Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hugh numbers of people live in poverty. The naive always thought they would live to see structural change to bring about more justice.
A sign was spotted, a kind of triptych: Make poverty history, possible traffic delays and the third of which draws attention to a fundraiser walk on this/next Sunday, May 4th, at Nobbys.

Are they reliving the days of the Light Horse Brigade for the ceremonials on Anzac Day?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Loving our landscape. The beauty isn't 'in 'yer face' but it's there for me.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Black Swan with black plumage and a red bill, found throughout Australia and particularly in the south-east and south-west and introduced in New Zealand (according to The Macquarie Dictionary).

Monday, April 21, 2008


Lorikeets are fiesty birds and are found among the birds in our suburbs. This is believed to be a Rainbow Lorikeet after consulting the Reader's Digest Photographic Field Guide Birds of Australia. At 25-30 cm long it is a medium - large bird and is a nectar eater hence its liking for the bizarre colourful growths on the Banksia tree. Two birds were busy just outside our window.
Grow local varieties of trees in our gardens to provide food for our native birdlife.

Saturday, April 19, 2008



From the drawing board came big plans for R N Hospital. (On the wall at the New Royal Newcastle Centre)
An old Christmas card with a greeting and a Christmas dinner menu for each dinner tray with wishes from the staff of Royal Newcastle Hospital.
Here is a bridge with an iron clad theme crossing Throsby Creek, Tighes Hill, just beyond the harbour (or port).
In the world of bridges it is no behemoth! Behemoth is my new word which coincidentally was also heard on the entertaining MythBusters on SBS TV.
Quite often that program seemed non-American and surprisingly the reason is that Discovery Channel, UK and an Australian company, Beyond International, are behind the production (discussed on the ABC Science Show).

Friday, April 18, 2008


Moving on past the dam into the remote 'badlands' a 'serpent' crossed our path.
This cool suave animal is probably a brown snake and is a deadly creature with extremely poisonous venom.
It is said that most snake bites occur when we attempt to kill them or do something silly. It is always best to leave them be.
Pressure bandage and immobilisation as first aid is very effective in preventing a fatality.

Thursday, April 17, 2008





Lostock Dam is an hour and a half drive NW of Newcastle and is one of several dams in the region.
In 1971 it was built on the Paterson River by the state government and backs-up covering 220 hectares into willful, away-from-it-all, hilly countryside with farmhouses dotted here and there.
A small spillway has a large grassy picnic area nearby and a caravan park is not too far away with rare access to a picturesque little river bank, well, I imagine its at its best in a good season, at least.
There's fishing and boating on the dam and Australian Bass are stocked on a regular basis and Catfish and Eels are other catches according to a web site. Watersking and jetskies are banned.
The inbetween months are probably the best time to visit there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008



A diminutive obelisk marks Macquarie Pier A D 1818. The graffito is as follows:
I love sleeping on the beach & dancing in the waves & cooking on an open fire, watching the horizon & trying to ignore the city lights.

Every town needs heritage. Even a small amount can do wonders and save the society, save the economy and save the tourism industry. It saves the institutions from taking on new and imaginative responsibilities and spending money on matters that the people desire. It won't save the Sunday drivers from gridlock at the foreshore.
(Just to be clear, irony was attempted by the preceding words. Also, mildly interesting distances measured along the pier were printed in The Herald but they are not to hand just now.)



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Meet Hydro Dog! For the pampered pet, a mobile dog wash is waiting for the next appointment for a shampoo. It's one way to make a living and cope with 'mortgage stress'. The removalist van in the background (unrelated) happens to be there as a result of repossession of the house.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Festival at Brunswick Heads (far north coast). It's holiday time and wanderlust is around. From the past is a prosaic photo but the Fish and Chips Festival was anything but - with a name like that.
The Woodchop carnival was for talent of all ages, gender or nationality, for example, a New Zealander, Sheree Taylor, was All-Round Lumber Jill title winner at the Lumberjack World Championship in the USA.
Guess what? A fishing competition was the other attraction. (Byron Shire News)
The timber blocks for the wood chop are of plantation timber and are of a certain standard and are covered and dampened with water before the events.
Brunswick Heads was bursting with holiday campers and caravaners and appeared to be in the style of a holiday town with an original flavour complete with a hugh tent run by the evangelical church folk who seem to appear, hear and there, during the holidays, to reachout to young people. The town is not far from the deep North.
In contrast, Byron, the next port of call, is nice but is a different kettle of fish.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

At Newcastle Show.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Police join in

This property on the rise on the outskirts of Mayfield West has signs of Telstra occupation, prior to that the PMG was there and a long time ago, it was a Migrant Hostel. Anglo-Celts and Europeans came here in large numbers.

Tremendous scope exists in schools to assist all school children to become literate; the experts like to measure literacy rates. I take my hat off to teachers and appreciate their work.

Right in the here and now, some children born in this country and living in an ethnic community (and some other children) may not know an environment rich in English language. This is rather significant when it comes to literacy and some children from non-English speaking backgrounds and others would benefit from mainstream programs adopted without fail that specifically have their interests at heart. There are lots and lots of these kids.

After years of the migration experience, I wonder if teacher trainers have cottoned on and do they promote the broad and the specifics of the art and science of literacy teaching and do they succeed in raising the consciousness of the undergraduates to the specific social factors that surround these school kids and the flow-on effects.
At the same time, bi-lingualism is good, we are told it is associated with positive achievement and above average development of some abilites.
Newer kids who speak next to no English can end up in classrooms that struggle with all sorts of peculiar ideas about language. And the mothers are taught sewing and cooking which is wonderful in promoting communication and even belongingness if little else.

Below, is a collage made by the former Greta Migrants.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008




Which horse ride?
Setting up for Newcastle Show. Two sleeps to go.


Naturally Splash Canyon was muddy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008




Cool clear water. A drinking fountain from 1867 in a cool grove of Norfolk Island Pines in King Edward Park.
The following will break all records and identify at least ten problems, but, four positives can be found here.
We try not to waste water. Luckily, we have plenty of water while the Chichester dam and other reserves are full.
One can try saving money by saving water, when really, water usage isn't the major item on my account. Fees for this and that are but would probably be related to usage. User pays is the best way, I suppose. Will the locals copy the price rise by Sydney Water?

Liquid soap or 'shower milk' is pleasant to use. It guards against cross infection too. Hand washing in the medical setting was of major importance, always recommended and has given way to the application of a shot of liquid to the hands which is really quite handy. When the 'shower milk' containers are hung from the shower it could be just as well to check out the strength of any old plumbing fixtures along the way.
Many ingredients are found in these soaps described as 'naturals' or 'pure soap'. We hear how chemicals are implicated in this and that such as asthma and lowered fertility. Is soap implicated?

A moisturising natural shower milk product by a leading brand is soap free and lists the following: Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Cocamidopropyl, Betaine Sodium Chloride, Lauryl Glucoside, Fragrance, Styrene/alrylates copolymer, Polyquaternium-7, Glycol Distearate, Cocamide mea, Glycerin, Dmdm Hydantoin, Benzophenone-4, Tetrasodium edta, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Olive oil, Milk, Citric acid, Cl 19140 Cl 42090 and is made in Thiland.

Sunlight soap cakes (since 1884) Pure soap made in Australia, have quite a few additives as well.

Pears Transparent Soap, traditional soap in cake form has a 'special aging process (that) has been followed for nearly 200 years and is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, natural, original and made in India. The ingredients are Sodium Palmitate, Natural Rosin, Glycerine, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Rosemary extract, Thyme extract, Pears Fragrance Essence.

Chemicals are here to stay. Also, Palm oil is from the ex-forrest lands of S E Asia.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Olympic Torch Relay at Speers Point (with unknown participant) leading to the Sydney Olympics.

The vibes were very good when the flame arrived by boat and received ceremonial attention. The concert was a happy and relaxed occasion.
(Our old dog, pictured, went along as well.)

Friday, April 04, 2008



Western Suburbs Hospital, Waratah, Newcastle.
This morning an architect in an interview (on the ABC) reminded us that heritage is found in layer upon layer on a site as time moves on. One can agree with his idea.
How's this for development right in the front of this old building with its interesting facade and looking a little worse for wear? A stone over its front door states 1867.