Monday, 9 September 2013

From Little Things Big Things Grow

I photographed two scuties (aka House Centipede Scutigera coleoptrata) the other day in our house.
The first was a fully grown one (body length about 50 mm) which dashed about the staircase for a minute or so before settling down on an oak post. It was extremely well camouflaged and obviously confident of its invisibility, as Simon went up and down the stairs several times, almost brushing the beast without it moving. It had gone into ambush hunting mode.
The second was a tiny baby of about 10 mm, on the toilet wall. It made me think of the line from the Paul Kelly / Kev Carmody song 'From Little Things Big Things Grow'. (Aboriginal readers please note that the all the links in this post contain names and images of persons now deceased.)

This sent me off on a stream of consciousness and memory to another song, Gurindji Blues by Ted Egan and the lines 'Poor bugger me, Gurindji...Work for the good old Lord Vestey'. For those of you now utterly bemused, both songs are about the strike staged by Gurindji Aboriginal stockmen lead by Vincent Lingiari on Wave Hill Cattle Station in the late sixties, early seventies. The trigger for the strike was their shameful working conditions, but it soon became clear that what they wanted was land rights. The pastoralist on Wave Hill was Lord Vestey, chairman of the private company Vestey's Meat, who had made a fortune as pioneers of cold storage and refrigerated shipping.

Vincent Lingiari died in 1988, having spearheaded a great leap in Aboriginal rights. Lord Vestey is the great-grandson of the opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, and currently the Queen's Master of Horse. I once drove past the family seat in England with a colleague who knew him personally. For myself, knowing nothing about him apart from the incident at Wave Hill, I was astounded to hear a description of what seemed to be a completely different person to the one who made the news in Australia. I've no doubt my colleague was equally astounded to hear how the man is viewed in Australia.

It's funny how the mind and memory work. People talk a lot about how a smell can transport you back to some memory of past events, but I can't recall ever having a real Proustian moment. Usually the trigger for me is not a scent, but a phrase or an object.
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Change to the Blog: Don't be surprised if I don't publish every day this month. We are having the busiest month ever with LVTT so I've run out of steam and time for blogging. Our bookings this month are good news, but they follow an extremely quiet summer. We are accepting every booking we can in order to get our income up to our minimum target. When I am not taking tours I will be dealing with a fairly substantial apple harvest.

6 comments:

  1. Susan, I was thinking that the majority of people who want to take your tours are unlikely to come in peak season, aren't they?
    They are personables that have the luxury in life to be able to avoid such trauma...

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  2. That's good news. Not that you're not going to blog every day [LOL], but that you're very busy with your tours.
    Keeping my fingers crossed!

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  3. Glad to hear LVTT is busy! We'll all be here when you get back to the blog.

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  4. Good news about the increased level of bookings and the income they will bring in for you. I'm sure you have plans to spend or possibly have spent the income already!!

    Good luck with the apples.

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  5. And good luck with the weather too. Glad to hear the good news. Enjoy all the tours and tourists.

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  6. quite a different centipede from here.

    I'm scaling back blogging too.

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