Category Archives: crowdfun

What lies beneath the veil of Bradmania

Found this intro to a book Jonesey and I were going to write into the beautiful period of cricket before Bradman, It’s not bad! Dated 2007 so the attacks are on JW Howard, who manages to make other offspinners look good…

It’s hard to see history as a continuing, evolving stream. We like markers, a beginning and, often, and end.

In European terms, “Modern” history, at least as taught in Australian schools, begins with the French revolution in 1789. Before that, all history is “Ancient”. So, 100,000 years of human history in one category, and 216 years in the other.

You might expect that the delimiter would move forward in time with us, making what was once modern now ancient. Look in the mirror and tell me that’s not true.

In cricketing history, we choose the advent of the Bradman phenomenon as the delimiter. His first game in Sydney, for St George against Petersham at Petersham Oval, in November 1926, is the dawn of modern cricket history.

This is not to equate Bradman with Napoleon – his successes too polite, his failures so unromantic. (If we were looking for a parallel, Ian Chappell, the great moderniser, would be a better fit.)

As each year passes, and the amount of information placed in front of us grows, it becomes harder to look back into time and see what has gone before. This is especially the case with cricket, where our ageing memories shrink in direct proportion to the number of tests played, and the decreasing periods between them.

Each wave of history, each crescendo of achievement, works to obscure what has come before. Already we’re being force-fed the Clarke/Watson era as if it was a reality, and we haven’t even laid to rest the Waughs/Warne/Hayden/McGrath/Gilchrist era. Before that was the Border/Simpson era; the Chappell(s) era; the Benaud/Davo era; Bradman’s Invincibles; and Bradman before the war.

To put it into perspective, between 1877 and 1926, 50 summers, Australia played x tests, or . We also capped x players, or … And even outside of the Great War, there were still gaps of up to x months between tests (example)

You can see how Bradman’s complete domination of Australian and world cricket form 1928 to 1949 blots out anything that happened before it. It’s a cricketing blanket fog.

But there was life before Bradman. Just as there was civilisation before Napoleon, and even before the Medicis, Michelangelo, Leonardo.

We talk of how the Renaissance ended the Dark Ages, but in cricket many have called these pre-Bradman years “The Golden age”. Indeed, George Giffen wrote a book of that title.

So to ignore Clem Hill, Archie Jackson, Victor Trumper, Fiery Fred Spofforth, Tibby Cotter or Arthur Mailey would be as heinous as ignoring the Norman Invasion, the Hansa League, the Domesday Book, Magna Carta, not to mention the centuries of enlightenment that flowed out of Africa and Asia, long before Europeans started to get their shit together.

Not to mention Bardsley, Armstrong, Trumble, Murdoch, Noble, the Gregorys.

Yet all we ever seem to hear about, from our Prime Minister down, is Bradman. And what he begat.

There’s history there, lying under the silt and clay, like those skeletons at Lake Mungo. Just waiting to be uncovered.

Looking at that era gives a glimpse of the major issues cricket would face – debates over professionalism, contract disputes, constant rule changes, attempts to globalise the game. There were Aboriginal tours, games of XI vs XXII, and even the ugly face of sectarianism. It was time when it was Ok to be a Trott, and, if you were Midwinter, to change horses mid-summer.

Our problem’s not with Bradman. He WAS the greatest player ever, quite possibly of any sport. But he was not the only great player Australia ever produced. And he certainly wasn’t the most interesting –the metronomic prose of My farewell to cricket, reflecting the robotic nature of his genius, is one of the great cures for insomnia.

Just as history would suffer if we only examined Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon or Churchill, so is cricket the loser from an obsession with the Don.

His star eclipses everything.

But if we could build a Hubble telescope (rumoured to be named after WA’s spare parts paceman of the 1960s, Jim Hubble), to look past our sun back into time and place, surely it’s time to look past the Bradman constellation, to see the mystery and complexity of cricket as it was forming?


The Kiss of Life and Death – free book idea

 As flagged when I set up this blog, I’ll chuck up what I think are some promising ideas that I know I will never pursue.

Just found this outline from 2007 when looking for a story on Billy Midwinter… anyway, anyone wants to have a crack or collaborate, go for it/let me know…

 The Executioners –  a history of Australian test selectors, and their selections (maybe “The Kiss of Life and Death” is more marketable,a  it Drusilla Modjeska meets a Flanagan?)
* intro piece – the rise of “tenure” among players – and selectors. what if a coup – players sacking the selectors. 11/11/1975 etc etc. how it works in other countries.
1. Australian test selection – history and process. Home, and away.
2. Key personalities
3. Their playing records
4. Patterns – bowlers picking bowlers; states etc
5. Ranking – based on results of dropped/picked players. a selection index?
6. List of all Australian interventions post-WWII. categorise into retirement, injury, pitch conditions; dropping; retirement (forced and voluntary). who was picked -average length in game, age, recall, how long they lasted etc  Timeline.
7. Pen pictures – 20 executions and 10 beatifications:
Bichel 2004 (and Brad Williams?)
Slater x 2
Geoff Marsh
Whitney 89
Wood 88-9 (nice piece comes up on cricinfo about Woody)
Matthews post-Sharjah
Zoehrer “”
Yallop 84-5
Laird 82-3
Yallop 81-2
Walters 81
Yardley and Higgs 81
Hookes 79-80 (scored 43 and 37 against Windies – dropped!)
J Benaud
Greg Chappell
Miller (SA tour?)
Grimmett 38
also touch on Taylor, S Waugh and Hayden in ODI, maybe Yardley and World Cup 83
Martyn 2006
Symonds/Watson experimentation
Gavin Robertson
Peter Taylor
T Chappell, Beard, Bright, Wellham, Kent 81
Alderman 81
Richie Robinson
John Watkins
Thommo 72-3
(allowances will be made for depletion during WSC and SA rebel tours – so picking Hibbert and Kerr and Mann etc will not feature. the changeability in those times will be critiqued in 6 above.)
for these pen pictures, thinking lots of “reaction” – photos of headlines, quotes etc -and interview with the selectors (if alive) and players, to see how the news was communicated, how they felt, what info was given etc etc. and how long it took to get over it etc.
am thinking low production format, but lots of graphs and b/w pictures – like that ABC stat book I still have that you must read. maybe 240 pages.
can either be functional (as above) or just a historical narrative – so we deal with 1946-64, say, as one long piece, add all of the relevant bios from above for that era are discussed within it. maybe a “start writing and see” issue?

Street art – suitable for children!

As street art has evolved and become more mainstream, a new audience has been found – the kids who live in the areas where artists strut their stuff.

And rather than covering their darlings’ eyes to protect them from the scribbles of taggers, the profanity and the inexplicable, savvy inner city parents are exposing their children to street art, to kickstart their creative development.

Street art has begun to feature in children’s books, and school holiday art programs are likely to incorporate a street element. Wilkins Public School in Sydney’s Marrickville recently had street artists Akisiew, Bafcat and Jumbo create giant murals on the school entrance and library. A bit further west, Dulwich High is a new Visual Arts centre, where street art heroes like Skulk run workshops for the next generation.

stripey underpass

Areas where street art is prolific are dense and accessible, so there’s always lots of people taking in the art, on informal and formal walking tours. (The idea for our first book came while pushing our sleeping newborn along Marrickville’s graffiti-rich back streets, and now other parents take their kids on treasure hunts to find the Stripey Street Cat.)

Why not plan a walking trip yourself? Take your time, get lost, discover something nobody else has seen. And go back again and again, because it will all have changed, that’s one of the great beauties of street art, its immediacy, and its confrontingly short lifespan.

Bring your camera, and bring a camera for the kids – they will amaze you with their different perspective on the art.

Here’s four of the best family friendly street art hotspots in Sydney and Melbourne for you to check out on foot, and some honourable mentions:


Newtown, Enmore, Marrickville, St Peters

This area showcases the diversity of street art… murals and paste ups and tags, elaborate pieces, and minute stickers and sculptures. It has a great mix of legal and illegal work, by artists like Akisiew, Hazzy Bee, Fintan Magee, Birdhat, Ears and Skulk, and stencils like The Stripey Street Cat, Pissing Boy and monstery.

sydney newington ears and skulk

Start at Camperdown Park in Newtown. The cemetery wall, featured in The Girl Who Made Rainbows, features works going right back to the late 80s. Then check out the famous Martin Luther King mural on King St. Station Lane hosts the Akisiew/Hazzy Bee masterpiece “The Birds of Arkansas”. Walk west to see a cluster of spectacular murals on Phillip Lane, the ever-changing walls at the corner of Enmore Road and Newington St, and the Live to Create mural on Scouller St.

sydney akisiew and hazzy bee

Stop for lunch at the family-friendly Vic on the Park, which has a huge street art wall out the back, where you might even see a work being created. Then head east on the 308 bus from Marrickville Metro to May Lane at St Peters, one of the best legal street art sites around (and it’s opposite Sydney Park, if the kids need a break.)

sydney mays lane

Regent Street, Redfern

Among the emergent retro stores and new cafes, muralists Bafcat and Jumbo have created a series of imaginative and beautiful pieces. It’s not far from Redfern Station, and you can loop back via the Australian Technology Park with its fantastic old workshops and machines and dimly lit cathedrals of columns and archways.


An honourable mention to the large legal wall at Bondi Beach, which is updated regularly, and has the advantage of being near a skate park. Oh, and Bondi Beach.


CBD Laneways

Melbourne’s lanes are the jewel in Australia’s street art crown. Almost anyone who is anyone has pasted, sprayed, drawn or scribbled in its filamented ecosystem. I’ve seen a Banksy, a paste up dedicated to Aboriginal cricketer Eddie Gilbert, and ”Bill Henson can’t paint” graffiti. Miso made her name here with elaborate paste ups that tore at the heart, and Be Free’s pieces always achieve a perfect, poetic synergy with their settings.

melbourne lane

Amongst the service shafts and garbage compactors, Centre Place has nooks and crannies full of visceral pieces, great places to eat and shop, and possibly the most breathtaking 100m of urbanity in Australia. Degraves St always has a new paste-up or two. Hosier Lane is one long mind-blowing canvas, of colours and layers and competition over style and place. Union Lane is a fantastic canyon where new artists often come to show off their stuff. And there’s about another 30 laneways with street art and cool shops and cafes.

melbourne union lane

The grid of streets either side of Brunswick St are replete with works, especially around Rose St – you could combine a trip with a visit to the Artists’ Market on weekends. Clever pieces take advantage of the walls and poles and hydrants.

melbourne fitzroy lane

On the east side of Brunswick St around Argyle St, there are fabulous pieces on fences and buildings, their grittiness thrusting against the quaint bluestone pavers. Along Johnston St toward Collingwood, there’s a cluster of studios, giving birth to impromptu installations and pasteups, and pop up cafes and bars.

About the author

 Peter Warrington is half of Not Quite Newtown, publishers of street art photography books for kids. Check out the crowdfunding campaign for the latest offering “you make the dreams” – featuring Akisiew – at


All photos copyright Rachel Williams, Not Quite Newtown


Anyone opening a Vietnamese restaurant? “Pho realism” for a title?

(where do insects go when they get sick? …. the waspital!)


A couple of years back, I developed an addiction. It grabbed hold of me, relentlessly. I must have an obsessive personality, or compulsive, or both. Because once i worked out how to use the black and white function on my Blackberry’s camera, I couldn’t stop.

My name is Peter, and I am an addict. Well, WAS an addict, the Blackberry went with the job, and Iphones just don’t cut it. They have clarity, colour, and ease of composition. The ‘Berry was cumbersome, clunky and crustating. But, in the right light, or should I say dark, it took these incredibly interesting (to me) low res pictures. They were more like sketches.

So I would deliberately get off the bus in the winter and snap 50 shots in 50 seconds, as the light failed and the dark took hold. The interplay of light and dark, of reflection, of built form; 50 shades of grey.

I harboured the ambition but lacked the discipline to sift, sort and show these shots. I dreamt up a poorly-conceived installation, “Mist”, where I would somehow source life-expired mobile phones, and glue a photo on the viewfinder, sell these for $20 a pop, keep some and give a chunk to an environmental education program around recycling. My arse got bigger and the installation idea stalled.

But this blog gives me an opportunity to test the idea. Do you like the photos – a sample is enclosed? Would you give this man $20 for a used phone, with original artwork? Is the recycling value of the phone more than $20? Do you know anyone with 100 used phones? Do you like the name Mist, and should I call myself Mister Mist at the launch? Do you have a Blackberry you don’t use, because I really miss mine; I promise to only use the camera… and Brickbreaker!

It’s grants season in Marrickville, and if your feedback is positive, I might chuck something together and see how it fares. It would be mistifying :p

All photographs copyright Peter Warrington, 2013. The chick with the teeth is a photo of a photo and the original photographer would have copyright, too, and they can share in the $20 if they contact me, if the project goes ahead.

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Fifteen restaurant at Redfern?

We’ve been watching a lot of Jamie Oliver. Cooking in 15 minutes, 30 minutes, seeing 8 seconds of him here and there. Wall to wall Jamie.

That’s OK, he’s mostly a good egg. Putting his clout where it matters, with kids’ food at schools, working with the homeless, and just generally getting us all thinking about what we eat and cook.

About three years ago, Jamie was going to make a flying visit to Sydney. I had long harboured a desire to convince him to run a Fifteen restaurant at Redfern. It had come into my head on one of those long, balmy Redfern afternoons when I was in an obscure role in state government, ensconced in the unloved TNT buildings (which I loved). I did nothing with the idea at the time, and Jamie and Tobey Pittock put a Fifteen in Melbourne, global cool capital at the time.

If you don’t know the concept, here’s some background: Fifteen has always been about providing opportunities for troubled youths or those from disadvantaged families. Fifteen youths from across a city undergo training, work in the restaurant for a year, and hopefully move on to long and successful employment in the food industry. Then another 15 youths start the program…

I thought Fifteen at Redfern was an opportunity to do much more. What if half the intake each year was Koori kids from the Block, and the other half were from the Redfern-Waterloo housing commission towers?

What if the restaurant had a stream of cooking traditional native foods?

Then you’d have a project that helped address the systemic economic and social issues facing Sydney’s iconic indigenous population. But it would be a project that united all of greater Redfern, the west and the east side of the railway. It would place a major tourist attraction in the heart of the Redfern-Waterloo redevelopment, helping to make it a place, not just a redevelopment.

My dream was that the restaurant could be the catalyst for rejuvenating the old art deco classic Redfern House building opposite TNT tower. This is a glorious building, but also a highly visible site for passing traffic. It may not be suitable for a commercial restaurant, but a similar site, in downtown Redfern, shouldn’t be hard to find.

In March 2010, with Jamie already on his way to Sydney, I bashed a submission together and sent it through to the then Premier, who was also the local Member and Minister for Redfern-Waterloo. I heard nothing back. Then I tried to get it through Jamie’s elaborate online fortress. Again, nada!

Now I have a blog, and an undertaking to share with you some of my crazy ideas, either to get them off my chest and move on, or in the faint hope that someone sees a glimmer of merit and starts taking something forward.

Lots has changed in Sydney, NSW and especially Redfern. The woman who does a lot of cooking training with the local kids now runs the fancy new café in Victoria Park. The model would be different, but the basic idea the same.

I must stress that I have never consulted with the local Aboriginal community, and I think that would be an absolute priority if anyone wanted to do anything with this. Their land, their people, their culture, their food.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. It’s free. And without prejudice, it’s yours. Happy to hear any feedback….


               bush pukka!


Using the Fifteen model to bring economic opportunities to the under-privileged youths of Redfern and Waterloo.


  • A branch of the globally recognised Fifteen chain in central Redfern
  • Annual intake of 15 local youths aged 16-24 for training and employment – 8 from the Block and 7 from the housing estates
  • Emphasis on using traditional native foods
  • Potential to reflect the broader multicultural nature of Redfern

Why Fifteen?

Fifteen is a globally recognised brand, the brainchild of chef, entrepreneur and activist, Jamie Oliver. But it is a charitable foundation, with a proven record of establishing and maintaining programs – Fifteen restaurants to train youths in culinary and life skills; healthy lunches for school kids etc.

Why Redfern?

It has major economic and social disadvantage.

It is the cultural centre of Sydney’s indigenous population.

It is undergoing significant gentrification and commercial redevelopment – there are fears this could exacerbate economic and social disadvantage. But an immediate home-grown clientele, of residents and office workers, is emerging.

It is highly accessible – all lines except the Airport line feed it; it is walking distance from the CBD; it is served by many bus routes; and cycling connections are strong.

Why a Koori focus?

It is (Ab)original – no Fifteen project has yet focussed on a specific group.

Empowerment towards economic development is crucial.

It would help break down barriers between indigenous and non-indigenous people. And link Redfern at its heart.

It would make the restaurant a national icon, not just another restaurant.

The food would be innovative – Redfern could become the heart of a new (very old) culinary trend (from a peak in the late 90s, it seems many “bush tucker” restaurants have vanished.)

International tourists would love it.

Key stakeholders/potential partners

Stakeholder Potential Contribution Likely Requirement Comment
Fifteen Foundation Establish restaurant. Administer training and employment program. Suitable premises. Possibly start-up or ongoing support – either direct, or for fundraising efforts. Planning approval with RWDA area. Jamie Oliver in town in March. Would Tobey Puttock be interested (he established the Melbourne branch.)
Redfern Aboriginal community (e.g. Redfern Aboriginal Housing Company) Support – for restaurant establishment, and for participation. Consultation and project ownership likely to feature. Could assist the Foundation with the governance of the program.


Consultation before any announcement advised.

Redfern-Waterloo Development Authority Site selection and development approval. Possible financial support (perhaps in-kind, or peppercorn rent?) Assistance with marketing. Long-term commitment from Fifteen. Has the mandate to transform Redfern, and the cachet to achieve objectives across a range of economic, social and cultural issues. Should easily be able to locate a suitable site in the heart of Redfern. Within the parameters of sound policy, should be able to expedite development approval.
Sydney City Council Inclusion of the concept in its Sustainable Sydney 2030 Strategy – especially the Eora Journey cultural initiative. Consultation. Consistency with RWDA objectives. Council can assist with marketing the restaurant – e.g. signage along the Wilson St cycleway, support in its publicity materials etc.
Other Redfern cafes/


Support during the program for placements. Possible employment of graduates. Consultation. Recognition. Could be expected to benefit from emergence of Redfern as an eat street/centre.

Post – structure

Mine is a mind that roams a bit. Collects fragments of argument and evidence and then mangles it into a pseudo intellectual pop riff roller coaster, sort of like cooking risotto on a hotplate in your brain. Whilst watching the footie. And listening to a CD. While eating. And talking on the phone. It can be done, but it’s hard work. Especially for the person on the other end of the phone.

But some of you like your food straight, meat or tofu and 3 veg type of fare. You order, you get, you eat, you pay.

With the help of the good folk at wordpress, I will be able to respond to your needs as an audience by instituting, wait for it, STRUCTURE INTO MY BLOG!

On the general pattern menu bar, found on the right, you will see a number of categories. These are effectively sub-directories. You simply scan the categories you want, for posts and comments. So those allergic to sport never have to come into contact with its nuts; conversely, the pitter patter of geographers trying to discern a pattern is yours for the taking, or not.

You, the reader, are in control. See how far we have come as a species?

A quick word on each of the categories on the menu:

  • General – I will use this for administrative posts. and the Welcome.
  • Pattern – this will be for posts that explore the soft edge of geography, why things are the way they are etc – such as Kenny MacFaber’s great query today about the absence of trot tracks on the NSW South Coast.
  • ellipsis – feature type posts, essays, something to make you think…
  • out of the past – like the Mitchum movie, this will be smooth and noir, but content will be historical and mostly sport related.
  • maps and legends – not sure. love the REM song. love the title. should have been my blog title.
  • extra thyme – very excited about this. Recipes and advice on cooking stuff while you watch the footy. And the Ashes in England this year. Hopefully a cookbook comes from it. Peter’s 3-hour meals etc etc.
  • urban improvement program – some observations on cities, especially Sydney.
  • mug shot – photos from this amateur. everyone’s a photographer…
  • -verse – could be inverse converse perverse obverse adverse reverse, but it’s just some poems and kids’ books and things, often based on nursery rhymes, which you might like, especially if you have kids (of all ages).
  • crowdfun – this will be like an ideas trash and treasure, all the dodgy or brilliant ideas from my notebooks and piles of “lifeplans” that I know I will never get to implement. They are yours for the taking. Or use the page to reshape them into workable ideas that we could have a crack at. Therapy for me, op shopping for you. Everyone’s a winner.
  • leverage – links to other sites, youtube clips such as the Lene Lovich already posted, and the odd movie, book or music review.

Now, clearly, I would be remiss if some of my posts didn’t demand recognition in a couple of categories. Stick with it, I’ll try and get some logic into it, and also serve up something for everyone fairly regularly. Oh, and if you came looking for anal retentiveness, you need your eyes checked.

Here’s the REM song as a reward for those who made it this far. Thanks for coming!