Posts

Parkrun goal

In my fourth Nightcliff Parkrun over three years, I ranked 151 out of 186. I part walked the final kilometer out of five.

It felt pathetic (five years ago I regarded Parkrun as a doddle) but also, let me tell you, magnificent! Screw ageing! I aim to run the whole route without stopping. I have three saturdays left.

Am I up to it?

This extended trip away comprises a week to drive to Darwin, time in Darwin, then five weeks of birding and driving through four states. I have a month in Darwin and am selfishly commandeering time most days to write up an especially demanding chapter, that of India and Israel pursuing nuclear weapons under the guise of obtaining nuclear energy. The problem with tackling the early Indian story is…

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…

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