TASSIE RIDE #1 – Scottsdale to Bicheno


Gentleman, start your engine. The road at Scottsdale is downhill…for the first few hundred metres anyway.

I’m the guinea-pig, apparently. I’m certainly not the first to ride a bike along Tasmania’s East Coast, but I am the pioneer on Tasmanian Expeditions’ self-guided version of the adventure.

All up it will be six days in the saddle, with a little time off to rest the rear end by doing some hiking in the national parks.

Tasmania is not yet well-developed as a cycling destination. That day may be coming, eventually. That the island has more than its fair share of spectacular scenery is a given. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Uncategorized

THE ROAD AHEAD – on Tassie’s East Coast


This is supposed to be me next week – something to look forward to!

I’ve been quiet on the blog for a while, sitting at home in suburban Sydney, but as of tomorrow I’ll be on the road again, cycling lovely Tasmania from Scottsdale to Maria Island.

There doesn’t appear to be a lot of WIFI along the route, but stay tuned – I’ll post about it all as soon as I can.

I’m the guest of Tasmanian Expeditions. Thanks!


Filed under Uncategorized

BEIJING CALLING – and not to talk real estate

Zhang Xiao - Shaanxi No 2.

Zhang Xiao – Shaanxi No 2.

China is in the news every day in Sydney. Nearly every story is about economics.

“Slowing Chinese demand ends Australia’s resources boom,” “Sydney real estate unaffordable thanks to Chinese investment,” scream the headlines.

We hear little about Chinese art and culture and the way it reflects the fast changing face of modern China. Dr Yeqin Zou is determined to change that, opening a new Sydney gallery dedicated to cutting edge Chinese art. Continue reading

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Filed under Art


Louis Pratt - King coal

Louis Pratt – King coal

We’ve never found a better public art event anywhere in the world than Sydney’s wonderful Sculpture by the Sea.

Continue reading


Filed under Art, Travel-Australia


A photo op over the Grose Valley.

A photo op over the Grose Valley.

I’ve finally found time to venture out of Sydney, into the Blue Mountains. I thought I knew them well, but I didn’t know about this hidden treasure. Continue reading


Filed under Hiking, Travel-Australia


No-one can say I'm taking it easy. That guy in the red cap looks pretty relaxed and comfortable though.

No-one can say I’m taking it easy. That cool guy in the red cap looks pretty relaxed and comfortable though, as we arrive at the Opera House forecourt. Photo: Marathon Photos.

Apologies. I’ve gone AWOL from the blog for weeks. It’s been a busy time, capped off by the busiest Sunday I can remember.

It was my suggestion to Andy Griffiths, currently Australia’s best-selling author, with rock-star status for 6-12-year-olds: “Our 52-Storey Treehouse play opens in the Sydney Opera House on the same morning as the Sydney Marathon arrives there. Parking will be a nightmare. Let’s run the half marathon, duck into the cast dressing rooms for a shower, then zip round to the Playhouse Theatre to watch the premiere of the show.”

So we do just that. Continue reading


Filed under Theatre



‘When I was at drama school, I didn’t think my life would turn out like this,’ says actor Drew Livingston, pulling on a pantomime horse head. James Elliot, the horse’s back legs, agrees. ‘I imagined myself doing Chekov, sitting in an armchair talking about Moscow.’

In a couple of weeks we’ll be in the Sydney Opera House, performing our live version of the best-selling Australian book of 2014, The 52-Storey Treehouse. Though we’re well into rehearsals I’m still tinkering with the script, trying to make scenes run smoothly, cutting jokes that are falling flat, ‘killing my darlings’.

It’s tricky to stage a caterpillar eating two speeding steamrollers, an epic trek by Ninja snails and detectives Andy and Terry zooming around in their Flying Fried Egg Car. Somehow, we’ll manage it. It always comes right on the night. Continue reading


Filed under Theatre