Monthly Archives: August 2013

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: SEA – the Black one aint black

Dawn on the Black Sea.

Dawn on the Black Sea.

It’s been while since I undertook a Weekly Photo Challenge. Real life and real work have played merry hell with my blogging time.

Just a few weeks ago Mevrouw T and I were for the first time in our lives on a ship out of sight of land, cruising the Black Sea. The ports we visited – Istanbul, Nessebar, Odessa, Sebastopol and Yalta – were the primary attraction. But there was much to be enjoyed in simply watching the water slip past.

Opinion is divided on how the Black Sea came by its name. One theory is that the ancient Greeks called it the ‘Black Sea’ to contrast its wild, unknown shores and waters with the more familiar ‘White Sea’, their name for the Mediterranean.

We found it anything but black; rather colourful really.

We were the guests of Travel the World and Compagnie du Ponant.

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Filed under Black Sea, travel photography

HANGING IN MANILLA

Morning light on the Namoi River, Manilla

Morning light on the Namoi River, Manilla.



‘Where have you been, Richard?’ I hear you ask. ‘You’ve gone missing from cyberspace leaving only a scary bald-headed guy wearing your face.’

I’ve been in Manilla. No, that’s not a spelling error. It’s Manilla, New South Wales, a town 512km north-west of Sydney.

The reason for my visit was an invitation from Manilla’s excellent Born to Read festival to talk to school students, teachers and interested readers about books, writing and Bananas in Pyjamas.

The work was enjoyable, the organisation smooth and the hospitality wonderful. But what I also loved was a glimpse of life in and around a lovely small NSW town that sneaks under most tourist radars. Continue reading

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Filed under Travel-Australia

MR BIG NOSE – my stage comeback after a 30 year break.

Mr Big Nose lays down the law. If this show fails, Andy and Terry are going back to the Monkey House.

‘And you should be VERY nervous, Andy and Terry, because the future of Big Nose Productions depends on you!’



‘You look like Anthony Hopkins in ‘Silence of the Lambs’, says Mevrouw T. That’ll do. I’m supposed to be a seriously scary character.
Continue reading

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Filed under Theatre

MY NEW PLAY – in the Sydney Opera House

13_Storey_Treehouse_700X394

Curse you, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton! How can you be so irresponsible, apparently chucking random words and incoherent stories into books with hastily scrawled drawings, and yet be so damn successful?

You are among Australia’s and the world’s best-selling authors and illustrators, but your plots are sadly thin, your characters have neither depth nor development and your stories have no uplifting, educational messages for young readers. And they’re totally impossible to adapt for the theatre.

It must seem oh so easy to you. You just write in a book: ‘suddenly along came a squadron of flying cats, a mermaid, a sea monster, hundreds of monkeys and a giant gorilla.’ I bet you have a good old giggle thinking these things up.

Then some poor playwright like me has to work out a way for it to all happen, live on stage, twice or even thrice a day, with barely time to sweep up the broken glass between performances. Continue reading

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CIRCUM-LAKE-UTION – cycling round the Bodensee

Will we have as much fun as the people in the picture?

Will we have as much fun as the people in the picture?

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published my article about our epic ride around Lake Constance on Europe’s most popular cycling route, so now I can release the full story on the blog…

I’m regularly reminded that my wife is smarter than I am. She doesn’t need to do the reminding personally; usually it’s only too obvious. On this trip she’s riding an electric bike. Continue reading

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Filed under Austria, Cycle touring, Cycling, Germany, Switzerland

RUSSIAN ART in The Hague

AES +F Angels and Demons

Studio AES +F: Angels and Demons


A regular sculpture event brings us down to Den Haag whenever it’s held.

The lovely, leafy avenue known as Lange Voorhout hosts an outdoor exhibition, under the aegis of the excellent Museum Beelden aan Zee (‘Museum of Sculpture by the Sea’).

This year’s theme is RUSSIA XXI, featuring work by some of that country’s finest contemporary artists. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Holland

HENRY MOORE IN AMSTERDAM – Rijksmuseum

Why is everyone ignoring me?

Why is everyone ignoring me?

To celebrate the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the surrounding gardens are hosting a fabulous exhibition of Henry Moore’s sculpture.

We don’t expect to see a better collection of the work of the great British artist, not anywhere, not ever. And certainly not for free. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Holland