Thursday, 25 June 2015

Why "Hannibal" deserved to be cancelled

One of network television's innovative, stylish and creative dramas in the first two seasons, Season 3 was a big disappointment. Beautifully shot and designed but it's no fun any more. No more devilish dinner parties and psycho-of-the-week.
Sure, Florence looks gorgeous and Gillian Anderson is very watchable as the ice-queen (like in "The Fall") but it's same-same after that.
Episode 2 dragged painfully. Will is becoming a bore. Lots of torrents of blood and the stag-critter is back (looking like some hybrid-beast from "The Thing").
Why do US series drag out over so many seasons (10-13 episodes each)? The Brits keep things short and sweet (6-8 episodes a series).

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Holloways Beach, Cairn's best kept secret

Paradise on a budget.
Just 11 km from Cairns CBD, $3.10 on a public bus (Translink, Route 120), you could be in the middle of nowhere, but this is 10 minutes from an international airport. Free electric barbecues line the foreshore with shelters, drinking water and seating. The bus stop (Oleander Street) is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Stinger (e.g. poisonous Box Jellyfish) nets are installed for bathers from Nov-April.

You cannot swim in central Cairns due to the tidal nature of the area. There is a huge artificial lagoon (free) on the foreshore, Cairns Esplanade.
Looking north
Looking south, toward Cairns

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

You can bodysurf in Far North Queensland!

Clifton Beach 24 km north of Cairns

Kewarra Beach, 20 km north of Cairns
Far North Queensland beaches usually have little or no waves (there's a big bloody Barrier Reef out there). But around June/July you get some nice waves on the Northern Beaches (Palm Cove, Clifton Beach, Kewarra Beach). No one is in the water, even though it's warm (around 26 degrees C). Why loll around a resort pool, listening to screaming kids?
Ignore the beach signs, the locals do. Stinger (e.g. Box Jellyfish) Season is roughly October to May. Stay clear of waterways near the mangroves (saltwater crocs).
It's so easy to get from Cairns to the Northern Beaches. The public Cairns bus (Translink) costs $5.50 one way. Comfortable, reliable and half-hour service during weekdays.

This sign greets you at the beach entrance (Pullman Sea Temple, Palm Cove, 26 km from Cairns)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

"Harbour" by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Lindqvist's 2008 novel is part nautical ghost story, part little-girl-lost, part love story, part wtf!
Water, water everywhere. Don't mess with the sea. Like is far from idyllic on the fictional island of Domaro.
It's nutty but a great read nonetheless.  Like Stephen King (who Lindqvist has been compared to), he writes perceptively about young teens (his debut novel was "Let the Right One In"). The author is at his best when he writes about teenagers and this time there are several key back stories involving kids. I prefer his biting "Little Star" to "Harbour".
It's a bit of a mishmash. You have elements of "The Birds", "The Wicker Man", some cursed village from a 60's Hammer movie, a Swedish Houdini and sci-fi (e.g. Spiritus, the water-controlling larva who lives in a matchbox and requires a daily gob of saliva from its owner).
The three main characters (the octogenarian lovebirds, Simon and Anna-Greta and their tortured grandson, Anders) are beautifully drawn. Best bits are the stories from the island's murky past, a ripping yarn about Simon the escapologist and flashbacks to Anders' 1980's teenage years with lots of musical references (from The Smiths to Frankie goes to Hollywood).