Monday, June 19, 2017

Leaving the old historical trains behind moving to Vivid in Sydney to a dark shot. That evening, Fairyfloss or Cotton Candy or Candy floss was spun like magic.
One quantity was furled into a ball about each minute and cost $14 for the waiting queue.. It wrapped around a novelty hand held illuminated stick.

Saturday, June 17, 2017



Playing trains.  Every time you go to Central from out of town a whole lot of facilities have changed.  An atmosphere of automation and facelessness has grown. Other things have been there from day one and are comforting to recognize.
 A least an enquiry counter remains staffed even when the staff seem an incongruous group of contractors.
 Homeless people take shelter in the big colonial doorways so it is not all bad in providing shelter. However, the homeless, in that manner, would never be found there even in our most depressed years. The haves and the have nots.  The next generation is unaware of how things were.  Better or for worse.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


 Historical railways and nostalgia at Central Station.  The Southern Aurora was the overnight service Sydney to Melbourne, 956ks, 1962-86. The arrangments was of sleeper rooms, lounge cars and a dining carriage with tables, white tablecloths and all the rest
Progress? On a recent journey the overnight first class service had a brown paper bag delivered containing the items for breakfast.  Maccas has set the standard!
 

Monday, June 05, 2017

Travels from Victoria to NSW

Into wilderness.  To begin the horizon was circled by mountains with familiar blue haze. Open country and broad green valleys led on to woodlands while the sunshine and cloudless stunning blue skies were memorable.
An early disused single railway line followed beside us now adapted to an adventure trail and a tall timber  tressel bridge of note was observed decaying.
Where was the path across the mountain range?  A path suitable for summer driving where long stretches have no fuel, food or drinks or mobile coverage.
Into the forests of Kosciuszko National park which were quite tall with thick green undergrowth and straight stretches that changed to endless windings on a steady, not steep, climb to the very tops of those once distant hills in sun and crisp windless conditions.
The road had a good surface, was narrow but no way perilous while dry underneath. There was a crossing over the wall of a dam at Tumut Pond Reservoir.
The green gums changed to strange leafless trees whose bare branches appeared lifeless and formed  unusual low spikey expanses up hill and down dale.
Patches of light snow began to be seen in shadowy gullies, probably the very first snow of the season, it was by the road sides then in places in a thin cover over the road all of which was a great novelty.
A notable little shelter hut came next then eventually the hydro electricity installations and a return to civilization, workers and twincabs,
then a cluster of ski related buildings in Cabramurra, including a cafe.
This worthwhile mini adventure trail is closed over winter between the long weekends of June and of October. For one, it gives access to the lake, the dam and the hydro works.
Continue past Mount Selwyn (resort) to Kiandra and down to Adaminaby etc and that section of road is kept snow free.  At Kiandra for something different, an alternative route scoots across the open tops towards the town of Tumut. 

Sunday, June 04, 2017

 Chilten, Vic, has frosts and verandah posts in the little main street which is in original style like stepping back into the days of the gold rush.  Minus the crowds!

  One often has to remind oneself that members of an organization or a religion etc all think differently and have diverse beliefs at the same time as going along with the core principles.
 Also, ideas can be latched onto as privately upheld views that don't have much foundation in the traditions.  Diversity is the name of the game.  Is brain washing done to overcome this diversity as in spy rings or in cults?  Or there are rules and dogmas to establish basics.

Saturday, June 03, 2017


Chilly morning just south of the border several days ago.  It is possible that frost is seen in a suburb or two in Newcastle, is hard to say.  Frosty autumn leaves - rare.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Are there blue skies, nothing but blue skies.....
This morning a group was addressed by an organization.  It was an appeal for funds.  'Right in your local suburbs are brothers and sisters who are poor, they are very grateful for assistance to buy food or pay energy bills etc.  A local small groups of volunteers visit those in need to provide the help we are asked to finance.'
  The maximum amount of social security for job seekers for a single person with no children is $267.80 per week.  I believe this figure has been unchanged for years and years.  A minority of our brothers and sisters will never do very well on an allowance of that size.  Most accommodation would cost more than that.
  Their difficulties and the current payments result in failure and the system puts the responsibility on the good will and actions of charity workers. The government exploits the charities.
  Mature age citizens who get social security are often allowed various generous measures at the same time as they enjoy good levels of disposable income.  Compare that to a long term job seeker and the tiny amount they exist on.
  It calls for more justice in the system, designed and championed for the common good, free of insinuations that 'my taxes are being wasted' provided that the payments are regulated against fraud. Unlike others, welfare is part and parcel of this society and does good.
  As for the mature aged and superannuation, it can be taken for granted that a high income earner will end up with relatively abundant superannuation benefits while it is the low income earner who really needs big concessions and help in order to accumulate anything for retirement.

'Together we can do heroic things'  'When you give to Vinnies you're helping our volunteers rebuild lives this winter'
$50      Can provide warm blankets for men and women experiencing homelessness
$100    Can buy a week's worth of essential groceries for a struggling family.
$200    Can help pay a family's utility bill this winter
$500    Can provide a safe haven for a woman and child escaping domestic violence
$1000  Can prevent a family from being evicted from their home this winter.
St Vincent de Paul Society NSW  vinnies@vinnies.org.au

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Its war

War on waist.  I surrender!
Australian Broadcasting Corporation is promoting a WAR ON WASTE....rethink plastic usage, the wiles of fashionable cloths, BYO coffee cups, supermarket and household wastage of good food these are but a few of our wasteful ways that demand attention. Study ABC web site and their other media.
What would be a creative use for old xray films?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Bizarre.  Tooth fairy is in demand. 
All power to free to air TV.  Bizarre lineup on TV Wednesday evenings where it is tempting to waste a  few hours of this precious life on new season, Fargo and then The Young Pope, on SBS free to air.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

 Red check patterns on and off the court.
 Red check made a political statement in Indonesia this year but Ahok and his supporters did not do well and he has been found guilty of blasphemy and gaoled.
   A similar charge of blasphemy and a three year sentence to Cipinang gaol was made against a journalist, Atmowiloto, several years ago and there may have been other convictions.
  Thus, factions have been active for some time and a move, however slowly, towards establishment of a stronger religious state is observed in Indonesia.
  It is the age of rediscovery of identity and of what a true religious believer should be.  It is also an age of secularism and of pluralism.  Some resort to conservatism and a return to the tried and true and resist change.
  One small indication possibly of the rise of nationalism is seen in early photos where once Indonesian women did not necessarily cover their heads with a scarf. .
  On one hand leaders make charges to safeguard their religion from a breech of etiquette but a sense of proportion is appropriate in a justice system where very big crimes against society would be to the fore, for instance, crimes that indirectly burden the well-being of the average person and hold back their standard of living which is not high.  
  The kingdom of heaven or a religious state ideally is all about the here and now and, without too much difficulty, seen as life-giving giving priority to true justice for all -  materially spiritually and politically.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Change


A deconstructed clown and an additional special name on a familiar company.  'Party our way' says the sign hidden behind the post.
The interior is well done and the menu had a big revision in the last year.
Self selection was commenced and the health worries over the food remain as well as the materials that go to landfill as no sorting or recycling is ever apparent.  

Saturday, May 06, 2017

More or less change


Forever Citroen cars sported a sharp chevron logo. Then the logo became more streamlined. Is nothing sacred?
 Now the logo is very abstract and unrecognizable. The logo changes and the cars become more conforming though the Cactus model has a few unlikely features.
Is it still smooth and comfortable? 
A comfortable ride has something going for it after noticing the rough ride that goes with some cars.
I know a certain medium sized van with a certain wheel base that requires certain calculations to turn and simply drive straight into the parking in a shopping centre and rarely is it just right. A minor problem really.
The massive 4x4 and over-the-top things on wheels put my driving to shame.

   

changes....



May the fourth estate be with you!  Clippings all the way from the 1980s.   Shock... horror... regret.. The Sydney Morning Herald workers are on strike over drastic cut backs by Fairfax press who has survival in mind.  Who will be the hard copy foil to Murdock News Corp press in The Australian and the dreaded Daily Tele? 
Subscriptions have been know to rise following the recent attacks on the press in the USA.
Fairfax is on-line as well theguardian  Australia edition and the New York Times has opened an office in Sydney described as an experimental outpost. Everything is on-line, ABC etc.
 
What if Facebook did not remain in the hands of a semi-benevolent millionaire and became  malevolent?  Legislation is highly desirable to safeguard the massive Facebook data base from political or economic manipulation along with the social.  It is very slack to ignore the risk.  As they say, some institutions are bigger than any government.  Take care.



Monday, May 01, 2017

Eco blog



As if beached marine life. Female and male life savers lined up to sprint to their rubber duckie, jumped aboard to join the crew, full throttle out to a set-up off-shore where they enacted a rescue, I'm guessing, then raced back to the shore.  The photo does not convey the fast pace.

  Looming on the horizon are two of the coal ships that queue for coal from the Port of Newcastle, the fossil fuel city.
 The post-coal era will come but not soon enough. Progress. Westpac Bank announced it will not finance coal developments which is greeted both with applause and with outrage.
  Current tales in Newcastle are about upheavals in preparation for the super-car races of note,   meaning certain roads works have closed the roads and residential areas are very cross at finding themselves on a speed way. The east precinct is vintage style, where high rise or modernisation is probably banned - apart from super-car events!
  A new light rail to serve the long lean main street is about to start installation.  Apartments are spring up in the western precinct and change is accelerating in inner city Newcastle.      

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rubber duckie v great white

 Sun and surf Caves Beach.  Surf Life Saving Clubs event yesterday.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Not many priorities other than climate change on this blog.
  Do state and federal governments prioritise what matters to our society?   It is not beyond us to recognise important and more urgent matters but it seems all matters are given equal attention by the parliaments.
  The bigger picture and more pressing global problems need emphasis.
  There is non-stop talk, negotiations, enquiries, legal procedures and an extra big budget connected with our refugee prisons in an all-consuming process when the refugees could be granted asylum and we move on.  Move on from our self inflicted problems around detention and move to the bigger picture of global migrations and prepare for the impact on society now and in the future with new policies.
  Recently, the wording of legislation to address hate speech, for want of a better description, occupied the whole political agenda and while it is important it cannot be given equal weight and time with other outstanding issues about our future.
  We can do much better than toy around and politicians who cannot see the bigger picture. How can the politicians earn their keep by spending their time on party politics, on their problems and in-fighting and vague policies about a few difficulties. 
 
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

March for Science.
My young relatives have been offered a reward to try a few little science experiments.  It takes more than giving a science set. Will a reward stimulate interest?  How much experiment is enough first up? How does interest continue?
   Studies about the behaviour of the learner look at the question of rewards but who knows as in my case the 'message' might get through when it is of immediate relevance and rewards were not on my agenda at the time.
    One hears (on ABC RN) about the young post graduate who ventures out into a remote national park or the swamps, (rather wet lands) in order to trap an endangered field mouse, study pollution or methane or some such all of which probably takes initiative, independence and flexibility or slight obsession.
   How can youngsters who are raised in urban surroundings be inspired to widen their horizons so as to undertake anything scientific or out of the ordinary or 'get their hands dirty'? Will they in turn take to the fields and swamps and that's not Trump's swamp.  
   However, field work is probably a phase after which there will be a return to conformity, a search for funds and toeing the line in a university which means a narrow urban up bring could be pretty suitable after all.    
 
 

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Off Hawkes Nest recently.
This is no Manchester By The Sea which is a very appealing setting for an unusual dramatic film.
The producers have copied the ways of the arty film genera which is fairly uncommon in an American work but it is unmistakably American yet unAmerican.
  We are not spared from conflict, irritations, silence, nor strong feelings yet amusement is often there and it generally moves with restraint. Yes, amazingly, exaggeration is limited. As well, the cold winter weather is special.
The score of classical music and other numbers is also surprising. The season finished in the city cinemas but the little independent Regal cinema came up with a screening good for those who missed out.

the morning after the night before....the USA is asked to the 'party' or either they take an invitation for granted......
A love hate relationship.  This country takes on risk while ever we support US installations for this or that and worse still blindly follow them into wars.
As for the regular military exercises in the NT it is not as though their own country is short of appropriate places to play war games.
Cultural exchange other than more pop culture would be very welcome.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Walking was very popular yesterday. In Newcastle - for a change.

New life new hope in this exciting time of disruption although disruption is at arms length in this benign life of complacency that is the experience of many of us.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Not long ago in the images fire was the big enemy when bush fires struck.
 Last week, it was a different story when the stubble left after harvest was burned off.  Small crops grown on the pretty undulating land of the central south west of the state were seen on fire here and there leaving large black and brown patches over the landscape.

  Recently it was said that agricultural fires are a big contributor to global warming via the emissions so are the fires very essential?

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Celestial chapel.

Toot Toot! A steam train? Impossible. Chuff chuff.  Sure enough.
Ah! It's Steam Fest. Stations of the cross... Hamilton....Waratah. Recalling dog collar and his tank engine Thomas.  Reverend steam punk. Playing trains and little boys. We won't go there but the courts will.

Friday, April 07, 2017


This is and isn't a fake view. Entirely out of season these tulips are in bloom in autumn in our southern climes.
Months of prep using refigeration and light control resulted in this display. The effort is appreciated. The business, down south, sells all sorts of flowering bulbs.
 Bulbs are not at home in Newcastle's climate.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


Looking down

Travels.  A van with five cylinders has a good comfortable reliable 'beat' to it while out on the country roads even if it is not exactly quiet.   However, the Merc Sprinter has now updated from five to other configurations.  This diesel model was made in Germany while the same van might be found as a Dodge etc when made elsewhere. 
  Progress is made on smaller yet more powerful engines for Sprinters and led by the tighter controls on emissions. Small diesel European cars for city driving are frowned upon due to diesel emissions and normal petrol power has been improved.  Here the big semis are adding blue liquid to the fuel to combat pollution.

Monday, April 03, 2017

On the border



This morning there is a beach but it is miles and miles from the coast, across is a steep sandy 'wall' that leads to a 'forest' of gum trees where bird life is loud mouthed and is all that is heard. Sunday's swimming and boating has ended.
  All is reflected in wide calm water with a beige appearance but on looking closer it is clear and cool but not icy in the morning sun, blue skies and nippy breeze.
  The River Murray near Cobram.  Its long jounney has hardly begun till it goes interstate and 'limps' into the sea afterall its waters that flowed to irrigate farms far and wide.
  Long sections have a wide 'corridor' of land on both sides of the river reserved as nature parklands.  In that specialised zone, the red gum trees, for one, depend on periodic flooding for their survival in a life that usually spans hundreds of years as the oldest trees are very sturdy, very tall and sprawling.
  Small anabranches and lakes are peacefull places for birdlife.  Camp grounds are found throughout.   

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Saturday, April 01, 2017


Interfloral contestant in the junior interstate comp at Melbourne Flower show.  Not only that, this is Jessie Smith of Warners Bay (Newcastle neighbour) taking part representing NSW..  Bridal bouquets have undergone change.
 Outside, the park had a range of exhibits, art, food and fun spaces.  Good weather was a bonus.

 Today, posting from near the Goulburn River in Shepparton, free of flooding.  The after effects of a cyclone are not likely to reach here in fact the land seems dry and ungreen. 
Irrigated orchards and water channels are in the surrounds and lakes have been formed.
 Here is the home of SPC  (Shepparton Packing company) canned fruits and vegies,including IXL and other brands in a very extensive sweet smelling factory with international sales, Campbells Soup factory was spied AND the one and only Furphys Engineering Works ('good better best' ) and that is dinky di.