Film Diary / 30.09.2010

We always see swallows on the Mountain, flitting about the shops or perched on overhead wires. For the first time I had the opportunity to film these attractive birds.  I found an eminently filmable nest on top of the security alarm of a real estate office. The nest contained five young and both parents had all their work cut out feeding them.


My Travels / 21.09.2010

Back from my biennial catching-up with family and friends in the antipodes. I left Brisbane on the 7th of August. Read about my travels.


This time cousin Leila was too incapacitated for me to stay with her, so I booked in to a hotel, excellently located in Belsize Park, for the two weeks of my London stay. For the first time in three visits I did not meet with Sandrine Meats.

This trip I did things I previously thought too out of the way. I spent a tremendous day at Chatham Dockyard, easily reached by train from St Pancras Station. Between trains I even managed to book my Vienna-Frankfurt ticket. I also attended the first day of the Oval Test between England and Pakistan, highly enjoyable and a reminder of happy days spent there in the past. On my way home I went on the London Eye, which I had avoided to date, fearing a long wait to get on board. I don’t suppose it took much more than 25 minutes from joining the ticket queue to boarding the cabin. It was worth every penny.

I… Read Complete Text


Website / 03.08.2010

Dallas copied me the corrected XMLs he sent to EOL, which will hopefully be acceptable.


My Travels / 29.07.2010

Simon booked our tickets to Delhi online. He got us an excellent deal. We depart Brisbane on November 30 and return December 11. The reason for our trip is to celebrate Simon’s grandad’s 90th birthday.



Film Diary / 23.07.2010

A first for the archive: I filmed a Spotted Pardalote in the birdbath in the Wild Garden. I had never seen, let alone filmed one before.



Website / 21.07.2010

Received a rather dispiriting email from Katja Schulz confirming the errors in Dallas’ XML files, although she acknowledged that EOL’s information for content partners ‘is a bit sketchy’. The upshot is that she has asked us to resubmit our material.


Other / 14.07.2010

Having read Chris Palmer’s timely and groundbreaking book ‘Shooting in the Wild’, about the trials and tribulations of wild-life filmmaking, with his welcome emphasis on the appropriate ethical requirements of the genre, I emailed him my appreciation of what he had done. I recommend his book to all who feel that deception, misrepresentation, and exploitation of animals has no place in natural history documentaries.


Film Diary / 09.07.2010

I wanted to reprise a memorable shot of a vine, descending from the canopy and spanning Cedar Creek in Joalah National Park which I filmed in 1999. Because this entailed a lengthy walk, Mark kindly carried my tripod. Before we proceeded beyond the end of the designated walking track I filmed a number of vines. Thereafter we were still on a defined, if somewhat overgrown path, crossing and recrossing the creek. I had forgotten how beautiful and dramatic the scenery was in this part of the park. Given that it was winter, I filmed a surprising number of fungi. It seems that for fungi damp conditions are more important than warmth. Eventually the path was claimed by jungle and we were obliged to turn back. We saw no sign of the vine. I could not tell if we had passed the place where I filmed it or whether it lay tantalisingly, further down stream.


Not The Brisbane Line / 03.07.2010

You can read about My First Two Hours in Portugal here. It isn’t socio-political enough for publication in The Brisbane Line . . .

Strictly speaking this recollection of events is about the two hours which began when I walked out of the arrivals hall in Lisbon airport into the harsh light of a bright summer day in 2000 and scanned the long queue of people waiting to be put into a taxi by an official, presumably there to ensure fair play. As I pondered the queue’s slow progress, I made eye contact with the driver of a lone taxi, which was parked against the opposite curb. The driver gestured towards me and I made my way through the queue to his vehicle, relieved that I had found a quick way out of the crowded airport. I was in Portugal to spend a week with my oldest friend, David White, and his wife Fernanda, at their holiday home in Coimbra. It was my first visit to the country and the first time during decades of travel that I felt unable to communicate with anyone.

David had instructed me in a letter to… Read Complete Text


The Brisbane Line / 03.07.2010

I failed to mention in this Blog my contribution to The Brisbane Line last November:


Amongst leading liberal democratic nations, the US and Australia are now swimming against the electoral tide which has seen conservative governments assume or about to assume power. A majority of voters in both countries wanted change in their national politics. They chose a more liberal, compassionate government after having to contend with 8 and more than 11 years respectively, of two of the most hard-nosed conservative governments since World War 2. The newly elected leaders, Barack Obama and Kevin Rudd promptly obliged with commitments on the environment and social justice. The relief and euphoria was such that it led their more ardent supporters to hope that what they regarded as the extreme and uncaring politics of George W Bush and John Howard had become history. However, as with the flagged and hoped for measures to curb excessive corporate pay in the grimmest days of the global financial crisis, it did not take long for the old ways to reappear because in the minds of the perpetrators, mere moral outrage was never going to stop business as usual.  Thus… Read Complete Text