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Franklin Tennessee

 

Leaving Nashville we stopped at Franklin where the last battle for Nashville took place.

Here we again learned that to southerners the Confederacy had declared itself a separate nation based on their rural lifestyle and slavery and the northerners were perceived as invaders.  Tennessee was under Northern occupation from early in the War, akin to France being under German occupation and there was an active underground opposition.  At the end of the battle of Franklin the northern troops were secretly pulling back across the river in the dead of night when a local woman tried to warn the sleeping Confederates.  She was killed on the spot by a Union soldier who then simply re-joined his ranks. 

We understood that she was the heroine of the story and that we should be outraged that the Union soldier had avoided punishment for a war crime when his complicit companions 'looked the other way.'  It's the sort of thing Nazi soldiers might have done to a patriotic French woman in a war movie.  I'm not even sure the story's true because we were told he shot her point-blank in the head.  Surely not!  Weren't they sneaking silently away?  As I said, the outrage still runs deep.

At the farm you can still see the bullet holes in the buildings, although the trenches are gone, and can learn of the son of the family, captain Tod Carter who was, by chance, mortally wounded a few hundred metres from his home while fighting for the Confederacy.

 


Carter House - Click on this picture to see more Civil War memorabilia
 

 

The couple in period costume (click the image above) were not part of the staff.   They just like dressing up when they go to historic sites to better enjoy the history by imagining themselves back in the good old days, perhaps before the country went to the dogs?  We stayed away from politics so I'm not sure how much current reality disturbs them.

 

 

 


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Travel

Hong Kong and Shenzhen China

 

 

 

 

 

Following our Japan trip in May 2017 we all returned to Hong Kong, after which Craig and Sonia headed home and Wendy and I headed to Shenzhen in China. 

I have mentioned both these locations as a result of previous travels.  They form what is effectively a single conurbation divided by the Hong Kong/Mainland border and this line also divides the population economically and in terms of population density.

These days there is a great deal of two way traffic between the two.  It's very easy if one has the appropriate passes; and just a little less so for foreign tourists like us.  Australians don't need a visa to Hong Kong but do need one to go into China unless flying through and stopping at certain locations for less than 72 hours.  Getting a visa requires a visit to the Chinese consulate at home or sitting around in a reception room on the Hong Kong side of the border, for about an hour in a ticket-queue, waiting for a (less expensive) temporary visa to be issued.

With documents in hand it's no more difficult than walking from one metro platform to the next, a five minute walk, interrupted in this case by queues at the immigration desks.  Both metros are world class and very similar, with the metro on the Chinese side a little more modern. It's also considerably less expensive. From here you can also take a very fast train to Guangzhou (see our recent visit there on this website) and from there to other major cities in China. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Wedding Party

January 29th 2011

 

See some of it on YouTube (some websites may block this)...

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Opinions and Philosophy

Electricity Pricing

 

 August 2012 (chapters added since)

 

 

Introduction

 

The present government interventions in electricity markets, intended to move the industry from coal to renewable energy sources, are responsible for most of the rapidly rising cost of electricity in Australia.  These interventions have introduced unanticipated distortions and inefficiencies in the way that electricity is delivered.

Industry experts point to looming problems in supply and even higher price increases.

A 'root and branch' review of these mechanisms is urgently required to prevent ever increasing prices and to prevent further potentially crippling distortions.

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