It could be a street scene in any south-east Asian country. Except it’s not.
‘Mr Tulloch, my students love your book and it would be great if you could come to meet them.’
It was 1988, and I’d just written my first children’s picture book, a collection of very simple stories for young children entitled, unimaginatively but honestly, Stories from our House. It had the advantage of wonderful illustrations by Julie Vivas, famous for her work in Possum Magic, Australia’s best selling picture book of all time.
I was flattered by the teacher’s invitation and arranged the visit, a little nervous about what would happen when I got there. Reading the stories would take five minutes. What could I offer after that?
‘Where is your school, exactly?’
I’d heard of Cabramatta, and what I’d heard was not good.
Resolute Bay, Kuringai National Park. Where are all the people?
‘We do live in an amazingly beautiful city, don’t we?’ says my friend and hiking companion Duncan.
How could I not agree? We’re sitting on rocks by a beautiful beach with spotless sand, surrounded by spectacular forest. We’ve just been admiring millennia-old Aboriginal rock carvings. It’s the peak summer holiday period and we’re less than an hour’s drive from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, technically still inside the city limits. Yet we have it all to ourselves. Continue reading
For once we were close to the action on Sydney Harbour.
Midnight is normally way past our bedtime.
If Mevrouw T and I ever bother to celebrate the changing of the calendar, it’s usually a nice dinner with family and friends, switch on the telly to see the children’s fireworks at 9pm and that’s about it.
This year, a friend won Sydney harbourside tickets and kindly invited us along. Continue reading
Zhang Xiao – Shaanxi No 2.
China is in the news every day in Sydney. Nearly every story is about economics.
“Slowing Chinese demand ends Australia’s resources boom,” “Sydney real estate unaffordable thanks to Chinese investment,” scream the headlines.
We hear little about Chinese art and culture and the way it reflects the fast changing face of modern China. Dr Yeqin Zou is determined to change that, opening a new Sydney gallery dedicated to cutting edge Chinese art. Continue reading
Louis Pratt – King coal
We’ve never found a better public art event anywhere in the world than Sydney’s wonderful Sculpture by the Sea.
The Government of NSW (it’s a place in Australia) has just announced that it will rip up one of the few separated cycleways in central Sydney and not replace it until after a new light rail line has been installed – a process that is likely to take 2-3 years! Click here for a summary of the sad story.
There’s nothing special about this cycle way in Holland. Elsewhere in the world it would be a marvel and a major tourist attraction.
They could learn a thing or two from how the Dutch have organised cycling infrastructure.
Today we had to travel from Amsterdam to Beverwijk for a family lunch. It’s about a 60km round trip, it was a fine day, so I decided to do it on the bike, carrying the camera and taking a few shots along the way. Continue reading