Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.



The Film Diary entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I film. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map.

The Brisbane Line was the e-bulletin of the now defunct Brisbane Institute, to which I contributed the articles featured, between 2006 and 2012.

Not The Brisbane Line contains my other essays from 2005 to the present.


A cherished dream, my book   One small place on earth …  discovering biodiversity where you are,   self-published in August 2019, has been long in the making. Jan Watson created its design template nine years ago. The idea of doing a book seems to have occurred during my stay with Clive Tempest, the website’s first architect, when I was visiting the UK in 2006. By the time Steve Guttormsen and I began sustained work on the book in 2017, much of which I had already written, the imperative was to create a hard copy version of a project whose content is otherwise entirely digital.


People may wonder why there is little mention of climate change – global warming on my website. There are two related reasons. Firstly, if former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2007 remark that climate change is the “great moral, environmental and economic challenge of our age” is true, we have not acted accordingly before or since. Rudd’s statement is only true if we collectively live as if it is true, Rudd included. Instead, our politics has wasted decades favouring business as usual, and a global economy excessively dependent on fossil fuels – in the wilful absence of a politics intent on achieving a low carbon economy. Secondly, although it is open to individuals to strive to live the truth of Rudd’s remarks, the vast majority of people, myself included, do not. I salute those who do. The precautionary principle alone makes me regard climate change as a current planetary crisis, but because I have only marginally changed the way I live, and still wish to fly, I am not inclined to pontificate on the subject.


My Travels / 31.10.2022

Knowing my desire to visit Yosemite National Park and Monument Valley next year, Simon emailed me a media release about United Airlines inaugural direct flight from San Francisco to Brisbane. This makes my trip all the more feasible.


My Travels / 16.10.2022

Every indication, when I left home on October 7, was that the weather wouldn’t pause the trip, though in the two or three preceding weeks, this seemed a real possibility. Because of the departure time of the Saturday flight to Longreach, I overnighted at the airport. The road trip was scheduled to start on the 10th, giving me a weekend at home with Simon & Nicole, except that Nicole was absent on business and due to return on the 9th. Because they did the driving, I insisted on paying for the fuel. Very generously, they let me sit in the front, ignoring my readiness to sit in the back. The great attraction about this trip was the series of firsts that it guaranteed. That there was a bonus first was more than one could ask for. It happened before we got to Winton in the form of a large mob of cattle grazing by the side of the road. It looked as if the drovers had set up camp here, more likely they were having a break. None of us had seen the like.

We were heading for Boulia. Ever since reading about the Middleton hotel on the… Read Complete Text


My Travels / 29.07.2022

I left home on June 23 and returned on July 29. Even ignoring the six, as opposed to the normal two-year interval between journeys, this trip was shaping to be unlike any other. The time and then the cost of producing my book, followed by the pandemic, accounted for the gap. Given its length, I suspected that it would give rise to unexpected changes, regardless of Covid. I was conscious of the need to make up for lost time. My focus was on re-uniting with family and friends. The death of my beloved cousin Leila in 2019 meant that there was no longer a need to stay in London for two weeks. The apartment in Belsize Park wasn’t available, so I booked into a conveniently located hotel for eight nights. Clive, who turned 75 two weeks before my departure, agreed to put up with me for a week which included a two-night stay in Cornwall. I was now in the fortunate position of realising a long-held desire to book an eight-day Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. Also, I had vowed to visit Bruges the next time I was in Europe, so I added a two-night stay there. I… Read Complete Text


My Travels / 20.06.2022

Gina handed over my tickets and vouchers – tickets for flights and rail travel, vouchers for accommodation, car transfers and the Rhine cruise. I leave on June 23. The rail pass is only available as an app. I have hard copies of the six days for which I have seat reservations, but the remaining four days appear to be out of reach. In reality, I will have to go to the rail travel office at St Pancras Station today week, to sort matters out and expect to put up with a long wait. A complicating factor is the rail and tube strikes currently occurring in the UK. Ah, the joys of travel, but then, I stubbornly refuse to have a smart phone.


Film Diary / 17.06.2022

A pair of tawny frogmouths were perched on my balcony when I drew my curtain this morning. I took several photos as they moved their heads culminating in a pose with open beak, which I have never previously seen. Frogmouths are an attractive subject both because of their striking appearance and their quirky behaviour, such as sitting in the middle of the road at night. Although they look like owls and are nocturnal, frogmouths are not raptors. They lack talons and a beak capable of ripping flesh. Instead, they catch their insect prey on the wing. They are found throughout mainland Australia and Tasmania. When I closed the curtain in the evening, the birds were still there. Next morning, they were gone.


My Travels / 17.05.2022

This morning I paid Gina for my accommodation in Amsterdam (both before and after the cruise) and Bruges, and transfers from airport to hotel, hotel to railway station and hotel to boat. On May 4 I paid for the rail pass, after a lot of toing and froing to allow for sufficient time to change trains while avoiding having to linger between trains.