Thursday, January 31, 2008

Who knows how old this blanket is? The brandname is Onkaparinga! A sweet sounding name!
Warm pure wool blankets would go well with those Chinese people caught in the snow in the severe winter weather this week. Countless numbers return to their home town for family and New Year festivities. The Year of the Rat, from about tomorrow onwards, is one that stands for natural leaders and a strong drive for success.

The Onkaparinga Woolen Company of South Australia (Lobethal) had 122 years of blanket manufacture until closure in 1992.
Afterwards, the factory site was reworked by the local council and partners to encourage small business with a 'focus on synergies in food, wine, tourism, art and light manufacture' and to retain the heritage. Another site, in Adelaide, has been refurbished minimalistically as a printing press: Finsbury Press.

Response to the closure of Royal Newcastle Hospital
. "Scenes from its windows scale this wall in an attempt to echo the dominance of the old building over the beach and the city" according to the information... with cabinets of curios....silverware from Matron's suite... displayed at John Hunter Hospital.
This display is a worthy idea. Many citizens pass by it each day and may pause to look. The former staff of the hospital are rightly acknowledged. What about the rest of the community? Institutions certainly have a life of their own. Never should they lose sight of their real reason for being. Service?
The old hospital is shown under construction in 1950 and then, in wraps, for imminent demolition.
The display project is a work of the health services and the University of Newcastle.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bright scarlet inflorescence, an Illawarra Flame tree is showey on Bridges Road, New Lambton. Out goes the usual olive green, brown and greys.
If this id is correct, here is an indigenous tree that occurs in forestland protected from wind on fertile soils with high rainfall. It can be found in the canopy of local sub-tropical rain forests. The soft stringy wood was once used for ropes and mats. (D. Waterhouse 1980)
Illawarra Flame tree. Genus: Brachychiton. Family: Sterculiaceae. Species: acerifolius.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel, Fernleigh Track, ex-rail tunnel and cyclist.

Broadband has become very hard to operate recently and surfing the net is out.
Our telco has upgraded their system! Perhaps that's the reason.
A better service plan would help. It could be the death knell for the blogger.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Australia Day 2008..... Time Tunnel Mural, the light at the end of the tunnel, street art. Artist Astrid Hubert and youth of Kurri Kurri.
The honour, Young Australian of the year, went to Casey Stoner who was from Kurri and is the World MotoGP Champion.

This country doesn't have stupendous burgeoning cities driven by massive numbers of consumers nor does it have seriously ostentatious wealth, in one sense .
But we do have a relatively good lifesyle. Like some others, we have all services and infrastructure.
We have health and welfare and a living wage for each and everyone. True, most wealth is held by a few at the top but that's not the whole story. And I'm writing from the lower end of the economic scale.
Unfortunately we do have some exceptions to this work in progress.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

BIMBADEEN LOOKOUT with Mount View valley close to the vineyards of Polkolbin and Rothbury, about an hours drive from Newcastle. To be viewed with Schubert's Lieder.

The Summer holidays have been wonderful despite humid rainy days. We are bestowed with sparkling green landscapes and a reprive from bush fires.
The school term resumes next/this Tuesday or Wednesday.
'Back to School' is the shopping theme and these exercise books (pictured) are selling for 1 cent, 5 cents and 8 cents each, made in Asian countries.
It is possible these prices don't reflect the true cost to the environment. Was it plantation or rainforest timber used to produce the paper?
(It was accidental that a person was standing right behind the sign)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

'For sale' sign on a terrace house as seen from the waterfront drive around the edge of the city (and badly captured). The house has ocean views some of which are in the photos. The 'home made' sign looks like a private sale without a real estate agent involvd.
The property is evocative and has the character of many other old city clusters seen perched on hilly shorelines.
year, one of the other houses in the row was for sale and, by chance, I joined the inspection. Amazingly, the interior was almost as it was in 1900. Truly a time warp. Since then it has had a make-over and one rather appropriate, judging from
the exterior.

Monopoly Board game and Real Estate. The former Russian ideology has long gone as Monopoly - that symbol of capitalistic frivolity and greed- is played there for some time now. Monopoly was an item in todays news from Moscow. I suppose because Monopoly fans can vote online to help create the first ever world wide edition of the game, by casting votes for cities over the next weeks. The city that receives the most votes will be placed on the highest rent property. Information is on under press centre.

Monday, January 21, 2008

In Gregson Park, Hamilton on Sunday. Skateboarding or relaxing and tennis for two, really, playing tennis and chatting to each other in French, I think, is it an unmistakable language? The Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne just had several marathon-length matches.

At about 3am Sunday morning everyone was woken by a daredevil nihilistic motorcyclist who screamed past doing millions of RPMs.
Was he a disgruntled tennis fan? At that time, on the radio, was a surprising commentary of a tennis match still in progress at the Australian Tennis Open.
The 4.30am finish was a record. It turns out we
wern't the only ones irritated last Saturday night, the tennis fans who waited around were tragic.

On another tack, it must be time to sell Australian sport and TV Shows to the USA while their stocks are low due to the writers strike. It could become a two way street, it is possible to learn to understand British, American and other variations of English language and to enjoy media from different places.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Here is a psychedelic sign. No, it is not a test for colour blindness and shows a few reflections. We are prompted to:
'Wear green and gold until your eyes hurt. Australia Day. Celebrate what's great'

Try and second guess the foreign language news services that run all morning on SBS Free to air TV. Test your Arabic, Indonesian, Spanish, Mandarin etc etc
This time, in the lower photo, even I can see it's Putin attending a liturgy, still, an action that remains something of a mystery! A renaissance man?

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. The script writers strike should mean we see more local, British and world content on our TVs.

Blooming this month.
The southern most corners of the garden are getting direct sunlight as Summer moves along.
Parts of the garden that are usually shaded are 'burned' in January.
var erythronema
with bee.

Mauve on mauve. LAGERSTROEMIA. Crepe Myrtle is growing along the streets of the suburb of Waratah. The variety was originally from India and S E Asia.

Is this ROBINIA?

Friday, January 18, 2008


Chic urban lifestyle. Oyster, the dog, rides in a pram. His poor feet are tender.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The grapes are ripe and ready to harvest and the Polkolbin vignerons are looking forward to the vintage for 2008.
Not at Drayton's vineyard one of the pioneering winemaking families. Today there was tragedy and the winery was destroyed by explosion and fire and loss of life.

The casks and the Hall are at what was once Rothbury Estate. It was probably one of the first up-market establishments in the vineyards - now there are any number. I believe Fosters took over Rothburys and the winery became redundant and has gone on to another winemaker now, Hope, who, along with wine tastings, had this cheeky door mat on sale.


Draging the anchor is not an option. Set in concrete is a monument on the Newcastle foreshore. Action on the high seas of Antarctica is drawing attention to illegal whaling practices all of which is described in my web links.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Clarice from Saint Malo asked about cycling. There is a band of dedicated cyclists but serious accidents are not unknown. Cycling is promoted to some extent and road lanes and several cycleways are dedicated for its use.
One safe and cool way to cycle is on the Fernleigh Track a shared cycleway and walkway from Adamstown to Kahibah and beyond along the route of a disused rail line complete with the novelty of a tunnel.

From a home neighbouring the track is a dish of water for thirsty dogs, cats, birds and whatever.

Monday, January 14, 2008

More birds by the roadside cast into the concrete jungle. We like this new road, I think, although it doesn't happen to be busy at this time. It is known as Charlestown By-pass and is a direct route between Bennets Green and New Lambton Heights.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


This area of the National Park, or its environs, had been logged. In every forest really old trees are essential for wildlife to make a home in.
Lower: They really did take their caged birds for a walk in the park as seen in Beijing.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Why this? A bird has made its home in the trunk of this tree beside a road in the suburbs. On looking further I found a second bird on the other side of the tree in a similar hole.
Below: Bower Bird once again.

Friday, January 11, 2008


A bird found in a city garden. (Bushlands are near-by). This approachable bird is a Satin Bower Bird. The vivid purple eye is watching and the wing is outstretched. It spends time around the house and the family and likes to play when the washing is hung out.
The male birds must be elsewhere busy fashioning a 'bower ' from sticks and then decorating it with shiny objects. The males are dark blue-black satin all over. The females visit the bower and assess the quality. Nest building is a separate exercise.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

We like the idea of nature and 'the 'bush' but will we look after it? Biodiversity needs land enough and time enough in which to thrive.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Creation Spirituality is an influence on some.
In this forest in dry conditions the roads are suitable for two wheel drives. Get stuck and who knows what might happen! Some time ago we had to stay overnight with our small child, in this dark dark forest, when our car, some type of Peugeot, got stuck in soft ground...
Next morning, we walked many ks down to a farm house and were kindly taken in to a warm kitchen with a fuel stove burning. The farmer had seen it all before with day trippers and he took his tractor out, once again, up into the hills, to save the day.

Monday, January 07, 2008


It rained nearly all weekend. Camping, like this, was not a good idea.
No views from the lookout either. Only mist, which had its own appeal. On a clear day, imagine the vista to Newcastle about 50 clicks away.


Holidays are ending and the road home is long. A volunteer takes a break from the task of providing free refreshments to motorists. I stopped by for a photo and a cuppa.

Friday, January 04, 2008


The windy weather yesterday was just right for the National Titles for the Stingray and Cobra class at Speers Point Amateur Sailing Club. For more news see These boats stand for a certain era.

One disappointed participant had broken the mast earlier in the week. He said the club house could revert to the city council and become a restaurant. I wonder how this fits with absolute waterfront development codes? Perhaps the sailing clubs are being encouraged to move and share facilities.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


From one extreme to another. An English churchyard? No, It's not far from Newcastle. Memories of a quiet picnic there on a stunning day when the countryside was lush and prompted by Hyde Daily Photo and church seen here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


This Australiana mural just about 'hits the nail on the head' and 'takes the cake'. Survive and thrive in 2008!