Flying to Mexico
13 March 2014 | Transport
The wonders of flying ‘Great Circle’ routes never cease to amaze me. You fly between Australia and southern Africa (Jo’burg say) or southern South America (Buenos Aires) and a glance at the map and you think it’s straight across the Indian Ocean or the southern South ...
A Tale for the Time Being
16 January 2014 | Media
Ruth Ozeki’s mysterious novel was a short list contender for the 2013 Booker Prize. The other 2013 contender I’ve read was Colum McCann’s TransAtlantic, which only made the long list. I was particularly interested in that one because of its connections with the first ...
Argo & the missing Paykans
12 December 2012 | Media
▲ Paykans and the Ayatollah in Isfahan
OK it’s a movie, not a book or an article – I went to see Argo the Ben Affleck film about getting six American diplomats out of Tehran during the 1980 Iran ‘hostage crisis’. Great movie although it’s been criticised for glor...
Sites of Impact
1 February 2012 | Media
▲ Wolfe Creek Crater, Western Australia
Every now and then I pick up a ‘got to go there’ book, you read it or look at the pictures and that’s what you immediately think. Judith Schalansky’s Atlas of Remote Islands was a fine example, she claimed she hadn’t been t...
Afghanistan comes to Mildura, Australia
26 January 2012 | Culture
▲ Afghan kite, Australian gum tree
Australia Day on 26 January is Australia’s equivalent of the USA's 4th of July or France’s Bastille Day (there isn’t a UK equivalent). I go some- where in the state of Victoria every year as part of the ‘Australia Day Ambassador...