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”.

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.

Where are the old time traffic cops ?


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.

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.

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.


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.


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 “