Winter Culture in Sydney


Opera Australia Open Day

Opera Australia Open Day

Sydney has had a brilliant winter, weather-wise, with clear blue days, sunshine with a crisp winter edge, and just enough rain to caress the garden. It’s time I gave you a round-up of what’s been happening culture-wise. On my personal Sydney Winter Culture menu were festivals, exhibitions, performances, and of course a little opera…Here’s a brief round-up. Continue reading

Sydney Biennale


Jim Lambie’s striped floor (MCA)

Having gone to a lot of effort to visit the Venice Biennale, I thought I should make a little more to get out the door and into some of the galleries and other venues to check out the 19th Sydney Biennale – a contemporary art event that is rather well-regarded. I must say I was pretty impressed with some of what I saw, though – as is natural – not everything. I didn’t manage to get to every venue, but did check out the works at The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW; and I took the ferry to Cockatoo Island, an ex-industrial site, and spend a long afternoon wandering around and being surprised. Continue reading

The Battle of Hastings


Battle, UK

If, like me, you claim descent from William the Conqueror (and there’s plenty of English people who can) you’ll be interested in The Battle of Hastings, that seminal moment in 1066 when the Norman king defeated Harold of the Anglo-Saxons. Who was in the right? William or Harold? Who had a better right to the throne of England? Continue reading

La Hougue Bie


La Hougue Bie, Jersey, Channel Islands

This blog has spent quite some time getting excited over ancient ruins in Italy, but on Jersey we explored a very old site – about 6,000 years old, in fact. The site at La Hougue Bie (pronounced La Hoog Bee) has seen human activity for over 6,000 years. It’s a great mound built to cover a Neolithic passage grave. Continue reading

St. Malo


St Malo, Brittany, France

If you’re ever in Paris and would like to travel to Jersey, which is only 13 kms off the coast of France, here’s my recommendation: take a train from Montparnasse to St Malo in Brittany. The ferry to Jersey leaves from there. Apart from being MUCH more fun than a plane, this plan also has the advantage of allowing you to spend some time in the attractive walled town of St Malo. Continue reading

Art, Opera and Lunch in Paris: Enchantée


Ah, Paris in April

For lovers of art and opera (see the tagline of this blog!) Paris is an excellent place to spend a weekend. In April, I was lucky to snag a seat to La Flûte Enchantée at the OperáBastille (Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’), thanks to a kind friend and wonderful singer who was singing one of the Three Ladies that night. It was an excellent production – one of the finest ‘Flutes’ I’ve seen. Continue reading