Saturday, July 31, 2010

Education Revolution. A new state school building rises on a construction site and stimulates employment etc.


Federal government made recent inputs into education, health ,home insulation and others- at arms length. What is its valid role? And it takes a giant nationwide apparatus for that role.
We don't want to be dependent on their latest passion - education this year. Frigidity when it comes to global warming non-policy. 
Of course, our electioneering leaders are personally very diligent - at whatever it is they do.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Newcastle harbour has a tight squeeze at this point.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


These tall landmark trees are getting old, weak and dangerous. We have had warning signs, barriers, tape and now fencing is in place to keep us away. Future costly strategies are all up in the air.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


In the distance in Newcastle East is a row of houses with historical significance, is it because they are a  good example of a certain age and style?
I know of two people who have past connections with the houses and the port of Newcastle.
Italian ancestors of a Newcastle-ite lived there in the beginnings when father worked on the life-boats. In another instance, the father of a family was one of those in a fatal accident on the drawn-out harbour deeping project in about the 1970s. Update: a fatal blast did occur in 1979 but my long held belief as to who was involved seems to be in error.
A curious story was part of the Italian ancestors background and went something like this.
A French entrepreneur adventurer 'get-rich-quick' Charles Marie du Breil, Marquis de Ray, overcame big obstacles and organised 317 people who sailed on the ship India in 1880 for a new colony, Nouvelle-France aka New Ireland in Papua New Guinea. Once there, in the jungles their situation became desperate - the remaining men, women and children undertook another nightmare journey to the penal colony in New Caledonia.
From there, the group became refugees to Australia.

Sir Henry Parkes did not hesitate to allow them to be brought to Australia as 'shipwrecked mariners'. 'After a year of arduous travel in search of better things, they were at last finding themselves in the midst of a heartwarming society in full expansion'.
Sydney-siders, including the big end of town, took up the cause of the new arrivals and provided help. ( in fact, some benefactors received honours from the Italian government).
The refugees settled in Sydney and far beyond. Some became part of New Italy on the northern rivers where crops, livestock and timber getting was established.
Today part of this venture can be seen beside the Pacific Highway - unless a new freeway bypasses it.

Turmoil - tragedy to triumph The story of New Italy by Anne-Gaabrielle Thompson ISBN 0 86774 000 0

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Newcastle is a port.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Follow the buoys (note the tilt) to Newcastle Shopping mall or ex-mall - it has reopened to cars and is making a come-back. This street is a public space that is not controlled by a private company as in shopping centre and the shops are their own entities - at this stage anyway.
(Back again in-between making pancakes for breakfast.) Neither do the shops look like an old western movie set - as in tilt-built commercial developments- and whose customers are usually dependent on car transport alone. (Just been handed a pancakes to eat - someone else stepped in to cook them)

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos in the suburb of Hamilton. Another first sighting for me who is no bird watcher (nor wildlife photographer)  Their habitat: rainforest, montane forest, woodlands including non-native conifers. Patchy in distribution and numbers in wide strip down the east coast and in Victoria and Tasmania.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nobbys beach had a few bigger waves today.
Life guards and surfer in an incident. The surf board snapped in half.













Here is the board in two pieces.









That was enough! Blue flag was taken down and and replaced by red flag, dangerous surf, although there's no obvious information about what the colours indicate.








Skandi Bergen has a new sign on the bow: Customs and Border Control.
Red yes, but no bleeding heart!


May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.......a saying from the Irish pub, The Northern Star.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Here an investigation is made into terra firma in Kotara beside the canalised steam, Styx Creek (is this the boundary between earth and the underworld of mythology?) over which a bridge has become a necessity. New shops are springing up using the tilt built method and they all look the same.
That square kilometre has wall to wall shops and local knowledge comes in handy in navigating the maze.
The irony is we had a vast empty landmass to play round with originally yet higher density living is more sustainable now. We havn't even begun high-rise yet, but really who needs a super sized city?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Who has a vuvuzela, is small and round and lives in an Iron-age burial mound?
Makka Pakka, of course, from In The Night Garden (toddlers' TV).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

As a first for me: not only a sighting of a Possum and then of a Bandicoot - in unfortunate circumstances on the road.


These two mammal marsupials have a combing toe on each hind foot.for grooming purposes.  The female bandicoot usually has a litter and the young crawl into her backward-opening pouch.
An American opossum has six teeth at the bottom front while local possums belong to a different family and have only two teeth.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Saturday is the day for Weddings and a number of  couples retain the Marriage custom.

In the wild a male magpie goose and two females attend to nesting and breeding tasks together.
This flock of geese enjoy a home at Hunter Wetlands. Originally these birds were distributed more widely before loss of their habitat occured in our temperate areas so they hang around tropical northern areas. Even there exotic grass introduced for cattle grazing competes with native foods that suit Magpie greese best. What an inheritance!

It has been said that the family became an institution to facilitate issues to do with inheritance. There would be new unwritten laws of inheritance used to craft a will and testament suitable for blended families and change of status. Should inheritance generally be an unconditional right for family members?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


........................July 14 Liberty Equality Fraternity......



..................Adversity......  THE cycling event was almost visible.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


World cup epilogue: Oracle octopus, the Celeb, Paul, picked the winners. The pictured multinational also enjoys positive images of the future associated with the name Orica even if the backdrop is stormy. Overhead is a connection to the wharf and Port of Newcastle.

The company, Orica, began as a supplier of explosives during the gold rush (1850 or so). The famous figure, Nobel bought the company and it morphed first into ICI then eventually into Orica.
ICI and pollution went together at a site in Sydney.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coal loader and port infrastructure for coal export to power-up industry in Asia etc.
It is just before dawn and any tell tale spike in our power consumption is because of football from South Africa.
Spain and Holland at half time and the SBS TV pundits have a rant....should do better... (team x) is shocking......afterall this is the world cup......etc....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Silver Gulls are the most familiar of Australian gulls and surprisingly, are distributed almost over the entire continent -  more abundantly in coastal zones - as was suspected.

Very small young gulls are never seen in the flocks around our popular beaches but imature gulls with brownish beaks and blackish legs are in fact there among them. The grown-ups have scarlet beaks and legs (of course, both have additional markings).
Breeding colonies are a mystery but are found on offshore islands and larger fresh or saline lakes and lagoons; at other times round most types of water, coastal or inland, sewage farms, rubbish tips or playing fields according to Birds of Australia by Flegg and Longmore..

Friday, July 09, 2010

More of the same

In for a service?
Port of Newcastle way back when it wasn't raining.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Mixmaster

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Reliance and strength. Tug boats.
Strength of body is promoted for our health and safety and mega doses of vitamin D have been the go and seem popular fare for the elderly. Now medical science is reconsidering the safety of vitamin D in mega doses according to the Health Report on ABC radio (and on-line site). It is just as well to learn to live with uncertainty.
Predictions are very difficult to make and can't be relied on as to a persons length of life or chance of recovery. Surely it's a wise move to be wary of making predictions, they are often wrong yet shape our lives. Even unlikely people and the elderly are resiliant.  

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Skandi Bergen: a support vessel with crane and helipad. Is she in port for repairs? Red is definitely her colour.
It is said the ship will serve Australian border control and has a contract of between four and six years to support the controversal humanitarin work surrounding refugees who undertake risky voyages to our northern waters 'assisted' by 'people smugglers'.  

Saturday, July 03, 2010


Knit 1 Purl 1 Slip 1. Tradition continues. Warm Australian knitting wool continues to be made in Victoria - for one. A patterned Aran cardigan is pictured and a selection of knit wear, or failing that,  the pure wool (or other blends) and knitting patterns are for sale. Competent knitters will keep alive this art using lacy patterns influenced by the Aran Islands, off the West Coast of Ireland.
Textured stitch patterns do not lend themselves to mass production so off-shore production is surely limited - for a change.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The more it snows
(Tiddely pom),
The more it goes
(Tiddely pom),
How cold my toes... A A Milne

Thursday, July 01, 2010

...see the fluffy horses feeding at the troughs in the field, scattering their hay on the trodden yellow snow; watch the miners troop home - small, black figures trailing slowly in gangs across the white field. Then the night came up in dark blue vapour from the snow.
.....The snowflakes, suddenly arriving on the window-pane, clung there a moment like swallows, then were grone, and a drop of water was crawling down the glass.  The snowflakes whirled round the corner of the house, like pigeons dashing by.  Away across the valley the little black train crawled doubtfully over the great whiteness

An un-Australian indulgence. By Lawrence.