Monday, February 28, 2011

Three pilots of No. 450 squadron, RAAF, watch the approach of Messerschmitt 109s from a trench at Gambut, Libya.  A spade makes a useful sunshade. 

The history of Libya is very long with a long succession of occupying powers. 
  In 1940 it was something, in part, of an Italian colony with Italian settlers, where British and Commonweath, Italian and German forces engaged in warfare. Battles ranged over the region but the Mediterranean port of Tobruk, a point of supply, in the province of Cyrenaica, was beseiged and features in the annals of Australian wartime history.
 At present, in turn, Libyans seek refuge in their neighbours. War gamers, adventures, dictators, tantrums - it's all HIStory.
Vocab: Bardia, cruiser San Giorgio, Derna, Benghazi, the Desert fox or Wustenfuchs, Deutsches Afrikakorps, Stukas, Junkers, Messerschmitts, Fieseler Storchs, El Agheila, oasis of Giarabub, 'famous Tobruk Ferry Service' or the 'Spud Run', Panzerkampwagen, Panzerbefehlswagen, Blenheim bombers, Hurricanes, Tomahawk, Kittyhawk fighters.
From war time series of books published 1940s by Australian War Memorial,  for public relations. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Waratah Post Office building has become some quiet low-key business into men's health and the post office has moved to Waratah village shopping centre.

It is fortunate that the episode recorded in the film, 127 Hours, is the work of an inventive film maker who does very well with it.
Apart from his individualism, the protagonist is a bright character, amazingly from a 'normal' background, free of bizarre overtones, not out to get at anyone and no one out to get at him. That's strange but true. (Not that certain bizarre characters lack appeal).
It's a man's world and boy's own adventures go on and on.
Gentlemen: take note, your children absorb your every move, just as you did with your father...'they grow (up) just like you'.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Postman. Milky lime is the new safety yellow. Lower:  Merewether Post Office 2291, original, with public or pay phone and postboxes outside the door.
Small motorbikes are petrol misers. No pronouncements or leadership from the top, ever mention outright serious saving of energy or reduction in consumption.  It is as if we pay some new tax and continue with unabated consumption.


Thursday, February 24, 2011


A survivour of the 1989 Newcastle earthquake, on the right, Newcastle Post Office building is not in use.  Long term survival of the building is more of a problem.
The current state government has purchased the building back from an investor, and has made some moves around parts of the old town that are in need of rescue. 
Now the post office has a new address several blocks away on the old site of Doyles wine and bottle shop.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


In Christchurch, New Zealand, long before the recent earthquakes occured.
Fading holiday sketch shows statue of Antarctic expeditioner, Captain Scott. His journey was ill fated. 

Gothic buildings grace the city centre and, camera-less, inspired a sketch or two.
Lower: Believed to be The Great Hall, Christchurch Arts Centre, formerly University of Canterbury. Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace.

Monday, February 21, 2011



Lambton Post Office.  From double story colonial building, the post office moved into the newsagent plus post office, in Elder Street, Lambton. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Anglican Parish of S.Stephen, Adamstown

Religion aside, one day we will probably value the heritage in community buildings such as this.  Very good, bad or indifferent they hold the story of lives, community effort, history and craftsmanship.
  A sacred space and multiple use? Yea, what does the future hold? Upkeep is costly. Iconoclasts are never too far away.   These words are not targeting this particular church but the general situation. 

Friday, February 18, 2011


Near the corner of Lambton and Bronte Road, Broadmeadow, post boxes are a reminder of a postal exchange that once occupied the site. Right there or close by.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Tour of state parliament in Sydney. A place of ritual and theatre and two visitors were about to go on stage outside for celebrations.
Does the calendar remain set on the date proceedings were shut down?  Reference books sit idle 'on the floor' of parliament. Aids to understanding hot air: The Australian Concise Oxford and The Macquarie Dictionaries.
State elections. I'd shamefully put aside right and wrong and prefer to see a youthful frocked-up, yes frocked-up, woman as state premier.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


New exotic fruit poised on spiky plant. Still life but is it a dance or a fruit? ACHACHA, is new to us, with origins in the Amazon basin of Bolivia, translates as honey kiss.
Now grown in northern Queensland this cousin of mangosteens has sweet white flesh and boasts of Vitamin C, the antioxidant properties and highest fruit source of folate.
The producers at http://www.achacha.com.au/ write how the fruit had its European debut last month when supplies were air freighted from Australia.
The plantation in Queensland had minimal damage in Cyclone Yasi.
Achacha or chachairu, Garcinia humulis. $9.98 kg,  about  63cents each. Foliage in the photo is unrelated to the fruit. It is doubtful that fruit is a major source of folate, as mentioned, but every bit counts and folate is very important.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Salesman at work.  A fold out camping bed under canvas has morphed into a five room complex. Under canvas. Underneath is a basic unit - a smallish shallow trailer built to tow off-road and on dirt tracks or wherever.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Looking more like the trees of autumn, has the hot weather taken its toll?

Saturday, February 12, 2011


S*** happens as Abbott, leader of the Opposition said. In Afganistan. And how.
This crew is relining old sewerage pipes. A fibre tube is put inside the pipe and is inflated by pumping in something very cold.  (Akin to a medical procedure.)  Insituform Pacific Company.
Does this plastic involve the suspect estrogenic compounds?  Who knows? Waste products wash into the environment after going through these pipes..

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Considering how milk supplies lots of protein and calcium along with carbs and fat, it now offers even greater value for money at $2 for two litres of some brands of fresh milk as recently discounted by the duopoly. The 'squeeze' is on the dairy farmer.







Milk is miles ahead of a bottle of sugar and water as in cordials. 
Coco Cola costs $3.45 for two litres. Pepsi or Schweppes lemonade are $2.65 for two litres. One brand of mineral water is $2.39 for 750 ml of
Adams ale.
All of which is totally out of proportion. There must be big dollars in cordial, useless as it is.

All the same, apart from fats and sugar, both milk and cordial have been criticised from a health point of view but that's not mainstream.


Cow herds wait near the gate and know where to cross the road, day after day.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the pyramids without the crowds?

Egypt. Just imagine if more leaders in their field, in Australia, were ebullient, spoke up publicly about issues and 'stuck their neck out' beyond a letter or two to the editor.  But, I imagine, in Australia, their contract would not be renewed.
Most leaders are so establishment. A typical yes man CEO at the university will have had a long round of highly respectable positions of status within the city. Renounce the power and give an opportunity to new blood.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Frangapanni days in the Banana Republic!
Bananas might be considered a herb and their price has just doubled supposedly to aid growers whose crops in the far north have all been destroyed by last weeks cyclone. 
Bananas grow quickly in leaps and bounds and are a source of carbohydrate and good stuff including potassium. Along with sweet Cavendish and small Lady Finger that we see, the tropical islands have many traditional varieties, small and very large, a significant part of the trad diet, eaten raw or usually cooked and, depending on texture, are boiled or roasted or might go into an earth oven (mumu style). Food is cooked wrapped in the wonderful broad green biodegradeable leaves which also serve as a plate or take-away container. All of which is probably well known to any curious globe trotter - not that the writer is one of those, curious yes.
I believe our regions have regulations about growing or moving banana plants and NSW has crops on the steep little hill sides around Coffs.  Some plants are seen here and there around Newcastle.    

Monday, February 07, 2011

Into rehab!
Becoming homeless.
Jungle habitat is shrinking in Sumatera.
Live simply that others may simply live.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


With decline and ennui in a week of extreme summer days and nights, it was difficult to cope with the antics  on Big Love (SBS TV) but a new series will bring some entertainment from that stressed out group.  Previewing the HBO series on the web site would spoil all the hysteria.  What makes Bill tick?  Enigmatic. Traditionalist. The good life. Inward looking. 
TV has travelled non-stop past Comedy Central, all change, mind the gap, no sign of those shows anymore, perhaps the creators are snowed up in a blizzard.
No Country for Old Men is different although sub-titles would lead to better understanding of the commentary about society.  

Friday, February 04, 2011






光荣的中国兔年新年的新年
Year of the Rabbit..
...the sun rises in the eastern sky and hundreds of birds sing in harmony....

from Chinese Propaganda Posters. From the collection of Michael Wolf. publisher Tashcen. Gorgeous and sinister in equal measure - The Independent London

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Unhinged by heatwave. Is this a mirage?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011



Things to do in a heatwave. Kids yell and swing from the tree or paddle in circles. Unless one has footware on, swimming holes are nice but initially very creepy places to touch bottom.
With those fears how would a holiday in Egypt rate? How would it be to witness a revolution first hand? From here it actually sounds tempting. Not meaning to trivialise the struggle.
There was some disappointment once when a typhoon changed course away from a Pacific island I visited. Windows were boarded up in readiness and situation was tense but all was in vain.
Far north Queensland currently has the biggest ever cyclone looming off shore. Scarey.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Frangapanni fantasy games.
Back to reality today when small children start 'big' school .Extreme summer's day is ahead, both for weather and emotions.