Monthly Archives: August 2015


James Lee as Edward Scooperhands, the ice-cream dispensing robot.

James Lee as Edward Scooperhands, the ice-cream dispensing robot.

Apologies for my absence from cyberspace during the past weeks. I’ve been busy with matters theatrical.

The epic national tour of The 26-Storey Treehouse ends today, in Wagga Wagga*.

I want to use this post to pay tribute to the fabulous work of the cast and crew. Continue reading

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TRAVELLER ZOO – Educator nervoso

Educator nervosoA teacher’s trip to Paris would be so much more relaxing if it didn’t require wrangling a pack of high school students, trying to interest them in language, art and history, and occasionally bribing them with les Big Macs.

Identifying call: ‘You do that again, son, and you’ll be on the next plane home!’

Illustration by Simon Letch, graduate cum laude of the University of Life. First published Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age 2015.


Filed under Travel


No, I don’t mean ‘free drinks’ and I haven’t tried one myself.

‘Dinking’ was the old Aussie word for giving someone a lift on the your bike, back in the days when such things were legal.

It’s still a common way to get around in Amsterdam, though the idea of offering and/or accepting a ride from a stranger is probably (1) a cool marketing exercise for bike hire company Yellow Bikes and (2) likely to give a new meaning to the phrase ‘pick up’.

Anyone accepting a ‘Yellow Backie’ dink from an already wobbly rider like me would be taking their life in my hands. They’d need a stiff drink afterwards.

Look at the YouTube video above and see what you think of the idea.


Filed under Amsterdam, Cycling


The Vecht at Loenen.

The Vecht at Loenen.

It’s our last week in Amsterdam for this year. Time for one more bike ride, this one with my friend and guide Hans, down the Rhine Canal to Loenen, between the lakes to Ankeveen, along the winding River Vecht to Weesp, and home again.

The wonderful thing about cycling here is that even after years of exploring the area around Amsterdam on two wheels, there are still new routes for us to discover, all of them with quiet, safe, all-but-car-free cycle paths. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Holland

TRAVELLER ZOO – Urbis cyclisti instabile

Urbis cyclisti instabileIn towns that offer public bicycles, you may spot pairs of these intrepid visitors, uncertainly reading instructions and pressing buttons at the parking stations, then wobbling unsteadily through speeding traffic on their clunky steeds.

Identifying call: ‘Are you sure we’re allowed on the autobahn?’

Illustration by Simon Letch, who seldom wobbles unsteadily. First published, Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age 2015.

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