A man’s wardrobe (closet for our American cousins) should contain footwear to meet every eventuality. In my case I’ve tried to so do, with one exception, dancing pumps. I’ve been informed on many occasions that I have two left feet so it naturally follows that I have no need for dancing pumps.

Now as you may have gathered, boots are my preferred footwear and, in the unlikely event that I take up boot scooting all I’ll need to acquire is the appropriate clothing. I should advise you that I already have a reasonable collection of belt buckles. It’s an Hartley owners thing.

Like most Aussies who live in rural Australia, I  wear an Akubra hat, the Aussie version of a Stetson. Our Akubras are made  in Australia from genuine rabbit fur and are the favoured headwear of Australian cockies. That’s our slang for ranchers and general farmers and graziers.

Some useless information by the way, Akubra manufactured the Slouch Hat for our armed forces. In military Q store parlance they are known as,’ Hats, Khaki, Fur Felt’.

Now in order to keep the record straight, this morning I photographed my shoes and for accuracy’s sake included my two pairs of riding boots, one black pair, they’re R M Williams and one brown pair, they’re Baxters.  Baxters are made right here in my home town. Of course I always wear a brown leather belt with the brown boots and a black leather belt with the black boots.

I don’t ride horses, but the riding boots are my around town footwear and blend in totally with the local cockies who wear them too.

As I’m on a health kick, I included my joggers, my walkers, my bush walking boots and my slippers that are so necessary to wear during my after exercise recovery stage.

So here they are, shoes and riding boots first, followed by sports shoes, bush walking boots, slippers and that Aussie ikon, my Akubra hat:

                                  DRESS SHOES AND RIDING BOOTS.
                                        MY WELL WORN AKUBRA HAT.

She who must be obeyed told me that she is worried I might next be photographing and posting about table cloths, doilies, tea towels, bath salts, nail clippers, emery boards, tea sets and more intimate items of clothing.

I’ve given her a written(in blood – mine) assurance that this will never, never occur.

After all, I’ve my image as a hard nosed Aussie Harley Biker to maintain.


Yesterday with a group fellow motorcyclists we were discussing our bikes and how our gear accumulates over time.  Somehow or other the conversation turned to an old Vaughn Monroe song,’Black Denim Trousers and Motor Cycle Boots’ that was on the hit parade back about 1955. Don’t ask me how the song entered into our conversation but we all agreed how much we liked the lyrics.

Then someone remarked that in the song, after the tattooed rider crashed, all that could be found were his,’Black denim trousers and  motor cycle boots and his black leather jacket with an eagle on the back’. We all agreed that our wardrobes (closets for our American cousins) were full of ‘black denim trousers, motorcycle boots and black leather jackets’.

No mention was made of any kind of clear our and disposal. Oh no, each item had its own link to particular events and had to be retained at any cost.

So, this morning when my wife was away playing golf, I decided to see what goodies lurked in the dark corners of our walk in wardrobe.

Now jeans are jeans and I’m sure that during the night they breed because there seemed to be more pairs there this morning  than when I looked yesterday. Leather jackets, no, because they have their own cupboard in the bike shed.

However my motorcycle boot collection turned out to be another matter entirely. There seemed to be a never ending collection lurking in the dark against the back wall.

Seven pairs of motor cycle boots. I know, I can only wear one pair at a time but being a bloke, there is a special reason for having each individual pair. Don’t worry, I won’t go into too much detail.

However, I must tell you, the two tall pairs in the centre are known here by their brand name, ‘Jonny Rebs’. They are almost compulsory foot wear for Harley riders. The boots at the far right with the red labels are Goretex® lined Harley Davidson riders boots. Ideal for wet weather riding.

The shortest of the three tall pairs are by an Australian outback legend, R.M. Williams, known as the Bushman’s Outfitter. I’ve worn these boots on and off the bike for over thirty years. The soles and heels have been replaced many times, but the uppers, apart from one small bit where my dog chewed some leather away, are as fine as the day I purchased them.

Here they are, all in a row. I apologise for the lens distortion that makes our family room walls look other than vertical. That’s the problem caused by using a 20mm lens and not giving enough space at the edges of the image to make lens correction in Photoshop.

                             BOOTS, BOOTS AND MORE BOOTS

One thing’s for sure, my collection will give my heirs and successors something to argue about  when they get me ready for my last ride to boot hill. On a Harley Davidson of course.

PS, now I have to put them all away.


Yesterday juliav1, Travelling Banana, posted great images of an Heron in her blog Moment and Motion.

By coincidence, earlier this week, I had the chance to grab an image of a group of Galahs sitting on the power cables near our house, about 150 or so yards away from where I was standing.

Just as I focussed a pair took flight and I was able to grab the ‘moment and motion’.

Here’s that image in full:


By cropping the image you get a better look at the two Galahs.

The combined weight of the camera and lens is just over eight pounds and normally I mount the combination on a tripod. In this instance I just happened to have the camera by itself and took the shot hand held, accounting for the image being not as sharp as I would have liked, even though the shutter speed was greater than the focal length of the lens and VR was activated.

For the technically minded, exposure was 1/640th second at f6.3, aperture priority, ISO 1400, focal length 600mm.

The uncropped image file is quite large,9000 x 6007 pixels per inch, or 30″x 20.023″, resolution 300 pixels per inch. Straight off the camera the file was quite large at 24MB.

I know that this technical jargon can be a pain in the proverbial but sometimes it’s good, like just now,  because often obfuscation can helps disguise the errors in the image.


It’s an annual ritual at Cassa Creakingbones to make a photographic record of our house contents for insurance purposes and today’s the day.

It’s the most boring photographic activity imaginable but in a worst case scenario where a claim has to be made, the proof of ownership provided by the photographic record is invaluable.

Of course there is no need to photograph bed linen, blankets, towels and the usual bits and pieces  found in households everywhere.

However, imagine trying to convince an insurance assessor that you still had all of your old vinyl LP’s, VHS tapes, and all of those CD’s and DVD’s stuck in boxes that you haven’t listened to or looked at for yonks.   Not to mention all of those shoe boxes full of old photographs, letters and christmas cards. Almost impossible without the photo record.

The same thing goes for all of those knick knacks in the back of the display cabinets, you know, the cup and saucer Aunty Whatshername gave your second cousin twice removed in 1952 who handed it on to your first cousin who asked you to keep it while their family moved to the North Pole. They have never come back. You can’t toss it away as they may miraculously return. You know the feeling.

Anyway today began with the books. They are in book cases everywhere, hundreds and hundreds of them, books that is, not book cases. I can’t bear the thought of reducing the piles. I’ve even retained my high school text books and a complete set of ‘Little Golden Books’ in French. I still can’t read them but my father bought them in a last ditch attempt to get me interested in a second language. I’m sorry now I didn’t even try. But they look good in one of the book cases.

On a positive note, it’s fun to adjust the white balance from room to room as we have both fluro and incandescent lighting, plus natural light. Then a bit of upward adjustment to ISO to facilitate hand holding and of course, changing lenses to cope with wide angle, micro (macro for non Nikon users) for the tea spoon collection, and of course a bit of telephoto work for the ride on lawnmower and the garden tools to save walking over to where they are still lying about where I left them yesterday.

Right now I’m sitting at my desk in my office, I’d just put the 20mm f1.8 Nikkor lens on the camera and photographed my reference books. The thought crossed my mind, what a great opportunity for  a blog about absolutely nothing of importance for Random Ravings From Downunder and this is the result.

As for my little reference library in my office, here it is:

                                             THE OFFICE BOOKSHELF

The desk you can see on the right of the image is part of quite a large L shaped desk which runs the length of a floor to ceiling window and then has a right hand bend and runs for another twelve feet. I’m an untidy bugger and need all the space I can get.  This image was made from my chair at the main computer. The one you can see on the right is the spare, just in case.

It’s a cosy spot, well lit, quiet, peaceful and conducive to thought, contemplation, and playing with Photoshop CC etc.

On the other side of the house, She Who Must be Obeyed, has her own sanctuary, equally full of goodies in order that her various pastimes can be attended to. The room is also full of relics of her days playing basketball ( International Rules) as she represented our State and also made the  Australian side.

After seeking permission to take my camera into her private domain for this blog, and not for insurance purposes, I was given express permission to photograph only the current stock of cotton and here it is:

                                   PART OF THE COTTON STOCK

The workroom is complete with overlockers, sewing machines, an ironing press, and the shelves are full of patchwork patterns, knitting patterns and books of all handicraft descriptions.

Not to mention bolts of materials, rolls of wadding and backing fabrics.

Later today I’ll be permitted, under strict supervision of course, to photograph everything for insurance purposes.

After that I’ll record the firearm collection, the motor bikes( Harley’s of course) and all of the paraphernalia that goes with motor cycling.

Then there are all the other collectables and memorabilia one accumulates over two lifetimes. Will I finish today?

Not bloody likely.


Anne Murray of ‘The Main Focus, blog fame has nominated me to enter the First Post Challenge.

Part of the requirement for entry is to nominate five bloggers to continue with the challenge.

I think I’ve worn out my welcome nominating writers for this and that over the past couple of weeks so I’m going to refrain from casting the nominee net this time around.

However, it was fun looking up my first blog on our fabulous WP site.

It was 30th August, 2012 and I called my blog that day ‘Hello World’.

I’ve no idea what my writing was all about that day, why I chose to have a blog at all and now the blog has long gone from the WP archives.

Then for some reason, lost in the sands of time, I never posted another word until February 28th this year, 2015.

What prompted me to resume using my blog? I’ve absolutely no idea, but whatever the reason I’m so glad I did and I’m glad it’s now ‘Random Ravings from Downunder’  and not ‘Hello World’.

‘Hello World’ was the intro used by one of Australia’s greatest radio stars, John Laws, and I must apologise to the man with the Golden Microphone ( and tonsils) for using it. It was only now, typing this that I recalled John Laws opening his program on the great old radio 2UE Sydney with those two words. It’s been over twenty five years since I’ve heard his voice so I’ve no idea whatsoever why,in 2012 I’d use ‘Hello World’.

So there we are, a reprieve for all those not named today to carry forward the First Post Challenge and a thank you to The Main Focus for causing me to go back to 2012 on what could have been a voyage of discovery.


As previously mentioned, I was nominated by bCL Photography for this interesting challenge and I commend their bloggs to your ‘must read lists’. You will not be disappointed.

I’ve found it quite a job to search my memory for quotable quotes, with one liners being my  preference to save us all time. I’ve remembered quite a few risqué ones from my early army days but good taste means that now I’ve remembered them, I’ll have to keep them for the pub.

Eventually my memory went back to my primary school days in the 1940’s when kids everywhere were required to memorise the late Dorothea Mackellar’s wonderful poem, ‘My Country’.

After some deep thought I realised that I could still recite most of it and one particular stanza resounded in my thoughts.

Therefore, today’s quote is about AUSTRALIA, my country, and here is the second stanza, in full, from memory:

I love a sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains,

Of rugged mountain ranges,

Of drought and flooding rains

I love her far horizons,

I love her jewelled sea,

Her beauty and her terror,

The wide brown land for me.

I know that for most Australians of my generation, this poem by MacKellar sums up the love and strong patriotic feeling we have for Australia.

Please look MacKella up on Google and I’m sure you will all really enjoy her poetry.

At our local Naturalisation Ceremony held recently, the poem was recited in full by students from a local high school and it made me feel so proud that it is still alive and well in our education system.

I’ve really enjoyed recalling these and many more quotes and I thank bCL Photography for giving me the chance to share just three of them with you.

Here are my nominations for continuing this fun challenge:

Christopher Orr, I don’t have the map.

Priceless Joy, Beautiful Words, and

Ballinfoblog, Bali Info.

There is no obligation to accept. All you have to remember is to acknowledge your nominator should you accept the challenge.

Now it’s good night from me and goodnight from him.



I pointed out yesterday that I’ve been nominated by bCL Photography to post my three favourite quotes, one a day for three consecutive days and I’ve thanked bCL for the nomination.

Today posed a bit of a quandary quote wise and I thought hard and fast about it during the four hour drive there and back this morning to a meeting which lasted the whole of 21 minutes exactly, I kid you not.

Yes, I came to a conclusion.

No, you are incorrect, I didn’t conclude to tell the subject club committee where to gently place their AGM papers.

I concluded that today I’d have a bet both ways in the quotation department and suggest you take the decision which quote best fills the subject, JUSTICE.

Firstly, I was going to post the motto of my career employer:

‘Culpam Poena Premit Comes’. When translated from the Latin, it becomes,’ Punishment follows closely upon crime’.

However, as today is the shortest day, June 21st, I didn’t want you all wasting the daylight hours struggling with your Latin to ensure I’d got the translation right.

Accordingly I decided upon my real world favourite law enforcement quote, straight from the mouth of Jack Lord, better known as the famous Detective Sergeant Steve McGarrett from Hawaii Five O who continually directed his side kick Detective Danny Williams to, ‘Book him Danno’.

I’ve always thought that ‘Book Him…..’, has a much better ring to it that,’Place him under arrest’.

Of course, if the suspect happened to be female, these days I guess we would say,” Excuse me Madam but I must immediately take you into custody, please be careful of your hair style whilst we gently place you in the back of our sedan car for the short and comfortable ride to the nearest police station. Please fasten your seat belt’.

I must add in closing that I always remember McGarrett saying, ‘Take him down and book him Danno’. However my research  indicates that those words were never uttered during the series.

So in closing, here are the three nominees for today with the reminder that acceptance is not mandatory:

1  Beyond Beiruit

2 Juliar1 – Travelling Banana

3  Yan Balczewski – From Hiding to Blogging.


Hoo roo until tomorrow’s final quote.


I’ve been dobbed in by that great blogger, bCL Photography to participate in the Three Favourite Quotes challenge, one each for three consecutive days. I just had to accept because bCL, not only produces fantastic images for our viewing pleasure but also has the gift of the gab and could sell refrigerators to Eskimos. I think I must have been an Inuit in a previous life.

Ok, here is my first quote and it is about perception.

‘The Moon’s a Balloon’.


David Niven,  3/1/1910 – 7/29/1983, was brilliant and talented British actor.

In 1972 in a memoir he titled ‘The Moon’s a Balloon’, Niven detailed elements of his early life.

It’s fascinating to contemplate how individuals perceive the impact of events and their personal thoughts, on their life’s travels and adventures and then to compare them with our own.

I’m sure we all have our own perceptions on whether, ‘The Moon’s a Balloon’. I certainly do.

So, here are my three nominees for today, they are all great bloggers.

Lucy Danvers -Fashion and Frappes

Leela – Girl Next Blog, and


Remember, there is no obligation, it’s just good fun and should you accept the challenge, remember to acknowledge your nominator:

Hoo roo till tomorrow.


I’ve come to the conclusion that many of my young friends and associates reckon that I’ve passed my use by date.  I’ve based my thinking on the fact that they keep emailing me images of so called oldies doing things my young mates seem to think are stupid, inane and out of step with proper adult, I think they are too polite to say ancient, behaviour.

Here are some recent examples:


old-couples-having-fun-33__605 old-couples-having-fun-4__605 old-couples-having-fun-7__605 old-couples-having-fun-2__605 old-couples-having-fun-24__605 old-couples-having-fun-1__605 old-couples-having-fun-28__605 old-couples-having-fun-6__605 old-couples-having-fun-8__605 old-couples-having-fun-17__605 old-couples-having-fun-9__605 old-couples-having-fun-19__605 old-couples-having-fun-13__605 XX-Photos-Proving-That-Couples-Can-Have-Fun-At-Any-Age__605 XX-Photos-Proving-That-Couples-Can-Have-Fun-At-Any-Age2__605

So, I’m plotting and scheming to come up with something to convince them they are totally wrong in their thinking, because Old really means having fun and bugger the consequences.

After all the motto of my principal motor cycle club is,’ Grow old disgracefully’.


In that regard I’d appreciate your ideas for something outrageous I could do. Please bear in mind that with morning temperatures here well into minus degrees centigrade , a morning barefooted, naked run around the block is out of the question. Until summer anyway.

So please, put your thinking caps on and help an old geezer plan to do something stupid.


An old mate of mine has just returned from a six months round Australia road trip and he has sent me a real horde of images of places and things he and I are familiar with. I haven’t asked him yet for details of his camera and lenses but it’s on the agenda for when he and I get together soon.

I’ve picked a few of his photos so you can get an idea of what our outback is really like.

As one photo so accurately tells it, always be prepared.

I’m sorry he sent me so many photos because now I want to roll out the swag and the rest of the gear, turn off the computer and head out into the back blocks and really recharge the internal batteries.

Oh well,perhaps next year.


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