My local. My place is 100m behind it. 
Nice, but I only have a coupla pints once a 
week (for my behaviour policewoman's info!)
This shot was taken only 30 mins ago.

First day of summer 2013. It seems as if we’ve had summer already. I like this cool, wet weather.

I’ve had an idea for a new goal. Dell has released a new laptop, the M3800 which must be the nicest, most powerful ever released. It’s a 15″ 3200 x 1800 pixel screen (higher than Full HD), quad core Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, solid state hard drive, weighing only 1.88Kg. Oh, and it’s only 18mm thick, about the same a MacBook Air.

Do I need one? Not really. Do I want one? Yeah.

In the USA it is priced at US$1799.  The price here? A$3799 !!!  I was shocked. This is price gouging of the first order and I vented my anger on their contact form. I told them it would be cheaper to fly to the US and buy one there, and get a holiday in the price.

That started me thinking: hmmm, round the world air ticket? About A$2,500. Buy the laptop in LA at A$1955, if I can’t find a discounter there.

So that started the process – Sydney to LA, across country by train to NY, Boston, fly Boston to Shannon or Dublin, see Ireland and make my way to London. Get to Croft Castle and all the things I’ve missed so far.

Chunnell to Paris, train around Europe a bit, then repeat my return journey from 2008 – Milan to Dubai to KL, train to Singapore, then Free-quent Flyer home. A bit ambitious I think, but …

But the time of year is important. My 2008 trip was perfect, September and October. Still warm enough to wear shorts and T shirts, and past the worst of the European holiday season, but not yet winter.

That’s a long time to wait, but I’d have to regain some fitness anyway and that will take time.


Crumbs (or pants, as Stephen Fry says), I didn’t think Popes had much relevance to the world. But maybe this one is different.

This is good stuff: http://mathbabe.org/2013/11/28/today-im-thankful-for-the-pope/

I agree. Except that. as one of the commenters says, the Catholic church is one of the richest institutions on Earth. How about spreading some of that gold, Popey baby?


I forgot to mention — the photo above comes from my walk around the lakes this afternoon carrying my camera.

Last week a West Australian judge said we have to recognise that there are paedophiles out there who take pictures of kids and that it is probably time we stopped allowing photos to be taken at sporting events and such like.

WHAT???!!!  On 1 May 2008 I was doing my usual, regular (>20 years) walk around the Trigg ovals carrying my Canon 40D and new 10-20mm lens for it. I was taking photos in the late, slanting, golden autumn light. The ovals were full of kids playing sport. I thought nothing of it.

When I went back to the car, I was confronted by two guys standing each side of me saying, “Taking photos are we mate?”

“Yes, I said, as I have been doing for the last 20 years.”  “Well, the women are asking why you’re taking photos of their kids.” “I’m not taking photos of kids!”, I said. “I’ve just got a new lens and I’m trying it out.” This was a super wide angle lens where people in the shots are very small. Nonetheless, I felt obliged to show my pictures on the camera screen.

But bloody hell, I was shocked and shaken. I was being intimidated and harassed by these guys, at the instigation of women!

In the next few days I looked up the legalities of photographing people. The result was, I now carry a Photographer’s Guide to the Law on Photographing in Australia in my wallet.

The legal position, as of 2008, is that I am absolutely within my rights to photograph anyone, including children, in a public place. Therefore, if you don’t like your kids appearing in photos, don’t expose them in these public spaces. And DON’T DEMONISE ME for taking photos when I have a perfect legal right to do so.

A shopping centre or a school grounds are not public places, they are private places and so we are not allowed, unless we have permission, to take photos. But a park, beach, sports ground, city street, any street, is a public space. No-one can stop me taking photos.

I’m currently writing my memoirs. Luckily, I have literally hundreds of photos going back to the 1920s or before of our family in all its generations. If photographing kids in public is banned or demonised, where are the memories going to come from. This is stupid.

So I say to this judge, if it’s not advisable, too bad. I am within my legal rights to do so, and if anyone tackles me, I’ll be straight onto my phone calling the police and laying charges of harassment and threats. What a stupid thing to say. He should have emphasised the law’s position. If he doesn’t like the law, then let him lobby to change it. Meanwhile, go away.


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