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.
A mural by graffiti artist Banksy, which once featured on the cover of a single by rock band Blur, has been painted over by Hackney Council. The spoof image of the Royal Family, painted on the side of a building in Stoke Newington, east London, was partially covered with black paint
Evelyn has moved to a new place (in Bristol) with her mate. My mate Nobby and I helped her move. Amazingly, she’s got her own bit of (probable) Banksy art right outside her front door – a headless chicken! (see images below.)
Hopefully it’ll stay as it’s quite neat, I think. (The pictures are taken with my Panasonic TZ5 on auto, mostly from across the street).
Leonard Da Vinci: The Last Supper
Co-incidentally, today a house in Stoke Newington has had it’s Banksy mural almost completely painted over until the resident got Hackney Council to stop! Click the picture for the story.
So what is ‘art’ and how ‘permanent’ or otherwise should it be?
Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper‘ started falling apart within decades of it’s creation.
The famous fingers almost touching in the Sistine Chapel aren’t even Michaelangelo‘s work as his original painted plaster fell off! An unknown monk filled in the bits years ago…
God, Sistine Chapel
So two of the most iconic pictures in history are both repaired versions of the originals!
Temporary art, or permanent art. It’s all the same really. Music even more so, especially as a performed work. Whoosh and it’s gone, remembered as a dream within a dream.
Following on from this post about the protest(s) the other day and the obviously censored reporting, we can now look back for a little unheated analysis.
What’s clear to me during the event, was the useless reporting and photograph work, the news organisation’s focus on violence and the hazy halo-like glow that accompanied all reporting from the actual summit. The last I can understand as a positive spin to it will eventually be to everyone’s benefit. And it IS better to talk than fight so there’s a positive outcome to all of this.
Photos and Photographers
What is bad though is the evidence from own eyes (or rather lack of it). Every picture and news report we saw had hundreds of cameras in evidence. In total there must have been more cameras than protesters!
And yet there’s hardly any real gutsy photos anywhere. Check Google images and elsewhere – it’s the same old few dozen that have appeared globally. So what happened to the rest? They must have been really, really boring….
During the protests, a few pictures emerged of bloodied heads. There is one popular one of a policeman with a bandaged head. And yet despite the plethora of cameras, I haven’t seen one single photo of any of these injuries actually occurring – to anyone! Did everyone turn into ‘I saw nothing’ Arsene Wegner?
We are told by the police that there were ‘about 3-500 hardcore trouble-makers’! We were also told that 122 people had been arrested.
So what percentage of these ‘hardcore’ are actually going to court? How will I find out? How many were or will be convicted? Or will it be like the 1980’s miner’s strike when hundreds were locked up without trial and none were ever convicted!! ?
As a way the endure that ‘The State’ maintains it’s power and authority this is pretty effective stuff.
The rosy glow of world leaders smiling like some X-Factor contestant’s publicity shot made certain that any uncomfortable thoughts about freedom and it’s maintenance were quietly forgotten.
Instead, we’ve been treated to quite a few photos of people cleaning the streets and worrying words about ‘the cost’ of this exercise and the cost of freedom. Plentiful sarcastic comment was made by several news organisations about the ‘anarchists’ having the freedom to protest and I even saw a picture captioned ‘anarchists queuing for the portaloo’. We’ve seen close-up shots of ‘the damage’ to a flower bed and bits of graffiti being hosed off buildings to emphasise the cost of all this.
The true cost, of course, isn’t a bag of daffodil bulbs and a bit of compost from B&Q. It isn’t the few hundred quid extra it costs to wash away the words from walls and remove stickiness from statues.
The true cost is the tera-money that’s been wasted by the actions of a few corrupt individuals and that everyone is now paying for. Here’s what is meant by real tera:
kilo – 1000 – cheap car
mega – 1,000,000 – big lottery win
giga – 1,000,000,000 – annual budget for a major government department from a first world country
tera – 1,000,000,000,000 – money wasted by big banks in a year
To put it in perspective;
we could build 10,000 brand new hospitals with that.
we could fly several manned missions to Mars
we could plant the whole of Europe with daffodils, one metre apart (** see calc below)
Instead of any of that, of course, we will all have less while the individuals responsible, almost to a man, laugh up their sleeves and go for a tan.
Europe has an area of ~ 10,000,000 km2 which is ~ 10,000,000,000,000 m2
You can buy daffodils for about 3 to a pound.
Wholesale cheap ones will be about 10 to the pound.
So for a tera bailout, we could buy 10,000,000,000,000 daffodil bulbs!
Mysteriously, this means that for the money wasted by the banks, we could cover the whole of Europe with daffodils planted one metre apart!
That’s the true cost of banking and the true clean-up cost.
…if the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds. – Nichiren Daishonin, from his writings, page 4. Written in 1255.
On being woken today by my clock radio, I heard that one of the two soldiers killed by the ‘Real’ IRA attack threw his unarmed body on top of the 19 year old Domino Pizza delivery boy, Anthony Watson, to shield him from the bullets. This was initially reported here in The Belfast Telegraph. Almost to no avail, though. The gunmen advanced towards them and shot them all as they lay prone on the ground.
We’ll soon determine which of the two young men it was, but I’m reminded of the words of the prophet Jesus, someone whose sayings have been an excuse for much of Irish and the World’s troubles.
“Friend” refers to a fellow human being, and the act is one of those continuing, astonishing acts by ordinary people that remind us that there is “good” as a concept, in humanity.
Following this act, another bunch of hoodlums called the ‘Continuity’ IRA have killed a policeman, as if to validate the justice of their cause and make a point of their own power. The timing is no co-incidence. The real reason is that were being left out of the show and shown to be ineffectual. Their twisted logic meant that they had to do the same.
But what is really heartening, is to see the large public response of disgust to the killings and worry about the consequences. With the obvious exception of the Omagh atrocity (also the rira), the people of Ireland as a whole have had nearly 15 years of peace and a buoyant growing economy. They don’t want to return to the bad old days of thuggery and protection rackets. Many children now don’t have an actual memory of those times, only the stories from others.
But the response is mainly verbal, from vox-pop interviews on the street and phone-ins, say. We need more than a few flowers.
What I’d like is a nice big symbolic gesture from these people to show that the few thuggish families behind all this stuff won’t be tolerated.
Can I suggest, that en-masse, thousands gather and clean up the crap graffiti slogans that litter the walls of Northern Ireland. Call it Direct action for freedom from fear! I’m thinking particularly of the blood-red one pictured left. The symbolic demonstration that ‘this is too much’ to the people nearby (who are the ones doing it, make no mistake) will demonstrate that the people won’t tolerate this stuff, and if they don’t stop, they’ll be outed. Leaving it to the council isn’t good enough if you really, really want peace.
The painted walls as tokenised history should be next to go, but the reality of this red crapis that it legitimises the evil ideas and actions of a few thuggish types. If you really want peace you should be prepared to assert your right to it. Like the young soldier who threw himself onto the pizza boy.
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