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Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

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Recovery

It's seventy years on and Berlin has survived all these disasters to emerge from its chrysalis, shedding its tattered shell if still a little ragged around the edges, to take its place as one of the World's great cities and certainly one of the nicest to live in, blending the caring-sharing East with the striving-individualistic West.  Young families abound as do playgrounds that are a lot more adventurous and risky and demanding of self reliance than those in litigious Australia.  

 

Playground
Dragon Park - One of many playgrounds in Berlin - there's a pirate ship too
The small child crouching underneath is my grandchild - playing with bucket and spade

 

There is an energy to Berlin that is palpable.

 

 

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Travel

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.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Les Misérables - The Musical

 

The musical Les Misérables has returned to Sydney.   By now we have both seen several versions.    

But we agreed that this new version is exceptional, with several quite spectacular staging innovations and an excellent cast of singers with perhaps one exception who was nevertheless very good.

Despite an audience that was obviously very familiar with the material (if I'm to judge by the not so sotto voce anticipatory comments from the woman next to us) the production managed to evoke the required tears and laughter in the appropriate places.  The packed theatre was clearly delighted and, opera style, the audience shouted approval at and applauded several of the vocal performances, some were moved to a standing ovation at the end.

 

 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Whither Peak Oil

 

 

The following paper was written back in 2007.  Since that time the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) struck and oil prices have not risen as projected.  But we are now hearing about peak oil again and there have been two programmes on radio and TV in the last fortnight floating the prospect of peak oil again. 

At the end of 2006 the documentary film A Crude Awakening warned that peak oil, ‘the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of production enters its terminal decline’, is at hand. 

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