Category Archives: Photos

The Barossa Valley – So Much More Than A Great Wine Region

Just back from a whirlwind trip to The Barossa Valley.  My wife Eve and I crammed in so much in 30 hours it was quite remarkable.


Grape vines at Rowland Flat in the Barossa Valley

There must be some law that states that the closer you live to an iconic region the less significance you give it.

We often rave about Cairns and the tropical far north and how spectacular it is, Tasmania and its wall-wall beauty and charm.  The excitement and vitality of New York and many other wonderful place around the planet that have captured us one way or another.

But right on our doorstep, not much more than an hour away, is  The Barossa, one of the great wine regions of the World, and one of the best places to spend some time, tasting the wines and sampling some of the finest food in a growing number of the best restaurants in the Nation.

I’m not about to name them, that would be unfair to the other highly acclaimed eateries that we’re yet to try.

The accommodation is first rate and for every budget. Then what caps it all off, the people of the Barossa, warm and friendly souls living on a patch of heaven. They definitely know the meaning of hospitality.

I recommend a trip to the Barossa – you won’t regret it.

It’s often said you only appreciate your own city or town when your showing visitors around. Familiarity can breed contempt.  Likewise a popular tourist destination on your doorstep is often seen as a place to avoid. However, in so doing you can be missing out on some wonderful times.

A holiday doesn’t  have to be interstate or overseas – next time check out your own backyard.


Who Stole Adelaide?

My wife Eve and I had a delightful dinner at Windy Point Restaurant taking in the sweeping panorama of Adelaide.

It’s a breathtaking sight as your eyes drift from the Adelaide Hills across the Plain to the CBD and then across the western suburbs to  Gulf St. Vincent.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Daylight saving meant a 7 o’clock start gave us plenty of sunlit hours to take in the view.

Then the piéce de resistance – the night skyline – the famous  “twinkling lights” of Adelaide, but as I cast my eye across the skyline something was missing!

Where was the CBD?

With a  degree of difficulty I finally spotted the red glow of the logo on the  Westpac  tower.

Adelaide by night from Windy Point - where is the CBD?

Adelaide by night from Windy Point – where is the CBD?

But where were the city lights?  The bright lights of Adelaide are in the suburbs, not the city.

Is Adelaide the only capital that doesn’t light up its’ city buildings?

If our city fathers want the CBD to be reinvigorated and draw people back to the city square mile then please “leave the lights on.”

I don’t want to hear from the conservationists saying “but we’re conserving energy.”   What we are saving in the large scheme of things would be like returning a grain of sand to the beach to prevent erosion.

Then why is Adelaide the only city left in the dark?

5AA – Where News Makes Conversation

I have just completed another stint on morning radio at 5AA. It truly is the best way to feel the heartbeat of the city.

Key points I noted:

  • Politicians can’t get away with what they once did.
  • Spin is dead. The pollies might still try it on but the masses are awake to it.Unknown-2
  • Families Minister Jennifer Macklin’s insensitive comment that she could live on the dole set in stone the politicians’ golden rule.  Never give a definitive Yes or No answer.
  • Even in tough economic times people have an underlying confidence in Australia to come through any crisis.
  • The “she’ll be right” Aussie mentality lives on, and that’s a good thing, but people at large know we have to be ever-vigilant to keep our leaders focused on running the country.
  • Politicians of all persuasions still seem more intent on scoring off their opponents than scoring for the good of the country.
  • Our leaders underestimate the electorate at their peril.
  • Australians can be very generous, particularly in time of adversity, bushfires, floods and other natural disasters.
  • The U.S. influence on our country maybe widespread but Aussies retain wit, charm and cheek that sets us apart from any other race on Earth. Long may it be so.
  • Social media might be the communication system of the “Now” generation but much of that communication is misinterpreted.
  • No matter how much you know on any given subject, someone listening will know more than you do.
  • Radio remains the best source of public interaction.

My conclusion after two weeks on air – Adelaide’s heart is beating the pulse is very strong.

Nostalgia – What Is It Good For?

Nostalgia is the good feeling you get when you remember things from your past.

We all love a good dose of nostalgia. In fact it can be quite intoxicating, to the point you can almost OD on it.

“There are no days more full than those we go back to.” Colum McCann, Zoli

A meeting with old friends, a visit to your hometown, a fleeting scent,an old song, can all propel you back to a time when we didn’t have a care in the world and all was good.

In reality time erases the bad experiences and highlights the good times.

To be lost in a flood of nostalgia is to give your self to another time and another place. Each memory unearths other rich veins of nostalgia.

I know,  my teens and early twenties were not the best time of my life, but when nostalgia kicks in I see only the Everests and never the dark canyons.

Is it good to wallow in nostalgia?  I love to take those ventures into history, but at times it can be quite taxing.  A night of nostalgia leaving me with a non-alcoholic hangover.  Drained, listless but at least no headache.

The word nostalgia is derived from two Greek words: nostos, meaning ‘homecoming’, and algos, meaning ‘pain.’  In the late 18 century nostalgia was considered a serious condition that rendered sufferers incapacitated by homesickness and despair.

At some stage the word nostalgia slipped out of the medical compendium, was taken hostage  by the reminiscing set, and there it remains.

“Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, and the past perfect!”            Owens Lee Pomeroy

Old photos, television, movies, music, thrive on nostalgia. Superman, Batman,  Spiderman the 40’s and 50’s comics coming to life on the big screen and Wonderwoman on TV. We can all write out own lists.

The TV series Mad Men is set in the sixties capturing the fashion and social mores of the period.  It’s been very successful but the interesting thing is it’s not only those who lived through the period who enjoy it.  My 21 year old daughter is a devotee of the show and there’s no nostalgia in it for her.

Every generation will have it’s favourite nostalgic period but is it a good thing?

Research by University of Southampton, found that remembering past times improves mood, increases self-esteem, strengthens social bonds and imbues life with meaning.

 “Nostalgia is a way for us to tap into the past experiences that we have that are quite meaningful – to remind us that our lives are worthwhile, that we are people of value, that we have good relationships, that we are happy and that life has some sense of purpose or meaning.”Image

I recently posted a photo  on Facebook of a Channel 10 Adelaide Christmas Appeal in the 80’s with dozens of TV personalities of the time. It provoked an amazing response as people recalled not only the faces but memories of a time gone by.

“how sad and bad and mad it was – but then, how it was sweet” Robert Browning