Hello folks . After our little Easter Break Friday Night Raffles Returns.


Vale Richie Benaud. A true gentleman and outstanding sportsman and commentator. Never biased,never over the top patriotism , played the game in the spirit intended and was a mainstay for many people watching cricket over the past 40 odd years.


ON the good news front Looks like labor will continue to govern In Qld . The LNP. descended into real gutter politics over the Billy Gordon affair and I must say the feeling around the traps is that this has backfired on them.


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The Borg is unelectable as premier. If Anastasia and the team do well they should easily win again.


Drink up


Eat too much


But Enjoy yourselves.


Two days ago, Ian wrote to me:

I wonder if this may be suitable for a filler. It seems as though we need a break from raw politics for a couple of hours.

As always, when Ian offers a thread-starter, I was over the (full) moon.

As always, I delighted in his exquisite insights into the human condition – not to mention his starkly lovely prose.

However, for once I have to question him – is this post really a break from raw politics? – especially given the sheer nastiness of the “Reclaim Australia” rallies yesterday?

On the contrary, my dear Ian, yours is a deeply political post.

Yes, we must do all we can to nurture and encourage those in their teens, their 20s, their 30s, to recognise, fight, and defeat the evil that (as it always will) tries to subjugate us.

Thank you, my dear friend, from the bottom of my heart.

(Image Credit: Australian Traveller)

One of the first things I sensed from Mick – not his real name – was his open honesty. That, and the green cabbage leaf strapped around a cracked left kneecap. Apparently a tried, tested, and true bush cure for such ailments.

I came across Mick some years ago on a destocked cattle station off the Gibb River Road. He eked out his pension as caretaker and windmill man. There wasn’t much money in it but it eased the strain, was 30 miles from where he was born and bred, in country where he had spent all his life and, importantly, kept him out of town, the pubs, and trouble. Though every so often he would head over to resort and use the atm, have a couple of beers at the bar, and then come down to the staff quarters, warm his backside by the fire and, to the astonishment of all of us, recite his “poetries”.

Perhaps his contentment fueled his honesty. Perhaps it was because Mick couldn’t read or write. Something I ponder in quiet times.

The cattle station had developed a small tourist operation, and was owned by a wildlife conservation enterprise, with a contingent of scientists and lab techs. All staff, I must note, were early to late twenties. It turned out that three staff and Mick all had a birthday in the same week. A party was organised.

The party rolled along as these things do. Camp oven roast beef, old-fashioned sweet curry and rice, with sultanas and dried apple, with Clive of India starring in the main role, hot damper with currants and golden syrup. A nice feed . . .

A lull followed dinner. Most content to let various burbles, quiet belches, and the odd sneaky cloud of flatulence do the talking. But it was time for presents. An apron here, a big box of chocolates there, and other little trinkets, either found in the bush or made into something that could only come from open and loving hearts. Then it was time for Mick’s presents.

He was presented with two picture frames. They didn’t contain pictures: they contained words. I think Mick, not being able to read or write, was pretty confused, until one the young girls explained to him,

“These are your poetrees, Mick. Now everyone can read them.”

The look on Mick’s face told the story better than any other could. There were tears – not crying – just tears. We saw a man realise, no matter how humble his life, what he says thinks and does accounts for something. Of the cadences of prose he knew nothing. He just timed the rhythms of his land to his heart. He could now see it in written word. His heart and soul there for all.

I often think of those young people, of their generosity, their clear-eyed view of their life purpose. And how they could sense the quiet integrity and honesty of a man they may never have met in suburban environs.
Perhaps as we on the left travel our diverse paths we could ponder whether we may have lost a generation of young people. Those who choose to look for, find, and accept the essential beauty and strength in mankind.

We must find them, guide them and be their strength as they fight to ensure such an abomination as Abbott can never rise to power again.

(Image Credit: Travel Around Australia)

Quizzical Easter Weekend

Hot cross buns?

(Image Credit: BBC)



(Image Credit: News Limited)


Easter eggs?

(Image Credit: The Guardian)


Oh alright then . . . here are some chocolate ones . . .

(Image Credit: The Guardian)

Plus something OH remembers from living in the then predominantly-Greek suburb of Brunswick for a couple of years just after WW2:

(Image Credit: the kitchn)

When we returned from our jaunt in the country early yesterday evening, I discovered that OH hadn’t eaten much all day, and was unimpressed by the prospect of an omelette for dinner. So I ventured to the supermarket to buy something a little more substantial that wouldn’t require much effort from me (moi was a bit tired . . .).

It was 6:00pm, and the carpark was a crazy place. It took 10 minutes to find a just-vacated slot; I grabbed it and hurried off to do my shopping.

In the supermarket, people were frantically stocking up as if the shops were to be closed for at least a month.

Well, I remember the olden days, when the Easter shop closure was a serious matter: from 5:00pm Thursday to 9:00am the following Wednesday. Me mum and I would stagger out laden with those large brown paper bags

(Image Credit: imgkid)

with enough bread, milk, meat, fruit, and vegetables to last five days.

Even the milk bars closed, and there were no such things as convenience stores at petrol stations.

Today, by contrast, the suburb is quiet. Almost no traffic, many of the neighbours are away, and the weather is delightful.

To everyone on the roads over this holiday period, take things very carefully and stay safe.

* * * * * * *

When The Boss feels so inclined, there may be a quiz or three.

Enjoy the challenge . . .

(Image Credit: Perubatan Cawangan Iskandariah)

. . . and have fun, everyone!