Australian

Australian Cricket


When I was younger and fitter I used to play cricket, so I’m still quite interested in the game. In fact, I did hope to play some cricket again, but my car accident finished that off.

Being an ‘old’ cricketer I like to watch the cricket and I am dismayed by some of what I see in Australian cricket these days. There is plenty of great cricket and good cricketers in Australia. Michael Clarke is playing the best cricket of his life and then you have David Warner, the new fast bowler Jackson Bird, etc. However, I am dismayed by plenty also.

The ‘rotation’ policy or player management, or whatever they want to call it is simply a disaster that officials don’t get. ‘Fess’ up and admit it was a mistake – please! Australia’s spin stocks are terrible and it is simply frustrating seeing some of the bowlers being consistently picked to bowl spin – I’ve heard some of the commentators saying  ‘he needs to spin the ball.’ Yeah, that’s a no brainer for a ‘spin bowler.’ The number of players being picked without having the opportunity to have a fair go and yet the odd player or two who should have been dropped ages ago have been able to play on and on and on…

The battle of the Australian batsmen with swing bowling is a problem of course, but that is something the batsmen need to learn to cope with and is simply part of the game. Australia has very little in the way of swing bowlers these days (and spin by the way), so I don’t think picking other batsmen will make a great difference. The battle with swing is great to watch, yet the good batsmen will develop the means to stand up and be counted in the face of quality swing bowling.

I’m sure there is plenty of other things to think about, but they appear to be the biggest challenges facing Australian cricket. The Ashes will be very interesting.

Rocky Crossing – Enjoying a Dip


This photo was taken at Rocky Crossing near the New South Wales town of Gloucester, in Australia. I’m cooling down after a hot day one Australian summer on a causeway.

At Rocky Crossing

Yacaaba Headland Walk


I ran out of time yesterday to post about my walk up Yacaaba Headland and how I only just avoided being in a storm that was moving in. So today (it’s actually the 27th July 2012 as I type away) I must get two days of posts done, even if I slip this one in back in time, so to speak (as you can with the post time when posting).

BrunchSo I decided to do the Yacaaba Headland walk just before lunch and had lunch in the carpark, while reading the paper. Nothing too healthy – I tend to eat far too much junk when I’m on holidays. So it was a bacon & egg roll, as well as a couple of potato scallops and some chips (and coke of course) See Picture at Left. It was really brunch and I needed the energy boost to accomplish the walk. Sounds like a fair excuse anyhow. You do burn a bit bushwalking and climbing mountains.

So after lunch I set out on the walk. It was a beautiful day, spring like, which was quite strange given it was the middle of winter. It was really quite warm and a great day for a walk along the beach and for being in the great outdoors. The walk to the top of Yacaaba Headland from where I set off was a good 1km along the beach, then a further 1.5km from the beach to the top of the headland. So not a great distance really, though the same ground would have to be covered again on the return, so something like 5km all up. I had plenty of time to cover that distance and I knew that from having done this walk before. So of I went.

First up though was a picture of the scene before me as I got through the sand dunes and onto the beach.

Beach & Yacaaba

ABOVE: The Beach and Yacaaba Headland in the Distance

There were very few people out and about, just a couple of people fishing along the beach and a few walkers as I approached Yacaaba. I could see what appeared like a storm brewing back towards the north and out west. Nothing to worry about at this stage though. Plenty of time.

SpongeOne of the things I noticed along the beach was the amount of debris from the sea. There was a fair bit of what I would call natural debris, such as timber, weed of various types, sponges (See Picture at Right), heaps of shell fragments and even a small fish. However, there was a bit of human debris (rubbish) also, which was a shame. Got me to thinking if anything from Japan would end up here in the long run – from the tsunami. Most of it is heading to the US and west coast of North America, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising if a bit made its way to the Australian east coast.

After a bit more than 1km I reached the headland and began my ascent up Yacaaba. The track to the the top of Yacaaba is easily followed and not too difficult in my opinion. There are some steeper sections and the track can be a bit rocky, loose and a bit unstable underfoot, but not too bad overall.

There aren’t a lot of wildflowers to see there at the moment, variety wise I mean. There are plenty of Wattles in flower of course and the usual Banksias, as well as one or two other flowering plant species to be seen.

Wattle

ABOVE: Wattle BELOW: More Wildflowers

wildflowers  wildflowers

As you walk towards the top you begin to get some fantastic views over Port Stephens and in particular Hawks Nest, Tea Gardens and Winda Woppa. The further up you go the greater the views of course and as you near the top there are views up and down the Pacific Coast. It really is a great place on a clear day for fantastic coastal vistas.

View Towards Tea Gardens

ABOVE: View towards Tea Gardens BELOW: View over the Pacific Ocean

Pacific View

Having enjoyed the views for a while, I decided I had better start the trip back and try and beat the storm that was now rapidly heading my way. It was very dark out to the west and north, thunder could be heard rumbling along and flashes of lightning in the clearly heavy rain off in the distance. So down I went. The trip back down was fairly quick, having observed plenty on the way up and knowing the storm was rapidly approaching the descent was somewhat quicker than the ascent had been. No surprises there really.

Bottom of Yacaaba View

ABOVE: The View up the Coast from the Bottom of Yacaaba – Shows the Approaching Storm.

The view up the coast (as seen in the above picture) was marked by the approaching storm, which became increasingly menacing as it adavanced and I got closer to the car. It doesn’t look too bad in the photo above, but as I neared the car It was fairly severe in its appearance and I just got into the car as the first drops of rain began to drop. It was pouring by the time I got back home (just 5 minutes or so away). Yet the storm was gone as fast as it hit.

Stroud Parade


View from Silo Hill

ABOVE: View from Silo Hill

 

Today was the first day of my annual leave allottment (technically it starts Monday) and so I decided to get out and do something. The Stroud International Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing Competition seeemed to be the thing to do today. So I decided I would offer my mother and her husband a seat in the car and head off to Stroud. Turned out only my mother would be coming. Disappointingly the day was wet and miserable – a typical Australian winter’s day I guess. Still, we thought we would go and have a look anyway.

 

Stroud House

ABOVE: Stroud House

 

We arrived at Stroud just as the main street was being closed for the parade. So we got our park and headed into the centre of town to gain a reasonable vantage point, with the option of some shelter should the weather turn especially bad. We got our place easy enough. Stroud was fairly packed for the event, but not as much as I thought it may have been – the weather probably kept many away. Still, a pretty good turn out.

So off they went, a whole menagerie of marchers in the big parade. It was an odd bunch, some seemingly out of tune with the country in which they marched and the context of the town. Everyone was having a ball, particularly the kids who seemed to be the targets of the often thrown lollies and sweets that were being hurled from the floats and marching rag tag line of marchers. There were North American Indians, whip crackers, witches and wizards, some rather fat ballerina types (pictured) and many other odd characters. There were also the police (representing 150 years of police work), firemen, SES and other services – even church floats, a debutante ball float, school groups – as it went on and on for some time. There were musical groups, including a couple of groups of Scottish bands and a ukulele group.

 

Ballerinas

ABOVE: The Ballerinas BELOW: Marching Police

Police Marching

Debutantes

ABOVE: Debutante Float

 

Having attended the march we decided to not stay as the weather was rolling in again. We took a quick trip up to Silo Hill to enjoy the view and headed back to Gloucester.

Follow the Sun: Australian Travel Posters Collection from the 1930s to the 1950s


I thought I might share some websites on Australia this week. The first is a site that has a collection of Australian travel posters from the 1930s to the 1950s. The posters are stored at the National Library of Australia.

http://www.nla.gov.au/exhibitions/sun/

The Windies


I have always loved cricket and the team I’ve supported for many years is the West Indies. Sure, they aren’t what they used to be – but I’m a loyal West Indian cricket team fan. Yes, I am Australian – but I have always loved the Windies way of playing cricket – think Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose – my kind of cricket.

http://www.windiescricket.com/

Jessica Watson’s Blog


Jessica Watson is heading for home in her solo sailing navigation of the world – the youngest ever. She is currently below the Australian mainland and closing on Tasmania. All the news and information on Jessica can be found below, at her Blog:

http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/

Zeitgeist is Out There – Beware!!!


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I came across this post at a lookout above Tea Gardens. I certainly agree with the idea that Catholicism is not Christianity (not Biblical Christianity), but there is something else in this photo that people need to beware.

What is that something else? It is Zeitgeist. It is a movement which is beginning to take root out there. I have a link below to the Australian branch of the movement – actually it is the Australian branch ‘about’ page. Beware of this movement, it is an anti-Christian movement in that it is not Christian.

http://www.zeitgeistaustralia.org/about/