Friday, November 30, 2012

Edauction around the campfire- Fair Dinkum

I would think that the content of the following bit of Australian education would be well suited for a late night campfire when the audience is full of tucker and half full of beer, and more inclined to stay than waddle of to the swag.


Fair- Dinkum is a fair dinkum Australian phrase. In casual terms it means genuine or true, or both. If it is both it can then be Fair Bloody Dinkum, which stresses the truth of whatever has just been put forward even if that put forward is not true. Using Fair Dinkum is not asking anyone to believe you, as you are stating that it is Fair Dinkum, whether anyone believes it or not, Fair Dinkum, would I lie to you?

People, and ones mate's can be Fair Dinkum: "He's a fair dinkum bloke." "He is a good mate, Fair Dinkum." "He is bloody useless, Fair Dinkum." "He's as handy as an ashtray on a motor bike, Fair Dinkum.", or not fair dinkum in the genuine and true interpretation.

The versatility of Fair Dinkum is within a range, far greater than any other phrase that you have ever heard of, Fair Dinkum.

Let us look at a little of that range: Fair, in itself means evenly proportioned, or evenly distributed within a certain range or scope, for example: "It's a fair way, mate". indicates that the distance is further than "It's fairly close". However the actual distances in numbers is only determined by the person, and the area in which either phrase is said.

In the city, a "Fair Way" could mean it is not far, but because of the transport problems of most large metropolises, it could take a fairly long time to get there. When you have told the enquirer of this distance they will most often say "Fair Dinkum." (Down heartedly)

On the other hand, if you tell the enquirer that his/her proposed destination is just around the corner, or fairly close, they will invariably say "Fair Dinkum" (Happy).

Of course all these meanings change when you are in the Outback, or even the rural sector. Distances become Fair if they are within two or three hundred miles, Fair Dinkum. Just around the corner can be just as far, if you are being directed by a dinkum, true blue, Aussie, who is Fair Dinkum about what he is saying.

Another manner of determining distance in the Outback is to give it in amounts of beer that could be normally consumed in the trip, hence, "Yeah! Cunnamulla, Oh! about two slabs I reckon."  "Fair  Dinkum" is the usual reply.  ( A slab is one carton of stubbies)

Another example of the wonderful, all explanatory phrase goes like this:

"I lost me' wallet, yesterd'y."
"Fair Dinkum." Appropriately sympathetic sounding.
"Yeah, but a woman found it and I got it back."
"Fair Dinkum." Surprise and interest, after all he is your mate,hey?
"No money or nuffin' missin' either."
"Fair Bloody Dinkum. She must'a been a real Fair Dinkum Shelia, mate, hey?"
"Yep, not many Fair bloody Dinkum people around like that."
"Na! and that's Fair Dinkum, for sure mate." Adding 'for sure' is a qualification given when there could be some doubt of the 'for suredness' of the Fair Dinkum statement.

When practising the usage of this phrase, one should be careful to include the many ranges of Dinkum, but also the many nuances of Fair.

You might hear someone say "It's a Fair Cow." Now, is that person referring to the cow as maybe, a blonde cow (Note the spelling, blonde for female, blond for bloke, and for those of you that are not sure, a cow is usually female) The reason I brought this matter up is to show that I am a fair dinkum bloke and educator.

Things can be a fair pain in the butt, a fair drop, like in "Agggh! Now that's what I call a fair drop, Fair Dinkum." Of course, this person has just downed a goodly swig of great Australian beer.

We wont get into Fair Enough, fair enough? We wont get into Fairly either as that is another cuppa-tea.

So, It has been great to impart this valuable knowledge of the Aussie slang, to help edakate your noggin' . Fair Dinkum, you have been a Fair Bloody Dinkum Grouse Audience.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

You are what you eat

Back in the early days, Australian settlers usually survived on meat and damper.  Vegies were scarce, and limes and vinegar were sought after to stave off scurvy.

One delicacy of the time was burnt black parsnips, ground into a powder and used as coffee, or for the tea drinker there was a concoction colloquially known as Stick and Rail tea because of the lumps of woody substance in the tea.  It was drank very hot, very  sweet and very black.

Just imagine if  he 'food carers' said that meat, damper and tea could cause cancer...there wouldn't be an true blue Aussie standing now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Adventures - part four

Before I take the intrepid travelers too far into intrepidness, I think it might be important, even if you don't, to explain some little situation that Old Pete left behind in suburbia where he lived in the suburbs.

There was this sheila by the name of Reddie who completed a correspondence course in neurosurgery, with a catch up course of 'How to trim toenails on the elderly'.

Reddie started off her career in Canberra, the political capitol of Australia and consequently, with the lack of brains to work on, she decided to move elsewhere, which took her to some other place, which was somewhere near where Old Pete was living in the burbs.

Reddie set up as a GP, which Old Pete thought meant a Good Person, which she was, and I would defy anyone that said she wasn't; however Old Pete went along to the surgery one day and met Reddie, or Doctor Reddie, as she became to be known because of the fact of her correspondence course, and not necessarily because of the toenail clippers that sat on her desk.

At anyrate, Dr Reddie instantly, in a matter of the flash of an eyelash, as quick as a wink and probably a tad quicker, fell in love with the humble, handsome, charming and most love-able Old Pete.

As you can imagine, it was most difficult for Dr Reddie to check Old Pete's prostate gland whilst being in love with him at the same time, and there was one time that Old Pete, being the fool and great humorist that he is, jokingly commented, when Dr Reddie had her finger on the pulse of his walnut, "Does this mean we are engaged?"

Dr Reddie, quickly retorted with a retort that was a bit of a quick come back to Old Pete's comment.
"Well you might say that Old Pete. After all, I do have your ring on my finger."

Old Pete thought this was very funny and it momentarily took his mind off the sharp fingernails (that he thought the Doctor could have used the toenail clippers on) however the joke was not all that funny, and he thought 'I wish I had another joke', but as hard as he thought he couldn't, so he gave up thinking and just grimaced at the long and tedious, for want of a better word, prostate examination, and the light caress of another part of his body wot was hanging down on the examination table, which he thought was an accident, but being the gentlemen he was, he didn't mention this light caress as he thought it was nice and he didn't want to embarrass Dr Reddie, as he thought it would. Old Pete was very thoughtful in situations like this.

Sadly, Dr Reddie re-read the Neurosurgery Correspondence Course papers and accompanying certificate and there it was in the fine print, "Once having become a Neurosurgeon with our Academy of all things learned and Academic, the person or persons that have one of these bits of paper, must not fall in love with a patient whilst doing a prostate examination, especially if the patient is a male, and the certificated one is a female, or for that matter some other gender, or whatever."

It was clear to Dr Reddie that this had been writ by some Academic Lawyer, wot musta' been academicized at the same Academy by correspondence, as Dr Reddie herself. She had only one course of action in the circumstances, well in truth she had several choices, but only one ifn' she wanted to do any brain surgery.

Much thought was given to Dr Reddie's response to the situation of loving a patient ... or it will be in the next episode of The Adventures, as I haven't given it much thought just yet.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Adventures - part three

For part one - start here.

"Vee needen the gear a campin," Heidi said.
"Ya' Vol," Pete uttered wot little Swedish he knew, only it ain't but I'm not gunna tell him.
"Ya-who?" asked Heidi.
"Ya-hoo to you too," said Pete of Old.

As it turned out, another camel was needed to take the few home comforts that had been laid out for packing, so Old Pete headed off to Wrggling Bros Circus wot was doin' the rounds around the place where Old Pete was around, and he purchased, by paying money to the bloke wot sold him the camel, another camel, not a V8 but more the cargo type, which was not such a big problem as the two V8's could tow the cargo camel along at a fair old lickity-split, which in camel handlers terms was pronounced lickety-split.

I intend to give educational education to the reader, so that the reader may become educated in the things that are educational. So I looked up the word Lickety-Split in a dictionary where you find words wot have meanings, and it said, much the same as I have told ya' already.

I am rather pleased with this educational investigation, as I now know that you will not have any, or as much, or less doubt about the fair dinkum things that will be imparting to you if you do not depart before I can tell ya'. Ifn' ya' know wot I mean.

Now that they had a full compliment of camels, not that I have ever heard anyone compliment these smelly beasts, but they wuz there to use so they would be, smelly and used, and Heidi got to load up her spa bath for the trip.

Just the essentials were taken, and the inventory looked summit like this:

Fridge/Freezer one off. Gas stove and oven one off, each of. 240v generator and fuel one off and some of. Gas bottles for the using in stove there of. Double bunks and mattresses, one off for two of. Tent and pegs many off, but only one off tent for use of. Various pots and pans various off. Stirling silver cutlery set, candelabra and Irish linen table cloths, enough off to last the trip off. One mahogany dining table and 4 chairs in case of visitor's off. Dunny, portable, one off marked Bloke and Sheila for use of. Large mirror for Heidi to look at her self in, one off. Smaller mirror for Old Pete to cut his face in, one off. And of course, sundry items not mentioned, many and sundry off.

Included were bags of feed, potatoes, pumpkin and carrots for the camels there off. Harness, and various other stuff needed for an adventure such as this would be inclined to be.

The local press were invited to iron some clothes before they started, and a reporter from a newspaper as well. As it turned out this adventure made the front page of the one page local rag, and was seen by many of those that looked at it.

Mostly, for some unknown reason the crowd that attended the beginning of this adventure hung around Heidi as she bent down to pick up stuff to toss up to Old Pete who stood high on the cargo camel like a haystack stacker who wuz stacking a haystack only it was a cargo camel wot was being stacked, not hay, hey?

The headline in the local rag read: Swedish Backpacker Breasts the Outback. Old Pete only got a mention as being her great grand daddy, which he weren't, and which he would never know it was said as the local rag didn't get sent to the territory, so it don't matter and I can't think why I even mentioned it at all.

And so it came to be, that on a day in the lives of those that were alive and around at the time of the departure, saw the pair of intrepid adventurers depart for places Outback.

One incident that they could have done without is that one of the V8's accelerated off the mark a bit too quick, and almost broke the neck of the cargo camel who was still getting up off the ground; however, Heidi, who had mastered (or is that mistered) the ways of fast accelerating V8 camels, soon had the beast under control, and was not in the least embarrassed by the fact that her button-less shirt almost blew clean off her precious little body, but the flash light of the box-brownie of the local rag photographer, did help in the fact that it almost blinded the camel and half the bystanders wot wuz standing by.

"We should make Broken Hill by afternoon, Heidi," Old Pete calculated.
"Vas is vee gunna make Broken Hill do, Old Pete?"
So, Poor Old Pete had to explain that they wasn't gunna make Broken Hill do nuffin' and it was only a term of phrase that was used to indicate summit else.
"Vas iss summit,Old Pete?"
So poor Old Pete had to explain that it was his vernacular way of saying 'something'.
"Vas iss vernacular, Old Pete?"
And so it went on, day in and day out, mile after mile, week after week, hour after hour ..."Vas iss Old Pete?"
But Old Pete really didn't mind as he has someone to talk to, who wore a shirt with no buttons, which was really important.

So ended day one of the Adventures. The camp was set up just on the outskirts of the big mining town what had lots of mines that they minded for the miners.

I told you they were V8 camels, so don't go making funny faces at the distance travelled in a day. You want me to sit here all day and all night writing stuff just so you can make mock? Vell letten me tellink you, I ain't gunna!

See wot them miners think of the camels in part four

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Adventures - part two

Well, it has been a real cliff hanger, hey? Not knowing who Old Pete would choose as his camel handler. Would it be the fully qualified son of an Afghan man, or would it be the unqualified, but very nicely filled out Heidi?

As there were only two candidates Old Pete, in his wisdom, tossed a coin to see who would get the job. He gave Heidi heads and the the S.A.M tails, as these were the only two sides to his coin, which made him feel good about not having three candidates or he would have to find a three sided coin.

It took seven tosses before heads came up, but at least the decision was made fair and square. I mean ya' can't beat the toss of a coin to sort out important decisions; I use them all the time. At anyrate, Heidi got the job.

When Old Pete had explained to Heidi to select suitable clothing for the trip, which would consist of a lot of sun and sand, she immediately thought of the beach. Consequently Heidi turned up ready for work in a bikini or so Old Pete believed as he couldn't see much cloth to decide what it was she wasn't wearing.

Eventually, after a look around the op-shops, raising eyebrows on the women and other things on the men, they selected some very sensible shoes, pants and a shirt with no buttons on the front, which Heidi said she would sew on later, but never did; however, being as she had been so good with the other wearing apparel, Old Pete said it was OK by him ifn' she didn't sew the buttons on.

"Right," Old Pete said with the authority of a person in charge. "We will go and meet the camels."

"Oh goody, goody, gumdrops."

"Now this is Ahab who was once a bull camel but he and Hassein have been bricked," Old Pete told her.

"Skuza! Vas iss dis bricken' thingo?"

"Well, it is like this," the old fella' started. "The best way to turn a bull camel into a non-bull camel is to get two bricks and then very carefully sneak up behind them and slam the bricks together on their bull things. Then walla! No more bulling around from them fellas what waz."

"Oh golly gee! Dis must hurten like crazy, ya?"

"No, not if you are careful and keep your thumbs to the side."

"Well they iss looken very quite friendship now, ya?"

"Ya. Another thing 'bout bricking is that it helps to get them to take on a bit more water when a long trip is about to start, like us is soon."

"Ya' vass is dis thing to be doin'?" Heidi said in her hard to understand language which will get better as the time passes and she gets learnt more good old bloody Aussie slang from Old Pete and some other along the way who knows Aussie slang.

"Vell, I mean well, when they are drinking you sneak up behind them and just bang two bricks together, this makes the camel suck in his breath, in fright, and a lot of water with it and it tops him right up to the full mark."

"You iss werry clever, Old Pete, ya?"

"Ya. Now up you go, hop up into the camel saddle and see how you fit."

Old Pete pulled out his notebook and read "Cush!" and low and behold the darn camels laid down for the humans to hop on board.

"How iss it to getten it to stood upenheizer?"

"Dunno, I think ya' say 'Get up ya' lazy mongrel."

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Adventures - part one




Once upon a time there lived an adventurous man, called Old Pete; this was for two reasons, one being that he was old and the other 'cause his name was Pete.

Old Pete, or as we may get to call him, Pete, lived in the Inback, but much preferred the Outback. He disliked suburbia that much that he used to go out to a place that was near the Outback but not really Outback, ifn' ya' know what I mean. Anyrate, he would buy bags of sheep poop and cow dung and spread them around his home in the burbs, just to make it look like he was in the Outback. But he wasn't and he soon became depressed and downhearted and fairly low feeling, which is a cow of a way to feel when you are normally a happy sort of bloke hey?

It soon got around to Old Pete taking the initiative, which they made him put back, but he took it again when they weren't looking and sent for a couple of camels from a place up in the Territory wot had an abundance of said beasts and other stuff wot Pete didn't need, so he didn't send for that stuff.

There were times of the year that camels were in short supply, and this was in the Victorian Football season when copious amounts of meat pies and tomato sauce was sold at the footy grounds; however at this time, they were plentiful and abundant and lots and lots for sale.

Old Pete specifically asked for V8 camels, as he had a fair way to go ifn' he put his initiative, or the initiative wot he took that time, into action. The V8 camel is the ex-racing beast, wot was used for racing in camel races, and had a turn of speed about them that would leave something that was not as fast, standing, which explains how fast these V8 camels got to be.

His idea was to ride the camels out to the Northern Territory to see his old mate Marakorpa, and Marra's sweet bride, Elkie, or as known to those that knew, The Elk.

Old Pete, hadn't seen his mates since, oh way back, it coulda' been further than that even, so he reckoned that ifn' he was gunna get away from suburbia that the Northern Territory was as far from his suburbia as possible without riding to somewhere that might have been further.

The camels arrived, but as Old Pete would have suspected the Afghan Camel Driver wot sent em' left Old Pete with the excess postage; however, the camels were as described and Old Pete paid the amount as the Afghan Camel Driver would have suspected.

The next thing Old Pete decided he needed, now that he had a couple of V8 camels, was to hire a camel handler, which to those that know camels is something that one does not do, if they can help it - handle camels I mean, but someone wot knew about camels were called handlers, so I guess they did handle camels, which is something Old Pete didn't want to do because he had heard that they were a bit hard to handle ifn' you didn't know what you wuz doing, which Old Pete didn't, and didn't want to know, so he decided to get a handler.

As it so happened, the Afghan Camel Driver wot sent the camels had a son in the 'burbs wot knew how to handle camels, and Old Pete contacted him and asked him to apply for the job, which he did, the son that is, he did apply for the job, and Old Pete was very impressed with his camel knowledge, which could have been anything he invented because Old Pete knew nuffin' about camels, and was rather short on anything else except for the things he knew well.

Old Pete told the son, the Afghan's son, not Old Petes' son 'cause Old Pete didn't have one and ifn' he did he wouldn't be looking like an Afghan Camels driver's son, so Old Pete reckoned. He told him, the son that is, that the trip would be a long one and that the pay wouldn't be all that good as Old Pete was on the pension and the expenses of the trip precluded any payment. The son, who thought that precluded meant that he was gunna' get some money, accepted the terms and conditions; however, he was aware that there were others that had applied for the job so he left.

Heidi, the Swedish backpacker, knew less than Old Pete about camels. She said that she had seen them in a zoo but thought they were giraffes, which she also had never seen.

Heidi was blonde, blue eyed, wore short shorts and a halter top that didn't know when to halt. When she fluttered her eyelashes, all the paperwork on Old Pete's desk blew out the window and when she leant out the window to see where they had all gone, Old Pete made his decision as to who would be his handler ... sorry, the camel handler.

... read part two.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I know someone

I know a woman who is that tall that she has to stand on a chair to comb her hair.

I  know a young bloke that is so pretentious he is putting air bags on his skate board.

I know a set of twins where one twin looks more like the other one than the other one does herself.

I know a man that is invisible, I haven't seen him for some time now.

I know a woman that is often beside herself, which she claims  is her favorite position.

I know a  man that is that thin that he has to jump sideways to create a shadow.

I know a  young bloke who is  that quick he can turn the bedroom light off at the door and be in  bed before the room gets dark.

I know a lady that breeds Lamas but her animals only eat Salami, German Sausage, Stuffed Olives and particularity love Gherkins in vinegar.  It appears that her animals are Deli Lamas.

I  know a bloke that came up with a brilliant idea in how to make the welfare queues shorter.  "Get 'em all to stand closer together." He offered.  I don't  think it has been trialled yet.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Peron's Tree Frog

This delightful little critter is common amongst the tree frogs. He is seen in various colors and patterns in a large area of, mainly, the southern states of Australia.

I have found them to be very human friendly and have fed one or two in the garden, with the frogs waiting in expectation for the provided supper every evening.

They do a great service in the garden as they are voracious insect eaters and will search for mosquito larvae in ponds and puddles that is not seen by other predators.

The Peron's Tree Frog has another name, taken from a personal habit of this beautiful animal.  

Wait for it! He is also called the Maniacal Cackle Frog.

Fair Dinkum! He sounds like my lovely publisher when she is trying to get me to behave.  LOL

Monday, November 12, 2012

One only has to wait

It is a wonderful thing, science. Marvelous thoughts, theories and procrastinations arrive on every breath of the academic minded egg heads.

The latest, that affects me and many others, is the size of our nose, called in academia, proboscis predominate.

It appears that the large nose developed so that it could warm the air, in the ice age, for the wandering Neanderthals. Of course it does not say how long the large noses took to develop but it must have been pretty quick as the ice age arrived in a bit of a rush and all those perky little upturned and very photographic snouts perished.

I often refer to my proboscis as being a 'Roman Nose' like in roamin' all over my face.

My great worry now is, if the large nose is meant to warm up your breath, why do I live in a sub-tropical paradise? I should be sniffing around in the Snowies, hey?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Something fishy here

At my age I will try anything to ease the aches and pains.  Someone said fish oil will do the trick. Well as it turns out I have been using that much fish oil that my skin has gone scaly.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

When it was easy

This is the meanderings of a kid that needed to get out of the city and into some area where he could explore life from the other side of his mother's apron strings.

That area became the central west of Queensland.  The year early 1956, the kids knowledge of the outback, very sketchy at that time.

The kid has four pound, ten shillings for the train fare to Brisbane from Sydney, and arrives in the, still big country town known as 'Brissy', or the Capitol City of Queensland, Brisbane

He finds himself pretty hungry.  He was given some sandwiches, by a kind lady, on the train but that was it since the night before he left home.

Not knowing  which way to go next he wandered around Brisbane until the wee small hours of the morning.  Passing a suburban house he notices a bottle of milk on a veranda.  Wiping the cream from his lips he starts to feel a bit better in the belly department, and this becomes even better as he passes a bakers cart with the horse slowly walking along as the baker ran from house to house delivering fresh bread.

The baker surprises the lad as the boy tears the fresh buns in half, "Hey! Kid, I don't mind ya' takin' a bun, but ya' could at least ask."

The kid decides to walk along near the cart and to ask the baker where he might get some work.  The baker eventually determines that the kid wants to go west, so he points him in the direction of a truck stop, which is only about six mile down the road.

"Thanks for that, " the kid says, "and thanks for the buns." He catches the extra bun that the baker tosses to him and heads off on his little walk.

"Hey kid." A truck driver calls at the truck stop, "Do ya' wanna' earn five bob?"

"Yeah! For sure, what do you want me to do?"

"Climb up on the load and untangle that rope, will ya'?"

"yeah! Okay."

The kid deftly climbs to the top of the high load, which is covered by a tarpaulin from one end of the load to the other.  The rope comes loose easily, and the truckie pulls it down and ties it off like all the other tie downs.

The kids comes down off the load, after having a bit of a rubberneck at the surroundings from up high, and stands around waiting for his pay.

"Do ya' live around here, mate?" the truckie asks, forking over to the two florins and the shilling.

"Na! I come up from Sydney and I'm looking to go out west and find work."

"What sort of work?"

"Dunno' anything that pays money."

"What about working in the shearing sheds?"

"Dunno' I haven't done none of that work before."

"They'll teach ya' pretty quick, but it's hard yakka, I can tell ya' that  much."

"Sounds all right, how do I get there?"

"I'm heading out to Charlieville in an hour, ya' can come along if ya' wanna'."

So it transpires that the kid gets a lift to the heart of the shearing country, there are any amount of jobs around ; however there is also one big snag.  There is a shearers strike going on, men are being bashed up for accepting the 'new rate' for shearing sheep.   This rate is a rebate on an extra payment when wool was bringing 240 pence a  pound, or a pound a pound, that the  unions had extracted from the graziers.  Now that the price of wool  had dropped, the graziers wanted to remove  the bonus, the shearers went on strike.

"The Stock and Station Agent said to the kid, "You can go out to Thylungra, the shed has started but they are short of a couple of roustabouts.

Not knowing what the heck the Agent meant, the Kid said,"Yeah! Okay, suits me."

"One thing," The agent said, "Don't go telling anyone where you are going to work, Thylungra is a new rate shed, and you could get ourself bashed up for going out there"

The kid didn't know what was what with the strike, but he didn't like the sight of blood, especially his own, so he kept his mouth shut until he could get on the Mail Truck.  The journey took all night and all the next day up until 4.00pm in the afternoon as the Mailman  had about fourteen deliveries on this run, with some unloading of large quantities of drench, proto-lick, star pickets for fences and other heavy stuff.  The kid pitched in and  helped unload, and he was fed along with the Mailman by the station cooks along the way.

The kid was earning four pound ten shillings a week as a junior salesman in a men's wear store, in the heart of the city of Sydney, from which he paid board at home at two pound ten shillings a week, his fares to and from work, which included Saturday mornings, was one pound a week, so as you can  imagine the kid lived the high life on what was left, after buying his own clothes,"Now that you are a working man" as mother said.

"Ever done this work before?" the Boss of the Board asked.

"Nope, never."  he soon learned the art of  picking up and  tossing a fleece, and the Boss of the  Board expressed his admiration at the lads quick learning.

There were only about 50 sheep to go for this particular contract to cut out, and the shearers got stuck into the last of them.  The 'rousies' got into the clean up, and they all headed for the outstation, Bulgroo, to start another contract there.  The shearers didn't get any benefit  from starting the new contract, it was a gift to the shed hands, one that we all learned to appreciate.

It seemed a bit odd to the kid as they only shore five sheep before the final bell for the day, but when he found out later why they had done this, he was a happy as a pig in a over flowing bore drain mud wallow.

Remember  that four pound ten a week? well here the kid earned nineteen pound nineteen shillings a week, plus his board and tucker.  The double shed on his first day got him two days pay, a total of 4 hours for ten quid in 1956.  waddyarecdkon?

Nothing much has changed:  This pic shows the wool rolling table where the 'board boy' , or Picker Uppers throw the fleece in a manner that has the fleece. dirt side down. and fully spread so that the 'Skirters' can pull the burr and dirty wool from around the edge of the fleece.  The 'Skirtings' are tossed into the basket and the 'Piece Pickers' then do a bit more of a pick to get the maximum amount of clean wool possible.

The bins are filled with the wool after it is classed and the 'Presser' loads the fleeces into bales and presses them down to a wool pack size.  In the early days a bale of bellies could weigh up to four hundred weight, they are a lot lighter these days.

The is the life that the kid spent of three sheds, which were about a month long each, before he looked for some horse work, he could ride a bit, but was sensible enough to never say he could ride, 'cause you would get tested out real quick.

PS: The kid was me, but you knew that, hey?

Short Story 'The Pup' - A Quote

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Me and Robert Burns

What a claim this may seem to be, but I feel some simpatico with this Scotch drinker and man.

I include the following information on Robbie:
Burns wrote of his own rural experience as well as dealing with themes of patriotism, republicanism, class structure, and sexuality, with wit, humor and sometimes bawdy but always accessible verse. He devoted much of his life and writing to honoring Scottish heritage and culture; its people, literature, folklore, ballads, and music. He was also at times deeply troubled by the societal values that led to conflicts and wars and he was considered radical for his political views. He alienated himself from many friends when he expressed support of the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. While not forgetting his humble roots he went on to be one of the most celebrated poets during his lifetime and up to the present, almost two hundred and fifty years later. His life and works have inspired many other writers including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Hugh MacDairmid, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth.

And if I may be so bold, Peter Rake

Robert (Rabbie) Burns was born on 25 January, 1759 in Alloway, Ayrshire of south west Scotland, the son of a poor tenant farmer or “cotter” William Burnes [Burness] (1721-1784) and his wife Agnes Broun [Broun]. The Burns family lived in a cottage that William himself had built, and which John Keats would later visit and write his sonnet “Written in the cottage where Burns was born”. The cottage and property now belong to the Burns National Heritage Park. Young Robert and his siblings worked the fields with their father, which was hard manual labour near the shores of the Firth of Clyde. They were exposed to the sometimes fair but more often harsh climes of Scotland that would take their toll on Robert’s constitution. He and his younger brother Gilbert also attended the local school and were tutored by John Murdoch.

Burns became a voracious reader of many classic Greek, English and Scottish literary works including William Shakespeare’s, Allen Ramsay’s, and Robert Fergusson’s. He also studied the Bible, French, Latin, arithmetic, geography, and history, and his childhood nurse Betty Davidson is said to have introduced him to the world of Scottish folklore and witchcraft as in “Tam o’Shanter”. The family moved to the farm Mount Oliphant in 1766, then a year later to Lochlea farm. Burns was a handsome, dark-haired young lad; a hard worker at the plow, and he worked as a flax dresser for a time. He also started on his life-long habit of spending nights out drinking Scotch whisky and flirting with the ladies. Burns became a Freemason in 1781 and after the death of his father in 1784, he and Gilbert rented Mossgiel farm, near Mauchline, but it proved an unsuccessful business venture.

Around the age of fifteen Burns had started writing poems in the Ayrshire dialect of Lowlands Scots, including his first, “Handsome Nell” (1771-79);

O once I lov'd a bonie lass,
Ay, and I love her still;
And whilst that virtue warms my breast,
I'll love my handsome Nell.

I write with the love of Australia, and particularity the Outback that Robbie did for his beloved Scotland.  I am not adverse to some Liquid Scotland as well.

For Robbie to live and labour on Scottish soil would put in him the love that one attains from feeling the power of the earth.  I put it to those that feel that they have a connection to the land to stand bare footed and experience the earth reaching up to your very being. (read my poem "Tranquility")

I too, feel as though my radical political views are as those of Robert, but only because, as it was in his time, it is in mine, we make mock of political correctness.

If at all, one needs a hero, Robert Burns is mine.

Just like me, he is a handsome 'divil' yeah!

Monday, November 5, 2012

One has to admit

I am just a basic learned person.  I had a good education, I just didn't learn much.

If one is going to enter the highly saturated market of writing a 'block busting story'  then one must admit to the lack of knowledge that we may have.

I have referred to my writing as being 2nd person narrative. This is incorrect, and I have only just learned the difference.

The most common form of fiction writing takes on the position of 3rd person narrative, in the omniscient style where the writer can predict future events of the characters, can give the thoughts of the characters and in my case with the novel Freda, yet to be released, the ability of the author to give suggested thoughts of animals.

I am basically a story teller, but with the help of others, I  may just turn into a writer.

I am not ashamed at my lack of the technical side of telling stories, and I am most appreciative of those people that offer me constructive criticism.  Yes, at 74 years young, I can still learn.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lovable Critters

You are going to love this one folks.

The Sydney Funnel Spider has not killed a human for 30 years, thanks to anti-venom research. The male of the species is the most dangerous of the two, which is a little contradictory to the general rule of thumb for nasties.

A funnel-web's venom is packed with at least 40 different toxic proteins (called peptides). Only one, robustoxin, is really dangerous to humans. Like snake neurotoxins, robustoxin disrupts nerve signals, but in the opposite way. Instead of shutting down nerve signals, it switches them all on at once, causing massive electrical overload in the body's nervous system. The protein attaches itself to nerve synapses and prevents them from switching off - salivary glands, tear ducts and sweat glands all run uncontrollably, muscles begin to spasm, blood pressure climbs as vessels contract and then falls to dangerously low levels. Most fatalities occur from either cardiac arrest or a pulmonary oedema, where the capillaries around the lungs begin to leak and the patient effectively drowns. 

Now here is the good news:  

Not all creatures are affected by funnel-web poison: mice, rabbits, guineapigs, dogs and cats are relatively immune and often survive 100 times the lethal human dosage. In general the male is five times more dangerous than the female.

I can tell you, the funnel-web spider is a fearsome sight when it is in strike mode, as in the photo; however I have seen a much larger spider.

QLD BIRD EATING SPIDER (Selenocosmia crassipes)
Bird Eating Spider Tarantula
The Queensland bird eating spider is also commonly referred to as the Australian Tarantula.  This is one of several species of large, aggressive spiders, which are found in the warmer and more arid regions of Australia. The largest species may attain a body length of 60mm and a leg span of 160mm, with powerful fangs 10mm long. This is the largest species of spider in Australia, and is part of the tarantula family, which comprises of the largest spiders in the world.

Happy Dreams!!!!