27 June 2009

Rugby League is fun

Here in Australia, Rugby League is a major sport. I've made a little movie of highlights from last Wednesday State of Origin match between The Blues (New South Wales) and the maroons (Queensland). The maroons won this year's series for a record 4 years in a row. Enjoy:

22 June 2009

'In Bed' 2005 by Ron Mueck

Yesterday, we went with a group of friends to the restaurant of GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) for lunch. It was Diane's Birthday lunch. Afterwards we wandered through the gallery and I was fascinated by Melbourne artist  Ron Mueck's life-like sculpture 'In Bed'. If the exhibit wasn't so large, you'd swear the woman was real.

19 June 2009

Last of the Summer Wine

One of the cable channels here is repeating my favourite British TV show 'Last of the Summer Wine' This is the longest running sitcom on Television and plays in the Yorkshire village of Holmefirth. The characters are basically retired people living in this beautiful part of the world, getting on with their lives and often into trouble having fun. Last year when we were touring in England, we visited Holmfirth and saw where the series is filmed. We even had lunch in Sid's Cafe, one of the regular places in the show. At the bottom of this post, you can actually watch one of the episodes of Last of the Summer Wine.
Here are some of the scenes and characters (sadly a couple of them have now passed away):

A lot of scenes are filmed in the Yorkshire Dales

And in beautiful Holmfirth

Smiler (Stephen Lewis), Tom (Tom Owen) and 
Aunty Wainwright (Jean Alexander)

Compo (Bill Owen), Foggy (Brian Wilde
and Norman Clegg (Peter Salis)

Compo (Bill Owen) and Nora Batty (Kathy Staff)

Ivy, the Cafe Owner (Jane Freeman) and Nora (Kathy Staff)
in Sid's Cafe. We had lunch there

Howard (Robert Fyfe) with wife Pearl (Juliette Kaplan)
when he is not chasing his "young lady", Marina

Aunty Wainwright (Jean Alexander) and Smiler (Stephen Lewis)

Alvyn (Brian Murphy), Truly of the Yard (Frank Thornton) and 
Howard (Robert Fyfe)

The ever vigilant coppers (Ken Kidson) and (Louis Emerick)

Howard (Robert Fyfe) escapes with his young lady,
Marina (Jane Ferguson)

Here I am standing next to Compo outside Sid's Cafe in Holmfirth, England. 
It was great to be on the set of my favourite TV sitcom.
You can watch one of the episodes here, called: 'The defeat of the Stoneworm. The episode is in three sections, start with the top one and and keep going. Enjoy!


If you like more information on Last of the Summer Wine, or would like to see another episode, have a look at my other blog

14 June 2009

Nature's Paintbox

My mate Martin sent me this beautiful slide show, too good to pass by....

Mother Nature's paintbox spilled onto the landscape....
No other words are necessary, just enjoy

11 June 2009

Update on the Black Swan Saga

Last week I mentioned that the Cantonal Authorities of Bern want the black swans (Cygnus atratus) banned from the Lake of Thun because they are not native to Switzerland, they are native to Australia but have been there since the late 1980s and the people love these birds. They have integrated beautifully and are no threat to local flora and fauna, nor do they breed with the native white mute swans. (Cygnus olor).

As I mentioned, the local people are outraged and have written lots of letters to local newspapers and contacted radio and TV stations.

Last Saturday, hundreds of people assembled in the town square of Thun and released hundreds of black and white balloons. A few local politicians joined the crowds and promised to bring up the matter in the cantonal and federal parliaments. Hopefully they are successful  in persuading the bureaucrats to lay off the black swans. We'll see....

500 black and white balloons are released
in the town square of Thun, Switzerland
(Photo Berner Zeitung)

08 June 2009

johnny (A short Film)

John Sokoloff sent me his fabulous short movie, I hope you like it too

A short film starring Emmy nominated actor Terry Kiser (Weekend at Bernies, Carol and Company.)
Directed by John Sokoloff. Writers: Terry Kiser and John Sokoloff. Music: John Sokoloff

05 June 2009

The battle of the Black Swans

If you remember some time ago I wrote about the struggle the people around the lake of Thun in Switzerland had to save their beloved Paddle Steamer, a struggle that lasted for 17 years and was won by the people over the owners of the ship that wanted it destroyed. Today the proud ship is back in service.

Well here we go again. In the late 1980s a couple of black swans appeared on the lake of Thun. They are native to Australia and are quite different from the white Swiss swans plentiful on the lake. The people took to these swans with gusto and took them into their hearts. Over the years, they have multiplied and had to be culled. No one complained, the culling was understandable and accepted.

Recently however, some boffins in the administration decided the black swans had to go as they are not native to the area. Well, now, here we go again. Numerous letters of outrage to the editors in newspapers  have appeared. A lot of letter call it racism!

"Black people are accepted in Switzerland, why not black swans" some wrote...

They are beautiful Australians, aren't they?

The question is: Will the black swans be allowed to stay? I'll keep you posted!

03 June 2009

Tree Lopping

Living among trees has its dangers. Some of our trees were getting too closed to the house, so we called Lionel, our tree lopper who came with his two offsiders and solved the problem for us:

Branches are too close to the roof

At the same time the paperbark tree we love so much was starting to lift our driveway. Two gigantic roots had gone under the driveway to look for moisture during the dry we had for the last few years, so they had to go.

Lionel exposed the roots but they were too thick to be cut by hand so he had to fetch the large grinder

It needed two blokes to lift the machine

Then Lionel climbed up into the tree

to cut the offending branches

And finally they turned the branches into lovely mulch which will go onto the garden.

More pictures will be on Diane's blog