Friday Five Newsletter 2018.7.27

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Westprint Friday Five  Friday July 27th 2018

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 24th April 2015 to 24th December 2015

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2016 to 23rd December 2016

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2017 to 29th December 2017

Click here to view Newsletter Archives from 5th January 2018 to current


FREE postage on ALL folded paper maps. Laminated maps rolled in mailing tubes still have postage added as below.

FREE postage on ALL orders over $100.

Otherwise there is a flat rate postage rate of $9.50 on all books, DVDs and talking books, regardless of the number of items ordered.

To order any of the books listed blow, click on the title to open a web browser, then use the Add to Cart button and proceed to the checkout. (or continue shopping for any additional titles you want.)

Visitors are welcome to call in at 6 Park St, Nhill, Monday to Friday. Please phone/email beforehand as we are not always open. Phone. 0353911466.

Notes from the Office

Only one week to go before Graeme and I head out bush for a few weeks. Trip preparation has been a bit stressful for us as we have changed 4WD vehicles since our last trip. I have never considered myself as a very organised ‘packer and stacker’. I thought I was more of the ‘stand back and throw in’ type. That is until being confronted with a different vehicle with different storage areas. It seems that I did have special hidey-holes and a proper place for everything. We spent last weekend gathering everything on the packing list and when confronted with the mountain of food and camping gear to go in I almost had to go and have a cup of tea and a lie down in the hope it would somehow shrink. Taking a deep breath and using the ‘how do you eat an elephant technique’ we chipped away, packed and then moved and packed somewhere else…and it is all done. Only our clothes and water bottles to go – and there is plenty of space. I even have a new secret space for a few balls of wool and some knitting needles.

This is the last ‘freshly prepared’ Friday Five until mid-September. Please keep sending your stories and comments, especially if you have an answer for the mystery object below. I will answer all your emails when I get back.

Carolyn and John will be running the office while we are away. As they both work part time please phone first if you are travelling any distance and want to call in. Phone 0353911466.

If you see our 4WD please say G’day. It’s a 2000 GU Patrol, bottle green, with a rooftop tent (no signwriting yet). We will be in SA, NT and WA and we look like this…

G & J

Actually, this is our scrubbed-up look. We are usually a bit scruffier when we are out bush, but that’s part of the fun. Jo.

PS. You eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Friday Five Books

  1. The Boy Who Wouldn't Die. $30.00. David Nyuol Vincent was a little boy when he fled southern Sudan with his father, as war raged in their country. He left behind his distraught mother and sisters, his village and his childhood. For months David and his father walked across southern Sudan, barefoot, desperately searching for safety, food and water. They survived the perilous Sahara Desert crossing into Ethiopia only to be separated. David was taken in and trained as a child soldier, surviving the next 17 years of his life alone in refugee camps. Life was a relentless struggle against starvation, air bombings and people determined to kill him and his people. In 2004 David was offered a humanitarian visa as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and was resettled to Australia. Traumatised by what he had seen and endured, he went about the slow and painful process of making a new life for himself-a life away from hunger, away from guns, away from death. A life where David is determined to improve the plight of his people both here in Australia and back in South Sudan. Told with frankness and humour, this is the powerful account of a young man's resilience. The story of a boy who refused to die. First published 2012.
  2. Territory. Judy Nunn. $21.95. A priceless 16th century locket threads two riveting stories together in this saga set in and around Darwin, Australia’s ultimate frontier town. Commissioned by a Dutch noblewoman as a gift to present to her beloved on her arrival in the East Indies, the locket becomes a symbol of strength and inspiration for the woman as she struggles to survive the tragic wreck of the Batavia off the West Australian coast and endure the hideous events that followed. By the time the survivors were rescued from the small island on which they had sought shelter while their captain sailed away in the longboat for help, they were either speechless with horror or had been driven mad by the atrocities they had witnessed and been forced to commit by the bestial crew aflame with bloodlust. A young passenger resolves to escape and is given the locket as a good luck charm. It saves his life when he is discovered washed up on the mainland shore by a tribe of Aborigines, who take him in give him a new life. This legendary story of disaster and depravity is told in alternating chapters with the story of the Galloway family, station owners, and the story of Darwin itself, from the day it was bombed by Japanese fighter planes during WW2 and nearly flattened, to that extraordinary Christmas Day in 1974 when Darwin was again devastated by ‘fury from the sky’: this time in the form of Cyclone Tracey. Following the course of the locket and the fortunes of the Galloway clan, Judy Nunn tells a breathtaking story of disaster, courage and passion and that Top End spirit that never says die. First published in 2002, this edition 2007
  3. Batavia's Graveyard. Mike Dash. $29.95. When the Dutch East Indiaman Batavia struck an uncharted reef off the new continent of Australia on her maiden voyage in 1629, 332 men, women and children were on board. While some headed off in a lifeboat to seek help, 250 of the survivors ended up on a tiny coral island less than half a mile long. A band of mutineers, whose motives were almost beyond comprehension, then started on a cold-blooded killing spree, leaving fewer than 80 people alive when the rescue boat arrived three months later. Batavia’s Graveyard tells this strange story as a gripping narrative structured around three strong principal characters: Francisco Pelsaert, the cultivated but weak-willed captain; Jeronimus Cornelisz, a sinister apothecary with a terrifying personal philosophy influenced by Rosicrucianism who set himself up as the ruler of the island; and Wiebbe Hayes, the only survivor with the courage to fight Jeronimus's band. The background to these events, including the story of the Dutch East India Company, and the discovery of Australia, is richly drawn. The true story of the mead heretic who led history's bloodiest mutiny. 446pp. First published in 2002.
  4. Into the Blue. $35.00. Tony Horwitz. Captain James Cook's three voyages in the eighteenth century were the last great voyages of discovery. Horwitz vividly recounts these voyages and exotic scenes he encountered, as well as exploring the man himself. From poor farm boy to the greatest navigator in history. First published in 2000, this edition 2003.
  5. C.Y. O'Connor - His Life & Legacy. $29.95. Tony Evans. O'Connor's life was both a triumph and a tragedy. He pulled himself up from disadvantaged beginnings in a famine torn Ireland to become a master of his profession, inspired and inspiring to others. By his own energy, probity, vision and application, it could be written of him at his death that no engineer had done more than he for the colony. The fame of his great works, particularly the Goldfields pipeline scheme which brought water 560 Km to the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, had almost been matched by that of his enigmatic death.

A Note on Postage

We have no complaints about the service we receive from Australia Post. For the volume of parcels we send, very few go missing and even these usually turn up, eventually. However, Aust Post has seen fit to change the way our parcels are sent and our postage charges. While this means a better tracking service for our customers, it is a lot more work on our part and the postage charges have increased significantly. It is hard not to feel disheartened and that this is just one more handicap for small businesses, especially those in rural areas. I’m just astounded that we can get a parcel from China for $2.00 but have nothing even comparable here. We have always tried to be as open as possible about our postage rates. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of an online order and discovering that the freight is more than the item purchased. We haven’t made any final decisions on whether we will need to increase our prices yet, that discussion will happen when we get back in September.

Friday Forum

Birdsville Track Tips (SA-Qld)

  • We drove up Birdsville Track about a week ago. 2WD all the way.  Races are first weekend in September (31 August-1 September this year). You also want to avoid the Big Red Bash (9-11 Jul 2019).  9000 people in Birdsville this year and there was very heavy traffic on the Track immediately after this event. If you avoid these events, July-August should be fine and not too hot. Best campsites are at southern end of Track. Mary
  • We have just attended 10th July for 3 days on Big Red 30 odd kms west of Birdsville. Tim wants to avoid crowds. The Bash is bigger than the races with some 9000 attendees. He needs to avoid at least a week either side of the second week of July 2019. Weather was 4 to 24 degrees most of the week. Take a couple of spare tyres as the track is pretty harsh on tyres. Alan
  • We travelled from Maree to Birdsville in 2008 and it was good back then. We towed an off-road camper which was easy, however a stone flicked up from our Prado, ricocheted off our Camper stone-guard, back onto our rear screen and caused it to shatter. I strongly suggest that you have really good mud-flaps or put some cardboard or similar across the rear screen. By the time we got to Birdsville our Prado was full of dust. Not nice, and also expensive! Bill

Explorer’s Cache found in the Simpson Desert

You have probably seen and heard of this story of Larry Perkins finding this amazing treasure but here is the link in case anyone missed it. Chris

Gill Pinnacle - WA

It was nice to read about Gill Pinnacle last week. I first went there about 20 years ago, before the camels had discovered it. It was a real oasis with lush green foliage and lots of bird life. I've returned a couple of times since and have been very saddened by the damage the camels have done. The once crystal clear lower ponds are now muddy puddles and the area is a dust bowl. While camped there in 2008 we had a very disturbed night as a procession of dozens of camels crept past our swags in single file to get to the water hole. On every trip to Gill Pinnacle I have climbed to the summit in the dark to watch the sunrise. The shadow cast by the pinnacle onto the desert landscape is a marvelous sight. On my first trip there I discovered a very faded charcoal drawing in a rock overhang which looked very much like a tall man holding a gun. Andy

We believe you now need a permit to travel to Gill Pinnacle. We have applied but as yet do not have an answer about permission to visit. Jo.

Old Andado Station - NT

Plans to secure a better future for Old Andado Station have been assessed and we have unanimously decided to ready the property for lease to a tourism-based business. It is early days in this process and we ask for your patience as this evolves. On the ground at Old Andado things will remain the same with access to camping and the Homestead. Meegan & other family/owners.

Loo with a view


Underwaterloo. This one is near Innamincka. Note the flood level on the side.

loo 2

When travelling south on the Queensland coast last year we came across a Windyloo at a free camp by Boulder Creek near Mt Ossa just north of MacKay. This loo comes complete with its own framed poem written in appreciation for the convenience it provided. Ross.

Here is the poem, penned by A.B. (Trombone) Thomas.

In campsites ‘round Australia

The Loos – well they are mixed

There are some that need a cleaning

And some that should be fixed.

Some of them are long drops

And some won’t drop at all,

There are those that have rude drawings

And verses on the wall. 

There are Loos that have big spiders

And a fat cane toad or two,

One of which you recognize

Must be from another Loo.

Once they charged a penny

But now they all are free

In some of them the door won’t close

So everyone can see. 

But up in sunny Queensland

Beside a secret creek

Some go just to contemplate

And some to have a leak.

It’s just behind a boulder

And beside another two

It’s the best on in Australia

And they call it WINDYLOO


A.B. (Trombone) Thomas

Secondhand Selection

These books are not available on our website. To order any of these second-hand books send an email to  If more than one person requests any book a ballot will be held on Monday. This week we have a collection of books by Rachael Treasure. Prices are normally 8-$12 per title. They are all in excellent condition and most are the larger trade paperback size. This week’s special price is $5 per title. Please add $9.50 for postage, regardless of the number of items ordered.

Titles by Rachael Treasure are:


The Rouseabout

The Stockmen

The Girl and the Ghost-Grey Mare

The Cattleman’s Daughter

The Farmer’s Wife.

An Australian Atomic timeline

This is some more of the information that I have accumulated in working on Graeme’s mystery project.

July 1945. Clement Attlee becomes British PM - Succeeding Winston Churchill

August 1946. US President Harry Truman signs US Atomic Energy Act into law - banning Nuclear co-operation with other countries, leaving its former atomic partner, Britain out in the cold.

January 1947. Britain formally decides to establish British Nuclear Weapons Program

December 1949. Robert Menzies becomes Australian PM - Succeeding Ben Chifley

September 1950. Robert Menzies secretly agrees to request by Britain to conduct atomic tests in Australia.

October 1951. Winston Churchill becomes British PM - Succeeding Clement Attlee

January 1952. The Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952 facilitates British nuclear tests at the Monte Bello islands off the coast of Western Australia and later in South Australia.

October 1952. 1st British Test, Monte Bello Islands (Western Australia), codename Hurricane.

October 1953. Tests at Emu Field, SA, codenamed Totem 1 and Totem 2. Britain formally requests permanent test facilities at Maralinga, South Australia.

May – June 1956. Monte Bello tests, codename Mosaic 1 and Mosaic 2.

Sept – Oct 1956. Four Maralinga tests codenamed Buffalo. (One Tree, Marcoo, Kite, Breakaway).

Sept – Oct 1957 Three Maralinga tests, codenamed Antler (Tadje, Biak, Taranaki).

Sept – Oct 1953. Emu, minor tests codenamed Kittens.

1955 -1961. Maralinga, five minor tests codenamed Kittens.

1955 – 1963. Maralinga, nine tests codenamed Tims.

1958 – 1960. Maralinga, four tests codenamed Rats.

1951-1963. Maralinga, six tests codenamed Vixen A and Vixen B.

1968. UK signs document giving any future responsibility to Australia.

Mystery Object

Does anyone know what the item below is. It is a stretchy metal band, similar to those worn by men as shirt sleeve clips or bike clips. It is the pin attachment that we can’t work out. It has a swivel (anchor point?) at the end. Jane. 


mystery 2

Friday Funnies

Stupid people should have to wear signs that just say, "I'm Stupid". That way you wouldn't rely on them, would you? You wouldn't ask them anything. It would be like, "Excuse me...oops, never mind. I didn't see your sign."

It's like before my wife and I moved. Our house was full of boxes and there was a U-Haul truck in our driveway. My friend comes over and says,

"Hey, are you moving?"

"Nope. We just pack our stuff up once or twice a week to see how many boxes it takes. Here's your sign."

A couple of months ago I went fishing with a buddy of mine, we pulled his boat into the dock, I lifted up this big 'ol stringer of bass and this idiot on the dock goes,

"Hey, y'all catch all them fish?" "Nope - Talked 'em into giving up. Here's your sign."

I was watching one of those animal shows on the Discovery Channel. There was a guy inventing a shark bite suit. And there's only one way to test it. "Alright Jimmy, you got that shark suit on, it looks good... They want you to jump into this pool of sharks, and you tell us if it hurts when they bite you."

"Well, all right, but hold my sign. I don't wanna lose it" 

Last time I had a flat tire, I pulled my truck into one of those side-of-the-road gas stations. The attendant walks out, looks at my truck, looks at me, and I SWEAR he said,

"Tyre go flat?"

I couldn't resist. I said, "Nope. I was driving around and those other three just swelled right up on me. Here's your sign." 

We were trying to sell our car about a year ago. A guy came over to the house and drove the car around for about 45 minutes. We get back to the house, he gets out of the car, reaches down and grabs the exhaust pipe, then goes,

"Darn that's hot!"

See? If he'd been wearing his sign, I could have stopped him. 

I learned to drive a truck in my days of adventure. Wouldn't ya know I misjudged the height of a bridge. The truck got stuck and I couldn't get it out no matter how I tried. I radioed in for help and eventually a local cop shows up to take the report. He went through his basic questioning...ok... no problem. I thought sure he was clear of needing a sign... until he asked,

"So... is your truck stuck?"

I couldn't help myself! I looked at him looked back at the rig and then back to him and said, "No I'm deliverin' a bridge... here's your sign."

The Fine Print

About the Friday Five

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To all of our faithful Friday Five readers 

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Snail Mail: 6 Park Street, Nhill, Vic, 3418.


Please note that the opinions and articles expressed in the Friday Five are not necessarily those of the Westprint mob. Also we do not endorse any products (other than our own) or tours listed in any contributed articles.


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