Friday, August 16, 2013

from w
Television ads are often better than the programs these days.  Here's one that is exceptionally good - about dairy farmers and has the right spirit about it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Guinea pigs

from w
Fuzzie the new guinea pig has settled in but Izzie is mainly indifferent and the first three days of excitement. They now circle around one another, not really pals. Izzie was crook for ten days, lost a top tooth (was it a fight or accident?) so could only eat grass - like spaghetti, but he has grown a new tooth so is okay. Meanwhile Peceli and I are preparing for a trip overseas so we are sorting out summer clothes - a quarter to recycle to op shops or DIK, a quarter to the tip, a quarter to give away in the village, a quarter to keep. Too many clothes - ten sulu, ten muumuu etc. We spent an hour yesterday at the local laundromat because it is hard to dry clothes these days.

Monday, August 12, 2013


from w
We had another lovely weekend in Colac, Saturday pastoral visiting and what a brave lot of men and women they are with aging difficulties. Church this morning with a warm welcome. We had a spare two hours yesterday so picked up delicious pizza slices etc. from Thwaites bakery and drove to Gellibrand 25 minutes away. Peceli kept saying - when are we gonna get there - and when we did - there were only half a dozen shops. It's the landscape that is marvellous in that area - huge trees in forests and rolling hills of cleared land with dairying and beef. We had our picnic at a designed rest spot where there were several cut tin sculptures that were celebrating the pioneers of the district.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you

from w
And also sometimes....
And it's my birthday today too!

Who will win the seat of Corangamite?

from w
It's in Labour hands at present by a minute majority, though for years of was Conservative. I think Liberal might win it back this time. It's mainly rural people from south-west Victoria though a chunk of Geelong - over the Barwon River border was added to shift the balance.  (Our family lives in the area of Corio, up till now a very safe Labour seat, currently with a pleasant gentleman representing Corio who was at the Pacific Desk and now is in the front bench with a focus on Trade.When I did the ABC questionaire I came out as 70% Green which is interesting.)
From SBS.

Snapshot: Corangamite - Australia's most marginal seat
5 AUG 2013, 5:00 PM   -   SOURCE: SBS STAFF

Take a look at the nation's most marginal seat, Corangamite, in the south-western corner of Victoria.   CORANGAMITE (Labor 0.5%)
Corangamite is one of the original 75 divisions contested at the nation's very first federal election in 1901. The electorate is named after Lake Corangamite, which is derived from the Aboriginal word for "bitter", a refence to the lake's salt content. 

Corangamite was a marginal seat until 1930, switching between the likes of the Protectionist Party, Country Party and United Australia Party. The seat shifted hands to the newly-formed Liberal Party between the 1940s and 1990s, but more contemporary redistributions and demographic changes have seen the seat held by Labor on increasingly slim margins since 2007.
The electorate's hub of Geelong has made headlines after the closure of major car manufacturing plants and significant job losses.

The division sits in the south-western corner of Victoria and is home to iconic tourist attractions such as the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles. A large rural shire, Corangamite is characterised by rugged coastline, rainforest and lakes areas as well as pastoral lands. industries include primary production (beef, dairy, sheep), manufacturing, tourism and retail. 

The division stretches from Skipton in the north, covering Meredith, Ocean Grove, Geelong, Colac, Lorne and Apollo Bay in the south. Most of the seat's voters live in Geelong.


Most of the division's population was born in Australia (84%), with the largest overseas-born community arriving from the United Kingdom (5%), according to 2011 census data. Each year, the seat hosts the annual
 Robert Burns Scottish Festival. The medium age of voters is 41 years and the average household size consists of 2.5 people. The largest proportion of the Corangamite electorate consists of two parent families with children under the age of 15 (25%). 

In the electorate's hub of Geelong, most households (12.1%) earn between $78,000-$103,999 annually, which matches the national average.  
The seat is currently held by Labor MP Darren Cheeseman, who is running for re-election against the Liberal Party's Sarah Henderson. The two faced each other in the 2010 election, with Mr Cheeseman winning on the nation's slimmest margin after a swing of 0.44% to the Liberal Party. Labor's Darren Cheeseman is running with a jobs plan for Geelong, saying employment would be the biggest issue in the election campaign. He is also pledging upgrades to school infrastructure and education programs as part of Labor's broader Gonski reforms. The Liberal's Sarah Henderson has outlined policy commitments around infrastructure upgrades, including a $1.5 billion highway upgrade for Geelong commuters as well as $50 million to improve the Great Ocean Road and boost the tourism sector.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Have you ever made a pipe organ rumble?

from w
Have you ever made a pipe organ rumble?  Because that's what they can do!  I never was taught to play one but when I was 17 I was studying in Melbourne, doing some piano studies but wanted to have a go at a big church organ, so fronted up to Christ Church (Anglican) South Yarra and asked could I practice there. Rather a bold thing to do as I was a real novice. Anyway I taught myself a bit about stops and foot pedals.  Since then only rarely do I play a pipe organ, just occasionally in one of the Geelong churches but I'm not very good. Mainly I play a modern instrument at East Geelong, another kind that tries to mimic a pipe organ. But it can't rumble. And for church I actually prefer the piano, so as not to overwhelm the singing.  We have a super young musician helping now, a Japanese student who plays the clarinet beautifully.
Anyway what triggered this post was that there are some good organists in Geelong, such as the organist at St David's Uniting in Newtown. I don't think they go in for clapping and drums and bands there!  This is from the Weekly Review which I read this morning, catching up with the free Geelong newspapers.

The pipes are calling

11:54:AM 01/08/2013
Kim Norbury
Brendon Lukin started learning the organ as a six-year-old. But it was at 12 that his love affair with the instrument really began.
“I was playing the electronic organ and then at 12 I got to hear my first big pipe organ. It was just so exciting. I loved the sound, I loved the power,” Lukin says.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked.”
About the same time, it was suggested he join his brother in the local band. 
Lukin didn’t see the need to play anything but the organ and says he was dragged kicking and screaming to meet 
the bandmaster. 
“The bandmaster asked me what I wanted to play and I said the flute,” he says.
“But he said, ‘No, you don’t want to play the flute. We have 20 flute players in our band but we have no one playing the tuba’.
“He took me out the back to the storeroom and handed me this dirty hunk of metal and said, ‘I want you to play this’ … so I started having lessons.”
It was no half-hearted effort by Lukin. He went on to win world competitions and has played with the Melbourne Symphony, the Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, to name a few.
Despite the success on the tuba, Lukin says he has always regarded it as fun and the organ as his serious instrument and passion.
He has played the organ in concert halls and churches in Europe, Asia and the US. One of his most memorable concerts was in 2000, in the smallest and most intimate venue he has played.
“I could say the Gewandhaus in Leipzig or the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam … or London, but it was a performance in a tiny little church in the middle of a wheat field in a village west of Stockholm in Sweden,” he says.
“It was one of those really rare moments in your life when time stops. The sun was setting and the whole church was lit by candles. We were playing beautiful chamber music in this gothic church that looked like nothing had changed there in 500 years. It is a moment that will never leave me.”
Lukin is the organist at St David’s church in Newtown. The organ there has about 1000 pipes – 
small in comparison to some of the instruments Lukin has played.
“The first time they let me on the Melbourne Town Hall organ (about 10,000 pipes), I just sat there and thought where do I begin?” he says.
“I had it sorted out in about an hour but in the 
first five minutes [I didn’t know what to think] … I mean you’re controlling nearly 10,000 pipes – it’s 
that massive.”
While the popularity of the organ has declined over the years, Lukin isn’t worried about its future. He’s heartened by the number of young students he teaches and is heavily involved in planning events that showcase the instrument. 
At the moment he’s among those lobbying for the big grand concert organ from Hamer Hall to be relocated to Geelong’s Costa Hall. 
“If we don’t take it, it’s going to leave the state,” he says. “It would be great for Costa Hall. There are a lot 
of meetings going on right now about it … and it’s looking positive.” 

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Stick Shed in Murtoa

from w
The Stick Shed in Murtoa is an amazing building - go to for the story. One of the lectionary readings for this coming Sunday is about the parable of the man who built huge barns to keep his wealth and when I saw a picture of the Stick Shed it clicked as relevant, though it was not built for one individual but for a community when there was too much wheat harvest. It certainly has a wonderful look about it, like a cathedral. Murtoa is a small town in the Wimmera but this building might do wonders as a tourist spot.