Almost 200 years ago, a ship called the Eliza III set sail from London, bound for Van Diemen’s’ Land. On board were 115 women convicted of stealing, cheating, immorality and possibly annoying English toffs. One of the convicts was called Jane.

Jane was a seamstress, a convicted lace thief and…

March 1982, Argentina. Tens of thousands of people were ‘disappeared’ by anonymous men in the hours of darkness. Suspected communists were being taken away, tortured then thrown out of military aircraft over the south Atlantic. Soldiers with assault rifles stood outside all important buildings. …

I first met Aliyah at a posh art exhibition in Singapore. Singapore has lots of boozy events masquerading as cultural happenings; this was just one of many that month.

Aliyah stood next to me at one painting, and asked me what I thought of it. …

Whalesharks are big in Donsol. Also in Donsol, Jesus is black.

We had gone to see the whalesharks, but got mixed up with Jesus. It’s that kind of place.

The largest recorded whaleshark (that’s butanding in Tagalog) came in at a squeak under 19m long, and was estimated to weigh…

One hundred and ninety years ago, in a lonely, remote, wind-blasted Tasmanian settlement called Circular Head, a 42-year old man met his maker. His name was Henry Hellyer and he died by having his head “shot to atoms.”

The men who discovered him, co-workers at the Van Diemen’s Land Company…

I wasn’t a good pupil at secondary school. One teacher commented that I seemed to prefer being class comedian rather than studying useful things like maths or science. He was right — but he wore a wig and touched the girls a bit more than he touched the boys, so…

When I visited Burma, millions of people still lived in wood and grass huts, ploughed the paddies with buffalo, and used trains left by the British when they were kicked out in 1948.

As well as being wracked by a variety of ethnic insurgencies, many parts of the country live…

Jeremy Torr

Stuff. Living it . . .

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