Tuesday, January 31, 2017

INSIDE ISLAND FAIRY GROTTO

It  has  been  hurtfully suggested     from   time   to  time    that some   of the  posts  appearing  in   this  blog  have  obviously  been composed  by individuals   away  with  the  fairies.   It  just  so happens   that   this  unkind  remark  is  true  in respect of  this  item , which  resulted  from  an exciting  expedition  into  Magnetic Island's huge  Island  Living  Centre , a   tiny   part  shown above  .

In  the  varied    treasures   there , Little Darwin   found  a  whole colony of  fairies - eight  limited  edition   and  numbered    wall   hanging  plates  by the Australian  internationally   regarded  , Ida  Rentoul  Outhwaite, two of which , in the   Fairy Fantasies   series ,    drawn on  Japanese   porcelain  , for  Windsor   fine china , show  here  On  Gossamer  Petals , left , and  A place  to  Dream . They are  part of  a  deceased estate . 
 
Outhwaite (1888-1960 )   achieved  fame for her illustrated  children's books , especially drawings  of  fairies , mentioned  previously  in  this  blog. Her  illustrations  were  exhibited  in   many parts  of Australia  and  London and Paris between  1907 and l933 .   The  plates  are  $45  each  or   $300  for  the  lot .  
 
Searching   further in the  cavernous , packed building , up fluttered  a Sunflower Fairy ($45), a mounted    original hand  painted  tile   by  Sydney artist  Beverley  Reynolds ,  from Beverley May's  Studio, Thornleigh. 
 
 
The  prodigious  output of Reynolds  includes handmade , high fired  stoneware , clowns , fairies , mermaids which reflect humour and fantasy . She   fields  at  the popular weekend  market at   The  Rocks .

 Fairy collectors can contact  Peter Stein,  a skilled designer and  manufacturer of  jewellery , at  the Island Living Centre on  info@islandjewellery.com.au . or  telephone  0468 3212 61 .
Found in Townsville  , this appears to display the distinctive  Outhwaite  style,  the words  in the  collection  by Annie  R. Rentoul ,  Ida's older sister . Ida's  first  published illustration appeared in New Idea in 1904, accompanying  an article written  by  Annie ...Ida  15 at the time .    

Sunday, January 29, 2017

LIFE ON MARS

Martians really are  mainly green  but for their head with  huge eyes   , wear faded Uncle Sam  striped  pants  and  have a mouth  like  an octopus . Exclusive photo by spaced out  Vallis.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

(SIR) GARFIELD CRACKS A MOTHER- IN-LAW JOKE

During the infamous challenge   to  Australian  artist  William Dobell  being awarded the 1943 Archibald Prize  ( in 1944)  with   a  portrait of  a  sickly painter mate , Joshua  Smith , with whom  he had served in a camouflage unit during  the war, lawyer Garfield  Barwick, then a  King's Counsel, appeared for the plaintiffs along with Dr Frank Louat,  who claimed the  picture was  a caricature,  not  a portrait; it took   two  years  to  wrap  up  the case  in  Dobell's favour .

An  exhibition of  French and European art  in 1939. displaying work of modernists , sponsored  by  Rupert's dad, Sir Keith  Murdoch ,  had  shocked  much  of  the  establishment .

There were  some  jolly moments during  the marathon   hearing  when the learned judge and  lawyers  asked  probing   questions  about  modern  art, abstract paintings .

For example ,  Mr Justice Roper , in  the  NSW Supreme Court ,  asked  if he  held up a  loaf of  sugar bread   and  declared   it  was  his  mistress,  would  that be so ?  Whatever  turns you  on , me old darling ,  Rumpole  would  undoubtedly have   replied   in  a stage whisper , with  advice  not   to  leave any incriminating  crumbs in  his  inner  sanctum  robing  room .

This  strange  questioning  was   prompted by that  odd  fellow Picasso   who painted a  pile of  packing cases and said  it  was  his father .

Sharp as  a  tack , Barwick , KC, got into the   fun and asked an expert  witness : "If I had a certain  reaction to my mother  in law , could I paint her portrait as a  coil of barbed  wire ?"   As expected , loud laughter ensued...Haw !  Haw ! You don't need  a second opinion to know that anyone  who likens  his wife's  mother   to  cutting,  rusty barbed wire   could  be  charged  with defamation  and  punched up  the  nostril on  Mother's  Day.


It was revealed during the hearing that an overseas   painter chap ,  Gainsborough,  had taken  a  liberty  with a female sitter , Mrs  Siddons , greatly reducing the length of  her  long nose  in  a  portrait , so it seemed no woman was safe  from  these   bohemian  type  artists .

Barwick became  a  Liberal politician , the federal Attorney-General ,  during which time  he made life difficult  for Hansard reporters as  he  rambled on .  This  did not stop him from becoming the Chief Justice of Australia (1964-81)  and  he  clearly did  not think there was  anything wrong in  advising   the Governor-General , tipsy Sir  John Kerr , in the   sacking  of   PM  Gough Whitlam .  

The  present  day  High Court  building  in Canberra is known as Barwick's Mausoleum , a   fitting  memorial , where liberated  ma in laws  can  fling themselves  into  the  associated   fountain  , with   gay  abandon .  


 Dobell won the  Archibald three  times  and  the electorate of Dobell is named after him  .

Friday, January 27, 2017

DANGEROUS GHOSTS OF THAILAND , AN EXTREMELY NAUGHTY MESSAGE FOR SANTA

By  a  wandering  correspondent

Lobbed in bursting at  the seams  Phuket  where the  driving skills  are  so bad that  two  people were  killed and  81  injured   during  New Year   road  accidents  in  what was called the  Seven Days of  Danger   Road  Safety Campaign .  During  the  period ,  police  fined   7859  people for  traffic  offences : 187    for   dangerous   or  reckless   driving , 213  for running red lights , 137  for drunk driving, 213 were  caught   using  mobile phones while driving , 506   without  seatbelts.

One odd offence here is  "ghost  driving "  which  is described as driving opposite to  the   flow of  traffic , which  sounds  exceedingly  dangerous . On  January 13  it was  reported  that  a   21 year old   female  student  had  been  killed  when  her motorbike was  hit  by a  taxi  driven  by  a  man  asleep  at  the wheel .

Of interest to  Queensland is  publicity given  to  conservationists alarmed at the damage being  done to  local  coral reefs  by  the  many "Try Dive "  operators , there  being  a  crackdown  on  such operations.  On New Year's  Eve  a large King Cobra   snake was   found  fighting  with  another cobra under  a central Phuket  restaurant .
 
A crocodile  got  into the   many and varied  end  of  year activities   when it chomped  on  the hand   of  a   man  at    Phuket  Crocodile  World  and went  into a  death spin with  him .  

Over the  holiday period  there was   chaos  at  Phuket  Airport   with huge  queues where  the  rudeness of  some - many - travellers   who barge  in ahead of  people  lined  up  is  irksome  and would  result in a  firm  rebuke  if  tried in Australia .  

A  surprising  number of  overseas  visitors  appear to   commit  suicide  soon after  arrival ,  jumping  from  hotels  common . A New Zealander was  found at the  bottom of  a  20 storey hotel  ,  described by  police  as  an  apparent suicide .
 
A truly bizarre death was that of  a Kazakhstan tourist who died after  falling  from  the  balcony of a fifth  floor  hotel room  in Patong.  Police found no signs of  struggle in the hotel room or ransacking . However, there were  12 empty bottles of  Thai rum  and three empty beer cans  , empty wine  bottles and other   empty   grog   bottles .
 
Hotel staff  said he  had checked in alone and only ever went out   for food and  alcohol.  Investigations  showed the man on November  24   had  updated his  Facebook  with a  post  which said : Dear Santa, I have  been well-behaved  all year , (so )  reward me with  a trip to Thailand-a couple of  weeks  to  behave badly ."       

In another   strange episode ,  busy  Phuket  City  police became involved in the case of  the "Forgetful monk" , who  caused a scene at a bank when he tried to withdraw  20,000 baht , forgetting that he had  taken out the money the day before .  He  refused to leave the  bank  until  he  got  the  money although there was  only 109l  baht left in the kitty.  A nervous   security  guard called  for  police  reinforcements  who  discovered  he was  indeed  a   forgetful  monk . A photograph appeared in the Phuket Gazette   showing the  robed  monk , leaning on the bank counter , with the  police , who   sorted  out the problem and  dropped him off  at  a  bus  station  after  he   apologised  to  one  and  all .   

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

POMMIE BASTARD AND SKIPPY IN QUEENSLAND MURDER MOVIE

These  are    just some  of the  ingredients  when  American   crime  writing  author Jessica  Fletcher  inherits  a  whole  valley   passed down by an Irish ancestor  who was hanged  for bank robbery   in  the  Queensland  badlands , where the  sheep  ranchers  are  trigger  happy and fighting mad over  the  suggestion  that  the choice grazing  valley  is  going to be handed   over  to  overseas interests ...The  Indian   Adani  coal mine ,  the  Australian Defence   Department  seizing  rural properties to  make Singapore bigger than Texas ? No- Orbit , a Yank  bauxite  company .


The  action takes place in Kookaburra  Downs , reached by  bus from  Brisbane , where  the sergeant in charge , an  obvious British actor , is  called  a  Pommie  bastard  by  a   true  blue   Aussie actor  . Strangely, the online script  says the sergeant  is  merely  a  git ,  but admits  some content  was  lost  .   

Then  there  is  Melba   (named after  Dame Nellie Melba ? )   Drummond   who  never seems to have a  cigar out of her mouth , offers one to Jessica ,  and  has  a kerchief  wearing  son , Roo , who  knows a  wholesome   girl  who  kisses and   cuddles  kangaroos .
Roo's  mammy   helping  police  with  their investigations .
Over  at the noisy  Kookaburra  Arms  pub , which looks like  an  upmarket  boozer compared   with  the  one in Crocodile Dundee ,  the  smelly sheep ranchers, who  swill Fosters , not Queensland  four x , look  like  bit  players  from  an  early  Hollywood  western, or the thirsty  mob that gathers  when word gets out  that Bob Katter , the one in the Marlboro  Country  hat , mounted on a ride on mower mustang ,  is  going to shout  for the house  during a visit to Cloncurry .   Jessica  gets  a  real  feeling of  the Australian outback when  she is filmed next to a  large framed print of  Uluru  in the Northern Territory .

Corn and popcorn consumed  during  the  viewing .

THEY'RE A WEIRD MOB # 1

An  occasional  round  up  of  Queensland  politics  by Italian  journalist  Nino   Culotta , a  brickie  whose  home  made  pizzas are repeatedly  condemned  by  health  inspectors, blamed for  frequent  outbreaks of Montezuma's Curse on  building  sites  throughout  Australia . 

Holy macaroni  with  lashings of  spaghetti  !  Where  to  start ? Keeping up with  the comings and goings of politicians and  would  be  politicians in  Queensland  is  more  involved  than  War  and  Peace , except in Tolstoy's  great  novel  you  could rely on  a train  running on  time  now and  again  to  run over   a  key  character.  Talking of trains , it seems an Italian is needed to fix up the rail  timetables  in  this  state .


The  Liberal National Party ,  made up  of  arm wrestling Liberals and  Nationals , united in  alleged  holy matrimony  not so long ago under  the  aegis  and  steam iron of   Lawrence  Springborg, who recently  decided  to  vacate  the  scene , rumoured to  soon be made  CEO of Lawrence Drycleaning  , is  showing   clear  signs  of  domestic  violence .
 
There were  cries of  traitor  and  stone the  crows!  when  Steve  Dickson (LNP ) , junior minister in  the one term  Campbell  Newman  Government , polishing the Sunshine Coast seat of Buderim ,  announced  he  had   jumped  ship and  would  stand for   Pauline Hanson's One Nation  Party , which  plans to contest  the entire  89 seats in the next Queensland election . It was even  reported that  Dickson said he  sees himself  as   Deputy Premier  in  a  Hanson  state  government . Strewth !
 
Ousted   premier    Campbell Newman  flung  fuel/dung  on the fire  by  stating  neither the  ALP nor the LNP   could  form government in  Queensland without   One Nation . As the  biblical  prediction that  the meek shall inherit the earth ,  with the   help of the  dumbed  down massive  Murdoch  media monopoly in Queensland   ,  shock  jocks and  assorted  boofheads  in  high office  increases  each  sabbath ,  fear  of  One  Nation  grows , despite the  fact that there seems  to  be  regular  resignations   or   sackings  from  the  party, bizarre  tweets .
     
In  an  unsolicited  testimonial ,  Senator  George    Brandis  , the illustrious  federal  Attorney-General,  was  heard  say  the LNP  in  Queensland  is  less than   impressive , presumably   including himself  in  that megatag   as  he   has  not   covered  himself  with  glory  in  recent months .

Naughty  Nino 
The  unpopular  LNP  leader ,Tim Nicholls,  and his attack dogs,  have   been dashing about  the state  barking  at   Premier  Annastacia  Palaszczuk  and  her  government, terrified  that  the election will  be called as soon as April  Fools' Day .  
 
Nicholls  lobbed in Cairns recently and promised to save the state from plastic bags . Now he  is in Townsville   for a   few days  where  the  three  ALP seats are under attack. No sooner  had  he  landed   than  an obvious LNP  Marconi  telephonic   political  poll  disturbed  the evening TV viewing .  I  responded  by  telling the  caller  I am  much younger ,  named   Sophia Loren , a spaghetti  ambassador .    

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LUCKY LIZARD IN CLOSE SHAVE

After  possibly  being attacked by a  Kookaburra , lizard displays odd pointed  stub on  remains  of   its  once  long tail .Vallis photograph .

Monday, January 23, 2017

MURDER ON THE GREAT SOUTH PACIFIC EXPRESS : REVENGE OF THE INCAS?

Rare  find  reopens   grand  Queensland   dream  to  build the greatest  train in the  world ,  which   became  a  financial  nightmare , ending up in South America .  
Little Darwin  recently discovered  a  special presentation  gift  to  a   person involved in  construction of  the  luxurious   $35 million  Great South Pacific  Express. It came in the form of  a book  Turning a dream into  reality  The Story of the Great South Pacific Express   by Brisbane  Courier Mail journalist  John Wright , a long-time rail enthusiast, born  in England , along with  the  invitation (below )  to  attend  a special  function  in March  1999   at  Townsville ,  where the train was  built ,  and  board  one  of   the  four  first  commemorative  trips .

Inserted  was  a  letter  from Premier  Peter  Beattie  in which  he said the train exemplified the " can do " attitude of Queenslanders.  Townsville  Railway Workshops had led the way  with  outstanding craftsmanship , supported by  workers   from  QR  engineering , design  and technical areas , with Rockhampton, Ipswich  and  Redbank  workshops  involved.

"All  Queenslanders    will take pride  in the fact that , in  this  state , we have the technical railway expertise , vision  and confidence to  produce what is sure to  be regarded as   the best  train in the world ," the  Premier declared . 

In addition , there are  handwritten inscriptions  from a representative of the famous Orient Express  and Queensland  Rail   chief  executive  Vince O'Rourke  and  general manager of workshops , Terry Fisher.
  
Denise Corcoran , a graduate of the  South Australian Institute of Technology , who had  involved in the   refurbishment of  the   Queenslander,   the  Spirit of the Outback   and had  worked on  the Adelaide to Alice Springs Ghan , was   invited to tender for the  interior  designs   ; she  had travelled on the  Orient Express  from Venice to  Paris .

 In  her research , she came across  drawings and  photographs of  a  coach  built at  the  Ipswich Workshops in 1903  as an  inspection  or  vice-regal car .

The book tells how  Corcoran proposed  a  blend of  late Victorian and  Edwardian decorative   techniques   making use of  fine local  timber such as Queensland  red cedar  and distinct   tropical design  motifs. The Townsville Workshops were placed under great  pressure  but rose to the   challenge, the justifiably   proud   workforce   shown   here  . 
A mock up heritage carriage was  constructed for the  1995  inaugural  AusRail convention in Brisbane  at which the  guest speaker was  Venice Simplon Orient-Express  (VSOE)  chief executive ,  Nick Varian , who  went to Townsville to see  the  statecar  under  construction . 

VSOE decided to become involved in the project . It became clear that  an initial proposal for a  14 carriage  train  confined to  Queensland  would not be a profitable venture .  It was  changed to a 20 car express  with interchangeable  bogies which  would enable a  regular  service between Queensland  and   NSW , possibly beyond .

Six  cars were  sent  to Melbourne  for  an  AusRail conference in 1997 . Along the way the NSW   Rail  chief executive  , David Hill , was quoted as  saying  it was the most  beautiful  train he  had  ever seen ,including the Orient-Express  and South Africa's Blue Train .


 Sunbird marquetry, handpainted   waratahs on the ceiling, art deco panels , rich fabrics, quality crystal , etched mirrors, brass  fittings , leadlights- a stunning  result .   

When the  magnificent   express  went into  service  between  Kuranda , near Cairns , and Sydney ,   it  carried  up to 100 passengers  at  a  cost of  $3500-$5500. Occasional excursions were made to Canberra, the Blue Mountains  and the Hunter region . Unfortunately, the service ran up losses of  $12 million  after four years  and was sold to Orient-Express  Hotels  , London ,  for  an undisclosed  sum in 2005, for use  on  their  trains overseas. 

Twenty  carriages were stored  at the North Ipswich  Railway  Workshops .At one stage  Queensland Rail claimed  the Orient Express  holding company owned  the  express,while Orient Express Hotels  said they still belonged to Queensland .  The  carriages  were moved to  Peru  and  are run in conjunction with  Peruvian Rail as the Belmond  Hiram  Bingham ( the American explorer who discovered  the  Inca citadel  )   luxury  day train  that  takes tourists on  the scenic  run been Cusco and  Machu Picchu , the so called  lost city of  the Incas
 
One online travel guide describes the Belmond Hiram Bingham  train as  gorgeous  with   brass  and  polished  wood ...no mention of  it  having  been  built in  Queensland, Australia .
 
 It is understood that  the  carriages underwent  some alterations, one turned into an observation car ,  in Peru , work  which could have and should   have been carried out in Queensland ; there is also a  report that one carriage was sent  to  Italy .

Photos of  happy passengers  enjoying  the luxury train travel in Peru  include  one which seems to  show the  insignia of  the  prancing  bird on  the invitation   to  the launching   function  in Townsville  in 1999 , sent  to  Donald Allan , a fitter in  the  carriage manufacturing  section .

Saturday, January 21, 2017

CYCLONIC CARDWELL : WET, DRY AND SLITHERY WITH VANILLA

 
 
 
 
Situated halfway between  Townsville  and  Cairns on the  Great Green Way , picturesque  Cardwell  was the  first white settlement  north of Bowen in 1864 , and  offers  access by boat to Hinchinbrook Island , Australia's largest  island national park  on which is the  34 kilometre long  Thorsborne  Trail , limited to no more than 40 trekkers at one time ,  named   after   the late conservationist  Arthur    Thorsborne . The extensive  activities of   Arthur   and  Margaret  Thorsborne , she now a Cardwell resident ,   have   been  chronicled in this  blog . The  Cardwell Information Centre contains   large wooden  carvings and dioramas  .  Local Indigenous art  is  displayed on the  foreshore .   Groups  of  Curlews   attract  attention  in  one  of  the  cafes  and   local  vanilla  slices  go  down well . There is an  op shop  there from which  items of  interest  have been   found by  this   blog . Photos Abra , Vallis

LIKE VENUS , ISLAND RISING

 
 
Cloud display over Magnetic Island .  Abra photographs .


LOOKING BACK AND FORWARD IN ANGER , DESPAIR

Powerful   poetic  view of  the  world  by   longtime   activist,  John  Tomlinson ,  a graduate in  Social Studies   from   the  University of Queensland  in  1964 , arrested over his involvement in  East Timor  struggle , key person in  formation of  the  Northern Territory  Civil   Liberties  Council ,   stirrer par excellence ,   environmentalist , campaigner  for  the  poor and oppressed ,whose  slogan   covered   fishing  boat   was  deliberately  named Yellow Peril to strike fear into Darwin port authorities  when  he radioed   that he  was entering ahead of  an invading  armada .  Now , of course ,  the  Chinese  own the port for  99 years  . Who has had the last  laugh ?  A two in one  book Tomlinson  wrote about  shortcomings in government  services in the  Territory  included  photographs of him  being  manhandled by  a  number  of  police . The  caption   said  it   was   the author   assisting  police  in  their  investigations .  Read on ...            

2017  when  will  we  learn?

 I  watched Obama drone on,

and saw the shattered bodies

collateral damage I was told.

How was he to know it was a wedding party

rather than a rebel stronghold,

from 40,000 feet they look the same.

How to apportion blame?

Yes it was a terrible shame.

But we’ve done it again and again.

I can still feel the pain 

in those children’s tortured limbs. 

Our indifference to Israeli cluster bombs

dropped on Gaza

our understanding of Israel’s hurt,

stung by Arab criticism of their military.

No wonder Israel had to tear down Arab houses

and build Israeli settlements on Arab land.

The judges in Tel Aviv ordered it.

It was ordained in Jewish scriptures.

It must be true, the Zionists told me so

and they should know. 

My government sends soldiers and sailors

and aircrew to fight wars in foreign lands.

To kill and maim and drive insane

anyone who opposes our right to invade their land.

We are spending $50 billion to buy submarines.

We can’t wait to waste money on Strike Fighters.

The military and the police can have what they like

so long as they subjugate my fellow citizens. 

In the Philippines they have elected a madman as president.

He thinks that ordering extrajudicial killings of thousands

of suspected drug dealers is justice and even justifiable.

In West Papua, Kopassus murders Papuans

for raising the Morning Star - their freedom flag.

The TNI shoot peaceful protesters on a whim.

This wholesale slaughter is ignored by my government

so that we can return asylum seekers and their boats

to Indonesia whenever we want. 

Asylum seekers, arriving on leaky boats,

coming across troubled seas, 

seeking to escape tyranny.

And what do we do?

My government incarcerates them 

on distant Pacific Islands where they are molested

by armed guards and local thugs.

Their sanity is sorely tested by constant harassment. 

My government disproportionately jails Aborigines,

It teargasses Indigenous kids locked in prison cells.

Aborigines die 10-20 years younger than other Australians.

We stole their land, we raped their women,

we stole their children and enslaved them.

Now we blame them for their poverty. 

My government sends threatening letters to poor people.

Demanding that they pay back money they never received.

Ministers employ private debt collectors who threaten pensioners.

All the while government ministers greedily grab perks

to top up their $300,000 plus annual salary.

They need to rob the poor so that they can give

tax cuts to big business and subsidies to multinationals. 

We used to have money to burn

but since the rise of neoliberals

we need to learn, 

to strive and yearn

to promote greed 

and stamp out need

blame the impoverished

for their failure to succeed. 

Whilst absolving ourselves 

for avoiding taxes

or not paying our dues. 

Because we owe them nothing,

not justice, not humanity,

not dignity or unity -

this is neoliberal piety.
 
Other  books by him are  People's Poems and Songs   and   a  slim volume produced in Darwin , Reflections of  a  Fool   and  other  Poems   which    cover  the unknown soldier , endless   war   with its slaughter ;  the  Indonesian coup d'├ętat by  Subandrio ;  thoughts of a Black man   sitting  at a  campfire  ,listening to  the call of the Curlew , pondering the  rape of   his  people ; Australia  turned  into  a  Buchenwald .  Entitled  Yesterday, Today  and Tomorrow, a  short piece  tells  of   standing , looking at a  fat barmaid in a city of garish artificiality  ...There is no life here -it is the land of  the dead . It shares only its depression . I wandered  out .  
See  johntomlinsoncollectedworks.com      
 

Friday, January 20, 2017

INAUGURATION OF THE DONALD . Poet : John Tomlinson

I am told that the Trum-pets will dance and angels sing:

 " Glory to the new-found King."

Money lenders will gather at the temple

The poor shall huddle ‘neath the steeple.

The rich shall sing a song of praise

when he emerges from the haze

and I shall stand there in a daze.

Free radiation for one and all

the short and squat and even tall.

We shall be uplifted by his ignorance

enlightened by his arrogance 

we’ll be impressed by his pomposity

he is after all our monstrosity.
 See johntomlisoncollectedworks.com

Thursday, January 19, 2017

BLOODY TELSTRA , OPTUS AND MISSING MAN MYSTERY

A mature aged woman went to Telstra  in  Townsville   to get a  basic  mobile to ring children  in  various parts  of  the nation .  She  is given a   number  which  turns out to   have once  belonged to a man , whose Christian name starts with C ,  who seems to have   done a moonlight  flit   from  his residence  and  has  disappeared   because   all   kinds  of  people  are  ringing up  asking  for  him . One  caller said   he is  three months behind  in  his rent . Surprisingly, a woman, claiming to be  his mother- in-law ,  wants  to know where he  is . Wonder  why?   The  calls  keep  coming  , so  why  is  he  wanted  by so many  people  , and  where  is  he ? 

At the ferry terminal on Magnetic Island this blogger  encountered a woman spitting chips about Telstra's lousy service as  she and  husband  had  moved  into  a new   residence  and  had  not  been hooked  up , as  promised . Many terse  conversations  had  taken place  , promises  not  kept  by Telstra .
 
At  Horseshoe  Bay on  the island  residents  are annoyed  by  the inadequate service , one  quoted as  saying  he is fed up with  Telstra  bullshit as its  system is near its  limit . If  your carrier  is  Optus , who report customer  problems to Telstra , it  has  also  been found  lacking-"near useless".
 
In one recent   episode  Optus informed a  customer  the  problem was  fixed  and would  resume by a  guaranteed  date.  This date was regularly changed as Telstra failed  to  fix .  The furious customer  tracked   down a  Telstra  technician in  Horseshoe  Bay and  was advised Optus had not passed on any  work order, nor alerted him  to  the  specific  problem  in  the area . As  a result , a report  was  lodged with  the Ombudsman   and  a  strong  complaint made to  Optus .
 
A Telstra  technician arrived from Townsville  and  fixed  up  the problem .  
 
There is a long running  history of  slow  computer  speeds, phone outages  and  even  poor  television  reception  on parts of  the island  which  needs  real  action. 
 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A MUDDY PLACE IN THE SUN


Many and varied are the  items and yarns  which  come the way of  this  blog.   Just arrived  is  this original artwork  cartoon  of  journalist  Ian  Mackay , on assignment in New Zealand , dressed as  a  Maori . It is a souvenir from his  days at  Melbourne's  Sun News-Pictorial (said to be  Australia's largest circulating newspaper for more than  50 years )  where for several years he  wrote the  daily column, A Place in the Sun (APITS for short).  It was the newspaper's longest running column , the first  written by  Keith  Dunstan .
 
 "It  was the lot  of  a columnist to be  frequently  humiliated in  the  pursuit of a meagre contribution  to  his  daily measure, " Ian said . "  Hence , I  was   depicted   sinking in  a bubbling, volcanic  mud  pool  at   Rotorua's  Whakarewarewa  by   cartoonist  Neil  Matterson ."  Compensation  for  the  humiliation  included  heaps of  Bluff oysters  and whitebait fritters  down south in Invercargill .

Matterson , also an artist and  illustrator , resigned  several times from the Sun Pictorial  following  rejection    of  his political cartoons  after the dismissal of PM Gough Whitlam on November  11 , l975 , his resignations not  accepted. One of the  strips he invented  was  Cliff, a talking  Koala , who like an archetypal  Australian  could  not  win .  In 1996 he won first prize  in the open theme  section of  the Rotary National  and International  Awards   for  a  Princess  Di gag . 
 
Ian  now has a leafy  place in  the  sun  on  Magnetic Island, complete with nesting   Sunbirds  fore  and  aft .