Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Friendship, Hugh Knyvett, Bridget, and the Dandenong Ranges

1. Saw that it's raining in a lot of Australian cities right now.

By right now, I mean 4:30 PM Texas time.  It's mid-morning in Australia...on Tuesday.  

2. Saw that it hasn't rained in South Australia in the last two hours.  It's rained in only one town in Western Australia.

It seems to me that Tasmania and New South Wales are getting the most rain.

There's also heavy rain in Darwin and Canberra.  

3. Saw that song #80 on the Triple J countdown is "The Truth" by Pnau.

Lord Wiki says Pnau is a dance band. They did an apprenticeship under Elton John.

That's cool.

4. Started to listen to "The Truth".

It sounds like a 1980's song to me.

I kind of like it.   

5. Learned from Lord Wiki that Nick Littlemore from Pnau worked as the music director for a Cirque du Soleil show called Zarkana.

6. Went to bed and had dreams.  In one dream, Fruitcake tells me I'm not her friend.   She doesn't mean it in a hurtful or offensive way, like I'm not good enough to be her friend. It's more like she takes the word "friendship" very seriously, and we're not at that point yet.    

Later I'm in the car with Happyorganist.  Happyorganist is driving.  I talk to her about the friend thing. I feel weird opening up to Happyorganist because she's usually the one who does the opening-up in our communications.  She's very sweet and listens well. I still feel nervous about it, though.   

7. Saw that my Australian of the day is Thomas Arndell.  

Arndell was one of the surgeons on the First Fleet.

He was born 1753.  So that means he was around thirty-five when the fleet sailed to Australia.

8. Read more carefully and saw that Arndell was actually a surgeon's assistant on the First Fleet.

9. Learned that Arndell was on the Friendship ship.  

Lord Wiki says the Friendship was one of the smaller First Fleet ships.  It had seventy-six male convicts and twenty-one female convicts.

When the ship reached South Africa, the women were transferred to other ships so there'd be room for livestock animals.

10. Learned that Arndell did hospital work in Parramatta.   It turned out he preferred farming work, though.  So if I'm reading this right, he gave up the surgeon work and put his effort into the land.

He ended up doing work for the government as well, though, and at one point went back to surgeon work.   

I think his life was quite busy and somewhat stressful.  

11. Found a First Fleet website with a page about Thomas Arndell. I find it somewhat more readable than the Australian Dictionary of Biography.  

Oh...never mind.  This one is confusing to me too.

I'm getting, though, that Arndell had a wife back in England. Her name was Susanna.  Together they had seven children, but only two survived.

12. Confused...very confused. I get it.

I got lost for a moment.

It turns out four months after Arndell and his wife had their sixth baby, another woman gave birth to his baby.


Then I guess he left both women behind when he went off on The First Fleet.   When he got to New South Wales, he romanced a convict. They ended up having seven children together.  Before the last was born, the two got married.

13. Learned that Arndell lost a lot of his home and land in a fire.

If I'm understanding this right, the government gave him some jobs to help supplement his pension.   I'm not sure if they did it because they needed his work, or if they were trying to give him a boost to get over his difficulties.

Arndell did surgeon work.  He was Justice of the Peace, and he had the responsibility of reporting on the feelings, grievances and happenings of the locals.

14. Learned that Arndell organized flood relief for the community in 1806.

15. Thought these quotes from "Over There" with the Australians were interesting.   

The observation of men in many circumstances of peril has quite convinced me that it is those who are most afraid that do the bravest deeds. 

Further down in the paragraph, R. Hugh Knyvett says

I have ever found that the best scouts, men who must generally work alone in the dark, are those of highly strung nervous temperaments. 

It goes along well with other stuff I've heard and read— that it's not the lack of fear that makes people brave.  It's the confrontation of fears.

16.  Saw that Australia had their first AACTA Awards.  It's for film and television.

Red Dog won for best movie.

Hugo Weaving won an award for Oranges and Sunshine. That's the one where the British kids are tricked into being sent to Australia.

The Slap and Cloudstreet won some TV awards. 

17. Tried to understand the AACTA awards.  I consulted Lord Wiki.   I'm pretty sure he's saying that the AACTA awards are replacing the AFI awards.  But the AFI is involved with the AACTA.

Okay...yeah.  I see in Lord Wiki's little sidebar.    AFI is AACTA's parent organization.  

18. Went to the AACTA website to see the full list of awards. 

A movie called Snowtown won for best directing, screenplay, editing, and sound.  

19. Started to watch the trailer for Snowtown.

It all seem vaguely familiar to me, but I'm probably thinking of something else.

20. Searched through my blog and found I watched the trailer for Snowtown on May 13, 2011.   

So this time my feeling of familiarity wasn't imagined or confused.

21.  Saw that Offspring was nominated for best television drama, but they lost to East West 101.   I think that's the show with Nina's season one boyfriend.   I forgot his name.  

22. Found his name.

It's Don Hany. 

23. Reminded of George W. Bush when I read this part from "Over There" with the Australians.

Every one now knows what Germany stands for and the menace she is to the future of the world if her power is not destroyed, and everyone who does not help to defeat her is an ally of the Kaiser and helping him to win the war.  

There's probably a lot of stuff in Knyvett's book that George W. Bush would agree with. It has his type of belief system.  There's a strong thick line between good and bad, and you're either on the right side or the wrong side.

24. Finished reading "Over There" with the Australians. 

My next Kindle book is Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land: A story of Australian Life

Hopefully I'll like it.

25. Started to read another Robert Drewe book.

This one is called The Drowner.

So far I've just read the prologue.  And like most prologues, I didn't really understand it.

All I know is it has something to do with schizophrenia. 

I'm sure I'll find out more as I read the book.

26. Saw from that The Drowner is a romance involving irrigation.


27. Read more of The Drowner.

So far I'm bored.

I hope it gets better. 

28. Enjoyed reading the beginning of the Lady Bridget book.

The first few pages were not too exciting, except for the description of a property that had a great variety of fruit plants.

Then the woman on the property received a letter.  She started reading the letter, which was from Bridget.  The letter is entertaining to me.

I wonder if the whole book will be the letter with the fruit lady's reactions.

That would be interesting.

I'm still relatively bored by The Drowner, but it's getting slightly more interesting.   

29. Intrigued by what is said about the Bridget book's author on

Australian authoress Rosa Campbell Praed wrote during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. She started her writing career by fervently observing the life around her. She also wrote on occult subjects as well as on spirituality.

The Bridget book alludes to the possibility of reincarnation. That surprised me a bit.

I know the belief in reincarnation is very old.  It's not something New Age folks invented. I know spiritualism was big in the last few centuries.  But I'm not really used to seeing non-Christian spirituality mentioned in older novels like this.  

30. Saw that the Bridget book is available to read online, if anyone's interested that doesn't have a Kindle.  

Now I see that the book is divided into three parts. The first part is through the eyes of the fruit lady (Mrs. Gildea), but I guess that also includes the viewpoint of Bridget via her letter.

The second part is told from the point of Bridget.

The third part is told from the point of view of someone named Colin, plus some other people.

31. Noticed that the book was published in 1915.

I associate that period with the Titanic. Although I can't remember the exact year of the sinking.   Maybe it was 1914?

32. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He reminded me that the ship sank in 1912.

He also reminded me that World War I began in 1914.

So the book was published during that whole time—after Titanic and during the war.

33. Looked up Leichardt Town because that's where the Bridget book takes place.

I pictured the book taking place in Queensland, probably because of all the fruit.

When I looked up Leichardt, though, I got New South Wales.  Sydney. And now that I think of it, I've seen Leichardt in that context.

There's also a suburb in Ipswitch Queensland called Leichardt.

Maybe I'll learn more as I read more of the book.

Knowing me the book has already indicated the location of Leichardt, and I missed it.

34. Reread some bits.

There's mention of the Leichardt River. According to this government website, that's in north-west Queensland.  

Then Emu Point is mentioned. I Googled that and found one in Western Australia, and also one in Queensland.  But it's in South-east Queensland.  

35. Decided I will give up  the geography for now.

Maybe later I'll be less lost.

36. Loved this article about the owner of a Melbourne bus company.

Ken Gendra sold his business for four million. Then he shared some of that money with his two thousand employees.

The man based the bonus amount on each staff member's length of service.

He gave some workers more than $100,000.

That's really cool.

I wonder if they'll keep working for the bus company.  It will have different owners now.  Hopefully, they'll be nice.  

37. Went back to the Triple J countdown.    Song #78 is "History's Door" by Husky.

According to their Triple J Unearthed Page; Husky is a Melbourne band. 

38. Started to watch the video.  

I think it's relatively pleasant; but it doesn't excite me too much at this point.

39. Enjoyed reading part 1 of Diane B's teen years memoirs.   

I highly suggest Diane B's blog to anyone who's a fan of Australia or the 1950's.

She's a great writer and has fabulous photos.

For those who love Australia, but are more interested in modern times than past times, she also has frequent blog posts about her more recent adventures.   

40.  Started to look at Fredweng's day Twenty-Two in Australia Flickr set.

It's a long set, so I'll look at a little today, and then I'll look at more later. 

41. I think this is a neat building. What is it?

The previous photos were from Federation Square, so maybe this is too?

I'm thinking maybe it's a theatre? 

42. Saw that Fredweng went to the Dandenong Ranges National Park.  

How far is that from Melbourne?

43. Looked on Google Maps.   Dandenong Ranges National Park is about an hour east of the Melbourne CBD.    I'm guessing the park might be part of Melbourne. It seems to still be in the city....or really, the suburbs. 

44. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He doesn't see the park as being part of Melbourne.

He says the park has a huge problem with feral cats. They're eating the birds.

Speaking of invasive species....

The other day there was a story about Florida on the Sydney Morning Herald  iGoogle widget. 

Apparently pythons have taken over the Everglades.  How did they get there?   People get pythons as pets; they get tired of them and then release them into the wild.   Now there's been a great reduction in wildlife.  The pythons are eating deer, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, etc.   They've even eaten alligators.

I do like snakes.  But I also really like rabbits.

I'll be sad if there's no more rabbits at Disney World.

Or maybe there'll be MORE rabbits because the rabbits will use Disney World as their place to hide from the snakes.

Until....the snakes follow them there.    

45. Saw that Fredweng went to Sherbrooke Forest, which is in the Dandenong Ranges.

It has a lot of parrots.

That's very cool.

46. Felt envious of the girl in this picture.

That's a beautiful parrot.  

47. Liked this forest photo.  

48. Went to Funtrivia to take another Australia Quiz.  This one is called The Road Less Traveled.

49.  Got question #1 wrong and learned that Australia is the 6th largest country in the world.

My guess was 4th.


50.  Learned from Lord Wiki that the 4th largest country is China and the United States.

They're tied.

51. Got question #6 wrong and learned the Pilbera is up north.

I had heard it before. It felt familiar.  I associated it with the west, but the west wasn't a choice.

Then I consulted Lord Wiki, and he said it's part of Western Australia.

So, I think it's a tiny bit unfair that I got the question wrong.

Although if I really knew a lot about the Pilbera, I would have chosen north, because I would have known it was in northern Western Australia.

52. Answered question #7 wrong and learned the north part of Australia, the one near the Gulf of Carpentaria, is called Gulf Country.

53. Saw that song #76 on the triple J countdown is from a Melbourne group Redcoats.

The song is "Dream Shaker".

54. Started watching the video.

I don't really like it.