27.2.04

surfing in shark bay
Sydney harbour is usually very placid and surfing needs to be done on ocean beaches.

Here are some photos of waves within the harbour this week.

I don't know how permanent this link may be. Some of the Herald is accessed through pay subscription, but I hope it's OK for a while.

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25.2.04

bogon moths
The large dark shape fluttered up and down my hall. I couldn't tell in the dim light if it was a moth or a butterfly.

My husband declared, "It must be a baygon* moth."

"A what??"

"A baygon moth."

Needless to say it was not a baygon moth, but a Bogon moth a large hairy fluttery moth which used to be eaten by aborigines in the High Country as a source of protein.

*At least in Australia, Baygon is a spray insect killer. A neat transposition of ideas.

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My choices for this week. A much reduced field to choose from, but the choice was still difficult. I've chosen six this week in an attempt to make up for my small choice last week.

moves, movees and mover
no passion for The Passion
a story of the movies
movies with a lot of kids
ID needed
a rant on edited movies

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23.2.04

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Satdy arvo at the pitchers
I have a confession to make. I was a deprived child. I was bitter at my parents who caused the deprivation. You see, I was never allowed to spend Satdy arvo at the pitchers. I lived in what was then a semi-rural outer suburb of Sydney. Horror of horrors, this was before the days of television in Australia and we had to make our own entertainment.

What a dreadful choice lay ahead of me on a Saturday afternoon. I could go to the local park and practise climbing up the support poles for the slippery dip instead of the stairs at the rear. I could stand up on the swing which I was sure was going so high that it would swing over the top bar of the structure. I could stay there and pick daisies and make daisy-chain wreaths to put around my neck.

I could go down to the Parramatta River at the bottom of my street and, if it was low tide, I could get myself quite filthy by climbing around in the mangroves. If I was very lucky, I might even manage to fall in the mud as I stepped on their slippery roots.

I could follow Mr Rowley around. He lived two doors down and had a large poultry farm. I could hold up the eggs to the light to "candle " them before they were graded. I might even be fortunate enough to watch him slit a chicken's throat and gut it for his Sunday roast dinner. I could go with my father to the poultry farm's back paddock and shovel up cow pats into mum's old pram to bring home and put on dad's roses, the best in the district.

One thing I could not do was go to my friend over the road and hit a few balls around on their tennis courts as we did on weekday afternoons. You see, they spent "Satdy arvo at the pitchers." In my mind I was deprived. They would tell me about Roy Rogers, about serials with cliff hanger endings. I learnt about, but didn't experience, rolling Jaffas down the aisles in the vaguely romantic moments the cinema proprietor attempted to screen to a theatre full of youngish people. No such thing as teenagers then. Such a deprived childhood. On Monday I could not discuss the latest serial at school, only the several books I had probably read that weekend. I was told we could not afford such stuff. I knew the friends over the road did not have much money either. We used to discuss things like this as we lay under their plum trees, filling up on beautiful fruit. What I could not see then, but see now, was that they lived from hand to mouth, much as we did. Dad was a teacher when teachers were very poorly paid. However, our house had one advantage. It was filled with books, only two of which were ever denied to me. I could, and did, read everything in the house.

I did not see a movie till my third year at High School. All our year walked into Hornsby to see Lawrence Olivier play Henry V, which was the Shakespearean play we were studying that year. Viven Leigh played his princess. I was in delight. Finally inside a cinema, I swooned over Henry and hung on his every word as he addressed his troops. I can still quote slabs of it. This was much better than reading Shakespeare around the class!

I still don't see many movies. I pick and choose what I go to. I'm still an avid reader, devouring whatever comes my way.

Last year, I returned to that cinema at Hornsby. Despite opposition from the multi-theatre giant in the shopping centre, it is still there, still operating. It even seems to have the same coat of paint as when I first went there. It charges half the price of the giant corporations and not just on cheap Tuesdays. I saw WhaleRider there and all the excitement of the first visit there swept over me.

Deprived child? Well, in my eyes I was. Now, however, I am grateful to my parents for giving me the childhood I had. I wasn't bored then and I had to make my own entertainment. I love spending time outside. And best of all, I am exceedingly grateful for being surrounded from a very early age by masses of books. I'm grateful for their encouragement to read well above my chronological age.

"Satdy arvo at the pitchers?" No thanks.

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22.2.04

Some Australian men marry women from Asian countries, often through marriages arranged by brokers. She gets a lift out of poverty and often sends money back to her family. He gets a wife and family. Of course, there are failures here too and often it is because of the type of person the man is.

I passed a shopfront today, covered with hearts and ribbons. Its name and purpose? Divine interventions, and it is a bureau for arranged marriages.

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