Friday Five Newsletter 2018.12.14

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Westprint Friday Five 
 Friday December 14th 2018

Just go bush.”

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


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Friday Five Books

  1. Red Dog - MP3. $34.95. Red Dog is a West Australian, a lovable friendly red kelpie who found widespread fame as a result of his habit of travelling all over Western Australia, hitching rides over thousands of miles, settling in places for months at a time and adopting new families before heading off again to the next destination and another family - sometimes returning to say hello years later. While visiting Australia, Louis de Bernieres heard the legend of Red Dog and decided to do some research on this extraordinary story. After travelling to Western Australia and meeting countless people who'd known and loved Red Dog, Louis decided to spread Red Dog's fame a little further. The result is an utterly charming tale of an amazing dog with places to go and people to see. Red Dog will delight readers and animal lovers of all ages. 2 hours 19 minutes duration. 
  1. Red Dog. (Book) $21.95. Red Dog is a West Australian, a lovable friendly red kelpie who found widespread fame as a result of his habit of travelling all over Western Australia, hitching rides over thousands of miles, settling in places for months at a time and adopting new families before heading off again to the next destination and another family - sometimes returning to say hello years later. While visiting Australia, Louis de Bernieres heard the legend of Red Dog and decided to do some research on this extraordinary story. After travelling to Western Australia and meeting countless people who'd known and loved Red Dog, Louis decided to spread Red Dog's fame a little further. The result is an utterly charming tale of an amazing dog with places to go and people to see. RED DOG will delight readers and animal lovers of all ages. 119pp. First published in 2001, this edition 2011. 
  1. Lasseter's Bones. $25.00. In 1931 Harold Lasseter’s body was found after perishing in Central Australia’s deserts. His diary revealed he’d discovered a fabulous seven-mile seam of gold, worth millions, but would “give it all for a loaf of bread”. Despite hundreds of expeditions since, the gold has never been found. Obsessed with solving the mystery, filmmaker Luke Walker discovers Lasseter’s 85-year-old son Bob, still wandering the desert, on a quixotic mission to find the gold that killed his father and destroyed his childhood. But now, 80 years on, is it still possible to piece together the fragments of history Lasseter left behind? Looking for gold in Lasseter's story Walker sets out to unravel the tangle of myths, lies and legend that remain buried with Lasseter’s bones in the heart of Australia. Running time 101 minutes 
  1. Rock Star. $37.95. The Story of Reg Sprigg - Outback legend Kristin Weidenbach. Oil; uranium; geology; conservation; these are the catch-cries of our times and Reg Sprigg embodies them all. Rock Star tells the life of this intrepid, determined and oft-times irreverent pioneering Australian renowned as one of our nation’s greatest geologists. By the age of thirty Reg had discovered the oldest fossils in the world and some of its deepest under-sea canyons. He had worked at Australia’s first two uranium mines and searched for material to construct the world’s first atomic bomb. By the time he was 40 he had helped found SANTOS and discovered the great Cooper Basin oil and gas fields. By the time he was 50 he had driven the first vehicle across the Simpson Desert and crossed the continent from north, south, east and west. He had also launched Arkaroola Wildlife Sanctuary, one of Australia’s first eco-tourism resorts. Written in a lively narrative style, Rock Star will make you laugh and cry and introduce you to a fascinating world that you never knew existed and won’t easily forget. First published in 2008, this edition 2011. 
  1. And Some Found Graves. $16.50. Compiled by A.J Thompson I found Johnny Aspinall's grave by chance in February 1980 while prospecting at Hawks Nest, about 15km west of Laverton in the Mt Margaret Goldfields of Western Australia. Johnny began his diary in 1895 as he left his native New Zealand and his last entry was made in 1896 one prior to his death when he was struck by lightning. Ironically, his last entry mentioned that there were thunderstorms around." 87pp. First published in 2002. 

Friday Forum 

Townsend Corner 

Townsend Corner is the junction of the Murray River with the Black-Allan Line at the eastern end of the Victorian – New South Wales border. I hadn’t heard of this before and so I have done some research. Jo. 

This Information came from a paper written by Nadia Albert on behalf of the Office of the Surveyor General of Victoria. 

Prior to the 1870s, some survey work had been done in the area of the Black Allan

line, most notably that of Surveyor Thomas Scott Townsend (1812-1869) under the leadership of NSW Surveyor General Major Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchell.

Townsend led his party of ‘free-men’ (ex-convicts) and bullocks under difficult conditions, ‘days being generally excessively hot, the nights severely cold.’ To ascertain what he believed to be the nearest source of the Murray to Cape Howe, Townsend surveyed the Great Dividing Range. This was not an easy task given the ‘large number of springs and rugged, densely timbered terrain,’ and it required that ‘every water channel and every minutest bend of the range [be investigated] so as to leave no doubt as to the particular source sought for.’

From this Townsend made a reduced plan to indicate the straight line to Cape Howe. At the expedition’s end, Townsend’s equipment was in a ‘mutilated state:’ his men and bullocks were not much healthier.

In 1866 the Victorian Parliament deemed Townsend’s marking of Cape Howe insufficient, and so in 1869, a conference was held to geodetically survey the twenty kilometres of Cape Howe, and to decide the exact position of the boundary end-point. 

It is believed that this survey was never completed or maybe never undertaken. 

The Age Nov 24, 2004.

With its restoration of a historic survey cairn near the source of the Murray River complete, a team of 16 surveyors has ended 153 years of unfinished business between Victoria and NSW.

The team, from the Victorian Surveyor General's office, RMIT's geospatial science unit and volunteers from the Institution of Surveyors finished restoring the 134-year-old monument.

The team's work paves the way for a formal recognition of the straight-line part of the border. A draft proclamation was begun in 1874 but never invoked.

The land boundary, as distinct from the Murray River boundary, was agreed to before the colonies separated in 1851.

The border begins at the official source of the Murray - a two-metre-wide patch of wet ground - on the north-west slope of Forest Hill, near Mount Kosciuszko. It then drops east-south-east for 155 kilometres in a straight line to Cape Howe.

RMIT lecturer and survey team member Ron Grenfell said there had been intense rivalry between the two colonies from the start and NSW usually triumphed.

Before they had even split, the southern colony had already lost the rich farm country of the Riverina and rights to tax the lucrative Murray River trade.

The original border was to have been the Murrumbidgee River, which would have ceded to the southern colony a large tract of land, almost as far north as Canberra.

"Victoria would have been huge," Dr Grenfell said.

The discovery of gold at Delegate, and the question of which colony it lay in, prompted the first survey of the line from the Murray to Cape Howe nearly 20 years after the colonies had split. Surveyors Alexander Black and Alexander Allan forced their way through some of Australia's most rugged terrain to finish the two-year survey in 1872.

Black, a Victorian, laid the marker stone so that it faced Victoria. The straight segment of border was named the Black-Allan Line in their honour.

Even though it owns Delegate, not everything has gone NSW's way. When Dr Grenfell and a team of RMIT students surveyed part of the Black-Allan Line in 1984, they discovered an error that meant NSW had for decades been repairing a Victorian stretch of the Princes Highway just north of Genoa.

It was only a 14-metre stretch but, after the loss of the Riverina, the Murray watercourse and the gold at Delegate, it was, for Victoria, a symbolic victory. 

And from the Bombala Times Feb 21, 2006.

AFTER a wait of more than 130 years, the eastern straight-line portion of the NSW and Victorian border was formally recognised last Thursday, February 16.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Victorian Premier, Bruce Mildenhall completed a dedication to Townsend Corner, which was named after early explorer, Thomas Scott Townsend who found the source of the Murray River nearest to Cape Howe.

Officially naming Indi Springs of the upper reaches of the Murray, NSW Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly then explained the Aboriginal origins of the title, with 'Indi' meaning ‘something far away, or belonging to the past'. 

  • Below is a photo of the post at the Eastern end of the Black Allen Line (you refer to it as Townsends Corner) and the stone cairn on the first peak about a kilometre East of that point. The trail of stones marks the direction of the border line. This cairn was rebuilt about 7 years ago. Peter.
steel post
mr cairn

Places to Visit – Queensland. 

Currawinya National Park.

Currawinya was taken up by James and Alexander Hood and James Torrance in 1861 and developed as a sheep grazing property. The first Post Office in the area was run by Walter Hood and known as Hoodsville. Later it was shifted to Hungerford and renamed. Currawinya became part of Caiwarro in 1919.

Caiwarro was taken up by Vincent Dowling in 1860. Successive owners added other properties, including Currawinya. At its peak 120,000 sheep were run by 100 men working from Caiwarro. Three cricket teams played matches every Sunday. Caiwarro homestead was abandoned in the 1970s and the station headquarters moved to Currawinya

The national park now protects a wide range of flora and fauna representative to the region. The main feature of the park is two large lakes on the north western boundary, one salt and the other fresh. This creates a haven for a wide range of birdlife includingAustralia's largest group of rare freckled ducks. The spade foot toad (water holding frog) is another of the many varieties of wildlife found in the area. It is said that there is a wider variety of birds in theCurrawinyaNational Parkthan there is in Kakadu. Permits for camping are available from the office within the park. Phone 076 554 001. 

Carolyn’s Collection.

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 selection of books by Eileen Finlay. Finlay grew up in Gippsland, Victoria where most of her novels are set. All books are hardcover Some are in good condition, others are in poor and fragile condition. A few have dustjackets. Normally these books are priced between $5-$20 plus post.  This week’s special price is $4.00 per book. Please add $9.50 flat rate postage, regardless of the number of titles ordered.

Titles are:

The Caravan Returns

Galleon – Proudly Sailing

The Hills of Home

The Caravan Passes

Crying in the Wilderness

The Hills of Home


Journey of Freedom 

Jo and Graeme’s England adventure. Part 1. London. 

Recently I commented to Graeme ‘Life’s too short. We’ve been to too many funerals this year. I think I need to do something outrageous’.

As usual, Graeme cautiously said ‘what did you have in mind?’

‘Hmmm, let’s go visit our youngest daughter to give her a hug and say Merry Christmas’

This is usually the point of the conversation where I get the ‘let’s be rational and think about this’ talk, but instead he said, well let’s check into it.

Never one to let a momentary lapse like that pass without acting, a week later we were heading to Heathrow. It turns out that flying to London in November when the climate is not at its best is relatively cheap. Relative to normal Australia – England flight prices that is.

Ten days was all that we thought we could spare and still complete our end-of-month Westprint work. We knew it was not enough time to have a proper look around, but our aim was to see Laura, meet her friends, see where she lives and works and experience the city she has been living in for more than a year. Ten days was time enough for that. Here is the blog. Jo


Is it worth 24 hours in a plane to give your daughter a hug? Yep! 

Day 1. I never thought I would be in London but here I am. Here's what I've learned.

  1.  Long-haul flights are much more bearable when you have a row of 3 seats each to lie across.
  2. Traveling in a country where they speak the same language (sort of) is a breeze compared to countries where English is the 2nd, 3rd or 4th language.
  3. Taking your husband who is happy to be in control of tickets, passports, money exchange etc makes life easier again.
  4. Hyde Park is not a park it's a forest.
  5. In Kensington Gardens they fence off the flowerbeds to keep you out.
  6. The underground railway is a hoot. You can go all over the place and just pop up out of the ground like rabbits.
  7. They have squirrels!!!
  8. Now this is the only bit I don't understand. It's cold outside. I get that, it's November. But....the minute you go inside - buildings, shops, trains, underground - the heating selection is 'Australia midsummer'. What the heck, London? Are you all just serial undressers? From hat, coat and scarf outside, to sweating in a t-shirt inside. How do you all get acclimatized? And how do you all disrobe in the confines of restaurants etc. so gracefully? I'm dragging my scarf, have the coat sleeve caught under the chair leg, dropping my hat....

Let's see what Day 2 brings.

london bus

Typical London, double-decker buses and funny looking cabs. 

hyde park

Hyde Park (Hyde Forest) 

Observations from day 2 of the Monopoly Board adventure.

  1. Double decker bus drivers must have nerves of steel.
  2. Before we left I had asked Laura if there would be Christmas lights. London you didn't disappoint.
  3. Darkness at 5p.m. is weird.
  4. I haven't seen the sun or even any blue sky since we landed. I wonder if this is normal. How do people cope if it is grey for weeks?
  5. I have only seen three police officers, but London seems very safe. At least in the parts of the city where we have been wandering.

narrow st

Oh yes, our huge double decker bus is meant to fit through there. 


Working our way around the monopoly board. Trafalgar Square.


Christmas Lights Oxford Street.


More monopoly. The Strand. 

Day 3 Tour of the Towers.

  1. And just like that the sun came out! Not very warm but at least enough to cast a shadow and for me to realise our room is 180° from what I thought.
  2. Bus drivers not only have nerves of steel... some of them are just insane.
  3. Wild shrimp looks and taste like yabbies. Yum.
  4. The Borough markets are more crowded than the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
  5. Guinness. Hmmm. I can only imagine that my reaction to Guinness was the same as the reaction from most non-Aussies when they first taste vegemite.
  6. The underground railway is a piece of engineering genius.
  7. English pubs are different to Australian pubs. Not sure how to describe it yet, but I'll work on it.
  8. The locals are very polite and helpful.
  9. Looking at some of the older areas around London bridge, the Tower of London and ruins of old churches show that the locals have not always been friendly. 

dunstan church

Peaceful garden inside the ruins of St Dunstan-in-the-East. Originally built about 1100. Burned in the Great Fire of London 1666. Bombed extensively in WWII during the Blitz. Opened again in 1971 as a public garden. 


Colourful houses on Portobello Road. 


The Spire, London CBD 


On the tube and the person sitting next to me is playing monopoly on his phone. I’m about to give him a ‘Chance’ card. 

Day 4 and loving London. Two days of blue skies. Way to go London! It's still cold but the buildings against the blue sky are spectacular. I still have not worked out the heating but at least now I have packed all the jumpers I brought. T-shirt and coat are the way to go. Lessons from Day 4.

  1. Greenwich. C'mon London/England. Greenwich = green witch not grenn etch. I think you are all tittering behind your hands saying, ‘ooh listen to them, they can't even speak English properly’. Some other gems I have seen; Gotham (Goat-ham), Brougham (Broom), Rampisham (Ran-som), Mousehole (Mou-zle). Of course, if I lived in Mousehole I’d probably want to jazz it up a bit too.
  2. Pronunciation aside Greenwich is probably our favourite place so far. It's a whole village inside a city. Could have spent way more time there.
  3. Saw the London Eye from close up today. If I'm that far from the ground it had better be in something with wings.
  4. Saw the police setting up security for a military parade. They have awesome weapons. We did speak to one to ask what was happening, but I thought asking for a photo might get me on some sort of watch list.
  5. They have a parade/remembrance service for service animals lost in war.
  6. I have remarked on the genius of the underground, but it has entertainment value as well. There are incredibly long and steep escalators. When you look at the people on the other side they look like they are all about to topple forward/backward like dominoes (petty, I know but still funny). The other interesting thing is that they are so steep you have to hold the handrail. On some escalators the rail moves slightly faster than the steps so that by the time you get to the end you are surreptitiously hugging the person in front of you.
  7. I am willing to concede defeat on behalf of Australia for calling everything chips (fries, chips, crisps) but yesterday I saw Kale Crisps. How is that even a thing? Surely the idea of eating a packet of chips (or whatever you call them) is to eat salt and trans fats and other artery clogging ingredients. Kale Crisps? That's just wrong.


At Greenwich Observatory. Graeme with one foot on each side of the ‘vertical equator’. 


Laura’s bar. 

london eye

Give me wings if I’m going that high.

greenwich view

Parks surrounding Greenwich Observatory. 

greenwich uni

Chapel at Greenwich University. 

Day 5 of observations from an Aussie.

  1. Although the Tube is awesome I think Graeme's been on more trains in the past 5 days than ever before, so we decide to hire a car (although on reflection he probably just wants to drive in England). We will pick it up tomorrow and head north.
  2. Second only to the genius of the tube are the signs painted on every pedestrian intersection telling you which way to look. Complete with arrows. A bonus for those like me who have no concept of left and right but a lifesaver for those who might expect cars to be on the other side of the road.
  3. The famous Camden markets are just as you would expect The most eclectic and eccentric mix of vintage, alternative and artistic. Everything you won't find on Oxford Street (where very expensive and supposedly tasteful items can be purchased). Camden itself is like a mini Venice with buildings along the river.
  4. The Camden Markets are in concerted stables. They are as much fun to look at as the wares.
  5. I knew Graeme would struggle with the weather but today I have to agree - it's cold in London when it rains.
  6. I thought it was weird when it was dark at 5p.m. Today we popped up from the Tube at Westminster at 4.30 to find it was dark and raining.
  7. Even in the dark and rain Westminster Abbey is stunningly beautiful. 

ped sign

The very helpful pedestrian signs. 


Lock at Camden. Markets are to the right.

camden market

Camden Markets

Part 2 of this adventure continues in the New Year - January 4th edition. 

Friday Funnies 

A very large squid had a fight with another squid and withdrew rather badly battered. He had lost a couple of tentacles, was bleeding from various parts of his body and was having difficulty swimming. Next minute a dolphin came swimming past and said what happened you so after the squid poured his heart out the dolphin said I will take you home to a nice safe cave to recover. So, he picked up the poor squid and carried him on his nose until he came to very large cave and deposited him inside. Suddenly the cave door closed and the squid heard the dolphin say to a very large shark here is the six quid that I owe you. 

Did you know?

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter? Tom Sawyer

Each King in a deck of playing cards represents a great King from history:

Spades - King David of Israel.

Hearts – Charlemagne, King of France

Clubs - Alexander, the Great

Diamonds – Roman Caesar Augustus

Viagra is now available in tea bags. It doesn't enhance performance, but it does stop your biscuit going soft.

If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'? A One thousand

What is the only food that doesn't spoil? Honey


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