GUARDIANĀ It was 2am. I’d been in Melbourne for 24 sleepless hours and was still wide-awake, feeling as though I were missing out on the essential glamour of a Lost In Translation moment because my low-rise hotel didn’t have views of the city. Instead of raiding the mini-bar, I went for a nightcap at a sleepy local pub called Rush – a misnomer if ever there was one. Rain came down in Hollywood torrents, the wind whipped up and I began to question the wisdom of leaving Blighty’s so-so summer for Melbourne’s grey winter. Continue reading


GUARDIANĀ I am not renowned for my sporting prowess. At a push, my lexicon of games might include rough and tumble bouts of Scrabble and an occasional innings at blackjack (normally out for a duck). Most who know me would happily confirm that I am sans any great British sporting genes. But having now been taught by the Zen master (or is he the patron saint?) of surfers, I might well be on my way to silencing my critics with some nippy footwork on the ocean wave. Continue reading