Sunday, 31 March 2013



AS CAFES across Ipswich embrace the concept of dining out with your furry best mate, experts are warning pet lovers to pay special attention to "petiquette".
If you are one of the growing number of foodies taking your pooch out for a pup-a-chino, remember there are certain rules that need to be obeyed.

+ Coffee Cottage - 9 Blackstone Road , Eastern Heights is just a hop skip and a jump from Queens Park.  If you would like a gelato or a  light meal, morning or afternoon tea to die for this is the place.  Pets are welcome and the girls are shortly introducing a range of doggie delicacies especially for your four legged mates.  You can choose to sit beneath the shade of the front awning of this delightful little corner store and watch the world go by or eat out the back beneath the shady trees. 
+Fourthchild  Cafe - 126 Brisbane Street Ipswich has a custom-designed area specifically for people to dine out with their pets.
+Bon Laneway  - Ellenborough Street, Ipswich  owner Donna Waters said she welcomed pets to the outdoor dining area of cafe and had never had one complaint about the manners of a furry customer.
+Cactus Espresso Bar -  173 Brisbane Street Ipswich owner Jim McKee said he welcomed people to bring their pooches in while they enjoyed a coffee.
Petiquette Rules
·        Feed your pet prior to your visit so they don't disturb other patrons by looking for food
·        Ensure your pet is groomed and clean
·        Be prepared by bringing a portable water bowl for your pet.
·        Ensure your pet is secure and on a leash close to your table
·        Monitor your pet to make sure they're well behaved around other patrons, employees and children. 

Saturday, 30 March 2013

CLANCY OF THE OVERFLOW - with apologies to Banjo

Here is a bit of fun - this classic Australian Poem performed live as you have never seen it done before by one of the members of The Australian Bush Poets Association ...  Greg  North

You will love it .........but suspect perhaps this was not quite what Banjo Paterson had in mind when it was published in 1889

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Anyone with teenage kids will get this.  I guess some things never really change.


When you sleep till the crack of dawn 
through long hot summer nights so warm,
behind the scenes quite unobserved
 nature is waking – every bird
begins to sing its morning song,
 the fields are wet, and night long gone.
Seen through a mist that’s fast dispersing 
are cattle, and young calves are nursing
closely at their mothers side,
 as sunlight dapples golden hides.

There’s much frantic activity 
upon the duck pond.  You might see
wild mallard ducks, bright green heads gleaming,
 busy with their morning preening.
Their wives all dressed in sombre brown;
 feed busily – bums up, heads down
beneath churned waters, muddy gray –
 in primitive Jurassic way.

But you heedless of day ahead,
 sleep tight – you’re such a slug-a-bed
and down the darkest road you creep
 still cradled in the arms of sleep.
Sleep will eventually give way 
to the demands of Saturday
and you will rise with angry eyes
 and thumping head, ‘twas most unwise
to stay out till the wee small hours 
and then return through night-time showers
on roads now slippery and slick
 where big roos bounded fast and quick
along the verges, seeking feed.  
You hit one – someone dies and bleeds.

But you are young and fear no harm .
  You think you hold a magic charm.
It’s only as you age and grow, 
become a mother that you know
the dangers that lurk everywhere 
and though this knowledge has been shared
you disregard the sound advice, 
you think you’ll never pay the price.
So sink or swim you’re on your own.  
No longer child, but fully grown.

But I am still the mother who 
worries each day because of you.
And though the apron strings are cut 
sometimes I’d like to kick your butt,
but know one day you’ll walk this path, 
and then I will sit back and laugh
as you claim I don’t understand. 
 Your teenage kids are out of hand.

Maureen Clifford ©      

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Flash mobs have become popular world wide of late and here is a video clip of one performing Bolero at the beautiful Southbank Parklands that runs alongside the Brisbane River just across the river from the Brisbane CBD - enjoy.

and here is a short video clip I put together to share with you ................

The Journey of the River Serpent

Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-commercial
When the River Serpent goes walkabout he wanders back up the Brisbane River and into the Bremer River at Ipswich - he makes his way through the creeks, crossing mountain ranges back to his birthplace in Stanthorpe in the grey granite hills of the high country   and to Ballandean where he planned to boogie with the black snakes at the Jazz in the Vineyard bash.

This is his journey, follow him - see him, hear his song

Monday, 25 March 2013


One of my interests is doing photographic restorations on line.  It  gives me a great deal of satisfaction to see an old tattered and torn and age spotted photograph restored to pristine condition, and the owners of the photograph are always delighted to see their relative literally re emerge from the shadows.

My favourites are the old Victorian era photographs, the fashions were so elegant and elaborate and often the ladies hats were completely over the top, with some so huge they were almost cart wheel size.  Nothing could be further removed from the dainty fascinators that the modern women wear today.

It is amazing how many photos that come to light are unidentified.  They are found in old photo albums without a name or a date or a place to bless themselves with, and the current generation of relatives who are putting together their family tree haven't a clue as to who the people are.  If there is one thing I have learned from this it is to label your pictures, don't rely on your memory because sadly as we age our memories start to fail and then we don't remember either.

It was that thought that caused me to write this , and when you are naming your photos don't forget the family pet.  People never seem to think of them but to their owner, even though may be gone to God, that dog, horse, cat etc was no doubt much loved and played an important part in their lives.


Maureen Clifford ©  

The girl was only five or maybe six - the years fly fast.
Age seems to cloud the memories with a haze.
But she sat on the carpet beside Granny’s rocking chair.
Together they explored the good old days.

Her Gran, now in her nineties, was slowly turning pages
and pointing out the things she liked to share,
whilst musing over pictures, those taken through the ages;
one clawed and birdlike hand smoothed the girls hair.
With age some prints were mottled and others badly faded
and some folks features now were indistinct.
Whilst some were set on cardstock and elegantly portrayed,
others were simple ones with edges pinked.

They showed people in places the small girl had never been.
One showed a massive ship tied to a Quay.
Your Grandpa’s ship, the ‘Melbourne’ before her fateful trip
that saw, she said, your Grandpa lost to me.

Some photos were of horses, sheep and boys with working dogs,
and small dogs alongside young girls gowned in lace,
and ladies with the biggest hats that you have ever seen.
Young men with scratchy whiskers on their face.
Many wedding group photos, some quite simple, others grand
and family portraits - all posed in their best,
with suits, shined boots, long dresses, with stiff whalebone in their stays.
Folks all departed to their final rest.

The little girl moved closer for something had caught her eye.
Who are those people there Gran?  What’s their name?
Who owned the dog - do you know?  Where was the picture taken?
I know that house but it’s not quite the same.

Her Gran held the book closer to the light and peered within
and turned a page or two and then went back.
She stared into the distance and then once again she looked.
Try as she might the puzzle would not crack.
  I don’t recall Jess darling, just exactly who they are
though I knew them, of that fact I am sure.
Her brow became frown furrowed and distress showed in her eyes,
her voice had become shaky, immature.

They’re people long forgotten; now nobody knows their name.
It wasn’t written down in black and white
for future generations seeking a name, date and place
when researching their history  as they might.
It’s something to be mindful of when pictures you might take
one can’t always rely on memory.
It’s OK Gran, the small child said , I’ll never forget you
for safe within my heart you’ll always be.


Here's a before and after shot I did 
of my Dad who served as a Fireman during WWII in Isleworth an outer  London suburb.  He was there through the  London blitz 

Photo taken  around 1936

And every album has shots taken 
at Christmas time don't they ?
These kids must have been waiting for Santa.

Photo taken around 1956

Sunday, 24 March 2013



Red Chital Deer on 'Springdale' 

She knew that he’d be back when golden wattle bloomed again,
when a sea of yellow blooms festooned the track.
He’d return to his family and homestead on the plain.
For the scent of wattle always called him back.

Verse taken from the Lyrics of
When the Cootamundra Wattle blooms again  ©  MKC

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Two of my favourite poems from when I was at school and that is many moons ago - but I always loved the lyricism of them - 

Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land 

who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, 
half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 
and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things. 
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; 
and on the pedestal these words appear: 
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings, 
look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare .
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

G. K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked   
   and figs grew upon thorn,   
some moment when the moon was blood   
   then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
   and ears like errant wings,   
the devil’s walking parody   
   on all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
   of ancient crooked will;
starve, scourge, deride me, I am dumb.   
   I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
   one far fierce hour and sweet.   
There was a shout about my ears,
   and palms before my feet.


You can clearly see the mark of the cross over the withers and running down the back 
of this little bloke.  Often they have striped markings on their legs as well. 

 The legend has it the these stripes were caused by their legs being struck by palm fronds that the crowds threw down to line the pathway taken by the donkey that carried  Christ to his crucifixion, and that every donkey thereafter bore the stripes and the cross on his coat to honour his devotion and loyalty to our saviour.......and every donkey does.

Friday, 22 March 2013


This poem is used with kind permission from Terry.  It is from Terry's latest book titled

Around the Campfire.

Copies of Terry's beautifully illustrated book can be obtained for $25
by contacting Terry ... Order From <>

Terry grew up in W.A. and was described by a friend as a restless person who always wanted to see what was over the next hill.  Terry reckons that is a fair description.

He has spent a lot of time at Cooper Pedy and for a while ran his own Opal cutting business.  He spends a lot of his time in the bush which he loves, searching for gemstones and fishing and probably writing some beaut poetry just like this one.

Thank you Terry for allowing me to make use of this on my blog site - I greatly appreciate the honour.

Cheers - Maureen


© Terry Piggott

The mullock dump lay crumbling in the searing goldfields heat
with timbers boweed and rotting in the shaft beneath my feet.
A termite riddled windlass lays forlonly on its side.
while kibbles, picks and shovels have been scattered far and wide.

It was an isolated spot just stumbled on by chance,

and could have easily been passed without a second glance.
It made a magic setting as the sun sets in the west
and softened out the landscape so the country looks its best.

The Mulga seems to come alive as twilight shadows merge,
with fading rays of sunlight out across the stony verge.
Eroding hills around me; hidden from the glaring sun,
display their brilliant colours now the day was almost done. 

I left the oven simmering to gently cook the stew,
then wandered slowly up the slope to get a better view.
And noticed there a lonely grave with stones placed all around,
the headstone just a lump of quartz set deeply in the ground. 

I stood there for a moment quietly taking in the scene,
recalling lonely graves at many other spots I’ve been. 
Where life abruptly ended with no one to shed a tear,
alone and unattended as their final hour drew near.

The site was clearly chosen for its panoramic views,
that showed the rugged outback; in a way he’d surely choose.
And though a thousand years may pass his spirit would stay free,
to rest upon this hillside; underneath a shady tree.

Around the fire that evening I placed a second chair, 
symbolic recognition of whoever lay up there.
I sensed his gentle spirit as I sipped my mug of tea,
and wondered just how many times; he’d sat beneath this tree.

I dreamt about the old bloke as he sought his golden prize,
I heard the windlass creaking; saw excitement in his eyes.
Then came the thudding of his pick when striking solid ground,
his fevered mind convinced, that soon, his fortune would be found.

I heard the dolly ringing as he pounds the golden ore,
the pestle strikes the solid quartz a hundred times or more.
Excitement lights his weathered face, there's colour in the dish,
perhaps at last the big one to fulfil a lifetime wish.  

Next morning saw me pack my gear to get an early start,
although this was a peaceful place, the time had come to part.
The dusty track now beckoned with exciting things to see,
those distant hills a magnet; to a restless bloke like me.  

Returning to the slope again I bid a last farewell,
and wished I’d known the old chap; heard the stories he could tell.
I stood there for a moment, deep in thought about the brave, 
then placed a sprig of Mulga by the headstone of his grave.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

IPSWICH - A gracious lady.

The area where I live is a city not far from Brisbane, and the Bremer river that meanders ( most of the time) past the bottom of my street connects further down stream with the Brisbane River.

Brisbane was originally a penal settlement - Moreton Bay Penal Colony - and one of the commandants from March 1826 to his death in  November 1830 was Captain Patrick Logan who was known to be  harsh to the point of cruelty.  He was hated by the convicts and when he was speared to death  by an Aboriginal when out on an exploratory venture , it seems that was cause for celebration by the inmates of the convict settlement.

Capt. Logan discovered the area of Ipswich  on June 7th 1827 after sailing 57 miles up the river.  He named the area Limestone - due to huge Limestone deposits found there, and  that same Limestone is still very much in evidence today in the city, in its parks and buildings.  The walls around Queens Park, Limestone Park and Ipswich Girls Grammar School being made of  it.

This poem describes the feelings of a convict.  I don't know who wrote it as it carries the tag  of Anonymous.

Moreton Bay … by  Anon

One Sunday morning as I went walking
by Brisbane waters I chanced to stray,
I heard a convict his fate bewailing
as on the river bank he lay.
‘I am a native of Erin’s island,
though banished now from my native shore;
they took me from my aged parents
and from the maiden whom I adore.

“I’ve been a prisoner at Port Macquarie,
at Norfolk Island and Emu Plains,
at Castle Hill and cursed Toongabbie,
at all those settlements I’ve worked in chains.
But of all places of condemnation
and penal stations in New South Wales
to Moreton Bay I have found no equal,
excessive tyranny there prevails.

For three years I’ve been beastly treated
and heavy irons on my legs I wore;
my back with flogging is lacerated
and often painted with my gore.
And many a man dead from starvation
lies mouldering now beneath the clay;
and Captain Logan -  he had us mangled
at the triangles of Moreton Bay.

Like the Egyptians and ancient Hebrews
we were oppressed under Logan’s yoke,
till a native black lying  in ambush
dealt our tyrant his mortal stroke.
My fellow prisoners, be exhilarated
that all such monsters such death may find.
And when from bondage we are liberated
our former sufferings shall fade from mind.’


Ipswich today is a very different city, known around the ridges as +The Swich, a term that has been fostered proudly by the Ipswich City Council and embraced by +Switch Realty one of our local businesses as well as +The Switches Junior Speedway Club, and many others .  

 It is a working town with no frills or furbelows, but blessed with friendly people, gracious old Queenslander styled homes, and beautiful gardens and parks.  She may be Queenslands oldest provincial city but she has an alluring heritage charm .

 The Bremer river rolls lazily along through the centre of town and beneath the David Trumpy bridge, meandering past the city  and the beautiful River Parklands that our council have recently updated after the 2011 floods decimated them.

She is a city that stands proud and leads the way for Queensland industry.

This is a poem I wrote for her which won 3rd prize in the 2012 Ipswich Poetry Feast in the local poets section.  Ipswich is affectionately known these days by those who love her as  


We’re blessed with parks and gardens neat, 
old gracious homes on every street.
A history of flood and coal, 
miner’s lives lost beneath our feet.
And yet her spirit still shines through
 despite the devastating flood
that tried to tear her heart away 
and drain the town of its life blood.

It’s home to me a second time,
 this friendly place where coal is mined.
Each step you take upon her streets
 has history attached I find.
And it’s a history of toil, 
of blood and sweat and sacrifice
she relinquishes the black gold, 
but men pay dear for avarice.

Above the city tall cranes rise,
 their operators near the skies
have views that stretch for miles and miles 
as clouds float past their watchful eyes.
Our city heart is changing face 
as Ipswich scurries to keep pace
with other cities in our state - 
though in some things we lead the race

Today our military force 
flies friendly planes ‘cross skies above.
We can exert force if we must;
 we’ve Hornets but prefer the dove
of peace to fly our Ipswich skies – 
past webs of moving metal pyres
who through the day are dull and grey,
 but burnished bright with sunsets fires.

At day’s end when their work is done, 
their chains and moving parts are still
and slowly the town comes to rest, 
the sound of roosting birds is shrill
from river banks that pass through town, 
the mighty Bremer quiet today.
Hard to imagine how she raged. 
How many knew the price we’d pay?

And women weep and babies cry, 
a whole town mourns but time goes by.
We bring them back from foreign sands 
to home and say a last goodbye.
Flags flutter at half mast today, 
another soldier lost I see.
He gave his all for his country –
 they flew him into Amberley.

And yet despite the tribulations
 the Swich holds her head higher,
she may just be a working town
 but there is much here to admire.
Her people are a friendly mob,
 who offer help and congregate
when disaster dares rear her head,
 this is a place where mate helps mate.

We’re blessed with parks and gardens neat,
 old gracious homes adorn our streets,
our town is steeped in History ,
 it’s a great place, knows not defeat.
We’re working class no frills or fancies,
 we’re out there - nothing to hide.
and the best thing about the Swich 
is you can see her peoples pride.

Maureen Clifford © 07/12