Underwater love

Aside from launching my kids, one of my favourite activities at the pool is swimming underwater

It's been rewarding for me to see the distance extending that I can travel before surfacing for air.

One of the biggest gains was made when I realised that I didn't need panic.

That's a good lesson in many ways.

Not magic for Leeton Shire ratepayers

Ever heard the expression “the magic of the movies”?

It seems Leeton Shire Council were bewitched by this magic at their February meeting.

A late item at that meeting was a request to contribute toward the cost of producing the film Inside Water.

The Irrigator newspaper first reported on this project in January, so it is surprising it should need to be rushed before Council.

The minutes of Leeton Shire Council record that over three motions their offer of support went from $1,445 to “up to $7,500” before settling on “full sponsorship in the amount of $15,000.”

Minutes show that Councillor Ciccia moved the first motion which lapsed, yet this same councillor requested “that his vote against the [final] resolution be recorded.”

The Irrigator reported that “some councillors were unsure considering the tight budget they are currently operating under” and the final motion only narrowly passed, “five votes in favour and four against.”

Should local government be investing in producing movies when there are established funding bodies for this purpose?

Councillor Kidd was quoted in The Irrigator stating “There are major benefits of staging a filming project like this in Leeton” and stating that it could put the town “‘on the map’ both nationally and internationally.”

The crowdfunding page for the project it states filming will take place at Merribee Homestead, Binya.

Where is this production being filmed and how will it benefit Leeton Shire?

Ratepayers should be questioning both the decision to invest in film production and the handling of this request.

Metaphor in my muesli

This morning I opened a pack of Trumps muesli, which had been gifted to me from a relative who is given them in her retirement home but doesn't eat muesli

I thought I could look beyond the name, which probably has little to do with the contentious figure.

Toasted muesli isn't normally my thing but free food is good food, right?

Then in the first mouthful I bit into a hardened piece of orange-coloured fruit that proved unpalatable.

The metaphor seemed too rich not to share it here.

Wild Wetlands in Narrandera

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to read my poetry relating to rivers, wetlands and wildlife at the Narrandera Arts Centre

It was an event organised by Dr Greg Pritchard to recognise these water-based ecosystems and included projections onto the former Masonic building.

Other poets on the night included Dr Derek Motion, Julie Briggs (both shown) and Peita Vincent (who took the pic of me). I didn't get a pic of the latter but we had a nice picnic in the park opposite the venue.

It was good to see around 30 people in the audience, including a number of faces I recognised from the Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists.

For my reading I grouped together a series of haiku.

My son Oscar asked if he could join, then asked if it should be a haiku or limerick.

I suggested the latter and he came up with:
There once was a river called Murray
whose water was all in a flurry
from place to place
the water did race
I wonder why it’s in such a hurry

Static electricity

I don't think I ever noticed static electricity before moving to the country

It wasn't until I was living in a farmhouse, far away from city lights, that I first saw a flash of blue light generated by synthetic fabric.

In hindsight it seems crazy not to have noticed static electricity being discharged before.

I certainly remember having felt it during primary school, when kids would shuffle their feet on the carpet and give each other a mild shock.

Yet I still remember the surprise of seeing it while living outside Wagga.

Fishy snap

Love and compromise


Look at trees in the Riverina and you see history in the landscape

I've posted about scarred trees (click on the "scar tree" tag at the bottom of this post) but here I'd like to look at the trunks ringbarked by Europeans in the late Nineteenth Century.

There are many examples to be found of trees that have overcome this practice.

Looking around a Brucedale property this morning and I spotted a Grey Box and a Yellow Box that had both lived after being ringbarked.

They both sprouted new trunks and both had gone on to grow for over a century and are now forming hollows that will be used as habitat for birds of increasing size and then possibly possums.

Another example was this Blakelyi Red Gum that lost its trunk and formed new ones. It may have been felled more recently, possibly the 1930s.

I really like these trees as symbols of resilience.


As a minister and shadow minister with the Australian Labor Party Tony Burke has held a variety of portfolios and shown himself to be capable

So I found it thoroughly depressing to see him pandering for 'likes' on Facebook this week.

It seemed a sad commentary on the state of Australian politics and the lack of a meaningful opposition to the policies being lobbied by business and foreign governments.

Neve's self-portrait

My daughter has etched another likeness onto the kitchen table

What the...?

My jaw dropped when I saw this ad from Hermes in the Australian Financial Review's magazine

Are they presenting a woman as like a dog being lured by a handbag?

C'mon -- it's 2018!

Farm technology workshop

Ever thought there has to be an easier way to run a farm?

The rapid growth of wireless technology mean there are an increasing number of devices to improve efficiency on your property.

But how best to navigate this brave new world?

Ian Ware will be presenting a workshop in Coleambally on Thursday 8 March that will outline options to develop on-farm networks and enable automation.

His presentation will include a case study based on a Coleambally farming operation, as well as answering your questions about how to access broadband and establish wireless networks.

Ian has embraced new technologies in a number of technological fields including security and internet connectivity.

He will share his knowledge about getting the most out of your internet service in the home, in your vehicles and even in your paddocks.

Ian will provide advice on streamlining tasks using automation so that you can have confidence in remote monitoring.

This will also be an opportunity to troubleshoot, so bring your questions on technology and internet connectivity.

The workshop will run from 9am to around 1pm at the Coly Community Club with morning tea and lunch provided.

Westnet logo is Goatse

Just noticed that my internet service provider has a Goatse-esque logo