Haunted by History

Today’s guest post is by Jaycee, who assures me he will return sometime in the new year, even more passionately eloquent than before. Thank you, Jaycee.

(Image Credit: Almost Italian)

So I drive to the town, pick up a few groceries, check the mail, chat a while … a bit of goss … a bit of this an’ that, and then hit the road to home again … and that is where the haunting starts.

You’ve seen them, as you drive along the main roads and the back roads … sunlight slanting off white sepulchres. You catch fleeting glimpses of them through the trees … deep in the scrub, sometimes almost complete, sometimes but a shadow of their former glory ……. you can sometimes drive past them for years before you suddenly realise they are there and then you get a shock at their “sudden appearance”: ruins of old cottages and huts … scattered, crumbling ruins … sad testament to optimistic aspirations.

Mostly we drive on, just giving an acknowledged glance to these pieces of jaded history … someone else’s tribulations, another’s history. I have stopped at several of these sites … joined in a pagan-like offering to another’s story … tossed a pebble or two into the underground tank out the back. I’ve stood for a moment in the remains of a back door opening, silent, wondering on the view they must have seen from that same place, another time … a time which may move inexorably on, yet the human condition remains.

Who were these intrepid builders? What singular ambition drove them to sculpture out of rough earth and stone, from memory and trial and error these testaments to a hopeful dream? They haunt me, these vacant souls … shuffling through sad ruins, backing onto abandoned fields that once must have swayed wave-like with fronds of wheat or oats. Now, scavenging crows pick nastily at an obscure morsel and a cruel sun rakes its talons over old wounds.

(Image Credit: Travel Outback Australia

There are stories out there, hovering around these ghosts of the past. An entire population of early settlers with their children and animals; gone now, the only memory in some cases being a headstone or two marking a seriously foreshortened life and along with such disaster the presumed tragedy for the rest of the family, having to absorb the sadness into their hearts. When one scans the landscape of those long-ago years, the inevitable hardship and difficulties faced, one gets the feeling their lives were dominated by the practical demands of weights and measures, time and distance. The burden of necessity always the prime consideration of their immediate attention.

Strangely, the history of these ruins seem to be shrouded in mystery … few if any people living now have knowledge of the folk who built and lived in many of these ruins. Their short moments of occupation at odds to the effort it must have taken to erect such structures. It is as if strangers to us all had swept fleetingly through the land, leaving no word or lasting deed of their presence save these crumbling hovels. One wonders what the indigenous peoples would have made of these pioneers, struggling with stone and beast, fire and plough to make a meal for their family when food was in abundance all around! ……. madness, surely!

But it is the history that haunts me, for it is there, fixed in stone as solid as any Roman effigy, though perhaps not as romantic! But then THAT would depend on the story and the rumour of salacious intrigues! It seems a pity we can stand where they once stood, feel the heat and wind which they once felt and imagine the sweat and toil they once gave to a land and ambition that both their ghosts and our living spirit still share, yet not know their name.

Quo vadis?

(Image Credit: Flickr)

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So This Is Christmas 2014.

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Well Pubsters,we have survived our first full year under the prime ministerhip of the idiot.

First-Year-Done

WE have had ups and downs but we are still pretty lucky to be living here compared to a lot of other countries.

Labor hold a commanding lead in all the opinion polls and barring any monumental blunder I fail to see how the Idiot can recover. He has blown what little trust he had with voters and his miserable henchmen and women are not popular as well.All in all I am a lot happier this year at this time than I was 12 months ago.

The Christmas theme was the original theme when the Pub first opened it’s doors over 2 years ago so I thought it would be nice to revisit it at this time of year.

To each and everyone of you ,commenter’s and lurkers alike, I wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and a happy wondrous new Year.Like the man said “Lets Hope it’s a good one”

Abbott Reshuffles Ministry, Rearranges Deck-chairs and Declares All Barnacles Gone and Ship Unsinkable!

Today’s Guest Poster is Rossleigh, from The Australian Independent Media Network, with an admirably pithy post on this afternoon’s reshuffle. Many thanks, Rossleigh, and yes, I’d love another cocktail.

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on 10 April 1912

(Image Credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of weeks ago, Mr Abbott suggested that some of his colleagues had a problem with Peta Credlin because of her gender, and that they had trouble relating to a woman who was so powerful. He made it clear that her sex was irrelevant to him and that he’d have the same relationship with her whatever sex she was. Some people, however, argued charges of sexism were pretty hypocritical coming from a man who’d only appointed one woman to Cabinet.

In a very exciting development, Abbott has doubled the number of women in Cabinet. One senior Liberal source said this was a welcome development as there’d now be someone else to clear the cups when Julie Bishop is overseas, before hastily adding that this was a joke and that they actually had tea-ladies to do that sort of thing.

Still, this Ministerial reshuffle achieves most of Mr Abbott’s aims.

The promotion of a woman to the Health Portfolio – albeit one who doesn’t know how to spell “Susan” properly – should stop those screeching feminist harpies who are complaining that the Minister for Women has only announced initiatives for women with children, while the promotion of Josh Frydenberg rewards young talent.

But the moving of Scott Morrison to Social Services has a twofold effect. If he’s effective, it should enable the government to slash spending in this area, while also reducing Morrison’s popularity and thereby putting a dent in any leadership aspirations he may have. It’s one thing to be popular while holding foreign children offshore, but it’ll be a different matter when it’s Australian children ringing Senator Muir to ask him to please support government legislation so that they can be returned to their parents!

In a move that surprised most keen observers, David Johnston has lost the Defence portfolio. Johnston’s lacklustre performance and canoe comments meant that most thought he was absolutely secure, because once Mr Abbott starts demoting underperforming Ministers, a dangerous precedent may have been set. If Johnston wasn’t safe, then one must also consider that Hockey, Pyne, and Joyce can’t simply presume that hiding in one’s office for three months after saying something foolish is enough to keep one in the Ministry.

Peter Dutton – the mostly invisible Minister for Health – moves to Immigration, where he can merely cite “operational matters” as a reason for having nothing to say.

Kevin Andrews – a keen euthanasia opponent – has been given a portfolio consistent with his views on the sanctity of human life: Defence.

All in all, this looks like a very successful reshuffle and all those screaming about icebergs should just sit back in their deckchairs, order another cocktail and enjoy the ride.