21 January 2018

True colours

The Big Issue, Australia, Number 548 (20 Oct  2 Nov 2017)

Here is my piece that was published in The Big Issue Australia:

The other day, my friends and I were trying to decide between two logo designs – both were identical except that one was Steel Blue and the other was Bubblegum Pink. I said I liked the blue one. “Every white male over thirty loves that one,” one friend said. Everyone laughed, but the comment left me feeling conflicted. I am male and over thirty, and I guess most people would describe my skin as white – on a colour chart it would grade somewhere between Blanched Almond and Papaya Whip – but I’ve never felt white.

20 October 2017

My visionary toilet won me a tablet computer

A few months ago when I was using a toilet at Sydney Airport, I noticed a sign on the wall advertising a "Rate Your Experience" competition.

Challenge accepted.

A questionnaire asking for a bathroom hygience rating.
(I answered generously. I didn't want anyone to lose their job. I'm not a monster.)

(My answer is below, with visual aids, so that you may appreciate the full scope of my vision.)

2 October 2017

Vestmannaeyjar: the Westman Islands of Iceland

Vestmannaeyjar ("Westman Islands") is a small group of islands off the south coast of Iceland. The main island, Heimaey,  has a tiny area of only 13 square kilometres and is still volcanically active.

19 May 2017

Opera Australia's grand production of Carmen

[First published on The Plus Ones

Opera Australia’s colourful production of Carmen brings vibrancy, movement, and fun to Georges Bizet’s otherwise dark tale.

Director John Bell has created a vivid atmosphere to accompany the gorgeous score. Eye-catching costumes offer an explosion of colour and the detailed set has the romantic feel of a Cuban town stuck in a 1950s time warp. Crisp choreography brings even more life to the stage, including dazzling acrobatics from the children’s chorus, which leaves the audience gasping.

4 April 2017

Double-decker buses in London

In 2004, when I was living in London, I heard that the old double-decker Routemaster buses were about to be retired, so I found a route that crossed the city past many historical landmarks to a residential area of North London. This was Route 73.

10 February 2017

Donald Trump is like the Taliban

Donald Trump at the Presidential debate with finger puppets on his fingers.
During the Presidential debates, Donald Trump was secretly fed information by his finger puppets, Momo and Oinky.

I recently had a dream in which Donald Trump came to my house for my birthday lunch.

He walked through the door and handed me a big red envelope that looked like it had been previously ripped open in a million different ways and then stuck back together in a slipshod manner with weak-ass sticky tape.

The whole damn thing was falling apart. (His aide said Trump wrapped it himself.) He had signed the front of envelope.

16 January 2017

Walter White spotted drinking tereré in Paraguay

I met Walter White in Paraguay before he became Heisenberg, the world-famous producer of blue meth. He had a stall selling corn and spices in a small market in Ciudad del Este, the second largest city in Paraguay. This is possibly where he learnt the ins and outs of commerce.

29 November 2016

Opera Australia performs Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle

[First published on The Plus Ones

Strap in for an epic opera experience. Opera Australia’s momentous production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle is a sequence of four works, each one a marvel of music, performance, direction, and artistic design. It offers sixteen hours of powerful storytelling through music, and leaves you wanting more.

7 October 2016

Mr Moon Face in Melbourne

Luna Park in Melbourne is one of Australia oldest amusement parks. It opened on 13th December 1912 and has almost continuously been operating ever since (it closed during World War I).

10 September 2016

Terschelling: Home of the Best Summer Festival in the Netherlands

Terschelling is an island in the northern Netherlands with a population of around 4,700. Every June the island is transformed into a huge theatre for the Oerol Festival. Over 55,000 people visit the island in those ten days to watch theatre and musical performances, modern art and visual and artists.