Category Archives: Australia

Sir Porridge’s Epic Journey…Day Three

It was a day of large birds.

To we humans (I do not make that assumption lightly, dear reader), this:

Australia, country, landscape,

is nothing more than a small rectangular representation of South Australia, but to Sir Porridge, AK, it is a landscape teeming with danger. That nonchalant pile of feathers (beneath the tree at left) is, to his trained eye, a blaring signal.  Wedgetail eagles, that most glorious and terrible of predators, are about. A gloss of bronze, a snap of leathery claw, and it’s curtains to you (if you’re meaty enough). Arguably, Sir P is not, but who’s to say whether he might not be the ideal eyrie-upholstery?

Trepidation makes Sir P’s eyes keen, allowing him to zoom beyond human sight.

Australia, country, landscape, photograph, eagle

Australia, country, landscape, photograph,

The faint stalks of wind turbines on a distant ridge gladdened the knight. They make sense in a country bearing more than the average brunt of global warming.

Australia, country, landscape, wind turbines

Visiting the (remnants of) relatives:

Australia, country, rural, landscape, crop

Australia, country, landscape, crop

Further on, the inky black of grazing cattle punctuated round, pale-yellow hills.

Australia, country, landscape, bush, scrub

The tiny mining town, Iron Knob, looks like it’s been dropped into the scrub from a great height. The scattered buildings, with churches just about outnumbering houses, appear held together with bits of wire and four by two.

Iron Knob, Australia, mining town, main street, emu sign

With little call to apprehend jay-walking emus, the police station is given over to other pursuits.

Iron Knob, Australia, police station, church, mining town

As the pink and grey galah in Kimba casts its beady, greedy eye over the landscape, Sir Porridge huddles ironically between its cereal-grabbing claws although one must, in all honesty, acknowledge that those claws have a certain inertia which pretty much guarantees his safety.

big galah, giant galah, pink and grey galah

It’s been long and slow, and our intrepid traveller has kindly created work for road repair teams across a number of shires, but he has purportedly (check the sign in the photo above) made it halfway across.

Australia, tractor, coloured tractor, Kimba, half way ,

He’s there on the metal seat, struggling to see over the engine.

It should be noted that halfway is actually still to come on the knight’s route since he travelled more directly from Sydney to east of Adelaide.

Australia, Kimba, half way, map,

Ceduna, home of 4000 people and the October oyster festival, welcomed Sir Porridge (as one would expect). By the time he left, there were rumours of plans for an oatmeal festival.

Ceduna, Australia, jetty, pier

Although this spot beneath the jetty was a pleasing place from which to observe the sunset, he moved to higher ground for the night due to obvious conflicts with the tide.

seagull, dusk

Sir Porridge’s Epic Journey…Day Two

The signs were unambiguous.

Australia, border quarantine, fruit fly, sign

The fines escalated as the distance to the New South Wales – Victoria border decreased.Australia, border quarantine, fruit fly, sign

We breathed a collective sigh of relief upon seeing that Sir Porridge, AK, was safely off the hit list. Continue reading

Sir Porridge’s Epic Journey…Day One

His journey began on the eastern seaboard.

Mid-morning at Coogee Beach, Sydney.

Not a swimmer himself, owing to certain properties he attains in water, he nevertheless enjoys observing the pleasure derived by others near and in this medium. Continue reading

Sir Porridge’s Epic Journey Across the Multi-coloured Lumpy Bit and Instep of Australia

Much is made of the red heart of Australia but beneath it, lying against the wild and reckless Southern Ocean, is what Sir Porridge, AK (Knight of the Order of Australia – no longer conferred), refers to as the brown and sometimes grey instep. East of that is a big lumpy bit that contains a lot of Very Important Cities which spend considerable energy vying for ‘head-importantness’. Notwithstanding the fact that Canberra is the capital, Sydney and Melbourne are historically the leaders in this competition. Perth, a large country town by comparison, is marooned on the west coast – alone and almost forgotten.

These things do not concern Sir Porridge, AK.

Soon he leaves for parts greener (England) and sought a journey to shore up images and immerse himself in the land he loves.

This is his story from east to west against impossible odds.

Memories, Attics, Books and Forests

I’m packing up the things in the attic, going through documents and files. I sort into ‘coming with me’ and ‘staying in storage’.

After a while the redistribution reveals an old writing folder. It is then I have to look at how I am sorting. What have I been doing?

The folder straddles the groups. I may not find any ideas in here that I want to work on but it may make interesting reading for it takes me on a path back to who I was. It is like wending through a forest then standing at the edge of a glade and peeping in upon my past self toiling and playing and dreaming and planning. To see oneself so far away is a curious thing. There were so many future selves and lives then. The gap between then and now is the path of the one I lived. Continue reading

The Secret of Forests

Have you ever gazed at a European forest and wondered what it is that makes them seem so gentle and expansive? I have. The other day I found the secret. Here it is.

Continue reading

Something Else That Happened on the Plane

WILD  MILD  LACK OF PATRIOTISM

The sun at take-off is piercingly bright, richly gold and, seemingly, liquid. Goodbye Australia, I think as I try not to stare into it. Then I actually feel my heart flutter.

I should say that, occasionally, for no particular reason, my heart misses a beat. A doctor recently advised that this was within the bounds of normalcy, we have no heart trouble in the family  and I have a good relationship with my heart, so I am content to simply enjoy the weird sensation that arises when it opts out momentarily. There’s a slight plummeting feeling in my body, much as one gets a fraction beyond the peak of a swing or the apex of a rollercoaster. This is not the same beat pattern I feel on the plane. Continue reading