Saturday, April 29, 2006

The real private Kovco comes home. How could they send home a wooden crate containing some other poor bugger from another country, and mistake that fro the metal crate/coffin used to return our dead? Like when did they not notice the fdifference between wood and metal. Curiouser and curiouser. What really happened to Private Kovco? All Australiana would be hoping that the relatives can have a private autopsy because something stinks to high heaven and the authorities know, we know they know and they know we know they know but are pretending all is sweet. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 28, 2006

My sister's daughter does excellent graphic art...but once out of Tafe (aussie tech college) she is qualified for nothing more than cleaning, call centre work etc...hoping someing good comes up forher necause she's excellent at what she does...

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My younger sister's daughter Alanah "Kitty Me" is a very good animator and graphic artist. Her works may not be every one's cup of tea but have a look at this site and her work...a lot of youngsters worldwide have put their art on this site, and i reckon she's up there with them...there is a mixture of mythology, gothic, punk and surreal... but its all good have a look. y'all

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Have a look at this high school experiment... its interesting. I wouldn't touch a microwave with a ten foot barge pole, but I am odd like that!

The Year

At our writing group recently we were asked to imagine that for a year we were to live in a house alone but could take what we felt was important in with us. The timer went on and away we went.

If I’m going to be bloody stuck in a house all by myself for a year I’m going to make sure it’s a year to remember. All my life it seems I have dreamt of having time for myself to do all the things I imagine I would like to do. Having a noisy childhood family and then choosing to start a family at 19 didn’t allow much time for this, so okay, unlimited money, unlimited goodies and time, lots of time and no commitments.

How would I really cope with this?

First into the house would be music CD’s, Mozart’s Elvira Madigan, Beethoven’s Emperor suite, anything by the Stones, Creedance, Irish, Scots bagpipes… well maybe just bring my whole collection as its unlimited.

A telephone. I must have a telephone. I wouldn’t even consider being out of touch with my daughters and husband for a year, or my sisters, apart from she who won’t talk to me. I could easily spend two hours a day catching up of life the universe and everything… and as I said, no phone no year in the house.

Writing materials, printing ink, paper, replacement printer and computer, pens and paper and a quill should all that fail. Maybe write the next Miles Franklin winner…but I think I am too old for that one. Maybe write reams of crap, but write I will and not notice the clock ticking towards yet another job I can’t neglect, because I can’t.

Some favourite DVD’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, “Father Ted”, “Black Books”, anything with Magda Subanski in it… Ha, ha, ha, ha. Books, yes all the books I have here and have never quite finished nor started…I may even re read some of those which really changed my life and understanding…

Plenty of Meno –Eze, Mega doses of Vitamin C, Echinacea, Cod liver etc. No point in having all this time if you feel too sick to enjoy it.

Righto, now I might want to take in my 49 photo albums plus discs of photos and take the time to go through them again. Lots of stories come out of those photos to me. A collection of Christmas and birthday pressies and cards.

And also into the Mack truck which now holds my wishes I have to put in some Loch Nora (is that spelt right?) and Black Douglas Whiskey – enough to last please. Some Yalumba Columbard Chardonnay and maybe some Panadine in case I get a headache from all that… not that I would.

Yes paints, brushes and good art paper and a few “How To’s” so I can learn a bit.
Some bulbs to plant and some vegetables to seed and take care of just so I do a bit of work so I don’t seize up. I assume basic food is part of the house.

The wonderfully handsome doggie Thorn and the cat Archimedes to keep the dog “interested”, pet food and animal stuff. I have to have someone to walk around the yard with and throw balls to and talk to…something living to touch, and I can’t go without the cat sitting on my lap and curling herself smaller and smaller as she goes to sleep. Who else would walk right up to my face at 4am, stare at me, freak me out then turn round and stick her bottom hole almost in my face? Who else I ask?

A RADIO…I almost forgot. The ABC Radio has some excellent discussion shows in the evening…hm!

Come to think of it would I want to waste a whole year of my life trying to figure out how to write the world’s greatest novel and why would I ever want to do that except to serve my ego? What comes out on paper comes out. Some of the best stuff was often written in the corner of a bar with a pencil and scraps of paper amongst the noise.

And being who I am, I could not allow myself separation from my family for a year. That year is too precious to me to do that. Its different for us all in this room, I know and that’s the wonderful thing, we are all so different and no one way is ever right for the rest.

Its funny. When I began this exercise the thought of a year like that in splendid isolation seemed wonderful. But the more I thought about it the less attractive it became. Things like DVD’s and pens and paper don’t replace talk and closeness and humanity. To sit in such splendid isolation and be apart from people for so long while you think about writing stories about them seems a bit back to front for me.

Granted I would like some real time in my day, like the time I am taking to type this free writing in, to write and I would like it to be regular and for a few hours duration, but that’s not how it is, and maybe this is the time in my life for action and doing and maybe things are being nutted down in my mind for later on, or maybe not. Its no great drama either way.

The most important thing to me is to live, to be alive and somehow I know all else will follow. I remember an episode of “The Young Ones” when Neil had exams on. He sat at the exam table and ceremoniously arranged all his favourite ‘Gonks” and pencils all round his desk. Arranged and re arranged, and suddenly the exam was over. “Ding” He had missed the exam.

For me living in that house surrounded by all that flotsam would be a bit like missing the exam.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I like this one of Don an I...but realise I am developing "McGoldrick lips" with age - this means in our family that in 10 years i won't have any lips and will save a packet on lippie or make a clown of myself and pretend I have lips with wads of lippie... But this was a lovely autumn day...Easter Sunday Posted by Picasa
Some of my sisters. The one on the right Veronica is the oldest. There is one in between her and I but she won't speak to me so she didn't turn up... then there's me, then Joanie then jackie (Anne) . Veronica is a bit of a 'kidder' and reaches for inappropriate places when photos arer being taken we reckon to make sure she always looks the best... no body area is safe from veronica, Attilla of the hens... she who must be obeyed...the littlest of us all but SCARRYYYY!

Joanie copped it this time and luckily she seemed to forget I was so close, but if pinched twisted or slapped i do tend to retaliate unlike the others who are in her thrall.

Shame about the sister who won't come...although there were interesting times, I think Mum would appreciate us all looking so olde worlde and reaching the age she was when she died and when thought we knew everything. Now we know we don't...some of us anyway!

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"Please can I have some more of Therese's wonderfully fibrous irish Stew, and could you add some more pearl barly, I just need more fibre... I'know I'll need the Eno later but I just can't help myself. Its only been in the pot for a week and has just reached its optimun viscosity" Posted by Picasa
Some lovely photos my sister took one morning early just before she left our place. Its mid autumn here, no browning of the leaves in our spot, but it is just so beautiful.
The first one is over to our little dam of water and a small body of water in the trees beyond.

This one is our road ...the road to "Craggy Island" (Island only when it rains)

This is the view from the front door

And this from the side door... Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 21, 2006

The land of the free

Please tell me that this is a comedy show... A middle aged Chinese woman is arrested in Washington when she excercised her free speech in front of President Bush and Chinese President. Shortly after this Bush urged the Chinese President to allow more free speech in China...Duuhhh Worth a look and worth a laugh more importantly. They turned off the sound (and picture unsure about this when it was televised in China) now everyone will want a copy.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

And also there was this lovely lady at dinner with us. Her name is Laurel and she's 91 and didn't need a walking stick till she got clobbered by a car just before Christmas. I thought this was a lovely moment. She has outlived all her children and all her siblings and has no relatives left that she knows of.
And also our Scottish friend Jill from Glasgow...thats everyone. Posted by Picasa
Yes I was there as well as the very handsome Thorn and my sister Joanie.
Don was there as well. Don't be too concerned about the gaps...he has had a few runs in with the dentist and hoping to have more soon...then a plate...but he tells people I did it!
My eldest sister and her cat...yes she bought her cat, to go with our cat and, that was interesting.

Who says people don't start looking like their pets.?
Charlie asked have I recovered from the rellies? Maybe tomorrow I might say yes.

The kids were great kids as mentioned.

My sister with the bunny ears in this picture and I were both physically sick yesterday..thinking it might be a virus...but the way we both feel we think it was total exhaustion.

These kids greeted Don up in the front bedroom at 6.45am on Easter Sunday morning, and seconds after this shot the little one on the right chucked an uncontrollable and uncontrolled hissy fit and danced all over the bed...maybe she couldn't get the whole bunny in her mouth at once.

Another pair of bunny ears, another sister's daughter, one of the best animators I have seen for a while and a thoroughly nice kid.

And here are three just beautiful kids, who when let sit still for a day, are delightful. Poor little buggers.

Another section of the house on Easter Sunday.

But wait there were more people staying with us... Posted by Picasa
This one is interesting for the family. In the right hand group of people are Don's great grand parents (see the man with thegrey suit and hat) and three little girls, one of who is Don's Grandmother (on his father's side). This was taken when they left Scotland (Ayrshire) in the late 1890's. Posted by Picasa
This is a shot of Don's Grandmother, taken when she was in her late 30's... taken in about the mid 1930'sshe is in the dark dress and the other lady is one of her sisters. I met her when our eldest was three and then she that time Don and I favoured the long hair of the early 70's and jeans whit hippie shirts...I would imagine she would have either found us very amusing or have been very dismayed by us. This is a woman who never left the house without hat and gloves . Hm different times. Posted by Picasa
This photo was taken on the Gold Coast Queensland in 1922. The little boy is Don's father and the woman and man are Don's grand parents. She turned out to be the mainstay of the family (there was a younger son) after he left / disappeared whatever, no one seems to know what happened to him. Don is his namesake, being yet another of the many Donald Mackays.

She was to find work way up north near Cloncurry as a cook on a station, and took the two boys with her. It woulod have been for a pitance and anyone who knows the area would be aware of the terrible heat she would have endured.

In later years she was always fashionably dressed, gloves, hat the lot and the boys grew up speaking well.

What their story is no one will ever know and what happened to the grandfather seems just as much a mystery.

They look so happy here and they had that good time and no doubt many more. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mum's mother and father...taken pre 1927 ( the year she was born). Grandfather McGoldrick broke horses for a living but Grand mother looks quite apt at the job also She died in 1930 and I know from what Mum has told me about her parents that this was their magic time...they were so young...and we were not even a twinkle in our parents eyes at this time. They wer not even twinkles in theor own eyes actually,,,
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Monday, April 17, 2006

I had a magic few moments this afternoon with this little chappie - amongst all the blaring of chaos, cartoons and crunch of something unmentionable on the floor and parents who are constantly frantically organising things...I took this little one up into the quiet and held Mum's old music box close to his ear for a moment and the most amazing look came over his face. For a flash the adult I hope he has the stillness and time to become, shone out.

He listened with eyes unblinking and was so quiet and still for the longest time. He let me hold him like this as long as I kept rewinding the key... its such a fast world this lot have been born into, and I really feel more sorry for them than I ever could have imagined I would have felt.

Maybe this is how it is when you get older. But still in my childhood there was no television, and all I had would have fitted into a small suitcase. But I was free to be whoever or whatever my mind and efforts would allow me to be. Play was not organised. Outings were not organised...all we did was visit relatives and the odd mushroom hunt or simple picnic...and it was really good.

For this lot of kids I hope someone gives all the yuppie parents a good shake and shows them the future a lack of limits is going to bring down upon the heads of the little ones thay have in their care. Maybe I am just getting old hey!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Three of my four sisters, their five children and an extra cat and a spare husband of one will be visiting us and staying with us for about a week... if Don does not divorce me I'll be back a o k after easter.

Sacre bleu

Saturday, April 08, 2006

This is for Edy. She raised the issue of how the colour of a wig (or haircolour affected , -mainly men's perceprions of women) Here are four photos of our daughter - one with brown, one with dark brown, one with black and one with blonde. Each photo creates a different image.

She felt blonde made men treat her sweeter, and more kindly...whatever??? That the darker shades meant she received different treatment...maybe more intelligient, but less sweet.

But reality was that it was just the colour of dye from the bottle which made her look different. The same person was behind the hair.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

I just had a really nice visit with one of the last family members from my mother's side of the family and of her generation. A really nice person and sharp as a tack. He has that same sense of wickedness my mum had and which most don't notice, talk about a twinkle in the eye, missed if you are too busy thinking about your own self . I have so missed people like that. There was such a cleverness to their dry wit. Slapstick is fine, but the wit of an Oscar Wilde, maybe to a lesser degree resides in so few.

One thing which made me chuckle apart from his kindness old fashioned concern not to put us out, ( I always think of Mrs Doyle and her friend from father Ted who ended up in jail because they were both trying so hard not to "put the other one out" that they came to blows trying to insist thet they each paid for the bill in a tea shop...) but I digress. He bought me a copy of our family tree...I had given him all my stuff and he added his to it. Casting my eyes down he had marked in his eldest brother and wife and their children but what caught my eye was the fact that the pair of them worked for ASIO (thats the Australian secret service to your furringers).

I almost was unable to control my mirth at this considering the strong irish background he came from same as myself...and their own attitudes to a little sensible anarchy which never hurt anyone.

Thinking back on my own sordid past, (only things like trying to stop privatisation of our hospital and those sorts of issues)...we were quite effective on that one and cost the private company gadzillions almost because we forced the Gov. to investigate the contracts they signed, ...another digression...I had to wonder how often our own little groups and actions may have crossed my own second cousin's desk.

Heya cuz! Whose ya embarrassment of a relative? Seriously though the way we Australians ignored what the Indonesian gov was doing to the East Timorese for about 30 years is shameful... but they seem to have forgiven us. But both main political parties, and ASIO and all the other departments were the instruments which allowed the slaughter of so many of the East Timorese, and which made it possible that the world only found out right near the end, when Indonesia and the Australian, British and American Authorities could no longer hide it...because it had become so bloody obscene.

And you know what that was all about...OIL and GAS which rightfully belonged to the East Timorese because it was in their territory of the ocean but was carved up between Australia and Indonesia with the Indonesians getting the lion's share because we are such a nation of suck up lickspittles who are more worried that the rest of the world might imagine in their ivory towers that we are racist and bigots if we insist on decent treatment for those real minority groups suich as the East Timorese who helped us unbelievably bravely when Japan came so close to invading Australia.

How did we thank them? By allowing that most savage and criminal of regeimes in Indonesia to take over their country and rights and begin the slow slide intot he genocide of the East Timorese...using slaughter, rape and sterilisation and mass immigration.

But now finally the east Timorese have theior own country back no thanks to ASIO, The Australian Gov., nor the World community. The United Nations turned its back on the East Timorese because they are one of the most costly and ineffectual bodies on the planet.

Whew I needed to get THAT off my chest.

James Galway and the Chieftans

Wrote this some time back after a concert  down in Sydney. Cd’s are great but seeing the real thing has no measure.

On Seeing
James Galway and The Chieftains.
Sometimes my heart feels like its broken, open, needing healing. Perhaps as someone once said, “this is how light gets in”. A broken heart could remain shut,
solidify and become almost without hope. Or a broken heart could hurt so much,
as to split open calling to all the light in the universe its distress.

Sometimes my heart breaks in little bits, like when I hold my children in sleep or when I hear music of such purity as to open my heart. This sort of breakage is much welcomed. Sometimes beauty leaves me untouched and then I know I’m in trouble. My heart is in danger of becoming a little rigid. Solid... unyielding.

My heart broke open the other night... peeled back like layers of a rose and let so much light in, so much insight and love that I think the rose of my heart
will be open for a long time.

This time it was music and I see the value of our honouring and fearing the bard and the minstrel. They have the power to open rigid hearts, to turn them out, raw and seeking; filling them with light...or darkness depending on the music.

Monday, April 03, 2006

In response to a post by Edy re some nightmares she has been occurred to me it might be a form of Sleep Paralysis.

Edy have you ever experienced "Sleep Paralysis" Look it up or rather I'll post some here. What you experienced sounds like that. It often runs in families, and or comes at times of great stress... I have experienced it about 6 times in my life, our daughter a couple and a nephew also the same.

It is absolutely terrifying. Have a read of what is below and you might recognise it or maybe yours is different. Sleep Paralysis feels so evil and as if you are going to die. They do not really know what causes it, but Blake painted it I believe...

If this is what it is it passes and you don't die of it, but it is deathly terrifying if you don't know. Pray or whatever... I hope to God never ever to experience it again.

But take heart it does not hurt you and as long as you calmly think or pray in your mind to pass through this, and make an effort to move your fingers, or roll your eyes and it seems to help you come out of it. I am sure that if this is what you have, it is to do with the extrreme stress you have been under, the poison you have had to take into your body with Chemotherapy, and perhaps there is stuff out there we don't understand too...but it won't hurt you okay
Actually I will put this on my blog as others may have experienced it. Don just told me he has also had a few maybe more common than we realise. Maybe people just don't talk about it.

Have a look at the painting by Henery Fuseli "The Nightmare" and see if this figure resembles yours Edy.

Sleep paralysis
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Sleep paralysis is a condition characterized by paralysis of the body shortly after waking up (known as hypnopompic paralysis) or, less often, shortly before falling asleep (known as hypnagogic paralysis). Physiologically, it is closely related to the normal paralysis that occurs during REM sleep, also known as REM atonia.

The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli (1781) is thought to be one of the classic depictions of sleep paralysis perceived as a demonic visitation.

Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain is awakened from an REM state into essentially a normal fully awake state, but the bodily paralysis is still occurring. This causes the person to be fully aware, but unable to move. In addition, this state is usually accompanied by certain specific kinds of hallucinations. This state usually lasts no more than two minutes before a person is able to either return to full REM sleep or to become fully awake, though the sense of how much time has gone by is often distorted during sleep paralysis. People who are fortunate enough to be facing a clock while having an episode may often be surprised to see how little time has gone by during an episode that seems to last a very long time.

More often than not, sleep paralysis is believed by the person affected by it to be no more than a dream. This is the reason why there are many dream recountings which describe the person lying frozen and unable to move. The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as simply a dream, as one might see completely fanciful objects in a room alongside the normal vision one can see.

1 Accompanying hallucinations
2 Possible causes
3 Cultural references
4 Treatment in literature
5 See also
6 References
7 External links

Accompanying hallucinations
Many report hallucinations during episodes of sleep paralysis. The features of these hallucinations generally vary by individual, but some are more common to the experience than others:
Most common
Sensing a "presence" (often malevolent)
Pressure/weight on body (especially the chest). See for example the painting in the beginning of this article.
A sensation of not being able to breathe or move
Impending sense of doom/death
Fairly common
Auditory hallucinations (often footsteps or indistinct voices, or pulsing noises). Auditory hallucinations which are described as noise instead of hallucinations of legible sounds, are often described to be similar to auditory hallucinations caused by Nitrous Oxide by persons who have experienced both.
Visual hallucinations such as lights, people or shadows walking around the room
Less common
Floating sensation (sometimes associated with out-of-body experiences)
Seemingly seamless transition into full hallucinations or dreaming, also associated with out-of-body experiences
Tactile hallucinations (such as a hand touching or grabbing)
Falling sensation
Involuntary movements (sometimes the feeling of sliding off of the bed or even up walls).

Possible causes
Little is known about the physiology of sleep paralysis. However, some have suggested that it may be linked to post-synaptic inhibition of motor neurons in the pons region of the brain. In particular, low levels of melatonin may stop the depolarisation current in the nerves, which prevents the stimulation of the muscles.
There is also a significant positive correlation between those experiencing this disorder frequently and those suffering from narcolepsy. However, various studies suggest that many or most people will experience sleep paralysis at least once or twice in their lives.
Some report that various factors increase the likelihood of both paralysis and hallucinations. These include:
Sleeping in a supine position (facing upwards)
Irregular sleeping schedules; naps, sleeping in, sleep deprivation
Increased stress
Sudden environmental/lifestyle changes
A lucid dream that immediately precedes the episode

Cultural references
In India, there are two thoughts about sleep paralysis. One of the signs of approaching enlightenment is "witnessing sleep," that is to say, being seemingly lucid in sleep — such as with sleep paralysis. It was also believed within the movement that rakshasas (Hindu demons) may assail those making strides towards their own enlightenment and the good of all mankind. The other thought is a female entity, called Mohini (a demoness from the underworld), comes into the night-time world by means of ascending through a deep well. She is enchantingly beautiful, yet simultaneously horrific, unearthly, and deadly. Like her British Isles counterparts, she also seeks a male lover and human genetic material, presumably for the purpose of bearing a hybrid demon/human child.
In Japan, sleep paralysis is referred to as kanashibari (金縛り, literally: "bound or fastened in metal": kana: metal, shibaru: to bind, tie, fasten")
In Newfoundland, as a visit from the "old hag" (Ag Rog)
In Mexico, as subida del muerto (the dead getting on top)
In Turkish, as karabasan (black buster) and in Hazaragi, as Syahi Zer Kado (pressing ink)
In the Southern United States, people have described it as "The witch riding your back"
In Korea, it is referred as Gawinullim, literally in english: "To be pressed by Gawi." The meaning of Gawi is unclear but generally known to mean "spirits" or "demons." The word "Gawi" in Korean is a homonym which also means "scissors," which creates confusion for the accurate meaning of the word.
In Indonesia, Javanese peoples called it "nindih" (To be seated upon)
In Philippines, Sleep paralysis is often associated with Bangungot.
In Vietnam, sleep paralysis is known as "ma đè", meaning a ghost or spirit laying on top of or pressing down on the person.
The common belief in China is that a spirit or ghost is sitting or lying on top of the individual while they were sleeping, causing the sleep paralysis. This is thought to be a minor body possession by the forces from the dead, and usually doesn't cause any harm to the victim.
In medieval times of Europe, attacks of sufferers of sleep paralysis may have given rise to the belief in mara, incubi, succubi, other demons and witchcraft.
In traditional Russian belief symptoms reminiscent of sleep paralysis were attributed to the anger of domovoi, the home spirit, punishing people for bad husbandship or betrayal.
Some scientists believe that many supposed occurrences of alien abduction, out-of-body travel, and other seemingly paranormal events may actually be due to misinterpreting the sensory effects of sleep paralysis.
Others have argued that sleep paralysis might be the point of separation of the "dream body" from the physical body and out-of-body travel then begins.

Treatment in literature
There is a particularly fascinating account of sleep paralysis in Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick. Chapter 4 (The Counterpane) is an account of Ishmael's meditation on an episode of sleep paralysis in the middle of which he could not distinguish the difference between Queequeg's arm and the quilt. Indeed, he could not even distinguish the difference between his own body and his surroundings. He then recalls an earlier episode of sleep paralysis from his childhood, which he determines was the precise moment he discovered the feeling of "otherness" of his own body with respect to his surroundings.

See also
REM sleep

Bower, Bruce (July 9, 2005). "Night of the Crusher". Science News.

External links
Sleep Paralysis Information Service
Susan Blackmore on sleep paralysis
The Skeptic's Dictionary entry on Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis at Here Be Dreams
Sleep information and links from Stanford University
Sleep Paralysis and Associated Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Experiences from Waterloo University
Abduction by Aliens or Sleep Paralysis? - Skeptical Inquirer magazine, May/June 1998

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hm...its an odd thing that something which has been around since birds existed has now suddenly been transformed into such a threat to humanity...

Wonder if they'll give a refund to all those who have already bought their burial plots?

Britain plans 'mass human graves in case of bird flu'
Sunday Apr 2 12:41 AEST
Britain is considering mass human burials should a bird flu pandemic break out, The Sunday Times newspaper said.
A "prudent" worst-case assessment suggested 320,000 people could die in Britain if the H5N1 virus mutated into a form contagious to humans, according to a confidential Home Office report seen by the weekly.
Titled "Managing Excess Deaths in an Influenza Pandemic" and dated March 22, the document reportedly says that such a large number of deaths could lead to delays of up to 17 weeks in burying or cremating victims.
It warned that "common burial" would stir up images of the mass burial pits used during the Great Plague of 1665.
But in fact it "might involve a large number of coffins buried in the same place at the same time, in such a way that allowed for individual graves to be marked".
The Sunday Times weekly said the report had been discussed last week in a cabinet sub-committee chaired by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.
Avian influenza is lethal to poultry and dangerous for humans in close proximity to infected fowl. It has claimed more than 100 lives, according to a World Health Organisation toll.
But, apart from a few anecdotal cases, the mortality has occurred exclusively by direct transmission from birds to humans and not among humans themselves. To acquire that contagiousness would open the way to a pandemic.
The report suggests that local authorities could cope with a "base case" of 48,000 deaths in England and Wales in a 15-week pandemic.
But it warned: "Even with ramping local management capacity by 100 percent, the prudent worst case of 320,000 excess deaths is projected to lead to a delay of some 17 weeks from death to burial or cremation."
Should the outbreak kill 2.5 percent of those who contract the flu, it added, "no matter what emergency arrangements are put in place there are likely to be substantially more deaths than can be managed within current timescales".
It said vaccines would not be available in the first wave of a pandemic, and possibly longer, and should not be seen as a "silver bullet".
The report suggests schools would have to close for up to 10 weeks because children would be "super-spreaders" of bird flu.
The Home Office said it did not comment on leaked documents.
A spokesman added: "The government is taking seriously the possible threat of an influenza pandemic in the light of the global situation and the possibility that a novel strain of the influenza virus could emerge.
"Prudent precautionary planning is under way across all elements of the response, including the health service, other essential services and local authorities."
The H5N1 virus has been detected in nearby France.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I don't know why but for some reason this poem makes me want to cry...
Written in AD 1385 by Gofraidh Fion O Dalaigh (Irish) something in the words, the peace of it, I don't know what but I feel like really weeping when I read this ... something lost perhaps? A time. A place something inside?
The Harp of Cnoc I'Chosgair
Harp of Cnoc I'Chosgair, you who bring sleepto eyes long sleepless;sweet subtle, plangent, glad, cooling grave.Excellent instrument with smooth gentle curve,trilling under red fingers,musician that has charmed us,red, lion-like of full melody.

You who lure the bird from the flock,you who refresh the mind,brown spotted one of sweet words,ardent, wondrous, passionate.You who heal every wounded warrior,joy and allurement to women,familiar guide over the dark blue water,mystic sweet sounding music.

You who silence every instrument of music,yourself a sweet plaintive instrument,dweller among the Race of Conn,instrument yellow-brown and firm.The one darling of sages,restless, smooth, sweet of tune,crimson star above the Fairy Hills,breast jewel of High Kings.

Sweet tender flowers, brown harp of Diarmaid,shape not unloved by hosts, voice of cuckoos in May!I have not heard music ever such as your frame makessince the time of the Fairy People,fair brown many coloured bough,gentle, powerful, glorious.

Sound of the calm wave on the beach,pure shadowing tree of pure music,carousals are drunk in your company,voice of the swan over shining streams.Cry of the Fairy Women from the Fairy Hill of Ler,no melody can match you,every house is sweet stringed through your guidance,you the pinnacle of harp music.

- Gofraidh Fion O Dalaigh. 1385]