Selected posts from 2013 — 10 – September

I should be talking about the weather…

Posted on September 1, 2013 by Neil

But that Mr Bean versus Laundrette Man competition gets in the way. Thank God, I suppose, that it might be over in a week’s time, though it could just be our luck to have another hung parliament. It is what they all deserve…

The thus far much laundered and starched Abbott person has shown his true colours just lately by backing one of his less well-chosen candidates on (of all  the issues we could have done without)  the old f*cking burqa paranoia meme…  Yes there are votes in it — but no honour.

Personally I find Scott Morrison’s glasses very confronting, and Senator Abetz would be one of the most confronting sights I can conceive of right now… Or maybe Bronwyn Bishop


Cathy Wilcox has read my mind this morning…

Read more…

Seasonal hazard…

Posted on September 5, 2013 by Neil

Aside from the battier political comment or three, of course, as in…

Face palm time! As Politifact points out: “The Refugee Council of Australia says in the areas surrounding the Nepean Hospital – Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountains – there were 161 asylum seekers last year. The 2011 census shows the area has a population of 617,861.” Yes, 161 can sure cause traffic jams, even if many of them don’t own a car, and they really pack the hospitals too! “We also had a quick look at NSW Health’s handy website showing the number of patients waiting in Nepean Hospital’s emergency department. At  2.40pm, there were four people waiting but only two or none at the surrounding hospitals.”

No, the hazard in the title may easily be confused with that kind of politicking, but it has been happening much longer down the east coast of Oz, not least in The Gong. I had wondered about the numbers of cyclists I have seen lately with antennae. Is this the latest in tinfoil hats, I wondered? Election season could lead to an increase in wearing such protection.


No. Rather the guy on the left in the next image is the villain responsible.


Yes, as The Illawarra Mercury warns today, it is Magpie Swooping Season!…

Read more…

Oh wow! VOTING DAY!!!!

Posted on September 7, 2013 by Neil


Read more…

Spring 2013–4–Election Night continued

Posted on September 8, 2013 by Neil







And finally…

  • Dear me! I am running out of 2013 rapidly here! So for the last quarter go to October 2013, November 2013 and of course this month. Let me finish with one of my best photos this year:

Selected posts from 2013 — 9 – August

August was a month of retrospective posts – with a few added in November.

The August retro series–24–summary so far–and looking ahead

Posted on August 24, 2013 by Neil

I have been casting back through my various blogs focussing on the month of August.

  3. AUGUST RETRO–3–WAY BACK! (2001-2002)
  7. AUGUST RETRO–7 — 2005
  8. AUGUST RETRO–8 — 2006
  9. AUGUST RETRO–9–2007 A
  10. AUGUST RETRO–10–2007 B
  11. AUGUST RETRO–11–2007 C
  12. AUGUST RETRO–12–2008 A
  13. AUGUST RETRO–13–2008 B
  14. AUGUST RETRO–14–2008 C
  15. AUGUST RETRO–15–2008 D
  16. AUGUST RETRO–16–2008 E
  18. AUGUST RETRO–18–2009–B
  19. AUGUST RETRO–19–2009 — C
  20. AUGUST RETRO–20 — 2010 — A
  21. AUGUST RETRO–21–2010 B
  22. AUGUST RETRO–22–2010 C
  23. AUGUST RETRO–23–2010 D — IN VIDEO

And that of course took us past the 2010 Australian election. Now we are on the cusp of the 2013  equivalent.  It isn’t looking good for Kevin Revenant Rudd. (“A revenant is a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living.” Unfortunately the other side has zombies in it too! Maybe even more.)


Abbott set for triumph as Rudd’s seat at risk

Another August phenomenon was Lost Wollongong.

Lost Wollongong

Posted on August 30, 2013 by Neil

It is amazing how the Facebook Lost Wollongong group has taken off in the past few months. There are 7,804 members at the moment – the older Lost Sydney has 5,727, Old Sydney Album has 506, and Lost Gay Sydney has 5,684. Mind you Lost Wollongong could almost be badged “lost childhood” as a large proportion is given to school memories and items from members’ childhood years. Not that I object to that, especially as one who was a teacher in the area and whose father grew up down at Shellharbour.

But there are also some rather amazing bits of history surfacing through the group. There’s a start being made on anIndigenous album, for example. The following is there in a smaller copy.


Aboriginal Camp Long Point Shellharbour See also Aboriginal History for the Kiama Region.

The photographer was Henry Holden. It was taken 1880-1900.

In another album are pictures of Mount Keira, at the foot of which I now live.


Wollongong from Mt Keira – 1912

Several times I have posted pictures of a lovely old house just up Mount Keira Road from here. This one is from 2010:

Thanks to Lost Wollongong I now know it is “’Brighton Villa’ Built 1856 by Edmund Geard. Otherwise known as the ‘Christmas House’ as it is decorated each year with an amazing array of lights, scenes and decorations.”  It originally sat on thirty acres of land overlooking nearby Geard’s Hill where The Illawarra Grammar School now stands.

Sign of the times

Posted on August 21, 2013 by Neil

Spotted on my way to Figtree on Monday.


That’s the local Liberal Party candidate. He won’t win. Good to see the even-handed approach to Rugby League though.



I was feeling quite benevolent and replete at the time I saw those signs. You may see why above: the $10 roast lamb at The Hellenic Club.


Before Abraham was, we are…

Posted on August 6, 2013 by Neil

Some may get my allusion and even find it somewhat blasphemous – but facts are facts, and what follows is truer than what we in the West were so long led to believe.

65 000 years ago

There is still uncertainty surrounding the exact timing of the initial human colonisation of Australia, and both the timing and nature of megafaunal extinctions.

For more conservative archaeologists, the most commonly accepted age of initial human occupation is 40 000 years or 43 000 – 45 000 calendircal years after calibration (Allen 200:65; Mulvaney & Kaminga 1999). In contrast, Roberts et al. (1990;1993; 1998; 2001) and others argue for initial colonisation at 56 000 +/- 4 000 years, based on optical dates for two north Australian sites (Nauwalabila and Malakunanja). In south-east Australia, recent datings of the Lake Mungo 3 (LM3) human remains arrived at an age of about 60 000 years (more specifically, 56 000 – 68 000 years) using three different dating methods (Thorne et al. 1999). Although the use of three methods should yield a reliable age estimate with high accuracy, there is still much argument about the ‘true’ age of LM3, with several archaeologists and geomorphologists insisting it is more likely to be 43 000 years old.

40 000 years ago

Clear archaeological evidence that Aboriginal people have been living for some time in south eastern Australia eg. Lake Mungo.

31 000 years ago

Aboriginal people living at the Keilor site in Victoria.

20 000 years ago

Aboriginal people are well established throughout coastal and mainland Australia and Tasmania.

And so on… And the semi-mythical Abraham? Well, “according to Jewish tradition, Abraham was born under the name Abram in the city of Ur in Babylonia in the year 1948 from Creation (circa 1800 BCE).”

Read more.

Selected posts from 2013 — 8 – July

This led to a great night in December 2013!

A Sunday Session at Illawarra Brewery, Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley

Posted on July 30, 2013 by Neil

On Sunday 21st July I went to the Illawarra Brewery for the early part of the Sunday Session and heard some really good sounds. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of the singer – embarrassing, as we had a bit of a conversation.



She’s good, too. She finished this set with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and then came over and had a chat with me. I asked her if she had been channelling K D Lang.

Which is pretty bloody good, but she said she rather hoped she was channelling Jeff Buckley.

We agreed this is THE version of this complex, beautiful but bitter song. Not that Leonard Cohen himself is far behind… Winking smile

And now we have this news:

Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen is set to play a concert in Wollongong later this year.

The popular musician, along with his nine-piece band, will perform at WIN Entertainment Centre on December 4.

The Wollongong show is part of Cohen’s latest Australian tour, which will include gigs in several major cities, along with two shows at Day on the Green at the Hunter Valley’s Bimbadgen Winery and Geelong’s The Hill Winery.

Cohen, well-known for his poetic musical stylings, has released many albums and was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Tickets for the Wollongong show go on sale from 10am on Monday, August 12.

The original post has some YouTubes.

Politics in July! Oh dear….

See also My vote is now available to whoever keeps me in chocolates for the next twelve months… and Kevin Rudd–Faith in Politics–not. And it did all end in tears, did it not?

Sadly, in retrospect I do find myself rather sympathising with Tracy Spicer’s You won’t find two more hypocritical Christians than Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott (August 2013). Well you could try Scott Morrison I suppose.

I was inspired again partly by some excellent TV to delve into local and family history.

See The triumph of moderation, South of the Lake — 1, South of the Lake — 2, Indulge me…, Kiama in the early 50s, and memories of car sounds…, In 1886–from my eBooks, and one of the inspiring docos First Footprints delivered!

And more generally do revisit Many beautiful things to see here today.

Alas the asylum seeker issue continued its inexorable descent into paranoia and frightfulness during this month. I referred to it quite frequently. See On Kevin 13 and Bob “Spinner” Carr and cleaning up messes…, #QandA in Jakarta–rather amazing TV last night, Poisoned by politics, Kevin Rudd–Faith in Politics–not, My vote is now available to whoever keeps me in chocolates for the next twelve months…, Safe haven, Me, the road and I @ Wollongong Art Gallery–plus, and Looking back on July 2013.

And M was in West Wollongong.

Selected posts from 2013 — 7 – June

In June I posted some of the best seascapes I have done – see Seascapes — 1, Seascapes — 2 and Seascapes — 3. Here is one:

Did a few rainbow shots too: Somewhere, over the… Part 1, Somewhere over the… Part 2.

Family and local history featured strongly in June: see Six rewarding hours, Tom Thumb Lagoon, What a treasury of family history! and Continuing my trawling through Trove and family history.

And who is this, and why did I blog him?

Selected posts from 2013 — 6 – May

Memories–mine and another’s

Posted on May 8, 2013 by Neil


Oxford Street

See On memory and outrage and Flashback: In 1989, Fred Nile tried to ‘cleanse’ Oxford St.



One of a set by Shanghainese-born US photographer Jamisen Chen.

This is the first time appearance anywhere of Jamisen Chen’s remarkable photographs made in Shanghai in the spring of 1989. Most of us know of that date because of the widely publicized events at Tiananmen Square, in Beijing. But that spring, demonstrations occurred all over China.

See also Spring 1989 in Shanghai – A Memory of the ’89 Student Movement.



Both of those are linked to sources. M witnessed the events of 6 June 1989 at Shanghai Station. I guess you’d have to say rather more dramatic than our encounter with Fred Nile in Darlinghurst.


Yes, M’s citizenship took a while to come – but eventually it did. The photo is by William Yang, also a friend.


Two hundred years ago: Blue Mountains NSW

Posted on May 11, 2013 by Neil


Blaxland’s Journal

On Tuesday, May 11, 1813, Mr. Gregory Blaxland, Mr. William Went worth, and Lieutenant Lawson, attended by four servants, with five dogs, and four horses laden with provisions, ammunition, and other necessaries, left Mr. Blaxland’s farm at the South Creek  , for the purpose of endeavouring to effect a passage over the Blue Mountains, between the Western River, and the River Grose. They crossed the Nepean, or Hawkesbury River, at the ford, on to Emu Island  , at four o’clock p.m., and having proceeded, according to their calculation, two miles in a south-west direction, through forest land and good pasture, encamped at five o’clock at the foot of the first ridge. The distance travelled on this and on the subsequent days was computed by time, the rate being estimated at about two miles per hour. Thus far they were accompanied by two other gentlemen…

The version we grew up on…

Compare Crossing the Blue Mountains and see this commemorative site, which reminds us:

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is the traditional country of six Aboriginal language groups: Darkingune, Darug, Dharawal, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri and Wonnarua…

The Gundungurra Ancestral Pathways Walk invites participants to traverse the Blue Mountains from west to east following Aboriginal Pathways/Routes. The walk makes use of both traditional and post-contact Aboriginal pathways. The walk covers 67km of Country over 7 days and six nights.

‘The best way to know Country is to walk Country’: to celebrate Aboriginal pathways of the Blue Mountains. This includes traditional pathways that have been in use for thousands of years, post-contact pathways based upon those that Aboriginal people continued to use after contact and still continue to use. The walk affirms the ongoing presence of Aboriginal people in the Mountains, connected to and walking their country, looking after it and utilising it for cultural purposes. It recognises the ongoing stories and beliefs that account for Country, give meaning to it and form the basis of Aboriginal relationships to it. It affirms the forms and content of the new connections that contemporary Aboriginal people are forging with their Country.

The walk also invites non-Aboriginal people to participate and experience the Blue Mountains from a different perspective. Participants can experience first-hand Aboriginal cultural heritage of the Mountains. This includes:
• Traditional sites
• Intact traditional Country
• Contemporary Aboriginal Places
• Traditional stories
• The traditional names of local places and our flora and fauna
• Experience the rich Aboriginal cultural links from the east to the west of the Blue Mountains
• To undertake this with contemporary Aboriginal people from the Mountains.


Blue Mountains 1826 – Augustus Earle

Three excellent reasons not to vote for the Coalition in 2013

Posted on May 22, 2013 by Neil

1. “Tony Abbott is facing internal pressure from Victorian Liberals to privatise the ABC and SBS if he wins the September 14 election amid claims both organisations are struggling to comply with their charters.”

No way, Jose! Absolutely not!

abc logo

2. “Abbott’s grandstanding on the horrendous cost and economic damage to be wrought by the carbon tax has been the most successful yet utterly dishonest scare campaign of modern times.” Ross Gittins in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.  Mind you, in typically even-handed fashion Ross Gittins gets stuck into Labor as well. I really like Ross Gittins.

3. Christopher Pyne. A good enough reason to look somewhere else. “Coalition frontbencher Christopher Pyne is urging NSW to pull out of its Gonski education deal with the federal government, saying Premier Barry O’Farrell has been ”conned”.”

Unfortunately, really excellent reasons to vote Labor escape me at the moment.