Some Folks Are Hollow

Being above politics has not insulated me from the annoyance and frustration politicians bring. No one has done less for my sense of well-being than the mop-haired back and front that just dodged a bullet. There was a time his humour and haircut amused, but all that disappeared when I realised it was just a… Continue reading Some Folks Are Hollow

Minds Alive! On Hope Street

Street dancer in Medellin Colombia

Not that long ago, this neighbourhood was a no-go zone in the world’s most dangerous city. Today, it’s a tourist hotspot where Spanish speaking souvenir sellers saturate the sidewalks. Not being one for trinkets, I give them my “Nah, you’re alright” face and have a look around. If the subjective stars align, my memento will… Continue reading Minds Alive! On Hope Street

Public Enemy No. 1 

Writing Never Mind The Jollop was an attempt to exorcise my pandemic frustrations. It was working. Until the deportation of Novak Djokovic from Australia sucked me back in and had me questioning my affection for the country I used to call home. My biggest beef with the pandemic response is the erosion of civil liberties.… Continue reading Public Enemy No. 1 

The Legends We Outlive #46

…A birthday message from the Rookster As the years roll by, I’ve begun to notice the legends I outlive. It puts things in perspective and has me asking, if I’m gonna join 'em, I better get my shit together! Last year, it was Freddie Mercury. The recent biopic brought back a Live Aid performance that… Continue reading The Legends We Outlive #46

Boy in the Better Land

When Shutter Island opened its doors, we had it on our toes. Destination México. Our plan, to earn online and see a few sights – in a land that loves freedom as much as we do.  We started in Querétaro. A city unknown to me until I made a friend on a photography course in… Continue reading Boy in the Better Land

Free Expression As Revolution

As a kid, I kept my trap shut. A stutter will do that to you. You have something to say but dare not risk the embarrassment of those words not making it past your lips. Thankfully speech impediments fade, but they do leave their mark. The remnants are a visceral understanding of the frustration that… Continue reading Free Expression As Revolution

Shutter Island

“Flying overseas. No time to feel the breeze.” - After six months of captivity under Kim Jong Boris, the good ship Rookster sets sail again. The old country was unrecognisable. That post-Olympic swagger I left in 2013 has gone, replaced by a conformity I can’t condone. And my sense of belonging is on the blink.… Continue reading Shutter Island

A Tale of 2020

Well, it weren’t the year we had in mind. But you take the rough with the smooth don’t yer? Especially where over-hyped global pandemics are concerned. In January, we moved to Madrid for my photography course. It was going well, Malasaña’s countercultural vibe was spurring my creativity and my multi-lingual missus had the locals eating… Continue reading A Tale of 2020

A Sort of Homecoming

Three years ago the freedom of infertility set me on a mid-life meander to Melbourne. Last month, I went home... So, what have my cohorts and countrymen been up to without me? Well, apart from break-ups, breeding and Brexit. Not much. We did the rounds. From family roasts to beers with the lads. We were like social… Continue reading A Sort of Homecoming

Music From The Motherland

Recently, I discovered something laying dormant inside my mobile blower... Podcasts. More precisely, Desert Island Discs. There are hundreds of 'em - and many are my cultural counterparts; from Gallagher and Brand, to Weller, Winstone and whispering Bob. If you're unfamiliar with the format. Guests (or "castaways") get to choose 8 songs (or "discs") to take with… Continue reading Music From The Motherland

Van Diemen’s Land

First I heard of Van Diemen’s Land was back in the 80s when my Walkman was partial to a bit of Rattle & Hum*. Little did I know, it was real place that one day would be on my doorstep. Nowadays it’s an Australian state called Tasmania. We fly to Hobart and make a long weekend of… Continue reading Van Diemen’s Land

Pull The Ladder Up Bruce

Some call it Australia Day. Others, Invasion Day. For me, it’s January 26th – a public holiday and a welcome break from the daily grind. Australians woke to the news that their prime minister had awarded Prince Philip a knighthood - and by bestowing this colonial trinket on a pointless prince had implied that no… Continue reading Pull The Ladder Up Bruce

Ocean Drive

The anniversary of my 4th decade on the earth gave the old girl an excuse to fly out for a visit. Fancy man in tow. My end of the bargain was to assume the role of tour-guide-slash-driver for a road trip round Victoria. #1 Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula The locals bang on about the penguins at Phillip… Continue reading Ocean Drive

Cash on the Hip

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a footballer (well, and a gangster - but that's another story). I'd have been in with shout, but lager and birds sabotaged my crack at the top flight and I settled for that kick-about between two skinfuls - the Sunday League. Injuries were… Continue reading Cash on the Hip

10 Years a Slave

Point Nepean National Park - Portsea, Mornington Peninsula

Approaching 30 and birdless: "I stopped looking for a dream girl. I just wanted one that wasn't a nightmare." - Charles Bukowski As luck would have it, one turned up anyway - and it wasn't long before we were shacked up and due to get spliced. From day 1 it was obvious she was gonna… Continue reading 10 Years a Slave

Back in the Game

Treasury Place - Melbourne

This time last year I was looking out of my Canary Wharf window thinking: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller It’s good advice, but after 277 "days off" it was time to put some bunce back in the old… Continue reading Back in the Game

That Was The Trip That Was [Video]

Phnom Kulen Cambodia

With the backpacking part of this trip done and dusted. I've been in a reflective mood and put together a montage of the journey so far. Now it's onto Melbourne where another new experience awaits - living and working in a foreign country. Is Australia really the land of Milk & Honey? _____

When Harry Met Rooky

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Got chatting to this monk the other day. Didn't catch his name, so for the sake of the story we'll call him Harry. The conversation* went something like this. Rooky: Being a monk must take a lot of self-control - no booze, no sex. So what makes virile young men (like yourself) pass up SE… Continue reading When Harry Met Rooky

19 Nights in Nam

Watching The Ships Roll In

The next stop in our tour of Indochina was Vietnam. This is what I saw... Saigon Scooters With 35 million scooters in Nam, you can forget what the green-cross-code-man told you. You'll be there all day. They come at you from all directions, so my advice would be - just walk... If evolution's true the… Continue reading 19 Nights in Nam

Drop your Angkor, weigh your thoughts…

The House of The Rising Sun (2013)

Cambodia, a perplexing place - one day you're watching the sunrise over the "8th wonder of the world". The next, you're standing in the middle of the killing fields shocked by the evil humans are capable of. After a month on the beaches of Goa I can handle sightseeing again. So we fly to the… Continue reading Drop your Angkor, weigh your thoughts…

Teenage Kicks

Teenage Kicks (2013)

After 4 months on the road, travel burnout was beginning to kick in - sightseeing had become a chore and I was missing the sense of purpose that work used to provide. Thankfully my friends at OSCAR India supplied the antidote - and asked me to do some football coaching. OSCAR is an organisation that… Continue reading Teenage Kicks