Clouds in the Sky.
Even if it feels like Tuesday of next week.
To start the day – the low battery alarm on the fire detector in my little house went off at about 0415. Not dreadful in terms of my alarm normally kicks off about that time, but still a sub-optimal way to wake up!
One of the things that has built itself into my morning routine is watching the little Dreamtime cartoon story that ABC Northern Television shows at 04horrible20. As we lived overseas for a significant proportion of my primary school days, I’ve realised I have an understanding of only the most basic Aboriginal tribal stories, so I’m catching up quickly. Living here in the not quite “Outback,’ certainly the fringe of Australian civilisation and working with Aboriginals, has been an eye-opener.
At Toothbrush Two, one of my neighbours is a ChiAb, his family is part of an intermarried group of Chinese and Aboriginal families who are descended from a party of Chinese gold miners who were pushed off what was thought to be the rich areas (note my use of the word “thought’) and walked south of Darwin, literally ‘tasting” the dirt to find gold. Because they had no women with them and no white woman would come near a chinese man in the early 1800’s.. they picked up with local aboriginal girls. When I first met Rex – I actually thought he was Mexican – similar skin colouring and facial features as opposed to the Dark chocolate and rounder faces that characterise the locals.
Here at Toothbrush Three, the story is almost the same except the mix is Scandinavian/Aboriginal. There are a number of people here with “Petterssen” and “Johannsson” as surnames who are blessed with olive skin, golden hair and are tall but still consider themselves to be tribal. They are the traditional owners of the area and are lucky to have not been dislocated from their spiritual homes.
The Aboriginal communities here and in Alice Springs are doing better than many others throughout the Northern Territory. In the worst cases recently, the Government sent in police and in one case, soldiers, to try to curb the levels of alcoholism, child abuse and violence within the communities. Studies have been conducted that indicate that three-quarters of the children in the outer areas have been abused in some form. The reports also highlighted that a number of the children have no schooling, and when the medical teams go out to check on them, find that many children now don’t speak English, only their native language. I firmly encourage the preservation of their tribal languages but they do need to be able to function into today’s world…
What saddens me most.. and this is where I think about what I want to do next, is the stories I hear in the Medical clinics along the Stuart Highway and from nursing friends in Darwin. That the young mothers will starve their babies for two or three days to get a free ride up to Darwin. The baby gets dehydrated, and falls ill. The nurses are so frustrated because they know its a cycle that will be repeated every time there’s something on in Darwin on the weekend. Petrol Sniffing is a huge problem in the NT – there is a form of Unleaded petrol that is not sniffable, but the NT Legislative Assembly and the Australian Government haven’t done enough to support it.
So we have cars broken into, children walking around sniffing from aluminium cans of petrol and babies put to sleep by petrol poured on a cloth tied around their necks.
I find it hard to understand how this could be allowed to happen in Australia. And its something else that makes me angry.
Poor fellow, my country, Indeed.
Safety boots wise today – after stumbling out of bed and clambering on furniture to turn off the non-fire alarm; I caught sight of myself in the mirror.
but this morning- we were having dramas. I was curly.
And that is a BAD sign.
Normally, when I look like Galadriel while she’s battling with Frodo’s offer to give her the ring, I know things are going to be rocky. Curls… yeah…. that’s not good.
My fears were not really allayed when the sun came up over the Dam.
In the early morning round the Dam, I start to believe that we should invite Peter Jackson to film The Hobbit (that’s a hint!) here.
Anyway – back to the Hair. When I go curly.. I think it’s going to rain soon.
It’s like watching Elephants ice-skating.. Its kind of impressive to see .. but you just know, if they miss one beat…. you may as well go get a dustpan and brush to start the clean-up process now.
I’m not that pleased with this photo. The Safety Officer thing has got to me – the trucks should travel with a 50m separation distance. These are just a bit too close.
Crochet wise.. The gown went round and round a bit more last night. We suffered a blow out on the skirt ball of merino, now down to a floppy husk, and I spent at least half an hour returning it to a useable state rather than try to work with the merino spaghetti coming out of the bag. Seriously wish I had brought down the pattern so I could start the booties and hat – I do need something to break up the monotony of the shells!!! 9 repeats down, 25 to go…
Oooh, in news just to hand – this is the Gown (+ boots and hat) in its finished version but in 3ply Dreamtime Wool. This is the set that I made in March that won at Royal Darwin Show but was beaten at Melbourne Show. A friend from my past life as a Cavy breeder, Bronwyn very kindly agreed to take some photos. Between Rebecca’s CD which, if I’m VERY lucky will be waiting for me this weekend…. if not.. next weekend; and Bronwyn’s photos, I can show you what crochet looks like at a SERIOUSLY big show. I am actually very chuffed that the set is on display as some Royals have been known to only put up things that have won ribbons. Its comforting to know that the unpackers didn’t open the box and die of hysterical laughter at the poor quality of my work!