research however revealed that some 5% of romance genre authors are actually males – who, for the sake of credibility with their overwhelmingly female readership, use female pen names. No, I didn’t know that.