Sunday, July 14, 2024


Portrait  in Townsville's Perc Tucker Gallery , by  Laurel Foenander , Longwarry ,Victoria. 

The  urgent plea for peace is applicable to  the Middle East ,especially in the monstrous Gaza bloodbath, Putin's criminal attack on the Ukraine, the  long running  Myanmar killings  ,  Haiti ,  various  parts of  the Americas and  Africa  and  other places where  people  are  being opressed , slaughtered,  forced  to   flee in vast  numbers . A  grim global picture . 


Townsville . Shipping  Reporter.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Friday, July 12, 2024


Postcard  sent   from Eden ,  New South Wales, on  January 12 ,  1988  from a  doctor  aboard  the brigantine Eye of the Wind, built in  l911 at  the  German seaport of  Brake , which  was a  support  vesel  for  the  Sydney-Hobart  Yacht  Race  fleet  returning  to  Sydney .

It had  rescued a  yacht  which  had  been   hit by lightning and stranded at sea for three days . The 132 foot  brigantine, with a  sail area of 8000 square feet, had earlier been forced to shelter from a gale  in Oberon Bay, Wilson's Promontory. Seals, whales, sharks and dolphins had been  sighted.    


Peewee chasing insects. 

Thursday, July 11, 2024


Needless   to say,our waterfront roundsman is not in the  pink of  health , long suffering from reflux and other  ailments .  Decades ago , a   Darwin doctor  with  a   range  of colourful    expressions told him reflux is like battery acid which  can  eat  your  aesophagus  away.

Recently, while lurching about Townsville on his walking stick,still suffering from reflux,  it eased the strain / pain when he  discovered the  above  beaut  worn  1986  Octopus  volume .

The  very first story,  by  Alan Coren , once described as the funniest man in Britain,  about a  fellow suffering a  terrible hangover  after a  New Year's  Eve  party , caused the  Shipping Reporter  to  giggle   and guffaw   when  he  read  colourful details   of   the  guy's  suffering , his tongue  said  to  be  lying  on   his  mouth-floor  like  felled cactus .

It  became personal  when   Coren , l938-2007,  a journalist , writer , satirist  and  editor of Punch magazine for nearly  a decade,  wrote  the  man  felt  as if  he  had  a plank across   his  aesophagus .

The   extensive  description of  the  agony of  the poor   chap  struck another accord  when  the area  past his  tonsils  was  vividly  described as  being   like a New Zealand  Rotorua  mud-spring, in constant state of  peristaltic glug.   It  just  so happens that the  Shipping  Reporter  once  lived  in  Rotorua  and oft   threw  his   body  into   the  therapeutic  bubbling   mud  and  hot  water, probably  boiling  his  brain  in  the  process .  

The second story in the  book , by another Pommie   humorist , Michael Green (1927-2018) ,headed  The Art of Coarse  Sailing ,  dealt with the   vexed  problem  of  yachtsmen who  snore .  Green churned out  a  series  of  humorous books  such  as  The  Art of Coarse Rugby, The Art of Coarse  Acting  and The Art  of  Coarse  Sex , plays , autobiographies.   

The  unhealthy-green about the gills - coarse Shipping  Reporter over the years  disrupted sleep and work on several vessels, including a  Northern Territory mission lugger , a  supply boat on a  run from Darwin to  Portuguese Timor , a  NSW  prawn trawler  and a  Kiwi shark fishing launch  by frequent  chundering   due  to  seasickness.   



Magnetic  Island . Abra  photos.