Monday, May 28, 2012

A couple of drawings

from w A couple of drawings from this week, but they are a bit ordinary. One from a park in Colac, the other view from a hotel room in Dandenong.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Truly modern hotel

from w Our friends in Dandenong kindly accommodated Peceli and me at the Ramada Encore Hotel in Dandenong and I am so old-fashioned re being tech savy that I found the technology of a modern hotel something of a wonder. No keys, only a card to open a door, or even to get car into the driveway, no lights in the room without a card. Electronic doors etc. are not my thing as I'm claustrophic so the first thing I did when we got inside our nice room was to open up a blind to see a garden of stones and rocks outside. An illusion of nature really as we were in the middle of a large city. Ramada Encore is an excellent place of course, with a good room, then a fine breakfast and free internet. Thank you Nigel for arranging our accommodation. Most of the guests at breakfast were Japanese tourists and the food included a large assortment of Japanese food - bit different from our slap-happy breakfasts in Geelong. I might surprise the grand-kids one morning by 'putting on the style' with eggs, bacon, sausages, fruit, mushrooms, the lot.

Weekend in Dandenong

from w Saturday and Sunday at Dandenong turned out to be a wonderful treat for Peceli and me as we spent the weekend with friends from Dandenong for the celebration at the Trinity Uniting Church for the Fijian congregation's twentieth birthday. Abundant hospitality. Beautiful friendships renewed. Dancing and singing and a fine church service for Pentecost. Many migrants from Fiji were there and our connections go back decades. Truly a blessing. Here is just a photo of some of the crowd after Sunday lunch. More photos on our babasiga blog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Red Doggie of the Pilbara

from w In the Age today they call her 'Queen of the Pilbara' but I think 'Red Doggie of the Pilbara' might be better, keeping in mind that gorgeous Red Dog of the movie. But there is a difference, the wildness and wonder of that dog is rather different from the world's richest woman, Gina Rinehart who 'earns' from $600 a second (!!!) or the average Australian annual wage every 2 and a half minutes! Or $51.7 million a day. What a life. But as someone said on Red Symon's radio program this morning, who is rich - the woman whose children sue her and take her to court, or ordinary men women who have a good relationship with their children? Or have a low income but still can give time and money to the less fortunate. Hmmm. So much for Australia keeping out of the financial mess of many other countries - Okay, 'Without you...' as the song goes, it's people like Gina who amass wealth through mining that makes it deceptive about the financial situation in Australia. It is the wealth from what's under the ground, not growing on the land, or in the manufactoring businesses. Money mainly moves around because there are pensioners who have to spend all of their weekly entitlements. Oh, the lucky country we live in! IF only people like Gina would give something substantial to build hospitals and schools and medical research.


from w Red Rock near Colac has a wonderful view of about thirty extinct volcanos and we were there recently to explore the landcapes surrounding Colac. They used to have a sunrise service there at Easter time. The other drawing is of Dog Rocks near Batesford about 20 minutes out of Geelong. I'd taken photos at both locations but weather (cold wind and threatening rain) meant I couldn't stay long to draw on site so these are based on photos.

Monday, May 21, 2012


from w. On Saturday midday Peceli and I drove west from Colac to look at the area known as the Stony Rises, expecting to see large round rocks like Dog Rocks, but it was quite different - rough rocks and mostly used in stone-wall fences made perhaps 150 years ago by the farmers as fences. No cement, just rocks fitted together. They go for many kilometres. We also unexpectedly found a huge shed filled with 'trash' and 'treasure' the Pombo Mart, and a welcoming cafe where we had coffee and scones. An interesting place though I didn't buy any antiques. It's up for sale apparently. The town of Pombeneit (spelling?) seems to be only a few houses and this huge shed.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A beautiful church

from w, I like curved lines in a building, or plan in a hexagonal shape. NaranaCreations Aboriginal centre does this with some of the buildings out at Grovedale and it looks so much nicer than the usual square or oblong shaped buildings. That's why I really like the modern look of St Mary's Catholic Church in Colac, for the interior shape and for the details, especially the starburst design in the ceiling. The stained glass windows are modern and small and you can still see the outside world, the lawns, trees, and beyond is Lake Colac. Someone suggested that they got the design from Canberra.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Volunteers Week

from w Volunteers are a great resource in any community and there are all kinds of activities that engage people in doing something about our society by giving up some of their time. Certainly most people that I know do some kind of voluntary work - Meals on Wheels, Do-Care, catering for meals for the disadvantaged, caring for injured animals, cleaning up weeds in reserves, packing books, computers, beds, clothing, kitchenware at Donation in Kind, fund-raising for a pool for disabled children, State Emergency Services, mentoring youth, visiting a local prison, go abroad to Nepal to work in an orphanage, work for low pay in non-government organisations throughout the world - and the list is very long. This week is an opportunity to say thank you. I would like to link the kind of help that many people do to a Christian imperative to do something to build up the Kingdom of God - heal the sick, visit the prisoner, feed the hungry and so on.
VOLUNTEERS WEEK A GREAT CHANCE FOR GEELONG COMMUNITY TO LEND A HAND Shadow Minister for Volunteers John Eren today called on the Geelong residents to roll up their sleeves and volunteer with charity and community organisations as part of National Volunteers Week. Visiting the Salvation Army Northside Centre at Corio, Mr Eren pledged his support as a volunteer. Mr Eren said National Volunteers Week, which runs from May 14 to 20, was the perfect opportunity for Victorians to get involved and give something back to their local communities. “National Volunteers Week is not only an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful work volunteers do in our community, but a chance for Victorians to get involved and volunteer,” Mr Eren said. “Whether it is the local charity, health, environment, emergency service or sporting organisations, volunteers are the lifeblood of the community. “I am pledging my support as a volunteer to the Salvation Army Northside Centre and I urge anyone in the Geelong community who is able to commit some time to help others to become a volunteer. “The Salvation Army Northside Centre is assisted by more than 40 volunteers who do amazing work supporting 600 people per week. “Without volunteers many charitable and community organisations wouldn’t be able to do the fantastic work they do. “Australians have a proud history of volunteering, contributing more than 700 million hours of community service annually. “This year’s National Volunteers Week theme – Every One Counts – could not be further from the truth as volunteers are very much valued, not only by the organisations they assist but also by the people within the community who receive assistance from volunteers.”

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Too true

from w Dick Smith alerts readers on what is happening with the capitalist businesses such as Aldi and Costco and Australian products. Too true. Aussie Dick Smith attacks Aldi and Costco May 11, 2012 Read later Ads by Google Free Forex Four Simple Steps to Making Your First Spot Forex Trade. Start Here. AAP Entrepreneur Dick Smith says foreign retail giants Aldi and Costco are pushing local producers out of business with "capitalist" business models. Mr Smith says competition pressure from foreign-owned stores makes it harder for local producers to sell to Australian supermarkets Coles and Woolworths. German-owned Aldi had a greater turnover of stock and consistently offered below-cost products from overseas, he told a Senate inquiry into Australia's food-processing sector in Canberra on Friday. Advertisement: Story continues below Local producers couldn't match the low prices and were pushed out. "Then they put the price back up again," Mr Smith told the committee hearing. The operator of Dick Smith Foods, which markets Australian-grown products, said these pricing practices made it hard for him to compete against famous brands - including Cottee's, Arnott's, Golden Circle and Edgell - that were now foreign-owned. It was a characteristic of capitalism that it didn't create competition but removed it, he said. He also blamed Aldi and US chain store Costco for last year's milk price war, sparked by Coles slashing the price of milk to $1 a litre. "I think Coles and Woolworths are reacting to the situation where we have encouraged Aldi and Costco to come here," he said. "Coles have lost market share to Woolworths and have to get it back. It's just capitalism working." Mr Smith said had seen tonnes of oranges dumped in Mildura and had intervened to stop an Australian beetroot farmer from burying his crop earlier this year. He bought the crop, canned it for 90 cents per can, and offered it to Coles and Woolworths for $1. But Aldi started selling a similar product for 75 cents, and the Australian supermarket chains were forced to match the price. "It normally sells for $1.50," Mr Smith said. "I presume from now on all of the beetroot will come from overseas." Mr Smith said he was reluctant to complain to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission because it was likely nothing illegal had taken place. © 2012 AAP

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dog Rocks

from w After dropping Epa off for his rugby game against Monash Uni, we drove along the Ballarat Road to Batesford and stopped at the Dog Rocks Hotel, asking for directions to Dog Rocks! The turn-off is less than one k further on. Anyway we found a reserve called Dog Rocks but it was just scrub, but further on was a hillside covered in very large rocks - that is the site but it's all fenced off with sheep in the paddock. I'd always wanted to visit this site for some drawing but I could only take photos really unless I clambered over a fence, like the gentleman in another car who took his photos standing on a rock. Here are some of my pictures anyway. Rain threatened and we left quickly and returned to Geelong via Fyansford.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A park in Colac

from w. Though it was a cool day we stopped for a break in a pleasant park in Murray Street Colac the other weekend, and I made two sketches there - of a rotunda and of a fountain. The other drawing here is a view from our caravan on a foggy morning.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Red Rock and Inverleigh

from w We again went to Colac for church work at the weekend and one of the parishioners took us for a lovely drive to see his family dairy farm and then to Lake Corangimite and Red Rock. One the way back to Geelong yesterday we drove via Inverleigh as we are interested in where the Barwon River comes and goes so took photos at the Bell Bridge there.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Dancing in a shearing shed

from w Last weekend Peceli and I were in the town of Colac working for the Uniting Church there and on Saturday night we attended a kind of bush dance in a shearing shed of a family connected with the church. The fund-raising was for a twenty-one year old girl who is going to Nepal as a volunteer to work in an orphanage. It was a fun night with the shed decorated with lights. The farmers raise special sheep such as Border Leicesters and only use the shed occasionally. It smelt good to me as our family spent our childhood playing in my father's shearing sheds. Here are a few pictures I took on Saturday night.