Tuesday, 31 August 2010

We expect to be very interested

My plan was to write another post as soon as election results were known. Ten days have now passed and the two major parties are, as expected, bickering over whom has the electoral mandate while the independents relish the chance of having a say in the future composition of government. Not having a government is strangely not disruptive to everyday life. The caretaker government keeps on going and ballot counting reports change almost hourly. I am sure that it is intensely irritating to those waiting to start work in Canberra and to people dependent on federal government decision making, but most people simply continue on with their lives. In one way it is an illustration of the wonder of a modern, peaceful affluent democracy.

Speaking of continuing on with life, I recently spent a day at the Queensland Maritime Museum. There are many wonderful exhibits (more of this later), but a tiny exhibit in a section devoted to people coming to Australia caught my eye. It was just two pages -- a photocopy of a diary entry from an English migrant who arrived in Moreton Bay in September 1866 and an adjoining typed transcription of the page. Clearly picked because of the drama of the later entries, it gives a real flavour of travel in those times.

Click on the photos to get a larger readable image and please bear in mind that this was photographed through glass using low exposure without flash i.e. please don't be too critical of the quality of the image.

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