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Heading to Hearst Castle

Last year, in the space of 24 hours, I achieved two personal milestones. Firstly, I drove a significant distance on the right hand side of the road, which I’d never done before. Fortunately, I was in California, where they do that sort of thing. I was assured that this would be fine, as I’d be […]

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Olympics 2000 – an Op Ed piece from the “distant” past

I was just going through my writings from the past 15 years, and noticed something that I wrote during the Sydney 2000 Olympics which was meant to be the beginnings of a (humorous) Op Ed piece in The Canberra Times. (I didn’t have a column back then.) For reasons I can’t recall, it was never […]

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Expert Post-Olympics Report

Well, the London Olympics is over again. But not really. Sorry, I didn’t expect to be writing about the Games, especially as many Australians are still in mourning (and everyone else is bored witless), but an event this huge doesn’t end with the closing ceremony. We remember Montreal as our wake-up call, and Sydney as […]

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Guilty Pleasures

People talk about their “guilty pleasures”. The fact that they read Dan Brown novels when they really should be reading Tolstoy, or listening to Kylie Minogue when they should be enjoying Vivaldi or Nina Simone. Personally, I don’t have any guilty pleasures. Not in the arts and culture world at least. As anyone who’s read […]

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Oz Comic-Con – it’s cool to be a geek (not that I know anything about cool)

As a kid, I only ever went to one comic book convention, because they didn’t have many in Australia. At this convention, I perused hundreds of comics on sale, and met with famous comic book artists. In fact, even though they were big shots, I casually chatted with them, handing them comics to sign without […]

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Why Facebook makes you miserable

Since I joined the multitudes in January and started a Facebook account, I’ve found it enlightening. Through Facebook, I can answer age-old questions like: “Who is better, Lennon or McCartney?” Well, I can argue about it at least. I recently had a lengthy to-and-fro in which I tried to explain to a friend, calmly and […]

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Inspiring stories? You’re joking, right?

Writers, like everyone else, love reading those inspiring stories about persevering and never giving up. As a consequence, you tend to find a lot of those stories in writers’ magazines, revealing that Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 was rejected by almost everyone in the publishing industry before someone finally bought it, and Stieg Larsson waited so long […]

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A rich western tourist in America

At Columbus Circle the other day (which, like most places in New York, is some kind of world-renowned landmark), a rogue in a juice van charged me seven dollars for a drink that was partly fruit, but mainly water. (Granted, it was bottled water, which presumably increased its value.) The prices weren’t posted, but the […]

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Coming back to life

As you can imagine, I haven’t slept since February. Not since the final episode of Sherlock, season two. If you missed it (or couldn’t care less, but you’ll bear with me in case I start talking about something more interesting), this was the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers, with Sherlock Holmes in a final tangle […]

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Cops and Actors

Earlier this year, as you might recall from the news, a 59-year-old actor named Colin Tarrant took his own life. He had been struggling with bankruptcy, despite being a famous face on television not so long ago. You might remember him as the straight-laced Inspector Monroe on The Bill, back when it was still being […]

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