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22 November, 2020

On Tuesday the 17th of November, going to Corrimal train station, I was menaced by two pee-wees. They are normally charming black and white birds. One hovered near my face. It was a frightening experience. I was told by a station person that there had been other attacks of late in the Illawarra. There must be a nest somewhere near the station. Since I do like pee-wees, I don’t know why I was regarded as enemy number one unless it has to do with my curiosity.

On the south coast of New South Wales Australia the water dragons are back and in good numbers. There are lots of young ones about in Corrimal and in Wollongong Botanic Garden. This one was found at Towradgi Creek. They are harmless so there’s no need to be frightened of them. They have more reasons to be frightened of you.

I found the above piece of art on a footpath on my way to Bellambi Lagoon. Is it a warning or a threat from pushbike riders to pedestrians? I don’t know. For God’s sake when in Corrimal and Bellambi stick to the left when walking on a footpath and hope for the best.

In Corrimal people are starting to decorate their front lawns for Christmas. Myer continue to rubbish Christmas in their ad on television. This is so ridiculous! Meanwhile Woolworths is going all out to welcome the coming silly season and the same can be said for Coles.

After leaving Lyn McConchie’s farm in February my next stop on my journey through the north main island of New Zealand was Paraparaumu. I found the street art there to my liking. I have a fondness for Silvereyes. I stayed at U Studios which wasn’t far from the beach. It had been comfortable on Lyn’s farm in her guest room. This was also true of Miranda Shorebird Centre and now U Studios.

Like Miranda Shorebird Centre and Lyn’s guest room, the facilities at U Studios have a newness quality about them I found appealing. The meals across the road from U Studios at the Indian restaurant were excellent.

The wildlife on the beach at Paraparaumu was indeed wild and much appreciated by this eager photographer and traveler. The first day I was there a dead fish washed ashore which caused some commotion among the local birdlife.

Not all the birds I saw that day having a go at the dead fish were happy with other birds doing the same and so there was a lot of squawking and squabbling. It was not the quietest of beaches. The flap was definitely on.

The unusual duck species I had seen at Rotorua, the Paradise Shelduck, were also there at Paraparaumu.

There were some unusual looking gulls around. There was this black-backed gull that looks like he’s gotten into some woman’s lipstick. The other bird I suspect of being a juvenile black-backed gull.

There were oystercatchers such as these Variable Oystercatchers.

The island I was next going to visit could be seen from the beach. I was so looking forward to my day trip on Kapiti and I was not wrong to feel that way. It was going to be a corker of a day!

It has come to my attention that, when buying DVDs online from Amazon it is a good idea to read what others have said about what you might want to purchase. The review given by a SusiQ was most telling. I had thought about buying Pimpernel Smith, a 1941 film I have fond memories of.

Put out on DVD by, I thought $30.53 a bit steep plus I didn’t like the cover. But what was SusiQ’s problem with this classic? Did she simply not like the film? No. That wasn’t it. What she got was a bad copy that spoilt her enjoyment of this movie. According to SusiQ, it froze a few times and also skipped. Maybe somewhere someone is selling this film on DVD at a more reasonable price and without the problems SusiQ has mentioned.

Taking a quick perusal of films and television shows available through Amazon, I noticed Robin Hood starring Taron Egerton (2018) going on DVD for $7.00. It had been reduced from $11.21. It is strange to have such a recent film at such a low price. What happened? In my opinion it was way too politically correct for its own good and ultimately had nothing to do with the legend of Robin Hood as we know and love the legend.

The reviews of this film are scathing. One Amazon customer had it down as absolute rubbish. This is what they wrote: It is a poor imitation and an insult to our ancestors, the way they lived, died and fought, spoke, believed and thought.

The only good thing is that it may and I emphasize May, help to keep the legend of Robin Hood alive which in turn helps keep Sherwood Forest safe, protected and preserved which we should be doing with all our forests. So donate the price of this film to the woodland trust or use it to buy some saplings and plant them, instead of watching this garbage it will be better for the world, England and your soul.

On the 1 April 2019, this reviewer noted: The whole movie tries to be something, which it is not, a mixture of Matrix, Robin Hood, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and many other adaptations. It is an insult to us who know the good old Robin Hood movies.

P. Walton wrote: If you are expecting a film based on the story/legend then don’t buy this.

Other Robin Hood movies selling on Amazon have done much better when it comes to both the customer and the legend. The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn (1938) gets rave reviews and so it should. Also rating high, and deservedly so, is Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991), and Robin and Marian starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn (1976).

The Adventures of Robin Hood television series starring Richard Greene and Bernadette O’Farrell (1955-1959) is still in great demand and so it should be.

I think Richard Carpenter’s mystical take on the legend in his TV series Robin of Sherwood (1984-1986) is marvelous. We still have Robin, maid Marion, Little John and Friar Tuck. The essentials remain. The photography and scripting are excellent.

There is also something positive to be said for the Robin Hood movies made in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Robin Hood television series 2006-2009 starring Jonas Armstrong is painfully politically correct and an abomination when it comes to the legend but here on Amazon and no doubt elsewhere it seems the makers of the show have got away with it, so sad! Here Friar Tuck is no longer a friar or even a Saxon! I suppose young people have been brainwashed to accept this version of Robin Hood. Me? I am not willing to throw away my heritage on anyone’s say so!

There is a King Arthur movie out with warrior Elephants in pre-medieval England and some dude looking all noble dressed as a Saracen. None of this has anything to do with the legend of King Arthur. It is just politically correct nonsense.

I wonder though how you would go about transporting elephants from Africa, Thailand or India to England in those times. Even in 1066 shifting horses across the English Channel and getting them to shore safely was an enormous task and from what I have read not always a success. As for sending Elephants across this expanse of water with the type of vessels that were on hand in pre-medieval times, I am astounded it could, in any way, be possible. Oh I suppose that’s where magic comes in. Also the noble Saracen could have also been sent into the past by magic to fight by Arthur’s side.

The first twenty years of the 21st Century have not been smooth going. What’s more, it is becoming all too obvious the United Nations has failed to address poverty issues in Third World countries despite lots of money being thrown at the problem by wealthy nations over a period of seventy years.

I remember my parents giving to poor relief in overseas countries in the 1960s and not much coming out of it. My family was a working class family so they couldn’t give much but what they did give, looking at the state of many of these Third World countries today, didn’t do anything at all. I can just imagine millions of families such as my own giving and seventy years later – nothing!

I believe it is true that businessmen here in Australia and elsewhere like it that way. We get cheap T-shirts from places such as Bangladesh. What’s more, the poverty stricken in Australia and other so-called wealthy countries need the T-shirts to be cheap.

Will this vicious poverty cycle go on for another seventy years? I don’t know. What I can tell you is that it is connected to excessive population growth, something the United Nations cannot look into and do something about because of religious considerations.

On September the 11th 2001 the heart of the USA was attacked.

Prior to this American embassies were bombed but I believe the average American had no ideas what those other terrorist incidents of violence against the USA would lead to.

On September the 11th 2001 the attacks included the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC plus the planes with their passengers. This was equivalent to kicking an ant’s nest. Radical Muslims should have known there would be retaliation on a large scale. Wars resulted from these attacks and more Muslims died in those wars than non-Muslims did on 9/11.

In 2002 the Bali bombings occurred. Bali was targeted because of the local’s friendly attitude toward Australians, British and American tourists. It was a hate crime by an Islamic group against the West and the people of Bali. Australian fatalities were higher than most. Many of them were young people out on the town at Kuta.

There is a memorial wall in Kuta. There is also a memorial in Cronulla for the young women from that part of Sydney who died. Above is the memorial. All they wanted was a surfing holiday. In Cronulla the Balinese living there in 2002 were not blamed since they had also lost people. The killers came from elsewhere in Indonesia.

When it comes to the music of our 21st Century there’s Bjork and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I remember being annoyed, at the beginning of the 21st Century, by email messages about Britney Spears. I had and have absolutely no interest in that singer!

Of our 21st Century novels there’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (2003), The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005), South of Rio Chama by Lyn McConchie (2009), SOLO a James Bond novel by William Boyd (2013), Weird Wild West by Carter, Rydyr and Ethan Somerville Volume 1 (2018) and Weird Wild West by Carter, Rydyr and Ethan Somerville Part 3 (2019), and The Twofer Compendium looking at twins by numerous authors including Rod Marsden (2019). Also, in 2021, there will be Dragon Queen by Rod Marsden.

In 2018 my short play Smarty, about a mischievous mobile phone that takes over the user’s life was a success in both Cronulla and elsewhere. There was the role of the computer played by a talented young woman and the part of the guy who was taken over played by another talented actor. It was all good fun. I have such fond memories of the little theatre at Cronulla.

Of the non-fiction books I have read I have enjoyed I include Catastrophe Europe goes to War 1914 by Max Hastings (2013). The treaties that were meant to make war in Europe impossible instead made the First World War inevitable. There was also Lancaster Men by Peter Rees (2013). Were the sacrifices made by the men, including Australians that climbed into the bombers, necessary to win the 2nd World War? Written from an Australian point of view and the better for it.

Heralding in the 21st century was the 1998 film Pleasantville starring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon. New techniques were used for the first time to take objects and characters from black and white into color. It is about two modern teenagers that are transported into a 1950s black and white sitcom. What they learn is that pleasant is not enough. There is a wall in the film containing the titles of books banned in America’s past. It is a wonderful film ending with a Beatles song. Do we live in a perfect world? No. But it is a dynamic place where it is still possible good things can happen.

The 21st Century movies that hit a nerve include David Lynch’s real estate horror Mulholland Drive (2001), Spider-man starring Tobey Maguire (2002), The Dark Knight (Batman) starring Christian Bale (2008), Defiance starring Daniel Craig in this 2008 film and in one of his better roles (I don’t like him as 007), The Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio (2013), and Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield (2016).

In terms of great television shows, the 21st Century has provided us with: Blue Heelers (1994 – 2006), Life on Mars (2006 – 2007), The Hour (2011 – 2012), Foyle’s War (2005 – 2015), Hell on Wheels (2011 -2016), The Man in the High Castle (2015 – 2019), Daredevil (2015 – 2018), Doc Martin (2004 - ), Blue Bloods (2010 - ), Endeavour (2012 - ), The Last Kingdom (2015 -), and The Rookie (2018 - ).

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