Just north of Perth is a place where parrots and kangaroos roam free across your picnic blanket. It’s called Yanchep National Park and, after visiting the Reptile Park, Andrea drove us up there. We were desperate to see some kangaroos.
To the Australians, kangaroos are little more than pests. That is unless you happen to hit one bouncing across a road at you in the middle of the night. Then they destroy your entire life. But to us Brits, kangaroos are the stuff of legend.
Let’s face it, Australia has some of the most bizarrely formed creatures on the planet and the kangaroo is no exception. Seeing one up close and watching it bounce around is, for the first-timer, quite an experience. They move like no other animal on the planet. They use their huge tails to stand on, as if it were an extra leg. And when they scratch themselves or sit up and look at you inquisitively, they look disarmingly human.
But could we see any kangaroos at Yanchep? Not a chance.
We’d chosen Yanchep in preference to another place where you can handle koalas and kangaroos come right up to you to feed from your hand. We didn’t like either the price of that place or the fact that it was so unnatural. We wanted animals in their native habitat. As we walked around through kangaroo-less scenery though, we wondered whether we were going to regret our choice.
We did see some koalas. Yanchep used to let you handle koalas. That was until they discovered a bizarre connection between doing this and koala infertility. Apparently handling them causes stress. And stress causes chlamydia, a venereal disease that renders them sterile. Chlamydia incidentally also makes us sterile but you’ll have to do a little more than handle us for it to take effect. Anywa, this is another good reason then not to go to a place where you can handle koalas.
The koala forest at Yanchep has elevated boardwalks throughout. You wander around and try to spot them in the trees. There are 18 koalas there and, at any one time, 18 will be asleep. You’d think they’d take turns so that we had at least one moving animal to gawp at and photograph. But no, all the ones we managed to spot were sound asleep, wedged in between branches to stop themselves falling out of bed I suppose.
As we walked along the lake, we watched the parrots and ducks grazing on the grass.
Having parrots around like sparrows was something else that surprised us about Perth. They’re everywhere. Then, suddenly, we caught a glimpse of three kangaroos way off on the edge of the grass. They didn’t last long.
It was only as we got back to the car that we spotted a mob just in the bush past the car park. Off we crept and, they let us get suprisingly close before they’d casually take an extra bounce to safety away from us. We watched them for ages.
It looked quite primeval to see them there, in the glow of the setting sun in the bush as if time had stood still and we were back in Australia of old when kangaroos had less people to take photos of them and less speeding cars to meet on darkened highways.
Okay, this is it, the definitive final word on Christmas from John.
Frankly, when did it become popular to be asked what you want for Christmas? I was never asked in my childhood. I never had to. People knew me then
So, now that no one actually knows me well enough to know what to buy me, I’m going public with what I want. Here it is [drum roll]…
No chocolate, no socks, no stocking fillers, no stationery, no computer gadgets, no music, no cruises to Hawaii, no underwear, no guitar strings, no gimmicks and absolutely no small furry animals.
So, if you’re stuck to know what kind of books I like, you’re in the right place.
By clicking HERE you can download a Word file of nearly a thousand books arranged alphabetically by author. Any one of these I’d be happy to read and none of which I’ve got yet.
Now there is a slim chance that someone will buy the same book as someone else. It’s incredibly slim but it’s a chance nonetheless and one that must seem extremely probable to any anti-creationist. So, here’s a suggestion: Pick a letter to have exclusively for yourself. It could be your initial. It could be mine but pick it and comment on this thread to tell me and others which letter you’ve chosen. If you want to see what I’ve bought already but haven’t yet read, visit my TBR page on my book blog.
Once you’ve done that, make it your personal mission to track down something obscure, something bizarre, something unreadable or something cool. It needn’t be new. In fact, I’d prefer it if not. Keep the list with you in charity shops. Buy it used off Amazon. It just needs to be legible.
By the way… this also works for birthdays, Easter, Boxing Day, New Year, Yom Kippur, Eid al Adhr and Septuagesima Sunday so you’ll never be stuck for what to get me.
As most of you know, we’re preparing to work with a Bible translation organisation. Whatever you think about Bible translation, if you understand what goes into translating anything, you can have nothing but respect for those who do it, irrespective of their motives.
In the library the other day, I came across an unpublished book that originated in the 1970s at Ukarumpa, the base where we’re heading to in Papua New Guinea. It had a fascinating title:
A COMPILATION of VERNACULAR
to ENGLISH RENDERINGS of
KEY NEW TESTAMENT TERMS
TAKEN from VARIOUS
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Hmm… I thought to myself, I wonder what this is. Each double page spread inside had key Bible terms on the right hand page in English and, on the left page, in English was a list of glosses of terms that had been used to express the concept of the key word. Some of them were amazing, most were fascinating, a few were downright hilarious.
IDOLS were deceiving expert gods, TEMPT was to pull one’s feet, RANSOM was the commercially appealing buying to save, REPENT becomes think with different ideas and ANGEL was sky man, a Marvel Comics hero just waiting to be drawn.
And so, I thought I’d pick a few choice morsels and send them your way. See how you get on with the quiz below.
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