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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

China

 

 

I first visited China in November 1986.  I was representing the New South Wales Government on a multinational mission to our Sister State Guangdong.  My photo taken for the trip is still in the State archive [click here].  The theme was regional and small business development.  The group heard presentations from Chinese bureaucrats and visited a number of factories in rural and industrial areas in Southern China.  It was clear then that China was developing at a very fast rate economically. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Easter

 

 

 

Easter /'eestuh/. noun

  1. an annual Christian festival in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, observed on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or next after 21 March (the vernal equinox)

[Middle English ester, Old English eastre, originally, name of goddess; distantly related to Latin aurora dawn, Greek eos; related to east]

Macquarie Dictionary

 


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Opinions and Philosophy

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(UCLA History 2D Lectures 1 & 2)

 

Professor Courtenay Raia lectures on science and religion as historical phenomena that have evolved over time; starting in pre-history. She goes on to examine the pre-1700 mind-set when science encompassed elements of magic; how Western cosmologies became 'disenchanted'; and how magical traditions have been transformed into modern mysticisms.

The lectures raise a lot of interesting issues.  For example in Lecture 1, dealing with pre-history, it is convincingly argued that 'The Secret', promoted by Oprah, is not a secret at all, but is the natural primitive human belief position: that it is fundamentally an appeal to magic; the primitive 'default' position. 

But magic is suppressed by both religion and science.  So in our modern secular culture traditional magic has itself been transmogrified, magically transformed, into mysticism.

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