Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza
Yes, I know Uncle Terry's a miser, a miser
After this chorus we'll be wiser, be wiser
And pity Aunty Laura, not despise 'er, despise 'er

X Is For X-Factor

It's So Easy To Describe, But So Difficult To Attain

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

As a photographer and a writer, it's not every day of your life that you come across an image that produces a "look at me now" photograph, just as writing a memorable blog post or newspaper article can be highly elusive.

But therein lies the joy. Were they easy, then they would be far too commonplace. And that is precisely why a great photograph or a great piece of writing is one that you tend to remember, or that you keep in a special place, to bring out and share with people who matter.

All it takes is the ability to look at something differently, or the ability to present it differently. That is where The Big Difference lies.

I work on the most simple ground rule of all. If something catches my attention, I photograph it. Very often, someone will ask me why on earth I'm photographing something - but when I show them the image on the LCD screen of my camera, they "see" the beauty through my eyes.

And, my friends, therein lies the reward. Every time I take a photograph, I am inviting you into my own personal world, to share my viewpoint and to look directly at the sight I've captured, from the exact angle I've captured it. You see, in the image, precisely what I see through the viewfinder of my camera.

A few days ago, we were in the Bourke Street Mall here in Melbourne to check out the Myer Christmas windows. Above us, the entire street was covered by alternating cables of miniature lights and silver stars. As you can see by the shot below, it was a striking sight against the azure-blue of the darkening sky.

But the first two shots on this post were taken from a slightly different vantage point, with the focus deliberately blurred. In the first of the four shots, the vertical frame shows three street lights in the guise of golden globules. In the second of the four shots, the horizontal frame shows the same intriguing shimmer, with only a solitary street lamp looking like a mysterious golden pearl.

This final shot (above) was taken as we were leaving. In order to give you an idea of just how far the lights stretched down the street, I actually stood in the middle of Bourke Street, astride the tram tracks to hit the trigger very quickly before moving to safer ground.

And now, my final question for all of you - please let me know which of the four shots gets your vote.

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

Hall Mark

Wrought Iron Makes Its Own Art

City Hall, Melbourne. Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Ate O’Clock

Part And Parcel Of The Job

Two postal workers sparked a worldwide data theft alert after stealing a Christmas cake and replacing it with another package. The courier workers ate the cake and simply put its address label on a parcel that was supposed to be going to Germany's LBB bank in Frankfurt. The bank package contained the personal details of thousands of customers around the world who were warned their accounts might have been compromised.

FOOTNOTE: Fruitcakes.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

He was inspired (he said) by the Great Tetrahedral
Which explains the odd shape of the brand-new cathedral
From Malta to Yalta, let us not falter
While we attempt to alter the shape of the altar

Silver Lining

Up There With The Best

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Last week, just a couple of nights before Christmas, we walked into the GPO and were confronted with an unusual sight. There was a two-man team inflating silver balloons of different shapes and sizes. Each multi-balloon shape was distinct from the other, much in the manner of glistening silver snowflakes.

I asked if there was a specific corporate connection to the designs, but the two men just shook their heads and said they will inflating them (with helium, I suspect) to form huge Christmas decorations against the soaring GPO ceiling.

The ceiling of the historic building would probably be the height of a modern five-storey building or higher.

It was dark outside and I took two shots before I noticed this one in the left-hand corner of the GPO, where it had drifted away from the others. In the late-evening setting, it looked for all the world like one of a set of gigantic, regal chandeliers.

Visit the creative team behind That's MyWorld Tuesday.

The Pipes, The Pipes Are Calling

Please Release Me, Let Me Go

Police in Dorset, Britain arrested a bagpipe-playing busker because he was "distressing" shoppers. The man was told his piping had annoyed members of the public. His bagpipes were seized as he was handcuffed and driven to a police station, although he was later released. He had been playing bagpipes for more than 25 years.

FOOTNOTE: Busk stop.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Every breath you take, while freestyling the lake
As you visit us for cake like only Grandma can make
With her chopped fruit and almonds and the season’s best nuts
And the dollop of brandy that makes us fall on our butts

Heaven Scent

From The Garden To The Table, With Rich Perfume

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

The vases at Casa Authorblog are always filled with fresh flowers from our garden. But the greatest pleasure in walking through the door with an armful of fragrant blooms comes from the knowledge that everything on our property was planted by us.

We built this house and we planned very little detail, from what's inside it to what's outside it. We didn't just inherit someone else's garden. We planned our own, right down to the smallest detail.

Each time we place our own flowers in the vases, it reminds me of how much pleasure the simple act of planting a cutting, a stem or a plant can bring.

Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

Off With His Head

Time To Shoulder The Responsibility

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

The more you carry a camera around, the more your brain starts to work through the viewfinder. So when I walked downriver at Southbank recently, I could see these two workers devoting their attention to the large outdoor carousel at Freshwater Place - but I only glanced at them and then flicked my gaze away to the myriad sights around me.

But as soon as I saw one of them climb a ladder and put his torso through an inspection hatch, I knew I had an unusual shot. I was still a long distance away from them, but I was lucky I had my 300 mm lens on the camera.

To me, the quality of the shot lies in simple body language. The very fact that the bloke's knees are flexed slightly and that his shoes are not entirely flat on the top rung of the ladder suggest that he is not perfectly balanced. Once you take that into account, you begin to understand why his colleague on the left has that open-mouthed look of concern.

It's the one time you wouldn't say to a bloke on a ladder, "Drop in any time".

(The Odd Shots concept came from Katney. Say "G'day" to her.)

It’s No Joke

Just Cut Out The Funny Business

Police have issued a Welsh shopkeeper with a warning – because of his jokes. Bob Singh was told there had been a complaint about the gags he prints on leaflets advertising his corner shop's Christmas offers. He has been warned he could face prosecution for a public order offence.

FOOTNOTE: Gag order.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Woe betide me if Grandmother Fletcher
Sacked me and hired a different etcher
Where will I paint with such deep feelings?
Pray tell, are there any more Sistine ceilings?

Antler Clause

It's Too Early For Red Nose Day

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

If you haven't photographed a reindeer before, one of the ground rules is that they tend to get very skittish if you approach them with a camera in your hand. This little fellow was clearly a bit toey when he saw me coming towards him, one step at a time, so as not to frighten him away/

I just had one thing to tell him before he flew into the sky with Santa and the team that pull the sleigh. I simply wanted to tell him that Australia is a land of drought. You're wondering why our weather would be relevant to him?

It's all in the delivery. I just had to say, "There's no rain, dear".

Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

The Sunday Roast

All Rise, Please, To Greet The May Queen

This week's interview is with Maggie May,
who writes the blog Nuts In May.

(When she sent me this photograph, she added the comment:
"I'm sorry that neither Harry nor I do full frontals!")

The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I blog because my son, Sam, set one up for me thinking that I would enjoy it. Before then, I was always writing in longhand and had contemplated writing my childhood memoires! I do blog about some of these memories from time to time. I am now really hooked on blogging, so Sam was right ... I do enjoy it.

What's the story behind your blog name?

Sam & I wanted to include the name May and I thought of "The May Flower" or "The Maypole" ... but then we decided on "Nuts in May" inspired by the film that we thought was funny in a droll sort of way. Of course, you have to be "nuts" to be a May in the first place! Apologies if there are any others out there!

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The best thing about being a blogger is that I can write about anything I want, when I want, how I want. I have also made so many friends of all ages and I feel that I really know all these people through blogging. Although we will never meet, their opinions are greatly valued by me and I look forward to reading their posts & sharing their lives with them.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

I would advise a newbie blogger to be yourself and write in your own style. Read other blogs that inspire you & interest you. Sometimes I come across a blog and know that I have something in common with that person right away. Look down their blogroll and see who their favourite people are. Leave positive comments if you find an interesting post. Before too long people will get back to you and you will have begun a successful blog that I am sure will bring you much pleasure.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

This is difficult. I have come across blogs that shock me because of the content. Aims from Big Blue Barn West and Suzy from Identity Crisis have written about terrible things that have happened to them in the past and how they have overcome their bad start in life and how sometimes they are still trying.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

That would be Ripples Of Sadness. My posts tended to be funny when I first started writing and then out of the blue, I found myself writing this post and shocked myself, my family and my regular readers with this sudden change. It was a post about how I felt about the suicide of a best friend, looking back after 20 years and it turned out to be a tribute to her and her family.

This was a turning point in my writing and the response I got from that post, gave me the confidence to write down my true feelings and not just make light of everything in case I caused offense. As I said before, it's OK to be yourself.

Today's Sunday Roast with Maggie May is the 49th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.

Is That The Sweet Smell Of Success?

Two Pongs Don’t Make A Right

The smell of a football changing room has been made into a new aftershave. Scent of Success is created from a blend of grass, sweat, boot leather and heat spray and is based on samples collected from a number of successful teams' dressing rooms.

FOOTNOTE: Jocks trapped.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

The stockings were hung by the chimney with glee
But greedy Cousin Ron had not one but three
So we filled one with berries and one with pineapples
And laughed while he practiced his lunges and grapples

Richard Gear

Who Killed Cog Robin?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Sometimes it pays to turn your camera onto unusual objects. There's a good shot everywhere, just waiting to be taken. This bike was standing in strong sunlight and I could see that the chain hadn't been oiled or greased in a while and that it was starting to rust.

I used the SMC Pentax-DA macro lens for this - and I have to say, not even in the days when I used to replace my own bike chain when it slipped off the sprocket and left me freewheeling, have I had my nose so close to a cogwheel.

I guess I'm just like any other guy. We all think we might have looked pretty cool in Grease.

Visit TNChick, creator of Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Squeaky".

Junk Feud

Chuck Out The Plant But Please Keep The Vase

A woman who bought a plant and vase for £1 at a car boot sale has sold it for £32,000. She thought the vase was junk and was about to throw it away but decided to have it valued on the Antiques Roadshow. The 1929 Lalique vase was valued at £25,000 - the most expensive piece of glass seen on the show. It was created by French designer Rene Lalique and is unique as the mould was broken in the production process.

FOOTNOTE: Oh, the cologne.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lemony Snicket

We Wish You A Merry Citrus

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

A few days ago, I was photographing the giant advent calendar at Federation Square when I noticed this sight to my left. I had to be very quick to take this shot – and I’ll explain why in a few seconds.

What do I reckon I’ve photographed here? An advertising billboard, perhaps? An office, maybe? A shop facade? The front of a house?

No, it’s a tram. Look carefully at the left of the second frame (below) and you’ll see the doors of the tram, as well as the Stop sign that is activated when passengers are disembarking.

The first shot was taken while the tram was moving – which is why I had to be so quick. The second (below) was taken while the tram was at a traffic intersection. I knew I had to react fairly quickly and decisively if I had to frame a shot without pedestrians and other traffic.

MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Next Christmas, I'm shunning the salmon and chicken
The ham? Methinks I'll only be pickin'
Plum pudding? Er, no, but I will get the salad in
And that's how I'll get a svelte figure like Aladdin

Star Turn

It's Christmas Time In The City

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

I was walking down Flinders Street with my family on Tuesday, soaking up the Christmas atmosphere in the city, when I took this shot. We had just walked out of a multi-level car park when I spotted the delicate colour of the sky. It was about 8.30 at night and the sun had already set, leaving a beautiful summery dusk glow.

We were walking towards Flinders Street Station and I hastened my pace marginally, because I could see that the sky would be fairly dark in less than five minutes. I wanted to shoot the silhouette of the station's main dome and one of the minaret-like towers against the sky.

When I decided the combination of sky and silhouette was just right, I realised I was fairly close to a typical Melbourne Christmas decoration - rows of giant silver stars strung across the streets. I only shot one frame, simply because the all-round balance was as close to ideal as I could have got that evening.

I'd just like to emphasise that I did not plan this shot. I just happened to be walking down the street at exactly the right time. Ten minutes earlier or later and the shot would not have had the same effect.

But that evening, it was the ideal Christmas image - a summer sunset, an Eastern-influence minaret and man-made stars against a pastel sky.

For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

Burger Cling

Just Perfect For An Old Flame

Burger King has introduced a novel Christmas gift idea for meat-loving men - barbecue-scented cologne. Flame is being promoted as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat". It is available online and in certain US stores, but is not on shelves in the UK.

FOOTNOTE: Oh, the cologne.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Thank you, Our Father, for this tree proud and wooden
And the brandy-blue flame atop this plum puddin'
Thank you for the birth in that most humble stable
And assure me that girth in this season's a fable

The Tiniest Christmas Tree

And The Biggest, Warmest Wish To Each Of You

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Standing no more than an inch tall, this piece of Swarovski crystal is the smallest Christmas tree in our home. As it is already December 25 here in Australia, and we've just got home from Midnight Mass, I'd just like to wish all my readers a wonderful Christmas. From every single member of the McMahon clan, to everyone in your family, may you have a precious Christmas and one to cherish forever.

No More Burning The Midnight Oil

For A Curfew Dollars More

Councillors in California have passed a curfew on their own mayor because they don't like her working late at night. Blanca Figueroa, the mayor of South El Monte, a suburb east of Los Angeles, must now vacate city hall by 11pm. Councillors said the mayor frequently worked until the early hours of the morning.

FOOTNOTE: City halt.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

They wanted a concert by the Tijuana Brass
They obeyed the sign not to walk on the grass
Each with their coffee and personal EPERB
They sat by the kerb and waited for Herb

W Is For Wreath

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

I’ve never seen wreaths as elaborate as these, photographed at the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore exactly a year ago. I had an eastbound flight to catch but I was determined to cover as much ground as possible – on foot – around the city before picking up my bags and heading to the airport.

I had already made up my mind that I would call a halt when I reached Raffles, one of the most historic buildings in the former British colony. Time was really ticking away and I didn’t realise how heavy the pre-Christmas traffic would be and that I would lose precious minutes on my way to the airport.

But I found the time to shoot these wreaths in a courtyard at the hotel. The stained glass in the shot above had me fascinated, for it threw an interesting range of colours into the mix as well.

It was early afternoon and there was the feeling of so much history on these flagstones as I tried to get as many photographs as possible. I knew that time was ticking away, but I tried not to think about it.

Eventually I made my way round to the hotel’s main entrance, where I made another pit stop to take photographs. Eventually, I knew I had run out of time and hailed a cab. But just as I was about to get in and tell the driver where to take me, I spotted this huge Christmas ribbon on a light pole. If you want to figure out how large it is, take a look at the huge palm fronds to the left – and that’ll give you a fair idea of its dimensions.

Yes, I caught my flight. But a good friend of mine, who knows how punctual I am, couldn’t believe her eyes when I arrived a few minutes late to meet her at the Singapore Airlines check-in desk.

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to
Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

Crowning Glory

Santa, I Think You Left Your Hat Behind

Orchard Road, Singapore. Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Faberge Nest Egg

But It Was All Wet, Mister Auctioneer

A woman in Devon nearly gave away an old umbrella which turned out to be made by Faberge and worth £20,000. Auctioneer Jethro Marles said its owner was having a clear-out and brought in a few pieces she was planning to take to a charity shop or car boot sale. The woman was given the umbrella by her mother-in-law, who has since died, in the 1980s.

FOOTNOTE: Brolly partin'.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

He was late to the gate of Netherby Hall
But young Lochinvar was dressed for the ball
To wed the fair Ellen, 'midst shoutin' and yellin'
Then plot his escape on a GPS Magellan

Sunny Side Up

Simple Light And Shade Can Bring A Great View

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

At this time of year, I guess it would be completely appropriate to post a photograph of one of the religious symbols of central Melbourne - a slightly different view of St Paul's Cathedral. Both these shots were taken a few days ago, under a lunchtime sun.

More than simply sharing this post with you, I'd like to show you what a vast difference can be achieved by instinctive composition.

I was walking back to work when I idly looked up as I waited for the lights to change outside Flinders Street Station. My attention was arrested by the sight of the solitary white cloud in a huge expanse of brilliant blue sky.

I had my Sigma 18-125 mm lens on the camera, which was perfect for this shot, even though I was also carrying my 70-300 mm lens. I took this shot at the full extent of the 125 mm lens and chose to ignore the main spire. Instead, I used the exposed brickwork on the main spire as a simple, angular silhouette against the bright sky, and I chose to make the secondary spire the central point of attention.

Sometimes, asymmetrical composition can be more arresting than a standard, symmetrical aspect. Here, I was just lucky to have strong colours, arresting shapes and a great colour contrast. And maybe it's my early background in newspaper and magazine design that magnetises my attention to a close-in frame at an unusual angle.

By the way, in case you were wondering what the more formal view of the scene looked like, here it is below. It's the same scene, in the same light, taken from the same angle - and according to the electronic data on the images, the two shots are a mere nine seconds apart.

Yes, it's still a handy shot, but it is not endowed with that look-at-me immediacy of the first.

Visit the creative team behind That's MyWorld Tuesday.

This Sound Is Driving Me Nuts

Who Turned This Car Into A Chipmunk Nest?

An Indiana woman opened her car bonnet when her indicator and windscreen wipers stopped working - to find thousands of walnuts. She thinks a chipmunk may have found its way into her car - which had been sitting idle for several weeks - and used it as a storage depot. "Apparently this little guy stuffed a bunch of these nuts in the accelerator throttle," she said.

FOOTNOTE: Shell shock.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

According to legend, heroic Leander
Visited his love and didn’t meander
Each night he swam the wide Hellespont
The ancient Greeks knew what some fellas want

Lofty Ambitions

Standing Tall In The Day's First Rays

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This week, we've been asked to picture something related to Christmas and the festive season. As it's summer here, there is no shortage of colour in the gardens of Melbourne, so I chose to photograph a plant called agapanthus, which is just coming into full blossom now.

With Christmas just a few days away, the sun is up really early. As you can guess, there's a certain photographer who is always up early too. And that's when I saw my opportunity, early yesterday morning. I have never grown agapanthus in my garden, but a neighbour of ours has a row of them on his perimeter fence.

In fact, if you look carefully at the first image, you'll see his fence in soft focus in the foreground of the frame. Very few Australian homes have fences in the front yard, preferring to present an open look and allowing easy access - but the metal spikes of his fence form an contrasting motif in the foreground of the first shot.

As the sun came up, the agapanthus lit up with the first rays of the day, so I simply walked down the street to take this series of shots. I've only ever seen agapanthus in two colours - lilac and white, but I'd love to know if you've ever seen any hybrid varieties or any types in a different colour.

These plants grow to about a metre and a half tall and like anything that size, they look great when planted en masse. And they're really easy to propagate, too. When they mature, you can literally cut the bottom clump in half, plant them separately and hey presto, you have two giant plants instead of one.

Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

Tomb It May Concern

Give Me A Ring, Ming

Archeologists in China are baffled after finding a tiny Swiss watch in a 400-year-old tomb. The watch ring was discovered as archeologists were making a documentary with two journalists from Shangsi town. Local experts say they are confused as they believe the tomb had been undisturbed since it was created during the Ming dynasty 400 years ago.

FOOTNOTE: Keeping watch.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

We’re gonna hang out our washing on the Siegfried Line
But mother, can you check if the weather’s still fine
Do a quick recce and tell me if it’s breezy
I’ll tell the quartermaster that drying it will be easy

See Gull

Is Your Name Gregory Peck?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Seagulls are very much a part of life here in Melbourne. You see them on the waterfront, you see them on the beaches, you see them at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and – curiously – you even see them in suburbs that are more than 30 kilometres away from the bay.

In fact, seagulls were the cause of a highly unusual situation three years ago. It’s not uncommon for flocks of seagulls to be seen on sports ovals, but in March 2005, a horse race at Sandown, in the city’s southeast, was disrupted by gulls.

The birds rose into the air en masse, frightening the horses and five jockeys were thrown off their mounts. A great photograph taken of he incident seems to depict a dense cloud of seagulls rising from the grass – and it’s only when you look closely do you realise there are racehorses on a track in the background.

Unusually, the race was declared void because of a rule which says unforeseen circumstances can allow a race to be stopped. As for the gull in the shot below, he must have been stuck in beak-hour traffic.

Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

The Sunday Roast

Give Him A Ring, For A Highland Fling

This week's interview is with Colin Campbell,
who writes the blog Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe.

The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I blog because it has become part of my life. I originally did it for therapy, back in January 2006 but now I enjoy the spontaneity of blogging and the ability to immediately put something in writing and publish it. I rarely think too much about what I am going to write about and I have many interests, so blogging fits with my busy lifestyle and my irreverent personality. I also get to post pictures and stories about my family, which I enjoy as a virtual record of some of the stuff that we do and which the rellies can take a look at from time to time. I am almost at post 2000, so it must be good.

What's the story behind your blog name?

When I set up my blog on Blogger I was faced with the what are you going to call your blog screen. I lived in Adelaide, so that was first and I work in the environmental field, so green worked. Something Scottish? Porridge! I knew it would be unfocused and varied, so Cafe brought it together. My brother was a game keeper at one point in his life and he took the grouse beaters out drinking till early in the morning on their last night before leaving and fed them green coloured porridge early in the morning before their trip to the train station. I still find that funny. So it sort of just came together in five minutes in front of a computer screen. Not so different from the majority of my posts.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

I get almost all my information from blogs and websites and the radio in the car. I used to watch much more television, but not any more. I like the mediation of news and information from multiple sources. Over time, you know where to go to get the kind of insight that you want. If you want straight news, it is there, but for more quirky, cynical, humorous or regional takes on issues, it is also easily found in the blog community. I am involved in a number of blog communities and enjoy the personal interaction and being part of the development of this medium. I am a great believer in participating rather than observing. Blogging allows me to do that in a satisfying way.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Just do it. Make sure that it feels right for you and dive in. Don't take it too seriously. The software is so easy to use now, it is easy to personalise your blog in a way that works for you. Make sure that you participate with other bloggers. Blogging is definitely a two way medium and there is so much to learn and enjoy from other bloggers. Don't be put of with some of the snarky stuff and don't take it personally. It is very easy to fire off on the internet.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I cannot say that there is one blog post that is most significant. There are so many great ones. I can remember getting my first comment and being blown away that somebody would take the time to comment in an empathetic and interested way, so that was significant. Sort of like getting my first external email from my wife who had just moved to Nepal when our company email was opened up to external emails in 1994. That blew me away too.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

I suppose it's If You're Happy And You Know It, which is the one I wrote for my 1000th post. It tells the story of how I ended up in Australia. Lucky me.

Today's Sunday Roast with Colin Campbell is the 48th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.