We’re Walking Backwards for Christmas

Brexit in limbo.

British journalists have become part of Johnson’s fake news machine.

This really might be the worst government we’ve had.

Read More · 26 October 2019 · Politics


I would drive 300 miles, and I would drive 300 more, just to see the lamb I sent 300 miles away back at my door.

Breads of the world.

May you live in interesting times.

Read More · 26 October 2019 · Weblog


When I posted my backlog of Switzerland photos earlier in the year, I mentioned that we had another Swiss trip planned. Last weekend we were in Basel for a few days, and this time I’ve turned the photos around in record time.

Read More · 26 October 2019 · Travel

After hanging onto an 8GB iPhone 4 way beyond the point of practicality, I finally have a new one (a 256GB iPhone 7, only a few years behind the curve), which means I can finally take properly decent photos when I’m out without a camera—like the sunsets over the Meadows on my ride home from work at this time of year.

Susnet over the Meadows, Edinburgh

25 October 2019 · Journal

Do the Hustle

Brexit, a study in politics versus law.

Johnson has destroyed what is left of the UK’s credibility.

How Johnson could deliver No Deal on 31 October despite the Benn Act. 30,000 refugees in the UK are at risk if there’s no deal. Even a deal would just be the end of the beginning of Brexit.

Years and Years wasn’t meant to be a documentary.

Eight of the top ten Brexit-Party-promoting Twitter accounts appear to be bots. EP Today looks like a front for RT.

Without the Beeching report there might never have been Brexit.

The Hustle, by musician and journalist Rhodri Marsden, is a disco concept album about Brexit.

If you can’t make it to the rally on Saturday, chip in to the student coach fund.

15 October 2019 · Politics

Great and Unmatched Wisdom

Zooming in on Trump’s notorious 2016 taco-bowl photo shows an open desk drawer full of boxes of UK-sourced Sudafed, lending weight to the claims of a former Apprentice staffer that Trump “ate UK Sudafed like candy” and a whole lot more.

I wonder what was going on here. Or what was going on here.

15 October 2019 · Politics

The Smoking Clathrate Gun

Debbie Harry suspects she had a near miss with Ted Bundy. Imagine if some psycho had cost us “Heart of Glass”.

Cormac McCarthy’s tips on how to write a science paper.

The best self-defence video of all time.

A sea bubbling with methane has been seen in Siberia.

Herd immunity illustrated.

15 October 2019 · Weblog

Chook Tins

Chook Tins

This photo from New Norfolk on our way out to the West Coast in July didn’t fit in the relevant gallery, but I wanted to post it somewhere, as like the West Coast itself it’s a madeleine for my childhood. It’s a Ford Falcon, or “chook tin” as my mates called ’em (they’re fowl-cans, geddit?), from 1972 or thereabouts. Whadda bewdy.

Mouseover that beast and you’ll see another that I photographed at Forcett in 2005. This one isn’t a Ford, or a Holden that I can tell—it looks like a 1960 Chevrolet, but might be something else from that year or a year either side. Which means it wasn’t as old when I photographed it as that Falcon in New Norfolk was in July. My mate had a Holden EH ute that seemed ancient when he bought it in the mid-1980s but was only half the age of either of these at the time. Now they’re disappearing fast, with a few hanging on in places like rural Tasmania. EJs to ashes, doomed to rust.

Now I’m missing my 1976 Toyota Corona Mark II.

13 October 2019 · Travel

Up, Up and Away

Hobart from the air
Approaching Hobart, Tasmania, July 2019.

After eleven new galleries at Detail, and additions to a few more, I’ve finally finished with the photos from our summer (winter) holiday in Australia. The last pieces of the puzzle were the photos from the flights themselves, where I sat in the window seats so that the kids could take turns in the aisle. They provided a dozen-ish additions to Window Seat, which you can find at the end of that gallery, or by jumping to the first additional photo and clicking through the rest. They needed a bit of cropping and balancing, especially the ones from Dubai to cut through the dust and smog, but include the best aerial shots I’ve ever taken of Canberra and a great string of images from the approach to Hobart, which on a good day is one of the most beautiful landings in the world.

Read More · 13 October 2019 · Travel

As Aussie As

Beware of Snakes
Hays Paddock, Kew, Melbourne, August 2019.

Our last few days in Australia in August didn’t yield many photos without the kids in them, but you can see a handful of them by treading clicking on the snake.

13 October 2019 · Travel

His Natural Life

Earlier in the year I made a series of new galleries of the Tasman peninsula for Detail, catching up on a four-year backlog and five trips out there to see my folks. A year after my last visit, I was out there again in July and August with the kids, and this time took them to the most significant tourist attraction on the peninsula, indeed in the entire state: the convict settlement of Port Arthur.

Read More · 12 October 2019 · Travel

Is This Journey Really Necessary? #StopBrexit

11 October 2019 · Politics

Wild West

Ocean Beach, West Coast, Tasmania

Camping trips were a regular feature of my childhood, our family bundling into the Landy to drive all day to a distant site by some deserted Tasmanian beach. My first memories are of camping, and my first photographs feature camping trips to Tasmania’s northeast and far south. But the place I associate most with those endless summers is the West Coast.

Read More · 9 October 2019 · Travel

Parliaments of Oceania

A Glaswegian Twitter-user has posted an excellent thread reviewing every national parliament or congress building in the world, the kind of thing Twitter was made for. He courted controversy early on by bagging the Australian federal parliament, which I loved (as well as the old one) when I lived in Canberra in the 1990s. Its 1980s interiors remind me of my youth, and feature some impressive tapestries, and the flagpole towering over the hill makes a great visual shorthand for Australian cartoonists. The building’s confident modernism was a good match for the Australia of the late 1980s and early 1990s—the one that all went to pot in 1996 (cf. UK architecture of the late-1990s and early-2000s). I was dismayed when they fenced off the grass running over the top of the building, as it was so fundamental to the concept and the experience of the place. I haven’t seen it since that was done, and am not looking forward to seeing the fence in person.

Read More · 3 October 2019 · Memory

This Pendant World

Prominent Brexiter Steve Baker MP has quoted a line from Milton’s “Paradise Lost” to exalt No Deal. But it seems he didn’t check whose words they were supposed to be.

Boris Johnson wrote in his letter yesterday to Jean-Claude Juncker that “the proposed ‘backstop’ is a bridge to nowhere, and a new way forward must be found”. If Johnson is an expert on anything he’s an expert on bridges to nowhere.

Ian Dunt excoriates Johnson’s Brexit plan. There’s a lot of presumption in the media today that every MP who ever wanted some sort of deal will want this deal, which isn’t even a possible deal unless the EU agrees to it. The Brexit steering group of the European Parliament aren’t having any of it. The EU is preparing for life without us.

3 October 2019 · Politics

Emergent Castles

A full-size Parthenon featuring 100,000 banned books at the site of a Nazi book-burning.

Pictures with as many pixels as there are animals still alive in their species.

Miniature castles emerging from burled wood.

An amazing archive of East German home movies (via Robert Popper).

Read More · 2 October 2019 · Weblog

A Brexit Quartet

The Festival of Brexit seems to come sooner and sooner every year. Here are some limericks to celebrate Boris Johnson’s latest proposal, which is sure to win support from the EU, MPs, Leavers and Remainers alike, and isn’t at all designed to fail so that he can blame everyone except himself.

Read More · 2 October 2019 · 2 Comments · Politics

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