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Upcoming story: permanent residents of caravan parks

caravan

Really excited about this story for the The Citizen. It’s about the lives of permanent residents of caravan parks in regional Victoria — there’s about 5,000 Victorians living in caravan parks for most or all of the year. I met four of them on Saturday.

My friend Cameron Clarke, an amazing photographer, came along to take photos for a slideshow that will accompany the piece. We drove north from Melbourne to Seymour, a country town near the Puckapunyal military base, and then on to Shepparton.

Pop Culture: Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’ is Song of the Summer

Yes! My favorite time of year.

“Happy” peaked too early and Calvin Harris’ “Summer” tried too hard. I had my money on Becky G’s “Shower” or DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” as potential upsets.

But the powers that be at Billboard magazine declared Wednesday that, in a particularly lackluster year for summer jams, Iggy Azalea handily defeated the competition with her ode to “chandelier-swinging” swag. Extra points for the “Clueless”-themed music video.

Sarah Vowell on being American

Re-listened to this over the weekend: writer Sarah Vowell’s “Trail of Tears” piece for “This American Life” aired back in 1998, but it’s still so relevant. She retraces the footsteps of her ancestors when they were forced to relocate west of the Mississippi River.

It includes my favorite description of America to date:

Listening to “Back in the USA” while driving the Trail of Tears, I turn it over and over in my head. It’s a good country. It’s a bad country. Good country, bad country. And, of course, it’s both. When I think about my relationship with America, I feel like a battered wife. Yeah, he knocks me around a lot, but boy he sure can dance.

Sunny days at last!

One of the best things about living in the Southern Hemisphere is the schadenfreude you get to feel when friends back home are packing up their bathers and their eskies because another summer has come and gone. Meanwhile, in Melbourne, spring is just around the corner.

Spent the weekend in Edinburgh Gardens with my grammar books. Spaced en rules are so much more entertaining in sunlight.

summer

 

Upcoming story: Anzac re-enactors

Anzac re-enactors

This week I interviewed members of the Australian Great War Association (AGWA) for an upcoming piece pegged to the Anzac centenary. They dress up in period attire and stand in for Aussie soldiers from the First World War at commemorative ceremonies and historical events.

They practice their drills once a month at the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL in Oakleigh, Victoria, where I got a good look at their original Enfield .303 rifles (they’re all licensed to carry a historical firearm).

This one was actually at Gallipoli:
enfield 303 rifle

Scenes from the Melbourne Art Fair: Vernissage

Melbourne Art Fair

I scored tickets to the opening night of the Melbourne Art Fair last Wednesday. It had everything — a bougie French name, outrageous outfits and free drinks. I like arty things, but I spent most of the night chasing the wandering canapés cart.

Melbourne Art Fair 2014 Vernisage from Melbourne Art Fair on Vimeo.