Keep your fluids up


December in Australia can be searingly hot, and anyone thinking of participating in outdoor sports should take care to ensure that they’re fully hydrated.

Summer at Smith Park means the beginning of the AusTag season. As you can see, these AusTaggers have taken every precaution possible to avoid falling victim to the harsh blasting rays that have been beating down on Hamilton North.

Wet touch footballers

If you’re thinking of walking around town over the next few days you may as well throw away your sunscreen and thongs and dig out a decent umbrella and a raincoat. Australian summers: gotta love ’em!

Umbrellas in smith park

The book of the blog of the creek


The year is nearly over, which can mean only one thing: the book of the blog is here! In a recent poll of Hamilton North residents, 100% of those interviewed (n=3) agreed that the book “exceeded their expectations” and “was everything they imagined it would be”. Honest!

Reading my book

Copies are available from MacLean’s Booksellers and selected outlets, or direct from me (drop me an email at <>) for $20.00.

Let summer begin


I was watching The Thick of It the other night, the political satire that’s a kind of¬†Yes, Minister with swearing, and one character was going to spend Christmas in Australia. “Australia?” scoffed Malcolm Tucker, the foul-mouthed spin doctor, “where everyone’s dressed in khaki and squints?”¬†Forget backpackers at Bondi, it’s Malcolm’s view that best sums up the British vision of summer Down Under.

After one of our wettest Novembers on record the new season started promisingly well. And the first real sign of the new month came as I pedalled home from trivia night at the Gateway and saw that the house on Emerald Street was all aglow. (Somehow I managed to get Santa and his sleigh in the “off” cycle of his lurid flashing.)

Emerald Street Xmas lights

The hot and humid weather had caused the grass to grow like crazy and so the cutting crew was out on Thursday morning.

Grass cutters

But this morning was cool, windy and pretty miserable looking. I thought I might get out before the weather came in, at least as far as the railway line. Jambo, who’s normally busting at the gate, hung back. What’s that about animals and the weather? We’d barely made it to the Chatham Road bridge before the skies darkened and a series of southerly squalls that wouldn’t look out of place in an English December came blustering through.

Under the bridge

We stood there for a bit, Jambo with an I-told-you-so look on his face, before we tramped home through a thin drizzle.

Ah, summer.