These are a few of the odd things that set Australia apart from the mother country (i.e. the UK!) Similar, yet different, eh?
The Spider Mailbox
Most suburban houses follow the USA mailbox style, with some sort of box on the edge of the property. But watch out for spiders when fetching the post!
Yet funnel web spiders, some of which can kill you in hours, aren’t the only strange, odd, things.
Merry Christmas in Rye, Victoria
Because just across the road, Santa awaits… inflated to gigantic proportions in an expensive house, built on sand dunes, made in the style of a 19th century colonial house, filled with all the gadgetry and labour-saving devices of the modern world.
A walk in the country can provide a host of oddities, from the deadly to the silly.
These are a few I came across. Places include Melbourne, Port Douglas in tropical Queensland and various sites across the Mornington Peninsular. I’m fascinated by the signs that are put up for public information. A real clue into everything, I think.
Japanese Bomb Sculpture – note the guy mowing the grass in the background. That was a noisy machine I can tell you!
Japanese Bomb Sign – little girl was the only casualty of WW2 on the East Australian mainland. (This contrasts sharply with the tens of thousands killed NOT on the mainland)
Crocodiles and Stinger Signs Next to Each Other! Just off the Captain Cook Highway.
Lotus Blossom in McClelland Art Gallery – contrasts to the large sculptures…
Tourism is Big – this is the Puffing Billy train in the Dandenongs
Big, forward control lorries are common in Australia even in urban areas. They hammer along everywhere, apparently in all lanes.
Graffiti All Over Melbourne – despite the sun and wealth, many of man’s creations are amended with random ink. Cops go on trains in fives.
Even Cats Get Banned from a Vineyard
Man-made Floating Island – this is on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The breaking surf is The Coral Sea
View from a Yacht – Queensland and it’s hills round Port Douglas. You just point and click, there are views everywhere.
More Views – from near Cpt Cook Hwy. Banana fields just out of sight.
Fascination with Olden Days – signs all over, this is Daintree
Daintree River Crocodile Sign – no paddling and keep your eyes open – they’ve had crocs in excess of 5m long here.
Humourous Daintree Crocodile Signs on the WC Publics
My own image of Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas
Cape Tribulation – here the tropical jungle hits the Great Barrier Reef via the mangrove swamps and beach. It’s where Cook’s ship “Endeavour” was dragged ashore to be fixed after crashing into a coral reef (now named after the ship).
Cassowary v Range Rover; not so fair.
Dangerous Pedestrians! They can injure and kill people when provoked.
Views! Along Captain Cook Highway. Australia is full of views. Loads. All over the place.
Tropical Rain Forest, Hot. This is Mossman Gorge, Queensland.
Garbage Recycling, Queensland Style. In Packers Creek, upstream from Port Douglas, they just dump their boats and leave them to the crocodiles when they’re finished with them.
Sign Overload, some graphically scary – Stingers are not nice
View at Port Douglas, Queensland
Melbourne Memorial to a war on the opposite side of the world – beautiful quotes from Wilfred Own in there.
Random Public Art – McClelland Gallery, Frankston.
Odd Signs with Humour
Serious Melbourne Tram System
Ancient “cold” Tropical Rainforest in the South (Dandenongs)
Odd Signs and characteristic Oz Humour
Blue-ringed octopus in a pool at Cape Schanck – there is no known anti-venom!!! It is there in a crack. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-ringed_octopus
Sudden Waves don’t reach the odd sign.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-bellied_black_snake Red-bellied black snake taken walking down to Cape Schanck
Australia is a strange, deadly place, filled with amazing natural resources.
The quirky humour of the people is to be treasured.
They try to be uppity with their restaurants, vineyards, big boys toys and gadgets, yet underneath, the wild west existence is evident all around.
It’s all in the nature of the place.
We are a mixture of the land we live in and the land we came from.
In the spirit of the recent government diktat from dorky Francis Maude for all motorists to get into their cars, then queue for hours to buy up all available petrol, I’ve decided to jump the gun on the water shortage!
I’ve now run round the house turning all the taps on and put the lawn sprinklers on full blast because I’m just outside the hosepipe ban area.
My partner plans to have five baths today as well.
This will ensure that all the water is gone before the ban starts!
Following this morning’s (using GMT) earthquake just off Japan (now set at 8.8 on the Richter Scale, but it keeps rising as more information is analysed), I noticed that the Google search page has a Tsunami warning for all to see.
I thought I’d capture it for posterity.
This truly is an enormous event, the TV videos this morning of the wave’s advance making this perfectly clear. How and when it finishes, we can only watch and wait as one of the great forces of nature plays out before us.
Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11
Fortunately, the Tsunami warning system seems to be doing its job, and hopefully, those countries around the Pacific and the small Pacific Islands within have had enough time to warn folks to get to high ground. This image shows how much time they’ve got!
NOAA Tsunami Warning @ 10:30 GMT
This is the state of play a short time ago and the actual alert, showing wave heights and periods out at sea. When they hit the coast, things are very, very different.
WEPA40 PHEB 111030
TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 006
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 1030Z 11 MAR 2011
THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…
WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.
… A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT …
A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR
JAPAN / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / N. MARIANAS / GUAM / WAKE IS. /
TAIWAN / YAP / PHILIPPINES / MARSHALL IS. / BELAU / MIDWAY IS. /
POHNPEI / CHUUK / KOSRAE / INDONESIA / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /
NAURU / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. / KIRIBATI / HOWLAND-BAKER /
HAWAII / TUVALU / PALMYRA IS. / VANUATU / TOKELAU / JARVIS IS. /
Four views of comet Tempel 1 as the Stardust spacecraft swept past.
The absolute ingenuity of us humans and how far we have come since our cave-dwelling days is supremely demonstrated by the return of pictures by the spacecraft, Stardust.
In this case, 12 years ago, Stardust was launched to look at an asteroid then collect samples from the dust of a comet, Wild 2. It did all of this wonderfully.
Then, in the meantime, another spacecraft, Deep Impact, had been launched which crashed a small craft into another comet, Tempel, back in 2005, creating a crater.
The fantastic demonstration of our technical expertise is that almost on a whim, it was decided to get the first craft, Stardust, to have a look at this crater and beam the picture back to us – and it did all of this automatically, 336 million km from Earth, which a radio signal takes 18 minutes to travel!
Evidence of the crater: Left shows a Deep Impact photo from 2005; Right shows Stardust’s image with a small extra crater.
Our Reluctance to Depart from our Hunter-gatherer Past
Dead Minke On the Nisshin Maru “research factory ship”
Some people still hunt for sport. Some nations dress hunting up with weasel words and hide their blood-lust behind the veil of science. Such a nation is Japan which kills whales for “scientific research” (900-odd this year) yet openly reveals this research as a fraud with with the real goals of short-term monetary gain and blood lust .
Whale for Sale: Sales of whalemeat have fallen, despite promotion
Here we see an advert for the “research” results.
It’s a desperate thing to see this because the Japanese claim that there lots of whales to eat – which was exactly what was said about the blue whale, right whale etc, all of which are now rarities of the ocean when once, they were plentiful.
It’s now being revealed by real research, that the more diverse an ecosystem is (and we live in one, you know), the more chance we will have of surviving all manner of disasters – disease, drought, climate change etc.
For Sale: 5 Bedroom town house in Historic Bridgwater, Somerset SOLD!!
House For Sale - TA6 7DN
On three floors, brick construction. Located on the west side of Bridgwater, with easy fast access to the town centre.
3 reception rooms
Full central heating
Roof remade to modern standards of lining and insulation
Triple glazed conservatory area.
I’m looking at £164k but in the current market, who’s to say? Make an offer.
Needs some renovation to the most modern standards
Small garden front and rear
On main road
On street parking (although most people don’t use their garages for parking hereabouts anyway)
Almost totally complete and original Edwardian (1903) town house with nearly all fittings and fixtures, tiles, original fireplaces (some marble) in every room, inbuilt wardrobes and cupboards, servant’s bell (yes really!). c.f. point 1 above!
Minimal garden maintenance. c.f. point 2 above!
Sash windows ditched in favour of modern double glazing (visually not so good but a lot less draughty and quieter too)
28kW gas-fired Central Heating (except hall for aesthetics)
Huge bedrooms mainly, can easily be converted en-suite with room to spare.
Two w.c., one with bath & shower
Conservatory-like covered and insulated courtyard.
Close to town centre shops & entertainments etc
NOT on the flood plain!! (on an old sandstone mound in Bridgwater on the Somerset Levels)
New clean & efficient bathroom
2.5 miles from M5 motorway
1 mile from mainline railway station with direct links to London & Edinburgh
5 miles from Quantock Hills (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
5 miles from Bridgwater Bay (see above)
15 miles from Brendon Hills & Exmoor, see above
Glastonbury (new age mob) is 25 mins away, Exeter 35 & Bristol is 35-60 mins away, (dependant on time of day and place!)
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