*take nothing for granted!
  • Sydney Australia

  • Luang Prabang Laos

  • Angkor Wat Cambodia

  • Halong Bay Vietnam

  • Yangon Myanmar (Burma)

  • Forbidden City Moat Beijing China

  • Great Wall Shuiguan China

  • Shanghai China

  • Terracotta Warriors Xian China

  • Giza Pyramids and Sphinx Cairo

  • Jemaa el-Fnaa Marrakesh Morocco

  • Damascus Syria - (Oct 2010 pre destabilisation)

  • Istanbul Turkey

  • The Sphinx ANZAC Cove Gallipoli Turkey

  • Saltzburg Austria

  • Cezky Krumlov Czech Republic

  • Prague Czech Republic

  • Champs Elysees Paris France

  • Oberbaum Bridge (over the Spree) Berlin Germany

  • Budapest Hungary

  • Rome Italy

  • Florence Italy

  • Venice Italy

  • Valletta Malta

  • Lisbon Portugal

  • Plaza Mayor Madrid Spain

  • Seville Spain

  • Alhambra Granada Spain

  • Mosque–Cathedral Córdoba Spain

  • Moscow Russia (from Moscow State University)

  • London England

  • Mumbai India

  • Udaipur India

  • Taj Mahal - Agra India

  • Varanasi (Benares) India

  • Kathmandu Nepal

  • Madurai India

  • Havana Cuba

  • Pyramid of the Sun Teotihuacán Mexico

  • Zócalo Mexico City

  • Buenos Aires Argentina

  • Ipanema Rio De Janeiro Brazil

  • Iguazu Falls Argentina-Brazil

  • Machu Picchu Peru

  • Lake Titicaca Peru-Bolivia

  • Queens New York USA (from the Empire State)

  • Boston USA (across the stern of USS Constitution)

  • Washington DC USA (from Arlington House)

  • San Francisco USA (from Alcatraz Island)

  • Los Angeles USA (from the Getty Museum)

Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

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>  Endangered Species

Endangered Species

From the 15th to the 18th September there will be an Exhibition of artworks at Open Walls Gallery in Berlin.
[Schröderstraße 11, 10115 Berlin, Germany]
Of course Berlin in September may be inaccessible to most of you.  But you can learn more and perhaps purchase a rather nice catalogue by going to the website.
I have a personal interest. 
The Exhibition has been brought to Berlin by my Daughter Emily and the Artist is her mother Brenda.

Endangered Species - Read More here...


>  Greyhound Racing

Jack Lang

Rather bravely, the New South Wales State Government has accepted the recommendation of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound ​Racing Industry in NS​​W and announced the end of Greyhound Racing in the State from July 1 2017.  The Australian Capital Territory Government quickly followed suit. 
Some years ago I remarked, in an article on NSW history, that it was the NSW State Government that started the Greyhound Racing industry.  That was in the Depression, in the time of 'Big' Jack Lang, and a great deal of harm ensued.  Lang was later dismissed by the NSW Governor.  But it was not for further impoverishing families 'doing it tough'.  By that time dog racing had already become endemic in the State.

For 'Big' Jack Lang's role - Read More here...

Like many people, I have always been concerned about how attractive gambling can apparently be to people who can ill afford it.  If people like the Packers want to gamble for recreation or a thrill that's one thing but a mum or dad spending the rent and grocery money on a slim chance to get rich is quite another.  Greyhound Racing has always been targeted on these very people  Sure, poker machines are even more insidious but that has proven to be an issue that's just too much to bite off and chew. Greyhound trainers have made themselves an easy target.  It's hard to be cruel to poker machines and they don't need to be blooded on rabbits. 

For Gambling in Australia - Read More here...


>  Bali


At the end of February 2016 Wendy and I took a package-deal to visit Bali.
I had not been to Bali since 1973 and it has changed remarkably.
Back then Bali was was recovering from mass death and political problems and was low on the tourist agenda.
The only tourists we saw there were fellow travellers from the cruise ship we were on.
In Ubud and Denpasar chooks ran in the street and colonial buildings decayed.




>  A little fiction...

Book Short Stories thumb

If you have previously read one of my stories and enjoyed it you might like to have another look. 

An advantage (or disadvantage) of e-publishing is that writings are not cast in hot type and committed to a printed volume.  This allows an author to revisit them from time to time;  to re-imagine passages; to tidy up; and expand on ideas.  Thus they e-books are works in progress.

The risk is that stories get over-baked and ruined.  Let the reader be the judge.

Here are a few of a dozen I have published - click on their name to open them.

The Time Lord (science fiction?) was recently updated and extended. 

The Secret (a travel tale) is a similar length - it's been changed several times.

If you would like something shorter and more comic try A Twisted Pigs' Tale  (a twisted fairy story)

His Life in a Can (a domestic tragedy) is also a quick read but rather more dark.

The Password (another travel tale) will take you a little longer.  It's my fantasy revenge on the pair who stole my wallet in BA.

The Soul of the Matter (yet another travel inspired story) and April Fools' Day (paranoia on a ferry) are longer again.

But if you want to read a novel length story on your device then you should read my latest: The Craft, a prequel to The Cloud (a dystopian-Shakespearean science fiction) still very much under development - my writing process on display.  WARNING The Craft contains adult themes and witchcraft and a couple of naughty words.


>  Recollections of 1960 - the U2 Incident

Movie poster

The 2015 Spielberg movie Bridge of Spies recalls the U-2 Incident, one of those seminal moments when the world would take a new path into the future.  In 1960 this otherwise mundane spy flight would swing the result of a US election and thus set the tone for the coming decade.  The new President was to make US confrontation with the USSR a hallmark of his term in office.  The Cuban Missile Crisis; escalation of the wars in Indochina; conscription;  draft dodging; protest; flower-power and a spate of assassinations; can therefore all trace their roots to this incident. 
On the positive side was the Peace Corps and the 'Space Race' that would lead to rapid technological advance. The technologies of the 21st century: communications and computers; new materials; 'and all that' came from there.



>  Berlin

Berliner Dom

I've been to Berlin several times but have been reluctant to offer an 'off the cuff' summary of this complex city.
Instead here are some selected impressions that are by no means intended as a comprehensive analysis.




>  Now I am Seventy


An edited speech made on the occasion of a garden party to mark my achieving my seventieth year.


It's self explanatory.


>  Skydiving

Coming Down to Earth

For my 70th Birthday Wendy took me at my word and bought me a voucher to go Skydiving.  I've always wanted to try it and 75 is a limit for insurance.



>  Climate Change - a Myth?

Ice core data

Partly in response to my article Carbon Footprints (below) several friends and acquaintances have told me that Climate Change is a myth.

Might this be true?





>  The McKie Family

McKie Ginger Beer

This is the story of the McKie family down a path through the gardens of the past that led to where I'm standing now.  Other paths converged and merged as the McKies met and wed and bred.
Where possible I've glimpsed backwards up those paths as far as records would allow.
In six generations, I, like most people, have 126 ancestors.  Around half have become obscure to me. But I know the majority had one thing in common: they lived in or around Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England.

During that time Newcastle grew from a small port town into one of the World's most important and innovative cities.  Thus they contributed to the prosperity, fertility and skill of that blossoming town during the century and a half when the garden there was at its most fecund.

So it's also a tale of one city.






    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Bridge over the River Kwai



In 1957-58 the film ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai‘ was ground breaking.  It was remarkable for being mainly shot on location (in Ceylon not Thailand) rather than in a studio and for involving the construction and demolition of a real, fully functioning rail bridge.   It's still regarded by many as one of the finest movies ever made. 

One of the things a tourist to Bangkok is encouraged to do is to take a day trip to the actual bridge.

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

The McKie Family




This is the story of the McKie family down a path through the gardens of the past that led to where I'm standing.  Other paths converged and merged as the McKies met and wed and bred.  Where possible I've glimpsed backwards up those paths as far as records would allow. 

The setting is Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England and my path winds through a time when the gardens there flowered with exotic blooms and their seeds and nectar changed the entire world.  This was the blossoming of the late industrial and early scientific revolution and it flowered most brilliantly in Newcastle.

I've been to trace a couple of lines of ancestry back six generations to around the turn of the 19th century. Six generations ago, around the turn of the century, lived sixty-four individuals who each contributed a little less 1.6% of their genome to me, half of them on my mother's side and half on my father's.  Yet I can't name half a dozen of them.  But I do know one was called McKie.  So this is about his descendents; and the path they took; and some things a few of them contributed to Newcastle's fortunes; and who they met on the way.

In six generations, unless there is duplication due to copulating cousins, we all have 126 ancestors.  Over half of mine remain obscure to me but I know the majority had one thing in common, they lived in or around Newcastle upon Tyne.  Thus they contributed to the prosperity, fertility and skill of that blossoming town during the century and a half when the garden there was at its most fecund. So it's also a tale of one city.

My mother's family is the subject of a separate article on this website. 


Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

The Carbon Tax

  2 July 2012



I’ve been following the debate on the Carbon Tax on this site since it began (try putting 'carbon' into the search box).

Now the tax is in place and soon its impact on our economy will become apparent.

There are two technical aims:

    1. to reduce the energy intensiveness of Australian businesses and households;
    2. to encourage the introduction of technology that is less carbon intensive.
Read more ...

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