46 Great Opening Lines: 26

Alicia Martin, ‘Biografias’, installation in Cordoba, Spain, Photo courtesy of Toni Castillo Quero, Creative Commons * Over the past decade university ­libraries have been systematically removing books from their shelves. Michael Wilding, ‘University Libraries should Preserve Printed Books’ in The Weekend Australian, 23rd August 2017 Last week’s opening line came from a short story by Michael… Continue reading


46 Great Opening Lines: 13

The men of the twenty-ninth century live in a perpetual fairyland, though they do not seem to realise it. Opening line, In the Twenty-Ninth Century, by Michel and Jules Verne, 1889, translated by I.O. Evans, 1965 The full title of this short story which is mostly the work of Jules Verne’s son, Michel, is In… Continue reading


46 Great Opening Lines: 10

Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, where the right way was lost. Opening line of Canto 1, “Hell”, The Divine Comedy, Dante, completed 1320, translated by Charles Eliot Norton.   Dante has lost the “right way” and hopes to find it before he grows old. But he… Continue reading


46 Great Opening Lines: 6

In Montmartre, on the third floor of 75b Rue d’Orchampt, there lived an excellent gentleman called Dutilleul, who possessed the singular gift of passing through walls without any trouble at all. From The Man Who Walked Through Walls, 1941, Marcel Aymé, translated by Sophie Lewis In my previous post about a great opening line I… Continue reading


Weekly photo challenge: Unusual

Back in May I blogged about a new sculpture that was set in place on Anzac Parade in Canberra as a memorial for the Boer War in South Africa (1899 – 1902). Before the official opening, the sculpture was covered in black plastic, or rather the sculptures, all four of them. It was a weird… Continue reading


Changing Seasons: June (Munich)

June in Munich. It’s hot, surprisingly hot. Two months ago it was still cold and even snowing a bit. Now, after the long winter, the population of Munich has come outside. Large numbers of people are running and cycling in the streets and exercising in the parks. In the Englischer Garten they even surf! A… Continue reading


Weekly photo challenge: Mirror

Cones. Bert Flugelman (1923-2013) created them, and the National Gallery put them out under the blue Australian sky in the Sculpture Garden. Flugelman produced a number of stainless steel sculptures in Australia (where he lived), not to be confused with Austria (where he was born). Children and adults alike love the 20 metres of image-distorting… Continue reading


Weekly photo challenge: Face

If you’re looking for some mild amusement, and you have an Apple computer, check out the Faces option in the ‘Apple Photos’ application. It collects images of faces, that is, anything that resembles two human eyes above a nose above a mouth. It doesn’t always get it right. Sometimes it finds sculpted faces, though they… Continue reading


Japanese Gardens, Helwan, Cairo

In the 1800s, the town of Helwan was Egypt’s winter resort for the wealthy.  During the Second World War, British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers were resident in the area and visited these gardens constructed in 1917 by the architect Zulfiqar Pasha, who gave them a Japanese theme with about forty Buddha statues, elephants, a… Continue reading


A moment in time

Today there’s a prompt to show and tell:  show the last photo I’ve taken, and tell the story behind that moment in time. Yesterday I was passing the Civic library where I’ve worked casually as a tutor for a couple of years.  There’s something in there that I’ve often wanted to photograph, but when I’m… Continue reading