Global Revolutions

I love a globe. There’s simple joy in being hypnotised by the cascading sweep of the Americas, contemplating the distant familiarity of England and contending with innumerable Stans where once was the muscular bulk of the USSR.

Ah, seduced by a sphere.

For my birthday, Mum and Dad bought me a standing floor globe, and Sunday morning Max and I assembled its dark wooden frame before slotting in the tilted ball. Max gave it a spin.

Ocean. Land. Giddy revolutions. Ocean. Land.

Like the best gifts, it’s made me reflect. Alex and Max often chat about the wider world, and as they engage with the possibilities, their curiosity is comforting. Globes encourage this.

“Alex, how deep is the Marianas Trench?”

“Really deep. You couldn’t even touch the bottom.”

And last year, walking by the Singapore River-

“Max, when we’re older, like probably thirteen, Joseph and I are climbing Mt Everest. We won’t even need any oxygen tanks.”

“No oxygen tanks! Really?”


As a kid, I had enchanted possessions. The tape recorder and accompanying best of Little River Band cassette I received one Christmas, and my first cricket bat- Polyarmoured – are now resting in a cupboard at Mum and Dad’s. But in our house in Kapunda my childhood globe held quiet and permanent power over me, like a mystic as it sat on my bookshelf above my bunk-bed.

Globes are repositories for memories, and offer glimpses into our future itineraries.

From his Nanna and Poppa our eldest Alex also got one for his eighth birthday. With eyes widening he ripped the wrapping paper from the box then hopped about the room with delight. His globe came with a touch-activated light, and when the boys are in bed, it cloaks their room with a Buddhist glow. Living in a corner, it watches over them, a silent sentry as they sleep.

As an adult, how did I survive so long without a globe? For too many years my homes were without one; emptier dwellings surely dulled by their absence, and now we’ve three, offering buzzing invitations to our planet’s mysteries and marvels, and voyages and stories.

They’re as essential as milk and like a monk, I love turning them gently, fingers on the thermoplastic joy, meditating green places, and the promise of their drenching wonder. With a globe in the house, our imaginative power is enhanced.

Globes urge consideration of yourself and your connection to a bustling world, waiting for you, just outside. In a digital world, I reckon globes are an analogue, mechanical inspiration.

For our boys, I hope as much. 


About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello


  1. Love a good globe Mickey. Although disappointed to discover as a child that the centre of the earth did, in fact, not contain massive bottles of liquor.

  2. I love globes too Mickey. There is something special about them. Our planet home.

    And lighthouses. They are always situated in the most magnificent locations.

  3. Ben Footner says

    Has made me think of my all time favourite pressies Mickey. Top of the list was the year my brothers and I got our Super Nintendo with Super International Cricket on it. Can still hear the faux Jamaican soundtrack the game had! All the names of the players on the game closely resembled actual players – obviously they didn’t want to play royalties to anyone!

    Probably not such a thought provoking present compared to your globes though Mickey (….that sounds a bit weird…..).

  4. Mickey Randall says

    DB- we can only live in hope!

    Dips- I’m with you on this. The Lighthouse Song by Josh Pyke is suitably alluring. In thematic opposition is Andrew McGahan’s novel 1988, which is set, from memory, in a remote lighthouse. The protagonists spent much time running their flags up the pole, as it were.

    Ben- An, Nintendo. Agree that some might find my globes less than thought-provoking. Sorry, it’s Friday afternoon, peak Benny Hill time. Cheers Ben.

    Thanks everyone.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Mickey, I’ve never owned a globe. Remember the one we had at Primary School well, even had all the mountain ranges raised, you could feel the Himalayas! I’d always marvel at how much room the Pacific Ocean took up on the globe. Was always my favourite ocean, ahead of the Indian and Billy.
    Thanks Mickey. I need to buy my kids a globe.

  6. A globe is definitely a winner.

    We eat around the globe. It comes out at dinner time. Where does this dish come from? Stew – Ireland. Curry – India, Thailand and recently Sri Lanka. Quesadilla – Mexico. Pizza etc etc

  7. Love it Mickey.
    We try to make sense of things.
    The distant horizon.
    And beyond.

    Mother of my kids here is tonight in the US of A. We followed her plane on the flight tracker website (brilliant), but also on the globe.
    What other way for an eleven year old and nine year old to grapple with the international date line?
    “So mum leaves at 11:15am on Thursday, and arrives in Los Angeles for a 10:30am Thursday meeting…? Whoah.”

  8. And then there’s the jigsaw puzzle. 500 piece World. Or is the 1000 piece Australia better?

  9. I’ve never owned a globe forgotten just how educational they are,totally agree with,Dips re the fantastic locations re lighthouses thanks,Mickey a article which made me think and ponder

  10. Luke- I reckon every kid has run their fingers over the Himalayas on a relief globe! It’s a rite of passage. Danny and Frank Ocean have their fans too.

    JTH- locate the source of the product on a globe could also be played by adults with their refreshments too.

    Dave- Years ago a mate was home here for NYE, then flew to Canada on an exchange. Crossing the international date line they celebrated the changing of the year again, mid-flight.

    JTH- 500 piece world for me. Every shack and holiday house in this country has a jigsaw which comes out on a rainy day, and every one has at least one missing piece.

    Thanks for commenting.

  11. Mickey Randall says

    Rulebook- speaking of lighthouses, I heard the pub of the same name down the Port has been renovated. Does Greg Phillips still own it?

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