Saturday, August 30, 2008



Did you know that with the federal government solar panel rebate of $8000 for a 1kW system you can get grid-connect solar on your roof for between $2000-3000 or less, through Climate Action Newcastle?! You can become a renewable electricity producer, save money, and be a part of Newcastle’s first bulk solar panel installation!

A public meeting will be held on Friday 5th September at 5.30 pm at Newcastle High School corner Parkway Avenue & National Park St, Hamilton South. We will be in the hall which is accessed by the gates on National Park Street. The meeting is likely to go for several hours.

At this meeting, Sydney Energy Coop and the CAN committee will introduce ourselves, discuss the program and answer your questions.
As we are sure you can appreciate, this will save a significant amount of time and effort on behalf of CAN to respond to many hundreds of individual enquiries.

The most important and urgent aspect of the project is to have applications for pre-approval for the $8000 Federal Government rebate submitted as soon as possible. The urgency of this step is that there is a 3-6 week turnaround period from the Government, and many people in the Solar Industry remain concerned about how long the rebates will be available despite Government assurances that they will remain in place until June 2009.Our advice is to get preapproved as fast as you can in case the Federal Government changes the rebate program again. SEE the web site.

PS A great spin-off is that the roof may get repaired!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The narrative was in the windows of old.
The narrative is that the Fourth Estate is revolting. The Herald newspaper is under threat. It is said that Fairfax Press is about to sacrifice indepth journalism for economic gain with the sacking of essential staff members on the major city press and elsewhere. It is reported that staff are about to take strike action.
Our local newspaper has an important role that many of us appreciate. The associated major city Fairfax newspapers also provide commentary and good reading from the best journalists. High class journalism - that's what it takes.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kreisel - Top - Toupie. From Lorenz Bolz Co: Quality turns on since 1880. (Made in China)
Sold at The Spinning Top Toy shop, Glebe Road, Adamstown.

A wedding is imminent in this festive household.
Extended families come in all shapes and sizes and newcomers to this country might have some family left behind out of the family fold.
The milestones, the school concerts, simple day-to-day contact are among the times when relatives could be missed. The 'love miles' come into play and, I understand, family reunion migration programs exist. How about the role of in-laws? Is it good!
Our lifestyle is rather the opposite to that experienced by the elders in some 'homelands'. The pro's and con's. Here's to having it all!
This photo may have appeared on here in the past, my record keeping is amiss.

A type of calendar marks the 1st September when Ramadan commences. For Muslims it is a time of fasting, feasting and prayer. It is a time for contemplation, spirituality and brotherhood.
Traditional sweets and specials are advertised for sale by this calendar.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The old bowling club looks like a detention centre now. The new work complements the old war-memorial entrance-gates.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Once upon a time one of these had a sign 'the 23rd Palm'.
The fence on the bend at the end.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Above: Dish China late 1600s or early 1700s. Porcelain decorated with famille verte (enamel colours of predominately green and red) From the Powerhouse Museum Sydney.
It seems the influence of this style is often seen today in dishes and ornaments of inexpensive giftware.
Above: Blue and White Late Ming dynasty dish, China, early 1400s.
This is a fine example of blue-and -white porcelain made in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, which was the site of China's imperial porcelain kilns. Chinese Blue-and -white procelains, often of a lesser quality, were imported into Europe on ships of the Dutch and English East India compaines, established in the early 1600s to share in the rich spice trade.
From the Powerhouse Museum.
Two ornamental vases Tin glazed delftware (eathenware), decorated by Gerrit Pietersz Kain at his De Drye Verguilde Astonnekens factory, Delf, Holland, about 1680. Like generations of potters, many European factories imitated imported Chinese -and, from the late 1600s, Japanese- designs. They used earthenware covered with an opaque tin glaze that resembled the white porcelain they so admired but, except for a few factories, were still unable to make in the mid 1700s.
From the Powerhouse Museum.
One of these teaposts is a fake. Can you guess which one?
As interest in antique porcelain collections grew in the late 1800s, some potters copied antique objects and forged marks on them to achieve higher prices. The famous maker of such fakes was Emile Samson.
Knowledge of antiques was limited and it was easy to deceive customers. Not many would notice, for example, the give-away bright-white colour of hard-paste porcelain in Samson's 'Chantilly' teapot (15) - only the warmer toned soft-paste was made at the French factory.

15 Teapot Hard-paste porcelain, painted with Kakiemon 'two quail' pattern at Samon et Cie, Montreuil, France, about 1900. Chantilly mark (red hunting-horn) painted on base.
16 Worcester Teapot Soaprock porcelain, transfer-printed, handpainted and gilt with 'Chinese family' pattern, Worcester Porcelain Factory, England, about 1770.

The introduction of transfer-printing to porcelain decoration in 1756 meant that decorated articles could be produced economically. Early Worcester teapots showed strong Chinese influences. Later designs were often based on French engravings.
From the Powerhouse Museum.

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Warren Duncan: Workers queue for a breakfast of noodles at a side walk cafe in Wuhan

Friday, August 22, 2008

Trivia. A new brand of pasta has arrived from Napoli. Some Newcastle supermarts cater more for Italians if that has anything to do with it.

The provincial scene on the label show a maiden with wheat and a sickle and is it the Bay of Naples with Mount Vesuvius on the horizon? The maiden is from Gragnano, a commune (municipality) near Naples.
Australian pasta is a good product and is exported far and wide, including Italy, but will certainly have to come up with more imaginative packaging to outdo this.
News of the wonder food, pasta, is on these sites: and
It is the food of Olympic Champions.

This traditional home made dry pasta says:
Our tradition bronze-extruded pasta is made using the finest quality... Gregnano, the home of pasta.
It came in the form of Herculaneum rings, shorter and much wider than Penne with good flavour while the most appropriate recipe is unknown as to sauce or otherwise as the pasta is rather dominant but a drop of red is important. The water pipes of yesterday's post were a reminder!
The dry pieces were just right for a toddler to thread and paint and make a necklace and, even, believe it or not, eat, when cooked - refering to a pasta dish.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Laying water pipes
Lu Shuan-chin
Commune member
Gouche 890 x 1230 mm
From exhibition: Peasant paintings from Hu county, Shensi province, China.

Dragon boat races on the Mekong River in Yunnan province. From an early correspondent: Warren Duncan

Sunday, August 17, 2008

China's model terraced commune at Tachai in Shenshi province. Photo from an early correspondent: Warren Duncan.

Imparting experience
Li Chou-cheng

This is part of what the Chinese once called 'open-door' science.
'... processes of face-to-face contact and exchange appear to be exceedingly important in the transmission and popularization of science in China. Because such exchange generates little or no printed material, western observers, who tend to believe that all scientific communication of any note eventually reaches print, are likely to over-look what appears to be a vast network of informal scientific exchange in the Chinese countryside.' China: Science Walks on Two Legs. New York. 1974. p 48.
From a British exhibition: Peasant paintings from Hu county, Shensi province, China.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

'A noisy political street march in Peking' Photo from an early correspondent Warren Duncan. Those were the days, no political street march passes by the Mattress (or Ice Cube) now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Forum on the campus of Newcastle University. Sport, as a study and as a commodity, is a topic to consider but The Forum is no centre for rhetoric but is one for fitness.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

'The spirit of Yenan shines brightly always.' is written on the chimney.
On the Kiln: 'Tawang commune brick-kiln factory.'
The Commune Brick-kiln by Chang Min-wu.
Quote from the card: Yenan was a small town in Shensi province where the communists established their base area at the end of the Long March. Here many of the principles of the Chinese revolution were worked out in practice over a long period (1935-48) for the first time.

From the exhibition: Peasant paintings from Hu country, Shensi privince, China, Arts Council of Breat Britain.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Information about this Chinese art refers to Dunhuang in the Western Region where caves have many examples of ancient grotto art.
The area was the hub of three roads leading to the West and of the Silk Road which resulted in a blend of influences and Chinese Buddhist art reached its apex there in the Tang Dynasty so long ago. A treasure trove of coloured murals were also found there.
The Tang figures are very amiable. The kneeling figure is that of a devotee. Mid-Tang (762-820) and the other is of a bodhisattva also Mid-Tang.
From China Pictorial, Beijing, 1980.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Eight Stallions, a painting by the Jesuit priest Guiseppe Castiglione (1698-1768), who became one of the imperial painters in China and famous for his horse paintings which he signed with the
name Lang Shih-ning.
From an old journal Orientations, Pacific Communications, Hong Kong.
..the horse....speed and perseverance, noted for its proud bearing, its fiery impulsiveness and its intelligence.

Here was a Mediterranean European Jesuit in old China. It is stranger than fiction. I don't think his work has the same flair as the Chinese artists but is a curiosity all the same.

From the article: The Chinese Lunar Calendar follows a 60-year-cycle, in which each year is given a specific name. Each year is denoted by the combination of the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire and soil) and especially devoted to an animal of the 12-animal cycle. ...How this cycle came to be, what animals were chosen, and how, is a little story in itself. It was Buddha who decided, long ago, to summon all the animals of the world and grant them a special gift each. As it turned out, only 12 animals showed up. To each of them, he gave a year to reign so that each year would take on the specific character of the reigning animal. As each animal arrived, so his place was decided in the cycle. They came in this order: rat, buffalo, tiger, hare, dragon, shake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Is there any connection between the spiritual world of a people and the political ideology they live with? It is obscure.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Yueh ch'in also know as a moon guitar, this Chinese instrument was acquired by the Powerhouse Museum ( or its forebearer) in 1884. It is still in perfect condition.

From Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, tracing the Chinese presence, which is longstanding, in Australia.
San hsien (hanging): wood, snakeskin and bone, China, about 1880.
Jinghu and bow (hanging): wood, snakeskin and horsehair, China, about 1880.
Tye or dizi (flute) (rear): bamboo and bone, China, about 1880.

Friday, August 01, 2008

An aeroplane where it had rested since WWII in the tropics of Papua New Guinea, in the Lae - Madang area.
A camping trip was organized by a magistrate who was very much at home with his life as an Australian 'kiap' and with his wife and family in Madang. The group gathered in a village before taking on the treck into the tall kuni grass and the waters of the Ramu river and into areas of occuption by the armed forces long ago.
Lockheed Lightning fighter, USA, Alison V12 Turbo charged twin engines, prop driven.