Urban Affairs: Sketch me a map, anytime.

Last month I was invited over to a friend’s house for dinner. He and his wife had just moved into their three-bedroom property and it had been a while since we had caught up. I was eager to see their new pad. My friend had phoned me earlier that day to give me his address and directions. I scribbled down the information on the back of a receipt and continued to listen. Going to a suburb I’ve never  been to before, I try to take in the good advice from my friend. “Take this road, turn at that corner, it’s quicker if you head in this direction,” he said. But, it’s all German to me. The directions did not sink in. He was telling me what he visualized, but I had no visuals. I had never been there before. But I nod politely at the other end of the phone  and gave him the satisfaction of letting him direct me. I knew the moment I got off the phone I would Google his address and create my own path there.

It just seemed easier that way.

Continue reading


Miscellany: The Macedonian Gardener

Mum has always been a devout gardener.

Last week my mother made three new additions to her yard – an apricot tree, a plum-tree and rose flowers.In an already crammed garden, these freshman plants will sit beside staple backyard figures that have been part of the Robertson fabric for years. The lemon tree. The cherry tree. The mint and parsley patch. The apple tree. Fig, peas and tomato plants. They all have their place in prodded soil that surrounds the fence line.

There’s always been space for a garden at our place.

Continue reading

Urban Studies: Top Five International Air Routes

Ever thought of a world-class travel destination as a routine bus stop?

Two men from the German University,  Ghent,  in Krijgslaan have studied the top 15 most used international air routes. Derudder and  Witlox came up with data on air passenger travel to determine what destinations were the most preferred air travel route for passengers. Here are the top five most travelled international air routes. The data for these results were taken over an eight-month period.  So next time you are in one of these cities, think about the millions of masses that have treaded on the same path you took.

1. Hong-Kong – Taipei (*2.1)

2. L.A – New York (1.6)

3. London-New York (1.6)

4. Melbourne – Sydney (1.5)

5. Milan-Rome (1.5)

* Figure denotes passengers per million for an eight-month period.

Ron Mueck: The hyperrealist sculptor

Ron Mueck’s grotesque and bizarre works come to an abrupt end today after four months at The National Gallery (NGV) of Victoria. Yesterday I was lucky enough to catch a last-minute glimpse of the fine art along with hoards of other enthusiasts.

Continue reading

Community: It’s birds in ‘dem palm trees, not bats

The retched screeching starts around knock-off time. Coming off the concrete station platform at Mordialloc,  around dusk every night, you’ll hear it.In fact, It’s hard not to hear it.  At first it seems like a few bats, flapping and screaming in the palm trees on Main St. But as you move closer you’ll notice they aren’t bats.These creatures have feathers.  Every now and then something flies out from the palm but it’s too quick and small to see exactly what the object is. In the right kind of luminous light you can see a green and sometimes red chest. Also, the closer you get to any one of the palm trees, the decibels increase. It’s a maddening sound. You can’t see what is hidden in the palm trees and all that exists is the ear-piercing and gregarious fowl sounds carried out by millions.

Continue reading

Sport: Pakistan cricket caught by Taliban web

Something has gone awry with the state of cricket in Pakistan. The national cricket team has not played a home game since 2007, and touring teams refuse to play there. The gentleman’s game of cricket is being hacked.

Why? Terrorists.

Continue reading

Canada: Not just a country, but a suburb too

Having lived in Toronto, Canada for five years my ears prick up anytime I hear the “C” word back here in Melbourne. I refer to the terms  Canadian or Canada. For my blog I will post all things Canadian I come across here during my time in Australia – history, people, sports, buildings etc.  If you are reading this and know of some Canadian content here in Melbourne, please email me. I’d like to find out more: justinrobertson79@gmail.com.

Continue reading