The Year of the Mozzie

Kerry Cue article several newspapers 2005. 

Bzzzz! Ugh! Bzzzz. Thwack! Missed. Damn mozzie!

It happens every Summer. The Aussies Vs The Mozzies Test Match. And the mozzies win because there are zillions of ‘em. There are, in fact, 400 types of mozzie in Oz with names like Aedes Sollicitans. So at least one blood-sucking pest is also a lawyer makes perfect sense. Now each of these 400 mozzies has its own modus operandi. Some buzz around your head. Some go for the ankles. Some go for plump, sporty blokes.

 According to Tokyo researcher Dr Yoshikazu Shirai mozzies like Type O blood – marinated in a good wine, slightly aged and warmed in the sun – and, apparently, more blokes have it. If you are a fit, fat, sweaty bloke, now you know why you’re invited to barbecues. You’re the mozzie decoy.

But we all get mozzie bites. It’s the female mozzie doing the damage. And here’s the scary bit. She uses your DNA to make mozzie eggs. 200 to 300 of them. She spreads you around. And there may be little Bazza and Shazza mozzies out there that look a little like you about the blood-shot eyes.

But mozzies aren’t just annoying. They’re nano bio-terrorists. They spread fevers, plagues and mental diseases. This may explain the odd behaviour of Queenslanders at times.

So how do you outsmart mozzies? First, you must understand the mozzie psyche. Unionists, they work mostly at dusk and dawn attracted to smell, sound, carbon dioxide, warmth and light. An evening barbie is like yelling ‘come’n get it!’ to a mozzie. 

Aussies use many concoctions and contraptions from coils to sprays to zappers to get rid of mozzies. But do any of these devices work?

I can tell you. For we Aussies have a secret weapon, the Australian Mosquito Control Manual (2004) written by Darwin Medical Entomologist Peter Whelan. And here’s the low down. Anti-mozzie devices from citronella candles to zappers only work in confined spaces. That’s inside, mate. Any device that lures mozzies is useless because the kamikaze mozzies simply snack on you midway through their death dive. Sonic-repellent gizmos don’t work. Mozzies like others with brains the size of a pinhead enjoy one-note techno music. 

Ritual flame torches help. Mozzies aren’t attracted to yellow light. But if you don’t want your backyard to look like a fake tribal set from ‘Survivor’, just use yellow globes. Shrubs don’t help. Maybe you can squash the leaves and rub them on the skin. Or better still just grab some tea tree branches and thrash your guests. It mightn’t deter the mozzies, but it would scare off the neighbours!

Wind is good. Mozzies can’t fly in the wind. So the perfect time for a mozzie-free barbecue is just when the plates are flying off the table in gale-force winds. Sprays and gels work. But Aerogard is not enough. It keeps off flies. You need the big guns for mozzies. Tropical Strength Aerogard. Rid. Bushmans. Muskol. Repel. Use them all!

Now you’re on holiday. Camping. In come swarms of mozzies. It’s an emergency. What do you do?  You open your Australian Mosquito Control Manual and read on. Peter Whelan suggests to avoid mozzies in an emergency you cover yourself in mud, camp downwind near stock (They’re cows, city folk.), burn dung (Well, you’re near cows!) and if necessary bury yourself to the neck in sand and cover your head, which sounds like a fun camping trip for all the family. 

And one other thing. If all else fails. Run. Like the wind, I guess.  

Why we AUSSIES are LOST & CONFUSED at Easter …

At Easter I think of an Aussie Republic because in 1999 we rejected changing the Constitution PREAMBLE to one that began ‘In God we hope …’

So who was this Aussie GOD meant to be?

And how religious are we anyway? Full article here.

Captain Hook and the History of Oz

From Charming and Colliding Blog

From Charming and Colliding Blog

FROM THE ARCHIVES:

Ministers of Education have been alarmed in the past to discover Australian High School Students know very little about the history of this country. The following essay by Ashlee M, Year 8, Coolathanu High is believed to be included in some bureaucratic report somewhere.

Australia is a large incontinent that lies in the Specific Ocean except for Tasmania which doesn’t know where it is. Australia is very hot because the Topic of Popracorn is in Queensland somewhere, which means Queenslanders are sweaty and can grow topical plants in their ears. But the most important topic is the topic of Cancer because if youse get sunburnt, Omigod, ya gonna die.

Full Article: Captain Hook and the History of Oz

Sweating in a Summer Wonderland … with a Big Thanks to the CFA

I grew up in Kyneton next door to the CFA, the volunteers who risk their lives for the community, fighting fires in, often, 40°+ (104F°+) heat

We Aussies aren’t big flag-wavers … but, for so many reasons, the CFA makes me proud to be an Australian.

3 Court Martials, 1 Senate Inquiry, an Aussie lad goes to War

Michael O'Donnell 20th Rein 14th Batt, 1916

Michael O’Donnell
20th Rein 14th Batt, 1916

It is 100 years since the end of WW1. That seems like a long time ago. When I explain that my grandfather’s elder brother  Michael O’Donnell was killed in that war at Bullecourt, France in 1917, the story loses the dust of history and sounds closer to us.

This is the story about a young man who was Court Martialed 3 times, held with enemy prisoners and  finally allowed to go to war following a Senate Inquiry.

It is also a story about duty, loyalty and honour and how much we Aussies have changed today.

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Michael O'Donnell Postcard 1911 Remembering 1910 March Melbourne to Bendigo

Michael O’Donnell
Postcard 1911
Remembering 1910 March Melbourne to Bendigo

The sound that distinguishes Anzac Day from others is the bugle call. The solitary call of the Last Post reverberates down the generations as a mournful cry for the loss of war.

In the First World War it was the loss of so many young lives and for what? A toehold on some peninsula, a futile charge into no man’s land? The loss swept into every Australian household. Mothers lost their sons.

Young women lost brothers, boyfriends, lovers, husbands. And for fathers, adding to the pain of loss, was the bitter aftertaste of guilt summarised so succinctly by Rudyard Kipling, who lost his own son in that war:

………………………………………………………………………

“If any question why we died/Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

Yet the generation of Australians who served in the First World War had qualities we no longer possess and this is our loss.

Read Full Article here: Echo of the Bugle

Read Edited article published in the herald Sun Anzac Day, 25th April, 2007: Echo of the Bugle

The Rules of BACKYARD CRICKET? Make Them Up as You Go

Shock! Horror! Outrage!
The NSW Australia Day Council is threatening to publish the Rules of BACKYARD CRICKET on Australia Day, 2018. (Go to: Backyard cricket battle over call for same rules for all, Emily Ritchie, The Australian, 13 JAN, 2018.)

There are no rules. That’s the point.

I wrote a LETTER TO ALLAN BORDER in 1988. This comic story about the crazy make-them-up-as-you-go rules of Backyard Cricket was published in The Age, SMH etc.

Ian (Macca) McNamara read out the letter on Australia All Over, ABC.

LISTEN to Macca read: A LETTER TO ALLAN BORDER (above)

Hey Girls, why do you worry about the anonymous THEY? Part 1

My daughter found a video marked ‘Kerry. Don’t tape over’ in my mother’s handwriting at the back of a cupboard last week. Sadly, my mother has been dead for over 20 years. We don’t have a VCR player anymore. My daughter bought one for $20 on Gumtree.

The tape contained TV interviews. Kerry with Ray Martin. Kerry with Steve Vizard. etc. I was astounded to see my younger SELF of 30 years ago. I was in my thirties. (The pic above is 10 years old). All I can remember was hating going on TV. I was SELF CRITICAL of everything. My looks. What I said. What I didn’t say.

Keep in mind this was live TV. You are often told what to wear, what to say, what not to say. And there was the audience too. I wanted to please them all, the anonymous THEY. But don’t we all do that all too often. Shouldn’t we ask ourselves sometimes ‘who exactly am I trying to please here?’

And why? Why did I care about THEM? Why didn’t I just please myself? See for yourself: