Category Archives: Outback

The Cattle Dog

As the polling emergency turned into electoral farce and the Coalition was being trashed not only in the polls but also in the News Ltd media, Malcolm Turnbull called his deputy, Michael McCormack,  into his office and said “Mike, old son, I have a great idea! We are going to go all out and win the country voters.”

“Good idea, Boss, how will we go about it”? asked Mike.

“Well”, said Mal, “we get ourselves one of those Driaza Bone coats, some RM Williams boots, a stick and an Akubra hat. Oh, and a blue cattle dog. Then we’ll really look the part.  We give away a whole stack of taxpayer’s money again. Then we’ll go to a typical old outback country pub.  We’ll show we really enjoy the bush.”

“Right” said Mike.

Days later, all kitted out and with the requisite blue heeler, they set off from Canberra in a westerly direction. Eventually they arrived at  just the place they were looking for. After the Press Conference, they found a typical outback pub.  They walked in with the dog and went up to the saloon bar.

“G’day mate”, said Mal to the bartender, “a couple of your best shandies.”

“OK.” said the bartender with a bit of a smirk, “two middies of our best shandy coming up.”

Turnbull and McCormack (remember who he is?) stood leaning on the bar drinking their shandies,  chatting, nodding now and again to whoever came into the bar for a drink. The dog lay quietly at their feet.

All of a sudden, the door from the adjacent bar opened and in came a grizzled old stockman, complete with stock whip. He walked up to the cattle dog, lifted its tail with the whip and looked underneath, shrugged his shoulders and walked back to the other bar. A few moments later in came another old stockman with his whip. He walked up to the dog and lifted its tail, looked underneath, scratched his head and went back to the other bar.

Over the course of the next hour or so another four or five stockmen came in and lifted the dog’s tail and went away looking puzzled.

Eventually, Mike could stand it no longer and called the barman over.

“Tell me” asked McCormack, “why those old stockmen come in and look under the dog’s tail like that? Is it an old outback custom?”

“Strewth no”, said the barman. “Someone told ’em there was a cattle dog in the saloon bar with a couple of arseholes.”

No Trains Today

Between Mullewa and Pindar (look them up on Google Earth). A busy part of the world.

The Great Blue Desert Whale

Before I left the desert I went fishing with a mate.

He baited his hook for whale!


Which partly explains my lack of attention to the archive and my emails recently. A copy of Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 is a wonderful thing.

Mining company accused of misleading radiation claims

A Canadian mining company has been accused of giving misleading information to traditional owners during a community workshop in the Pilbara.

Cameco is planning to develop a uranium project north-east of

Ms Phoebe Clark

Newman, at the edge of the Great Sandy Desert.

Phoebe Clark from the Punmu community says company representatives told locals that radiation is not harmful to people.

Ms Clark has described the meeting as farcical.

“The community relations officer did proceed to tell us science has proven that radiation is never harmful to people and also uranium and radiation can be found in pretty much almost all fruit and plants and animals,” she said.

Cameco has been contacted for comment.

From the ABC North West News


It rained.

And it galed.

Oh yes! It rained and it galed very, very heavily!

Dawn Visit

Sunday Morning, 4;15am, Phone rings.

It is the Community nurse with the news that we have an “evac” in an hour.

Rapid dressing and a bottle of water and a banana grabbed and the boss and I head off to the airstrip. Separate cars as we each have different tasks. He gets there first and turns the airstrip lights on. Dawn has not yet arrived and so the lights are needed. He heads off to the far end of the strip to check for camels, I head for the near end and as the boss returns we find around 20 camels clustered just off the landing end of the strip. They decide the sudden lights and the clapping is not welcome so they disappear down a decline.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service plane arrives early from Kalgoorlie and flies across the middle of the strip then turns to swing around to land. The Nurse arrives with the patient as the plane taxi’s in to the reception area. As soon as the engines stop the pilot and two nurses disembark. The medical conference and handover begins and I mention the camels to the pilot. He says that he saw them as he was flying over the strip.

I walk down to the near end of the strip again and keep an eye open for any beasts which have decided to come back. I look back and see the sun just rising and the RFDS personnel are re-embarking while the nurse is driving the Community ambulance back behind the gates.

I make a quick decision and move sideways, off the runway and wait.

Me and my camera.

Sitting quietly as the sun rises. The golden dawn as its backdrop. Yes, I had to do some “Gamma Correction” on this shot to bring the colours out.

Then rushing down the runway, at and past me, on its way to the nearest hospital, 55 minutes and 600Km away.

Sunday in the desert had begun.

Bush Cricket

As the evening temperature drops down into the high 30C’s, a little recreation is enjoyed.