March 14, 2007

Darth Rudd

"Australia should aim to become a greater force for good in the world."

Use the force, Kevin.

Burbs? What Burbs?

A big day today. Our ultimate non-burbs quest. A farm. A couple of hours ago the final settlement went through on a farming property we have bought in Margaret River in partnership with my brother and his wife. We are minor partners, but what the hell – we still have access to a farm. As Downsouth Realty describes, the farm is 120 acres ‘with 25 acres of bush and complimented by views of surrounding farms’. And it has a farm house. A FARM HOUSE!!! Arrrghhhhh!

The real estate blurbs don’t mention the two blind cows we have inherited. Blind Beauty is pictured around here somewhere.
Nor the ostrich. Yes. An ostrich. And the tractor. A TRACTOR!!! BurberKing is thrilled.
Its all very exciting for us. We are going down there this weekend to furnish.

Personally, I cannot wait for winter when I can set the massive granite fire place with a fire and then go walking around the paddocks and the bush in my wellington boots, only to return to the farmhouse to get warm. Leaving the muddies boots outside of course.

Please come and visit when you are in town.

March 13, 2007

Big Ships

Just the other week, the biggest ocean liner in the world docked in the Sydney Harbour. It was the Queen Mary 2. Twelve hours after the arrival of the QM2, her sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2 arrived in the Sydney Harbour.

It must have been quite a sight. The pictures here don’t quite do the event justice. The traffic problems the meeting caused in Sydney drew more attention on the air waves than the ships themselves. But who cares about cars stuck in jams when you have these two magnificent beauties cruising in. I wish I had been in Sydney to see it. Ocean liners never fail to amaze me.

Imagine the captains and their pilots manoeuvring these ocean liners through Sydney Harbour. As new and as massive as the Queen Mary 2 is, the QE2 is still a gorgeous and stylish craft. Seeing each other’s ships passing in this fantastic harbour must have been an amazing moment for the captains. It would have brought a tear to the eye.

I went on the QE2 once for a few hours when it was in Fremantle in 1990. My parents were off on a cruise to Africa. They like the ocean liners. They once took my four siblings around the world on a ship – the Angelina Lauro.

Dad arrived in Fremantle off a ship, like so many immigrants (these days and then; though Dad’s ship would have been more comfortable than our modern day refugee carriers. And the welcome more hospitable. Selfish Australia. Shame on you). In Fremantle, the local council recently built a wall and hung plaques on it with the names of all the European people that came to Western Australia as refugees after the Second World War. Nation builders they are called – now, at least. They wouldn’t have been called nation builders in 1946. They were unwelcome, but not as unwelcome as today’s refugees. Today’s refugees are all labelled as potential threats to our society, locked up in a cage in the desert to go mad. The threat to our society is allowing this awful situation to continue. I wonder what the plaques for these refugees will say.

What I know is that immigration is good for the economy, and I can’t get anyone to build me some decking for less than $220 per square metre – so let them in and share the wealth.