Monthly Archives: August 2017

Memorizing more than things


When I was in primary school poetry and times tables had to be memorized, tests and assesments of memory were to be had. Every Friday there was an oral times table test for the whole class, and poetry had to be presented each term. ‘My Country’ was one poem I enjoyed memorizing. Another was Coleridge’s ‘The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner.’ Sunday School brought memory verses and nativity plays to memorize. Scouts brought a whole range of memorizing from the national anthem to knot formations.

But as I have aged it is less important to memorize things like numbers and poetry, knots or scripts (with the exception of the ubiquitous password). The things I have treasured and committed to memory without even trying are moments with people. As we approach Fathers Day in Australia I am particularly conscious of the hole my late father left when he died the age I am about to become. But, that hole is somehow whole through memory, or re-membering, the putting him back together.

He was a simple man, a coal miner who struggled in school, survived the blitz, he had his hopes and dreams, wife and children, a home. But he was also a frustrated man, an angry man, and many times his fists formed what he thought of the world and spoke directly to each one of us. And yet amidst the terror of physical threat, there were times of joy, celebration, play, holidays, excitement. Memories are what they are.

They were the best of days and the worst too, but I am glad I have my memories of dad to treasure, and ponder, to reflect on for myself. For me, memorizing moments and people are about my wholeness, my path, and I am glad to walk with them.


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via Daily Prompt: Enamored


Simon is a friend from way back, and a good friend, someone who takes and interest in your life and introduces you to his world as well. I will probably never own a drone, not because I dont like them, but because I’m don’t  have a real use for one. Simon has used them in his professional work and also enjoys the hobby side as well.

We went to Hamblyn Bay on Saturday afternoon as the wind was lighter on the western side and the drone would fly better there. Which proved to be true. I had never operated a drone and I was duly encouraged to have a go. I was conscious of the cost of the drone and I was concerned that I take great care not to crash it. All went well. And I can’t explain it, so simple, and it was really good fun. Something about being abe to direct a machine, manipulate and utilize it. I am indeed enamoured with the drone and its potential. And so was everyone else on the beach, several who came along to watch and ask questions. Sunday we sent the drone up opposite the house and Simon took an aerial view for us. Looking forward to the videos later.

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via Daily Prompt: Rhyme

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That Road Less Travelled

We left the city to get to the bush

for flora and fauna we were in a rush;

We hit the road with Geoff and Su,

and hoping our long awaited dream would come true.

Fortunately the road was modern and flush,

not much of it was dust or mush.

But when we got out to the wilds,

it was the road less travelled;

and boy did we wish, and whine, and dream,

that it was more than just gravel.


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via Daily Prompt: Magnetic

On a previous trip to Kathleen Springs it had rained the week before we got there, and the creek was running, and had trickled over the pathway. Water is vital for most living things and especially for butterflies, and indeed, you could say that for butterflies water is magnetic. The video clip doesn’t do the scene justice as there were was a multitude of butterflies around the puddle, and of course, they wouldn’t stay still, but there they were, flocking to the water for much needed moisture. I find butterflies absolutely delightful, and this was a wonderful moment to see so many in one place.

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via Daily Prompt: Homage

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A few years ago, on our way home from holidays, we decided to (I decided to, Lyn indulged me) drop in at the Dwellingup train museum. As it happened we’d timed it just as one of the stem trains had come in from a tourist run and I was able to take several photos of the loco coming in, reversing, the fireman cleaning out the fire box, and the marshalling of the coaches. It was a great time. For me it was paying homage to a two things: an age of steam that was crucial to the development of the world (and no longer possible given the polution and carbon hungry nature of steam); and my childhood spent catching steam trains. While pollution is bad for the universe, I sill miss the smell of burning coal, the hiss of steam, the whoosh of pistons, and the clanking of steel wheels on rail. It was like they say, a steel horse. it was as if it were alive, pulsating and vibrating, thrumming and moving, a living, breathing beast.

As a child growing up in Nottinghamshire, I was fortunate in my love of trains to live near a rail line and to see steam trains daily. My father took me across Nottinghamshire to indulge me in transpotting (taking down the numbers of the trains coming past and looking out for well-known or famous locos. On my way to school I had to pass by a major goods marshalling yard, and it was fun to observe the manoeuvres of locos and wagons. As a child coming to Australia I discovered that steam was just as much a part of the rail system here, even though it was slowly being phased out for diesel.

My passion segued to rail modelling. So in many ways I pay homage to steam trains, and I miss them because they were such a part of my life, the sounds, smells, feelings and visual are part of me. I do enjoy diesel and electric too, but it just isn’t the same.


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There is a certain dignity in architecture and engineering, but nothing that truly compares with nature. The photo captures both. This is Tone Bridge which is a humble country road bridge, but a feat of engineering nonetheless. And Nature dignifies Tone Bridge by providing a mirror image but also the perfect frame of beauty. The Bridge would be nothing without its setting which is also part of its purpose – to cross Tone river. The natural scene on its own would be sufficient, in comparison it outshines the engineering, nature self dignifies.


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via Daily Prompt: Inhabit


Macropus fuliginosus or the Wester Grey Kangaroo (also invariably known as the black faced, sooty, or Mallee Kangaroo) inhabits most of the south of Australia from Kangaroo Island through the southern half of Western Australia. It differs from the Eastern Grey, and the Red Kangaroo. The Eastern Grey doesn’t move beyond the border of Western New South Wales (NSW), but the Western Grey goes as far as NSW. Apparently the two Greys do not interbreed, but do coexist well. Greys can breed twice a year, but the much bigger Red kangaroo (found across the middle of Australia and to the north) only breeds once a year. And there are of course Wallabies, tree and rock kangaroos and Quokkas which are small macropods.

Like the platypus, the kangaroo was a mystery to the early explorers like James Cook (1770) and later Matthew Flinders (1802) were at a loss to classify, even describe adequately, this amazing creature. It famously hops to travel, it is a mammal, a herbivore, and the females rear the young from a pouch (or fold of skin where the females nipples are – and to which the developing joey is permanently attached).

The Kangaroo forms part of Australia’s national animal emblem, but kangaroo meat is also served in restaurants.

The photo above was taken a few years ago when I was at Windy Harbour on the south coast, this particular kangaroo was grazing until I stopped the car and got out to take her pic, then she was alert and ready to bolt away. They don’t trust humans and for good reason, we are its only true predator.


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Lyn and I went to Poland back in 2013 to see Anna’s parents, Jon and Anna went in December 2012 ahead of us, and we went in January 2013, ah yes European winter! We constantly used the trams and trains.  The trams came in two sizes (as above), large and mini trams, which ran alongside or nearby each other. Mini trams feeding the larger distribution lines. Naturally, in order to work as an integrated system, the trams and trains, and busses, were synchronised. Not only that, they tended to run regularly and on time. They were fun to hop on, and they worked well. Wish we had such a system here, it would help neutralise the car dependency Australians have, which is partly due to inadequate public transport in the very first place.


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The Bush

Following my thoughts on Visceral and the Australian bush, I was reading a quote from Thomas Berry:

We need the sun, the moon, the stars, the rivers, and the mountains and birds, the fish and the sea, to evoke a world of mystery, and to evoke the sacred.

I’m with Berry,


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via Daily Prompt: Visceral


What moves you? The gut is where we feel it, hence the connection of viscera or gut tissue with feelings. Injustice, grief, injury, insult, passion, joy, love. Music, art, poetry. Nature. All visceral because we have a gut response. The Greeks had a wonderfully expressive word for it splanchna (σπλαγχνα), which to my ear sounds like a word for guts. Say it a few times and you’ll get the same feeling I’m sure.

Many things move me. I have music that transports me to other dimensions, art that evokes many responses, poetry that I dearly love, photos that help me re-member (to member back together the body of knowledge), relationships that speak love without actually speaking.

I am also deeply saddened by pain and hurt in  my life and in the world. The plight of refugees, the ever abiding issue of debilitating and alienating poverty, racism, sexism, classism, and ismism. The many stories of brutalised people bring tears.

One of the more visceral joys for me is to spend time with Lyn and friends taking in the Australian bush. I wonder how many of you find the bush somehow, perhaps difficult to put into words, spiritual or life-giving?

The bush for me is smells, colours, textures, even visceral in its own gutsyness, yet also its fragility. It is place to recover, refresh, rediscover and reframe. I feel healthier, more aware, more myself, after days in the bush.


The Photo shows part of Jindalee (Giles Breakaway), it was a wonderful time there, and one to revisit. I hope you have a favourite place to go to.



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