The back roads to Canberra and musical reunions

When we planned a 2,500 kms round trip to the National Folk Festival via the back roads to Canberra, it seemed like a monumental expedition. Now that we’re home again (via Dubbo and Goondiwindi), it seems a weak effort compared to the distances travelled by overseas guests including Manran (Scotland), Nancy Kerr and James Fagan (UK), April Verch (US), George Jackson (US) and Vila Navio (Portugal). For example, George Jackson committed himself to a 35,000…

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Tom, Dick, Harry and Paul

Brisbane songwriter Sue Wighton has a zany song about the daft names people give their children, with a droll chorus that starts: ‘Whatever happened to Tom, Dick and Harry?’ It’s a good question. It would never have occurred to me as a song subject, but Sue is an ex-school teacher, so that explains a lot. She will have seen her share of exotic baby names like Joaquin, Griffin, Phoenix, Jasper, Peregrine and Fox. I’m only…

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North Korea – 21st Century Missile Crisis

If you’re old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis, you’re probably less inclined to see the North Korea/US standoff as a prelude to the End Time. In October 1962 (I was 13), President John F Kennedy and his Russian counterpart, Nikita Khrushchev, arm-wrestled over Soviet missile sites built on Cuban soil. Russia had taken steps to build missile silos on Cuba as a response to similar US installations in Turkey and other central Europe…

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Great wall of Mexico

There are precedents for President Donald Trump’s plan to build, or complete a 3,208 kilometre wall between Mexico and the US. The Australian outback features not one but two barrier fences, sprawling the length and breadth of the country. A tour guide took us on a sunset tour out to the ‘dog fence’ near Coober Pedy in 2014. The South Australian section of the 5,531km fence which runs from the SA border to Queensland is…

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