Tuggerah Lake pelicans bashfulPatricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs Reginald J. Dunkley.

The latest news from down under is that at last it has stopped raining. Here on the Central Coast the lakes flooded, and the beach was closed it was even too wet for the surfers. The birds are just starting to dry themselves, and the pelicans are out in force searching for their favourite meal.

Prince Harry dined out in Perth at a burger restaurant where he ordered a QVB (Queen Victoria Burger). The Prince laughed at the name and enjoyed the meal, which consisted of prime beef, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, free range egg, beetroot slices, salad, tomato relish, and mayonnaise. He is currently training with the Special Air Service Regiment at Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne. He was enjoying a football match when the news of his niece’s birth came through, much to his delight. Nearing the end of a month-long posting with the Australian Army, the Prince has taken a fondness to the Aussie tucker including Iced Vovos, which are a very sweet biscuit, Lamingtons, who doesn’t love them, squares of sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce, dipped in cocoanut and filled with cream or jam. Violet Crumble Bars covered in milk chocolate. Apparently the Prince has a healthy appetite with a taste for something very sweet, devouring a desert platter for two with no problems. Homemade Wagon Wheel Biscuit, a serve of apple crumble, lemon and lime meringue pie and fancy pomegranate pomelo and pistachio fruit salad, with a little Turkish delight thrown in. While army personnel were seen stocking up on delicious pastries Banofee Eclair – that’s banana and toffee, which are said to be his favourite, No doubt if nothing else The Prince will remember the tucker from Western Australia.   Let’s hope Sydney has something enticing to offer.

Bird female wren

Bird female wren

Once again the red carpet was rolled out for The Logies 2015. All the big names of Australian Television turned out for the star-studded ceremony at The Crown Palladium in Melbourne. With what the stars was wearing being just as important as who took home the awards. Carrie Bickmore won the Gold Logie for Most Popular Presenter and used the opportunity to call for greater awareness of brain cancer, having lost her husband to the disease. Most Popular Actress and Actor went to Asher Keddie and Steve Peacocke.   New Talent was awarded to Miranda Tapsell, while outstanding actress was Danielle Cormack. With programmes Home and Away, Love Child, Wentworth, The Project, The Voice, Utopia, Four Corners, News, and Sport, all receiving top awards. Julia Morris came up a winner by making a gaffe

Now that the cool weather has arrived it is time to head north, and where could be better than Lamington National Park. Four years after the arrival of the OReilly Family, who came in 1926 and established a Guesthouse named O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. The park was declared, thus effectively isolating the O’Reilly’s from the outside world. While Lamington wasn’t Queensland’s   first National Park it is the most significant and often referred to as Queensland’s National Park. World heritage status was bestowed in 1994 in recognition of its high biodiversity, and the fact it contains a living museum of evolutionary steps taken in the development of Australia’s modern day flora. It now includes 20,200 hectares of varying forest types, from temperate Antarctic beech forest high on the border ranges through the subtropical rainforests, to the dry eucalypt forest of the northern escarpment. This magnificent park has much to offer, Bushwalking, 500 Waterfalls, all manner of wildlife, and Birds. The retreat has been a sanctuary for bird lovers since the early part of the last century and enjoys international recognition as one of the premier bird watching locations in Australia with more than 160 species. Regent and Satin Bower-birds, Green Catbirds, Crimson Rosellas, King Parrots, Lewin’s Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills and superb Fairy- Wrens to name just a few. In 2015 Lamington National Park celebrates one hundred years of conservation. Named after Lord Lamington Governor of Queensland from 1896 – 1902, who also had the cake Lamington named after him. However, for at least 6,000 years Aboriginal people lived in these mountains. The vanished Wangerriburras and Nerangballum Tribes have a site at Bushrangers Cave showing occupation going back 10,000years. Today there is plenty of top class accommodation including the chance of purchasing a piece of this paradise. Warm sunshine plenty of food and the chance to get away from reality is a good way to spend the cold months of winter.

Bird lorikeet close up

Bird lorikeet close up

If you like your animals up close and personal Jamala Wildlife Lodge, National Zoo, Canberra is the place for you.   Here you can lay in your bath and have eye contact with a bear, a lion, or even a cheetah as they wander around looking at you looking at them. Bathing under the gaze of wildlife on this scale could be disconcerting to say the least, but that is how it is at this privately run National Zoo. Looking through the window at the animals you hope the glass is thick enough to withstand a lion’s giant paw, or the brown bears big black nose pushed up against the glass. Residing in the Jungle Bungalow on the banks of the Molonglo River in Canberra, you can quite easily imagine you are in the heart of Africa, surrounded by lions, cheetahs, bears, alpacas, and the star Hummer the giraffe. You can choose your jungle bungalow and the animals you want to see, and an overnight stay features a twilight tour at feeding time of cheetah, black rhino, while a pushbike provides the perfect vehicle for viewing

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the zoo at your own pace. What could be more pleasant than having Hummer the giraffe pop his head through the window of the tree house, you feeding him with his favourite carrots and having a friendly chat? Luxury accommodation and delicious food is all part of this wonderful wildlife experience.

Bird male wren

Bird male wren

Here at Shelly Beach the surfers are back in the ocean, and the sand has been restored to its rightful position, the raging storm is a thing of the past but it certainly was dramatic at the time.   The garden is still very wet and the grass a bit long but the birds are happy, and Pixie my little adopted Pomeranian is getting used to the way of things. Do look at my website www.patriciasartworld and “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain”, which I discovered is now being advertised in Tennessee. “Wallis the Woman I Love, and Letters of a Travelling Lady.”   With wonderful photographs.

Cheers.   Patricia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Patricia Newell-Dunkley

I am an artist writer, born in Sussex, Shoreham-on-Sea and educated at Ealing Modern School in London. I studied amongst other subjects English Literature and Art which sowed the seeds for what would become a lifelong passion. It was not until 1970, after moving to Australia, that I began to satisfy my artistic desire when I first started Porcelain on-glaze painting using mineral oxides paint, a style which would become my forte. Within six months I had bought a kiln, and I embarked on an extensive series of courses over the following years in Grounding, Gold and Silver Gilding, Lustres, Raised Paste and Pen work. In 1980 I began to offer my art through a number of major Sydney outlets. Initially the Fine Art Department of the Myers City Store, followed by David Jones, Grace Brothers, The International Airport, Micawbers Antiques, Bourke’s Hilton Hotel, Roseville Gallery and Toowoon Bay Gallery. Over the years my painting styles have expanded to include Oil, Pastel, and Watercolours. I am a member of the Society of Authors and also a member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists UK. My writing includes articles and poems published in This England, Evergreen, and The Radio ABC Pot Pourri of Poems, as well as short stories. “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” “Wallis the Woman I Love,” a narrative poem, “Letters of a Travelling Lady,” and six romantic novels.