Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Communicate to Connect.

Communication involves much more than words; it involves the entire body. The stance of the body, body language, gestures, tone, pitch, volume, eye contact and content are all elements of communication. Words are merely the tools one employs to do the work, however they are very powerful tools. I liken them to a power tool such as a power saw or drill. These tools need to be handled with care and are not to be flung around carelessly because we know they are dangerous and can cause much harm if not used with caution. Words too, flung around carelessly, can cause irreparable damage.

Imagine how irritating a power tool would be if it continued on and on long after its job had been done. It’s the same with words; unnecessary repetition, sometimes called nagging, is unproductive.

Deep Love Quotes and Sayings | The Dark Secrets
Image : The Dark Secrets.

Five levels of communication have been identified.

Level #1: The Cliche Level. At this level we say something like, “How are you?” This level of communication does not wait for a response, nor does it expect one. If there is a response it’s usually something like, ” Yeah, good.” Even if you are feeling anything but good. Both parties realise that at this level there is no real invitation to communicate.

Level #2: We report facts. At this level we report facts to one another. We talk about the weather, sport, the news, the government, other people, although not always with the facts; this is known as gossip! As long as we don’t get close to exposing ourselves, or how we might feel about anything we can talk for quite a while at this level.

Level #3: We report the facts and mention how we feel about them. At this level we are starting to get warm! We can help facilitate the move from level 2 to level 3 by asking the speaker, “How do you feel about……..?” This question indicates that we are listening and have an interest in the person. Often people are led into understanding themselves better or finding a solution to a problem when they are encouraged to articulate their feelings.

Level #4: We begin to reveal ourselves. We talk about ideas rather than other people. We discuss our likes and dislikes, our plans, our goals and dreams.

Level #5: We are transparent to the other person; our mask is off! We reveal our true selves, we admit our deepest fears and confess our faults. We ask to be accepted and loved for nothing more and nothing less than who we truly are. We connect heart and soul.

It is a sad fact that many people, even those in close relationships, never get past the third level of communication. Communication demands much than words. It requires time, the mouth, eyes, body, mind, soul and heart. But mostly it requires the courage to say, “This is who I am and when I speak with you I will be honest enough to reveal some of my precious self to you.”

This is communication to connect.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

# The 3 Rs: Roma, Rolleston, Rockhampton.

We are really up to Q and I was going to write about Queenstown in Tasmania but it is a little while since we did our Tassie road trip so I am jumping straight onto R because that trip, which we arrived home from yesterday, is fresh in my mind.

I could not count the number of road trips I have made from South-East Queensland to Central Queensland over the decades, or the number of times I have driven The Bruce, The Burnett or The Leichhardt Highways, or combinations of these. But this trip was different, amidst all the familiar places we travelled some new roads and visited some places for the first time.

So firstly to Roma some 350 klms from home along the Warrego Highway. This was my first visit to Roma and for sure it will not be the last. We coincided this trip at a time when my niece, her hubby and a collection of their family were in Roma for a Brangus Bull sale. We loved Bakearoma Bakery and Coffee Lounge in the main street, the bottle-tree lined streets and Heroes Avenue lined with bottle trees for each of the districts fallen soldiers in WW1.

The Roma Clock outside Bakearoma.
Roma’s Heroes Avenue

We always make a point of leaving money in smaller towns and so went to the Golders store and hubby bought Australian Sheepskin ugg boots for next winter. The lovely young woman who served us added a further discount to the already sale price as a thank you for our patronage and as a nod to hubby’s military service.

Ace Drapers is a famous Roma Haberdashery; it is overflowing with stock and has become a Roma legend; the saying that people visit Roma just to see it is quite correct. As we sat at dinner in Rolleston the night after leaving Roma we overheard a group of grey nomads discussing their next stop, which would be Roma, and saying, we must go to that drapery everyone talks about! Personally, I was not temped by Ace’s. We sat outside for awhile and I looked in and yes it is overflowing with stock. Maybe I’ll venture in next visit; people keep telling me I should!

As always for me it is the people who make life and the opportunity to catch up with loved ones and share in a part of their life and livelihood was the highlight of my Roma visit. We braved the Roma Sale Yards and I have to say Roma was full of cattle trucks coming and going and the atmosphere was filled with the very earthy smell they bring. It is a good honest smell!

We left Roma via Injune bound for the Carnarvon Gorge on the Carnarvon Highway. Our trip into the Gorge itself was a reconnaissance tour to suss out the area for a later visit. We chatted to all sorts of folk and I kept on hearing Takarakka which is a Bush Resort close by, so I ascertained this is the place to stay for a few days to take in the natural beauty of the Gorge. It really is spectacular! So that is a trip for the future!

So onward to Rolleston. I did not know anything about Rolleston but choose a night there for the location. Rolleston is the crossroads of the Carnarvon, Dawson and Gregory Highways and that is about all! Its other claim to fame is that is is the closest town to the north of Carnarvon. We spent the night at the motel attached to the pub. The pub food was good but the accommodation very basic.

The next morning we took the Dawson Highway over to Bauhinia to meet up with the Fitzroy Development Road which took us through the Aboriginal Settlement of Woorabinda ( more of that story when we get to W) and over to the Capricorn Highway at Duaringa and eastwards into Rockhampton. Now I am in my old stamping grounds.

We travelled 2441 klms driving on The Warrego, Carnarvon, Dawson, Bruce, Burnett, Isis, D’agular and New England Highways as well as The Fitzroy Development Road. We drove on wide, dusty, gravel roads, on dusty, dirt tracks, on thin strips of bitumen with scary drop-offs on the shoulders, well sealed roads and fast four lane highways. We travelled from bull sales in the bush to the geographical wonder of the Carnarvon Gorge, to high-rise beach-side apartments at Yeppoon, to historical Seventeen-Seventy, to beautiful Bargara and home to our spectacular, spring time Garden City.

But for all of that it was a tour of visitation; it was a time of catching up with so many wonderful and beautiful people; a walk down memory lane. Next blog is about the people! I love our beautiful sunburnt country and I love travelling through it, for me though, usually quite predominately in the mix, it’s the people we are on our way to visit. They are my everyday heroes and it is they who make my life truly rich and I hope I never replace people with places or things.

I Love a Sunburnt Country

#P is for Puckapunyal.

Puckapunyal is a great word; don’t you think? It is an Australian English word derived from a local Aboriginal language. It makes the cut for this blog because of its great name and the role the town plays in our Aussie story.

Situated about 100klms north of Melbourne in Victoria, Puckapunyal is an Australian Army Training facility near the town of Seymour. The connection with military goes back to the early 20th Century when a Light Horse troop was established at Seymour. In the 1920s, post WWI, Puckapunyal became more prominent as a military base and in the 1960s it was the location of basic military training for Vietnam conscripts.

Puckapunyal is immortalised in the opening lines of Redgum’s famous single Only Nineteen also known as A walk in the light green, released in 1983. This song is a haunting account of the personal cost to Aussie veterans of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

I recall seeing Redgum live in the mid 1980s and their performance of Only Nineteen gave me goosebumps then and it still does! As a teacher I have used it many times as a teaching tool; studying the lyrics in poetry units in English, in History units or Australian Identity units.

Mum and Dad and Danny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal,

It was a long March from cadets.

Writing of passing out parades reminds me of my son’s passing out parade at Cerberus.

The Navy values of Service, Courage, Respect, Integrity and Excellence are on prominent display around the quadrangle which made me feel rather proud but the professionalism of these young Aussies made me even prouder.

The graduating recruits went through their passing out parade routine dressed only in their ceremonial whites and were completely soaked; as a spectator I was freezing cold and I was wearing warm clothing and was completely dry! Talk about raining on your parade, well this group experienced the real deal.

I would love to live in a peaceful world but it seems humans are simply unable to sustain peacefulness. Therefore we need places such as Puckapunyal, Cerberus and other military training sites. And we also need the young men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line and be aware that they may pay the ultimate price.

When the Vietnam veterans returned to Australia, they were shunned and even ridiculed for taking part in a war which many Australians felt we had no right or responsibility to be a part of. It was many years before those war-torn soldiers could march on ANZAC Day with the same respect WW1 and WW2 service persons were afforded.

Have a listen to Redgum’s Only Nineteen. It is goosebump worthy!

I will have to upload the song separately.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

# O is for The Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road Itinerary | Melbourne to Adelaide | 4 Days 3 Nights
And this is it! The Great Ocean Road hugging the Victorian coastline

I know this fabulous heritage listed Aussie road begins with a G however we are going to concentrate on the Ocean part of the name. One could use any number of superlatives to describe this Great, Grand, Beautiful, Scenic, Amazing, Historic Ocean Road which is noted for the breathtaking views of the ocean it affords. The Great Ocean Road snakes along the Victorian coastline for 243 km, hugging sandstone and limestone cliffs, passing by forests, popular seaside locations and offering breathtakingly beautiful views of the wild expanse of ocean between the southern coastline of Australia and Antarctica.

The Great Ocean Road begins at Torquay and finishes around Port Fairy.

We flew from Brisbane to Melbourne and hired a car to drive, via The Great Ocean Road, from Melbourne to Adelaide. Like many icons in Australia, the Great Ocean Road has a story which is woven into the history of our wonderful nation. It is actually Australia’s largest and permanent war memorial, built by returned servicemen in honour of those who died fighting in World War 1.  

Memorial Arch
Image :Memorial Arch on the Great Ocean Road Source:https://greatoceanroadmelbournetours.com.au/

The construction of the road was at times literally hewn out of rock using only picks, shovels and horse-drawn carts; there was no heavy machinery to help – but for the returned servicemen it was an opportunity of employment and a chance to rebuild their lives as well as a perpetual remembrance to the so many of their countrymen who did not come home.

The road is testament to the resilience of the human spirit as well as to the paradox that such ocean cleansing beauty can rise from the absolutely horrific experiences of war. The Great Ocean Road is a feat of engineering and a salute to blood, sweat, tears and toil. The road was officially opened in 1932 and is one of the best driving experiences not only in Australia but in the World.

Of course a drive along the Great Ocean Road is not complete without a visit to the Port Campbell National Park from where one can view the 12 Apostles, although there are presently only 8 standing. The apostles are limestone pillars that were once connected to the mainland cliffs but have been carved from the ocean and winds into tall pillars. They are another of those iconic images of Australia. I recall the whipping winds as we stood on the viewing platform and understood why this section of coast is known as the Shipwreck Coast.

12 Apostles Flight Adventure from Torquay, Tour, Great Ocean Road,  Victoria, Australia
Image: Visit Melbourne.

Australia is an island nation and we are surrounded by oceans and seas; the Pacific, Southern and Indian oceans  as well as the Timor, Tasman and Coral Seas. So one can find coastal routes all over the country and they are indeed beautiful but Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is one not to be missed.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

#N is for Nowhere Else.

Image found on Facebook.

We were driving through Tasmania on our way to Sheffield, the town in Tasmania that is an outdoor art gallery because of all the murals painted on the walls of the town, when we saw the sign to Nowhere Else. Crazy little name really because regardless of where we are in life at that particular time we are at Nowhere Else.

So for this blog I thought I would write about a few of the N locations of interest in Australia; and while you are in any one of them you would be in Nowhere Else.

#1) Australia’s Nullarbor Plain stretches from Ceduna in South Australia and covers about 1000 kms to Norseman in Western Australia. The name comes from the Latin null meaning none and arbor meaning trees. So The Nullarbor is literally a highway, through an area of no trees and not much else either, which forms part of the 2,695.5 km National Highway from Adelaide to Perth.

Even today it is an expedition to cross the Nullarbor by road. The Indian Pacific Train which travels from Sydney to Perth crosses the Nullarbor; but my favourite way to get from one side of Australia to the other is by air.

Big pineapple Nambour - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Big Pineapple Nambour – ABC News

#2) Nambour is a sweet little town nestled in between the mountain ranges that make up the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the beautiful Sunshine Coast. The area was once a sugar cane growing district but now has a heritage-listed tourist attraction in the shape of the Big Pineapple landmark. The Big Pineapple opened in 1971 and has just celebrated its 50th birthday.

Nimbin | Visit North Coast NSW
https://www.visitnorthcoast.com.au/Nimbin; Highly Colourful and just plain High.

#3) Nimbin is a perfect picture village situated in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales. It is approximately 70 km west of Byron Bay and the whole area is known for its alternative flair and lifestyle; where as the rich and famous tend to congregate around Byron, the slightly more alternative and less rich and famous gravitate to Nimbin.

Just popping in a couple of local quotes; Nimbin is known the world over as Australia’s most famous hippie destination and alternative lifestyle capital. Nimbin – Nimbin – Lismore & Nimbin Tourism (visitnimbin.com.au)

Nimbin is a lush hinterland town located 1 hour and 15 minutes inland from Byron Bay. Known as a hub for counterculture and alternative social activities,… Nimbin NSW | Official byronbay.com Guide. I think you get the picture. Nimbin was a prosperous dairy farming and timber area before becoming a magnet for alternative recluse. It is now a popular location for tourists to visit.

Some other Ns to Google; Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast which is a popular surfing spot and its main street; Hastings Street, where an eclectic mix of high cafe society , sophisticated shopping and just going to the beach collide.

Nambucca Heads on the mid northern New South Wales coast is a relaxed seaside town so named because the tranquil Nambucca River flows into the ocean here. Nambucca boasts lovely, lazy beaches and a sparkling estuary filled with bird and sea life as well as nearby rainforest.

#4) My final N is for Nobby a little village which is home to Rudd’s Pub, and the birthplace of the On my Selection novels and radio serial of Dad and Dave by the author Steele Rudd. Steele Rudd’s family had settled on a selection near Nobby in Queensland and it is said that he found inspiration for his writing among his drinking mates at the Nobby Pub. The best part about Nobby is that it is just a 20 minute drive from home. We often take our visitors there for lunch; it is a step back into another time and a showcase for good old Aussie history.

Headstone in Nobby Cemetery: Image Wikipedia commons.

Of further interest at Nobby is the Sister Elizabeth Kenny memorial. Sister Kenny, a Nobby resident, was recognised globally for her revolutionary treatment of polio victims in the early to mid twentieth century. Rather than accepting the common method of immobilising muscles as treatment for polio, she proved that exercising the muscles improved patient recovery. https://www.queensland.com/

My goodness, the interesting things one can find and learn right at their doorstep. All I know is that for me I am happy to be Nowhere Else!

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

# M is for Mount Morgan.

Mount Morgan is just 40 kms to the south west of Rockhampton. Gold was discovered there in 1882 and Mount Morgan, referred to as the mountain of gold, was regarded as one of Australia’s most important gold strikes. Mount Morgan was mined for 99 years and yielded a total of 225,000 kg of gold, 50,000 kg of silver and 360,000 tonnes of copper.https://www.mountmorgan.org.au

The Mount Morgan Historical Museum is a real gem and we spent ages poking around in there. Definitely worth a visit.

Mount Morgan: Historical Museum
Mount Morgan: Historical Museum Historical Museum, Mount Morgan, Queensland, Image:Targethonda

Mount Morgan makes this blog because my father was born there in 1914 ( see image below) when his parents were business owners in the bustling gold mining town. My mother, although born in the Yeppoon hospital in 1912, soon moved to Mt Morgan which was her home until 1938 when she married my father.

12th July 1914. It’s old and not too clear but this is the front cover of the Bible given to my father when he was the first baby to be christened in the Mount Morgan Protestant Hall on July 12th
1914 by the Rev. H.P. Hare.

In my father’s family there was 1 son born and then 7 girls, then he and then 4 more boys. Thirteen children were born. One of those girls, Muriel, was a six month old baby sleeping in her mother’s arms as they travelled on a crowded train from Rockhampton to Mt. Morgan. The train lurched and a large man who had been standing nearby lost his balance and fell on the baby, causing her death. She is listed in the Mount Morgan Cemetery Burial Index as passing away in 1908.

My mother’s family of origin were a non English speaking Welsh family (the Jones’) who arrived in Queensland, Australia in 1861 and settled in the Mt Morgan area. I grew up with names such as Mt Morgan, Moongan, Moonmera, Baree, Struck Oil, Poison Creek and Razorback featuring in my mother’s stories. My mother was one of 8. The only girl with 7 brothers who, from all accounts, thought she was pretty special. They lived in Moongan at the top of Razorback and my mother would tell how she and her brothers would race down Razorback to rescue people whose brakes had failed on the steep downhill incline. Today Razorback is sealed, up graded and much of the pinch has been taken out for the 2000 odd vehicles which travel it daily, but there is still a little section of steep climb.

So, Mount Morgan, another of those little Aussie towns with a big story to tell and for me this one is quite close to the heart.

The train came up razorback on a rack because the climb was so steep.
Unknown author – Aust.Rail. Hist. Soc. Bulletin 12/1950
Image is of a rack train climbing towards Mount Morgan: This image is in the public space.
Lilian Rhoda Mary JONES
Well, all I can say is it is amazing what one can find on Google. I Googled my mother’s maiden name to see what came up and I was quite amazed to see quite a lot of information and images. I have put only one up here as the quality is not too flash. It is a photograph of my mother on her 21st birthday. Here is the blurb on my mother in the public space! They got it pretty right except she and my father had 7 little Australians; not 1.
Born in Yeppoon, Queensland, Australia on 31 Oct 1912 to David William JONES and Mary Anne Rowe (Polly) THORNE. Lilian Rhoda Mary JONES married Arthur Marrison JOHNSON and had 1 child. She passed away on 21 Jun 1975 in Gracemere, Queensland, Australia.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

# K is for Katoomba.

Don’t you just love our Australian names? If you have been following, and as we continue through the A-Z of Australian locations, there will be a number of unusual names, many of them a reflection of Australian aboriginal culture. So today we are at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, approximately a 2 hour drive west of Sydney, in New South Wales.

The Blue Mountains are not mountains so much as a high plateau of sandstone with deeply gouged canyons and densely wooded valleys which indeed appear to be “blue”. There is a very scientific reason for this but suffice to say, in my layman’s terms, the blue haze is due to eucalyptus oil emitted from the eucalyptus trees, which mixed with dust, water droplets and refracted light create a blue haze. Check google for a more detailed description.

An outdoor gallery for Katoomba – the Katoomba Street Art Walk | Blue  Mountains Getaways
The Katoomba Street Art Walk: Image: Blue Mountains Getaways.

Katoomba is the jewel in the Blue Mountains municipality and earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to spend a week there in a sweet little Airbnb. We were within walking distance of Echo Point, The Three Sisters, the Katoomba Falls and Scenic World and a short drive to Katoomba’s main drag. Katoomba is a eclectic mix of tourism, arts and crafts, spectacular wilderness scenery, temperate rain forest bush walks and late 19th Century charm.

Echo Point is the viewing platform for the Three Sisters, a most iconic landmark and one of the most photographed natural features of Australia. Legend has it that the sisters were three beautiful, aboriginal maidens who were in love with three man from a neighbouring tribe, but just like Romeo and Juliet, custom and tribal allegiance forbid them to marry. The sisters were turned into stone to prevent the men taking them by force and it was fully planned that they would be restored to flesh and blood after the danger had passed. Unfortunately, Kuradjuri, who had the power to do this, was killed in a tribal war and no-one since has been able to break his spell. So the sisters stand majestically and overlook the most beautiful and wonderful scenery and pre-covid were admired by approximately 2 million visitors annually.

Review: Small Group Blue Mountains Tour - The Big Bus
The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. Image:the bigbus.com.au

In #B in this series of blogs I wrote about the Bunya Mountains and the deeply spiritual and mystical vibration emitted from the Bunyas. Well, the Blue Mountains have the same effect. Being in these breathtakingly beautiful surroundings is an awesome experience which is both calming and healing.

A trip to the Blue Mountains is not complete without a visit to Scenic World. This privately owned tourist attraction is located in a World Heritage listed temperate rain forest. Here visitors ride the Scenic Railway which hurtles down a steep incline at breakneck speed to the bottom of the valley floor. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it’s the steepest railway in the world and was originally built to be part of the Katoomba mining tramways that were constructed in the late 1800s. With a measure of 52-degree incline (128% incline). Source: Scenic Railway Blue Mountains (bluemountainstoursydney.com.au)

Images:the bigbus.com.au

On one of our trips to the Blue Mountains we took the train from Sydney Central Station the the Blue Mountains, alighting at Katoomba from where we caught the Big Red Bus for sightseeing and visited Scenic World.

Blue Mountains Day Tour w/ Scenic World Rides - The Big Bus
The Cableway climbing right up the rock face and returning visitors to the top of the escarpment and to the left the Scenic railway speeding down to the valley floor.
Scenic World in Katoomba, Blue Mountains
Skyway at Scenic World in the Blue Mountians. Image: Visit NSW.

At Scenic World we took the railway to the bottom of the valley floor and after a walk through the rain forest took the cable car back to the top of the escarpment. But the best is the Skyway which takes its 720 metre journey from clifftop to clifftop across this ancient landscape providing marvelous views of the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls and the rain forest filled ravines below through the glass floor.

Katoomba, we will be back to experience the stunning magnificence of the Blue Mountains and enjoy all your beauty.

I Love a Sunburnt Country.

#J is for Jerilderie

Ned Kelly Raid Trail - The Riverina
Image:Ned Kelly Raid Trail Riverina @ Taste The Riverina

Jerilderie is located on the Newell Highway in the southern Riverina region of New South Wales. The Riverina is a prosperous agricultural area due to the irrigation schemes of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers. The area is known for citrus, stone fruit, wine grapes and vegetables as well as grain crops of wheat, oats and rice along with dairying and some sheep and cattle.

Jerilderie Letter by Ned Kelly
Image: Goodreads.

But Jerilderie makes the cut for this blog because it is the only place in New South Wales to be visited by Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang and it is the location of the Jerilderie Letter.

In 1879 the Jerilderie Letter was dictated by Ned Kelly and written by Joe Byrne, a member of the Kelly Gang. It is 56 pages of 8000 words giving Kelly’s side of his story and claims that he is “forced” into becoming an outlaw because of corrupt police and unfair treatment of Irish Catholics.Transcription | National Museum of Australia (nma.gov.au) The letter can be found in the National Museum of Australia and the link above should open to show a transcript of its contents.

Ned Kelly’s armour on display at Ned Kelly | State Library Victoria (slv.vic.gov.au)

Ned Kelly has made his way into Australian Folklore. Some consider Kelly a victim of circumstance and poverty, some consider him a hero of the underdog, while others consider him a villain. Regardless of your point of view, Kelly was a bush ranger who held up and robbed stage coaches and banks, he was a deft hand at cattle and horse theft and he did shoot 3 police officers at Stringybark Creek. Still, for the right or the wrong reasons, he lives on in classrooms, films, novels and history long, long beyond his 25 years on earth.

I have visited the Old Melbourne Gaol and stood in Ned’s prison cell. I also visited the cell of his mother, who was imprisoned at the time and working in the prison laundry while her son was being hanged on 11th November 1880. When the tour guide took us the the spot of the hanging gallows I had to leave; I was feeling quite faint, as I sometimes do, when confronted with just how horrible we humans can be to one another.

On a brighter note, when my son was still in his teens he spent 6 months on a Green Corps Environmental project in the small town of Braidwood, midway between Canberra and Bateman’s Bay in New South Wales. I went to visit and found that he and his mates were living in an old mill house which had been used as the gaol in the 1969 Ned Kelly film in which Mick Jagger (yes, the one of Rolling Stones fame) was the character of Ned Kelly. I recall doing lots of cleaning, cooking and walking on those glorious blue skied, sunshiney, yet bracingly cold days.

Mick Jagger in the 1969 film 'Ned Kelly'. Photo: B&DHS
 Mick Jagger in the 1970 film ‘Ned Kelly’ filmed in Braidwood and surrounds. Jagger is dressed as a policeman for a scene where Kelly (played by Jagger) had audaciously disguised himself as a policeman for one of his bushranging raids. Picture: Braidwood & District Historical Society

So, J is for Jerilderie; another of those small Aussie towns (population 1,029 in the 2016 census) but with a big story to tell.

Wisdom Slice

Wisdom Slice.

To 1 cup of knowledge add
1 cup of self control
1 cup of kindness
1 cup of humility
Break 2 eggs of self righteousness and mix into dry ingredients
Melt 250 gms of pride and arrogance and mix with
1/2 cup self sacrifice.
Pour into dry ingredients.
Add a pinch of compassion.
Mix well.
Spread mixture into slice baking tray.
Smash a 250 grm bar of greed
And sprinkle over mixture.
Bake in a moderately hot oven of gratitude for 35 mins.
Test with stress skewer and if skewer comes out with no trace of bitterness, Wisdom Slice is cooked.
Garnish with peace.
Serve with patience.

Recipe by Estelle D July 2021.

Everything Passes

Everything passes,the good and the bad,
Life is full of seasons supported by reasons that everything needs to be renewed,
Therefore it comes to pass but not to stay,
For nothing lasts forever; although it can seem so at the time,
So refrain from any action that's destructive or rash,
For some things once done cannot be undone,
But keep focus on the light,
It will come again,
And appear all the brighter,
Because you have passed through the night.

Poetry by Estelle D.2021

I Love a Sunburnt County.

# I is for Island.

Australia is a continent and and island; the smallest continent and the largest island on the globe. Adding to that we have, according to National Geographic, 8,222 islands which lie in Australian waters. So I think it is fitting that for the letter I we take a look at some of those islands.

Apart from Tasmania, which is our island state and a state of Australia in its own right, we have wonderful islands dotted all around our coastline. The largest of these is Kangaroo Island off South Australia. It can be accessed from Adelaide by plane or ferry and made global news on the summer of 2019/ 2020 when much of the island was ravaged by disastrous bush fires. Thankfully, mother nature has a way of regeneration and Kangaroo Island is testament to that. Google Kangaroo Island and see for yourself the images of the times of the fires and the images of one year on.

Fraser Island, off the Queensland coast, is the largest sand island in the world and since 1992 has been an UNESCO World heritage site listing. The best way to get to Fraser Island is by ferry or barge from Hervey Bay, which is the whale watching capital of Australia, or from Rainbow Beach.

Time and space allow me to mention only a handful of our islands. Moreton Bay off of Brisbane is a chock with islands both big and small. Peel Island was a leper colony in the early 20th Century. Peel has a population of 0 but it is a wonderful day and short stay stop for boaties in Moreton bay. St Helena was Brisbane’s convict island and by all accounts an exceptionally harsh penal colony at that. And then there is the beautiful North Stradbroke Island to the south of Moreton Bay and Moreton Island to the north of the bay.

There are the wonderful Whitsunday Islands in North Queensland and Great Keppel Island in Keppel Bay on the Capricorn Coast.The list goes on for over another 8000 times!

Writing this reminds me of the poem, No man is an Island by John Donne. Just like those 8222 islands are all a part of Australia, so we are all parts of one another. And just like all the islands around our shore lines that are beautiful, interesting, unique, showcases of amazing nature, creation and history, all with a story to tell, so are we all. And every part of nature, creation and humanity needs to be protected. To what and whom are you giving your protection today? For what we give to others we give also to ourselves and conversely what we take from others we take also from ourselves. Choose to be a giver and protector then everyone can be richer.