Category Archives: News from at home

What is happening at home



armsI will be sworn in as an Australian citizen on 26th January.

The local council, who do the swearing thing, have asked for “a brief couple of paragraphs with your history as where you have come from and why you have chosen to settle in the Yankalilla District. This information will be used to introduce you to the community.”

My paragraphs are as follows:

My grandfather James Elliott was a Queenslander and my grandmother Gwendolyn Manton was a South Australian. They moved to England for my grandfather’s work, my father Dennis was born in England, and that is where I was brought up. Around my grandfather’s Sunday lunch table in London, I regularly met family and friends from Australia, and indeed other parts of the Commonwealth.

I moved to Australia some years ago after a career in the law, based in London but often requiring travel around the world.

I chose my present home, on the hill above Myponga Beach, because it was then permissible to take my dog Perdita for a run on the beach at the end of the day’s work, and until the present dog ban was introduced, that daily ritual was the greatest pleasure of living here.

I am retaining my UK citizenship, so will have dual nationality. Unhappily, dogs are now banned from running on the beach (it seems they frighten the foxes which eat the local hooded plovers), so neither I nor Continue reading


Filed under Myponga Beach, News from at home, Uncategorized


dietWhilst waiting for the medical profession to provide me with a new hip in the New Year, I have been a lot less active than usual, which has unsurprisingly led to my putting on a bit of weight.

There seem to be two major drawbacks to going on a diet.  The first is that diets are unpleasant, leaving one hungry and/or having to eat ghastly food. The second is that they rarely work in the long term.

I am trying a fasting diet, of sorts. No dinner. The idea is that I can have what I like for breakfast and lunch, but then at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the shutter comes down: nothing to eat or drink except water until the next morning.

Obviously, this is good, in that I’m not required to eat raw carrots, lettuce or fish sticks. Surprisingly, after several days on this regime, it is not nearly as annoying as one might think. Ordinarily Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Food, News from at home, Pointless News, Uncategorized


My younger daughter Lucy Fenwick Elliott has done a great job directing Heathers: The Musical, which has now been well reviewed. It will not be long, hopefully, before she is directing films again.

A fair old enterprise, to judge by the size of the squad:

full squad

Unsurprisingly, I am very proud of her.  A very clever daughter.

Meanwhile, my older daughter – journalist and Senior Content Editor at The Telegraph  Annabel Fenwick Elliott – is in the Californian desert, writing up her forthcoming book. And stranded there, for the moment, by the collapse of Thomas Cook. Very proud of her too.


Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, News from at home, Uncategorized

Recent thoughts


Cigar4For various reasons, I have not posted so much recently. But I have a couple of moments now, and here are some recent thoughts:


We at the beginning g of September now, towards the end of the rainier winter on the Fleurieu Peninsula, but neither my rainwater tanks nor my dam (“Loch Phenelry”) are yet full.

If my croquet lawn is to flourish over the summer, I need some more rain.

Hong Kong

Ever since the British government handed back (unnecessarily, in my view) Hong Kong to the Chinese, Hong Kong was doomed. Without any pleasure in saying so at all, I fear the protesters have no real prospect of succeeding. Hong Kong used to be a colony of the British, but was free, in that the government did pretty much what the people wished for, even though there were no elections. Now and for the foreseeable future, it is a colony of the Chinese, and not free: now the government does what the Chinese want.

Forbidden Fruit

For many people, that which is forbidden is all the more delicious.

For me, as for many other people, the best fruit is knowledge. There is a delight in Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Brexit, Climate, Culture, Myponga Beach, News from at home, Pointless News, Uncategorized


LighthouseSIt is a delight to see my godson Ollie Lockhart doing such brilliant and amusing things at The Lighthouse Stroud.

Good for him.

Get yourself armed with a cup of coffee, settle back and click the “doing” above.

I liked Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News from at home, Uncategorized

Nose job

noseMy daughter Annabel Fenwick Elliott has been let loose at the London Telegraph to write about all sorts of other stuff apart from travel (her main subject).

An article of hers just published is about her nose job.  As usual, a really good read.

Curious, I decided to read the comments. Sometimes, readers’ comments can be viciously unpleasant. But this time, I rather agree with the general drift: she looked Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, News from at home, Uncategorized

Bee Happy

Bee hotelIt will come as no surprise to those familiar with the absurd overegulation in this State that it is illegal to help the bees by having bee hives – or even a single bee hive – on one’s property without a licence and even then a pile of regulations apply.

So I have built a bee hotel for my local bees, and hung it up on the back of my workshop. There is a lot a lavender here, so hopefully this will make their visits more comfortable for them.

I have incorporated a couple of glass jars, on the basis that I might put some Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Myponga Beach, News from at home, Uncategorized

Bounced in

chicken-wire.jpgGraham Potter, of the wonderful Country Gates, has been making a gate and and now a new front door for The Phenelry. Long ago, he farmed. Indeed, he used once to own the land on which The Phenelry now stands. And so he is well-qualified to give me useful advice as to why my wisterias have not been doing well.


The rotters have been eating the wisteria shoots and leaves as soon as they appear.

So I put up some chicken wire today, which will hopeful give the poor wisteria a better chance.

Once the wisteria reaches the top of the pergola, then I can remove the chicken wire, and the kangaroos will be welcome to do some low level pruning for me. The wisterias’ long-term job is to provide dappled shade for my verandah in the summer.

I was wondering why there has been so much kangaroo poo so Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News from at home

Water in a Cage

Water CageBushfire is a real risk in Australia, and one of the rules is that when you are cutting the grass in a paddock, you’re supposed to have water on hand. So that if the blades hit a stone and create a spark, and if that spark starts igniting the dry grass, you can put it out straight away. Before it grows into a proper bushfire.

Until this week, this was a challenge because, although I have a perfectly adequate 12 litre sprayer, there is nowhere to carry it on my Toro zero turn Timecutter.

However, my friend Jeff, who knows how to do lots of things, including welding, has for a modest price knocked up a lovely cage which slots onto the back of my machine.

So now I can Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under News from at home, Pointless News, Uncategorized, Yankalilla

No Escape

AntigoneSome cats are escape artists, but Antigone Victoria Powderpaws (Tiggy) appears to be the exact opposite.

So far, she has got herself stuck

  • in the Girls’ Dorm
  • in the larder (twice)
  • outside
  • in the pan cupboard
  • inside the grandfather clock.

This last one was the most remarkable. She had to open the door before being able to climb in.

It is not entirely obvious what goes on inside Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News from at home, Pointless News, Uncategorized