Saturday, October 22, 2016


Looking as if it has been through  the wars-tipped in  colour plates removed, items  cut out , some pages loose , foxed and bumped- this is  a  special   1914   Christmas  double number  . The first part  was  launched  about the  outbreak of hostilities ;  the second, issued in December , is larger  and  contains   several  supplements  in  which   war, past and present ,   is  the  subject of  many volumes.

The  influence   of  the  war  is clearly  reflected in  the   torn  and  scuffed  cover  illustration  entitled The Glory of Belgium , it having been invaded by the  Germans in August .

Not   knowing that  a  seemingly endless  monstrous   war  would  engulf  the   world  for  years  , the   offerings  included  many light- hearted  books for  boys and  girls ,  one  The Children's ABC  of the War,  with 26 coloured illustrations,   said  to  contain nothing  likely to  alarm  the most  tender imagination , all told  and  pictured "with  humour  and a  touch of  kindness ." 

The above graphic  accompanied  the  write up for Belgian Playmates , by Nellie Pollock ,illustrated by  Charles  Folkard , " a  capital little story "of the present war   designed to not only entertain juvenile readers   with it narrative of two heroes who went out with the Expeditionary Force-one to return  covered with glory , the other  to lay down  his  life  for the country , giving them a vivid idea of  the  great  happenings  of  the day .
To this is added "an interesting and  amusing account "  of  the doings of  certain English children  and their small  Belgian playmates in the home   circle   from which the two heroes went to the front , and to which news of  them comes  to  thrill  their   quiet lives  with excitement .
Books  written and  illustrated by   Australians  include: The  Girl  From the Back -Blocks, by Lilian Turner , about a  14 year old   country girl's  experiences at  a school in town , an entertaining  story , lucky would be the  girl who found it among her gifts on Christmas day ; Bushland Stories by  Amy Eleanor Mack , a charming collection  of stories for children , written by author who is an enthusiastic nature-lover , and thoroughly  conversant with  the haunts and denizens  of her beloved bushland ; Scribbling Sue , also by Mack, illustrated by May  Gibbs, frontispiece in colour . Children of Wild Australia  , by Oliphant , which  includes a drawing of  a"  tattooed brave ."
Novels with an Australian   touch  are  :  By  Blow and Kiss , the love story of a man with  a bad name , by Boyd  Cable , which gives  a capital picture of   sheep farming in Australia , and  human passions of  love, jealousy and hate ; Flower O' The Pine , by Ethel Turner , a  quite exquisite  picture of a little  Australian  girl ; A Tail  of  Gold , an Australian mining story written  in  a crisp style , by  David Hennessey . 
Scottish author J.M. Barrie, famous for    Peter  Pan , the boy who never wanted to grow up ,  rates  a special mention ; his  son  , George , was   killed in the war, as   was  one  of  the  boys  who inspired the character  Peter Pan .
One of the many authors  the subject of extensive profiles is schoolteacher  Edith Howes  of  New Zealand , a  Dominion which enjoys a  world wide reputation  as a paradise for the  worker , where  the  schooling system  enables the sons and daughters of  professional men  sit side by side on the benches  with the children of  the  working man .
She  is   tipped to  become as  famous  as Lewis Carroll  and Selma Lagerloff  because of her   works , which use observations of Nature to open the   eyes of   infants to  the fairyland  all around them . After many rejections , Sun Babies became a   hit , then Fairy Rings  told how two children named  Win  and Twin, brought the fairies all the way  from Ireland, over the seas in a fairy ship , and established them  safely in Maoriland . ( Bookman unearthed by Magnetic Island  researcher  Gary Davies .)  

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Exclusive report  and sensational  prediction  by respected  gonzo journalist  Hunter S. Thompson  who  watched  the  third presidential debate   from  atop the Trump Tower  while   also  shooting  loathesome bats   with a  pump   action  shotgun .

 You dudes   Down Under  are  going to see  a  lot of  this bozo Donald  Duck    after he  is nuked   by  the few remaining   sane  voters  in the  US of A .  As  a result of  his  latest  ham-fisted    manhandling  of  Hillary  Clinton  he is going to   be  thrashed  in November.  I can reveal  his secret  plan  B  is to flee to  Australia  and   take  up  several   tax   free  / dodging   propositions .

As soon as I shoot   these  goddam  bats  and  blame  a Fox News outside   telecast van  for  the  extensive dents on  the  hire car  convertible    ,  I will  produce documentary evidence that  will  prove Trump  has  been offered  a  fortune   to appear  in  Australian advertisements  capitalising  on  his   mesmerising  snake  oil  salesman  hand  gestures . 

According  to my drinking buddies on  The Gruen Transfer , the  common erect digit of  Trump's  is ideal for the Coles prices down  , down   campaign , except that  it will  have to  be pointed  south of  the Mexican  border . And his frequent  circular  finger  shape, like  a  malformed  sugary doughnut with rabbit  ears  , could be used in  a revival of the Colgate ring of confidence   campaign which  helped spread the American  Dream  in Australia . 
After   filing this report ,  Mr Thompson was  dragged screaming   from  atop   Trump Tower    by a  heavily  armed  posse   and   placed in a  fashionable   white   back to front  jacket   with  unusual  leather straps. All  the time  he was screaming he  is a paid up member of   the  NRA  ,  Disneyland  and Wally World . Strangely , he   claimed to be  an  advisor to the  gun toting  Australian  government and  demanded  to  have  a  telephone  consultation  with  his new mouthpiece, Attorney-General  George  Brandis .

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Grim Barnaby and beast
CANBERRA: In a desperate move, the Turnbull Government  has   hired  a  sensitive Llama  to warn it about   frequent   dangerous  situations  which make  the regime look  like a  banana republic .  The friendly Llama, nicknamed Ming , is  kept in the rustic office of Deputy PM  Barnaby Joyce , who  has  an international reputation for handling  dumb  animals  since he rightly told  Johnny  Depp  and his  mutts where to go ,  in no uncertain terms . 
Installation of  the   trouble detecting Llama in parliament house has electrified  the Coalition and added to the duties of   the Australian  Federal Police  and   office  cleaners , who are demanding  dirt  money .   
Argus Tuft  Scoop
In an exclusive interview , wearing the latest  retro  Barry McKenzie hat, Barnaby  said  the  Llama  is  regarded  as  a  new lucky   mascot  by  the government  which has  been going from   one  snafu  to  another ever  since  it stumbled  back into power  at  the  election .  Now,  he said , Malcolm Turnbull's situation is like  sitting  in an uncomfortable electric  chair in  Sing Sing's death row , bright and  dim sparks from  the  past  and  present wanting  to  throw the lever and  zap him with 40,000 volts. 
 The latest embarrassing stuff up  is  that nobody seems to know who is the skipper of HMAS Australia-is it Defence Minister Marise Payne, Defence Industry  Minister  Christopher  Pyne  or   Defence   Personnel  Minister   Dan Tehan ?  And just today  the  Health  Minister  forgot  who she was , got up to answer  a  Dorothy Dixer   question in the House of Representatives  , and   thanked  herself for  asking  the question ???? Is  there a  doctor in  the  House- or a  Llama ?
 When  Barnaby is away attending Bollywood weddings in  India with Gina  , the Llama  will be  kept at  The Lodge , Canberra,  flown  to  the  squatter occupied  Turnbull  mansion in  Sydney  for a  seaside  frolic  from  time  to  time .  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Greedy  Generation Y caterpillar , soon  to  make an overseas  holiday  flight , rearranging joss house  on  Magnetic  Island .  

Monday, October 17, 2016


Self made  millionaire  Sir Thomas Lipton , who made his fortune  from tea and groceries , five times  unsuccessfully  challenged  for    the America's Cup yacht  racing trophy ,  between  1899 to 1930 , each time  with  a  boat named  Shamrock . One  of  them  is  shown in  this Bavarian printed  postcard   by renowned marine artist   and  author  Seppings  Wright , posted with  much  love from  Ethel , at  Droxford ,  Hampshire,  to   Miss Hannah Bartlett ,"Abbottsford" (a  private school), Mosman's Bay, Sydney , New South Wales, on March 27 , 1907. 

The postal cancellation  is  for the  Droxford  town  of  Bishop's Waltham , where there  had  been  grim  workhouses  for  the  poor  dating  from the 1700s  right up to the 20th century .

In a moment of fame for  Droxford, it  is claimed that  in   June  1944  a most  important secret meeting was held in a  carriage at the   railway station  at which the date for the D-Day invasion  of Normandy  is  said to have been discussed . Gathered there were  British  Prime Minister Winston Churchill,  Anthony Eden , Ernest Bevan , US General   Dwight  Eisenhower, Charles de Gaulle of France , General Smuts of  South Africa   and the  Prime Ministers of  Canada and   New Zealand , Mackenzie King  and  Peter  Fraser .

 Lipton's parents, Ulster Scots,  had  been forced to flee Ireland during the potato famine  of 1845   and  he  worked  as  a  printers' boy , a  cabin boy  on a steamer between  Glasgow and  Belfast , sailed to the USA, worked  on a  tobacco plantation in  Virginia  and served as  a grocery assistant in New York .  

Even though Sir Thomas  shared his  love of sailing with  two  British  kings,  Edward  Vll  and  George V ,  he was not  admitted  into  the  exclusive Royal  Yacht Squadron  until  just before he died ;  he was  inducted into   the  America's  Cup  Hall  of  Fame  in 1993. 

His America's  Cup challenges  were  in the name of  the Royal Ulster Yacht  Club . The  always interesting   Cairns  retro , collectables  and memorabilia    shop - Crackerbox  Palace - the  source of  this  postcard.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


From a distance,  this   vessel  might look like a  tramp steamer  of  yesteryear , but  it is  the oil products tanker  Chang Hang XI Wang, in Townsville , just one of the many interesting  ships  which  pass in and out of  the  port with  no  media  coverage.  A point of interest is that  it belongs to  a huge  Chinese   logistics , shipping ,  transport and  product moving   conglomerate   with  66,157 employees. The state owned  SinoTrans & CSC became a fully owned  subsidiary of  the  China  Merchants  Group   in  2015. 
The same  day as the  Chinese  vessel was photographed , the Singapore  registered  bulk carrier  Aquarius Ocean  made an early morning departure  from Townsville   with  the  help  of    two  tugs .


Special  editions   of   American  publications  which  covered  the  good, bad , beautiful ,   ugly   and  fascinating  events  and  places  of the   globe  . Life  magazine  closed down several times, eventually   for  the  last  time  this century .
In its heyday ,Life  especially covered the  American  way of  life and  world  events .The  above  book  contains  more than  5000  superb  photographs  ;  an  annual   digest  of   major  events over  the  period   does not mentioned   the  election of   a  Labor  government  in  Australia in 1972 , but  records   a "Conservative "   victory  in  1975.

Still alive is  the  National Geographic  in which  inventor Alexander Graham Bell played  a  large part in its early life .The   above 1988  centennial issue  contains  extensive  fold  out  covers  of  the magazine  over the  period , a  quick scan  revealing  Australia  featuring  on  at least  four-  two relating to the  way of life, a  surfboat riding a big  wave  on one , boxing kangaroos ,  and  the    Murray River . Papua New Guinea  dominates  two  covers. 
In what amounts to a  letters  to the editor section, Members  Forum, there  are several references to  an  article  , Wool-Fabric of History  , published May 1988, Jean Smiling Coyote  of Chicago , Illinois , saying  it read like propaganda from the wool industry , there being no mention of the widespread  destruction of the vegetation (and consequent soil erosion) by domesticated sheep and the continuing massacre  of competing  herbivores  and  predators  in sheep-ranching  areas.
The Geographic's  coverage of the Persian  Gulf , with its vast oil reserves , drew  interesting comments  such as  : Americans will need  to learn more about  the nations of the area  as its future economic  destiny increasingly depended upon it ...The US policy in the area    had  failed  and should change , if the CIA had not overthrown  Mohammed Mossadegh  of Iran  1951-53  and supported the shah  and his SAVAK (secret police ) the relationship with Iran  and much of Middle East would be  very  different .
Fleas , the  widespread  use  of  DDT  in Burma, Vietnam, India  and southern Africa  and   AIDS  were other  topics of  discussion .