SNAKE CHARMED

SUDDEN MOVEMENT GLIMPSED, A SLIM SNAKE SLITHERING ALONG THE STONEY MULCH SO – 

STILL HOT SPRING SO THIS IS EXTRA HEAT AT 7AM STANDING POOL SIDE SURVEYING PLANTS, THEN

SO I JUMPED IN! DEEP POOL, RISING SAFELY SWIMMING TO SIDE AND PEER AT SAID SNAKE TO EYE ITS SIGNIFICANT MARKINGS

SHIMMERY COPPER SKIN TURNING TO OLIVE GREEN GLISTENING BROWN AND SLENDER A PETITE SNAKE BUT NO LESS A KILLER WARNING, I SWIM SILENTLY STORING IMAGE IN MY BRAIN AND WAIT FOR IT TO SLITHER AWAY SO I AM FREE TO EXIT

STRAIGHT UP THE STAIRS TO GOOGLE SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND SNAKES TO LEARN HOW DICEY WE LIVE IN OUR CREATED EDEN

link to WHIP SNAKE I.D.

THE SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVE GARDEN DESIGN IS ON MY MIND. THE KEY IS TO SEE THE SNAKE, WATCH IT AND BE STILL SO AS NOT TO SCARE IT INTO SELF-DEFENCE WITH POISON

My favourite Australian short story at : HENRY LAWSON’S SNAKE STORY (1896)

AND THEN FROM ATOP OF THE STEPS…MATING SNAKES!

yellow faced snake
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Snake

D. H. Lawrence1885 – 1930

A snake came to my water-trough

On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,

To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob tree

I came down the steps with my pitcher

And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom

And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the stone trough

And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,

And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,

He sipped with his straight mouth,

Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,

Silently.

Someone was before me at my water-trough,

And I, like a second-comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,

And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,

And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,

And stooped and drank a little more,

Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth

On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.

The voice of my education said to me

He must be killed,

For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man

You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,

How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough

And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,

Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him?

Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him?

Was it humility, to feel honoured?

I felt so honoured.

And yet those voices:

If you were not afraid you would kill him.

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid,

But even so, honoured still more

That he should seek my hospitality

From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough

And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,

And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,

Seeming to lick his lips,

And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,

And slowly turned his head,

And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice a dream,

Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round

And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,

And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered further,

A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,

Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,

Overcame me now his back was turned.

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,

I picked up a clumsy log

And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,

But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste,

Writhed like lightning, and was gone

Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,

At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.

I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!

I despised myself and the voices of my accursèd human education.

And I thought of the albatross,

And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,

Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,

Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords

Of life.

And I have something to expiate:

A pettiness.

(This poem is in the public domain)

Drysdale
1944 Russell Drysdale – The Drover’s Wife – see AUSTRALIAN ART  

The Tories (LNP) won by dishonourable means.

The Australian Labor Party has failed the environment and it’s children learning about CO2 and the consequences of it in the atmosphere combined with deforestation. No longer a personal disappointment as a former Queensland Labor member, my Conscience with with the Greens.

I’m not the only one who is grappling with the sell-out of carbon polluting new mining (like Adani’s Carmichael mine) when the Great Barrier Reef is in danger and our children’s and grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s future has been sacrificed.

Of course citizens of Queensland voted for this result, but they were easily led and misinformed, and lied to.https://theconversation.com/school-climate-strikes-why-adults-no-longer-have-the-right-to-object-to-their-children-taking-radical-action-111851

dead coral

MONEY MONEY MONEY – Dear Special Convoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Warren Entsch MP

https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/wjvpdn/australias-new-special-envoy-great-barrier-reef-warren-entsch-says-it-doesnt-need-saving One of the world’s top marine scientists say he’s alarmed that the Federal Government’s new Special Envoy to the Great Barrier Reef has refused to name climate change as the biggest threat to the World Heritage Area.

It’s a strategy of the Liberal National Coalition – Tony Abbott was the Minister of Women, not a lot of injustices or positive reforms does a Catholic mysoginist make. Climate and Environment is peopled by big money Corporates in fossil fuelled industries. The North Queensland M.P. Warren Entsch of the Liberal Party flicks off concerns about his lack of knowledge on saving the Greatest Barrier Reef by saying he doesn’t have to try and save it……Coal’s good for jobs (but the science says the carbon emissions the project will produce adds up to a terrible price for the ecology of the reef!

The Qld ALP is insistent on spending a billion dollars from taxpayers purse to wreck the environment including the Great Barrier Reef because they believe what Mr Adani says. 4 Corners tonight will do the due diligence.

The veteran far north Queensland Liberal MP Warren Entsch has waged war on single-use plastics in his new role, arguing its time to develop a national policy to stop plastic pollution.

But he’s refusing to name any single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, including climate change, prompting scientists to speak out.

Do the two major parties really care about the alarming report about global temperatures? Our World Heritage Listing of the Great Barrier Reef – does Canberra care? Do they believe in the Scientific truth? Most of the politicians claim a Faith in Christianity yet are hell bent on God’s Creation!

The Government have broken the United Nations Convention of the Refugees so why keep the Paris carbon emissions signature sincere to stop us going beyond 2 degrees celsius?

“In the last year we’ve had a global assessment of ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland and they tell us that things are worse than we’d expected,” said Prof Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/greenlands-ice-sheet-is-melting-at-its-fastest-rate-in-350-years

“The Greenland ice sheet is melting, it’s lost four trillion tonnes of ice and it’s losing five times as much ice today as it was 25 years ago.”

“In the US, Louisiana is on the front line of this climate crisis. It’s losing land at one of the fastest rates on the planet – at the rate of of a football field every 45 minutes,” said Colette Pichon Battle, a director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. (BBC)

So the autocratic patriarchy are spending their time on ruling over women’s their bodies reproductive health. Making harsh penalties for a doctor who performs an abortion on an unwanted foetus, BUT they are sabre rattling and arms trading.

When so many women and children need a secure home, income, education our leaders spend billions of building submarines, because National Security is their first duty. Hah! These politicians bare no responsibility about the Antarctica melting and making the Seas rise and millions drowning, and species extinction.

It doesn’t seem so. During the recent Federal Election which saw grand protests by school kids for stopping coal mining, and the UN report which was an incredible alert, didn’t make any great concern or worry about the anxiety levels on our children’s mental health.

A Visit to Lady Musgrove Island, Queensland

WTF did QUEENSLANDERS DO VOTING A COAL PUSH FOR JOBS RATHER THAN EFFORTS INTO INNOVATION AND RENEWABLES? They have sacrificed short term gain for environmental catastrophe. So what they go on unemployment, the Government should be spending money on investments for the new renewable economy. WHO CARES FOR THEIR KIDS?

STUDENTS GO TO SCHOOL TO LEARN ACCUMULATED KNOWLEDGE OF THE RENAISSANCE, THE ENLIGHTENMENT ; ALBERT EINSTEIN WAS RIGHT! Incredibly the children respect the Professors, Dr’s and scientists who have studied climate change over three decades, BUT the grown-ups don’t!

SO WHY DON’T AUSTRALIANS BELIEVE IN THE HONESTY OF THE GREENS WE SHOULD FOLLOW THE SCIENCE TO PROTECT US ON OUR PLANET?

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/pollution/

FOLLOW THE MONEY from a previous post.

GREAT BARRIER GRIEF  – FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES – SAVING THE GREAT BARRIER REEF 2018

CLICK TO ARTICLE ABOUT CRIMINAL CHARGES ON DIRECTOR OF BARRIER REEF NGO

Our Last Arts grant Application at the Australia Council, asking $20,000  to produce puppet show about coral reef wonders 1988. It took 3months to fill. Education and arts means learning about the Natural World and it’s intersection with us. We listen to the ABCRadio Nation Science Show every Saturday at midday so we were well informed on the latest news about carbon pollution causing global warming 25 years ago. It was rejected. It was our last gasp in puppetry after 30 yrs.  The PM had $440million up his sleeve for his mates projects.  Apart from the corosion in governance and the institutions like the CSIRO it went to a NGO packed with CEO’s who we know could have dug deep in their own pockets.  Nature and Kids come first – ban Coal.

New Zealand Master class
Foam rubber puppet making workshop with Master Puppeteer Roy McNeill (with New Zealand Puppet Theatre 1990)
Black throated finch endangered Queenslanders.

TO BE AN AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN PILGRIM

If your ancestors were dispossessed, slaughtered and had their land and their children stolen, would you celebrate the date on which that all began?#changethedate

Another Australia Day 26th January long weekend. It was the arrival of the First Fleet of British convicts.  200+ years later I discover my ancient rights and liberties are thwarted by the Tories of today,(LNP) a  legacy of Westminster’s punitive policy against the disadvantaged.

Westminster rejected her base born, poverty stricken and protesting peasantry to the land Captain James Cooke had reported on in his scientific mission of 1770.

cropped-cropped-bloomin-queensland.jpg

JANUARY 2018 – 30 YEARS since my arrival as a teenager in 1978. The Ministers of the Commonwealth have as much disregard and resistance to redistribution of that Commonwealth to the poorest and sickest of it’s citizens, whilst declaring Jesus as their guiding Light!

You always know you’re in for a kicking when the politicians come out and reckon all dole recipients are bludgers and fraudsters. Nothing to do with the nuances of the individual or the economic failures of their policies.

Transfering the poor buggers to a lesser payment whilst they get a pay rise! The Audacity! Hang on isn’t this a worker’s Paradise? State and Citizen partners in the Commonwealth. A safety-net to stop anybody becoming destitute?

The News is, Australia has become more unequal by the incompetency and greedy self-interest of those with power and influence.

DSCF4678.jpg

One hundred years ago women met with State resistance for their right to vote and today I am punished for needing the safety net of a disability support pension: There must be many pensioners who have elderly or dying parents in their birth countries who they wish to visit – in the time that is needed, including funerals, but if I leave Australia, I will be paid for up to 28 days from the date I leave. I’m stunned really, my sense of autonomy as a 55year old Australian has been challenged:

If I’m still overseas after 28 days, payment stops.

Consider this my Parliamentary representatives: It would be fairer to consider it like a 3 months Long Service Leave for contributing to the culture, giving birth and creating daughters and now grandsons for the country!

My parents are in their end years and disabled by various health conditions. I could reasonably expect to be called to either of their funerals anytime. I have to be ready to return to my mother-land, like the First Peoples inner calling to Country.

I’m looking for my Australian Citizenship certificate so I can apply for a new Australian passport.  I must prove I am a BRITISH BORN AUSTRALIAN –  NOT UNDER SCRUTINY FOR MY DUAL LOYALTIES…..like our Parliamentary representatives!

 

I’ve been asked a handful of times if I would consider nominating for local government or Parliament. Like many British born emigrants being Australian sometimes I feel like a motherless child or like having  a left-over limb of your British Empire roast…

It’s inherited from your culture. It was common for family members or neighbours to go and live in Australia. Sometimes they went back like my mother and step-father.

We nearly emigrated in 1970, but my Dad pulled out the day before the Ship was booked. He couldn’t leave not sure of seeing his Mum and Dad, or the town of Selly Oak, he knew so well.Nan and Grandad.jpg

New South Wales was a potential Life-sentence!

It took mum a second marriage to return to the land of Oz. The first time had been torturous being kidnapped by a scheme set up to empty the orphanages after the war. Unfortunately, after 10years her husband  wanted to go back ‘home’, even though they had been better off economically i.e. good wages and conditions for their skills and experience in Birmingham, ‘the workshop of the world’!

My sisters and I knew which side of our sliced bread was buttered. Melbourne was our home Port, School and Work, but Mum was the holder of an invisible boomerang: kidnapped by Minister of Emigration for a white (Catholic) Australia in 1950, she returned at the request of a recently married Mother she had been told by the Sisters of Mercy was Dead.

Kathleen Clarke marries Brian Higgins 1961.jpg
Birmingham Registry Office

There are many of us creating paper-work for the Public Servants gathering evidence of our Australian citizenship, but whereas Mum was punished by the British Government for being “illegitimate” I’m being punished for a chronic bi-polar/mental illness and the tyranny of distance!

apology for child migrants.jpg
Apology to the Child Migrants like my Mum, an event at Qld Parliament.

Held hostage to this Government’s policy. 

I was spoon-fed a deep connection to Australia via my mother’s memories when she was transported to New South Wales, as a child migrant from the overwhelmed Orphanages in 1950.

MUM’S HERSTORY LINK: WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY – CHILD MIGRATION

THE HUMANE APPROACH

A funny thing happened on my belated honeymoon to former pom, Yorkshire born Roy. It was 1984 at Denpasar Airport, Bali. An officer said we didn’t have a re-entry Visa so wouldn’t be able to get back into Australia!

But we ‘re Australians. We live there! My baby is going to be born at the Queen Vic birth centre in 4 months!

Bali                Bali hi

The advice was to go to the Australian Embassy as soon as we settled into our hotel. A kindly official informed us she would issue a temporary visa but we would need an Australian passport with Australian Citizenship even if we had emigrated in 1964 and 1978 on a family passport.

The travel agent hadn’t told us we could be deported. Nobody told us we could be put in a detention centre, deported back to that cramped, grey Thatcherite, brittle society.

The Black Shirts of P.M. Abbott’s Border Force has come to pass, and his comrade Dutton, a Minister of Home Affairs resonating in black and white ideology.  

BLOODY OATH
Australian Citizenship but did I renounce my British citizenship? I can’t remember….

In my Dream, an Irish ancestor CATHERINE MURPHY told me,

 

THE ANSWER, IS AN AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC – A NEW ANTHEM, NEW FLAG. I see it blowing in the wind… AND I added, Turn a new leaf on the recycled paper to compliment the Commonwealth with a Bill/Charter of Rights… 

Inscribe into the social safety net section, every person has the right to not be devalued by Parliamentarians.

Make the young people proud like they are in the Irish Republic, guiding the Australian tourists with Irish roots around the old Oppressor’s administration, Dublin Castle; and this is a portrait of our elected President….

In one night the solution rung true, to rescue our social democracy for our grandchildren’s fulfilment of their dreams – A decent income for your labours in a dream home with a pool in a sunny climate, and enough spare to use your 12 weeks long service leave to visit family and friends stuck in the Mother Country. It’s a basic desire. Natural to a migrant nation. Insc

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revised (c)copyright JMcNeill 2018 all rights reserved

 

 

A HOUSE SERVANT OF ONE’S OWN &

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf 1929

The oft-held argument that women produce inferior works of literature must necessarily be qualified by the fact of the circumstances of women. Unlike their male counterparts, they are routinely denied the time and the space to produce creative works. Instead, they are saddled with household duties and are financially and legally bound to their husbands. By being deprived of rooms of their own, there is little possibility for women to rectify the situation. Even though this is clearly a historical truth, Woolf’s assertion was revolutionary at its time. It recast the accomplishments of women in a new and far more favorable light, and it also forced people to realize the harsh truths about their society.

Sparknotes

2019 I WOULD LIKE TO ADD:


A Woman writer such as I has a NEED FOR A HOUSE-KEEPER and GARDENER/HANDYMAN (Virginia didn’t mention she had live-in help).
Fortunately I have an accomodating husband who does most of the evening meals. Nothings perfect. Even Virginia complained of the disruptions, and distractions which stop the train of novel thoughts.
My example is shouts of frustration “where is the saucepan lid/margarine/thongs” etc etc right in the formation of a sentence with a unique perspective. Ignore it, and He who must be obeyed will be grumpy to live with.

The common impediment to our writing? It may have been sciatica from an occupational hazard of sitting, so a regime of exercises to relieve the pain is a must. What was I saying?

We share a common condition of Bi-polar mood swings and roundabouts. I’m a stickler for taking my mood stabilising pills, but Virginia wasn’t keen and ended up drowning by suicide. By all accounts she had a lot of fun between depressed episodes.

I find it very hard to concentrate, easily distracted by a juicy bit of research at my internet fingertips. My novel is taking years (Emoji weeps).

I am easily fatigued by writing a few intense paragraphs and another washing line visit. Sapped of vital juices, just enough to lay down and be mindless, I mean ready for a mindfulness app. After a Spritz and cheese sandwich I’m ready to delve into the heart of the English Civil War again.

Picking, preserving fruit, forgetting writing paragraphs.
Renovate bathroom, quotes, asbestos and replacements. Christmas coming! Hips arriving.

First something to get me going, streamed broadside ballads or Purcell’s T.V. series like it came down from heaven, all informative to the historical of the novel…

Whilst the husbands are at Sea, the wives of Mariners must obey the Lord God and commit No Adultery. Puritans turned out to be pragmatists when their congregations had absent husbands.
The solution is a visit to an East End market.

Born into an upper middle class, money and friends brought Virginia a good quality of life. Absorbed in the challenges of writing fiction and running a printing publisher at home with her husband, the author was recognised for her productive output. The Waves, Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and so on…

Even with a cook, a house-keeper, a thoughtful husband and escapes into her aristocratic lovers garden, there are not enough hours in the day! Did she procrastinate, but completed her projects anyway? That thought gives me hope and determination.

Virginia advised, Begin with Character. Darling V, Always…

von Motesiczky, Marie-Louise; From Night into Day (Von der Nacht in den Tag); Tate Gallery
A team effort and individual endeavour, her sister Vanessa illustrated, Leonard Woolf set the press.
a life long occupation

Dreaming Walpiri (NAIDOC week)

 

6am Sunday – ABC Radio National – is part of my daily Bread….GOD FORBID   

Today is the beginning of NAIDOC week, celebrating National Aborigines and Islanders NAIDOC week   

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At the fore of my consciousness is our family’s tour of the Northern Territory to present husband Roy’s puppet show and puppet-making workshops.

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JABIRU SCHOOL learn why “Scraps” the backyard duck is a great recycler in MANY HAPPY RETURNS 1989

Real Fantasy Theatre, formerly Jika Jika Puppets was founded by Roy McNeill in 1981 North Fitzroy, Victoria. Touring was a big part of life as Puppeteers and so it became for our pre-school daughters and Spot the dog.

One tour stands out; a Northern Territory trip including a 2 week residency at  Lajamanu Primary School in June 1989.

 

 

LAJAMANU ARTISTS online

ABC RELIGION: NAIDOC WEEK worth listening to.