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What smell do you find irresistible?
I have virtually no sense of smell. Years ago I was part of a co-operative garden. My task was maintaining the compost heap.
What is your least favourite thing about humanity?
The tendency of even very good and decent people to do mindless and cruel and irresponsible things when they are in groups.
What is one strong childhood memory?
Standing in the backyard of our little state house in Halfway Bush at the age of 4 and watching a Douglas DC3 fly overhead. I realised it was so small because it was a very long way away, and in an instant realised a) how small I was, b) how big the world was, and c) that I was not the centre of it.
What is your message?
This elegant and beautiful universe, and the great wise will which undergirds it, is waiting to reveal itself to us just the moment we can stop and be still for long enough to know it.
If you were going to an island and could take only three things, what would they be and why?
Assuming my wife does not count as a thing, they would have to be: 1, A towel, of course, which the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tells me is indispensable; 2, My Swiss Army knife, with which I am able to do pretty much anything, including, at a pinch, minor surgery; and, 3, A solar-charged phone. Even without reception, I could productively use the time to advance several levels of my current addictive game.