What I did with a Croc in the Bathtub

Aside

Pickled crocCrocodiles … luv ’em … preferably in tempura batter and served on a salad bed 🙂

But there are other bits to crocodiles à la carte such as feet, claws intact. Having given it some consideration I decided on pickling them along with some vegies and spices. I hate to waste anything! If a lizard has given up its life to me … then the least I can do is show it the utmost respect and eat the lot.

Read on for the recipe and advice…

The Killing Times – A Colonial Secret

killing times bookI have just read a most amazing book ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ by Timothy Bottoms, a deeply researched account of Colonial Australia and events, which are largely hidden in our history. A very difficult book to read through it is none the less one of the most important collection of colonial accounts, which has ever graced my research shelves.

It raises many issues and helps to settle many questions of a past in colonial Australia, which has been hidden in hypocrisy, deceit and shame. Australia’s colonial history is my history. It is a history that is largely if not completely ignored in the education of our kids. Our schools teach what is a English history to Aussie kids and in doing so completely ignore our social and cultural diversity and it can be argued that this gives rise to racial dissention within our society today. Our current education in history is failing to give our kids an understanding about their truly diverse heritage in pretending we are all of English descent which is simply not true. We aren’t even English by majority!

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The Links Between Education and Racism

educIt is no wonder to me that our kids do not know our own history in Aus. I have spent the last few days examining just what our vegemiters are taught of our national history at school and further down is a breakdown in case you yourself are wondering. The data presented here is collected from Queensland but can be applied as an example across our country.

It is little wonder to me that we are now dealing with endemic racism and gross misunderstanding and ignorance about who we are and how we got here. Most believe we were English crim’s who having arrived in a convict boat with a couple of the landed gentry, hopped off in old Sydney town to a land full of roos, sheep and ockerisms to be greeted by Aboriginal savages and there we started the fighting. This is a load of crock! Having received such a strong response to my recent post Just Who are Aussies I have consistently heard of how history as a subject is failing to inform Australians about ourselves, and our national heritage and history.

boat peopleI sincerely believe that if we were taught something of our rich and varied experience as a colony and a nation, we would not be dealing with the racial dissention we are now seeing, this about WHO Australians are and just where we each belong in our world.

The RACISM I see everywhere, sticking its head up like a ferret out of a nest to be shot at by others is truly disturbing. We need to understand WHO we are and how we got here to truly appreciate our diversity with due respect.

ferretOur kids spend a small part of Year 5 learning about our Colonial History, that which forms the basis for our self-awareness as a nation and valued individuals and I sincerely think that this is grossly inadequate. While the topics relevant to our self-awareness are so blatantly absent from the curriculum, or are barely mentioned if addressed at all, our children will lack in self-awareness and due respect in their varied heritages.

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An Aussie 4×4 Wonderland

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 12.13.39 PM copyI enjoy a good adventure, I really do and this month I have just released another edition of The Around the Campfire Tales and travelogues. This is a popular little series of stories of travel available in e-book and print available at Amazon.com, and they are a very different approach from other travel books. We don’t explore the best prices, or the best motels etc. but it is about the adventure of the trip and it is a candid account. They are a collection of campfire stories and recounts and ‘Cape York’ has to be one of the most Adventurous tours in the series.

Trying to explain the adventure of Cape York in Far North Queensland is impossible. It is wilderness, it is vast and it is a place like no other. It is a wilderness that is undefined and which offers adventures in the bucket-load without even leaving the confines of the vehicle which is why the 4×4 driver loves it so much. Touring the Cape York wilderness is like visiting a theme park, you line up for hours on the best rides (equate this to travel over corrugated roads) and then you have the ride of your life!

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Those Golden Specks in Cairns – are not sand

CairnsI’m basking under the sunshine in Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia, at the moment enjoying a delusional early return to Spring. When I get back down south I will be back there in the close of the Aussie winter months but for now I can pretend it really is Spring.

They gazetted Cairns 1876, so it isn’t very old in Northern Hemisphere terms but that has an upside. Not many have tramped the escarpment on the lookout for golden dust or even the stray nugget, aside from our brief goldrush days of course. This city, for it is a prosperous city now, was named after some bloke who was then Governor of Queensland. It was to serve as a centre for those headed to the Hodgkinson River Gold fields tracking up through the beautiful Barron Gorge. But the Hodgkinson River gold field served the old miners badly as it was not the alluvial gold they sought but a quartz-reefing field where gold was hard won.

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Free-camping around Aussie Land – Where Tourists Never Go

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Cape York, Far North Queensland

I love to travel, particularly travelling about Australia. I truly love to get out into the bush or the Outback, set up camp somewhere where the skies are open and the sounds of the wilderness are all about me. Or where the sounds of the bush are a constant carol and the shade of great trees shelter you, and every other creepy crawly, hoppy or slidy creature around which you can hear move in the whisper off in the litter of the earth, deep in the forests of this land.

Burial site

Aboriginal Rock Art

Having not long come back from Mount Moffatt on the Carnarvon Plateau of central Queensland having revelled in the ancient Aboriginal art sites there which are some 25,000 yrs old, older than the last ice age, I am fresh with the want to head out again. I loved visiting these story sites created by ancient man, which are as breathtaking as the magnificent rock formations created by nature and which were simply amazing.

One of the best things about travelling around Australia is one of the things most tourists to our continent and country never see. I always thought that this was strange that tourist and holiday makers never generally understood where the essence, the spirit of our land really slumbered. Hidden as it is, silent and well away from where people gathered en-mass and where it is not so easy to go.

Most people head to the coastline or the cities, or better still a city on the coastline, including most Aussies but the best of the country won’t be found there. You will not find the true spirit of Aus. in the body of people roasting their skin under our harsh sun on the crowded beaches of golden sand. Nor will you find it commonly in the many tourist places where tour companies and groups will take you. They serve tucker there that is more often haute’ cuisine and fine dining representing many lands and cultures and as lovely as it is, this is not what I know as a Aussie experience.

These places frequented by tourist serve food that is not simply good and filling pub-grub or camp-cooking served from a well used camp-oven which is dangling over a roasting fire beneath a crystal dark sky. The places where tourists generally frequent are what commerce has made of Australia and many people do enjoy such delights quite happily, including me at times.

Natural Arch, Mount Moffatt Qld

Natural Arch, Mount Moffatt Qld

The real essence of Australia (not the industry) is where there are few people, where the horizons are vast and often bare or even rugged and endlessly mysterious. It is where the silence all around you is so deafening that you are left only with your own thoughts and the thoughts of what few companions you may have with you. It is where laughter fills the air along with song and poetry and the laugh of the kookaburra or the crack caw of the crow or cockatoo greets a crisp dawn and heralds a glorious sunset. This is the best part of Aus. and few visitors see it.

Read more about travelling around Aus.

Wild Colonial Sons of Australia

I have just returned from the Rooftop of Queensland, having spent time toasting my toes around the campfire at the delightful Mount Moffatt. We camped in what is part of the Carnarvon National Park, up high on the Consuela plateau where the Maranoa River is born and we explored the ancient lands of the Bidjara People.

The Roof of Queensland

The Roof of Queensland

I have visited the Carnarvon National Park many times over the years but this was the first time I could sit with the wild birds and animals, amongst the towering cyprus pines and gums on the high plateau for more than a short time. It was glorious!

Our days were filled with exploring the ancient campsites and art galleries of the Bidjara mob, photographing and documenting stencils left on sandstone cave walls in ochres of red, yellow and black along with rock etchings of the burial sites where the tribal people of the plateau buried their dead in a rich social and ritual life for near 20,000 years.

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