Flat White

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Skid marks in the desert

My time was up. Skid marks in the desert after three decades and six years. You don’t run out of…

16 Dec 2017

Business/Robbery etc

Forcing the deferral of the government’s vital superannuation industry reforms by terrorising cross-bench Senators with electoral political threats only serves…

16 Dec 2017

Losing our perspective

As Christmastime rolls around again we should take special care not to cause offence when sending group emails and Tweets…

16 Dec 2017

A beacon for human rights?

The royal decree granting Saudi women the right to drive astonished the Western world and geared up approval for the…

16 Dec 2017

Provocateur-in-Chief

The sin of provocation, Turkish President Erdogan helpfully explained in January 2015, was when mischief-makers fomented ‘hatred and enmity’ in…

16 Dec 2017

They legislated a lie

An appeal to my fellow conservatives: please stop congratulating that chap who has his boot on your neck. Even Tony…

16 Dec 2017

Christmas notes

Public shaming I know Christmas is a time for families and togetherness but frankly, I’m concerned that flicking the switch…

16 Dec 2017

Robin and Eric

Having been in a loving relationship for two months, Robin and Eric were hot to trot and tied the knot…

9 Dec 2017

“The Wider Earth”

It’s predecessor was the quaintly titled Waratah Festival which ran for a few days in October. In 1977 Stephen Hall,…

16 Dec 2017

Xu Zhen Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana

When state governments put money into cultural events they like them to be large and ‘exclusive’. Well, the Victorian Government…

9 Dec 2017

Bronwyn Oliver in her studio 1995

Her life may have ended eleven years ago at the age of only 47, but sculptor Bronwyn Oliver remains a…

2 Dec 2017

Elizabeth Harrower returning to Sydney in 1959

It is a wonderful story in itself. After a self-imposed ‘exile’ of four decades, Elizabeth Harrower became an internationally acclaimed…

25 Nov 2017

Taki: The forgotten heroes of Christmas

It’s that time of year again. Yippee! And get your wallets out. Scrooges are no longer tolerated at Christmas, although…

16 Dec 2017

Jeremy Clark: Was this a cruise ship — or Colditz?

We ascended the gangplank and were smartly directed to the ship’s library, where the seated purser swiped my debit card…

16 Dec 2017

Melissa Kite: Hell is a porcelain kitchen tile

If only I knew whether I would have a kitchen, I could order a turkey. But despite having an almost…

16 Dec 2017

Robin Oakley: Let’s hear it for the girls

It has been a good year for the girls. The filly Enable was the horse of the year, winning not…

16 Dec 2017

It’s time to rehabilitate Ulysses S. Grant — scorned hero of the Civil War

Last year, more than 6,000,000 people visited the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. By contrast, barely 80,000 went to General…

16 Dec 2017

The best way to see India — by train

‘I went to a restaurant the other day called Taste of the Raj. The waiter hit me with a stick…

16 Dec 2017

Spot the classical music

To view the answers, please click here

16 Dec 2017

The history of the Bank of England would make a marvellous musical

Hamilton, created by the remarkable Lin-Manuel Miranda, has brought the financial musical to the London stage: a serious biography of…

16 Dec 2017

The hopes and fears of Bethlehem

Before a certain baby was born there, Bethlehem was famous for its sweet water. Shepherd boys like the young David,…

16 Dec 2017

What makes a semi-police state happy?

This charming collection of individual photographic portraits of Bhutanese citizens intentionally highlights the two central features of the kingdom today:…

16 Dec 2017

Anthologies to bring comfort and joy

John Julius Norwich loves Christmas dearly. ‘I just wish it didn’t come round about every three months,’ he says. I…

16 Dec 2017

Did a vodka ban precipitate the Russian Revolution?

It’s one of the more mysterious features of human history that people of every era and in almost every place…

16 Dec 2017

True, dogged likenesses

There are currently 151,000,000 photos on Instagram tagged #Dog which is 14,000,000 more than those tagged #Cat. The enormous number…

16 Dec 2017

Royalist recipes for surviving the civil war

Halfway through Lady Fanshawe’s Receipt Book Lucy Moore takes a moment to regret the vast tracts of the past that…

16 Dec 2017

Why is America so inhibited about sex toys?

It’s hard not to love a book that starts with its author fearing a police sting while flogging sex toys…

16 Dec 2017

Bryant’s tyrants: Chris Bryant bashes the British aristocracy

I rashly discarded this book’s dustjacket when I received it, and thus saw only the unlettered cover, a faded photograph…

16 Dec 2017