Sunday, March 31, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grand Corrobory - Nepean River 1835

The Colonist (Sydney) Thursday 9 April 1835

A corrobory of the black natives of the territory was held a few weeks ago, on the verdant banks of the Nepean River, on a scale of extent and magnificence never before witnessed in the colony. Chiefs and their jins were in attendance from all parts of the territory; .and had a great quantity of rain not fallen the day previous, the assemblage would have been much more numerous than it actually was.

As it was, the native fires in front of the temporary gunyahs along the champaign country gave a brilliant appearance to the scene; and as a flood of light was ever and anon poured on the dark forests of the Blue Mountains, that rose in primeval grandeur immediately behind the encampment, the tout ensemble was indescribably sublime, and led us irresistibly to contrast the soul-inspiring sublimity of nature with the petty pursuits and the insignificance of man.

After a plentiful repast, at which kangaroos' and opossums' flesh was devoured half roasted, and vast quantities of cabra, and the larvae of ants, were swallowed, as white people eat oysters, all alive, the kangaroo and other native dances were kept up to a late hour, while the music made by the incessant beating of the wooden waddies on the illalong, or native shield, as an accompaniment to the native dance and the native song, was particularly enlivening.

Where all were so deserving of notice, it would be unfair to mention individuals, but we cannot help noticing the following, with whose appropriate costume, and well-sustained characters, we were particularly struck, Yellamundy and Jibbinwy, with their jins, from the Hawkesbury. The former of these chiefs was in the character of a native mourner, his body being pipe-clayed all over. He was perhaps mourning for the loss of his hunting grounds, and the independence of his nation—the unfor- tunate but unavoidable, consequence of European colonization. He made an appropriate speech on the subject; but all of it we could collect was, "White fellow sit down all about ; black fellow murry miserable!"

His friend Jibbinwy was in the character of a native warrior; his face, limbs, arms, and breast being ornamented with streaks of red paint to render his aspect as frightful as possible. In this object he was certainly quite successful, and the military evolutions he and a few of his companions performed strongly reminded us of a European review. Terribalong, from Broken Bay, was in the character of a colonial Barrister. His gown was a cloak of bandicoot skins, and his bushy hair was tied up tastefully with native grass, in imitation of a wig. In the whole corrobory there was no character better sustained than this; for Terribalong's powers of imitation were admirable, and he successively and most successfully personated the whole Australian Bar.

Yakabil, from the Morumbidgee, and Black Boy, from Hunter's River were both in the character of Colonial Attorneys, and, being somewhat forward, were going to address the Meeting, when Terribalong, personating the Attorney General, and insisting that they had no right to speak since the late division of the Bar, they were silenced, and turned out of the corrobory.

The infamous Saturday, from Bathurst was in the character of a free settler.

But Eheu; quantum mutatus ab illo Saturday !

How sadly changed from that Saturday who once spread terror through the settlement of Bathurst ! 

Young Bungary, from the North Shore, was in the character of Governor Darling. For this purpose he had provided himself with his late father's old military surtout, cocked hat and sash, and he certainly sustained the character well; but the next time he personates this late Excellency, we would advise him to provide himself with a pair of trowsers also, to save appearances.

In short, the grand corrobory at the Nepean River will form an era, as is well observed by some of our contemporaries, in the history of this colony; insomuch, that in five years hence, if any thing remarkable should occur, such as the granting of a House of Assembly by the Imperial Parliament, it will not be said that the remarkable event happened in the year 1840, but that it took place five years after the grand corrobory at the Nepean.

Turkish Poached Eggs

Brunch at Grounds

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday, March 09, 2013

best breakfast

toms cooked with garlic, chilli, pinch of turmeric, fresh ground black pepper - with egg and fried haloumi
condiments to hand

Friday, March 08, 2013

Janet Laurence's 'Plants Eye View' wins Glover

A depiction of the Tarkine area in north-west Tasmania has won Australia's 2013 Glover Art Prize.

Sydney artist Janet Laurence's 'Plants Eye View' highlights the Tarkine forest on a micro scale.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

John Lewin's Platypus - 1808

From a collection at State Library of NSW's Pictures and Manuscripts 
The convict poet John Grant wrote: 
Verses written to Lewin, the Entomologist. 1805.

Nature! there dwells in these Australian Lands
Thy faithful Copyist whose Art expands
Thy novel Beauties o'er our ancient Globe
Who to far distant climes thy Charms derobe.

Modest, laborious, steady in his Plan,
I view, admire and venerate the Man.
And, lest Neglect a tender Genius blight,
Cheer Muse! His Patience; usher him to light!

Lewin: rare, beauteous Plant in Genius Vale!
Painter! Engraver! Nature's wooer! Hail!
Courage! Thy Labours consecrate thy Fame;
Ages to come shall venerate thy Name.

When thy productions, European eyes
Gaze on; and Nature, struck with glad surprise:
We think she blossoms but at Lewin's will
Thine imitations mark such wond'rous skill!

Touch'd with delight; involuntary thought
Rebounds to England where, thy labours sought,
Her sons unanimous shall Tribute pay
Thee: wanderer, searching Nature's thorny way.

Grant submitted this poem to Governor King who edited the Sydney Gazette; but he returned it with the comment: "It is very pretty, but the piece is too pointed for the very dull-witted society in New South Wales."

Grant also wrote these lines about his friend John Lewin:

Whether thine Hand delineating, draw
Insect or Bird or crimson Warrataw,
In each, in all, thine Art we can forgive
When things inanimate appear to live.

Hugo Chávez - 1954 - 2013

Hugo Chávez Frías, the President of Venezuela, died after waging a long battle against cancer, treated in Havana since the middle of 2011. The president had traveled to Cuba in the final stage on December 8, 2012, two months after his fourth re-election to undergo his fourth surgery.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon extended on Tuesday his "heartfelt condolences" to the Venezuelan people and government upon learning from the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

"This is the first news I have and while I will make a formal statement later, I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to President Chávez's family, as well as to the Venezuelan government and people," Ban K-moon told reporters at the UN Headquarters.

Chávez’s departure not only affects the political balance in Venezuela, the fourth-largest foreign oil supplier to the United States, but also in Latin America, where Venezuela joined a group of nations intent on reducing US control in the region.

Chávez changed Venezuela in fundamental ways, empowering and energizing millions of poor people who had felt marginalized and excluded.

Chávez, director Oliver Stone and Tariq Ali at the Venice film festival in 2009. 
Chávez spoke to Tariq Ali about his hopes for change in Venezuela

"I don't believe in the dogmatic postulates of Marxist revolution. I don't accept that we are living in a period of proletarian revolutions. All that must be revised. Reality is telling us that every day. Are we aiming in Venezuela today for the abolition of private property or a classless society? I don't think so.

But if I'm told that because of that reality you can't do anything to help the poor, the people who have made this country rich through their labour – and never forget that some of it was slave labour – then I say: 'We part company.'

I will never accept that there can be no redistribution of wealth in society. Our upper classes don't even like paying taxes. That's one reason they hate me. We said: 'You must pay your taxes.'

I believe it's better to die in battle, rather than hold aloft a very revolutionary and very pure banner, and do nothing … That position often strikes me as very convenient, a good excuse … Try and make your revolution, go into combat, advance a little, even if it's only a millimetre, in the right direction, instead of dreaming about utopias."

Corporate Culture:

The Canadian Globe and Mail immediately boasted that "torrents of oil" will now be available to US and Canadian oil monopolies under its headline "Chavez's death opens door to Venezuela's oil riches

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Pillaging the Pilbara

The Pilbara may sit alongside the Kimberley on the map but it’s a different world; a world of fluorescent yellow and blue, hi-visibility mining shirts and steel-capped boots; a world where mile after mile of powerlines rudely interrupt the watercolour landscape that stretches as far as you can see; a world that’s been inhabited by Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years; and a world where indigenous poverty and great mining wealth collide.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Charger in window

Sue Fraser - 'Clouded Tan Fist'  charger belonging to Taizong
close up charger's head

Sydney: International Women's Day - 9 March

Bring your friends and family and come to the march!
9 March 2013
The march will start at 12 noon outside 
Town Hall and proceed to Circular Quay.  
But there will be speakers
Including special guest Tara Moss!