Thursday, August 31, 2006

Don't Cry For Me, Gympie....
(Sung to the tune of "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina)

Poor Elisa Roberts, Gympie Independent...she began as Gympie's 'One Nation' candidate and won the seat in 2001 (then quit the party to run as an Independent)...doesn't know whether she's coming or going (she's going...she just needs to be reminded every day)...or whether she's Arthur or Martha (I can't answer that one).

Of course, she blames the Liberals and Nationals for her condition...'they've broken my spirit', she complains, popping a few Valium and sleeping pills...what a combination? (The pills, I'm referring to!)

At first she was vocal in her support for the proposed Traveston Dam, then she changed her mind and became a vocal 'anti-dammer'. begins to wonder, doesn't one?

She reckons she's been broken into a million pieces, so I guess one piece was for the dam and another piece was against the dam. One piece was still in the One Nation camp. Another piece was acting as an Independent. Another piece is going to vote Labor on September 9th, for some guy who lives in Brisbane! Ms Roberts lives at Amamoor in the Mary Valley within the Gympie electorate! So, one piece is in Amamoor still fighting with her neighbours. The remaining pieces are scattered far and wide!

Roberts' declared in July she would quit her job and then ten days later took back her words, announcing she would stand and then, a few days later pulled out again...and yes, wait for it...a few further days later stated she was back in the race! And there's more...she pulled out again! Now, the ballot papers, already printed, have her name up as No.1! It's too late to change the ballot papers...but then...our dear Ms Roberts could change her mind again a few times between now and tomorrow week! If the confused people of Gympie vote for her they will be faced with a by-election immediately after the state election! However, I have more faith in the good people of Gympie...I think they've had enough of their yo-yoing, back-and-forth, overly-emotional and not terribly informed member! And, they do have newspapers, television and radios...and never fear, Ms Roberts, they are well-informed! I'm sure they're all sick of feeling like spectators at a tennis match with their heads going back and forth!

Oh! Dear! Ain't politics grand?
Same Old Song...Same Old Dance

As we draw closer to Saturday, 9th September State election all the same old promises are being sprouted. Premier Beattie who's had eight years to 'fix' things and has failed miserably is now showering Queenslanders with promises and bucket loads of cash as bribes for them to elect him for a fourth term.

He has failed to fix Queensland's in the same, if not worse condition as it was in this time last year and the year before or before that for that matter! He's trying to push the government's 'stable' leadership and economic credentials into our faces and down our throats in the hope we forget his bundling efforts over Queensland Health...amongst other things!

Beattie's classic performance yesterday, worthy of an Oscar, saw him promise tax cuts for first-home buyers, cash incentives for apprentices and a $145m injection into medical research...just a few of his long list of 'promises'.

What beats me is...Labor has had three terms already to address all these areas...why hasn't it done so? Why is is that politicians think the general public are so gullible that they believe their pre-election promises? Beattie and his mates spend so much time listening to their spin doctors...time that should be spent on rectifying the problems at hand. And...they spend too much time listening to and believing in what pours forth from their own mouths. Beattie, our 'media tart' is lapping up the stage....I hope he gets egg on his face and isn't asked back for an encore!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Please Explain...Help Me Understand....

A year on from the devastating 'Katrina' still about fifty percent of New Orleans remains without electricity. Only a third of the hospitals are up and running. An estimated half New Orlean's population is still scattered around the country.

Why should this be so in a country such as the United States of America?

President Bush went down there yesterday sprouting words of 'comfort'. Words are not going to right the situation. Actions will! It's all very well to turn to words heavy with religious references but that's not what the people of New Orleans want. They can personally pray any moment of the day or night. They can visit their churches whenever the feeling comes over them. Twelve months on, everyone should have a roof over his/her heads and starting his/her life anew.

I really don't understand why the destruction that occurred in New Orleans a year ago hasn't been fully addressed. Why hasn't the federal government moved forward, and moved forward rapidly long before now,on the reconstruction of New Orleans? Am I missing something here?

If this kind of non-action had happened here in doesn't happen here in Australia. I know Cyclone Larry caused major damage to Innisfail and a vast surrounding area in far north Queensland six months ago. I also know there still is a lot of work to be done and it is continually being done with our federal government still putting money towards getting the district back up on its feet. But most important of all, I think, is the immediate reaction of the locals themselves. Their Aussie spirit came to the fore and was a guiding light to those around them. Injections of cash by way of small businesses, farm, reconstruction and rehabilitation grants played big parts in turning things around.

The banana industry was brought to its knees by Cyclone Larry. But the farmers' 'never-say-die' attitude saw them put their heads down, not wasting time on was work, work, work. the rest of the country have had to pay higher than normal prices for bananas in the interim (I'm sure there were very few consumers who complained) but by Christmas, from all accounts, we will be back to close to normal supplies and normal prices.

I think the Bush administration could learn a big lesson from the benefit of the people of New Orleans.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Beauty and Solace of Solitude

Last night I watched a current affairs programme on television in which they told a story about the lighthouse keepers on Maatsuyker Island, situated at the most southern tip of Australia. Maatsuyker Island is 10km from the southern-most tip of the rugged Tasmanian coast, 50kms from the nearest town, Catamaran. Access to the lighthouse and island is by sea or air (helicopter), weather permitting.

The light was opened in 1891 by a party of dignitaries arriving by boat from Hobart, who were, from accounts, greeted by a placid sea...a rare event! Apparently, for hundreds of years Aborigines made this treacherous trip from the mainland in canoes made from tea-trees hunting for seals and mutton birds.

The original wick oil light was upgraded to kerosene and mantle in 1924. In 1976, 3 diesel generators and a 1000 watt electric light were installed. In 1996, the light was replaced with a fully automated, smaller, solar-powered light further up the hill with the intention of de-manning. This lighthouse on Maatsuyker Island has been manned much longer than lighthouses on the mainland. Since the mid-seventies, supplies have been flown into the island by helicopter. Before that, supplies came in by boat every three months.

The current caretakers are soon to leave the island. Parks and Wildlife are searching for a replacement couple. The only thing stopping me from applying is I'm not part of a 'couple'. I don't have a 'partner', unless, of course, you take into account my two cats...but, somehow, in the eyes of Parks and Wildlife, I don't think they would qualify!

This report regarding the search for new caretakers is so coincidental in light of my post of yesterday about my solitary time spent on an island in north Queensland. How I would love to be given the chance to face another challenge...a challenge like Maatsuyker Island. I have this ache inside of me...a burning desire to go there but I know it can't be so...and that saddens me!

The solitude doesn't phase me. I blossom in solitude. Back to dreaming......
Forever Watchful... Forever Vigilant

One would hope the Australian Federal Police, ASIO and whatever other authorities are needed maintain a watchful eye on 'Jihad Jack' Thomas.

His activities and connections, in the very least, must raise a suspicious, curious eye even if he hasn't been, so far, convicted. He can deny as much as he likes any intentions of undertaking terrorist activity in Australia but his behaviour says otherwise. And it's this behaviour that must be taken seriously.

After 9/11 while our soldiers and the soldiers of the US were committed in the fight against al-Qa'ida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the latter were vainly trying to kill Australian and US soldiers. Thomas was in Afghanistan on the side of the Taliban. To my way of thinking, that most certainly says a lot...more than a lot! Thomas, himself, admitted to this in his interview with the ABC's programme 'Four Corners'. Why would a person, if he was innocent of such deeds, claim this? Again, to my mind, it's nothing to sprout off about or be proud of...get rid of this creature from this country. If the courts are unable to lock him up because of archiac laws, send him back to Afghanistan or Pakistan where he belongs! He is not wanted here.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Path Less Travelled...

In the early nineties, I took 'a path less travelled'. Often, I feel like taking that path again. It was a bittersweet experience...more sweet than bitter. Alone, I went to live on an island. An island, up until I was told about it, I'd never heard of or knew of it's whereabouts. The island, situated north of Mackay, catered for day-trippers, campers, overnight (and longer) guests and visiting professional fishermen en route to their last port of call, Mackay docks. Eight self-contained cabins dotted along the foreshore, camouflaged by the island foliage, didn't intrude into the island's ambience. Out from the main building that housed a licensed bar, dining area, kitchen and my accommodation above, swaying coconut palms fringed the shore of the small bay. The generator shed 200 metres away between the main building and the cabins, housed two diesel-powered generators.

From my bed, without lifting my head off the pillows, I could see the ocean. Early mornings, upon opening my eyes, often I'd be greeted by dolphins playing around the island boat, which I moored out where the sea floor dropped off at the beginning of the channel between my island and the neighbouring uninhabited island, less than half a kilometre away. There were three uninhabited island nearby to my island and another a few kilometres away.

Sometimes days would pass before I saw another human being. How I loved and enjoyed my solitude in paradise.

My two cats shared my island with me. Along the beach, they'd love to scamper, kicking up sand as they ran. A special game often shared was chasing each other up and down the palm trees. Not once did they innterfere with the wildlife or bird population of the island. Fearlessly, tiny yellow-bellied sunbirds constructed their spindle-shaped nest to hang freely from my window frame wherein they bred their little family of two chicks. Their nest was within easy reach of the cats but the cats took no notice. Why would they be bothered with birds, when for dinner each evening they could eat fresh seafood until it came out of their ears?!!

Often, like right at this moment, I'd love to be walking along its pristine beach with only the sea birds, a light breeze, swaying palms and my two cats accompanying me while being serenaded by the relaxing sound of the turquoise sea gently lapping the shore.
No Surprise

That clown, John Mark Karr, got his 15 minutes of I hope they lock him behind bars for his efforts. I feel sorry for the Ramsey family. Haven't they been through enough? Maybe he'd run out of money for his return flight to the US...he sure went to extremes to get a free flight home!

There sure are some nut-cases in this world. They should be all be put on an island way out in the middle of the ocean somewhere. Let them amuse each other there. They can play a game "Count the Number of Sharks Swimming Around the Island"!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I'll be minus my hair soon! I'm pulling it out by the roots...rapidly! I've got every word worked out in a crossword I'm doing bar one! And it's driving me crazy!

I'm looking for the name of a 'protest' songwriter by the name of 'Bob' something-or-other...and it's not 'Dylan'. The name has only three letters and the middle letter is 'a'! I've racked my brain (what's left of it...and there's little left of it after this episode!)....I've searched and searched but have come to a dead-end! Help!

I shall not rest until I've worked it out!

Friday, August 25, 2006

What's For Dinner?

It's that time of the week, again. I love my Saturdays and Sundays, more than is normal, probably. I guess it's after years of being in the hospitality industry, working through both days and nights, mostly (24/7 filled with long, tiring, oft times stressful hours) or sometimes only having Sundays off and trying to make the best of the few hours I had to myself. That is no longer the case and here I am, continuing to relish my weekends. Sometimes, like next Saturday, I invite friends over for a long, relaxed lunch. A leisurely afternoon spent grazing over a tempting, delicious array of foods. The weather here at the moment is perfect for lazy picnics beside a creek or somewhere overlooking the ocean...minus the crowds! On that note, I'm going to share with you a couple of ideas for picnics.

Marinated Lamb Cutlets: Place 16 trimmed lamb cutlets in a large bowl. Mix together 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly, 1 tablespoon each orange and lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 cloves garlic, chopped, 6 sprigs thyme and freshly ground pepper to taste. When well-combined pour over the cutlets. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Allow the cutlets to return to room temperate before cooking on a barbecue grill or a ridged heavy pan. Baste with the marinade, until the cutlets are cooked to your liking, but please don't over-cook the lamb. Allow to cool. Place into a sealable container with any left-over marinade. (Of course, you can cook this for a home meal, too and serve it hot if you wish)

Beetroot Dip: Preheat oven to 200C. Scrub 3 medium beetroot, stalks trimmed. Dry and wrap in foil. Roast for about 1 hour. Peel the beetroot. Place in a food processor with juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste together with a pinch of sugar. With the motor running, add enough extra virgin olive oil in a slow stream until the mixture forms a thick puree. Serve with dill pickles, crackers or crunchy bread.

Gala Pork Terrine: Remove, in one piece, the rind (and reserve) from 1.5kg boned loin of pork. Reshape the loin into a log shape. Using a sharp knife, cut about 8 even slices without cutting all the way through. Season each slice with salt and pepper. Lightly oil a 29cm x 10cm x 7cm deep terrine. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add 6 cloves chopped garlic and 2 large onions, diced. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until softened, translucent, not brown. Add 1-1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon thyme leaves. Stir until heated through. Place in a bowl with 1/2 cup slivered pistachio nuts, a bunch of flat-leafed (Italian) parsley, chopped and juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix well and season to taste. Place 8 thin slices bacon, rind trimmed (or slices of pancetta), parsley stuffing and a pitted prune in between each pork slice. Push the pork back to its original shape. Carefully place into terrine (fitting snugly one would hope!). Rub some smoked paprika over the top and place 3 bay leaves on top. Pour over 120ml white wine to just cover the pork. Trim reserved pork rind to fit the top of the terrine. Place on top of pork. Cover with lid or foil. Cook in preheated 150C oven for 2-1/2 hours. Remove from oven. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove the pork rind and discard. Remove any fat from the top. Run a knife around the edge of the terrine. Invert it onto a plate. When ready to serve cut the terrine into slices and serve with its own jelly.

Pack a rug, throw in some wine (or gently place it in your car!), a few cushions, napkins, plates, cutlery, water, flask of good coffee and off you go to find a suitable spot to enjoy your picnic. I wish I was coming along!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Do Your Homework First!

Let this be a lesson to you!

In Vienna, a would-be robber tried to hold-up his local town hall, mistaking it for a bank!

Waving a toy pistol and wearing a mask (probably a 'Mr Magoo' mask!) he burst into the town hall shouting his intentions.

He got caught later when he returned to pick up his motorbike that he'd left outside the town hall.

Time for him to go back to the 'drawing board', I think!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Falling Short...Again!

Faheem Khalid Lodhi was found to be guilty of planning a terrorist attack in this country. His plan was to blow up the electricity grid. He was sentenced in the New South Wales Supreme Court (I use the capital 'c' somewhat loosely!) to 20 years' jail. It is the toughest penalty ever handed down for a terrorism offence in Australia but I believe it still isn't enough.

Lodhi was found guilty in June of three of four terrorism-related charges. Lodhi, originally from Pakistan, migrated to this country in 1998 for 'a better life'. Makes one wonder what his view of what 'a better life' is, doesn't it? And it most definitely makes me wonder why John Howard's plan for new immigration laws was disbanded last week. Those who were against Howard's plan should now look to themselves for the answers! I hope they can live with their consciences. We must have control over who enters our country...and enter they try and do under many disguises. And will do, again and again and again! Wake up, Australia!

We must also look at the ruling by a Melbourne Appeals Court that, one, Jack Thomas, (aka 'Jihad Jack') should have his conviction quashed. Muslim convert, Thomas had been found guilty in February of accepting $5,000 and a plane ticket from an al-Qaeda agent in Pakistan and was sentenced in March to spend five years behind bars (the prison kind...not the pub kind!). Now, we all know, just hands out cash incentives to all who travel to must know also there is a huge, increasingly buoyant tourist industry in Pakistan....not! Excuse my sarcasm, but I'm finding it difficult to control!

As one journalist has so succinctly written: "The rights of the community not to die at the hands of terrorists are just as important as the rights of terrorists to have every legal nicety observed in its purest form."

Those amongst us, including Labor's Kevin Rudd, who were so quick in jumping up and down in condemning Indonesia for not permanently keeping Abu Bakar Bahir in jail must tell the rest of us poor ignorant souls their plans to reform Australia's legal system.

Our misguided, mis-informed civil libertarians, including the Greens, will join in with those jumping up and down, no doubt...but let them jump...the exercise will be good for them!

Australia's legal system has to be reformed to deal with terrorism and reformed immediately. There is no time to waste. Special terrorism courts have to be introduced. And, leniency must not be part of the equation.

Don't be fooled. We live in a strange, violent time fueled by hate...hate fundamentalist muslims feel towards the 'West'....we, in Australia, are part of the "West"...never forget that...but also, be proud that we are.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Day in My Life

Yesterday I did something I've not done for a long time, five and a half years, actually. I went on a, myself and I. The prematurely warm weather heralding the early arrival of summer was my primary incentive. I packed some cheese, salami, olives, pate, a crunchy breadstick, decanted bottle of red wine, grabbed a notepad, pen, sketch pad, pencil and off I went. I didn't go far because one needs not to travel far up here on the mountain to find a suitable spot to laze. Oh! I threw in my straw hat adorned with a bright red scarf, as well.

Being mid-week, the weekend hang-gliding folk were busy at work in the city or elsewhere so I commandeered their area high on the mount. Spreading a blanket on the grassy slope, I was in awe of the vista before me. The vast valley below, featuring farms, dusty bush tracks, dams and meandering waterways almost depleted of their loads is suffering from the ongoing drought. The once green paddocks now brown and brittle, give little hope or sustenance to livestock that, from afar, look like ants dotted across the landscape in their search for the odd green shoot.

To the west the horizon is framed by rugged, steel-blue mountains of the Great Dividing Range. In the far distance to the north, the blue sky, rudely sullied by shades of murky brown and smoky grey, signs of early season bushfires, disappeared in the haze. Winter is all but gone. Summer's entrance is early and a little unwelcome, unless with it, it brings promises of bucket loads of rain. Promises it will fulfill, hopefully.

My presence was soon detected. I wasn't alone for long. Cheeky butcher birds, inquisitive magpies and stately kookaburras sought my company, or rather, the contents of my lunch. I had enough to share with my feathered friends whose company I did enjoy.

Life on my mountain is joyous and peaceful. A day such as yesterday reinforces my love for it and the reason why I chose to live here.

drawing by Lee

Monday, August 21, 2006

That Is That....

She looked at him through querulous eyes
Aloof he coldly turned away his head
To retain her composure she vainly did try
Not only have you tossed me from your bed
But also from your life she tearfully said
In memory of what you and I once shared
Can you give me reasons why....

Beyond Comprehension!

"Bored" youths...about 40 of them went on a destructive rampage through a country town west of Rockhampton in central Queensland, damaging the local primary school, police station, work sheds and a cafe, amongst other property.

Another group of vandals had 'fun' wrecking historic Toowong Cemetery in Brisbane. These undisciplined youths smashed 63 headstones, one of which dated back to 1890. What joy do these idiots get from such disrespectful destruction, I wonder! The damage occurred at 4am Saturday last. If their parents asked them to get out of bed at that hour, you can imagine the complaints and grumblings but there they were, roaming the streets seeking to cause trouble and destruction.

The phrase 'Rest in Peace' certainly doesn't apply any longer.

The Toowong Cemetery is heritage-listed. It holds war graves, the grave of a past prime minister, governors, premiers, mayors and many other notable historic figures together with mothers, fathers, sons, daughters of families who, in their grief, laid their loved ones to rest, trusting their final resting place would give them peace and be forever respected.

I don't believe in 'boredom' and it most certainly isn't an excuse to go on rampages of vandalism.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. National Service should be re-introduced into this country (Yes...I can hear the uproar already) but wayward youths such as these need discipline and respect from somewhere. They're definitely not getting it from their parents...that is obvious.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It's True...Fact Is Stranger/Better Than Fiction....

I'm still operating as a 'one-eyed bandit' eye is a little better than it was this time yesterday...I can open it about a millimetre!

A wonderful story from of 3 year old Chinese twins reunited in the US. The girls had been abandoned on the side of a street by their family. One family from Chicago adopted one of the little girls and then a week later, the other twin was adopted by a family in Miami.

The adoptive mothers came across each other online and after communicating for a bit, one and one added up to two. Another amazing thing is both mothers named their little girls 'Mia'. The twins have now met and their new families have promised to keep in touch and allow the girls to visit each other whenever possible.

Now, that's a happy ending!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

One-Eyed View...

Maybe I'll only write on one half of the page today! My left eye is swollen up tight. It looks very much like a golf ball so I dare not venture near a golf club for a couple of days nor anywhere else for that matter! I fear for the populace if I inflict myself upon them looking like this! My battle wound is from a tussle with a tick! Annoying little beggars! All morning I was feeling miserable, alone and unwanted, tossed aside like yesterday's newspaper! And then, I remembered the bottle of Kahlua I have on the shelf, so to hell with it...I'm going to prepare myself a 'Brown Cow' be followed by the whole herd! Before I round-up the cows, I'll give you a couple of recipes to carry on with while I'm missing in action!

Baked Goat's Cheese and Tomato on Bruschetta: Cut cheese into 1cm-thick slices, brush well with virgin olive oil. Roll in dried breadcrumbs. Roast in 160C oven for 10 minutes. Bruch thick slices of bread with garlic-flavoured olive oil. Toast until golden. Serve bruschetta topped with grilled tomato slices, sprinkled with oregano and basil and roasted cheese.

Chicken Breasts with Goat's Cheese: Combine chopped goat's cheese with chopped fresh tarragon, flat-leaf parsley, basil and a little olive oil. Cut pockets in chicken breast fillets and stuff with the cheese and herb mixture. Secure pockets with toothpicks. Brush chicken with olive oil. Season to taste and roast at 200C for 15-20 minutes or until cooked and browned.

Hot Moccha Sundae: Combine 250g dark chocolate 1/4 cup pouring cream and 2 tablespoons dark rum in saucepan. Stir over low heat until smooth and glossy. Whip 1 cup cream until soft peaks form. Place a scoop of coffee or chocolate icecream in parfait glasses. Top with some of the whipped cream, crumbled chocolate-coated biscuits/cookies, and some chopped roasted walnuts. Repeat layering to fill the glasses. Pour hot sauce over and sprinkle with some of the roasted walnuts.

Friday, August 18, 2006

And The Mystery Continues....

It would seem this nutter, John Mark Karr, who has confessed to killing JonBenet Ramsey, is that, a nutter. Whether he is guilty of the little girl's murder or not, the world will be a better place with him off the streets. That he's been able to be around small children for all these years is of major concern. I wonder out of which cesspools creatures like him drag themselves. What a wonderful world it would be if he and all those like him would crawl back into their evil holes never, ever to poke their despicable selves out rot amongst the worms.
Whether It's Weather!

A few weeks ago I read a snippet in one of the papers that someone's mango tree in Morningside (a suburb of Brisbane, capital of Queensland) was already bearing fruit. Now, this is very strange, particularly as Brisbane is situated in south-east Queensland and mango trees bear much later there than they do in the tropical north. And it's even more strange as the northern trees really don't start bearing until around November/December.

The story in the paper reminded me of a tale told to me by a fine elderly Aboriginal gentleman when I arrived in North Queensland to manage the resort on Hinchinbrook Island at the beginning of 1986, immediately after 'Cyclone Winifred' had cut its destructive path through surrounding areas. Billy Page told me he knew well before the cyclone struck (months, actually) that a powerful cyclone would strike the area because the mango trees around Cardwell and Tully had begun bearing their fruit much earlier than normal. His father and his father before him had handed down the tale about early-bearing mango trees heralding a warning of cyclones to come.

If this turns out to be true for our coming summer, perhaps a cyclone is due further down the coast this 'cyclone season'...that being the case, though we don't want the destruction that comes with them, the rain cyclones bring with them will be more than welcomed to drought affected south-east Queensland, and finally, the dams will be full to over-flowing. One can hope!

I've placed the snippet of information on my fridge and will be keeping an eye on the weather! Nature has its own way!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I've had more than enough out he spat
of this brainless nonsensical chit-chat
who was I to offer him any back-chat
hurrying to the door he put on his hat
and I guess that was that...

My once happy mood did then fall flat
of course I felt he was acting like a brat
in a flood of tears on the cozy sofa I sat
at my feet was a thick red woolen mat
upon which sat my cat

drawing and verse by Lee

Let's hope that finally the mystery of the horrific murder of JonBenet Ramsey is solved. Reports this earlier this morning that a suspect was arrested in Thailand come only a couple of months after the death of Patsy Ramsey from cancer. Hopefully, all questions will now be answered after the never-ending speculation, with the help of the media and books, pointing fingers of guilt at John and Patsy Ramsey. The focus of suspicion fell upon them similar to our own Lindy Chamberlain case. 'Trial by Media' has become a thing of the twentieth and twenty-first century and something the public suck up greedly...which is very unfortunate.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Here's a poem I originally wrote back in the late eighties that I dug up today, reworking/tweaking it a little.


We were one you and I once a long long time ago
But life got in the way it was right for you to go
If thoughts had been expressed feelings shared
The rift when started may have been repaired
Now pondering over past troubles a harsh word
I wonder if our lives would have been different
If only you had heard......

Impossible to relive what we never shared in the past
How innocent we were to believe it would last
Cherished moments forever lost memories a haze
Faded images of happiness hopes for future days
Again truth reappears harshly reminding me why
With our love torn asunder he became indifferent
I have no reason to cry..........

Like 'Earl' Karma Will Win In The End!

A story from Britain captured my interest the other day. A swimmer lost his wallet during a late night swim in the sea, believing, of course, that was the last time he'd see it.

However, a diver caught a lobster with the wallet clasped tightly in its claws! The diver traced the owner of the wallet after finding his business card in the rather damp wallet. So there was a happy ending for the swimmer who had his intact, but slightly lobster-worn wallet returned to him.

No such happy ending to the poor old lobster, though! Apparently, the diver cooked and ate him! Sorry, folks, but I feel sorry for the lobster. He did a good job finding the wallet and what does he get for his responsible efforts? A hot cooking pot! Not very fair, to my way of thinking. 'What goes 'round...comes' round'!

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm Confused!

I can't understand why the new migration laws were scrapped yesterday. Why in these times of much-needed extra vigilance, Fielding, Troeth and Joyce were against tougher border protection, causing Howard to make the decision he did? Will this mindless opposition to the proposed new bill re-open the floodgates for so-called asylum seekers?

Correct me if I'm wrong...but I don't understand their opposition...I can see nothing wrong with processing these 'boat people' in offshore centres such as Nauru.

Australia has a wide, open coastline making it impossible to be controlled. We just don't have the man-power. In the mid-eighties, when I was managing an island resort off the coast of north Queensland, the coast guard folk often visited me asking for my support in keeping my eyes open for any strange off-shore activity! They, the coast guard admitted they were fighting an uphill battle, had their hands full and didn't have enough people to do what was required. Almost three years later, I was out west managing a hotel in Normanton, in the Gulf Country and I ran into the same guy from the coast guard. The Gulf, Cape York and surrounding land (thousands and thousands of acres) and sea were all part of his patrol area. He had one other assistant with him! I'm sure the situation has changed little since that time. One afternoon while I was in Normanton, I travelled to Karumba, on the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Up the river amongst the densely mangrove-covered, sandfly-infested shores illegal Vietnamese 'squatters' lived. One such 'squatter' gave me a mud crab from his catch that he had brought into town to sell. Nobody knew how many were squatting up there and nobody did anything about it.

This sort of thing must not be allowed to happen in this country. We have no idea who is landing on our shores or what they bring with them...and I'm not only talking about diseases!

We must not be apathetic about protecting our borders. We are living in a violent world, inhabited by many who hate us, our lifestyle and beliefs but very much would like to set foot on our soil.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's Not a Case of 'Loving Thy Neighbour'!

It's now a case of 'not trusting thy neighbour'! Concern must be raised in this country after the recent pre-emptive strikes in Britain and Pakistan against terror cells. A potent number of second generation Muslims are determined to dictate their want of destruction and murder on the rest of us. Radical Islam, hiding behind its religious shroud is bitterly racist. They've made it potently obvious that not only Israel and the US are in their line of fire.

The fight against this human evil must never slacken. We cannot afford to be negligent in our awareness of the threat against our freedoms...our independence and individuality.
Raging Libido!

It's wonderful to know that the researchers are keeping busy in wisely using up their research budgets! The latest research comes out of a Hamburg university in Germany. The researchers have found that the female sex drive starts spluttering to half once a woman has got her man! Well, my sex drive must be in over-drive! Help!!!!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Excuses! Excuses! And I'm Sticking To Them!

I'm a bit late in posting today because I've not long arrived home from sharing a long, leisurely lunch with four friends of mine. I'm always the 'odd' one out as there is only me and myself and I go everywhere alone, it seems. Not that it bothers me in the least, but I guess it would be nice sometimes to be part of a pair...if I could find someone decent to pair up with, that is! Alas! Such a person is not to be found anywhere around here. He must be well hidden. Never mind...I'll not settle for second best so alone I must remain, happy in my own company. Enough of all's I'd better share a recipe or two with you or you'll starve over the weekend! Food is the furtherest thing from my mind right now, to be honest, as I ate far too much this afternoon...but it was all so delicious! I don't think I need to eat for another couple of days! So, pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a pen and a piece of we go!

Grilled Skewered Prawns: Process 2 tablespoons each of Italian parsley, fresh coriander (cilantro) and 2 crushed garlic cloves until finely chopped. Add grated rind of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (chili for those who've lost the extra 'l' over the years!) and season to taste. Process quickly to combine. Add 1/3 cup of lemon juice and 1/3 cup virgin olive oil. Process until well combined. Peel 20 green prawns leaving heads and tails intact. Pour the mixture over the prawns, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Thread prawns onto skewers, which have been soaked in cold water. Grill or char-grill for around 2 minutes each side or until just cooked. Don't overcook!

Pork & Prosciutto: Thinly slice a couple of potatoes, 1 onion and 1 green apple. (Into thin rounds). Place a layer of potato in the base of 4 well-buttered, 1 cup capacity ramekin dishes. Brush potato with melted butter and layer with onion, apple and prosciutoo, brushing with butter betwen each layer and pressing down firmly. Repeat layering once more and finish with a layer of potato. Brush with butter and season to taste. If you like you can add a little crushed garlic in between the layers. Place on an oven tray and bake at 200C for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden. Stand in the ramekins (the potatoes, not you!) for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in non-stick frying pan and cook 4-8 pork cutlets for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden, then transfer to an oven tray and cook at 200C for 5-6 minutes. Rest the pork in a warm place for 5 minutes. De-glaze the pan with 1/3 cup apple juice and 2/3 cup chicken stock. Boil until reduced and slightly thickened. Place cutlets on a bed of wilted spinach and pour over some of the sauce. Using a large spoon, lift the potato timbales out of the ramekins and place beside the cutlet/s.

Those should see you through until Monday! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Love Is In The Air!

The latest uncovered terrorism plot puts a chill through everyone's veins. Allah must be a most cherished God to command such obedience and love!

The international in scope of this latest threat is a diabolical example of the hate these despicable Muslim Fundementalists have towards the Western World. Also, they have no respect for their own Islamic brothers/sisters. The lives of thousands and thousands of innocent people were in their destructive flight paths.

This plot which focussed on US aircraft shows the terrorists have little imagination because it's similar to one planned back in 1995 to blow up eleven planes with nitroglycerine mixed with contact lens solution.

No quarter must be given to these would-be mass murderers! It's an unfortunate world we live in at present but vigilant we must continue to be. One can only dream of a peaceful that is all it is, a dream, as long as these people exist.

If they expect my respect then they had better think again!

Love is all around? Wouldn't it be lovely if this was so?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Who Could Be Bothered?

Poor old Prince Charlie has had his phone tampered with again! After his 'tampon' impersonation episode a few years back, who, I wonder, could be bothered listening into his phone conversations? Now he has his Camilla as watch-dog by his side there seems little point in it, in my humble opinion!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunrise Through the Boabs

Where do I begin to tell of its wondrous beauty
Miles of azure haze drifting across sleeping valleys
Variations of colours not unlike changes in moods
When the sun is making its first tremulous gesture
Of welcome to the dawning day awakening birds
A moment of silence stilling the surging waves
Paying homage to the arrival of the golden orb
Conducting a symphony of powerful energies
Whilst bidding farewell to the serene mistress
Of the night her silver sphere wafting silently
Over the gentle stirrings of the day being born
And peace once more being abruptly disturbed
As the day dawns bringing with it new promises

Painting and poem by Lee

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Gift

Time spent pondering the future and now
Past is rapidly fading and I know not how
Today I am learning about me as a whole
Calmness gradually envelops my soul
Once I was torn into a maze of small pieces
But now I am together the pain decreases

By Lee
Where Is It?

What is our education system about these days? Does anyone know? Correct spelling and grammar have been tossed out the window, that we know. (This makes me bristle and seeth!) Today I read that geography doesn't officially exist as a subject for most school students! New South Wales is the only state in Australia that has geography as a compulsory subject until Year 10! I can't believe it! What are our governments thinking of or doing...both state and federally? A few years ago, when I was working up north, cheffing, one of my young kitchen-hands had no idea of the whereabouts of Sydney, let alone that Canberra is the capital of Australia (she had no idea where Canberra was located, either!). I guess the 'new' formula of not teaching geography in schools is the answer for her ignorance on such matters! How long has this been going on?

Particularly in times of world turmoil (the war on terrorism, climate change, water and energy issues et al) such as what we are presently experiencing, (and will continue experiencing indefinitely) one would think the teaching of geography to our young folk would be of utmost importance!

I've been many times stunned when chatting in Chat Rooms by the lack of knowledge displayed by US residents, in particular. Generally, they seem to have little knowledge about other countries. The only things many of them seem to know about Australia are Paul Hogan, Steve Irwin, crocodiles, kangaroos and koalas!

Someone should point out to the education departments the error of their ways.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

There Is An Easy Solution!

An article in today's 'The Australian' caught my eye. In the US, recent brides suffering from PWD...(post-wedding depression!!! My! God! What next!) are, in increasing numbers, visiting psychologists seeking therapy! And the bigger the wedding, the harder the poor little dears suffer after their 'big day'! 'Tsk! Tsk! I do feel so sorry for them...not!

I have the solution to all their problems and it's much cheaper for them than going to a psychologist. Elope (then throw a small party) or have a small gathering of close friends and immediate family. Do away with all the fuss, penquin suits, over-blown, expensive dresses that will never be worn again, expensive venues and menus, (and don't forget that costly cake, that ends up being sat on or squashed under someone's pillow!)...and tell Great Aunt Myrtle, you'll call by for a cup of tea or glass of wine next week!

As the majority of couples live together these days before marriage, why they feel the need to spend so much money on all this 'outside show' garbage beats me! It is money that could be well spent elsewhere leaving nerves and wallets intact!

Friday, August 04, 2006

As Promised....

Last weekend I gave you seafood and promised I would give the non-seafood lovers a steak dish to mull over or masticate over this weekend. Being one who likes to fulfill her promises, I thought I'd share with you a meal I intend cooking for myself on Sunday. I was going to do it today, but I had unexpected visitors so I laid out some cheese, smoked sprats, salamis, dill cucumbers, tomatoes, a chilli/macardamia spread and olives with a crunchy French loaf and crackers with a bottle or two of wine on the side. We grazed through the spread of tasty tucker as we enjoyed spirited conversation and lots of laughter. Now my visitors have departed and my appetite is sated.

Fillet of Beef with Garlic, Chilli & Coriander: Seal 500g beef fillet on all sides in oil in a heavy-based pan. Cook fillet in same pan in a preheated 190C oven for about 20 minutes for medium rare...more if you like it medium etc. Remove pan from oven and rest the fillet in a warm place. Drain oil from pan and pour in half a cup of good red wine. Deglaze the pan. Add a little butter and 3-4 tablespoons butter. Reduce to sauce consistency. Add half a cup of finely chopped shallots or spring onions, 1tablespoon finely sliced garlic, finely chopped chilli (to taste), ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander. Cook for a further few minutes. Add any juices from the beef fillet to the sauce. Slice the still-warm beef. Lay out decoratively on a serving platte (the beef slices, not you!) Pour the sauce over the beef and serve with perhaps, a potato bake and a tossed garden fresh salad or other vegetables to your liking.

I'll be opening a bottle of Shiraz to enjoy with my meal. I hope you do similar.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I've searched the daily newspapers for happy stories but found only three! The headlines are of endless slaughter, murders, the accidental drowning of a two-year old, price rises, interest rate rises, personal hardship and pain.

The good news stories were....

The safe return of three children kidnapped by their father yesterday.

Hugh Jackman's grand opening night in Sydney of 'The Boy from Oz'...(the sad news is I'll not be able to afford to go to see it!)

And finally...Glory Hallelujah! There's a massive glut on the market of wine. Liquor chain store 'Dan Murphy's' have begun a national promotion, selling 'cleanskins' at $2.00 a bottle!!!!!

With everything else around us increasing in price making day to day existence just that, an 'existence', at least we'll be able to afford to drown our sorrows!

Whooohoooo! They've Done It Again!

I do try not to get angry over things but sometimes it's just impossible not to get angry. Lately, there seems to be a lot that makes me very angry! Our 'wonderful' law court system is at it again!

About fifteen to eighteen months ago, a young man who was sleeping off his night out clubbing, on a bus seat in Brisbane city was killed (murdered!). Another young so-called 'man' kicked him and stole his watch. The assailant walked away but then returned to his victim and beat on the sleeping fellow, killing him. While he was at it, he stole the victim's shoes just because he could!

In the Brisbane court today the accused, who was found guilty, received an eight-year sentence! And there's more..he could be out after three years incarceration! Life certainly is very cheap these days, isn't? And there's still top that off, the judge said to the parents of the dead young man...."time heals all wounds"!

Now, correct me, if you wish...I could be wrong...but the sentence handed down to the killer and those thoughtless, ignorant comments by a person paid by us, the taxpayers, really make me irate!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Outback Track....continued

Impatient sun rises o'er the far horizon as a new day dawns
The lone swagman stokes his campfire stretches and yawns
His destination lies at the end of a meandering track ahead
What's awaiting there fills him with pain sorrow and dread

Painting and poem by Lee

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Good Advice...

Ernest Hemingway once said:

'Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.'

It's a pity Mel Gibson didn't heed Hemingway's advice!
What a Cock Up!

Somewhere out near 'Bullamakanka', north-west from the back of Bourke, some miles north of Gundagai (I'm sure there's a black stump there somewhere!) three escapees from a New South Wales Correctional Centre...after being on the run and covering more than 200km, were re-arrested. They waved down a just happened to be an unmarked police car.

And all their chickens came home to roost!