Tag Archives: review

THE LEGO MOVIE – it’s okay to play

This could be the start of something very big.

This could be the start of something very big.

Hundreds of people have spent a good part of this decade in dark, windowless rooms, doing tedious, repetitive, painstaking, frustratingly detailed work. Our son was one of the captives. The result is The Lego Movie.

So it was a moving experience to sit in a dark, windowless cinema crowded with hundreds of those people, the staff of Australian production company Animal Logic that made the film, as for the first time they shared the show with their families.

The Lego Movie is already taking the world by storm, but it will be next month before it is publicly screened in Sydney where the work was done.

We loved it. No, really, we did. Continue reading


Filed under Writing

DUTCH ID – the best electric bike?

A sight I won't see so often in future...Mevrouw T cycling behind me.

A sight I won’t see so often in future…Mevrouw T cycling behind me.

Is this an exciting step forward into the future of our cycling or an admission of defeat? We’ve bought an electric-assist bike.

Was this a good decision? Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling

EVERYTRAIL–into Sydney by bike and iPhone app


My bike is okay, my legs need some work, my iPhone photos are at best average, the red line marking the route I took sometimes misses a bridge and lands in the water, but riding into Sydney and mapping my route with EveryTrail was fun. Continue reading


Filed under Cycling


A beacon in the backpack.

I’ve recently acquired a smart phone. It’s smarter than I am anyway. It can remember my appointments, tell me if it’s raining and whip me at chess.

There are these things called ‘apps’ for smart phones. Maybe you knew that. I googled ‘How many apps are there?’ and the answer was 500,000. Approximately. Whatever you’re into, there’s an app. I’m into travel, so I googled ‘How many travel apps are there?’ on my ancient (2010 model) computer. A year ago there were 17,000 – ah, the field narrows!

I googled on. ‘Best travel apps’. 111,000,000 entries. Nobody seems to agree here, though a few apps turned up on several reviews. I ‘bought’ some – all free, naturally. I’m h(app)y with the ones I found… Continue reading


Filed under Budget travel, Cycling, Hiking

GARMIN EDGE 800 – what kind of cyclist needs GPS navigation?

It's arrived, and I'm excited!

A package arrived on the doorstep. My pulse rate probably quickened, but I had no way of checking this. The heart monitor was in that package, along with a new Garmin Edge 800 GPS satellite-guided navigation bicycle computer. I’d been invited to take it on a test drive.

I should explain that I’m not a techy-geeky-dudey-type guy. I know how to insert a DVD into my machine, but getting it to play…that’s what you have kids for. So maybe I’m not the ideal person to be reviewing a wham-bang, state-of-the-art Garmin Edge 800 GPS bike computer. On the other hand, if I can work it, so can everybody else.

Little Garmy 500 and Big Garmy 800

I’ve been riding bikes since before the launch of Sputnik. I know the way along my favourite cycling routes in Sydney and Amsterdam, and the Dutch ones have signposts giving the distance to the next town. I even know a clever trick for calculating average speed; I divide the distance travelled by the number of hours I’ve been riding. I learned to do this back when calculators filled large rooms in bank offices.

Nonetheless, I was excited by my new Garmy’s arrival, because GPS thingies are fun. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling