Saturday, 31 March 2012

Friday, 30 March 2012

Lucky lucky me. 

For a couple of weeks now I have been really stressed about my studies, about not having a job, about a sick cat, about crazy weather, about just everything. At last things are resolving themselves, thanks to some wonderful friends and colleagues. Tonight we are even going to a show at the entertainment centre. Rhonda Burchmore.
How lucky is that!!! 

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Sometimes I wonder just how much we have in common with certain animals. 
Watch these clips. 

Dogs seek out people and the affection is often mutual. Cats make wonderful pets who do communicate with the household members. Pigs, cows, donkeys and goats are so like us that human babies can drink their milk. Horses and riders definitely communicate. Tigers, lions, monkeys and elephants can be taught to do tricks. Gorillas, orang otangs, and chimpanzees are even genetically close to us. And so it seems that most mammals have emotions and needs and activities that are similar and communicable.

For some animals the connections seem more remote. Snakes? Some are very affectionate. Cuddly. Birds? Fish? Turtles?  But do these animals reach right inside us and touch our feelings?

Many people from various parts of the world find koalas very appealing. They have sharp claws. They bark and scream, yet are so gentle and vulnerable. They look at you straight in the face. They hold on. Koalas feel like babies.Who do they harm? What animals do they kill? Do they eat the farmers' crops?  No wonder we love them.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Busy, busy

If you ever learned violin the Suzuki way you will be familiar with Busy Busy. It is the first little song for playing as a group or ensemble and is simply a little scratch back and forth.

I feel Busy Busy, scratching back and forth lately.

I chased down jobs like there was no tomorrow and now I have the pleasure of refusing some. At the moment I am busy busy with some tutoring with a university student. It is a big ask due to special circumstances, but I guess my employer knows that this is the type of client I handle well. Busy busy with studying for my own course. Busy busy with household duties. Busy busy with a sick cat. Busy busy with an interstate visitor. Busy busy with rehearsals for a concert on Sunday.

It is all a bit of a stretch. Very testing. Hope it is character building.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Do you like birds?

I am not sure if I do.

They seems both fragile and vicious, loving and ruthless. I feel sorry for them in bad weather. I hate it when they swoop down to the road to catch an insect or mouthful of roadkill. To hold some birds is rather frightening as they tremble in my hands. Other times they seem fine and then so do I. Their sounds are often very lovely. Their songs at sunset remind my why it is good to be alive. On the other hand the animal rescue people tell us that many of the birds found injured later die because their hearts cannot take the stress of human intervention. What a mixture of feelings.

I came across these photos of embroidered sculptures by Catherine Frere-Smith. She is a textile print designer in Kent but her work is much more then just designing pictures on fabric. She also uses her fabrics to make garments, constructs  fabric sculptures, and captures wonderful images in photographs.

So that is the bird connection.

I also found a really attention-grabbing bird film clip on You Tube. Not local birds. A greater degree of separation than that, although I have seen real flamingos. 


Monday, 26 March 2012

As Easter approaches I seem to be caught up in religious music which leads to philosophical stories which lead to legends, folk tales, and so forth. Now I know Easter has nothing to do with Noah's Ark, but it is a terrific little story and is linked to this and that. The silly part is of course that the Ark was not actually the ship but the promise between God and Noah. I choose not to be close to people who tell me that they have agreements with God. I also choose to see the funny side of the story.

Everything I need to know about life
I learned from the tale of Noah's Ark.

1.         We are all in the same boat.
2.         Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah started to build the Ark.
3.         It is possible that you will cross paths with people who failed semantics, geography, history, archaeology, and weather forecasting.
4.         Don't pay too much attention to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
5.         For safety sake, travel in pairs.
6.         Don't miss the boat.
7.         There is no guarantee of a calm passage.
8.         Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9.         Some decisions will not please everyone; those two cockroaches have resulted in a lot of grief.
10.     Find out as much as you can about waste removal before the exits are closed.
11.     No matter how long or severe the deluge, it will eventually end.
12.     Money did not seem to bother Noah, so do not let it become the biggest influence in your life.
13.     When you are stressed, float a while.
14.     Stay fit. Noah was not young. When you are old, you may be asked to do something really big.
15.     Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Yesterday it rained but today the humidity dropped below 40% for the first time this year. Yes, the Dry Season has arrived. Well, I am extremely hopeful.

Two cruise liners tied up today, both from Princess Lines. I am sure the visitors enjoyed the wonderful tropical weather.

I am in such a good mood I have a joke to share.

An 80 year old woman was marrying for the fourth time. A newspaper journalist asked if she would mind talking about her husbands and what they did for a living.
She smiled sweetly and said,"My first husband was a banker. Then I married a circus ringmaster. Next I married a parson. Now in my 80s I am marrying a funeral director."
The journalist remarked that they seemed to have quite diverse careers and then asked her to tell him a little more.
She explained, " I married 1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to get ready and 4 to go."

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Who am I?

This is the code I live by.

I am not indigenous anything. I am genetically rich with predominantly European heritage. My father was born in 1906 and my mother was born in 1911. My maternal grandmother was born in Queensland in the nineteenth century. Four generations of my family have been born in this land. My paternal grandparents and great grandparents were torn from their country and sent to live in Australia in about 1905. It does not actually matter who or what my predecessors were, where they previously lived or even what languages they spoke. The important aspect of these people is that they were strong people who made a commitment to this country.

I am alive and I am glad of that. My cup is never half empty. It is full to the top, even though some of that is air. I am no longer a child, and I do not blame any aspect of my childhood for any deficiencies in my character or my life. No-one can ruin my life unless I give permission for that to occur. I lead my life.

Fifty facts about my culture and belief system.

1.      Make the world a better place. This is the purpose of Life.
2.      Be brave. Be courageous. Be stoic. Endure.
3.      Silence is golden.
4.      Obey the laws of wherever you are.
5.      Do not take a human life. Know that the personal cost of being a soldier is high.
6.      Life is not fair – bad things happen to good people.
7.      Be steadfast and true.
8.      Trust your own judgement.
9.      Find reasons to be happy.
10.   It is not dishonourable to be unemployed. It is dishonourable to neglect your responsibilities.
11.   Do not abuse the trust of another person.
12.   Laughter is a luxury. Sometimes you might have this luxury.
13.   The pursuit of knowledge is a worthwhile goal. There are many forms of knowledge.
14.   Kindness costs little. You can afford it.
15.   Love is not necessarily logical.
16.   Beauty has value. It enriches life. Each person feels it differently.
17.   Everyone gets one life. No-one is entitled to two – their own and yours. Fight for your life.
18.   Do not steal. Stop yourself from wanting to steal.
19.   Good manners and politeness are not universal. Standards differ. Learn to accommodate this without compromising your own code.
20.   Ignorance may cause a person to behave rudely. Advise or forgive them.
21.   Live moderately.
22.   Think. Think about people, things, animals, beliefs, mathematics, literature, puzzles, the metaphysical, or the physical world.
23.   Stay alive. Eat cockroaches and maggots if necessary to stay alive. Things might improve.
24.   There is no such thing as a totally good or a totally bad person.
25.   There are many different religions and philosophies to suit the many different people. None is superior to any other, although some may be more popular at certain times.
26.   No one person is inherently better than any other person. This includes the physically and mentally handicapped. This also includes the very young, the very old, the ill and the dying.
27.   Some people acquire heavy responsibilities. They may need help with these. Giving this help does not indicate subservience. Respect the roles.
28.   Sometimes things are to be done in a special order, such as greeting people. This does not indicate superiority. It indicates honour and respect.
29.   A person is much more than their occupation.
30.   The purpose of some tasks and occupations may be difficult to identify. The contemplative nun has the same value as the farmer.
31.   Nobody chooses their parents and grandparents. Consider what shapes people.
32.   Look after your parents, children, brothers and sisters.
33.   There is no guarantee that you will like members of your own family.
34.   Put yourself last. Care about and for others.
35.   No person is brilliant at everything. We each have talents. Some talents may not be valued as highly as they should at this time.
36.   There are good and bad people of all countries, races and beliefs. You may not have met them all yet so judge only individuals.
37.   Animals are alive too. Consider their needs. Avoid cruelty.
38.   There is nothing dirty, bad or nasty about any baby or young animal.
39.   Children are works in progress so do not expect them to be completely finished.
40.   The human body makes noises. This is not hilarious.
41.   Sex is a natural part of life, as are eating and sleeping. Remember that there could be consequences.
42.   Ageing is natural part of life. Look after your body so that it lasts well. There are consequences.
43.   Confrontation and danger are part of human nature.
44.   There is no such thing as Evil, but the word exists for a reason. Think about how this can be improved.
45.   Listen to your own life before criticising others.
46.   Nobody wins all the time. We must fail sometimes if we are truly to learn.
47.   Work hard at whatever you do. If you choose the goal yourself, the work is unlikely to kill you.
48.   It is not possible for justice to exist on a world-wide scale but the pursuit of justice is always worthwhile.
49.   Actions speak louder than words.
50.   The past cannot be relived. Learn from it. Live now.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Commemorate war time in Katherine

Yesterday there was a special ceremony to celebrate that it is 70 years since Katherine was bombed in World War II.

Katherine is approximately 350 kilometres south of Darwin. 
On 21 March 1942 a Japanese reconnaissance plane was spotted flying over Pine Creek and Katherine. 
On 22 March 1942 nine Japanese Mitsubishi bombers, belonging to the Japanese navy, flew over Katherine at 12.20. They returned about 15 minutes later and began their bombing raid. Ninety bombs were dropped, most of them on the Katherine airfield. 

Only one person was killed, but several were injured. 

Several bombs were dropped on bridges cutting access to Darwin. Other bombs fell on a site near the airstrip which was scattered with large boulders resembling heavy equipment.

This photo was taken on the day of the bombing raid.
It shows a group of Australian soldiers who were working on one of the bridges that day.
It was quite hot weather.

At the time Katherine was a busy place with two large hospitals catering to the military forces. Many civilians had evacuated from Darwin to Katherine. People had dug trenches in their gardens and practices were held so that in case of attack the people would know what to do. Residents were accustomed to the sound of the air raid siren. But in the Aussie tradition, that did not fall into place for this event. It was a Sunday and the air raid siren operator was having a day off. No replacement. When the planes were spotted most people just ran into the bush instead of using the trenches. 

No survivors were present at the ceremony. The daughter of the killed man was present but she had not been in Katherine at the time of the raid.

This shows a bomb crater near one of the hospitals. Close but not close enough to be effective.

This was the most southern Japanese bombing raid in the Northern Territory during World War II.  The fuel load of the planes that took part in the raid determined the range. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012


There is nothing quite like the glow of candles in a softly dark setting. I find it stirs something inside me, but I do not know where or what or why.

Could it be linked to birthday cakes? Romantic films? A primitive wish to play with fire? Religion?

Do other cultural groups get this same feeling? Is it there if you come from the desert? If you lived with torches rather than wax products? What if your people used oil lamps?

Are we born this way or does it develop? Why is this flame appealing but at other times we are afraid of fire?

Candles are a problem here in our very warm climate. Firstly, the air is hot, so the fans are on, so the candles either blow out or burn oddly. Secondly candles need to be stored very carefully or they melt into lopsided shapes. But still I want to use them.

I now live in a high rise building with many smoke alarms. So ... should I use candles inside at all? So far I have only used them when the power was off and we were well away from the smoke alarms. Do scented candles release larger particulates? Soy candles?

Will the candle smoke ruin my pictures and upholstery? Could it contribute to lung disease or breathing problems?

 Each time the smoke alarms go off the Fire Brigade must come and 300 people are inconvenienced, to say nothing of the bill.

And cutesy candles? Or tapers? Or tea lights? What about candle sticks? Holders of other types? Candle lanterns?

Where do I draw the line?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Yes, I am a sucker for animal welfare charities. They certainly get a good percentage of my income, and yes, I know lots of the money is spent in ways I would not really like.
I like mammals particularly and see them as living beings just like me. A little different in appearance and talents, but with thoughts and emotions just like mine. How many degrees of separation? Yes, I know many animals can be dangerous, but many people can be dangerous.
Of course I like many other animals, although some of them get not much more than a kind smile. Some parasites are a little off-putting.
So there is this mixed bag of ideas.
I was surprised and delighted when I was sent this film clip and photos. There are more like this on YouTube.

And I am turning up the chuff-metre a bit because of the snowy connection to yesterday.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Snow Rollers

One of my friends lives in a region of the USA where she gets quite a lot of snow. Last week she took these photos of snow rollers. Of what??? A snow roller is a rare phenomenon in which large snowballs are blown along the ground by the wind, picking up more material along the way, similar to the way that people make snowballs for snowmen. Certain conditions must exist for the snow rollers to form:

  1. The ground must be covered by a layer of ice to which snow will not stick.
  2. The layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature close to the melting point of ice.
  3. The wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers, but not strong enough to move them too quickly.
  4. Sometimes gravity can move snow rollers, for example when snow falls from a tree and rolls down a hill.
My friend's town is not very hilly but it definitely gets strong winds These snow rollers were forming along the flat ground.

Anyway it is a wonderful sight, and just looking at it makes me feel less hot and sweaty. I have seen real snow, just not for a long time. I am glad I was not there when it was so cold, but I look forward to visiting her soon.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The sun is not quite shining but the rain is staying in the clouds. We returned most of the pot plants to the verandah instead of leaving them in various indoor locations. The outdoor furniture is once again outdoors. Aaaah. The windows are open and so are the doors. Bliss.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Today is St Patrick's Day so a little celebration is in order. Not a good day for the races. Not a good day fro a wild barbeque. Rather damp in fact. Ah, yes, it must be a good day for an Irish stew and soda bread, all washed down with an Irish pint. I have a few cans of Guinness in the fridge.

Do you make soda bread? I am fairly sure it has contributed to the development of that great Aussie favourite, damper. Here is my recipe. Try it with a stew or with plenty of butter and treacle.

Irish Soda Bread


675g plain flour
100g fine oatmeal
1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
600ml buttermilk
butter for greasing the cooking trays

Not many ingredients. 

  1. First make the fine oatmeal by grinding oats in a blender or grinder.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Pour in the buttermilk a little at a time, stirring as you go.

  1. Knead for a few moments.
  2. Butter the scone trays thoroughly.
  3. Shape into 2 round loaves. Some people slash a cross in the top of each loaf.

  1. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes.

Just waiting to be broken open.

Friday, 16 March 2012

As I wondered what we would eat this coming week I also wondered what families in other parts of the world might be eating.

Would they eat rice? Goat meat? Fish? Bread? Pumpkin? Apples? And what would they drink? Water? Juice? Milk? Soft drinks?

I found this wonderful clip which shows families in their own homes with food for one week.

There is a cost estimate. But most of the information is in the pictures. Some families are large. Some eat fresh foods. Some eat very little. Some people seem to eat food from boxes. And the prices indicate not just the income of the family but cost of living in that region. Perhaps they indicate political and social factors. Who is healthy? Who will live longer?

If the clip does not work for you try this link or go to What The World Eats.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

I actually knitted something and finished it. So many times I start something but it just sits like an eternal reminder of lost dreams.

Simple enough, but a bit rough at the ends.
So this time I knitted a headband for wearing to the gym. Not a total success because the method I used for joining is rather rough.

There's that bulky join. I think I need to learn how to graft the ends together.
The yarn is a chunky cotton in lovely variegated blue. The needles are size 10mm. It was just sixteen stitches and ribbing until it seemed big enough.
Hopefully I shall wear it tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Jam Drops

Ghastly weather. There is a large low pressure weather system down by Daly River. It has not developed into a cyclone but it is sending us very wet weather. 1800mm just down by the wharf in the last twenty four hours. That is six inches for those living in the olden days.

Nothing for it but to cook, sew, and knit.
Whoops! I already needed to check the taste.
Those in the front have lime marmalade centres.

Made a batch of jam drops and feel quite proud of them. These are almost our national biscuit, equal in importance with Anzac biscuits.

My mother-in-law used to bake these, so how many degrees of separation would that be?

You are welcome to try my recipe. Very easy.

Jam Drops
Makes 30.

250g self-raising flour
125g butter
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup red jam

  1. Cream the butter and sugar. For best results use an electric mixer and beat until the colour changes from yellow to cream.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla. Stir gently until combined. Do not worry if it looks curdled. It's not.
  3. Add the flour. Combine well.
  4. Roll teaspoonfuls of mixture and place on lined oven trays, not too close together. Smaller is actually better for these, so about the size of a macadamia nut.
  5. Use your thumb to create a depression in the centre of each ball.
  6. Fill the hole with jam. You will use a very small amount of jam in each one.
  7. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

I enjoy having plants around me. Not dahlias which need stakes or cactii that fight me. Green stuff. I do not need flowers very much. Orchids are not happy to live in my garden, although I have tried many times.

Everything now must live in pots as we are in a highrise flat.

I have some euphorbias, palms, cycads and dracenas that provide a lush backdrop on the verandah.

Just popping its head up for a look.
My favourites are my bromeliads which are not the great ornamental varieties, but just show great endurance day after day. One bloom. The bloom is a reward for year long care, but I love the shape and colour of the leaves too. They seem so polite to me. So gentle. Of course the blooms are spectacular and look fabulous in arrangements.


The bromeliad bloom is actually many flowers all clustered together. Each little matchstick-like piece is a separate flower. Then they die one by one.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Jamie Oliver

I am really impressed by Jamie Oliver. Here is a celebrity who does not act like a sexpot or know-it-all  in front of others. Naked, not down to the skin, but down to the realities of life. Here is a heroic effort a little more useful than climbing mountains or swimming in shark infested waters.

Jamie is not trying to be the richest but instead to improve the lives of the people around him. He is not saintly, not devoting himself to the poorest of the poor. He is aiming to improve the lives of people right where he lives, and those just like them in other countries. No fancy anythings. No frills. Emphasise daily life. Reality.

Here is Jamie launching his Ministry of Food campaign in Victoria. Local dignitaries. Observe Jamie's low key approach. Ordinary. Daily life. No frills. One huge part of the project will be in Ipswich, Queensland, where I used to live. This is working class land. Celebrity chefs do not usually tread in these places.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

I am a sucker for funny photos. These appeal to my weird sense of humour. By the way they are not altered, but true. I have absolutely no idea where they came from or when. If they are a breach of copyright, please let me know.

I am guessing this is a bunch of backpackers.

Wanna go fishing Dad?
Remember when the US had to repair one of their ships in the Gulf? This is like a tow-truck.
This is a retirement village. Plenty of open space, just not where I would expect to find it.
Danger Will Robinson.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Yarn Bombing

This afternoon I took part in some guerrilla knitting. A large group of us arrived at the Chan Building which is used as an art gallery. Inside we had lots of room and worked amidst a wonderful exhibition of textile art from all corners of the Territory. Rather inspiring.

The blue art work hanging behind this group is actually a hand-knotted rug.

Who were we? Men and women. Young and older. No children or teenagers though. Beginners and experienced. Crafty. Artistic. Thrill seekers. Hiders from the heat. Blissful air conditioning inside.

The organisers supplied yarn and needles. Many pieces had already been cast on so that the results would fit the balustrades outside. Other pieces were to fit poles and fences.

Tea and biscuits helped make a pleasant atmosphere. The assorted tea cosies were magical and uplifting.
Obviously many people besides me had brought along left over balls of wool and I saw a few knitting looms. Sean the Sheep kept an eye on things.

I met quite a few interesting people and we all seemed to enjoy ourselves. There was a great sense of community.

The result was a little thin. Next time would be more productive because the organisers will get better at this too. Some pieces prepared earlier would help.
Here we are attaching the completed pieces to the railings and fences.

I put my name on the list for the next event.

Happy Yarn Bombing.

You can not quite make out the sleeves attached to this light pole.

Friday, 9 March 2012

A little bit of sewing

I am bursting with pride at the moment.
I was in Sydney recently and noticed the ladies wearing big colourful blouses with either tights or slacks. After I came home I drew a pattern and made a top similar to those I had seen.

The colours are quite bright and gaudy in good light.
Luckily I had a gorgeous piece of hand woven silk fabric just hanging about waiting for a project.
Everything seems to worked out reasonably well. It looks rather like a short muu-muu, but that is just what I saw on the streets of the big city.
Hopefully I will be wearing this top with some black tights at the yarn bombing event tomorrow.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Fairy Stories

I came across these photos several years ago and thought they were hilarious. I wonder what you think.

  I guess this was taken in the staff lunchroom at a theme park. But the thought of the morning after is still strong.

 So what did Little Red Riding Hood look like? Did she sample the goodies in the basket? This time? Every time? Is this what could have happened?

 Is this Jasmine? Up to date, are we?
Yes, here we are at the retirement village and I am still waiting for Sleeping Beauty to awaken. What good will it do me now? Look at her and look at me.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sing a song

Many people here in Australia have either sung or heard the song Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Somehow I never thought about the person who wrote it until today. It was written by Robert Sherman who wrote many many pieces for the Disney company. Here is some information I found on several different websites. I have edited the information to suit my interests.

Robert Sherman has died.

Robert Sherman was and still is most famous for the song 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious'. Robert Bernard Sherman was born in New York on 19 December 1925 and died in London on Monday.

Robert Sherman and his brother Richard composed scores for films including The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Mary Poppins, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The Sherman brothers' careers were long and filled with awards, including Oscars and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They are the only Americans ever to win First Prize at the Moscow Film Festival, for Tom Sawyer in 1973, and were inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 2005. They won two Academy Awards for the 1964 Mary Poppins - best score and best song, 'Chim Chim Cher-ee'. Their hundreds of credits as joint lyricist and composer, also include the films Winnie the Pooh, The Slipper and the Rose, Snoopy Come Home, Charlotte's Web, and The Magic of Lassie. Their Broadway musicals included Over Here! in 1974, and the stagings of Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the mid 2000s. They wrote more than 150 songs at Disney, including the soundtracks for the films The Sword and The Stone, The Parent Trap, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and The Tigger Movie. Their song 'It's A Small World (After All)' has become one of the most translated and performed songs on the planet. It plays on a continual, multilingual loop every few minutes at Disney theme parks across the world and is considered the most-played tune on Earth.

The brothers credited their father with inspiring them to write songs and for their love of lyrics. He had in turn learned songwriting from his father, Al Sherman who wrote Tin Pan Alley and other commercially successful songs.

Most of the songs the Sherman's wrote are catchy and playful. They work on multiple levels and appeal to different ages. Thus the songs remain popular with the audience as they grow older.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

I do not glorify war, but I do recognise that all people respond to their country's call to support their military forces. I am proud to be Australian but I am not going to denigrate countries who have been our enemies in the past. Both my parents were soldiers and both suffered life long from injuries received during World War II. I never ever heard them say a bad word about enemy countries (they must have thought otherwise), and I was brought up to respect all soldiers who behave according to the ethics of their country. My family believes that we can learn from history and that we need to learn history.

On 3rd March the city of Broome in Western Australia commemorated 70 years since the first air raid there during World War II. These matters were kept secret for most of this time as the security of Australia was at threat. During World War II the situation for Australia was dire and to tell the population what was happening would have caused panic. For many years everything from that time was governed by the Official Secrets Act. I have cobbled together some information. The Australian war Memorial has much more.

Broome Air Raid
By February 1942 Broome in Western Australia had become the Australian end of an air shuttle service from Java. Hundreds of Dutch evacuees were brought to Broome in Dutch, American, and Australian civil and military aircraft including the flying boats of Qantas Empire Airways. People waited in Broome for a flight south to Perth.
During the last week of February over 7000 people passed through Broome. On one day 57 aircraft landed there.
On 2nd March a Japanese reconnaissance flying boat was spotted over Broome at 12000 feet.
On 3rd March the Japanese attacked with nine fighter Zeros. The attack lasted about 20 minutes but was highly effective. The airfield was strafed and 25 Allied aircraft were destroyed. 15 flying boats in the harbour were destroyed. Two Japanese aircraft were lost at sea.
Precisely how many people died will never be known, or even who they were. Many of the Dutch refugees were trapped on the flying boats. 30 passengers and crew of a US Liberator died when it was shot down. Many people were drowned, incinerated, or taken by sharks in the harbour. To this day many bodies remain in unmarked graves. The bodies of the Dutch were first buried in the Broome War Cemetery but were later reburied in Perth's Karakatta Cemetery.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Do you remember the play equipment made of galvanised pipe? It lasted such a long time, until the welds need fixing, and then could easily be repaired. This style of play equipment has gone out of style, supposedly because it is dangerous to children. Maybe breathing is also dangerous.
There is an element of danger all the time in everything we do. Knowing what to do to accommodate that danger and deal with it is part of growing.

I saw some great playground equipment in a park and took a few photos. Three generations were playing together. This equipment had been removed from this park but the public outcry was immense. It has been restored and reinstated much to the delight of the community.

I know all these people. The faces of the children are obscured. The location is not easily identifiable. We were absorbed in joy. The smooth feel. The possibilities. The simplicity.

What pleasure the original artists and workers must have had while they made these giant toys.
I wonder how many grandparents feel so comfortable playing on the pine log adventure playgrounds that were so popular for a while. Now they are just splinter farms laced with arsenic.
And will the coloured steel and plastic forts last so well? They seem to have become the haunts of graffiti merchants.