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A culture passing me by

I often crow to myself, hidden from others, that I retain a thirst for culture, at an age when most of my friends and acquaintances seem to shrink from immersion. But one cultural phenomenon leaves me cold: the podcast. It’s not that I don’t hanker to partake of this global phenomenon. Whenever anyone tells me of this stunning new podcast, or that beguiling one, I write it down on my…

One square of chocolate

This is Hunted + Gathered Dark Organic Chocolate, Dominican Republic, 70% Cacao. It melts slowly in the mouth, is astringently bitter, yet is just sweet enough. A square of this while reading a book after dinner … bliss!

Jatbula off again

Five years ago, I hiked often and hiked hard. Now, for a variety of reasons, all I let myself undertake is regular day walks and occasional, none-too-tough pack carry hikes. In 2020, the hiking lynchpin was the five-day Jatbula Trail from Katharine, apparently gorgeous and not too onerous. Well, Covid-19 put paid to that, and now a 2021 reprise attempt has also been scuppered by Melbourne’s…

Nadir

After jogging, with little flair or speed but with consistency, for half a century, I’m in a pit right now. I can do 3½ kilometers at a pace of 7¼ minutes/kilometer, feeling uncomfortable in terms of breathing the entire journey. At age 60, I could jog 10 kilometers four times a week, at a pace of 6¾ mins/km; I was sore and tired when finishing but in a much healthier way. I’ve never…

Climate emergency gloom

David Wallace-Wells, one of the finest writers to engage with the climate emergency, pens a self-explanatory (but definitely worth reading, though it may be behind a paywall) long article titled “Why 2021 could be California’s worst fire season ever.” A Washington Post article (syndicated outside the Post’s paywall as a Sydney Morning Herald article, “The earth is…

Port Douglas’s small delights

Grey sky outside my window. Drizzling much of the day. Six weeks ago, I was in the mild sunny heat of Port Douglas, that tourist hellhole way up north on the Queensland coast. For the first time ever, all thirteen of our clan were together for a week: three children, three spouses, five grandchildren (aged three and under), and the two of us. I close my eyes. At the time, the week passed in a…

Grandpa’s sore nose

At the start of May, P and I hosted our three children, their spouses, and five grandchildren aged 3, 2, 1, 1, and 1, in a house in Port Douglas. I’d been resigned to a mixture of wonderful times and some tedium, but the entire week was low-key bliss. Even now, I can’t isolate the most precious memories of the toddlers and their sunny temperaments. Port D is a tourist hellhole but we…

Energy cycles

What do we expect of ourselves in terms of energy, healthiness, wellness, all that sort of thing? It’s part of the modern affliction to be obsessed with everything to do with our bodies, our emotions, our habits. Yet it’s an obsession without obvious scientific guidance. I know, I know, we call have friends who seem confident—”moderation, that’s all it takes” or…

Epitaph as way of life

Without any guiding religion or dogma, committed to rationalism and humanism, you try to orient your life with clear purpose. But it’s not straightforward. At age 60, an impulse led me to throw significant life energy into yearly day-by-day challenges, major or minor. I called it my Big Decade and it was just that, a planned decade of daily obsessions. In some ways, it was my “bucket…

Promote oneself?

Anyone involved with anything creative knows the tension of “selling” oneself and one’s wares. Some creatives are adept at marketing but most aren’t. During my three decades in the corporate sector, I acquired skills in most areas but always struggled with marketing/selling. Ostentation and pushiness are not the attributes of a geek like me. But if you do no…

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