13 September 2017

sheepish in Merino

Just going to the shop for the papers, when the pedestrians clear. 
In 1855 my earliest ancestor in Australia married in Tasmania in 1842 and came to Victoria in 1855 to live to the right on that hill just beyond the sheep.
Mr Kelpie lost interest in the papers and wanted really really badly to join those other Kelpies herding the sheep.
The September air is fresh out here too.


The Western District has always been pretty righteous but journalist Richard Zachariah in his recently published
'The Vanished Land, disappearing dynasties of Victoria's western district' paints a turgid picture of the place which inspired that saying "Australia was carried to wealth on the sheeps back".
.
His knowledge is based entirely on a few years at a Hamilton college c.1960 when his father was the headmaster.
Zachariah thanks one graziers wife for her hospitality to him as a schoolboy by publishing that 'she visited Hamilton every fortnight to have her hair blonded'. First it is poor research. Fortnightly bleaching would result in baldness.
Nor will he be welcomed again in the place he described as 'the damp and lifeless town of Harrow'.
From chapter to chapter he contradicts himself, most hilariously after one grazier's wife describes turning sheets 'sides to middle' for economy, he then claims he slept on silk sheets at one sheep station. A schoolboy? In the 1960's, no way.
Page 64 refers mistakenly to the Western District as The Western Division and the readers at Wakefield Press missed it. They missed 'gauze' for 'gorse' too. Oh look, it is a horrible book and I am not going to recommend that you buy it. That is all.