Apologies

I want to apologise for the lack of content lately. At first I was still feeling a bit seasick, even a few days after returning. After that, it has taken me a bit longer than expected to catch up on the things I needed to do. Normal posting should, all things going well, resume on Wednesday 24 February.

Thanks for your patience.

I’m Back

Yes, you read the title correctly. I am back. Butterfly and I arrived back yesterday. And let me just say I am never doing that again! Continue reading

Apologies

I apologise, but today’s Top Ten Tuesday has been cancelled as I ran out of time before leaving for my cruise. Today’s topic will reappear some time in April.

My Country by Dorothea Mackellar

Acrylic Painting Australian flag over uluru by PeterKraayvanger - Free Creative Commons Public Domain Image from Pixabay

My Country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me! Continue reading

Wrong Number

“Hello?” Sandra said into the phone.

“G’day. I’m calling to speak to Mike.” Said the voice on the other end.

“Sorry, mate. Wrong number. There’s no Mike here.”  She answered before hanging up the phone.

Thirty seconds later, the phone rang again. It was the same bloke, still looking for Mike.

“Look, I already told you, there isn’t anybody here by that name. He obviously gave you the wrong number.” She hung up again.

Almost as soon she replaced the receiver, it was ringing again. “Look mate,” she snapped. “I already told you, I don’t know this Mike of yours. Now don’t call again!”

“Actually,” a soft voice spoke. “This is Mike. I just called to give you a heads up that I gave this number to a particularly persistent guy at the club last night. I take it he’s called you already?”

Sandra was annoyed and told him so. Mike was apologetic and told her so. He’d made up a number on the spot, and only later did it occur to him that it might actually be a real number. While still annoyed, Sandra was impressed that Mike was willing to own up to his mistake. She commiserated with him about overly persistent suitors, as well.

Mike and Sandra chatted for nearly an hour. They had a lot in common and never seemed to run out of things to say. Before ending their conversation, they had agreed to meet for coffee the next day. As she hung up the phone, Sandra mused that maybe wrong numbers weren’t all bad.

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OK, this week’s story is very short and not very good. I apologise. I ran out of time before leaving for my holiday and figured something was better than nothing, so there you go. The prompt for this story was “It all started with a wrong number…”. I can’t remember where I got it from.

A Bush Christening By Banjo Patterson

abushchristening

A Bush Christening

On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross’d ‘cept by folk that are lost,
One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten year old lad,
Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
For the youngster had never been christened. Continue reading

Phar Lap In The Melbourne Museum by Peter Porter

Unfortunately, this poem is more recent than I had realised and is still under copyright. However, it can be read at the Australian Poetry Library, where you can also download it for a small (around $2) fee. I highly recommend taking the time to read it. It is an excellent piece.

Top Ten Australian Inventions

Australia has always been a creative country. Present us with a problem and we will find a solution. I suspect that it goes all the way back to the days of squatters and homesteads and drovers. In those days, supply runs were few and far between. If something broke, you had to fix it with whatever you had to hand. If you ran out, you had to do without, or find a substitute.

Australians have always been quite good at thinking outside the box, and this has led to quite a number of inventions, though we don’t always get the credit we deserve. In honour of Rafferty’s Rules’ first annual ‘Australia Month’, I have decided to do a top ten list of Australian inventions. Continue reading

Three Developments

“The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy. “
— Alex Carey

Gone

The first time I disappeared, I was six. One moment, I was sitting at the table eating spaghetti with my family, the next moment I was gone. Just like that; now you see me, now you don’t. Continue reading

Cruising the Pacific

PacificPearl_Afeature

The time is finally nearly here. Thanks to generosity of my mother, I will be heading out with Butterfly on a Pacific Islands Cruise on Monday. I am really looking forward to it. It will be nice to have some peace and quiet. Plus, reading about the ship and everything that is included, it looks like so much fun.

We are travelling on the Pacific Pearl and visiting the Isle of Pines, Noumea and Mare. I am so excited. I am really looking forward to it.

Don’t worry, though, I am scheduling my blog posts before I leave, so you guys will still have awesome daily content to peruse while I am away.

Come to Australia

Top Ten Big Things in Australia

All around the world artists, businesses and governments erect giant versions of animals or items that are relevant to them, and Australia is no exception. Inevitably, these giant sculptures attract tourists and, indeed, there are many people who make a hobby of travelling to various ‘big things’ around the world.

Australia certainly hosts her fair share of ‘big things’. In fact, I was quite surprised at the sheer number and variety of these sculptures scattered throughout the country. Before doing my research for this blog post, I could have counted on one hand the number of Australian ‘big things’ that I knew about. Continue reading

Baby Dingo

“Valkyrie walked to the back door, which hadn’t been closed properly, shut it and locked it. There was now a baby in the house, after all. She couldn’t take the chance that a wild animal might wander in and make off with Alice, like those dingoes in Australia. She was probably being unfair to both dingoes and Australia, but she couldn’t risk it. Locked doors kept the dingoes out, and that’s all there was to it, even if she didn’t know what a dingo actually was. She took out her phone, searched the Internet, found a picture of a baby dingo and now she really wanted a baby dingo for a pet.”

― Derek Landy, Death Bringer

Imaginary Friends

The first time I saw my friends was right after we moved into our new house. I didn’t like the house my parents bought. It was old and dirty, with grime on the windows and doors that creaked and redbacks under the stairs. The yard was practically a jungle with overgrown gardens and grass up to my knees. I just knew I would be stuck cleaning that mess up even though there was bound to be mice and snakes and who knows what else living there.

The kitchen was old. It had one of those orange laminate bench-tops that were popular when my mum was a kid. The wallpaper was faded and peeling and there was only one sink. There was a little square table and two uncomfortable looking chairs in the corner that the previous owners had left behind. Continue reading

Laughing

I told Santa you were good this year….and he hasn’t stopped laughing since!

Taken from Humor Matters

Santa Knows

Sarah and her thirteen-year-old sister had been fighting a lot this year. This happens when you combine a headstrong two-year-old, who is sure she is always right, with a young adolescent.

Sarah’s parents, trying to take advantage of her newfound interest in Santa Claus, reminded the two-year-old that Santa was watching and doesn’t like it when children fight. This had little impact. Continue reading

Top Ten Beautiful Christmas Trees

Christmas trees are a fairly standard sight in the home of anybody who celebrates that particular holiday, and many stores and public areas around the world also wow the public with these beautiful decorations.

Every once in a while, however, we come across a tree that is decorated so beautifully that we just want to oooh and aaah in awe.

This is my top ten list of some of the most beautiful Christmas trees from around the world, in order from ten to one: Continue reading

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

This is the first time I have ever attempted to draw anything beyond stick figures and smiley faces, plus this was drawn with a mouse on a computer, so I had rather less control than a pencil in my hand. … Continue reading

Christmas Comes But Once A Year

Karen woke to the sound of whispering. Rolling over and glancing at the window, she groaned as she saw it was still dark out.

“It’s too damned early,” she grumbled to herself. Hoping to get some more rest, she closed her eyes and tried to go back to sleep, ignoring the sounds of feet racing up and down the hallway and the quiet rustling of toys being removed from stockings. She sighed as her body gradually relaxed. She was just about to drift into slumber, when the loud flush of the toilet jerked her back into wakefulness. Continue reading

Merry Christmas

Merry Xmas from Rafferty's Rules

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Whichever holiday you observe, please celebrate safely and enjoy the season responsibly. I wish you and your loved ones health, wealth and happiness and, no matter how well 2015 treated you, I hope 2016 is better.

How to Wrap a Christmas Present

I absolutely adore giving gifts. It is one of my favourite things about Christmas. However, if you are anything like me, gift-wrapping can be fairly frustrating. I look at all those beautifully wrapped presents on TV or in the magazines, then I look at my own wrapped presents, then I shake my head and wonder where the hell I went wrong? Continue reading

Top Ten Christmas Carols

There is plenty to love about Christmas and plenty of things to do. One activity that I love is to crank the volume up and sing along with my favourite Christmas carols. Secular, religious, fast, slow, kids, adult, funny, serious, it makes no difference to me — I love them all.

Still, as with anything in life, I love some more than I love others. So, here is my top ten list of Christmas Carols, from ten to one: Continue reading