Monday, May 31, 2021


 Love  thy  neighbour - or  else !

In  a  drastic  move  to  produce a  baby boom  in China , the geriatric  regime has  drawn up  a  brilliant   plan  to  encourage  love- making  throughout  the   nation .

The well informed    Kings  Cross  Whisper   News  Service  says   the   Chinese  leaders  plan to  convert  all  the  South  China  Sea  shoals   it    built  up   into   military bases   into   Love  Island   reality   television   dating   holiday   camps .

All  sand  will  be  removed  from the camps and  replaced  with smooth  pebbles  so  as  not to  inflict  pain  on  eager  couples   indulging  in  spring rolls.

An official statement today said  Operation Big Leap  Forward  / Leg Over  will be launched   during   the   coming   leap  year , and  is  expected  to  result  in  the birth  of   many  children  to  replace  the   rapidly  ageing  workforce. 

Under the incredible  plan , the  name  of  China's  largest  social  media messaging  app, WeChat , which Donald Trump wanted banned , will  be  changed  to   Chat  Up  or  Else !

An  anonymous  Chinese  observer today said  many  of  those in the  country's  top  ranks  appeared  to be  in their  second  childhood ,  dyeing their  hair ,  wearing  uncomfortable   corsets  ,  even  flashing  gold chains when  seen  in  Crown casinos .

In addition , it was obvious that  members of China's   diplomatic   and  foreign  office   were   undergoing  monkey  gland injections , causing them to  act   like   jibbering , hairy - chested  terracotta  warriors  in  public , make boofheaded    comments   about    Australia .  


 The  relentless  ,  continuing  search  for  items  of  interest   along  the  banks of  the   Ross  River  by  a  visiting  member of  the  Darwin  Detectorists'  Club  has  resulted  in  some  odd  finds :  a  ganja   pipe , several bullets, the  cap  of  a  shotgun cartridge   and   a   battered  one  cent   coin  .  An earlier search of a sandbar in the river with a special underwater  metal detector  turned  up  about  20 lead sinkers , a  corroded   early mobile  phone  and  a  l950  thruppence .    



Magnetic Island 



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Saturday, May 29, 2021


 The Queen of the  Jungle  has  backed  the resumed  frantic  search for a  Saxon treasure  trove  in  North  Australia . In a kind gesture , she  made her royal carriage available for  an expedition  into a  secret location , similar to  Canada's  Oak Island ,  in  search  of  treasure . The plush limo  was  driven  by a keen   member of  the  Darwin  Detectorists  Club   who   ran   his  metal  detector  over  a   large  area. 

Much  gold  was soon   found - *!*!!!+  blankety blank  gold  beer bottle   screwtops !  However, the  keen  searcher  did   find  some  coinage , including an ANZAC  dollar, with a total  face  value  amounting to $5.25 ,  a few lead sinkers , and  what could  have  been  part  of  a Saxon  knight's  thingummybob , see  below

Due to the  bush-bashing trip, the  Queen's Rolls  Royce  may  require  expensive   panel   beating .



Driftood bearing name GONZO  at  West Point , Magnetic Island .


Shivering   Pelicans  photographed by rugged up  Abra  early in  the  morning  at  Cairns . 

Friday, May 28, 2021


Amnesty International's Lighting  The Dark  exhibition  at  Magnetic Island's  new  Louver Gallery  uses dramatic, unusual   and  powerful  images . One  is  Dutton's [ Inequity ] Drawers (below)  which  hides the  sad   faces  of  the many  refugees  locked  up  in  Australia  and  elsewhere .     

As you pull out a drawer , there  are Peter Dutton's  shirts and ties  neatly folded , put  away  with  the   unfortunate  faces  of   incarcerated  individuals near his  own countenance .  Once the Minister for Immigration and  Border Protection, he is now Defence Minister , which requires him to wear a  starched  dicky  from  time  to  time in  case  there  is  a move   to  oust  the  PM.  

A  chest  of drawers has  also   been  used  to highlight the plight of the Tamil  family refugees  , who had settled in   Biloela , Queensland , strongly supported  by  the local community ,  but  were  locked  away   on  Christmas  Island

As the  drawers are opened they reveal  part  of  the  family story , their growing  ordeal  ; one drawer seems  to  contain  the   girls'  birthday  cards .

The exhibition marks 60 years of Amnesty International fighting for justice . A  panel  in the gallery appears to be in the form of  a church stained  glass window   in which  Julian Assange  , of WikiLeaks, who lived on Magnetic Island   when  he  was   a   youngster ,  features, calling for him to be freed , along  with others  included  in  the  artwork . 


Word has just come through from Darwin activist  Robert Wesley-Smith, foundation member of the  Northern Territory Civil Liberties Council , that  Assange's father  and  brother  intend  touring    America  to  speak out  against   his   extradition from England 

Somehow, the mainland media, especially the Townsville Bulletin, has failed  to  cover  this   important  island  exhibition . The paper's coverage of Assange  has  been  feeble , to  say  the  least ,especially  as it was once suggested there should be a  statue of him erected on the island  and  there was a recent demonstration on  the  island calling for him to be freed -not covered by  the Bulletin .  Phillip  Adams of Radio National's Late  Night Live , a longtime campaigner for Assange , issued the  following  bulletin : 

International Press Freedom Day fell on  May 3 this year and  coincided with Labour Day in BrisbaneJohn Shipton, the father of Julian Assange, marched with Julian’s union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) on Brisbane’s Labour Day to remind Australia that his son, a famous Queensland-born journalist, whistle-blower and MEAA member was locked up in the UK on International Press Freedom Day and his plight was being ignored by the Australian Government. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021


Douglas Stewart Fine Books , Melbourne ,special

We are privileged to offer for sale  - at $220,000 - an item associated with one of the most revolutionary innovations of the Renaissance, one which permanently changed the way in which information and ideas are disseminated:

A leaf from the first book printed by movable type, the Gutenberg Bible (c.1455)

This leaf, containing a portion of text from the Latin Vulgate Old Testament (Isaiah 63:1 - 65:22), comes from the incomplete Trier Stadtbibliothek copy of the Gutenberg Bible, which was sold as a duplicate prior to 1937 and was subsequently split, with various sections and individual leaves being widely dispersed during the twentieth century.


Cairns view  by  Abra 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Monday, May 24, 2021



The remarkable Northern Territory identity, the late Nellie Flynn, toting  a shotgun , is  the  distinctive  , stand out  person  on  the  cover  of  a  foldout map  obtained  in  a  Darwin  Aboriginal  art  shop, the text story by a grandson  , John Scrutton , opposed to fracking ,  the  artwork  by  Robyn Francis .

Both Nellie   and her  Irish  husband , railway ganger  Tom  Flynn,were   characters  in  Xavier  Herbert's  1938   Sesquicentenary Award  winning  novel ,Capricornia , inspired  by  his  experiences   in  the  Northern  Territory  

In  her case, she was the "halfcaste"  dubbed the  Bloody  Parakeet  in  the  novel  because  of  the  bright  clothes  she  wore .

 By  Peter  Simon

In  l980 , Xavier , 80,  came to Darwin  and  I  drove him   about  the  Top  End and  down  to   Alice Springs   to   help  him   gain  ideas  for  another  novel   about  the  Territory .

We  went   to  the  old  Darwin Hospital   and   called on   Nellie Flynn , then 100 . It was  about  the  time  of  the beef  substitution scandal . Nellie told  Xavier  she  had stopped  buying  bullock  tongues  several years  previously  because  she  said  they  were   from   horses .

As we came away from visiting  her  , Xavier   cruelly  said : " See, she still  dresses  like  a  bloody  parakeet."

In her  80s, the  indomitable  Nelie    took  part  in  the  Northern Territory News  Walkabout , a  popular  annual race involving walking more than 15 miles , ending  outside   the   newspaper  office . 

The idea for the race was  picked up by Kiwi journalist , the late Les Wilson, while drinking  in  a  Darwin pub with a  public servant - Jimmy  Wadsworth-who  had  taken  part  in  walking  events  in  Hong  Kong. 

Wilson wrote him up as  Walking  Jimmy Wadsworth . In 1968, Wadsworth set out  from Darwin  to walk to Perth -a distance of 2875 miles .

Because  Nellie  Flynn was  such a hit  in the  Walkabout ,Wilson  called  on  her  down in  Batchelor , where  she and Tom  had   lived , as  early  as  1910 , on  a  farm , to  which  Herbert  had  been  invited  back  in  the   late  1920s .

Wilson   found   Nellie   cementing   the   inside  of   a   leaking   water  tank  when he  arrived   at  the  farm and  told  me  what  an  amazing   woman   she was .  On  breaking  a  hip , she  moved  to   Darwin  and   died  at  the age  of  101. 

NEXT: A  surprise package   handed  over at  the Friday Club  in  Darwin's  Noodle  House  leads  to  more  fascinating   links  with  Capricornia  and other  people   of   interest . 

Sunday, May 23, 2021



One of the  many unusual  items on display in the  Northern Territory   Library   Parliament House  display  is  this  photo of   a  procession , part of the Alice Springs Bangtail Muster , circa  1962, with a large banner  urging   the  nation  to   populate   to  survive .

It  was   followed  by  what  appeared to be two  pregnant women , with  children , one  brandishing   a  placard , an obvious play  on the  do-it- yourself  hair  perm   advertisement,  which  asked  which   twin  had  the Toni. It reads : WHICH TONI  HAS THE TWINS?  .

Hard to  see  is  another  placard with the  message  WE  WANT TV .

History  showed  that  when  television  arrived   many people sat  up late watching  the  idiot box , fell asleep  , and  forgot  about  the   strategic  and  patriotic    need   to   populate  the  north . 

Soon to be released  is  a  book  by  former ABC journalist , Richard Creswick , about  the introduction of  television in the  Northern Territory , in l971, which is  why  the  Top  End's  population  is  so  sparse . 

Friday, May 21, 2021


What  looks  like  a  scary  ,  new  life form  has  emerged from  the overgrown   Pope's Land  on  Magnetic  Island . Is  hellzapoppin' ? There  is speculation  that it  fell out of  the  Chinese rocket  that recently  crashed back to  earth . However, it looks  more   Italian  than Chinese . It  could even be a  reject from  a new  Pringles  production  line . To allay the fears of  gullible  islanders,  the  Pope or  Monty Python  may  be asked to send in  an exorcist armed with  a cross or  a  face slapping mullet  to  protect the nation's  biodiversity  from contamination  from   outer  space .Meanwhile , it is   spooking  motorists  who  park  nearby . A Labor Environment Action Network  (LEAN)  member  has kindly  offered to  give  it  a  burst  from  his  flamethrower . 

Thursday, May 20, 2021



The funeral has taken place in Melbourne  of  Mrs Carlos , seen  here celebrating her 80th  birthday  on  Magnetic Island , North  Queensland , earlier  this  year . Her  late  husband , Max Carlos , the son of a Spanish merchant seaman ,  was  a  former  Australian   boxing champion .  Details of   his  boxing  and  business   career   , supplied  by  Yvonne,  were  run   in   this  blog.

A follow up memorial  service will be held at  Shepparton  ,   where  she and  Max  spent so much of  their  life  together, he, a tailor ,  running  a  Roger  David  menswear store   after  his  boxing  career  ended.  

After representing Australia at the l956  Mebourne Olympic Games ,  Max won the 1958 Australian Lightweight Championship.The  Roger David  company  responded  by  having  the  above  belt  made  for  him  from  crocodile  skin .

 Both  Yvonne and  Max  were   included  in  the  following   publication.


 Yvonne was  involved in  competitions  conducted  by  the Goulburn Valley  Highland Dancing  Association , there  being a  photograph of  her,  aged  14,  in  full  regalia, holding   a  sword .  One  year she was  named Miss Shepparton  Showgirl . Theatrical, she took up ballet, and  was a legal secretary 

**** Yvonne  disliked her middle name  , Doris , and as a result none of her children  was  given  one . 



Abra photos 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


 Magnetic  Island  notice  board  

The Magnetic Island  History and Craft Centre, in conjunction with the Magnetic Museum , staged  a  recent reopening  and  book launch  for  Townsville in  War and Peace  l942-46 ,  the 75th edition to mark the end of WW2  and   The Wet  Patch , a collection of humorous  poems  from  North Queensland  by  Linda  S.  Hooper    . 

If  you  require  more  physical  activity other  than reading  and  laughing , the   following  notice  may  be  of   interest.

A growing  pastime on the island  seems to  be  stacking  rocks   in  artistic piles . 

Mary  Poppins in  a rockery? .



Tuesday, May 18, 2021


 Shipping  Reporter  Special 

Darwin  Harbour has  become  a  James Bond  playground  due to a smart  enterprise  which  calls   itself   OOSeven  Jet Ski  Adventures .

Bearing  names like  Casino Royale,  Thunderball Shipwreck, Sean  Connery Secret Mission , Die  Another   Day , Golden Eye Sunset  and  Honey Ryder Sunrise ,it  offers  a range  of   guided tours of  the  harbour  taking in the marine  life , WW2 shipwreck  sites   and  a   sandbar  where you can  walk .

Backed  by the  US Marines and  the  athletic  Friday Club  , Bond  and  Tom Jones  on  a  top  secret  mission    in   the   port  of  Darwin .

 The  jet ski  trips  range  from  60 to 90 minutes, cost  $169-$269.

To  keep the  adrenalin  rushing  , in   the  Darwin  CBD  you can swim with a crocodile  and  there is  a large   shopfront  advertisement   for an airboat ride .   


The  Ghost  Fleet  in  Townsville  provided  many  photographic opportunities  , including  the  above   view  of  the  general  cargo ship BBC Congo   and   the   following   shot  of  the   bulk carrier    Mykonos , flying under  the Marshall Islands flag .

 Three  frolicking stingrays in the Magnetic Island  Marina   entertained onlookers  on   Monday .And the  island's  mutilated  mystery mermaid ,  looking  increasingly  battered ,  was  shivering  in  the   cold   weather . Attention snoozing  mainland media :There is a story  here .

 Photogenic seagulls were  congregating  on an offshore   platform  but  the Townsville Bulletin continued  to  run P3 eye candy shots  from  The  Strand in  its weather reports   

Monday, May 17, 2021


 One of  our  wandering   correspondents has  filed  the  following  photos  about   a  most   unusual  discovery  he  had   while  driving  to   the   magnificent   Katherine  Gorge  in   the  Northern  Territory .  His   biggest  surprise   was  coming  across   a tiger  !  True - a  reclining  soft toy  tiger  in   a   reproduced    section  of   Punt  Road ,   which  runs  to   the Richmond  Aussie Rules  Club,  The Tigers  ,  next   to  the   Melbourne  Cricket  Ground .


Obviously the   work  of  an avid Territory   Richmond supporter , as is our reporter , the  striking    display was  at  the   front of    a  drive  into    a  rural property .   

Other  offbeat driveway   displays  were  seen   nearby . For starters  , Shrek , from the 2001 American comedy film ,  on  a  motorbike , which  sounds  like a wild fairy tale during the Top End's  mango madness  season . He appeared  to  be  masked  against  dust  or  possibly Covid -19? 

Then there  was  a   dirt   mound   sporting  a  collection of  Tonka toys . Sounds like   an   interesting    community.