Monday, April 21, 2014

Royal visitors to Uluru

from w
Today William and Kate are visiting Uluru, so here are some pictures. Nice teeth. Hair needs tying back. The ghost of Diana. Nothing but net ... Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson came up with an ingenious solution to stopping the flies when they broadcast from Uluru this morning. Picture: Instagram Source: Supplied



Shakespeare 450 years on

from w
They are celebrating his birthday I saw in this morning’s TV news. I actually turned on the TV at 8 a.m. – which is unusual but it is so quiet here. So I did a google search for the Swan Hill Shakespearean Festival and also Marjorie McLeod. My hometown is Swan Hill. Okay - it's not about Geelong! Here’s a newspaper item about Marjorie.
Marjorie McLeod was born in Dimboola in 1893, founded the Swan Hill National Theatre directing and producing with the company for many years. Before that she taught speech and was an actor and writer for ABC radio. Marjorie McLeod was the energy behind the annual Shakespearean Festival in Swan Hill.
I was one of her elocution students as my parents tried to knock out the colloquial idioms and country accents. I can do both ‘voices’ today – ordinary and posh! She involved children in the Shakespeare plays during the five-day festival held each year in the Town Hall, the street procession and at Riverside Park doing folk dancing, maypoling etc. I was in Romeo and Juliet (in the crowd) one year. At High School we ‘did’ Shakespeare but I hated reading the part of Lady Macbeth. We did not appreciate Shakespeare’s way with words those days. Today I realize what fine writing it is and what insights into human nature he had and how so many of his words and phrases are used in our English language today.
Shakespeare 450 years on.

They are celebrating his birthday I saw in this morning’s TV news. I actually turned on the TV at 8 a.m. – which is unusual but it is so quiet here.  So I did a google search for the Swan Hill Shakespearean Festival and also Marjorie McLeod.   Here’s a newspaper item about Marjorie.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1300&dat=19800829&id=_eZUAAAAIBAJ&sjid=i5IDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3106,6313510

Marjorie McLeod  was born in Dimboola in 1893, founded the Swan Hill National Theatre  directing and producing with the company for many years. Before that she taught speech and was an actor and writer for ABC radio. Marjorie McLeod was the energy behind the annual Shakespearean Festival in Swan Hill.

I was one of her elocution students as my parents tried to knock out the colloquial idioms and country accents. I can do both ‘voices’ today – ordinary and posh!  She involved children in the Shakespeare plays during the five-day festival held each year in the Town Hall, the street procession and at Riverside Park doing folk dancing, maypoling etc.  I was in Romeo and Juliet (in the crowd) one year.  At High School we ‘did’ Shakespeare but I hated reading the part of Lady Macbeth. We did not appreciate Shakespeare’s way with words those days. Today I realize what fine writing it is and what insights into human nature he had and how so many of his words and phrases are used in our English language today.
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A boltng horse puts Geelong on the Melbourne TV news

from w
Our Mayor Darryn Lyons with a ruff like my guinea pig Fuzzie is in the news again, even the Melbourne news this time. In a stunt for the camera he mounted a horse and it took off down the beach in fine style. Darryn in full mayoral regalia flying. Fortunately when he fell off he was not seriously hurt. What's the next stunt I wonder! To watch the little video on youtube go to
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_Y-Z177gSQ
Or look up the Age story with a video.  http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/flamboyant-geelong-mayor-darryn-lyons-falls-off-galloping-horse-at-barwon-heads-20140421-370ak.html



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bilby George meets another George

from w
A bilby named George at Taronga Zoo had a special visitor this weekend, so here are some photos of their meeting.


Easter Day in East Geelong

from w
A happy Easter Day to you all. We had an early rise, going to Limeburners Point for the Dawn Service but the sun didn't come up bright and shiny until 7.30 when were up at the church Bay Room eating weetbix and hot cross buns. Then worship at 9 with almost a hundred people including five young men and women from Germany. I said Guten morgan to them and also Ich liber diche which caused a smile. The church was full of colourful butterflies. Then morning tea and I chatted with South Geelong older men and women. George's wife Bale is making roti and curry for lunch.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

The secret island near Queenscliff

from w
There's an island off Queenscliffe, accessed by a bridge for those who play golf -  through a checkpoint though - that is very very secretive. It's Swan Island and a base for the military who come and go but not via Queenscliff. Protesters occasionally rock up there and I think fifteen are in a court case at present. Men's secret business. Costs the government many millions a year.  Anyway perhaps the kangaroos know more than we do.
Swan Island near Queenscliffe has become Australia’s finishing school for special forces and counter-terrorism teams. 
 from the Herald Sun newspaper: 
A TOP-secret military island off the coast of Victoria remains a mystery, despite costing taxpayers almost $30 million dollars. The area has been a flurry of action since September 11 with the Australian Defence Force pumping at least $29 million into the compound since July 2009. Despite the multi-million dollar facelift, few people know what goes on inside the facility and which government department is in control.Gangland serial killer Carl Williams was removed from Barwon Prison and escorted to Swan Island with his father George in December 2008. He spent nine days on the military base giving statements to authorities before he was returned to jail.
Three SAS soldiers died on the island in 2007 after their vehicle crashed into the water when they were returning to base.
In 2010 it was rumoured spies from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service were using the 297ha compound along with operatives from overseas.
Queenscliff residents remain in the dark about the island and even local workers are tight-lipped about what goes on behind the fortified gate. “You never hear them and you never see them,’’ according to one Queenscliff local. “They (soldiers) keep to themselves and arrive by boat through the port so we never see them.’’
Bizarrely, the compound demolition field is neighboured by a luxury golf course but players must register at the military checkpoint before crossing to the island.
The base is protected by 3m barbed wire fences and boats are not allowed to approach the island. The ADF has refused to reveal what upgrades have been made but admits millions had been spent on what is one of Australia’s most top secret areas. No information can be found on government websites regarding the base.
Anti-war protests also shone some light on the facility after four people swam to the island in 2010, disconnecting equipment, including emergency satellites. Up to 15 protesters will appear in Geelong Magistrate’s court this week charged with trespass after breaking onto the island in 2013.
Defence refused to reveal if foreign troops such as US special forces have also used the facility.
alex.white@news.com.au

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another bright idea from our mayor with the ruff like Fuzzie the guinea pig

from w
Saw this in tonight's version of the Geelong Advertiser.  Down at Jirrahlinga in Barwon Heads, the Mayor and a delegation from China.

Cashed-up Chinese executives impressed with Geelong’s investment prospects

Chinese investors were in Geelong to learn about potential opportunities in the region an
Chinese investors were in Geelong to learn about potential opportunities in the region and went to Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary as part of their visit. PIC: Peter Ristevski Source: News Limited
Mayor Darryn Lyons fends off a dingo which had a nibble on his mayoral robes. PIC: Peter
Mayor Darryn Lyons fends off a dingo which had a nibble on his mayoral robes. PIC: Peter Ristevski Source: News Limited
A DELEGATION of 30 cashed-up Chinese business executives were impressed by what they were told about investment opportunities in Geelong, according to organisers.
Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons and Enterprise Geelong director Russell Walker welcomed the delegation to Geelong at a morning function at The Pier.
From the meeting area they enjoyed sweeping views of Geelong’s waterfront, and Mayor Lyons pointed out the “grassy knoll” in Eastern Park earmarked for a spa and wellness centre.
Cr Lyons also mentioned the opportunities surrounding his idea for a Chinatown in the CBD, possible along Little Malop St west of Moorabool St.
“One of my personal ambitions is to establish a Chinatown in Central Geelong and we’ve already had some very productive discussions about this with local Chinese business leaders,” Mayor Lyons said.
“I think we have a unique opportunity to create a Chinese business and dining precinct and in my experience such precincts do much to activate cities and are widely welcomed by the community.’’
Delegate and PKU president Liang Naizhong also mentioned the Chinatown plan in his response to the welcome.
“I am told in Geelong that you are going to have a Chinatown,’’ he said. “I am expecting to hear more.’’
Mr Naizhong said he looked forward to hearing more about other investment opportunities in Geelong. The delegation later heard from a number of local businesses looking to explore opportunities to work together.
During its visit the delegation met with the Victorian Government’s Invest Victoria unit.
Enterprise Geelong was part of this presentation and had an opportunity to welcome the group prior to their arrival in Geelong.
Dr Walker said later that the presentations to the delegates had been well received, and the delegates had been impressed with the unique investment opportunities offered by Geelong.
“A lot of them were looking at lifestyle opportunities and Geelong really lends itself to that,’’ he said.
There was also a pleasant surprise for the delegates when they left the meeting room in the form of some native animals supplied by Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary provided two koalas, a wallaby, a dingo and an echidna, but the most popular for photos turned out to be the baby wombat.
Mayor Lyons said he was known as “Wombat” when he was in London.
Darryn Lyons shows off our national wildlife to Chinese investors. PIC: Peter Ristevski
Darryn Lyons shows off our national wildlife to Chinese investors. PIC: Peter Ristevski Source: News Limited

Geelong Animal Welfare celebrates 58 years

from w
Not far down the road in Moolap is the Geelong Animal Welfare, and they celebrated a birthday - 58 years so here's a photo of an inquisitive little cat.  I was considering sending Izzie and Fuzzie there when I was a bit tired of sweeping and feeding and hearing their squeaking from the enclosed verandah, but then I thought that someone might buy them and put them in a cage and they are not used to that. They have the freedom of roaming at will within the large verandah.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Swan Hill High girls - sixty years on

from w
Meeting up with seven friends yesterday in Melbourne brought back so many memories of childhood. We were eight women having a Thai lunch together at the Victoria Hotel cafe, who had been in Swan Hill High School Year Eleven together sixty years ago. We were such good friends then so that we are very comfortable with one another even now. We had then been in and out of each other's homes, knowing one another's Mums, sharing adventures, learning, and mild mischief. Some of us shared youth club, church, movies and camps. Country teenagers. Gwen, Sally, Rhonda, Jess, Phyllis, Meryl, Beth. These were my best friends, as close as family members, yet over the years we were neglectful and rarely caught up. By the late 50s most of us had left the home town of Swan Hill to marry, or train as teachers etc, pursue tertiary studies in Bendigo or Melbourne. In those days there were no fees and we even were given a living allowance and free board. So different from today.  It was a lovely day in Melbourne though too much walking meant a hot water bottle and some Deep Heat when I got back home. Thank you to Rhonda for organising our get-together.




Saturday, April 05, 2014

About the film 'Noah'

from w
Have any of you had a chance to see the movie 'Noah'.? Yesterday evening Peceli and I went so I'll post my review of it sometime tomorrow perhaps. The character of Noah is complex as he is obsessed and often violent, not a soft sentimental hero at all (though he's a vegetarian also also can watch a flower grow). The film's narrative has strong psychological elements as well as being an epic with ideas that Tolkien would have written into the Noah legend/myth perhaps. As the Noah story (and there are a score of other flood stories in many countries) is included in the religious books of three world religions - Jew, Islam, Christian, there's sure to be some strong reactions. I think it's worth watching, even though you might frown at some of the excesses, then talk about it with people afterwards.
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Thursday, April 03, 2014

It's easy to forget it all, but some people still care

from w
Diversitat and local refugee action groups are organising a rally on Saturday.

Geelong to rally for asylum seekers


An asylum seeker boat.
An asylum seeker boat. Source: News LimitedORGANISERS expect hundreds of people to rally in central Geelong on Saturday in support of asylum seekers and calling for end to mandatory detention.
Geelong’s Combined Refugee Action Group has convened the rally in response to growing concern over treatment of people exercising their humanitarian right to seek asylum.
More than 700 people crowded the group’s last event at Geelong West Town Hall.
“The idea of course is to focus attention on the situation in respect of those on Manus Island and Nauru, the difficulties they are encountering and the care for them,” group spokesman Monsignor James Murray said.
“They’re being treated as illegal and in fact they’re not and more and more people are becoming concerned about the situation and wanting to do something about it.
“The voice of the people in a democracy is so important.”
The rally will be in Little Malop St from 12.30pm.
Speakers will include Bishop Peter Danaher of Newtown’s All Saints Anglican Church, counsellor Jason Brown, group member Linda Cusworth and a Tamil refugee from Melbourne.
Monsignor Murray urged people to attend.
“Asylum seekers and refugees are in fear of their lives and we’re not giving them the help and support they need,” Monsignor Murray said.
“So many are traumatised. They might think Australia would treat them a bit better but unfortunately we’re not at the moment.”