Paddling through the Yarra
In a holey old canoe
Hitting rocks below
Whilst fighting off a ‘roo
Tiger snake swims by
Hissing Christmas songs
It’s time for summer holidays
And I’m in my boardies n’ thongs
Oh! Jingle bells, my red bin smells
It wasn’t picked up last week
It’s Christmas time in Warrandyte
40 degrees and my goon-bag’s sprung a leak, hey
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Christmas time is grouse
Oh what fun it is to ride
‘cross the bridge to Nanna’s house
Asphalt’s getting hot
Melts the soles of shoes
An echidna’s getting prickly
He deserves a chilled beer too
All the clan is there
Sitting by the river
Christmas Day the Wazza way
Even Wombats are ruining their liver.
Oh! Jingle bells, my compost smells
The outdoor table is set
It’s Christmas in Warrandyte
And the rain’s on its way I bet, hey
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Kookaburras stole the goose
A dozen ales and a few chilled wines
And Granny’s getting loose
Come the afternoon
The adults have a doze
The prawn heads start going off
And burn the hairs of my nose
The snoring has slowed down
It’s finally time to go
Except Auntie Pain-in-the-arse
Decides we need the annual photo
Oh! Jingle bells, recycling bin smells
The kids have spat the dummy
It’s Christmas in Warrandyte
The ham’s given us an upset tummy, hey
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Christmas time is ace
Oh what fun it is to stagger home
Completely off your face.
Internet’s back on-line
And the bridge is working fine
Despite Santa losing his sleigh
On the round about
It’s the Warrandyte community way
To help the poor fella out
Use my old tin bath for his sleigh
And wrangle a flock of cockies for the flight
Oh! Jingle bells, my septic tank smells
I should have connected the sewer
It’s Christmas night in the ‘Dyte
Where the sunset’s a ripper sight, hey
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Christmas time is worth the fuss
Oh what fun it is to ride
On an uncrowded 906 bus
The excitement was palpable.
Not since Kanye stopped taking his meds and popped into the Oval Office wearing a MAGA cap hugging The Donald, had the media been in such a frenzy.
The princeling and Megs were coming to town.
The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, Baron Kilkeel a.k.a. Prince “The royal ranga” Harry of House Windsor and his matrimonial mate, Meghan of Mad House Markle had landed on Australian soil.
Treated to such mundane Australian stereotypical adventures like cuddling a koala at Taronga Zoo, cuddling some cute kids in a drought affected area, cuddling a cute lifeguard at Bondi, avoiding the cuddles at Government House from Republicans and climbing some random bridge in Sydney.
The highlight of the Royal visit was yet to come.
Wait. Hold up. What?
The highlight was yet to come?
His royal Fanta-pants and the TV star could barely contain their excitement over their adventure further south to Victoria.
The Duchess had been combing the internet for some local designers and had settled on a lovely tie-died trouser suit from the St Andrews market.
Meanwhile Our Royal/Duke/Earl/Baron/Ginger Ninja was frothing over the prospect of cutting the ribbon at the grand opening of the Eighth Engineering Wonder of the World.
The real reason for the Royal visit had been revealed.
The beaming newly weds were here to flick the switch on the Research Road and Kangaroo Ground Road intersection traffic lights.
Shining a beacon of light and hope over improved traffic conditions, symbolising the greatest reunification since David Hasselhoff glued Deutschland back together.
The crowning glory of the you-beaut, wider-than-two-utes bridge.
Turns out, things didn’t quite go to plan.
In fact, the proverbial wheels started to fall off the Royal Caravan and accompanying media circus as soon as the bloodnut and the world’s favourite American divorcee’s plane landed at Melbourne Airport.
“Sorry your Royal Highness, but the Tullamarine Freeway is at a standstill after an accident,” announced the unwitting Uber driver who’d got the fateful call.
“No problems, we have the common touch, we’ll catch the Airport Link train to the city,” replied no-fuss-Harry.
“Er, sorry, but er, that hasn’t been built yet,” stammered someone official.
“Well, I’ve always wanted to catch a world-famous Melbourne Tram,” Harry graciously answered.
“Er, sorry, but er, the tram won’t get you to Warrandyte and the connecting Doncaster Rail Link hasn’t been built yet,” stammered someone official.
“Happy to jump in a helicopter,” responded Harry, smile starting to slip.
“Er, sorry, but er, Warrandyte is a no-fly zone.
“Every time a helicopter flies over the area, the Warrandyte Business and Community Facebook page goes into meltdown, taking up the entire 24kB/s bandwidth leading to all telecommunications to cease, water pressure to drop and the recycling bin not to get picked up for two weeks!,” stammered someone official.
Shaking his head, our trusty Rusty Duke, whispers to his lady: “Maybe we should just let this lot become a Republic”.
Across the airport’s long term carpark a voice boomed “Hey mate, you need a lift to Warrandyte?” as two muscly legged black-and-green-lycra-clad blokes pedalled furiously towards the royal party.
“Jump on, we can dink you there,” our two wheeled heroes added.
“That would be lovely,” replied the Duchess, now very pleased she had chosen the tie-died pant suit.
The cut making it easy to mount a bike and the tie-die covering up all evidence of mud splatter.
As our Warrandyte Mountain Bike Club heroes pedalled their precious cargo into town, our ever inquisitive kissed-by-fire sixth-in-line-to-the-throne exclaimed in wonder.
“Where are all the people?”
“Er, sorry, but er, the bridge is closed.
“No one can come south, so they’ve all gone to Eltham to get their morning coffee, smashed avo and groceries,” stammered someone official
“But aren’t we here to open the bridge?
“Don’t I get to cut the ribbon?
“Don’t I get to flick the switch on the traffic lights?” replied our copper-top, all but rubbing a bald patch on the back of his head.
“Er, sorry, but er, the bridge is nowhere near finished, we have some traffic light poles but they aren’t connected to anything, there aren’t any switches yet and no one has ordered the ribbon,” stammered someone official.
“But wasn’t is all supposed to be finished by fire season, I mean after, I mean September?” replied the Earl of Dumbarton, understanding dawning on him, he had actually found the dumb town he was Earl of.
“Er, sorry, but er, we had delays with… and…and…and…” droned on someone official.
“Well, I’m pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is pregnant.
“Maybe the bridge will be completed by the time our child has come of age and they can do the grand opening,” replied the proud father to be.
“Er, sorry, but er, wait. What. Hold up. That’s a brilliant idea. It might almost be finished by then,” stammered someone official.
The Diary’s researchers have taken a peek into the archives to see what was happening in Warrandyte a century ago and guess what they found?
Hawthorn and Camberwell Advertiser Friday, October 18 1918, Page 4.
About 100 returned wounded soldiers were entertained at luncheon and afternoon tea on Sunday, October 13.
The display inside the hall was most inviting, the tables being stored with the choicest of edibles, tempting in the highest degree and sufficient to satisfy the most exacting of epicures.
As the soldiers arrived they were all directed into the hall, the weather being wintry, and a gusty wind prevailed. Among the visitors was Mr Pearson, who has been such a prominent figure in this particular mission of conveying them to the different centres of attraction.
After luncheon, they sallied forth to see as much as they could of the little village and to gather the beautiful tinted leaves which at this season of the year are the glory of the bush.
One young fellow who had undergone six or seven operations on the table of the operating theatre, and was the wonder of the medical faculty, came sauntering back from his ramble looking happy carrying a little forest of green leaves, and pleased with the thought of taking a touch of nature back with him to gladden the hearts of those left behind.
The topic, however, was not of Warrandyte or its possibilities, but General Pau, who was to visit the hospital next day, and to them the prospect was a highly interesting one.
About four o’clock the cars began to move away, the occupants being none the worse for their outing, but much benefitted by the fresh air. Mr W. Aird, formerly of Ringwood, catered for the guests, and after the visitors had departed those who remained behind were invited by Mr Aird to partake of what refreshments were available, which was done ample justice to.
The whole of the arrangements were under the supervision of the Warrandyte Patriotic League. A welcome home was tendered on Saturday evening, October 12, by the residents of Warrandyte to Corporal George T. Clarke, better known as “Bobby”, who had seen four years’ service right through from the peninsula to western Europe.
He was the pioneer of the little town to enlist, and sailed on October 19, 1914. Corporal Clarke has been three times wounded, the first occasion being at the landing at Gallipoli.
On arrival in the township, he was given an ovation by the school children, and the reception in the evening was a hearty one, some of his mates from the 8th Battalion carrying him shoulder high. Being a general favourite, he was made the recipient of warm eulogiums.
Mr A. Aird congratulated him on behalf of those present on his safe return, which was endorsed by Sgt Thompson, of the 8th Battalion, and others.
Corporal Clarke responded in simple language, and expressed his pleasure at the welcome given him.
Cheers were given again and again for the guest of the evening. Items were rendered by Queenie Robertson, Francey Sloan, Mr Archie Clarke (a brother of Corporal Clarke), Mr J. Cooke, and Miss A. Mullens. Mr Woodford Smith (violin) and Mr A. Aird (piano) supplied the musical programme for the evening, and Mr C. Jones acted as M.C. Dancing was kept up late, and a most enjoyable evening spent, refreshments being provided gratis by Mr and Mrs Aird.
But the saddest of all was the homecoming to that vacant chair, for the mother who had said farewell and bade him “God speed”, had passed away during his absence.
Perhaps the blow had been softened, as not long after he had departed he had received the news that his mother had died suddenly, which came as a great shock to her many friends, but only he alone could the feel the full significance of his loss.
Articles in “The more things change” sourced through the National Library of Australia’s online archive Trove: https://trove.nla.gov.au/
image courtesy of Warrandyte Historical Society website.
ON MAY 8 1970, Melbourne witnessed a then unprecedented event: a demonstration of around 100,000 people in Bourke Street against the Vietnam War.
In all, some 200,000 people protested throughout Australia that day, sending a powerful message to the government that the tide of public opinion was turning against Australia’s involvement in the war.
Nearly 33 years later, on February 14 2003, there were again massive protests throughout Australia – and elsewhere in the world – against the proposed invasion of Iraq.
Estimates of the numbers at the Melbourne rally alone ranged between 100,000 and 200,000.
I remember marching down Swanston Street to Federation Square and being stunned by the vastness of the crowd.
Fast forward to 2018, and we’re now facing a crisis of a very different kind.
A crisis that can fairly be regarded as the greatest in human history – climate change.
Throughout the world, average surface temperatures are rising.
Globally, 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2001, with 2016 ranking as the warmest on record.
This is one aspect of what we call “climate change”, but the term also refers to a broader range of changes that are happening to our planet.
These include rising sea levels, shrinking mountain glaciers, accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic, and shifts in flower/plant blooming times.
They also include weather events of increasing severity and frequency, like cyclones, droughts, and floods.
The effects of climate change are everywhere to be seen:
- The Great Barrier Reef is dying largely as a result of increased water temperatures due to global warming.
- Low-lying nations, particularly small island states, face inundation as a result of rising sea levels.
- With increased temperatures and frequent heatwaves worldwide, there is increased evaporation of water which provides fuel for storms, exacerbating extreme weather events like cyclones or hurricanes, especially in tropical regions.
- The melting of the cryosphere (frozen water in the polar ice caps and elsewhere) means that we’re seeing not only sea level rises, but also the exposure of dark ocean waters, which absorb more sunlight than ice – heating the ocean more and speeding up a relentless cycle of melting and heating.
The international Paris Agreement, supported by world scientific opinion, has recognised that the situation we face is one of urgency: we need to take drastic measures to limit average global temperature rises to a maximum of 2oC (since the start of industrial times) — and pursue efforts to limit the average increase to 1.5°C — if we’re to avoid the worst impacts of dangerous climate change.
Given the great weight of scientific opinion and that our planet’s future is at stake, it’s not unreasonable to expect our politicians to show strong national leadership on the need for urgent, effective action on climate change.
However, leadership has been sadly lacking on this issue.
Instead, the climate crisis has become mired in short-sighted political expediency, climate denialism, and party politics — including the destructive Liberal Party in-fighting that recently caused the (second) downfall of Malcom Turnbull.
In the absence of proper political leadership, the pressure for urgent climate action needs to come from the community.
The People’s Climate March in Melbourne in November 2015 was attended by an estimated 60,000 people.
But we should be seeing far bigger demonstrations in our streets calling for urgent climate action, on the same scale as the one against the Iraq War in February 2003, if not larger.
For various reasons, however, this has not yet occurred.
Climate change has crept up on us gradually, especially over the last 50 years or so.
The adverse effects of climate change are worsening, but they’re occurring intermittently over an extended time-frame of years and decades.
Most of the time, our weather conditions appear normal and the urgency of the climate situation is not readily apparent to many people in the community.
Unlike the threat posed at times by war or terrorism (for example, by the looming invasion of Iraq in 2003), climate change does not present the same sort of imminent and tangible threat that people feel they can do something about, such as by taking to the streets in protest.
Part of the problem in getting people to accept the need for urgent climate action arises from the process of psychological denial, whereby people choose to deny the existence of unpleasant realities in spite of the evidence.
Likewise, the climate change problem is so huge that many people feel overwhelmed and powerless to do anything about it.
So they “switch off” and opt to do nothing at all.
The key challenges for the climate action movement are to engage with the community to a far greater extent, and to understand and overcome the barriers to widespread popular support for urgent climate action.
The proposed Carmichael (Adani) coal mine and rail project represent an excellent focus for community engagement.
In the face of the climate emergency due to the burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the federal and Queensland governments are ardently supporting and facilitating the Adani mine, which will be the world’s biggest coal venture.
WarrandyteCAN condemns the recklessness of both these governments, and urges everyone to do what they can to support the Stop Adani campaign.
WarrandyteCAN would like to know what readers of the Warrandyte Diary think about climate change and asks them to take part in the following poll:
I asked our resident Tasmanian expert Anna, a Tasmanian herself, how best one should spend a lazy few days on the beautiful Apple Isle.
If you are a foodie and love the outdoors, it will be hard not to resist her recommendations.
Upon arriving at Launceston Airport, collect your car and travel about 10 minutes to your first stop.
Enjoy a winery tour, tasting and lunch at Josef Chromy Wines, a state-of-the-art winery located near Launceston. Surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and vineyards, the winery offers a range of cool-climate wines, delicious food and warm service.
Start by walking in the vineyard and learning about the estate’s high-tech winemaking process.
Sip some samples served by a friendly wine expert then head to a two-course lunch paired with wine.
It’s the perfect way to explore Tasmanian wine country. Head o for a beautiful drive looping the vineyards and providores on both sides of the Tamar Valley.
Exploring the Artentwine Sculpture Biennial on o er over October and November 2018.
Next day drive to Cradle Mountain, roughly a two hour drive.
On the way keep an eye out for Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Café.
This place has an unending supply of raspberries and raspberry menu items.
Stop in, if only to buy some chocolate covered raspberries. is is important.
They are fantastic and will be perfect for an evening at Cradle Mountain Lodge with a good glass of red — I promise.
Spend your time in Cradle Mountain taking in the beauty of this amazing National Park.
The park contains an extensive network of walking tracks to suit everyone’s tastes.
A day walk map should be purchased from the visitor centre if you want to go on any day walks.
Start at the visitor centre will also provide tailor-made advice to match your walking needs with the tracks available.
Strahan is a harbour-side village with a dark and fascinating convict past set on the edge of the World Heritage listed Franklin–Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.
Strahan is full of stories from the days of convicts and pioneers toughing it out in Tassie’s “wild west”.
Strahan is also the departure point for the West Coast Wilderness Railway which do a half day tour journeying deep into Tasmania’s rainforest.
A scenic road trip will see you in Hobart for a city sojourn to end your gorgeous getaway in Tasmania.
What are you waiting for?
Our travel expert Carolyn is the manager of Warrandyte Travel and Cruise.
Email her at — email@example.com