Thursday, March 27, 2008

lightning strikes calendar

A quarter of the year is nearly gone but Rotto Bloggo says this: chuck out your Audrey Hepburn/Far Side/labrador/AFL calendar and get one that has images like this instead.

Photographer Natalie Hiddlestone has a number of Rottnest pics in the calendar, which has raised $5000 for the Children's Leukaemia and Research Foundation.

This brilliant image was taken by Natalie as her lens was aimed out over Thomson Bay: as she took the pic lightning forked, and the result is a scene of amazing light.

No, it's not a painting. Natalie assures us she hasn't manipulated or touched up the image in any way.

Fancy one of these calendars? Leave a comment with your mailing address and we'll post you one gratis. Be quick! There aren't many.

Find out more about Natalie at her MySpace zone.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rotto on ice

Now here's the frame of reference this blog likes: this in The West's online version:

'A chunk of Antarctic ice, more than 20 times the size of Rottnest, has suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said today...'

What's more than 20 times the size of Rotto? 415 sq km, says the story. Wikipedia says the beautiful island's area is 19 sq km, so it would fit in to the chilly monolith 21.842 times.

We touched up the Wikipedia entry a couple of times yesterday: a bit about Baudin leaving his flag and bottle in 1801, and a new chapter and heading on the new hotel. What else can go in? Lots. There's no mention of 'The Shark Net', for example. Work work work.

Today's image is not mine - it's from the Wikipedia entry. 'From Daisy Bates cartographical collection - National Library of Australia. Daisy Bates Special Col. /107.', and thus in the public domain.

Monday, March 24, 2008

price plunge

The value of art, like property, goes up and down.

We were fantasizing again yesterday about owning a little slice of paradise on the beautiful island when this ROBYN COLLIER "ROTTNEST PARADISE' FRAMED OIL PAINTING caught our eye on eBay (it really is paradise!):

Description: A magical scene captured in this original oil painting by Australian wilderness artist, Robyn Collier. This work of art has been undertaken in oils on canvas board and has been handsomely framed by professional framers. A certificate of authenticity is supplied and the item is despatched by registered delivery with insurance. The painting and the frame are NEW. The approximate dimensions of the painting are 25.5 x 42.5 cms. The frame is about 49.0 x 66.0 cms. Robyn has signed the painting in the lower left corner.
Condition: Excellent

Only funeral directors undertake things, so our favourite Style Guide tells us, but never mind. It costs $565, and postage is $35.

Earlier this month the painting was on eBay with a Buy-It-Now price of $835. The price has plunged 33 per cent! What to do: snap it up now, or gamble the price will fall even further?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

flagging interest

When you talking things vexillological, what's the drill when it comes to Rottnest?

Yes, vexillology: the study of flags. Vexillologists are your blokes (rarely women) who know their onomasts from their vexillums and their burgees from their swallowtailed pennants.

Your typical vexillologist was in a lather yesterday as it was six years ago to the day that the East Timor flag was confirmed and had its colours re-defined in the country's constitution. White-knuckle excitement!

But Rottnest? We can't say for sure which flag was the first to be flown on the beautiful island. There's this passage from an account of a French ship, the Naturaliste, leaving something fluttering in the breeze in 1801:

"In the meantime the days fixed by Captain Hamelin to wait for the GĂ©ographe had expired, and we had heard nothing of her, nor did it now appear likely that we should obtain any news of her by staying any longer on this coast, we therefore determined to sail for Endracht's Land, leaving on this island of Rottnest a flag, and a bottle with a letter for the Commander, in case he should touch there."

No Tricolors now, please. I'm not sure about this, either, from a local flag maker. Here's what they say about it...

"An old naval tradition survives today through the Gin Flag. Often each ship in the fleet had their own Gin Flag and designs were many and varied. When the fleet was at anchor and a warship would break open the Officers Mess for Cocktail Hour, the Gin Flag was hoisted as an invitation to others to row over and enjoy a tipple.
Pennant House boasts two Gin Flag designs which are the perfect gift for the Captain with everything.

"Because of our proximity to the island, our Vexillologists have designed The Rottnest Gin Flag which features a charming cartoon of a Quokka (the quaint Kangaroo-Rat-like marsupial that is native to the Island--from which Dutch discovers named the island Rats-nest)."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

easter in the west

This web page sums up Rottnest on Easter, Easter in Perth and how much meaningful religion there is in Easter.

It's supposedly about the Rotto 2007 Easter Ballot, but - there's nothing there. No words, just pics of people silently enjoying the charms of the beautiful island.

An associate of Rotto Bloggo's is right this minute soaking up the blissful intoxication of Rotto (she did well in the Rotto 2008 Easter Ballot, which started on the last day of October). She's in a touched-up bungalow. We were driven by ravenous envy last night and drove to Scarbs to eat fish and chips while looking at the sunset and peering at the outlines of the gorgeous limestone outcrop. It was too much: we called her, and had out worst fears confirmed: she'd had several libations already and was revelling in the luxury.

We encouraged her to at least think of the Fenians tomorrow: it was Easter Sunday, 1876, when the Catalpa lay at anchor between Rottnest and Garden Island, before helping stage the greatest jailbreak in colonial history.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

flashing every 16 seconds

While we're on the subject of the Bathurst you fancy having a Cole hanging on a wall, for a reminder of the beautiful island in between trips? Laura Cole is a (very productive when it comes to Rottnest) WA artist:

"The Artist regularly paints on Rottnest, a small but popular holiday island off the West Australian coast. No vehicles are allowed, so Laura has a large hand-cart with big wheels to move her gear around the beaches and bays of the Island. Laura likes to be on location before sunrise, to capture the early morning light."

Lots of Laura's Rotto stuff is sold. But there's a couple at least including the Bathurst lighthouse. A snip if you've got $1700.

A bit cheaper is this trifle on eBay (not pictured here): 'Nice early postcard of The Bathurst Point Lighthouse Rottnest Island Western Australia C1910 card is mint condition unused.' There have been two bids: highest so far is $14.49.

The lighthouse was built in 1900 with limestone. It's close to the original pilot station which operated as far back as 1866.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Beatle on Rottnest

We loved this anecdote in The Sunday Times recently: 'Beatle Paul McCartney was less than impressed with the island when he told journalists that Rottnest was perhaps "the rottenest island I've ever been on".

It's on a few places around the Internet so it must be true. Date? One blog reader, commenting on someone mentioning it, wonders if it was 1970s or 80s when Sir Paul was with Wings.

A Rotto Bloggo reader posted a link to some groovy 360 degree panoramas of the beautiful island. They're linked to a Google map and have a little description. The link seems to be an executable file, so you might want to have a look at the site here.

No sign of any quokkas, but the pic of Bathurst lighthouse has dramatic cloud and rain between the coast and the beautiful island. Use your mouse to rotate the image.

The Sunday Times also said Sting and Danny Green have been to Rotto. We saw former federal environment minister Ian Campbell there once. And a footy player who used to be AFL and now plays for East Freo - we've forgotten his name.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Here's the photo we received from our associate yesterday: the 7 News chopper hovering over Thompson. We assumed it was to do with the shark sighting, but in fact that probably wasn't right: there was a fire on board a 26 Bertram in Thompson. By the time our operatives walked from the army jetty (they'd seen thick black smoke) it was well alight. It was being hosed with sea water, and when it seemed out it would be towed a bit further away from the main jetty...but then the flames would leap up again, so more sea the time the foam was applied it was gutted.

We were down at the beach near Scarborough this morning. The beautiful island seemed 500m away. For some reason the boat fire and today's view reminded us of the sorry tale of the Vergulde Draak.

That was wrecked on 28 April 1656 a bit further north from Rottnest, of course. The Dutch sent several rescue missions. During the last, the Wakende Boei sighted Rotto aon 23 February 1658 and charted it (see the cute map here). "On 18 March the ship anchored on the north coast of Rottnest, the island was explored and it is recorded that the ship was scraped below the waterline."

The boat with the Wakende Boei seeking the Vergulde Draak was the Emmeloord: "On 8 March at about 30° 25' a fire was seen on land which, on firing signal guns, was answered by another fire." Probably indigenous residents. But later, on 28 March, another fire was seen, and it was almost certainly lit by survivors of the Vergulde Draak.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

quokkas are wunderbare

Quokka consciousness has been high lately. We were diverted by sharks yesterday (a Rotto Bloggo informant sent us a pic of the Channel 7 news chopper hovering over Thompson Bay yesterday), but it's been primarily Setonix brachyurus.

Last week a Rotto Bloggo associate was on the beautiful island and said there wasn't a quokka to be seen. "...the man at the museum said that they were all over behind the lodge or something - where there was lots of tree cover because they are nocturnal.....I mean, we were even at the pub til 5.45 and no quokkas turned up there", she reported.

They could still have been celebrating Matt Henjak's sacking from his rugger team Western Farce. Poor old Matt. He said he feels abandoned by Australian rugby. But even he was able to admit: "I've certainly made some mistakes and handled things the wrong way at times." Yes, like the way you handled the quokkas. Good riddance.

In more quokka news: have you got 69 Euro spare? If so, you'll love this treaure on eBay. It's "wunderbare" - even we know that means wonderful. Hold your breath: here's the translation (of course Babelfish means Rottnest instead of rotting nest):

...marvelous old Australian bronze animal figure. "QUOKKA" around 1900th small Australian rodent, occurrence mainly on rotting nest Iceland fine artistic execution true to nature, see to photo wonderful old patina. Sculptor determines assign. Overall height of ca.10cm, rarely high-quality, ageconditioned good collecting tank condition, wonderful high-quality COLLECTING TANK OBJECT...

Finally, The Worst of Perth was kind enough to show Rotto Bloggo a book which contained this fabulous image of two quokkas taking a long draught from a tinny of industrial-strength Swan Lager. Marvellous stuff. Very illegal these days on the beautiful island of course. Was Matt Henjak on the Swan or Emu when he picked up the quokka, do you think? Thanks to TWOP: I can exclusively reveal TWOP blog may run a selection of images from the book in the near future...