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Showing posts from September, 2010

A River Runs Through it......

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Rivers, or more accurately water, seems to have an almost gravitational pull on me. “Down by the river” or “Should we have lunch at Goats Water” are phrases of palpable appeal. Water can convert any journey into something more interesting, an afternoon walk round a lake, far better than round a football oval. The lexicon of water is different here, without pools, meres or ponds but rich in dams. No becks, burns, ghylls or rhylls, but we do have creeks - Dead Horse Creek being a favourite. I don’t think that it is any surprise that on the times I have returned to the UK I have sought out the watery places that I once knew. As a kid I burnt the hours of youth fishing, staying at the water’s edge long past any hope of a memorable catch, of a catch worth boasting about the next day. The repetitive cast and recast of float fishing in a river - trotting for chub and barbel or if the truth be told, anything that came along. Even when I lived in the NE of England, in a city bl

and now they've seen the snow!

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Snow is probably not the first word that comes to mind when people are asked to think about Australia. Beer, cricket, surf, spiders, kangaroos or koalas definitely . Leathery men with large knives, felling street criminals with well aimed cans a distinct possibility. But not snow. Here the wisdom of the crowd would fail, for snow is important to Australia. Maybe not in its extent or depth, but because it is a reminder of where Australia is from, and how much it is still connected to the snowy continent to the south - the Big Pav - Antarctica. As Australia moves north, away from its southern roots, it’s easy to forget that it was once part of a greater southern land, ages ago in the distant past. The breakup of Gondwana, Australia’s ancestral home changed the present in ways we can still see, feel and understand. The Earth has the climate it does because of the fridge in the south - if Antarctica was ice free, the world would be a very different place. For Australia it has been 80 mil