Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Queensland's cheap public transport - Go Card Senior

It even comes with a card wallet and instruction leaflet

Our Senior Go Cards just arrived in the mail. Couldn't have easier.
My wife and I are living in Melbourne, Victoria. We plan to use public transport in Brisbane when we visit next month. We applied online, citing our Victorian Seniors Card numbers. The system in Sydney is more complicated and your Opal Card (Senior) only last 2 months for interstate visitors.
The card is free (you pay $10, but the $5 deposit is refundable and the card comes with $5 of pre-stored value).
You can use the card for 50% off travel on trains, buses, light rail (new Gold Coast link) and Brisbane River ferries/Citycats. If you travel off-peak ( between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., after 7 p.m. on weekdays and all on weekends) it is a further 20% discount.
You can use the card in Queensland tourist areas (Sunshine Coast and Cairns). Once you get your card (posted to any state or territory in Australia within 10 business days,) you can register online for auto top-ups. Validity of the Go Card Senior is 10 years. Queensland is certainly tourist-friendly.

Go to
Comfortable train journey to Brisbane from Varsity Lakes (closest station to Gold Coast Airport). Easy bus transfer from airport (Route 760).

City Cat ferry - great way to explore Brisbane 
You can travel to all stops on the Brisbane River for around $1.30 (round trip, if you stay on board). The red "City Hopper" ferry (limited stops) is a free service.
City Cat interior

Friday, 10 November 2017

"Trigger Mortis" (2015) A James Bond tribute by Anthony Horowitz

Better known for teenage fiction "Stormbreaker" series, Horowitz has tried to stay true to the Ian Fleming books with his 2015 stand alone novel. 
It is 1957. Bond having just polished off Goldfinger and Oddjob, returns to London for a bit of R+R with, you guessed it, Pussy Galore. But things don't go as planned.
Horowitz takes some excepts from an unfinished Ian Fleming television script about Grand Prix racing and then moves the action from a Swiss castle to east coast U.S. The rocket launch sabotage plot pays homage to "Dr No". This time it's a Korean millionaire/psychopath/super villain (nicknamed Jason Sin). His backstory is just as interesting.
SMERSH rears its ugly head. Bond's new female companion/ally is the feisty Jeopardy Lane (also possessing a cool back story). Attention to 1950's detail - locales, social mores, transport, food, alcohol - is a delightful pastiche to Fleming.

"Solo" by William Boyd (2013) is also a cracking read and probably the best written of the James Bond spinoffs. Faithful to Ian Fleming's James Bond, it is less spectacular but more believable.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

"Doctor X" 1931 From the Video Vault

I have mixed feelings about this campy horror pic. It is bizarre, corny, tedious and confounding in equal doses. Its 77 minutes running time seems more like 107 minutes. The two-colour Technicolour adds to the the film's weirdness. Production design is very German Expressionist. The sets are the stars (seedy waterfronts, spooky manor, dark corridors, strange staircases), although Lionel Atwill ("Son of Frankenstein") has fun.
Forget the grating main hero's (Lee Tracy) vaudevillian antics. When the villain starts his "Synthetic flesh! Synthetic flesh" scene, your jaw will drop.
First National (Warner Bros) tried to jump on Universal's horror bandwagon (after the release of "Dracula" and "Frankenstein"), so we have mad scientists, a full-moon killer, rape and cannibalism. This film was made pre- Hays Censorship Code. But the film doesn't really work as a horror movie or a who-done-it.

Image: courtesy of