The coolest guys at Pulau Jang school!
I almost feel guilty about sharing this. There is a part of Indonesia that is unspoilt, with beautiful beaches, patches of dense forest, skies in which you can see the stars and friendly local people with a relaxed attitude to the very few tourists that come here.
Would we want it to become the next Bali or Phuket? Despite my raving about it, I don’t think a blog post is likely to make that happen. Continue reading
Despite all the interesting learning experiences on offer at Telunas, the kids invariably have one highlight – jumping off the deck. It often makes the best shot too.
While the writers’ camp at Telunas Beach is supposed to be all about words, for me it’s about pictures too.
I’d bought a new camera lens and this was its first outing. It’s an ‘all-in-one’ Tamron 18-270mm, so naturally there are compromises of image quality at both ends of the range, though on the whole I found it did the job. The advantage of the big zoom is that I could get close to people without making them too aware they were in shot, thus getting a little more spontaneity.
And in Indonesia’s lovely Riau Islands, there is always something worth pointing the camera at. Continue reading
The Merricks-Red Hill trail. Nothing to write home about, fortunately.
Trust Confucius to put it in a nutshell: ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.’
That’s all very well for him to say. Chinese labourers swarming round him, slaving themselves towards an early grave, while he sat under a shady tree thinking up a few quotes. I bet he had days he couldn’t even be bothered being pithy and original. And he fell back on the same old lazy start to every sentence: ‘Confucius say…’
By Mr Confucius’ reasoning, most of a writer’s life is a holiday, and so it must appear to those who do jobs that actually need to be done. In vain do I grumble to friends about producers breathing gently down my neck while deadlines loom (or ‘whoosh by’, to quote Douglas Adams). There’s little sympathy for a writer from people whose work actually matters.
But there’s a flip side to my relaxing chosen career; in recent years most of my holidays have been taken for purposes of writing about them, either for money or in a pathetic attempt to attract blog hits. In other words, they have been work. But not this time. Continue reading
This week the world’s naval ships will be invading the place we used to camp with our kids.
There is plenty of history, most of it tragic, around Sebastopol and Yalta. The Peninsula was hotly contested in the Crimean War with absurd loss of life on all sides.
These days they’re still squabbling to establish beachheads, but only for sunbathing purposes. It’s hardly what we spoiled Australians would call beach at all; just a strip of pebbles by flat, uninviting water.
But if the beach is unappealing, there is plenty of fun to be had on the promenades. Continue reading
A car may come along, but it probably won’t.
Like most right-thinking people, we ate and drank more than was absolutely necessary over Christmas. Fortunately we did it in an area with ideal places to walk off the damage and the guilt.
I’m not talking serious hiking here, just gentle morning strolls on beach, country lanes or rail trails. Continue reading