It’s official – the Flat White coffee is an Australian invention. Well, at least according to Wikipedia. This came as no surprise because a request for a Flat White coffee during a recent visit to the UK was generally met with a blank look. And even those who claimed to know how to make it, failed miserably – with a couple of notable exceptions. Continue reading


Fewer and fewer of the goods we consume in Australia are actually made in Australia. Because of our high labour costs, nearly all our clothing is made in China or India or elsewhere.

It came as both a surprise and delight to discover that the Corka brand of bathers/swimmers/togs/budgie smugglers -or whatever you prefer to call them – are actually made here in Australia. Continue reading


Ugg Boots – though now a popular fashion accessory world-wide, are very much an Aussie icon. Made from sheepskin, with the white, fluffy fleece on the inside for cosy toes and the more practical smooth suede on the outside – they are they epitome of both comfort and “daggyness”.

Uggs were popularised during the 60’s and 70’s by surfers who took them with them to the USA on the surfing circuit. Ugg boots in Australia are a generic term for any flat soled, pull-on sheepskin boot as described above but USA company, Deckers had different ideas and have trademarked their Ugg brand. Continue reading



Vegemite is what I would call “an acquired taste” and not being raised on the stuff, I’ve never liked it much. But, although no longer Australian-owned, it is still very much an Aussie icon – along with kangaroos, meat pies and Holden cars. 

The vegemite story began in 1922 when a young chemist was hired by the Fred Walker Company to develop a spread from brewer’s yeast – one of the richest known natural sources of the Vitamin B group. The company launched a national competition in 1923 to give the new spread a name and Vegemite was chosen from the hundreds of entries. It was marketed as being “delicious on sandwiches and toast” and for improving the flavour of soups and gravy.  Continue reading


I often wonder what the marketing team at Speedo think about the Australian Leader of the Opposition, “Action Man” Tony Abbott, parading in their “flagship” togs during his morning swims and surf lifesaving duties. He’s not in bad shape for a man of his age but he’s no poster boy and his appearances on TV and in newspapers wearing just a little lycra have created howls of derision. Continue reading


R M Williams

It’s starting to get a little cooler in Queensland – not that we ever experience proper cold winters living anywhere along the east coast – and that means just one thing for me…………….boots! I can pull my R.M.Williams brown leather, elastic-sided, riding boots out from the back of the wardrobe and for the few short weeks of “winter” can enjoy wearing them. Continue reading