AS: Far flung southern lands 2019

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  • @Climacus. Hope you are ok.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Me too.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Home safe and sound.

    Have I missed something about Climacus?
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Gee D, he has posted or visited the Ship for some time.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Thanks (I read the not)
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Your reading skills are better than my writing skills. :blush:
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Another one missing for a while is GG - the post that she was not well was some time ago.
  • Summer is here. 23 already up here just after 8:00. Not some stab in the dark, but from our weather stations.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Another one missing for a while is GG - the post that she was not well was some time ago.

    Bother - I don't think I transferred her phone number onto my new phone,
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Good luck hunting for it!

    Today is the last day that climbing on Uluru is permitted. The closure is long overdue. We've been there a couple of times, and there's been an intense feeling of spirituality emanating from it - at sunset it's been particularly strong but it's always there. Hard to describe but along the lines that it's the real centre of the earth, perhaps even more, and a place of deepest peace.
  • I was wondering about what it felt like and fired off an e-mail to a friend who was there 40 years ago. Thanks for the description
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited October 2019
    Some encouraging anti-cane toad news from the Guardian, meaning this has even reached the northern hemisphere now.

    It's only quite a small development, but in the right direction, with nature's good guys (or: good mates?) fighting back. Enjoyed finding this. :)
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Another one missing for a while is GG - the post that she was not well was some time ago.
    Yes, I had a spell of cellulitis in one leg, a bit slow to master it as even after two brief visits to hospital I did not spend long enough with my leg up on a pile of cushions.
    Much better now and very. happy to have my daughter and my three darling grandchildren here for 18 days. They were usually able to come every second year, but now aged 13 (and much taller than me) 11 and 9 there are involved in more activities that involve training (but that can be done here with a local swim team) or rehearsals (for Nutcracker). Some happy Labour Weekend times with my son and his youngest teen.
    Greetings to my Shipmates!
    GG

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Glad that you're back with us and on the way to recovery - and enjoying your grandchildren.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Gee D wrote: »
    ...

    Today is the last day that climbing on Uluru is permitted. The closure is long overdue. We've been there a couple of times, and there's been an intense feeling of spirituality emanating from it - at sunset it's been particularly strong but it's always there. Hard to describe but along the lines that it's the real centre of the earth, perhaps even more, and a place of deepest peace.

    Yes indeed ... a wonderful holy spot. I have walked around it - I think only once, in about '99 - and it was such a powerful experience. I led a tour group ... despite my requests and the more salient pleas of Indigenous elders, most opted to climb, which saddened me deeply.

    In many way the nearby Kata Tjuta group are more dramatic, yet I think because of the sheer aloneness (and recognizability too, I guess) of Uluru it enhances its momentousness still more.

    Though with regards to recognizability, other icons, the human made ones like the Sydney Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge, stirred only a momentary interest and were gone. There's something far deeper about the natural wonders. Mitre Peak in Milford Sound is another sight that took my breath away (now it's technically in "my" territory, though we have no formal presence there so I don't get there often).

    Good to see you back, GG ... and here's hoping Climacus surfaces soon.

    Oh, and incidentally I spent much of the first half of this month with Clarence and Foaming Draught (?Foaming Draft? Foaming Drought?) who are in fine form.
  • Zappa wrote: »
    Mitre Peak in Milford Sound is another sight that took my breath away (now it's technically in "my" territory, though we have no formal presence there so I don't get there often).

    Milford Sound was never, ever a permanent settlement. People came for the pounamu and after days of rain and insect bites left

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Great to see you back, GG! :)
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Hi GG, I wondered if you were coming south for the Sea of Faith Conference on Friday. I'm planning to hear the Keynote Speaker, Bronwyn Hayward, but am not feeling sufficiently sociable to make more of a commitment, despite the fact that the programme looks interesting.

    Milford Sound ifs definitely one of my favourite places. I stayed there once overnight in a DOC house when my youngest bro had a summer job with them. The dawn chorus was deafening, better even than Rakiura/Stewart Island. The sandflies, which I was told were blackflies (I don't know the difference) are legendary.

    I read somewhere that Pauline Hanson had elected to climb Uluru while it was still permitted and had to be rescued. I don't know if it was accurate or not, but somehow it seemed fitting.

    I have broken one of my hearing aids - why do people mumble so much? :naughty:
  • Huia, I would have loved to come, but couldn't have coped with getting there and getting around. My balance has gone. (Worse things could open; I still have my wits and my car.) I hope there will be videos/CD available. I had Hana Olds in my Enrichment group one year, when she'd just published her biography of Swee Tan; I think she was 12. I'd love to see & hear her and her father.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Sorry to hear about your balance GG. I presume you will have friends who are going, but if there is anything I could pick up for you please don't hesitate to PM me.

    I'm looking forward to hearing Bronwyn Hayward as she spoke at something I was at several years ago.

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Good to hear from you again, GG!

    Out here in South Africa (well, my corner of it near Cape Town), most people are in a semi--ecstatic fervour about the finals of the rugby world cup in Japan on Sunday. If the South African rugby team does not win, the country will sink into utter despair and gloom.
  • As a neutral who is hoping the Boks win, I'm really looking forward to the final.
  • Ah, the joys of having a teenager in the house. They know so much . So much mor e than those with real experience. Both sons went out in car this afternoon saying they would be back soon. As they were with teenager in car and trashed bike in car boot.

    He had been on the way to independent butcher some twenty minutes walk up the road to buy meat for me to use for dinner tonight. He mutters about different levels, his uncle says user error, his dad sighed deeply. He now has a nasty zigzag scrape down chest and stomach. He has been cleaned up, showered and treated and looks ok now. He looked haggard when he got out of car.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    That's not the same one that got broken a few months back, is it Loth?
  • Yes but gravel rash is on chest.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    Sorry for the prolonged absence. I'm back.

    I watched the All Blacks game in a small pub on the Chatham Islands (850kms or so east of Wellington) and the mood was despondent. Best wishes to South Africa.

    And best wishes to all here.

    As above, I just returned to Wellington from a week on the Chatham Islands. What a wonderful place. Windy and rainy, though some sunny and still days too. A lot of sheep and cattle on Chatham and Pitt Islands, the two inhabited islands (650 and 40 persons I think). Lots of crayfish and pāua (what we Aussies call abelone, though with black flesh -- never had abelone but I was told they were light). Wekas everywhere, and seals in some places. Amazing and diverse scenery, and great people -- locals and tourists. Very relaxing.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Hope you're well. Yes, abalone flesh is normally a sort of off white. Not so long ago, I read a novel in which he Chatham Islands featured. Can't recall the name.

  • Good to se you back. Your island week sounds great.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Very painful place for a gravel scrape, Loth.


    Great to see you again, Climacus. Out here abalone is known as perlemoen (Dutch, from the iridescent mother-of-pearl shells) and creamy white. Very expensive.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Good to see you, Climacus! :)
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I've met some Western weka. I was on the West Coast with friends and we stopped at a camping grounds for a cup of tea and a bush walk. The weka were their usual nosy selves and jumped up on the table to see what they could steal.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    Huia wrote: »
    I've met some Western weka. I was on the West Coast with friends and we stopped at a camping grounds for a cup of tea and a bush walk. The weka were their usual nosy selves and jumped up on the table to see what they could steal.

    What are weka?

  • Pizza day here today for fourteen including family. We have been busy for the year settling in and sorting three households. We had people for lunch at Christmas and family on Boxing Day but this is the first real attempt at entertaining.

    Pizza oven fire was lit about 8:00 am and preparations well under way. We tried this month ago with a carefully chosen list of guests. However we had rain, first real rain in months and we cancelled. Our household policy is never to complain of rain, even though it can be inconvenient. Fire bans were today’s worry but all ok.
  • Eeek ! I have been in mountains all my life and mum and dad lived further up. Snakes, yes including a baby black snake which dropped into dad’s shirt when he was gardening. But funnel web spiders? Not really. Well known around district lower down where a shipmate lives.

    Yesterday we discovered a funnel web in the filter basket from pool. Still very much alive despite being sucked through filtration system. Niece gets them on bottom of her pool at Maroota. They can live there at least three weeks under the water.

    We know we have one blue tongue lizard here. They eat such spiders. We should have more but haven’t seen them in the large dry stone wall across middle of front yard. Lots of nooks and crannies there for homes for them.

    We will not be taking any live ones to hospital down off mountains. They are passed on there for production of antivenene. Just too far to do that.

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Crikey - snakes and funnel-web spiders - are you sure it was a good idea to move to the country?

    <eek>
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Very few snakes in residential areas of suburban Sydney generally, although there would be plenty around here in bushland whether that is a national park or 5 acres amongst houses. Funnelwebs are notorious local residents, common in gardens. We don't get many, but 30 years ago, next door neighbours were building a pool and that sent the spiders around looking for somewhere more peaceful to build new nests. They can live for days in pools even if caught in the skimmer basket or the bag of the Polaris. Those on paving or smooth lawns are not that difficult to catch and can be taken to local hospitals. They arrange for them to go a place which milks the venom which in turn is made into anti-venene.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited November 2019
    Watching the cheering crowds on TV as captain Siya Kolisi and others in the South African rugby team hold up the trophy for the world cup. Cars hooting on the usually quiet roads around the village.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Well done the Springboks! :)
  • Indeed - the best team won and the speeches by both Kolisi and Erasmus emphasised the team effort and its example for all the people of South Africa.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    Climacus wrote: »
    Sorry for the prolonged absence. I'm back.

    I watched the All Blacks game in a small pub on the Chatham Islands (850kms or so east of Wellington) and the mood was despondent. Best Wekas everywhere, and seals in some places. Amazing and diverse scenery, and great people -- locals and tourists. Very relaxing.

    Sorry Moo, I should have linked to this post by Climacus.

    They have a reputation for being both nosy and feisty, which was why they jumped on the picnic table when there were people stittng at it.

    MaryLouise as much as rugby bores me rigid, it's good to see the celebrations.
  • LothlorienLothlorien Glory
    edited November 2019
    My sister lives at Forster on a headland above one of the beaches. Her back fence is on a reserve which has not had a hazard reduction burn in years and is thick and impenetrable.

    Another fire was lit there this afternoon and she eventually had to leave. She has been suffering from anxiety for some time and takes medication for it. She sounds ok but tomorrow when she returns it may all land on top of her.
  • No news from sister as yet. The big club at Forster and its smaller off shoot at Tuncurry over the bridge was offering shelter last night to those forced out. She may perhaps have found a couch with a friend.
  • Just rang sister. She is back home, somewhat rattled, but ok. When she woke at 6:00 she could not see house over road because smoke was so thick. This is on top of high cliff with strong winds.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Phew. Deo gratias (no translation required as in commonish parlance, I hope ).
  • Good news.

    The photos ABC, and others, are posting alternate between eerie (red, smoky skies at a deserted beach) and frightening (kids in water while flames loom in the distance)...
  • Two people dead, at least seven others missing and over 100 homes lost as of this morning. One mid north coast township "destroyed", including the 136 year old local primary school. Praying for all on the north coast. For those reading from overseas, this area is normally high rainfall and less prone to such fires, but drought has parched the whole state.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Yes, the stretch along the coastal fringe between a bit north of Newcastle and the Queensland border has been good dairy country. Normally decent rain, reasonably flat and good grazing.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    Absolutely heartbreaking. Devastating.

    The NSW RFS* is now reporting 150 homes lost...at least. The photos and video they are posting look apocalyptic. This NASA image tells a story.

    My utmost admiration for the emergency services and all support personnel, and my love and prayers for all impacted in any way.


    * Rural Fire Service
  • Those fires are not all the product of a hot day. Arson needs strong penalties but much of it is reported as psychological. First fire in reserve at my sister’s back fence was caused by torching a stolen car. The huge fire next day just sort of happened. NOT. The RFS saved all the houses in the dead end street and are still patrolling. That was a couple of streets out of Forster shops. Very big reserve, not cleared in years and full of scrub.

    On a cliff high over local beach.
  • Galloping GrannyGalloping Granny Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    Moo asked What are weka?
    Early settlers called them bush hen. They are rather the shape of a kiwi but with a shorter, very strong beak, and more often seen in daylight. We were innocent enough when camping once to put a tray of eggs under the bush behind our tent to keep them cool, when a neighbour pointed out that the wekas would break the lot. They make good eating; on the Chatham Islands they are permitted to kill them for food and the islanders manage their numbers accordingly.
    Climacus, a few years after they were married my parents spent several years on the Chathams, where Dad was teaching. In those days travel to and from there was by a small steamer over often rough and stormy seas, so when I was on the way Mum came up early to Wellington and stayed with her mother. He was sent a cable when I arrived but the postmaster misplaced it, remembered it at the weekend, and rode to the other end of the island to give it to Dad, who had gone there, also on horseback, to visit friends. Nowadays there are motor vehicles, and a plane makes regular flights there.
    So I was conceived on Chatham Island but somehow I've never got around to visiting it, though I would have loved to.
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