Stu's Speak


Owls of October
Editorial October 2002

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The title might just conjure up a setting for October particularly in the USA being Sam-Hain or Halloween so I figure an Owl in the night does just that with its hooting and haunting eyes glowing in the darkness. Now I am not going to go into all that sort of stuff here I am sure many people will cover it in lots of interesting and exciting ways, but I do hope you take part and enjoy any associated activities. It has been a very strange month indeed and I guess the central focus around the world would have been the remembrance of September 11, again I will not say much on this subject other than I am sure those lives lost will be remembered by generations of us to come.

Writing wise I had an extremely active month creating some 18 poems and 5 short stories very pleasing indeed at least to myself. I do hope many of you will have or will enjoy the fruits of my efforts they can be found listed by link at the end of this editorial. We have seen the end of the AFL grand final [Australian Rules Football for those not familiar] ending with a back to back premiership victory to the Brisbane Lions this year, a very hard fought contest right to the dying seconds of the game. A tribute to Collingwood Magpies for a thrilling, magnificent effort and there is no doubt they will return just as strong next year. Along with my own mighty side the West Coast Eagles to do battle for the winter season. What a wonderful competitive sport our Aussie national sport has become in recent years one truly able to stand against those highly regarded and of world renown.

 One may well focus on world affairs at this time with great concern, we would hope that the world leaders with great thought take heed the lessons of the past and do not rush headlong into war unless it is absolutely necessary. While despots and madman cannot be tolerated in a world of peace one must take great care with our fragile planet not to thrust it into a holocaust from which there is no return.

WebTech U is rumbling along nicely with new members coming in, some of which have migrated to the role of tutoring, it is a fantastic site to see. The U has become a bubbly place of activity innovative in regard to the fact that still after some five years it allows free tuition a magnificent achievement against the odds of the market place. One perhaps others should take note of instead of baying for the almighty dollar. It is here that I would like to pay a special tribute to the many hardworking unselfish tutors that occupy the U a finer bunch of compatriots would be difficult to find, and would be the pride of any educational or for that matter social group. So a Large Loud round of Applause and please join me here, I am sure they will all be listening and it is often the volunteers of this world that hear so little gratitude for all they do. I am sure that as we build this wonderful establishment it will become even more renown around the world.

With spring upon us in this part of the world Australia that is, it has been rather odd weather wise, cold often raining and dismal conditions. Really I believe this a sign that the seasons are out of whack and probably need realigning or something, still not being an expert I guess we will just have to put up with expecting spring and getting winter, “Oh how I long for the heat and the sun…” I would imagine over in the USA that everyone is settling into the coming fall with all that entails, although with Halloween and Thanksgiving not so far away you do all have an abundance of wonderful happenings before you.

Unfortunately we do not have Thanksgiving in Australia, however we do have currently two weeks of school holidays before us, beginning with a long weekend; the Queens Birthday being the reason and along with that came the start of what we here in Western Australia refer to as the Royal Show. This is a sort of country style show within the city all the usual things you would find are present. The myriad variety of animals such as horses, cows, pigs, sheepdogs and many species of birds and fish, along with all the shenanigans that accompany such an event give it a definite country flavour. The fireworks, parades and displays combine with side show alley which at night time turns into a very bright and colorful carnival atmosphere. The children of course all head for side show alley and hope to convince their parents to purchase as many show bags as possible, in between such important activities one can often stop to watch the sheep dogs trials, model railways and a humongous array of goods that are on display along the narrow roads that wind and interconnect throughout the grounds. A very enjoyable and tiring day can be had if one is game to put to the test the extra human effort required.

Speaking of such things I attended an environmental festival called Wild Things on the previous weekend being with a group supplying cool drink for sale to quench the thirst of the 1000 odd local community people that turned out. However that is not the story it was just that through part of the day a person disguised as a giant black and purple butterfly mounted on stilts paraded around the grass areas in amongst the children, in my opinion an absolutely remarkable feat. How one manages by keeping constantly on the move to stay upright is fantastic in itself but at the same time to keep bending down to the children, avoid stepping on them and managing also to not be tripped by them in their eager excitement is just as remarkable. Another happening that day was a group of people called Junkadelic Percussion workshop a fascinating bunch of very colorfully dressed individuals with very strange instruments. What a racket they made although distinctly in rhythm a deafening sound if you were too close. The instruments just as colorful with bright yellows, oranges, reds and blues stood out from the green grass, odd in the shapes one a large round plastic barrel and a another a wheelie bin [ a garbage container with a flip lid and wheels around the 200 litre size] all being thumped and bashed by young energetic enthusiasts. Still more with 25 litre tins strapped upside down firmly between legs while other were surrounded with plastic pipes and tin lids or even frying pans all being accosted by various beating implements to keep a well orchestrated procession of sound flowing into ones ears.

Well with October upon us that leaves ummm… let me see now hmmmmm…. Yes just 86 days to Good Old Christmas, time to start preparing I guess but in the meantime do not forget to enjoy the coming month, absorb or the wonder around you; stop smell that flower, listen to that child laughing, listen to the wife singing in her happiness or for that matter the husband perhaps humming in his joy and most of all listen to you heart for therein lies the road to peace.

Well again time draws near for me to disappear into the sunset, I truly hope you always enjoy your stay with me each month and with that I offer you as always these words May you always be surrounded by family and friends… May the sun always shine on your back…? Till next time…


Stu!... [stumacsu] Stuart Charles Mackenzie

Works mentioned above can be found at


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