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OF TELEVISION, TYRE SWANS AND TASMANIA

16 Comments

Generally, I think most daytime television programmes are rubbish. Silly soap operas and game shows aimed, in the main, at bored housewives, because the studios know (they’ve done the demographics!) that daytime shows are watched by housebound folk.

So, as you’d expect, the advertisements are similarly tailored. Headache remedies, junk food (but now it’s low GI, 97% fat-free junk food. It’s still junk food!) lavatory cleaners, detergents, baby products…

And cookery shows on commercial channels at lunchtime? Not for this chicken!

But sometimes, after a rushed morning with the mercury rising higher than I like and my brain about to go into overdrive, it’s good to sit down with a cold drink and some electronic switch-off.

I hit the button for the news (there’s a rumour of rain…), but was too late for the update, catching, instead, an ABC programme about holiday/retirement shacks on Tasmania.

What a stunningly beautiful island that is! And some of these shacks are crouching, for they seem so unstructured, on million-dollar sites.

True, some look as though they’ll disintegrate in the next big southerly, but they all have the look of “belonging.” As do the shacks’ people. And that’s something many modern architects have lost touch with.

One old fellow said, in a rich north coontry ack-cent, that he liked to make things. “An if summat’s broke, it’ll end oop bein’ summat else.I’d not throw it out.” He had an ornamental tyre swan ( very popular Down Under!) on his car’s roof rack one day and wondered why people were staring. Turns out, ” t’wind were blowing swan about and it looked like it were flappin’ its wings an’ pullin’ t’car along!”

He made me think of a poem I wrote for a school class:

EBERNEEZER PONDERZACK.


Down a twisty, dusty track,

In a crooked, creaky shack

With a wobbly chimney stack,

Lives Eberneezer Ponderzack.

Eberneezer is a fixer, so his shack is full of things:

From tiny puppet dolls on strings

To giant kites, like paper wings,

Screws and hinges, nails and springs.

Pots of paint and globs of glue,

Fishing floats and fish hooks, too,

Teapots (cracked) and teapots (new),

Red ones, green ones, yellow! blue!

He’d save a rusty pizza tray

It might be handy one fine day.”

Where you or I would simply say:

“It’s useless! Just throw it away!”

But Eberneezer loves his junk

It’s even piled upon his bunk!

He can fix it if it’s going “clunk!”

Or “clang!” Or if it’s lost a chunk.

So it your train’s come off its track,

If a wheel your cart should lack,

If something needs an extra tack –

See Eberneezer Ponderzack.

D.J.Patmore. © 2004.

And for more info on swans and other Aussie oddities, strictly on the lighter side…Go ahead. Make your day!

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Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

16 thoughts on “OF TELEVISION, TYRE SWANS AND TASMANIA

  1. I don’t have much use for daytime TV either!

    I like your ditty too…

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  2. Nice little poem thing! I don’t watch TV at all. I mean literally, I just don’t. I don’t even know if my television has any reception – I use it exclusively for watching DVD’s. I gave up on TV long ago.

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  3. “wanking spanners”!!!
    Does FN know this quaint Oz phraseology? – sounds just down her street – fabulous!

    Nice swans too!

    Also good pome – is there nothing artistic you don’t turn a hand too?

    *goes away muttering enviously*

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  4. ziggi…I don’t think she’s awake yet in her part of loony land, but I’m sure she’ll take it on board!
    Please tell me you’re joking about those #!** swans? Chez nous, we refer to such yard decor as “Pavlova Palace.”
    And the author of that Night Train site has been back with a comment!
    Oi’m t’inkin’ Oi’ll be stickin’ to poteen!

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  5. cynthia…oops! I missed you.Must have been too busy being a “desperate housewife.”

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  6. That poem is perfect for the story context you shared. 🙂

    People are interesting…

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  7. I think they’re great – there is something so wonderfully bad taste, you have to love them! It’s like those over decorated houses you get this time of year – you wouldn’t do it yourself but isn’t it great to go and gawp at just how awful they are! Fantastic!

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  8. lovely poem!

    🙂

    (I don’t really watch tv – am I missing out?)

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  9. I love the poem! So appropriate and yours are always very tight and evocative and fun.

    I met a very attractive art teacher from Tasmania on a Greek ferry once. He and I and a future lawyer from Chicago were the only ones who didn’t get seasick, so we passed the time drinking cheap Greek wine — then we were feeling a little under the weatehr eventually but it wasn’t the high seas! But I digress…

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  10. That is an absolutely BRILLIANT poem! How old were you, Oh Dinahmow?

    No wonder you copyrighted it!

    Are you really a desperate housewife? And if so, didn’t they do a TV series about you?

    Oh, that’s quite a juicy little tidbit from Andrea, don’t you think? They were under, but not the weather…

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  11. tlc, ziggi, andrea, ww…
    thankyou. I was a tad obscure…I wrote that a few years ago for a class I was teaching.So,ww, I was not much younger than I am now!
    Ziggi, the occasional swan, when “new” may be OK, but the poor beasts suffer dreadfully from middle-aged sag-and-flop! As for house lights, I believe a special free bus runs so that people can view the lights without causing traffic jams.

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  12. I never even turn the damned TV on until my kids get home, I love it! We don’t watch a lot of TV the kids get 2 hours a day and that’s it…unless Nova is on, of Course.
    Nice poem.
    Loved the shacky shacks, I WANT one of those to live in! We are drawing up the plans for our home made of recycled products…some day I will lice in the home of my dreams, made of old tires and off the grid…can’t get much better than that.

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  13. I will LIVe in the home of my dreams…not Lice in my home…ewww! 🙂

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  14. Heather…I figured that was a typo! When it’s finished, let me know where and I’ll bring the champers!

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  15. I had never heard of a tyre swan or even spelled tire with a Y until I followed the link.
    It certainly is a lot cooler than just burning them.

    Taz does sound Fab and I would be happy to live in a shack because tonight it is about 18 below and with the wind about 25 below.
    I will trade you for some heat.

    I hope that you illustrate and publish that delightful poem.
    Hoarding in Hobart can be fun!

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  16. HE…thanks. One of these days I’ll get together enough of my scribblings to warrant a slim volume. In the meantime, there’s always the blog!

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