Category Puppet-at-large

La Oca, Sitges. Chicken. On a spit. Need I say more.

La Oca. You think it would mean The Chicken. But no. When I ask the waiter he says, “Goose – can’t you tell by the image?” I want to say, Where’s goose on the menu? But that’s about the only crazy thing regarding La Oca. Otherwise, everything is satisfyingly straightforward. I can claim one more reason why […]

Like a fading Hollywood star, Sitges looks great in the evening light…

Sitges. Home of the free pour. Can someone – please, anyone! – remind me of this for next time? The summer retreat of Picasso, Sitges has dimensions beyond its beach and bars. An impossibly idyllic old town struts out onto a headland, a church romantically at its stern as if put there for the photographs, and a meander […]

Inside Florence’s machine

The flavour of a city comes from the depths of its streets. In this case, very deep streets. For this reason, Florence is the archetypal Italian city, the one everyone thinks of. Darting left, you can escape the throng, hide in another tunnel of darkness, finding your own peace. Puppetman Senior and Mother are in […]

Calm inside a storm

Take away the car and a space very quickly becomes real. Suddenly you have people. You have calm. And everything becomes a little more civilised. You have to wonder how the four-wheeled beast became so popular. They are destructive on so many levels, from the aural to the visual. Like many cities of a similar size, Sydney […]

Scenes from Sydney, the town that grew

An old water reservoir has been turned into a sunken park. In some ways, this is representative of Sydney, which reinvents itself every ten years or so. It’s a city of aspiration and also a lot of regret. It’s scarred by bad planning though these mistakes also maketh the city. Paddington Reservoir is like something […]

Ramsay Street, the Italian Connection

Haberfield in Sydney is just one of a string of Italian suburbs that dot the inner west. When your family has married into first and second generation immigrants from that Latin realm, you get to know these areas quite well. There’s always one big family get-together on the horizon! Ramsay Street in Sydney, as opposed […]

Shop Sharons, the birds of the Melbourne rainforest

Cuteybum and I were wondering through David Jones, suddenly confronted by those old dears you get behind the till. Starved of conversation, they like nothing more than a good natter, a few prying questions, and displaying a little bit of motherly love. Honestly, I felt like I was their son. Then, in another department store, […]