Beautiful Brisbane

We arrived in Brisbane early on a Saturday and were met by the aunt and uncle of the young appendage. They had moved with their 2 sons to QLD at about the time I had last been there. I had not known them at the time, but have since become very good friends despite the distances that separate. It was an emotional moment, especially for the girl child and her aunt. Continue reading “Beautiful Brisbane”

Down Under Part 2: Splendid Sydney

Having taken repossession of the girl child, we left Melbourne and flew to Sydney. We had booked our accommodation, a small cottage in Bondi Junction, via Air B&B, the first time we had used the service.  It seemed to work reasonably well, though once again we were slightly stunned by the prices being charged for fairly modest lodgings. However, having realised what property costs in that city, we realised that though expensive, it was unlikely that we were being ripped off. Continue reading “Down Under Part 2: Splendid Sydney”

The Land Down Under . . .

Part 1 – Marvellous Melbourne

We arrived at about 06.00, some 30 hours after having left home but without proper sleep for about 42 hours. Harare, Lusaka, Dubai, Melbourne. To say we were shattered would be an understatement. What was worse, we had a whole day to kill before we deemed it wise to get some shut eye. Air crew generally claim that in order to acclimatise, it is best to stay awake during the day, regardless of when you arrive or what time your body is telling you it is and only sleep at night time. Easier said than done. Continue reading “The Land Down Under . . .”

Austrayia has another new PM

. . . sworn in and raring to go.

Over the last decade, we’ve had more Prime Ministers than clean knickers.   Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Kevin again, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and now Scott Morrison.

On Monday, Malcolm himself called for a spill in an attempt to defeat an imminent challenge from Peter Dutton.  He won, but only by a small margin, so a demand for a second spill was anticipated.   Our doughty Malcolm was not going to give in gracefully, so he set a couple of difficult conditions on Peter D, for a meeting to be held today (the last day such a meeting could be called for a couple of weeks – don’t worry about why).

To his surprise, and chagrin, the conditions were met, and the meeting held.   A second spill was approved by vote, but only just, 44 to 40 I think, and lo and behold there were three candidates on the ticket.   They were Peter D (pushy, right wing, youngish ex policeman), Scott Morrison (“ScoMo”, middle-of-the-road, 50 years young) and Julie Bishop (62, vastly experienced Foreign Minister, known and respected by many colleagues around the world, Deputy Party Leader and in both positions for many years, middle-of-the road, described by some as “Turnbull in a skirt”).   The pundits mostly said JB should win, but that PD probably would, because she was another pesky woman.

So whaddyaknow?   ScoMo walked it, and another lad won the deputy leader job (JB didn’t stand for that, this time).

So Malcolm has resigned his commission to the G-G, and as soon as ScoMo gets sworn in (by the G-G), he’ll be head honcho.   Talk about revolving doors.  😎

A home girt by sea… and one that is not.

Well, it has to be done. On Tuesday, next week, I will be flying out to Awestruck-and-failure for a 3 week stint. My junior attachment will be participating in something called World Scholars, an academic forum involving children from 50 countries. The event is being held in the Melbourne Convention Centre form the 18th to 21st of August. Continue reading “A home girt by sea… and one that is not.”

Festival of Chariots

Ratha Yatra, Brisbane style

When I saw the headline in the local paper, I thought we must have done something rather well if we’d achieved such an exalted status.   But no, nothing to do with us.   Just an annual event that’s been running for about 5,000 years or so.   And even for the past 5 years in Brissie, I find.

It’s a celebration within Hinduism which has caught on in many cities around the world, possibly because of the Beatles’ early fascination with Krishna, and a jolly good thing it has, in my ‘umble opinion.   You can look it up in Wiki, or on this local site.

Unlike many other religions, which are so often associated the screaming of dire imprecations and much frothing at the mouth, Hinduism likes to look on the sunny side of the street, so notice that everyone is smiling broadly, and entering into the spirit of the thing.   Which seems magically to make pulling a four-ton chariot a pleasant task.   Good on ’em!   Here’s the article in the Brisbane Times which caught my eye.

Boadicea is in Japan for a while, but she’ll be back soon.   I hope.

Australia has finally gone bonkers

. . . well Turnbull has, at least

By Prime Ministerial edict, from today no Government Minister (of either gender) may engage in sexual relations (of any type) with any member of his/her departmental staff (of whatever persuasion – LBGTWXYZ etc) at pain of being removed from his/her Ministry.

Please note that we are not talking about minors here (that has been legally verboten for decades) or disadvantaged or disabled staff (which is equally a no-no).

We are, apparently, most concerned about hierarchical ‘duty of care’, which quite reasonably worries that the boss might use job sanctions to pressurise the junior.

But between fully consenting – nay, enthusiastic – adults of sound mind with no positive or negative sanctions involved, it’s anachronistic, invasive bullying of the worst kind.

Presumably Australia is now aspiring to become the fourth Islamic Reich – “ve have vays of making you celibate!”

Or something.  😎

Where’s Ron’s mate Phil Slocombe when you need him?

You Huns! Accepting defeat with grace ain’t your bag, eh?

Lewis caught up with Nico and passed him on the final circuit but Nico didn’t like it, caused a little prang and kept on driving with a damaged car. The stewards penalised him, not Lewis.

German fans then booed Lewis on the podium.

And today it will be the yellow-clad Aussies’ turn to show decorum on Centre Court when their potty-mouthed hero meets Andy. Will Nick manage it? Cliff-hanging stuff.