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Tim Richards
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Iíve lived in Melbourneís CBD for 20 years. Hereís whatís changed
The Age, 17 February 2023

"Coffee at Little Mule, or a beer in the strange loading-zone jumble that was St Jeromeís. A pastrami roll and music played off vinyl at Rue Bebelons. Buying a magazine from McGills on Elizabeth Street before heading up Little Bourke past John Donne & Sonís map shop to that Iranian restaurant near Hardware Lane (even I canít remember its name). This is what living in the Melbourne CBD for the past 20 years has gifted me: a strange mental muddle of cafes, shops and bars that have come and gone..."

Looking back over the positives and negatives of two decades of central city life.

[Read the full article here]

Melbourne is Stuck in a Reverse Groundhog Day
The Guardian, 25 September 2021

"The crowd-loving virus has systematically turned all the joys of the Melbourne CBD life Ė intimate venues, happy crowds, easy socialising, the use of public transport rather than cars, shared public spaces Ė into bad things, making them liabilities rather than assets. And I hate it. I hate seeing this vibrant, special place become the exact opposite of what it was for decades, what it was less than two years ago..."

Reflecting on the plight of Melbourne's city centre after prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns.

[Read the full article here]

Cemetery a Haven in Grave Times
Sunday Age, 22 August 2021

"On a sunny day in lockdown, Melbourne's parks, gardens and bay shores are packed with people getting their two hours' exercise with a stroll. Sometimes it can feel as if it's peak hour for pedestrians. Not so in Melbourne General Cemetery with its entrance off College Crescent in Parkville. Its quiet curving laneways, winding between a forest of Victorian-era memorial pillars, were trodden by only a few on Thursday afternoon. But who decides to walk in a cemetery, and why?"

Exploring the quiet paths of a highly historic cemetery in Melbourne, Australia.

[Read the full article here]

Unexpected Things Iíve Learned in COVID Lockdown
The New Daily
, 16 May 2020

"The most surprising thing Iíve discovered during the COVID-19 lockdown? How well this apocalypse is being catered. In TV shows and movies featuring end-of-the-world disasters, the protagonists are usually pictured eating rats or shooting each other for tins of baked beans. By comparison, here in the Melbourne CBD weíve been lashing out on top-quality produce and imported treats, as well as takeaway meals from top restaurants..."

Detailing unexpected life lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic

[Read the full article here]

Ten Things Every Train Commuter Needs to Know
Executive Style
, 4 April 2016

"A couple of years ago, a black and white photo of a crowded 1950s commuter train was making the rounds of social media. Not only did many of the gents in the image wear hats, but everyone in shot was reading a newspaper. We don't live in such a different world now - those hectares of newsprint have been replaced by smartphones in every hand. However, is there a better way to use your commute than playing Stack, or bantering with Facebook friends? ..."

Giving advice on getting the most out of business travel by train

[Read the full article here]

Take a Good Hard Look at Your Privilege
Executive Style
, 26 February 2016

"Since it shot through the stratosphere of social media into everyday speech, the expression 'check your privilege' has carried various shades of meaning. The obvious interpretation, 'take a good hard look at your privilege' is how most people take it. However, I also like the interpretation that you might check in your privilege in the manner of a coat check. Whatever the best way of heeding its message, I've been thinking a lot about this expression lately. Because I seem, mysteriously, to have reached Peak Privilege..."

Examining the conceived of inherent privilege,
based on my own recent experiences.

[Read the full article here]

How to Set Up a Wine Cellar
Capital Partners Newsletter, 24 May 2010

"Sometimes in life you receive a little revelation, a chance discovery that makes you look at an everyday item in a completely different light. With me, it was wine. Or more precisely, the practice of letting a bottle of wine 'breathe' by opening it for some time before you intend to drink it. Iíd always thought this was pretentious twaddle, until one day I unintentionally left a bottle of red opened for an hour or so..."

Discovering the key elements in setting up a home wine cellar.

Only Connect
Your Life Choices, November 2009

"It isnít always easy being retired, especially if youíve spent a lifetime in a busy job that never gave you the time to develop hobbies. Lynne Landy, founder and patron of Greatconnections, an organisation that links skilled retirees with not-for-profit organisations in need of professional help, has met many people facing this dilemma."

An interview with Lynne Landy, founder of the organisation Greatconnections.

Beverage-Based Insults
The Outland Institute, 15 August 2009

"Do you consider yourself a champagne socialist? Are you a member of the cappuccino-sipping elite? If those expressions seem odd, itís because theyíre dated. Champagne socialist was coined some decades ago to describe a left-leaning toff, and 'cappuccino-sipping' only carried opprobrium when a cappuccino was new and trendy Ė a time we now know as 'the 1980s'."

Keeping up to date with the art of political insult via the media of coffee and wine.

[Read the full article here]

Guide to the Good
                        life logo
Starting Your Own Wine Cellar
Guide to the Good Life, 6 July 2009

"'A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou beside me singing in the wilderness.' Persian poet, Omar Khayyam, penned these words almost a millennium ago, but the appreciation of wine is as popular as ever, as is the practice of cellaring wine to develop its full potential. So how's it done?"

A guide to laying down wine in the comfort of your own home.

The Pie Lady of Gdansk
Your Life Choices, May 2009

"I meet Beata Zielinska at the Willa Lubicz, a charming 1930s hotel on a hill in Gdynia, an industrial port city just north of Gdansk. Sheís a neatly turned out middle-aged blonde in a fur-lined coat and jeans, holding a big, practical-looking gold handbag. As she sits at one of the genteel hotelís cafe tables and orders coffee while an espresso machine hisses loudly behind her, she explains why the paj."

The reverse migration experience of a woman who manufactures Australian pies in Poland.

Sale of the Century
Jetstar Magazine, May 2009

"Global financial crisis? What crisis? Itís true that the worldís economies are going through some serious tremors; but for the first home buyer in Australia, thereís never been a better time to purchase a home. Interest rates are down, the first home owner grant is up, and outside the state capitals there are many affordable new housing developments on offer."

Examining new apartment developments in regional Australia.

Given the Chance
Your Life, December 2007

"The program short circuits this problem by matching newly-arrived refugees with local mentors. Itís a win-win situation... the refugee gets the benefit of the mentorís networks and local work experience, and the mentor gets to make a positive contribution to another personís life, providing a hand up just when itís most needed."

A profile of a successful refugee mentoring scheme.

[Read the full article here]

Family Matters
Jetstar Magazine, December 2007

"The birth of a child is always cause for hope; a new spark of life to carry its familyís hopes and dreams into the future. But in this place, still haunted by the tsunami, the arrival of a new life seems more powerful and positive than ever."

Relating the work of World Vision with families in Thailand and Indonesia. 

Mobile Manners
MOB, April 2007

"I asked four mobile users, of different ages and backgrounds, about some problematic situations... In the end, mobile etiquette and safety are both about paying attention to the world around you. So watch out for others and keep your mobile safe, and we can all text happily ever after."

Examines the issues of mobile phone etiquette and safety, including users' opinions.

Childfree by Choice
Griffith Review, Summer 2005

"The reasons are abstract and hard to describe: a need, deep down, to retain the ability to get up and go, to travel, and to make dramatic changes in my life when desired. Am I fooling myself? Or can the deliberate choice to not have children make sense, both personally and socially?"

An opinion piece examining the choice not to have children.

[Read the full article here]

Mobile Phone Etiquette
MXP, February 2005

"Secret agent Maxwell Smart is sitting in the middle of a crowded theatre, when heís embarrassed by a louding ringing from the concealed phone in his shoe. Yesterdayís TV gag is todayís question of mobile phone etiquette. Most of us have got the message about not using them in cinemas by now, but what are the rules about using them in cafes? Or in a meeting with a friend? Or on public transport?"

A look at vexed issues involving the polite use of mobile phones, with comments from users.


This page contains examples of my writing on life and lifestyle issues, organised by date. Each entry includes a sample paragraph, and indications of available rights.

If you'd like to republish one of these pieces, or would like a new piece, please get in touch via the contacts below:

All articles in this archive are available for republication (fee to be negotiated). Articles can be rewritten to meet your style or length requirements. Please contact me by email with your query.

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