Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A write off?

Yesterday afternoon I had a call from my brother Graham.  He told me that his car had been badly damaged by another car and he needed a lift home.   Graham works at a shop in a reasonably large shopping centre where employees of the shops there cannot park in the centre’s parking area, so Graham parks his BMW in another nearby street.  
When he finished work, he found a rather tatty car with the engine still running and no driver to be seen.  Witnesses to the crash saw the driver flee from the scene and one of them called the police.  When I arrived on the scene, there were two motorcycle cops and a forensic officer attending along with three tow trucks.  The cops did a search on the vehicle registration and a known villain came up.  Damage to Graham’s car is probably enough for it be written off.  A rear wheel has been pushed forward in the wheel well and two doors and a door pillar damaged. 
 click images to enlarge

Wheel/axle pushed forward

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Under the Lighthouse Dancing

Rottnest Island is around 22 kilometres from the Port of Fremantle in Western Australia. It is a popular holiday destination.  In 1997 a movie was filmed on Rottnest, named Under the Lighthouse Dancing.  A house was specially constructed for the filming and later transported to a spot on the Swan River at Bicton.

It is unknown how much the transporting and construction on the riverside block cost.  The block itself must have been worth a small fortune.  I reckon the neighbours must have been taken aback at the strange house in amongst the millionaires’ dwellings.  

click to enlarge
Film prop at Rottnest Island

Now overlooking the Swan River

Bicton Baths where I learned to swim
by myself some 70 years ago.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Can You Help

A friend acquired this mystery photo and I sent it in to our daily paper here in Western Australia to seek help identifying the place and the reason for the celebratory march over the bridge.  The West, as our paper is called, has a weekly page called Can You Help, where readers can ask for all sorts of help.  Very interesting page.

Click to enlarge

When it was published, I had a number of phone calls from country people and four callers felt that it was definitely the opening of the bridge at a small town named Williams in the W.A. wheat belt and then I had a call from Julie, who is a member of the Dongara Historical Society telling me that the bridge is the Dongara Bridge over the Irwin River and she has seen the same pic in a local history book.   I did a simple search and she is indeed correct.  The march was in 1887 and was to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.  A very British time back then.
Click to enlarge

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hospital visit

Visited a friend in hospital today.  Several months ago Rob had a second hip replacement.  He has had emergency treatment seven times due to an infection and now has a temporary hip replacement which will be replaced when he is stabilised.  He was to go home today, but the surgery is still causing problems with a brownish liquid leaking from the closure.

When I visited him at Fiona Stanley Hospital I took a snack of biscuits, selected cheese and my favourite, green olives stuffed with anchovies.  It turns out Rob doesn’t eat cheese or olives or anchovies.  He ate the bikkies whilst I got the goodies.

Click pic to enlarge

Monday, September 18, 2017

Computer recycling

Had a visit from a Mercy Care volunteer, Tania, with a young lady who came to collect an iMac to help with her studies.  Alicia is a bright young lady who very quickly grasped the basics of the Mac operating system.  She does not have a modem to connect to the internet and so will connect through her mobile phone.

click to enlarge

I also had a visit from a fav ex-student of mine; Krissy.  She is always welcome and we both enjoy a few coffees and great conversations.  Krissy knows my kitchen almost better than I do and knows how to operate my coffee machine.
Love her visits.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Of cars and flowers

I have been doing a little work on my new toy; my Mazda 1993, 929.  One of the windscreen washer jets was blocked and so I ventured out to a Mazda dealer to try and get a replacement.  The man asked for the Mazda VIN (vehicle identification number) which I neglected to write down before leaving home.   He came back telling me that there are a range of them available starting @ $80.  I decided to clean the muck out of the jets and it is working well again.  Silly me, figured it would have cost around $8.

Flower time....Bird of Paradise.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My worm farm.

Inside my worm farm.   They like their sweets!

click to enlarge

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Australian Citizenship

Australia seems like it is having a purge of non citizens from Parliament where quite a few members of Federal Parliament have dual citizenship and have neglected to declare themselves as Australian.   
Our son Martin encountered this problem in 2011 when he was in Melbourne working for a Coles Supermarket.  The management suspended him when he could not prove his Australian citizenship. Martin Was born in Wewak, New Guinea in 1972.   The northern half of Papua New Guinea, was deemed to be a U.N. Trust Territory and at the time of leaving PNG we were required to declare Martin to be an Australian citizen.
At the time of Martin’s suspension, my late wife Joan was deceased and I could not remember if we did indeed declare him to be an Australian.   After some months of dealings with the bureaucracy in Canberra, we finally received notice that Martin was indeed Australian.  Too bad Coles couldn’t keep his job safe.

Most of the politicians caught up in the dual citizen debacle were either born in Australia to parents from overseas or arrived in Australia at a very young age.  Martin was nearly declared an alien with the possibility of being deported to his home country, Papua New Guinea.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Martin and Helen Lock

Our kids; Helen and Martin, 45 years ago in Papua New Guinea

click to enlarge

Monday, August 7, 2017

Anti Vaccinators

In the news here in Western Australia, is a story about a young man who attends a private alternative school quite close to my house.   The school has a clientele of  kids who,  it has been shown, have parents who are doubtful of the efficacy of  vaccination against such diseases and many claim vaccination to be dangerous.
This lad went to Italy with the family for a holiday and upon returning to Australia has presented with a case of measles at his school.  As there is an estimated 40-50% non-vaccinated student population at the school  there is a worry that it could spread rapidly amongst the general school population.

Have they not heard about Polio?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sleep Apnoea

I attended the specialist monitoring my Sleep Study.  He outlined the various treatments which are standard for Sleep Apnoea management and their % effectivity.
The treatment which suits my case includes Posture Modification; CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), MAS...virtually an expensive mouth guard to extend the lower jaw and Nasal Resistive Patches. He ruled out surgery of the throat.  Thanks for that Doc.
The Dr also reminded me that during the overnight study I spent 3.5 hours sleeping on my back which is where I had the 27 non-breathing episodes. When I slept on either side of my body I had almost no breathing interruption.
So, we decided to give a two-month trial of the Posture Modification method and at his suggestion I purchased a plastic block which when fastened onto my back is to make it so uncomfortable that my brain tells me to sleep on my side. I stopped off at a $2.00 shop and bought a dogs toy which has hard lumps all over it.  Last night I placed that inside a tight T Shirt on my back and I did not wake once during the night.  

After two months I will have another overnight study done to assess the results.
Click to enlarge

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mazda 929 1993

I bought myself a present.....a 1993 Mazda 929. It was just $3,000 and runs quite well for its 24 years. Done just 145,000 kilometres. There are a couple of things to get it back to original condition.  One is a driver's door window motor.  I have sourced one and will buy it during the week.
I have previously owned three 929s so know my way around them.  The body and paint is in good condition and the interior is good for its age. 

I like it!
Click to enlarge

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The State Engineering Works

This last Friday I had a meeting with a lady who was documenting memories of the long-gone industrial strip at Leighton, near north Fremantle.  I was an apprentice Turner Machinist starting my 5 year apprenticeship in 1953 at the State Engineering Works. The SEW was a large state government owned establishment.  When I worked and trained there it had around 600 employees in carpentry/joinery, metal machinery, foundry, pattern making, boilermaker, draughting, meter shop departments.
During WW2 the SEW gained some large machinery from the USN to service U.S. Submarines homed in Fremantle Harbour.  Bren Gun Carriers were also built at the SEW during the war.

I was asked a number of questions about how I selected the SEW to commence my apprenticeship and the background of my family and about the many projects I had either worked on or observed.  The information gathered is to be collated and some sort of report is to be made.  The SEW was situated on prime elevated land in Rocky Bay, probably the nicest part of the Swan River and at the time of me working there, there were rumours that the Liberal State Government would close the SEW and sell the land off to developers.  Much consternation by labour unions and the Labor Party in opposition.  As it happened, it was the Labor Government who eventually sold the State Engineering Works.

I guess it was no longer an era of government in competition with other engineering companies.  
In the last couple of years of the SEW, one of the projects was the casting of the winged keel for Australia 2, the winner of the America’s Cup in 1983.  The U.S. had successfully defended the cup for the previous 132 years.
Click to enlarge
from Google Earth

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sleep assessment

I have just returned from St John’s hospital after an overnight sleep assessment.  I arrived at around 8.45pm and descended into the bowels of the hospital to try and find the Sleep Unit.  After being redirected several times, I found it and was allocated my room and told to get into pyjamas ready to have all the electrodes attached all over my body.  For info about all those wires see here.
The sleep technician, Marikah, attached all the electrodes and went to the control console to test the connections.  There were a couple of electrodes that had to be replaced and then the function test began.  Blinking of eyes; eye movements, pointing toes etc, all passed the test.  I found the tangle of wires a bit constrictive of my usual tossing and turning during sleep and the duty technician had to visit several times during the night to change or reset electrodes.

Both young lady technicians were pleasant especially Marikah who had around 50 minutes with me setting up and testing all the wiring.  We covered a few stories (admittedly, mostly mine) whilst she was with me.  At one stage she took my blood pressure and it was 166 over 85....a bit high!     I attributed it to having a very attractive technician fussing over me.

Click image to enlarge

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Memories of a wild land

Yesterday had a visit from a friend Greg, who recently returned from one of his regular business trips to Papua New Guinea.  He brought me a most welcome gift package of two PNG coffee mugs featuring the names of 20 provinces of PNG and a collection of PNG newspapers all in a ‘Steamies’ shopping bag.  Steamies is a large department store which as well as supplying townspeople in Port Moresby with their goods, ran a small shipping line supplying goods to coastal government stations around the coast of Papua when I first taught in PNG starting in 1962.

In the 10 years I taught in PNG, I taught in six of those provinces.

Click images to enlarge

Inside the cups...'it's finished'
Pidgin English

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Visiting Ralph in care

My friend Dennis and I visited another oldie in a nursing home Wednesday.  We try to make a weekly visit and also catch up with him (Ralph) when his wife collects him to get together for our weekly gathering of oldies.  
Ralph’s residential is quite nice.  It houses and cares for, around 100+ clients.    The building is largely powered by massive banks of solar panels. Ralph has his own room and the carers seem to be nice people mainly it would seem, from the Philippines and Southern Africa.  Ralph can no longer walk and has only around 10% sight.  He has been in care for approximately six months and seems to be coping reasonably well.   In the home is an elderly woman who hovers near the front door and attempts to escape when visitors are entering and leaving.  The main office is near the door and a call for a carer is made to thwart the escape.

Another friend’s father was in a similar situation and that establishment had built a replica of a bus stop and shelter within the grounds.  Most would-be escapees just sat waiting for the bus to Fremantle.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Conversing with Siri

Yesterday we had our weekly oldies gathering at Joy’s house. I enjoy them immensely. It is very comforting to see that the other 5 in our group are also losing words and names of things.
One of the ladies told us of using her iPad with her grandson where Siri suddenly said...... ‘I didn’t understand what you wanted’. She quickly entered into a somewhat mixed up conversation with Siri and her grandson loudly told Siri to “F-Off”. Grandma gave him a clip around the ears and apologised to Siri for his rudeness. She didn’t tell us what Siri’s reply was. Laughter all round at that one.
I imagine that Siri’s programmers have thought up a range of answers to that sort of question. When I have asked Siri if she loves me, there have been a few varied answers, none of which have been ....’Yes’.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Being old aint no picnic!

Yesterday my GP read me the results of the overnight Holter test.  It seems that there were frequent intermittent periods of atrial bigeminy. Another discovery was that I may have Sleep Apnoea found in the SBD (sleep disordered breathing) screening process.
I now have to visit a specialist for further advice.  Damn!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

DNA Ancestry test

Today  I received the results of my Ancestry DNA test.  It is nothing too exciting.  I figured that as both sides of my family; the Locks and the Lees emigrated to Australia from England around 1900 the results would show a Western European/Irish connection.  The lower part of Britain including Somerset is highlighted and that is where the my Locks originated.   Before that no clues.

Click to enlarge
The possible relatives shown are contactable
but mine are rated as possible/probable relatives (40% at best)

Both of my families emigrated to the Australian
east coast and then moved to Western Australia.

Of interest was a list of approximately 8,800
probable distant cousins with an email portal
to contact any one, or all of those named. I have
already mailed one person with a familiar name.
A few of the many.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Holter Monitor

This morning I had a Holter Monitor attached to areas near my heart to record heart rate and rhythm over 24 hours.  I had previously had an ECG (electrocardiograph) which showed some abnormalities.

I am having this test to get answers as to whether my heart beat/rhythm is likely to put me in Stroke country.      Results tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gopher repair

A friend has had a small accident on her Gopher (Go For).  A plastic shroud has been broken and I am doing a rough repair job on it.  Should be back in action in a couple of days.

I am not sure what these things are called in other places, but I believe Gopher is an Australian description/name.

This is the first time I have driven a Gopher and I am looking forward to owning one in the not too distant future; not!!

Click to enlarge

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A few more old pics

click to enlarge

HMS Adamant and subs
Fremantle Harbour 1945

US subs and mothership
Fremantle 1945


British migrants disembarking
at Fremantle 1947

HMS Victorious departing with Australian
war brides


Sunday, April 23, 2017


My lemon tree is producing hundreds of juicy fruit and I have been giving them away to friends.  Last year it bore so much fruit a branch broke off.   I guess I should prune it back sometime.
Click to enlarge

I also had a Tahitian Lime tree in a pot and of course, it eventually became root bound.  So, I dug a hole near the lemon tree, prepared the ground and transplanted it.  I was worried that it might not like that treatment, but with constant heavy watering it has survived well and is showing new flowers and small fruit.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Just a few photos

Just a few photos...Click to enlarge

My father with Helen
and Martin at a Haus Tambaran
1973 Sepik District, PNG.

1923 Bugatti at Molsheim  Auto Museum France

Fred C Ainsworth USN supply ship
Fremantle Harbour 1945
Kalgoorlie goldfields.
Exchange Hotel Kalgoorlie
Western Australia

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Personal Effects

I have for some years subscribed to a daily edition of The Writer’s Almanac.   It is a quite wonderful birthday call on writers and poets.    It is a free subscription and I recommend it to you.

I am not big on poetry, but the following is my all time favourite.

Personal Effects
By Frannie Lindsay

For once not arguing,
we divide among ourselves
the things she left; her mother’s mothers’s
swan brooch, her pilled and odorless
brown coat, sturdy Timex,
the night shirt she mended
with clashing thread.

The morning before, I sat
by my mother’s bed
to ask her what she would like
the paper to say about her
life. It was like bring read a story 
backwards, the reader becoming 
the child afraid to fall asleep.

With the shift nurse helping 
and some baby oil, and trembling
the way he did the day he slipped it on,
my father bends over 
the quieted body I thought I saw breathe,
and slides off her wedding ring.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Styptic Pencil

A few days ago I cut my face shaving.   Even resorting to the Norman Gunston method, I could not stop the blood flow.

Norman Gunston

So I patched the cut up with tissue paper and went to a pharmacy to buy a Styptic Pencil, which as I remember from years ago,  could stop an arterial haemorrhage. 

It worked immediately and I was reminded of the generic name for a Styptic Pencil; a jesus stick.  Even though I am losing some words at my age, the sudden very sharp pain of the JS being applied brought back a loud JEEESUS!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Costly non-electric clothes drier

In January 1975 we were on leave from Papua New Guinea and decided to buy a grand old colonial house in the suburb of Bicton.  We were the second owners of this house which was built in 1897. 

At the end of ’75 we returned to Western Australia and moved into our house.  It was still partially furnished with some interesting pieces including a piano, appliances, furniture and personal letters and diary of the previous owners.  A simple clothes drier was in the laundry and I have found the same one on a site in the USA for sale for AU$ 942.00.  It seems that the drier is almost 100 years old and still in good shape.  

'Tell 'em they're dreamin'

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Joan gets a new resting place

Yesterday we; daughter Helen and I, transferred soil from a plant pot to a larger pot and planted a new rose in the new pot.
The original pot’s soil contained my wife Joan’s ashes and in shifting the pot in the garden, roots were damaged and that rose eventually died.   We visited a nursery and found an identical rose, planted the rose in the larger pot.  Had a glass of champagne with Joan and Helen reminded me that when it is time, I shall join Joan in the new pot.

The rose is an ebb tide florabunda 

Click to enlarge

New rose

The original rose

Friday, March 17, 2017

Farewell Albert

My long time friend Albert passed away last Wednesday.  We had know each other for 55 years  starting when we were Heads of our respective primary schools in Papua New Guinea.  My school was on a beach around 15 miles from Albert's, and on weekends I would often cycle along the beach to spend time with Albert in his one room accommodation.  After a few years we both transferred to different areas of PNG, but caught up again each time our paths crossed back in Australia.  Albert lived in Sydney and I live on the other side of Australia in Perth.  In recent years we regularly kept in touch with Skype and Apple FaceTime.  

About a year ago Albert was diagnosed with Leukaemia and we talked up until a week ago; he from a palliative care unit.   He was 78, just a year older than me.

Click to enlarge photo.
Albert in 1962 in Papua

Monday, March 13, 2017

Western Australian elections

Well, the state elections for this state of Western Australia are over and the Labor party has won in what has been correctly called a landslide.  The incumbent government of the Liberal Party took a punt on joining with a very controversial party, One Nation, in a preference deal.  One Nation  is a Donald Trump style baby party with the party’s leader, Pauline Hanson espousing Donald Trump like pronouncements about race issues, vaccination and an embarrassing praise of Vladimir Putin etc etc.

A major road project commenced in the lead up to election day is to be cancelled in the next couple of days.  
The controversy about this road project is a fair bit of NIMBY (not in my back yard) both from for and against people.  The project was a plan to ease trucking traffic on a highway and extend a freeway road through some wetlands and through a suburb with a six lane highway estimated to serve around 5,000 trucks a day. 

Part of the bush-land clearing for the 5 kilometre freeway extension known as Roe8.

click photo to enlarge

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

6 years

Saturday 25th was the 6th anniversary of my dear wife Joan’s death.  

Is 'anniversary' the right word?  Anniversary sounds like a celebratory word.

I miss her terribly and still feel her presence in our house.

Martin, Helen, Joan and Kev. Circa 1985

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Today I met a young lady named Sladjana who is physically disabled with Transverse Mialitis.  She is 19 and virtually paralysed from the neck down.  She was visiting a lady who was her long time carer and accompanied by a young community support worker. 
Sladjana is known as Budgie to her carers.   Her wheelchair is amazing. She can control it with a chin control and when using her laptop she has a remote control mouse giving her all the actions of hands and mouse. There are other aids on the wheel chair such as breathing assist etc etc. 
I am unsure what actually I was invited along for, but I believe I may have interested her in writing a blog about her condition and her day-to-day struggles and wins.  I directed her to my blog and will wait to see if she likes the idea and wants help setting one up.  

Click pictures to enlarge

'Budgie' with computer mouse control

With community support from Clover

Budgie is intelligent, computer literate and artistic.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Regular medical checkup

Over the last week I have had some regular medical tests done....bloods and heart ECG. 

The blood test had a couple of pointers....cholesterol up; iron up and slightly elevated blood pressure even though I take a drug for hypertension.  
The ECG let my GP know that there is problem with irregular heart beats.  He decided to send me for a 2D/Doppler Echocardiogram.  I had that yesterday. The procedure took around 40 minutes and around 40 images were collected.  I will return to my GP on Friday morning to hear what is next.

I don’t receive any age pension, so I missed out on a state pensioner discount of the fee, however Medicare here is good and I paid $480.00 for the procedure and medicare will give me back $196.10.   

PS: My heart seems to be OK for an old fart.  The irregular heart beat will be looked at with a 24 hour portable ECG monitor.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Bunnings Hardware is a very successful Australian hardware chain.  I hope they continue being successful as I have  a moderately large WesFarmers/Bunnings share package.

There is a Bunnings store near me and I buy there regularly.   One thing I have noticed over the years is the senseless pilfering.  It is especially noticeable in the gardening machinery aisles.  I am unsure if the thieving of mower and other petrol engine parts is done by repairmen or if there are people who just like to be bastards.  Click images to enlarge.

In this aisle I counted 18 bits stolen
fuel caps are popular

Carburetor parts taken
This one also lost its chain