Prince Crispian – Chapter the First

It is nearly three months since our last visit to the Land of Nadir under the aegis of the late Malcolm B. Duncan. Time, methinks, for another sojourn in that fair and mysterious land.

(Image Credit: Prince Caspian Movie Trailer)

An election was looming and the children had decided to leave politics altogether rather than face either defeat or bleak years on the Opposition benches. Little Johnnie was staying on and things were looking increasingly dismal. They’d tried children overboard, they’d tried the mortgage rate scare, they’d tried the no-one votes for the fat bloke anyway (and even that had now been taken away from them), and now it was looking like bipartisan support for old growth forest logging and nuclear power. Short of manufacturing a major terrorist attack in the lead-up to the election, prospects didn’t look good and – since the job of manufacturing was Brendan’s responsibility, given Brendan’s recent experience with manufacturing which made the fat man’s Collins submarine deal look like nothing more than a delayed delivery because the address got smudged in the mail – things were starting to look very grim indeed.

As they sat on the platform at Canberra Railway Station, gold passes in hand, they realised that they were the only passengers waiting for the train. After all, members of the public not only had to pay for the children’s travel but for their own as well which rather priced them out of the market really. The only other object on the platform was a piece of rail freight which had been waiting to be transported from Canberra to Goulburn since 1946. If only the children had known that it was a crate of mothballed Bren guns with 30,000 rounds of ammunition, they could have supplemented their anticipated super quite considerably as well as helping Brendan out.

As they waited and waited and waited (they were waiting for a train after all) and the hours turned into days and the vending machine was slowly running out of goodies, Alexander decided on one big stock-up. Then it began: not like the rush of wind from an approaching train or the increasing sound thrumming through the rails; rather it was a tugging like iron filings being drawn to a magnet. As the children were drawn into that familiar circular pattern that your old science teacher used to demonstrate with a piece of paper and explained was the magnetic field (and let’s face it with the current drought, a magnetic field was about the most productive anyone could get), Little Lucy said, “It’s as though we were being drawn away somewhere.”

“Yes,” said Amanda, “I can feel it quite strongly.”

Peter explained the inverse square law and gravitational attraction while Alexander rather unkindly, as was his wont, said something about gravity and mass.

“You should talk you, you, you … fat boy,” Amanda said.

“Now, now,” said Little Lucy, “It’s probably just the Adelaide water. Although Malcolm did say that at this rate there won’t be any water in Adelaide come Easter. Ouch,” she exclaimed suddenly. [Although this is a children’s story, the author is trying to discourage the use of exclamation marks as being entirely unnecessary even if Jane Austen did use them.]

There was a sudden popping sound and the platform disappeared.

The children found themselves, minus luggage and, most mortifying of all, without their gold passes, in a dense forest where, in spots, an incredibly harsh light shone down through the leaves. The humidity was unbearable.

“Where are we?” asked Little Lucy in a stunned and apprehensive voice.

“My guess,” said Amanda “is that we have just been magically transported into Book the Second.”

“Does this mean I can’t commute my super?” asked Peter petulantly.

“Looks like it,” said Alexander. “I think we’d better explore.”

The children set off through thick forest and finally came to water from which, they could see, in the distance, a facing shoreline.

“I wonder if we’re on an island,” said Peter.

I’ll look after affairs in the region thanks,” said Alexander.

“Well, as long as there are no boat people,” said Amanda apprehensively.

She didn’t know how prophetic her words were to be.

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436 thoughts on “Prince Crispian – Chapter the First

  1. Fiona

    As a Melbourne person, how does a visitor go about getting a weekend myki card? I can’t find how too on the stupid website

  2. Joe6pack,

    I have no idea. Probably at a railway station. Maybe at the local newsagent. I will try the newsagent tomorrow if you like.

  3. I have been nursing a sick puppy. Sammie has been terrified by something (an eagle-hawk maybe) in the backyard. He was so scared he wouldn’t eat nor drink and when I took him outside he hid under the picnic table. He vomited and shook and I thought it was vet time. But his temp was okay, his gums the right colour and no runs.

    I syringed small amounts of water into his mouth last night as i held him and by morning he was calmer. My son held him for about an hour and meoldema tempted him with liver treats. I thought about the vet (the wallet rapers) but he was improving, even playing a little bit with Minnie Chelsea. FINALLY HE STATRED DRINKING ON HIS OWN AND EATING A LITTLE BIT BUT WAs VERY EMOTIONALLY FRAGILE.
    oops sorry capslock left on, one finger typing,

    Just now he ate roast chicken and a cooked egg.

    So he seems fine. I do not know what spooked him. The neighbours wouldn’t do anything to the dogs. I can only think a bird or something frightened him.

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Damn it! Missed out in the Queen’s Birthday honours again!

    Wow! Amanda Vanstone really lets go here on how Abbott has disrespected the Westminster tradition of cabinet operation.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/lazy-sneaky-or-both-what-were-you-thinking-prime-minister-20150607-ghho0v
    “60 Minutes” strongly defended itself last night after Pell and the church hit back after last week’s program.
    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/60-minutes-brands-catholic-church-out-of-touch-20150607-ghinov.html
    Pell’s lawyers spring into action.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/george-pell-critic-peter-saunders-asked-to-withdraw-false-allegations-made-on-60-minutes-20150607-ghim2c.html
    The social harm being caused by the housing bubble that Abbott denies exists.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rising-house-prices-causing-social-harm-as-property-bubble-debate-continues-20150607-ghiihi.html
    They wouldn’t would they?
    http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/fifa-corruption-scandal-russia-and-qatar-could-be-stripped-of-world-cup-hosting-rights-20150607-ghinqy.html
    Surely this is something Ged Kearney should get her teeth into.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/nurse-graduates-locked-out-of-workforce-as-migrants-get-jobs-20150607-ghi9c8
    International experts criticise Morrison’s “work for childcare” policy.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/international-experts-criticise-australian-childcare-plan-20150607-ghezsq
    “View from the Street” asks who has hurt Dutton’s feelings today. A good read.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/view-from-the-street-aww-whos-hurt-the-immigration-ministers-feelings-today-20150607-ghijc9.html
    How credit card fees are cruelling small business.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/card-fees-eating-at-small-business-20150605-ghgex8
    Woolworths’ dirty tactics come to light.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/from-hardware-to-hard-work-in-bendigo-for-woolworths-masters-20150605-ghhduw.html

  5. Section 2 . . .

    Tim Dick says that Dutton’s citizenship plan could be as dangerous as terrorism itself. It’s a riper of an article!
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/peter-duttons-citizenship-plan-may-be-as-big-a-threat-to-our-freedom-as-terrorism-itself-20150607-ghif4u.html
    How low can they go?
    http://www.theage.com.au/world/australian-government-promised-mosques-jobs-and-football-to-refugees-20150607-ghhl38
    In opposition Abbott and Hockey identified 20 areas of “economic failure”. So how are they travelling in these areas whilst having the reins of government? Well all 20 of them have declined.
    https://independentaustralia.net/article-display/what-are-abbott-and-hockey-really-trying-to-achieve-20-tries-for-20-failures,7798
    Big Coal is planning a huge PR campaign to win us over.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2015/06/07/big-coal-plotting-win-heart/
    The Battle of the Burgers hots up.
    http://www.theage.com.au/business/property/burger-wars-the-battle-of-the-beef-patties-20150607-ghhfkv
    Ross Gittins writes about one of my bugbears, KPIs.
    http://www.theage.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/kpis-a-dumb-way-to-encourage-performance-20150607-ghiero
    Michael West says that Chevron’s whinge about taxation just doesn’t stack up. What a bloody disgrace! It should not be tolerated. Let’s get some bipartisan legislative action going.
    http://www.theage.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/chevrons-tax-whinge-doesnt-stack-up-20150607-ghik39.html
    This doctor is concerned that we are not ready to tackle the increasing existence of dementia in an ageing workforce.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/dementia-in-the-workforce-the-ageing-issue-were-not-prepared-to-deal-with-20150607-ghewov
    Is this “jobs for the boys” appointment going to become unstuck?
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/auditorgeneral-gave-allegedly-corrupt-official-a-job-20150607-ghhxf7
    Let’s rename this holiday from the Queen’s Birthday to Reconciliation Day.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/lets-replace-the-queens-birthday-holiday-with-reconciliation-day-20150607-ghihg7.html
    Pat Campbell gives us Game of Labor – Season 5.

    John Kudelka on finding the source of the leak.

    Not many new cartoons around today!

  6. So, Amanda Flintstone has her hackles up. Things must be pretty crook within the LNP to bring Flintstone out to fire shots at abbott. Just like the rest of that motley mob, Amanda was happy to see abbott lie, cheat, trash Parliament and destroy careers and lives of anyone in his path to get his bum in the top seat of government.

  7. ” I would be pretty happy.”…..I don’t know… I have met many (if not most!) women who could be described as “plain” who could “transmit” powerful “sexual attraction” to the heterosexual male if and when they wanted to!

    One has to concede ; Women, being a “force of nature” : Nature looks after it’s own interests!

    ‘Boyo beware!’

  8. “…and she turned to me her eyes,
    Greek eyes, deep eyes, dark, Greek eyes
    That hold the secret of the Trojan Wars…”

  9. Listening to La Grattan with Fran on the subject of the bullying of Ms.Triggs…it is good to see that Grattan has finally found her voice and conscience on the subject of bullying!

  10. The Cambodian refugee deal –
    “The IOM is no stranger to Australian government money.”

    Indeed not. Howard paid them millions to set up a fake processing centre in Indonesia . Refugees were told they would be fed, housed and their refugee claims would be processed so they could be sent to Australia. They were sort of fed and housed but the processing was a lie, designed only to ‘stop the boats’. The ‘processing centre’ was intended to keep refugees in Indonesia, for good. We were not told about Howard’s ‘Indonesian solution’ at the time, we were not told that millions of dollars were paid to IOM every year to keep this thing going. It did stop the boats for a while. Then refugees began to realise they were just in a trap and again turned to people smugglers. It has been difficult to find information on this scheme, most of us have never heard of it at all.
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/03/people-smuggling-how-flawed-policy-creates-criminal-activity/?wpmp_switcher=mobile

    The sneaky scheme worked for about ten years, then a combination of increasing refugee numbers due to push factors and people in Howard’s trap realising they were stuck for life if they didn’t take action saw the boats start up again. Stopping them was not due to turning back boats, as Abbott would have ius believe, nor were the increases in boat numbers under the Rudd and Gillard governments due to Labor being soft on refugees. It was all due to a failed Howard policy.

    The IOM made squilions form that program. They have continued to make squillions from us because our governments on both sides of politics have continued to pay them to ‘help’ manage various aspects of our war on asylum seekers.

    All the billions spent over the last two decades on paying companies like Transfield and Wilsons to manage off-shore detenton centres, on paying the Salvos and other charities to work in these places. on bribes to the governments of Cambodia, Nauru and PNG, on building the damned places, on having our navy sail around in circles looking for boats, on court actions, on air fares and of course, on IOM’s services, could have seen every single refugee properly processed in a proper overseas processing centre, flown to Australia, bought a house and car, educated and found work.

    But there are no red-neck votes to be won in being decent.

  11. 8 June 1982:

    A busy day.

    HMS Plymouth hit with 4 bombs. None go off!

    RFA Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram (troop carriers) both hit and are evacuated and left to sink.

    The Harriers have a big day – 3 Skyhawks and 4 Mirages confirmed.

    The 5th Brigade reach Fitzroy and Bluff Cove.

    (I’ve tried to locate the video of what was going on at San Carlos that day but it seems to now belong to the “History Channel”. Grey ships in the Sound and Argentinian aircraft leaving jet trails. The Argentinians are finding that ‘ducking’ over the high ground has its perils – The Army have re-assembled some Rapier missile systems. So coming in low from the north is getting ‘tricky’)

  12. CTar1..One can see from your posts on the war, that the mixture of testosterone and adrenaline make for a pretty volatile explosion…if it could be packaged and marketed “in a little white box”…?

  13. CTar1

    The Argentines could have saved a fortune and done just as well by dropping rocks instead.

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