05 October 2015


I have a thing for old Hollywood mansions and the like. I completely love their over the top grandeur and architecture. Now I'm not talking 1980's Dynasty style mansions, I'm talking the old school Hollywood homes of the 20's. 30's and 40's etc. So I think I'll start an occasional series on these palaces, it'll be cool to discover new ones along the way.

I'll begin with what has been described as "the most impressive movie star's estate ever created." Harold Lloyd's 44 room mansion on 15 acres in  the Benedict Canyon section of Beverly Hills, California. Lloyd was a silent film star and clearly a popular one. The hose was deigned in the Italian Renaissance Mediterranean Revival style: modelled after the Villa Palmieri near Florence. Construction of the mansion began in July 1927 and was completed in 1928. The 44-room, 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) house and estate was said to have cost $2 million at the time.

This house is incredible, happily it's still standing although most of the grounds were sold off after his death in 1971 and it sits on a smaller 5 acre plot. 

aerial view of the entire estate from 1920
Harold Lloyd and family
It even had its own postcards
The iconic Harold Lloyd Christmas tree, I believe it stayed up all year long

Famous shot of Harold Lloyd in the film Safety Last
A late entry, that Christmas Tree in colour

04 October 2015


♫ Dr Zaius, Dr Zaius... Dr Zaius, Dr Zaius... Dr Zaius, Dr Zaius 

alternate title: "What the hell are you lookin at?"

01 October 2015


“Art is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but our arts and culture team does think there are a couple of parts of the image that might have crossed a few lines,” the mayor of Moreland, Meghan Hopper, said on Thursday.
Seriously? I'm a little confused as to what parts of this mural by Mike Makatron in Brunswick, Melbourne "might have crossed the line". So it has crossed a line or it might have crossed a line? Which is it?  Is it the boobs you can see? Is it because one of the boobs is black? Is it the man's hands on that woman's hips, oh wait, it's the erotic dripping of the sauce and the melted cheese isn't it?  Or is it hashtag food porn? Seriously though, what needs to be edited?

The conservatives are trying to take away your right to food porn, stand up for your rights people... bizarre! 
click on the image to make it larger and then try and fine the bits that are too rude, good luck

30 September 2015


Having just rediscovered it I cannot get enough of this song at the moment...

but mostly the Vampire Diaries Remix

28 September 2015


I've been in Ballarat for almost ten months now, having moved over from Perth. I'm assimilating well, however I have noticed many things in this land that are not what I am used to, this is a continuation to the previous post Things I have Noticed About Ballarat # 1...


  • People expect to park right out the front of any store or venue they choose to visit.
  • You are able to park right out the front of any store or venue you choose to visit (mostly)
  • Winter is very long here. It's almost October and i've just stopped wearing a beanie every day, but I'm still wearing a jumper most days.
  • Most restaurants and eating establishments close around 8 to 9 pm, this is stupidly early.
  • There aren't very many good eating houses here, but if you look hard enough you'll discover some gems.
  • There is a lack of quality Asian food, this is very disappointing. I badly crave a night wandering Northbridge. 
  • I'm yet to find a quality bottle shop that does good wines (please comment below if you know one - that corner of Dan Murphy's doesn't count).
  • Things are fairly casual around here eg: Today I called up a lawn mower guy, he said he'd pop around and give me a quote, I said when, he said now... what? (that wouldn't happen in Perth, there he'd probably pop round sometime later in the week or maybe next week).
  • The lawn mower guy turned up as he said he would, he gave me a quote that was half the price of one I would expect in Perth. I asked him when he could do the job, he said now... WHAT?
  • Posting a letter from Ballarat to a anywhere else in Australia will take at least 5 - 6 days to get there.
  • They have sea breezes in Ballarat, even though it's 100 km's from the ocean and 435 metres above sea level.
  • The streets of Ballarat always appear empty(ish) of people, as if nobody is even in the city. Come the first sunny day in ages and the place explodes. It seems that everyone just hibernates for 8 to 9 months of the year. They're in the city, as busy as any city, they're just inside.
  • There is some awesome theatre and artistic events in Ballarat, a whole artistic sub culture that I'm starting to discover and embrace. This makes me smile.
I'm sure there are many more things that I just can't remember right now or that I will discover in the coming months, which is why I'm numbering these posts, stay tuned.


23 September 2015


A little more Instagram action from my feed over the past few months.
Spotting old sheds during laneway adventures
Old sheds down old laneways
My girl with ice cream in Queenscliff
Jaguar D Type Le Mans, Ballarat.
Skipton Fish and Chips: Artist Cax One
Desert Lodge
Desert Lodge Apartments, Kingman, Arizona. Route 66 road trip 2012
Bacon Soda
Chocolate Covered Maple Smoked Bacon Soda, because that's how I roll

17 September 2015


We decided on a whim to hit Melbourne town last weekend. Mostly to do a bit of shopping and also to catch the David Bowie is exhibition at ACMI. Well worth it if you get the chance. 

I also decided that I wanted to revisit Hosier Lane for the first time in almost 10 years. It was pretty cool back then, a few street art pieces along the walls, nice stuff, hardly known. Well that's all changed hasn't it? Wow, disappointing, you can hardly see the crappy street art (yeah it's mostly bad) through all the tourists. Such is the way of things I guess, especially with street art which is entirely fluid. I just mourn for the location I guess. Better stuff elsewhere these days.

That aside Melbourne's a pretty cool place, looking forward to exploring more over the years to come. Apologies for quality of pics to follow, I only had my phone with me...

Flinders St Station
Flinders St Station
Forum Theatre
The Forum, once a theatre/cinema now an awesome live gig venue
Presto in Hosier Lane
Melbourne 1942
Hosier Lane
Aforementioned tourist swarm in Hosier Lane
Degraves Lane action

08 September 2015


After deciding two years ago that I really needed to this documentary, I finally got the opportunity last night. It's the story of a nanny who used to wander the streets of Chicago in her spare time and take the most incredible street photos. Nobody knew she had this hobby and she took over 150,000 photos in her life. Nobody knew until John Maloof bought a box of negatives at an auction. Now we know. 

What a diverse, interesting and troubled person she was. Such a wonderful story, one of millions that usually go untold. If you get the chance make sure you watch it.

07 September 2015


The Palais Picture Theatre and the Palais de Danse (the later destroyed by fire in 1968) in St Kilda, Victoria.
Luna Park just out of frame on the left.

photo colourised by Benjamin Thomas

03 September 2015


I'm not sure why I'm writing this, I rarely get deep and personal on here. Yet I think by venting it will help me push forward. The problem is that my life has come to a cross roads of sorts. At the start of the year I moved almost 4000 km's away from the only home i've really ever known, apart from a year living in England and Italy. I moved because I fell madly in love with an amazing girl. That part (the love bit) is fine, all good there, I'd move countries for this girl so opposite coasts is nothing. It's the rest that is causing me problems.

In moving I left my home, my friends and my career, yeah okay my career was probably about to divert anyway, but I left the foundations of my career in archaeology. Now I find myself in a city that is foreign to me in many ways. The climate is something i've never had to deal with before on such a scale. Perth is perpetually sunny and warm, Ballarat is perpetually cloudy and cold. It's depressing, the sunlight that I took for granted really shaped my mental state of mind. Sunlight is energy and without it it's a struggle. Constant rain hampers what you do, the whole lifestyle over here is inside focused, rarely do you get the opportunity to go lie in a park and read a book or stroll down to a cafe and sit outside with a cold drink, these things are somewhat lost to me now. It's the little things that get to you.

It's difficult for me in that while I may often be the life of the party guy I'm massively insecure around groups of people, I just hide it well, but it's hell on the inside. Plus it's easy with my friends, I feel comfortable with them. I'm not comfortable with the 100,000 people who occupy this place. Not yet anyway.

I've chosen to study this year, making it a fully transitional year. I'm not sure I chose the thing to study that I should have. But I'm almost finished so soon that will be over. Then I need to get a job, but that's not looking so great, there really aren't a whole lot of job openings for an archaeologist with a Grad Dip in Museum Studies in this town. I tell myself I'll be happy with whatever I do, but deep down I really want to continue with my passion for archaeology, or at least with something similar. Time will tell on that one.

Then there's the big one, friends. God I miss my friends, I miss calling them up and going down to Northbridge for a quick cheap bite to eat over a nice bottle of wine. I miss inviting them over to my place for dinner on the deck watching the sun set over the city. I miss hanging out with them at their place, at their birthdays, bumping into them in the street or at the shops. Catching a movie with them or grabbing a cold beer of three down at the Rosemount on a warm Saturday afternoon. I miss that life, I really do.

So now I have a new place to live and I need to lay down some roots here, I need a home home, I need some local friends other than my partners friends. I need to make those friends naturally, in my own way, not by being introduced to someone because someone else thinks we'd really get along. That's not how it works, friendships, not with me anyway. It's an organic process that rarely gels. But when it does, it's forever.

So, this is what I'm gonna do,..

  • I'm gonna finish this stupid university course
  • I'm gonna get a job that I like
  • Through that I will no doubt meet people with common interests and sense of humour and make some new friends in the process
  • I'm gonna buy a house
  • I'm gonna unpack all of the boxes still sealed in the garage of the rental were living in now
  • I'm gonna reclaim some of my old life and re-establish it here in this new place
  • I'm gonna grow old here with the girl I love 
  • and I'm gonna start enjoying life again
I just need to get through these last 4 assignments, god they suck.

01 September 2015


no further description required

Orchard Street at Canal Street on the Lower East Side, New York City


Prepare yourselves for an eighties mind explosion with fresh stuff from this four piece out of Melbourne, Australia.

21 August 2015


New music from Halsey, awesome singer/songwriter out of New Jersey, she has a mesmerizing voice, just loving all her stuff right now. I couldn't find an actual clip for my fav song 'Is There Somewhere' so I'll post this audio clip and one of her singing the same track live at Boston Calling earlier this year. She has an EP out called Room 93 and I just pre-ordered her new debut Badlands, should be mine in a few weeks.

ahhh here's an actual clip (lil bit NSFW but not really, anyway why are you reading my blog at work slacker?)


Take an abandoned amusement park in Weston Super Mare, in the south west of England, add a whole bunch of Banksy and you end up with Dismaland. An apocalyptic theme park, a nice alternative. I wonder if Banksy read my blog post from 2 years ago and got the idea from there?! If so I'll be needing flights and some free entry tickets k thanks.
Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper. Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well.
It's not just Banksy though, there's a heap of other artists contributing pieces, including Escif, Maskull Lasserre, Kate McDowell, Paco Pomet, Dietrich Wegner, Michael Beitz, Brock Davis, Ronit Baranga and a few others.

Oh and there's going to be a Jimmy Saville themed Punch and Judy Show, hoping for video of that!