Home

Early Spring!

Blossoms out during the first week in August! Is this a climate change phenomenon, an El Nino effect or the very dry Winter we have just had? Stradbroke Park - a favourite oval near our house in Kew. Black Wattle in full bloom - sadly, reminds me of "Blouboskraal" this time of year. The King Parrot - she was agreeable and paused for this moment! Two regular Spring visitors - safe terrain - want to avoid Gippsland in a few weeks time! Although Lil B decided on a full charge - met with disdain as these two languidly took off, ...
Read More

“The Briars”

Don the 'puffer jackets', an essential requirement for heading outdoors this time of the year and head out to "The Briars" in Mt. Martha on the Mornington Peninsula! This is what Dedrie and I did last Tuesday with the Port Phillip Probus Club. It certainly was a memorable day - enjoyed by all. It all started off with an early morning drive down the freeway - in the opposite direction to the morning traffic. It was a stark reminder of days past when we battled the traffic on our way into the Melbourne CBD. The vacant concentration of drivers struck ...
Read More

Black Rock – Coastal Walk

Our city has much to offer - all within easy reach. Discovered Black Rock again after visiting my sister Marge in the '80s. The walks along Port Phillip Bay are so well preserved and the revegetation programmes a success. For 'birding' enthusiasts - there are many surprises, from the Blue Wrens in the coastal fringe, to the Albatrosses brooding on the tiny black basalt (I think) islands Coastal walk at Black Rock - many surprises and delights along the way Banksias in bloom Heading towards the Sandringham Yacht Club along the seaweed trail Cormorants and Sea Gulls watching the human ...
Read More

Bullying!

Bullying - much is occupying our media at the moment regarding this 'ever increasing in intensity' social phenomena. My ex-Nababeepian friends have recently touched on this not so delicate subject. Bullying seems to have become a many faceted problem in our Aussie society? Appears to be the same everywhere. Thinking back - Geez bullying was rife in my schooldays, plus a lot of sadism. An incident - never to be forgotten: Just before moving to Nababeep; at Oliver Lodge School - Standard 4. I was a lively kid, but a favourite of Mrs Park our teacher. I got too big ...
Read More

The B-Double

We set out from Townsville along the Bruce Highway. Another one of those North Queensland days, hot, humid but dry as the car bit into the asphalt along the narrow single carriageway. The driver increased speed as we left the outskirts, heading towards the Nickel Refinery at Yabula. The highway meandered into a dip where we could see the intersection looming up ahead. Chris, the driver, reduced speed, planning to make a right turn at the intersection. The car came to a standstill as Chris checked the oncoming traffic, waiting for a safe moment to make the turn. Hot, Townsville ...
Read More

Hyenas and Wild Dogs

The risk manager speaks. On our first night in Maghoto - I "wisely" decided to rather sleep on the camp bed just outside the door of the tent which was fully occupied by Dedrie and Hilda, whereas the space on top of the 4 x 4 was fully occupied by Peter and Ella. I reasoned that I could easily creep into the tent if necessary. I settled for the night under my mosquito net and drifted off to sleep - to be woken by a yell from Peter - "Dad watch out, a hyena at your feet!". In the circle ...
Read More

“With Cat-Like Tread”

As with the policemen in the Pirates of Penzance: "With Cat-Like Tread Upon our prey we steal In silence dread Our cautious way we feel No sound at all We never speak a word A fly's foot-fall Would be distinctly heard" These cats took our breath away! ...
Read More

Maghoto – “Camel Thorn Tree”

Bless you Loxodanta Africana (Elephants)! We came to visit you in your paradise. And what a paradise it was! Earth felt the wound; and Nature from her seat, Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe That all was lost. Paradise Lost. Book ix. Line 782. These magnificent creatures are fleeing into Botswana - from all the killing going on in adjacent countries. Here they felt safe and so did we - privileged to be among them; they stopped us in the road, walked past our tent and one old matriarch had a screaming session, protecting one of the ...
Read More

Central Kalahari

Little did we realise what we were getting ourselves into! We were advised in Maun that the road to Sunday Pan was a cinch. "No worries mate" (the local Botswanian advised us in perfect 'strine' - "take the short cut to Ghanzi - only about 160 km or so - roads are not perfect - but OK". We fell for this and set out on a Saturday morning to tackle the Kalahari Central National Park. The first photo leaves little to the imagination - 77 km of straight, virtually impassable sand road - and thatbefore the gate! At the gate, ...
Read More

Namibia 2016

We trekked down from Ghanzi (Botswana) to Hobas on the edge of the Fish River Canyon - a 10 hour drive (next time - if ever - will plan this thing better!!) But - a never to be forgotten experience - reliving a 5 day trek through the canyon in 1971 ...
Read More

Magaliesberg – Just off the Witwatersrand!

Jessica's wedding provided the incentive to visit the Magaliesberg after an absence of 45 years. The wedding venue was at De Hoek - just off the Magaliesburg - Krugersdorp Road. The Melbournian Green contingent waiting for the ceremony to begin! We missed the turn-off to Rustenburg having then to travel down the Old Main Road through Krugersdorp and Randfontein - both ghettoes now! We arrived on time and lived to tell the story ...
Read More

A Ghost Story

Must tell you about my experience in Coolangatta - the convicts prison converted into a winery near Nowra. During my consulting days I used to stay overnight in this beautiful and picturesque place. They would put me up in the Plumbers' cottage or the Farriers cottage etc. These are still standing from convict days. One night, I had just put the light out when I thought I saw a woman and a child standing in the bathroom door. It was so real that I got a start from it. Didn't give it a further thought though. I went to sleep, ...
Read More

A Trip to Nababeep

I am planning a trip to Nababeep in October. Why go there or do that, and, what is it, is it a place or an activity? Sounds like a sort of 'road runner' with a hooter attached! For those of you who have not had the privilege of studying African Geography, Nababeep is a place in the North West Cape Province of South Africa, where I spent part of my teenage years before being shunted off to boarding school in Cape Town by my parents, with the help of the O'okiep Copper Company. The company not so kindly were instrumental ...
Read More