butlins beachcomber bar

Ten years on and still no foreign muck.

It was ten years ago today that me and me dad were at Butlins Holiday Camp in Minehead, England. We went there as part of the trip for my book I’m not eating any of that foreign muck because we went to the same holiday camp as a family back in the late sixties (In those days more than a million Britons had a holiday at Butlins every year). For those that have read my book may recall that my day Harry was 72 back then. Well, he is just about to turn 82 and is still going strong. When we were in the UK ten years ago he kept telling all his relatives that this was going to be his last trip back to England because he was too old. Since then he has been back three times. He has also been on a cruise to the South Pacific, one to Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand and another to New Zealand. On all those trips, however, he still refused to eat any of that foreign muck. Read more


The Candy Cabs of Bangkok.

I love it when a city has iconic taxis. They can become a symbol of the city and add a real ‘personality’ to the place. Everyone knows what a London black cab or a New York yellow taxi looks like even if they havn’t been there before. I also love the cute green and white VW bugs in Mexico City and the tiny black and yellow Renaults in Barcelona. One of my favourites, though, is the London cab (the instantly recognisable Austin FX-4). These venerable machines had been unchanged since they were specially designed and built in 1959 (although sadly, in 1997 they finally stopped manufacturing them). But, now I have a new favourite. The Candy Cabs of Bangkok. When I was in Bangkok earlier this year, my girlfriend Beth and I would get so excited every time we spotted a fluro pink or iridescent purple or luminous orange cab, but on my recent trip to Bangkok last week I became a little obsessed with them. I set out to find and take a photo of as many candy colored cab combinations as I could find. I did quite well, but I missed getting a photo of my favourite one, however – a fetching hot pink and lime green two-tone one  – because the driver zoomed past me so quickly that he almost bowled me off my bicycle. Read more

Sleeping Around Book launch

A very hot book launch.

I’ve only just cooled down enough from my book launch on Thursday night to finally update my blog! And what a scorcher of a night it was (in both respects!). Half an hour before kick-off it was 43.1 degrees (110 in the old money) and I was worried that folk would be sitting under their ACs at home rather than coming out and tackling the heat. But, bless them all, about 70 people risked dehydration and heat stroke to hear me waffle on about sleeping around the globe. The other problem with a hot night is that the bar tab soon ran out because beers were going down faster than Melbourne’s train system (oh, and Couch Surfers LOVE a free drink!). All in all a very nice night – I sold a few books, drank a few ice cold Coronas and caught up with friends and family. And, best of all, no one fainted. At my last launch a girl collapsed onto a table halfway through my reading – she was either a HUGE fan and it was all too much for her or most likely because I just waffled on for too long. Read more

cockroach races

Suck my cockroach.

That is just one of the delightful names of a ‘racing’ cockroach at the 28th annual Australia day Cockroach Races held in Brisbane, Queensland. I just got back from the prestigious event where I was ‘participating’ in the cocky races. Well, when I say ‘participating’ I didn’t actually race, but my stable of ‘cockroaches’ did. Colin and Kevin were up against some stiff competition, though, including Soft Cocky, I’ve got a Big Cockroach, Irish Cock,  Priscilla ‘Queen Of The Drains’, Osama Bin Liner, Ita Buttroach and just about every cock reference you could ever think of. The venue for the Cocky Races is the Story Bridge Hotel, which packed in 2,000 Cocky fans (or more like beer fans actually) to watch fourteen races, live music, topless girls getting ‘dunked’ and the crowning of the prestigious ‘Miss Cocky’ competition. Read more