Speak Out


When we converted our farm into to forestry property,

we were assured that all fencing materials would be buried.

wire_1096Instead material was left lying around

wherever contractors decided to drop it.

wire_10924In one instance there was over $50 worth of

good quality posts thrown over my boundary fence

and left lying on the roadside for anyone to come and take.

The above mess was at least inside my fence lines.

 wire_1109It was only after a chat and some photos were sent

to the company writing my cheques

that a hole was created and wire began

to disappear from my paddocks.


DP_Discover Challenge: Speak Out

DISCOVER CHALLENGE17_0126_Conventional-Wisdom

Conventional Wisdom


Many people do not take a second look when driving past our eucalyptus trees.


However, I think these old and aging trees…


make a wonderful addition to our landscape.


Cypress pines can also be tall and stately.

However these trees are anything but that,

reflecting many years of strong onshore winds.

A tree which could be ignored has a story to tell.




I think our eucalypts make

wonderful living sculptures.


DP_Discover Challenge: Conventional Wisdom

DISCOVER CHALLENGE17_0112_Greatest-Workmate-in-the-World

Greatest Workmate in the World


In December 1988 a neighbour asked if I wanted a pup.

brandy-pup_1-1The smallest pup in the little came running over,

launched itself onto my boot and remained there.

brandyy-dc_2-3He was named Brandy by MGW.


It wasn’t long before Brandy was working a small mob of sheep

and responding very well to training.


Brandy (left) and Molly

He grew to love the back of my utility and would wait faithfully for me.

He also turned into a ‘one man/person dog’.

One day the rams came into our backyard and MGW

let Brandy off to round them up and  put them

back through the gate, which is just left of shot.

She still tells the story  of how he sat on the back of the ute,

or under a tree watched her huff and puff for the half hour

it took to turn the rams out through this oh so close gate!

He would have had them rounded up

in 30 seconds had I been home…and MGW knew that.


Brandy and a young Zoe

I still call Brandy my $6,000,000 dog.

He would work in the paddocks mustering sheep.

He would work in the yards.

He would also work the woolshed.

I had never had a dog as good as that,

and it is not often dogs are as versatile preferring

one area over the others.

He only ever sired one litter of pups of which Ginger,

who was mentioned frequently on this blog

until her death in October 2015, was one.

Brandy was a couple of months short of his 13th birthday

when he died in 2001.

A true candidate for

Greatest Workmate in the World



DP_Discover Challenge: Greatest-in-the-World

DISCOVER CHALLENGE17_0112_Transcript



In April 2013 around ANZAC Day (April 25) I

transcribed this diary extract about my

Grandfather during World War I.

The entire post may be found HERE

One day of routine manning I left Carlin and another at the tap in with instructions that if the line went we’d mend it at our end as it always got out about 150 yards from the O.P. the Hun strafing that point every day for no reason whatever and doing no damage except to a few telephone lines.   Sure enough the Hun had his strafe and the line went.  Harper was with me and another man, probably Davis.  Of course they wanted to go out and mend it, but as the line was of no great importance at the moment told them to wait till the strafe stopped – we could see and hear shells bursting.  Next thing Harper got a buzz on the phone showing it was through and a little later old Carlin’s head appeared at the parade, beaded with sweat and much wind up.  I strafed him for coming out when he was told to stay in.  His reply was, “I saw the O.P. was getting it and thought someone might be hit.”  That did not prevent him stopping to mend the line amongst the S. 9.

 I have always said that “Windy Bill Carlin” is the bravest man I have met and one of the windiest. The man who is not windy cannot be brave, but the man who does his job at all times and under all conditions and with the wind up all the time, is the man I admire.

It is one of the few pieces of memorabilia

I have of either of my Grandfathers,

and even though I think the conflict was abhorrent,

I am still proud of their efforts during that time.

My Grandfather was awarded a

Distinguished Conduct Medal

for this and other action while serving in

France and Belgium.


There are some typos or spelling errors and

are included to maintain faithfulness

 to the original copy. 


DP_Discover Challenge: Transcript

DISCOVER CHALLENGE17_0106_Superpower



The closest talent I have which may be spoken of…


as a superpower…


is take photos of mundane objects in nature

and turn them into half decent images.

I don’t consider it a superpower though…just the love of a hobby.

These sunset images were taken

outside our hotel in Beaune, France.


DP_Discover Challenge: Superpower

DISCOVER CHALLENGE16_1227_Retrospective



After declaring this year the Year of the Doctor,

because of an eye problem which saw me

having, regularly two, and up to three,

medical appointments per week

until the end of June.


In fact my first totally medical free week

was the week beginning July 11.

By that stage I had attended medical appointments

on 42 occasions in 2016.


On Tuesday night it was a joy to still have both eyes

to view the sunset in  all its glory.

So although it was declared the year of thee Doctor,

we still managed a planned holiday and

our son’s wedding in  November.

At this stage I am really looking forward

to  a quiet 2017,


DP_Discover Challenge: Retrospective


Finding Your Place

After spending fifty-five years of my life farming these paddocks,


caring for sheep and cattle and

cropping each paddock in its turn…


I found the quietness of the African bush

very similar to that of Western Victoria.



It wasn’t until we arrived in Perth for a few days,

12 hours behind the scheduled,

and without any decent sleep for two nights

that I appreciated the South African velds

and realised just how quiet it was.


Perth is supposed to be a fairly quiet, laid back city.

However, I will never forget

our noisy introduction to Perth traffic.

Although much quieter than Melbourne and Sydney,

Perth made me realise how the open expanses

of Western Victoria and the

South African Velds were the place I wanted to be.

Even Botswana’s Lekhubu Island,

without any amenities at all,

was a charming place to camp for a night.

So they are MY places…not in the middle of a crowd.


DP_Discover Challenge: Finding-Your-Place


Tough Questions

 For nineteen of twenty-one days I searched

souvenir/tourist precincts  for some useful clothing

to take home.

paris_0496aI entered this shop without much hope,

as things always became tough when

the sales assistant asked my size.

 Anywhere form 2XL up was my usual reply.

3XL was always too small (and largest in stock),

even though I was wearing a loose 2XL shirt.

So it was with great pleasure that I found

a wind-cheater/sweater which fitted well

at I Love Paris on the Champs-Elysées.


paris_0514aThe second tough question we were all asking was

How do Parisians negotiate five or six lanes of traffic“,

apparently without any line markings on the road.

This was taken at the Arc de Triomphe.

It was never answered.


DP_Discover Challenge:Tough-Questions