The monster in the tree

Near our farm in Western Australia grow magnificent red tingle trees (Eucalyptus jacksonii), the only place in the world in which they grow! They grow to 70 metres, and up to 20 metres around and they have a broad buttressed base and beautiful lumps and bumps under their weathered bark, that make you want to […]


When I was about seven years old my father bought a labrador retriever, who was a remarkably intelligent dog. His name was Leroy. Remarkably also, he lived for seventeen years. Leroy accompanied anyone who left the house, and insisted on carrying something, a basket, a purse, a beach towel, his lead, anything he could get […]


One afternoon, thirty years ago, when my medical practice was still quite new, a feisty old lady marched through the door and straight into my consulting room. Thumping my desk with her fist, she declared “I want that flu  vaccine, young man!” “Certainly,” I replied. “I’m happy to write you a prescription, but you’ll find […]


A few decades ago, I flew up to Darwin with a couple of mates to do a trip around the Top End with another mate who lived up there. For reasons which will become obvious, I christened him Fitzcarraldo, in homage to the Klaus Kinski character in the eponymous 1982 movie. As we drove into […]