Posts Tagged ‘NSW’

The Bushfires keep on burning.

December 18, 2019



Bushfire smoke hiding the sun. 2.30pm on a ‘sunny day’.

The above photo shows how bad the smoke haze can be. The sun has trouble cutting through the smoke. I wonder now many millions of tons of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, those fires are adding to the atmosphere? How much wildlife is being lost. Koalas, kangaroos?

Yesterday, Australia recorded its hottest overall day ever.

Over three million ha of bushland has been destroyed by fire so far. Near us a fire of over 150 000 ha is burning out of control threatening a power station and a coal mine.

Our Prime minister is on holiday in Hawaii. No one would want to deny the PM a holiday but right now he should be here and watch the heatwave coming over the next few days. The bushfires have linked up and now form a front of almost 3000kms.


our PM, Scott Morrison, (Scomo) soaking up a pleasant sun in Hawaii. Not a care in the world.


Photo: Scott Morrison has faced online criticism over a holiday, speculated to be in Hawaii. (AAP: Mick Tsikas)
In my state of NSW there are over a hundred fires burning and many of them are out of control.
At 5:30pm there are 100 bush & grass fires burning, 54 uncontained. Gospers Mountain remains at Emergency Warning. Dangerous conditions are forecast for tomorrow. With school holidays starting check your travel plans &current fire conditions along your route and your destination.
EMERGENCY WARNING – Gospers Mtn (Lithgow & Hawkesbury LGA) Fire increasing Dargan & Clarence area. Fire in Valley View Rd, crossed Chifley Rd. If you’re in Dargan & Clarence area, it’s too late to leave. Seek shelter. Protect yourself from heat of fire. #nswrfs #nswfires #alert…
Twitter · 2 hours ago
Are you ready for the heat in NSW? The next three days will see very hot temps in most of the state. Have a plan to Beat the Heat: Smoke will combine with the heat in some areas, so know how to also cope with the smoke:……
Twitter · 2 hours ago

Mexican Boiled Bull’s head taco, yummy.

March 31, 2018



I thought I would tear myself away from cricket and yellow plastic tape. We know what our PM Turnbull said about it all. “We all work … “We’re very quick to damn nations that cheat in any way or go beyond the rules. “It’s black and white. This clearly is against the laws of the game and we’ve just had our national captain admit they sat down, premeditated, pre-planned a way to cheat. “I’m not going to accept behaviour that is dishonest. “It needs condemnation”. ” A shocking error of judgement.”

Now with the thirtieth poll out soon with 29 of those polls negative to the present Government and in favour of the opposition, we shall see if Father Turnbull will also stick to his mantra of honour, respect etc., and resign. After all, that was the reason given by Turnbull why the previous PM had to step down. Mr Abbot had lost 30 polls. It will be untenable if Turnbull does not step down. The present furore over the cricket will be nothing compared if Turnbull does not step down.

Here is something that will restore calm and serenity to our nation. During times of disquiet and tension, eating a nice meal is always welcome.

I was surprised and much relieved about this lovely recipe of boiled bull’s head food, wrapped inside a taco shell. The recipe comes complements of the well know author Lily Brett.

  1. Get a nice large, virile, and proud looking bull’s head (preferably from a bull reared on the plains of central NSW and having covered at least 150 heifers),  and boil it in a large container. The horns must be kept on.

2. Have at least one kilo of brown onions and garlic to taste, mixed in.

3. Some salt, lots of dry coriander and chillies.

Travelling through Mexico most boiled bull’s heads look much the same, but taste can vary enormously. Most people queue up at their favourite stalls. The boiled head is stripped bare including its eyes, cheeks, tongue, brain and outer skin. The resulting bits and pieces are wrapped in the tortillas or taco shells.

One can also order the tortillas with specific parts of the bull. You can order bull’s head eye tortilla, or just tongue taco. The choices are really endless but it is a much favoured dish by the Mexicans. They eat it with side dishes of lemon wedges, chilli, tomatoes cucumber. At the end there is nothing left of the bull’s head except some white bones, teeth and perhaps the horn.

Try it.


A way of doing things better.

August 29, 2015
River flowing through Currumbin Eco-village

River flowing through Currumbin Eco-village

A break from blogging and delving into the past was welcomed with open arms.  So, if responses to some of you dear friends went missing, a mea culpa. We are now back again. We decided to drive to Queensland and escape the tail end of winter. Apparently, no sooner after we left the Highlands, the heavens opened up. Over 400 millimetres of rain fell within a couple of hours. There were trees blocking roads and weirs overflowed. Evacuations of people into church halls were organized. Volunteers made sandwiches and gave comforts to those whose houses became flooded. Cars were seen being washed down causeways, yet children were cheerfully defying the rain, splashing about, no care in the world. Why should they? Life is yet to arrive for them.

My sister and husband after many moves here and there, told us they had found their ideal nesting ground at a place called Currumbin. Currumbin is just over the border in a state called Queensland which is even closer to the Northern sun than where we live in New South Wales. Queensland has a warm and sunny disposition. People wear sandals if not  going around barefooted. Most also wear shorts all year around. The closer to the beach the more you are likely to see bikinis for girls and board shorts for boys. Shark attacks have put a dent into surfing but not into casual living.  What more could one wish for?

We arrived at my sister’s place late in the afternoon after getting hopelessly lost on top of a mountain top. The GPS system must have had murderous intent and deliberately put us into great danger. We were close to a final embrace and quite prepared to be  found in a state of an advanced decomposition some weeks later.

Some of you might know my stance on endless suburbia were people succumb to such a state of spiritual if not physical inertia and dehydration, that even the fear of Border Control Force Protection Patrol with guns drawn, can’t get a single twinge of  life out of the millions of hapless inhabitants.

Well, Currumbin Eco Village is where the good ones finally find life back again. It offers salvation to the true believers of a form of communal living like nowhere else. It is a place of good design and harmony with interaction between people encouraged instead of the discouragement of being fenced off, privacy till the end, (in the grave while still alive), colour-bonded separated Zinc Alumina side seduced by smarmy Estate Agents sold as the Australian dream of ‘Own Home.’

Instead of rows of separated fenced off cottages it offers clusters of free standing homes around  central hubs. Fencing is not allowed. Instead of having numerous small pools it has one large communal pool suitable for real swimming. A community hall for residents to meet and mingle. Communal wood-fire places to sit around for those who feel like getting back to the days of campfire and talking with Adam and Eve. Post boxes together in an encouragement to meet each other. In fact, this Eco-village was designed for  living together instead of the much accepted dreadful separated and obsessively private till the grave, way of life which so many seem to end up with.

The Ecovillage at Currumbin achieves:

Self-sufficiency in energy usage and complete autonomy in water and waste water recycling:

  • 80% of site as open-space, 50% environmental reserve, and the same yield as standard development
  • Food and material self-sufficiency through edible landscaping and streetscaping, household farming and other productive strategies
  • Preservation of natural landforms and rehabilitation of the degraded site’s environmental integrity
  • Extensive wildlife corridors, negligible vegetation loss and extensive native plant regeneration
  • Cutting edge integrated water quality measures to exemplify Water Sensitive Urban Design
  • Cultural Heritage honoured and integrated
  • Mix of socially-oriented innovative ecological, energy efficient housing catering for diverse needs
  • On-site work strategies and facilities for village and local community
  • Waste recycling strategies including an innovative RRR recycling centre
  • Comprehensive traffic saving strategies to reduce vehicle impacts on and off site
  • Well researched administrative framework providing social equity & enduring community integrity
  • Initial and ongoing social planning to foster cohesion and promote sustainable community
  • Continuing education of sustainable living and development practices via the Interpretive Centre
  • Sustainable economic performance both with the development and the ongoing community.

Have a look for yourself. ( Obligatory solar panels, thermal mass, recycling of all waste including all water,

communal vegetable growing. etc. One drawback, because of the abundant wildlife, no pets)

The Slow Train to Sydney

February 17, 2011

The slow Train to SydneyPosted on February 17, 2011 by gerard oosterman

We took the train from Bowral to Sydney yesterday, as a kind of test run for the future. Living just 100 kms from Sydney we thought we might reduce driving and use public transport.

We had enquired the day before and were told by the Station Master time of departure and cost which for us seniors was a mere $2.50 return. Wacko, who could refuse an adventure of this nature? Next day we got up early, all excited about the coming day. Arrived a bit early at the station and bought our tickets. When the train arrived we were surpised how new it was and spacious.  Many people hopped on-board incuding an elderly couple. The husband had a brand new dark blue checkered shirt with razor sharp pleats still visible on the sleeves. One almost expected the white collar bit of stiff carton to still be peeking from the back of his shirt.

The train took off on a rather somber and overcast day. We weren’t going very fast but time wasn’t important and we settled nicely. It took us past many stations including the one of killer Milat notoriety. The houses there were somewhat dilapidated looking with yards full of junk and cars propped on bricks with large dogs barking at the train. Bargo, Tahmoor, Dapto, Yerrinbool and many others we passed by. This was the train with only 4 stops between Bowral and Central, Sydney.

  At one stage I noticed a very optimistic notice board on a terracotta roof. Painted on a large sign in bright blue was written; FUNERAL DIRECTOR and telephone number. The sign faced the train so it was clearly designed for the traveler but I wonder how many would get their address book out and scribble down the phone number. Who on earth would have that kind of foresight?

We arrived after almost 2 hrs (This is the fast Country Link) and sauntered down the platform but no ticket inspection. We walked up towards the Town-Hall soaking in all the changes since the last time we were there. As usual, there were huge cranes and dog-men directing great concrete panels hovering above building sites.  In all sorts of nooks and crannies were available coffees and cakes. Backpackers were spilling over the footpaths busily sending texts and pictures of exotic Australia back to Japan or Sweden. Many were  with those towering backpacks and some, which is’ par for course’ in going overseas, squatting down on the pavement cross legged.

Also, a disturbing increase in homeless, some with cardboard notices explaining their plight, others just oblivious to it all and seemed sound asleep. At the entrance to Myers was a small colony of homeless with mattresses and blankets, shopping trolleys, empty big M bags and a profusion of polystyrene containers. One desperate homeless and bearded man held up very bravely: FAMILY COURT VICTIM!

We were getting hungry and noticed a pub advertising food. It might have been called the King George but Helvi just now assures me it was The Edinburgh Castle. All patrons were seated. This is one of the most baffling cultural changes in Australia, where not that long ago, everyone in pubs would always be standing, except for some blue hair coloured patrons in the “Ladies Lounge”.

Not only were all seated they were also enjoying their beverage with food. We ordered two Heinekens with one Rump steak and one Chicken snitzel, both with chips and salad. This was about 1pm and the hotel was chockers, so were all other eating and drinking venues. What a buzz.

We decided to head home after this excellent lunch and slowly sauntered back to Central station where a sign told us to go to platform 23 for Bowral. Train after train did arrive but not a sign of anything going towards Bowral. We walked back to the entrance and a Rail Information Lady took it upon herself to guide us towards a train. Platform 23 is where you go to Cambelltown and then change over, she said. Oh, we did not know that nor was this indicated on the electronic sign or loudspeaker. She then went out of her way to say why you don’t get on the Country Link at 3.48PM. This leaves at platform 3.

There is a huge distance between both platforms, so we decided we needed another schooner to remain hydrated. This was lovely, seated away from the humidity of the Sydney Station in a air conditioned and licensed premise next to a McDonalds. I had the courage and gall to brazenly also ask for two fifty cent smooth-ice cream cones. Helvi declined, how can you drink beer and lick ice-cream?  I gave hers to a homeless looking man who also did not lick it. We finally walked to the platform and this smooth ice cream in its cone was still un-licked and might still be sitting on the table as far as I know.

After seeing a young man with both legs cut off below the knee and heavily bandaged attended to by an ambulance officer on a mobile phone, we decided to hop on the train. That same couple, with the husband’s sharply creased shirt were also in our wagon. Perhaps they were doing the same as us. Perhaps they might even have taken down the number of the Funeral Director? Who knows?

The return was just as good but we were feeling pretty shagged by the time we arrived back, which was at 6pm. I noticed that in the morning the train came from Canberra and the afternoon train was also destined for Canberra. There wasn’t a buffet or possibility for any water or a coffee on board, which is a bit rich if you are going Sydney-Canberra. It could be that after Bowral a buffet car would be linked to the train.

 Who knows?