Monthly Archives: January 2013

FLASH MOB – Queensland Symphony Orchestra

It takes all sorts to make an orchestra.

It takes all sorts to make an orchestra.

I had a bit of luck, running into the Queensland Symphony Orchestra out on Brisbane’s Southbank, staging a Flash Mob.

I love spontaneous arts happenings, and there are some great YouTube clips of Flash Mob groups popping up in public places and dancing or bursting into song. It only works when the standard of performance is unexpectedly high.

No problems there with this orchestra, who were celebrating their move this week into a new building by flash-mobbing with Ravel’s Bolero for the passing tourists, cyclists, joggers and dog walkers. Continue reading


Filed under Travel-Australia


I’m an avowed republican in Australia. Nothing personal, your majesty Queen Liz, though you and your family don’t interest me all that much. I just think we should have an Australian as head of state and get rid of that anomalous Union Jack in the corner of our outmoded flag.

I have less problem with the Dutch having a royal family to reign over them. At least they’re Dutch and people rather like them. Okay, they may be one of the richest royal houses of Europe, but they’re not above going for rides on the bike, at least for photo ops. That prejudices them in my favour.

Well reigned, Queen Bea, and good luck and happy riding King Willem-Alexander.

And thanks, Mark Wagenbuur of Bicycle Dutch, for another post on your excellent blog.


It is a historic day in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix announced she will abdicate in favour of her son after a 33 year reign. This is in line with Dutch tradition, the Netherlands does not have a tradition that the monarch rules until death. So on April 30th 2013, the Netherlands will have a new head of state: King Willem-Alexander.

It was also announced that Queen’s Day, so far celebrated on April 30th, the birthday of the mother of Queen Beatrix, will from 2014 on be celebrated on the new King’s actual birthday, April 27th, and from then on be called King’s day. This was very unexpected and that will take some getting used to! No more Queen’s Day Cycling!

But some things will not change! The members of the Dutch royal family have long been on bicycles and we can expect them to be cycling for a very…

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Filed under Cycling, Holland

BRISBANE – riding after the storm

New Farm Park

New Farm Park. Oswald was here.

It could have been worse. It has been worse. But with at least four people dead and thousands of homes flooded it’s been quite bad enough.

One way or another, I didn’t choose the best day to arrive in Brisbane, along with ex-tropical cyclone Oswald. Continue reading

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Filed under Travel-Australia

ANISH KAPOOR MAGIC – it’s all done with mirrors (mostly)

Sky Mirror (2006) It all depends on what it's reflecting.

Sky Mirror (2006) What you see depends on what it’s reflecting at the time.

The signs in the MCA foyer say ‘no photography’. It’s a lost cause. Everyone has at least a phone with a hole in the back now and we don’t often have Anish Kapoor sculptures in Sydney. The moment must be captured. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Travel-Australia


Reconciliation Place, Canberra.

Reconciliation Place, Canberra.

Australia Day will be upon us at the end of the week. There’ll be Twenty20 cricket, barbies in the park and citizenship ceremonies. And indigenous Australians will be prominent too.

Some may be protesting at what they regard as white Australians celebrating ‘Invasion Day’. Many more traditional owners of the land will be taking part in the official and non-official Australia Day events.

We broke our road trip up the Hume Highway with a diversion to the national capital, Canberra.

My eye was caught by this memorial I hadn’t seen before, though it’s been there for over a decade. Continue reading


Filed under Travel-Australia

OFF THE HUME #4 – along the old road to Gundagai

The Prince Alfred Bridge - the road over the Murrumbidgee until 1977. Photo: Wikicommons.

The Prince Alfred Bridge – part of the Hume Highway until 1977. Photo: Wikicommons.

Modern road-building has taken some of the fun out of crossing the Murrumbidgee at Gundagai.

As flashy Sydneysiders on our way to holidays in Victoria, we zipped down the Hume Highway from Sydney to Melbourne as fast as the speed limits would allow.

On our way back, we took time to explore the old route, meandering through towns which are now bypassed by the traffic. Continue reading


Filed under Travel-Australia