Friday Five Newsletter 2018.2.23
Westprint Friday Five – Friday February 23rd 2018
"Always go before you go"
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Friday Five Books
Atomic Thunder - The Maralinga Story. $35.00. Elizabeth Tynan. In September 2016 it was 60 years since the first British mushroom cloud rose above the plain at Maralinga in South Australia. The atomic weapons test series wreaked havoc on Indigenous communities and turned the land into a radioactive wasteland.
In 1950 Australian prime minister Robert Menzies blithely agreed to atomic tests that offered no benefit to Australia and relinquished control over them – and left the public completely in the dark. This book reveals the devastating consequences of that decision. After earlier tests at Monte Bello and Emu Field, in 1956 Australia dutifully provided 3200 square kilometres of South Australian desert to the British Government, along with logistics and personnel.
How could a democracy such as Australia host another country’s nuclear program in the midst of the Cold War? In this meticulously researched and shocking work, journalist and academic Elizabeth Tynan reveals how Australia allowed itself to be duped. Maralinga was born in secret atomic business and has continued to be shrouded in mystery decades after the atomic thunder stopped rolling across the South Australian test site. This book is the most comprehensive account of the whole saga, from the time that the explosive potential of splitting uranium atoms was discovered, to the uncovering of the extensive secrecy around the British tests in Australia many years after the British had departed, leaving an unholy mess behind.
Angels in the Outback. $29.95. The Australian Inland Mission - A Century of Service to the Outback. Max Griffiths. Just before World War I when the Australian outback suffered with the decline of its goldmines and the hard times on its pastoral runs, a young Victorian arrived to see how he could help. The white inhabitants of Central Australia were few, and were rarely if ever visited by clergymen, doctors or nurses. It was the Reverend John Flynn, a young Presbyterian clergyman from Victoria, who set out to ease the loneliness of many outback people. Working under the banner of his Australian Inland Mission he eventually was helped by travelling padres who held religious services where two or three people and a child or two were gathered together, and by the young nurses who opened makeshift hospitals far from the doctor’s surgery. It was here in the late 1920s that the world’s first flying doctor service was founded - made possible by Flynn’s supporters; a young and dedicated Melbourne doctor named George Simpson; Alfred Traeger of Adelaide who devised a pedal wireless that linked outback homesteads and camps with the faraway pilot and doctor; and the engineers who managed to fit a stretcher inside the cramped cabin of the tiny Qantas aircraft of that era. This is their remarkable story told for the first time in all its detail and with the understanding of an insider.
Eliza Fraser. DVD. $19.95. From the award winning creative talents of David Williamson (Don's Party, Gallipoli) and director Tim Burstall (Alvin Purple), comes a riotous historical romp destined to change the way you perceive early Australian settlement. Shipwrecked on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef in 1837, English sea Captain James Fraser (Noel Ferrier, The Year of Living Dangerously) and his innocent young wife Eliza (Susannah York, Tom Jones) face an uphill struggle for survival against the harsh and unforgiving Australian conditions. Waiting to be rescued, the couple takes up residency with the local aboriginal people and watch as their mutinous crew transform into savages before their very eyes. A classic Aussie tale of colonial hardship and bawdy beginnings. ONE ONLY – No more available.
A Nomad was our Guide. $24.95. William L Grayden. A journey through the land of the Wongi in 1953. First published in 2002. This is the story of the first motorized party to make the crossing from the western side of Australia to the Rawlinson Ranges in Central Australia, and of the return journey through the sand dunes of the Gibson Desert. It's the story of our search for reported remains of the ill-fated 1848 expedition led by Ludwig Leichhardt. Above all, it is a story of the skill and dependability of our Aboriginal guide - Mitawalinya - and his people, the Wongi, into whose land we ventured.
Cops Crocs & Leopard-Skin Jocks. $36.00. Bob Magor. Wild encounters with crocodiles, mad Territorians, Asian crab poachers, Cyclone Tracy, petty-crooks, the NT police, magistrates, judges and murderers, family members, Fred Brophy and his boxing troupe and all levels of authority. Meet Roy Wright, an old-style villain and barramundi poacher extraordinaire who, after a lifetime of dodging police, unbelievably goes straight(ish) in a legitimate mud crab business. Author, Bob Magor paints a warts-and-all true-life portrait of a bloke with a strong sense of an Aussie fair go, a bit-of-class larrikinism, and a stuff 'em attitude towards authority. And as for leopard-skin jocks? A man needs a trademark! One copy on hand – can get more.
Carolyn’s Super Special. One week only.
Geographic Travels in Central Australia. Normally $41.40 including post. One week only $20.00 including post (within Australia).
A Hardcover facsimile reprint of the diary of Ernest Giles. First printed in 1875 it contains the diary records of Giles' first two explorations in the Ayers Rock, Petermann Ranges and Gibson Desert areas. Ernest Giles has been described as the last of the great nineteenth century explorers. No explorer covered more territory than Giles and none wrote more vivid and evocative accounts of his experiences. The book is hard cover book, 224 pages with a fold out map drawn by Giles inside the back cover. Recommended for anyone interested in the exploration of Australia. Offer expires on Mar 2, 2018.
Your article on bumblebees last week brought a photograph on my wall to mind. At a conference in the early 1980s, when given the photograph below, we were informed that the four basic laws of aerodynamics/flight refer to lift, weight, thrust and drag.
Then considering those laws as they relate to the bumblebee; i.e. due to the bumble bee’s large body (weight), its bulbous and hairy shape (drag), the surface area of its wings (lift/thrust) … in theory the bumblebee should not be able to fly. However, as the bumblebee does not know the laws of aerodynamics, it just goes ahead and flies anyway!
Hence the actual photograph caption is: No one told me it’s impossible!
The caption on the side: ‘Yes! We can do anything … if we try!’ was basically the moral to the bumblebee story which was that even if the task ahead seems too difficult (or even impossible) for us, we should at least give it our best shot and try anyway, because we may even succeed! Conversely, to not to even try means a definite failure! So, when the going gets tough … think of the bumblebee! Trevor
Information Wanted – Darwin
Re: info for Denis a mate and I went to Darwin May last year and stayed at Lee Point Caravan Park, nice and quiet, plenty of grassy shady camp sites, nice pool. Shade is going to be important July/August. Good road access to most of the sightseeing spots. We did see some planes in distance but no noise. Also, close access to a boat ramp for fishing or nearby shore fishing.
A few weeks ago, I asked for people’s blister remedies, saying I would share the technique given to me. It is listed at the end of your suggestions.
My son, an athlete suffered from terrible blisters and we found soaking his feet in salt water daily a huge help. Started well before the athletic season to harden up feet, which weren't such a problem in the off season, or winter. Feet didn't sweat so badly then. Jeanette
I have spent a lot of time walking in the Flinders Ranges and learnt to use only the mesh-top boots and whenever possible, take my boots off to let my feet dry. Soft wet feet seemed to be the main cause of my blisters (providing the boots are reasonably well fitting.) Graham
I queried the possibility of prickles in mesh-topped boots…
Probably any boots that are not completely leather would be good. My last pair are leather topped but have mesh covered breather holes in the uppers. The mesh does collect burs and prickles, and water if crossing creeks, but the latter is not a problem in SA. The main thing for me was to reduce the sweat and keep my feet dry. Graham
This prevention treatment has worked without fail for me during many years of long distance running (including a dozen marathon runs), the Kokoda and Larapinta Tracks, Cradle Mountain walk and several times across Corsica. Also, through countless Rogaining competitions and always with good quality running and walking shoes and good quality socks.
The procedure is to smother my feet with Vaseline before putting on the socks, rubbing in between the toes, soles heels - everywhere. It helps keep feet dry in the wet, but they do get fairly dirty in dusty conditions, when the dust sticks to the Vaseline.
It also helps to toughen up the feet before setting off. This preparation can be done by walking lots (without Vaseline) to the just-pre-blister point so that skin becomes conditioned (hardens) in susceptible areas, before the real walking begins. John, Albany WA
I'm no expert (at anything) but have done a fair bit of walking in my time. I don't tend to suffer with blisters but have walked with people who do. From research I have done I've passed on info which has worked. Make sure your boots are good quality and the correct size. This cannot be emphasised enough. Someone mentioned 2 pairs of socks. You can get sock liners which are a thin pair of undersocks and these work a treat. I only ever wear wool blend socks as they're warmer and wick moisture away from the feet.
Just one more thing, I only wear walking boots or shoes with a Vibram sole. Other types simply don't cut it in my humble opinion. Perry
Years ago, while working on a Squid Boat in Portland, Vic, one of the deckhands had a large blister from his gumboots. His treatment for it was what he had learnt in Army training!
He got a syringe from the Chemist and a bottle of Metho from the Hardware and injected the Metho into the unbroken blister. Basically, the Metho replaced the fluid, stopped any infection and dried out the blister very quickly.
It does sting a little (oops… Little=A lot) but it is the quickest way of "heeling" the blister as I have tried it myself, Schotty.
The following blister remedy was given to John by a marathon runner crossing the Simpson Desert. Westprint has been involved with several great marathon runners but we think this tip was from Pat Farmer.
Thread a clean needle with cotton thread and sew through the blister. I.e. Insert the needle on one side and then out the other and slowly draw the thread through the blister. The cotton thread absorbs the fluid and the small entry/exit hole means that the top layer of skin can reattach over the site.
This worked a treat for me. Draining the fluid at each opportunity meant that the pain level drained along with the fluid. By the time I lost all the blistered skin (and a toenail), I was home and all the new skin had grown underneath.
As for Schotty’s suggestion above, I can see merit in the Metho syringe but, wow, you’d have to be tough! I think I am probably too much of a sook for that.
Please note that the recommended First Aid treatment is to leave it intact to reduce the chance of infection.
Hiking The Holland Track
Jo Blogs continues – Hiking the long straight road between Hyden and Norseman called the John Holland Way.
There are road trains using this road regularly heading to the mines further along this road. All the drivers are very respectful, slowing right down so that dust is kept to a minimum for us. A very nice touch and we certainly appreciated it.
For lunch we left the track and drove into an area called the Breakaways. This is a nice sheltered camp spot. Large areas are being regenerated and lots of planting has been done. It was such a peaceful and pretty area we decided that we would walk 10 kms in the afternoon, return to camp overnight - and the best bit of all - have a half day break tomorrow morning and leave after lunch.
After our 10km hike we hitch a ride back and find that our team have set up a shower tent for us. They have even heated a large bucket of water for us. It is indescribably good to have a shower after 8 days, and better again to have a hot shower. Not enough water to wash hair but it was a great feeling to go to bed clean.
This is the thing I love most about camping and being out bush. When you get back to basics you start to appreciate the many, many things we take for granted in our everyday lives; a hot shower, soft bed, flushing toilet and cooking, and light at the flick of a switch.
During our rest morning we found the bloke who has been following us. We knew someone was walking behind us with a cart and figured he would catch up sooner or later. His name was Sam. He is 30cm taller than Judy and me and at least 25 years younger so he is covering way more ground than us each day. He’s English and just walking from Perth to Adelaide and then maybe to Sydney as an extended holiday.
After lunch we drove back to the 10km point we had walked to the day before and walked 14kms, while Sam walked the whole 24 and we all set up camp together.
Nothing remarkable today. Walked 24 kms. Same road, same landscape. Haven't stumbled over a gold nugget yet. Update: the day was unremarkable, but the night is shaping up to be a doozy. It's 6.15pm and I'm tucked up in my tent. Not sure whether the gale-force winds are just blowing up a dust storm or if it will rain. Hoping a tree doesn't come down on anyone. Going to be a long night.
Price of the following books includes postage in Australia. These books are not available on our website. To order any of these second-hand books send an email to email@example.com If more than one person requests any book a ballot will be held on Monday.
Bush Detective. Max Jones. Softcover in good condition. Max Jones was a policeman based in Renmark working the tri-state area of Vic, SA and NSW in the 1950s and 1960s. $24.00.
Tracks. Max Jones. Aboriginal Trackers (ties in with the book above). Softcover in good condition. $24.00.
Droving down the Cooper. A Saddlemaker’s Yarns. Col Hood. Softcover in good condition. Life on the road in the 1960s. $20.00.
Pioneer Schools of Australia. LJ Blake. Hardcover in very good condition. 1850s – 1900s. Life in Australia. $18.00.
Beating About the Bush. Len Beadell. When your grader breaks down there is nothing to do but attach it to the bulldozer and tow it 800 kilometres back to civilisation. The ration truck burning along the way was just an added speed hump on the 4kph journey. Softcover in good condition. $18.00.
There I was sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a large, trouble-making bikie steps up next to me, grabs my drink and gulps it down in one swig.
"Well, whaddaya gonna do about it?" he says, menacingly, as I burst into tears.
"Come on, mate," the bikie says, "I didn't think you'd CRY. I can't stand to see a man crying."
"This is the worst day of my life," I say. "I'm a complete failure. I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don't have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home. I found my wife with another man... and then my dog bit me."
"So, I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all, buy a drink, drop a cyanide capsule in and sit here watching the poison dissolve; and then you show up and drink the whole damn thing!
But hell, enough about me, how’s your day been?"
You Know You’re Australian When:
You know the meaning of the word "girt".
You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.
You understand that the phrase "a group of women wearing black thongs" refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.
You think "Woolloomooloo" is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.
You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin.
You understand that "Wagga Wagga" can be abbreviated to "Wagga" but "Woy Woy" can't be called "Woy".
When a woman wears a leather dress, a man's heart beats quicker, and his throat gets dry, he goes weak in the knees, and he begins to think irrationally.
Ever wondered why? Because she smells like a new car.
Vegetarian - Aboriginal word for bad hunter
I don't mind coming to work… but that eight-hour wait to go home is a real pain."
JAMES (age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: 'A man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee from the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.' Concerned, James asked: 'What happened to the flea?'
If you are going to try cross-country skiing.............. start with a very small country.
If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?
Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist?
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