Friday, February 22, 2019

 Spoiler! Behind the scene and shadow puppet.  A legend seen in Clyde Street.
(On the fourth day a second tram broke down.)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

He who juggles on stilts.
Teething problems.  On the third day one tram had a breakdown.  It was said the problem was in the device that rises to contact the power supply that hangs above each tram stop.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Amazingly a very large crowd came along to ride the new light rail during the public opening day complete with little stunts to mark the occasion  In hot sun, a long line of punters extend out and down the block awaiting a sardine-like experience which took them past Honeysuckle, Civic, Crown Street, Market Street to the final stop Pacific Park aka Newcastle Beach.
I believe the large flag was flown by an ardent protestor.  A reminder about the debate over the loss of the old train service.
In the city library it came to mind to have a look for ideas about the stir fry to improve on my existing haphazard methods. If a lift home is not available, take care not to choose a cook book that weighs a ton as many of them do.
 Things have moved on and the new cuisine which is usually delicious is not exactly like the old stir fry. Hunt through all sorts of diets, kale, low carb, paleo and more kale, be side tracked by wonderful feasts and exaggerated ambitions to try this that and the other without giving in to it - this time -to come up with the desired meal. 
 This time the result was tasty and the flavours were usual with a little lift as the thinly sliced chicken pieces had five spice mix, lemon grass, grated ginger and garlic applied an hour before cooking, grated lemon rind and juice added to the usual stir fry ingredients lastly coriander and spring onion. The Hoi sin sauce was rather salty and salt is usually avoided in my dishes.
     

Sunday, February 03, 2019

From the files.  Cooling off.

A letter in Traveller Feb 2 (Sydney Morning Herald)

....I too, have a list but I also have a spreadsheet with a detailed clothing list.  My spreadsheet, updated for destination and season, has been the subject of many a joke for many years. However, last year my mother died five days before I was due to fly to Morocco and her funeral was the day before.  My spreadsheet saved the day and we managed to board that plane with everything we needed and everything done that needed to be done.

Saturday, January 26, 2019


A scorching national holiday.  Celebrate!
 Are there climate-change-denier politicians holed up somewhere in the worst of the record-breaking heat wave conditions?  Should do them good.  

Sunday, January 20, 2019

At the bus stop, King Street - quick before it becomes redundant.  Restoration of City Hall is almost finished and it is like new again.  City council has moved out of the 'round house' which will become an hotel I believe..

Sunday church-going sure has its ups and downs.  Today was notable for the splendid organist -accomplished, subtle variations, - good organists are a rare treat.  As well, a little child in the next seat was so lovely it brought tears to the eyes. Generations and tribes are together for a time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Darling River conservation and fish.   Darling River, Wilcannia, (a very small 'village' 950ks west of Newcastle), Oct 2016.  The water level was not terribly low.  Wilcannia was a large 'port' in the days of river transport.
 Management of this unlikely long and grand old river is in the hands of an untold number of authorities. In reference to a local lake it was pointed out that The Department of Primary Industries Wetlands and farms project, a management plan for a lake was completed and recommended the fencing of the lake so the Lake Woytchugga conservation was undertaken by the Central Darling Shire Council.  It was funded through the Western Catchment Management authority High Conservation Value Program which is supported by the NSW and Australian Governments.

Just imagine if big time water user way upstream offered to release water into the system. What an amazing gesture!  Could they spare a drop from their water holdings the size of a harbour? (An insightful  French movie has a theme about water and manipulation)

Outside of Wilcannia is Lake Woytchugga - an ephemeral lake. Perhaps the area was a scene of neglect and abuse for a time...then a couple of authorities worked together to fence the lake which has environmental and heritage features.
   Lake Woytchugga is an ephemeral lake, impermanent, temporary, on the North -West side of the Darling River.  During times of flood, the flood waters from the Darling flow out via the Woytchugga Creek. The lake covers 2043 hectares when full and is typical of an ephemeral lake in the Western area of the state. 
  All the same, a web site says that in the past a culvert blocked the water flow to the lake and there were problems until the council removed the culvert.
  It is one of the many lakes that are connected to and are filled by periodic flooding of the Darling River. usually every 7 to 10 years,  a process that is becoming rarer and rarer in modern times.
  During times of inundation, water birds and other birds inhabit the wetlands.  The riparian vegetation along the Darling and Lake Woytchugga is used by many birds including the red-tailed black cockatoo to nest and is important for their survival.
  Aquatic organisms, and fish observed in the wetlands include shield or tadpole shrimp, fresh water mussels, yabbies and silver perch. Trees and shrubs vegetate the land there.
  Aborigines use the Paakantji language and call the Darling River Paaka and the Paakantji see themselves as belonging to the river. In good times they camped around the lake to hunt, catch and gather food, fish, birds, eggs, and plants.  Now, the younger generation is taught these skills and see the work of their ancestors. The land is a place of burials and of ancestoral spirits and serves  continuing connection to the land. Totems are another aspect.
 The internet refers to other tribes and languages as connected to the lake.
 The local signage conveyed the above description.






Monday, January 14, 2019


What's this?  Seen from rail interchange, the co-operative store is no more, facade unworthy. 

Often local trains pull in behind a Sydney service of six or eight carriages waiting at the station.  It is not exactly convenient to be deprived of the prime position on arrival.
 The Sydney trains could wait somewhere else and line up just before the time of departure. We would like Gladys to look into this.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

An hour ago this black twin cab was charging along with a flat tyre or on the rim - very noisy - followed by a dozen police vehicles sirens full on.
Keep clear! - would it get out of control? would shots be fired?
The chase ended when the twin cab crossed over and stopped outside an office building and everyone soon gathered round.  The offender was taken away.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The Darling River in the far west is a scene of distress where truly vast numbers of fish have died along one reach.  Algal blooms have caused the loss of for example young breeding stock on to venerable one hundred year old Murray cod.
Even the field workers are showing total dismay.  As we all should be dismayed and question the management of the Murray Darling basin - a scene of controversy.
Demand better management of our environment.

Scene from the work Garden of Earthly Delight, two channel video, from the Middle Kingdom by Zhou Xiaou. Outlandish and fascinating, a great little collection.
White Rabbit Gallery.  Environmental aspects and ideology in the Middle Kingdom were present themes or so I believe, who knows?.