Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reader Comments

Some recent reader emails and responses:


From Byter Morris, in response to the pic last week showing the graffiti on the side of the house:

What about “I like Tabbouleh but hate Hommos!!!” somewhere in Newtown.


Morris is referring to a well known bit of 1980’s graffiti that was on the wall of the car park at the corner of Parramatta Road and Missenden Road in Camperdown, Sydney.  That car park now comprises residential units; before it became a carpark it was a derelict warehouse for a number of years.

In the 80’s, as the AIDS epidemic became known, there were proposals that all doctors and hospitals compulsorily report any persons with HIV.  This prompted a large graffiti:

Disease, not

Note that the initials letters spell AIDS when read downwards.

Someone then came along and painted an arrow on the wall pointing to the above graffiti, with the words, in capitals, “GOD HATES HOMOS”.

To this was added a further graffiti comment” “But does he like tabouleh?”

Unfortunately I have not been able to find a photograph of it.


From US Byter Tobye in response to the Australia Day post which quoted the lyrics of the Australian Cricket Team victory song, including the line “A sprig of wattle in my hand”:

Okay, I'll "Byte"....what's a "wattle"?

Your Oz-challenged fan!

Regards, Tobye


Wattle is the common name for trees and shrubs in the genus Acacia, especially in Australia and South Africa.  Golden Wattle, a species of Acacia, is Australia’s national flower and official floral emblem, appearing on the Australian coat of arms:

Golden Wattle is a tree which flowers in late winter and spring, producing masses of yellow flowers.

In Australia, the wattles are the largest genus of flowering plants. Of the 1380 species of acacia in the world, Australia has about 985. Acacias are extremely diverse, being found in habitats from rainforest to arid lands. They range in size from shrubs to large trees.

There are many varieties of Golden wattle and therefore many varieties of yellow flowers:

May Gibbs (1877-1969), an Australian children’s author, illustrator and cartoonist, wrote and drew numerous children’s books and stories about the gumnut babies (also known as "bush babies" or "bush fairies"), notably Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.  The gumnut babies wear wattle flowers, sleep and dwell in gum tree (eucalypt) on gum leaves and wear gumnut hats:

Australia’s national colours, green and gold,  are the colours of Australia’s national flower, the Golden Wattle.  When you see the Oz athletes compete in the Olympics later this year, note the colours they are wearing.

The first day of August, also the first day of spring, is Wattle Day in Oz, although it is no longer celebrated.  It was conceived and dedicated as a day of patriotism after Federation (1901) with the wearing of a sprig of wattle but the patriotic associations of wattle go back a lot further, the earrliest being as far back as 1838 in Tasmania.

Oh, one other thing.  My daughter is named Acacia. 

When she was born one of our friends sent a card with the words “By gum, wattle we call her?  Acacia.”

So there you have it, Tobye. 


From Byter Robyn, in response to my item about the boxing kangaroo flag, in which I mentioned that kangaroos use their hind legs to slash, kick and disembowel whilst holding with their small front legs, thereby giving an appearance of boxing with the front legs:


As we are now flooded in again (we are told for 5 days) I finally have an opportunity to comment on one of your Bytes viz the boxing kangaroo which I can confirm from personal experience are most powerful and dangerous creatures when in that mode. We twice had a kangaroo cornered within our fence (erected to keep the wildlife out as well as the dogs contained) on our acreage property at Doonan on the Sunshine Coast, both times early in the morning and bailed up by our two dogs a rotty and a bull terrier. On each occasion the bully was deeply slashed within a fraction of vital organs and blood vessels (she in fact survived to a ripe old 16 years and the rotty to 15 years.) but dragging away the rotty whilst dodging the ferocious swipes of the roo's hind legs is not recommended. The roos actually balanced on their tails to enable them to kick out with their powerful hind legs. We had to get WIRES in to extricate the roos and return them to the surrounding bush. Extricating echidnas bailed up by the dogs in the middle of the night when one is scantily attired can also be fraught with danger.



Robyn and I have never met although we have communicated for some years.  Robyn is a solicitor who lives and practises in MacLean, about 650 kilometres north of Sydney.

Some points about her comment:

Maclean is located on the Clarence River and regularly floods, major flooding.

A rotty is a Rottweiler

WIRES is the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service Inc which, as the name says, rescues wildlife.

An echidna is a spiny anteater.  It looks like a porcupine.

I love Robyn's art works, the subject of tomorrow's post.

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