Alice’s Restaurant


If you haven’t ever listened to or haven’t recently listened to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant, I suggest  make yourself a coffee, sit down and listen to it.

I hadn’t listened top it for many years until it just appeared on a Spotify playlist I selected. Within a fraction of a second of it starting I knew exactly that it was Alice’s Restaurant and more scarily I  knew every word just as though I’d only heard it the day before. It had been a regular at our Friday night singalongs in the 70s.

I thankfully was too young to be in the Vietnam Draft but knew many who were either in the Conscription ballots or were called up to serve in Vietnam, so its significance is one I understood all too well.

As the song progressed on my Spotify Play list I stopped what I was doing to listen again as I ‘d done so many times before, first chuckling internally and then just laughing out aloud. And there was plenty of time to do this as its more than 18 minutes long! Too long to fit on a 45 it filled  the whole of a side on an LP (Released 1967). It’s hilarious while at the same time having a pretty hard edge.

If you haven’t listened to it and want too click on the link – Alice’s Restaurant before reading on as there are spoilers below. Continue reading

Posted in Music, weekendcoffeeshare | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Diary of a Slow Traveler – who needs a travel guide when you have Kit & Ace


The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marina

Before making our short trip (no slow travel this time) to California we had looked at the travel guides at our local bookstore and bought the Lonely Planet guide. It served us quite well as did our traditional “go to” websites, Trip Advisor and Yelp, however my favourite person discovered a really useful travel guide for San Francisco via her new favourite clothes store “Kit and Ace”. They have two stores in San Francisco, one in the trendy Hayes Street and the other in Fillmore Street, and their websites come complete with suggested places to go nearby – places they describe as their “neighbours”.

Their recommendations provided the basis for a late Friday afternoon in the trendy Hayes Street area and the starting point for a Saturday largely spent in Fillmore Street and the Marina.

Brass Tacks

Brass Tacks

We were told not to walk from Union Square to Hayes Street as it goes through a less than desirable part of San Francisco, so we caught an UberX to our first destination Kit and Ace, Hayes Street. After making a couple of purchases it was off to visit Kit and Ace’s neighbours. Being a late Friday afternoon that meant a bar and our first stop was Brass Tacks for a glass of wine and a relaxing seat at the bar right opposite a delightful park. We could have sat there for a couple of hours but decided to wander on up the street in search of more neighbours. A walk along Hayes Street includes a mix of new and old architecture and lots of interesting shops. We took Kit and Ace’s advice and stopped at 2 Sisters Bar and Books another little bar. From there we decided to walk back to our hotel. While my favourite person felt it was fine, I would have to say that I felt the ambience of the area change markedly as we walked back and was relieved to get back to Union Square where our hotel was located.

Union Square

Union Square

Union Square is home to many restaurants bars and lots of shops. So after a walk through Macy’s, Saks 5th Avenue it was off to Del Popolo a new pizza restaurant. It was busy, so a drink at the bar entertained by the guys making pizza filled in the half an hour or so wait for our table. The pizza was great and would do Naples proud.


We had been so impressed with Kit and Ace’s recommendations  Continue reading

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Diary of a Slow Traveler – Conference trip to California

This morning was our last coffee with our daughter before we depart for a quick trip to the USA.

I was successful in having the paper I wrote based on my Honours Thesis accepted into two conferences in California. I was so surprised as it never occurred to me that a paper based based on Honours Research would be accepted into a leading management conference. it made the time spent reformatting it whilst we were in Siracuse very worthwhile.

My desk - Siracuse, Sicily

My desk – Siracuse, Sicily





My research area was Small Family Wine Businesses, For some reason this was of interest to the organisers of 2 conferences and not just me, my long suffering supervisor and 2 very generous examiners! It gives me some hope that my PhD which I expect will extend this research may also be of interest to others.

In recent weeks the pressure has been on to get take my paper and convert its content into 2 short presentations. No easy feat I have to say and confirms one of my favourite quotes

I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead     
– Mark Twain

My original thesis was about 20,000 words and the conference submission reduced this to 8000 and now my 2 presentations Continue reading

Posted in Italy 2015, Slow Travel, Study | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Time Pressure – The Clock is Ticking

Old Town Hall & Astrological Clock - Prague

Old Town Hall & Astrological Clock – Prague

Since leaving my life as a professional I seem to have had time but not at the moment.

In the last couple of weeks I have felt the pressure of the clock. For the first time since I embarked on “What’s Next”, I have felt the constant pressure of the ticking of the clock.

I am about to hit my first progress report for my PhD with a half written proposal. It seemed such a long way off when I started this journey in early March. Then there is preparing papers to present at two conferences  in California in early August. The deadline for these is just days away.

Our short trip to California for these conferences looms large. We leave in 7 days. I feel far from the relaxed self that The Diary of a Slow Traveler has portrayed. Our recent travels have given us the opportunity to luxuriate in our travel plans, selecting accommodation and places to visit. Not this time! Bookings through a travel agent and all the restrictions that come with that. Time constraints necessitating just 2 weeks away and then being tied to conference locations which not unpleasant are far from what I’d describe as the life of a Slow Traveler.

Perhaps the most interesting has been the realization that in recent weeks I haven’t had time for my blog. Each time I have thought about a post, I’ve had the clock ticking in the background and the ever present feeling that I don’t have time for this. So annoying!

I feel quite guilty grabbing the 15 minutes to write this post – tick, tick, tick


Big Ben - London

Big Ben – London





Posted in Creative Writing, Slow Travel, Study, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

What great memories – Peter Endersbee RIP

It was with great sadness that I read today of the death of Peter Endersbee.

Peter Endersbee was a member of the Sturt Football Club at a time when they were near unbeatable.  He was an important part of my early life, one of the my many football heroes of the team that I supported through a period of near unprecedented success.

From 1966 to 1970 Sturt won 5 Premierships in the SANFL.

Under their master coach Jack Oatey, Sturt introduced handball as an attacking tool in Australian Rules Football. I know Ron Barassi is always given that accolade but I suspect he saw it used to devastating advantage in end of season game between Sturt and Carlton and as the then VFL was the senior league his promulgation of it is why he is given such credit. For those of us who support Sturt, I think we all believe something different!

It was in the 1968 SANFL Grand Final that Peter Endersbee became famous Continue reading

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