Friday, 26 April 2013

Looking at the Evidence Before us.

Looking at the Evidence Before us….

G'day Anzacs....
here I am in the Avenue of Honour in Bacchus Marsh.

Avenue of Honour Bacchus Marsh
Shane in the Avenue of Honour Bacchus Marsh
Not because it was near Anzac day and that this avenue of Elms is a beautiful memorial to those locals who perished in WW1 but to look at the house behind me .

Bacchus Marsh Early house Avenue of Honour
Bacchus Marsh Early house
As one of the earliest substantial houses in the area it's being restored by its owners for permanent habitation after years of being derelict.
Around 160 years old it's coming to an age when we Australians perhaps are now beginning to note that we of the White settlement have a small history to preserve and that "progress" can sometimes mean not putting up another high-rise for short term profit.
The land this house has been sentinal to is this...
Market Garden Bacchus Marsh
Market Garden Bacchus Marsh river flat soil forty feet deep before clay... a source for some of the best produce in Victoria and is in itself, something to be protected from innapropriate development ( like Coal-Mines) and council and state taxes which force the farmers off the land and into the hands of developers as has happened recently in Werribee which has similar soil.

archaeology bits
archaeology bits

 Wandering around the house with the owner I was shown some the archaeology being found that tells its story like the low-fired bricks on the right, twisted, gnarled and soft at their 850-900C firing.. or the Cordial bottle from Ballan, a rather rare object I would think.

Ballan Cordial bottle
Ballan Cordial bottle
Cordial from Ballan's mineral springs was prized in Melbourne in the C19th though I  suspect that this bottle dates from the 20's or 30's....
...the house was added to in the 30's as you can see in the wall section on the left

Add caption
but there is still C19th glass in some of the original windows and a poignant reminder of the location of the Avenue and its purpose.

Avenue of Honour Plaque
Avenue of Honour Plaque
Another local building to be restored is the Half-Church in Greendale that I

Half Church, Greendale
Half Church, Greendale
 photographed in the early 90's. It was deteriorating badly and it was on the verge of disappearing until sold to a couple who decided to restore it.

Half Church, Greendale
Half Church, Greendale
Thus keeping alive the story of Captain Moonlight and magistrate Shuter by its solid existence.
Half Church, Greendale
There's still much to be done so pop in and have a chat with Kathie Hollis who will be only too pleased to fill you in on the history of this little gem and the area.

Half-Church Greendale benefactor
Half-Church Greendale benefactor Kathie Hollis
One of the inspirations for this post was the place Mrs Wombat and I stayed in France.
In Charitie-sur-Loire we  found this delightful accomodation.
This was the stairway to the apartment

staircase Le Menau Suite La Charitie-sur-Loire
Le Meneau Suite La Charitie-sur-Loire
Note the rope as banister... building was built before Colombas reached the Americas....
the floors were C15th terra cotta's also a lesson in practical preservation....
for more details....

and as it is close to Anzac Day a memorial from France of the same conflict

A La memoire des Parossiens de Notre Dame morts pour le France
 This was in the Church of Notre Dame in Dijon and noted the dead of the its Parish.
I dont know how many parishes there may have been in Dijon in 1914-19 but there would have been more than one and on this plaque are around 400 names.... sobering stuff eh, Petals?

Wombat Droppings

Ta-Daaaaaaaaa, Ta-Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Which was earnestly and movingly terrific until an old WW2 female veteran pointed out that every country subscribes to these qualities and that we’re really no different.
Balloon pricked!
I was going to attend a Dawn Service (I’ve never been before) but changed my mind when the brewery inspired “Raise-a-Glass” advertising campaign turned it into a guilt trip based upon boozy past practices (as if Oz doesn’t have enough problems with its’ excessive drinking culture) and as I never feel the need in a histrionic manner, to wrap myself in an Australian flag and paint an Australian flag tattoo on my face to feel “Australian”:  it all begins to sound and look more like Synthetic Patriotism or Disney-fied Nascent Bogan Nationalism to me. 

Hmmm, Evidence.

Clive (Titanic) Palmer (another BIG Miner) has not only resurrected the Titanic he’s now having a go at the United Australia Party (1931-45 under “Ming” Menzies, aka permanent patron Saint for “Little Johnny” Howard) which became the Liarbril Party.
“Titanic” Palmer thinks that the States who create the wealth should keep it……..hmmm… now there’s a progressive bit of social and economic thinking…as a former supporter of largesse to the LNP, "Titanics'"media umbridge at conventional pollies seems more like sour grapes than sound thinking.

What with Katter’s Cabal and the One-Notion lot and The Dyslexic Labor Partly and Born-Agains for Fairy’s all headed by the Liarbrils there are so many “Right-Wings” flying in this election, is it inevitable that they’ll veer to the left or just fly in circles like the Vultures they are?
The Business Council of Australia thinks “Nuclear-is-Good” as does a Jeffery Frankel (allegedly a professor of capital formation and growth from Harvard University) who also thinks “fracking’ is good too and that both are “Green !” 
That destructive technologies like these being touted as “Green” by business types only lets you know that they are the ones who are really FRACKED!
Perhaps both would like to camp for a week or three at Fukushima or Chernobyl and then drink water from streams contaminated with Methane, Sulphur and other “goodies” from fracking….. I’m sure the profits from their business ventures will provide them with adequate private medical services.
Toby Ralph (alleged Liarbril “strategist”) kicks “own goal” by misinterpreting Jonathon Swift’s C18th satirical essay “A Modest Proposal” about culling the poor to balance the economy… as Lawry Mahon and Mike Puleston said similarly in response ”…. from what we’ve seen so far of Abbott….. it’s likely to become a policy document”.
Ralph said it was a joke…. like Alexander (Fish-Net) Downer’s “Things that Batter” was a joke that was not meant to insult victims of domestic violence …just a pun on the Liberal’s slogan "The Things that Matter".

And here’s another piece of evidence.
"The contact last evening was initiated by Dr Roberts and in no way reflects on the individual concerned or the organisation he represents," Mr Abbott said in a statement. Dr Roberts had on Friday morning apologised to Australian Indigenous Education Foundation chief Andrew Penfold, after The Australian's political columnist Peter van Onselen posted his version of the events on Twitter. Mr van Onselen claimed the staffer told Mr Penfold (CEO of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF).) he would "cut his throat" …of the AIEF budget. when the coalition won government.
But Mr Abbott denied that particular phrase was used during what he described as an "unfortunate exchange" that was out of character. …."The contact last evening was initiated by Dr Roberts and in no way reflects on the individual concerned or the organisation he represents," Mr Abbott said in a statement…
...after review, Mr Abbott said the behaviour was "completely unacceptable" and that Dr Roberts had been demoted as director of policy - a role he had held for two years. Mr van Onselen also said the staffer had asked him to keep quiet, in return for information from inside Mr Abbott's office.

Would the “Real” Tony (the Rabbott) Abbott please stand up!


I saw a cardboard cut-out on “7:30 Report” t’other night…had as much content as cardboard too.  


Tardis (Where-All-Goes-Backward) State, Police Chief Commissioner, Ken (I-Know-Nuffin-Eivver) Lay reluctantly (it seemed) announced that Geoff (Fiddles) Shaw has finally been interviewed by police over the rorting of his taxpayer funded car and fuel card only five months after the alleged events. 
Lay seemed happier announcing that Julia Gillards’ time at Slater and Gordon (twenty years ago) was still under investigation. 
He has still yet to announce the disciplinary matters concerning the direction of one of his officers to use private citizen’s cars as barricades to halt a drugged, unlicensed driver under pursuit …. and we have yet to hear who was responsible for the wild-life slaughter a couple of weeks ago….and the police don’t ever bully their own there!

Mis-Planning Minister, Matty (What’s-A-Green-Wedge?) Guy has announced a new rezoning of green wedge land. Probably to announce that as there’s none left it can now be called Concrete Wedge!

Cheers, Possums

The Australian Index

Monday, 15 April 2013

Lessons from Class

Lesson from Class

G’day Possums,

Often when attending to class shoots I have no pre-conceived idea before starting to photograph.
This is because each class has its own mood and social dynamic and I think it's better to follow the dynamic and not impose a layer of ego.

ballet class
Before Class
 An idea was presented very quickly. It was about space and the formal relationships of the figures in that space.

pas de Deux
Ballet Class: Pas de Deux: Bethany and Jack
Ballet Class

BalletTeacher in Class
Ballet Class: Teacher

I shouldn't have to say it but none of these images are posed but all are manipulated to some degree...more of that, in a minute...

Ballet Injury
Wounded Dancer

ballet Class
Olivia and Alex: Pas de Deux

I liked the space the following shots presented it appeard to me like a stage space..

Ballet Class: Teacher
Ballet Class: Teacher

Laura: Jete

 ...and it occurred to me here that the flurry of movement might be enhanced with a slow shutter speed and the camera on tripod..

Pas de Deux
Pas de Deux
Pas de Deux
Pas de Deux
Pas de Deux
Pas de Deux
and later during post process I wondered if I could extend the "space" feel by collaging two shots this ....

....and this....


Wombat Droppings

Federal Liarbril’s did “A-Show-and-Tell” on the first of their policies.
From a position of not believing in the NBN, “Rabbit” Abbott had the man he replaced, Malcolm (“Show-me-the-Money”)Turnbull announce how they had “turned- about” 180 from the last election and now embraced high technology in communication.
They have replaced the string between the  two tin cans with copper!


Presentation: 4/10  
Malcolm looked embarrassed.
“Rabbott” knew he was in a wrong place where people could ask extended questions.
The Foxtel logo behind them sort of gave it all away.
Content: Heeeeeeeeeeee, 2/10

Even the core of the right-wing press was hard put to “spin” their announcement as other than a cheap joke whilst trying not to mention how their “policy” protects the media interests of “The Ugly American” Murdoch and presents Australians with another expensive dogs–dinner much like “Bully-Boy”Kennett’s (the Dorian Gray of the Tardis State) approach to privatisation in Victoria.
So, one policy…. Nah….No policy.
Let’s now see their “spin” on the other 74 pieces of Thathcher-ite / Friedman-ite GFC inspired loony-ness from the queer coots of the IPA that Abbott said at the “Night of the Right”, he supported….

Scott (The-Big-Drone) Morrison actually wants to use miliary drones to locate asylum seeker boats so he can then sool a navy patrol vessel onto them and tow them back to where they came from. Ex Admiral said drily in a TV interview, “Hmmm, it’s 2500 miles back to Sri Lanka, that’s a long tow!”

Morrisson drone
A Morrison Drone flying a Kite.....

Margaret Thatcher has died.
Many in Britain celebrated her demise by sending “Ding-Dong-the-Witch’s-Dead” to the top of the charts again. That this woman is still impacting on generations beyond the period of her control says much for the divisiveness of her rule and the fact that the gap between rich and poor is now three times wider than it was at the start of her rule points to how nastily anti- social and vicious her policy’s were.
Take note Australia:

Tony Abbott is a fan of the “Iron Lady” and it will do you no good after ten years of his rule to complain that you didn’t know that he was going to slash Medibank, cripple health funding, privatise education, SBS and the CSIRO abolish the ACCC, make political donations fully secret, destroy wages and conditions of employment.

Like Mein Kampf, it is all written down in the IPA’s 75 “suggestions” for policy…..   so there is no excuse for saying after the event that “I didn’t think it would come to this”.

Tardis State (Where-All-Goes-Backwards) Minister for Skools (note: not, Education), Martin (Plasticine) Dixon has suggested that school councils be given the right of Fire/Hire over principals.
Hmmmm ….yeah, let’s give the “aspirationals” more control over the professionals of their field.
It worked a treat at Mowbray!
What did the liquidator say of the people who ran that place, “… well meaning amateurs!”

Tardis State (Where-All-Goes-Backward), ex Minister for Mis-Planning Matty ( What’s-a-Green-Wedge) Guy has been demoted to holding the drinks tray for developers…. or something like that… and is for once no-where to be seen over the collapse of a wall in central Melbourne which killed a brother and sister ( all of one family’s children) and a research student from France.
Seems there’s a bit of rather putrid “buck-passing” between Melbourne City Council and the Planning (sic) Dept. of State Govt. as to who approved the wall and the hoardings on it.

Pretend Premier, Dennis (Inutilis Rusticus) Napthine has collaged the Dept of Environment and the Dept of Forestry into one: as one wit said, “….departmental mergers linking the environment to agriculture and planning to infrastructure was like putting an arsonist in charge of the fire brigade!”
And when questioned on radio a week after the slaughter of the 800 “protected” water birds  “Inutilis Rusticus” said he would “… look into the allegations!”
Probably with the same assiduousness as looking into Geoff (“What’s-a-Car-Allowance”) Shaw’s alleged rorts.
It seems odd that as an ex-Veterinarian, Pretend Premier Napthine would condone and support the mass slaughter of protected native species…and extend the slaughtering opportunities to 12 year olds. 
Promising a new ‘‘open for business’’ culture with fewer bureaucratic bottlenecks, Pretend Premier, Dennis (Inutilis Rusticus) Napthine has announced plans to merge the departments of transport and planning to create a new mega-department of Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure.
(But there’s no plan that we can discern except for making it easier for developers to make profit from state owned assets)
Sounds like a Kennett of an idea to me!
The departments of environment and primary industries will be merged into a single entity, led by Agriculture Minister Peter(Quacker)Walsh. There will also be a new Department of State Development and Business Innovation, jointly overseen by State Development and former Police Minister, Peter(I-Know-Nuffin) Ryan and Innovation Minister Louise (Meow) Asher.”
Who said the Liabrils lacked humour?
Only imagination!

Labor continues to implode …it will soon be a Black-Hole.
They’ve announced 2 Billions in cuts to University’s to pay for Primary and Secondary education…Conservative State Premiers are furious …they wanted to do that!
Pretend Premier (“Inutilis Rusticus”) Napthine railed about it conveniently misleading the public by saying that he had increased funding to TAFE whilst at the same time ignoring the increase was only half of what Big Bird Baillieu (Genus:Silvertail Incompetens) had cut in the first place!

Melbourne Football Club is providing the best argument yet for pay by performance!

Cheers Petals,

The Australian Index

Sunday, 7 April 2013

..making a Ballan Portrait

G’day Possums,

Following the Ballan Autumn Festival and my concentration on “street-photography” during that day, the idea occurred that a replication of the style of the German photographer August Sander ( might be worth the effort. 

The monthly Ballan market being due and with lots of locals attending made that event the ideal time to make a small “portrait” of Ballan.

By 8:30am on the day I had selected a position, set up my sign, “Free Photo-Portraits” and began to wait.

First taker was C.B. from Bacchus Marsh and one of the stall-holders, who happily, in conversation clearly understood what I was attempting …

Ballan Portrait

To be followed by…
Ballan Portrait
Robert S.

 And all the other “sitters”…in order of shooting to appreciate the sun’s movement over the next three hours.  ( Right Click the image to copy and paste into a folder)
Ballan Portrait
Peter B from NSW
Ballan Portrait
Claudia and Tara
Ballan Portrait
Courtney Y

Ballan Portrait
Marty and Clancy L

Ballan Portrait
Caroline H.
Ballan Portrait
Hedditch Family
Ballan Portrait
Peter S.
Ballan Portrait
The Meadows
Ballan Portrait
Nina R and Family (and i've got the other file, too.)
Ann M, Turtle, Chloe S
Ballan Portrait
Max Z
Ballan Portrait
Melissa G and Chopin
Ballan Portrait
Tyler W
Ballan Portrait
John M

Ballan Portrait
John D
Ballan Portrait
Kim, Sarge and Pippa
Ballan Portrait
The Omnibus Mob
Ballan Portrait
Keith and Lynn

There will be a small exhibition of these shots at

“Expressions of Love” CafĂ©, 130a Inglis St. from Saturday April 13th.  

They will look quite different viewed as a group than they do in this on-line presentation so it may be worth a visit.

I would like to thank all the subjects who generously participated in this exercise. I really appreciate your forbearance and hope you like your individual portrait and that you think Ballan looks good, too.

And finally, Rod Harrison and wife in and out front of their store...congratulations.

The Harrisons

Wombat Droppings

What’s the difference between Jeff (Bully-Boy) Kennett (the Dorian Gray of Tardis State Politics), Rupert (what’s a Phone Hacker?) Murdoch, Gina (Our Biggest Miner) Rinehart, Tony (Tunnel-Vision) Abbott, Cardinal George (Graceless) Pell, and Kim ( put-em-up, put-em-up) Jong-un ?

Kim (put-em-up, put-em-up) Jong-un  didn’t score an invite to the IPA’s “Night of the Right”.

Which is a pity, ‘cause he might have sourced a few free bits of “intell” on how to destroy a country from the IPA’s dictatorial guest list.

That the IPA has lasted 70 years is testament to its inexorably cancerous and gangrenous malignancy in the body politic.

Chief Speechmaker for the night American, Rupert (what’s a Phone Hacker?) Murdoch opined on arrival in Oz that Govt. moves against 457 visa rorts were racist!

This, from him whose scandal-sheets had to be closed down and whose staff were corrupt and corrupted others…give us a break!

His press here in Oz has been beating up a frenzy of vituperative spin over changes to superannuation.

It seems that a tax of 15% on earnings over $100,000.00 is going to “roon-the-place” …

Abbott ….

 …. thinks it’s “Class War”.. It is! …the top 5% of the wealthy are ripping off 95% of the population because of Peter (I had a Baton) Costello’s exercise in fiscal-mismanagement-for-the-self-interested in 2006.

Jeff (Bully-Boy) Kennett (the Dorian Gray of Tardis State Politics) has been lashing out again : not satisfied with back-stabbing Big Bird Baillieu (Genus: Silvertail Incompetens), the ex president of  the Hawthorn Football Club has inspired its bete-noir, Geelong Football club to defeat Hawthorn for the tenth time straight.

I wonder if one could do a PH,D into the “Anti-Midas Effect” this person has ?

Matty (What’s-a-Green-Wedge?)Guy has been at it again, letting developers run the Tardis State and proposing that National Parks be “improved” by private development.

Two police officers and two government compliance officers visited the wetland on opening morning of the Duck-Killing season and failed to detect dead waterbirds.     Almost 800 ducks were shot and left in the water, along with 155 non-game birds, including about 40 rare freckled ducks and several black swans.    About 150 shooters are believed to have been at the wetland on opening morning.
Agriculture Minister Peter(Quacker)Walsh said he was "furious" over the incident and hunting groups have asked members to name those responsible.
(from the Weekly Times)

Laurie Levey (Anti-Duck Hunting) activist, said, "Now the government plans to cut the red tape; encouraging children as young as 12 to fire guns at wildlife by removing licensing fees and testing requirements.
"Duck shooters represent 0.4 per cent of Victorians, yet the government seems hell-bent on pandering to this minority, encouraging a 'sport' that facilitates animal cruelty.
Already three anti-duck shooting activists have been fined and two will face court after their attempts to disrupt legal shoots.

No shooters have been charged as yet.

Ahhh… the Tardis State… where all goes backward.
...and this may put things into context 

Cheers petals,

The Australian Index