Friday, November 10, 2006

Gone to Queensland droving...

Grub Street and GP Backround Stories (GP BS) are pulling down the shutters for a few weeks, having just enjoyed an election campaign of a lifetime.

I am moving on, flying out on Sunday for a few days in the US then off to Australia. Another adventure awaits, I am heading to outback Queensland which will be a new experience.

The move comes with a few unknowns, like patchy dial-up connectivity which is bad enough in Australian cities and a worry in the bush. But somehow I will be back, with a new mission: The Howard government in Australia is next!

So after Saturday posting will be erratic for a while, if at all.

Since Queensland became my destination I've had a great Australian poem rolling around my head, though the office bound city bloke is heading bush this time:

Clancy of the Overflow

Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

I HAD written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just on spec, addressed as follows, "Clancy, of The Overflow".

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
"Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are."

. . . . .

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving "down the Cooper" where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.
. . . . .

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.

. . . . .

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

. . . . .

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

. . . . .

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal-
But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of The Overflow.

I've enjoyed mixing it with fellow bloggers. I will be back, thanks for a great time.

UPDATE: The task ahead

OCTOBER has firmed as the favourite month for next year's federal election after the Prime Minister, John Howard, promised the campaign would not interfere with the cricket calendar. Australia does not have fixed lower house elections. However any date earlier than October would neccesitate a seperate Senate election to fall in line with that house's time frames.
So the cricketing PM doesn't have many options.


reality-based educator said...

Have a safe trip, cartledge. I'm also feeling a post-election lull where I'm feeling the need for a vacation!

Praguetwin said...

Thanks for everything Cartledge. Have a good time on your trip.

I think I'm going to have to start blogging about the local scene just for a little variety.

Cartledge said...

Thanks for that. I've enjoyed many campaigns, but as an observer this one was like election night for two weeks. Seeing the mechanics from a different angle is very instructive. The differences clarify a lot of issues.
I still think, outcome aside, it was an extremley significant campaign.

Anonymous said...

Are you visited this blog yet?