Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Country is back for another visit

The second dust storm in a week is expected to hit Brisbane this evening, not as vigorous as the one that dumped the dust on Brisbane on Wednesday but it is passing over the same area and pushing wind in a similar pattern.

It gave Sydney a dust up earlier in the day. The thick haze is clearing in Sydney as it moves north-east, but health authorities say pollution levels are still hazardous.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It was an omen … they should have realized it

If you are going to be successful betting on sporting events, it would appear you have to keep up with the other news that is happening around the place.

Late yesterday afternoon a tour operator (Neil Sander), who regularly takes tourists along the Great Ocean Road, noticed that one of the Twelve Apostles had collapsed into the sea.


I am not an AFL football follower at all, but if I was a St Kilda supporter, it would not have been good news for me when I woke up this morning, to hear that one of the apostles had bit the dust.

Yes, I know that hindsight is 20/20 vision, but it was perhaps an omen.

The sports betting pop up ad on my news site told me that the odds were 2.50 St Kilda and 1.65 Geelong, so maybe they had read the news too.

I am told it was a hard fought game, played in very wet conditions, the lead swinging each way through the game; with the Saints leading at all breaks except the one that counts. It had all the requirements of a final, controversy over a goal awarded where the ball touched the posts, dissent from a player to the umpire that he touched a ball that was awarded as a goal which resulted in more points through a penalty, lots of wounded soldiers and for Melbourne … rain. It also had the Australian Children’s Choir, current rocker, Mark Seymour, old rockers (Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham), Hollywood stars (Eric Bana), an ex Treasurer and lots of wet fans.

But I am afraid that it is the result that counts and pays the money.

The Geelong Cats won by twelve points, collecting the second winner’s flag in three years.

Photos - Fox Sports

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The day Country came to Town

(photo by Charlie Brewer -

It wasn’t wearing an Akubra or Cuban heeled boots and speaking in a slow country twang when it visited the City today. It wasn’t quiet and shy, looking up in awe at the skyscrapers it hadn’t seen before.

It didn’t come quietly in the night in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables, or fresh from the cattle’s hoof on the back of semi trailers and refrigerated vans or in a monster milk tanker.

It was wild and dirty and threatened all before it; giving the city slickers a tiny idea of what our country is really made of.

It travelled around 1500 kilometres to get there, gathering more on the way.

It came as a giant cloud of red dust from the far west of the state, brazenly, straight into the centre of the city, showing off to all who ventured out to see it.

Weather forecasters said the dust, from drought-ravaged western NSW, was propelled by a change from northern to southerly winds and believe it has been one of the worst duststorms to reach Sydney in seventy years.

I spoke to an elderly relative near Dubbo in western NSW and he said it was like a duststorm he recalls which came through in 1954 and as a child he and his siblings were put in their parent’s bedroom and knelt by the bed with their faces under the covers between the sheets so that they could breathe. They bred ‘em tough then!

Click on either of the links below for some photos...

...and click here for what the Sydney Sails looks like on a "good day".

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time for the return of the mirrored hall stand to modern homes?

All old homes had them; the hat and coat stand just inside the front door (sorry in the entry). It held the hats (Akubra or bowler), coats (Drizabone, Bluey or Houndtooth), car keys, umbrellas, even sometimes school bags, handbags and briefcases. Everything was deposited there as you came through the door, to be found awaiting you when you needed to go out again. No searching for things, you knew where they were. This was in the days before the walk in wardrobe and the mini office in the corner of the kitchen/family room.

But the most important use for the mirrored hall stand?

To use the mirror to check that the lipstick was not askew after quickly kissing the kids goodbye, the Akubra was on at the right angle and that the back of your skirt was not stuck in your knickers/panty hose after that last minute trip to the bathroom. You always checked what you looked like, especially from the rear, before you left the building.

Your mother always reminded you to do that.

This memory resurfaced this morning, as I sat behind someone who had, obviously, not checked that mirror.

Quite elegantly dressed really, made up, nice shoes and matching handbag even. Nevertheless, her outfit was on inside out! You might think “how could that happen?” Well I do remember some years ago, rushing to get everyone out of the house in the morning; kids to different schools, “do you have lunches and homework and have you eaten all your breakfast?” “Quickly, in the car or we will be late!” A question from my elder son “Is there a special reason Mum that today you are wearing your blouse inside out?” That brought the morning to a bit of a halt. Luckily, while I didn’t have a mirrored hall stand, I did have someone who was alert that morning! The country definitely needs more lerts!

Travelling home from work a few days ago, my fellow traveller told me about a “sight” she had witnessed on her way between the workplace and the bus stop. A pretty young thing in the latest fashion – white, clingy cheesecloth (“ah yes!” the chronologically gifted of you will sigh – you will remember cheesecloth, headbands, beading and rock concerts – 40 years since Woodstock – yeek! It can’t be!). Back to the bus … She was dressed in a very short (and I report very short – even a hiccup would have seen a significant wardrobe malfunction), clingy white cheesecloth number and wearing a very obvious black g-string under it. Quite well endowed and keen to get out and see the world, her body was only just staying within the outfit. Hmmm ... she too could perhaps have benefited from the mirrored hall stand before she ventured out. But then again perhaps it would have been wasted on her, ignored as she departed.

Anyway, think about it people … even if you don’t start a revolution for reinstatement of mirrored hall stands … check, even what you look like from behind, before you rush out into the world, because, just remember, it’s a jungle out there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google … don’t spin out on me!

I really liked Dr Seuss Day, Australia Day, even Earth Day, but now you’re scaring me. UFO’s a while back and now crop circles!

Woo Hoo! Are you still there guys? Hello? Is everything OK?

I thought it was only here in the tropics that things got a bit hairy when the temperature and humidity both went up at the same time. Mango Madness; and I was going to leave that until October to talk about. Don’t get ahead of me now.

Hang in there … please!