The world looks so different from this angle

On 18 March we flew from Perth in Western Australia to Melbourne in Victoria to attend a family funeral. I always find flying to be close to being magical – the idea of defying gravity and traveling at such speed across the country. Most of the journey is over the Great Australian Bight in the Southern Ocean so it is always a relief to see land below. I can’t help but see the world differently from this perspective – I can imagine us all going about our daily lives only being aware of what is in our immediate vicinity with everything seeming so very urgent and important.

It is good to get the bigger picture sometimes.



Time out for reflection – here’s how I did it

Every now and again we need to stop and reassess where we are going with our lives – just like I did ten years ago. I traveled to a small coastal community called Hopetoun in Western Australia to spend a few days gaining some perspective on my life. I stayed in a lovely rammed earth unit and equipped myself with some light reading material and some favourite food to nurture my soul (chocolate bullets and ice-cream of course)!

The weather was overcast and this suited my mood. I enjoyed some quiet time by the beach with no one else in sight. It was so calm and peaceful and I felt more a part of the environment than an observer of it.

I came away from the experience feeling nourished and reinvigorated. It was a precious few days and I urge others to try it sometime ;-). Very good for the soul.



Weekly photo challenge: Future tense

on the road to the future 2I traveled this road from Laverton to Leonora many times in 2003 while working in the region. I always felt a pang of excitement when I saw this sign post for the Great Central Road. It is one of the most remote highways in Australia! I love to visit out-of-the-way places and this signpost kept willing me to turn the car in that direction.


The Great Central Road is the main thoroughfare through Central Australia and links Western Australia to the Northern Territory. It is widely used by buses, trucks, 4WD and occasionally 2WD vehicles.


Maybe this is a journey into the future 🙂


English: Great Central Road just south of Tjuk...

English: Great Central Road just south of Tjukayirla Roadhouse looking north. Photo taken by Gazjo on 3 July 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Weekly writing challenge: The State of the Nation

English: Julia Gillard

English: Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


WordPress is encouraging bloggers to take on a divisive issue so I have decided to swim with the sharks on this one!


Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard is doing it tough but I still support her government. Many don’t. Her opponents think she should resign and go away quietly. Julia is our first female Prime Minister. She challenged the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, in a leadership ballot three years ago and she won. She has faced two more leadership ballots, the latest one being Thursday 21 March 13. A national election will be held later this year.


Julia has taken on some enormous challenges and I believe, has implemented significant legislation such as: a carbon pricing system; a new tax on the “Super” profits of mining companies; her team have managed to keep Australia out of recession and employment has increased under their leadership.


Criticism directed at our Prime Minister is very personal and her crimes include:


  • she has a “twang” in her voice made fun of by the media
  • she has a big nose
  • she is an atheist living in a de facto relationship (she doesn’t push her personal beliefs on to others)
  • some say she has a big bum (I am sure mine is probably bigger but we won’t go there!)


Why are these issues important? If she was a man, would these issues get any air play in Australia? I don’t think so.


I confess I don’t support her policy on asylum seekers and the decision to process them off shore. I have great compassion for people escaping their repressive and dangerous  countries and wanting a better life.


One cannot help but admire her inner strength against such incredible pressure and criticism. She is an inspiration along the lines of Maggie Thatcher but the other side of the political spectrum.


It is not my intention here to build a defense for Julia Gillard or to give an account of her government’s performance. I am trying to express my opinion and hopefully stimulate some debate about our Prime Minister and perhaps about women in leadership generally.


So, what do you think?









Gwalia – a ghost town in Western Australia

In 1963 the Sons of Gwalia gold mine closed abruptly. It is essentially a ghost town now. Mining from 1897  to 1963 produced 82.24 tonnes of gold! It is located 828 kilometers east of Perth, near Leonora, in the Great Victoria Desert.

From Wikipedia “… a young American geologist (was sent) to the area to develop the find into a working concern. That geologist was Herbert Hoover, who would later become President of the United States. Hoover arrived in Albany, Western Australia in May 1897, traveled by train to Coolgardie, then eventually to the Gwalia area by camel. He suggested himself as manager of the new mine. Among his suggestions for cutting labour costs was to hire mostly Italian labourers. As a result, the town’s population was made up mostly of Italian immigrants, as well as other Europeans, who sought riches in Australia’s newest gold rush…. Hoover’s stay in Gwalia was brief; he was sent to China in December 1898 to develop mines there. The house that Hoover lived in, overlooking the mine operations, still exists, and today operates as a museum and bed-and-breakfast inn. Hoover returned to Western Australia and Gwalia in 1902 as a partner in Bewick Moreing and manager of all of their interests in Western Australia.”

When the mine closed in 1963 the town’s population disappeared almost overnight. It is a popular tourist attraction today for those willing to travel the distance. I took the opportunity to visit the site when I was working in the region in 2003. An employee from the Regional Development Commission in Leonora gave me the tour! Leonora locals look after the deserted cottages to keep their original appearance – it looks like the miners just left yesterday!



The amazing sculptures at Lake Ballard in Western Australia

Location of Goldfields-Esperance region

Location of Goldfields-Esperance region (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I worked in Esperance in 2003 and I had the opportunity to visit Lake Ballard. It is located about 50 kilometers west of Menzies.


Also in 2003, the Inside Australia exhibition was commissioned. The artist and Turner Prize winner Antony Gormley installed 51 sculptures over an area of 10 square kilometres (4 sq miles) on the bed of the lake. The statues were to be removed at the conclusion of the festival but stay as a very unique tourist exhibition in the region.

I scanned copies of my photos taken on the day of my visit. To see what Wikipedia has to say about this exhibition, click on the following link Lake Ballard









A life well lived


I received some sad news yesterday that my Auntie Yvonne passed away. She would have been 93 years old in May. We will be traveling to Victoria for her funeral on Tuesday. Rest In Peace Auntie.Auntie 2


2 June 2012 006You have the choice to erase one incident from your past, as though it never happened. What would you erase and why?

A few disasters spring to mind when I consider today’s topic! The reality is:

  1. If I really want to erase some incidents from my past, it seems counterproductive to write a blog about them and give them new life and energy.
  2. Some of my disasters are secrets – would I really want to put them on the internet?
  3. I wouldn’t change a thing about my past – it was character building!

I believe my past experiences (good and bad) come together to make me who I am today. Some of the lessons have been tough but I have learned something from every incident in my past. Without my past “disasters” I could be living in a different place, married to a different person, have different children or none at all, and so on…

Suffice to say that I am happy with my life circumstances today and who I am. We only get to live one life so I see no point in exploring what could have been or might have been 🙂