Chorizo Salami benefits.

August 21, 2022

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Truth telling about Australia, “Dark Emu”.

August 12, 2022

There is a book that does just that. It was given to me for my recent birthday a week ago or so and I was so thrilled and taken by it I bought another copy, and sent it to my brother. It debunks the myth that Australia was by and large an empty continent. When captain Cook took it he declared it to be a discovery ready for the picking and did so by annexing it to The British empire. True, there were people wandering about but they were seen as a primitive race scarcely able to exist and did so merely by hunting and gathering. The book is titled; “Dark Emu” and is compiled and written by Bruce Pascoe.

It tells the truth about Australia and its indigenous culture which for decades was often described through the blinkered eyes of appropriation and White superiority. It thoroughly demolishes the concept that Australia pre colonization was peopled by just hunters and gatherers.

Bruce Pascoe convincingly proves through early records, astute notes of early explorers and interviews of aboriginal people that this was not a country just peopled by nomadic tribes but that they had in place a highly sophisticated production scheme with farming, growing crops, tilling the land, nurturing the soil, slow burning , fishing and storing food, building towns and villages. For many decades this was deliberately kept hidden in order to justify the colonials in their aim in ‘absorbing’ the aboriginal people in the hope that the land would eventually become an Anglo extension of King , Country, and all would play cricket.

Please, try and get this book. It is an Unputdownable read.

Peter Dutton, our future PM? The horror, the horror!

July 23, 2022

We know that during the reign of last few Liberal governments the well nurtured and manured vitriol against refugees were their main ally. Dutton was the architect of this dreadful change in our previous tolerance for those that come from different countries and cultures. The demonization of refugees found favor earlier on with a former Liberal prime minister saying ; “We will chose who come to this country and the methods whereby they will come.” This was a political move to capitalize on refugees escaping from their war torn and bombed out countries in leaky boats. ( we were of course aiding the US in bombing those countries!) This was blown up beyond all reason and facts. It was made out that those boat people would soon come in such numbers that it threatened our safety. They would clamber over our dunes, invade our cities and rape our women. It found fertile ground and the Liberals were in power mainly by using this xenophobic tool very effectively. The peasants were frightened.

Fortunately, at the last election, the liberals were chucked out and there was a move away from the main parties, especially towards the Greens and even more especially, to the warm embrace of many more women in power. The anti refugee rhetoric has shrunk and hopefully the plight of refugees still in detention will soon be over and given permanent visas to give them access to health, work and a normal free life away from detention.

The only cloud on the horizon is that the dreaded Dutton is now the leader of the opposition. He is hard at work polishing a more benign image but he is still Dutton. A thoroughbred xenophobe.

IMG_1477 sunflower

The triptych.

July 1, 2022

The above photo is of a triptych painting that I was fortunate to have been commissioned to paint for a yet to be build school in The Netherlands around 1974. Between 1973/76 we lived in The Netherlands. Before that we lived in Australia from 1965 where our three children were born. It was a chance article that I read that the Dutch Government had put in place a scheme whereby artist of good enough standing could now earn an income the same as carpenters, secretaries or civil servants. It seemed ideal as I could not maintain a life as an artist selling my work here in Australia. I compromised and painting pictures was more of a week-end pastime while paying mortgage and bills had priority. Not for me the life of a hermit artist behind the easel with pregnant women in his wake.

So, after selling up in Australia we trekked to The Netherlands with our three young children. I submitted some of my work and was accepted in the artist salary scheme. It seemed ideal because the salary allowed one to work on his or her arts and not worry about starvation or the dreaded knock on the door by the sheriff. In exchange for the salary the government would take on your work and exhibit those in government buildings s a schools, hospitals, offices, even jails . My commission to paint the triptych gave me three months of salary. It was done on three large woodchip panels. It looked very good and as far as I know might still be there.

The above and below pictures are of the farmhouse that we lived in while doing my art over those three years. It was an early 1700 Saxon farmhouse which during its time had stables and family under the same roof. It also had a large hay shed. Part of the deal was that the sale would include very old furniture that today still lives in my townhouse here in Australia’s Mittagong.

The last photo shows this farm again with our daughter Natasha standing on the wire fence looking at our Shetland ponies. It was a lovely time. However, the pull of Australia, the freedom of chaos, the wild growing weeds and so much more, including… and the rest of my family, got the best of us and after three years decided to return to Australia.,

How life can twist and turn.

A quick dollar at Australia’s peril.

June 24, 2022

During the sixties and seventies, Australia discovered making free money by selling all our previously held government assets. Government insurances, the post and telegraph, banks, anything that could be sold, electricity, water , you name it and it would turn a dollar . And that wasn’t enough. It was followed by selling the ground underneath us. There were more riches to be made, oil, gas, iron ore, silver gold, coal uranium, titanium and now the richest of them all, lithium.

But what happened to all that money? Where is it now?

Here it is.

1 Gina Rhinehart (mining) $32.64 billion.

2Andrew Forrest (mining) $31.77 billion.

3 Clive Palmer (mining) $ 18.35 Billion.

4 Ivan Glasenberg (mining) $9,10 Billion.

With a looming economic recession rapidly coming over the horizon one wonders if all that wealth in just a few hands could have been better spent or, saved for a rainy day!. Look at the level of run down public hospitals and public education. The paltry salaries teachers and nurses earn? When was the last time a new hospital was build, a new school, a police station? There are voices calling for nationalizing our resources. They should never have been sold.

Even our public education is being sold and privatized. Almost 40% of school children now attend private or independent schools, one of the highest rates n the world. Why, for heaven’s sake? Education should be good for all of our children, not that private schools have a better vision of what education actually means. They just nurture separation and inequality.

Why Australia should ban private schools & More News Here

UNICEF has ranked Australia 39 out of 41 high and middle income countries on our level of education. This is extremely serious for our growing population. Only Romania and Turkey were ranked below Australia in education in the latest United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report card. Finland, of course came number 1 and Malta 2.

It used to be so simple.

June 20, 2022

At most births the gender is decided when the doctor, after lightly smacking the baby ( or the mother if it was a very ugly baby) declared its gender on the basis of their genitals. The issue of gender is now being questioned and extended to all possible variations, unimaginable years back when I was born.

LGBTQ+ explains better than I ever will.

Rear view of people in the pride parade. Group of people on the city street with gay rainbow flag.

In today’s news the issue cropped up in the world of athletics and specifically swimming. It seems to deal with transgender males on their journey to becoming female (or being female all along) wanting to compete in swimming on an equal basis with females.

And I quote.

“FINA’s decision — which is the strictest ruling from an Olympic sports body — states that male-to-female transgender athletes are eligible to compete, only if “they can establish to FINA’s comfortable satisfaction that they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 [of puberty] or before age 12, whichever is later”.

The policy was passed with a roughly 71 per cent majority after it was put to the members of 152 national federations with voting rights who had gathered for the congress at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest.” Unquote.


So there you have it. But there is more that I have to become acquainted with, much more. A whole new language has to be taken onboard. It is now the norm that gay and lesbian couples get married like most of us and refer to their married partners as ‘my husband’ in the case of some Lesbian couples that I know of. I have yet to hear in gay married couples referring to a male partner as ‘my wife’. I am speculating here, but imagine myself to get introduced during a party amongst good friends, and being gay and married, ; please, meet my ‘wife Gerard’. It is just so baffling and at 82 having to learn a whole new language of nouns and pro-nouns. There are all sorts of variations and now include cisgender and nonbinary individuals. It never stops and one has to go to the university to do a course in getting to grips with this world of varying gender identity. I am looking for a dictionary that teaches me gender neutral pronouns.

It used to be so simple.

The concert.

June 13, 2022

IMG_3241portrait of love

The area where I am living is named The Southern Highlands and for historical reason always attracted a fair proportion of artists and art lovers. Perhaps of its height above sea level and its resulting climate, people were attracted to it. The summers dry with little humidity while winters bracing and perhaps reminiscent of Great Britain which many Anglo Australians still refer to sometimes as the ‘Home country’. Although I will try and avoid the Scottish or Irish to include as Anglos. They are also well represented and there is Brigadoon, a yearly Scottish musical event where people go around visiting fellow Brigadoners and have sing along, all dressed in kilts, tassels, and lustily throwing cabers.

The Southern Highlands attracted also wealthy people buying a holiday house as it was still within reasonable distance from Sydney and easily reached by car or even trains. Now the area is a great mixture of all arts imaginable and even arts unimaginable. I went again at yesterday’s concert and was surprised by its high standard, world class. The soprano in the concerts which I have seen is the daughter of a family friend and was one reason I also wanted to hear her heavenly voice again. The background of all the musicians are of world class with having performed throughout Europe. I felt privileged to have heard this superb music of Violins, Viola, Cello and of course the soprano Voice.

IMG_3239 mozart

Afterwards I felt so elated and uplifted I stopped my car by Woolworth where I had previously been eyeing not only the hot cooked chickens ( and sometimes bought the odd chook) but also the roast pork WITH  crackling. I never had the courage to buy that pork dish as guilt crept in. Is it a childhood fear of sinning? I do have the occasional ham sandwich, so it is not the type of meat but perhaps more the expense. After all, the hot chicken is $10 while the pork with crackling was $ 20. Who knows?

Anyway, I was feeling euphoric after this wonderful music so I decided to ride the wave of happiness a bit longer and I bought the crackling with roast pork. After coming home to a very enthusiastic Mr. Bentley, the Tibetan Spaniel, I sat down with a glass of Shiraz  and partook of my Pork and crackling. It was so good and what a day it was!

By the way. Just had an email from WordPress congratulating me.

I have 1550 followers.

A robust soup. It is the only way forward.

June 1, 2022

imagestable for six

Table setting (etching).

With the winter’s first day at 2 C I thought of making a solid soup. It’s not just the cold and raging war in The Ukraine and gun shootings in the US,  creeping inflation and Mr.  Peter Dutton’s face on TV ( our new opposition leader), that my thoughts went to how best to overcome the days ahead. Cooking is a good stand-by when things appear a bit stale or stagnating. Living by myself I am not doing too badly and my advice for the sole person is to stay on course. Cooking together with doing domestics can be good standbys in overcoming inertia.  To cheer me up I also went to buy a new cord-free vacuum cleaner with lithium battery. It has a nice feel and responds well underneath chairs, beds and cupboards by folding almost level with the floor giving access to all flakes of dust no matter how evasive they are.

Of course, the soup followed and as I had some frozen chicken and half a cabbage I thought of combining both with some garlic, onions,  celery stalks, a lost potato and bay leaves in a 4 quarts of water and simmered the lot for almost two hours. The soup was hearty and reassuring. I have enough for the next two week if spread out once every three days or so. It really is worth doing during cold weather.

Peter Dutton is a Potato” - an analysis - » The Australian Independent  Media Network

Mr. Peter Dutton

Covid and the demise of our democracy sausage…

May 21, 2022

Here at the above podcast is another point of view and not from a rabid antivaxxer but from a Professor of economics. Her name is Gigi Foster. She claims that the Lockdown and the resulting economic chaos was the result of not properly costing the results of lockdown and was done in a hurry mainly driven by the medical profession and often without any thought of the damage on health and wellbeing for those suffering the effects of having to shut down and isolate for weeks on end. The psychological costs were not evaluated and according to the professor had all the marks of a political aim to control the ‘crowd’.

I will leave it to you to make up your mind but the podcast is well worth listening to. She is certainly very convincing in her argument that all the Covid and associated lockdowns was a form of hysteria.

I am more concerned that as a result of the Covid lockdowns we now have a debt of a trillion dollars. which in numerals is $1,000,000,000,000 dollars. I went around the local voting booth this morning to claim my democracy sausage as I had made a pre-poll vote a couple of weeks ago and they were not handing out sausages as yet. To my total chagrin, they, the government in its wisdom, is now not giving the free sausage with onions and barbeque sauce anymore. It cost me three dollars!

People were milling around with clenched fists totally disappointed. The girl handing out the ‘un’ democratic sausages was almost in tears with having to break the bad news. The government wants to start lowering the debt and isn’t it typical that the working man and his free sausage once every three years is now at the forefront of tackling this huge debt? Never mind the billions spent on US submarines after a breach of contracts with the French? The claim by our finance minister that people were abusing the free sausage by driving from polling booth to polling booth for extra sausages sounded like a desperate man clinging to the wreckage of his government,


Tonight I will watch the results coming in and I hope we will have a change of government by around 8 o’clock.

I bought some frankfurters and a bottle of Shiraz.

Viola da Gamba and the Theorbo

May 16, 2022

IMG_3172 autumn in Mittagong

Autumn in Mittagong.

Last Sunday,  a nice friend invited me to see a concert at a local village hall at Berrima about a 15 minute drive from here. Her daughter is free lance soprano living here in The Southern Highlands with a diploma of Opera from London and a Masters of Music at the Royal Northern College of Music.

The concert played baroque music which according to my limited knowledge of music covers early music between 1600 to the 1850’s or so. Vivaldi’s four seasons and Bach’s piano pieces are included in the more known works.

Here I quote from Google;

“The work that distinguishes the Baroque period is stylistically complex and even contradictory. Currents of naturalism and Classicism, for example, coexisted and intermingled with the typical Baroque style. In general, however, the desire to evoke emotional states by appealing to the senses, often in dramatic ways, underlies its manifestations. Some of the qualities most frequently associated with the Baroque are grandeur, sensuous richness, drama, dynamism, movement, tension, emotional exuberance, and a tendency to blur distinctions between the various arts.”

The instruments  that were used in my concert were the Viola da Gamba which as the name suggests is a type of violin but much larger and instead of being tucked under the chin stands on the ground like a cello.

The Theorbo is an instrument I never heard of. However, that is proof of my ignorance and not that it is not a worthy instrument. It certainly looks dramatic and so is its sound. I loved it in combination of the singers performing pieces especially arranged to be sung and played on those instruments.

Here is an introduction of the Theorbo, for those interested in a music career.

Only a few nights ago I watched Bohemian Rhapsody which is a totally different music and singing oeuvre with Freddy Mercury. It was played by more modern instruments accompanying Freddy. I wonder if his music will last the same as Vivaldi, Bach, Monteverdi, Henry Purcell and so many other?

My friend’s daughter’s singing was sublime and it brought tears to my eyes. Good art does that, doesn’t it?