Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Princess Julia in her element

from w
Pictures coming from the Cook Islands show a very happy Oz Prime Minister Julia waving to the crowds and being treated like a Princess.  The Raratonga people certainly have given a rousing welcome in a traditional way for the delegates to the Pacific Island Forum. Alas, Fiji just ain't there, banned from the Forum, etc. etc.
from The Australian:

At last PM rides high on the poles

From the moment she touched down in the Cook Islands - 5000km and four time zones from Newspolls, budgets and Tony Abbott - Julia Gillard was feted like a Pacific queen. A floral lei was placed around her neck as she arrived at Rarotonga airport with her partner, Tim Mathieson, before she was hoisted onto a wooden chair borne by eight Cook Islanders. Like the other leaders descending on the tiny outpost for this week's Pacific Islands Forum, the Prime Minister was carried to the opening ceremony surrounded by drummers and dancers.

Friday, August 24, 2012

While you were sleeping, well - resting

from w

I sat in the medical waiting room the other day for nearly three hours as my lovely man did some tests. I had fasted 12 hours earlier to keep him company, and now I had my sketchbook out because I knew the blood tests every hour would be exasperating. I did go for a walk to Maccas  nearby - to the restroom,  not to buy breakfast, and did a quick sketch at the lights of the view of rooftops. Here is the result  -  three pictures, the original is the one with pink. And by the way, the medical results were good, better than my rather stolid drawing from Ryrie Street.

And then later I added colour to some earlier sketches - one was overlooking the Werribee River at Myrniong and the others the shoreline at Point Lonsdale.

Not Maccas on the Great Ocean Road I hope

from w
I'm not too sure about this idea of opening up State Forests and the Great Ocean Road to developers. Even though they say it will be specially monitored as to suitability I can envisage Maccas at the Apostles rocks once the idea gets into real estate down there.  A themed hub at Loch Ard Gorge might be interesting but there are already museums etc in the nearby town and also there is Glenample, the house nearby where Eva Carmichael recovered after the shipwreck.  Small eco-friendly lodges for overnight accommodation for walkers might be okay though.
From today's Geelong Advertiser.

Otways open for private investment

JUST GREAT: Tourism operators say the change will be a huge boost to the Great Ocean Road and the Otways.
ENVIRONMENTAL guardians are on alert and tourism chiefs delighted after the Victorian Government announced it would open Great Otway National Park to private development.
Coalition leaders said yesterday policy reforms would allow environmentally sensitive tourism investment in national parks, bringing Victoria into line with other states.
Leases of up to 99 years would be heavily conditioned by strict guidelines.
Geelong Otway Tourism chief Roger Grant said the move was long-awaited and promised to responsibly unlock immense potential.
"In all honesty I would rate this as one of the most important decisions in relation to tourism in decades," Mr Grant said.
"One of our genuine competitive advantages is nature-based tourism and not to be able to have the private sector deliver to capitalise on that has been one of our greatest constraints.

"For years you've heard me talk about the Great Ocean Road being transformed into a driveway to Kangaroo Island, we've now got the Great Ocean Road destination management plan which has identified critical infrastructure projects.
"Now the Government's response means the private sector can get engaged in some of the projects."
He cited a $100 million interpretive hub at Loch Ard Gorge, a resort at Port Campbell and the Great Ocean Walk among prime projects requiring backing.
"The Great Ocean Walk has a $10 million project cost, looking at further trail infrastructure to transform it from a fantastic local walk to a walk of international status," Mr Grant said.
Otways environment group representatives said yesterday they wanted to see the state's guidelines before making major statements, but Surf Coast Shire Greens councillor Simon Northeast expressed immediate alarm.
"When it comes to national parks this government can't be trusted, they're responsible for cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park and I'd be concerned with what they considered environmentally appropriate," he said. "I'd be sceptical and I'd be worried."
Colac Otway Shire president Steve Hart said he would have reservations about development of commercial lodges.
Friends of the Eastern Otways spokeswoman Margaret McDonald said the group opposed development within the national park.
Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells said park leases of up to 99 years would be subject to tight environmental controls and no investment proposals would be considered in areas classified as wilderness parks, wilderness zones, reference areas or remote and natural areas

At Melton Uniting Church

from w
I went to a re-union of the Emmaus community last Saturday at Melton Uniting Church. The venue was interesting because the building was a mix of very old and new, one part about 150 years old, and then newer sections which are lighter and more comfortable. I think it's a pity when old styles are kept up for heritage reasons (and the demands re insurance and upgrade re horrendous) because the old longitudinal designs are not as good as circular shapes I reckon. Anyway I took a few photos in between a barbecue and a gathering of friends.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

sketches and photos at Myrniong

from w
It's a cold morning so I stayed indoors and looked at some of the sketches and photos from my recent weekend in Myrniong for the Emmaus Walk weekend. I used Gimp though I'm not sure what Gimp can really do except make huge files that Picasa doesn't want to reduce in size!   And blogger doesn't like big files either.  Anyway these are of the rocks seen from above when I walked below our camp or of the lake edge near our conference room.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Little Michelle's baptism

from w

This morning our church doubled in congregation with visiting Tongan families for the baptism of little Michelle. It was an upbeat service, lots of good music and heaps of children around.  And of course an abundant morning tea.