Saturday, March 29, 2008
Cows are found just about everywhere. They even have them in Egypt. While the oldies were cruising up the Nile they went past lots of them. Here's a herd that is living right on the edge of the river, in the soggy bits. The boat gets really close to the bank in some places so Mum even had a Moo-talk with the cows as they went past. If you click on the picture to make it bigger you can see the owners, their boats and the houses and sheds made from reeds. This would be a good place to live if you like water, but not so good if they let the river flood again. I am not sure if they have crabs so far upriver, but if they do I wouldn't live here for anything.
A Cool Chick
Easter is a time when some strange friends come to visit for a while. Things like rabbits or bilbys carrying baskets full of eggs. They scatter chocolate crumbs and wrapping paper all over Mum's clean table. They stay around for a day or so and then disappear almost overnight and I don't see them again for a year. My favourite visitor this year was this cute little one. She was obviously too young to remember her name because she had a big label tied around her neck to let people know her name was "Cadbury". She must have had an uncle like my Unka Paddy because she had a nice vest like the ones he makes me. While she was with us she had to stay in the fridge between conversations. I guess that makes her a really cool chick.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Very Sad News
We are a very sad family at the moment. My Pop, Dad's dad, died on Easter Sunday. He was 91 years old. I didn't know him very well because he lived at Ulmarra in northern NSW and this small bear only saw him when we visited him on our trips up that way. He liked to sit out under his favourite tree and talk to us there. Here he is with Dad and Uncle Bob on our 2003 visit. Uncle Bob died two years ago when he got stung by a batch of European wasps. Pop visited us in Canberra in 2005 and we took him all around the place. Here he is with his friend Josie and Mum and Dad at Tidbinbilla Deep-space Tracking Station. Pop liked telescopes. He helped Dad build his first one when Dad was in school (way back before my time). The last time I saw Pop was at his 90th birthday party. His cake had dancers on it because Josie and he were dance champions, even then. Pop liked balloons, just like I do, and he liked cows, just like Mum does. We will miss him.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Mariner's Memorial (with Bear)
Just outside the gates at Norah Head lighthouse there is a big ship's anchor leaning on a big stone pillar. It is a memorial to all of the merchant sailors that were lost in war. Two ships were sunk just off the lighthouse point in WWII, one by a mine and another by a Japanese submarine. German and Japanese submarines and mines sunk merchant ships all around the Australian coast during the war. Most people remember the warships sunk and sailors lost in battles but forget the ordinary cargo and passenger ships and their crews that were so important to our survival. This is a very important memorial. It also makes a great climbing frame for small bears.
Wedding, With Lighthouse
My cousin Heather was married last weekend. That's Heather in the groovy dress. Her dad, my Unka Geoff is on her left, and on her right are my new cousin-in-law Dan and Heather's mum, my Auntie Margie (Dad's little sister). The oldies took Holly cow and I with them on the trip up to the NSW central coast for the wedding. The wedding was in a park on a cliff-top where you could see Norah Head lighthouse in the background. Us small bears aren't much for people-type ceremonies so I spent most of the time sitting near the edge looking at the ocean and all the big ships waiting for their turn to go into Newcastle harbour. Holly is really handy to have around at times like that, she makes a very comfortable cushion. Of course we visited the lighthouse and took lots of pictures there. Only 5 more lighthouses to visit and we will have been to all of them between Brisbane and Adelaide. Problem is that most of the 5 are really hard to get to for small bears and oldies. Helicopters maybe (are you listening Dad?).
Remember, click on the picture to see it bigger, and don't forget to browse through my archives to see what I have been up to earlier on.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Beach Breaks are Beaut !!
Last weekend was the Canberra Day long weekend so we did what lots of Canberrans do and escaped to the beach. This time we stayed at a place called Merry Beach, in a really posh cabin. I like beaches, they are great places for small bears who like to dig, climb, paddle (when Mum's not looking) and generally muck around in the sand. The only problem is that crabs like beaches too, so I usually have Dad close by to rescue me if things get dicey. One of the best things about Merry beach is that there are lots of animals there and they are not scared of people. Every afternoon we had lots of kangaroos munching away at the grass near our cabin. Some of them even let people pat them, but they were a bit wary of me. Evidently they know about bears. Lots of ducks and waterhens were helping the roos keep the grass short. On Monday I decided to have a barbecue and invited some birds over. What happened wasn't quite what I expected. This mad flock of rainbow lorrikeets came swooping in and proceeded to rip the hamburger bun to shreds and chatter and shriek so loud that Mum couldn't hear the TV. They wouldn't go away until a kid in the next cabin tossed some birdseed out. The birds took off and I was left to clean up the mess. If you throw a barbie and invite birds over just remember that birds are fickle beasties.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
One of the places that the oldies really liked on their big trip was Aswan in Egypt. Mind you, they are not alone in that. Most of the rulers of Egypt and other Middle-Eastern countries stay there for their holidays. One of the rulers of Pakistan, the Aga Khan, loved the place so much that he is buried just across the river from where this photo was taken. (Actually, I got this wrong. The Aga Khan was the leader of Ismaili Muslims. See the comments below.) This is the Nile near the Old Cataract Hotel. This hotel is famous because of the important people who have stayed there, like most of the Kings and Presidents of Egypt, authors like Agatha Christie, loads of movie stars, and my oldies. The Nile splits into several channels here. This is one of the main channels that runs on one side of Elephantine Island; you can just see some of the ruins of an old temple on the far bank. The boats are feluccas. The little gazebo on this side of the river is called "King Faud's Corner" because this is where he loved to sit and watch the life of the Nile go by. Next time the oldies go to Egypt, they owe me a Sakara beer in King Faud's place.
I Love Airports
One of the things that I like about travelling is waiting at airports. This may seem silly to some of you, but to those who like aeroplanes it makes lots of sense. Since the airlines insist that you get there early you always have time to find a clear bit of window and watch 'planes take off and land. My favourite airport is Sydney. Here you can see aircraft from all around the world, not just the local ones. Here's a big British Airways Boeing 747 Jumbo being towed to its loading area, right past my window. The smaller Boeing 737 being towed to the airbridge just to my right is the one that we flew back to Canberra on half-an-hour later. Even though I usually travel in the overhead lockers, I do love to travel.
Yes, it's Even More Show Cows
My Mum loves cows. Every Canberra Show we get dragged around all the cattle pens, judging rings, cow washes, etc to look at tons of steak-on-the-hoof. I mean, Mum gets all dewy-eyed about the beautiful bovines but to bears (and carnivorous Dads) they represent meals. Now, cattle pens are no place for small bears. Cows are so big; they can easily tread on us little ones and squash us flat. Also, they leave stuff on the ground that I would not like to fall into or tread in. The solution as far as I am concerned is to use the "rumble seat" in Dad's backpack. This keeps me up high enough to see everything and I can get out and climb on things without getting mucky. So I get to see everything and avoid the dreaded bath. Show cows get really spoiled. They seem to do nothing but sleep and eat. Cows don't like baths either. They have to be held or tied while they are hosed down, and kept in a steel frame while they are blow-dried before they are taken into the judging ring. All things considered, I am glad I am not a cow.