Posted in aging, Family- Memories

How Horrible

How Horrible could it have been?

I recall watching the Queens Coronation on Television  in 1953.  Our TV had a large screen, at least it must have been because My mother and father watched it with me and my brothers and we were not the only people in the room.  I do not think any of our neighbors had a bigger screen

tv I have no recollection of waiting for 15 minutes for the T.V. to warm up.  I expect it was extremely fast because I have no memories of anybody getting fed up of waiting and walking out of the room.
I know that the images on screen were absolutely amazing because one of my earliest memories is of myself hiding behind the front room curtain absolutely petrified at what I am told was the early T.V. series called Quatermass.
I can remember many years later when I was watching my first 23 inch Television that the screen was huge.  To be truthful I do not remember  if I watched the Test Match in colour or back and white. Although I am fairly sure they played with a red ball.

I write this because I was talking to a young person the other day who said “It must have been horrible to look at those tiny screens in the old days”.
“NO”   I told her. “ It was far less horrible than it is today”.

Posted in Family- Memories, Grandad, Poetry

Ode to Grandad

Granddad isn’t doing much these days, he rarely does a thing
He seems unlike his old self, quiet, maybe Reminiscing.

I hope he’s gently rocking peaceful  in an old chair by the fire
he’s probably climbing mountains or recalling old desire

He’s been and done most everything and everywhere, and how.
hope he’s happy and contented to be re-living it all now.

He might be on a troopship, battling a crazy storm
could be fighting game fish on Queensland’s Capricorn.

Nothing that he ever did was ‘one time event that passed ‘
while legs get  frail and pulse is week. His memories have last.

He told me once not long ago. ‘My memories on its knees
I still recall Just everything. .  just not where I left my keys.

Posted in Family- Memories, Love, Poetry

Memory of my Mother.

When we met or talked or touched
I always  I felt the Blue
For there are many colours. .  I felt them all in you.

rainbow

 I have touched the yellow, I have held the green
And I have felt the pain of white
When your colours were not   seen

When once I knew your rainbow, I fondly  grasped the red
I fully owned  your colours
and all my pains were dead .

 

Posted in Drunk, Family- Memories, Ford

Where are the old time traffic cops ?

fairlane

Where are the old time traffic cops?   Not that I was ever a big drinker and it has been  well  over 40 years since I have been guilty of  even the slightest form of  drink driving.

I  recall one evening  back in the 1970’s  when I was pulled over by a traffic cop  for driving along Railway Avenue Mt Isa  in my 1959 Ford Fairlane.  (similar to photo  right)

I loved that car. It had a huge Canadian V8.

The Cop asked me why I was driving on the Highway at  only 10 miles an hour?.   I explained to him that  “I was drunk  and did not want to run anybody over“. That I was nearly home as I lived in the B.S.D barracks  (a few hundred yards up the road)

I recall the Policeman  severely  shaking his head.  He then escorted me home following me in the Police car.    When when  arrived the  barracks  the cop  gave me the biggest bollocking I ever had and threatened to drive me  five miles out of town and make me walk  home if  was ever caught  drunk at the wheel again.

Back in those days I was earning good money.   I could happily pay whatever fine  that he could impose. But The thought of walking  five miles home drunk was  scary enough to keep me  driving sober for the next 40 years.

I have told this story many times,  hoping nobody ever followed it up by locating the cop concerned.   I am guessing that by now he  has safely retired. .  So I can Blog about it  without worrying about  causing this Old Time Cop any  repercussions.

Posted in Camera, Family- Memories

I am evolving like a camera,

As a200px-kodak_brownie_flash_iii teenager  I remember having the vision of an early box brownie camera. I could see most things in reasonable focus. Basically I had a fairly simple black and white vision of the world

I am starting to suspect I could be evolving in parallel with the camera. I am realizing that today I am more aligned to a flying camera drone .

I recently saw a photo taken of surfers on a beach. I had never seen an image that so simply demonstrated that a single individual could cast so long a shadow.

The photo was taken as the sun was going down. I think this is very nice. The view from a modern camera drone matched my current thinking . Better still my sunset is still a fair way away.

Posted in Family- Memories, Owl, Poetry

That’s life

Life is absorbing time, it does it all the while
It de-radiates confusion then stuffs it in a pile.
And when the pile gets bigger, the birds begin to sing
“we are absolutely positive concerning everything”
But old Owl was not happy, he was not where it’s at.
He was not sure that he might die. Time took care of that.

owl

The Eulogy was spoke  next day, up on a piece of wood
and Crow began the Eulogy “Owl tasted pretty good ”.
“Old Owl was far to clever”. . Then Crow recalled the time
that Owl invented colours quite simply in his mind.
and all the creatures in the world, intelligent, or wise
could never see what Owl had seen, not even with their eyes.

Outback Directions

   I never had a good sense of direction. ( absolutely none). I always blamed this weakness that I had evidently developed during my  young adulthood years on my City upbringing.

As a young person if I ever found myself a little bit lost I inevitably reverted to checking directioout the numbers located at front and rear of passing buses.

Buses as a rule have a set route and standing at a bus stop in a city it seemed a quite a natural progressing to develop a growing awareness and understanding that certain bus numbers stick rigidly to a particular route.

 As a youth in the city and finding myself under a rising sun when my only known direction was an awareness that I was heading rapidly towards sobering up. I relied heavily on knowing that the “38 bus” went past my local library and headed up the hill toward, Past the Odeon Picture house, then did a U turn and did the reverse route.

This meant that if I found myself looking at a  38 bus and also a 72 bus, I had a cross reference. The result being that if my  wristwatch said 6.45 A.M. I had no problem navigating my way to work.

Emigrating to Australia I found some of Basic rules my father taught me. One of them being my  ability to locate the North Star to be totally obsolete. On several occasions I found myself blankly looking at the night sky wondering what the hell had happened to “The Stars”. I will admit it, Southern skies to this day totally confuse me. . .  I suspect that some things need to be learned young.

I write this note to excuse myself from an incident that happened when I was working in an outback pub.  On one rainy day I received a phone call from a local resident checking the road conditions. “Was it Raining?”  Asked the caller. “Yes,” I said. “what direction is it coming from”. “This totally stumped me. “It is coming from UP and its heading DOWN” I said.

Posted in Family- Memories, Outback

The Outback Tracker

The car drove up to the old bush pub, and a well dressed city fellow stepped out  and headed towards the bar. “How ya going?” asked the old bearded Bushman perched on a bench on the Pub veranda. “What’s a city fella doing out this way?”.

outback-pub

“I’m looking for some mates that have gone fishing somewhere around here”.

The old bushman wrinkled his face and said “Not good country to be wandering around looking for someone if you don’t know where he’s at . .  Lucky for you I am a bush tracker and I know this area like the back of my hand. Pretty sure I can point you in the right direction”.  The old Bushman smacked his lips, gave a slight nodding of his head and went silent. .

“Can I buy you a beer “ offered the City Guy.

“Sounds like a good Idea” said the bushman, and turned to the only other person on the veranda saying “This gentleman has offered to by us a beer George”

The three men entered the bar. “I did see some tire tracks earlier this morning” said the Bush tracker “Two cars, the first one a four wheel drive, heavy, probably a Land-cruiser, maybe a Patrol. . Followed by a smaller tread, four wheel drive, much lighter, it might have been one of them little Izuzu buggies.  I also saw some footprints at the Junction. Looks like one tall fellow, log legged, town shoes. . Also a weighty bloke with a short stride, thongs,  short stumpy guy?

“YES” said the City fellow, that is them.   George and the Bushman sculled their beers and again sat silently  but with a knowing look . . .

When the second beer arrived, The bush tracker said “If you head back to where you turned off  highway to get to this pub, turn left, about two mile along you will see an old truck tire that is a  marker for a dirt track that leads to the river.   Your pals will be camped a few hundred yards down that track.  The grateful City fellow thanked them and returned to his car and drove off in the indicated direction.

George turned to his  Bush tracking mate and asked, “Was he looking for them two fellows that were here earlier looking for a fishing spot,  I still have the map they gave me to give to them.” and added “Since when were you ever a Bush tracker ? ”

“  I tracked us six beers this morning George.”

Posted in Family- Memories, Outback

Outback Survival….

I was traveling quite well when I heard a ‘pop’. I felt an instant wobble in the steering and I slowly ground to a halt. . . . Bugger! . . I never had a spare wheel!.

All Australians lostare educated from early childhood with rules like “don’t go wandering off “. . “If lost stay where you are”  sprung  instantly to mind.  I did have a flask of water. It was a cool day and the thought of dehydration did occur to me, but it was not as if it was a 45 degree day so I never panicked. .

Knowing the local country is always high priority consideration in the art of survival. To be perfectly truthful I must confess that the trees and the local shrubs at this location did look a little different, a bit peculiar.  I never knew this country.  I recall old timers telling me that every different landscape holds its own perils. . . I decided I stayed where I was . . (the right thing to do).

It was some time later when I heard a distant sound of an engine. My excitement rose, and although I could not tell if it was the sound of a motorbike or even a helicopter. I sprang into action. I removed the tire from my front wheel, gathered a few leaves and started a fire.  In less than ten minutes I had created a solid plume of black smoke (visible for miles). . (this was a well tested outback survival trick that I had learned over my bush survival training ).

It was not long after when the black smoke plume had easily identified my location that  a lone policeman peddled toward me and parked his bicycle next to mine. This ‘London ‘Bobby’ pulled out a notebook and said in a strong English (Cockney) accent . . “It is against the law to light fires in Hyde Park London” . . .

Posted in Family- Memories, Fishing

Karumba

We arrived at the High bank for a few days fishing. This was back around 1972 on memory. It must have been around that year because Jacky, My brother, Bob’s eldest, was about 6 or seven and her younger brothers were still pretty small.
Shark's fin

Bob was stood on the bank surveying the murky waves lapping at the base of the bank wearing his usual bush attire, a pair of shorts. On memory I’d say it was another couple of hours before low tide.

There was a large splash in the water and Bob took one step closer to the edge of the bank to take a look, lost his footing and dived head first into the Norman river. We were not far up river from Karumba, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and as a general rule, swimming in these waters was not recommended.

“What’s he doing?” shouted Mary (Bob’s Wife) as Bob disappeared below the surface.

I took a quick look in the water and saw one huge fin and large grey bulk. I merely shouted “IT’s F#$@#NG BIG”. Mostly, I am not one lost for words but on this occasion that was about all I could manage. These were the only words or thoughts that could reach my tongue.

Bob must have not heard me correctly, later he told me he thought I had said. “IT’s A F#$@#NG PIG”.

Pigs are always welcome meat and excellent to catch when out bush so when Bob surfaced with the thought of ‘pig in the water’, he stretched up to the top of the bank and grabbed his sheath knife, then disappeared once again under the murky water. Pigs are occasionally found in water, generally having ended up there by accident, and they’re quite vulnerable to a hunter in water. And fishing was hunting.

Shark circling

Mary was wearing what I called her ‘hula skirt’, It was a bright red Mexican styled skirt with crisscrossed shoulder straps attached. It was quite short, also quite sexy in a floppy, comfortable sort of way. The straps clung to her top half, so it was a good look for the bush.

The moment Mary realized it was a huge shark that Bob was confronting, she did the silliest, bravest, stupidest thing that I had ever seen, and to this day I have no Idea what instincts drive this woman… she simply hurled herself from the high bank and landed slap between the eyes of the huge shark that was at least 3 feet longer than she was.

The Hula dress slid up over her head as the force of hitting the water ripped the dress from her, leaving the straps of the dress up underneath her arms pits in a crisscrossed fashion. The shark had managed to swim right through the body of the skirt, leaving Mary attached to the shoulder straps. One further tail stroke from the shark wrenched the straps from under Mary’s arm and slid the straps down to Mary’s wrists and the cross-over design locked together as the pair of straps came together from opposite sides of Mary’s wrists. On reflection, I could have retired that day if I had a movie camera because in those days, Mary looked a lot like a young Elisabeth Taylor… except she was a bit more ample at the top.

The shark thrashed about, moving forward in a circle with Mary almost doing a naked body surf in its wake. It’s still a vivid and exiting image re-run I can tune into at any time in my old memory… I’m sure I could have sold that bit of film.

Bob still seemed to be totally unaware that he was not facing a wild pig that had found itself a little bit out of its element and seemed totally intent of bagging it for the barbecue, and as Mary body surfed passed him in the murky waters he caught a glimpse of her leg and grabbed it.

“Gotcha F%$#ING PIG!’ he shouted as he lifted the arm with the knife to stab the pig.

Mary had managed to free one arm and was just in reach of Bobs face as the shark turned around. She slapped bob firmly and fair as he surfaced – and shouted “Don’t you call me a FU#%;^@…” but that sentence never finished as the shark dove with Mary’s arm still firmly locked on.

Jacky, tiny as she was, looked on her dad as a super-hero. She jumped up and down shouting to Bob, “Can we keep it? Can we keep it? Can we keep it?”

Bob, seeing his daughter perilously close to the edge of the bank, only managed to shout at her as best he was able – “GET BACK TO THE CAR!” But the sound was muffled by the water and the splashing and the general confusion and it seemed that Jacky thought that ‘this fish was a keeper’ and that her dad had said “GET THE PAN FROM THE CAR”. Bob did keep a large bush frying pan in the boot of the Holden.

By this time, Bob was well aware It was not a confused pig he was chasing… instead it was a 3 meter shark and as Bob turned to face the shark once again, it completed another small circle, entangled and angry. Bob and the shark had finally seen the light and both now seemed content to view each other as the ‘kill’ target.

Jacky then arrived at the bank carrying the large fry pan. Seeing the shark raise its head out of the water and opening its jaws at it approached her dad she too dived into the water following what must have been the same crazy instincts obviously inherited from her mother. The fry-pan collided with the inside of the sharks jaws as they snapped shut, the sound of breaking teeth sounded like pebbles on a stormy shore line. The shark’s mouth clamped firmly with teeth embedded into the steel pan with the handle protruding outside of the jaws… the handle still firmly held by young Jacky.

The shark seemed to have lost a bit of energy and the blood in the water suggested that Bob had managed to inflict a few severe wounds because the shark went deadly quiet and the thrashing stopped and the Norman river went quiet… quiet enough to hear a car approach, a door slam and a fellow approaching.

“Catching any?’ the fellow asked.

Bob found his footing on a mud bank a few feet up river, grabbed the frying pan handle still protruding from the shark’s mouth and gave one almighty tug pulling the top half of the shark onto a mud ledge a bit closer to the bank.

Mary shouted, “Jacky! Get out of the water! You know the crocodiles will get you!”

Then Mary turned to me as she climbed back on to the high bank . “YOU!” she shouted. “You owe me a new frying pan”.

Bob turned to the fellow and answered his question. “Just the one, mate “