Boomerang

(Yes folks. It came back).

The Kimberley Hotel has two garden bars. One is out the back, beside the pool.  On the sunny cooler days of the dry season, when there is no need for air conditioning, it is a popular place for patrons to sit and drink.  There is an open passage past the restaurant dining room to the main bar.  There, the pool tables are populated by players, who bet money, cigarettes or beer on the outcome of the games.  In the front, there is a veranda with tables where bar meals are eaten and another garden bar where on Thursday nights the weekly trivia quiz is held.
This particular Saturday afternoon I was out on the veranda drinking my usual lemon lime and bitters.  I was only there on the off chance of a conversation with someone interesting.  My bike was parked outside and I was hoping to have a chat with any bikers passing through. I figured the best place to meet them would be the hotel.

The pub was noisy as usual with the buzz of conversation, the knock of billiard balls, and the occasional shout of victory, or a cry of “unlucky!” after a missed shot.  On a high stool at the bar behind the pool tables, an old aboriginal gentleman sat quietly alone, sipping a beer. He stepped out onto the veranda for a few minutes to smoke a thin, carefully rolled cigarette. Then he returned to his stool with his beer.   He was a handsome old man, with white hair and beard, bushy eyebrows and a weathered face from which his dark eyes twinkled with cheerful humour. He looked for all the world like a kindly old blackfeller Santa.

Outside, a tourist bus pulled up and disgorged its passengers. There seemed to be dozens of them, mostly retirees, by the look of it.  They all made a rush for the bar and ordered enough beers and glasses of wine to keep the bar staff busy for a full fifteen minutes.  Some also ordered meals and went to imbibe their drinks on the veranda as they waited for the food to arrive.  The noise of conversation doubled.  One of the tourists, an elderly Englishman with a northern accent, eyed the old Aboriginal gentleman for a while. He seemed to make up his mind about something.  Picking up his beer he sidled over and sat on the next stool.

“G’day” he said. “Are you local?”

“Yep.” Said the old man.

“And you’re Aboriginal, right?”

The old man held his arm out beside the Englishman’s. His black skin was answer enough, but “yep” he said laconically.

“Can I ask you a favour then?” said the Pom. We’ve just come up the Tanami from Alice Springs. I bought a boomerang down there. I did not get a chance to ask anyone to show me how to throw it.  And I’d like to get a few shots of a real indigenous person throwing a boomerang, to take home. Will you throw it for me?”

The old man looked dubious. “I don’t think so mate” he said.

“I’ll buy you a beer”.

“Alright then. Where’s the stick?”

The Englishman went out to the bus and returned in a few minutes with an enormous boomerang and a digital camera.

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The old man took the boomerang and walked out past me to the edge of the veranda.  He raised it and threw it towards the bus.  Then he turned round and walked straight back to his stool by the bar.  He finished his beer in a few swallows, in anticipation of the promised fresh one.  The Englishman had started clicking with his camera as soon as the old chap stepped on to the veranda.  He walked out, still clicking, following the boomerang with his lens as it veered left away from the bus, lifting and spinning through the air. Over the bus it flew, out over the road beyond and back around high over the trees beside the pub.  He ran around behind it, trying to track it as it flew.  Chasing it, he disappeared from my sight around the corner of the building.  I expected the projectile would land in the pool. I waited to hear the splash, but I was surprised at what happened next.

The boomerang came flying down the passage from the back of the hotel and skittered past the old man’s feet, coming to a halt under the pool table, not more than two metres from where he sat. The pool players went silent looking at it, and at the old man sitting calmly on his stool.   A few seconds later the tourist followed it, gushing with enthusiasm.

“That was incredible! That passage is only a few feet wide!” He took a few shots of the boomerang where it had landed and picked it up. Then he went over to the bar and bought the promised beer. “Could you do that again?” he asked. “For another beer?  I didn’t get a shot of it flying around the back of the hotel”.

The old man shook his head. “I only do that once a year” he said. “Come back next year.”

The tourist looked disappointed, and for a moment seemed about to try to persuade the old fellow, but it was plain the old man was resolute, so with a sigh of resignation the tourist accepted the decision and patted the old man on the shoulder.  “Thanks again. That was really amazing. Wait till I tell them about this back in Kettlewell.”

He went over and sat down with his fellow travellers.  He showed them the pictures he had taken on the screen of his camera.  There was a murmur of appreciation as he told the story of what they had missed.  A few of them raised their drinks to the old man, but he was not looking their way.

After a minute or so the old gentleman rolled himself another cigarette, picked up his beer, and came out onto the veranda to light the rolly.

“That was a great throw” I said.

“Bugger that” he said. “I was taken away when I was eight. I was raised at the mission.  That is the first time I’ve ever thrown a bloody boomerang”.

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Experiment Failed

It seems my trial of the Sway app on my photography page is not going to be a success.

Apart from reported viewing difficulties, I have found that I cannot modify it or add new images without uploading a whole new set and creating an entirely new page each time.

Given that Panoramio is closing, I shall look into other ways to display the photos I consider to be my best, or that are most meaningful to me.

Experiment 2

Experiment 1, My Photo Gallery, was a failure, so I moved it to a new page here or you can click the “photographs” link at top right.  I wanted to have a page that catalogued all my favourite photographs and I constructed it using the Sway App from Microsoft.  But the app seemed to play havoc with my layout and kept picking up bits of previous posts.  I am hoping it will work better as a stand-alone page.

I would appreciate comments as to how it appears to users who may be viewing it on platforms I am not acquainted with.  I am no expert when it comes blog page design and layout.  I just picked a simple theme and followed the instructions.

Cavern on the Moon

Scientists Detect Massive Caverns on Moon That Could House Colony

This is actually a very positive find, because if there is to be a colony on the moon, safety and air conservation will be far better controlled in an underground cavern rather than domes.

 

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I posted this on my Facebook page and on a science page I subscribe to.
So far no one has commented on the odd looking artifact in the bottom right of the hole in the moon.
It looks oddly familiar.
Hone your observation skills.
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taif

Lonely Places

“Seek lonely places and be still, listening, hearing the songs and cries of the winged ones, the sounds of the four-leggeds, and the cries of the insect people; feeling the breath and touch of the earth, of leaves, of bark; for all have messages for you… “

Sees-Beyond-The-Lightning, of the Sioux.

 

This year I am going to find out what a night out camping in a lonely place can do for the young ones.

Heading Back

I’m heading back to Bili in the morning.  I’ve had enough of this metropolitan life.  I have stocked up on food and I am ready for the Wet.  This year I plan to be trapped at home by the weather, not away from it.  There has already been an attempt to get into my donga.  Unsuccessful, but I’m not taking any chances.  I will spend my last week of leave at “home” then get back to work.

In the Mane

When I was a kid of eight or nine I lived in a wee town called Bunnythorpe in NZ.  I had a friend named Billy Smith who lived on a farm up the road at the end of Maple Street.

I used to go there a lot and we would ride around on a huge Clydesdale draught horse which pulled a sled around from which we would feed hay or choumolier out to the cows. The horse was really gentle and docile, and we had a lot of fun with her.

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Then one spring a pair of starlings started building their nest in her mane. Every afternoon we would brush out her mane and every morning the birds would start again. Old Mr Smith was getting quite pissed off about it because he hated starlings. He said if it was fantails he wouldn’t have minded.

He tried putting fly spray, lemon and titree oils and similar things in the horse’s mane to put them off, but nothing worked.

He called the vet and asked if there was anything he could use as a bird repellent. The vet suggested rubbing some brewer’s yeast in the mane.

 

He tried it and it seemed to work, because the birds did not come back.

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He called the vet and told him the idea was successful but he didn’t understand why yeast worked when everything else didn’t.

The vet told him…

Yeast is yeast, and nest is nest, and never the mane shall tweet.

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