My uncle’s books

A couple of years ago, after my uncle passed away I inherited Dad’s side of the family’s books. These were the pre-Bond, post-Biggles boys’ own that my father and my uncle (who was ten years older than Dad) received. There were books given to my late grandmother, dated 1908. Imagine – 1908! Dad’s second cousin’s communion book, my grandfather’s tomes from the 1930s including the eerily prescient ‘Must Australia Fight?’. All are there, all silent reminders of eras past, when there was no TV, no I...
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Reviewed – High Wire Act: Ted Rogers, by Caroline Van Hasselt

Where to start in reviewing this 520-page tome? WHAT a book. This book is not just a biography on Canadian media / technology owner and magnate, Ted Rogers, although that's what I bought it for. It is much, much more than a biography, providing detailed insights into the personality and drive of Rogers, whose name adorns cable, sports, wireless and many other businesses in Canada. As well as the personal history of Rogers, the book goes into at times excruciating detail into junk bonds, merg...
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“You’ll be fine, you’ve got clean shoes.”

Funny thing, nerves. Sometimes they appear when you least need them - like when you're about to get up and speak! Three years ago I stood at entrance to a school hall full of high school-aged boys and their parents and teachers at a school in Canberra, as guest speaker for their commencement assembly for the year. I'd been to the school countless times as part of my role for work and had a cup of coffee with the headmaster beforehand. We then walked down to the hall and he went on stage. I...
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Tastes of my childhood revisited

Taste. It's one of those wonderful senses that can delightfully whisk you to a time and place, often of happy memories. Some of my most treasured memories are based on food and drink, the latter often to do with coffee. This afternoon, I rejoiced in seeing one of my favourite flavoured milks on sale, so I immediately bought not one, but two, Choc Berry Big Ms. It was my first Choc Berry M in years; though I have gleefully be known to mix strawberry and chocolate Big Ms to try and recreate the ...
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‘Plane’ old style advertising

In this the era of mega jets, online bookings and paperless boarding passes, this blog http://webexpedition18.com/articles/pan-am-posters/ by Nikola Lazarevic got me thinking of when travel was beginning to move away from ships as the primary intercontinental form of transport, to aeroplanes. The posters from Pan Am are evocative and I think give a real insight into how advertisers and marketers perceived not only their audience but their perceptions of the audiences' imagined view of the place...
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A tale of a cobblestone courtyard and a dank courtroom

Work experience. Remember it? Back in Year 10, when you got to wear a tie and jacket and act all, well - grown up. It was a couple of weeks out of school - getting yourself to and from 'work', doing what you knew would be exciting stuff, taking the world on. At 16. The courtroom Recently I had cause to recall where I did work experience in Year 10 in 1990. The second week was with a local lawyer, where I got, perhaps unsurprisingly, to file. I filed wills, I filed papers from near-endless piles...
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Twenty years later, what have we become of us?

It's a sobering thought that for my school's Year 12 class, next year will be twenty (count 'em - twenty!) years since we filed out of school for the last time. Yesterday I was a kid on the bus, talking with some mates about how life would be when we were really, really old - like 21! Year 10, endless rainy days and the wonder of what lay ahead don't seem that long ago - and yet, they are. Have the dreams we shared as we sat at back on the Invicta bus at it trundled its way down Maroondah High...
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And once, here, they played

On the road to Hamilton, between Lismore and Cressy, is a little place - so small that it'd be hard to be called a hamlet (it's so small it doesn't even get on the local shire's map). It is known as Berrybank. There is virtually nothing there, just a crossroads, with the CFA station off the main road a bit, the old shed sitting next to the newer one. Some silos by the railway siding further on. And a hall - that once, forty years ago, was a school. I'd not been to this place since I was a ...
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TV promos – social history – with garish fashions!

I love TV - must be a child of the 80s thing and having parents that let us watch enough - but not too much telly - as kids. I grew up with the late 70s / 80s staples - Early Bird Show, Shirl's Neighbourhood, sang with the National Boys' Choir on everything from Ernie Sigley to the 80s icon that was Young Talent Time - and along the way picked up a fascination with TV station promos. Yep - TV promos! Jingles can be really catchy; they grab your attention and make you feel like you're 'part' of ...
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A visit to the past – New York’s Tenement Museum

Social history fascinates me - from looking at the names of the men on the local honour rolls when I was a kid and wondering what happened to them, to stopping and trying imagine what it was like to live in Walwa at the start of World War II. It was this interest that had me visiting the New York Tenement Museum when I was in NYC two years ago. According to their website We tell the stories of 97 Orchard Street. Built on Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1863, this tenement apartment building was ...
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