Blogging

  • Thoughts on a plane from Hobart to Sydney - As I sat and watched the singer-songwriter night at the pub last night, I felt slightly melancholic. Watching the university crowd coming in and out, watching them and their friends play, led to some middle-aged self-reflection. “I’m old enough to be their father, or even their grandfather”, I thought to myself. Though it only seems […]
  • Bruny Island - It’s funny how the phrase “the mainland” can mean two quite different things in Tasmania. You would assume, on the surface, it’s a reference to the “rest of Australia”. But on ABC Radio’s “Country Hour” the other day, I heard someone from King Island refer to “the mainland” as the “rest of Tasmania”. And I […]
  • Aløft in Hobart - Over dinner, we talked a little of our memories of the lunch we enjoyed at the world-renowned Noma, when it operated briefly in Sydney. With only a limited run in Sydney, it was something we had planned several months for. And even now, eighteen months later, I still remember almost every detail of the experience. […]
  • Art on Victoria - The other evening as I was walking “home” to my apartment in Hobart, I happened upon an interesting public art project. The lane-way I thought was going to be a short-cut to home, turned out to be a delay, as I enjoyed “Art On Victoria”. I popped back today to snap a few daylight photographs. […]
  • My Week in Hobart - Ten years ago, or even five years ago, I’m sure I could have been tempted to top off the evening with a nightcap at the nearby whiskey bar. But after a long day at work, several courses of food at Aløft, and a fair few glasses of beer, wine, and an Aperol spritz, we were […]
  • Hello Hobart - For most domestic travel, and even some international, I can usually get by with carry-on luggage. A couple of pairs of shorts, a couple of polo shirts, a couple of collared shorts, some jeans, some socks and jocks and even a suit can be comfortably accommodated within the carry-on limit. This time around I’ve brought […]
  • Lost Animals - You know how ugly those hoardings on construction works can be? Chip-board. “Do not enter” signs. That kind of thing? The other week I noticed there’s a new approach that’s being taken by the City of Sydney. I first saw it at the old fruit and vegetable shop on Crown Street, Surry Hills, currently under […]
  • Busy Weekend (Eating) - There are weekends when I, quite literally, barely leave the house. Though I’ll usually still wake early, I will often head back to bed for an early or late afternoon nap, and spend the time in between reading, listening, or watching various things I’ve accumulated during the week. Then, all of a sudden, Sunday afternoon […]
  • Celebrations at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative - “The reason we started Boomalli was no Sydney gallery would exhibit the work of urban Aboriginal artists”, Aunty Euphemia Bostock told us, as she reflected on the passing of time, at last night’s celebration of thirty years of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative. “Even now”, Djon Mundine added, “There are only two or three works […]
  • Catching Up - “How long have you been back?”, I was asked the other night by a colleague about my trip to Spain. “Only a week”, I told her, though I had to think about it for a moment, because so much has happened in the last seven days. Normally, I don’t have much luck getting through customs. […]
  • Discarded Torso - I never cease to be amazed at the things which are “discarded” in my back laneway. Yes, there are couches, fridges and all manner of home furnishings. But there’s also been a wooden leg, some oddly constructed furniture made from 44-gallon drums, and now this which has a slightly S&M feel to it. It’s an […]
  • Photos from Spain - The problem with modern photography is that it’s sooooo easy to take soooo many photographs. Unlike the old days where film afforded you at most 36 photographs before you needed to change, the modern “slide night” could end up lasting several days and several nights. To make it easier when I catch up with friends […]
  • Marriage Equality Rally - “How’s it going for you at the moment?”, a friend asked me, as we sat under a tree in Victoria Park, and waited for speeches at today’s marriage equality rally. The last time I’d seen her was at the last marriage equality rally I’d attended, about a month ago. She’s a heterosexual woman with a […]
  • Diwali in Delhi - In contrast to my experience at Madrid Airport the other week (where I made it through security in less than five minutes), it took much, much longer at Delhi Airport. The man at airport security looked me up and down several times, and asked me the same questions over and over. Even with documentation, he […]
  • Sawdust and Pink Detergent - Half way through the flight from Madrid to Delhi, I woke briefly. The cabin was in darkness, but still I could see the man in an adjoining seat was laying down flat on the cabin floor. “That’s a bit odd”, I thought to myself, but closed my eyes and attempted to go back to sleep. […]
  • Toledo and Madrid - Since I first began researching this trip, a visit to Toledo (about 50 minutes by bus south of Madrid) has been high on my list of priorities. I’d seen photographs online which indicated a town of great beauty. On top of that, there was the story of a town that was once the capital city […]
  • San Sebastian and Bilbao - After a couple of days visiting San Sebastian and Bilbao, we’re on the train headed back to Madrid. In common with the trip from Barcelona to San Sebastian, the trip takes about five hours, and once again, we’re passing through the vast countryside of Spain. At first, the landscape from Barcelona to San Sebastian was […]
  • Gaudi Friday - On arriving in Barcelona a couple of days ago, one of the first things we did was pay a visit to Park Guell, designed by the renowned architect, Antoni Gaudi. Even though I thought it was very good, it was a little disappointing, since some parts of the park were closed off for renovation. Since […]
  • Fiesta Nacional de España - With recent moves for Catalan political independence, it’s an interesting time to be in Barcelona. In common with our own “national day” there were lots of people walking around the city draped in the national flag. In stark contrast, the Catalan flag dominated the buildings, often accompanied by a sign with some kind of political […]
  • Hello Barcelona - At about ten o’clock last night, I checked the time. “Happy Anniversary”, I said to Sue, congratulating her on twenty-four hours in Spain. “Cheers”, we all said, as we raised our glasses. And what a whirlwind twenty four hours it had been. After meeting Sue late last night at the airport, and checking in to […]
  • Monday in Madrid - If you have an interest in art, you could spend a day or two, or even longer at Madrid’s Reina Sofia. As it was, I spent several hours there late this afternoon/this evening, and in some ways, feel like I only skimmed the surface. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is Spain’s national […]
  • Modern Madrid - As you’ve undoubtedly read over the last few days, Spain is undergoing what’s being described as “the greatest political crisis in decades”, as there is a move to declare Catalonia (the north east part of the country, centred on Barcelona) independent. Not that I’ve really seen much of it here in Madrid. Although I know […]
  • The Colours of Madrid - For at least ten minutes today I watched a young woman attempt to take a selfie. She tried portrait. She tried landscape. She did a complete 360 twirl to find the right background. She fluffed her hair, applied lipstick and makeup, and tried all manner of facial expression. Eventually she got the shot she wanted, […]
  • Hola! Madrid - I don’t think I’ve ever made it through passport control that quickly. It helped I was in one of the first few rows of economy class. It helped that ours was the only flight arriving at that time of night. And it helped, that I had only carry-on luggage. Even so, it was literally less […]
  • Flying from New Delhi to Madrid - If you gaze out the window of the Air India flight from Delhi to Madrid, there’s some truly wonderful landscape to behold. There’s an area (in particular) to the north of Baku headed towards Tbilisi, where the snow capped mountains, combined with rolling clouds, had me entranced. Though my preferred seats are generally aisle-side, I […]
  • Are We In India Yet? - There’s a terrific episode of “The Simpsons” where the family travels with Apu to India, and where Homer keeps repeating the line “are we in India yet?”. Chuckling to myself, I kept saying the line over and over in my head, because it now makes sense completely. It’s a long way to India. In the […]
  • Double Take - In the midst of the light rail construction currently underway in my neighbourhood, Surry Hills, there’s a terrific public art project, Double Take, which includes some wonderful night-time projections. Here are some of the photographs I snapped tonight.
  • Old Darlinghurst Gaol - Even though I’ve been to the National Art School on countless occasions, and I’ve been on several history walks which have touched on its history as East Sydney Tech College, and before that as the Darlinghurst Gaol, I’ve never really had much knowledge of the change chronology. So when I saw something on Eventbrite a […]
  • Cabramatta Moon Festival - Though it takes about an hour to get from Central to Cabramatta via train, the trip is well worth it. Sue and I headed out today for the annual Moon Festival, which I understand is traditionally in Vietnam, a “mid-autumn celebration”. Both physically and metaphorically, Cabramatta is “home” to many Australians with Vietnamese heritage, because […]
  • Reunited at Surry Hills Festival - Though I had vague plans for the day to visit a couple of galleries, do some work I needed to catch up on, and to go the Surry Hills Festival, the day started slowly. I woke, fumbled around, and then went back to sleep. Later in the morning I picked up a message from my […]