Storm in a Teacup

My Australian family, on both sides, came from staunch tea-drinking traditions: Mum’s father was English and her mother umpteenth-generation Australian, and Dad’s mother was Manx and his father third-generation British colonial from Fiji (where Dad was born, and lived too until his teens). Tea-drinking places, all. Whenever our families would gather, endless cups and pots would be brewed throughout the afternoon as we sat and talked, and pretty early on I was drinking it too.

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25 January 2024 · 1 Comment

Right Twice a Day

GQ recently ran a piece on why “true watch heads” never set the time on their watches, which smacks more than a little of rich privilege, is surely in no way an accurate reflection of all or most watch wearers or collectors, and is frankly a bit rage-baity. Just posting a link to it could be considered trolling… and yet I did exactly that, to Metafilter yesterday (though I couldn’t bring myself to include the headline’s “true”, and had to resist the urge to insert “some”; it was still a hell of a hook). I was fascinated by the idea that some people treat watches as nothing but jewellery, and thought that others might be too. And I had a feeling that the article could prompt my favourite kind of Mefi thread, the kind that blossoms from a small seed into a field of flowers, full of collective memories and lore—which it did.

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14 January 2024


Melbourne 1991-2001

Apart from passing through with my family as a kid on our way to Uluru in 1979, before I had a camera, and driving down the Hume Highway with my own family in 2015, my main travels in Victoria beyond Melbourne itself were in 2000–2001, when J. and I were living in Melbourne for several months. This gallery features my Victorian photos from that time, including an airshow near Geelong and a trip along the Great Ocean Road. It also has a couple of shots from Gippsland in 1991, when I was driving my car from Melbourne to Canberra via the Princes Highway.

8 December 2023


After leaving Canberra in 1997 to live and work briefly in New Zealand, travel to North America, Europe and Singapore, and spend a few months in Tasmania looking for work, J. and I ended up… back in Canberra, where we spent the next two years.

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21 October 2023

World Wira

Continuing my sweep through past photos, here are two trips to the Malay Peninsula in 1998. The first was a stop in Singapore on our way back to Australia from Europe, to visit my brother and sister-in-law, who had moved there from Hong Kong a year or so before. It was our first sight of its glittering skyscrapers and overly orderly lifestyle, and a chance to sample ais kacang (tasty) and durian (not to my taste). While we were there we took in the Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo and the Botanic Gardens, most of which we would revisit in later years. We also caught some of the Thaipusam festival, in which Hindu devotees wore elaborate wire frames hoisted on their shoulders and attached to skewers pierced through their bodies.

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21 October 2023


On my thirtieth birthday I was up in the air, in more ways than one: between jobs, between homes, and flying between North America and Europe, on the next leg of our round-the-world trip that began in New Zealand and moved on to California, the Pacific Northwest and Alberta. J. and I landed in Stockholm in the final hours of my birthday, in the middle of the Northern winter, to stay for a few days with friends from my Ph.D. days.

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7 October 2023

Granite City

Aberdeen 2002

This gallery was a long time coming. I mentioned the occasion in passing at the time—a work trip for a meeting, with a couple of hours wandering around the city afterwards before catching the train back—but never did anything with my photos. Here they are, then, with some selective desaturation to highlight the greyness of the place on that overcast day, and with a short mp3 of the local soundtrack taken from videos recorded on the Canon Ixus (click on the seagull on the front page to hear it). I’d been there before and have passed through since, but haven’t been back in years, so this is as complete a representation of Aberdeen as I’ll manage for a while.

1 May 2023

London Sounds

London 2023

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30 April 2023

Back Home, Back Then

My slow chronological march through old scanned negatives got held up last year by my not being in the right frame of mind to write about them, meaning that there’s been a backlog for months of several galleries at Detail awaiting their announcement here. Time to break the impasse by tackling them out of chronological order, starting with some updates and additions to my galleries of 1990s Tasmania.

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30 April 2023

Flying High

I have a few galleries at Detail I have yet to write about here, but before I get to those, here’s a collection of photos from the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune Airfield east of Edinburgh, where we used to take the kids when they were little (and once went to an airshow). It’s the resting place of Concorde, which features in half of these shots, taken between 2011 and 2019.


19 March 2023