Archive | Pioneers RSS feed for this section

Sugar………

21 Jan

Driving back from a job in central Queensland the other day, I realised that I was early for my flight and decided to take a few shoots from the local sugar cane growing area. The dramatic burn offs before harvest are a thing of the past and the little trains are no longer steam-driven, but the is a feeling of history throughout the region. Some of the old houses literally scream long hours, large families, and laughter, others desperation and despair.  I will go back a capture some of the areas buildings another time when I can do the dwellings justice. Some of the old houses and outbuildings are works of art, some are just structures of necessity.

Some of the carriages for the trains are just left standing in remote shunting yards waiting silently for the next harvest.

The whole area is so vividly green and lush, such a contrast to the inland across the nearby range.

Even the mill stood quietly waiting for the next influx of cane which will eventually make its way to our cupboards, a sweet reward for such hard work.

What we take for granted…….

28 Dec

I fly quite a bit these days, its part of the job and to be honest although commercial jet flights reduce time travelling dramatically and are in the main comfortable and reliable, its is boring. These days jumping on an aeroplane has all the excitement value of catching a commuter train or bus. But it hasn’t always been that way..at least for me. I love planes, I wanted to be a pilot but wearing glasses kind of makes me not quite the first pick for the airforce or an airline to train. My dad flew in the airforce for years and has a library of memories that would fill albums of boys own adventures. I flew gliders for  a while and found it satisfying and restricting at the same time. Great freedom with no motor in your ear, but the logistics of launching and recovery etc took away the ability to have any sort of self adventure.

Recently at another visit to Brisbane airport, this time to pick up a colleague, I was early and decided to have a look at the monument to one of Australia’s’ greatest pioneering aviators, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith. A hero to millions of people, he was an interesting character that, after some research, is best remembered for his heroic flights rather than his moral standards.

The Fokker tri-motor aeroplane that he flew on some of his greatest journeys is, in my eyes, a flying backyard shed, corrugated metal and slipstream design that would make washing machine look sleek. Can you image the noise, three radial engines vibrating thru the metal clad fuselage. No insulation of any note, no air conditioning or heating, no inflight movies, thermos coffee and a shot of brandy to fight the cold. I wouldn’t want to swap but these pioneers managed to wring every last drop of adventure out of their often short lives.

Next time you board Boeing or Airbus’ latest flying coach, spare a thought for the men that did it tough, albeit I suspect with a huge smile on their face.