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The Poultry Auction

Today I went to the High Country Markets in Uralla, a little village not far from Armidale. To my delight they also had a poultry auction. It was a very new experience for me! It looked like serious business. The buyers were well prepared and seemed ready for a long morning of bidding, judging by the comfy chairs they had brought along.

A box of chickens

The return of the mini-doc?

At the beginning of 2020, I set myself a challenge to make a weekly mini-documentary. I lasted about 5 weeks and declared myself defeated. A weekly video was more than I could manage. As we know practice makes perfect and I’ve gotten out of practice! I look back over some of my previous efforts I can see that I have lost some skills. I have certainly lost some files! The various intro and outro snips I made have vanished into my chaotic digital vortex. This little clip was made with iMovie on my iMac but I think it’s high time I booted up Adobe Premier before I forget everything I learned at the courses I have done over the years.

Perhaps I’ll get back into making some more mini-docs – they sure are fun to put together!

High Country Markets

The poultry auction and the markets are held on the first Sunday of every month. There is the usual mix of handicrafts, plants, some produce and food vans. It’s only a small market and you could do a couple of circuits of the stalls quickly, however the poultry auction is an interesting addition to the day.

Uralla has a really nice feel about it and well worth a visit. You could make it into a full day by doing some fossicking for sapphires and garnets and then check out the hideaway cave of the notorious bushranger – Captain Thunderbolt.

The autumn weather was smiling down today and while the air was a little crisp, I’m sure if I go again in June, I’ll need to rug up!

ANZAC Day

Military medals on display for ANZAC Day

Today is ANZAC Day, (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps). For Australians and New Zealanders, it is a day of commemoration. Originating in 1916 after a bungled skirmish at Gallipoli, ANZAC Day has waxed and waned. The ANZAC part of ANZAC Day fell out of favour for a while. People certainly took full advantage of the public holiday, especially if it lined up with the weekend to create a long one. Two-up turned pubs and RSLs (Returned Services Leagues clubs) into noisy gambling dens. In contrast, the serious, non-drinking part of the day – the commemorative services and street marches, were mostly attended by old folk who had actually fought in wars. Veterans of the two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Timor etc etc etc. Too many “etcs”, unfortunately. Crowd numbers were fleshed out by school kids, marching bands (who actually got a legitimate gig) and service clubs like the Lions or Rotary. The spirit of ANZAC was too ghostly, too irrelevant and too war-like to reach the “man-on-the-street”.

Times they are a-changing.

Over the last decade, things have begun to turn around, especially since the centenary celebrations in 2015 – 2018. Age has certainly wearied the troops. There are no WW1 vets left to march, the youngest WW2 service people would be 95 at least, those from Vietnam close to 80. As the number of these older people dwindles they are replaced by a smaller number of people who have been involved in more recent conflicts. Conversely, the audience of non-Vets has swollen dramatically, many wearing the medals of their grandparents or perhaps even their great grandparents. In country towns like Armidale, there is still a parade that will close off the main street for an hour or so. There will be people cheering and waving – remembering.

ANZAC Day Dawn Service

This morning I got up before dawn to attend the Dawn Service at Central Park, Armidale. I donned my orange SES (State Emergency Sevice) kit and headed out into the violet morning. The eastern border of the sky was just beginning to lighten as the crowd assembled around the memorial fountain. Rainbow lorikeets were making a racket in the trees, and people spoke quietly in small groups.

I estimated the crowd to be around 1500. There was the usual contingent of old fellows in suits or uniforms with their medals shining, chatting with their friends. For the most part, the remainder of the crowd consisted of families with kids and groups of young adults.

The Service, while not religious per se, follows a very set sermon-like formula. The catafalque party marches in first and stands at ease close to the memorial, this is followed by a couple of short readings and messages from various ex-service people. Next comes the Ode, which includes a call and response from the crowd. People then lay wreaths at the memorial, followed by the rouse and Last Post from a bugler, a minutes silence (or in the case of the Dawn Service a two-minute silence) which is broken by the Reveille. The Australian and New Zealand flags are raised from half-mast. Last but not least, comes the National Anthem. Not many people sing. The crowd disperses, no doubt some straight to the RSL for the aforementioned games of two-up.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.”

Laurence Binyon

Calls for peace

The focus of ANZAC Day is war. The speeches call for peace. Today, the Reverend who gave a short homily, asked God to help people turn their hearts to community and not conflict. The RSL President hoped that we would cease to need war. The crowd agreed. Perhaps some people, like me, were thinking of the needless conflict in Ukraine. I don’t understand wars and why we need them still (why we ever needed them).

My thoughts have turned to George Orwell’s 1984 and the continuous war which kept the lower classes in a state of anxiety and distress and blinded them to the motives of the ruling elites. Is that what is happening now?

Peace be with you people of the world and especially to those in Russia and Ukraine. We shouldn’t be waiting for God to turn our hearts to community.


The images in this post were taken in Broken Hill in 2014

A mixed green salad

The WordPrompt from WordPress this month is green. Here is a mixed salad of green things that spring to mind and a little Google digging. 

Green  – my second favourite colour.  Five hundred and fifty nanometres of energy. 

Green trees. Green tree frogs. Green snakes. Green grass. Green glass.

Evergreen, Green fingers, the greenback, the Saudi flag

The green and gold – Aussie Aussie Aussie – Oi -Oi – Oi!

The Baggy Green – cricket anyone?

NOT the baggy green!

Ireland.

Greenhouse – a place to grow food and flowers in cold climates

Greenland – a country shrinking before our eyes

The Greens – a political party. Greenie – an environmentalist.

To be green – inexperienced, Green field site – not yet developed.

Green slip  – third party car insurance in NSW, Australia. The House of Representatives Ballot Paper.

Green Eggs and Ham – Sam is very persuasive! The Green Mile – how many times have you watched it? Anne of Green Gables – Not once. How Green Was My Valley – I don’t know? How green was it? The Green Lantern. Pearl Pinkie and Sea Greenie.

Green Day – careful! That boulevard is only a broken dream.

The green cheese – Trivial Pursuit’s science and nature questions.

Eat your greens! Limes, mint, basil (all the herbs – I could go on and on!) Green olives, avocado.

Green beans – because there are yellow ones I guess. Green Peas – are there yellow peas? Mendel must have bred them out of existence.  

It’s the place to be…farm living is the life for me! 

Green Patch – a beach on Jervis Bay with white white sand.

Little green men from Mars! They’d be rather easy to spot wouldn’t they? I mean against the red of Mars. 

The green eyed monster of jealousy. The vomit emoji

Go! Yes or OK (as opposed to red – stop)

Copper carbonate, malachite, chrysoprase, jade, peridot, tourmaline

Emeralds – my birth stone. (Maybe that’s why it’s my second favourite colour?)

The Grinch, Shrek, The Hulk, Gumby who all seem to find it easier being green than Kermit.

Billiard Tables, card Tables

It is greener on the other side of the fence.

I’m so old I  don’t buy green bananas any more – Lou Holtz – I don’t know who he is but that’s funny!  (a football player apparently!) 

(My SEO smiley sure won’t be green!) My first favourite colour? Copper sulfate blue.