Category Archives: Uncategorized

TREKKING MOROCCO – drama and a little danger

Click on this photo and look carefully, and you may be able to see the mules coming to our rescue.

Click on this photo and look carefully, and you may be able to see the mules coming to our rescue.



The little log and stick bridge is supported by sandbags at each end. It has sagged onto the surface of the muddy river, its waters swollen by melting snow from the surrounding peaks. It has no handrail.

Local children skip over its 15-metre span. Village women stoically struggle across, carrying absurdly large bundles of animal fodder on their backs.

Nobody seems to have any trouble. Until it’s our turn – six Dutch hiking friends, one Australian and our Berber guide Khalid, two hours into our five-day trek through the foothills of Morocco’s High Atlas range. Continue reading

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TRAVELLER ZOO – Hagglius shamelis

Hagglius

A hagglius is never happier than when getting 47 cents off the price of a bamboo flute. And never more miserable than when forced to pay $3.28 for a tuktuk ride he tried to get for under $2.
Identifying call: ‘They expect you to bargain. It’s part of their culture.’

* During 2015, illustrator Simon Letch and I have been contributing a weekly cartoon to the Traveller section of the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age, introducing some of the curious species we meet on the road. Time to release some of them into the wilds of cyberspace…

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EVERYONE’S IRISH ON ST PATRICK’S DAY – even in Auckland

If they say they're Irish, they're Irish.

If they say they’re Irish, they’re Irish. Don’t argue with the sousaphone player!


My path along Auckland’s Queen St was blocked today by a lot of people wearing green.

Not all of them looked Irish, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. The craic was foin! Continue reading

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CHIPPENDALE – a Sydney crime scene goes green

Cutting edge; Central Park has replaced the old Carlton brewery.

Cutting edge; Central Park has replaced the old Carlton & United brewery with eco-design shops and apartments.

An accident of logistics* sees me staying in an Air BnB apartment in the historic inner city Sydney suburb, Chippendale. (Sorry if you hit this blog post while googling ‘furniture’ or ‘hunky male strippers’.)

Finding a little time for blogging after an enforced break, I researched ‘Chippendale, NSW’, on the web. Apparently it’s famous for its murders. Continue reading

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ONLY IN GLASGOW

Well, maybe only in Scotland would this be a cool numberplate.

Well, maybe only in Scotland would this be a cool numberplate.

Wifi is slow and limited, but worked just well enough to get this posted.

This morning Mevrouw T and I board the train in Glasgow’s Queen Street Station to head north to Oban, then it’s onto a boat for a wildlife cruise around the Isle of Mull. Stay tuned…

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TULLOCH PROJECTS UNLEASHED ON THE WORLD

Unfortunately we’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time, out of media contact while many millions in different parts of the world watch the work of the Tulloch family in two separate productions about to hit their screens. Continue reading

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BANANAS THREATENED WITH DEATH BY 1000 SLICES

The billboard in Sydney. Photo; Edwina Pickles, Fairfax media

Are you thinking what I’m thinking, B1? I think many people are, B2. Photo: Edwina Pickles, Fairfax media

The ABC is under threat. Not for the first time, the Australian government feels that it is getting more than its fair share of criticism from the publicly funded national broadcaster. It has the option of cutting ABC funding in the upcoming May budget.

Former ABC Chairman and Managing Director David Hill put it well in his article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

My fear is that cutting ABC funding further will damage not only the ABC’s ability to be an effective independent news and current affairs service, but also the contribution it makes to Australian children’s programs, education, the arts, classical and alternative music, science, comedy, rural affairs and a host of other areas which are poorly served by commercial media.

I declare an interest here. The ABC took a big punt when it gave me my first ever job. Continue reading

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