Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Importance of Colour

Most fleet vehicles are white. There's probably a good reason, and it may not be that private buyers don't like bland colors.

This week she who must be obeyed (the fleet manager) allocated me a vehicle with a paint job called "charcoal".

It's not the ideal color for 35 degrees out back of Charleville. It's also exactly the same color as the bitumen roads out this way.

I travel with headlights on low beam.

The car gets really hot when parked in the sun. The difference (compared with white) is quickly appreciated.

You look for shade, but sometimes it's not available. So you stand outside, open the front doors, and turn the HVAC on for a minute.

Universal Design

Universal design is a relatively simple concept.

It means that the built environment caters for everybody. This long drop toilet near Wyandra (half way between Charleville and Cunnamulla) is an example.

It's wheelchair accessible. Note the extended ramp built to ADS specifications. From memory, the slope can't exceed one in seven.

It's obviously more expensive, but once built, stays built. After years of hassles trying to provide access to kids in wheelchairs, and an understanding of how much it costs to provide add-ons, universal design is an appealing notion.

The long drop toilet does, however, create a few challenges.

If you were way out here in a wheelchair (not beyond the realm of possibility given the number of grey nomads traveling) you'd probably be grateful.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Corones Hotel

If you're ever in Charleville (as I am this week) make sure you visit Corones Hotel in Wills St.

It was built in grand style by a Greek migrant (Harry Corones) who was the first of his countrymen to own a pub licence in Queensland.

For a long time, this pub was the centre of the universe in western Queensland, and the cream of the squattocracy drank, danced, and celebrated here.

It was patronized by royalty and boasted (for a long time) the biggest bar in the Southern hemisphere.

It fell on hard times, but has been partially restored and once again operates as a working pub. Some compromises have been necessary - the old dance hall now operates as a bottle shop. It's worth dropping in for a bottle of plonk, just to look at the ceiling.

You can have a meal in the impressive dining room in the evening, or join a daily guided tour of the building.

The photos are iPhoned, so not the best quality, but they provide
an indication of how the place looks.

Why the shots of the toilets? The signage and decor reflect a gentler and more refined age.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Storms out West

You're always aware of what the sky is doing out this way.

The absence of buildings and other visual pollution means that any weather brewing is immediately obvious.

Today there were a few random storms moving from the north west towards the south east as I headed across from Charleville to Quilpie.

It didn't amount to much on the road, but I reckon a few properties to the north copped a bit of a toweling.

I've been lucky in the sense that I've only ever been caught in a hailstorm on the road once in the time I've been working this loop. That was enough, as it turned out - it's not fun.

The only less comfortable place to be in a hailstorm is a light aircraft, and that happened a couple of years ago on approach to Roma returning from Cunnamulla.

It sounded like someone was chucking bucketfulls of rocks at the fuselage. At least on the road you can check the radar and avoid the storm or shelter somewhere.

You can do the same in an aircraft, unless the storm is happening where you have to land, and then you have no choice.

That was what happened a few years ago. I remember it well.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

How Sweet it is

I'm not much into local government, but how sweet is this?

How does it go again? "The people, united, will never be defeated".

"Get Clover" has backfired.

Tough bikkies, Barry.......

Just Up North

The Catholic Leader this week draws attention to the ongoing tragedy that is West Papua.

Since the invasion by Indonesia in 1961, and the "Act of Free Choice" in 1969, the subjugation of West Papuans by the Indonesian military has continued under our noses, without so much as a murmur from both sides of politics in this country.

Human rights abuses are a regular feature of Indonesian rule. The ruthless persecution of any resistance has an eerie resemblance to the situation in Timor Leste not all that long ago.

It's about time this country became active. Let's use the seat in the security council to develop a push for a free plebiscite to allow the people of West Papua to decide their future. The next UN intervention would have to build a better outcome than the last one.

Papua is, after all,  a lot closer than Afghanistan.

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