OZ SPOT: Final! The lady from Pittwater in the pale yellow house

A DRINK: A STATUE OF DOROTHEA MACKELLAR IN GUNNEDAH.

Her shape was all wrong to be contemporary … and similar in style seen in photographs of people in the 30s.        

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

One night, with the doggies tucked in bed beside me, a hot water bottle at my feet, my silly woollen cap stuck on my head, I start to read Barbara’s document*. It is her research into Dorothea Mackellar’s life and the history of Tarrangaua.

It is enormously detailed … interesting only to locals, I suspect, or people who wander past and are curious about the pale yellow house on the side of the hill. Towards the end, on a page of its own, she writes this extraordinary tale:

About a year and a half after we moved in, I looked out the window from my study, which had once been Dorothea’s small and simple bedroom, and saw the strangest sight.

There was a woman, wearing a longish dark dress and a huge sun hat, walking quite sadly, it seemed to me, with her head down. Her steps were slow and a little tentative, as she headed towards the steep slope leading to the water’s edge.

FROM ANOTHER TIME

She disappeared for a moment, and then came back into view but I still could not see her face. And then she followed an old sandstone pathway, narrow and rarely used, to the waters of Frog Hollow. The little bay to the east.
I felt she had stepped out of another era … Her shape was all wrong to be contemporary. Her ankle length dress, in a fabric that also seemed from another time … after the first world war. And her hat was large, straw and similar to the style seen in photographs of people in the 30s.

It was mystery to me.

I REMEMBER THAT DAY

I felt silly and melodramatic. Because I knew from the first moment the figure appeared that she was a ghost. The ghost of Dorothea.

I am a pragmatist by inclination. But I know what I saw. I remember the day quite clearly because it was Melbourne Cup day … As every Australian knows it is the one day of the year when we all seem to be gripped by a mad, gambling frenzy.

Not a day any Australian would easily forget.

<< House at Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan; Penquin Book, 2012.

*Susan Duncan, author on this book; and Barbara, the owner of the house before Susan Duncan.

Picture: Undated photo. Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar as a young girl. Our country. A child’s drawing of Mackellar’s landscape.


I'M BUSY. SHERLOCK HOLMES.

THINK ABOUT IT? ELEMENTARY! THE INTERNATIONAL SHERLOCK HOLMES EXHIBITION

Sherlock Holmes is a ‘star’ in his own right! At the Powerhouse Museum Exhibition there’s a whole new world of captivating artefacts that have baffled any detective who tried to identify them. But not Sherlock Holmes!

“For the first time in Australia you’ll be transported back to Sherlock Holmes Victorian London, where you’ll crack the case,” said a spokesperson.

BE A DETECTIVE

A fine recreation of 221B Baker Street where Sherlock Holmes and his trusty side-kick Dr Watson lived was captured in the Sherlock! television drama. See the original manuscripts and the first editions, and visit one of the most accurate recreation of Baker St.

Come on you mini sleuths, get to the International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition and see what it would be like to a detective 127 years ago.

The International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition is from now until October 8, 2017.

Picture: I’m busy! Sherlock Holmes working on a tricky chemical problem that will help name the killer.


AWARD: MIDGET FARRELLY, POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA (AM) FOR HIS DEDICATION TO SURFING AND SURF LIFE SAVING, WINNING THE INAUGURAL 1964 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT MANLY.

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS: A TRUE NATIONAL HERO

Surfer Bernard Midget Farrelly was a ‘champ of the waves’. Midget ploughed ahead and won the 1964 inaugural world title at Manly, Sydney.

But this year, Farrelly, who died in August at the age of 71, has been granted posthumously a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant services to surfing and the surf-life saving. His daughter, Johanna Isherwood, said the family “especially valued the honour.”

Isherwood said, “Dad lived his lived for the water and really didn’t think much about what people thought of him. That’s why this means so much. It is recognition of the pioneering role he played in the rise of surfing in Australian life.”

Midget’s victories brought a burst of national pride.

OVER 60 MILLION WATCH RACE

Lord James Blears, Surfabout Magazine Hawaiian writer, reported that Sydney’s top-seeded boardrider, l8 year old Midget Farrelly, won the Senior Men’s 1963 Makaha International surfing final in Hawaii.
“It was the first international win by an Australian,” said Blears.

The importance of the Championship was heightened by the American Broadcasting Commission’s superb coast-to-coast TV coverage which was watched world-wide by an estimated 60 million viewers.

.Farrelly won the 1964 world championship with 132 points from a possible 150. – Frank Morris.

Picture: We’re the champs! Midget chats to Phyllis O’Donnell, 1964 World Championship holder, just after the contest.

MISS MARILYN: CHILDREN’S TV PRESENTER WITH THE SUPER FLYING FUN SHOW.

SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS:  NUMBER 1. SUPER FLYING FUN SHOW … EVEN MONTY WEDD MADE A MARK!

FRANK MORRIS

One weekday morning in the 70s the Super Flying Fun Show’s Miss Marilyn was giving away a host of prizes to the winner of a contest. After which she turned to the camera and said, “Well, we have a welcome surprise for this morning. It’s Monty Wedd a well-known artist who is to going you show how to draw.”

As Monty’s face turned to the camera, he was grinning like a Cheshire cat.

He was one a dozen guest stars they had lined-up for the kids. Monty had 10 to 15 mins to draw; then they were invaded by Rod and Emu. Monty knew his time was up. “Until next week. See you then.” Monty would fade into blackness.

Life began for the SFFS on Channel Nine as a children’s morning program in 1970; it ran for nine years.

Writes Harry Hollinsworth in the SMH Summer Guide: “I’m pretty sure I watching from the start as my earliest memories … were, I recall, Clotty and Emu. Clotty (Rod Hull) was replaced in 1971. He returned to Britain to reprise the janitor/emu partnership with some success.”

AS IF WAS YESTERDAY

He was replaced by Marty and Emu.

Apart from Rod/Marty and the Emu to get the early Super Flying Show off the ground, there was also Smoky Dawson, Monty Wedd and Paddle Pop Lion, the charming Miss Marilyn (Mayo) – and loads of cartoons.

Marty’s son used to go to the same school as Hollinsworth. Marty did a number of Marty and Emu presentation “days and birthdays.”

Writes Hollinsworth: “In my teenage years I saw Marilyn in a commercial for the series Holiday Island cast as ‘Dusty, everyone’s favourite barmaid.’ I couldn’t bear to watch. She had appearances in Riptide  (Customer) and Spyforce (Juliet). I wasn’t allowed to watch either show as it was thought they would give me nightmares.”

I remember SFFS as if it was only yesterday!

Next: TV’s Johnny Young and Young Talent Time. The show ran from 1971 to 1988.

Picture: Miss Mayo. Morning show host, Marilyn Mayo, being photographed by TV Week in 1976.


POSTCARD FROM NEW ZEALAND: FROM A DAUGHTER WITH LOVE!

NICOLA MORRIS

I decided to take a coach trip to New Zealand. I made a booking with Grand Pacific Tours and settled on an Ultimate Small Group Tour. It’s been hailed as their “business class on wheels” tour. I was ready to go.

Everything is “premium” level, I might add.

The new coach is a pleasure to ride in. Everything you want is provided. It is the premium way to travel. 

I came two days earlier so I can go to the theatre in Auckland. I – it was not part of the Ultimate Tour.

Tuesday May 9, 2017: Auckland was fantastic very Melbourne-like. Except the weather, it was fantastic! The theatre on Saturday night was world-class. I went by ferry to Waiheke yesterday to a ‘bean-bag’ view from Cable Bay vineyard. Literally, the hilltop from the vineyard was scattered with bean-bags where you sit back and relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the water views. Unreal!

Now, on with the Ultimate Tour.

Headed to Christchurch today.  Christchurch is go green and the St George (hotel) was very welcoming. Arrived to a view of falling leaves outside my room and, of course, a bottle of wine from management – note the label! It’s from my sister.

Took the tram ride around town. Construction in Christchurch is six years on; lots of buildings due to be completed in August/September.

KNOCK ON THE DOOR

Hang on, there is a knock at the door. It’s turn down service – my first George bear and some chocolates and macaroons – again, unreal!

It’s cold tonight, so I’m having a night in. Will keep you posted?

Friday, May 12, 2017: Got to go up in the helicopter this morning. Will do the canyon trip tomorrow. Just been booked into the Royal Suite.

Saturday, May 13, 2017: Fox Glacier – a view from the top. The Ultimate coach is first class comfort and the helicopter ride is the ultimate view! The bad weather passed the previous day. We were awaken to a beautiful morning. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk on pure white snow – it was glorious.

Sunday, May 24, 2017: Skippers Canyon, Queenstown – a view from the edge! There’s more to Queenstown than skiing and jet boating – and this is it. The best view of Queenstown is winding your way along the narrow Gorge Road of Skipper’s Canyon in a 4WD. It’s scary at first, then just breathtaking. Believe me, you have seen the best views.

Monday, May 25, 2017: There’s other things to do and see. Had a great day, Milford Sound was superb.

Thursday, May 28, 2017: At 6.22 am, this is the view from the balcony – Mt Cook. It’s unlikely to be visible all day, but spectacular nevertheless. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

Picture: The Sisters, said the wine label. Note the label. My sister comes good! The best. 4WD – scary but then breathtaking.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 16 June 17

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