Heath Not the Culprit in Drug Case.


Former AFL player Heath Culpitt has damaged his chances of entering The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after he avoided charges in the drug case involving himself and fellow AFL player Jason Roe.

Culpitt allegedly received the drugs which saw Roe charged with selling and possessing a commercial amount of cannabis in the Northern Territory in 2015.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

The former Carlton player dismissed suggestions of his guilt and claimed the confusion resulted from a simple semantic misunderstanding.

“My name’s Culpitt, not culprit,” he stated.

“I can see how the cops got mixed up – I mean, literacy levels are not very high up here in the NT and I guess my name’s not very common, but I’m not guilty. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Once the coppers learned where to find the spell check, they let me go.”

The incident and the ensuing confusion caused Culpitt to become refelctive.

“I guess the only downside to all of this is that I might not get into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, but I’m not stressed – after all, I just had a toke!”



If You Liked it Then You Should Have Put a Bid On It!


Why do people ‘like’ posts on Facebook sale pages?

Why do the same people ‘like’ these items with seemingly no intention of buying them?

Ladies and gentlemen, if you liked it so much then you should have put a bid on it.

Is liking someone else’s sales post a strategy? Do they think that if they like my posts that I’ll like their posts back? Sorry everyone, but I’ve never reciprocated a sale page ‘like’.

Is there a competition on Facebook, that I’m not aware of, which challenges users to attract the most ‘likes’ possible on their individual sale posts? If so, what’s the prize – dinner with Mark Zuckerberg? I wish there was a competition – even though I don’t ‘like’ the idea of dinner with Mr. Zuckerberg – because I attracted ‘likes’ for the bedside tables in the photo…and the swimming goggles, and the rug and the bike rack and the Esky…even the car I sold last year.

Fair enough, people like cars, be they sensible, like the Toyota Vios I used to own, or luxurious, like the BMW I will never own. What I don’t understand, though, is the apparent fascination with the mundane.

People ‘like’ second hand tennis racquets and last decade’s fashion. They ‘like’ second hand baby clothes, used suitcases, washing machines, outdoor furniture, lamps, phones, DVDs, cutlery, crockery…and even bricks.


Maybe they’re hoarders. Maybe they have houses and garages and storage units full of second hand items which they picked up for a bargain on Facebook, just because it was a bargain. Then again, they don’t seem to buy any of the items (at  least nothing of mine) so why do they like them?

Perhaps they believe in the thrill of the hunt – or that the journey is more important than the destination. They live with the unwavering conviction that they will one day, one day, chase down the perfect treasure at the perfect price and, until they find this holy grail, they refuse to buy any inferior imitation.

I’m trying to imagine these people scrolling through the various Buy, Sell, Swap pages to which they’ve registered, comparing the merits of contrasting pieces of furniture; old lawn mowers which may or may not work, children’s books which may or may not have been read and fitness equipment which may or may not have delivered its owner the perfect bikini body just in time for summer.

I imagine they sit on trains, buses, ferries and Ubers scrolling, swiping and ‘liking’ (or dismissing) the endless supply of pre-loved goods which sustain these pages. I wonder if, also, they’re passing judgement on the items and, consequently, on me.

Clearly there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for liking second hand goods on Facebook pages. I just can’t work it out and maybe that’s why my recent posts haven’t sold yet.

I wonder if Beyonce wants to buy my bedside tables…$AU50 for both!

Australian Doctor’s Orchestra.


It’s more than a coincidence that many medical professionals are also classically trained and highly proficient musicians. It was due to this convergence of circumstance that Dr. Miklos Pohl formed the Australian Doctor’s Orchestra in 1993.

The Australian Doctor’s Orchestra is a fellowship of medical professionals who share a love and passion for classical music and a desire to channel this passion into raising money for charity.

The classically trained musicians from various fields of medicine fund their own travel and expenses and donate proceeds to various charities, including the Anglicare Pandanus Program, which will benefit from the orchestra’s first ever visit to Darwin on June 19 of this year.

The orchestra has a total of 600 doctors and medical students on it’s books and usually performs two major concerts per year, covering one major city, and of late, one regional location. They congregate 2 or 3 days before a major concert to add the finishing touches to their months of individual rehearsal, before customarily performing on the Sunday afternoon.

Hungarian born plastic surgeon Dr. Pohl started the orchestra having already established the European Doctor’s Orchestra.

Dr. Pohl worked closely with founding conductor and artistic director, Christopher Martin, who was Senior Lecturer in Strings and Conducting at University of Melbourne for 20 years before retiring. Martin passed away in 2011 and the Darwin concert will feature conductor Matthew Wood.

Image: http://www.ado.net.au

Attempted Wildlife Rescue.

I came home to discover two juvenile birds in the drain that runs around my house.20160602_180510

A friend and I scooped up the little birds and put them into a brown paper bag while we decided what to do with them.

One of them was completely incapable of flying while the other one could fly a little bit but not enough to stay off the ground for any length of time.


I think they’re baby swiftlets. Swiftlets are abundant near my house and have established a little nest on the ceiling under my house.


I think the birds fell or lept out of the nest, they were in the drain not far from the nest. The nest has been on the ceiling for a few months.

I’ve never attempted to rescue an animal before so I don’t really know what I’m doing. I wasn’t sure whether to leave the birds in the drain and let nature take it’s course or whether to intervene.

My friend and I decided to build a little improvised bird house and hang it from a tree, thinking this would at least keep them away from land based predators. There are quite a few domestic and feral cats as well as dogs, monitor lizards and other tropical creatures around my house.


We filled a strainer with grass and filled a little plastic container with water before leaving it in the strainer, using whatever we could find in the garage to build the little house. We then placed the birds in the house.

Initially, the most lame bird made the most effort to escape but was unable. Soon after, both of the birds settled into their new home.

We’re hoping they’ll be safe there temporarily, until mummy turns up to feed them, or until they can recover sufficiently to fly, move or survive on their own.

I left the birds in the ‘house’. I’ll check again in the morning and see how they’re doing.

As I said, I’ve never attempted to save an animal before so if anyone has anyone constructive tips or advice, i’d love to hear them.

Flying Papaya.

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Wake early. No breakfast. Wear sports clothes.

The extent of my orders.

My birthday treat would begin upon the arrival of a certain person at a certain hour at a certain hotel on the outskirts of Colima.

The certain hour passed. It’s Mexico.

I was permitted some papaya. Nothing more.

“Vamonos.” Our convoy set off.

We stopped at La Cumbre.



“Yeeees” I’d wanted to try it since I first saw them flying above the city.

Instructions. Strap in. Safety check.


So I ran. Then off.

“Yeeeeoooooh” the first few seconds were terrifying; then absolute peace.

We glided above the farms in the stillness of the sky.

My friends got smaller and smaller.

This was fantastic.

Then around in circles and up, up, up. More circles. We had to rise in order to reach the rendezvous point at the old airport. Over the city. Over my apartment.

Up and Up and around.

I started to feel nauseous.

Up and up.

More nauseas.

“What if I need to vomit?”

“Just not on my equipment” replied Santi, my guide.

“Umm. Ok.” Then it happened, papaya flying through the air onto the fields below.

I hoped it didn’t land on any of the cows. Not a good start to a Sunday morning.

Then again.

It was too much. I was too sick. 20 minutes into the flight we had to descend.

A great disappointment. A great reason to return.

To see old friends. To fly.

Without papaya.

Published on http://www.myholidayflashback.auspost.com.au, May 2016.




Lactic Intolerance Rates on the Rise Among Aussie Youth.


A new report from the Australian Pediatric Society (APS) has found that the rate of intolerance to lactic acid among Australian youth has increased dramatically in recent years.

The disturbing findings from the nation’s peak youth medical body demonstrate a growing intolerance to the chemical which is released into the body during strenuous physical activity.

“Year by year, more young Australians are presenting as lactic intolerant” stated the report.

“This syndrome can be directly attributed to decreased levels of regular physical activity among Australian youth.”

The APS collected data from tests conducted at health facilities, sports clubs, school holiday camps and primary and secondary schools throughout the country.

Children aged from 5 – 18 were put through various tests such as running, jumping, and playing, which were designed to induce the build up of lactic acid in their muscles. It was discovered that most participants stopped the activity immediately upon feeling the effect of lactic acid in their system.

“The most common symptoms of lactic intolerance were whingeing, quitting, excuses, tiredness, collapsing, shortness of breath or the production of a letter from their parents explaining how their lactic intolerance prevented them from participating in any physical activity.” explained an APS spokesperson.

Feedback from sports teachers and recreation staff throughout the country confirmed these results, which indicate the potential for a national epidemic in years to come.

The APS also asked young people to complete surveys regarding physical activity and the answers indicated a severe restriction in the time and space for free play and a common perception that the outdoors was a place of danger.

Many also complained that there was no App that could cure them of their lactic intolerance.

Compounding the sobering statistics is the distressing revelation from the APS that the syndrome is on the rise despite a free, simple and remarkably accessible cure.

“Do some exercise.”

Parents whose children present with symptoms of lactic intolerance are advised to contact their local sports club immediately.

Sonny Bill Williams to Represent N.S.W. and Qld. in 2016 Origin.


Code swapping footballer Sonny Bill Williams will play State of Origin for both New South Wales and Queensland as well as fighting a boxing match at half time of each game.

The proud Kiwi signed an historic contract during a meeting at The Clovelly Hotel, which will see him play Game 1 for NSW, Game 2 for Queensland and Game 3 for the state which has wrapped up the series, or which is first able to transfer funds into an account in Panama.

“I was talking to James Tamou, and he said, ‘Origin is sweet as bru’ – so I told my manager to get me a contract straight away” revealed Williams.

“I decided to play for both teams because fighting and conflict are not part of my core value system.”

The decision to assign Williams to NSW for Game 1 is believed to have been based on immediate merchandising considerations, rather than the need to bolster the Blues’ off-loading capabilities.

The unique contract also allows for Williams to continue playing Rugby Union for New Zealand as he fights for a prize place in the Sevens team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


The boxing matches were initially supposed to feature the famous Klitschko brothers during half time of game 1 and 2, before rumours circulated that the famous sibling pugilists would instead don a blue or maroon jersey.

“Unfortunately this looks highly unlikely” conceded a NRL spokesperson.

“Eligibility was not an issue for the Hamburg based Ukranian boxers, as one of them once drank a XXXX, but Vitali and Wladimir are adamant that they will never face each other on opposite sides of a battle field.”

As a result, Williams looks set to fight one of the large number of spirited Canterbury Bulldogs fans who have volunteered themselves for the role.

In the meantime, hundreds of young boys in Sydney have been downloading the ANZ Stadium security protocol in anticipation of securing a 2016 State of Origin winner’s medal.


Images: http://www.smh.com.au, http://www.foxsports.com.au, http://www.edition.cnn.com.


Making the Sale.

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There are thousands of ways to sell a product in Latin America, but as my Dad used to say;

“It’s all about marketing”

You could market your product like the good folks at the shoe stores in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. You could dress voluptuous young woman in skimpy outfits and have them gyrate to the pulsating rhythms of high volume reggaeton in front of the shop. This would drag half of the male population out of their offices and homes and onto the dirty, crowded rain sodden streets so that they can willingly engage in ‘window shopping’,with total impunity, while thinking only about…shoes.

You could follow the direct marketing approach favoured by the vendors of snacks, drinks and other small items, who board buses and trains the length and breadth of the continent, offering tasty morsels and cool refreshments to customers in the comfort of their own seats.

You could also offer these and similar products through the bus and train windows every time, and everywhere, the bus or train comes to a halt.

With enough tenacity, and tough skin, you might also try laying some broken glass on the floor of a train carriage in Mexico City, before removing your shirt and turning a forward roll over the glass, in return for some shrapnel.

You’d have to be quick, though. Quick enough to evade the authorities and your competition, some of whom you can hear before you see them.

They’ll be traipsing the aisles with a heavy backpack containing a boom box and yelling;

“Damas y caballeros, todos los exitos de Juan Gabriel en un solo discooooooooooo. Mas de 200 cancioneeeeeees. Vale cien pesos, te cuesta diez pesooooooooooooossss!!!!” with a distinct Chilango inflection.

You’d be amazed how many passengers will part with 10 pesos for a fake CD containing Juan Gabriel’s greatest hits.

If you employ these tactics, you are assured of some success, assured of putting dinner on the table that night and surviving one more day in this cut throat business.

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You might also try your luck selling products to waiting motorists at traffic lights in busy cities, and with the right entrepreneurial spirit, you may succeed in selling the live guinea pig you are offering.

Perhaps head over to Xochimilco, near Mexico City. Acquire a gondola of your own and cruise the canals full of tourists in need of water borne food, drink, tequila, cerveza, or even a live Mariachi band.

Elsewhere in Mexico, offer a free shot of Tequila to entice your ‘friend’, ‘amigo’ or the love-struck ‘Honeymooners’, and offer them prices so low they are ‘almost free’ or ‘cheaper than Wal Mart’.

However, there is one method that is unlikely to succeed.

It is direct, yes, in fact very direct. It is accurate, yes. It is vocal and audible, just like the peddlers of fake CD’s in Mexico City, but it is not advisable.

If you notice two potential customers, both women, with hands intertwined, casually strolling past your souvenir shop in Playa del Carmen during a balmy early evening, don’t attempt to promote your wares by yelling;

“Oye, lesbianas!”

Lockout Laws Killing Frownlow Medal Hopes of Sydney Based Players.

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NSW Premier Mike Baird’s new Lockout Laws have been slammed in a joint statement from Sydney based footballers furious at the early closure of their favourite high performance centres in King’s Cross.

Players from across the four codes claim the law creates an unfair advantage for players based in other Australian states and across the Tasman, who are free to showcase the skills and dedication which earn nominations for the country’s most toughly contested inter-code award.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015. The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players who receive media attention for similarly scandalous behaviour and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Todd Carney.

Players blamed various motives for the introduction of the law.

NRL players are adamant it is another Queensland Rugby League conspiracy designed to prevent the NSW Origin players from properly bonding, while AFL fans cite the existence of a mole within the Baird ministry still angry at the relocation of his beloved South Melbourne Swans.

Another theory points the finger at deceitful backroom political deals forged in the halls of national parliament which are aimed at bolstering the chances of players from the ACT Brumbies.

Further sources claim Mr. Baird himself was discovered at Star City in a covert rendezvous with Hall of Fame inductee Ben Cousins discussing methods by which current players could be prevented from emulating the hedonistic performances of Perth’s favourite son.

The joint statement then outlined the players’ intention to fight the for law to be rescinded, or just wait for the opening of a new casino at Barrangaroo.


Brutal Bus Ride: 4, Pucon to Santiago, Chile.

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“Senor, senor”


“Senor, ya llegamos”

He was right. It was 7am and we had arrived in Santiago after an all-night trip from Chile’s adventure sports capital, Pucon

Wow, I’d been out cold.

Actually I’d been wrapped up nice and warm in the blanket provided by our amiable attendant, Carlos, who was now politely attempting to shake me from my slumber.

I’d never slept that well on a bus.

I’d never slept at all on a bus.

The extra price of the ticket for the full cama (bed) bus was definitely justified and gave me the chance to sleep off nine months of equally brutal bus rides on my round-the-world backpacking odyssey.

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I think I’d nodded off before the end of the movie and after bingo. All I remember is sinking blissfully into the comfy chair as it reclined further and further and fuuurrr…..

All that was left to do upon arriving in Santiago was to rub the sleep from my eyes, track down a taxi and pop over to the hotel before enjoying the last day of my adventure.

So how, do you ask, was this bus ride brutal?

I lost bingo.

I lost by one number. One lousy number.

There I was. In my comfy seat, beverage in one hand, pen in the other, bingo card on the tray table as Carlos called out the numbers.

“siete” yes

“trienta y dos” yes

“sesenta” no

“cuarenta y tres” yes… and so it continued.

With each number my heart beat faster, my hand shook and I fought back a wide, churlish grin; lest I reveal my impending success to my neighbour.

Winning is Everything!

I could feel it in my soul, I was just moments from victory which would serve as a befitting culmination to nine months on the road.

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Victory would easily surpass the wonders of the Serengeti and Victoria Falls, the majesty of Machu Picchu and the arduous splendour of the Inca Trail.

There could be no greater prize than victory in Bus Bingo!

“dieciseis” yes

“Ochenta y ocho” (dos gorditas?) yes

“trece” yes

Nueve, say nueve, screamed the only blank space remaining on my card, its nakedness teasing and taunting me.

Please say nueve, I silently pleaded, I begged, I implored, I demanded…say nueve and victory will be mine.


“BINGO!”  cried the man in row three.

Nooooooo!!! I wept internally.

Nooooooo, it can’t be. Victory was mine. It was destined to be. The stars and the cosmos had aligned to place me at that very spot, at that very time, for the sole purpose of winning bus bingo. Now it had been snatched from my grasp, as had the prize of a bus company t-shirt and a pouch containing…I’ll never know.

Following the heart crushing defeat, I’d searched for some kind of explanation, some meaning to this cruel twist of fate.

Why did this happen?

What does it mean?

What are the wider implications?

I’d kept staring into the darkness outside, searching for answers, until I reclined the seat further and further and fuuuurrrr…