I Know I Am Intelligent Because I Know That I Know Nothing .... Socrates

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Meditation & Photography

I find at times it nearly impossible to clear the mind and to live in the here and now, I have always been the type of person to either be stressing about things that have not happened yet or stewed over and regretted things in my past.
For most of my life I have struggled with the ability to appreciate beauty and magic of the moment that I am living in, even though this has been a conscious effort and desire for as long as I can remember.
Recently I have been getting more involved with a passion that I have also had for years, Photography !
I have always enjoyed the artistic side of life and wether it be through my poetry, paintings / drawings or now through my photography, I have always tried to explain to the world what I see and what I feel. This hasn't always been easy as I do have an unusual perspective on life at times and have always viewed the world around me as if I was watching a TV show, detached and yet engrossed !
With the photography I have found that as one of it's benefits, I am forced to focus on the here and now, that moment directly in front of me and the story that it is telling me.
To be distracted is to miss the opportunity !
Below are a few photographs I have taken recently, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed living in and capturing the moment.
Andrew Swansson 
Flying High On Life
A young lad living life in the moment at the Beenleigh BMX Park

Small Things can certainly offer huge satisfaction, this small flower ( no bigger than a little finger nail ) was growing along side the path at Curtis Falls, Mt Tamborine.
Very proud of this Macro shot.

Morning Dew
It's all about perspective

My Father
Norman Swansson
Love !

My first ever Pregnancy Photographic Shoot
Model : Rita 31 weeks

Sepia / Colour Layer

Love begets Love

In Safe Hands

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Winds Of Change

The winds of change are blowing strong through my hair and the ground on which I stand seems to be constantly shifting as if it is trying to unbalance me and make me fall.

As quick as I seem to adapt and accept one shift within my life another sweeps in to ensure I do not get too comfortable within my personal and private zone.

Even my beliefs that I use as an anchor for my sanity seem to keep changing and being challenged in what seems to be a deliberate attempt to stretch my mind and beliefs and to ensure that my mind is not that of a narrow minded self-centred Narcissistic fool.

I went to church last Sunday for the first time in over 15 years ( for my sons christening ) and over 35 years since I attended Church for a Sunday service.
Why did I go after so many years you may well ask, and that would be a very justified and reasonable question as it is one I have been asking myself as well.

You see the reason I went is because I am restless, I feel as if something is missing in my life and yet I want for nothing and desire even less.

I feel shallow and directionless; I have passions but no motivation to chase them. I want companionship in my life but am also happy to be alone in my thoughts and travels.

I am not happy and yet I am not sad !

My nephew Mathew and his darling wife Lilly are THE two happiest people I have ever known in my life and always exude love and happiness when ever I see them as if they are walking on cloud nine all the time without a care in the world and I wanted to know the peace and love that these two amazing young people know.

About 3 months ago I told Mathew and Lilly how they inspired me with their inner peace, calm and contentment. I told them how I felt and openly admitted that at 44 years of age, these two amazing young adults who are only in their mid 20’s knew something I didn’t and I wanted to know what they thought was the secret to their happiness and if they would be willing to share it with me as all I truly want in life is to be happy, happy like them.

Once the initial shock of the whole conversation subdued, Lilly simply said that it was God and her Church that gave her and Mathew their love for life and with that came the inner peace of knowing God and knowing that he and the church were always there and that they never walked alone.

Please don’t think the conversation was as simple as that and many other aspects were discussed but the point of her message was that their Faith was their reason.

Well, I stated there and then that despite their young age I openly acknowledged that they certainly knew something that I did not and asked if I could please go with them to their next church service to try and find the answers that they seemed to have found for themselves.

Now as life all so often does, I was then swept away in my reactive life and it was nearly 3 months later that I got a private message on my Facebook account from Lilly asking me if I still wanted to join her and Mathew at their church and giving me the time, place and all the details to make sure I was there the following weekend. I replied to her, accepting her kind reminder and left it at that.

So 15 minutes early the next Sunday I pulled up in front of the church and eagerly waited for Mathew and Lilly to arrive.

About 5 minutes before the service was to begin they arrived much to my relief and much to their surprise and joy they realised that I had made it.

They introduced me to a few people and went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and to feel as if I was home, home with them in their house. Words can not express my love for them for that, and how much of an exemplary example of they both are of all that is good within the human race, of loving life and of faith just by being themselves.

Well, I went again today ( the following week ) and I was a big boy and went by myself today. I tried not to just stand there like a rabbit in the headlights and I very self consciously participated in the service.

Now, I’m not going to try and tell you that I have seen the light and found the way, but I have found another way, another path to the one I have been walking in circles on for the last 30 plus years and I am open to where it may take me without expectations of it taking me anywhere.

I do feel that there will be many inner questions yet to be answered as I have always been a very spiritual person but have never really been religious and the joining of the two will certainly be a challenge and an interesting path to take.

One of my all time favourite poems is by Shel Silverstein called “ Listen To the Mustn’t ”, well I guess its time that this Ol’ Uncle listened to his own advise … anything can happen Uncle, anything can be !

Listen to the Mustn’t

Listen to the Mustn’t, child,

Listen to the Don'ts

Listen to the Shouldn’t

The Impossible, the Won’ts

Listen to the Never Haves

Then Listen To Me

Anything can happen, child,

Anything can be.

Shel Silverstein

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For My Son

The Message

The music floats timeless and free
Seamlessly tugging and calling to me
Emotions – Memories – Hopes & Dreams
Fuel for the spirit pure motivation for me
Changing the tempo altering the ride
Stirring the blood that allows us to survive
Sweet slow love lost in a mist
Jive bunny rocking and doing her best
Stories of legends both mythical and real
Respecting the classics with their timeless appeal
I listen in admiration
I listen in awe
I listen to his message from the bell of his horn

Andrew Swansson
© November 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tom Cruise & Toasted Sandwiches

Well here I am home all alone with Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Richard Gere & Debra Winger having a Top Gun of a night with an Officer and a gentleman.

My boy is over at his mum’s this weekend, all my extremely limited friends are busy with their real lives and I’m so shit broke I’m not game take the car out of the driveway. Mind you I should be used to the being broke bit as I can’t remember the last time I had any free money to spend on myself, but that’s another blog to write.

I’ve been flipping through Facebook and all the Blogs that I follow most of last night and today just to kill time and have come to the conclusion that “ I have No Social Life ”, unless I am being an employee for my boss or a father to my son there is currently nothing else.

I seem to have lost the part where I am an individual, that fun guy that way – way – way back in his 20’s used to have a long and distinguished list of friends who he would invite over for dinner and cards all the time. That individual who used to love going to the casino to play roulette. That individual who used to love camping and exploring the world around him.

Now not to say that I am not still interested in all of the above but somewhere on the road between exuberant youth and responsible middle age I seem to have lost all my friends, my money and my direction.

Now this has me thinking, yerh I know … “ Warning, Warning Middle Age Male Going Through A Mid Life Crisis Is Attempting To Think ” … Run people Run !

My son is 14 years of age and is looking at getting his learners licence ( car ) in about one and a half years then his official licence twelve months after that, at which time he will blossom into a young man that will have his own transport and will no longer need to rely on the OLD MAN for a social life of his own ( Until he needs to borrow money to fix the car or put fuel into it ). Now this is the part where I am starting to think …. Fact 1, My son will be independent in about two and a half years …. Fact 2, Once my son is independent he will no longer need me to be spending all of my existence on him … Fact 3, Once I am not required to reserve 90% of my awake hours for my sons social life I will have the freedom to do whatever I want, when I want ( except for work hours ), I will be able to go out with my friends without having to plan two weeks ahead of schedule, I will be able to enjoy the Casino or Poker competitions without having to plan two weeks ahead of schedule, I will be able to go on road trips and camping trips without having to plan two weeks ahead of schedule, I might even be able to go to the movies or out to dinner without having to plan two weeks ahead of schedule …. Fact 4, I have no friends and have forgotten how to do all of Fact 3 …. Fact 5, “ Oh Crap ”

Now don’t get me wrong at all about this Blog, I do not regret for one second running around after my son ( and NEVER will ) and it is not possible to love him or be more proud of the young man he is becoming than I am of him but I have realised that I have sacrificed my self-identity too much over the years and have a fork in the road coming up that if I am not careful and better prepared for could put me into a spin that would be hard to recover from and cause me to crash and burn ( sorry, another Top Gun metaphor ).

Well, time to go make my toasted sandwiches for dinner, curl up on the couch with my dinner and a cold drink, Flick Tom & Kelly on, settle back and to get in touch with my feminine side with no witnesses.

Till next time

Thanks for reading my Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gone Fishing

On the 31st October it won’t only be the Trick-or-Treating kids knocking on my door but also the ghosts of the past who will be hell bent on dragging up painful past memories and emotions.

“ Now before I go any further I must add that I know my ex-wife will be reading this ( as we have remained best of friends ) and I need her to know that I genuinely do not blame anyone or anything for our marriage breaking down and that I still consider her one of my closest friends and I sincerely hope that it remains that way for the rest of our lives.”

You see, on the 31st of October 2011 it will be exactly 5 years since my marriage of 10 years fell apart and my best friend of near on 14 years moved out of our house.

I remember that day 5 years ago as clearly as I remember the day that we got married. I still at times feel sad for all three of us ( including our son ) that life did not end up the fairy-tale that we all expected, but I guess the reality actually is that more of us never see that fairy-tale ending then those that do. As John Lennon once wrote “ Life is what happens when you’re making other plans ” and poor old Ned Kelly summed it up perfectly when on the gallows he said ” Such Is Life ”.

I have dated a few times since Ms R and I split and at one stage I even thought I’d maybe found another soul to share my life with but to be honest I think most of those dates and failed relationships were me trying to make something out of thin air so that I didn’t feel so alone.

I do miss having a partner to share my life with, someone to talk to both when I’m excited about life and want to share its joy as well as someone to talk to when I need a sympathetic ear and shoulder when life gets a bit rougher that I feel like I can handle alone.

I definitely miss holding that special person in my arms and I’m not just talking about sex. I miss that cuddle on the lounge while watching a DVD, that gentle embrace and kiss and I miss going to bed and waking up to the sight and soft touch of a partner probably most of all.

I miss many things about being in a relationship but I equally have found a few things in being single that I would hate to completely loose as well such as the being able to leave the toilet seat up and being able to drink straight out of a bottle in the fridge …. Lol, only joking, I always did that anyway.

Seriously though, I keep getting told that there are still plenty of fish in the sea and I’m once again starting to feel like it’s time to get back out fishing again, if only the fear of the ocean would subside enough for me to throw a line in.

On a brighter note, the photograph above is of the Sunrise 3 days ago where I live. It is towards the end of Spring here and we got a surprisingly cool and foggy start to the day on Monday. I actually live in suburbia but zoomed in on the sun trying to break through the fog. The only disappointment with the photograph is the dust specks on the lens which I didn’t wipe.

Cheers & Ciao for now, thanks for reading :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Winds Of Change

I feel like I should be in a confessional,
Forgive me readers for I have sinned, it has been over three months since my last Blog entry ”.

When I was young I always heard adults say that time goes quicker as you get older, I could never understand the logic or philosophy behind such a statement. That is I could never understand such a statement until I turned Forty myself.

I don’t know why it is but I seem to live life in three month blocks these days, I just seem to fall into routines that sweep me along like a fast flowing river called time, constantly being pulled deeper into the routines only to surface every few months to gulp a breath of fresh air before submitting to the flow once again.

Now before I go any further I must confess that I am very much a creature of habit and I LOVE routine and the security that it provides. I have never been a big one for left field surprises and tend to loose all direction if given too many choices.

So here I am three months down the track since my last Blog and wondering where the time has gone, three months ago I was unemployed and really starting to stress about where life was taking me, now three months later I find myself counting down the weeks until Christmas once again, acknowledging a big grateful thank you to the universe and starting to plan the Christmas gifts and a Big Family Christmas dinner at my place once again this year.

I find that I am a lot more comfortable within myself now that I am back working fulltime and for the first time in many years I am starting to make plans for the future. I have decided that I want to get a mobile campervan so that my son and I can start to travel a bit more and expand on our now found love of photography. I also find myself starting to dream and plan for a trip overseas, somewhere easy and close for starters but I would dearly love for my son to stand on foreign soil and to see with his own eyes just how big this world really is and the billions of opportunities that are out there for those hungry enough to reach for them.

I am also looking ahead to my sons future within the next few years when he will start to drive and hopefully move on to University to further chase his dreams. We have talked a lot about his first car and I have agreed to go halves with him towards a V.W Kombi Van as his first car. We are looking to get an older vehicle with a solid sound body and then to restore the vehicle with the help of a few of my mechanic mates who will show Dylan how to do all the mechanical work himself, so at the end of the day his first vehicle will be built with his own blood sweat and tears and in the process he will learn even more life skills from those that can offer him what I cannot.

A few other things have changed of late too.

In recent times I have become more and more disillusioned with all things technological in modern society.

I’ve decided that I do not want to be contactable 24/7 via a mobile phone attached to my hip.

I’ve decided that I do not want my son and I to spend all evening after diner on Facebook at either end of the house and sending chat comments to each other as our primary source of communication.

I’ve decided that playing a game console is not a bonding session, even if playing together ( Especially games that involve mass mayhem / bloodletting or performing criminal acts ).

I’ve decided that I do not want my son and I sitting brain dead in front of the TV 2 feet apart and not communicating.

I’ve decided that my son and I do not need to be checking and replying to 20 text messages a night.

I’ve decided that I do not want anyone contacting me and disrupting the peace and tranquillity of our house after 8:30pm at night unless someone is dying.

I’ve decided that I need to communicate with those that I love and those that I openly call friends more frequently and in a personal manner, texting short “how are you mate” messages is NOT actually communicating, it is just a means to allay my social guilt for neglecting those that matter.

I’ve decided grunts, groans and the shrugging of body parts does NOT constitute communication or a response to a question.

I’m not sure when things actually changed for me or why they changed but I have realised that I am clearly not happy with the road society is going down and I would like the bus to stop and let me and my son off thank-you.

I want to reconnect with the natural world and to return to a simpler life. A life filled with the necessities of life and a life with the shiny, glossy & flash veneer removed. I want to live a life that has been stripped back to the natural raw timber surface that shows all its beautiful natural texture and grain.

I recently declared Tuesdays and Thursdays as “ Technology Free Days ” much to the horror and protest from my 14 year old son. As a starting point I have declared that these two days out of the week we will not be answering texts or mobile phone calls, we will not be on Facebook or computers for ANY reason, no gaming consoles will be permitted to be used and if after dinner we decide to watch TV it will be together on the one lounge while I give my son a cuddle.

Rather than the first point of entertainment being the TV , computers or game consoles I have been putting the radio on in the background ( alternating between my sons radio station and my slower and older radio station ) and I have been slowly introducing my son to the lost art of communication and listening.

Now I will be the first to admit that this hasn’t been easy and I myself have really lost the art of not just hearing someone’s noise but hearing their words and thoughts instead.
I find it hard to understand how society has become so detached and isolated while at the same time getting more and more crowded. I find it hard to understand how society has abbreviated everything to a minimal exertion of energy such as a grunt, shrug of a body part or an abbreviated text language.

How many times have you asked a simple question of someone such as “ How are you ” only to either not get an answer, to get a 2 or 3 word answer or to even get a question directed straight back as an answer. How often have you felt that they didn’t even hear your words ?

How often have you replied “ I’m great ” or “ Not bad mate and you ? ” when asked how’s your day because you know they don’t really want to know how you are going, it’s all just social responses and posturing.

Well folks, for me and my son anyway it’s time to stop – slow down & put some reality back into life. Time to start doing things that add value to our lives or to the lives of those that we love and respect. Time to start focusing on the reality of life and then giving what is important 100% of our focus and energy. Hopefully time to turn the clock back a bit and take life back to a more non-commercial & non-technology dependant & superficial time.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I’d love to hear your thoughts & opinions so please take the time to comment.

Cheers & Ciao for now !

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Awakening – The Denial

My boy is growing up, actually in many ways he HAS grown up already.

My little boy whom I held in one hand has recently turned 14 is now taller than me and stands at 6ft 1 inch and weighs in at around the 105kg. He has more stubble on his face than I did when I turned 20 and his voice has changed to better match his stature.

My little boy who used to look at me for all the answers and used to believe that I was the source of all knowledge now has his own independent opinion and now believes that I understand little of his world and generation and that suddenly I know nothing.

My little boy who used to stand close to me to feel safe and protected now either walks 10 paces in front or behind me for independence or he stands next to me to intimidate my threats and to protect me ( and his mother ).

Suddenly the world has changed …

“ Hello, my name is Andrew Swansson and I am an obsessive parent who doesn’t want to let go ! ”

I used to think it was so scary being a parent, being 100% responsible for such a defenceless bundle of love and happiness. Being responsible for ensuring that he was always clothed, fed, educated, encouraged, loved and protected. Protected against a cruel world filled with cruel nasty children and a society that has become disengaged and cynical, a world filled with monsters that lurk in the shadows of society.

But now I realise that the scariest thing about being a parent is that one day you won’t be responsible for any of the above. That while your love and support is still appreciated, it’s not their only source and there for not in such high demand.

I was given some words of wisdom when Dylan was conceived and I have never forgotten the words although I can’t remember the source .. “ Always love, protect and encourage your child, for they do not belong to you and are not your possession, they are but on lone to you for a very short time ”

We only ever had the one child, Dylan. His mother would have loved to have a tribe of kids but after seeing Dylan in all his perfection and seeing the toll and effect of bringing him into this world paid by his mother, I honestly never really thought of having another. While there were times I dreamt of having another and maybe having a little daddy’s girl I was never game to tempt fate as Dylan was so perfect in so many ways I was convinced that no one on the face of this earth could be so blessed and so lucky twice in a row.

I am a gambler by nature but that was one roll of the dice I could never bring myself to take.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I knew the millisecond that Dylan was conceived, I was tapped on the shoulder by my guide ( God or by whatever name you call them ) and told congratulations you are the proud parents of a happy and healthy son.

I believe that Dylan is a gift from above in so many ways, I believe he has a purpose on this earth that none of us know or understand. I believe that his mother and I were meant to meet and our life journey was to deliver Dylan to this world. It was our life’s journey to protect him and to prepare him for the day that he would walk his own path and write his own story.

A day fast approaching and for which I now find myself totally unprepared for !

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama Bin Laden 10/3/57 – 2/5/11

To seek Justice ( revenge ) or To turn the other cheek is certainly a heavily debated topic world over since the assassination of Osama Bin Laden by Elite American forces in Pakistan.

Arguments are raging on both sides as to whether going after Osama Bin Laden to extract revenge, on the head of the organisation that had repeatedly struck out at innocent civilians world over was the civilised and righteous path of action, or whether in doing so we have lowered ourselves to the lowest common denominator and in the end made ourselves no different from those that we openly loath and wish to extract revenge against.

For what it’s worth, I will openly state here that I personally believe that the al-Qaeda’s challenge to the Western world required a response equal to or greater than their attacks on the innocent people they heartlessly and callously attacked across the globe. I personally believe that Osama Bin Laden as the recognised head of the al-Qaeda organisation had to be personally held accountable for the brutal murders carried out by the organisation he spoke for.

I will be the first to admit that there is always two sides to each argument and that there is an enormous argument as to which side struck first and therefore who has the moral high ground to stand upon.

Certainly the argument of Middle Eastern Politics and Diplomacy will not be answered here today or anytime in the foreseeable future with all its intricacies and thousands of years of fundamental distrust and hate between all parties.

On a separate but connected question being poised by a non-religious but deeply spiritual person, I find it astounding that all of this hatred and murdering is the bedrock of religion verses religion on the sacred soils which is widely accepted as the birthplace of modern man and humanity. Doesn’t say much for humanity if the sum of our existence is what we are currently fighting over, considering it is the very same thing that we were fighting over on day one of humanity ( so much for evolving to a higher self ).

But back to my original line of conversation, to retaliate or not to retaliate.

All civilisations have laws which cover the subject of grievous assault and self-defence. Most acknowledge that it is unlawful to deliberately and maliciously assault or injure another person or persons, most equally acknowledge the fundamental rights of everyone to defend themselves against assault or injury.

It is widely recognised in these laws that individuals are allowed to use force equal to the treat against them to maintain their freedom and to protect themselves against harm. Many civilisations and countries throughout the world take these principles even further by recognising the right of family to extract equal justice should their loved one be killed in an attack.

As such I think it can be acknowledged that it is universally accepted that everyone has the right to defend themselves whilst a threat against their freedom and safety is still present.

I also believe that it is universally acknowledged that al-Qaeda is still very much an active organisation with active goals to extract further harm and suffering on Western ( Christian ) civilisations. As such al-Qaeda is still a current threat and therefore we have a universally recognised right to defend ourselves with force equal to the threat poised against us, which is clearly the treat of death. Therefore any member al-Qaeda must be equally responsible for the treat poised towards Western ( Christian ) civilisations and equally accountable for all its actions. The very same actions which Western ( Christian ) civilisations are defending themselves against.

After the initial jubilation expressed throughout Western civilisations regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden most of the talk and comments have swung towards the argument of hate only breeds hate and violence only begets violence, much has been said about turning the other cheek and forgiving those who sin against us.

Many quotes have been put forward from some of the most influential people in history calling for peace and the denouncement of violence at any cost.

Quotes such as :

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate:… only love can do that." --Martin Luther King, Jr

"An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind" - Gandhi.

As stated earlier, I believe that Osama Bin Laden as head of al-Qaeda had to be held accountable for the atrocities that al-Qaeda perpetrated against Western ( Christian ) civilisations.

I believe that at the centre of all the arguments and passionate discussions Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organisation are nothing more than “ Sand Pit Bullies ” on the global stage. And as much as your parents, priests and governing bodies may tell you so – “ Bullies Do Not go away if you ignore them ” they continue to Bully and Victimise their prey until they defeat their prey or THEY ARE STOPPED.

“ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing ”
Edmund Burke

It is also interesting to note that so many of the Peace Advocates for all their denouncement of violence were assassinated, why many may ask, because evil only responds to evil, evil does not acknowledge peace, evil is self-fuelling where as peace must constantly be motivated and reinvigorated to the cause.

Peace in essence is to do nothing, to not strike back, to turn the cheek and not buy into the argument, to not defend yourself. All of which feeds into the hands of evil, “ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing ”.

YES the assassination of Osama Bin will inflame the al-Qaeda organisation and YES the death of Osama Bin will not stop the crusade of the al-Qaeda organisation but to be honest WHO CARES, al-Qaeda where not going to stop if ignored, they were not simple going to lose interest and go away and pick on someone else, they were never going to suddenly have a reflective moment and decide that their life long held beliefs were wrong. They believe that only the restoration of Sharia law would "set things right" in the Muslim world, and that alternatives such as socialism and democracy"—must be opposed at all cost. Osama consistently dwelt on the need for a violent jihad to right what he believed were injustices against Muslims and Osama's ideology included the idea that civilians, including women and children were all legitimate targets of jihad.

YES more will step up to continue his cause and to represent al-Qaeda and to them we must also stand up and defend ourselves, we must hold them and ALL that follow to justice for their actions as well.

Because to do anything else would be to surrender to Evil, to do nothing and let Evil Triumph.

Post Not : Just finished reading a fantastic Blog by Glen which is worth a read, please take the time to click on his name and go to his link.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday 3am

Trying to be positive
Focusing on the fresh cut lawn
Listing to the birds sing bright
All at the crack of dawn
Look for another job
It’s been so long
Nine Months and counting
Since my self-respected was retrenched
Time is a blur
Time is irrelevant
Washing is done
Day is done
Learn to live on air itself
Government will tax it soon
Better run and save yourself
Cause nobody else will
King size bed is cold and alone
Painfully alone
Depressingly alone
Hopelessly alone
Survival is simplistic
Based on needs not wants
Based on reality and practicality
At the expense of hope and comfort
Dreams are distorted
The cost so high
The starting line is a mirage
Drifting away in a dream
Help is there
But who can be bothered
Reminded again that help starts at home
But what is a home when your all alone
Pleasures and Dreams cost
Hope costs
Living costs
Existing costs
Can’t afford them so all is lost
The hole gets deeper
The walls close in
The light has faded and is dim
Distant and cold

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Rainbow Lorikeet


I have always been a huge bird enthusiast for as long as I can remember.

I used to breed birds mainly as a hobby but then as a business during my late teens and at it’s peek my father and I had at any given stage 144 pair of Budgerigars in custom made breeding cages and at least as many Budgerigars in the open aviary resting from the last breeding rotation.

We also had numerous breeding larger Native Australian Parrots such as the Eastern Rosella, Crimson Rosella, Cockatiel etc. .. not to mention Pheasants, Finches & Quail. All were kept in custom made aviaries, each measuring 5 meters x 3 meters x 3 meters.

I used to sit for hours in the middle of the aviaries watching the birds and their habits and in return they watched me and learnt mine. Inevitably with time we both got to know each other pretty well which showed in the trust they had for me. I would sit in the middle of the aviary and feed the birds by hand, I would freely remove eggs and chicks from the nests while being watched and trusted by the parents.

There is a lot of scientific methodology in breeding any livestock to achieve a perceived perfect specimen of the breed and while I did have specific bloodlines that I tried to enhance for competitive purposes, most of my breeding plan was based on curiosity, especially with the Budgerigars & Cockatiels, I constantly tried to get combinations of colours that were new or just different. Natures little surprises !

But those days are long gone with time, first of all I found a fulltime job which then severely restricted the time I had available to work the breeding business at home and then finally I moved out of home into my own place. All the birds and the aviaries where continued by my father for a few more years until he too decided that enough was enough and he shut it all down.

Even though we no longer had the birds or aviaries I never lost my love for birds and always secretly held onto the hopes of one day being in a place long enough and stable enough to once again get an aviary and to once again breed birds and to enjoy the innocence, simplicity and freedom they offer ones spirit.

Even though I still rent and as such do not have the opportunity to build aviaries I have found a much more profound way to enjoy the pleasure of my bird watching. I have started to feed the wild birds from my back yard.

About 6 months ago I nailed a simple baking tray to the top of the fence and started to put out some wild bird mix. Within the first week I had endless wild crested pigeons coming down for the free feed. With all this activity happening it wasn’t long before some of the native parrots realised that a free feed was on order and joined in to the dawn and dusk feeding sessions.

Within the first month I had in excess of 50 – 60 birds coming down both morning and night, birds such as the Australian Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Small Corellas, Rainbow lorikeets, Scaly Breasted Lorikeets, Pale Headed Rosellas, Crested Spinifex Pigeons, Diamond Doves, Australian Wood Ducks, Pacific Black Ducks and the Australian Galah just to name a few.

The standard breeding season for most native Australian birds is Oct – March and as such I had the enormous pleasure of watching most of these birds pair up, breed and then come back with their young once they left the nest.

I have built such a repour with these birds that they not only allow me to stand within 1 ft of them at the feed tray but some of the Rainbow Lorikeets even allow me to hand feed them.

And the honour that I feel when they trust my yard enough to bring their young down is unbelievable to a bird lover.

I could go on and on about the habits and individual personalities of these birds but at this stage I think I will just share some photographs I have taken over the last 6 months.



Small Corella ( Short Beaked )

Scaley Breasted Lorikeet
Spinifix Crested Pidgeon

Juvinile Galah

Sulpher Crested Cockatoo

More Photographs at http://www.flickr.com/photos/51977793@N07/