Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Well… this is a record! And not a good one. Apologies to anyone who has been checking the website regularly (or even irregularly), you will not have seen anything new on this site for some weeks.

In fact, it was only when I checked this morning that I realised it had been more than a month since I’d last put anything on here. And given my commitment to update the website weekly, I am feeling guilty, chaste… in short I deserve a wee ‘boot up the erse’!

At least, after such a long absence, I have plenty to write about. And to keep this manageable, I’ll stick to the interesting stuff.

Top of recent ‘achievements’ was discovering Jervis Bay a few weeks ago… and Canberra . On paper, a trip to Canberra was long overdue – it’s the nation’s capital after all, and only a few hours from Sydney .

It took an art exhibition to attract me there in the end. The Turner to Monet Landscapes Exhibition has been advertised heavily over here, and it turned out to be worth the visit. From European masters including Constable and Friedrich to great aussie artists like Glover and Streeton, there was plenty to see at the exhibition. Canberra itself seemed much less impressive. Dom and I didn’t stay long enough to really do the place justice. I did get an overwhelming impression of a sleepy green, white and blue country town, spread over a huge area of modern town planning. Everything is roundabouts and bypasses, without there being much to bypass or go round about…

Who’s Dom you ask? Dom is a very sweet aussie girl that I met at the Playground Weekender music festival in April. After a few strange – and admittedly slightly drunken – dance routines in the dance tent, Dom and I quickly discovered a compatibility in our music tastes that bordered on the supernatural. Normally, when I tell people I love The Cinematic Orchestra, Yo La Tengo, Beck’s Guerolito and the DJ Shadow remix album, they go duh…. whahhh??? Dom not only knows all these peculiarities but loves them too.

A couple of weeks ago we went to see Air together at the Opera House. The gig was sold out but I was lucky enough to get two seats for row D (!!) and what a gig. Yes, its lounge-fi, yes they wear cotton slacks and have bad hair-dos (they are french), but boy can they do an amazing live gig.

Incidentally, the Playground Weekender was a top weekend, with Ian Brown, Maximo Park and Kruder & Dorfmeister, not to mention my mates Willy, Smithy and co, doing a bit of DJ-ing on a great site on the banks of the Hawksbury River a couple of hours north of Sydney.

Otherwise, weekends have been taken up with horse-racing (watching/gambling, not riding), barbeques on the beach (some of which have been washed out!), and of course painting Keith’s house. Like the opera house, Keith’s renovations are over-budget and over-schedule. Ed and I are hoping that we will eventually finish the job by 2009. Even sooner if Keith gives us a hand. Only kidding Keith – you know we love to wind you up!

Easter weekend is well worth a mention too. Had a fabulous weekend north of Sydney with friends Jude and Nicola. Nicola's folks have a holiday home up there. It's a particularly beatiful part of New South Wales, with beaches scattered everywhere and gorgeous forest walks. Dom and I joined Chris, Caroline and James, and Dave, Virginia and family. Much Polish vodka was drunk and there was some pretty healthy swimming and running too.

Work has been pretty eventful too in the last month or so. Both of the projects I’ve been working on have progressed nicely recently and I’m looking forward to making further progress when I’m back in the field (ie India ) in the next few weeks.

Progress with the projects means that there’s a good rationale for me staying on for the long term. After some thought, I’ve decided I’d like to stay on here beyond November. Therefore, the plan is to make a trip back to Scotland to see the family for xmas.

So that’s a whistle stop tour through the last few weeks. And now I’m off to India again…

That’ll be the adventure side of the next few weeks. Less exhilirating is the need to find a new flat before my lease runs out in May. I’ve had a very pleasant 5 months staying with Dave and Dave but as the guys are moving on, it’s time to find somewhere new. I’ve decided on a one-bedroom apartment. And I want to live somewhere with a rooftop view like this…

…it’s not impossible, but with rent going through the roof in Sydney , it could be an exhausting search!

OH WELL! I ABSOLUTELY DESPAIR! I don't mean to make excuses (here we go!) but blogger is a real pain for me these days. I've been a fan since the start, but it really is time they improved their service. The last week of delay has been because the site never works properly. I've decided to publish this post even though i couldnt see which of my pictures were which. so annoying. but better to post something than nothing!