Jan O'Connell
Jan O'Connell

The mystery of musk

An Aussie favourite Americans don’t get

Bloggers from elsewhere express incredulity at Australians’ taste for musk Life Savers, musk sticks or any confectionery flavoured with a substance that used to be derived from the nether portions of a deer (in fact, the word musk originated from Sanskrit muská meaning ‘testicle’).

Doomed to drink?

Trezise hotels and the Cornish heritage

By Tre, Ros, Car, Lan, Pol and Pen
Ye may know most Cornishmen.
I was born a Trezise – a Cornish name through and through, and one that seems to have cropped up regularly in the history of Victoria’s licensed premises.

Mastering the pasty

My Cornish family tradition

Saturday mornings during my childhood saw a Cornish pasty production line, with my grandmother chopping the potatoes and the onions while she kept a sharp eye on her daughter-in-law, my mother, who was making the pastry.

The Milk Dock, Markets and Banana Alley

Another side of Flinders Street Station

At the opposite end of Flinders Street Station from the famous clocks and dome, you’ll find evidence of the station’s commercial past. Including the Milk Dock – the distribution point for much of our milk supply in the early 20th century.

The Paris House

Sydney in the Belle Epoque

Opened in 1890 in Phillip Street, The Paris House was the premier restaurant of Sydney’s ‘Belle Epoque’. Later run by Gaston Lievain, from Lille, it offered a ground-floor bistro, a top floor sponsored by the Moet champagne house and private dining rooms where lovers could meet, The expression “As dumb as a Paris House waiter” was testament to the staff’s discretion.

Turning 60 in Paris

And being 60 in Italy

I was turning 60 and my objective was to be as far away as possible from anyone I knew. This led to five amazing days in Paris and further culinary adventures in Umbria.

The Yoplait story

How I wrote myself a trip to Paris

In 1982, when the French were still testing atomic bombs in the Pacific, launching a product with a French name could have been problematic. But research groups gave the go-ahead, so we were off to Paris to shoot the commercial that changed the Australian yoghurt market forever.

Has it come to this?

Frog in a Pond just ain’t what it used to be

Frog in a Pond has been an Australian favourite for decades. But the DIY version (spotted in the bistro at the Barooga Sports Club, aka Sporties) just doesn’t pass muster.

Food to go

Tales from the Railway Refreshment Rooms

How Australia’s first Prime Minister missed his train after stopping for a tot of whisky; how the mobile catering unit nearly caused a train wreck; and other stories from the history of Australia’s Railway Refreshment Rooms.

Sky

A poem from the thesaurus

I was working on an ad campaign for a client’s new building, Sky Plaza. So I consulted an online thesaurus looking for “words associated with sky”. The words on the screen sang to me. Some line breaks and a little punctuation turned them into a poem.

High wire

Trials of the over-endowed

Popular history has it that the underwired bra was, in fact, invented by Howard Hughes to prop up the truly remarkable breasts of Hollywood legend Jane Russell. But I’ve had a love/hate relationship with these frustrating pieces or ironmongery.

Easy to get a lawn with

Where's the pun in that?

Along the roadside as you approach Bungendore is a series of signs promoting the product of one of the town’s major industries. (Perhaps its only major industry.) Canturf.

Previous page Next page