More information than you asked for…

Consider this:


Indeed that has long been my approach. Unlike some I have known I do rather avoid this: in fact I swear I have chundered no more than ten times in the last forty years. Last night was my first in The Gong – so it’s been a chunder-free zone here at The Bates Motel for four years. Until last night of course.

Food poisoning. Alas and alack! The time frame suggests it may be salmonella – or so Dr Internet suggests. Just a shame the rather spectacular chunder didn’t erupt until 4.30 am. And a blessed relief it was when it did.

I’ll go with Dr Internet’s advice for the time being. “If symptoms persist…etc” I will head for the live version.

As for the word, we do tend to think of it as Australian, but maybe it isn’t. “1920-25; orig. variously explained; perhaps ultimately an expressive formation akin to dial. (mainly N England) chunder grumble, complain…” Here is another discussion on World Wide Words:

Barry Humphries certainly popularised chunder, but be reassured that he didn’t invent it. The first recorded use is actually in the 1950 novel A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute. Mr Humphries himself mentioned the “watch under” story in an article in the Times Literary Supplement in 1965. He believed it, but — like you — I treat it with the very greatest suspicion, as it sounds like a classic bit of folk etymology.

The writer of the TLS article recorded that he remembered it as being common in the mid 1950s in “Victoria’s more expensive public schools”. Others have suggested that it was actually World War Two military slang.

But the most common explanation is persuasive, though it is a little tentative because it is based on anecdotal associations rather than hard evidence. It is said that it comes from a series of advertisements for Blyth and Platt’s Cobra boot polish. These appeared in the Bulletin newspaper in Sydney from 1909 on, originally drawn by the well-known Australian artist Norman Lindsay. The ads featured a character named Chunder Loo of Akim Foo and were popular enough that Norman’s brother, Lionel Lindsay, wrote and illustrated The Adventures of Chunder Loo for Blyth and Platt in 1916. The character’s name became a nickname in World War One (sometimes abbreviated to Chunder), which is where the idea of a military link may have originated…


I do trust this post has diverted you rather than offering too much information. And as for me: so far so good. Oh yes: I will be informing the probable source of the affliction in due course.

Wollongong transformed — 10

The new centre on the intersection of Keira and Crown Streets is sure getting close! It opens in September. It is indeed quite an exciting building.

I took a walk up Keira Street on Sunday 31 August. I noted, sadly, that the Bei Feng Northern Chinese Restaurant hasn’t survived, though there is another Chinese restaurant in its place. Two years ago:

M came down to Wollongong. We went to the northern Chinese restaurant, Bei Feng, in Keira Street. I left my camera at home. The food? Better than most I have had, including Chinatown in Sydney! M agreed – and he is Chinese! He described it as good home cooking, nothing fancy about the presentation…





August 2014 draws to an end

The month for this blog began with a trip to Sydney to lunch at The Shakespeare Hotel with M, recently returned from his Canada/Alaska trip.

Rounded off the month yesterday with Chris T at the Red Dragon at Steelers – Mao Family Pork of course!

August has been rather wet

August has been the best month* so far on this blog, and as you will see one entry has been outstanding. It appears the ABC series Anzac Girls – it continues tonight – has attracted quite a lot of interest.

  1. Home page / Archives 810 views in August 2014
  2. Anzac Girls last night on ABC 226
  3. Poetastery and pollies 17
  4. All my posts 16
  5. Really mixed bag! 14
  6. Friday nights in 1957 at Waratah Street West Sutherland 13
  7. Le Lievre 13
  8. Food for thought and otherwise 12
  9. Expedition to Surry Hills — 1 11
  10. Laughing Jackass, Settler’s Clock… 11
  11. Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames” 11
  12. Expedition to Surry Hills – 3 – Sydney Boys High 11
  13. Some thoughts on Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl 10
  14. The flowers of the forest 10
  15. About 9
  16. Expedition to Surry Hills – 4 – around Bourke Street 8
  17. Expedition to Surry Hills – 6 – Devonshire Street 8
  18. Expedition to Surry Hills – 2 – The Shakespeare Hotel 8
  19. Channel 10, the Commonwealth Games, and Ian Thorpe 8
  20. Tom Thumb Lagoon 7

*Update 1 September

The WordPress stats for August are now complete: this blog averaged 53 a day in August, total views being 1,634 compared with 46 and 1,420 in July. Sitemeter measures all the blogs in this set, including the archives, plus a remnant archive on Blogspot. There were 5,351 page views in August from 4,268 visits, the second-highest this year.

Most visited on the archive where I have a lot of family history have been:

  1. Family stories 3 — About the Whitfields: from convict days 77 views in August
  2. 10. But is it art? Responses to the Bill Henson controversy of 2008 44
  3. Family stories 4 — A Guringai Family Story — Warren Whitfield 38
  4. Home page / Archives 24
  5. Top poems 2: John Donne (1572-1631): Satire III — “Of Religion” 19

English/ESL – an archive not on that Sitemeter – averaged 183 per day in August totalling 5,688 views – the best this year but a long way from the peak 18,473 in October 2010.

Moving towards spring in West Wollongong

It has been a particularly wet August here in The Gong, the upside being it hasn’t been as windy as August often is, nor has it been all that cold. As the recent rain system appeared to be breaking up last night we were afforded a rather spectacular sunset. These, as regulars would know – or indeed anyone who read yesterday’s post – are from my window.




And I am happy to report August 2014 is already the best in this blog’s short history! More on that in a few days.

Anniversaries – life changes…

Four years in The Gong

I checked in that memory bank also known as my blog.

First morning in West Wollongong

Posted on August 26, 2010 by Neil

I’m posting this here and on the photo blog. The view from my window at 6.30 am.


See also Home relocation progressing. And I had forgotten how long the transfer took:

State of play at The Bates Motel

Posted on September 13, 2010 by Neil

Yesterday Sirdan and Brett hired a van to bring down the boxes labelled “BOX” which now reside generally unopened here in Mount Keira Road.


Today I went back to Surry Hills and oversaw the transfer of about 200 vinyl records plus many boxes of books to the good folk at 2MBS-FM.

Tomorrow I return for coaching, then on Friday/Saturday armed with many garbage bags and cleaning stuff I attack the bomb site that has been home for eighteen years…

Four years on I do have to admit to feeling older if not wiser, and more and more I have become a Wollongong local. My last visit to Sydney High earlier this month indicated that by next year I will actually know fewer people there as many long-standing friends/colleagues move on. So it goes.

Yesterday on the other hand was a good time of chat at Illawarra Diggers. Discovered one old regular who in his day was a scientist with the CSIRO and also a long-term resident of Montreal…

So the land of my (possibly) Dharawal ancestors has me, it seems. Not to mention of ancestors I actually remember!

Quitnet says 28 August is 42 months

You know what I mean. The stats are on US time so a bit behind Wollongong.

1277 days, 10 hours, 14 minutes and 35 seconds smoke free. 63871 cigarettes not smoked.

$48,526.00  saved.

How much???

Yes, at (shudder) two packs per day of Benson and Hedges 25s at current prices… Extra Mild of course! (Hahaha!)