Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Australia Remembers: Madang

In 1995 the Australian Government funded a tour of PNG, the 'Australia Remembers' tour. Diggers boarded a ship and were transfered by plane across PNG for a series of memorial services. My grandfather proudly participated in the tour. He visited late mates at Bomana War Cemetery 19km from PoM.

My grandfather also visited Madang where we stayed during our visit to PNG.

PNG is a very unstable country at present. Among other things there are two 'Presidents' - Sumare and O'Neill both believe they are 'in charge.' The country is also due to have an election soon. Some 120 seats of parliament are being fought over by 4000 candidates!

I wanted to visit Bomana but it just wasn't safe enough for me even with a car and security.

Coastwatchers Hotel, Madang, 1995 and below: outside Coastwatchers Hotel May 2012


Coastwatchers Service, Madang, 1995 and below Coastwatchers Memorial, May 2012

Madang Cultural Centre & Museum, 1995 and below in May 2012

pumpkin pinenut ravioli

This recipe sounds very yummy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Papua New Guinea

We've just returned home after a week in PNG. My husband had a conference so I decided to tag along. The children couldn't take the anti-malarial medication so they couldn't come with us. We were fortunate enough to have doting grandparents willing to mind the kids for the week so we could have a holiday as a couple - the longest we've spent away from the children and longest we've spent together without children since B was born.

*sigh* We are still on island time here!

My grand father and great grandfather both served in PNG during WWII. My grandfather was situated in Port Moresby (PoM) and worked at Fairfax Transmissions. He was a wireless (radio) mechanic with the RAAF.

My great grandfather was a postman in Buna. He was 48 at the time he was enlisted in WWII. What a job. Can you imagine the sheer excitement when people received a letter by post? And the disappointment for those who didn't?

One weekend, my grandfather went AWOL. He hitched a ride on an American DC3 and met up with his dad in Buna.

I'll relive our trip over the next few posts. Excuse my indulgence!

My grandfather, circa 1943, PoM (check out the legs!)

Fairfax Transmissions circa 1943


Our son is three and a half and on ANZAC Day a digger asked him what he'd like to be when he grows up.

B shot me a glance and shyly replied "A dragon." The digger smiled politely so I explained that, yes, he had said a dragon. (Made me giggle).

Tomorrow B has a dress-up day at his gorgeous pre-school. I put P down for her afternoon sleep a little under two hours ago and sewed some dragon wings for B to wear along with a very 'home-made' dragon mask we made from a peppermint tea box, some elastic and some red celephane (fire.) Mum always made our school dress-ups (think Rainbow Serpent [Dick Roughsey], Ragged Blossom [May Gibbs] and Robin Hood for book week). I must remind myself that I don't need to do this every time!

Here is the link for the dragon wing pattern.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Hi regular readers,

I must apologise. I am having some technical difficulties. My photo card is not connecting with the computer and I have no idea where the cord for the camera is! I know my posts have been thin on the ground of late.

We had a wonderful trip away down the Far South Coast a couple of weeks ago and I have a few stories to share with you if I can get my photos! My husband and I are heading to Papua New Guinea this Saturday so I plan to bring back some pics from that trip too.

*Leave of Absence

in our street...

Monday, May 7, 2012

a commanding position


Middle Head, in Mosman, houses some intriguing momentos in our war history. As it's title suggests it sits between North and South Head faces out 'to sea' not far from the cenotaph at George's Heights.

We had lunch here recently. It's well worth a look around if you're in need of a day out. It's wheelchair and pram accessible. Shot Cafe is a neat little cafe with a view but there are also walks around the headland. Every week, inside one of the artillery shelters, a small organic market operates selling fresh produce and supplies for making beeswax candles.

Friday, May 4, 2012

bushwalk to flint and steel



A few weeks ago, on a beautiful autumn day, we decided we needed to get out of the city. Within twenty five minutes we were parking at the top of the Flint and Steel walking track at West Head. The track itself leads through a forest of Xanthorreas, along a path lined with she oaks (casuarinas), under cabbage tree palms down to a beach on the edge of Broken Bay. The walk has a number of rock overhangs and caves. There's no doubt they would have been inhabited pre-colonisation.

* Digression: Kate Grenville wrote an exceptional novel about this time in history, The Secret River, which was based on the Hawkesbury River, not far from Broken Bay and Pittwater.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

my patch

My Patch is my new favourite store! I told my husband at Easter that the only thing that I HAD to do was to visit the shopfront in Milton. Fortunately Milton happened to be our lunch stop  and while the children and J waited for our meals I dashed over.

I would recommend visiting My Patch without children and with more than the 10 minutes that I could spare. The shop is full of quality fabrics and I guarantee that the moment you step inside you will be inspired to create. The ladies are lovely. (I spoke with Valerie.) They have all the gadgets for sewing (where have you been all my life rotary cutter?!), a great range of books & patterns and best of all they are a small locally owned business.

I am planning to do one of the girls' weekend workshops sometime. My Patch has moved into their brand new shopfront this week so I look forward to visiting. In the meantime I can order online!