Friday, December 30, 2011

Cockatoos sure get around and they flock to Maccas.  The trees were nice and spruce to start with.
It is just as likely that the Daily Telegraph will be found at the fast food counters. Is that a good or bad option?  Something like their coffee brew.
Sydney Herald Christmas Weekend edition offered several faith filled essays unexpected from a daily newspaper. Conventional church press can't match it. What will the demographic make of all that while the paper sees out the last of those who follow print over on-line   

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The closest I get to a tube or board riding.  Or is it rolled oats swirlling towards the finish?  Will it win on a protest?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

There's a certain easy feeling while driving when you think you know your way around a whole lot of the side streets around town. It is miles ahead of getting around in unfamiliar territory.
 I've had a Tom Tom device, love the name, for quite a while but managed to remove all the data in an attempt to make the recommended backup.  Was good while it lasted.  Pages of instuctions were located as to how to reinstall the maps.  But an overall map of a region in old print technology is still great value. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Met a flock of red feathered birds this Christmas. A few cheeky birds are at a camping site. All this is far from a product from a BBC Natural history unit.
More 'carols' from the birds as alluded to several days ago.
Now unleashed via public setting!

What will happen in Red Square?  Another brave revolt. What will Putin do? 
Christmas 2011.

A facile post.  Where is the 2011 world record held for the most Christmas lights on a private residence?  In Canberra, ACT, (according to one interview heard on ABC radio overnites). It has been You Tubed.
Google home page is also lighting up right now with Jingle bells.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas 2011

Window shopping at Eurolight, Kotara. Crystals hanging about. Also on sale was a light globe that can light-up in a range of any one of about 12 colours that may be selected with a little remote control. Cute.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A busy 'gang' of white cockies is often seen around Westfields.  Today a flock is in Mayfield.  Are they having a change of scene after 'pruning' all their favourite trees over that way? 

.....where the tree-ferns grow by the river, the gullies Bell-birds are chiming,
....their lyric notes rhyming:
Orana! Orana! Orana! to Christmas Day.
....currawongs chant in wattle-tree bowers,
in the blue rangers lorikeets calling,
carols of bushbirds rising and falling.
Orana! Orana! Orana! to Christmas Day.

Orana is an aboriginal word meaning welcome.  by John Wheeler. Copyright by Chappell and Co Australia P/L trading as Warner Chappell music.

A 'front yard business' in Clarencetown that locally designs and locally builds kayaks.  And they're winners, second in the Yukon 1000, the longest canoe and kayak race from Whitehorse to the Alaska Pipeline/Dalton highway.  Time to take on the challenges in the streams around Gloucester tops etc.  And at the seaside.  Into the wild.  Along with amazing nature take care over stinging horseflies, sandflies, mossies, snakes and escapee!

Just up the street a big move has been successful. Moved from Sydney, a house clad in shingles is not an everyday sight. Shingles but not a snow flake in sight.  Was the house a bargin price or is it considered something special that warrants appropriate finishing details chosen with some care. Time will tell. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

People at Sydney Airport. Slide show. 35 seconds.

If you went to reside in another country would you give up your heritage?  Some Aussie ex-pats never venture far into use of a local language or out of their comfort zone. (Granted, language is a difficult task).  Others are the opposite and are early adopters.
So many of us just don't get it. 'Newcomers to Australia, should be just like us' etc etc. 'Speak English, don't form into groups''.
What is hoped for, in my estimation, is that newcomers will abide by our laws and have some measure of good will towards this country.
What's the problem? It is not unusual for any of us to have weaker degrees of allegiance and have various opinions as to the worth of local endeavours.  And no one is expected to give up their heritage. Around here, we are all entitled to have our own beliefs and customs. 
At the same time, one does wonder about correctness and watering down, of our very few established Christmas customs. Does it diminish us?  I can see the point, but, like I've said, I am still stuck in the eighteenth century and must adjust.
But, let's have full-on celebrations and acknowledge the full range of customs in a significant manner.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Evidence is be found that an inate spark of life is not entirely extinguished. 
What about the dangerous fugitive in the wilderness who has evaded capture for several years?  Where is he?  Surviving in the tall remote forests along Thunderbolts Way.  As in Captain Thunderbolt: bushranger!
   Then, an employee is said to have stolen 16 million dollars during his day job at Queensland Health. From his luxury apartment in designer suits he is said to have partied-on and identified with Tahitian royalty when, really, he hails from the land of the long white cloud.

   Drawing a very long bow, camping in Barrington Tops still sound AOK? What the heck! Life is full of risk. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

South coast harbour and long line fishing gear.  Well, that's my guess - as to what this is.
Rightly or wrongly, images of snagged, drowned Albatross intrude.

What will Putin do?  Given enough rope and.....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Often this pub in Islington is very lively and vocal.  

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Young Peoples Theatre in Hamilton. Fostering talent.

Richard 111 (and bungy jumping) is playing in Sydney and sparked off some lines of enquiry to follow up.
The old film, with Olivier, as Richard, is very theatrical from 1955, a product of its day with a host of classic English artists of stage and screen to wonder about.  The DVD came to light at Video Ezy.
A later version, 1995, stars Ian McKellen as Richard, and looks very interesting set in Britain as a fascist state and is another who's who of actors but will remain a mystery because the borrowed disk was worn out and faulty.
Annette Bening plays Elizabeth and that brings to mind the outstanding film, American Beauty, with Bening and Kevin Spacey.
Al Pacino's  Looking For Richard   -  a masterclass -   with good reviews in the 1990s has Spacey as Buckingham. Another mystery because of the difficulty in finding a copy. That's what happens when you're twenty years too late.
(It also came to light that Spacey was in LA Confidential which was a rather good entertainment.)

A Kevin Spacey Foundation exists to support dramatic art and it funds Richard's rampage - an arts entity which spans nine countries. The current touring drama is part of the Bridge Project - a Transatlantic endeavour for co-production by British and US dramatists and devoted to producing large-scale classical theatre for international audiences and Sydney became the latest destination. .So that's what makes Spacey 'tick'.

Looks perfect from this angle.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Arcade, Newcastle. Believe it had a small indoor swimming pool once.
 Surprises lighten our way.  Salute the unplanned!

A day trip provoked surprisng disbelief and humour at the gravitas and ostentation at Westfield, dare I say Arcade, Sydney. A hub for global big name designers who prove that accessories are supreme!  Wall to wall marble. Marvel.  Minimalism.  Sinister. Christmas decor far too crass and tatty. A reality check.
Cross Castlereagh Street for a refreshing change in D J's Christmas display windows where charming puppet-like figures, of character, tell a simple Christmas story. 
Back to earth again by another bonus sight, history in the making, the 99% seen in vocal revolt, in a large Gay rights march led by two staid police horses down the slippery slope to the Government's conference in Darling harbour.  Weighty Gay marriage considerations were undermined by intersecting with a toy train-ride on a stunning day by the harbour that reflects only good times and enjoyment.
What would Putin do?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Warning.  Macabre subject ahead.
On looking at a birds nest that was blown out of a tree it revealed a little bird tangled up and trapped by its leg where it had perished.
The nest was woven out of scraps of paper, string, threads, a blue hair band and spikey leaves woven around a soft lining that looked like dandelion filaments.

If there is no obsession about keeping the lawn mown it is likely that dandelions will grow to maturity and have bright yellow flowers followed by a seed head in the form of a perfect globe.  The custom is to blow the seeds off and the number of puffs needed to blow all the seeds off will give the hour of the day.  And believe the leaves are edible in salads and dandelion tea is a brew but don't take my word for it, we all know plants can be poisonous.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bella Vista, in Mayfield, is a unique estate in Newcastle. Old establishment on three acres. Spacious lawns, trees and gardens: pleasant but not outstanding. It acts as a wedding venue and function centre and offers accommodation.
Q E ll stayed there in 1954.
The estate was built in 1919 for the manager of BHP Steel Works. The manager was a Pittsburg steelmaker who pioneered the first steel making plant in Newcastle according to Bella Vista on line.
Over the years, managers, executives, royalty and important names have visited and slept over.
For some unknown reason a plaque states Bella Vista was officially opened by an MP in 1968.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mangroves and Estuary.  Throsby Creek Carrington.
Easily the worlds greatest video! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saint Andrews Mayfield celebrated 150 years with a festive service and a new representation of Saint Andrew on a wall hanging.
(Tradition has it that this saint came to an unpleasant end in Greece or thereabouts.)  Today, the pipe organ was in the hands of an excellent musician. An African community participated with percussion instruments. The rector's cat joined in proceedings at one stage.
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beyond the headwaters of the might Styx, Tickhole Tunnel may be glimpsed. Yes, Tickhole. Between the stations of the suburb of Kotara and Cardiff.
At first it was decided not to add the idea that a rail crossing in the vicinity of Kotara station would be amazing and locals would find it very convenient.
Ticks, those small blood-sucking insects, are bad news for dogs and if undetected lead to an emergency dash to the vet. They can't be any good for children either.
We came under attack on our last camping sortie by ticks no bigger than a speck that delivered a whopping bite while they hung on. Oh! the great outdoors.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lose Your Marbles in Hunter Street East. In 49 seconds.

In severe weather it is just as well to keep an eye on Styx Creek.
What if the road became impassable and suburbs were isolated by a flash flood?
Be afraid!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some Rhode Island Reds would be feeling lucky they're not turkeys at this time of year.

Stroll along the harbour side and see roadside memorials and a ghost ship as well as the here and now.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another storm over the Orica works
Koorangang Island is home to an array of large industrial undertakings. A fertilizer company took up the first lease on the Island in 1964 and was probably Greenleaf Fertilizer hence Greenleaf Road. Or was that Incitec who merged with Pivot who may include Orica or is it Hi Fert?  No, Orica is Orica and originated as ICI - so it has quite a past.
An old hand spoke of an incident of airborne pollution in the very early days that damaged the paint on the cars belonging to the workers who were given compensation payments. There was no Stockton Bridge or transport. Still no transport?  Then the 'smoke stack' was lengthened because of a persistent inversion over the area.  Over forty years on and problems continue to occur.
And the company creates the pollution.  Not the government. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Simulacrum captured in stark reality.  Closed doors on the sabbath leave no cafe racers out on display.

The Middle kingdom has no need to feel left out of our strategies whilever they buy our coal mines and real estate whereas, for some reason, the USA, is handed over access in a type of 'window dressing' move.  Yet, today, the US President's gracious winning style almost twisted my arm.
Flattery?  Hey, the Prime minister, today, wore a different styled suit that really flattered her. I wish she would contact the governor general's terrific stylist.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

President Place.  Today's pic: a spruced-up nation notion but no spin.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Real men drive road trains.
A fabulous mining bonanza has overtaken the Hunter Valley as well as other regions such as McKinlay in Queensland.
Hunter rail transport is crucial so we havn't come to road transport like this yet, but who knows, there's no time to lose before potential environmental restrictions on coal mining kick in.

Details: Road Trains transport lead and zinc concentrate from BHP Cannington mine to rail loading facility at Yurbi.
Overall length 53.3 metres.  Gross weight 160 tonnes.  Prime mover Mack Titan.  Motor  600hp Cummins.
Gearbox 18 speed road ranger. 86 wheels. 4 trailers.
From ICP Craftpress. photography by David Lee.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beach scene. Original art deco painting in Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle.

These 'pages' take a look at Newcastle and other parts of the state and jump from one to another and contain mutterings about all sorts of abstract topics.  From 2006 onwards.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kuta Lines Surfshop, Redhead, where a local legend keeps shop in a unique building using recycled timber from old Lee Wharf on Newcastle Harbour. Large beams, sandstone blocks and other large pieces have found a place there as well as surf-inspired art works and a collection of surfboards from down through the decades.

Kuta Lines surfing goods have gone global after small beginnings in the seventies when two surfing brothers from Newcastle visited Bali and were impressed by traditional Balinese textiles and asked for a few clothes to be made and then worn back here.  When other people asked about these it led to the start of the business which involved Balinese workers.
The work of Tony Brown and Kuta is recorded in the National Gallery in Canberra and describes how hooded 'Streaky' jumpers used fabric developed in Indonesia.  Traditional ikat weaving and dying techniques were adapted to create a fleecy, heavier weight fabric that would keep surfers warm on cold southern beaches. Streakies came in many colours and became something of a cult fashion item on and off the beach.
It is said that the art of traditional textiles, in Indonesia, is in decline because it is very labour intensive and time consuming and modern conventional textile workshops have taken over and Kuta fashions are still made there.

National Museum, Canberra.