17 June 2015

David was the giant, not Goliath

I had never thought Michelangelo's David would be so big. The figure alone is 4.34 metres tall (14'2"). Look how small the people are directly in front of the statue (above).

30 May 2015

‘Don Carlos’ at Opera Australia

 [First published on The Plus Ones.]

Photo courtesy Jeff Busby

Like any good performance, an opera will transport you to another place. The scene, setting, costumes and music should hold and absorb you in a fantasy. Opera Australia’s production of ‘Don Carlos’ does just that.

22 May 2015

‘Don Giovanni’ at Opera Australia

[First published on The Plus Ones.]

Photo courtesy Jeff Busby

If you’ve never been to the opera before, Opera Australia’s production of ‘Don Giovanni’ is a cracker to satiate your curiosity.

Mozart’s two-act opera is based on the legend of Don Juan. Don Giovanni is an unrepentant womanising scoundrel, who goes about town seducing single — and soon to be married — women, and then dumping them after he’s had his way. His trusty servant Leporello, the comic relief, has recorded the 2,000+ conquests in a little black book.

7 May 2015

What Armenians cannot forget, they are loathe to remember

Anzac Day was a bitter day for Armenians. While Australia was commemorating the brave efforts of those who served in World War I, Armenians were coming to terms with a century of Turkey’s genocide denial.

29 April 2015

Kathmandu's Durbar Square before the earthquake

In light of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, here are a few images I took of Durbar Square when I visited in 2005. These photos show parts of Hanuman Dhoka, the complex structures of the Royal Palace, which spreads over five acres.

14 April 2015

2006 Dahab Bombings

The Blue Hole is a 130-metre deep submarine sinkhole in Dahab [Wikimedia]
March 2006

Dahab is a small town on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, it's now a tourist hotspot for its beaches and cheap snorkeling and diving.

1 April 2015

How (not) to rollerbalde and get a great tan

The Esplanade at St Kilda Beach.

I was a gym junkie my early twenties. I used to be ripped, though you probably wouldn’t believe it looking at me now. I was going to the gym five to six times a week. I had a training partner; a weight belt; and a gym diary, in which I recorded all my lifts for the day. And my diet included creatine supplements and protein powder.

27 March 2015

How to Order a Coffee in Paris

"Hé Élodie, comment ça va? Are you going to the pâtisserie?  Could you get me some of those delicious bonbons? You know the ones: little and brown with the swirls of chocolat,

11 March 2015

Melbourne Street Art – Pigeon

Melbourne has some amazing street art. I saw this little fella somewhere near the corner of Grattan Street and Bouverie Street in Carlton.

I thought it was real, for a second.

2 March 2015

What the Smurf is going on in the Australian Cabinet?

[First published on The Big Smoke on 5 February 2015, without these images]

When Papa Smurf sunburns, he turns purple.
The Smurfs have infiltrated the Australian government. They’ve morphed their blue skin and white pants into blue ties and white shirts. Have you ever wondered why blue is the chosen the colour of the Liberal party?

The Smurfs are no longer the loveable, creatures that want to spread love and joy. Now they just want to spread Real Solutions. Here are a few of the major players:

Papa Smurf

The Grand Schtroumpf. Leader of the Smurfs. Skilled in magic and alchemy. He used magic to make an economic crisis appear from thin air and asylum seekers disappear. For his next trick, he intends to make climate change disappear. Not actual climate change, just the idea of it. He also repealed the carbon tax and so somehow considers himself the Smurf for Women.