Category Archives: Distractions

The Rake’s Progress

The country round here is now officially in drought: It’s been the driest April on record and we’ve had only a third of the average rainfall so far this year. There’s been no grass of any worth in the paddocks … Continue reading

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The Butler did it.

Wood has been used since time immemorial for making such things as rudimentary sticks for whacking animate and inanimate things with, to shelters and furniture etc. But wood really came into its own in the mid-nineteenth-century for creating the most … Continue reading

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Sláinte Mhaith and… take THAT!

When moving into my new abode, I unpacked two old Irish trophies that hadn’t seen the light of day for many a year; a well worn shillelagh (figure 1), and a hand stone (figure 2). Fig. 1. The old wormridden … Continue reading

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The Elephants Can Sleep a Little Easier

Earlier this week one of Australia’s pre-eminent auction houses, Leonard Joel, submitted its policy on the cessation of trade in ivory and rhino horn to the European Commission’s public consultation regarding European trade in these materials. In their 22nd Report, released … Continue reading

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Happy New Year

Cheers to everyone who took the time to read my posts over the past year, and a special thank you to those who commented on them. Wishing all my readers happiness and prosperity in 2018. Jack Plane

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Easter Fare

Although they have been on sale in most of the major supermarkets since Boxing Day, cross buns were traditionally eaten on Good Friday. In the eighteenth-century, cross buns were sold hot, door-to-door (fig. 1). Fig. 1. Thomas Rowlandson, Cries of … Continue reading

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One Million

I began this blog on the 14th of September 2009 primarily to keep my far-flung family apprised of my activities. The power of Google slowly started directing strangers to my blog from all corners of the globe and then one … Continue reading

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Cursed!

Seventeenth-century Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog landed on the west coast of Australia on the 25th of October 1616 (only the second European to do so). Having tarried merely three days on the continent, he set sail again, writing in his … Continue reading

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Happy New Year

Happiness, health and prosperity to all in 2017. Jack Plane

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Season’s Bleatings

The setbacks and frustrations have been several this year; a few have been unavoidable due to health issues, but others could and should have been avoided. Of these, the year’s greatest disappointment has been the loss of the entire text … Continue reading

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