Thorngrove Manor

January 21, 2021 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, TRAVEL |

(January, 2021) Sometimes in this crazy epoch, you feel like heading for the hills.  Fortunately, if you live in or come to Adelaide, the hills are 10 minutes away. And you don’t have to sequester yourself in some hut like Ted Kaczynski’s cabin: instead, take the M1 Freeway from town to Thorngrove, between Stirling/Aldgate and Mt. Lofty and the townlet of Crafers. The Manor is a Gothic Revival dream – a kind of Strawberry Hill – but with its own bespoke design features that make guests feel they are King and Queen of the castle. The angels are in the…

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Fine Wine and Dine @ Tanunda

September 20, 2020 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, TRAVEL |

Tanunda, Barossa Valley, September 2020 Motoring into Tanunda for some R ‘n’ R these days is a breeze: if you get onto South Road, and head north, it leads onto the M2 and you get there in an hour. The main drag is Murray Street, and there is a large sign over the way, letting you know you’re there. There are lots of things to do to get fit: you can walk or bicycle along the Barossa track to Angaston (also a nice town worth visiting although it seems its high quality second-hand bookshop has bitten the dust – at…

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Vale Hong Kong

July 22, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | POLITICS, TRAVEL, Ulalume |

In 1970 Hunter J. Thompson wrote a piece about the great French downhill skier, Jean-Claude Killy.  Trying to make a connection with the rather aloof and private champion, he asked where was the best place he knew. Killy nominated Hong Kong, and when asked why, replied: “Because a friend of mine is head of the police there…and when I go to Hong Kong I can do anything I want.” That is TVC‘s Hong Kong. Having been there at the handover to China in 1997 and visiting again in the early ‘noughties,’ we regret to say we’ve doubts now about ever…

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Tasmanian Art Gallery

November 11, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, HISTORY, TRAVEL |

November 2019 If you’re still reeling from the inanities of MONA, why not check out Hobart’s more staid collection, on Davey Street (but enter on the landward side), a stone’s throw from the docks? The Gallery combines artistic works with natural history pieces of local significance: For instance the famous Thylacine, a carnivorous marsupial otherwise known as the Tasmanian Tiger, due to the stripes along its coat. Although last seen alive in 1933, we like to think the wily animal exists and flourishes somewhere in the wild western half of the island (there have been some unverified sightings in recent years)….

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H. L. Mencken and Crap Towns

September 12, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Non-Fiction, TRAVEL, WRITING & LITERATURE |

H. L. Mencken (12 September 1880) There’s a splendid English book called Crap Towns.  Lovingly referred to by ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ as “The Domesday book of misery” it celebrates awful urban constructs, from Luton to Hull to Bury St Edmonds.  TVC once thought to produce an Australian edition, covering such lively towns as Mt Druitt and Wilcannia, NSW, and Millicent, SA. But the great H.L. Mencken beat us all to it.  In his 1928 article, The Libido for the Ugly, Mencken canvasses the ugliest towns in the USA: “I have seen, I believe, all of the most unlovely towns of…

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