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Daily Archives: 12/09/2013

As we get closer to the home front dear ones, I thought you might appreciate an analysis of the common phenomenon of waving to each other that you will notice on the open road if you ever decide to get out there and tow anything akin to a caravan. Here are a few of my observations.

The point.  “I see you mate, let’s not make too much of a deal of this”.

The lazy index finger lift.  “If I have to”.

The enthusiastic full-hand-all-over-the-place wave can mean a number of things. You have to be particularly careful not to ignore such apparently over-the-top excitement because if it’s point 3, it’s to your advantage to pay attention.

1 “We’ve only been on the road for a day and I’m excited”.

2 “I ooze friendly and I love this game.”

3 “The load on top of your car is listing very dangerously to the left.”

The V for Victory wave. “Yay, dude”.

The backwards middle finger wave. Now that’s just rude!

The sorry I was a bit late with that wave.  You’ll never know what that one looked like.

The compensating passenger wave. “My husband doesn’t do waving”.

The salute. “I see you”.  Often this wave is given when the opposing driver recognises a mirror copy of his rig is coming his way and he is complimenting you on your shared good taste.

The no wave at all.  Be careful not to interpret this as discourteous as I’ve identified a number of scenarios where the no wave is appropriate.

“You and I both know we can’t let go of the bloody steering wheel because these *$!#ing road corrugations are REALLY bad”

“This is a bendy bit of the road. I hope you understand”.

“I don’t wave” Still not necessarily discourteous. Sometimes you just don’t feel like waving to someone you’ve never met and are very unlikely to do so given you are traveling in opposite directions.

Occasionally on this trip, I’ve felt a bit like the poet Stevie Smith when she wrote “not waving but drowning”. Ten days out from arriving home, I am pleased to say that I have largely survived being out of my comfort zone, but I tell you something.

I don’t wave.

The Zara Clark Museum is run by the National Trust.

In my view, this small museum is well curated. The objects are grouped in themes. There is largely a focus on the local history of Charters Towers.  Importantly, there are stories of the people associated with the objects. One of the more poignant pieces is a letter from a soldier to his mother, placed beside an unfinished pair of knitted socks.

I took quite a lot of photographs here this morning, largely as source ideas for Now and Then.  Watch that other space in the near future for stories behind each of these images once further research is done.

pianola Billy Tea bass drummer Hope Charteris

Charters Towers would not have existed were it not for the discovery of gold. We followed what you might call the supply chain story today which included a visit to the Venus Battery. It’s here that miners took their ore to be smashed to bits, splashed with mercury and soaked in cyanide to get the very most out of it for their effort. Charters Towers is extremely hot in summer. This was a sweaty, noisy, dusty and chemically dangerous place for anyone to work.

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Venus Battery 1 - Ancient Canvas effect

Venus Battery 2 - Ancient Canvas effect

Venus Battery 3 - Ancient Canvas effectVenus Battery 4Venus Battery 5Venus Battery 6

Everything associated with gold digs was established in Charters Towers, including a Stock Exchange, countless banks and pubs, and what were euphemistically referred to as dance houses.  The article from The Northern Miner of 12 February 1880 may provide some clues.

Calling of the cardbank vault

The Northern Miner - dance houses