Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Rotten luck

This morning someone hacked into my blog. What on earth could be so wonderful about my blog!!!

More dog stories

I saw this on someone else's blog. Really adorable.
We had a loving dog like this.

I completely apologise to the original owner of the photo and message. I have not been able to identify who that is.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Sunday Drive to Channel Island

Yes, these senior citizens went for another Sunday drive. The purpose is to learn how to use the satnav in the car. I find it difficult.

We drove to Channel Island which is just the other side of East Arm in the harbour. The Love Of My Life used to work at Channel Island years ago. Long story.

This boat is a workplace.
The men on board were wearing highvis shirts
and hard hats.
There is a bridge from the mainland to the island and many people like to fish from the bridge. Of the dozen or so fishermen on th ebridge no-one caught any fish while we were there. 

The water was sparkling and clear. There was a bit of seaweed or algae floating around, but only a bit. We saw some very big jellyfish and some green sea turtles. One turtle would have been about one metre across.  

A little way from the bridge we saw some men working from a boat. Not a bad office!

The view from the workplace.

Strychnine bush is not a very colourful plant.
Fruit on the strychnine bush is ripe.
We strolled along the road on the island to the Conservations Reserve and to the Power Station. No entry. 

The area would probably be described as monsoon vine thicket.

Beside the road we saw some strychnine bush growing.

Orange footed scrub fowl.

We saw some orange footed scrub fowl scratching about and turning over the mulch. Some were frightened and flew into a tree. Scrub fowl prefer to stay on the ground.

You can see that these should not be described as turkeys because of the different tail. Many suburban gardeners get annoyed with these birds because of their digging. It certainly makes a mess, but they are actually performing many useful jobs in city gardens.

Then we drove along to the boat ramp. Lots more people enjoying a few hours of quiet fishing. Plenty of boats. Experts at reversing down the long long ramp.

Photo from CSIRO

As we drove along the bush looked healthy and green. We saw lots of woollybutts and stringybark trees. We saw gazillions of pandanus and plenty of cycads. The pink turkey bush is in flower at present.

See the black trunk, but only at the bottom. This defines the woolly butt tree. They are really common in the bush all around the Top End.

Not my photo.
This picture shows why it is called a stringybark tree. The tree is tall and skinny with quite bright green leaves just at the top.

Not my photo again. This is the species of pandanus we saw. Again it is very common across the entire region.

This is the species of Cycad we saw. This photo is from the CSIRO. The photo illustrates the tree well because it was taken after a bushfire had been through the area. No bushfire evidence where we drove. I am not sure if cycads should be described as trees. They are very ancient plants and really slow growing.

The turkey bush is calytrix. The flowers are usually different shades of pink even into a purple colour. Sometimes you see a white one, really white not pale pink. If you try to cut some and bring it inside this flower does not last. 

Sunday, 29 July 2012

London Olympics opening ceremony

I watched highlights of the London Olympics opening ceremony on TV. This was a first for me as I have never had the time available before. Actually I have seen footage of athletes marching into the arena but that was many years ago. Generally I feel that this whole saga is a waste of time and money.

I absolutely loved the James Bond segment. Queen Elizabeth as a Bond Girl. Love the concept. I wish I could do that at her age.

Then again the flame concept is also very beautiful.

This was quite good entertainment and fulfilled all the requirements of building national identity and more.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Trying patchwork

The word trying has several meanings.
I am trying to make some patchwork quilts.
I have attempted this in the past with limited success. For me the hardest part is the quilting itself.

These above were all made by other people. They are truly lovely and have taken many hours of concentration. You can see that I admire simple geometric shapes and very simple designs.

I have made several using
Aboriginal print fabrics.

These are past attempts of mine. There have been others. We decided to make a quilt for the first new baby in each family. So my sister's great granddaughter was the first. Some large, some small. The smallest was for a friend's granddaughter, and seemed to be the right size for changing nappies while travelling. 

Now I have a really wonderful sewing machine I should be able to do better.

I quite like the idea of a jelly roll quilt. There are several different methods for making these, but all are simpler than getting the patches to line up perfectly. If you look carefully you can see the fabulous quilting.

I have noticed that patchwork and quilting seems to be popular with women who have a talent for maths. Perhaps my maths will improve soon.

I do not attempt to make money from this blog. It is just for some enjoyment.I am thrilled that other people read my blog. Not everyone chooses to be followers and I read other blogs on the same basis too. Perhaps if you read this you would like to leave a comment just to show where you are from.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Tulips and orchids

Look at these fabulous flowers.

Tulips in a hot place like Darwin. With gazillions of tropical orchids.
A gift from my children.

I am so incredibly lucky.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Does practice make perfect?

The Olympic games are looming large.

At times like this we remember our own efforts at sport or some other field where we hoped to excel.

How many times did you hear someone say, "Practice makes perfect."

The truth is that practice does not make anything perfect unless that practice is perfect. 
Why practice the imperfect?

We try and we repeat. We detect an error. We attempt an improvement, while not repeating previous errors. We strive for perfection during practice. We strive for perfection in performance at competitions. We avoid repeating the imperfect practice.

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Or do we?

In our studies and other areas of life the same things happen. We make a cake. We detect an error or something that could be better. We attempt the improvement. We avoid repeating the error.

Einstein said that it is insanity to continue to repeat a task or experiment when the same procedure has failed already. This is widely acknowledge to be true. Whether it is actual insanity is in doubt, but it is using this word according to the vernacular.


Do I repeat the imperfect practice? 
Do I continue to eat the foods that damage my health when I know the correct behaviour? 
Do I deliberately continue to perform other tasks at a low level of achievement?

Do I simply fail to identify the error?
How close is this to insanity? 

Is it the exact opposite to the behaviour of the Olympians? 
How do they stop themselves repeating imperfect practices?  
It is a long time before an athlete gets a good coach. First the athlete must be performing well in their chosen sport; then they are selected for a team; then they are spotted by the leading coaches. For many years the athlete is doing it all  without assistance.

Is this about motivation? Am I motivated to fail? Do I want someone else to take command and relieve me of responsibility?
Is the Olympian a more responsible person in this way?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Death in the Family

I am feeling low in spirits today following the death of a much loved family member.

This was taken at the wedding of David and my sister Ann.
David was diagnosed with cancer in the throat in December and given a few weeks to live. It has been a horrendous time for him. Now it is over.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Annoying behaviour

Why is it that these days we see so many children behaving as miniature tyrants? And parents behaving as slaves? 

What has happened to our society? 

What are the values of these girls?
Are they texting and bullying when we are not looking?
How would we know
unless we are victims or co-conspirators?
I acknowledge that there have been some horrible parents through history who have treated their children very badly indeed. And others who have treated other people's children appallingly. And this seems to continue in some places. Adults are not always treated very nicely in some cultures, and children are far down the line.

Standards have changed in our society and this is for the benefit of children in general. But when did we cross that invisible line? When did the adults lose their position of genuine respect and start behaving as servants rather than carers?

I read the following article and admit that this behaviour is quite common where I live. The article is four pages long, but this should start you off in the right direction.

Are these children basically any different from
the group of girls at the top?
The model of behaviour that we as children were taught has disappeared to be replaced with selfish behaviour. Is it the children, the school system, the creches, the parents, the experts who have no permanent ownership, or is it the media? Who encouraged and supported this change? What happened?

How can we get back the genuine delight that many people have in children?

Will these poorly behaved children grow up to be the types who graffiti public spaces, attack innocent bystanders, abuse taxi drivers, commit assaults on family members, and become the scourge of our country?

Or will they become model citizens helping the needy and solving the horrors of the world with no thought of personal reward?

Is the solution in public education like Jo Frost and Super Nanny? Is the solution in the hands of drug companies who market supplies of sedatives? Are we each as individuals doing enough?

Saturday, 21 July 2012


We walked down to the harbour this morning to see the Duyfken which sailed in last night. This is a reproduction of course! Michael went on board the last time it was in port. The ship is so very small. I looked at it and just thought of the dangers and fears those sailors faced.

Here are some links about the ship.

Here is a link that talks about Willem Janz much better than I could.

I was lucky and learned about the exploration of Australia when I was in primary school. These days children are not so fortunate because the school day is filled with different things.

The timber of the ship is grey in colour now because it is weathered. The paintwork on the front and stern was in excellent condition. This morning the crew were out on a pontoon having breakfast. There seemed to be no glass in the portholes. This morning the sea is a bit rough and all the boats and ships were bobbing energetically. It must be rough as can be out on the ocean. 
How incredibly brave the original sailors were - no real maps as we know them, no idea of what they might find, a dubious future.

Friday, 20 July 2012


A few treasured words to keep you going till next time:

Everyone thinks that a woman's dream is to find the perfect man.  Oh! Pfft! Please! Every woman's dream is to get thin by eating cake or drinking champagne!

I exercised once, but I found I was allergic to it. My skin flushed and my heart raced. I got sweaty and short of breath. Very dangerous!!

Life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about discovering who you were created to be.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Free study help

I work as a professional tutor. I have formal university qualifications and more than thirty years of experience as a teacher in schools. Nowadays I work solely with adults.

I find that some people actually do not know what it means to be a student. I have been in the same boat myself and I empathise with these students.

Wanting a qualification is not enough. Wanting to succeed will not make it happen. You know that saying about "If you can dream it you can do it", well it is simply not true. You need to act. You need to do.

If you find yourself enrolled in a course of study, the very first thing you need need need to do is to make a schedule or timetable that will allow you to do some work on your course every day. How much time each day? Start small with 15 minutes. Try that first.

Let me help you to achieve that elusive goal. We can be a team, a small team. Confidential if you like.

Let's try 15 minutes every morning while the family is still in bed. Try it for 10 days. I will do the same and we will catch up and compare notes.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

I watched the film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

I prefer British films to US films generally,
Salmon Fishing is a definitely not the type of film Americans make. No ridiculous emphasis on families with fathers acting as the all-knowing fount of wisdom. No stupid singing. No nudity. No tongue gymnastics. No sanctimonious and fatuous smiles. No canned laughter. No abuse of people from a different culture.

This is a film about people and progress. Different types of people walking side by side yet with different goals. Different versions of progress.
I liked the realistic, but not common, nature of the story.  
I thought that parts of the ending were a little too neat, but other parts were very thought provoking and delightful. Certainly the filming itself is beautiful. Sets are wonderful. Dialogue is fine.

This is a film for adults and not little children, not because of sexual innuendo and language, but because of the geographical, political, and social concepts explored.

If you get an opportunity then watch Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Here is a trailer

Monday, 16 July 2012

Free entry competition

Do you ever enter competitions?

I have my doubts about competitions, especially those that require no purchases, entry conditions, or entry requirements like a written statement. Under Australian law these do not have to be run ethically, only those where money is spent to enter. Fair Enough. Weed out the time wasters.

After saying all that, I have found a marvellous competition which is worth entering. It seems to be run very well. Everything looks quite legitimate to me. I saw the advertisement on TV and chased it up. I entered and you could do the same. It is possible to win a car, a camper trailer, and a car fridge. These are all separate prizes so do not be put off if you do not want them all.

Go for it!!!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Sail away today

Today was the start of the Darwin to Dili yacht race.

This was the first yacht race from Australia to an international destination and began in 1973. It is run by the Cruising Yacht Association of the Northern Territory.

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The race will take three days but of course the competitors spend most of the year doing things on their yachts to keep them in good nick.

I get dreadfully sea sick so this race is definitely not for me.

Would you like to be cruising on your own boat under tropical skies?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Efudix cream happiness

I am in the middle of a love-hate relationship with Efudix cream. I love the result but hate the process. 

Every adult living in a sunny climate knows Efudix cream. It is used to treat mild sun cancers. It can be used for solar keratoses of course, but if you want to get rid of something worse then you use the cream twice a day for as many days as you can bear. Sometimes it is two weeks, sometimes longer. For more advanced sun cancers there are other treatments. Efudix is much better for me than liquid nitrogen or having excisions, although it takes longer. There is usually no scarring.

I have been treating just one side of my face and found that the area around my lips is sun-damaged. Sensitive, red, swollen area. I knew that the nose was crummy and an area on my cheek, but had not expected my lips to respond so loudly to the cream. Have even resorted to paracetamol. At the same time I am very bad tempered, probably a side effect of the cream.

Yes, the instructions say very clearly not to use Efudix on the lip area, but I do not want to lose my lips to skin cancer thank you very much. So of course I am doing this. There are no other choices.

I will now have to stop treating the lip zone and concentrate on my cheek and nose.

Thank you to my forebears for the skin type and for the need to live in a warm place. Tricky combination.

Test of character.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Motivating Posters

Motivating posters? Motivational posters?

I had these collected in my files and I have no idea where they came from. The Einstein and the cat belong to somebody. The very last bit is part of a page from a book of instructions to children - no idea which book.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Doctor! Doctor!

Do you trust your doctor?
Do you trust doctors at all?
Maybe you should think about that.

We have a big hospital here and I have some friends who work there. 
It is difficult to get doctors to come and work in such a remote location, well actually it gets lots worse in the more remote locations. 
Doctors do make mistakes, because they are just people. I hope these literacy mistakes are the worst you will have to endure.

  • Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  • On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it had completely disappeared.
  • She has had no rigours or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  • The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1983.
  • Patient was released to outpatient department without dressing.
  • I have suggested that he loosen his pants before standing, and then, when he stands with the help of his wife, they should fall to floor.
  • The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  • Discharge status: Alive but without permission
  • The patient will need disposition, and therefore we will get Dr. XYZ to dispose of him.
  • Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.
  • The patient refused an autopsy.

  • The patient has no past history of suicides.
  • The patient expired on the floor uneventfully.
  • Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital.
  • The patient's past medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 4 kilogram weight gain in the past three years.
  • She slipped on the floor and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.
  • The patient experienced sudden onset of severe shortness of breath with a picture of acute pulmonary oedema at home while having sex which gradually deteriorated in the emergency room.
  • The patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  • Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
  • The patient was in his usual state of good health until his plane ran out of fuel and crashed.
  • Since she can't get pregnant with her husband, I thought you would like to work her up.
  • She is numb from her toes down.
  • While in the Emergency, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.
Keep smiling doc.
  • The skin was moist and dry.
  • Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.
  • Coming from Tennant Creek, this man has no children.
  • Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  • The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  • The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut, and handed to the paediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately.
  • Rectal exam revealed a normal size thyroid.
  • The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.
  • I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
  • The patient lives at home with his mother, father, and pet python, who is presently enrolled in day care three times a week.
  • Bleeding started in the rectal area and continued all the way to Sydney.
  • Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
  • The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stockbroker instead.
  • Examination reveals a well-developed male lying in bed with his family in no distress.
  • When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Street musicians

I like to hear music of various sorts when I am out shopping or whatever.

These pictures are all from Brisbane. Some are mine and some from the internet.

If you look carefully you will find a small band on the deck of this paddlewheeler.
By an outdoor restaurant.
In Brisbane by the river.
This West Indian man has been set up near the Treasury Building for years. His music sounds wonderful.

Luckily there are frequently musicians here in the middle of the city. Busking. Public entertainment. Just not like these.