An Australian in Europe

Title refers to the song by Sting that I very much like. I know Sting says it is about his friend Quentin Crisp but I can live with that.

In my early post about my loss of passport, my son Simon suggested it was time I used a bumbag, saying I should not be afraid of what others think of my fashion sense. So cruel!
I replied I used a bumbag already, filled with camera stuff and my passport is normally safe in a money belt.
In the interest of helping other travellers, I will let you into my traveling tips, complete with photo, taken with self timer, camera perched on bench, thus explaining my odd pose. The Jurassic Coast is background with wife as companion. I will not comment on her dress – no way!


# I wear trekking sandals by Teva all the time! I have worn shoes twice in 5 weeks. I wore the sandals to church and continually in freezing wet London. The two times in shoes were to dress up dinners in Italy. Why sandals? Arthritis in my feet means shoes hurt, sandals don’t. Are my feet cold – not if I’m moving.
# I wear shorts almost all the time. In London when it was wet, windy and cold I did wear jeans for a week. I have worn my good pants twice (see above). My new American friends were surprised to find my knees covered on dress up nights. My favourite shorts have wide cargo pockets which can hold my mini iPad. Otherwise it is in the back pack. It has been invaluable on this trip.
# If it’s warm it’s T shirt time but then it’s layers as the temperature drops. Next stage is a thermal singlet under the shirt. Cooler still – replace the shirt with a long sleeved polo necked warm shirt. Really cold – add light weight polar fleece top. Wet or windy – an unlined very light crush resistant Gor-tex jacket on top which otherwise lives in my backpack.
# Bright sunshine requires sunnies and sometimes my World Cup Wallabies Cap. I have found that the cap is not needed to identify me as Australian. Usually saying hello is enough. Occasionally locals are disappointed to find I am not a Kiwi! I explain that we are better losers – more practise.
# The bumbag is carried in my waterproof backpack unless the photography is getting serious, when it gets belted on. It contains my fast ultra wide(11-16mm f2.8) lens, spare battery, additional memory cards, etc. It is heavy.
# My Nikon D300s with my travelling lens(18-200mm f5.6) usually hangs from my shoulder on a swivel sling – it is a big camera for travelling, so goes in the backpack if not in use.

I dress for mobility and convenience. I will leave the fashion concern for my son.


6 thoughts on “An Australian in Europe

    • I would box in sandals if they would let me! It was good enough for Centurions and Gladiators so I think it should be OK! Just think of a smaller, older and definitely poorer Russell Crowe.

  1. I hope you mean polar fleece rather than a velour top. George Castanza’s quote comes to mind:

    “I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable”.

    No dad, it’s not socially acceptable.

    • Thank you for the correction Simmo. I think that one is worthy of the Edit pen. Just in case you think I am trying to deter commenters by having two posts mentioning the ( you and Don) it is far from it – it is an honour to be named so!

    • Thank you,

      Russell. You of course are one of my favourite relics, a MBM fossil and ( can I say this? Of course I can!) a monument worthy of preservation.

      I met your long lost triplet brother in London. His name is Trevor, he looks and sounds like you and is a London tour guide. Very good at his job. We got on famously. Expect a FB post where I can send a picture.

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