Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Still in S E Asia. See orangutangs at little Bukit Lewang, Sumatera.  
One another note, local villages would be celebrating the end of Ramadan, as do others around the globe.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


 Ahh nature!  Another spin-off from our notorious live cattle export to Asia? from scarce timber resources? from child labour? from paltry wages?  In the city: Genuine (!) cow hide rugs from $499 limited time only. ...From a shop that gathers 'wow' factor pieces from travel to a list of places in Asia and beyond.  


Laman Street, Newcastle. A birds eye view upon climbing one of the notorious trees - just joking! The trees in Laman Street have a short reprieve...again... 

Lower photo: tree protestors last Sunday.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Tree loving protestors gathered in Civic Park in response to the plan to remove the Laman Street grove of trees.   The trees have been the subject of a hugh amount of debate for a long time. 
It must be time for an urban Fig Tree ballad to germinate. Rock a bye baby on the tree top....
The overall plan for a creative space to take the place of the trees, if and when they go, is of enormous interest.  Will it be done with flair and imagination?  

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Darkness and light, mindfulness and impermanency, swept adrift like a sand mandala.
From Buddism to Christianity to a unique church cluster on the village green at Morpeth, gone, all gone to a developer -  although preservation orders are in place.  Not your everyday scene graced with a sandstone residence from earliest times, with community buildings, retreats, chapel, a green oval and old shade trees looking out over fields beside the Hunter river. 
Now a new housing development spreads close by.  Seniors can't resist the pressure to move out of their carefree home into a carefree village lifestyle and oblige the developers. Change is constant. Eventually all the housing for seniors will become redundant because an ageing population is not a permanent feature.  Or is it? 

Residential areas need holistic planning over the Hunter area to guard against it becoming a wall to wall housing estate. This is nothing new to the planners. Good planning is vital but the need is so widespread over the east coast, for a start, only so much will be done and at the same time there is originality in crude haphazard development.

Proactive innovation in the Hunter would see new centres built offering quality apartments in high density areas and built well before other citizens move in and voice their opposition. Start from scratch like many other have dreamed before this. 
Just imagine young families flocking to an alternative new tall city with good infastructure that offers sustainablity and supports a good lifestyle consistent with sane community life and with employment close by, not 100 clicks distant and with adequate transport.

With decent planning, enough space would remain to allow for peaceful natural areas and agricultural lands in perpetuity.  Who am I kidding?  

Thursday, August 25, 2011


A postcard arrived from Tibet which is another place of great altitude.  Visitors are immersed into Buddhism, stupas and lamaseries. 

It's possible to slake wanderlust with several epic films that depict parts of the Himalaya region.  Fascinating insights abound whether or not there is authenticity in these stories.  
Kundun from Scorsese has a Dalai Lama theme with mysticism and edgy rituals. Amazing.
Seven Years in Tibet with Brad.
Little Budda.  Bhutan on show, from memory.
Lost Horizon 1937 directed by Capra is a classic film of Shangri La. Seen possibly on late night movies in fearless black and white.  
Other subtitled movies and docos have other revelations.
These are hugh and curious movies, but, if anything, imparted some negative feelings around that belief system, never the less, it still holds my political sympathy and interest.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Man shed?  Small suburban home gets a new block-buster garage. Seems unusual to erect this shed in the existing surroundings which are neat, low rise and conservative.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011





Wolf Street Newcastle, has tall pine trees, is steep and runs down towards the Port of Newcastle.


das auto .... mit VW mythology

Sunday, August 21, 2011


One of the latest shopping centres to open its doors is in Steel Street.  And what else is in store because the Motor Registry office has moved to a new address a short distance away.  We are well served because a network of motor registry offices are not found in some places. 
The fruit and vegetable markets were at the other end of Steet street and were a busy scene once upon a time. 


Friday, August 19, 2011


Football on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Citrus season. Eat oranges and make a farmer happy!  A recipe for Citrus marmalade follows. Does it suit the breadmaking machine method - can't say - jam making remains on my to-do list. Eating marmalade is a different story!

 

Citrus marmalade
1 large grapefruit. 2 oranges.  8 cumquats.  4 limes. sugar. water.
Cut grapefruit and oranges into quarters. Remove seeds and centre pith. Slice fruit very thinly crosswise.
Cut cumquats in half and remove all seeds, then slice into thin slivers.  Retain all juice when cutting up. 
Peel limes and discard skins. Cut into quarters and slice thinly.
Combine all prepared fruit in a large bowl and just cover with water.
Cover with a cloth and let stand for at least 12 hours.
Transfer mixture to a large pot and boil until rinds are tender. To avoid tough rubbery texture the rinds must be cooked until tender.
Cool and then measure.
For every one cup of cooked pulp, add half a cup of water.
Add one cup sugar for each cup of pulp and water.
For tart taste marmalade replace half the water with lemon juice.
Mix well in pot and bring to the boil and continue boiling until mixture reaches setting stage. Find the technique about how to test for setting.
Ladel the hot jam into sterilized jars and seal up using the correct technique.
from: Taste Of The Pacific by Parkinson, Stacy and Mattinson.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A fruit blast from the past when Valencia oranges were packed at Red Cliffs.
'Eat more oranges' is this seasons cry from orchardists who struggle to recoup their export costs particularly while the Aussie dollar is high. Following years of drought this season has produced a good crop but it fails to create any profits. Their loss is our gain particularly if the supermarkets really lower their prices accordingly.

People have hopes and want a share of the action.  The World bank CEO is visiting and his belief is that we in the West have no need to complain in the face of the unrelentless hardships faced by those of the 'South'.  Which is partly painfully true.  How can an under class in the U K feel sorry or angry while they have so much?
Well, it is all relative, another line of thinking is that within a society, members validly compare themselves to others in that society. Where conspicuous wealth and privilege is a given yet is right out of the reach of the under class then class tension is the result. The potential exists for a good life-style for each and everyone in a civilized society.

    
Oranges are delicious and provide vitamins and fibre.  They were always promoted for their Vitamin C content and fibre is the vital flavour of the month. Don't we still need vitamin C again and again each and every day.
It is suggested we eat the orange in its complex form as a whole piece of fruit.  
Attempts are made to steer us off lashings of orange in the form of strong orange juice. Large single amounts of juice are undesirable, and are a lot to handle, and they say, keep all this in mind when feeding children.  
  

Sunday, August 14, 2011


No doubt Kangaroos are unique animals as well as a challenge to the home gardener in some situations - like homesteading. They like vegies and it takes a high fence to exclude them.

The Dot Com Bubble, maybe ten years ago, saw big time investors at play but then the bubble burst in a big way. Is Coal seam gas extraction the latest similar bandwagon hereabouts gone for it in a big way. 
Get rich quick, or future crazy-John carbon-credit trading, no matter what cost to our countryside.
Energy is vital but fracking could be planned using a rational scheme with constraints as to where is most appropriate and plentiful or what's a fair thing.
To the uninformed, like moi, it seems we are overly ready to set up invasive knock 'em down drilling fields instead of developing clean alternative long term solutions to providing energy. 

A legendary 'yellow jersey' was seen toiling uphill near Glenrock lagoon.  The gears clicked and the gravel surface rattled. Cadel Evans is probably making a big impact on cyclists following his victories and his homecoming parade in Melbourne this week.   

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Redhead Beach then south to Blacksmith Beach and Swansea heads.

Convicts came to our shores and became first settlers.  Banished for stealing a loaf of bread, we read.  A new wave of convicts as a solution for offenders in the riots is the answer. Bound for Botany Bay!

Friday, August 12, 2011



Easing the scarcity, book sellers are opening a store once again at Westfields Kotara. Unleash....Books and Education ....has two stores in Miranda and is an independent bookseller.  
Another shop, Lorna Jane will replace Colarado. 

Words and meaning.  Don't know for how long, but colourful, proper school lingo is about incursions, which decoded is associated with the host of education-as-fun stunts that business operates to sell to schools. 
Macquarie lists Incursion: 1. a hostile entrance into or invasions of a place or territory, especially one of sudden character; raid; attack.  2.  a harmful inroad.   3.  a running in: the incursion of sea-water. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Peaceful art class.

We have come to take it for granted that criminals, droogs and protesting crowds are rounded up like cattle................. herded by savage dogs........ and pacified by violent means...........and use storm troppers armed like feudal warriors in feudal armour. We take it all for granted. 
A Clockwork Orange (1970s) was......was... a British satire.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


More water sport and picnics. Locals enjoy swimming in this inviting Indonesian river. The water is fast flowing but children are undetered.  A sighting of an orangutang is a possibility.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Enjoy surfing and have a break from  news of events that come in waves or relentlessly creep up on us. Angry people riot in the U.K.  They riot by social media.  Watch the latest struggles on CCTV.  Is that what all those cameras are for?  While probably not a doomsday fundamentalist, to me it seems that the brave new world has crept up on us and produces certain vibes.  It is not, by any means, the end of life as we know it.  Yet...
Riots are widespread and commonplace from the U.K., Paris (a few years ago), Greece, to the Middle East and beyond.
Thousands of refugees are in transit and beat at the doors of the well-off, without success.
Famine is gripping thousands of displaced families.
For all our higher education and the cyber age, global finances are beyond control.  Nations face bankrupcy. At least Australia has escaped that path.
Hardship?  The Mayor of London was overseas and the P.M. had to cut short a holiday in Italy.
Two examples of leaders who exemplify a bright new age, Obama or Gillard, are denied progress by those who just want to deprive them of success no matter what it costs the country, the economy or the environment. What is very promising in Australia is in struggle against negative forces that I thought we had seen the back of. 

Demolition. Not long before this, kids made ad hoc use of the derelict building for skateboarding etc.  Angry boys?!  (Angry Boys on ABC TV from Chris Lilley with HBO as co-producer and pre sale to BBC.  Whatever will they make of the series?)  

On another tack, is it quaint to see the Latin term, ad hoc used in a question on today's census form?  Ques 49... Ad hoc help or assistance, such as shopping....
From Macquarie Dictionary: ad hoc: 2. impromptu. An ad hoc decison is one made with regard to the exigencies of the moment.



Monday, August 08, 2011


Early morning and warm clothing was unnecessary. But come to think of it, snow was predicted for Barrington tops.
Today's surf.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Peoples.  Tuesday 9 August 2011 is Census night. Everyone is counted making the census much more than just an estimate.  A small population makes it possible to literally record anonymous statistics about everyone.   
Historical archives are valued and people have the option of giving permission to additionally have their names and some other personal things put on a data base for posterity.
One option is to use the eCensus via the internet. As it is, an attempt is made to provide everyone with a nine page census form to fill in, one way or another, and to personally collect them afterwards.  

Census data is used to plan infastructure - among other things.  A good deal of planning went into the Emergency facilities at the newish hospital - or did it - because it is into its third or fourth makeover, seen fenced off  At least there is flexibility! 

Friday, August 05, 2011


Newspapers have no need for phone tapping. Instead, just do other news and letters to the editor. The Sydney Morning Herald gave us cat mythology in letters relating to names for cats and their failure to acknowledge them and Ian Walters wrote on July 11:

...T.S. Eliot ...points out that the naming of cats is a difficult matter...a cat must have a name for everyday...then a name that is particular, peculiar and dignified and thirdly, a name that no human research can elicit, but one only the cat knows... (after)...a succession of cats I can state categorically... that a cat which is provided with luxury... abundant gourmet food, and attentive staff will frequently come when its name is called, or at the very least open one eye and even raise an inquisitive eyebrow.

In strange juxtaposition is the Sumataran Tiger, endangered in a big way, according to the footage that streams from Indonesia showing the relentless clearing of the rainforests. What the hand dare sieze the fire? The human fat cats have deaf ears. Totally deaf.

Tiger, tiger burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?.............Blake................................image of Tiger from Sun Herald

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Whimiscal Grimethorpe Colliery Band musicians at lunch during the Brassed Off! Tour 2011 with a concert tonight in Newcastle City Hall. From South Yorkshire, the band formed about hundred years ago. This time they are fuelled by Maccas. How will tonight's concert turn out!

No struggles about pit closures exist in the Hunter valley, far from it.  A struggle such as that featured the band in the film Brassed Off with fine music and a much younger Ewan McGregor.  

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


From fame to game, kangaroo steaks about to be fried for dinner.  There is merit in farming kangaroos because they suit our fragile environment better than livestock that have relatively sharp hooves.... or that's what 'they' say sometimes. Besides 'roo meat is low in fat etc and my first sample proved to be tender and sweet tasting although it is marinated in a collection of substances.  The bright red flesh is rather off putting to those with vegetarian leanings.
The label states the following -
 
Kangaroo meat get the thumbs up on a wide variety of nutrition fronts. It's a terrific source of high quality protein, low in total fat (with less than 2% fat), low in saturated fat and it's a particularly rich source of iron.

Monday, August 01, 2011


Megaliths and news of Stonehenge has arisen and theories were put to the test on SBS TV recently.  Images of Stonehenge make a  screen saver  as well.
Gallery 40, linked, in Kyneton Victoria has photographic offerings of Stonhenge at present.

Carnac in Brittany, in the above photo, boasts of thousands of megaliths in an extensive layout, dating from preCeltic times. Climbing and meddling with the menhirs was really a bit disrespectful. 
 At Westfields, Kotara, a phantom surfer is high and above the shoppers. 
 Another multinational, Cotton On, is brave enough to open a store right where Borders closed up after going into liquidation. The age old book company, Angus and Robinson, seem to be taken over by Borders and that was the end of that. A & R published many of the Australian classics. 
Cotton On stores are already in the shopping centres around here somewhere, shopping is not a favourite pastime of mine. As it is, several well known retail clothing chains are going out of business. Then, David Jones department store closed their store in Newcastle city and have a bet each way saying they may reopen it in the future and use the window displays to attract customers out to their store in Westfields, Kotara.