Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Post Card: Seaspray Guest House, Maroochydore, Queensland.  From the twenties or thirties or earlier?
Did the cattle-country squatters take their holidays on the coast?  Will guest houses make a come back?
I had a holiday in Terrigal in a guest house when I was small and the family drove from the country arriving there during a wild thunderstorm.  A lagoon by the beach was a great place for canoeing particularly when the seaside was a novelty. When we were leaving we found we had made a mistake and had failed to stay at the right place we had booked and made a down payment on!   

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rankin Park
It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Bluntly, the malady, Tuberculous,  for all its problems has given us both hospitals and music.
Musically, poor Mimi, in the opera La Boheme succumbed to TB (most likely) and continues to charm us right up to her last gasps in a delightful soap opera that exploits duets, trios and quartets for all they are worth.

To live you whole life without loving an opera is a terrible misfortune.

Now that TB is 'stamped out' we have in New Lambton Heights, Rankin Park hospital available for the new round of problems that are taking us out.  The old building is substantial and pleasant compared to the recent counterparts nearby, is even there for the long haul and the lawns and mature trees offer a retreat from the adjoining chaos.

 Opera Australia has given us a multicultual Boheme and paired Takesha Meshe Kizart (American) with Ji-Min Pak (South Korean) to give La Boheme a wonderful 'lift'. (ABCTV).

Friday, July 27, 2012

Never forget the dreaded 'blind spot'.  This is the result.  Another car pulled away from the curb as red car was blithely driving past. And the other car's right corner looks worse.

Good on ya Aussies.  Go for gold!
Good on ya Boris!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

 Foggy morning.
More trains more dust No 4th coal terminal proclaim the posters all over town.  (Electric light poles come in handy for protestors).
People are asking that coal be covered during its transportation all around the 'valley'.  The AMA is focused on the harmful effects of pollution including coal dust.
Local researchers have dared to announce findings around higher incidence of cancer in workers on Kooragang with its coal loading facilities and other industries.  (Announcements to this effect were made and are the extent of my knowledge)     

Mr Abbott: Denounced ambassador. Re-education is called for. Jeopardizing our trade?  Surrender leadership now. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Raj's Fashion.  Raj curry house extended next door and then next door again for groceries and fashion. Indian food never fails to appeal, the saltiness less so.

We all love our favourite foods and this is demonstrated by the items in the alternative shops for those of other heritages.  We use many of the items in common with them and which are found in our supertmarts.  But for that special familiar flavour almost identical foods are imported. The same with highly preserved, salted, canned and pickled foods that are imported and marketed. It seems buyers are not tempted by the adundant fresh produce or probably combine both forms.
One small difference is that corn flour is correctly made from corn while, strangely, we mainly use corn flour made from wheat but am not entirely sure what its made from. I doubt we were into corn in a big way and doubt the British were into corn crops and that must have been an influence.  Who knows?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This book shop has customers so it seems we still read books (print copies).

I feel like a stranger in my own land when flag waving swaggering folk are on the scene. Same with uniformed bikies and the Shooter's Party. Gee, thanks a lot for permitting hunting with guns in National Parks. What are they thinking?  Why ever would anyone want to emulate gun toteing folk who take themselves very earnestly.

Reports are of bikies who are into drugs and gun fights. Reports of shootings in Sydney have increased lately even one victim in the backwaters of the....Wine Country currently with police protection at The John (hospital).  'Real' men and their games. 'Tough' guys. 

Other than that, why are small children or babies taken to a midnight movie show to an unsuitable movie at that?  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Snow Bound in Syria WW2.  In the Lebanese mountains, troops became snow-bound for days at a time during their one severe winter there.  The scene is at Aley, within sight of the Mediterranean, where the clearing of the road to Damascas was directed by Australian engineers.
Our land is very very ancient and has dreaming stories as an oral account.  Syria. Just imagine recorded annals from the eighth centruy BC when it seems the prophet Isaiah was having a rant to impress the people of Judah and was calling them to conversion...again. The threat was not from over the border. Conversion is ongoing...trying again. His drastic description is new to me as is the context.

The Lord said, 'Damascus will not be a city any longer; it will be only a pile of ruins. The cities of Syria will be deserted forever.  They will be a pasture for sheep and cattle, and no one will drive them away.  Israel will be defenseless, and Damascus will lose its independence. Those Syrians who survive will be in disgrace like the people of Israel.' 
Isiah 17, 1-3 Good News Bible. Good news? And Australian War Memorial publishing, 1942.

Last night, Le Tour de France was seen speeding into Chartres. (SBS)

Heritage. Some areas favour timber carving -  surely the best medium and the carvings at Cathedrale de Chartres are lovely examples of seemingly medieval art and a long series enclose the choir area. This contrasts with the awesome (filled with awe) stained glass.
Early centre of pilgrimage and UNESCO World Heritage site.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The entrance to the Bogie Hole is unsafe and is fenced off and curious markings have appeared nearby.  But that was during stormy weather last month.  Are there plans for car access again and extension of the loop that Sunday drivers love.  The road was closed not long after the time of the convicts and the governor who swam. 

Mr Abbott, leader of the Opposition, don't return, stay on in Wall Street.
Even at that distance, we can't get away from him on the news.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Caught by a Viking these Scottish Kippers are very very tasty after a long absence from the diet for no good reason - well, they are high in salt. 
Foreign companies have taken over our food processing and most things.  Dick Smith, in a small way, takes a stand against the tide.
Will the food companies have to contend with the cost of carbon?  Food prices have upped considerably these last few years as it is.

No more processed foods in this household - that is ninty percent of supermarket items, and a difficult strategy to adopt.  Some say Aldi sells a lot of Australian foods but so do the other stores. We will try and do more shopping at Aldi for a change although I am not mad about their stores. At least the company is not into poker machines.  Do they rip off the farmers?

Hopes are held for a terrific harvest of wheat and other grains to add to reserves and make up for the crop failures because of drought in the northern climes of the world. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New playground at Blackbutt.  The focus was on fun and games. We are so fortunate by and large.  Not many troublespots on our front.  So much to share.
And what about adult equipment to get more of us active? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tweaking the traffic cameras near Tudor and Beaumont Hamilton.  Is the current state one of reduction or of proliferation of red light cameras?  Difficult to keep up with.  Without speed.
How much data is reaped from our smart phones, not counting gps?  Facebook, e-readers and all the rest are on task for personal data collection.

@please speed up change to a new leader of the Opposition.  We all know more than we need about some politicians.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Furniture of the Colonial days strongly typified by a red cedar table and balloon backed chairs.
Well, that's my description, rightly or wrongly. Maybe the upholstery is not exactly kosher.

Bring on a Rum Rebellion and oust the leader of the opposition, now!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Institutions of learning have been making the headlines but it's not all bad.  Newcastle choirs were right up there in the silver medal count at the World choir games in Ohio.  Cool.  And a gold medal went to a local choir Hunter Singers, outside of academia.

Reported on the choir blog was this little insight (prior to Ohio) : ...When we eventually performed, we were delighted to be met with all sorts of approval at even the strangness of our songs.  It was nice to have an audience that didn't seem confused and bewildered by the shouts and harmonics, but which took them all in their stride and were delighted...
Whan else can you expect of us ingrates?
With the time difference, it seemed the results were published on the internet before the choirs performed! So to speak.

Institutions are full of power and tendency to become a law unto themselves.  Parliament, for instance.  Mr Abbott please step down, we need a new leader now.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Near Katoomba, Blue mountains area.  These are 'mountains' of a different type, not a matter of high alpine country with majestic peaks but a nature area with gorges and rock formations that also offers a minor change of climate, nothing extreme in the land of the 'dumb drunk and racists'.

Dear Liberal party: You don't have my support but we can't escape your leader.  Please replace Mr Abbott.  A Boris Johnson clone is welcome.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A printed cotton dilly bag from another more indulgent age before the business model took over. The University Union ran a long list of activities on campus before times changed.  We always need to lift our game but is there any need to mirror the industriousness of certain overseas countries.

A path to a profession is made a university degree program so as to reap certain benefits and is then pressured and fast tracked to reach graduation as fast as possible. Certain  insights, aspirations about quality, development of a creative approach and ideas to improve a profession become less likely in a pragmatic atmosphere that fails to promote any depth or to sell the benefits of all that to the students.  Education was a time for gratuitous debate and development.

 Undergraduates adopt old ways by taking up part time work in the profession to either support themselves while on the small student allowance or to give themselves a foot in the door (that might be seen as obligatory) with the result that they are less likely to improve standards and are short of time to capitalise on a university education and defeat a lot of its purpose. They may not yet know how a broad education might better equip them to achieve long term job satisfaction along with good work conditions.
So what, professionals can be recuited from overseas.
Thanks John Howard back when.

Wanted: Alive: A new leader of the opposition. Abbott clones need not apply  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Royal Oak Hotel Cessnock.  Large old hotels are found dominating corners around Kurri Kurri and Cessnock .  Built around 1900 to 1920. Could they become more fully utilized and integrated into the vinyard or  'wine country' scene?
If the hotels were given the right image and doings then possibilities would be created for day trippers and other tourists. Would the reality be too much for those hooked on theme parks?
Asian tourists are the future 'they' say.  Hotels like these don't exisit in China and contrast with their super cities which won't be found around here. But what's the use of travel to see more of the same?
Ni Hoa!  Try learning Mandarin, it's great. My one or two words and characters even help.
WANTED: New leader of the opposition.  Abbott clones need not apply.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Simple pleasures.  Nature's theme park. Blackbutt reserve Newcastle.
Following Le Tour de France, which is hardly a simple event, near the French Suisse border Sunday, (SBSTV), out of town roads pass through open country and fields of wheat as well as sophisticated parts and clusters of villagers. Urban freeways are another story and not part of the cycle race.
Seems a good idea to constrain urban development within city limits, go high rise and prevent covering wide country areas with endless housing estates. Dense housing kept contained within a new centre is desirable to set up and replicate with swathes of the great out doors never too far away.  Go Cadel! 

WANTED: New leader of the opposition.  Abbott clones need not apply.   

Sunday, July 08, 2012

At the park  we were warned 'beware of swans protecting their territory'.  One swan left the water and threatened us with ruffled feathers, red beak and long neck to the fore.
I stood my ground and dominated the encounter with strong utterances. Trust?  Were those feathers wonderfully soft to the touch?
The feathers on baby swans change through shades of grey before turning black.  Adults swans pair for life.
Spinning nearby was pole dancing and an abstract bird. Vertigo is the downside or is it tied to an experience

*Mr Abbott, leader of the Opposition, please step down, submit, vamoose.

Friday, July 06, 2012

A few 'outsiders' are having their day at Wimbledon. Well done.
A tall old beacon is in the centre of the photo of Tyrrell Street.  The brick wall on the left surrounds longstanding infrastructure above Newcastle (or is it The Hill).  The wall was a place to practice tennis shots when I once lived in the vicinity.


Thursday, July 05, 2012

Our sixty cent stamp (on the left).  The antipodeans are restless! 'We're on a roll.'  Black Caviar's win was a good omen.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Mucking around in boats on the Hunter River, Raymond Terrace.  A training exercise and State Emergency Service. An ever so chilly breeze was blowing over the river.
When did we get independence from England?  At Federation in 1900-1?  Can't say where we stand. I'd just as soon be a republic. With a leader that is appointed not elected.  This does not mean that the Queen is not appreciated or highly regarded but that we have moved on as a nation. Viva the republick.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Single origin coffee from Sumatra made a very smooth offering at Lotus.  Another time, a run-of-the-mill drink of coffee in Sumatra was served in a glass with the coffee grains in the hot water and a lot of sweetened condensed milk added at additional cost. Brewed coffee of good flavour was served at 'progressive' places on that island - the largest island.
Will the price of coffee go up is what we are expected to ask.  Eureka! Today, carbon pricing began and the federal government has introduced assistance for some people to offset any flow on effects but cost is what it takes to control carbon emissions. Cut back on the Lattes!
May all your days be well air conditioned!

New regulated retail tariffs for electricity are increased. PowerSmart Home with EnergyAustralia have these rates from today 1 July 2012.
Peak 2pm - 8pm on working days including GST 52.547 cents/kWh.
Shoulder 7am - 2pm & 8pm -10pm working weekdays and  7am - 10pm weekends and public holidays. 21.340 cents/kWh.
Off Peak all other times 13.090 cents/kWh.  

Domestic rates for those without a PowerSmart meter also available. All the rates are in The Herald, Saturday.

After doing the laundry, we folded the sheets together, my mother holding two corners and myself on the other two.  This has hardly ever happen again since I left home. The sheets do get washed but I fold them single handed.  Involves exercise of the arms, no 'tuck shop arms' around here!  Fitted sheets end up the way they do.

Our viewing has been revisiting Woody Allen (ABCTV2) with Annie Hall and Manhattan and a doco. Why was nostalgia so much to the fore? Lovely ideas and background shots of an era and music so right in Manhattan in black and white. The cad.