In the Beginning – a slow boat to Africa

  Grandma was a short, stooped lady fond of telling stories in her Scottish brogue. In that blue, white and green MacDonald tartan pinny over a floral dress, she cooked up batches of potato scones, fried fruitcake and black pudding. No one in her family had seen a...

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The Problem with Breakfast – a perplexing Outback puzzle

This morning we ponder our breakfast bowls in quiet isolation, another bush camp in the middle of nowhere, away from the road trains, the caravans and crowds, 100km east of nowhere in Outback Queensland... last night's neighbours a passing herd of camels with shining...

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Remembering Robeson – a book review

Paul Robeson was a black American man and an important civil rights activist of the early to mid 1900s, but there is so much more to this story. Until hearing Jeff Sparrow's impassioned presentation at his recent Melbourne book promotion, my own knowledge of Robeson...

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Welcome to The Badlands – a latenight lullaby

Bodies of children, guns more sacred Lay in heaps on crimson pavement The future dead, the ghosts of hope A shattered nation with prayers will cope . Pagoda beauty, suddenly soured Hateful icons, a new leader's power Crowded camps, no fault their own Despair and...

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Ding, Dong, the Blog is Dead – pondering progress

Blogging these days is not like it once was... a fickle, little-read beast at best. And it's hard to believe that just five years back I chose to take a dip in the blogosphere, a late starter, a wandering writer through the once-was maze of Wordpress and Blogger, of...

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A Poison Peace – lost but not forgot (Uis, Namibia)

I am in Namibia, 350km northwest of the once colonial centre of German West Africa, Windhoek; on the edge of the 2000km Namib Desert – the oldest in the world I’m told. From the setting sun my gaze drifts north and way down to the road at the toe of this great...

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Looking for a Life – the fruits of our labour (Lagos, Nigeria)

Mosque minarets pierce soggy Lagos skies and I ask my driver to stop, the road potholed with waterlogged lakes and lined both sides with traders' stalls. Just here are piles of tomatoes on tottering stacks of pavers. Ribs sizzle next door, sweet basil wafting from the...

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