Wombats are unique, nocturnal and very hairy Australian marsupials. They are large animals and live in vast tunnel systems that they seem to enjoy digging.

They are lumbering rotund animals with distinctive noses and have  an overall appearance that makes you want to cuddle them. Very, very unwise though because their strong,  powerful legs and sharp paw nails can be used as an effective defensive weapon.  They can also be very much on the nose.

Being nocturnal it is during the night that they are most commonly seen, unfortunately lying  dead beside our country roads after being struck by motor vehicles.

On a brighter note, being uniquely Aussie, the name has many interpretations.

For example, if someone’s nick name is ‘ wombat’, the inference is that the person so named is ‘thick as a brick.’

If the title, ‘like wombat stew,’ is applied to food, the inference is that the food tastes absolutely awful. As an aside, no one in their right mind would ever consider eating wombat as they are protected fauna.

Which brings me to my reason for waffling on about wombats.

A few months back, while just swanning around the country side  south east of Canberra, Australia’s Capital , we found ourselves on a dirt road named Majors Creek Mountain Road.

There right at the start of the road was an interesting cafe called Wisbeys Orchards.

We enjoyed a great breakfast and there, for all to see and buy was a great collection of, wait for it, WALLOPING WOMBAT  jam.

Of course we had to purchase quite a few large and small jars to sample back at home on our toast. Yummy, yummy, yummy.

Even the large jars are small,  here is how they look:

Small jars first.

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Now the larger jar.


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We will be going back soon to replenish our stocks as visitors to our place always get a pleading look on their  face after having some on fresh bread with a cup of tea. We feel so sorry for them that we let them take a jar(only the small ones though)with them when they leave.

We can recommend the jam and you can contact Wisbey’s on telephone 02 48 464 024.

We have no relationship whatsoever with Wisbey’s but we enjoyed their fare so much we thought you should know about it. Particularly WALLOPING WOMBAT jam.

Hoo roo for now.



For the past 16 years or so, when driving between the little villages of Laggan and Taralga in the southern highlands of New South Wales, I’ve been intending to stop and photograph an old Series 2, 88 inch, Landrover utility, looking all alone and forlorn in a paddock beside the road.

For one reason or another, I never did stop, until today.

Taralga, population somewhere between 300 and 400 people has two pubs and a few great little cafes. One of those cafes was the destination for today’s breakfast.

It’s hard to beat a country cafe breakfast.  This morning we each enjoyed Earl Gray tea, presented  in a heavy Royal Doulton teapot, containing real tea leaves, not tea bags and accompanied by Doulton cups and saucers.

That was followed, for each of us by:    two beef sausages, grilled tomato, button mushrooms, a large quantity of crisp bacon, two excellently poached eggs, two slices of buttered toast and an hashbrown.

After eating everything on the plates, we waddled out to our Landrover and decided to take the long way home via Laggan and Crookwell.

Landrovers have been my passion for almost fifty years. In all that time I haven’t owned a car but have owned three Landrovers. My first was an 88 inch Landrover hardtop which I replaced in 1984 with a  County 110. We still drive it and in 2001 bought a new 110 Defender to keep it company. We were in the Defender this morning.

As we travelled towards Laggan I was surprised to see, where it had stood, for many many years, on the crest of a hill,  the little 88inch Series 2 Landy.

Seeing the old 88inch today brought back many happy memories of the hundreds of thousands of miles we travelled in our old 88.

This time I did stop. The light was right with some cloud base producing a pleasing   diffused soft light and there were no no sheep in the paddock.

Luckily I had my little Leica D-lux 6 tucked away in my pocket and it was an ideal tool for the  task ahead and I made the images I wanted without any problems at all.



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So, there we are, nice memories.

Hoo roo.



Last Tuesday morning about 3.30am, my wife woke me to let me know that the tiled floor in the ensuite was wet. On inspection I found that not only were the tiles wet, but so was the carpet in the bedroom, the hallway, the sewing room and the large built in wardrobe in the main bedroom.

Water was gushing from inside of the vanity and I saw that the hot water hose leading to the was basin tap had ruptured. Luckily the stop cock was near at hand and when the water ceased to flow the true extent of the inundation was easier to identify.

Our insurance company provides  a 24 hour claim service and by 4am I was on the phone talking to a most helpful staffer in the call centre. As I listened in, I heard her contact an emergency water damage recovery service and advise them of our problem.

The staffer advised me that the recovery crew would get in touch with me no larger than 9am that morning, and that is exactly what happened.

Not long after, a crew arrived, inspected the damage, took photos, asked a squillion questions and set about their recovery task.

This included me having to move the entire contents of my wife’s sewing room, including books from the built in bookshelves, many, many  bolts of fabric, more reels of sewing thread than I thought possible for one individual to possess and enormous rolls of wadding.

The only available dry space was in the lounge/dining room so that is where it is all now located.

Fortunately, my wife had left for golf before the crew arrived and was spared from the heavy lifting.

Some hours later after high pressure vacuuming of water from the surface of the saturated  carpet had been completed,  a massive dehumidifier was installed in the saturated bedroom and five large blower fans were placed in strategic spots where the carpet had been pulled up.

When turned on, the volume of heated air lifted the carpet away from the floor to the extent that each area gave the appearance of a kids jumping castle.

The recovery crew were at pains to explain that because the carpet was wool and the underlay rubber based, over concrete, it would take some time to totally dry before replacement or renovation could be determined.

In response to my question of how long would the process take, I was informed at least five days with the machines running 24 hours a day.

Additionally, a builder would be required to remove the built in bookcases and the bathroom vanity. This could not be undertaken until the drying was completed.

The fans are working overtime, you can tell because the noise is almost unbearable.

We had been offered motel accommodation by our insurer but as the Easter weekend holiday was upon us, there was no opportunity to have our four legged pets cared for in a cattery so a move was out of the question.

I’m now sleeping on a camp stretcher in the shed, my wife is on another camp stretcher at the furthest end of the house. At least there the noise is reduced to no more than a whisper.

On the positive side, the whole house wasn’t inundated as my wife woke before major damage was done. We also had a large supply of old bath towels which we flung across the deepest water pools and I was able to reach the stopcock in a reasonable time.

Additionally, I can advise that the stainless steel mesh covered rubber tubing used to connect the mains hot water to all taps in the house have a tendency to rupture. A plumber has advised me to inspect them regularly and replace them all, including the cold water hoses every ten years or so.

Another positive was that it has provided a break from the day to day monotony and I was able to make a few quick images of the damage using the iPhone.

Here a few of them for your amusement.2The start of the inundation just outside the ensuite.


3A bit more, this time with addition of some soap from inside the vanity unit.

7Some of the contents from the sewing room.


Just another view of chaos ville.

9The main bedroom and the humidifier. The purple object is to prevent the carpet from flapping against the walls.

10The chest of drawers to the left of the image is about to be moved too. Luckily the bed can stay; for the moment.

11One of the blowers beside the floor to ceiling book case that has to be removed by builders.

13A blower in the bedroom.

16Another in the ensuite.

17Yet another in the walk in robe.

By the end of next week the builders will have been and gone, the assessors will have determined what will or will not be replaced and life in Cassa Creakingbones will return to normal, if normal is ever the norm here.

Hoo roo for now.











For some unknown reason, when the ambient temperature exceeds 35 degrees centigrade outside the air-conditioned comfort of Cassa Creakingbones I become determined to do hard labour outside.

Outside tasks completed, it’s pleasure to venture back inside and relax with a cold beer and some cheese and biscuits.

Now you can imagine my state of shock when, on coming inside after toiling in the fields, I found the beer fridge to be completely empty.

Being a man of action when faced with such a dramatic state of affairs, I grabbed the keys to the Landrover and without a second thought drove directly to the nearest purveyor of fine beers.

Now in my haste to depart Cassa Creaking bones, I’d neglected to change from my working clobber which consists of ‘Rugger’ shorts and T-shirt.

Here in the Land Down Under, ‘Ruggers’ are synonymous with working men’s shorts and are usually worn with sandals, thongs or boots. They have an elastic waist band and a draw string to keep them up.

Here is an image of the ones I was wearing in the grog shop yesterday and yes, the toes are mine..


I made three trips to the check out. One with a bottle of Wild Turkey, one with two dozen bottles of XXXX GOLD and one with a carton containing two dozen bottles of Crown Lager, the beers of absolute choice in Cassa Creakingbones.

Now it’s with the carton of Crown Larger that this little yarn really begins and here for interest sake is an image of the carton:IMG_0170

OK, the bill paid, I carried the Wild Turkey and the XXXX Gold out to the Landrover and whilst so doing , I felt my Ruggers begin to move in a downward direction. Not a problem, happens all the time and with the goodies now in the vehicle, I hitched up the Ruggers and went back into the store to collect the Crownies.

Now by this time, almost 4.30pm, the store was crowded.

My Ruggers were a bit saggy with the weight of the vehicle keys, a pocket knife, assorted junk and my wallet with its stack of credit cards.

Using two hands to support the carton of Crownies which I was holding against my stomach I made my way to the door when disaster struck.

My bloody Ruggers chose that time to simply prefer the floor to my waist and down there they bloody well went, straight to the floor and around my feet.

Luckily a bloke standing near me grabbed the beer and I grabbed the shorts.

Now fortunately, my navy blue Bonds undies protected my modesty and I  don’t expect a call from any porn producers as a result.

I reckon it made the day for the customers and staff. As I beat a hasty return to the Landrover I could hear the giggles and laughter through the swinging door.

I know the grog shop has closed circuit TV. I’ve checked U tube and I’m not on it, yet.

I’m going back there tomorrow to see if I can get a copy of the footage. What a hoot.

Just goes to show though how right my mother was when she told me, ‘always wear clean undies when you go out dear, you never know what might happen.’

Hoo roo for now