Stonehouse Inn (old Fayette Springs Hotel), Farmington, Fayette County, Pennsylavania

Longing and Leftovers – the final reckoning (Farmington, USA)

December 28, 2012

We fly from Melbourne to New York, continuing on to Pittsburgh. We’re in this part of the country to see the `best example of American architecture’, the iconic creation of Frank Lloyd Wright. The hire car attendant is astounded anyone would travel this far, handing over the keys to our 4×4; my girlfriend hoping for […]

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Calling on Kittelsen – ghosts, ghouls and demons (Norway)

February 16, 2014

4m waves batter our ferry on the fiercest piece of water in the world. We’re 100km west of the Norwegian mainland and this is the Maelstrom, first mentioned by the Greeks 3000 years ago and immortalized in the iconic writings of Edgar Allen Poe and Jules Verne. But it’s the artist and poet Theodor Severin […]

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In Safe Hands – a prayer for Sai Baba of Shirdi (Mumbai, India)

February 3, 2013

A dancing doll bobs on a string of beads slung from the top of a grimy windscreen, swinging back and forth like a hypnotist’s watch. The emaciated figure has a white beard and is dressed in a loose-fitting skullcap and long tunic of white. Meet the Indian mystic Sai Baba of Shirdi; a holy man, […]

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Of Music, Madness and Fame – one week in Prague (Czech Republic)

April 8, 2013

On my last night here, I’m dining with Bohdan at the Jindrisska belltower; a rustic restaurant occupying the top three floors. Panoramic views span the famous `one hundred spires’. Just above us hangs the c1518 St Mary’s Bell, our tiny table and chairs tucked between great Gothic beams. A flickering candle catches empty pilsner bottles and […]

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Lofoten Lost Dogs – back from the brink (Norway)

September 14, 2013

“Puffin dogs?” Hege shakes her head. “You know, there are none on the island at this point in time?” I’m speechless with disappointment. “Yah,” she adds, “but there were hundreds here last week.” It seems we’ve just missed the Norwegian Lundehund Club 50 Year Anniversary – a meeting of puffin dogs from around the world. […]

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Something from Nothing – mystic gifts (New York, USA)

November 10, 2013

There’s something about these multi-coloured cocoons, the plaque on the wall `Judith Scott: 1943-2005’. I adjust my glasses and lean closer, scratching my head and struggling with the notion of an artist not only deaf and mute, but also stricken with the effects of Down Syndrome. I’m in the New Museum of Modern Art (or […]

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Postcard from Lagos – a white Christmas in black Africa (Nigeria)

December 25, 2013

I’ve been stuck in Johannesburg traffic for an hour now; finally pulling off the treadmill of Rivonia Rd, and into the Nigerian Consulate compound – open Tuesday and Thursday mornings only – to be greeted by a mountain of a security man casually swinging a semi-automatic and demanding I stop. “You cannot be bringing your […]

Marzipan the Astor cat (1992-2013) - by Matt Elliott  photography

After the Opera – the sad passing of Marzipan the cat (Melbourne, Australia)

March 26, 2013

Many in Melbourne this week are mourning the passing of Marzipan, the grand old tortoiseshell diva of the city’s theatre scene. The much-loved Astor cat died on Sunday 24th March 2013 Australian time after a lingering illness, at the ripe old age of 21 years. It was back in the early 90s when Marzipan made her […]