Latest Posts


Orange, NSW

After my first laptop died in 2005, taking thousands of photos from the previous five years with it, I have always been abundantly cautious about backing up my digital files. So recently, I’ve been spending a few hours each week decluttering my terabyte external hard drives to free up space,  and also to make sure I’m even backing up my backups.

Today, I came across these photos from a trip I took with my two of my best mates back in 2005 to Orange, NSW. 2005 doesn’t sound that long ago, but it was ten years ago. A whole decade. I struggle to believe that.

Orange is 254km west of Sydney.

Orange is 254km west of Sydney, and takes about four hours.

Jess, Emily and I spent a long weekend in Orange with Emily’s family and extended family. The extended family ran a boutique vineyard, called Belgravia, and we had free run of the beautiful guest cottage that was almost entirely surrounded by the vines.

The vineyard was about 20 minutes outside of town, and was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been: rolling hills, brilliant white sun, verdant green vines, and yellow brown dusty lanes. I’d spent many nights out in the open before, but it was here that I first encountered a pitch black night.

We were in town that weekend to whoop it up with the landed gentry at the famous Orange Picnic Races — the biggest day on the racing calendar in Western New South Wales. The event brings folk from the big smoke to enjoy a slice of country life, and like all good Australian festivities, it involved plenty of alcohol. Although I never had the pleasure of attending a B&S Ball to compare it to, the picnic races had all of the hallmarks of being a big day for a country romance.




And one of the most memorable parts of the weekend was getting to visit the legendary Parkes Observatory. I had wanted to visit the radio telescope for years (only partly due to my love of the movie called The Dish), and we finally made it happen. We drove in the dry, stifling January heat for what seemed like hours – the type of heat that you cannot escape from, even with the help of air conditioning. But it was worth it.





The movie ‘The Dish‘ told the story of the how the Parkes radio telescope became part of the Apollo 11 mission, receiving the footage from the moon and beaming it to television sets all over the world. It follows the (fictional) townsfolk of Parkes in the lead up to and during the first moon walk. It’s still pretty much my favourite movie, 15 years on. Every single character is a rounded and fully fleshed out and is perfectly cast (and that scene between Glenn and Janine is just so perfectly acted, it makes me squeal with delight). I have nothing but love for the Working Dog crew.



Now, that I’ve done some cleaning up of my hard drives, I think I’ll go relive the adventure and rewatch the Dish.


Sunday in the City

I’ve spent three of the past four days in the city but today’s quick trip was less about meeting people and more checking off my to-do.

Today’s jaunt started in SoMa, headed up through the top of the FiDi and into Union Square. And now, I’ve returned home, having done most of my chores in preparation for the new week.

It’s a good day.









A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, I found myself sitting on the polished floorboards of the King George V Rec Centre tucked underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, clutching at my wrist. We had the last game, 10:30pm or so, and we’d only been playing for a few minutes.


It was still cold — ‘Sydney cold’ — and I had decided to play against the sound advice of my physio who had been treating me for knee and back issues. Little did I know I’d fall awkwardly and end up shattering my wrist in the process, a good enough break to be scheduled for the next available surgery slot.



I broke my wrist in the week leading up to the Brownlow Medal. I was devastated that I wouldn’t be able to participate in the Independent Brownlow Medal Count at work, something I’d loved and revered for years with all the fervour of the newly converted.

But the powers that be relented and I was able to participate. My writing was not up to scratch (even though I’d practiced for hours writing with my left hand), but I was able to help by running to and from the printer. And I appreciated the fuck out of it, just to be a part of it one last time. It was my last hurrah.



The recovery was slow and exceedingly painful. In the weeks following surgery, large sections of my hand were numb, and I was unable to move my thumb for a number of weeks into the schedule of ten weeks intensive, specialised physiotherapy. When I saw the worried look on my physio’s face after my second visit, I let a few tears slide down my cheek. I felt like I’d never recover the use of my right arm. I was defeated.

But my physiotherapist was fantastic. She could see that I was not going to accept my current status, so she gave me extra exercises and rewarded me with praise. Soon, I could touch three of my fingers to my thumb. Then my pinkie to my thumb. And eventually to rotating my wrist like the Queen does when she waves. Just small, incremental improvements eventually led to regaining the function of my wrist and hand.


Now, I’m pretty much back to normal. I am back to learning the cello and being able to do a mean downward dog. The scar (with a slight kink in it) is still a reminder that I have a titanium plate and eight screws in there for the duration of me. But on a deeper level, it’s also there to remind me that hard times may dent and scar your body, but if you persevere, you will triumph. That’s what I’ve decided to take from it.

I shall overcome.

PS: I cannot write this without thanking – albeit belatedly – my family (particularly my sister who drove me to the hospital and worked from my bedside) and the lovely folks at work who were all so helpful and kind to me (especially C). Danke Schoen!


A Flying Visit to Atlanta

I was beyond tired, the type of fatigue that feels so empty, and your limbs weigh a thousand tonnes.  I had been so excited for this trip to Atlanta and now the opportunity was here, yet I was so ambivalent about it. It was odd, because I’d felt nervous before the flight — strange reaction for such an experienced traveller.

Eventually, my colleague P and I arrived safely at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. Or as the locals called it, Hotlanta. I’d finally made it to the South, something I’d always wanted to do. This was a part of the world where the top sports story on the news was about their college team.













We’d come for a conference, but that didn’t leave any real time for sightseeing. A shame, because Atlanta seems to have a lot to offer.

The conference was great: every available moment was filled with breakout sessions, keynotes, between-sessions networking, arranged events. The only ‘free’ time we had was the hour or two before bed. Busy busy, but good.

I hear next year’s conference looks as though it’ll be in Denver and I’m looking forward to it already. Next time, I’ll build in a few extra days for sightseeing.


Twenty Minutes in Santa Cruz

I, along with half of the Bay Area, found myself heading to Santa Cruz yesterday at the beginning of the long weekend.

Santa Cruz is a small-ish seaside town that can feel more village-like in places. It sits on the northern edge of Monterey Bay, although it’s considered an outpost of the Bay Area. It’s famous for its Beach Boardwalk (a seaside amusement park that reminds me of those found on the East Coast, like Coney Island) and is also home to the University of California, Santa Cruz.











The Pumpkin Eater

I just finished reading ‘The Pumpkin Eater’ by Penelope Mortimer. The book holds up well more than fifty years later. She was a fascinating person, too.

Here are some of my favourite passages from the novel:


“I have arguments with myself.”

“About what?”

“Between the part of me that believes in things, and the part that doesn’t.”

“And which wins?”

“Sometimes one, sometimes the other.”




So we were back at the beginning again. There was no end. You learn nothing by hurting others; you only learn by being hurt. Where I had been viable, ignorant, rash and loving I was now an accomplished bitch, creating an emptiness in which my own emptiness might survive. We should have been locked up while it lasted, or allowed to kill each other physically. But if the choice had been given, it would not have been each other we would have killed, it would have been ourselves.




I seemed to be alone in the world. My past, at last, was over. I had given it up; set it free; sent it back to where it belonged, to fit into other people’s lives. For one’s past grows to a point where it is longer than one’s future , and then it can become too great a burden. I had found, or created, a neutrality between the past that I had lost and the future that I feared: an interminable hour which passed under my feet like the shadow of moving stairs, each stair recurring again and again, flattening to meet the next, a perfect circle of isolation captive between yesterday and tomorrow, between to illusions. Yesterday had never been. Tomorrow would never come.