My Travels / 16.10.2012

A week after Simon agreed the dates for me to visit him and Nicole in Longreach, I set off on the 1250km drive and  fell in love with the outback all over again. My stay coincided with the last days of the tourism season, so all the local attractions were open. The Qantas Founders Museum is a fun place to visit and for that reason seems like a really good workplace. It was lovely at last being with Simon and Nicole for an extended period and seeing how much they were enjoying their married life in Longreach.

Unlike my first foray into the interior on a road trip with Simon 25 years ago, when I was new in the country, the ranges had good grass cover instead of being baked. On the journey I delighted in seeing Queensland Bottle Trees, some of wondrous girth, growing in paddocks or lining the streets of towns. Other than a number in Blackall, a faint echo of the magnificent avenues in Charleville, I did not notice them north of Auguthella. It was only well after Mitchell, where I broke my journey, that I saw my first wild emu in many years…. Read Complete Text


My Travels / 19.07.2012

This trip was different from any other I have been on in that I was ill with bronchitis when I left Australia and only recovered towards the end of my 18 day stay in Londn. As far as I know I had never had bronchitis and the last time I was really ill overseas was in Israel in 1974. But enough about being ill.


My time in London ended up being about people and not a lot else, which was fine. I was able to catch up with nearly everyone I wanted to see among family, friends, researchers and artists. I duly delivered my copies of ‘Gravy’. I also enjoyed two of my four days of rail travel, a particular pleasure of mine, on my Britrail Pass. On the first trip I went from Kings Cross to Newcastle, stopping off at York on the way back. A few days later I went from Euston to Lancaster, an interesting place which I saw for the first time.

On the day before I left, after an off-again, on-again exchange of text messages, I met Jeremy Deller. He had been busy with… Read Complete Text


My Travels / 26.02.2012

Received an email from Jeremy Deller, whom I contacted after reading a Guardian Weekly article about him, asking if we might meet during my stay in London. He requested me to email him when I’m in town.


My Travels / 18.02.2012

Every other year I like to undertake a UK/Europe trip. After mulling over possible dates, I opted to get the whole thing over and done with between the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. This meant travelling earlier in the year than I prefer which unfortunately also meant no return visit to stay with Herbert and Gil Distel near Vienna. Today, my trip took more solid shape with confirmation that my deposit for my London accommodation had been received.


My Travels / 30.11.2010

My son Simon and I travelled to Palam Vihar near Delhi to celebrate his grandfather Andy’s 90th birthday. One of Simon’s missions was to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend Nicole, which we did with help from Andy’s wife Maggie. She took us to some well-regarded jewellers shops in Delhi to which Simon and I returned the next day; Simon eventually making his purchase.

We were able to revisit some of the familiar sights such as Humayan’s Tomb, the Red Fort and the National Railway Museum (which I last visited a few months after it opened in 1977) in between watching cricket on the TV with Andy. The years have treated him and Maggie well as to appearance. We celebrated Andy’s birthday in style with lunch at the Taj Mahal Hotel, another old haunt. I happened to have a bottle of vintage Veuve in my luggage which we consumed after we returned from the Taj; Andy imbibing a now for him rare drop of alcohol with evident enjoyment. I succeeded in doing all my Christmas shopping in Delhi. We got back home on December 11.



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


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.



My Travels / 19.04.2010

When visiting the travel agent last week, I was told that my airfare to Europe had gone up by $800. The outward journey involved the added expense of an overnight stop in Singapore. My plan to incorporate a visit to India to catch up with my ex father-in-law, Andy, a couple of months before his 90th birthday, was becoming unaffordable. I enquired about fares for a straightforward Brisbane/London return flight and was quoted a price $2000 cheaper. Then, following phone calls to find out if I could stay with Andy for his birthday, which I can, I today booked and paid for my UK/Europe flight with the intention of travelling to Delhi with my son Simon in December. My UK/Europe dates remain unchanged.


My Travels / 23.03.2010

Received an email from Herbert Distel confirming the dates for my short stay at his house near Vienna at the end of August, to which I am greatly looking forward. I have booked my UK/Europe, August/September trip with a week’s stay in India on my way home. I was a schoolboy the last time I was in Austria.


My Travels / 29.11.2009

Cambodia 22 – 29 November  Of late I have visited Europe every other year with the intention of seeing another part of the world in the intervening year. Because of the global financial crisis I had no intention of going anywhere in 2009 until the lure of cheap airfares prompted me to book a week's stay in Cambodia (entry 7 April this year) to at last realise a long-cherished desire of mine to see Angkor Wat. By the time I had made all the necessary arrangements, my week overseas turned out to be just about the most expensive of any I have experienced during a lifetime of travel. But what a week it was . . .

I did not expect to see a set of traffic lights in Siem Reap (a two-hour flight north of Singapore), identical to many I had encountered in China, with an illuminated display for the road traffic, showing the number of seconds to go before the lights changed. I came to Cambodia with mixed feelings about the country (misgivings about its politics, coupled with admiration of its ancient culture), but I liked what I saw on the short drive from… Read Complete Text