Thursday, 8 December 2011

Monsoon Season

I'm the one in the middle

Nette is older than me and she's bossy

Andy is younger, he's the baby even though he's 5

And goes to school

but Nette treats him like a baby

Every Christmas holidays Dad takes us camping

he tries to get back before the Big Wet

cause then all the roads are closed

one time we went up north

we were coming back home

Dad listened to the radio in the car

it had started to rain and the rivers were rising

“Peg” he says to my mum “we'll have to stop in Bundaberg.

The road's cut between us and home.”

We put up the tent in the caravan park.

We all have jobs to do.

I'm good at putting up tents.

I pull the guy ropes tight when Dad has banged the pegs into the ground.

Mum cooks dinner in the covered bbq place

Dad listens to the radio with the other dads near the ping pong tables

“River's still rising”.

Every time it rains we go to the poky little library and read all the books.

They don't have any Tintin or Asterisk.

When it stops raining we run down and check the river

Creeping up the stairs one by one.

I see a cow floating by its legs in the air.

One day Mum says “Go and get the kids, lunch is ready.”

I race down to the river

Nette and Andy are standing at the top of the stairs but

They're not looking at the river.

Nette hisses at me “Stop! Don't come any nearer!”

There's a huge snake lying between her and me

Lying across the path that goes down to the steps that lead down to the river.

She is holding Andy tight and he's staring at the snake

But he's not making a sound.

I turn and run

Back through the caravan park

Screaming “Snake! Snake!”

Dad and two other men grab mallets and sticks and shovels and

Follow me back

And whack that snake

One man hangs it over the No Parking sign.

“Taipan” he says. “Deadliest snake. Must've been going down for a drink.

You kids are lucky you stood so still.”

Andy is bawling his eyes out and Mum cuddles him.

We all stand around staring at the snake.

Next day the river starts going down and we join the long queue heading South

For Home.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

O is for oil

At last. Good news for Israel. 2 large natural gas reservoirs have been found off-shore: Tamar in 2008 and Leviathan in 2010.

Tamar holds enough for Israel for the next 20 years. Leviathan, thought to be the world's largest off-shore discovery in the last 10 years is twice the size.

Israel and Cyprus will need to work together to exploit these resources and add stability to the region.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Prisoner swap

Ah the usual "balance" in the Middle East when it comes to Israel: one Israeli soldier is released back home to his family in exchange for 1000 terrorists.

Too depressing for words.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Freedom of Speech

Have to keep repeating: Freedom of conscience (and the resultant freedom of speech) is the foundation of all freedoms.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Z is for Zionism

From Kelvin's book, page 10. "In 1798 a Baptist minister in England named James Bicheno ( whose son James E Bicheno was one time colonial secretary in Tasmania) wrote:
/Now we are looking for the restoration of the scattered Jews. . . to pretend to determine, positively, how this ought to be brought about, would be arrogance, the probability being that the Turkish power being overturned in Palestine, by some invading enemy, that enemy will think it politic and necessary, for the promotion of its own schemes, to invite the Jews to take posession of their ancient patrimony. & to make one cause with themselves. For without the support of some powerful nation, how are the dispersed, disorganized Jews, to collect their numbers & unite their energies, so as to produce the effects predicted? We know God can work miracles; but we know also that he usually works by 2nd causes.
I shall now only add that Egypt, it is probable, will be an easy conquest (Isaiah 11:11) & a thoroughfare for the returning sons of Abraham, to the country of their ancestors./
A few months later, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt. . .[setting] the scene for the unfolding of an amazing geo-political dynamic, the consequences of which have continued on until the modern period."
I am enjoying Golda Meir's autobiography. On page 62:
"Perhaps at this point I should say something briefly about the [Valley of Jezreel], because the story of the struggle to develop it is so integral a part of the story of the whole Zionist effort. When the 1st WW ended & the Mandate over Palestine was awarded by the League of Nations to Britain, the new hopes raised by the Balfour Declaration for the establishment of a full-fledged Jewish national home seemed to be on the way towards fulfilment. Years earlier, however, in 1901, the Jewish National Fund had already been formed by the Zionist movement for the exclusive purpose of buying & developing land in Palestine in the name of the entire Jewish people. & a great deal of the Jewish-owned land in Palestine was bought by 'the people' - the bakers, tailors & carpenters of Pinsk, Berlin & Milwaukee. . .
Come to think of it, I am more than a little tired of hearing about how the Jews 'stole' land from Arabs in Palestine. The facts are quite different. A lot of money changed hands, & a lot of Arabs became very rich indeed. . . So let that libel. . .be done with."

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

O is for Origami

I have been making origami pieces since childhood - I still have the origami instruction book given to me as a birthday present when I was about 10. So I'm always interested in new folds.

A couple of weeks ago, someone told me about a clip she had watched online of a little book by British origamist Dave Brill.

So I've made these little books for the grandchildren. All you need is a 15cm square of Japanese paper (colored on one side). No cutting or gluing.

L is for Language/Linguistics

I enjoyed studying Linguistics at uni. When I had children, all the theory was made real in participating in their development.

Later I worked with special needs kids. A joy when language sessions went well. Other times, constant struggle.

Now the grandchildren are forging ahead with language and it is wonderful to see again, theory worked out in practice.