Deadline Stress On The Road To Winton

An old friend emailed me to say that when he saw a book review in the Sydney Morning Herald, he immediately assumed it was (a) my memoirs or (b) The Best of FOMM. As he found out when reading the review, Friday on My Mind is a book by music writer Jeff Apter about the life of George Young. The late founder of the Easybeats wrote ‘Friday on My Mind’, a major hit around the…

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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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WWI Pacifists, Conchies and Rejects

Amidst the salvo of Anzac Day stories, the people least often talked about are those who did not take part in WWI,  either because of a Christian or moral objection, for practical reasons, or because the armed forces rejected them. According to the Australian War Memorial, 33% of men volunteering for the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) in 1914 were rejected on medical/fitness grounds. Enlistment standards were gradually relaxed in ensuing years, allowing many of the…

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Blogging and human rights

In case you were curious, the word blog in Farsi looks like this – وبلاگ. Iranians who didn’t like the way things were going in their country started وبلاگ’ing (blogging) like crazy after the 2000 crackdown on Iranian media. Iranians who interact with the internet are by definition risk-takers. As recently as late 2016, five Iranians were sentenced to prison terms for writing and posting images on fashion blogs. The content was decreed to ‘encourage…

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