Storyteller David Doyle is visiting the east coast. 2013

Born and bred in Dublin David now lives in Plymouth where he has a Storytelling Company with Nik  Brookson called Stone Soup.

Already David is enjoying the hospitality of the Vic tellers beginning with a trip up to Emerald in the Dandenongs to join JJ Sheills and Jackie Kerin at the PAVE Festival.

JJ hosted a night of stories based on the Arabian Nights and the locals were delighted to learn that an ‘international storyteller’ would be taking to the stage.

Local performers Christopher James and Claire Ruby James from The Dreaming Space provided music for the evening. Claire sings like an angel and together she and Chris have created a beautiful storytelling tent worth checking out on their website.

The night included stories, songs and dance. Chantelle Ashby hypnotised the audience with her belly dancing skills and changes of costume.

 David will be travelling up the east coast of Australia as far as Brisbane, then hopping across to New Zealand for a few weeks, then back to Melbourne from where he will depart in December.

If you would like to contact David and share some stories or offer him a couch, you can contact him:
 ... or for the duration of  travels in Australia: 0497787709.

Newstead Short Story Tattoo arrives again: 3-5 May 2013

…..wanna’ hear a story?
Newstead Short Story Tattoo

May 3,4,5
Newstead Vic

Newstead Short Story Tattoo arrives again in May 2013 championing storytelling in all forms with an infectious, seductive and engaging arrangement of sessions such as Survival Stories, Horror Stories, Earth Stories, Sticky Stories, Sisters Salon, Nano Narratives, Scripted Stories, as well as the signature, outdoor, surround sound, storytelling extravaganza Fire Stories.  In a fine moment of cross collaboration and date synchronising, Newstead Short Story Tattoo is also presenting an event at Clunes Booktown, entitled ‘Stralian Stories. The writers, fighters, talkers and speakers are also impressive including the modern hunter-gatherer Rohan Anderson, Cate Kennedy, Courtney Collins, Josephine Rowe, Amy Espeseth, Greeg Macainsh, Jordie Albiston, Frank Golding, Dr Fred Cahir, Leonie Stevens, Kate Hood, Carmel Bird, Klare Lanson, Patrick Pittman and Andrew Mckenna to name but a few. Musicians are also in abundance and include Archer Shepherd who’ll be playing the Tex Morton Story, Melbourne’s own international tech-rockers Black Cab, David Thrussell, the sweet-folk-pop Lucy Jean Roleff, Phil Mac playing the saw and telling road stories, before Andrew Til winds up the Pioneer mixer and tells stories through his music library.  Der Kommisar will also be hammering out 80’s tunes in the Zombie-Goth-80’s disco post Horror Stories at the opening night party. For all details check the website. 

Other sugar coating to consider
·       Entry to all events is by donation
·       3 Stella Prize shortlisted authors appearing
·       Print off program and all details on website
·       Bar available at all events post a.m.
·       Note-  Clunes is only 25 minutes from Newstead and the annual Booktown event is on, a great reason for all story lovers and bookworms to do some visiting…
·       Newstead wants you
·       Open mic at most events

More information: Neil Boyack
Or contact via email through

Highlands Links Golf Course, Ingonish, Nova Scotia - Course Review - Back 9

Because of the length of this review, I have split Highlands Links into Front-9 and Back-9.

To see the front-9 review and photos, click here

Hole 10: Par 3, 145 Yards -- The 10th is the shortest hole on the golf course, but it is often subject to a vicious crosswind and the added airtime because it plays downhill makes the green a difficult target to find.  As noted by Ian Andrew, the green was initially drawn by Thompson to be located across the Clyburn, making the hole play some 230 yards.

Hole 11: Par 5, 512 Yards -- The 11th was originally designed as a 400 yard par-4, and those that play the white tees will play it as such.  The blue tees require a short carry across the Clyburn.  This was my least favorite hole on the golf course, played over flat land to the least interesting green on the golf course...

Hole 12: Par 3, 240 Yards -- The 12th can play as a monster par-3.  With a green that is some 35 yards deep, playing to the pin pictured required a tee shot of some 255 yards!  Thompson often included a very long par-3 on his golf courses, and this one (specimen tree aside) is one of his best.

Hole 13: Par 4, 435 Yards -- The current blue tees are not original but believe it or not the hole originally played shorter and was a par-5 (original tee location displayed in second picture). The 13th is another example of Thompson's mastery in embracing extreme landforms.

The land tilts not-so-gradually from the right. Golfers that challenge the high-side of the fairway are left with a longer approach but are rewarded with a preferred view and a much flatter lie.

Before the landform flattens, it narrows, allowing golfers to run a straight shot onto the green. Be wary though, slightly wayward approaches can carom a long way off-line.

Ran's review notes that this green is not original, replaced in the 1960s because of poor drainage. Hopefully Ian has a photo of the original.

Hole 14: Par 4, 398 Yards - It wouldn't surprise me if the 14th was the most forgotten hole on the golf course, but that is likely because the holes that bookend it are world-class. The 14th is bunkerless and flows masterfully with the rumpled and rolling terrain. From the tee the land appears to tilt right..

But once the first hill is crested the golfer sees leftward tilting land!

The approach plays far more uphill than it looks and the open green front is welcome on this longish par-4.

Hole 15: Par 5, 540 Yards -- Have I mentioned Thompson's genius in embracing extreme terrain? The 15th falls some 50 feet from tee to green and crosses another massive landform that crosses the hole on a diagonal and adds strategy to the tee shot. Most golfers will play to the right portion of the fairway, from where the approach is blind, but the best and boldest among us can attempt to carry the hill on the left, some 250 yards from the tee.

Second shots from the right are completely blind...

While tee shots that crest the hill will turbo boost to near the 200-yard marker...

The 16th plays uphill but at only 460 yards is within reach in two after a well-struck tee shot. The fairway is lined on both sides by dense forest, but there is ample fairway width. Contouring in the 16th fairway is unlike anything I have seen before with a unique combination of extreme micro-contouring and broad and steep macro contours. Playing left leaves a flatter lie, but playing to the right shortens the hole and leaves a preferred angle for those trying to reach the green in two.

Second shots will be played over a deep valley in the fairway to a green surrounded by fairway that will repel any shots slightly short or left.

An unforgiving false-front awaits...

Once 'up-top' the green is plenty deep, though there's no way to no that from the fairway!

A look back at the highly contoured fairway

The 17th plays 200 yards downhill to a green set in a natural amphitheatre. The green lay at an angle to the tee, with the difficulty of the hole increasing as the pin moves farther back and right into the green. Flat portions in the front-left and centre of the green make for easier pins as the green's contours can be used to funnel balls to these low points. A back-right portion, however, is near impossible to get close to.

The 18th is a 410 yard down-then-up par-4 with out of bounds running the entire right side of the hole. From the tee, golfers will want to challenge the left-side bunker to leave the ideal angle of approach.

Approaching from the left side of the fairway, the golfer has a clear line into the green and even has the opportunity to challenge right side pins.

From the right side of the fairway, the golfer will do well to find the putting surface

One more rolling green at Highlands Links

Anne Stewart telling stories in Iran 2013

Anne Stewart kept a photographic and video journal when she visited Iran for a storytelling conference earlier this year. Now you can share her journey. If anyone is interested in learning more about this conference: how to participate in the future, the stories that were told etc, Anne is happy to talk to you.

Contact Anne via website:

Scheherazade: Queen of the Storytellers from Anne E Stewart on Vimeo.

Fairy Tale Day at Monash University Clayton - Call for Participation 2013

Fairy Tale Day a Monash University Clayton - Call for Participation

The Rare Books Collection at Monash University is currently holding an exhibition entitled In Fairy Land: An Exhibition of Fairy Tale Books

In honour of this exhibition the literary group, Fairy Tale Salon, at Monash University will be hosting an enchanted daytime event. 

The day is open to readings, performances and discussions about all things fairy tale. This event is open to anyone who has an interest in fairy tales and will take place in the Sir Louis Matheson Library at Monash University Clayton on the 6th of May 2013. 1.00pm ...

We are looking for interested participants who would like to present original work and/or papers on the fairy tale genre. Areas of interest are: 
 Scholarly analysis of fairy tale (incl. literary studies, translation studies, film & TV, drama studies, gender studies) 
 Live performance of fairy tale (incl. new & established fairy tales) 
 Fairy tale readings (incl. new & established fairy tales) 

 Please send a 100-200 word summary or abstract to by the 12th of April 

 In Fairy Land is now open. Details at: 

* This event is highly recommended. If you are planning to participate or simply attend you will not be disappointed. A wonderful opportunity to extend your knowledge of Fairy Tale. If you wish to read about the 2012 event click : here

Abacoa Golf Course, Jupiter, Florida - Course Review

Abacoa Golf Club 

Jupiter, Florida, United States

Architect: Joe Lee (1989)

7,200 Yards, Par-72

Rating/Slope: 75.3/140

My Quick Review: A perfect Doak 2 -- grab a beer, hop in your GPS cart and enjoy the excellent conditions.

Abacoa Golf Course really is the perfect fit for the definition of a Doak 2. The course is in excellent conditioning, especially when compared to many of the public courses in the same locale. The carts have GPS. There are a lot of demanding shots requiring forced carries over water. But, the course completely falls apart with any sort of criticial analysis.

2. A mediocre golf course with little or no architectural interest, but nothing really horrible. As my friend Dave Richards summed up: “Play it in a scramble, and drink a lot of beer.” Perfect.

To me, the most notable aspect of the golf course were the many jigsaw-puzzle-shaped greens. Perhaps this is the easiest way to vary difficulty from day-to-day -- centre pins for everyday play and pins in the jut-out pieces for tournament play.

A few images...

The approach over water is the norm: