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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
“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. “
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 →
“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.”
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 →
There was a certain wharfie on the Melbourne waterfront who was suspected of stealing. Each day he left the wharf where he worked, pushing a wheelbarrow filled with straw. So a police detective was detailed to watch him. The detective searched among the straw but found nothing; and yet he was satisfied in his own mind that the wharf labourer was engaged in pilfering of some sort. This went on, day after day, for two weeks.
Late one afternoon the wharf labourer dropped in at the Seamen’s Arms for a beer. The detective who had been detailed to watch him joined him at the bar counter and said, “Look here, I’m being posted to Bendigo, so you can talk freely. I promise not to tell anyone. I’m just curious. What are you stealing?”
“Well,” said the wharfie, “under the circumstances I don’t suppose there’s any harm in telling you. It’s wheelbarrows.”
— Bill Wannan’s Come in Spinner: A Treasury of Popular Australian Humour
The Story of the Kelly Gang, the earliest feature film ever made, was released in 1906 and the Australian film industry has been producing outstanding cinema ever since. Though many gems have remained undiscovered by audiences outside of Australia, the country has enjoyed it’s share of international acclaim. Continue reading →
On a footpath in Tel Aviv one day in October, 1942, an old English colonel and a young American major were discussing the war situation in general when they were approached by four youthful Aussie soldiers who had been imbibing rather too freely.
When they came up to the officers the Aussies divided into pairs, passed them, and went merrily on their way.
The following dialogue then took place between the two officers:
American Major: Who in blazes is that Gard-darn rabble? English Colonel: They’re Orstralians, Major, Orstralians. A.M.: And whose side are they on? E.C.: Ours, Major. They’re our Allies. A.M.: But, dammit, sir, they didn’t salute us! E.C.: Admittedly, Major, but after all you must agree, they did have the decency to walk around us. Had they been their fathers of the ‘14-’18 war, the blighters would have walked right over us.
— Mr. Jack Holmes of Firle (SA) in Bill Wannan’s Come in Spinner: A Treasury of Popular Australian Humour
I came across a post on Facebook tonight and it really pissed me off. The post itself annoyed me, but the comments (all in support, of course) really made me cross! I was even more pissed off by the fact that I cannot comment. So I am posting it here in order to air my point of view. It will probably never be seen by the bigots who found the post funny, but at least I can get off my chest! Continue reading →
I have heard many people critisise the Abbott Government, and many more sing his praises. I have even seen him referred to as ‘Hitler’. This may seem a bit extreme, but could Abbott be a dictator in the making? You decide. Continue reading →
While preparing for my ration challenge, I had a lot of trouble finding a suitable ration book template, so I created my own. It isn’t perfect (and it is 2 sheets rather than a booklet), but it suitable for my needs. Below are word documents for those who wish to use it for themselves. The points tickets are on page 1.
At the same time as the ordinary rationing, Britain and America had a kind of parallel rationing system. This involved a points system, whereby a certain number of points were given each month, to be spent on various extras such as tinned salmon or rice. The British were allocated either 24 or 16 points per month but I have not found any references to a similar system in Australia. As the most commonly accepted points allocation for this challenge is 16, that is what we will be using. Continue reading →
Meat is Rationed So is Chewing the Fat Less. Gab More Guns – NARA – 533911 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As stated in a previous post, I will be forcing my family to live of WWII rations for a little while. It will be a great learning experience for the children and may even end up with us being happier, healthier people! The ration I will be following will be a kind of mash-up of official WWII rations from Australia, England & America.
As I live in Australia, this will be my main inspiration for ration amounts. Australians were lightly rationed compared to other combatants. In fact, when it came to fresh fruit & veg, we often experienced a glut in the market as Britain decided to devote valuable shipping space to proteins instead. So we are going to be far better off than most Brits were during the war. Continue reading →
My children and I have been watching a lot of Supersizers episodes lately, and we are all absolutely fascinated by the dishes that were considered normal in times past. Many of the dishes that past generations considered to be delicacies seemed very strange to us, though I am quite sure that they would feel the same way about some of today’s favourites. Continue reading →
Butterfly was tasked with purchasing some snacks from Coles yesterday and one of the things she came home with was Lemon Lamingtons. For those who don’t know, lamingtons are a popular Australian snack consisting of squares of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and covered with coconut. In this case, however, instead of chocolate, the cakes were dipped in lemon.
I won’t lie, I was rather skeptical when Butterfly told me what she bought, but I’ll try almost anything once, so I had one for afternoon tea. Oh my goodness. If you haven’t tried these, you are missing out. They are delicious and have a completely different taste from ordinary lamingtons. Anyway, I have found the recipe on KidSpot. Here is a link for those who want to try these for themselves:
There was a certain Australian sar’major during World War I who gave his commands in a most unorthodox manner. “Slope arms — you, too!” “Present arms — you, too!” “Forward march — you, too!” After the parade one day, a … Continue reading →
Well, it that time of year again. The time when people frantically search for lost receipts, impatiently await this years group certificates and lose their sanity in their attempts to correctly fill in their tax form. I began this years … Continue reading →