Way back in the Dream Time, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were heavily into cycle road racing and competed all over the State with other members of our cycling club.

As time passed, I became the president of our club and SWMBO was the secretary. Tradition had it that attendance at all club social activities was obligatory for committee members.

In the main, our club socials were like Cycle club socials everywhere. Comparisons on equipment, training methods, races won and lost , not to mention the benefits of carbohydrate loading filled most conversations.  As our socials were all metropolitan based everyone could make it home easily, ‘after the ball was over.’

Now,  if you have already concluded that such meetings would hardly fall into the memorable category,  you are absolutely correct.

However, one club social event is forever embedded in my memory.

One of our members and his wife were proud owner of  a vineyard situate in a small country town to the north west of Sydney.

He and his wife invited a large number of their friends to celebrate that year’s great crop and included all of our club members in the invitation.

As the farm house and outbuildings were substantial, everyone was invited to stay overnight and SWMBO and I accepted.

SWMBO and I, as club executives, were allocated a bedroom in the main house. Apparently this was part of our club traditions

We had raced that day and I was worn out after the race. By about 10pm and after quite a few cleansing ales and numerous samples of the wines, I excused myself and retired to bed. SWMBO’s constitution is far better than mine and she stayed on.

Now to the memorable part. Our hostess was a vivacious, hard drinking 40 or so year old. Her Lord and Master was quite a bit her senior and we all  thought that he had no chance of keeping up with her, if you grasp my meaning.

We all accepted her touchy feeling approach, embarrassing as it could be at times, particularly when we were in our skin tight lycra riding shorts and a part thereof seemed to act as a magnet to her hands.

But I digress.  I’d only just hopped into bed and turned the light out when the door opened and a figure entered the room. I assumed it was SWMBO. Not so.

The bedside lamp came on and there was our hostess, clad only in a pair of racy panties. It wasn’t even Christmas.

She took one look at me and cool as a cucumber said,’Sorry I thought you were………..,’ switched off the bedside light and left, closing the door behind her.

Not long afterwards, SWMBO  came to bed, found me still awake and thought its was extremely amusing when I related my tale.

At breakfast the next day, our hostess was beaming and radiating happiness as she thanked use all for coming and hoped we all enjoyed ourselves. The individual named to me by our hostess was nowhere to be seen.

As SWMBO and I were leaving for home, our hostess gave me a big hug, a kiss on the lips and whispered to me, ‘Better luck next time!’

Next time never came around, there were no further invitations, but boy oh boy, the memory lingers on.

Hoo roo for now


My slide cull is continuing, although without much success, probably because every slide brings back many memories of events,places and times.

However, it’s the particulars, or should I say the lack thereof, of the events, places and times that is slowing down the process.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for making images was not followed through with accurate record keeping at that time. I’ve a reasonably accurate memory bank but it’s not resolving many of the event, place and time dilemmas of my own making.

However, here is one success where my memory has not deserted me.

On a Victorian HOG Rally a few years back, a ride was organised to the ski resort at Falls Creek in the Victorian Snowy Mountains.

A large number of us set off with great expectations of endless mountain views on the ascent,  great  chalet visits and a rapid ride on the return descent.

As you will see from the following image, nature determined that it would not be so.

The descent was hair-raising but exhilarating and we all got back to the campsite with no untoward incidents occurring.

By the way, I’ve not a single image of mountain views from this ride.

A great time for wearing an open face helmet.

Hoo roo for now


Any Harley Davidson motor cyclist will tell you there is more to owning the bike than just possessing it.

One of those reasons is membership of the Harley Owners Group to which every owner is invited to join.

H.O.G., as it is know has ‘Chapters’ all over the world and Australia is no exception with ‘Chapters’ in every State and Territory.

H.O.G., is not a 1%er club. It is in reality a social club on two wheels where the HOG family gathers to have fun.

Just take the ABC’s of Touring and the HOG Mileage Programs for example. By signing up for these two programs, every ride takes on an extra dimension.

The H.O.G ., Membership Guide describes the Mileage Program this way,’ As if riding your Harley isn’t reward enough, H.O.G., gives you more reasons: point and patches that show off your mileage achievements, a.k.a,  Bragging Rights.’

ABC’s of Touring is described in the guide as follows,’An alphabetical “scavenger hunt’ for you and your Harley-Davidson motorcycle! Earn points and win prizes by collecting photos of yourself, your motor cycle and “Official Signs” from A to Z.

Like many H.O.G. members, I combine the two and it adds that little bit of extra interest , particularly as photography then becomes another part of the ride.

H.O.G. members enjoy adorning their riding vests with patches and I’m no exception.


The ABC’s of Touring patch.

Back in the Dream Time I was awarded this patch and a plaque for attaining 50 points in that year’s competition.

Here are some images of places I’ve recorded for the ABC’s. They are not in strict alphabetical order as HOG rules require.

Close to home.
Western New South Wales
Almost in far north Queensland.
Nearly  home.
Back in the Northern Territory.
Matong combines with Grong Grong to field a successful Australian Rules footy team.  
Another Northern Territory small  town.
Close to home.
The signs speak for themselves.
A lovely Sydney area waterside suburb.
The sign says it all.
Back in the Northern Territory.
Wide open spaces.


Almost back in Queensland .
Seems just like yesterday.
One of my favourite Queensland cities.
A quaint little place in South Australia.
A great Queensland outback pub. Clocking up points on an Ulysses Club ride.

Now visiting all these towns and many more helps with the HOG mileage program. It has a patch of course and at specific intervals, as your rack up the miles, they are recognised by the award of an appropriate rocker. As you can see, over time, space becomes an issue, a new vest has been  commissioned and the sewing begins

Hoo roo for now.


Over the past few months here at Casa Creakingbones , She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have put a lot of effort into decluttering.

Several trailer loads of accumulated bits and pieces have been taken to the local rubbish tip and  many boxes of books and magazines have been donated to charity.

The most difficult task for me was taking the decision to rid my studio of  the 35mm and medium format monochrome photographic negatives I’d accumulated over more than two decades of serious photography.

Additionally  I decided to also dispose of hundreds of monochrome prints I’d made prior to closing my wet darkroom.

Combined, the negatives in their folders and the prints, some mounted and some not, filled the back of our long wheel base two seater Land Rover.

Unceremoniously we tipped the lot into our allocated space at the tip.

That left the fate of thousands, not an exaggeration, of colour slides, safely tucked away in their wooden storage boxes, to be determined at a later date.

I’m sure that many of us can remember the absolute boredom when, on a visit to a friend or relative, the slide projector was suddenly produced and 36 or 72 slides of recent holidays where exhibited, accompanied by a commentary, for example, ‘this is  me at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.’

We too are guilty of inflicting that pain on others and now I’m in the process of exposing myself to pain a different type as I review my slide collection prior to the its ultimate disposal.

This time around though I’m not being as brutal. I’m retaining slides that bring back memories of special times and events.

Then, when time permits I’ll scan the slides and make selected digital prints.

Middle Eastern Archeology has, since childhood, been an interest of mine and way back in 1976 I had the opportunity to visit Jordan, Syria and Israel for a few months as a guest of the British School of Archeology headquartered in Amman, Jordan.

Fortunately, I was given unlimited use of the Schools Series 2 Long Wheel Base Land Rover.


As you can imagine, I’ve a substantial collection of slides from that experience and here are three examples.

This is the Kings Highway leading from Amman  to Aqaba.The stone markers are aids to visual navigation during dust storms. There were no civilian GPS in 1976. 
The helicopter belongs to His Royal Highness, The King Of Jordan. The stone building is one of the Royal Hunting Lodges that dot the Kingdom. The group of men are part of the Royal entourage. The white Land Rover belongs to The British School.
The Wadi Ruum Police Fort near Aqaba. The Wadi Ruum became famous following the release of the movie, Lawrence of Arabia.

I learned early on in my visit that as a westerner,not long after the 6 Day War, it was a good move to not draw too much attention to yourself when moving around unaccompanied in Jordan and Syria . To that end I learned a smattering of Arabic, unfortunately now nearly all forgotten, and often wore the traditional keffiyeh and agal and carried a set of worry beads.

I still have those three items and a few years back the following image was taken of me during a talk I gave about my 1976 experiences.

days-of-yore001-copy My interest in Middle Eastern archeology began when as a lad I read Lawrence’s ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom,’ and histories of his WW1 desert experiences. Lawrence used many of the desert castles as  bases during WW1 and I was fortunate to visit and photograph many of them during my stay.

As my slide review progresses I may add another chapter to this adventure.


Hoo roo for now.


I’m very proud of my Scottish highland heritage. I won’t let you know that I’m a proud member of Clan Campbell .

One day back in the Dream Time and long before we moved from the city to the country, She Who Must Be Obeyed arrived home from visiting her parents at their home in the bush.

Normally she returned with some family heirloom for safekeeping at our place .

Oh no, not on this occasion.

This time SWMBO was bearing a whopping great Scottish Thistle. Presenting it to me, prickles and all, SWMBO informed me in no uncertain terms that if I was so proud of being of Scottish ancestry I should sport a tattoo of a Scottish Thistle and she considered that the one I was holding was a perfect model for the required tatt.

Now as it happened, a mate from my Harley Owners  Group Chapter owned a Tattoo Parlour and was only too happy to do the doings on my right calf and used SWMBO’s thistle as the template..

Here it is, over twenty years of exposure to the elements and standing up well in true Scottish tradition.

Now we live out here in the bush, if you can really say that living in a country town of almost 30,000 people is living in the bush.

It’s a fact that here in the bush, thistles are detested and cockies( Aussie vernacular for farmers) do their very best to eradicate them.

Most towns people don’t like them either because they are prickly little buggers if you tread on them or accidentally brush up against them. Around here they are classified as weeds.

Now I’ve got a real soft spot for thistles, proved many times over when I get visited by their prickles but I’m used to it by now.

A few weeks back I noticed a nice little thistle growing near the house and felt that if it grew a little larger and sported a few blooms, it might make a nice subject for some photography.

Yesterday when cutting the grass around the house, I bumped into the prickle and immediately appreciated how strong it was and how it had grown quite large, bushy and particularly spikey.

I grabbed my camera and took a few shots to illustrate that prickles can be attractive and quite a nice presence in a country garden.

Quite large and spiked, tucked away beside a shrub but carrying some nice blooms.
The flower head and its colour is quite striking.
This bee and his mate arrived just as I opened the shutter.
I was more fortunate with focus when this bloke arrived for a feed.
Likewise with this fine specimen.
And again.
24 hours can be a lifetime in plant terms. I made this photograph an hour or so ago. Yesterday it was in full bloom.

It’s often said that there is no need to leave home to find something to photograph that will create the basis for a story. Thistles here in our yard have done just that.

By the way, credit for the tattoo image must go to SWMBO who made it this afternoon using her iPhone 6s.

Hoo roo for now.


Christmas is now but a memory. We have eaten through our christmas cake, a whole ham, a turkey, a triffle, all the ice cream and the beer, not to mention salads by the ton.

We’ve also helped consume Christmas left overs when invited to the homes of neighbours and our friends post Christmas day.

I’ve sworn off French Toast with strawberrys, banana, maple syrup, whipped cream and ice cream for at least a year,  ocasional lapses permitted.

However those bloody Christmas Beetles just haven’t stopped feasting on our trees for one moment. Sure, their numbers may have decreased somewhat but their destruction continues unabated.

This afternoon I wandered around the yard and took a number of photos to illustrate their voracious appetite.


Imagine  the damage to this single leaf multiplied by many thousands and you can visualise the damage they have caused here in just a week or so.


This tree was one of the first to come under attack. Not much green foliage left on it now.


Up closer you get the general idea of the damage the beetles cause by their non stop munching.



With any luck, the little buggers will leave enough leaves intact so that the trees will continue to breathe and survive till next time.


For some unknown reason, the beetles have left  branches and their leave that are nearest the ground almoast intact.

Altogether, nine of our mature trees have hosted the beetles banquets.

Here at Casa Creakingbones we hope that no Christmas Beetle invitations will be issued in future.

It goes without saying of course that surviving members of a better known beetles group would always be welcome.


Joo roo for now.