Wednesday 30 July 2008



Boabs, or adansonia gregorii, belongs to same family of trees as does the boabab. It is the only variety of boabab found in Australia and is thought to have derived from the boababs found in Madagascar.

In Australia, they are native to the Kimberley area in the NW, and in some parts of the Northern Territory. The majestic boab above sits on the north coast of Western Australia at Murragurra, and has withstood countless summer cyclones.

They also grow in little groups too, of 2 or 3 trees, & many clumps look like friends having a communal hug! Boabs are deciduous & bear white flowers in summer, then huge woody seed pods. Juicy, young boab roots can be chopped up & used in a stir-fry too!

The above boab we camped near in the Gregory National Park in the Northern Territory. In the pre-dawn it filled with Little Corellas, all squawking & carrying-on an awful treat.

On my 'B' list were 13 different things from our 2003 adventure, but , following the 'KISS' principle, just one will do!

However, to see what others came up with, wander over to Mrs Nesbitt's ABC WEdnesday site & click away!

Monday 28 July 2008


My life has been hijacked! But...wait, that puts a rather 'violent' slant on things. Appropriated perhaps, though that sounds like something the pollies in the national capital do!

MUSIC is running away with my life, making off with little portions & giving them over to music. In this last week, when I wasn't tap-dancing, I was listening to the Sydney Piano Competition or practising piano , at choir practice or singing along with CDs of Handel or William James.

Yesterday, it was our 'local' Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra's turn to spirit away my afternoon.As an unashamed crowd-pleaser, they did a "People's Choice Top Ten Countdown", based on votes lodged on the internet or snail mail for orchestral repertoire performed in the last 15 years. The results were fairly predictable favourites...but here's what the NRSO played.

10. Symphony no. 6 by Beethoven ....1st movement only.
9. Medley from "Phantom of the Opera"
8. William Tell overture by Rossini, and Romance from the 'Gadfly' by Shostakovich
7. Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky
6. Finlandia by Sibelius and Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov ....Sinbad's tale only
5. Blue Danube Waltz by J Strauss
4. Symphony no. 9 by Dvorak....4th movement only
3. Barcarole by Offenbach
2. Morning from Peer Gynt by Grieg and Radetsky March by J Strauss and Adagio from
"Spartacus" by Katchachurian
1. 1812 overture by Tchaikovsky....disappointingly without canons and church bells....

Yes, very much orchestral pops, but then this is one of the retirement capitals of Australia. More importantly for the NRSO, it put 'bums on seats'. The orchestra receives no funding or sponsorship, and survives on ticket, program & CD sales, donations & Friends contributions.

Below, is maestro Barry Singh. His conductor's choice was the Medley from Jurassic Park by John Williams.

If you'd like to listen to the NRSO Cammerata with local Murwillumbah soprano Liza Beamish perform 'Let The Bright Seraphim', you can click here.

My life has been hijacked, but who's complaining?

Friday 25 July 2008


We had bushfires on the eastern edges of our village in October,2004 that threatened homes before thankfully being brought under control by the wonderful volunteers of the Rural Fire Service and a couple of helicopters carrying those big 'buckets' of water. The sun & the light cast through the smoke were very eery.

If you waft over to the SkyWatch home page, you'll find a gorgeous photo & poem, & links to a host of other SkyWatch Friday posts.

Tuesday 22 July 2008



ABC Wednesday kicks off on its third trip through the alphabet. To try & link all my posts, I'm going to attempt to choose each week's post from the wonders I saw in northern Australia in 2003.

First off.........
A IS FOR ...........

The Australian Aviation Heritage Centre was opened in Darwin in 1990. The photo above shows the B-52 (on permanent loan from the USAF & one of only two on display outside the US) dwarfing a Tiger Moth. Below is a Sabrejet Fighter, first used in combat in the Korean war, and later as the main training jet for the RAAF.

Below is a B-25 Mitchell bomber, used by Allied air forces in every theatre of conflict in WW2, including the Pacific war.

The Heritage Centre shares a huge parcel of land with both the RAAF base & Darwin Airport.It was a lovely juxtapositon to be looking at the Sabrejet while watching the Air Force's F/A-18 Hornet fighters practising landings & take-offs on the other side of the airfield.

Zoom over to Mrs Nesbitt's, and check out the other A postings for this week, and maybe even think about joining this group.

Thursday 17 July 2008


If you love virtuosic piano-playing, then the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia is something you may want to listen to, or , if you are in Sydney, attend.

Thirty-six young adults, ranging in age from 17 to 30 & from many countries, today begin the rigours of the competition. For twenty-seven of them, it began badly even before they had arrived in Australia, as many international flights were severely delayed.

Competitors can choose to play either a Steinway, Kawai or Yamaha piano, and it can all be heard live on ABC CLassic FM.

Tuesday 15 July 2008


Z IS FOR..................

Growing up near the coast in Sydney, back at the dawn of time, almost the only kind of sun protection available was zinc cream. It is able to absorb both UVA & UVB rays from sunlight, and is almost insoluble in water.

"Traditionally", it was worn smeared across your nose & cheeks, and on your lips, & came in white only. A high profile wearer of zinc cream is Aussie cricketer, Andrew Symonds, below.

As you can see from my zinc stick , it is available in these modern times in "skin tone " (though I'm not sure whose skin tone it matches), and also a rainbowed variety of fluro colours.

Wearing zinc on your nose is considered a very "Aussie" thing to do!

I'm sorry I didn't visit many ABC Wednesday blogs, last week, as I basically posted my Y item, immediately before going away for a week. I will try to catch up this week.

If you waltz over to Mrs Nesbitt's, you'll find other posts for Z. It should be fascinating this week!

Wednesday 9 July 2008


Y IS FOR .............

Kakadu National Park, in Australia's Northern Territory, is where you'll find Yellow Water Billabong, & is home to a huge number of bird species, as well as the saltwater crocodile.These are pink lotus lilies, below.

A billabong forms where a creek or river changes it's course, leaving part of the river as a kind of dead end. In the iconic & perhaps 'unofficial' Australian national anthem, "Waltzing Matilda", the sheep-stealing swagman throws himself into a billabong to escape capture by the trooper, or police.

If you click here, you be able to listen to a very different version of the song, played on the throttle of a V8 Supercar....TRUE!!

Visit Mrs Nesbitt and find out what else in the world begins with Y.

Friday 4 July 2008


This is what a brain explosion looks like!!!!!!!!

The kind that happens when you've laboured to connect cords, cables etc of an electronic gadget of sorts , & when you turn the bloody thing on...there is zip, zilch, zero!

My mum gave me her keyboard as she doesn't play any more. I 've never really played, but proper lessons have been enthusiastically arranged.

When I originally set it up, I connected everything, & BINGO...sweet tones.

My first piano lesson was yesterday, & of course, raced home from it, mad for more practice. But when I turned the bloody thing on, yep, that's, zero, zilch....not a peep! Have connected/reconnected it twenty-twelve times, power on/off & through the Troubleshooting points a similar number of times, but STILL NOTHING!!

Tapping away on silent keys doesn't really do it for me!

Wednesday 2 July 2008


X IS FOR ............

An xanthorrhoea is an extremely slow-growing Australian grass tree. They are often the first plant to reappear after a bushfire has gone through an area.

I took these pictures last Sunday, about a month after a fire burnt through bush next to our local school, & already the new growth was apparent.

Bushfires ,in the wild, are part of the natural cycle of growth & regeneration in the Aussie bush.

The flower of an xanthorrhoea is born on a long vertical spike. You can see 2 flower spikes from last season in the picture below, from an area not burnt out.

If you want to see what others came up with for X, check out Mrs Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday list.

Tuesday 1 July 2008


On 24th June, I wrote a little comment called "Life's A Balancing Act" ( just scroll back a few posts). Honour who has a wonderfully thoughtful blog here, wrote a pithy comment that her friend whose 2nd language is English, prefers to say "life is a circus".

.....and I'm loving that! Life really is a circus when you think about it!

So, if that's the case, what's your act in the circus of life, if I'm the balancing act?

The high diving act above is performed by either my brother-in-law or my nephew, at Manning Gorge in the Kimberley area of Western Australia.