Category Archives: General

Australian Coat of Arms

The Kangaroo and Emu

Standing astride our national coat of arms are the Kangaroo and the Emu. National symbols of pride? Of our unique culture and Australian fauna?

No, the kangaroo and emu form part of our leading food sources! Are there other nations that treat their nationally recognised coat of arms as good tucker?

The UK coat of arms boasts a lion and a unicorn – so can assume they don’t eat those. Henry VIII had a dragon and a dog … again don’t think it formed part of their daily cuisine. In the US, it’s the bald eagle … endangered species and highly protected.

But here in good ole Oz we take our national symbols of pride and proudly serve them on the dinner plate!

You got to love the Aussie way!


What Keeps You Fit

Well last night I was back up at the local squash court forcing ny body to move in ways it clearly wasn’t designed to!20111117-233649.jpg

I started squash about 10 years ago – with the onset of my 30’s I noticed the departure of health. With kids, work, and responsibility it allowed little time for something selfish like exercise. After all it almost seems self indulgent!

Taking time out to get fit – or maintain these amazingly developed curves (rolls) became a luxury and so any definition I may have had was smoothed into gentle rolling waves of “looser” muscle. 🙂

The battle with weight catches up with most of us and, at least in my case coincided with a growing interest in food. Getting on the scales and seeing weights a test batsman would be proud of galvanised me into action.

So I stumbled into a squash court, took up a nice easy game that doesn’t overly test your fitness … well not originally because I couldn’t run after the first or second shot!

How Important is Exercise?

We pay so much attention to our finances, our worklife, our family – sometimes fitness becomes a distant memory, a long lost treasure of youth.

For anyone younger reading this it might sound ridiculous, it might appear unnecessary, for weight just never sticks to you – “I can eat and drink what I like and never put on weight” – well just “weight”, it will catch up.

So is fitness a high priority? Is it something that gets you up pounding the pavements at 5:00 am? Or, like me as I was cruising through my early 30’s, was it something that seemed to silently depart without you even knowing leaving a rather larger version of you as a result?

12 Angry Men

In the famous scenes of 12 Angry Men a panel of jurors were called to deliberate on a case which gradually turned as discussions ensued.20111114-090556.jpg

Well now it’s my turn, asked to attend the panel selection process for a 4 week trial. Four weeks seems a ridiculous amount of time to be extracted from life!

I understand someone’s life is in the balance, further that (at least in Australia) it’s a duty of citizenship – but for most people who are employed a 4 week break is extremely disruptive.

Trial of Patience

The first impression is that the process is a long drawn out system of attrition.

First is the briefing in small groups, then a large group briefing, a video, small groups, individual interviews, callouts and finally enpanelment.

Oh well, I’m seeing a theme to recent blogs around a teat of patience, from Manila to court – happy days!

PS Couldn’t upload this while in court complex but the update is I’ve been excused 🙂 which I’m pretty darn happy about.

Check 1 2 Check

So ends a whirlwind trip to Manila – and in true Manila fashion ends with the chaos of the airport.

I love the Philippines, its culture, people, their spontaneity and confusion.
Starting with the traffic, the smells, the labour surplus for every job.

The Filipinos are an amazing people, extremely loving and generous.

So to finish the trip it’s braving the airport – and with so little ability to predict the traffic we’ve left 3 hours to get to the airport – knowing like each of the last few trips it will only take 15 – 20 minutes!

It’s a true test of patience departing from Manila – the dozens of check points, the lack of commercial acumen, the chaotic nature all culminating in massive delays. But, now used to all this, I’m prepared – I have a blog to write.

Did we check you in?

You arrive at Manila airport and pass through the security quadrant, then through security screening – you’ve made it to the entrance!

Check your bags, pay customs and through security screening – check 1 2, check.

Approach the gates and, oh, through security screening – did I miss the exit to the roundabout?

We’re now into the main terminal, moving to our departure gate – the flight is called and … through security screening, bag check, frisk down, shoe check, passport and boarding pass check and now we’ve arrived at the gate.

Locked in literally to a cordoned off area. Hope you don’t need to go to the loo! 20111112-204450.jpg

To top it all off … flights are delayed by an hour and a half … but that’s the Philippines. I’m in travel mode so expect the wait.

Salamat Manila, I love travelling here – but please get some decent food and a few shops at the airport – Jollibee just doesn’t cut it! 🙂

The World Game


Great chance to see the opening game of Australia’s A League with Sydney’s first home game against Brisbane Roar.

Good time with my dad and brother – albeit watching a loss!

Cracker game, 0 – 2 score.

Musical Momentum

Music makes a scene. It creates the atmosphere.

Great Soundtracks

We are moved by music it’s deep in our culture and our psyche. It stretches the limits, it elicits memories, it’s our favorite song, it’s the first time when … a song can recall all sorts of memories and feelings.

Some of the most successful movies have the best soundtracks. Running a questionnaire on our FB page and enjoying the responses.

How could you get the Sound of Music without The Hills are Alive. Or Saturday Night Fever without Stayin’ Alive, and come on, 2001 The Space Odyssey – it connected aliens with humans.

The list is endless, great soundtracks that just a few notes bring back the whole feeling, like The Godfather, The Mission, The Sting … I know I’m showing my vintage!

Music creates the emotion, it can lead us into fear, joy, passion, laughter, even aggression – think of Rocky. It was hard not to leave the cinema throwing punches at the biggest bloke you could find!

Top Movie Soundtracks

When I think of great movies most include a great soundtrack … a few of my picks

  • Good Morning Vietnam
  • Remember the Titans
  • Shawshank Redemption – oh the opera!
  • Maybe not GREAT, but Footloose 🙂
  • Grease!
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou
  • Once
  • Happy Feet!!!
  • Lion King (yes, I have kids)

I’m sure I’ve missed some great one’s … any others that just have to be there?

The Maca’s Phenomenom

Why is it that McDonalds is so appealing to kids?

The colours? The food? Toys? Well it’s all that plus the experience.

We all love eating out

I was watching my kids devour burgers/nuggets and chips like they hadn’t eaten since Christmas! While a home cooked meal meets the chorus of “I don’t like it”.

I guess us adults have similar views of going out to a nice restaurant, cooked by someone else, then cleaned by someone else!

I’m not a huge fan of Maca’s but got to give it to them for creating an experience that appeals to kids, and a safe haven for parents.

Love them or hate them – they are good at what they do.