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The billabong

 

There was a billabong not far from our place.  If anybody ever wanted to get rid of any unwanted puppies or kittens it was no problem, all they had to do was to put them in a sugar bag with a couple of house bricks, tie the top of the bag and toss it in the billabong.  You could see dozens of these bags half submerged floating around covered in a filthy green slime all over the place. 

The billabong was also home to thousands of crayfish, which by using various means were not that hard to catch.  I would take them home and mum would put them in a saucepan and proceed to boil them on the gas stove, you could see filthy brown slimy bubbles coming out of them.  I never told mum about the cats and the dogs.  How we all did not come down with some serious disease I will never know, we must have all had an iron constitution.

After a lot of rain most billabongs were home to hundreds of frogs. The bloody things would keep you awake all night with their croaking, but we would get our own back the next morning.  We got stuck into them with our catapults, it was great fun.  We would often see a frog on top of another one; we used to call them double deckers, not knowing in our youthful ignorance what it was all about.  Small birds like sparrows, starlings and pee-wits were easy prey with the catapult but the bigger birds required the use of the air-rifle. 

 

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Travel

USA - middle bits

 

 

 

 

 

In September and October 2017 Wendy and I took another trip to the United States where we wanted to see some of the 'middle bits'.  Travel notes from earlier visits to the East coast and West Coast can also be found on this website.

For over six weeks we travelled through a dozen states and stayed for a night or more in 20 different cities, towns or locations. This involved six domestic flights for the longer legs; five car hires and many thousands of miles of driving on America's excellent National Highways and in between on many not so excellent local roads and streets.

We had decided to start in Chicago and 'head on down south' to New Orleans via: Tennessee; Georgia; Louisiana; and South Carolina. From there we would head west to: Texas; New Mexico; Arizona; Utah and Nevada; then to Los Angeles and home.  That's only a dozen states - so there are still lots of 'middle bits' left to be seen.

During the trip, disaster, in the form of three hurricanes and a mass shooting, seemed to precede us by a couple of days.

The United States is a fascinating country that has so much history, culture and language in common with us that it's extremely accessible. So these notes have turned out to be long and could easily have been much longer.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Skydiving

 

 

On the morning of May1st 2016 I jumped, or rather slid, out of a plane over Wollongong at 14,000 feet.

It was a tandem jump, meaning that I had an instructor strapped to my back.

 


Striding Confidently Before Going Up

 

At that height the curvature of the earth is quite evident.  There was an air-show underway at the airport we took off from and we were soon looking down on the planes of the RAAF  Roulette aerobatic display team.  They looked like little model aircraft flying in perfect formation.  

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Opinions and Philosophy

The Last Carbon Taxer

- a Recent Wall Street Journal article

 

 

A recent wall street journal article 'The Last Carbon Taxer' has 'gone viral' and is now making the email rounds  click here...  to see a copy on this site.  The following comments are also interesting; reflecting both sides of the present debate in Australia.

As the subject article points out, contrary to present assertions, a domestic carbon tax in Australia will neither do much to reduce the carbon impact on world climate, if implemented, nor make a significant contribution, if not implemented. 

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