Blogging

  • Museum of Love & Protest - There was quite a crowd tonight in Sydney at the National Art School. As part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for 2018, currently underway, there’s a terrific exhibition called, “The Museum of Love & Protest”, which commemorates forty-years since the first ever Mardi Gras. These are some of my favourite photographs from […]
  • The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning - There was a time in my life when I thought television equalisation (as it was called) for regional areas was an important issue. I’d grown up in Lismore in Northern NSW with just two television stations, and then suddenly there were three, and then suddenly there were four. And now there are many more. And […]
  • Memories Of Mardi Gras 1978 - As we head into Mardi Gras season in Sydney, and in particular the fortieth anniversary (though strictly speaking, it’s half way through the year), I thought I’d re-share an earlier post from 2016. I recently had an email from someone interested in the oral history project I had been involved in back in 1998, celebrating […]
  • Melodifestivalen 2018 Deltävling #2 - There was a fair bit of “eye candy” in the second heat of Melodifestivalen, the competition which chooses Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. From the opening number (a cover of Saturday Night Fever’s “Stayin’ Alive” featuring male pole dancers), and later, David Lindgren (the host) appearing in tighty-whities, to the homoerotic charm of […]
  • Life Right Now - In the last few weeks I’ve become a bit of a bore with friends telling them about the book I’ve read/listened to called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning”. Despite the rather gloomy title (very Swedish!), it’s an inspiring work written from the perspective of a woman in her 80s/90s, preparing for her death, […]
  • The Murder Mall - “I’ve never ever heard it called that either”, a couple of friends agreed with me a few months ago. We were referring to the newspaper description of the Surry Hills (formerly Redfern) Shopping Village as “The Murder Mall”. I have lived in Surry Hills for over twenty years and have never heard it called “The […]
  • Food, Glorious Food - It was near impossible to get a taxi in Kings Cross on Friday night. “You see what happens when they introduce lock up laws, and try to gentrify the place?”, my friend said, as we waited for a taxi. Having seen a play at Hayes Theatre, we walked along Darlinghurst Road, remembering the days when […]
  • Melodifestivalen 2018 Deltävling #1 - There were two genuine laugh out loud moments, as I watched the first heat of Melodifestivalen (now, appparently called “Mello”), the Swedish competition which chooses their entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest. As I’ve stated previously, I far prefer Melodifestivalen over Eurovision. Maybe it’s because I’ve attended Melodifestivalen a couple of times? Or maybe because […]
  • Australian Of The Year - As I mentioned in my previous blog post, it’s two years exactly since I last attended an “Australian of the Year” function in Canberra. What was most memorable about that event was the storm which interrupted what was then an outdoor event. Though for many, the memory will be of Malcolm Turnbull holding an umbrella […]
  • The Bus to Canberra - I’m on the Murray’s bus, headed towards Canberra. Just a moment ago, the driver told us we’ll be arriving roughly forty minutes later than scheduled, due to heavy traffic in Sydney. Despite the delay, I love the bus trip to Canberra: I’ve had a brief nap, answered a bunch of emails, and have read some […]
  • Happy New Year in Sydney - “I swear, the last time I attended Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks was for the millenium”, I told my friend Kate last night. “We had a friend visiting from Ireland, so of course, we headed down the harbour”, I added, noting that every time since then I’ve either been at a party, at a pub, […]
  • Camera Roll - A few random, lovely shots from the last few weeks.
  • Yearly Review – 2017 - “I’m not sure I can make it all the way to the midnight fireworks”, I said to my friend Kate, as we spoke earlier today about plans for New Year’s Eve in Sydney, where we have tickets to the celebration at Barrangaroo. “Don’t worry”, she said, “I’ll bring a blanket, and if we need to, […]
  • 92.9 / 2NCR-FM - I paid a visit, this morning, to 92.9, Lismore’s community radio station, although I know it better as 2NCR-FM, the station where I got my start in radio. Almost forty years ago, two or three times a week, my dad would drive me from our home in South Lismore to Goonellabah. Located at the back […]
  • Southside Pride - “The further up the hill you lived, the more money you had; the better school you went to; and the less you had to worry about floods…”, was how I once described to a colleague the “class system” in Lismore (my hometown in Northern NSW). She, too, had grown up during the 60s and 70s […]
  • Stormy Weather - “I’m sorry sir, the lounge is closed. Can you please make your way to the Business Lounge on the left”, were the words which brought a smile to my face earlier today at Sydney Airport. I hadn’t planned to fly on Christmas Day; in fact, I hadn’t planned on coming home for Christmas. But I […]
  • Always was, always will be - For the past few years, the artwork “Always was, always will be” by Reko Rennie has been a feature of Taylor Square in Sydney. Striking, stunning, colourful, and a bold statement about Aboriginal land, I always smiled when I saw it. But, as reported a few weeks ago… The council announced on Friday that the […]
  • From Drags To Riches - “The last time I was here must have been ten years ago, and nothing’s changed: the scenery’s the same, and so is the music…”, I said to my friend, as we entered Sydney’s Arq nightclub, late tonight to the sounds of Kylie Minogue. “The last time I was here was two weeks ago…” she replied. […]
  • Christmas Plans - I hadn’t planned on going home for Christmas this year. I’d already taken six weeks annual leave this year, and figured it was “my time” to work through, while my colleagues took a break. But then I got a text message from Michelle, with a photograph of her son Sam, receiving his end of year […]
  • Surry Hills Stories - As I begin to reflect back on 2017, one of the most fantastic things I’ve been involved in this year has been a story-telling project called Surry Hills & Valleys. As I wrote previously… A few months ago a friend and I got together over dinner at a restaurant in Surry Hills. Compared with many, […]
  • Muriel’s Wedding – The Musical - There was a moment toward the end of tonight’s show when a large tear swelled up, and rolled down my right cheek. It’s also the bit in the movie that always upset me: the moment when the mother died. Or rather, committed suicide. My mum didn’t commit suicide, but in many ways she had lost […]
  • Christmas Music in Sweden - They’ve been playing Christmas music in the shops for a few weeks, and Christmas is still two weeks away! Here in Australia, there’s a certain cringe factor with the likes of Michael Buble and Mariah Carey with their “Christmas Albums”. However, as I’ve written previously, the Swedes seem to love it, and at this time […]
  • At Last, But Still Some Way To Go - “It has passed!!”, was the text I received from a colleague late this afternoon. As I was at “Christmas Drinks”, I missed the actual moment when the marriage equality laws passed through the Australian Parliament, but I received a bunch of messages from friends, family and workmates to tell me so. David Marr summed it […]
  • So What Do You Think Of Hobart? - “So after being here on and off for three weeks what do you think of Hobart?”, Damien asked me as we dined last night on some delicious Japanese food last. He caught my by surprise, as I didn’t really have a ready answer, aside from “I think I really like it”. It was one of […]
  • MONA in Hobart - “There’s nothing like a few hours at MONA to clear your brain…” I said to an older woman I shared the lift with a few hours ago. In contrast to her view there was “so much to think about”, my view is that a visit to MONA helps you “not think”. You come in, forget […]
  • Moves Like Tina - As I watched episode one of “Tales Of The City”, I looked over at the beautiful rainbow sunset out the window. Although I’ve flown many, many times I don’t think I’ve ever noticed something like that before. As much as I wanted to lean over and take a photograph, there was a man in the […]
  • 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. […]