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.
This link to the wayback machine shows one of the inaccuracies that the Crawling Chaos website was created to correct. I’ve posted it here as the blog bloke (Jo Kyle) can’t be bothered to keep things on track, organised or reply to my posts …
Hope you don’t mind me writing but I have a little more information on Crawling Chaos. What I know I know to be true because they went to my school and a saw quite a few gigs including their first and last.
They were from the villages of Seghill and Seaton Delaval in Northumberland, England. The first gig was during morning break at Astley High School, Seaton Delaval, in the main hall circa 1978. Every kid in school (600+) was allowed to attend. Although it was a very embryonic group they did sing “Throwing Pins”. The singer was Paul Shields. The last gig took place at a Miners Welfare Hall in Bebside, Blyth, Northumberland in 1990 when they done a few songs, announced it was the end and walked off.
In the meantime they used to preview new material at the Working Mens Club In New Hartley, Northumberland, to a frankly astounded audience. They used the name Blonde Ethiopean Dance Troupe to do even odder numbers, as their own support band. Paul Shields would come on stage in skimpy shorts and body paintings that made him look like he was covered in ivy.
It has to be said that their live performances differed a lot from the recorded ones. They were a bit more audience friendly with some pretty sonic out and out punk songs. For instance, “sex machine” sounded like something from the first Clash LP.
They weren’t particularly odd people though I recall the bassist lived in a disused church or something. I am sure that for a time, the drummer was Paul Gough (?) who also played for Marc Riley and the Creepers.
The last time I saw Paul Shields was about two years ago when The Fall played locally. He walked onto the stage and tried to take the mic from Mark E. Smith, who just had time to half smile before security removed Paul Shields from the stage fairly brutishly.
I hope this gives you a better idea about Crawling Chaos. I have to say I was staggered when Factory signed them. And guess what? They never recorded there best song – “Merry Christmas Prince Charles” which was a very punk, angry snarl.
It’s good that they are getting some recognition.
That’s fascinating! It’s amazing, in the indie-friendly environment that we live in, to forget exactly how hard things were twenty years ago–and we forget the weirdness was not treated with the same amount of artistic respect that is so common these days.Their music really was some of the weirdest of their day; indeed, there are very few bands today that can even live up to such a standard. Such bands seem so calculated, whereas Crawling Chaos are simply…beyond the scope of time. About the only thing that I’ve heard recently that could compare would be the solo debut album of Matt Elliott, The Mess We Made. Thanks for writing; historical perspective is always welcome!
This was the banner headline in Melody Maker, I think, for the gig at the Leigh Festival in 1979.
Two things stick in my mind about the gig (we played in the afternoon) apart from it being freezing cold and there being no-one there. The topic in both is toilet related for all fans of lavatorial humour.
On the bus there were no toilets but there was lots of cans of beer and lager. So increasing bladder pressures led to the empty tins getting filled with piss (I think the bus only did one piss stop on the journey). Doomage had just filled his empty can and Billy Connolly (Gordon) asked if he could have a drink of lager because he was thirsty. Doomage gave him the can of piss, expecting some form of derogatory comment, and Gordon drank it, remarking only, that it tasted warm.
Funnily enough, (in the interests of joined-up thinking), I recall seeing on “Richard and Judy”, a guy talking about the (cringe-worthy) health-giving merits of piss drinking. I think the disaster prone alleged-sausage-nicker referred to it as “Urine Therapy” and the guy came from,… where else,… but Manchester. Someone else has remarked on this; see a posting here. (BTW, I’ve only ever seen about 3 R & J episodes, and this was one of them, all by accident I’d like to point out before the street cred is shot too much.)
The second thing is the fact that Crawling Chaos had a song called “Merry Christmas, Prince Charles” which Jeff and me wrote in my bedroom in 10 minutes and embellished over time. The song started with a long monologue from me backed by mournful keyboard and guitar sounds and a few cymbal splashes. The gist of the “speech” was about a fictionalised personal meeting between Strangely Perfect and Prince Charles which I always made up on the spur of the moment.
In the case of the Leigh Festival, there were some toilets which I’d visited just before we went on because of all the beer and nerves, (they were to the right when viewed from the stage), and I fitted them into the monologue…An hour or so later, when we’d finished playing, this beautiful girl came up to me and started talking about the Prince Charles song (naturally, I really thought I was in there as I thought she was chatting me up…).
She said, “You know you mentioned the toilets where you talked to Prince Charles?”
“Yes?”, I feverishly replied….
“Well can you tell me where they are – ‘cos I’m bursting?”, she deflatingly retorted with her question.
And that was the end of what could have been a wonderful romance!
Apart from that, we didn’t stay to see Joyce D’vision (or if we did I can’t remember) but I recall seeing OMD and their spinny tape deck (we had one similarly but kept it out of sight as we had more than enough stuff to fill the stage)
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