Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sketches of sculptures at Anglesea

from w
I made three sketches near the river at Anglesea and they don't look the same as the photographs - sketches rarely do as we may simplify the shapes, delete some things, move shapes around. Anyway here are two of the original sketches I made, then some I fiddled with and altered three of them.

Friday, January 25, 2013

In Anglesea

from w
Today Peceli and I drove down to Anglesea, a pretty town divided by a river that runs into the sea. The purpose of our trip was to attend the funeral of a much loved elderly Uniting Church minister, the Rev Alex Peerman. It was a large gathering, dignified, and enlightening about his life of service mainly in Vanuatu. Later we drove to a place near the river to sketch and take photos. It was a children's playground with many sculptures -pillars Aboriginal in style, an octopus, and a shark. Probably carved by Glenn Romanis, an Aboriginal artist. A lovely place.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

SDL Party are clever

from w
They have kept the initials of the old party but have a new name in English. They are winding up the party and assets and will start afresh. Good luck then.
From Fiji Village;
The new SDL revealed while the old SDL dissolved
Publish date/time: 25/01/2013 [17:03]
The Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party has been dissolved today and work has now started to set up a new party with the same initials to be known as the Social Democratic Liberal Party.

This is after a Special General Meeting at the Fijian Teachers Association Hall today where more than 100 supporters were present.

SDL patron and one of the founders of the party Ro Teimumu Kepa said this is the last meeting under the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party as a political party.

She said under the Registration of Political Parties Decree, all parties have to have their names in the English language and they have no option.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please loginto listen.

She said the main purpose of the meeting today was to voluntarily wind up the assets and liabilities of the party and to dissolve the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua.

Ro Teimumu said this step has to be taken based on the current circumstances.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please loginto listen.

She said the challenge now is to form a new party under the Political Parties Decree.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please loginto listen.

The proposed Social Democratic Liberal Party will need 5,000 registered members who are also registered voters.

Ratu Jone Kubuabola said after they have secured the members’ signatures, a meeting will be called to appoint the executives of the proposed Social Democratic Liberal Party.

With the voluntary winding up of the assets and liabilities, the proposed SDL has time beyond the February 14th deadline as it is not re-registering as the old SDL.

However, the old SDL has to ensure that it does not hold itself out to be a party after the deadline and has to wind up.

If they fail to do that, then under the decree the party will be wound up.

The proposed party will only exist as a party when it is given the official registration by the Registrar after meeting all the requirements.

Story by:
 Vijay Narayan & Watisoni Butabua

Australia Day and flag designs

from w
There's been a discussion on the ABC radio - middle of the night - and it's a warm night so so I woke up - about the Aussie flag and that sporting events can use an alternative design - e.g. green and gold. However, when thinking about Australia Day - January 26th and a holiday on Monday -  probably the current Australian flag means a lot to many people. However others think we don't need the Union Jack in the corner. And there's no reference to the original Australian indigenous people. Some alternative ideas have been presented. I like the kangaroo in it somewhere.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Quiet beach in Fiji

from w
Here's a sketch I made on a quiet beach on Malolo Island, away from the tourists and music, just the lapping of water.  Time and tide had worn away part of the tree, probably a tavola tree which is in many old Fijian chants as 'I dreamt as I sat under the tavola tree.'

Kangaroos in the suburb

from w, from today's Geelong Advertiser.
Why are the kangaroos coming to town instead of staying in the back paddocks or out in the bush? It's urban development I suppose, so many housing developments where there once was just grassy land.

Rescue operation as roos take refuge in the suburbs

HOPPING MAD: The wallaby that jumped into Sue Kelly's Grovedale back yard. Photo: SUE KELLY.
GEELONG wildlife rescuers are responding to up to 30 sightings of kangaroos and wallabies on the hop in suburban streets each week.
While Grovedale and Waurn Ponds are hot spots, the bouncing macropods are frequently being removed from areas across the city, including the CBD.
Grovedale resident Sue Kelly and her pet labrador were taken by surprise when a wallaby hopped over a fence into their Burke Court back yard yesterday morning.
"I heard this noise that sounded like someone was dragging a foam surfboard though the yard," she said.
Leopold Wildlife Shelter and Wildlife Rescue owner David Burrell said there had been five further sightings of the wallaby after it made an escape over Mrs Kelly's fence and down the road. At least one wallaby or kangaroo was being removed from the Geelong area each day, many having become displaced due to urban development.
"They like to come out at night and they can hide out for years in town without being noticed, eating from gardens," he said.

"We've removed them from Ryrie and Moorabool streets and we've had a couple at Geelong station lately."
Mr Burrell said the animals had also been known to jump off piers into Corio bay when pursued, swimming for up to an hour before coming back to land.
After being caught by hand, they are transported to the You Yangs or Anglesea bushlands.
Anyone with a wallaby or kangaroo in their yard or street should call Leopold Wildlife Shelter and Wildlife Rescue on 0409 002 258

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bushfires still burning

from w
In some parts of Australia there are bushfires still burning and not only are homes and property damaged but many animals die or are suffering. Here are two pictures of firefighters helping injured animals - a goat and a kangaroo.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Favourite animal, favourite movie

from w
If I was asked - 'What is your favourite animal?' I would immediately respond, 'The tiger!'  (The picture below is from National Geographic.) But if someone asked 'What is your favourite movie?' I couldn't pick one. I'd have to name dozens - not all brilliant, but for me they were memorable for some reason or another. Not much fantasy there, mostly romantic drama. Something where the life of the hero or heroine mattered. Not many of them end up happily either.  Perhaps 'Diva' is first - the operatic music is fabulous, and the simple story of a young man obsessed with a singer just works well. 'Black Orpheus'  - again it is the music. 'Death in Venice' - strange and set in Venice and also the music.

Diva                             East of Eden                          Death in Venice
Wizard of Oz               The Bodyguard                      Gone with the Wind
Shawshank Redemption                  Black Orpheus                Roman Holiday
Doctor Zhivago               Dirty Rotten Scoundrels                 American in Paris
Ryan’s Daughter                           The Piano                    North by Northwest
Sound of Music                      Forrest Gump                 The Year of Living Dangerously
The quiet American               The Green Mile                   Rebecca
Island in the Sun                    Ruthless people              To kill a mockingbird                
Coming to America              Dead Poet’s Society                 Shrek
Guess who’s coming to dinner       African Queen             Gandhi
The Constant Gardener              Slumdog Millionaire             

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Australia's most liveable cities

from w
Suncorp sorted out statistics for Australia's most liveable city and out of 30 Geelong came in as 25.  Launceston in Tasmania came in first.  Stats were for various aspects of community life.  Although some people used to call Geelong 'Sleepy Hollow' I would think that many people do consider Geelong to be a top city to live in.  I'm surprised that in the education stats Geelong came in at 27th because we do have a university, a TAFE, prestige colleges such as Geelong Grammar and Geelong College and International. Statistics of course depend on the criteria and methodology of the authors. There are two areas for health - one is how often people visit a GP, the other is an assessment of personal health by the people used in the data collection. The website with all the details is found at

25. Geelong – The Cliff City
Health 1
Health 2
Child Care

Monday, January 14, 2013

Recycling books

from w
Though our house is full of books, in the lounge room, in the computer room, in the passage, there is always a compulsion to collect more! On Sunday at Altona Meadows/Laverton Uniting Church where we have a Fijian service, someone had kindly spread scores of books on a table for people to take and give a donation to the Uniting Church welfare program. I couldn't resist. They were various kinds of theological books donated from elderly clergy I expect. So this was a precious find, so now I am delving into them. Some are dated but interesting take on women in the priesthood - what people thought in the 80s which is now a 'taken for granted' right for women to be ministers. Others were just beautiful books - on icons or hymns with fine illustrations.  Some I can pass on to our Worship committee in East Geelong.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fred Flanagan

from w
One of Geelong's favourite sons is Fred Flanagan who played for the local footie team, the Cats.  My Dad once told me that he taught a little kid called Freddie Flanagan to kick a football. That must have been eighty years ago .

Cats great Flanagan dies at 88

DUAL Geelong premiership captain Fred Flanagan died this morning, aged 88.
Flanagan, regarded as one of the club's greatest ever players, captained the Cats to back-to-back flags in 1951/52 and was runner-up in the 1950 Brownlow Medal.

``Fred was a great man and a great Geelong man,'' Geelong CEO Brian Cook told the GFC website.

``Fred's record as a player speaks for itself, but it is the man himself that was special.

``We will all miss Fred's friendship and we offer our deepest condolences to Pauline and to their family.''

Post your tribute to Fred Flanagan
Flanagan played 163 games for the Cats and was also a veteran of World War II.

He is a member of Geelong's team of the century and was inducted into the AFl Hall of Fame in 1998. He won the Cats' best and fairest in 1949 and represented Victoria 21 times.

Playing music for the legal fraternity

from w
I was a bit intimidated by the legal fraternity, some dressed in wigs and all, several clergy in white albs, an acapella choir dressed in black, a harpist, when I had to play the St Andrews Uniting Church pipe organ this morning for the commencement of the Legal Year with an ecumenical service.  However it was a lovely service with fine words about justice. The acapella group sang a song that was 400 years old, and my playing was serviceable until I started enjoying myself and pulled out a Full Organ stop for the last verse of the 23rd Psalm and for the Saint Saens - a bit from his organ concerto but a more modern reggae version called 'If I had the words'..  I haven't played that Fincham organ for several years so was a bit worried about which stops to use. Going early to practice however didn't really work out as the acapella singing group took most of the half-hour for their practice as their leader had come down from Melbourne and wanted it all perfect. Anyway I earned my cup of coffee this morning and was able to catch up with some friends from St Andrews too.!

I wrote an irreverent short story about a pipe organist and it's on this blog. Go to

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dance then wherever you may be

from w
Words from the Sydney Carter song - Lord of the Dance, but also I like the following verse:
"You've gotta' dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.
(And speak from the heart to be heard.)”
-William W. Purkey

 Here's a pic I did of the Whirling Dervishes who dance to qawali music. The Sufis are a very peaceful Muslim community who emphasise spirituality, poetry, music and dance. That sounds very fine to me

 I miss one women's group that functioned in Geelong for a few years - our Women's Interfaith group which met in the Peace room at one of Diversitat's venues. It was a lovely group of women from a variety spiritual backgrounds but we got along fine.

Gold Wedding Celebration

from w

This afternoon two friends celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary with an afternoon tea up at the Geelong East Uniting Church. Congratulations Barbara and Bob. They first met at 17 when they commenced studies to be high school teachers and were married before their first teaching appointments at Timboon. Such a long time ago!  It was a very nice party and I talked with a few people that I had never known before - friends and relatives of the couple. Bob and Barb have been very kind to me in the past year, especially when they sponsored my retreat weekend, called the Emmaus Walk at  a beautiful camp-site at Myrniong.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

An alphabet for today's children

from w
This was posted on facebook and from this Grandma's point of view, hey, the world has changed a lot. It used to be 'A is for apple'!  How many of the icons below do you know?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sketches at Point Henry

from w
Here are some biro sketches at Point Henry, the Alcoa plant just out of Geelong. This is where the first European settlers arrived in sailing ships to start a new life in Australia. Of course Australia was already settled by the indigenous people, the Aboriginal tribes, but that was discounted and Australia was called 'an empty land' there for the taking.  So when boat people make their perilous way to Australia, we need to remind ourselves that many of our ancestors came, uninvited, to this land also.

Day in the life of a pet rabbit

Day in the life of Ozzie, the rabbit. Thump on the door to the house at 7 a.m. demanding breakfast. Share a plate with Izzie. Tease him a bit. Run in circles around Wendy to show that I own her. Try to eat her clothes.  Chew rug.  Watch the cars go by. Eat again. Go to the naughty corner and do my bit for recycling composting etc. Rest up a bit and then do my stretch exercises. Annoy Izzie again until he runs into the tunnel under the sofa where I chucked out the stuffing. Eat again.  Watch the cars go by  etc. etc.

Monday, January 07, 2013

On the Newcomb bus

The bus leapt the predictable bump in the lower end of the suburban street. 'Some drivers race up here like a bat in hell,' said a small woman with bright pink lipstick.
The bus was half-full, surprising on a very hot morning, but jobs had to be done, doctors visited, bills paid.
'Yep,' said a woman with fat arms and wearing a sleeveless cotton shift in candy stripes. 'Some driver don't wait until the new passengers sit down.'
The small woman with pink lipstick said, 'They try to kill me, some of those drivers do.' 
Others muttered in assent.
The woman in a candy-striped dress suddenly said, 'Paris would be nice in the spring.'
The small woman said, 'I've been there. Paris isn't so marvellous at all. The people are rude. And it smells.'
Candy frowned. 'But there's more. Chartres. Montmartre.' Then crouched back into the vinyl. She doesn't really know at all, and there she is again, in the past. Should have gone there when she was twenty-three. The plan  to meet other art students had failed.
The small woman went on. 'The train stations smell of urine.'
'But the women are elegant, even though both men and women look like their pet dogs.'  Foolish remarks often come out of her mouth as the dementia sets in, thinks Candy.
Another past-her-prime woman, bland and with grey hair pulled tightly back sat nearby. 'I'm going to France, ' she said quietly. 'I’m selling the car. My children think it's foolish, but I want to go.'
Candy looked at this woman who looked as if she wouldn't hurt a fly, and wouldn't go anywhere either. 'To Paris?'
'The countryside.'
'The rural people are better,' chirped in the small woman.
'I'll go with a group.  I don't speak French,' said the woman in grey.
Candy's mind swirled. Monet, Pissaro. Van Goph. Gauguin.  She was a painter too those days.  'So what do you really want to see. The cathedrals?'
'Oh no. The Tour de France.'
The small woman pursed her pink lips. '’The people are very rude in Paris.'’
The grey woman peered at her. 'I'd give back more. I can swear better than any wharfie.'
That was a surprise, and of course they were all in the past. There aren't any wharfies any more now, what with all those brightly painted containers.
'I wonder where the bus will stop this time,' said Candy. 'You never know.'
The driver swung the wheel and turned left into Bellarine Street.
Oh, they would be going to Yarra street. And good, the bus would continue to Geelong West, her destination to purchase groceries now there wasn't a supermarket in the city.
The small woman and the grey woman stepped carefully from the bus intend upon their own journeys. Candy reminisced. Would it have made a difference - going to Paris? Instead of Fiji?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Another identity

from w
Here's another picture from a scrapbook when I was thinking about identity and the kind of woman who is not satisfied with the styles of her peers, contemporaries, her country. Perhaps an Australian woman who loves things from India, so despite the veneer of ordinary life behind the facade of her Californian Bungalow house, she decorates her house with Indian wall hangings, mirror-work, statues of Buddha or an elephant or two, and dresses in a sari or salwar and kamise.

Resolution to downsize

from w
Every New Year I seem to make the same resolution, that is, to downsize my clothes, my books, my computer files, my junk. I would like to have a kind of Japanese style house, minimalist, orderly, neat. And as for clothes, I wear about one tenth of what's there in the cupboard. So some must go to an op shop or to the tip!  Then I look again and decide, no I want to keep this and that. The pic is from one of my scrapbooks - I've been cutting out magazine and newspaper articles and pictures since I was eight years old, and at times, sort them to throw out. It's hard though as I'm a bowerbird by nature.  Now, with seven people in the household, the accumulation is just too much though!