Monday, 31 May 2010

Will's Letter 39 ... goodbye printed newsletter

Today I sent out my (mostly quarterly) newsletter, as I have done for a decade. But this was the final physical mailing. It went by ordinary mail to those acquaintances who to my knowledge don't have internet connection. Perhaps some will be getting email capability before long. Others might occasionally use public access, and care to look at this blog in an idle moment. The remainder may have to - oh dear me - ring me on the dog and bone or even come visit! The letter itself suggests that.

Here's what I wrote:

Hello for a final print-medium Will’s Letter, already replaced by the updated blog (‘Web Log’) to be found on-line at That URL or web address can direct you via a link back to earlier posts at my “grandvoilier” blog, now inactive; but until I take it down the old postings (diary entries) can be viewed there. The new blog is more picture-rich, and I am writing on it a couple of times each week. For some reason, in May, I seemed to be animal-obsessed – perhaps driven by the mouse mini-plague, or else the Monarto Zoo pix which I took of giraffes plus assorted other beasts.

I guess this beastly preoccupation has generated a kind of psychic aura (you know – that Rupert Sheldrake stuff about “morphic resonance”) because this morning I have been watching through a window as the neighbour’s brightly marked goose carries out a tentative yet brave reconnaissance of my yard, while we await a new section of fencing between the properties. The animal kingdom is making an impact.

I had a birthday in mid-May and days later was still full of cake and nibbles from various sources. This Letter 39 is an appropriate number to mark the changeover, 1939 being my year of birth – and yes, the month of May makes me an obstinate Taurus. You can read more at the blog.

Not everyone uses the Internet, yet. If you love words on paper to the exclusion of screen, I’ll endeavour to keep in touch by card, letter, phone too – and if we’re lucky there’s the old-fashioned way, from time to time, over a cuppa.

Whichever it is to be, you are a valued part of my life. Thank you for the pleasure you have given me in our exchanges of news or tall tales. May it continue. From me, however, the Way of the Web is the way to go. Go check out

Very best wishes, Will

P.S.  That's me the other week near Ballywire Farm, well-known for its tearoom.

All the Way from Scottsdale Tasmania

I've said before that I like Bill B's bloggings - so here's what he wrote yesterday about a visit to hear Scottsdale Choir in north east Tasmania. There's even a bonus non-musical feature:

The weather was bright and sunny today as we set out for an excursion to Scottsdale. We had a roast beef lunch at Cafe on King and then went to a concert of the Scottsdale Choir at 2:30.

Scottsdale's only performing places are at the schools. The town's one public space, the grand old Lyric Theatre, has been unused for years. Today's concert was at the primary school, which we had not visited before. The hall is architecturally interesting, in the form of a hexagon with a soaring pyramid ceiling, topped by a hexagonal lantern. The whole is panelled in timber.

We joined the large audience as it gathered in the hall. Most would have been older than us.

We have been dimly aware of the Scottsdale Choir for some time, but this is the first performance we've been to. The choir has about 20 members, mostly women. Their repertoire was wide ranging, including Waltzing Matilda, Chicago, Vienna City of My Dreams, In the Mood, Alleluia and, uniquely, In Dorset You'll Find Our Name. The last of these was composed for the choir as a sort of local anthem for the Dorset area. The choir is well trained and, unusually, I could understand every word they sang.

The Choir's performances were punctuated by appearances by other Scottsdale musical groups: the local branch of
Sing Australia, Men of Dorset (a barbershop quartet), Strings and Things (two violins and two keyboards) and a number of solo performers. There was considerable overlap between the memberships of the various groups.

During the choir changeovers, the Master of Ceremonies entertained us with jokes. Here's an example. Little Johnny goes to confession. "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned," he says. "I have spent time with a loose girl." "That's serious," says the priest. "Tell me, was it with Lucy Smith?" "I'm very sorry, Father, but I cannot tell you that." "Well, was it with Janet O'Brien?" "I'm sorry, Father, I cannot say." "Let me try again, was it with Helen MacFarlane?" "I'm sorry, Father, I cannot say." "I commend you for your discretion. For your penance, you are banned from the choir for three months." Afterwards, Johnny goes and meets up with his friend Mick. "How did it go?" asks Mick. "Not bad," says Johnny. "No choir practice for three months, and I got three hot tips."

Thank you once more, Bill. Our singing group in Warooka will be blest with all that info. Please note the link to Sing Australia, to which a couple of our members also belong;  and rumour has it that an Ardrossan branch is imminent.

Some of us went far afield on Saturday and enjoyed the final night of that English farce from  the '60s Not Now Darling. It was directed by Michael Ford and performed with elan and some wife-to-husband prompting by the Minlaton and District Arts Group.

Julie, last week's sleepover guest, phoned saying that she and her Korean friend really enjoyed meeting our human singing crowd, but not the mice in the hut at Innes National Park. Last night I caught two more of the little bleeders, after thinking naively that the plague-like numbers were finished. I suppose they are. But two is a plague as far as I am concerned.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

More Mice, Music and Museums

Ouch. My two pals who spent two nights in Shepherd's Hut (not Cottage; I was confusing it with other accommodation) down at Innes National Park, report that their stay was spoilt because the building was overrun by mice, plus they saw one rat indoors too. The mice were unstoppable, ran over the bedcothes at night - and one of them even dropped into Julie's hair and had to be shaken loose. Something of a nightmare, I guess. And Julie, let me tell you, is no shrinking violet. The other visitor is from overseas and this was part of her first week's experience of Australia. Not good.

But it gets worse. When, on departure, the infestation was reported to Nat. Parks staff, the lady at the desk said they KNEW about the mice ("There's a plague"), HAD KNOWN at the time of booking but said nothing, was offhand and unapologetic, said "There's nothing we can do", and furthermore there was no suggestion of returning or discounting the $50-a-night fee.

OK.  The mouse problem is real. But really! What a chapter of poor public relations, bad customer service; and altogether a black mark to National Parks as a tourism operator. And what a story will be told back home when my new friend returns to South Korea in a few weeks.

The brave pair are soon to head to Alice Springs on the Ghan. Are there more mice in Alice? Probably. I wish my friends all the best with the wildlife.

On their way back to Yorketown yesterday, they stopped off in Warooka to hear me and fellow singers perform on stage as part of a Uniting Church Fellowship event. That went well. A good time was had by all, as they used to say. The singers are not even all of that religious denomination. We just like singing. This time we did not have to compete with Sam the Dog who must have had a gig elsewhere. Thank goodness for small  mercies.

Then, this morning, my  house guests had to get on the road back to Adelaide while I joined a bus full of local Historical Society folk: we aimed first for the Stansbury Museum (intro talk, shufti and cuppa). In the big shed they have a strange machine, circa 1870s, purpose unknown (grape or olive processing??) with an invitation to anyone with ideas to offer suggestions. By midday we were in Ardrossan at the large display there with emphasis on Clarrie Smith's justly famous Stump-Jump Plough. Local man Clarence E. Smith was only 46 at his death in 1901, but his invention hugely benefited the region, making ploughing physically easier (for both horse and farmer) and more cost-effective. We were very grateful to the main organisers Lesley and Cheryl, Bill our bus driver, the lunch providers, and all the contributing people from the different historical societies.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Korean Capers

Julie and her Korean friend, retired English teacher Shin, stayed here last night and have gone further south today to spend a couple of nights in a historic cottage, which is let out by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The four or  five cottages in the group were once part of a gypsum  mining operation, circa 1900-1930, in what is now the Innes National Park, a relatively remote tourist destination, right at the very foot - in fact the toe - of our Yorke Peninsula. Shin is much travelled and just recently was back-packing through South America. She has been in Australia for three days. And, so far, has met only weird people, from which to form impressions of Oz. She says she does not mind.

Yesterday at dawn there was the vivid red sky which folk wisdom says is a weather warning ("red sky in the morning, a shepherd's warning") and sure enough by mid-morning we had heavy rain - after weeks of dry conditions - and tonight a return to wild wet with thunder and lightning. I am cosy here with my log fire.

Meanwhile I try to coax the computer to burn another DVD featuring the 45 minutes of digital video which I made last week using the trusty little JVC camcorder. The subject? - the mock wedding which the previous blog post spoke of. The participants mostly appear to want copies, I can only imagine from some deep-seated masochistic need. Some of it is slightly funny. I mean, a lot of it seemed funny AT THE TIME.

What is less obvious is why  any of it would still appear amusing when re-visited in the cold light of  day. But that's OK. I am treating myself to a grumpy old person evening. I have had a hot bath. I am going to bed now.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Crossdressing Seniors

Well, I think that's what it's called. Or possibly growing older disgracefully. But it was fun!

Not only was I still full of birthday cake from yesterday, my seventy one-th completed year on this particular planet, but I was called out (all right, invited a week ago) to be the camera guy today, to record for future incredulous generations a fun lunch of the SYP Country Women. Each year they do something sufficiently outrageous to be banned from respectable pubs, so this year's theatrical "happening" was to be - goodness knows why - a mock wedding. The celebrant, a friend of one of the group, made the trip specially from Adelaide. She is the real thing, so I guess that means they are now married. Oops.

The "groom" was the smallest lady and the "bride" was a large fella, none other than my ex-fireman friend Don.  Has to be said he looked stunning in bridal costume. The fake groom also was natty in top hat, tux and bow tie, striped strides. The whole exercise was a beaut excuse for wedding cake - the real thing, two tiered - plus general hilarity and cheeky speeches, even singing.

Oh, did I mention? Most of the crazy bunch are the same individuals who make up our regular song group. When I joined them last year I did NOT know what I was getting into.

Now I need to go to bed to sleep off some of the overeating of the past 48 hours.  I know things are getting out of hand when I can no longer see my toes ... or the bathroom scales. What? Me tubby?

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Alfie McKenzie, 14, voted in UK General Election

We could all do well to read the article in last Sunday's Guardian in which British schoolboy Alfie McKenzie wrote of his reasons for making a vote in the recent election which resulted first in a hung parliament and subsequently a shaky coalition between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. And of course the dumping of former Labour PM Gordon Brown for Conservative David Cameron as the new head honcho with Lib Dem Nick Clegg as Deputy.

Alfie's name had been placed on the electoral register in error, through no fault of his. A highly articulate and politically aware young man, he decided he would exercise his unexpected voting status, knowing that it would not be a legal vote. He was unchallenged at the voting booth. The matter only became widely known and reported upon when his school's deputy principal informed the police, who came to interview the 14-year-old. No other action was taken - except by the press!

What has made the event especially remarkable is the quality of McKenzie's commentary which you can read here in the Guardian article. Thanks again, BB, for the link.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Perilous Pier plus Alpacas and Pelican

After the mildly alarming meeting with my kangaroo friend, I thought I'd post a pic of a peaceful beast, provided you are not a fish. The pelican was at Streaky Bay, Eyre Peninsula:

... while this pair of young alpacas were at Stansbury Seaside Fair on the Yorke Peninsula.

Kinda cute.
But speaking of Eyre Peninsula - well, I was a moment ago - what does the local Council of a certain famed but here nameless town think of the structural state of its hundred year old metal Jetty stanchions? I'm guessing the Council doesn't meet where they have a view from under the Jetty. How did I take the pic? Must have hung by my toes and held the camera upside down. Right? Clue: no boat was involved. No alpaca was harmed.

Apology to Rusty the Dog. Kangaroo Encounter.

Mouse update: all quiet on the western front, which actually is the space between the fridge and the wall. The same sultana in the mousetrap remains uneaten, the trap unsprung. And did I tell you? - when I tried a newer design of trap, the one in grey plastic with a kind of spring-rocker mechanism which can be set or uncocked one-handed, the late persistent cunning mouse removed the entire interior black plastic "cage" which contained the bait. Clearly an animal with a good sense of humour.

This week and next appear devoted to variations on the theme of birthday lunches. Let the world have its general elections, riots and national bankruptcies. Gwendoline had her birthday cake to accompany lunch (BYO style) after song practice on Tuesday. Thursday was a reprise at the home of our musical director Isobel, followed by a ritual viewing of the DVD made from my gruesome digital video of the 80minute morning practice. Tomorrow I am unexpectedly invited for lunch with the birthday person to meet interstate rellies and to apologise to Rusty the dog for untoward remarks which were taken out of context.

I walked for an hour at Flaherty's Beach and the adjoining strip of bushland behind the dunes. On the beach the sole wildlife I saw was a dead jellyfish and a plastic bag. However, in the bushland a large kangaroo - I described it to friends as "me-sized" - gave a moment's excitement when we startled each other. And, as I further described the moment to boost my rep as a fearless wilderness explorer, I felt extremely brave after it hopped away with unnecessary disdain. Yes, its jaws were menacing, designed to chomp small shrubs with ease. Aha, but it's the back legs that do the damage, said one helpful pal. NOW they tell me!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Magical Sultana and the Mouse

My evocative title - well, I think it's evocative - The Magical Sultana and the Mouse may disappoint you when I reveal that the tale is not one of the fairy tale sort. A sultana is the female equivalent of a middle-eastern ruler of vanished times, to wit, a sultan.  In these parts, it is reflected in the place name Sultana Point, only a handleful of kilometres from my home. And THAT Sultana was a ship. The spit of land is named for a sailing ship which foundered in these dangerous and often stormy waters.

So that leaves the mundane sultana, of the raisin family. Y'know, a dried grape.

They make good bait in mousetraps, and I am here to report that THE SAME SULTANA has caught three mice, one each on successive nights. Still going strong. We shall see. No sooner do the little unsuspecting beggars clamp their needle teeth upon the well-trained sultana than the trap springs and closes in the classic back-of-the-neck job. And the sultana is left to lure another day. I am glad of the quick despatch, but let me tell you that I have overcome any thoughts of too-kind tolerance for our mouse visitors. Enough is enough.

You will be informed if this particular sultana adds to its tally. Previously the cheese was winning but now I believe that the sultanas are in front.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Terry Pratchett and Back to Ballywire

Can't get away from that Pratchett man. I am halfway through the novel Nation (2008), so I am not exactly up to the minute with his latest. I have yet to read the more recent Unseen Academicals, although a few weeks back I saw the on-stage version performed in Adelaide by the dedicated amateur company Unseen Theatre Company, directed by Pamela Munt. I treated myself to the Doubleday hardcover edition of Nation as a birthday prezzie for me - the day itself is not for another week - but, heck, I always unwrapped gifts the instant I could get my sticky paws on 'em.  What does that say about my iron willpower? Have you not heard of jello willpower?

Yesterday on a whim I drove again to Ballywire Farm and Chris and Pete's on-farm cafe. Perfect sunny autumn weather. The hosts were just as gracious as I recalled; nice setting, busy trade. And heading home I left the car by the roadside and enjoyed a there-and-back walk for the exercise, with lake views either side of the elevated gravel road. I may have mentioned previously that our lakes around here are part-time. Dry salt pans for half the year; 200 of them. But now they are rain-filled and will continue to masquerade as proper lakes for our southern hemisphere winter.

And last night on ABC1 there was the welcome return of the brilliant Foyle's War. Very British in the best way; period and place (England's south coast towns just after Victory in Europe Day) as good as television gets, with an always intelligent script and impeccable performances. Do I sound like a fan? I should tell you that, as an authentic grumpy old man, I'm fairly intolerant of less than the best when it comes to my TV choices. I can admire the process (as the work of creative folk) even when I might deplore the product (for example, the tacky and the over-formulaic; the more inane game shows or sit-coms).  That off button is a great invention.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

David Menary's New Book The River & The Railroad

My Canadian journalist "cousin" David Menary - we're connected through family history research: many of our mob went from Ireland to Ontario in the 19th century - had a second historical novel launched on April 10. It's called The River and The Railroad.

Things Canadian always interest me. I spent part of 1981 and all of 1982 living on the Niagara Peninsula with my family and lecturing in Hamilton, Ontario, at Mohawk College of the Arts and Technology. Long before that, as a single guy I'd worked in the old E B Eddy Paper Mills (gone now) at Ottawa and across the river on the Quebec side, in Hull. One recollection from those days was the general dislike my French-Canadian co-workers had for les anglais, meaning Anglo-Canadians; but they were OK with me as a Scot. Hooray. This was at a  period of strong political movement in favour of a separate Quebec. Not dead yet, I guess.

Other highlights: a great week at the iconic Banff Springs Hotel and the snow skiing; Calgary, Alberta; beautiful Vancouver and its nearby Grouse Mountain; canoeing in Algonquin Wilderness Park (especially the wolves howling at night in the surrounding hills, when I felt sure they were saying, "Hey fellas, that's breakfast down there in those little tent things").  Also the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, where I got to meet the playwright Arthur Miller when he read some of his early and unpublished poetry. And I didn't even think to ask him about his recent divorce from Marilyn Monroe. Damn. Well, really, who would be so crass? Right?

A lot of what I have learnt about Canada comes from the wonderful books of Farley Mowat, a national treasure revered by Canadians. In his nineties and still with us, author of about 50+ books. Most people have heard of Never Cry Wolf, or seen the movie. A personal favourite of mine is The Grey Seas Under (based on the ship's log of a WWII Atlantic deep-sea salvage tug.) And Mowat's book (1999) which has most changed my thinking is The Alban Quest: it re-writes early trans-Atlantic history and proves as lies the rubbish taught in Scandinavian schools about "the Vikings being first to discover Iceland and North America". They didn't. The Albans did (the pre-Celts whom the Romans had called Picts.) Subject for a blog entry soon!

Friday, 7 May 2010

First Crop Circle in England for 2010

The year's first crop formation (incorrectly but popularly referred to as "crop circle") appeared on May 5th in an unripe canola crop near Old Sarum, southern Wiltshire.

The indefatigable Stuart Dike has documented the phenomenon for over twenty years. His collaborators include Lucy Pringle and Olivier Morel who took the photographs on this web page. The photographers typically use ultralight aircraft to get to and view the formations as soon as possible after a ground report comes in. The images are copyrighted to the owners who publish them to the website which I have linked to, above. The full archive of images invites a subscription membership.
Stuart writes the following description of this Year's First:

Herewith the first crop circle of 2010. It is in oil seed rape (canola) and measures approx: 180 foot diameter.  It is a circle containing six arcs intercepted by a small circle surrounded by a larger circle. A lozenge shape lies alongside the sixth arc with seven circles lying in an arc below.  It lies below the ancient Hill Fort Old Sarum in Hampshire.  Sadly due to the fact that it lies in Boscombe Military Air space it is also directly below the helicopter low flight approach zone. The images were therefore taken from 2000 feet and also the crop is not yet in full bloom so the imprint is poor.

The first week in May we witness the first English Crop Circle in southern Wiltshire. The area around Old Sarum is certainly not an active part of the countryside for the phenomenon. In fact it has only witnessed a few events of the last two decades, which makes this ‘Curtain Opener’ to the 2010 season quite a surprise. Many of the researchers and followers of the Crop Circle Connector website were probably expecting the Avebury area to ‘take the prize’ for the first official Crop Circle in 2010.  Perhaps this is the start of a migration for the Circle makers?   Only time will tell!

The last time a crop circle appeared close to Old Sarum was 5th June 1992 and 1st August 2006

Any thoughts on the phenomenon yourself? You might have noticed that our mainstream media either ignore or try to ridicule it, despite the attention given by significant numbers of serious non-looney researchers. Interesting, eh? 

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Ishi Re-visited

A general site on native north American cultures is here:
Native Americans 

Today I'm posting an article I wrote for my older blog - it's still there for now - and it tells in brief the story of Ishi "the last Yahi", although that label deserves re-appraisal.  Read the article to find out!


Ishi of the Yahi Yana Nation

The man called Ishi died 25 March 1916 in his rooms at the Anthropology Museum, California University. He was around 50. Tuberculosis killed him. For almost 100 years Ishi has mostly been referred to as "The last of the Yahi", the term used in 1979 as title of Heizer and Kroeber's book of assembled documents on his life and death.
Ishi was a native American whose reclusive people, the Yahi, had lived in remote wooded hills and gullies of northern California, east of the Sacramento River in the foothills of the Cascade Range. 10,000ft volcanic Mount Lassen was the eastern boundary of Yahi lands. To the immediate north were their Yana relatives; west were the Wintun; south-east the Maidu; still further south - Shoshone. The Yahi had remained hunters and gatherers.
We will never know Ishi's personal names. The word ishi in the Yahi dialect simply meant a full-grown man. Anthropologists Professor Alfred Kroeber and Thomas Waterman, knowing this much of native name taboo, never pressed him to reveal name-magic, and in over four years, living and working at the Museum demonstrating his people's traditional crafts, the Yahi man never volunteered it. So, just "Ishi" he became. Why was he so special?
On 29 August 1911, ill and emaciated, Ishi had been found in a state of collapse near the small mining town of Oroville, forty miles south of his tribal land and by grim irony at the corral of a slaughterhouse. The rest of his small band had fallen to starvation and influenza after years hiding in the hills. Much later, when he and the university researchers who befriended him were able to communicate somewhat freely, Ishi said he had expected to be killed. Theodora Kroeber in her book Ishi in Two Worlds, quotes her late husband's writings: "He knew the white man only as murderers of his people."
Studies in the 1990s, in part linked to legislation requiring the repatriation of native American remains from museum collections to the descendants, turned up a couple of new things about Ishi. His arrowhead-making skill (from obsidian flakes) has been shown to match not the type found in the archaeology of Yahi lands but rather that of different groups, which would indicate he had learned from incomers to the Yahi. Was Ishi himself of mixed heritage? The jury is still out on that. Could DNA evidence help?
As for repatriation of his cremated ashes, at first the Smithsonian (in 1999) "did not know he had living relatives" - but relationship was claimed by clans among the Yana. Ishi's remains were returned 10 August 2000 to be re-buried at an undisclosed location.
The loss of Ishi's tribe through deliberate killings and finally by disease could qualify as genocide. Documented massacres occurred, for example in 1865. The Civil War (1861-'65) meant that the Government saw other needs as more pressing than to protect small native American tribes from rifle-toting vigilantes styling themselves "Indian hunters", in effect guns for hire. The tragedy of the Yahi Yana played out with Ishi's death in 1916.

Let me know what you think about Ishi's story. I first knew of it by reading Theodora Kroeber's book Ishi in two worlds: a documentary history, documenting her late husband's work. There is a more recent compilation doco on DVD, Ishi the Last Yahi (the same title Heizer and Kroeber had used in their collaboration). There is also the feature film The Last of His Tribe based on the true events, with Jon Voight in the role of Professor Kroeber and Graham Greene as Ishi.

The best handy information is at Wikipedia.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Edit Shmedit. The dog Sam, again.

So I skipped a concert rehearsal this morning to do a four hour edit job from the UK; a five thousand word piece on a sort-of theological topic without too many of those pesky footnotes. I'm thinking it must be the godly influence of yesterday's post, linking to Owen Waters' web pages. I had some e-exchanges with Owen back when he was still single and spending time in Cornwall, England, visiting towns that I remembered such as Helston and Mullion Cove. Then he went home to California where he wed the girl of his dreams and started publishing books online. So it goes.

Anyhow, the afternoon's concert at Minlaton went nicely although our numbers seem to be 'way down at the moment because of this and that. The audience numbers on the other hand were up, probably because the dratted dog Sam put in an appearance and stole the show even though he had no scripted lines. What a ham. If he wasn't the size of a large white mouse I'd be tempted to challenge him to a paw wrestle. Second thoughts, he might win ... so that's another good idea gone out the window.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Introducing the thought-provoking Mr Owen Waters

G'day. Owen Waters is a lucid writer on what I'd call Modern Metaphysics. Much of his contemporary writing is free on line. A friend was kind enough to give me his book The Shift, too, in a hard-copy edition. Owen Waters also sends out a free on line newsletter. Here, below, you can take a look at his latest newsletter article to which I am happy to give a recommendation. Seems of interest, regardless of where you stand on these sorts of spiritual or philosophical ideas.

This is what Waters writes this month:                      

Your True Inner Nature
by Owen Waters

Sooner or later every man and woman wakes up to the fact that they are divine beings. Despite the appearance that we are physical in nature and that reality is filtered through the perceptions of our physical brains, there is much more to each human being than their physical aspect.

Above your physical brain is your mind, which is a field of consciousness. Within that field of consciousness, you exist as an aspect of the divine source from which you came.

Long ago, you inserted yourself into the human experience. In those days, nothing was yet physical and being human meant being a specialized personality with the freewill to explore consciousness in greater detail than previously.

Later, physical experience was sought as it made the experience of being a rational, freewill-driven, unique personality all the more interesting. At that point, being physical meant living in a lighter density than today’s version of physical existence.

The experience of being physical was so fascinating that, like youngsters excited about a new thrill ride at a funfair, we said, “How about if we try it with the lights out?” And, so, the lights went out.

Today, we are immersed deeper than ever in the human experience of being physical. This includes being apparently cut off from the normal information flow that comes with higher consciousness and we’re here to find the answer that lies somewhere out there in the gloom. Or, is it somewhere inside instead of somewhere out there?

Being mostly disconnected from the inner light means that we don’t have an inbuilt awareness of our oneness with the universe. We have to earn that realization through dedicated meditation. We don’t have always-on telepathic ability to exchange thoughts and feelings with other life forms. Conscious telepathy takes patience and practice. We aren’t attuned with conditions in nature like animals are. When an earthquake jolt is imminent or a tsunami is headed our way, wild animals suddenly head for the hills and we’re left wondering why our pets are getting agitated.

As humans today, what we do have is self-awareness, intellect, and freedom of choice. Within this mysterious maze of the thrill ride of being human with the inner lights turned off, there is a treasure to be found. That treasure is the realization that the light was there all the time, yet hidden from sight.

When you first find the spiritual light within, it begins to beckon you forward into the realms of more light. Then, you are firmly on the path of spiritual discovery. You are heading back along the pathway to the level of consciousness from which you came before the thrill ride began.

Remember, your brain is not your mind and your mind is not your real personality. Your immortal soul is your real personality and it is functioning through the filter of who you became in this particular lifetime.

Attune yourself with your soul consciousness every day and you will always be able make the right choices in life. When you sense the essence of your true personality, you will also sense which of the options that lie before you resonate best with your inner guidance. This attunement with the right options and their real potential is the secret to gaining the most from your experience of life as a human being.


This is Owen Waters' website:
Catch you later,

Sunday, 2 May 2010


OK ... more zoo pix, but be warned, there ain't no panda. THAT famous pair are at the city zoo in Adelaide by the banks of the Torrens. Monarto is the Zoo's country cousin, vastly bigger in land size at a thousand hectares (10 square kilometres).

These pictures are from the same visit when I did the tour and happy-snapped my way around (by bus). However, the meerkat enclosure is right next to the visitor centre and you can get up close  -  if not actually personal.

I have to check that the giraffes haven't gone away. Yep, Still there.

  Then came the African wild dogs...
That's the family of African painted wild dogs - I think that's what they are called -  snuggled down in the grass. They are saying, "Buzz off, buster," or something to that effect.

And the lions didn't even wait to say THAT much.  My potential career as wildlife photographer has gone bung before it even got started.

BUT at least there remained the extremely interesting miniature Siberian wild horses, the species Przewalski's Horse, which I believe are the closest living relatives to the ancestors of modern horses. Monarto's herd is not large - but definitely more than the two seen in my photo.

More on Monarto Zoo

Of Mice and Fish ... and giraffes

Our district is in the throes of a mini-plague of mice. A modest excess, perhaps. Not a real plague. Tales (tails?) of the latter speak of the sight of swarms of these messy and destructive animals crossing roads like a moving carpet, or if disturbed in a shed scattering in every direction. In our homes they are especially unwelcome. My plague manifests as a resident mouse roaming the house until caught, replaced almost immediately by its successor. An Edithburgh friend trapped seven in just over two hours one Friday evening. I know - I was there!

Last night I finally caught the mouse-winner of this season's award for Most Persistent And Annoying. So far. Its successor has already shown traces of intention to bid for the title. But Graham M. says the coming colder weather will knock down the numbers: he had called to present me with welcome fish fillets from Hardwicke Bay. I mean, the fish were happily swimming in Hardwicke Bay until he caught and filleted them. Damn. You know what I mean. Anyway, he and his better half are now off for a camping trip (!) in the Grampians, in Victoria - well, you knew that - and say that they will spend time thereafter in Mount Gambier visiting a daughter's family.

Provided they survive the camping, of course. Why can't they just do like they usually do and go on 4-wheel drive expeditions across remote burning deserts? Huh?

I suppose I should be glad that my problem isn't a plague of, say, giraffes.

I took these photos on a visit to Monarto open-range zoo, 12km west of Murray Bridge.

I like this image of the large creature's head. He inspected me at close range. Nope, I was not on stilts, but on the partly enclosed viewing platform.