Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Reading what's for sale and havin' the blues. I can't buy a new apartment!.....Dabbling with the November Photo theme.


Perhaps young drivers take undue risk on the roads. It makes good sense that adolescents take up demanding and challenging interests to test out their skills and their love of action and their level of responsibility before they jump headlong into driving a car or road bike on the highway.

It must be counterproductive to protect kids from all risk and for them to have none other than a super comfortable existence, at least in our society, competitive as it is.

As for small children there are responsibilities that small children can start to take up and have time enough to develope imagination and good things long before they engage in big kids stuff. As well, road and off-road safety surely relies on a little maturity.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The headstones are in the grounds of the cathedral. This cemetery was in disarray until these very old monuments were nicely arranged and a park took shape.
It wasn't too bad the way it was where mysterious sepulchres lay half-open and overgrown with vines and shrubs. The cathedral choir-master was Bach-like and his family lived in a big old house at the end of a path. Views out over the town and harbour remain worthy.


No smoking in hotels and clubs has led to outdoor areas becoming the norm. In New Lambton, the West Leagues Club has cool waters and a fake rockface beside which to relax! Accommodation surrounds the 'headwaters' in the tropical wonderland on the top level! The gym is another interest.
Phoenix Club in Mayfield is about to build a hotel to add to the new swimming pool and fitness facilities. Are the poker machines and Keno losing ground?
So, now, the staff will escape the risks of passive smoking and when we leave the club our clothing won't reek of cigarettes.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Muted early morn in remote hills in Queensland
Lower: Pandanus and the Sunshine Coast with Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Noosa and the ten Glasshouse monoliths in the distance.


This corner shop has survived due to a 'change in lifestyle' from groceries to the lunch trade for workers.


Ukrainian Catholic Church in Adamstown, an Eastern Rite church.
All the wood work is carved in a delicate style in this small building dating from about 1950s. Are all Christian calendars marked with the days this week from which Halloween originated?

Saturday, October 27, 2007


A far fetched tale. A traveller was far from home and he trudged along in the snow and ice like a faithfull pilgrim. He was glad he missed the Roman legions marching to the outlands. At dusk he reached a quiet village secretively hiding in a valley. He was tired and knocked on a door and sought shelter but he found none.
Moving on past the village hall, by candlelight, he saw Shostakovich at the piano but he continued on to knock at another door only to be turned away again. He passed a small group and saw they were reading a poster warning about a radioactive spill.
The traveller was very hungry and he lit a fire and found an old cooking pot into which he put a handfull of stones and snow to cook.
An elderly woman from whom he had sought shelter asked what he was doing. He said he was cooking stone soup which would be greatly improved by an onion. She went and got an onion. The store-keeper approached and ended up bringing carrots and he texted his neighbours.
A monk was interested and was told that barley was needed so he bought back barley and a bottle of Jamie Oliver's sauce. Others joined in.
Eventually a large group surrounded the fire. The enormous pot of delicious soup was full and bubbled and steamed. The villagers all supped on a bowl of soup and enjoyed singing, storytelling and dancing together until it was very late at night and they vowed to do it all over again sometime soon.

Based on tale from SBS TV. The group in the photo is the Transylvaniacs who, among the instruments, have a cimbalom which is a large hammered dulcimer. An unusual instrument and one played with an intensity akin to dementedness.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Fiesty Lada 4X4 climbing the sand dunes and special effects at Stockton Beach.
Apparently, west of the wall, the Russian Lada Niva knew no bounds and reached every continent including Antartica.
In the pictured car, constant four wheel drive was ahead of its time and was well designed but fell down somewhat in quality. The company originally 'glasnosted' with Fiat (Italy) in a type of partnership. In some places the cars were referred to as Polski Fiats among other terms.

Lada is the name of a slavic divinity: a goddess of youth, love and beauty. Was Mythology reawakening? Mythology over ideology!
The cars are no longer imported to our shores.


The daily rap. It's an art to get into.
PS There is no handle. A coloured piece of paper is visible and the red seed pods are on a plant. Arrows indicate where to try and unwrap this paper. The paper is delivered by a car driver who tosses the paper from the car window.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Print Media.
The Herald is our time-honoured daily and this must be the very first pink edition, all in the spirit of Breast cancer awareness and as a fund raiser. The Herald offers coloured photos of all the happenings, has supplements and covers local and world news, editorial and the classifieds. A change to tabloid size and a new print works were set up in more recent years.
The Sydney Morning Herald is big and also from Fairfax press.
The Australian is a major national daily. The Star: free, weekly newspaper with local doings. The Post and several small suburban papers are others.
Sunny Days is a bright, new and free monthly magazine all about families and all profits are dedicated to early intervention (to support young children with disabilities and developmental delay). Another magazine, Sydney's Child, is a similar guide.
The names are web linked.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Were these Indonesians dismayed and amused by my Lonely Planet phrase book (in photocopy)?
We have lost out with foreign language learning these days.


Local reusable shopping bags. We try and reduce the use of plastic shopping bags at the supermarket and everywhere. Plastic shopping bags are resistant to biodegrading in landfill and old ones end up all over the place and are fatal to animals, such as dolphins, who ingest them by mistake.


Here is an another intrepretation of the cathedral if one looks closely.
It seems a youth group has been commissioned to do cool works of art on the City Council construction vans.
An additional roof on the van makes it even cooler in summer.
The starting blocks on a swimming pool and a street diagram are included.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Some garden! Is this another Gymea Lily gone to seed? (Doryanthes exelsa)
Honey eaters (birds) love the nectar of the these large crimson flowers on stems 2-3 metres tall. See previous post.
Aboriginal people in the area were observed in 1836 roasting the stems.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


The supernal cathedral and the supernal Gymea Lily on The Hill (locality).Olde world in the new, gothic and minimalistic.
Christ Church Cathederal is compleat for in more recent times the highest central section of the building has been added.

Monday, October 15, 2007


White water rafting, logging, swimming and recreation.
My gloom and doom chautauqua is as follows. Pictured is a lovely river valley in Sumatra where dramatic tropical storms thunder and roar. Possibly each night a deluge occurs there. Free, fresh, pure and abundant water falls out of the sky.
Five minutes is all it would take to fill a water tank. (Above-ground swimming pools are an alternative container) Instead, naturally, the locals like to make money from the sale of bottled water. We see a
flow on effect and, environmentally, tourism is very difficult to justify anywhere as it uses up fuel and energy at every turn and leaves empty bottles in its wake.
(PS I like to see a motorcyclist on that suspension bridge, although it is accessed by a set of steps...nevertheless..)

The same for the millions of bloggers who all use up electricity.

Currently the water from the taps in Newcastle is totally drinkable. We have a splendid water dam full capacity near the clean isolated Barrington tops. Costly technology is used to purify the water. We pay water rates. Yet this is not good enough and our society is right into bottle water.

A good health promotion message, doing the rounds, is that water is the drink of choice for children. Childhood obesity and dental problems are preventable.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Champion motorcyclist Casey Stoner in one camp and then Anderson and Troy Herfoss in another camp are some of the success stories one reads about and they earn enormous amounts of money in Europe etc and the USA.

The Honda Supermoto or supermotard or motard (according to Wikipd) are designed for both on and off road use and need to be capable of surviving jumps etc. As street legal bikes they have some fans around here on our roads.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Rainbow Warrior and The Endeavour (replica in dry dock) when they visited Newcastle in the past. Both legends. The latter is associated with the colonisation of Australia. A Rainbow Warrior came to grief. I noticed discussion over which team to support in the World Cup and all sorts of obscure things surfaced.


This is how we live. Or that's what I could have written in the eighteen hundreds . A house off Brown Street, Newcastle. After a suitable, traditional makeover it will be a different story.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Even our oldest homes are relatively new. Here is part of a handwritten conveyancing document of March, 1893, dealing with gentlemen of the Northumberland Permanent Building Investment Loan and Building Society of Newcastle in the colony of New South Wales and various other parties.
Four thick, rich pages make up the document which is bound together with black cotton and is marked with a seal at several points. I imagine it went to London because it was witnessed there at 17 Gracechurch Street and was taken to the Notary Public of London
Four months later, two pounds stamp duty, was paid here in Sydney, NSW. The time frame seems quite good considering a very long voyage intervened and that it involved solicitors.


A bus shelter for a post industrial suburb. These bold and stylish, strong and expensive bus shelters are from the City Council. Oddly it is doubling up as a rail 'station' during track work when buses replace the trains. (In fact, an enormous amount of work is done on the chemin de fer.) The shelters are often vandalised. This one has been done over and the transparency of the glass has been lost.
Public transport deserves support. Use public transport?
'I could do that (Mr Howard)'
Quoting from the
save energy campaign. That's as good as it gets after our failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Is this the best bus shelter I've ever seen or is it a place for secret men's business? In Sumatra.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


A fly past by a group of keen pilots had aircraft going everywhere!
An Air Force base for Catalina Aircraft was once at Rathmines on Lake Macquarie.
Crews trained there and joined WW2 efforts in reconnaissance, bombing and all that, up as far as Papua New Guinea. Women worked as mechanics as well.
A fly past and entertainment seemed to be commemorating those deeds. The wings on these aircraft have boyancy devices and the prop is set high up to keep out of water.


It's school holiday time and the beachside beckons. The school year draws to a close mid December. Redhead Beach.
We hear the rhetoric now at Federal election time and the biggest hoax. Feds act with benevolence and disdain over funding matters. Revenues belong to them. They are mistaken that way and should have little else to do than redistribute the funds. Money: that's what it takes to run the state and funds rightly belong to all the services we have.
The Feds are not at the coal face where real people work in hospitals, prisons, schools, highway construction. At arms length they dispense wonderful one-off grants to finance this or that as if we are so lucky. How come they can reserve funds to toy around with and buy votes? Their budget must be very flexible.
Funds are earmarked at will so that they can expand into more affairs such as technical education and indigenous matters, to justify their existence. This fragments services such as occurs in health. Really, the existing providors deserve better. Any threats to use funds as blackmail is un-Australian.
Defence and the big services are probably valid Federal commitments. It is obvious that these departments operate without any questions asked about spending. How much do the diplomatic services cost? Who knows? How well does it compare to the states financial management of more important priorities?
State and federal cheques and balances sure are a strange means of 'organising' our existence.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Basic instinct. Newcastle is on the flight path of the Bogong Moth, soundless, nocturnal, mass migration, they spend summer in the southern alps and winter to our north. The city lights must be irresistible and some lose their way and touch down to be found all around town seeking out a hiding place from the daylight. For other facts and this link describes them well.
The lighting at the Sydney Olympics attracted scores of them and one showed up perched on an opera singer in the closing ceremony.
The media has featured moth tasting because the moths were eaten by humans in early times and they are an important food for several native animals from around the dim crowded southern caves.
The substance, Arsenic, has been found in the moths. Insecticide legacy?
The food chain has significance. We are interdependent.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Bach and bark at Christ Church Cathedral, yesterday in the evening. A children's choir introduced a holistic perspective with this song..........
We've been living off the land, Shall we return it's grace?
...I know you've seen a change in me
You make it harder to survive.
I can see it in my skies, the soil, the seas.
Will my rivers cease to flow?
How will my flowers grow?
Do not forget how much you needed me...
...If we are all to live forever, we must plan..
From ABC Sing 2007 Natures Lament words and music by Debra Byrne

Sunday, October 07, 2007


As well as the racing, these two guys were taking to the air.. I can't emulate the pictures in the glossy magazines but it was fun.


On the grid. Today was held a round in the SsanYong Australian Supermoto Championships at Newcastle Kart Club (The Herald). The track has a dirt section as well as tar. (Incidentally SsanYong is a Korean automotive and motorcycle company as far as I know)


Aeronautical still life. A jet engine near Fighter World and the Air Force, Williamtown.
I heard it's fifty years since the Russian Sputnik was launched. Communication by satellite has become pervasive. Does this very web site depend on them?

And then, Rugby and the World Cup Quarter-Finals, live from Marseille, (free to air TV) last night, bought us a close competition with a sad ending for the Wallabies. Well done, English 'rose'.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Love them or hate them, the Olympics are something out of the ordinary and Sydney 2000 was a good chance (or indeed the only chance) to see the games. Going back to that time the clear sky was azure, and the famous names were on all sides and Cathy Freeman was our star in the 400 metres.
The Tae Kwon Do events were affordable and Lauren Burns was one of the success stories there. Tae Kwon Do originated in Korea and is another aspect of that curious country. Korean communities in Sydney have a visible presence and any number of shops, such as those in Strathfield, specialize in everything Korean. Surely many would agree that their food is unique.


Spring garden in West Wallsend. The varieties include some I rarely see in this coastal area. 'Exotics' is a rather fancy term to use for all the 'imported' flowers.
Already, the next few days are declared to be a time of extreme fire danger. By law nothing can be burned outdoors.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Taking a needed break from the mysteries of meditation and mindfulness and the role of direct action.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


A tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisioners in the east and in the west and for justice in Burma.
See for a blogger campaign. Write to your politicians and seek their influence on the Burmese junta. (At this particular time I can't make the necessary links.)
As well as the widespread violence, Suu Kyi, is under house arrest in Burma (or Myanmar) and the length of detention has just been increased. She was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 while under house arrest.
I am in good company with this as Laura has drawn attention to this cause recently.
Post reprinted from several months ago, sorry.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


But the gang's all here. Newcastle City Council Works Gang on location.

Monday, October 01, 2007


In a Bronze-Age theme park, embedded, sentenced to a burial mound. Awaiting transformation?

October First, public holiday, the Queen's Birthday long weekend. Our head of State.
This nation is not a republick.
UPDATE: It is really Labour Day holiday in this state, at least Sally (Sydney) is on the ball! Yet, she's gracious, I got away with the bad spelling. Just as well I'm not undertaking the new Citizenship Test!