Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Cockroach Loses

Anyone spending some time living in the tropics will know that cockroaches are inevitable, along with the odd mouse or rat.

No matter how hard one attempts elimination........they always seem to bounce back.

With cockroaches, about the best one can expect is to NOT see them once you turn out the lights at night, then revisit the kitchen after a few hours. If they are not obviously visible, then the numbers are low.

It has been said that cockroaches would survive a nuclear blast.......I do not think anyone is testing it out much at present, but they are pretty pesky, and are great survivors. I shall not regale readers with some of the more gruesome stories seen, involving the cockroach. There have been quite a few, as well as some involving rats.

But this time, the cockroach lost.........beaten by that other denizen of the garbage, the trusty ant!

This is no ordinary ant, but the local green ant. Often seen in large nests in acacia trees. This time the trusty green ants have ganged up to beat a cockroach, and are carrying one off to the nether regions for a great feast.

Green Ants 1.........Cockroaches 0

Unfortunately, there were still many cockroaches in the compost bin!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Sunscreen Song

This "song" does the rounds every so often.........the version commonly heard is one by Baz Luhrman, but there is another common version done by an American, male......but I cannot remember the name.

I heard it a few evenings ago in the is worth noting the sentiments.
The Sunscreen Song

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…..the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, may be you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…..don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance..…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Australia Day 2010 - Darwin Style

A typical Australia Day in and do not even have to guess, except to consider if it might be raining!

Not much of that of late. An intermonsoonal period is the met-speak. And I mean zilch, nada, nothing. will return, and usually trys to make up for the rain gap.

While I did not go this year, a huge turnout at the Darwin regular Australia Day 5km fun run. So many, that relocating the event needs serious consideration, apparently, in media reports today. That must be a good thing.......getting a lot of part time runners, walkers and all sorts of related locomotion methods along to such a community event is a good thing. It is usually a lot of fun!

Our cul de sac had it's regular Australia Day Cricket Match. A lot of fun with always a few extras - friends of friends etc along, followed by ..........of course........... a BBQ. A good opportunity to meet with neighbours over a fun cricket match, a few drinks and the bbq. Close off the street and make a cricket wicket in the middle of the keyhole area at the end of the street, and use modified indoor cricket rules - sort of - with a few allowances for some people!

When you live in a cul de sac with only seven houses, and quite a few long term residents, you do actually know the neighbours, and what are now their young adults and significant others too, and their kids.

So the rain did not fall, although the humidity and the strong monsoonal west wind made it a hot sweaty event.

Monday, 18 January 2010


This last weekend has provided some sunshine, at least for much of each day, followed by late afternoon storms.

With storms, come thunderheads. The light was still strong when this photo was taken, so little of the texture and shadows seen in some thunderheads, when the light is much less. Impressive still, though.

When out in rural areas with more open skies, these storm heads are very impressive, even without the shadows. This one continued to rise for some time after this photo too........10- 15000 metres is quite common for the top of these monstrous cumulo-nimbus clouds in the tropics.

And yes, it did rain later!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A Bucket of Bolts

The home handy man usually keeps a few nuts and bolts around the house for the odd job or three. Some small, some a little larger, and often in a modest toolbox, easily carried and moved to the job. It makes it easy to get the right equipment as well as the correct bolt.

I am not sure that tool boxes of bolts and nuts are usually this large. They certainly need a fork lift or a small back hoe to move the pallet, so You need to come to the toolbox.

This is a LARGE box of bolts! But the bolts and nuts are not that large. I think they are for Armco railings on the renovated dam wall, nearby.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Monsoon Does Cometh

Although Cyclone Laurence by passed Darwin, it sure has brought heavy flood rains to much of temperate Australia in its aftermath, as it moved across the continent, after a lot of rain [ around 400mm] in the Darwin area over 3-4 days.

We now have another Tropical Low about 120kms west of Darwin, although expected to move south, and away from us as it develops into a cyclone, maybe.

But is has brought a deep monsoonal trough across north Australia with strong northwest winds and regular heavy squally monsoonal showers and the ocassional storm. Almost 70mm of rain yesterday, and maybe 20mm plus today, and more predicted.

It is wet........

The met bureau is closely watching this low, but predictions are it will not effect Darwin apart from the heavy rain this coming week. See more on

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Great Drumming at Military Tattoo

While the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is actually in the northern summer, it is replayed on TV in Australia around New Year.

Watched it tonight, a wet monsoonal squally evening........very suitable for staying inside and a bit of TV watching.

While they have been on the show in some previous years, the Swiss military band, Top Secret wowed them again.

Watch the you tube clip........they are fantastic! You do not need words.......just watch. And they are not full time musicians either!