Monday, March 28, 2011


I like conferences.

They’re good for the brain.

But it's easy to become unstuck once the business of conferencing is done.

You know what I’m talking about. Networking session, semillon in one hand. Piping-hot samosa in the other. Then the surprise approach from a fellow delegate, hand out-stretched.

Your options here are few.

You can do the awkward I’ve got my hands full charade and maybe initiate a pinky shake. (Way to make a first impression, Mr. Professional). Or, you could pop the whole samosa in your mouth, and speak like Mr Bean.

Friday, March 18, 2011


A couple of years back, I travelled to Italy with my wife and our kids.

It sounds fancy but it was right in the middle of the GFC and airlines were literally giving longhaul seats away from Australia. So, when a Kids Fly Free offer hit the market, we grabbed it with both hands.

Travelling with kids can be tricky. We're lucky that ours are good flyers, and they're reasonably well-behaved (although occasionally capable of great hideousness) in public. When it comes to food, we have a picky one, and an adventurous one who'll more or less try anything. Regardless, at every meal in a foreign place, like most parents, we tread the I'm not eating that tightrope.

Not so in Italy. The food's superb and familiar, and the people tend to be louder than our kids can ever be. So, we more or less breezed through this fabulous country wallowing in the dolce vita.

At the end of our not-quite-three-weeks Italian immersion, there were signs that our three year old son, Spencer, had, well, sampled heartily from the trough of Italian deliciousness.

Monday, March 7, 2011


This is not meant to be a back in my day post.

But when I had my year off in 1997 and travelled around the world, regular stops at English Bookshops were an essential part of the journey. 

With no iPhones/Pods/Pads/Readers (I had to post the film from my camera home to my parents for processing, and started the trip without so much as an email address, for goodness sake. I know!), we relied on the humble book to escape the tedium of long layovers, broken-down bus delays, or those annoying morning hours before the hostel doors open.

Almost every traveller we met carried a dog-eared copy of On The Road, 100 Years of Solitude, In Patagonia, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or bits and pieces by Tolkein, Steinbeck or Hemingway. And once you’d worked your way through those, there wasn’t much else available through the exchange networks of hostel common rooms and noticeboards.