Friday, December 12, 2014

Sultanas in the Stew

This true event happened fifty years ago, and shows that camp cooking is not all it is cracked up to be.

Me, and three other blokes decided to go pig shooting up around Moree in NSW west, we camped in a good spot not far from water hole that held some yabbies, which we caught, laid on the hot coals and ravished when they turned red.

The night saw me cooking up a stew for us all, a rabbit, some yabbie meat, a lump of beef, that was given to us and spuds, pumpkin, onions, tin peas carrots and whatever I could put my hand on.

It stewed for most of the day on a very slow heat, in a two gallon camp oven, and when we got back to camp after a bit of pig hunting, I mixed up the gravy.  Curry, plain flour and water with a goodly dash of hot sauce.

It was too early to serve it up so I lifted the camp oven and put it in the meat safe, and closed the door...I reckon that a stew heated up the second time has better flavour.

The bloke on the property came down in the evening to ask us to have a shoot on his lucerne patch, as the 'roos were eating it out, and what they were not eating they were jumping all over.

It was dark when we got back, and I got the camp oven out of the meat safe, noting that the lid was ajar, but not worrying about it, and put it on the hot coals to heat up for a feed.

I could hear the fellas belly's rumbling from a yard away, and mine was too...Not from a yard away, it was a bit closer. So, I stirred the pot a few times until the bubbles came and then said "Come and get it."

After being knocked aside a couple of times, I sat back and waited from my turn.  The others were slurping away by this time and making comments on how good it was.

"Mate, that is the best stew I've ever tasted, but I don’t go much on the sultanas." Jimmy said.

"Sultanas, I didn't put any sultanas in it...Dunno what  you are talking about."

Jimmy had piled up his 'sultanas on a log in front of the fire, and I leaned over to peer at them close up.  The other blokes had just about finished their feed, 'sultanas' and all.

"I see what they are, bloody blow flies...Did someone open the meat safe?"

Young Paul owned up, "I just had a couple of spoon fulls when you put it in the safe, that's all."

"And left the bloody lid off and the door open."  I complained.

"Don't worry, Old Pete," Bill offered, "I've eaten worse, and they are good protein anyway.

The next time I coked a stew, the blokes went through it like they were looking for gold.

"Darn!" Said Bill, "No protein this time."

Gardening Tips from Old Pete

If you should  happen to use one of those porcelain Guzunders for planting out, make sure you use a good potty mix.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Adventures

The Adventures are not real you know! they are a fragment of my imagination, and were concocted in moments of aberration and unsteadiness of mind.

I never got to finish the yarn, but they did get to where they were going, so that's summit I 'spose.

There are more issues of the Adventures in this blog, and I must admit that it amazes me to see Adventures #8 getting so much attention????

The Adventures, IN FULL, are now under Adventures part 8, and as you will notice I have used my simple wonderful and brilliant o powers of information provisos by putting them on the page in the opposite order to that of what a sensible person would do.

Friday, November 7, 2014


I would not really go off crook if someone accused me as being in mock of the great Outback, especially these days.

I live in the beautiful sea side holiday resort on the New South Coast of Australia, writing about the Outback, or Outback  experiences, but it is from memory, most of it, and to me, that is good, as I did go back to the Outback about thirty years after I left there and it was sad, it was disappointing, it was not what I had hoped it would be.

There were Video Hire shops, there were kids sitting in the streets drinking from brown paper bags, and get this for destroying the Outback dream..There were neon signs...Didn't need 'em in my day...we knew where everything was.

Luckily for me, I developed an instant love for that country  in the early days, a bit like falling for a cane toad, I guess, but I fitted in, mostly and earned my right to complain about the flies, the heat, the floods, the droughts the fires and the crook bosses, but only to me' mates...You never want to let anyone else know how good it is, or they  will turn up in droves.  Like now.

It is probably a good thing that I write novels, fiction based very loosely on fact  or Fair Dinkum events that may or may not have happened., which is how fair Dinkum is. I liken this to making a Fair Dinkum bush stew in a camp oven: You toss in some steak, some chops some rabbit some duck lots of spuds and pumpkin, onions and all the stuff that looks like some sort of vegetation in the bottom of the tucker box, water, curry powder to taste, or to take the taste away, and let it simmer...You never really know how it is going to turn out, but you can bet your busted braces that it is going to taste good.....I hope me' yarns are like that.

Now, about the coast: I have two lively doggies that love the beach and the water, and when I toss them into this 'camp oven of happiness', they love me more than ever...That can't be bad, Hey?

In my dotage, I recall the times, when living at Bondi as a kid, my mum and dad would want to walk on the beach, in the long summer evenings.  Times when  you could do that without taking a baseball bat, ifn' ya' know what I mean.

I don't recall my parents ever going out together except for these times, I mean, I was the youngest of seven kids, so even I could see why this happened.

But now, like today, after the doggies had run themselves ragged, we sat on the sand, the evening cooling, watching the ocean, and me thinking of those most beautiful days when Mum, Dad and me would sit like we did just talking about life...Brings a little tear, It does.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Building Excitement

I  have completed the second book on the Tiger Williams series (There will be one more after this) and I am excited now that it is in the hands of my long suffering Publisher and Editor, Fiona Gatt.

I  have about 14 characters in the second book (No title yet) and they all link up to Rosemore, the property of the first novel. So it is suggested that if you wish to keep up with the three novels, you should buy the first one "The Life and Loves of Tiger Williams".

I am a 100 pages into the third novel, and then I will have to think of something else to write about, that is where you lot come in: Give comments on the Book if you want to, and suggest a theme for future use.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Bit more about tourists in the Outback

Having been in the Outback in a time when things were changing, I must confess I was not in the deep hardship times of times before my time, which I considered rather timely.  However, there came a time when there were folk that wanted to experience the Outback, or as the advertisers would have it, an Outback experience, as though experiencing the Outback was one singular feature, rather than a combination of features  that happened to be in the Outback.  Ifn' ya' know what I mean.

What happened is that the tourists, especially the "Grey Nomads" in their several hundred thousand dollar fuel guzzling, fully insect proof, fully air conditioned, fully fitted with showers, microwave ovens, and often foolishly driven where no RV was meant to go, arrived in numbers, wishing to have the Outback experience.  I mean! Did they open the fly screens...No!  Did they cook in a campfire in a camp oven in a sudden downpour, No!  Did they fore-go the latest TV drama, No! not on ya' life Nelly.  But, back home in the local bowlo',

 "We experienced the Outback experience."
"Oh,My goodness!  how brave of you...I could not stand the deprivation."
"Aw! It's all right, if you set your mind to it, like we did."

Now, again , being Fair Dinkum, the drovers of today have caravans, TV's, washing machines, and the like, and of course, they point the finger at a 'Fully,' as explained, RV, and say "Bloody tourists."

Me' I never worried about TV in the early 50s, maybe 'cause there weren't none in this country then.

I worried about the flies.  You have your horse whisperers, and dog whisperers and those old women that whisper over the back fence, but I was a professional fly worrier, I didn't worry them but they sure as all get out worried me.

I could sleep under the shade of a barb wire fence, if the need arose, and often did when I was too overcome with another Outback experience, call being  'pissed', and couldn't climb over the darn fence anyway.

So, the Outback doesn't change, people do and what they wish to whisper about, and what they want to experience is only relative to the amount of money and brains that one may have at any particular time.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fishing - Outback Style

Although no one would ever dare fish this way these days, there was a time when catching Yellow Belly Perch was a boring and fly pestered occupation.

Occasionally the fish would rise to the bobby cork, but line fishing would most often bring turtle after turtle and that 's about all.

So, the equipment needed to assure yourself of a feed of Golden Perch from the muddy brown water holes along the water courses was: Take one empty golden Syrup tin, some news paper, a bit of scrap metal and some carbide.  Carbide was use for the carbide lamps, and came in rock formation in sealed five-gallon containers.  Some folk use carbide to ripen bananas as well.

The method: Place metal scraps in the bottom of the tin, which has had a small hole pierced in the bottom as well as the lid. Put 'some' carbide rock in the tin,pack down with shredded news paper, not too tight, but sufficient for water to leak in the small hole and through the paper to the carbide.  Then solder the lid on solidly.

Take a few tinnies of barb wire, and a bag to put all the fish in, and then, "Cast the lure" or toss the bomb into the river.   It may take a tinnie before the bubbles start and then shortly after the "Kaboom" and the water lifts and settles, then the fish float on their sides, but only stunned.

Stopping the dog from swimming out for a free feed, you wade out and get hold of as many of the bigs ones that you need for a dinner or two, and head home after consuming the rest of the tinnies.  The other fish floating around will soon come alive and go back to what ever they were doing.

You will have the fish in the bag, which you have soaked in the water while you had a drink, so the Yellow Belly will survive until you get it back to the main station.

In dry times, Yellow Belly go into the mud, and a torpor, and may survive in this pocket of mud for considerable time, or until the next rains.

Take the fish home and release into a previously half filled water tank of fresh water.  It can be muddy water that has settled, but not bore water as it is too harsh for the fish and they will taste funny.

The fish will exude the mud from their guts in the fresh water environment, and will serve up a lot better than straight from the river.

Make sure you cover the tank with wire netting or you will  only provide a free diner for the pelicans, storks and kingfishers, like the Kookaburra,  which is Australia's largest Kingfisher.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tourists in the Outback

Although the local communities in the Outback of these days can see some benefits of the tourist trade, there are still the 'your in my space' attitudes.

In my time in Queensland, tourists were treated with disdain, and made fun of at every opportunity; however this was because of the lack of understanding that the travellers had, and lack of respect that the tourists showed for our country.

The Outback, of course, is not clearly defined, and sometimes is considered "A bit further out than the Black Stump".  The Black Stump being of dubious location itself, but claimed by the township of Blackall in Queensland.

Anything beyond the Black Stump is further out into the dry harsh Outback.  If you are travelling in the Outback you are on "The wallaby"  taken from wallaby track.  But again, with the influx of the 'Grey Nomads' in their fully self contained RVs, this phrase is used by them to describe what they are doing; "We are on the wallaby" they say, as they sit at the beach side in Coffs harbour, or Noosa, or Surfers Paradise....So another good old Aussie phrase has been downgraded by 'bloody tourists'.

I can remember from way back, when  discussing a couple of tourists that had bogged both vehicle and caravan to the axles, how one bloke said "Bloody tourists...They come out here with a white shirt and a twenty pound note in the pocket, and don't change either of them."

You could be out near the main road, working on the boundary fence, and you know that the road has been impassable for three days, and you look up to see a bloke in shorts to his knees, a floral shirt and a straw hat, heading your way.

"I say old chap, I wonder if you could lend a hand?"

Now, what he would expect one bloke to do to get him out of the black soil quagmire of the wet season, one could never fathom.  But you would climb into your four wheel drive work vehicle, allocate the passenger to the back so that your dog doesn’t have to give up its favoured position, and go have a 'decko' at the bogged tourists accommodation.

"Sorry for laughing, mate, " you say, not feeling the least sorry, "But this looks like a job for bloody Superman."

You would not be the least surprised if the man said "Does he live near here?"
But he doesn't so you ask, "Didn't you see the sign "Road impassable...four wheel drive only."

"Well, yes we did...but we thought...."  And that was always the problem, they hardly never thought.

It got better over the years, and a good number of the tourists were prepared for what lay ahead of them, and the more prepared they become the more the numbers of tourists came...So the towns built more motels, more fancy pubs, more places to extract the tourist cash as much as possible that could be extracted.  a tube for a trailer tyre could cost up to twelve pounds, which would normally retail at three pounds....But take it or leave it.

Even now, after the tourists in the Outback have contributed to fading local rural economies, and have become much more "Bush Smart" we still stand  on the side of the road and mutter...."Bloody tourists."  But we know this ain't gunna stop the flow, hey?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Comments on my Book

I love the comments on my book about the adventures of Tiger Williams.  Many are very complimentary, and that is good for the ego, and I think one needs a healthy ego to write and publish their thoughts.

Without comments I would get the feeling that the books are being purchased, but not read...wouldn't this be a waste?

I am happy to receive the constructive criticism and well as the pats on the back  because, as a first time published author I need as much of this type of help that people like to give.  I will take it all on board.

There are many deep and meaningful books around, my stories do not fit that category in the least, and are just moments from life that may or may not  have  happened, or they have happened and I have changed the outcomes, or yet still, they may not have  happened at all, but I have wished that they had...Ifn' ya' know what I mean.

The next story, "From Lotuses to Lantana" covers events  of characters with some connection to the Baker clan of Rosemore Station.  It touches the lives of at least ten characters, and two countries in a time when Australia was feeling the changes in the comfortable prosperity of the Outback, and when the American influence was becoming the influence from our own politicians on the Australian population.

Don't look for a masterpiece from the great classical authors, just have a read and see if you connect, but always remember, it is a work of fiction.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Still working on the sequel to Tiger Williams.

A little bit of ill health has slowed me down a bit, but come hell or high water, the sequel will be out soon?

This old brain has linked with this old imagination, and
so far neither is wearing out.

Stay tuned folks, and thank you to the British folk that have found the blog.  It may have something to do with the beautiful journalist, Emma.

Emma with my little dog, Elkie on Coffs harbour Beach.

Rake Connection

To the person that is connected to my family line and wrote a comment in my blog.  I have my family  history back to the 13th century.  I know there was a family history from the brother of my grandfather, but it was the wrong line when I viewed it.

I have not connected to the South Australian Rake line, that of Charles Bevan Rake. but I am sure they must be related somewhere.

Please contact me on

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Dogger Dingo trapper-Hi-Tech days

The method of dingo, or now called wild dog, eradication in this  country has gone hi-tech.  Video tracking is the modern method now.

Scientists with the (CSIRO) Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, has come up with a highly sophisticated, and as yet, expensive method of not only determining what animal is on their data, but which particular dog is on there data as well.

A landholder would be required to have at least three cameras strategically placed on known dog patrolled areas on their property, and dog sightings would be returned to the CSIRO via satellite with a positive ID.  These cameras cost around $600au each.

Wild dogs have a territory, or a hunting area that rarely changes, so it is not a case of having to have cameras all over the property.

Depending the stock losses, the landholder must determine the value of installing this system.  Of Course, the landholder that does install the system is helping his neighbour,  but will his neighbour assist with costs?  A big question in the economic state of our farmers.

Although Dingos have little variation between each dog, there is some and the CSIRO tracker can determine which dog is on the screen, where it is, which direction it is walking and if it is heading for stock or just leaving stock.

The Scientists can then ring the property owner and he can then take out his own follow up on that information, such as waiting to shoot the dog, laying a bait or trapping.

The wild dog problem in Australia is taking its toll of the land holder's already diminished profits, profits that have been affected by low market prices, oversees competition and  export prices, and of course, drought, which seems to be occurring in greater areas and numbers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It would be nice if...

It would be so nice, and helpful, if I had an occasional comment on my blogs.  I don't mind if they are a constructive criticism, as that is how I learn to write what you wish to see.

It amazes me that my largest audience is in Canada and the US. but don't stop looking, just tell me what aspect of the Outback you would like to hear about...If I don't know, I will invent something....Fair Dinkum.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Darn Flies!!!!

The flies of the  Outback are probably the worst thing that one has to experience there.  You never get used to them, however there are some tricks that will give you a little respite.

One workable escape is during the heat of the day, if you can find some deep shade...Yes it is possible...It may be a Prickly Acacia tree in full leaf or even a shed of some kind, this is where the flies do not enter.  The bright sunlight to the shade confuses them and they stay on the fringes waiting to mob you when you come out.

The above is only useable when you are having a break, when the work is on so are the flies, especially around sheep or cattle yards, although cattle yards with the moving hooves, do tend to put up a nice manure smelling dust screen of sorts, so that then you do not have so many flies to worry about, only the meat ants crawling up your trouser legs looking for something that resembles the item you have just cut out of a bullock, ifn'  ya' know what I mean.

It is said that this is why men of the Outback are constantly checking their crotch.  It is a worry if you see hoards of ants snigging a large ova, meaty object back to their nest and you have recently felt some of these ants up your trouser legs, hence the crotch check, and apparently, if becomes a habit.

There are many expressions about the flies, here a few clean  ones:

Talking about the smart young Jackaroo, "There's no flies on him."  answer, "No, but you can see where they've been."

"Bloody flies, ya' kill one and fifty-thousand come to the funeral."

About a woman with morning sickness:"She's either pregnant or has just swallowed a fly."  Honestly, they both have the same effect on a girl. well sort of!!

It is the bane of the stockman, or anyone else for that matter, who is inclined to have their mouth open when the flies are about, to swallow a fly, or for a fly just to fly in and hit the tonsils and fly back out again...The inclination is that you  have definitely swallowed the critter, and it makes you gag.  It ain’t nice but it teaches you to talk like a ventriloquist.

The March Fly, those secret stealth bombers that swoop in on to the back of your neck, or any bare flesh, are the ones I really hate,  they sting, they leave an itchy spot, and they can cause a normally quiet horse to buck like mad.

The blue tailed fly, originally from Africa, are the worst.  This useless insects are responsible for more deaths in the sheep population in Australia than any other form of 'disease'.  Sheep have a high pain threshold, and the only way you can tell if they are in severe pain is by them lifting the top lip in an agonizing grimace.  The fly will lay maggots in the fleece, at the rear end of the sheep that has become dirty and wet  because of an  over growth of wool, and this laying will turn into a colony of thousands that will eat flesh, and infect the area that becomes moist with the early strike,  it is a horrible, sad sight to see, and a horrible sad job to treat the sheep.

I guess there is a place for all insects in the world, but flies, I'm buggered, if I can see what they are good for!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Winter in the Sub-Tropics

It got down to 8c last night, here in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of NSW.

It wasn't cold, don't think I am complaining, I mean how could it be cold  under flannel sheets, two woollen blankets and a doona....Oh Yeah! and two dogs, even though it wasn't a two dog night.

I told a lady on the beach, one time, that my little dogs were double bed dogs.

"You mean they sleep with you?" She asked.

"Yes, they do."

"What about the smell?" Said the curious one.

I thought that a strange question, "They don't seem to mind." I told her.

"That's disgusting, " Said she as she wandered off.

With the lay of the land here, and the Great Dividing rRnge just up the hill, so to speak' we are only about 80 miles from snow when it comes.  Ebor, up towards Armidale, and Guyra often see snow this time of the year, but nothing skiable, just drifts in the gullies and on the road bridges that are often much lower than the road.

The ocean water remains within a few degrees of summer temperatures and can be up to 24c in mid winter.. warm currents come and go all year round..It's the getting out to grab the towel that is 'running the gauntlet'.

In the middle of Australia, in and around Longreach, where I spent my youth, or  is that splashed my youth, overnight temperatures, in winter, would get down to between 4 and 6c.  There would be ice on the horse troughs and you couldn't put enough warm clothes on to keep the morning chill off the body.  By 8.30am the sun would have you peeling clothes off like a striptease artist in Kings Cross, only you wouldn't get any cheers when you finished, if you did it would be very suspicious.

This is just a meandering of my mind, seems to happen a lot lately, but I get to go places that I have never been before, it's the getting back that is the problem.  Just Joking, I have a good mind, a good imagination and the nurses  here are wonderful.LOL.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Excerpt from From Whence They Came

As Penelope and Hannah made their way to the Captains dinner, Morgan, the black bearded, heavy set man, spoke to his cabin companion.

That's them...Those pair of birds will bring us a big ransom, and a good price on the slave market in Africa.”

Holding the cabin door just slightly ajar, the pair watched the women as they passed along the passageway. Morgan was thinking of the treatment that the younger, Hannah might get from him before he relinquished his control over her, and the thought filled his mind with the most evil of ideas.

(book yet to be edited)

Sailing on the Brigantine 'Emma' to Australia Charles Bevan Baker and other paying passengers are confronted with a drama that could lead to the worst possible nightmare for fellow friends and passengers.

How will this drama be resolved? Will we lose Penelope and Hannah to the slave trade in Africa? 

This book, the third in the Outback Adventure, is being written now, the second book, From Lotus to Lignum is in the hands of the editor/publisher, Fiona Gatt, and will be available for the readers in a few months...Then the wait for "From whence They came" will tidy up the series.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


These Spoonerisms, so called because of William Spooner's habit of mixing words up, are from an old record of which I retain  some memory.

They  are recorded errors from radio announcers of the pst...Long before Television:

'When the Queen alighted from the plane the Royal Fusileers fired a twenty-one sun galoot'.

Advertising bread: Get Tip Top Bread for the Breast in Bed.

Ending a kiddies program:  "Is that it, are we off the air...Good, that'll do the little %#@&^   for today." Heard across the British ABC afternoon radio.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Late breaking news.

This first story is about a man that lived at a place called Long Flat,near Wachope. NSW.

The man was a timber worker in a large timber supply yard that held its daily dangers, one of which was log stacks rolling unexpectedly, and trapping the worker.

The night news story went like this:

A tragic accident occurred in a saw mill today, at Wachope.   A log pile became dislodged allowing one large log to roll onto a worker causing crush injury to his lower limbs.

Later, paramedics admitted a Long  Flat man to Port Macquarie Hospital. 

Another such story, by the same News Reader went like this:

A man fell through a plate glass window at the front of a store in Kempsy, today.

After on the scene treatment the man was taken to Port Macquarie Hospital, by paramedics with sever cuts to the arms and legs.

Brave men and women these paramedics.

The above is copy of actual News Presentation from the area mentioned.

Fair Dinkum!

Yesterday's News, NSW Australia.

Police have been asked to investigate a dead body found in a cemetery.......



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gets easier every day

I love writing, allowing my characters to come alive on the page, and allowing them, with some restraint, to lead the story.

In the new and 3rd story, which leads us  up to the beginning of the Baker Dynasty, I called a woman a dowager, I didn’t really know what a dowager was, and when I looked it up, it is a perfect word for this cantankerous female, as the character is a widow.  She feels that the world should know "Who I am" as she now holds some property left from her departed husband, and is travelling with a daughter whom she embarrasses many times.

It is an easy road, the settlement of the colonies, as there is massive amounts of information that can be used from  historical events and recorded on the internet.

I have the added research material in the arrival of my ancients to South Australia from Dorset, and although they would turn in their grave at the liberties I take, they give me many pages to add to "From Whence They Came."  Material like personal letters, and descriptions of life in the early eighties in South Australia.  There is even a price list of goods, in a letter, showing the people in England the high cost of being a colonist that must buy rather than sell.

I know that you will like this book,  after you read the sequel, which is in the hands of my editor/publisher.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Posting comments

There are two ways that I will know if you like this blog, one is to see the  usage go up, the other is to have comments posted.

I invite you to post comments on the content, even if it is constructive criticism or maybe, a request for a particular concept on the Outback.

My time in the west of Queensland was not a long time, but I was keen, tried almost everything, and retain a good memory of events that have been of benefit to my writing; however, I  do not know if  you appreciate my stories and comments in this blog...So, please feel free to join in.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Calling All Writers

Calling all writers and potential writers:

I have been associated with my publisher for a couple of years now and we have both had some problems with a third party.  That third party is no longer coming to "our party' which is only all good.

Fiona Gatt, whose name you will see on my books from now on as Editor, is the most capable person I  have seen in regards to knowing what people like to read.

If you have some work that you would like an appraisal on, and I might add, a constructive criticism, you may send it along to Fiona.

Anyone who has tried their hand at writing has come up with the dilemma of finding a publisher that doesn't want an arm and a leg to put your work out into the reading public arena.

I can assure you, and I have looked, there is no greater opportunity for the novice, or even known authors to have a great boost or start to your writing career.

Poetry, children's books, Australian genre stories, drama, comedy ... or surprise Fiona, who is quite used to surprises, having known me! Here's her site.

A Beatuful sight

A beautiful sight can often turn to disaster.  This Square Rigged Brigantine is similar to the Emma, the ship that our main character in the up and coming book, "From Whence They came." sailed to the State of South Australia in 1836.

This book will be the third in the Tiger Williams series,  with the sequel (book 2) in the hands of my publisher and Co-writer, Fiona Gatt.

Up to 103 days was spent on these vessels as they sailed for the colonies in Australia.  Many did not make it, as they were dashed against the southern ragged coast line on the continent, lost in raging storms at the Cape of Good hope or death by typhoid on board.

Sailing down to the cape of Good Hope and riding the roaring forties up to Australia was the most travelled route for these little ships.

When you consider that the average age of Ships Captains was around 26 years, and their only experience was around the shipping channels of England, these young men, and oft times younger crew, did a tremendous job and showed great courage to take on the adventure.

Monday, May 5, 2014

More Wisdom from the Old Bloke

Old Pete sez: Not all precious gems have value, and leverite is the least precious of all.  Work that one out!!!

Old Pete Sez, the bloke wot said early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, was the swaggie that went Waltzing with Matilda.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Imagination and Writing

I recall me' dear old' Mammy saying, "Peter you are just imagining it." Whatever it was I was imagining, it was real to me at the time,  and that, folks is the beauty of childhood.  You can have an invisible friend, many do, even adults, they call that friend God, but that is another story, and, in my opinion, it is not an imagination.

I like to meet people and turn them, or their characteristics into players in stories.  Once I 'Meet' my made up player, they become my personal entourage for a journey that, sometimes, does not work; however, I do not destroy these players, as there is always a place for someone somwhere.

The advantage of my imaginative players,  is that they are made up of a composite of people I meet, and although you may say, "I met him, I bet he  is talking about me,"  there will be that many other aspects in the character that you will never be sure....Sneeky ain't it?

I am rather fond of pretentious people as characters, not because of their pretentiousness, but because they are very insecure, are prone to suffering from the syndrome of removing the left foot from their mouths to put the right foot back in, ifn' ya' know what I  mean?   The stuffy ones usually come down many pegs in my stories (Read The Pup) but I am not always terribly unkind to them as it is never humorous to regale a person without having a bit of an Aussie 'leg pull'.

So there you go folks, a bit of my style of writing, adn onetht new writers might like to think about.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Not only but Also #2

I am very fortunate that I have ancestors, or ancients, as I like to call them, Why?  I'll tell ya', it is a well known fact that if your parents do not have children, there is a good chance you won't either.

My family history goes back to the 1600s where the first recorded (name) was given permission to bear arms, and I thought we were an 'armless lot. I did have some suspicion that being legless ran in the family from time to time.

My#1 fan, Rainee, is a researcher in ancestry, and with this lovely lady's great assistance I was able to find many of my past kin, and some of my present kin, which give me the right to be kin to kinfolk, ifn' ya' know what I mean.

My family history in South Australia, at the time of early settlement, and the information that was recorded, and detected by Rainee, is a very strong  part of the 3rd book, "From Whence They Came" in the story of 'Tiger Williams.'

I look foward to the publication of the sequel, now in the hands of Fiona Gatt, my publisher, and the third book has been started.

It is with the greatest of joy, for both of us, that Fiona has sorted out a problem with the parent publisher, and Fiona and I have gone partnership together to get these stories out to you; no middle man.

Fiona has the expertise that I lack in editing, a task equal to writing the stories of length in the first place.  So, folks, I have nothing but good vibes about my writing now, instead of the overhanging doom that existed previously.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Not Only But Also

The third Book in the Tiger Williams Series is under way.  This one goes back to the beginning of the Baker clan in Dorset England.

The Title "From Whence t hey came" will have many bits and pieces about the 'Bounty scheme', about the hopes and aspirations of the free settlers and about their impressions of this Great South Land across the sea.

Here is the unedited, opening remarks.  Some  months away yet though.  So make sure you read the sequel to The Life and Loves of Tiger Williams, now available on Amazon Books.

“But Charles, it is such a long way, six months on the ship...Leaving England, our family, our friends....Oh Charles, I will go, of course, I am you wife, but please keep me safe.”

Mary, Elizabeth Baker nee Newington, was the typical genteel female of Rural Dorset. Born to a well to do family of landholders and Physicians, she had a good life, was happy in the social life, as it was in Dorset in the early 1800s, but as she thought of these things she also had the thought..'.and now this. '

Charles Bevan Baker was a wanderer, a merchant of adventure, and at the age of sixteen years, already an adult and  partner in the family Company, he intended to become very wealthy, and a man of the world.

The green pastures of Dorset, in the district of Marnhull, held two lines of this Baker clan, there were the rich landholders, and there were the workers and tenant farmers that worked small plots for the Squires

Although the clan bore the same name, the divide between the classes was wide and very evident. The Mister Bakers would have no hesitation in withdrawing assistance and employment from the common Bakers, the workers, the poor ones that often, in hard times, relied on handouts from the community or local Parish Church.

Charles left the large house, with its thatched roof, low doorway, tidy garden and went to his horse that was held, patiently, by the groom. Another servant came with a shotgun and a packet of cartridges that Charles places into loops on this hunting jacket.

“Tell the cook I will only bring her two partridge today...we have no guests coming for a free feed tonight.”

The servants tittered at this, obediently, and went about their duties.

As he rode out to meet neighbours and friends, who had already arranged the 'beaters' for the partridge hunt, he thought of the 'game' that may present itself to his accurate marksmanship.

'Hopping marsupials, ten feet tall, wombats built like grizzly bears, other bears that lived in trees and, and, according to Jim Williams, dropped down from the trees to attack the unwary.  There were birds of all size and colour..It will be a bright new wonderful world,'

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Guess what?  My wonderful Publisher has asked for the sequel to my first novel.

It will be named From lantana to Lotuses or From Lotuses to Lantana, depending on what Fiona Gatt, my co-writer in this event decides.

This story creates some new characters, different adventures and more pathos, love, drama than the "Life and Loves of Tiger Williams."

The new "lad on the block is Richard Little"  Richard meets up with an  old droving mate Steve Williams (Tiger), and joins the staff on Rosemore.

On Rosemore the new characters mingle and mix with the Rosemore 'family', sharing happiness, sadness and tragedy.

This sequel takes us to the 1960's in the Central West of Queensland, when the modern world was slowly taking over the Outback.

The attitudes of those of the Large Brown Country is depicted, from the memory of being there at the time, attitudes that still tried to hold onto the old ethics of the great country.

You can guarantee it will be 'required reading' for those that were clever enough to get the first book.

I loved writing it, I hope you will love reading it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sagarious Sayings...Fair Dinkum

If all the not smart people in the world were as half as smart as the smart people think they are we would all be as smart as each other...By half.

If you wish to let someone know how you are, when they ask:  Simply reply, Not bad in patches, a bit rough around the edges but still above ground.. It will usually suffice.

How can one possible answer the question: Have you lived here all your  life?  If you had you would not be there to answer, Right?  So, Not yet, is the only appropriate reply.

Being abusive to someone using their mobile phone in a check out line is not the best way to go, not when a good smack on the back of the head will suffice.

If someone should ask me "How is it, Old Pete, that you are so wise and clever?" I will think about the answer carefully, in case someone asks.

If one limits oneself to ones limits you will only have a limited amount of success.

You never know how much you know until someone asks you a question, and only then if you  answer correctly. But then again, at least, then if you don't answer correctly, you will know that there is something that you don't know.  You will notice that I only apply this to you, and not myself, which is a survival gimmick.

Wisdom is not a gift to the aged, it is a  hard earned commodity that is often mistaken as intrusiveness, by the young.

Understanding women is easy: I will publish the answer as soon as someone sends it to me.

Wonderful words

Old Pete Sez:  I don't get to chat a lot, but when I do, I chat a lot.

Old Pete Sez:  No matter how hard you try, somone is gunna say, "try harder".

Old Pete Sez: If you have great success in life, others must have been abject failures.

Old Pete sez: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jill came down with half a crown...Did she go up for water?

Old Pete Sez: I knew a bloke that was so mean, if he cut  you a slice of bread there would only be one side to it.

Old Pete sez: Once a w oman called me excessivly drunk, Old Pete answered "You are excessevly ugly, but I will be sober in the morning.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Growing a Kid


I have developed a certain horticultural expertise that allows me to presume that I know many things in regards to the propagation, seeding and pollination of certain species and kinds of life.

At an early age I was subject to a very obtuse explanation of the connection of birds and bees in regard to the simple, and as yet, clinically undefined system that is needed to successfully grow a kid.

I purposely stay with the singular, and thus have the insight to leave it to the horticulturist themselves as to whether they wish to grow kids as a crop or a singular , spectacular specimen of that species.

One must understand the function of the kid, once it is fully grown It can be used as a specimen of brilliance in its kind, or it can be just shown in its early age, and then discarded as it deteriorates into the mass of, probably, useless compost of the vast majority of this species. The kid does not last very long in its utmost bloom. It does , however: transcend into a sort of juvenile plant that has an urgent pollinating expression of reproduction.

This, of course, is all very well, and is a painful time in the young kid's development. It is here that the propagator must make sure that the developing kid is not subject to the fairy tales of the birds and the bees. It stands to reason that if you wish to grow birds or bees you educate your experimental species in those sciences. If you wish to grow a kid you must stick with the intrinsic rules of kid seed gathering, planting, and fertile seed implementation conditions.

Having a fair experience as a seed planter, using the most modern of seed planting implements, I find that not enough consideration is given to this section of the kid growing process. Without really showing that I am taking an interest, I have seen some rather large and cumbersome planting devices that can only inhibit a smooth and easy seed placement in the most fertile spot required for good and rapid growth of a kid.

Some try to add attachments to the seed planting device, which may cause some merriment, but does little for the planting process. I would advise here that care be taken with these attachments, and also advise that they can cause damage to the delicate seed as it is planted. You may have seen how delicate some kids are as they age, imagine their delicate condition at the seed planting time. Oft times this damage is not seen until the kid matures, and at a certain age it becomes lack-lustre, no vigour and difficult to treat.

Once the seed is planted, it is advisable to gently turn the seed bed from time to time. The seed itself is secure but the outer covering, resembling a pod on a bean tree, becomes stressed; however, be very careful, and be warned, the protective pod around a kid plant can react with a sharp squirt of a poisonous substance, causing muteness and a certain discomfort to the seed planter. It is not fully k now what causes this reaction, and horticultural science has almost given up looking for an explanation.

Once the kid seed develops and emerges from the pod, it instinctively knows what expectations must be met to keep the kid happy for some time.

Happy Seed Planting, and remember, Practice makes Perfect....or lots of kids

Monday, February 3, 2014

Havin' a yarn


G,Day, mate, 'owyagoin, I hope ya' doin' alright, all right?
Yeah! Mate, not too bad, a bit rough around the edges,
Not bad in patches, but still above the ground, most days.
Me too, me' missus and me are still together, still hitched.
And that is something of be considered in the Outback
When things are a changin' an' money's getting' tight.

Ya' not wrong, mate, tighter than a Yella' Belly fish's bum,
Jobs are hard to find now, harder ifn' ya' don't look, they reckon,
Used ta' be a good days work would bring a good day's pay.
Yeah! And when you could trust a man's word, his hand shake.
When you could lend a bloke, down and out,a quid, or maybe two
Knowin' that you would get it back in spades, and then some.

Ya' remember when me and you waz drovin' that mob of bleaters?
We ate a good and hearty meal, and slept dry most nights.
I do remember, mate, I remember it well, well, as well as I can, that is.
Yeah! You remember, sheep rear ends all day long, and dust.
Yeah! I remember the dust, Like powder, up ya' nose and stuff.
Yeah, I got bit real bad by lousy fox fleas, them bloody, blood eaters.

The good old days, when the boss broke his leg, Didn't he kick up a fuss?
Yelled and swore, and thrashed about until the rum ration was gone.
Hard to find a straight stick fer' a splint, but a bent leg beat pain, he said.
Tough old coot, hardly felt a thing, Bundy Rum on the mail truck, came.
A dozen bottles of the best, The boss was at his happiest, no sore leg.
But he was a lousy coot as well, and there was no Bundy Rum for us.

The good old days, when a beer cost ten-pence an' a headache a quid.
Yeah! Mate, the good old days, before the place was invaded by tourists
When most people didn't get 'em selves bogged, 'cause they were smart.
Not like now, mate, pommys and new chums bogged, some in bull dust.
Some in mud, some in the table drain, most in places not meant to be in.
Yeah! Mate, and they whine, they don't get 'emselves out, like we did.

The Outback is changing, mate, it is different somehow, flies still the same.
Drovers in caravans, washing machines, mattresses, even the wimmin.
Who would want to take his missus on a drovin' trip, not me, that's for sure.
But you ain't married, mate, an' that makes a difference on who you would take
Not too bad to finish the day with a cold beer and a bit of cake from the girl,
Good to feel somethin' in the swag not a snake. Her bite don't cause much pain.

“Spose, could ya' have somethin' there, an' the Television thing, is amusin'
Shearin' sheep is still good money. Good mates are still around the place.
Wimmin not plentiful, but that was always as is it is, good ones hard to find.
Horses are gone, motorbikes stinkin' up the air, kids don't wanna work at all,
Government hands them money, they get inta' strife, locked up, young criminals.
The Outback is changin', mate, an; ya' get sadder the more you do the perusin'