Five Creepy Islands in Sydney Harbour

Sydney has some nefarious and idiosyncratic history. Nowadays it’s presented with a shiny, modern patina of progress. Although little more than a century ago the story was less chirpy and cheerful and more like a bad episode of Survivor. 1. Cockatoo Island This island has a somewhat grim intriguing history, matched by its demeanor –Continue reading “Five Creepy Islands in Sydney Harbour”

New Zealand: An Ode To Young Volcanic Countries

Do you think that volcanic places make the most beautiful and dramatic destinations? I believe they do. Volcanic places are the crossroads of the earth’s crust! Where the techtonic plates of the earth combine and form mountains, volcanic activity, thermal lakes and more. Think of Iceland and New Zealand, two of the most remote andContinue reading “New Zealand: An Ode To Young Volcanic Countries”

Unseen Art from Australia’s First Fleet

This gorgeous selection of detailed drawings will be shown at the State Library of New South Wales’ TAL & Dai-ichi Life Derby Collection. The drawings come from the private collection of Australian art collector Kerry Stokes, among other collectors. Some of these treasures haven’t ever been seen before by the public! Anybody with an interestContinue reading “Unseen Art from Australia’s First Fleet”

Book Review: Madame Verona Comes Down The Hill

By Dimitri Verhulst Translated from Dutch by David Colmer Portobello Books 2010. Enduring love in a remote Flanders village is given a quirky twist, in this novella by Dimitri Verhulst. Translated from Dutch by David Colmer, it doesn’t lose any of its magic or immediacy in English. The story opens with the beautiful and forlornContinue reading “Book Review: Madame Verona Comes Down The Hill”

Book Review: The Red House by Mark Haddon

The Red House by Mark Haddon is a domestic drama that gets right under the skin of family life. The idea of ‘family’ takes on an intimate, shockingly beautiful and grotesque patina in this book. The story centres around a brother and sister and their respective families, who take a seemingly innocuous trip to stayContinue reading “Book Review: The Red House by Mark Haddon”

Book Review: A Visit From The Goon Squad

Constable & Robinson (2011).  This fictional novel by Jennifer Egan is an insight into American life from the 1960’s onwards. A kaleidoscope of relationships, strong personalities and memories all jolt back and forth in time. Themes covered in the book include family dysfunction, communication breakdown, desire and love, death and ageing. All of these grimContinue reading “Book Review: A Visit From The Goon Squad”