It is always a joy to publish your writing, Ian – you are one of the pure in heart, mind, and spirit, my dear internet friend. It is truly a privilege to know you.

(Image Credit: Fairfax)

As the snow on the roof gets whiter, the fire on the hearth banks down to a bed of warm, comforting embers and St. Peter has booked you into one of the cheap seats, you tend to take a more expansive, perhaps more perceptive, view of life, of politics – even your own backyard.

I went down the backyard yesterday. I needed to ask a question of the “folk” who live in the patch of remnant bush just over the fence. They’re indigenous and I know their proper name, though I do not speak it. It is not my earned right. The “folk” will suffice. They didn’t appear to be around so I sat on a garden bench. Enjoying the warm sun, I looked at the back of my house.

(Image Credit: Wild Watch Australia)

I saw the faded, stained cement tiles of the roof. Years of birds, overripe mulberries and various attacks by footballs, cricket six stitchers and benign tennis balls had left both their marks and memories. I then looked to beneath the tiles. Imagining seeing the joists, bearers and beams that had supported them for 70 or so years. Had all this timber come from the same forest giant? Does it retain in itself the memories of hundreds of years of growth? Have those memories enabled the roof to fulfill the integrity of its purpose? Scorching heat, cold snaps, high destructive winds. None has budged the roof … not once. The integrity of its purpose is strong. Perhaps as a political philosophy should be.

(Image Credit: DeLange)

The stains gave me cause to remember the mulberry tree. Sadly, gone now. A victim of the damage it caused to pipes and paths. The wonderful shade on a hot summers day, the sweet fruit, the pies and cordials it made. The screeching, raucus cacophony of flocks of corellas after having tasted the delights of fermented mulberries. The quieter dawn chorus when the corellas, purpled stained heads firmly under wings, studiously avoided the warblings of magpies, gentle calling of doves and the unrelenting chittery chattery of indignant wagtails. If I were given to name the flock of corellas….it would be “the Press Gallery “.

(Image Credit: Aussiebirdlife)

The rest of the garden just melts into itself. Each section a memory and part of the whole. The sour, acidic soil of a rose bed where, among the insipid pale hybrids, a strong red blossom evolved, thrived and was eventually weakened.

(Image Credit: The Amateur Weeder)

A transplant to the old, yet strong, arbour has it thriving again. Perhaps the enthusiastic input of the miniature roses whose bed it now shares has helped. I leave the sour acidic ground as a reminder of what damage can be wrought by a poison and will speak no more of it. The vegetable and herb beds take my eye. The herbs in particular.

(Image Credit: Sprout Magazine)

They’ve grown into the greenest, healthiest herbs with a depth of flavour that leaves palates with the understanding of what heaven can be and, most assuredly, is. They grow in a bed that started life as a fish pond and morphed into a wishing well. I believe the plants are fertilised with memories of wishes fulfilled and where dreams are begun. Could it not be that the filling of a wish sets free an unrealised dream? One day, perhaps, the wish of a child may lead to dreams of a nation. I wish it so.

The “folk” haven’t shown themselves and I haven’t been able to ask my question.

“How can we strengthen ourselves against the darkness creeping across our land?”

Somehow, I feel I have an answer.

(Image Credit: Reuters)

697 thoughts on “Perceptions

  1. Nothing yet. I am opening a bottle tomorrow night.
    Johnny Vegas is the reason I really enjoy ‘Ideal’ plus the script is brilliantly weird.

  2. I think it did me well not to watch QT today. The daily watching of the trashing of our democratic process aided and abetted by that worse than useless Speaker B Bishop is just too much.

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Waleed Aly – What would success in Iraq look like? He writes very good stuff.
    MUST READ!! Lenore Taylor – How the trust was won – and lost – 12 months on.
    Abbott’s first year in power – 18 quotes.
    Michelle Grattan – Tony Abbott’s year of living ideologically.
    Sydney house prices lock the young out of the market.
    And the thin edge of the wedge gets further inserted.
    Robbo probably got this one right.
    These pricks who rise like a Phoenix deserve to be smitten!
    Gallacher’s pants accused of being on fire at ICAC.
    Admiral Chris Barrie says AS policy is in a mess.

  4. Section 2 . . .

    The Ashygate 60 Minutes sweepstake. What will it bring?,6862
    The CSIRO is almost 100% sure that humans are causing temperatures to rise. But will that e enough to convince idiots like Warburton?
    To recline or not to recline?
    More on the woeful conditions on Manus Island.
    And the DLP knife throwers come out at John Madigan.
    More from the excellent Adele Ferguson on the financial planning industry and all its associated inquiries. She describes a ticking time bomb.
    A good read from Laura Tingle.
    Oh! Alan Joyce will be on the bones of his arse.
    Napthine’s authority in tatters after the Geoff Shaw debacle.
    The strange and suspicious case of Abbott’s citizenship.,6859

  5. GOD all-bleedin’-mighty!!…To read Taylor’s “confession of incompetence”, you’d be excused for thinking those MSM. Trojan horse journo’s who ushered-in this cacophony of idiocy that we call governance were as “babes in the wood” in both word and deed!

    “To be fair…” Taylor pleads…well “f#ck me sideways!!”…

    We, of the fifth estate don’t need this lecture detailing the betrayal of policy and parliament from such utter, utter incompetence as her and the others in the press gallery…Did I say “Press Gallery” ?…more like a gallery of galahas and goons!…stooges to a man!….I don’t know about you, but I wore three keyboards down and drowned one in tears of frustration before the last election railing against the awful silence of in-depth policy analysis and commentary from the MSM….and then the awful gratuitous grovelling and vindictive, vicious venality of the MSM…of which Taylor was a role player….not a major player, but there she was , steadily doing her bit…”chip, chip ,chipping away” at Julia Gillard’s integrity and Labor’s integrity…doing her bit for Tony….”oh..that’s just Tony”…sort of thing…and now we get …: “Oh..that bloody Tony..but let’s be fair”….Ok..let’s be fair…: “Piss off you dumb,pasty-faced, stupid pr#ck-faced arsehole who’d bore the pants off a granite statue with your inane, banal, jerkoff rabbiting !”…..Let’s be fair…you were incompetent then and this beige bit of mea-culpism will do little to endear you to me…..Let’s be fair …you are part of the were then, you still are!…go away, retire and give your position on The Guardian to Van Badham…, she’s twice the investigative journo’ that you are…and ..; Let’s be fair…GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

  6. you are part of the problem

    So true, jaycee!

    I wonder if these journos get penalty rates. Listening to Kate Carnell this morning. It’s alright for young people who are unemployed to work for low wages on weekends. Will the journos criticise her and the govt?

  7. Interesting bit of information from the comments on the IA piece on Ashby/60 Minutes –

    Steve Lewis, the former News Corp journalist who ran the ‘Abbott in Opposition’ political spin on many subjects, has joined Newgate Communications as a senior advisor.

    This company is a lobbyist at federal level for twenty-one companies – including Whitehaven Coal which has been mentioned in evidence in NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Jasper and Operation Spicer investigations

    So, of course, I couldn’t resist and checked. Newgate Commmunications is listed as a lobbyist for the federal government. It has some very important clients including Australia Post, Qantas and Woolworths.

  8. Well said, jaycee, and accurate. Just because Taylor was a lot fairer than ‘players’ like Hartcher, tired old stenographers like Grattan or News Ltd shills does not absolve her.

    You’ve made the key point that she chipped away at JG’s integrity, joining the chorus, when she must have known the games the others were playing, which also included transparent sexism. It should have been a time to stand up against the fraud.

    Not least, of course, because the minority government, depending on two high-integrity country independents had been one of the best we’d had. It’s only noticeable failure, aside from restraints of government, was in Boat People/asylum seekers and even that could have been addressed if the Greens had not been so recalcitrant on Malaysia.

    As it is the country is currently surrendered to corporate greed.

  9. awesome photo from the Independent – ‘A long time exposed picture taken by night shows Slovakia’s High Tatras mountains seen from the Solar observatory station on the Lomnicky Stit peak ‘

  10. ‘What does Labor stand for?” bleats Laura Tingle.

    Why has she never asked ‘What does the Coalition stand for?’ or ‘What does Tony Abbott stand for?’

    I first noticed this stupid line when Kim Beazley was LOTO. It popped up all the time, used by journalists in need of a quick, trite cliche to fill in a space or bump up their word count. ‘Yes, but what does Labor/Beazley stand for’ they would say, them move on without any further explanation. Since then it has been used constantly to cast Labor in a bad light.

    But no-one has ever asked what Abbott stands for or what the Liberal Party or the National Party ‘stand for’.No-one, not ever.

  11. Not only did Lenore Talor chip away at Julia Gillard’s integrity, she, like all the other female journalists, did it in a snarky, smirky, bitchy’ way that always reminded me of the ‘mean girls’ in Hollywood teen movies. The whole pack of them took immense delight in their work, they gave every impression of enjoying what they were doing. Now they have changed their tune, now it’s too late. A pox on the lot of them.

  12. I have been attacking Greens on Twitter, especially idiots wringing hands over Manus Is, pointing out they blocked Malaysian Regional Processing Solution. I then rub them up the wrong way further pointing out the Greens are Conservatives not progressives because they have to to keep their MYMBY and inner city professionals support bases. I am really TIRED of Greens sucking votes from Labor and insisting on stupid policies.

    I also take on any RW trolls I see on Twitter, working out this troll saying the NBN was obsolete and G4 the future was on ADSL not mobile!

  13. Gigilene,
    I would dearly love to strip Ms.Carnell of her possessions and chuck her out of her privileged surroundings to scrabble around with the peasants who would be those workers she is so keen to strip of their meagre incomes/penalty rates etc so that the well-off can improve their profits and live the good life.

  14. the ‘mean girls’

    Add to them A Crabb, L Curtis. Anyway, I’ve ordered Julia’s book. I hope she won’t be kind to them and won’t accept an interview. The only one I still have some respect for and who could give Gillard a good interview is Sarah Ferguson.

  15. gigi

    Hope it includes her wine cellar.

    It 95% Whites and is of great assistance in her decision making in govt or out.

  16. gigilene,

    I seem to remember back in the late 80s early 90s, either Hawke or Keating referring to Beasley as a pessimist. Maybe this is where it started.

  17. Trust Howard to come up with that image with his helpful galahs spreading it from there on. I’m sure it’s not dead yet. The galahs have a long memory.

  18. Little while ago I took a holiday in Clare Valley. Went through Martindale Hall just outside Mintaro and bought a set of photos of the Hall and sent them to my friend Annie in Califirnia. She got them today and thought they were beautiful—so for a few minutes she forgot her pain and hopelessness of her advanced emphysema, exactly what I hoped would happen.

    I hate tobacco company execs—Pushers in Suits!

  19. Just received my latest electricity bill. It’s $50 more than the last bill for two reasons – I used a little more power over the last three months and the NSW charges went up. Even if I had used the exact same amount of power as I used last quarter I’d still have a higher bill. Next time the bill will be a bit higher again, even with the same or a bit less power use, because the price increases will cover the entire three months, not just the two affected in this bill.

    So what happened to the huge savings I was supposed to make once that toxic tax has been axed? Mr Abbott promised my bill would be smaller. It isn’t. He lied.

    And another thing – my usual fortnightly ‘big shop’ at the supermarket seems to be costing me more, not less. No axe the tax savings there either. And petrol – that costs more too.

    So where is that $550? Abbott promised he would bring down the cost of living. Maybe he just meant he was going to bring it down for Gina, Clive and Twiggy by axing the mining tax. I must have misheard his promises, I must have got it all wrong again.

  20. CTar1

    Apart from not flying in rain or at night our very expensive paperweights may need pilots who like flying in straight lines.

    Flight Maneuver Hints at Cause of F-35 Fire

    Speaking during a defense conference Wednesday at the National Press Club, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said three weeks before an F-35A made by Lockheed Martin Corp. caught fire during takeoff June 23 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, it was flown in a manner designed to test the performance of its g-force, roll and yaw characteristics within designed limits known as the flight envelope.

    While the maneuver only last two seconds or so, it caused excessive rubbing between the titanium blade in the fan section of the F135 engine made by United Technologies Corp.‘s Pratt & Whitney unit and the surrounding material, Bogdan said. The metal reached temperatures of as high as 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit — compared to the normal level of about 1,000 degrees — and resulted in micro-cracking, he said.

    A few weeks later, during the fateful takeoff, the blade came apart and actually pierced the left aft fuel tank, engulfing the rear of the plane in flames, Bogdan said. “It was the fuel tank that caught fire,” he said.


  21. Leone

    We are all developing ‘old timers’, we didn’t hear what we heard, now you have to remember that or you will get confused and upset.

  22. Brain-dead asylum seeker Hamid Kehazaei’s organs to be donated

    An Iranian asylum seeker who has been declared brain dead in Brisbane will help save lives in the country he never reached after a family decision to donate his organs, according to refugee advocates.

    Hamid Kehazaei, 24, was on life-support in Brisbane’s Mater Hospital as about 40 supporters held a lunchtime vigil outside on Thursday.

    Mark Gillespie from the Refugee Action Collective said Mr Kehazaei’s family, who were not in Australia, had given the go-ahead for his organs to be donated once his life-support had been switched off

  23. This from a poster on The Guardian…”Auchenflowerist”….clearly, there is consensus.

    ” Lenore, you are one of people who gave Abbott that free pass 3 days out from the election and for the whole 3 years before that. You, and nearly all your colleagues, reported his words as if that was enough and they required no further analysis. You must have known he was full of excrement then, so don’t act surprised that he turned out to be just as bad or worse than many people – nearly none of whom were in the press gallery – were saying about him and the Liberals the whole time. This is the man who admitted to Red Kerry his words couldn’t be trusted live on national TV! And yet you and nearly all of your class apparently did exactly that and waved him through to Government without even a cursory tyre-kicking.

    Now you’re all surprised and aggrieved he’s turned out just like the Labor party and many others said he would. Well, excuse me when we all stop listening to what you’re saying – clearly it’s worthless.

  24. Just to agree on the “what does Labor stand for?” issue.
    Labor is the only party that cops this stuff. Many examples- this is the only party whose preselection issues are media fodder, the fucking cheek of these media bastards who looked up their own arseholes rather than at Abbott who now ask Labor “yes, but how will you PAY for it???” & on & on.
    Shorten has to cope with this stuff from a media still desperate to find another pro Abbott groove to bail themselves out.

  25. Cop this lot from Bazz Cazz…(warning..get vomit bag ready!)…

    ” While some worry that he might at some stage rush to judgment, overshoot or forget to take the country with him, that hasn’t so far been the case.

    Whether it be repairing a damaged relationship with Indonesia, responding to the Malaysian air crashes, standing up to Russia, or confronting the brutality of the Islamic State, Abbott has been exemplary. ”

    One at a time..He botched the “repair job” with Indonesia to the point relations were cut.
    Two…His response to the crash was : “overplayed”, “overstated” , “over the top and underhanded”!
    Three…his “standing up to Russia” was and is a joke….: “the mouse that roared”..totally untested.
    Four…On ISIS. talk…just that…talk…and undebated military intervention just like last time…which will more then likely lead to the same result.

    Bazz Cazz..doing what he has done best for the last four years…: “crawling to the boss”.

  26. Andrew Street reviews JoHo’s bio at The King’s Tribune. Here’s a taste:

    Not Your Average Joe is not just a collection of heart-warming tales of revenge-misogyny and voter fraud, it’s also the story of how one deeply insecure young man grew up to become the most deeply entitled and self-aggrandising treasurer Australia has ever known – which, in a field that includes such avowed Paul Keating fans as Paul Keating, is no small achievement.

    Then again, most of the evidence for Hockey’s inflated sense of his own glorious significance is not contained within the covers of the book, but in the fact that there’s a book with covers within which to contain said glorious significance.

    Put bluntly: why the ever-loving fuck would a man in the first year of his job say yes to the writing and publication of his biography unless he was a) utterly assured of his importance and felt there was a genuine need to capture this historic moment, or b) knew in his heart of hearts that no-one was going to remember what a Joe Hockey was after the next election, and possibly by mid-way through the current government?

    Read the whole thing – it’s a hoot AND perceptive.

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