Sunday, November 29, 2015

122 years

I arose this morning finding myself to be 76 years of age.  How did that happen?

Daughter Helen had her 46th birthday celebration yesterday.  Her and her husband James are having people around for lunch to celebrate both our birthdays.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chinese company to lease Port Darwin

I normally do not comment on politics or religion.

But I confess to not understanding how the Australian Federal Government is to allow the 100 year lease of Darwin harbour to a Chinese firm.  China is spreading its wings commercially and militarily.  In the last 30 years or so, China has transformed itself from an agrarian peasant state to a manufacturing giant.   I have looked for Australian made products and except for cars, most of the goods for sale emanate from the PRC.  

I recently bought a worm farm and was pleasantly surprised to see it was manufactured in Australia.  Searching the house I cannot see anything else I have bought in the last 10 years made in Australia.

Darwin port has a RAAF base alongside it and there is a U.S. presence there in the form of shipping and approximately 1500 Marines on rotation.

Dumb policy move Australia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tree House

My daughter Helen has a Pre-Primary class at a school near Rockingham.  She, and her enthusiastic Teachers Aid, Lyndy, decided they should enhance the school yard with a Tree House and I was recruited to build the tree house and associated mushrooms and windows. The house is not as you might imagine.  The plan is to make a door an entrance to the tree. Later will come small windows around the trunk of the tree and a small crop of mushrooms around the base of the tree.

It sounded like a good idea and I bought bits and pieces from our local hardware store to construct the tree house door and it did test my woodwork skills as my woodwork tools run to a jigsaw and hammer.  I'm more of a metal bloke.

The doorway is to be fixed to the base of a tree in the school yard and further up the tree trunk will be windows with people ( things) looking out.  

I am only the artisan in this project and I hope that what I have made will stir imagination in their pupils.
The door to the tree house

Mushroom mould. Modelling plaster to be added.

Lyndy, with yet to be painted mushrooms

Oops they turned out to be Toadstools.
With Helen our daughter

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Power cable storage

With all the computers, printers etc I have received over the years I have heaps of power cables left over from machines that were not restorable.   They used to live in a large cardboard box on the workshop floor, but now the black cords have their own rack.

click to enlarge

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Papua New Guinea Expatriates' gathering

Four ex-Papua New Guinea expatriates got together on Sunday.  Two served in PNG as Kiaps (Patrol Officers); I taught there for ten years and the other, Mike, was with DASF (Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries).

Harvey was a Kiap and we met in the Sepik District in the early 1970s.  My Vocational Centre students completed two projects for Harvey; one an aid post and the other to dismantle a prefabricated building and move it another site and reassemble it.
Vocational centres had to be self-sufficient with materials, tools, vehicles and fuels etc.  Staff salaries and boarding school rations were the province of the administration.

Much discussion on Sunday was about different characters, successful and some not so successful.  The DASF person Mike had also moved to different stations during his time in PNG and the day was spent imbibing some (plenty of) beer (I remained sober as I was to drive Harvey’s car back to his home) and lots of ‘Do you remember so and so?  All of us agreed that we were most fortunate and proud to have been part of the the lead up to Independence with extraordinary adventures never to be had again anywhere.

The old being the oldest at 76 this month. Click to enlarge.

Mike, me, Harvey and Garry

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Huge aloe vera

A couple of photos of an aloe vera bush (tree?) I saw at a market garden a few kilometres from my place.  There is a small house behind the plant.   
Click photos to enlarge.....

This closeup shows the dangers in arriving home
PP (partially pissed) and walking into the aloe vera