Reflections on Borders: Empire, Cold War and Covid19

For a wide review of these themes lookout for my latest collection of short stories, Beyond Borders.For some, the notion of borders is that of a hard border, one clearly defined and assertively maintained. Certainly, in the Covid19 era borders reflect this standard, yet borders are by no means constant, or definite, whatever the political … Continue reading Reflections on Borders: Empire, Cold War and Covid19

#COVID19 and writing about Jakarta Dois

  Being forced to remain at home for long periods through this pandemic is an existential challenge for some, for me it's ushered in a new dawn for my creative writing. There is no longer the excuse or distraction of browsing through Chinatown or Little India. People in my age group have been advised to … Continue reading #COVID19 and writing about Jakarta Dois

Treating COVID-19 Patients in China – Inside an ICU

Here in Singapore we have excellent digital connections. At my place the internet speeds on the optical fibre connection approach 1Gb/second. There seems little digital divide in the sense that from the young through to the elderly, connectivity is common and expected. A few weeks months back I met a neighbour by the swimming pool … Continue reading Treating COVID-19 Patients in China – Inside an ICU

About the book ‘Seen and unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific’

‘Seen and Unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific’, is 29 short stories in the genre of creative non-fiction. Tracing Australian connections with Asia and the Pacific through three generations, it is published in 2015 by Glass House Books an imprint of Interactive Publications (IP) ISBN: 9781925231182. Also, in Kindle and as … Continue reading About the book ‘Seen and unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific’

Geomorphic reflections

One of the main reasons I've moved house was the absolute racket emanating from the building site next to my old place. At first the disruption was modest preparation, over a month or so. It involved clearing a former parking lot, felling trees, building site huts, planning and constructing site drainage, installing generators, lighting and … Continue reading Geomorphic reflections

Otters on the Singapore River

My posts are usually more serious than this one, but I'm enchanted by the otters that live along the Singapore River. Of course, they are wild animals despite their successful adaptation to urban life. These days they're experts at navigating the maze of drains and conduits developed here to help manage the equatorial downpours. They're … Continue reading Otters on the Singapore River

Jambi Province Sumatra where 90% of fires are deliberately lite

Yesterday, I woke up and stepped out of my 19th-floor apartment, on the way to church. Passing the light well, its orientation one that scoops in sea breezes, the first thing I smelled was that familiar odour of distant fires. I realise now that it was probably blowing in from Sumatra's Jambi Province, Desa Rimau … Continue reading Jambi Province Sumatra where 90% of fires are deliberately lite

Unregistered Plantation in Riau Encroaching on Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere Reserve

Figure 1: Clearing on the margins of an unregistered plantation in the Siak Kecil area of Riau Province When I first saw this image it saddened me. I had already travelled through the region, not precisely this spot at 0° 59' 54.9996' N, 101° 53' 3.0012' E, but further to the north and west.  Travelling … Continue reading Unregistered Plantation in Riau Encroaching on Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere Reserve

#Change in Riau from closed canopy forest to plantations

This morning my colleague Prayoto Tonoto sent me a diagram. It illustrated the stages in the transformation of forests from closed canopy systems to the monocultural plantations that are such a major feature of Riau's landscape. In an earlier blog post, I made mention of these stages Stage 1: Selection Logging Selective logging over a 20-year period. … Continue reading #Change in Riau from closed canopy forest to plantations