Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quiet Corner


This small hotel can be found in the Blue Mountains, West of Sydney.


A touch of Victoriana,
Though no-one wears a bustle,
And through the windows clear to see
Lies all the modern hustle.
'The Metropole', in Katoomba,
A little old-time hotel,
Where the beds are clean and comfortable
And the owner feeds us well.
Where time for the morning paper
Follows a breakfast feast
And the awful headlines fade away
And don't worry us in the least.
Up in the Blue Mountains,
Among the hilly mists,
We find that the past enfolds us,
And serenity still exists.
A less relaxing hotel experience here:

Kookaburra Kapers!

letter 'K'


Yindingie made the animals, the insects and the birds.
They roamed around Australia in great numbers, flocks and herds.
Most of them were happy with the way life had begun,
Except for little Kookaburra; he was the solemn one.
In fact, he was a misery, for envy ruled his mind;
He wanted to sing like the other birds, of every breed and kind.
'Why haven't I a voice?' he cried; 'It really isn't fair
That I should be so silent when I'm flying in the air!'
Now Snake was getting skittish and he fancied Frog for tea,
And Kookaburra watched them both with bold intensity.
The Snake was looking evil as he slid to little Frog,
And finally he reached him as he jumped up on a log.
Frog jumped and jumped, now up, now down, now on the grassy ground,
And Snake at last saw something move, and pounced without a sound.
At that very moment Frog escaped and didn't he rejoice!
While Kookaburra laughed and laughed!
He'd found his special voice.
For Snake had grabbed at his own tail, which was curled around the log.
He'd taken a mouthful of himself, instead of the lucky Frog!
The Kookaburra's laughter rang throughout the land around
And other Kookaburras came to learn the cheeky sound.
Since then the famous laugh throughout the bush is always heard
And the cheerful Kookaburra is Australia's favourite bird.

More about the Dreamtime here:

The Sea His Oyster!


(A memory of a recent cruise.)

The rich man in his flashy yacht
Proud of all the things he's got
Doesn't understand the pleasure
Of Malcolm, seen here at his leisure.
A balcony (we were upgraded....
An offer, and we were persuaded!)
A cup of tea, a melody
(He's wearing earphones as you see.)
The view of the never-ending ocean
With its gentle heaving motion.
A pleasant day to contemplate,
Plus a delightful, charming mate......
(Sorry! I get in on the act,
But I am quite perfect, that's a fact!)
Some do this daily and live it up
(Maybe with champagne in the cup)
But, for Malcolm, all this was rare.
He enjoyed it more than a millionaire!

Not so good for some here:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009



I've been completely captivated
By an article which stated
That there's a charge of elctricity
Which can be tapped from a growing tree!
Not enough to save the earth
But an amount of a certain worth.
Enough to power small alarms
In bush-fire-threatened spots, like farms.
At the moment men patrol
Watching for bush-fires; that's their role.
There are also alarms which are quite expensive,
Covering areas more extensive.
If we used the power of a tree
It's small alarm, periodically,
Sending items of information
Back to the main fire-fighting station,
We'd be saving many an hour
Of man-hours and expensive power.
I'm very keen on this because
In a bush-fire country such as Oz
The looming summer holds a threat
That mankind hasn't defeated  yet.
Let's hope it's not a vague pipe-dream
That never gets to the world's main-stream!
I'll listen and wait because, you see,
I like the word 'electricitree!'

Not such a useful use for science here:

Frisky Fantasy

Gerald Gee


Oh the delight of frisky weather,
Rain and sunshine both together.
Clouds that scud and winds that skitter,
Sometimes warm and sometimes bitter!
Shades of green that flash and flow,
Dark, then light, then off they go!
Shadows going separate ways
Joined then parted as we gaze.
Hair that flies in all directions!
Fields divided in patchwork sections.
Little flurries of misty rain.
They dampen, then they're gone again!
Trees that widdershin and creak.
Words that fly before we speak!
Laughter as we brave the breeze.
How I loved days such as these.
England is a place of treasures;
Quirky little gems and pleasures.
One of them is frisky weather.
Rain and sunshine both together.

See more of Gerald's work here:

Be Careful!


A word of warning to the wise!
Tricksters are clever at disguise!
A certain friend is in a mess
Someone has stolen her address!
Emails from 'her' were not too funny!
All of them demanded money!
Now she finds her passwords changed,
Everything is re-arranged.
If information is ever saught,
Check by phone! Please don't get caught!
Thieves have a really mean persistence
So don't go giving them your assistance!

Rosy Cosy



How could it not catch my eye
In the Market as I passed by.
Out the front there by a stall
Offering comfort to us all?
Not a cheap and cheery plastic
But something so much more fantastic.
Even a cushion to rest my head!
And all such a very gorgeous RED!
Another very comfortable easy-chair here:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Make 'Em Laugh!


This lyric doesn't work as 'poetry' as it's a parody on Donald O'Connor's original song. If you're too young to remember his genius please click on the above to see a video of his performances.

I think he was the equal of Astaire and Kelly in dancing and a wonderful comic as well.


Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Don't you know everyone wants to laugh?
(Ha ha!)
The world can be quite unkind
But laughter helps, you will find.
Global Warming it seems
May put paid to the world of our dreams;
But you can be a Banker and earn lots of dough
Or you can be a Planner, telling us where to go,
But what if our economy decides to go slow?
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Don't you know everyone wants to laugh?
(Ha ha!)
The Politicians like to stand up and spout
But they still leave us in doubt!
Never weep
Never wail
Never curse!
The reverse!
Hoist your sail!
You never know! The future may be better than this!
And it may be we're heading for a future that's bliss!
Regardless..... give depression and the horrors a miss!
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Definitely the Last Laugh here:

Phake Photos


In the days of the Ouija Board, when ghosts were ten-a-penny,
And Conan Doyle was in his prime and 'phenomena' were many,
The strangest photographs appeared, revealing spirit creatures
Looking all ethereal but with oddly-human features!
These wraiths, it seems, came writhing out from convenient orifices
Often accompanied by sighs and bangs and shrieks and hisses!
They were made of ectoplasm, a really curious stuff
Not out of misty nothingness to banish with a puff!
Ectoplasm, in our day, gives rise to many laughs
Although it looks quite firm and real in old-time photographs!
Photography was very new; it was easy to play tricks;
Overlapping images then were so easy to fix.
Trick photography was involved, of that we can be certain,
And we're sure that an accomplice must have been behind a curtain!
The populace was over-awed and many were believers,
While, as with any fraudulence, there were dozens of deceivers.
The ones we must be sorry for were those who were bereaved,
Who felt they saw their loved-ones, for whom they deeply grieved.
We're still the hapless victims of tricksters! Even yet
There are those who try to fool us as we use the internet!
We must keep our wits about us! Fraudsters are very slick.
There are many variations of the ectoplasm trick.

A more useful trick here:

Golden Wattle



Some call it Mimosa, we call it Wattle here.
It's always the first harbinger of the Springtime of the year.
While the winds are whipping up a storm and the skies are, maybe, grey
It adds a touch of glory-gold to a gloomy winters day.
Some may have their cherry Blossom, some their Daffodils
To herald future sunshine while the winter wind still chills,
But we rejoice in Wattle, such a pleasure to behold,
Dotting the hills of New South Wales with bubbles of pure gold.

Last year's wattle here:

What a Buzz!


Are you a bumble-bee? Are you a car?
I don't care whatever you are!
In one way or another I'll drive or fly
To the end of the earth or the top of the sky!
Everything's possible, don't you know!
It's only the grownups who tell us 'No!'
I'll be sure of so many things
Till boring grownups clip my wings!
Another boy, another ride here:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Coming Into View.



"There's a strange old lady over there
Taking photographs of us!
She really looks suspicious
But I don't want to make a fuss!
She was pointing in this direction
When we first set-foot her way!
As though she were waiting for figures
To add to her array!
Maybe somebody has told her
That figures add a dimension!
Maybe there isn't any need
For my feeling of apprehension.
It could be that she has a blog
And likes shots in monochrome.
Sorry! I'm still uneasy!
Turn round and we'll head for home!"
An introspective bridge here:


Gerald Gee
As my visitors know, I much admire the art of Gerald Gee

However, I do not think the above ranks as one of his greatest works! Others may disagree!

It has inspired me, nevertheless!


I'd love to have a bosom that lit up in the dark!
Imagine! Rinkly strolling after midnight in the park!
I could turn my beams on straight ahead
The blackness would not lead to dread;
I'd stride out sure of foot instead
And never miss my mark!

No tripping over stones for me, or bumping into trees!
I could leap around the bushes quite unfettered at my ease.
My headlights would light up the scene,
My way ahead and where I'd been,
And all the spaces in between!
So give them to me! Please!

Something more romantic here:

Twin Souls


Friedrich Halm
wrote the immortal words written in blue.
I've just enlarged on them!


Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one!
I just can't think of anything worse! There wouldn't be any fun!
Just imagine if your spouse thought just the same as you!
You'd just sit around in silence! There'd be nothing else to do!
What would be the point of speech if you knew in advance
Exactly what he was thinking! So much for pure romance!
No! Give me a relationship with differing points of view!
Give me lots of pleasant argument and a good row, maybe two!
I want to be stimulated, not buried in eiderdown!
Give me an 'opposite number' and I can go to town!
As for the 'heartbeat' business, who wants to act as one?
Hearts have different rhythms when all is said and done.
If my partner's out on a five-mile hike and I am sitting at ease
I don't want palpitations! How ridiculous! Please!
No! I'm not one for 'mushy stuff'; as far as I'm concerned
People who look for twin souls often get their fingers burned!
Give me Friendship any day! Leave Romance on the shelf!
I'd rather keep my Heart and Soul entirely to myself!

Another 'Carry On' here:

Sunday Diary

September 25th

Two things dominated this week. The most immediate was our dust-storm on Wednesday which was the first for seventy years, and which made one understand primitive people believing in the supernatural. One was definitely reminded of blood and the end of the world! It all blew away and we enjoyed blue skies again but it was a timely reminder of Global Warming, as it was the intense dryness of the Centre of the Continent that caused the dust in the first place.

An icon obliterated!

Of course, there was a link to the discussions in New York and Pittsburgh as well, and that was the said G.W. I felt there was, maybe, a glimmer of hope in all the discussions. I was interested in Pittsburgh too, as Newcastle is often likened to that American city, being of a similar size and having been a filthy steel town in the past. There is one big difference, though, and that is the sky-scrapers. An enlightened founding father (almost) decreed, for religious reasons, that no building here in Newcastle should ever be higher than the Cathedral, and I rather like that.

So I come to my personal week. SUNDAY was something of a disappointment. We decided to take a picnic to Blackbutt Reserve, where we've often seen a lot of waterfowl. However, when we got there we discovered excavation machinery and a gaping hole with a puddle in it! The lake is in the process of being drained and refurbished! It obviously didn't discourage everyone, though!

Intrepid visitors.

I had a great time on MONDAY! I did one of my poetry readings at a nearby town, Charlestown. There were a hundred women in the audience and they were very engaged. They don't look jolly in the photo because I snapped them when they were listening to a previous serious item, but they were really great, in fact. I sold several books and made some bookings for next year and I was really in my element! The mood  hung over choir practice in the afternoon and I felt on wings!

The Charlestown Audience.

On TUESDAY the choir performed for a local stroke group. Here's Betty doing her bit as a soloist.

'A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation'

I was due to give a speech entitled 'How Many Roads must a Man Travel Down?' at the Speakers' Club on WEDNESDAY, but I only ventured out to buy bread and milk at the corner store and that was a journey through red dust, so I was glad to hibernate for the rest of the day.

On THURSDAY we received our annual visit from the Nurse! These commenced when we were 75 and I felt them to be rather geriatric at first. As time goes on I think it's quite comforting to think that the powers that be are keeping an eye on our welfare, although, of course, our children would rally round if we really needed them. We received good marks all round (eye sight, hearing, diet etc etc) but I did a crazy thing! When asked 'What month is it?' I replied 'April!"!!!! The nurse, put a big black circle round this reply so I think she'll be keeping an eye on my mental capacity!

The Nurse has a cup of tea.

I went into town with Becca and Max in the afternoon. The bus is a big thrill to him. So different from my childhood, when a bus was the norm and a car-ride an unbelievable highlight!

This is the life!

On FRIDAY we received bad news, as we learned that a good companion of ours had died (not a close friend but someone we've known for a long time.) Many of the Probus members were really upset as many of them actually went to school with her. This cast a cloud over our afternoon rehearsal at Carole's. Here is Carole, herself, at her piano.


On SATURDAY we had a reunion of sorts. I have become friendly with Fay, a member of Malcolm's club, and she jogged my memory about Bonny, someone with whom I enjoyed teaching thirty years ago! We decided to motor up to Nelson Bay to visit Bonny, and we asked Joan, an unconnected friend who also lives at The Bay if she'd like to join us for lunch.We very nearly didn't go because another dust storm blew up. This one was only beige though, not dark orange, so we went and it all blew away quite quickly. We had lunch at the Pacific Blue resort. The swimming-pool, which encircles the resort, is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Pacific Blue.

A small bush-fire started while we were there, which was rather a worry, but we had a tasty meal and a lovely long chat, as well as walking round the complex, which we found quite grand.

Smoke signal.

We went back to Joan's for afternoon tea, before driving home.

A pleasant afternoon.

Till next week.

Brenda Bryant

Thrown Together

William Goodrich Roberts



It appears so very casual, this little blue still-life,
This picture of a table and some flowers.
But I'm pretty sure old William got assistance from his wife
And no doubt she toiled for him for several hours.
'I'm running short of oranges! Can you pop down to the shop?
Bring those brighter ones; they've got the nicest colour!
You brought home little yellow ones! I'll place them at the top.
But don't get any more; they're so much duller.'
And later...'Bring that bluish cloth; I rather liked the shade;
You'll find it if you hunt for it enough !
I think it was the one that your Aunt Carolina made!
I like that sort of dark reflective stuff!'
And later still..... 'Oh double drat! These flowers look past their best!
I'll throw them out. Can you please pick some more!
You picked pink roses yesterday but I was not impressed;
Try white and yellow this time! Pink's a bore.'
But he wasn't finished yet! Oh no! 'I want to add some jars!
Please get them from the kitchen. Are they clean?
Maybe a blue decanter or a flagon or a vase;
I'll leave it to you; you must know what I mean.'
Oh no! Not more!......'That picture's wrong! A sea-scape would be fine.
We've got one in the bedroom, I recall.
Uncle Arthur painted it. It isn't one of mine.
Can you get it and then fix it on the wall?'
With all arranged I'm sure he said 'Some coffee would be nice.
And then I'll get to work like one inspired!
Always have a hobby , dear. Yes, that's my advice.
What a morning! I feel really tired!'
Two more views of painting here:



Every day a new success! Every day I achieve
Something so cleverly wonderful it's difficult to believe!
Yesterday, as I recall, I couldn't even walk!
'Look at me Grandma! Look at me!' See! I can even talk!
I've climbed right up this mountain! I'm perching on the top!
Ooooh! But I'm up very high! Make sure that I don't drop!
Tomorrow I'll be all grown-up. I'll pass another test!
Wait till I tell Mummy that I've climbed Everest!
Climbing personal mountains here:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September; Where's the Rain?

Harry Warren.

Here is an Australian parody.


The leaves of green will lose their sheen! September!
Please remember, we need rain!
The sun is growing hotter than an ember!
It's September! We need rain!
With every cloud that passes we keep hoping
That one will drop some moisture once again!
The skies of blue are great, it's true! September!
But the drought is bringing pain!
Another view of weather here:


The best thing about these biscuits is that one eats them at any time,
Even while reading a book in bed, eating them's not a crime!
But they're even better with coffee, better still with a glass of wine,
And the special bite they offer is absolutely divine!
Heat your oven early; preparation time is brief,
 Which, in these rushed and hustled times is a merciful relief!
Beat butter, salt, sugar till creamy; add egg and cheese and mix;
Then fold in flour and chilli.  (It's very easy to fix!)
Roll the mixture into little balls and with a fork  press down
Then bake at 160 till the biscuits are golden brown.
This should take about twenty minutes. Now try one! I know you'll say
'These are tremendous biscuits! I'm going to open a cafe!'

160 gm. butter   90 gm. sugar   1/4 tsp. salt  1/2 egg    3 slices of  Cheddar cheese  cubed
200 gm. Plain flour    1 tsp. baking powder   3/4 tsp. chilli powder

PS. If you double the amount you make a whole egg will be used!
(But seeing you halve a raw egg should  keep your family amused!)

Cheese among other things here:

Not So Dusty!


Quite timely after our recent dusty experience!


Einstein was a clever man, it's true.
We should listen when tells us what to do!
'Don't ever feel you must
Rid your windscreen of that dust.
Look what a touch of genius can do!
If you let the dust increase until it's thick,
You can do this quite astounding little trick!
You can brush and you can scrape
Any quite amazing shape
Re-creating any character you pick.
Now, I'm a man with quite a lot of brain!
A hose would send the dust right down the drain!
Much better you conserve it!
You must know I deserve it!
I shall last until the next downpour of rain!'
A less-useful form of dust here:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fern Learn

New Zealand has claimed the fern and that isn't any wonder
For ferns abound there, lovely ones, maybe the best Down-Under.
But Australia  is also home to ferns, historic ones because
They've grown like this in the deepest bush since the days of the dinosaurs.
The Australian Continent is old, the oldest place on earth;
It stood alone in the boiling sea, before Life had its birth.
Erosion has worked for a billion years to make this country flat,
But the fossils in the deserts give us something to wonder at!
To think this little starfish swam where now there's endless sand!

To think it lived with pliosaurs where now there is dry land!

We speak a lot of Climate Change and what may lie in store,
But things have changed an awful lot, many times before!
Evolution gone mad here:

All In The Game?

By coincidence MEME EXPRESS suggests
'All In The Game', the old Tommy Edwards song
as a jumping-off point today.

I think it's a wonderful song, one of my favourites.
You can hear it at


Today is Grand Final Day here in Australia and this is a heartfelt cry!


Oh what a terrible bore!
They are all in The Game!
Mad for the silly old game with an oval ball!
One must paint ones face
To be counted in the human race!
And I find I just don't care at all!
I'm simply not a good sport
When it comes to The Game!
When it is on the TV
I just hide my head
I don't know the teams!
And I hate their shouts and raucous screams!
So I'll simply go to bed!

The 2008 mood here:

Identification Parade!

The Irish really get it in the neck! Luckily, they're so charming that it doesn't really matter!


Clancy and Paddy were farmers, and they had a pig apiece.
As well as a clutch of chickens, some ducks and a dozen geese.
But, each having one pig only, they decided to share a sty;
This cut-down on their overheads which were sometimes rather high.
All went well until one day Clancy said 'It's fine
But when I look at our two pigs I can't tell which is mine!'
Said Paddy 'Will it help at all if I cut off my pig's ears?'
And, straightaway. he did the deed with a pair of garden shears!
All went well till Paddy's pig, in a violent angry fit,
Chewed the ears off Clancy's pig! Yes! Every little bit!
Two ear-less pigs stood in the sty. The two men scratched their heads.
They mulled the whole thing over when they met in the milking sheds.
'We've got an awful problem and we don't know where to start!
Both our pigs have lost their ears! We can't tell them apart!'
Said Paddy 'This is tricky! But can we put things right
By saying mine's the black pig and yours is the one that's white?'

A very sad and serious 'pig' poem here:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



Oh Virginia! Virginia! That you should come to this!
A tea-towel in your name! What degradation!
Surely someone, somewhere has been very much remiss,
Placing you in a domestic situation!
You'd rather be off 'To the Lighthouse' or to Sissinghurst, perhaps,
Or merely in your study, busy writing.
You'd surely find this travesty a really tasteless lapse,
Though we might find its nuances inviting.
Were you alive, I wonder what your attitude would be
If you entered Shirley's kitchen and espied
This item which speaks loudly of crass publicity,
Something I'm sure you just could not abide!
It's a very pretty colour, I think you would admit,
And at least your name is proudly on display,
But I feel you'd be quite haughty and purse your lips a bit
Saying 'Kindly throw the wretched thing away.'

In The Flesh!

                                                Gerald Gee


Once more I'm drawn to Gerald Gee,
This time to a cartoon.
A sense of humour such as his
Is a veritable boon.
Just look at the expression
 In that naughty daddy's eye!
With three lines the artist's
Made him guilty but quite sly!
So let's consider his response!
He's got to make it slick.
' I'm studying anatomy'
That might do the trick.
'I thought it was your Mother'
Now there's a lovely thought.
' I didn't notice they were nude!'
Would be a good retort.
With these few lines the artist
Has created a situation,
Which all of us can laugh at
Enjoying his creation.
Yet on his blog you'll  find his art,
Paintings of every kind.
I chanced on Gerald the other day,
And oh what a lovely find!

For Gerald's latest work come here:



They're chatting in America but we have woken up
To a raging wind-storm bearing desert dust!
'They' have to make decisions! Our future's in their hands!
This isn't a case of 'Shall we?'! It's a MUST!

Juliet's Balcony


'Every picture tells a story'. You must have heard that said.
And this is the famous balcony of which you've often read.
Well, this picture tells two stories; there's the balcony of course.
And then the crowds of tourists, gathered there in force.
Let's look back at the story of Romeo et al,
A tale resembling the musical called....wait.....'Me and My Gal'.
No, I'm not being disrespectful! Any student would avow
That the lovers were teenage sweethearts, as we understand that now.
Their love might not have stayed the course; fate didn't give it time
Because their little dalliance was cut short by a crime.
Had they both lived to a ripe old age their ancient love-affair
Might have proved to be a nothing; we wouldn't even care!
It's Shakespeare's words that turned the tale into into an epic story!
His language turned a dalliance into a glimpse of glory.
But he never went to Verona, and the story itself was old,
Long before a famous Bard turned it into gold!

But surely the balcony itself is a genuine artifact!
(I'll try to ruin your romance with a modicum of tact!)
The city of Verona had a tourist industry,
And, with Juliet in mind, looked around for a balcony.
'This one will do' somebody said; 'We think the age is right.
It's really rather picturesque! Yes, it will do alright!'
So now the tourists flock to gaze at 'Juliet's Balcony'
Not realising they've been duped! What rank duplicity!
Yet still there lingers in my mind the urge to be serenaded
As I stand upon a balcony! The dream has never faded.
The alchemy has done it's work; I'm influenced even yet
By the magic of the love-affair....'Romeo and Juliet.'

More mystical romance here:



Other star-signs are alive, but not The Scales,
Which is odd because, of all the signs there are,
Libra is most human and the one with the most charm;
Truly a very warm and friendly star.
Just as the scales are balanced so is Libra, with good taste
And a sense of harmony to make things blend.
And they lean towards diplomacy as well as being kind
So you couldn't have a better special friend.
They hate any sort of cruelty and conflict makes them flinch
So they're pacifists, avoiding any strife
And in marriage 'understanding' is the hallmark of their love,
So they're perfect as a husband or a wife.
Of course, they have their faults. Criticism can't be borne;
Promiscuity may ruffle feathers too.
Librans can be lazy, and seek praise a bit too much,
And dirty work is something they wont do.
They are also dreadful gossips, the females and the males
So never pour your secrets in one's ear!
But, by and large, a Libran is just very nice to know
And we hope they have a very happy year!
Shared birthday but not shared fate here: