Saturday, 22 February 2014


Southbound near Wyandra

I'm just back from west of Charleville, working out that way all last week.

During that time the first decent rain of the summer turned up in that part of the world. The locals were rapt.

I can understand why. Prior to the rain, the country was starting to succumb to dry weather for about eighteen months. When that happens you begin to notice that any grass turns a shade of grey indicating a complete lack of nutrient.

What stock are left look skinny, and the roos and wallabies come into the roadside looking for green pick and invariably get cleaned up by road trains at night, often five or six at a time. 

The grey tinge was still evident on Monday outbound, but by the time we returned on Friday, green growth was already evident.

Bird life had also exploded, a sure sign that conditions were on the improve.

It will need more - good follow up rain - but it's a good start to the new season.

I usually bring rain - but never get any thanks.....

Sunday, 16 February 2014


My daughter captured this image on a visit to Vietnam in 2007. It's on the Perfume River (Sông Hương)

Viet 1

I remember an Ektachrome daylight

In the Binh Ba rubber.

She sat, ochred feet resting.

That old, old woman who showed me

How to wear a headband.

She was unafraid of our scout

And his outlandish burst of Armalite;

It was more important to be comfortable.

She ignored us, our useless armour

Mud-green high-tech camouflaged nonsense,

Smiled and smoked a grudged cigarette,

Turned away and thought on soldiers and children.

Her eyes were as wise as Lao Tzu

And she quietly waited for our departure.


I wrote this after an incident on a TAOR patrol when we came across a group of woodcutters in a free fire zone.
We had to round them up and take them across to Route 2 so they could be checked out by the local authorities.
One of them was a very old woman who obviously felt sorry for the hot and bothered digger who was standing over her with an SLR. I was that digger.

She reached up and mopped the sweat off my face with the cloth I was wearing around my neck.

A Pinch of Common Sense

Courtesy I found this posted in Facebook a few weeks ago, when the faux outrage about mandated vaccination first began to ...