Monday, October 01, 2007

Sunrise on the Bluff.

At 5:45 in the morning, everyone is suitably impressed as the sun makes an appearance. Especially Elly, who only ever sees such a thing if she didn't make it to bed the night before. Liza set up the camera on a tripod and ran back and forth, leaving her jumper at the Bluff. Please contact Mac if looking for its owner.

Direct From The Depths of the Opal Fields To You.

Mac has just returned from yet another successful trip out west. He travelled with an entourage of 5, all who were interested in the business of finding the opal to end all opals. Gary was an earth mover and it didn't take him long to recognise that opal mining was very hard work. As they traversed the Brandy Gully Mine, which had been mined underground, followed by open cut and was now filled in, he worked out that 30,000 tons of dirt had been moved. It was not one of Mac's successes and he wondered how much the previous owners had known about it's lack of colour, mentioning no names. He had also lost a couple of well off partners and customers over that particular business deal, but hey, them's the breaks.
The trip out west is long and tiring and worth it. The landscape goes through several subtle changes, changing from green, to grey to red, and it becomes harsh, dry and desolate. It's difficult to explain the attraction. Elly's response, after being asked if she liked it, said, "I don't ever want to leave this magical place," which is an expression that many who go there season to season would agree with. Raylee wasn't keen on the dust, and at one point it was looking very much like we were in for a dust storm, with high wind and drops of rain. The tents had to be weighted down will anything heavy that could be found. Tire rims, rusty sinks and bits of strange metal objects which just happened to be handy.
Our resident photographer captured a couple of shots of everyone watching the sun come up at the Bluff, and the slime in the bore drain, which some of the more adventurous bathed in, as well as numerous finches, apostle birds, bouganvillea, kangaroos and a little, teeny nest with two chicks and the tiniest little mother bird you can imagine.
Pics to follow as soon as the opportunity arises, followed by further details.

Monday, July 02, 2007


"He's not an ugly, yeller dog, he's a Purty, yeller dog."
So said the kid from a tear-jerker, Walt Disney movie from years ago. The dog gets rabies trying to save the kid from the dog With rabies, and dad thinks he needs to shoot him, kid saves dog, dog recovers, lives happily ever after with the family and there isn't a dry eye in the house.

Meet Vai.

He ain't got rabies. He's not an ugly yeller dog, he's a purty, yeller dog. And he lives next door. And he's owned by a young, busy with his life, young man. Left with young man's dad, who don't want him. He's chained up for most of his days, and for exercise, they just undo the chain and let him out the door, and, oh boy, is he happy. He Runs. Jumps. Bounds up to all and sundry and let's them know how happy he is to see them. Of course, your clothes are gonna get dirty, and he might just knock over your kids. As an example, an unusual event down here in the East End of Bellingen.

A wedding, which is not so unusual in itself, but this one came down to us on a horse-drawn fancy wagon and had pics taken with the paddocks and the trees in the background. We went out to watch, cos it was lovely, you know? There was Rachel done up to the nine's with top hat and all, driving these two lovely bay, well behaved horses, and the wedding party step down to the ground for their lovely photographs to be taken.

And out comes Vai. Can you imagine the disaster of lovely, young, exuberant pup keenly embracing all and sundry with his dirty, material-snagging feet and claws. To make things worse, he looks like he's our dog. This ill-behaved, boisterous and very nice looking little dog.

Ah, well. Not to0 much damage was done, but the neighbours are getting bolshy. Our resident Vietnam vet has complained to the authorities twice. Once more and Vai's life is on the line. Merv will be down here like a shot, and .... just a shot...say no more.

Now that you get the picture, here is the conversation with dad. We're driving home, Sunday afternoon, and there's the lovely Vai out looking for a bit of action. Except that this time he's trotting up the main road. Now we're talking danger and disaster.

"Let me out," I say.
I call Vai, who comes happily bounding over to someone he knows and happily follows me back to his own house. Up the stairs we go, and there's dad leaning on the window sill. I say his name. Then I say,
"Some time ago, you told me that if I don't want the dog around my house, to chase him away. The reason that I didn't do that is because the chances are that he would wander onto the main road. I have seen dogs hit by cars and, I'm sorry, but I don't cope. He is now on the main road. That's why I'm here."
"It's a dog thing."
"It happens."
"No. It's an irresponsible owner thing."
"So what am I supposed to do? Keep him chained up?"
"No. You're supposed to exercise him and train him."
"I don't want him."

You get the drift.

There it is. Just another unhappy dog story. We're well into this one by a number of months, so we just have to wait and see how it pans out. Just another dog with another bullet in the brain because some owners don't care? Let's hope that this purty yeller dog also has a happy ending.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mac Goes Outback At Long Last.

At the last count, Mac had been pulling into the township of Lightning Ridge and heading for the motel that were run by the ex-egg farmers who had thrown in the proverbial towel and headed for the Ridge. Years ago, they had come to Mac for lessons in opal cutting and had moved to where the opal was in the air.'
"I love it here," Mac had stated on his mobile phone, "there is opal everywhere."
He and his mate were on an opal scouting trip. They were going to start in the Ridge, head for the outer lying fields, and then make their way up to the south-west Queensland fields. The intention was to talk to the miners, purchase anything that was going that would be suitable, and generally sit around the camp fires at night and talk opal. Mac was particularly looking forward to seeing one stone in particular that had been dug out of the ground by one particularly hard working miner, who had been smacked in the face by a particularly large tree branch, busting through the glass of the cabin and making a horrible mess of his face, that was for sale for $40,000. Miners prices. Goodness knows what it would be worth once it made it to the open market. Watch this space ...

Monday, November 06, 2006

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Health, Wealth and the Hippocratic Oath.

'You are What You Eat" is a truism. You Are what you eat. Harvey and Maralyn Diamond like to put it this way. You are what you digest. And we all know that our various body parts are replaced at set numbers of years at the cellular level. So if we exist on a diet of fried foods obviously our body parts are not getting the nutrition they need to function at the optimum level. A recent study known as 'the China Study', implicates the western taste for high intake of animal protein, (Dr Eric Dunn will approve of this) to be the cause of most of our western 'civilised' diseases. It's of interest to note that some of our rich Egyptian freinds who had been mummified were found to have gout. A product of a high meat diet. So. We all Know what to do. Why don't we do it?
'Let your food be your medicine'. This was written back in the Greek era by Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine. Modern medicine has unfortunately gone rather far away from the sentiment, and has taken us to a plethora of pills as the solution, which we all know isn't. We feel helpless. Or do we. We have at our literal fingertips the solution. A simple one which can and does affect the way we feel from day to day. Your Diet.
Not so many years ago, an ukrainian woman in the Unites States found herself to have breast cancer, and suspecting that diet could help her, changed hers. She knew the importance of raw foods such as a variety of fruits and vegetables. She was also aware of the importance of food combining. That certain foods did not digest so well if eaten with certain other foods. Fruit should be eaten alone, for example, and not in combination with other foods. Melons should always be eaten alone. Proteins should not be eaten with starches, and so on. Dr Ann Wigmore was also aware of the benefits of eating fermented foods, such as saurkraut, but minus the heavy use of salt. She introduced fermented nut seeds and rejuvelac, a drink made from the sprouted organic wheat berry and fermented. Sprouted beans provided protein. Wheat grass juice provided high nutrition to feed the body, and plenty of water to keep the body hydrated.
In this fast, modern age where can we go to refresh and rejuvenate our poor toxic-overloaded and tired flesh and bones? There is a place. Aptly titled, 'Hippocrates Health Centre' in the hinterland of the Gold Coast in Mudgeeraba. A peaceful and tranquil haven in a fast-paced, stressful world. Some say that they can't afford to go. My feelings are that we can't afford Not to go.

As submitted by Julian Fairfax Mayhem.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The plight of Jess the dog.

Jess's RSI has turned into a floating bone in the elbow requiring an extensive and some what expensive operation, at the moment she is resting up and saving up for her trip to hospital.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Regional Awards Program - Mac Award

Individuals, organisations and business networks in our community have the chance to be
recognised through the NSW Regional Achievement & Community Awards.

The program is sponsored by Prime Television, Commonwealth Bank, NSW Department of State and Regional Development, Integral Energy, Kleenheat Gas, Department of Lands, The Land Newspaper, Rex Airlines and the Local Government Shires Association of NSW.

Mayor Mark Troy said “The program is about recognising, encouraging and rewarding valuable
contributions and outstanding achievements in regional and rural areas”.

“I encourage all those individuals, community organisations, businesses and groups involved in
enhancing environmental, economic or social prosperity for the Shire to stand up and be counted!

Nominate now and showcase our community’s’ achievements".

Nominations are now open in five categories:
• Business Enterprise Award
• Events and Tourism Award
• Regional Service Award
• Environment and Landcare Award
• Community of the Year Award.

Award criteria and nomination forms are available at all Sponsors branches and offices. You can
also call the local awards office on 98997251 or visit the website

Nominations close on August 11.

It's been three years now since Ian ‘Mac’ McArthur entered a jewellery competition, finally
he has and he has won again.

This time it is a first place win in the Object D'Art section of the Yowah Designer Jewellery competition.

The winning piece is a diamond studded opal handle on a stainless steel lock knife.
The winning piece will be on display at the Lightning Ridge Opal Festival next weekend and
will then return to Mac's studio at East End Bello.

Congratulations Mac, we were beginning to think that you had run out of inspiration.

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Local restaurants into Catering Award Finals

Five eateries in Bellingen Shire will feature is the Regional Awards Night for the Restaurant and Catering Association in Coffs Harbour next Monday.

The Visa International Restaurant & Catering Northern Awards for Excellence are the industry’s most sought after awards indicating a level of excellence as judged by both
guests and industry peers.

Nominations were taken from voting coupons published in newspapers around the area and forms completed on the Restaurant & Catering website.

Now the eating begins and a team of trained judges are hard at work anonymously visiting establishments all over the region. The five local restaurants that will front the judges are No 2 Oak St Restaurant in Bellingen (Contemporary Australian Restaurant); Anchors Wharf Café, Urunga (Family Restaurant); Lodge 241 Gallery Café, Bellingen (Café Restaurant); and
Chan’s Chinese Restaurant, Mylestom and Manor Chinese Restaurant, Bellingen (Chinese Restaurant).

Over 100 restaurants and caterers in the Northern region are up for one of the 39 awards.

For some establishments it will be the first time they are nominated while for others they may have received nominations time and time again (and won) – indicating one of the most important elements of restaurant business – to maintain and improve standards.

“The more nominees a region receives – the stronger the indication that the whole region is getting it right,” says Restaurant & Catering NSW/ACT CEO Robert Goldman.

“Year on year, I can tell you that we have a significant increase of entries from the Northern region and competition raises standards overall.”

“The benefits to the tourism sector and the local economy is considerable with the acknowledgment of these type of awards helps the whole region attracting visitors and locals to
eat out.”

The Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence will be announced on Monday, July 31 at
Novotel Pacific Bay Resort in Coffs Harbour with winners going on to compete in the NSW Regional Finals later in the year.

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