Latest Posts

The sun sets on the RMS St Helena

It’s the end, as they say, of an era. Or at least it was meant to be. On Saturday last week, the RMS St Helena departed the South Atlantic island that gives it its name for what was supposed to

Two Book Reviews

The following book reviews were written for The Weekend Australian back in 2016. For whatever reason — probably the fact that I didn’t file them on time — they were never published. I’m putting them out there now for posterity’s sake. From the review

Postcard from nowhere

Every morning in Transnistria, the self-proclaimed Eastern European country that no other country recognises, there’s a run on the banks. You wouldn’t think there would be much demand for a currency like the Transnistrian ruble, which doesn’t have an ISO

Why read ‘The Flashman Papers’ today?

When George MacDonald Fraser sat down to pen Flashman, the first volume of what would eventually become a thirteen-book series known as ‘The Flashman Papers’, one doubts he knew how enduring his titular character would become. A minor figure in Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s

‘Saga Land’ brings Iceland’s historic stories to life

I didn’t know much about the Icelandic sagas—or indeed much about Iceland itself, as it turned out—before opening Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason’s Saga Land. I’d be surprised if I’m alone in learning something new in its pages. I’d made

Anthony Bourdain, the anti-foodie foodie

Did anyone see it coming? Did Anthony Bourdain himself? How did a man who made his name with a book that largely glamourised the swinging-dick bro culture of professional kitchens—a book whose cover showed him and a couple of other

Mural network: Street art in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Even at magic hour, when it is perfectly lit and the city at its most attractive, it is difficult to know what to make of Banja Luka’s “Old Dude”. Painted by the Bulgarian artist Bozhidar Simeonov, or Bozko, on a

Art fakes loom over Modigliani madness

It has been a big year for Amedeo Modigliani. At least three exhibitions of the Italian painter and sculptor’s work are currently underway or about to open around the world. In New York City, ‘Modigliani Unmasked’ opened at the Jewish