The Silo Art Trail …

Happy New Year everyone, may it be a good one.

In January last year I stumbled on the recently painted silo in Brim, a small town in north-western Victoria. I wrote about it in a post entitled A Tale of Two Cities.

It proved a remarkable success and a major disruption to traffic for a while. By June it had spawned the idea of an art trail to attract tourists to a part of the state that is in need of a little love.

Poor old Patchewollock with its boarded up general store was the next town to receive an artistic baptism …


… by October Fintan Magee was hard at work painting a portrait of local man Nick Hulland.


If you’re tempted to take up silo painting have a look at Fintan in action in a series of slides from the Wimmera Mail-Times.

Sheep Hills doesn’t have a boarded up general store or even a working store but it does have a silo which is now beautifully painted by Melbourne street artist Adnate. The portraits are of local indigenous people.

Sheep Hills Silo

And here’s the original at Brim …

Brim Silo

Still my favorite.

There are some great photos of the silos at Leanne Cole’s Site.

Three more silos are on the drawing board at Rupanyup  (starting in March), Lascelles and Rosebery.

The proper pronunciation of Rupanyup is not obvious. Start with the last syllable, forget the u and say Yip. Now for the middle syllable, forget the a and say pun. Put those together Punyip with the emphasis on the pun. Precede that with the Re from republic and you will be able to ask directions to … Re-punyip. It’s about 300km from Melbourne. No good asking directions until you get closer.



Silo TrailSheep Hills is a little off the main road.

The only large(ish) town on the route is Warracknabeal. There is a road house on the highway, shops and accommodation can be found in town.

Christmas down under …

Warning. If the reason you don’t watch Game of Thrones is the bad language now is the time to leave …

For those of you in the northern hemisphere especially, I started the day with a quick dip in the pool, the family are just arriving for lunch, we’ve already exceeded the forecast 35°C (98°F).

A story from Darwin to touch the cockles of the heart springs …

Duty Superintendent James O’Brien said the woman, who had just moved from interstate, was walking her dogs at a park at Durack, in Palmerston, about 9:00am on Saturday.

“It’s quite a remarkable to happen a day before Christmas,” Duty Superintendent O’Brien said.

“While some of her dogs were running around having fun, one of her smaller dogs was sitting on the edge of the causeway when she noticed a crocodile came up and took it down into the water. <ABC>

She, of course immediately jumped in after it, found it underwater and tossed it out onto the bank. Woman and dog are doing well.

Police described the action as “brave” but not recommended.

Better news than Christmas 1974 …

Tropical Cyclone Tracy is arguably the most significant tropical cyclone in Australia’s history accounting for 65 lives, the destruction of most of Darwin and profoundly affecting the Australian perspective to the tropical cyclone threat.

By world standards, Tracy was a small but intense tropical cyclone at landfall, the radius of gale force winds being only about 50 km. The anemometer at Darwin Airport recorded a gust of 217 km/h before the instrument was destroyed.


It was Broome this year on cyclone watch. Yvette didn’t wreak so much destruction but she did dump 226 mm of rain on the airport in just 24 hours. That’s 8.9 inches in the old money.

Meanwhile in Shanghai this gentleman is wandering around in an oblivious crowd thinking his tee shirt says “Christmas greetings from Australia” …


I wonder how many people are wandering around Australia with messages of a similar nature tattooed on their surfaces in Chinese characters. For any one who can read Chinese tomorrow at the beach is the time to look.

Enjoy your Christmas.


Under the Sea …

Christopher Pyne has announced that the contract to build Australia’s new submarine fleet has been signed. The news has been greeted with approval in almost every quarter. These will be the first submarines, anywhere in the world, to be driven by wind power.

The member for Beijing, Mr Sam Dastyari, has told the house that his political overlords approve of the arrangement. They have been concerned about Australia’s meddling in the South China Sea and see the likely delay in the construction of the submarines as a positive step in the Chinese Australian relationship.

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg meanwhile has praised the far sighted choice of wind power as the locomotive force to drive the submarines. “South Australia has lead the way on energy having set a record for spot pricing and achieved zero emissions in recent months. The new clean submarines may not be fast but they will reduce the incidence of bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and perhaps save the Arctic ice and the polar bear. It’s a remarkable thing that a state with only 1.7 million people can set new bench marks with such regularity, perhaps it has something to do with all those hyphenated surnames”, he said.

Mr Shorten promised Labor’s support for the project saying that it offered a great opportunity for the steel industry. “The Whyalla steel manufacturers currently have the largest castings of the inside of a furnace anywhere in the southern hemisphere”, he said, “With sufficient subsidies I am sure that they will play a constructive role in this enterprise … once they find a way to get the solid metal out of the furnaces.”

The premier of South Australia will be issuing a press release as soon as power is restored to the government buildings. It is expected to be supportive.

The only voice raised in opposition seems to be that of the Productivity Commission although some rumblings have been heard from the other mendicant state, Tasmania.

The first submarine is expected to roll off the line in August 2116.