Themes and series

On 4 May 2013 I added a page titled 'Themes' to the blog in an effort to better define and highlight the material it contains; this step was part of my attempt to understand and communicate what the blog stands for, and what it might mean to people in the community. I did this because I am always interested in finding ways to improve the blog's performance and attracting readers to it. Later, I would take this down because it wasn’t properly representative of the blog’s content.

"Control is the manifestation of joy," is a phrase or maxim I came up with in the 1980s when I was an undergraduate doing my BA. With this blog I try to do a range of different things. There might not seem to be a pattern but that is because there is so much going on. Rest assured that everything that goes here has been thought about and considered for a period of time.

While everything that appears on the blog is original journalism, and I stopped writing stories for other publications on commission in the middle of 2012, the decision in the middle of 2017 to use a WP program to do my writing allowed me to do more, and do it better. This was a pivotal moment for me as it gave me the ability to spend a lot more time on each post, come back and rework posts at different times, and generally slow down the writing process.

Among the original journalism produced for this blog are comment pieces on things from social media to the media industry, from politics to elections, and from protests to the built environment. But there are also some other things and the tag cloud on the blog gives you access to most of these things.

Creative nonfiction


These started on 17 May 2017 and were made initially using my mobile phone to take notes while I walked around the city. I would take notes of things I saw and heard, and when I got back home I would send the note to myself via email and write it up to a complete text that could stand as a record of the outing. A friend suggested the word “collage” to classify these posts.

Train trips

These started on 27 July 2019 and, in the same way that the collages are records of things seen and heard while walking on the street, the ‘train trips’ are records of things seen and heard while travelling on trains. I use the mobile phone to take notes for these as well.


These started on 5 January 2018 and are more fully-developed narratives each of which has a single theme. One might be the account of a long day trip, or of a trip to another city by car. One might be a meditation on the city or on migrants. They differ from the collages in that the former are more like raw snapshots of perceptions and the latter are more well-rounded pieces having more structure.

Dream journals

These started on 13 November 2018 and are records, as the name of the series implies, of dreams. You have to capture the dream as soon as you wake up – in other words as soon as the PC is switched on – otherwise it disappears from memory.


Consumer affairs

Conversations with taxi drivers

These started on 6 June 2018. I will write down the conversations as soon as I return home to my computer, and I work these fairly heavily over a period of days or weeks, adding things that I remember when they occur to me.

Shopping lists

These started in December 2018, and they are just records of my shopping, either at the supermarket, at the convenience stores, or online. The final installment in the series went up at the end of September 2021. I'd also been chronicling my diet.

Ad capture

I started this series on 20 June 2020. To capture a video for consultation, and in order to write each article, I use my iPhone. Initially I point it at the TV screen and record the ad, then I use the replay function in the Photos app to watch the ad a number of times, sometimes pausing it so that I can concentrate on specific moments. On my PC I make screenshots, while using the Windows app called 'Films & TV' and with free graphics software GIMP.


Topical issues

In The Field

This is a series that started on 29 November 2018. These are application reports that I make in collaboration with farmers. I exchange emails or DMs with the farmer, get a photo, and write up the resulting material. They can take a few days to complete with all the toing and froing of messages.


I started this series on 8 August 2017 and it includes interviews with homeless people as well as with professionals working in the sector.


I started this series on 12 August 2017. It is a series of posts about brutalist buildings in Sydney. Brutalism is a Modernist architectural style that has its roots in England in the 1950s. Buildings from this period in Sydney are being destroyed to make way for new structures as they are worth nothing while the land they stand on is very valuable.



Odd shots

This is a series that started on 24 August 2019. It began as a way to describe the various ways that people on social media criticise the media. The title for the series derives from the common saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger.” I often use Twitter to supply material for these posts.

Tweeting better stories

I started doing this in January 2021 initially covering December 2020. The series involves capturing goofy tweets about movies or other forms of popular culture.


Visual art

On 9 October 2019 I started a series of posts titled 'Visual disturbances' that contains images taken with digital cameras I own. This series is tagged with the "photography" tag. On 7 January 2020, I took two old cameras down to the shopping centre, where there is a camera store, to have them repaired. I did this because the new camera I bought the same month, a Canon PowerShot SX620 HS compact digital camera, didn't give the results I wanted. The old ones are a Canon PowerShot A530 bought in 2006 and a Canon PowerShot SX130 bought in 2012.

I began a new series of posts about car trips I made. The first of these went up on 15 January 2020 with photos taken with my newest Canon. I am filing these posts under "cars".

I began a new series titled 'Hang five' on 7 October 2021. This was to be a series that looks at artworks in my collection. I asked a friend of mine who lives in the north of New South Wales to ask five questions about a single work, which I'd then answer. I knew Roger when we were at secondary school 40 years before and we'd been very close. I hadn't met him for many years when this series was started.



On 9 May 2020 I added a label (tag) "theory" to accommodate all the musings on such things as narrative theory that I had written, and applied it to posts on the blog using the backend tools. These posts are just occasional pieces and I wanted to have a way for me to easily find any of them if the need arose to share a link.

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