Articles in Category: Lifestyle




A Rosè is (not always) a Rosè is (not always) a Rosè.

Jared Dixon's 2015 Jilly FIFO Barossa Valley Rosè is orange-red in colour, extraordinary really, with a red fading-to-bronzed orange: something like the robes of Buddhist monks. It has a tart orange Mirella-jube perfume with ripe, juicy mandarin at its edge. The oddity comes from its combination of Marsanne (a white grape) with Grenache and Mataro (reds). So it’s the Marsanne that gives it its tart-jube saltiness. Its cloudiness comes from its limited-interference ideology of making. This relatively new-style winemaking (a revival of an ancient practice?) of minimal interference, producing often a cloudiness in the wine, means that the production of difference on the palate is, for the drinker, the equivalent of learning a new language.



Terrorism at 30,000ft


“I pulled apart the plane’s bathroom, at 30,000 feet all his behaviour suggested TERROR!”

2nd day of October, 2015

I left Penang having wrapped up a story on Malay-Indian culture, and I took my 2nd flight of the day from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Australia. It would be a 7.5 hour flight through the night that would prove emotionally challenging.

I helped the elderly Philippine lady fill out her immigration details, beside her sits a Korean student. Both are heading to Queensland for their first trip to Australia, and both are peace- fully unaware of the fear that would soon grip a small group of us as the night drifted in.

The three who sat in front of me included a young lady from NSW, and a father from Queensland. His son sat across the aisle from him, along with a group of male carers and his son’s young soccer team members, scattered throughout the 360 plus seat jumbo. In between the two Australians sits an Indian national, also heading home to Queensland. I had assumed he was the lady’s partner. He wasn’t.




VJ 311


While I think, and have declaimed here, that a single vineyard/single grape variety is a near-surety for a good wine, I am also continuously seduced by a combination of unusual/minor grape varieties. So I automatically bought, at a reasonable price, the 2013 Hunky Dory, a brand I hadn't seen before, Marlborough Pinot Gris, Gerwertztraminer and Riesling – suitably sub-labelled The Tangle – and made by the Allan family. The idea of tangle is picked up in the motif of the label: a silhouette of a sleeping fisherperson, in a boat on a blue sea background. The wine had a lovely taste in the mouth: a sweetness, savoury and musk: a savoury musk stick. The palate followed in a similar fashion to the perfume of this 'light-white' coloured wine.


This Psychological Life

VJ 311

There has been a lot of commentary about the current trend for the half-life of Prime Ministers being no longer than a disposable nappy.  The implication is, of course, that we like the certainty of knowing what we’ve got. It follows that, presumably, we can adjust to even what we don’t like. Although the shameful treatment of Julia Gillard would belie this assumption. 

The facts are, however, that, including our most recent PMs, Tony Abbott and the self-aggrandising Kevin Rudd there has been a tradition of short tenure in the office since Federation. Frank Forde managed 8 days before being deposed by Joe Chifley. Page managed 20 days, McEwen was good for 23 days and Fadden survived for 30 days. Others managed just a few months with our most recent short stay being Kevin Rudd’s second bite of the cherry where he lasted a tad under 3 months. However, unlike many others, who were deposed, he was defeated in an unwinnable general election. Out of 28 PMs, 10 didn’t last a year and a further 5 went within 2 years. So, over half didn’t see out a 3-year term. 



Village Journal 310


Has this been a strange winter? Perhaps it's the question we are now constantly asking about the seasons. It's been both cold and warm, wet and dry. And, not unusually for the Northern Rivers perhaps, blossoms are already out-coming on fruit trees. In winter, because of the cold, I am inclined to drink red, when white is my fave. But it really hasn't been that cold for a prolonged period. So Pinot Noir is a mid-way for those of us who sulk over tannin-rich reds.



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