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If the power fails –two beauties to help us through The Thermette and the Coolgardie Safe

There are some readers who lived in rural areas who will remember life before electricity.  I can still remember the excitement we had when with the flick of a switch, a 60watt electric bulb lit up our kitchen. These days a hundred miracles later, I can’t think of anything that rivals that excitement. We have become blasé – nothing surprises us – we expect things to become easier, more spectacular, more transformative – yawn! But what if the power failed? The electric suppliers are hinting that could be a possibility this winter. What then? Don’t panic.  Getting back to basics may not be such...

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A shrink-wrap world to consider – It’s not going to happen – It has happened already

It seemed to me that the engineers and accountants who lived in the Staff Mess had two major interests. One was scantily clad girls with big boobs whose pictures adorned the doors of their rooms. The other was classical music. At one time, the men in the dorm were obsessed with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. At its climax this piece includes a volley of cannon fire. My friends were fixated on hearing the cannon volley with absolute, gut-shaking realism. To achieve this resonance, they fixed large cone speakers into solid wooden surrounds. In pursuit of this music-you-can-feel goal, one of the...

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Things may not be what they seem – Appearances can be deceptive

Jane Goodall, family for her life amongst chimpanzees. The Town In the 60s the decision was taken to destroy this garden city. The reason given was that the SEC wanted to mine the coal under the town. But the Yallourn coal stretched for hundreds of miles in all directions. I think there was another reason. This perfect town had a kind of cancer. ‘Pollution’ was a word hardly ever spoken in those years. I believe it was pollution that killed that garden city. The reason for the mine was the near-by open cut coal mines and power stations. Twenty-four hours a day the power stations belched out...

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Halloween came early. With a BANG!

In the darkened street, my foot hit the bollard and I had nowhere to go but down. I was carefully carrying my favourite pizza from Slice Slice Baby. I saved it from spilling and the pizza box saved half my face from even more damage. I lost. Few seconds somewhere and then I realised I lay completely flat. I could taste gravel. I couldn’t move. Blood was trickling down my face. What’s next? The street was completely dark. I could see streetlights but none were near me. A car slowly turned out of Mill Road, Whitianga into Monk Street.  I would like to signal but I couldn’t. My arms wouldn’t...

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Learning from Aboriginals and Islanders regarding Parenting

In these deserts all the children of Aboriginal tribes are tracked by everyone. Most visitors to the ‘top end’ of Australia’s Northern Territory, experience Aboriginals being in the town and the territory’s capital, Darwin. Sadly, many of these encounters will be with aboriginals who are addicted to alcohol. In contrast to the town experience, a number of remote communities are dry, – by community consensus, no alcohol is allowed. This was the case with the communities I visited. THE SCAR In my early 20’s, I almost lost my lower leg in a motor-bike accident. The accident left a spectacular...

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If pills are better than sex… will humans keep on making babies?

Fifty years ago, USA President, Richard Nixon, launched ‘the war on drugs’. Currently costing the US $50 billion annually, this is a war the USA is not winning. Why? It’s because throughout the western world, more and more people like taking drugs; poor people, rich people, media people, film stars; they really ‘like’ drugs. This war is failing for the same reason Prohibition failed. Whatever people say in public, in private, they want the buzz drugs bring in their parties, and then eventually, disastrously, in their daily lives. Some of the glamorous, rich and famous of recent times have...

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‘Getting Through’ with GRATITUDE

I started without a cast, without a venue nor production team. Bit by bit, in Whitianga style, all these components came together – out of the woodwork you could say. I don’t think that any of the persons who made up the eventual team knew what they were getting into. Eventually a team put this production together. With gratitude I will mention just a few miracle-workers who made the play possible:- Peter Wood, Dave Fowell, two Michelles – Michelle Rhodes and Michelle Farmer, the Monkey House marvels, Molly and Kaspur, Pauline and The Informer, Paper Plus and Mrs Tradie.  As well as Peter...

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Since the beginning of time – no person has had a more charmed life than me!

Think about it! The universe came into being with the big bang, 13.8billion years ago. I’ve been on the world since 1937. I reckon I’ve lived in the best countries, Australia and New Zealand, at the best time in history. My dad earned his living by the sweat of his brow. Born at the end of the nineteenth century, he went through two world wars and the Great Depression. In his final few years, he used all his resources to buy a Hillman Minx Estate Wagon which he used to drive old ladies on site-seeing trips. This made him sublimely happy. The activity didn’t last long as after two years, he...

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