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Samoa singing

Samoa singing

Samoans are enthusiastic and talented singers. Music and dance are important to their social and religious lives. We were told before going to Samoa that Sundays are sacred. Most people dress up in white clothes and attend church. There are numerous churches for many denominations across both islands and some are architecturally stunning. Unlike [...] Read more

Samoa ferry

Samoa ferry

Libby has written an excellent blog post which describes our recent Samoa adventure in some detail. I will add some snippets to that here. On our first day in Samoa we caught the ferry from Upolu to Savaii. The Samoa Shipping Corporation sails five services a day from Mulifanua to Salelologa across 13 nautical miles on six days a week. The service [...] Read more

Survival tips for the Darwin build-up

Survival tips for the Darwin build-up

The build-up to the wet season is everyone's least enjoyable time of year. The "build-up" stretches from September to December, sometimes longer if it's a poor dry season or late wet season. It's typified by high humidity with little relief from cooler temperatures, wind or rain. At the moment, Darwin is experiencing days of 25 degrees minimum and [...] Read more

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton is the best Australian novel I've read in several years. I preface that by saying I don't read many Australian novels, having been disappointed in the past and wishing to "travel" through my reading. That said, Winton's Western Australian setting is unique enough for me to enjoy the experience and his writing is simply [...] Read more

Clear Creek and Paddys Hill

I went for a 34km hike in rugged country south of Porepunkah yesterday. The eight-hour trek started up the Buckland Valley where the Clear Creek Track joins the main road. I walked along Clear Creek for 8km until it joins the Demon Ridge Track. The beginning was easy and interesting along creek flats. There were some cattle grazing in several [...] Read more

The Madman's Tale

The Madman's Tale by John Katzenbach is a gripping thriller set in the unlikely location of a mental hospital. Two of the patients, Francis Petrel and Peter the Fireman, help a driven prosecutor, Lucy Jones, to unmask the identity of a serial killer. For various reasons the hospital administration prefers not to believe there's a killer in their [...] Read more

Pillars of the Earth

If you can possibly imagine a cross between Thomas Hardy and Wilbur Smith you might begin to conceive the grandeur of Ken Follett's epic work "The Pillars of the Earth". There are hints of Jude and Tess in the tragic elements of Pillars, and the rural landscape also reminds of Hardy. The chronology of families through generations, and the gripping [...] Read more

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