Byron Bay, Australia – photography by HTC not SLR


This gallery contains 9 photos.

It’s cheating right? I do own a SLR camera that I unleash from time to time. Trouble is that it weighs slightly more than my two year old child and when you have it tethered around your neck you tend to ‘fit … Continue reading

Want to fly Samoa Air? The weight is over!

Samoa AIrfair

Hahaha. I don’t know why you’re laughing, you’re going to be paying double my ‘airfair’ mama!

“Talofa, the weight is over”

Yes, yes I know I’m so excited this will be my first trip to Samoa.

“No chubster. Not wait – WEIGHT!! – cough up the extra cash”

I’m sure I’m not breaking any news here by reporting Samoa Air has decided to charge their airfares – which they are pithily calling ‘Air-fairs’ – by a combination of the passengers body weight and that of their luggage. My favourite grab from their website calmly states…

“Booking a flight with us is as easy as inputting your approximate weight into our online booking engine (don’t worry, we will weigh you again at the airport)…”


‘Don’t worry?’ it’s the exact opposite! Last time I checked you go on holiday to a tropical island to relax & unwind. That includes indulging – spas, cuisine,cocktails et al… Not PT sessions & Special K to ensure you don’t go bankrupt at check-in.

Oh no. That damn mousse is gunna cost me!!

OH NO. That damn chocolate mousse is gunna cost me!!

The Sky’s the limit!

Well actually no, probably more like 140kgs is the new limit, but no need to change their tagline just yet.

However I mentioned at the start of this post that I’m not breaking any news with reporting this story but the below, the below my friends, is a very different story!!!

Could this be an unreleased Samoa Air Press Release? Too controversial to publish to market that has miraculously found its way across this editor’s desk. Sources can’t be revealed of course. Actually it’s more likely that if you are planning a trip to Samoa you might want to pay more attention to cutting out creamy sauces than worrying about mine!

The unearthed Press Release.

Genuine? Much like the shroud of Turin I fear we’ll never know.^

Samoa AIr Press Release

^ OK, ok I wrote it. But I didn’t do the cloth, you know, the shroud thingie.

Christchurch is Avon a rebirth

Christchurch chair earthquake memorial

22 February, 2011.

A devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake ripped through greater Christchurch claiming 181 souls and forever changing the face of the ‘Garden City’. Today these victims are poignantly commemorated in the memorial photographed above in the form of 181 pure white chairs located within the, hitherto sealed, CBD – now mostly re-opened. The fact that you can actually now view this site at all is a testament to the fantastic endeavour, tenacity & fierce pride that Cantabrians hold for their city & community.

IMAG3950This stoicism is being channeled into building a new city hewn with due deference and acknowledgement to the past but with both eyes firmly focussed on creating a great future. That’s kinda exciting albeit understandably there will be/ and has already been pot holes (literally!), angst and great divergence of opinion as to what this final Christchurch might be. Indeed it may well be that there isn’t ever an ‘end’ as such – much like a Peter Jackson movie.

The garden city is again filling a ‘gap’ in the market.

So with the past acknowledged let’s talk about how bloody cool Christchurch is right now. Specifically I want to highlight the amazing Gap Filler Project.


The Pallet Pavillion

In their own words from their website. Gap Filler

…aims to temporarily activate vacant sites within Christchurch with creative projects for community benefit, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant city.

Arguably the piece de resistance of the projects currently active is the Pallet Pavilion (opposite). The week I visited it was a bar, live music hub, wedding reception venue & cosy reading & games room (below). I have to say I found it all extremely palletable.


Check out a time lapse of the Pallet Pavilion’s construction.

Some of the other Gap Filler projects have included:

My absolute utter favourite though is the Dance-O-Mat.

Dance-O-Mat is a dance floor located on a vacant site with lighting and sound provided courtesy of a coin operated converted washing machine. Wink, wink – Laundromat…Dance-O-Mat, get it. You just arrive on site, plug in your smartphone loaded with your fav beats and get about owning the dancefloor. Check out the video below. Charles & Camilla were recently in attendance bustin it too. No seriously I think he may have done a hip.

Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2013. Top 10 cities – Christchurch #6.

So don’t take my word for it but do that of the doyen of travel guides – Lonely Planet. They came, they saw, they quite possibly danced and their verdict was to include ‘CHCH’ in their Top 10 cities to visit in 2013. Their article on Christchurch is here.

In closing.

There is a palpable energy & vibrancy to what is occurring in Christchurch right now. If I am to be frank I would say that it would most appeal to cool people with copious cachet. Oh that’s you, great! If you would revere a Banksy rather than try to cash a cheque in one then I think we’re on the same page. The Christchurch of today is a contemporary amalgam of popart, retro, make-do, innovate, dance-to & future-proof. Or maybe the photo below offers a better visual synopsis.

Smash Palace bar

Smash Palace bar


WWWhat an opportunity!

The Australian ‘Open’

No not the tennis, the current visit to Australia by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. #tbldownunder

 Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Inventor of the WWW.

TBL is an evangelist for openness and the free sharing of information on the web and why wouldn’t we listen – um, he invented it!!

Hands up…

If you write code?! More than half of the audience seated in Wilson Hall, University of Melbourne stretched their hands skyward. I felt left out. I really wanted to fit in but the last thing I programmed was my TIVO. Moreover TBL believes that there is more than just cachet being a coder and that by possessing coding prowess you can literally have the chance to change the world right at your finger tips. #showoffs

Fav Quote.

“Many people think that Google IS the web”

Time flies

It was an amazing chance for a career marketer like myself, and more broadly as an early-adopter (hard to keep up these days) & fan of technology in general, to hear from a visionary who has fundamentally altered the course of history and reshaped our thinking and behaviours.

Ford, Berners-Lee, Brin & Page, Hasslehof – it’s never been the same.

Was it just that I was more than a little in awe or was it actually that TBL did fly through his speech? I think the latter, but he did take around 20 minutes of questioning. Below I captured him readying himself to answer one of those questions and in what I believe he, himself, might term a “hack” have added a caption.


The oak and the acorn

The only constant is change.

Our next door neighbours are an elderly Greek couple in their late seventies. ‘Betty’ speaks a little english and ‘John’ none. Sadly Betty has had a series of health issues and now needs to be placed in a care facility. She won’t be returning home

That’s really sad as Betty & John’s favorite thing to do was to sit on their front porch watching the world go by. Well snooping mostly to be fair! They are lovely people & it’s sad to see John now continue that overseer tradition alone.

Then a tender moment – ‘a rose’.

Yesterday as my son and I passed their house John came down towards us gesticulating madly & speaking in Greek. Sadly I was at a loss due to the fact that he seemed not to be saying…

“…Athens, Athens, Athens.” (the only Greek word I know)

However it quickly became apparent what his (particularly wonderful) intentions were. Luckily I had my camera. See below 🙂ImageImage


Sir Lance Alot (of EPO)

What a dope.

Hmmm…this really is a very sad story. For his admirers, his charity, his competitors, the sport of cycling, sport in general & for those moreover that believed in fairytales. Ultimately too for Lance Armstrong. There’s no pleasantness about this affair. Kind of like catching an employee with their hand in the cash register and having to dismiss them. No winners. BIG cash register in Mr Armstrong’s case.

“A $75 million dollar day”

he dutifully told Detective Winfrey. Probably didn’t really help his cause with Joe Public that one I’m thinking…

He’s really taken us ‘for Dummies’

I got the idea to do this faux ‘For Dummies’^  cover after visiting the website of his subtlely entitled biography…

The Making of the World’s Greatest Champion.

NIce and low-key that. The site is predominately yellow & black which reminded me of a certain other book range who use that colour palette.

Lance Armstrong. How to win the Tour de France for Dummies

Lance Armstrong. How to win the Tour de France for Dummies

^ Hello Mr/ Mrs/ Ms For Dummies lawyer person. BTW are those new shoes? They look FABULOUS! I’m just a struggling blogger in the Southern Hemisphere (Google it) & only having a bit of fun. Let’s laugh together whilst not suing each other…

My first Meme.

Larry Page Sergei Brin Google+

Sadly there’s no more fuss about Google +

Hello, Hellllooooooo, HELLOOOOOOOO. Anyone?

No sorry not being rude I’m just on Google+ on another tab.

Veni, Vedi, Google +

I came, I saw, I waited, I tried, I came back, I left

This is an oft told tale from those I know with a G+ profile. Now I know that it’s likely that someone, maybe many will be upset by my opinion. However may one be further irreverent and predict that it’s likely they are from one of the professions I list below:

  • IT
  • eCommerce/ Web
  • Marketing

By the way I love the concepts behind G+. In particular the circles. Many’s the time that I have thought ‘nope my mum will see this’ before posting (or not!) on Facebook.

Anyway they say you remember your first. It’s true, this has been truly memerable.