Leiden Book Club Book 9 – Persuasion


  Jane Austen has never been a particularly large blip on my literary radar. My mother has been a voracious fan since long before I was part of the world; and after I did become a part of it she would often put forward the Austen catalogue as a recommendation to me. I would smile and nod, acknowledging that no bookshelf is complete without a few Austens present, but never quite getting around to taking the plunge. This changed with Emma, which I only picked up in order to impress my future de-facto wife (also Emma). And while I found… Continue Reading

Men’s workshop with Mitchell Oakley Smith


  The Canberra Centre’s Eden continued its string of masterclasses last Saturday with something for the boys: Scotch & Watch, an evening of suits, watches, and whiskey with Australia’s premier fashion journalist, Mitchell Oakley Smith. Upon arrival we were greeted by a space well laid out with male grooming products on display and a try-me desk containing a variety of colognes and moisturisers. The food had a distinctly masculine theme to it with tiny cheeseburgers and duck (at least I think it was duck) wraps. And of course there was the bar which, while filled with quality booze, had only… Continue Reading

Paper Folding at Eden with Benja Harney


  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an origami enthusiast. I’ve always found the repetition, and the concentration it requires stills my mind like nothing else; when I’m working with paper, I am at peace. So when my editor informed me that Eden, a series of holistic wellness workshops hosted by the Canberra Centre, was putting on a paper-craft master-class, and that I was to report on said class, I was, to say the very least, rather pleased. The event was to be run by Benja Harney, a ‘paper engineer’ based in Sydney, who has been in… Continue Reading

On Style and Socks


  “Menswear is about subtlety. It’s about good style and good taste.” – Alexander McQueen   When I was a boy I took little interest in the clothing I wore. It was, to me, a purely utilitarian thing, designed to protect ones modesty from the elements, and to preserve the modesty of ones elements. It served these purposes and no more. The thought that there were others who wore their clothes not for practicality’s sake, but as an expression of self, seemed a laughable waste of time and money. The only explanation I could surmise as to why someone would… Continue Reading