transport TV

World’s Busiest Stations

SBS is showing UK rail documentary series World’s Busiest Stations – and last night they aired the episode set in Melbourne. Although it’s ostensibly about specific busy stations, the series looks more broadly at the local rail networks. You can watch it on SBS On Demand. It’s well worth a look for a view inside  ... [More]



With many people, myself included, spending most of the time at home, you’ll need to indulge me in another non-transport blog post. I once wrote that the five biggest cultural influences of my childhood were Lego, Tintin, Usborne Books, Doctor Who and The Goodies. Many Australians of my age fondly remember The Goodies thanks to  ... [More]


Making gravy

What a concert. It kicked off at 5pm. You know how at some concerts the support acts are a bit half-rate, fledgling bands still finding their feet? Not a bit of it here. All superb. Marlon Williams. Kate Miller-Heidke. Courtney Barnett. And then headliner, Paul Kelly. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl was packed, and no  ... [More]

Net Toxic Custard newsletter

The end of Toxic Custard

Before blogging and the web, there was email and Usenet and FTP sites. Just over 29 years ago I started writing online, sending out literal undergraduate humour to mates at Monash University and beyond mostly via email, under the truly ridiculous name “Toxic Custard“. It got into the student newspaper, then in 1996 it went  ... [More]

Home life TV

Home improvement

Yes, sometimes my blog isn’t about transport. If you’d prefer to see only transport posts, you can use this link. Here’s a post where I ramble on about recent upgrades around my house. Wall insulation I had wall insulation installed earlier in the year. The winter gas bill came in recently. It’s down 37.7% from  ... [More]

music transport

TMBG – and crosstown trips

On Saturday night at the Croxton Bandroom we saw They Might Be Giants playing a 1990s vs 2000s concert. The night before they’d done a 1980s vs 2010s concert. It was great stuff, very enjoyable. Now that I’ve heard Instanbul, Doctor Worm and Birdhouse In Your Soul live, I can die a happy man. And  ... [More]

Culture Melbourne Photos Toxic Custard newsletter

Don’t be a jerk

I was looking through some old photos, and found these from November 1996. I’ve scanned them from the negatives. As you can see, they provide some good advice… (Click on either photo to view it larger in Flickr) Things to note here: “Don’t be a jerk” is a work by Barbara Kruger, originally from 1984  ... [More]

Culture Friends and loved ones Toxic Custard newsletter TV

Where are you really from?

I found SBS’s “Where Are You Really From” to be compelling viewing. If you don’t look ethnic, you won’t know the experience of people asking where you’re from — and not taking “Sydney” for an answer. They don’t want to know where you’re from. They want to know where your family originated. The whole series  ... [More]

Blog sponsorship books transport

How the 20th century was almost dominated by electric vehicles, rather than petrol

It’s amazing to think that had circumstances been different, the western world might have developed its road transport around electric engines rather than fossil fuels. That’s one of the key points made by “A Most Deliberate Swindle“, by Mick Hamer – the tale of the London Electrobus company, which pioneered the use of electric buses  ... [More]

Net Twitter

Ten years twittering

Ten years ago today: trying out Twitter — Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 20, 2007 Yep, ten years ago today I joined Twitter. As you can see, my second Tweet was just as compelling: is thinking about another cup of tea — Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 20, 2007 This was all pre-smartphone (at least for me)  ... [More]