Tuesday, 29 January 2013


I was watching the Sri Lanka versus Australia match the other night. This series is being played here in Australia. I was completely surprised at the large number of Sri Lankan supporters in attendance. They were mostly dressed in their national colours and waving the flag of Sri Lanka.
Whilst I think that this is a good thing I was also disappointed to note that there seemed to be very few if any Sri Lankans supporting Australia. Over the past years we have welcomed many Sri Lankan refugees into our country and many of them have done the right thing by becoming Australian citizens. So! My question is if they left Sri Lanka to find a better life here in Australia why are they not supporting the country that has taken them in and to which many of them have now pledged allegiance.

Friday, 25 January 2013


Every year at this time...Australia Day celebrations....we get a flood of ideas for a new Australian Flag. So far I have never seen one that I like better than our current flag.
To me our current flag embodies many essential concepts. Our heritage which is shown in the Union Jack. Our peaceful union from separate colonies into one country. Not very many countries can state that they came into existence due to a vote by the people. The southern cross which highlights our position on the globe.
Until someone can convince me that there is a major problem with our current flag I am very happy to stick with it.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Rhododendrons Azaleas and Camellias all grow very well here in the high country in the state of New South Wales in Australia. Here in the beautiful Blue Mountains we even have a Rhododendron festival in November every year.
Where I live it is 1100 meters above sea level and we even get snow falls in winter. These pictures were taken in my garden in the Spring of 2012. I use very little fertilizer
but keep up the mulch around the plants roots. They also do not like long dry spells, of which we get a few up here in Summer, so it is important to keep the water up to them during these times.
Sometimes heavy rain during flowering can saturate the flowers and cause them to droop very quickly. With the Rhodos it is also important to note that some years you may get very little or no flowers. I asked my local nursery about this and they said that it is perfectly normal as sometimes the plants just need a rest.


The Australian Cricket team Selectors have a policy where they routinely rotate players. This appears to have nothing to do with the form of the player or even if they genuinely need a rest. I believe that it is good to give young upcoming players a chance, but at what price. Players taken out of the game at the top of their form disrupts their momentum and impacts on the integrity of the team.
The recent losses by our national team could, according to some commentators, be partly as a result of this policy.
Whilst I fully support whatever team takes the field it would be nice to see that our very best are playing in every instance.

Monday, 14 January 2013


I believe that McDonalds in Australia are changing their name to MACCAS. OK. OK. Most Aussies already shorten their name to that.
The problem now becomes what do we shorten that to............MACS...MAS.  You see my problem.We cant just leave it at MACCAS.

Friday, 11 January 2013


The past week has been fairly typical for those of us lucky enough to live in the best, fairest, free and democratic country in the world. AUSTRALIA.
The week started out with bad bush fires in the state of Tasmania with over a hundred homes lost and much more property damage. There were soaring temperatures in the state but just a few days later it was snowing on some of the higher peaks.
Then there were temperatures of 42 to 43c in the suburbs of Sydney.
Queensland is now experiencing high temperatures in parts of the state and flooding rains elsewhere.
Here in our part of the Blue Mountains  it was just 11c yesterday morning with thick mist and fine rain and today it will reach nearly 35c
Off the northern coast of Western Australia a category 4 cyclone ( a hurricane for Americans) is bearing down on the coast.
It is all part of the fabric of this country that helps to make it so unique.


Today here in the Blue Mountains the temperature is expected to reach 34c and a total fire ban has been declared. It makes me sick to the stomach when I see on the news reports that the police have been investigating at least three small fires only a few hundred metres from my house that they believe have been deliberately lit. There have also been a number of arrests over the past few days of high fire danger. Well over a hundred homes have been lost, thousands of hectares of farmland burnt out and families traumatised beyond belief and these cretins want to create more damage and possible lose of life.
Words cannot describe the contempt that I feel for them.
I just hope that our court system treats these people appropriately.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


Living here in the beautiful Blue Mountains in a house surrounded by bush we are very aware of the dangers of bush fires. Today the threat is listed as EXTREME. The wind is already picking up which just adds to the danger.
Unfortunately governments, councils and the general public many times have very short memories of past bushfire disasters. There are always discussions, plans and promises shortly after but many times nothing is done. I am afraid that the same applies to major floods.
Before white settlement the bush here in Australia would burn off, sometimes for months on end, on a regular basis.This had the effect of reducing the fuel load so that most fires were not catastrophic. Today we do only a minute amount of burning off to reduce that fuel load and make every attempt to put out fires as soon as they start. This later may seem a good thing but the end result is that the available fuel on the ground for a fire just builds up and builds up until there is no way of stopping a raging fire once it starts.
There are many things that we can do to limit the danger from bush fires. Burning off in the winter. Better fire breaks around towns. Constructing houses in fire zones that have a greater degree of defence against fires. These are just a few and I am sure that most of us are aware of many more. The great question though is, what do we do about implementing these things?

Friday, 4 January 2013


Just a few small observations regarding the Climate Change Debate. Firstly let me state that I am not a denier nor a convert just a healthy sceptic of the arguments used by both sides.
One. Why have the headlines changed from Global Warming to Climate Change.
Two. Why under the banner of Climate Change is it recorded that Perth has had its hottest December in 13 years. It was hotter 13 years ago so why the headlines.
Three. Most scientists agree that we are still coming out of the last ice age. If so does that not mean that the average temps would still be rising.
Four. Many land masses are either rising, sinking or moving so how do we measure sea levels
Five. In places like Australia we have only got records, or anecdotal evidence going back some 200 years. We do not have glaciers or ice sheets that can be used to determine past weather so how can we be sure that the average temps here, taken over a long period, are either warmer or cooler.
Six. I am always sceptical of groups, organisations or semi political areas that appear to need large amounts of money to arrive at a conclusion that they already seem to have made up their mind about.
Seven. I am also sceptical when governments tell us that most of this problem can be fixed with yet another TAX.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


It is already the second day of the new year. Yesterday was a day for sleep and recuperation.
As always a new year starts full of hope and a wish for it to be better than the preceeding one. This is as true for me as I am sure it is for most people.
Last year, in May, I received a bone marrow transplant to treat a return of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. The donor was my eldest son. I now have the same DNA as my son and also the same blood group as him. Amazing eh!! So for 2013 my only resolution is to keep as fit and healthy as I can and my hope and wish is that my disease does not return again.
So to any one who may read this, I trust that you will have a happy and healthy 2013 and remember to enjoy and find happiness in every day.