HMT Dunera

dunera_troopship

HMT Dunera (B.1937)

She is shown as a troop ship when visiting Malta, I think the photo was taken in the 1950’s.

A couple of years ago Maureen and I completed a road trip around NSW, South Australia and Victoria.
During the trip I planned to drive from Beechworth to Mildura; both towns are in Victoria. The drive to Mildura would take over six hours, because the distance was over 600 kms.
As I’ve aged I don’t like long drives, so I looked for a half way stop for the night, and a small town called Hay (which is in NSW), looked about right.
On checking for motels, I found out that there was a museum called the ‘Dunera’ Museum,
I had sailed in the Dunera as a cadet in 1965 when she was operating as a school ship, so a visit to Hay was now a ‘definite’.
I was puzzled as to why Hay would have a museum for a deep-sea ship, when the town was 800 km (500 miles from Sydney harbour) and 400 km (250 miles) from Port Phillip Bay in Victoria? Very odd.

Dunera03

Dunera as she looked when I sailed in her in 1965. (She was 28 years old at the time)

When I booked the motel, I mentioned that I was particularly interested in the Dunera Museum, and the motel owner, Leanne, asked if I wanted her to contact someone to show us around the museum. I jumped at the offer.
On the day of our arrival Leanne asked me to phone David Houston, who was the Museum’s Chairman, because he was keen for us to meet.
David was kind enough to offer his services and to show us around the museum the following day. We planned to meet at the museum 9.00 am.
We were very fortunate to have David as our guide, because his knowledge of all things about Hay is unlimited.

DSC03486r

We met at the Dunera Museum, which is located inside two railway carriages at the railway station.
The above station was built in 1882, to help with the export of wool. The last passenger train left this station in 1983, after 101 years of service, and in the following year the last goods train left. The station is now a museum piece, which is also used by the Dunera Museum.

DSC03487brighter

The reason that the museum is located at this station is because this is the station where the trains from Sydney arrived to disembark Austrian and German internees from the UK, during WW2.
They’d sailed from Liverpool in the UK on the 10th July 1940 in the troop ship ‘Dunera’.
The photo above shows two of the original railway carriages that brought the internees to Hay. The two carriages now hold the artefacts of the museum.

DSC03488rA third carriage is waiting to be renovated and added to the museum, but like most things, it takes money.

1,984 Austrian and German, mainly Jewish, refugees from Nazi Europe arrived in four steam trains, with a total of forty-eight carriages, that travelled for nineteen hours non-stop, from Sydney.
The Australian army marched the internees to camp 7 & 8 on the Dunera Way. This road can still be seen today – it is still called Dunera Way, but today it will take you to the Hay racetrack. The camps no longer in exists.

DSC03503r

I found this photograph on the internet of the internees marching to the camp.

The original camps were paid for by the British Government who had interred all ‘enemy aliens’ by 1940, after the fall of Belgium, Holland and France.

The ‘Dunera Boys’, as the first intake of internees were called on arriving in Hay, were moved to another camp in Victoria in 1941 to make way for 2000 Italian POWs.
By 1943/44 the Dunera Boys had been classified as friendly ‘aliens’ and many joined the Australian & British armies.
At the end of the war 800 remained in Australia and the remaining 1200 either returned to Europe, the UK, or emigrated to the US or Canada.

Between 1940 and 1946, 6,200 German, Italian, Japanese and Australian internees, as well as Italian and Japanese POWs were housed at the Hay camps.

Life for the Dunera internees in the camp was hard, and difficult at times. The camps were built at the showgrounds and the racetrack and consisted of three compounds each holding about one thousand men. The compounds had huts, roads, water supply, and electric lights.
The land on which the camp was built was semi arid, but the internees managed to build a farm and they created market gardens. This gave them fresh vegetables, poultry, milk, and fresh eggs for their own consumption. They ran their own schools, and even had their own money.

DSC03504rc

                 The coloured marking is due to reflection when I took the photograph.

The local newspaper printed the money, which the internees designed. The scroll around the outside is barbed wire, but hidden in the barbed wire is the comment ‘we are here because we are here, because we are here . . . . ‘
The names of a number of senior internees are incorporated in the wool of the sheep, and at the camp fence are the words ‘H.M.T. Dunera Liverpool to Hay’ all hidden unless you know where to look. The designer was an Austrian, George Telcher who had designed Austrian currency for the Austrian government.
At an auction in 1999 the printers proof of a two-shilling Hay camp note was estimated at $18,000. A well used ‘sixpence’ note recently sold for $2900.

Within three months of the ‘new’ money being released  the authorities put a stop to the printing as it was (still is) illegal to print ‘currency’ in Australia, other than the printing of money being authorised by the Federal Government.

DSC03489r

As you enter the museum the sign above is attached to the railway carriage.

DSC03516rcr

Unfortunately Menasche Bodner died in the camp in November 1940. He was the only Dunera Jewish boy to die in the Hay camp.

DSC03521r

The plaque at the camp site marking the 50th anniversary of the internee’s arrival. There is nothing left of the camp today.

If you plan to visit the Hay area, try and plan your visit for when David is around, because he will make your visit memorable. Although he is in his eighties, he is as sharp as a tack and old enough to remember the first train arriving when he was five years old. David brought to life the misery of some of the internees, as well as the happy side for others.
The picture below is of the main information sign in the grounds of the railway station, at the end of the platform.

DSC03493r

This painting below is of some of the internees who returned for the 70th anniversary ceremony.

DSC03500cr

If you wish to read some of the personal stories of the men who are now known as the Dunera Boys, may I suggest you open this link Dunera Association and sample the monthly news sheet – very impressive.

At the end of the war the Japanese internees were ‘returned’ to their ‘home land’, Japan. The problem was that many who were sent to Japan were born in Australia, and didn’t have any concept of living in Japan. Their first concern was that they couldn’t speak Japanese! Don’t you just love officialdom?

To end on a lighter note –  Lieutenant Edgardo Simoni (seen below in 1974),

the fox

aka The Fox (no connection with me) was an Italian POW who was captured in North Africa and sent to Muchinson POW camp near Shepparton in Victoria, Australia. It was a high security camp.
He escaped, but was captured a day later and placed in solitary confinement.

He managed to secure a small hacksaw and during a number of nights, while singing Waltzing Matilda over and over, cut through the bars of his cell. Later he apologised to the other prisoners for keeping them awake!

His cell had bars on all four sides and the whole area was painted white. As he cut the window bar he hid the cut by using white soap to fill the gap.

Once free, he stole a boat and rowed down the Murrumbidgee River towards Melbourne. (This event reminded me of the Great Escape movie).

He eventually made it to Melbourne (but not all the way by boat), and managed to get a job selling cosmetics (his English was very good).
He was very good at his job and became the top sales person for the company, and was awarded a prize and appeared in a local newspaper. He wasn’t recognised, even though he was top of the most wanted list across Australia.

He was free for ten months and doing well for himself until a guard from the camp spotted him in the street and greeted him with ‘Hello Eddie, how are you?’ and that was the end of his freedom.

I have heard a slightly different story that Lieutenant Edgardo Simoni was working in a tailor’s shop, rather than cosmetics.

At the end of the war the Lieutenant was repatriated to Italy where he remained in the army ending his career as a Colonel.

In 1974 Colonel Simoni returned to Australia on a ‘remember when’ trip to retrace his escape route, but the weather was against him and he was older.
The prison from where he escaped is now a museum and they have a plaque in his cell commemorating his escape.

The BBC made a film of his exploits.

As an aside – H.M.T Dunera, stands for ‘His (or Her) Majesty’s Troopship’ Dunera, not as I have seen on the internet ‘Hired Military Transport’ – I have also seen photographs of the Dunera showing her sailing in the 1920’s, which would have been awkward as she wasn’t launched until 1937.
The original Dunera was built in 1891, for the  British India Associated Steamers for the Queensland to Calcutta route, but was transferred to the Calcutta / London route in 1892. She was scrapped in 1922 so there is little chance of seeing any Dunera in the 1920’s.

 

 

 

Hobart

DSC09849rc

The old and the new – Golden Princess can be seen with a sailing ship along side. We berthed close to the town, which allowed for a short walk to many places of interest.

DSC09823rA touch of yesteryear where ever we looked.

DSC09804rcMany of the streets and homes reminded me of New Zealand, quiet and civilised.

DSC09809rcWe did a hop on hop off bus tour to get a feel of the place – with a population of just under 250,000, most streets were quiet. To be fair it was a Sunday.

DSC09807r

DSC09812r We were still in Hobart  . . . not bad for a capital city of a State.

DSC09829rcA blast from the past at the traffic lights.

DSC09820rYou couldn’t fault the locals – they began brewing beer in 1824 and the same brewery is still brewing beer – Cascade Brewery, a well known drop that I drink in Sydney.

DSC09797rBack to the waterfront area – Flying Angel – Mission to Seafarers. When I was at sea in the 60’s it was called Mission to Seamen, but even the Mission has to be correct in today’s PC world.

DSC09862r All our yesterday’s

DSC09865r

Plenty of memorials around the harbour area.

DSC09876rcThis plaque was just a taste of what we would experience the following day at Port Arthur. (see my previous blog).

DSC09877rc

Statues near the ‘Footsteps’ plaque.

DSC09871rcStatue of Louis Charles Bernacchi 1876 – 1942.

Louis Charles Bernacchi taking a self portrait with one of his dogs before leaving for the Antarctic. I cropped the picture from a photograph that I took, because it had a young boy in the picture, and I didn’t know him, and I could tell that he wasn’t going to move.

Bernacchi-Statue The above is from a Hobart travel site, which is the full picture that I wanted.

Louis_CLouis Bernacchi with one of his dogs. I Found the picture on the internet.

He was Belgium by birth, and arrived in Australia when he was seven, and grew up in Australia.

Robert Scott was Bernacchi’s best man at his wedding, and Scott invited Bernacchi to join his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole – Bernacchi turned him down.

DSC09864rcA few feet away from a great explorer we had a steam crane, built in 1899. Notice the boiler at the rear, which supplied the steam to drive the crane.

DSC09825rcSir Douglas Mawson 

 Check him out via the above link, particularly if you come from Yorkshire . . .

We missed the markets in Salamanca because they are held on Saturday.

DSC09854rWhat we saw

ATDW_Extra_Large_Landscape__9116616_OP2013_Salamanca_May_2010_035_wwdayvlWhat we’d hoped to see, but we were a day late. Picture off Tasmanian tourist site.

DSC09855rc

The small bars and restaurants were doing a good trade.

DSC09858rcThe best time to go shopping – when most places are closed – think of the saving.

DSC09857rAt the rear of the area when Maureen is standing.

IMG_0139rClose up thanks to V.I

DSC09859rcAnother blast from the past.

IMG_0141rWrapping your trees in a woollen jacket must be a Tasmanian thing . . . thanks V.I

IMG_0130r

On a positive note the Tasmanians have not forgotten their roots – note the Dutch flag for Abel Tasman. Picture from V.I.

Abel-tasman1903Abel Tasman who started it all. (picture off the internet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port Arthur

DSC09898cr

Port Arthur taken from the ship.

Maureen and I attended a talk about Port Arthur and Hobart. At the end of the Port Arthur talk the speaker stated that we would be anchored off shore, because Port Arthur was not a port that could cope with a vessel of our size. In fact, all they could cope with would be small motor boats.
She also mentioned that it would be a 45-minute boat ride from the ship to the shore. At that distance, which I estimated to be about eight to ten miles off shore, I told Maureen that I didn’t think that we would bother going ashore because it could be quite rough for a tender craft (ship’s lifeboats), and as she hated small boats it would not be a particularly pleasant ride.
That evening in the ship’s newsletter the distance (in time) was confirmed and we made plans to remain on the ship.
I was awake early the following morning and I felt the movement of the ship change and looked out of our window. We’d entered sheltered area. I could see land on both sides of the ship so that we were protected from the ocean. As I looked out I could see Port Arthur.
The distance from the shore was nowhere near a forty five minute boat ride, more like fifteen minutes and in fact I timed it and it was twelve minutes from where the Golden Princess anchored.

DSC09906cr

At once our plans changed, and we dressed for going ashore.
It was a smooth ride in one of the ship’s tenders to the small pier where we stepped ashore.

DSC09910r

Just a short walk to the ruins of Port Arthur.

Port Arthur was a prison that was created in 1830 to supply timber for various government projects using convict labour.
In 1833 it changed to become a repeat offenders prison for criminals from all over Australia. The prison was modelled on the Pentonville prison in the UK, which was described as a ‘machine for grinding rogues in to honest men.’
Some of the prisoners left Port Arthur with the skills of a trade, blacksmith, carpenters and shipbuilders. Unfortunately others became broken men.
Around the prison was a community of military and free men with their families, who lived normal lives of parties, sailing for fun and literary evenings. Gardens were created, and children went to school within the settlement.
Port Arthur grew to be an industrial settlement, and by 1840 more than 2000 people, who were a mix of convicts, soldiers and free men lived, and worked. They produced bricks, furniture, clothing, boats and ships.
Transportation from the UK to Tasmania ceased in 1853 and the prison became an institution for the aged, mentally& physically ill convicts, and finally closed in 1877.
Many of the bricks from various buildings were sold off very cheaply to locals who used them to build or expand their own homes. The name of Port Arthur was changed to Carnarvon to erase the hated convict links.
Over the years convict stories drew tourists to the area, and by the early 1920’s some of the remaining buildings had become museums.

DSC09916rThe prison was a building of four levels – ground floor and first floor for ‘prisoners of bad character’, with individual cells for each prisoner. The top floor accommodated 480 better behaved prisoners and the third floor was used as a dining area, recreational area, and school for the prisoners.
The prisoners were told that if they behaved they would be rewarded, and moved from the bottom single cells (see single cell photos), to the floor above, still single cells, and so on, until they reached the top floor. If they maintained their reputation as ‘good’ prisoners, they would be allowed the use of the recreational floor.
The picture above, and the one below, is of single cells on the ground floor.

DSC09920cA plaque can be seen in the above photograph, which I have reproduced below.

DSC09919cr

DSC09921c

Many Australian consider it a badge of honour to have a transported criminal in their family background. Often people will tell you, with pride, that their forefathers were transported for stealing just a loaf of bread or some other small item, but many where habitual criminals and the stealing of the loaf was the last straw for the magistrate. Many were sentenced to seven years and could have returned to the UK after serving their time, but chose to stay in Australia because they had been given ‘tickets of leave’ for good behaviour during their time as a prisoner, and had created a new life in Australia, and eventually became a free man or woman.
I researched my own family tree and found George Woodland, who was convicted in 1790 at the Old Bailey in London, for stealing a coat. He was sentenced to be transported because he had a string of offences. After spending two years on a prison hulk he sailed from Gravesend (which is on the south bank of the Thames) in 1792 as one of 300 males prisoners in Royal Admiral. The ship finally sailed from Torbay, which is on the southern coast of the England, on the 30th May 1792, and arrived in Sydney on the 02nd October of the same year. I found a picture of the Royal Admiral on the internet.

Royal AdmiralGeorge Woodland is listed on the ship’s manifest as John Woodland, but all other information points to George and John being the same person. (Court records etc).
One of the seamen on the ship was also named Woodland (coincidence?), but his Christian name was James.
Maybe the clerk who made out the manifest wrote ‘John’ instead of ‘George’, perhaps being influenced by his shipmate’s name i.e James.

The Royal Admiral was 914 gt, 120 feet (36 mtrs) in length, by 38 feet (11.5 mtrs) beam and had about 481 people onboard, which included several children, 49 female convicts, 20 soldiers, a number of free people, about 50 crew and 300 male prisoners.

DSC09927rFirst floor of the prison.

DSC09928rSecond floor – the metal supports that can be seen are to help keep the walls from collapsing during earthquakes.

DSC09933rGuard Tower – across the road from the prison.

DSC09935r

Many old buildings are missing, but this shows the view down to the water.
The prison is on the left of the picture and the Guard Tower on the right-side of the picture.

DSC09936rA model of the early ‘town’. If it was real I would be standing at the prison looking inland to the town. The building on the bottom right is the Law Courts, the building on the left with the path is the Commandants House, the area in the middle is the Guard Tower and behind that are the officer’s accommodation.

DSC09943rOutside of the Commandant’s home today.

DSC09945rCommandant’s dining room

DSC09947rcViews of his study

DSC09948r

DSC09954rKitchen

DSC09958rI had to take a picture of the recipe.

On each of the Princess cruises that Maureen & I have sailed, the ship always has bread and butter pudding on the menu, which I have found to be very good. I have my grandmother’s hand written note book in which she wrote details of various recipes, and one is Bread and Butter pudding, so I must compare the two – the one above and my grandmother’s written in 1896.

DSC09959r

A single bedroom in the Commandant’s house.

DSC09960r

 

DSC09962rSitting room

DSC09964r

All of the above is history, but below is the sad fact of today’s world.

On the 28th April in 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists and staff and murdered thirty-five people, wounding a further twenty-three.

DSC09971r

At the Broad Arrow Café in Port Arthur, where the killings took place there is now a pool of remembrance, and a place of peace and reflection. The café is no longer there.

DSC09972rcDeath has taken its toll, some pain knows no release, but the knowledge of brave compassion shines like a pool of peace.

DSC09973rEach leaf (ceramic leaves I think) in the water represents a murdered victim.

There was such an outrage that within three months the Australian Federal Government and all Australian States changed the law as to the type guns allowed to be owned by citizens. The Federal Government bought back 640,000 guns and had them melted down. With the political will, and courage, gun control is possible.

The killer was sentenced to 35 life sentences without the opportunity of parole, plus 25 years for the remaining 36 charges on 5 other offences (20 attempted murders, 3 counts infliction of grievous bodily harm, the infliction of wounds upon a further 8 persons, 4 counts of aggravated assault and 1 count of unlawfully setting fire to property.

memorial

Twenty years after the event, the pool with the floral tributes near what was the Broad Arrow Café. For more information read this link.  

From the memorial we returned to the ship deep in thought. As we left the shore and started the steady chug back across the water I noticed a RAN (Royal Australian Navy) vessel had arrived.

DSC09975rc DSC09987c

The final tender boat arrives as we prepare to sail.

DSC09984rc

The gap in the land through which we will sail to the open sea.

Wineglass Bay – Tasmania

DSC09733r

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

John Masefield – second verse of Sea Fever.

DSC09743r

Approaching Wineglass Bay, Tasmania.

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

The Secret of the Sea – verse one – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

DSC09751r

Entering the Bay

“Wouldst thou,”–so the helmsman answered,
“Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!”
The Secret of the Sea – verse eight – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

DSC09755rClose enough for me . . .

DSC09757rPeaceful and calm as we enter the Bay.

DSC09758r

Clean, clear water – ‘civilisation’ has yet to arrive.

DSC09759rVirgin beaches

Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;–
The Secret of the Sea – verse four – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

DSC09760rThe entrance through which we passed to enter Wineglass Bay.

DSC09761rBlue on Blue with our wake drifting astern.

DSC09762rAt peace with the world – our ship is hardly moving.

DSC09763r

We curved through Wineglass Bay, followed by Oyster Bay, and exited via another gap in the coastline.

DSC09764r

 White caps can be seen as we leave the shelter of the Bay and head out to sea.

DSC09765r

Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

The Secret of the Sea – verse ten – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 – 1882

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

The final verse of Sea Fever – John Masefield, 1878 – 1967

‘the long trick’s over’ – at sea your watch (time on duty), was sometimes referred to as a ‘trick’. I liked the ‘graveyard’ watch, which was Midnight to 4.00 am and noon to 4.00 pm.

Nice and quiet at night in the middle of an ocean, when you touch the stars, because they were so clear, and so close.

Queen Victoria Market

C_Class_Tram,_Melbourne_-_Jan_2008The light rail from Port Melbourne to the city takes about fifteen minutes, and costs $7.50 return, if you are a pensioner or $15.00 full fare.
After the Golden Princess docked in Melbourne, we caught the light rail to the city centre. The cost includes a reusable card that can be ‘topped up’ over the internet, so we didn’t throw the card away on leaving Melbourne – just in case we return, because it still has credit on the card!

DSC09675r  Sunrise over Melbourne as we crept alongside the wharf.

Maureen and I lived in Melbourne for five years before moving to Sydney. The Golden Princess would be alongside for about eight hours so where to go and what to see – for me the answer was a ‘no brainer’, Maureen likes shopping, so for something different how about Queen Victoria Market. It had been a long time since we visited this market, and our day of arrival would be Friday, so the market would be open.

Queen_Victoria_Market_201708The market is a hundred and forty years old (opened in 1878), and is open five days a week – Thursday to Sunday and Tuesday.
It is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, and with over 600 stalls covering seven hectares (17 acres) it would take us most of the morning to see them all. After the market we planned to return to the ship for a late lunch, which would also make sure that we would not miss the sailing time.

With hindsight I think we arrived a little too early, because many of the non-food stalls were only just setting out their goods. Two friends, Viv & Lorrain, from our small ‘cruising’ group had joined Maureen & I, so the ladies could please themselves as to what they wished to see, as I could, because I was not all that keen on checking out lady’s jackets for more than fifteen seconds.

I wondered around with my trusty point and click to record a few colourful stalls. Fortunately the more colourful stalls appeared to be set up earlier than the ‘run of the mill’ stalls.

DSC09682rThis was an interesting stall – all the individual flowers are made from recycled wood!

DSC09681r

DSC09680rc

DSC09680rI don’t know how many I touched, just to satisfy my curiosity and to make sure that the flowers were not real!

DSC09685r$5 ‘T’ shirts – I didn’t buy any, but the display was colourful.

DSC09688rSupposedly Australian roads signs, but as I don’t have a bar or ‘den’ I didn’t buy any.

DSC09689rBecause our destination was Tasmania I considered buying the Tasmanian Devil sign, but where to hang it at home – all too hard, so didn’t buy anything. I’m a great shopper.

DSC09678rBoomerangs – I think they were made in China. . . not sure if they were supposed to work (which I doubt), or if they are just for collecting dust in forgotten drawers at home.

DSC09692r

Not sure where the ships came from, but I don’t think it was Australia. I fancied one of them, but was bothered about getting it home in one piece. They looked very delicate.

DSC09691r

The card stall was ‘different’ – all pop-up three ‘D’ cards – five for $20.

DSC09693rGlitter and more glitter, reminded me of various stalls that I ‘d seen in Asia & India.

DSC09695rThis stall had the feel of Japanese cartoon characters – another stall offered Japanese crockery – mainly every day crockery. When I was at sea we used to call in to Nagoya (east coast of Japan), to pick up a cargo of everyday crockery, as well as expensively created porcelain.

800px-NoritakeThe above is a sample of Noritake porcelain of Nagoya, from the 1920’s.

We walked up and down each aisle and eventually came out of the covered area to find an unusual sculpture in String Bean Alley.

DSC09697rCheck the hanging item at the centre right of the above picture. Melbourne seems to be big into recycling packing cases or wooden pallets.

DSC09696rA close-up of the sculpture . . . unusual, but not to my taste.

DSC09698rWalking down the alley we came to the organic market, which is more my taste.

DSC09700rI do like chillies – and I was pleased that I’d found something that was ‘made in Australia’ !

veg

DSC09701rSay cheese!

DSC09702r Stuff this stuff that  . . .!

inside

DSC09703rThe indoor area of the market, was mainly for the sale of fresh food – wine, fish, meat, bread, everything that you could possibly want, such a shame that this market it is about a thousand kilometres from where Maureen & I live. The colours and the smell of the fresh fruit was a ‘feast’ to the senses.

fruitNectarines & peaches.

 

meatSmoked meat, cold cooked meat, olive oils and more.

wild meat

Wild meat – It’s years since I last had rabbit, I think it was just after the war when meat was still rationed in the UK.
Kangaroo meat is very lean and tasty.
Venison is ‘common’ and wild boar expensive.
A wallaby is a small to mid-size animal of the kangaroo family, and is a native of Australia and Papua New Guinea – I’ve not tasted wallaby, and didn’t know that it was available as food for humans.

When visiting markets, I try and remember to take my ‘book lists’, just in case I find a second-hand book stall – which I didn’t this time.
After finishing our tour of the market we decided to walk back to the city centre via Elizabeth Street, because years ago there used to be a second-hand book shop just off this street.
It is no longer where it used to be, but I did find a shop called The Book Grocer , which seems to specialise in ‘end of line’ books – nothing over $10!
Like the addict that I am, I couldn’t pass a book shop offering discount books.

As many of us do I couldn’t help but check to see if my own book was on offer . . . it wasn’t.

front

Triangle TradeFor the newer followers I’ve written one book, but it has been published twice. The above two books are the same story – I wrote Ice King and self published, which was picked up by a UK publisher and reissued as Triangle Trade in hardback. Ice King is cheaper and is still available as an e-book from Amazon.

The point of the above explanation is that I am writing the sequel and I’d written about the Fishing Fleet of India during the early 1800’s.

What did I find in the Book Grocer, but

Fishing FleetI had to buy it, for further background research for my sequel. I’m half way through reading The Fishing Fleet and have forgotten that I should read it for research, because it is such an interesting and entertaining book.

The best laid plans etc  . . .

Duck Apple Night

Duck appleThose of us who were brought up in the ’40’s and 50’s in the UK, always looked forward to Duck Apple night, which was well before Dad hired a TV.

Duck Apple was a simple game on the last night of October. We had to try and grab an apple with our teeth. We were not allowed to use our hands, and sometimes we had our hands tied behind our back to make sure that we didn’t cheat.
An evening of fun with family, friends and plenty of laughter, and you didn’t get in to trouble if you ended the evening with your shirt soaking wet. Shock horror, even the adults were soaked.
The tradition goes back to the Roman invasion of Britain (55 BC) when the Romans merged their religious celebrations with Celtic Britain. The apple tree, which was a Roman symbol of plenty (Pomona) was introduced in to Britain and the apple floating in water was used to see if an unmarried person was due to be married.
The first person to bite in to the apple would be the next person to be married. Girls who ‘bobbed’ i.e bit in to a floating apple, would place the bitten apple under their pillow to dream of their future lover. Odd how the apple was held in such high regard by the Romans, considering how important it was in the Garden of Eden.

A variation, in the 18th century, was to suspend the apple in the air, rather than float in a barrel or bath, perhaps they didn’t like getting wet.
All Saints Eve (31st October), according the old writings in Cheshire (the county where I was born), required a hollowed out turnip, in which a candle would be placed to frighten people. This ‘lamp’ being a jack-o-lantern, (will-o’- the-wisp) which later grew in size (we all put weight on with age), when pumpkins replaced the turnip. We used to eat turnips, but pumpkin was only given to the pigs, so I suppose in the early days they changed the vegetable to save money.
Even though the Golden Princess was technically a British vessel (she is registered in London), they celebrated the American idea of duck apple night.
Considering the link between old England and the Romans, and that the Captain and some of his officers were Italian, perhaps they should have had Duck Apple night around the swimming pool. I’ll drop Princess Cruises a line before next year.

DSC00010rI found it ironic that a thousand-year-old ceremony for the souls of the dead in purgatory, should generate a Happy Halloween sign. What’s with the spiders?

DSC09894rI’ve never been winked at by an overweight turnip.

DSC09895r

DSC09893rWas this supposed to be a cowboy?

DSC09902rWe had company in the dining room. I wasn’t sure if he was a passenger from the last cruise still waiting for his first course.

DSC09903rHe was still hanging around when we left.

DSC09991rcOn entering the dining room, we were greeted by, who I thought, was Bat Man, until I realised he was a vampire. At least steak was on the menu!

DSC09993rc

I couldn’t see the connection between the dead and a pirate. . . until it was explained to me about the Pirates of the Caribbean – I’ve been told that there are six films in the series – I’ve not seen any, I should get out more . . .

DSC09994rAnother odd connection, unless this steward was a Fred Astaire fan or perhaps a

White Heat 3James Cagney  fan – he never did say ‘You dirty rat’ 1932 film Taxi. The photograph is from White Heat (1949), but he did define why we all go to a bar, what a philosopher . . . Come fill the cup, (1951).

DSC00005rcThankfully, this steward was not attending our table.

DSC00002crDrop your napkin and you meet the strangest people.

DSC00006rcHe curdled by cream caramel !

DSC00007rcAll’s well that ends well.

I can’t remember the last time anyone knocked on our door ‘souling’, and offering prayers for the dead, in exchange for ‘soul cakes’.

Nowadays it is called ‘trick ‘n’ treat’, which is not much different than the insurance (protection for money) offered by Al Capone. Today it is pay up (in sweets), or we egg your car.

Fortunately I have two large gates, which are locked from 3.00 pm on the 31st October – bah humbug!

Wychwood's Bah Humbug!

Dieting ? Then don’t cruise . . .

When cruising, food is a major consideration – after all good food, which is pleasing to the eye, as well as being tasty, is part of the holiday.
On sea days Maureen & I normally visit the dining room for breakfast, rather than the buffet area, because you can meet some interesting passengers over breakfast.

The table, covered in a cream coloured tablecloth, is always a welcome site.

DSC09647r

DSC09648r

And then we have the menu – which changes every day.

DSC09649rThe right-hand side lists the day’s specials – the left-hand side lists the standard offerings.

DSC09649cI hope this picture, which has been enlarged, is clear enough for it to be read.

Our routine was to have breakfast about 8.00 am, which would take about an hour. Not that the staff were slow, but who wants to rush breakfast when on holiday, it’s not as if we had a bus to catch.
The portions can be as large as you wish, it’s your choice, but most people seemed to stick to the meal size that they have at home, after-all lunch starts at Noon, which is only three hours away!

DSC09652rLunch on the Golden Princess was civilised – the menu changes daily.

DSC00034r

DSC00035rOr you could visit the buffet area, which has a wide choice of food. The above two pictures were taken just before noon on a sea day – the buffet opened for lunch at 11.30 am. The pictures show just a small part of the sitting area .
If you don’t fancy the dinning-room or the buffet area, you could sit outside and have lunch from a take-away, which we did for one lunch.

DSC09880rA choice of fish and chip (with salad), or beef burgers, chips & salad – with egg or cheese on the burger, or you could have it just plain. There were various other choices of take away dishes, but the burger & fish are all I can remember. Another ‘stall’ (not shown) offered pizzas, whole or by the slice.

DSC09879rTo the left of the take away area you can see a bar, so you wouldn’t have far to go to include a beer with the burger & chips – waiter service of course, one is not expected to exert themselves when at sea!

Just a few examples of various dishes in the dining room.

DSC09653rAppetiser

DSC09881rMain course

DSC09654rPudding

DSC00003r
Do you fancy something else ?

DSC00044rMaureen, being a coeliac, receives gluten free meals at lunch and dinner. Each evening during dinner, the Maître d’ would present the following day’s lunch and dinner menus so that Maureen could pick her dishes and they would be produced gluten free.

At breakfast there were enough gluten free choices that Maureen didn’t have to pre-order, she just asked for gluten free toast ‘well done’, because gluten free toast doesn’t brown as well as ordinary toast.

At lunch and dinner the stewards would offer a menu to each of us, and to Maureen, who would indicate that her meal had been pre-ordered. The steward would ask for our cabin number and from then on all went well.

Maureen’s advance notice of the following day’s meals came in handy for the rest of us, because we would not over eat at lunchtime if we knew of a particular dish was on the dinner menu.  . . .  I do enjoy cruising.