Politics – do we really care? Re-blogged from Meeka’s Mind

This excellent post from friend acflory on her blog MEEKA’S MIND is the best thing I’ve read about the coming Year 2018 and Australian voters in particular and all Voters in general. Thanks for the re-blog!

Meeka's Moving

I’ve always had a problem with ‘-isms’ – communism, socialism, facism, capitalism, republicanism, you name it – because they all seem to miss the point about people. Homo Sapiens doesn’t give a flying fruit bat about politics until things go wrong.

I was a kid in the late Menzies era of Australia [1949-1966], and I remember hearing some adults moan about elections while others moaned about the general apathy of the Australian voter. You see, in Australia, we have compulsory voting…and the times were good.

In fact, by the early 60’s, the populations of the Western world were better off, generally, than they had ever been before. Not quite the age of surplus envisioned by Marx, but close, and some of us really were able to live ‘…from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’ That’s what the Age of Aquarius, Flower Power and Free…

View original post 235 more words

A poem by Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar

Here is a lovely, lovely poem recommended to me in response to my chatting about the Pershing at the Front poem which I published a couple of days ago here on Sometimes.     My new blogger friend, ACFlory mentioned her own favorite poem…with which I was not familiar (which isn’t unusual, I’m no expert on poetry or poets.)   I googled the title, and located this charming site dedicated to the Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar.

My own roots, some of them, are in Australia…thanks to my grandfather, who when he left Australia at the age of 16, he was already himself a third or fourth generation Aussie.   I never have been there, by the time I decided I wanted to go, I had no funding to finance a trip, and so missed the opportunity.

So I am posting the web site I found honoring the poet, and her poem…

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/my-country-17/  (A reading.)

My Country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackellar

A laughing matter (Re-Blogged from Out an’ About)

(I fell in love with this lovely Kookaburra… a visitor on blogger Miriam’s  deck. Charming! A quarter of me (geneologically speaking) is Australian, so critters such as these warm my heart!) Thanks SO much for making that REBLOG button available!  The link to Miriam’s gorgeous site is    https://outanabout.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/a-laughing-matter/    There is a lot more great stuff where this came from!)

Out an' About

I had an interesting visitor today. He laughed a lot, although he didn’t come inside, he was quite content to sit on my decking. He was small, fat and very cute and I’m not talking about an early visit from Santa Claus.

20151210_154941.jpg

When I snapped this first photo of the Kookaburra from inside he seemed to be inviting me out.

So out I walked, slowly, carefully, so as not to scare him. He seemed unfazed, just curious of me and he let me get within a foot of him.  I could have reached out and touched him. He was craning his neck both ways, fluffing his feathers, almost showing off.  I swear he was posing for me.

20151210_155126.jpg 20151210_155251.jpg20151210_155134.jpg 20151210_155244.jpg

A family of Kookaburras have been laughing in the gum trees in our backyard for a while, marking their territory, but it’s been a long time since one actually visited. Today two came.

Perhaps they know Christmas is coming.

View original post 11 more words

My (Mostly) English Heritage… Part One

Reading about differences and similarities between folks here in the US and in the UK, inspiration has been beckoning me to write about the subject in my own blog.

Actually many Americans began as British, back in the days of pre-American Revolution.  It was in fact a British colonial government, which was over-thrown more or less by rebellious subjects who wished to control their own affairs.  This was a lot easier since the British military was engaged in more pressing issues, such as keeping the French at bay and making sure the Spanish didn’t get all the goodies from the Americas.

But this isn’t a History lesson, although at times I admit that I am prone to lecture on various and sundry topics, not all of them necessarily pertinent to the current subject.   So I have no intention of going back over the common knowledge and think-we-know facts, and write about something that is pertinent…at least to me.

Background

I am at least three-fourths English, based on family origin.  My children, however, are three-fourths German counting the fourth they get from me, and the rest from their father, whose grandparents were all born in Germany.

There is one questionable thing about these facts, in that my maternal grandfather was born in Australia, of German-ancestry.  Hmmm…come to think of it, if I said he was an Australian-American, is that accurate?  Also, as Australia is part of the UK, does that count as German or British?    I usually say German,, which is how I arrive at being able to claim the one-quarter German.

An aunt of mine, Grandpa’s daughter in fact, did an in-depth research study into the Australia connection.   That history goes back pretty far, as we have considerable amount of information about the men in that family back at least to Grandpa’s grandfather.

The way that grandfather became an American is after he had run away from home in Australia at age 16, and worked on fishing boats for several years .   Then he met and married my grandmother in New York.

Anyway.  One of my distant relatives on that grandmother’s side did a quite extensive geneological research.  That branch of the family in fact has held annual family reunions here in Ohio for at least 140 years.  They are two-thirds of my English ancestry.  The geneology report lists the names of dozens of people –related to me–that came to the United States from England  prior to the American Revolution.   In fact, I have been told by a cousin that the family researchers have gone so far back that they found a Viking!

Actually I don’t think that is particularly uncanny, finding a Viking in the family tree of anyone that hails from the British Isles.  “They” tell me that this is where the blonde hair and blue eyes comes from.   hmmm…

Many of these ancestors are buried along the train track between Boston and the northern end of the line.  This came to light when I was visiting my son and daughter-in-law who were living in Massachusetts at the time…as we rode on the train the conductor called out the names of the stops, and many of them were surnames of my ancestors.   Many more from that clan traveled westward at least as far as Ohio, which is where the family is located now.

Since I have gotten SO far afield with my story, and in view of the fact that I only have chatted here about my mother’s side of the family– and I need to wind the tale down for this Part One only.

stay tuned for Part Two of the saga, in which I will continue with my Dad’s side of the family.