Friday, 31 October 2008

Remove a Cane Toad - We Don't Do Halloween!

Australia does not do Halloween. That is a good thing.

However, the all pervasive reach of the US does intrude and an insidious scheming, minority seem to want to engage with the practice.

Surprisingly, Halloween seems to actually have originated in Ireland. Yes, Ireland! I heard the explanation on the radio a few days ago, and it was surprising. So do not blame the Yanks.

Rather than trick or treat.............get out with a torch and capture / collect a few cane toads. They are on the move around the Darwin suburbs, and NOW is the time to catch and remove them. We have had a dry spell now for a few weeks, and they should be close to wetter areas.

Go to it!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Gurrumul Gets a Gong [or several]

I have blogged about the extraordinary music album released earlier this year by Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, and sung almost entirely in language ---his language from Arnhem land.

He and the album won several gongs at the Deadly's - the indigenous music awards last week.

But the following weekend, some more seriously upmarket awards - two ARIA awards. These are the most prestigous Australian music awards - equivalent to an American Grammy.

The album is magic.

Gurrumul won the ARIA for Best Independent Album Sunday night 20 October 2008, at the 2008 ARIA Awards. This is his second solo ARIA now, after having won one at the ARIA Fine Arts Awards for Best World Music Album.
Gurrumul also performed, the popular song "Bapa", at the ARIA Awards night.
here to view Gurrumul performing at the ARIA Awards.

30 September 2008
2008 ARIA Fine Arts Awards
The album, "Gurrumul" won the ARIA for Best World Music Album at last nights ARIA Fine Arts Awards. The awards were held at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place in Sydney. They acknowledge the achievements made within the Australian Music Industry across four genres, Classical, Jazz, World Music and Soundtrack/Cast/Show.

This is Gurrumul's first ARIA Award and he's extremely excited about it. Gurrumul, along with his band (Michael Hohnen, Francis Diatschenko and Erkki Velheim) were in Sydney to accept the award, before they fly out to perform at China's National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing as part of their inaugural 2008 World Folk Song Festival.

[photo x]

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

THAT Time of Year - It's HOT

For some readers it may not be that hot.......but a steady flow of October days, now averaging 34.3C and RH of between 75 - 55% each day is a tad draining. To top it all, today was the 4th highest temperature ever recorded in Darwin, reaching 38C. We are on the coast, and normally there is a cooling sea breeze in the afternoon.

I have been working around 100km inland south of Darwin with average maximum temperatures of 38C for this month and a "lovely" 39.5C on Monday. It is VERY hot. AND NO SEABREEZE. The sun just burns into your skin!

This is the crappy season. That hot and horrible period before it really rains.

It is described as the "month of the falling mango" also "suicide month". Even been backed by a medical study released a few months ago that proved people do more strange things in the October / November period than other parts of the year. There are more assaults, suicides, and similar crimes as people go off the rails from being too hot.

Recently we had a period of several days with storms...........and that makes it worse, as the humidity goes up, and tempers shorten accordingly.

Best not to be here.................

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Darwin Convention Centre - at Night

We do have a new Waterfront Convention Centre in Darwin. The NT Government has spent a lot of our money on the project.

It does seem to be "smart" architecturally, but it can also be very hot in the afternoon, as they do not seem to have got the glare and sun protection right when you are inside but not actually in a meeting room.

It does have a spectacular appearance at night though. Almost ethereal, with that purple glow around the roof edges.

Even more intriguing is the large piece of street art, made from aluminium. While interesting in daylight, it is a delightful art piece at night.

Street or similar public art works are often devisive - love 'em or loath 'em.
Well, I do like this piece of art!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The First Storm - Wet Season 2008

Had to do a job at Batchelor yesterday, and the sky was developing an ominous appearance late in the day. Storm clouds developing both to the south and north, and a sudden wind shift by about 120 degrees around 1800hrs as we were leaving.

Could there be some rain at last.

Batchelor did get some in the early evening, around 10mm. But that was minor.

By the time we had returned to Darwin [100kms north] the sky was developing that bright flashing amid the thunderheads......maybe, maybe a storm at last.

Around 2230hrs it started to blow.......the harbinger of a decent storm. Wind speeds around 50-60km/hr, a few broken tree limbs, and plenty of stuff blown around on the terrace and then it really rained. Exactly 40mm at home, in about 30 minutes. A great start to the rainy season.

And today, everything is bright.....dust washed off plants, roofs and just about everything else, streets clean, the light is bright and sharp and no doubt it will be hot and steamy as the day goes on.

A great storm, but not too much lightning. And our great guardian of the fortress.......snuck inside. Not a great lover of thunder is our fearsome warrior dog. Very happy to sit on the mat in the laundry though under storm conditions.

The green tree frogs were singing big time, so loud that it was hard to hear much else. I wonder what else they were getting up too??

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Irreverent - DEFINITELY

Monsoonal life in the NT is enhanced by the cartooning mirth and irreverency of the local cartoonist, Colin Wicking - aka Wicking.

Delivering a daily cartoon for the local newspaper - the usual "meet a deadline cartoon" on local and / or world events, reasonably comon to newspapers around the world. The local newspaper seems to have a focus on crocodiles on the front page, and they do appear in the cartoons too.

Wicking does tend to be decidely irreverent. Like his DECIDLY irreverent Easter cartoons of a number of years ago. Yet, even the local christian churches were not too fazed. Cartoonists are a bit like that......getting you where it causes mirth, on even the most sombre events.

Australians are well known for taking the mickey out of one another.......enjoy his cartoons at . Some material is focussed on local issues, such as the recent one over the Chief Minister's near death experience with his dog, but others are of broader appeal.