Friday, 21 October 2016

The first sitting of the new Parlaiment

I have mentioned before that a friend was standing for Parliament in the Northern Territory election. I also mentioned that she won her seat.

Parliament had its official first sitting this week.

Selina's family and community turned out to welcome her into the chamber in her new role. I thought you might find these photos interesting.

Selina's mother is from Numbulwar and Selina had gone there to teach. This community is the home of the Red Flag Dancers, an internationally acclaimed company who perform traditional works that belong to their people.

The first photo is of Selina with her parents. You can see the love and pride in the faces of Mick and Didimain. Selina's dress fabric was hand printed by Indigenous Australian artists. This was taken in the Great Hall before the ceremony started.

The second photo is of the dancers bringing Selina into the chamber. You can see that Selina is wearing a special traditional headdress. Originally this would have been woven from pandanus fibre, but these days it is made from acrylic yarn.

The third photo is of the dance company in the Great Hall after the formal ceremony was completed.

To have these dancers present was a massive undertaking and a huge mark of respect. Numbulwar is remote - you can fly there in a light plane, but ... The road, which is not sealed all the way, is cut every the Wet Season. And one year Selina took a group of her students to Cambodia to volunteer at an orphanage. The logistics were incredible. Now this good woman is working for all Territorians.

I wonder if your friends and relatives would do this for you. I know mine would not.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

For those who imagine they are old at 50

I've been busy. That's how Life is.
Saw this and had a laugh.
50 is so young!! I plan on living past 100.

A friend sent this photo to me so I have no idea where it comes from. 

Monday, 29 August 2016

Election happiness

This past weekend was the Northern Territory election. We voted for people to represent us in our Legislative Assembly - we have just one House.

I have mentioned in the past that a friend was running. Well, she won her seat! A landslide victory. Selena worked very hard for seven months visiting as many people as possible, talking, listening, and showing she cares. Her family was very supportive, but Selena was always an excellent candidate. She is an experienced high school teacher, has represented Australia internationally in soccer, and has backpacked around the globe. No teenage pregnancies and waiting for handouts for Selena. Now I'm rather hoping she will be the Minister for Sport and Recreation.

As sometimes happens, another friend also won her seat. I know both women will do the very best they can. Eva is much older but very experienced in the ways of the Public Service. I worked with her a few years ago.

My friend Jenny is excited because three of her past students won seats - and she works in a very underprivileged area. Over a long career, a teacher gets to know thousands of students, but three elected to the same Parliament is pretty good. Jenny must have inspired them with a sense of justice and responsibility.

Our NT election was an easy ticket for the Labor Party. The Country Liberal Party had been bickering and behaving foolishly for quite a while. Now we do not even have enough representatives to form an Opposition. Fortunately, the NT has some excellent Independents, but I doubt they want to join with anyone else. The whole point of being an Independent is to be a one-man band.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Do you use a sat nav in your car?

I was sent this poem.
Pam Ayres
It is supposed to be by Pam Ayres.
I say "supposed to be" because the previous time I had what I thought was one of her poems, it turned out to be by somebody else. If I am wrong again, please let me know. It is not my intention to steal the intellectual property of anyone and cause offence.

This is an older person's poem. (I have no idea why the line spacing is a bit wonky.)

My husband just might think of me sometimes in the same way that the person in this poem thinks of his wife. My Beloved has a real sat nav in his car, and the voice is quite helpful. Sometimes I augment the advice.

I still hope you like this as much as I do.


I have a little Satnav, it sits there in my car.
A Satnav is a driver's friend; it tells you where you are.
I have a little Satnav, I've had it all my life.
It's better than the normal ones, my Satnav is my wife.
It gives me full instructions, especially how to drive
"It's sixty miles an hour", it says, "You're doing sixty-five".
It tells me when to stop and start, and when to use the brake,
And tells me that it's never ever, safe to overtake.
It tells me when a light is red, and when it goes to green
It seems to know instinctively, just when to intervene.
It lists the vehicles just in front, and all those to the rear.
And taking this into account, it specifies my gear.
I'm sure no other driver, has so helpful a device.
For when we leave and lock the car, it still gives its advice.
It fills me up with counselling, each journey's pretty fraught.
So why don't I exchange it, and get a quieter sort?
Ah well, you see, it cleans the house, makes sure I'm properly fed.
It washes all my shirts and things, and keeps me warm in bed!
Despite all these advantages, and my tendency to scoff,
I only wish that now and then,

                                                I could turn the bugger off!

It is more than 40 years since Pam Ayres first appeared on British television giving us the pleasure of her poetry.
Here is a link to her webpage.    Pam Ayres

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race 2016

Yesterday morning was the start of the 2016 Darwin to Ambon yacht race.

The yachts started from the Darwin waterfront at Stokes Hill Wharf and will finish at the village of Amahusa in Ambon in Indonesia. The distance is 635 nautical miles. They do go through part of the Banda Sea where frequently there are earthquakes which we feel here in Darwin. The race takes about a week although the race record is 53 hours, set in 1998.

The day was beautiful, the sea a calm tropical blue, sunny but not hot. I thought it looked like a tropical paradise dream, but I get extremely sea sick so it would not be such a dream for me. People queue to crew for this race and it is easy to see why.

If you want to find out more, this is the link to the race website.  HERE

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


We are in the midst of the Darwin Festival. Look who is performing.

These photos were taken at the National Indigenous Music Awards.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Art Fair

This weekend was the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. I went and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Events were staged at two venues with a free bus running between the two. Some displays and workshops were at the Museum and everything else was at the Convention Centre.

Fabric artists.
Clothing designers.

It was not OK for members of the general public to take photos inside where the artworks were displayed.
The photo of the workshop where people could learn to do a bark painting is mine. This was taken outside the convention centre. All workshops were free of charge and open to everyone.
The photos taken inside are from a variety of sources, mainly commercial photographers who have put samples on the internet.

Art, specifically indigenous art, is a major industry in the Northern Territory.
The major event of the Art Fair was the Telstra Indigenous Art Award which naturally attracts visual artists from all over Australia. Harold Thomas won this year. He is so well-known and frequently has works in galleries in Darwin. Thomas is tertiary educated and holds degrees in Fine Art and Social Anthropology. Of course, he is most famous for designing the Aboriginal flag.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Not really a holiday

I'm back home again after a holiday that wasn't a holiday. Three interesting days. A break in routine.
Sunday lunchtime I fainted. Badly. Ambulance. Hospital. Tests.
Was I heading for a stroke? Should I be taking something to thin the blood? Atrial fibrillation seems to be a real attention grabber in Accident and Emergency.
Accident and Emergency is definitely not fun. Noisy. Busy.

A whole room to myself
Eventually I was given a bed in the coronary care unit. Ooh, that was much, much better. A mobile thing with many wires meant that it was then possible to get out of bed and even ... go to the toilet in private. The thing was measuring my heart I think. Aaah, luxury. More tests. Decent bed. A visit from the cardiac specialist. Much discussion. Good meals.
The final decision was that all would be well enough for the time being.
I'm not planning to have a stroke. I did not have a heart attack. The bruises will heal. Thankful.
Medicare will cover all my hospital expenses. And my private health fund will cover the ambulance trip.
We have a wonderful hospital here and the staff are really kind. I heard them dealing with some very ill patients and the staff were so lovely with them.
I'm going to be burning the midnight oil catching up on a few important tasks left behind, but that is a small price for the help I received.
Be careful. Look after yourself. Stay healthy.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Going to need a bigger bookshelf

Probably I'm going to need a bigger bookshelf soon.
Gifts of books are definitely appreciated in our home. I certainly am lucky this time.

I heartily recommend the Ladybird book which I have already read twice. It is for adults, although it is not rude. The topic and style means it most appropriate for those mothers who had a big role in raising their toddlers. I have noticed other titles in this series in shops and they have specific target audiences too.

I enjoy the Father Brown series on television, so the original stories will be a pleasure.

Looks like all housework is on hold for a while.