Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In honour of "Austrayia" day!!!
A poem I wrote in 200
4 when after out writing group reading out our stories on ABC radio one of the husbands made the comment that the Poms in the group read better than we Australians -
Well when i told Don, he
said"Are you going to take that!!" and no I wasn't - so here for our national day is my defense of how we speak - some things will only make sense to Australians above a certain age -and Bunnings are the only place i could find Australian flags that are not made in China - I am not a big flag waver but I still have Don's old flags and the ones he bought all were made in Australia -
The Verdict

The verdict is now in; we can all do our sums,

From Yorkshire and Scotland, or from London slums,

Their musical, modulated enunciation,

Their rich and well-paced pronunciation

And for their accented, articulate, articulation

We stand in awe and absolute adulation,

With wailing and gnashing of teeth for

No matter how correctly they give us their instruction,

The best readers in our group appear to be Poms.

Not like us, us low bred; bred from convict scum,

From a motley lot who don’t know where we came from.

Drawling slow and dreary - as bleak as a hot Sunday afternoon,

Under brazen open skies our narrowed lips and eyes,

Droning flat our vowels - flat as the land of our birth,

Or rattling out our words like bullets

So as not to take up someone else’s time –

we’re an unselfish lot we are, that way.

Nah! We’ll never read as good as any Pom.

But stone the crows and starve the lizards,

we’ve got colour in our language.

It sears with sarcasm, hot as tar in February

And a flick of a word from a closed mouth can wound or praise,

Even though you might have to ask for it to be repeated.

Yes, and we’ve learned from the Master - Paul,

from Bankstown, that a soufflé rising twice

has nothing at all to do with cooking. Thank you Paul.

But nah! We’ll never read as good as any Pom.

Even “Blind Freddie could see that Poms all read so well

And so what if they “have more hide than Jessie”,

and don’t know “whether they’re Arthur or Martha”.

So what if they’ve got “more front than Myers”

And are well known to be shy of water,

But we’re such happy little “Vegemites’

(Or should I call us Dickie Mites, now they’ve sold our National icon,)

We’ll let them read on radio, with their peculiar pacing pronunciations

All sounding vaguely like Judy Dench, God love her -

That’s the sort of people that we are,

But nah! Still, we’ll never read as good as any Pom.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I never cease to be amazed at the many moods of the big sky above. Sometimes I am just too much inside my own head and don't see - but if ever I feel a bit gloomy I can just walk down the front path and by the return trip my whole mood has lifted.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Woody Guthrie Ludlow Massacre

What Woodie sang about then is even more real today - homelessness is a huge issue but most of us don't see it

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Webpage is up!

My webpage about my husband Don’s dreadful suffering and consequent death in May 2007 at the hands of a major hospital in Australia is up and running – parts are still under construction but enough is there for it to be viable – I have my daughter and her husband to thank for this –

As my testament was self published (needs must) I am relying on the goodwill of those I have contact with to ensure that as many people as possible are able to have access and understanding about systemic problems wrong with the Australian health care system and what it can do to families like ours who are injured by it – especially to my husband Don who was already vulnerable – having being a C5/C6 Quadriplegic since 1982.

The website is

I thank you for your help and appreciate any help you can give me in ensuring those who caused my husband’s suffering and death to be accountable and hopefully to change the public health care system in Australia so that injury and death caused by medical error will be investigated as with any other wrongful injury and death and that those accountable will be made to answer for their actions.

I would really appreciate it if you felt able to send this to all your email and blog contacts -

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Some more photos!!! The one of Melissa and Alison is my favourite - they are not so unalike as really Melissa has the same colour hair as Alison and when you see them in real life they have a lot of each others' mannerisms and colouring - the bloody little devils can fool me on the phone and set me up from time to time as I can't tell them apart till they laugh. The hair slide is what Ali used instead of a veil -

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Finally! The photographer finally delivered the disc for the wedding taken mid September. The dress is amazing if you click on the photos it shows up better. She didn't want a veil because she is very small and thought it might have been a bit much . Her and Melissa have to be the two nicest and funniest people I jknow - and her Andrew is lucky because what you see is what you get with Ali

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The Queensland floods are a disaster for hundreds of thousands of people and the true cost will flow on for many years. Billions of dollars of damage to homes, businesses, farms, stock losses roads, rail, airports as well as the personal loss of things that cannot be replaced - such as lives in a few cases.
Julia Gillard, our Prime Minister should hang her head in shame at her offer of $1million in aid to Queensland after giving $300million to Indonesia to build schools - I wonder how many schools were destroyed in these floods and many towns are still under water and will be for some time.
Insurers true to form are refusing to pay up because much of the huge areas are flood plain, and always have been - but were happy to take the money that was paid to them by people believing they were covered.

Most Australians have always been quick to put their hands in their pockets for earthquakes in New Zealand, Tsunamis in Indonesia and whenever huge tragedy strikes as it has here in Queensland many of us have the attitude, that it could have easily happened to me, rather than turning a blind eye.

I hope the UN and the world community will understand the hugeness of what has happened, and the area involved - we will all in Australia feel the cost but mainly at the supermarket as many areas are major food producers - and higher prices will be the only way we are touched - especially in the cities.

I live on a flood plain and the images of houses on mounds such as mine is, submerged to their roofs for over a week now is mind blowing. Nothing would be able to be saved by most as they were evacuated, many by helicopter - just the odd photo album. To see the faces of those so devastated, and know it could so easily happen here, is to understand how much I sometimes take for granted all that I have - My folders of mum's letters; my copies of Dad's letters to mum in the 1940's - over 140 of them - my many albums of family events and gatherings - written things - for me it would be these things I would have trouble recovering from - but really it is the people who are important - not the things.

The Victorian fires, last year, and now the devastating floods (luckily without the high death toll of the fires) Dorothea Mackellar said it all in her poem(1906) that every child from my generation learned by heart, the second verse is how it really is especially for those of us not living in the cities -
"I love a Sunburnt Country
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded Lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens,
Is running in your veins;
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies -
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains,
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me.

The tragic ring-barked forests
Stark white beneath the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
An orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the crimson soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart around us
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold;
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown Country
My homing thoughts will fly."

Sadly as with the Victorian Fires, much of this tragedy could have been prevented if successive governments listened to the people who understand this country as did Dorothea - and put into practice "the wild rivers" by creating dams at strategic places to catch water such as this - to prevent much of the flooding and to prevent the suffering that will come with the next drought only a few years down the track. Australia could be the food basket of the world if instead of politicians thinking about four years ahead, they saw the bigger picture of working together to flood and drought proof much of the country - Once they build a gas pipeline from South Australia accords to the eastern states - a huge task. The Ord River in the Northern territory spills the value of two Sydney harbours back into the ocean a day during the monsoons - if only some of this was stored and then piped to western Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, this country would have as much water as needed and droughts would never bite so hard in the future.

I listen to some of the older people who have seen the cycles which affect us all, and understand how this land is because of personal experience and I hear more common sense from them, delivered with humility and insight - than I ever hear from those who think milk and bread come from the supermarkets and don't understand the true cost when things go terribly wrong as they have yet again...maybe Dorothea Mackellar's poem should once again be taught to every Australian child - so they can begin to understand - we have to work with this land and use what comes in abundance for times when there is no abundance...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

At Melissa's home late one afternoon this amazing set of storm clouds raced across the sky - looking as if all hell was going to break loose - but it didn't - it was something to watch at one time it was as if there was a straight line of clouds right above - one side was dark and stormy and the other was light blue and

Saturday, January 01, 2011

My daughters and their husbands just before we went out to tea. Melissa and Alison are so different but sometimes on the phone I have trouble telling the little devils apart...many a jest has been had on my behalf because of this - they lose it if they laugh because i can pick their laughs straight up.

I kissed this for luck and no he did not turn into a handsome prince and as i haven't had a phone call from the lotto people I can assume I did not win the $31million that was run last night.

And I always did have no taste in hats - except after a few Chardonnays!!!

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Back home now. It was really wonderful to see my daughters and spend real time with them - we totally get one another and when left alone we always have fun in our own ways -
Melissa is no longer blonde and has gone black and its okay she can do either...

I had a really long post planned and with many other photos but lost it when the web went down without warning...will re post later when its not so iffy.

Its New Years Day now, and a beautiful light filled day with a warm sun and a cool breeze. The cicadas are humming along and the kookaburras are not laughing but making that other caw cawing they do which is a bit freaky at times.
The cat Cussy is asleep on my printer and Tiger is splayed out on my bed as if she has run a marathon or something.

A few private tears for the empty spaces - a real lump in the throat when we were out at tea one night and Melissa and Alison were chatting and laughing with their heads together and above them in the space I imagined - No I didn't see this but I had an image of their Dad as if he was standing behind them - maybe he was maybe he wasn't and most likely just my own need for them to have him watch over them - but had to struggle to hold it together after that - it was such a good happy night and they deserve just to have some lighthearted times like this. When your family has been hit as many times as ours has you can't help but hope that those you love do indeed have a guardian angel.

Now to catch up on every one else's Christmas... I have heaps more photos to post...

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