The Meeting Place

Today's Chat, No Set Topic


.........................................Something comes into your mind? share it, as everyone is different so all topics have followers :) Happy thoughts, sad thoughts or just reflective thoughts - let's enjoy chatting without agro or nastiness. Who knows what we might learn from each other..........................................:) 

(A combination of Lets Chat and Today in memory of Gerry, Geomac and Seth.) 

Please keep it general so all can be included not about subjects that can aggravate like Politics or Religion. 

Today's Date Sunday 7th May 2017   

Many thanks to RnR and Toot for making this into such an interesting topic on past events for us all to learn so much. 

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Thanks again folks. This little corner of the room is lovely, and given me an insight into how much I thought I knew, and a lot I did/do, but not brought to mind for SO long.

Reminising is one of life's adventures.


I really do hate the fighting that goes on at YLC and I do my best to keep out of it.   Why can't people just get along;  I detest the juvenile talk that goes on and I expected more of seniors when I joined this site;  sadly I was very much mistaken.

I agree Radish. Many people come to chat sites for company, and do not need ridicule, fighting and being made to feel sad. Trouble is some just log on to see who they can get a "bite out of today" and in for the sport of dissention.  Still people here who just come in to enjoy company.

Agree but Micha in all his names attacks the older ladies in particular. 

we can either ignore or ridicule the site managers seem disinterested as they are with the continual spam . 

It is so easy to get caught in the web of meaningless vitriol, but it is just as easy to ignore the distasteful stuff once you make the decision to do so.

I have made that decision this year and hope I am up to the task.  Being part of the problem, does nothing to solve it.

Yes we can ignore or ridicule, but to the kind of person who deliberatley goes out to provoke a response, any response, even ridicule is something they are looking for.

HELLO viewer am here to share my testimony on how I finally join the Illuminati hood and became RICH,FAMOUS AND POWERFUL, I tried all my possible best to become a member of the hood but I was scam several times, before I finally come across a testimony on net so I contacted the agent, I was so afraid that he will ask me for lot of money before I can join the hood but to my greatest surprise he only ask me to obtain the membership form which I did and today am so happy to say to the world that am one of the richest by having the sum of $360 millions dollars in my personal account as a new member and am also known all over the world with the business given to me by the Illuminati and also have power to do that which I want...... I know so many people may be on my lane also looking for help here is their official email_
Official Whats-app +13188003095

POQ Micha

What a disgrace this forum is =- no one looking into it at all and watching to see all this absolute rubbish that happens on here -- I have emailed them b4 but never even got a reply --

I am thinking of leaving here, I hate to go as there are some very nice people on here but I am sick of the amount of rot that is allowed to take place is OTT

Gets to me also at times PlanB. Like you I have emailed and got no reply. I just try to ignore the rubbish now, it seems little is done about spam outside work hours and very little moderation seems to happen on threads, even when some posts become what I would consider very questionnable.

Yes RnR I think I will be looking for another forum and will let you all know if and when I find one  -- by PM

Yes PlanB -  sick of rubbish also!  Obscene  -  remember??    :-)

7 January

On this day:

1610 – Galileo Galilei makes his first observation of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa, although he is not able to distinguish the last two until the following day.
1782 – The first American commercial bank, the Bank of North America, opens.
1799 – Bass and Flinders complete their circumnavigation of Van Diemen’s Land.
1920 – Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia, dies aged 70.
1927 – The first transatlantic telephone service is established from New York City to London.
1931 – Guy Menzies completes the first solo trans-Tasman flight, from Sydney to the West Coast of New Zealand.
1965 – The first hydrofoil ferry MV Manly begins operation in Sydney.
2015 – Two gunmen commit mass murder at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, shooting twelve people execution style, and wounding eleven others.

Galilean moons

The Galilean moons are the four largest moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. They were first reported by Galileo Galilei on 7 January 1610, and recognised by him as satellites of Jupiter in March 1610.

Galileo Galilei.

As a result of improvements Galileo Galilei made to the telescope, with a magnifying capability of 20×, he was able to see celestial bodies more distinctly than was ever possible before. This allowed Galilei to discover in either December 1609 or January 1610 what came to be known as the Galilean moons.

Montage of Jupiter's four Galilean moons, in a composite image depicting part of Jupiter and their relative sizes. From top to bottom: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto. Galileo’s notes rehashed.

On January 7, 1610, Galileo wrote a letter containing the first mention of Jupiter's moons. At the time, he saw only three of them, and he believed them to be fixed stars near Jupiter. He continued to observe these celestial orbs from January 8 to March 2, 1610. In these observations, he discovered a fourth body, and also observed that the four were not fixed stars, but rather were orbiting Jupiter.

Bank of North America

The Bank of North America, was a private bank first adopted on May 26, 1781 by the Confederation Congress, chartered on 31 December 1781, and opened in Philadelphia on January 7, 1782.

Lithograph of the Bank of North America. Inscription reads "Oldest bank in the country and one of the most substantial. Chartered by Congress in 1781 and has continued ever since under the same name."

It was based upon a plan presented by US Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris on May 17, 1781 that created the Nation's first de facto central bank. When shares in the bank were sold to the public, the Bank of North America became the country's first initial public offering. It was succeeded in its role as the central bank by the First Bank of the United States in 1791.

The Bank of North America along with the First Bank of the United States and the Bank of New York were the first shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bass and Flinders circumnavigation of Van Diemen’s Land

In 1797, without Matthew Flinders, in an open whaleboat with a crew of six, George Bass sailed to Cape Howe, the farthest point of south-eastern Australia. He formed a belief that a strait separated the mainland from Van Diemen's Land, reinforced by his observation of the rapid tide and the long south-western swell at Wilsons Promontory.

In 1798, this theory was confirmed when Bass and Flinders, in the sloop Norfolk, circumnavigated Van Diemen's Land. The circumnavigation of Van Diemen’s Land was completed on 7 January 1799 and led to the discovery of the strait, which separated Victoria from Tasmania. The area was eventually named Bass Strait in honour of Bass.

This discovery was significant as it meant that maritime journeys could be greatly reduced, as those sailing to Sydney would no longer have to brave the rough seas south of Tasmania.

When the two returned to Sydney, Flinders recommended to Governor John Hunter that the passage between Van Diemen's Land and the mainland be called Bass Strait.

"This was no more than a just tribute to my worthy friend and companion," Flinders wrote, "for the extreme dangers and fatigues he had undergone, in first entering it in a whaleboat, and to the correct judgement he had formed, from various indications, of the existence of a wide opening between Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales."

Edmund Barton

Sir Edmund Barton, GCMG, PC, KC (1849–1920) was an Australian politician and judge. He served as the first Prime Minister of Australia from 1901 to 1903 before leaving parliament to become a founding justice of the High Court of Australia until his death on 7 January 1920.

Edmund Barton through time. SBS.

Barton was first elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of University of Sydney at the 1879 by-election and would go on to represent a further three seats. Barton contributed to the Australian federation movement through the 1890s and would move to the Australian House of Representatives seat of Hunter at the inaugural 1901 federal election.

Commemorative issues. Unissued Australian bank notes of the 1950s … denominations above £10 were not issued in the 1953/54 series. However, the need for higher-value notes had been kept under review and the Commonwealth Bank began work on possible notes so as to be able to respond quickly if the need arose. Sir Edmund Barton was to be represented on a £100 note.

Despite the initial stumble of the Hopetoun Blunder, Barton went to the election as the incumbent Prime Minister of Australia and head of the interim caretaker Protectionist Party minority government. The incumbent Protectionist Party won the highest vote and largest number of seats, but had to rely on confidence and supply from the Australian Labour Party on the crossbench to wield a working parliamentary majority against the opposition Free Trade Party.

First transatlantic telephone service

The company now known as AT&T first established commercial telephone service between North America and Europe on January 7, 1927. Using radio, the American Telephone and Telegraph Co hosted a two-way conversation between New York and London. The two parties on the line were Walter S Gifford, the president of AT&T in New York, and Sir Evelyn Murray, the Secretary of the General Post Office, which managed the British telephone system at the time.

"How's the weather over in London?"

The achievement was a long time coming. Bell System engineers achieved the first voice transmission across the Atlantic, connecting Virginia and Paris briefly in 1915. In 1916, they held the first two-way conversation with a ship at sea. When World War I came, however, limits on technology and material availability put such work on hold. Then in 1926, the first two-way conversation across the Atlantic was managed, followed by commercial transatlantic telephone service in 1927.

When Gifford and Murray concluded their conversation, subscribers who had booked calls for that day followed. Over the next several years, service made its way through North America and Europe. In 1929, the SS Leviathan became the first ocean liner to offer radio telephone service to its passengers and crew.
Video/Audio: First transatlantic telephone conversation. History Channel.

Guy Menzies

Guy Lambton Menzies (1909–1940) was an Australian aviator who flew the first solo trans-Tasman flight, from Sydney, Australia to the West Coast of New Zealand, on 7 January 1931.

Mr Guy Menzies who flew from Sydney to New Zealand in 12 hours 15 minutes beating Sir Kingsford Smith's previous record. Description taken from The Queenslander, 15 January 1921. State Library of Queensland.

The first crossing of the Tasman by air had been achieved on 10–11 September 1928 by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm in the Southern Cross. The plane Menzies used for his solo crossing was the Avro Sports Avian that Smith had flown from England to Australia, the Southern Cross Junior.

Mural commemorating Menzies' landing, Hari Hari, New Zealand. Based on this photograph.

Fearing he might be denied permission for the flight, Menzies informed the authorities and his family that he was flying to Perth. Instead, he left Sydney at 1 am on 7 January 1931, and headed for Blenheim, New Zealand. Poor weather forced Menzies off course, and after 11 hours and 45 minutes he crash-landed upside-down in the La Fontaine Swamp near Hari Hari on New Zealand's west coast.

Despite the unfortunate landing, he had broken Smith and Ulm's time by 2½ hours.

MV Manly, 1965

MV Manly was a Supramar PT20 type hydrofoil ferry which operated on Sydney Harbour from 7 January 1965 to 1980. It was the first hydrofoil to operate on Sydney Harbour. 

A hydrofoil ferry in Sydney Harbour, 1970.

The MV Manly commenced regular passenger services between Circular Quay and Manly on 7 January 1965. The journey took 17 minutes, 9 minutes on foils, compared to 32-37 minutes by other ferries in service at the time. The fare on the high speed service was 3 shillings (about $3.80 in 2015 prices) more than on regular ferries.

The hydrofoils were expensive to operate and prone to mechanical failures. Manly was withdrawn in 1980 and laid up in Neutral Bay. Manly was sold to Hydrofoil Seaflight Services Pty Ltd in Queensland and renamed Enterprise for use between Rosslyn Bay and Great Keppel Island. The service was unsuccessful and Enterprise was sold to a private owner.

The new owner removed the foils and engine, and the hull was laid up in Rosslyn Bay for several years. The hull was transported to Mildura in 1991 where it was intended to be used as a floating restaurant. In 1995 the hull was transported to a private property north of Sydney for conversion to a private cruise boat. It remains there to this day.

Charlie Hebdo attack

On 7 January 2015 at about 11.30 am local time, two brothers, Said and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with rifles and other weapons, they killed 12 people and injured 11 others. The gunmen identified themselves as belonging to the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, which took responsibility for the attack.

Several related attacks followed in the Ile-de-France region, on 7-8 January 2015. On 9 January 2015 the related Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket siege occurred, where a terrorist murdered four Jewish hostages and held fifteen other hostages.

France raised its Vigipirate terror alert and deployed soldiers in Ile-de-France and Picardy. A major manhunt led to the discovery of the suspects, who exchanged fire with police. The brothers took hostages at a signage company in Dammartin-en-Goele on 9 January and were shot dead when they emerged from the building firing.

National unity rally. World leaders attend the Paris rally.

On 11 January, about two million people, including more than 40 world leaders, met in Paris for a rally of national unity, and 3.7 million people joined demonstrations across France. The phrase Je suis Charlie became a common slogan of support at the rallies and in social media.

The staff of Charlie Hebdo continued with the publication, and the following issue print run was 7.95 million copies in six languages, compared to its typical print run of 60,000 in French only.

Wow RnR what a great read. 7th of the 1st is spectacular for it's history :)

We Knew  Gordon Taylor -- I used to play with his Daughters  and have been on his Catalina plane -- NOT on a flight but in it -- he lived at Cottage point Bayview NSW

:) Thanks Phyl.

What an amazing man PlanB.

During the 1935 Australia-New Zealand airmail flight with Charles Kingsford Smith, the starboard engine failed and the crew decided to return to Sydney, where the aircraft was buffeted by strong winds. It was decided that fuel and cargo must be jettisoned. During these conditions, Taylor made six journeys outside the cabin of the Southern Cross, climbing along the under-wing strut to drain the oil from the useless motor and transfer this to the overheating port motor.

Taylor's actions, with the addition of Smith's flying skills, resulted in the plane making its way back to land safely. Taylor was later awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal for his actions, which was later exchanged for the George Cross.


You're a legend PB, you should write a book.




I love Manly and still visit at least once a year, many country families would visit here for holidays in the olden days, lovely memories.  Took these photos


last year

Reading about Barton, when I was in primary school, our four houses for sport were Deakin, Wenworth, Barton and Lawson.  Wentworth always won everything, they had the best athletes in everything, and I was very jealous, being in Barton.  We had to climb over nets strung up in the trees, the same nets the army use, when I look back, it was pretty gruelling stuff for little kids.


To have known Gordon Taylor is one to chalk up.

I have done a little bit of work on Catalinas, long time ago.




A couple of interesting pilots worth a mention is Sir John "Cats Eyes " Cunningham and Douglas Bader.


I have his Autograph too -- Gordon Tayor -- he was a nice bloke too he was about the same age maybe a few year younger than my Dad.

Yes those two were also great men SD

SD you are a man of many talents

Thanks for the Manly pics Toot. As Suze says, brings back memories.

:) More reading for me SD. Will catch up on Cunningham and Bader when I can. Thank you.

Nice photos of the Manly Beach Toot

Bring back memories :)

Thanks Suze

But, but, but .... what about Womanly Beach?

8 January

On this day:

871 – Alfred the Great leads a West Saxon army to repel an invasion by Vikings at the Battle of Ashdown.
1297 – Francois Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, leads his men to capture the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco, establishing his family as the rulers of Monaco.
1735 – Premiere performance of George Frideric Handel's Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
1790 – George Washington delivers the first State of the Union Address in New York City.
1810 – The Derwent Star and Van Diemen's Land Intelligencer, Australia's second newspaper and the first in Van Diemen’s Land, begins publication.
1885 – John Curtin, 14th Prime Minister of Australia is born in Creswick in central Victoria.
1904 – Death of art collector and philanthropist Alfred Felton and the establishment of the Felton Bequest for the National Gallery of Victoria.
2004 – The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest ocean liner ever built, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

Alfred the Great

By the year 871 AD, most of England was no longer ruled by the English, that is, Anglo-Saxons. For years, Danish Viking invaders had poured into the country, sweeping aside all resistance and taking control of the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. In 871, only the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex still offered resistance.

Alfred the Great (849–899) was King of Wessex from 871 to 899. Alfred was the youngest son of King Ethelwulf of Wessex. Taking the throne after the death of his brother Ethelred, Alfred spent several years dealing with Viking invasions. After a decisive victory in the Battle of Edington in 878 Alfred made a deal with the Vikings, creating what was known as Danelaw in the North of England. Alfred successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and by the time of his death had become the dominant ruler in England.

Alfred the Great. Statue of Alfred the Great by Hamo Thornycroft in Winchester, unveiled during the millenary commemoration of Alfred's death.

The Danes arrived in his homeland at the end of 870, and nine engagements were fought over 871, with varying outcomes. Early in the new year, the Anglo-Saxons won a brilliant victory at the Battle of Ashdown on 8 January 871, possibly near Compton or Aldworth on the Berkshire Downs. Alfred is particularly credited with the success of this last battle.

Battle of Ashdown, 8 January 871. The battle raged all day on high ground around an ancient lone thorn tree.

The Saxons were defeated at the Battle of Basing on 22 January. They were defeated again on 22 March at the Battle of Merton. Ethelred died shortly afterwards on 23 April. Alfred succeeded to the throne of Wessex and the burden of its defence. The Danish invasion continued. In 878 Alfred won a decisive victory in the ensuing Battle of Edington in Wiltshire.

He then pursued the Danes to their stronghold at Chippenham and starved them into submission. One of the terms of the surrender was that Guthrum convert to Christianity. After the signing of a treaty with Guthrum, Alfred was spared any large-scale conflicts for some time.

A plaque in the City of London marking the resettlement of the city by Alfred.

In 886, Alfred reoccupied the city of London and set out to make it habitable again. The restoration of London progressed through the latter half of the 880s and is believed to have revolved around a new street plan; added fortifications in addition to the existing Roman walls; and, some believe, the construction of matching fortifications on the south bank of the River Thames.

Representation of Londinium.

Note: With the collapse of Roman rule in the early 5th century, London ceased to be a capital, and the walled city of Londinium was effectively abandoned. From around 500, an Anglo-Saxon settlement known as Lundenwic developed in the same area, slightly to the west of the old Roman city. By about 680, it had revived sufficiently to become a major port, although there is little evidence of large-scale production of goods. From the 820s the town declined because of repeated Viking invasions.

Francois Grimaldi
Francesco Grimaldi (Francois, in French), was the Genoese leader of the Guelphs who captured the Rock of Monaco on the night of 8 January 1297.

Dressed as a Franciscan monk, Francesco was greeted at the gates of Monaco's castle, only then to seize the castle with his cousin Rainier I, Lord of Cagnes, and a group of men behind him. The event is commemorated on the Monegasque coat of arms, on which the supporters are two monks armed with swords. He held the citadel of Monaco for four years before being chased out by the Genoese. The battle over "the rock" was taken over by his kinsmen. Francesco thus failed to establish Grimaldi's rule over Monaco, but he was the first to attempt to do so.

Over one hundred years after Francesco’s efforts, the Grimaldis purchased Monaco from the crown of Aragon in 1419, and became the official and undisputed rulers of "the Rock of Monaco".

House of Grimaldi Coat of Arms. Prince's Palace of Monaco in 1890. Current head of the House of Grimaldi: Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Panoramic view of Monaco from the Tete de Chien in 2017.

Francois Grimaldi was married in 1295 to Aurelia del Carretto; the marriage was childless. The modern Grimaldis are therefore not descendants of Francesco. After his death, in 1309, he was succeeded by his cousin (and stepson), Rainier I, Lord of Cagnes. His cousin's descendants, the Grimaldi family, still rule Monaco today.


Ariodante (HWV 33) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. Ariodante is Handel’s captivating tale of false accusations, princesses, jousting knights and rescue. It premiered in 1735 and was Handel’s first opera to be staged in London’s Covent Garden opera house.

George Frideric Handel.

It was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 8 January 1735. Ariodante opened Handel's first season at Covent Garden and successfully competed against the rival Opera of the Nobility, supported by the Prince of Wales. Handel had the tacit and financial support of the King and Queen and, more vocally, of the Princess Royal. The opera received 11 performances during its premiere season at Covent Garden.

Title page of the Covent Garden performance. Interior, Theatre Royal Covent Garden where Ariodante was first performed.

Like Handel's other works in the opera seria genre, Ariodante, despite its initial success, fell into oblivion for nearly two hundred years.

An edition of the score was published in the early 1960s, from the Hallische Handel-Ausgabe. In the 1970s, the work began to be revived, and has come to be considered one of Handel's finest operas.

It continues to be performed today. The English Concert gave semi-staged performances in 2017 in the U.S. and Europe, including at Carnegie Hall, where the event was filmed. The Barbican Centre and the Salzburg Whitsun Festival presented a new production on 2 June 2017.

State of the Union Address

The State of the Union Address is an annual message presented by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress, except in the first year of a new president's term. The message includes a budget message and economic report of the nation, and also allows the President to outline his legislative agenda (for which he needs the cooperation of Congress) and national priorities.

Page 1 of George Washington's handwritten notes for the first State of the Union Address, January 8, 1790. Representations of President George Washington delivering the first address.

The State of the Union Address fulfils rules in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, requiring the President to periodically give Congress information on the "state of the union" and recommend any measures that he believes are necessary and expedient.

During most of the country's first century, the President primarily only submitted a written report to Congress. With the advent of radio and television, the address is now broadcast live across the country on most networks.

The Derwent Star and Van Diemen's Land Intelligencer

The first edition of Australia’s second and Van Diemen's Land’s first newspaper was published on 8 January 1810. It apparently had twelve issues with the final edition being produced on Friday 7 February 1812.

It was printed by G. Clarke at the Government Press.

:) Finding any further information about this newspaper has defeated me!! However, pleased to see that they included a report about Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s visit of 23 November 1811 in their edition pictured above.

Macquarie’s legacy to Tasmania. “His influence upon the struggling colony was profound.”

John Curtin

John Joseph Ambrose Curtin PC (8 January 1885 – 5 July 1945) was the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 1941 to 1945, and the Leader of the Labor Party from 1935 to 1945. He was born in Creswick, Victoria on 8 January 1885.

Having first formed a minority government in 1941, Curtin led Labor to victory at the 1943 election, which remains Labor's greatest victory in a federal election, both in the House of Representatives and the Senate. As the Member for Fremantle, Curtin was the first and to date only prime minister to represent an electorate outside the Eastern states.

Curtin successfully led Australia through the period when the nation was directly threatened by the Japanese advance in World War II, and is today widely regarded as one of the country's greatest prime ministers.

With the end of the war in sight, Curtin died in office on 5 July 1945 and was succeeded briefly by Frank Forde and then by Ben Chifley.

Alfred Felton

Alfred Felton (1831–1904) was an Australian entrepreneur, art collector and philanthropist. Alfred Felton was born on 8 November 1831 at Maldon, Essex, England, the fifth child of six sons and three daughters of William Felton, a currier, and his wife Hannah Felton who travelled to Victoria on the ship California in 1853 intending to search for gold.

In 1857, Felton was in business in Collins Street, Melbourne, as a commission agent and dealer in merchandise, and in 1859 was an importer and general dealer. In 1861 he was in business in Swanston Street as a wholesale druggist. Felton's wants were few and he never married. He gave away considerable amounts to charity, and formed large collections of pictures and books which at times threatened to push him out of his rooms at the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, near Melbourne. He died there on 8 January 1904.

Portrait of Alfred Felton by John Longstaff at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Alfred Felton had no direct descendants. In his will, he established a philanthropic trust, known as the Felton Bequest. The Bequest was established to support culture and the community, with half the funding benefiting Victorian charities and the other half used to acquire and donate art works to the National Gallery of Victoria. After the payment of legacies and probate duties, the residue of the estate was £378,033, a huge sum, the equivalent of about A$35 million at 2000 values. The Gallery selected a number of works from Felton's personal collection for retention, and the remainder was sold at auction, the proceeds being added to the Bequest.

Since the bequest was created, more than 15,000 art works have been acquired through the Felton Bequest, the current total value of which has been estimated at more than A$2 billion. These works are the core of today's National Gallery of Victoria collection and have made the Gallery's collections celebrated around the world.

RMS Queen Mary 2

RMS Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is a transatlantic ocean liner. She is the largest and only major ocean liner built for the British Cunard Line since Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969, the vessel she succeeded as flagship of the Cunard Line.

Queen Elizabeth II attending the christening ceremony for RMS Queen Mary 2 on 8 January 2004.

Carnival Cruises Chairman Micky Arison, Cunard Line President Pamela Conover and Commodore Ronald W. Warwick were joined on the podium by the Queen who released a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, French champagne against the hull. She spoke the classic words, “I name this ship Queen Mary 2; May God bless her and all who sail in her.”

RMS Queen Mary 2 in Sydney Harbour.

With the retirement of Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2008, Queen Mary 2 is the only transatlantic ocean liner in line service between Southampton, England and New York City, New York, operating for a part of each year. The ship is also used for cruising, including an annual world cruise.

If it wasn't for Alfred the Great, we'd all be speaking Latin now.

Alfred had a reputation as a learned and merciful man of a gracious and level-headed nature who encouraged education, proposing that primary education be taught in English rather than Latin, and improved his kingdom's legal system, military structure and his people's quality of life. In 2002 Alfred was ranked number 14 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons


Never been on the Queen Mary, but have been on the American and P&O lines and luckily escaped the dreaded gastro outbreaks but my daughter came back from a cruise in November and the whole family were really sick for three days after getting off the ship.  Have also noticed on the news that almost every cruise ship that docks in Sydney after a cruise has reported more outbreaks and reports of sick passengers  confined to their room, not able to put a foot outside their cabin who complain they had the holiday from hell.

So I think my cruising days are over.

Cruise ships are floating Petri dishes -- no way would I venture onto one

I have only been on one cruise and fortunately missed out on the gastro bug that had many confined to their cabins. However I picked up an antibiotic resistant chest bug that was also circulating the ship and took me 6 to 8 weeks to get rid of it, coughing non stop every night and feeling really run down. 

How awful Robi, their spokesman always say they thoroughly clean the ship before the next lot board but there is only a few hours between when the returning passengers get off until the new ones get on so realistically, I don't think it can be done.

I could be wrong but I think since the advent of these bigger cruise ships has seen more outbreaks of novo virus.  The first cruise we went on was the Rhapsody of the Seas and as far as I know no one got sick.  That had about 1800 cruisers plus crew.

Our latest one was 3,000 plus big ships for us any more and I am doubtful if we will cruise again.

My Friend was on a cruise and she picked up Legionnaires -- they said maybe from the A/C -- she was very ill for many months.


There is NO way they could properly clean a ship in the time allowed -- every surface would have to be cleaned as well as door knobs etc --

A really interesting read thank you Toot. You go to so much trouble and giving your time to find amazing things for us to learn, or bring back from the corners of our minds, and to me many times "a great reunion of Oh yes " lol.

Thanks Phyl but it's RnR who puts all the work in, I'm just an interested reader of past events.

You Toot, and RnR are two of the best people ever joined YLC.

Plan B has no right to leave at all, I will decorate her house for every event, and broadcast the footy. every day it is on, so that will prevent her leaving lol.

About time Viv. gave us the pleasure of her presence also.

LOL at Phyl --  yes that would really make me stay far away from home  ; )))

Hang about PB.

The greater variety of folks and their views the better the forum will be.

That was not a quotation, that's a fact.

Take it easy.



Wanting all folks singing off the same song sheet as some would have us do might make for a half arsed choir but it sure as hell makes for a very average forum.

Which this one is, with a few exceptions.


You are another special poster S.D. I am amazed at many of the true stories you tell us. I would love Peter and I to sit by the campfire out in the bush somewhere with the billy boiling, and damper cooking, with a big tin of Mira Plum Jam at hand, with you showing us the art of Twirling the billy round your head.

I believe many of us been here for awhile, appreciate there are real people here who add a lot to the forum and this is why we stay, albeit get fed up and leave for awhile but nice to come back.

The moon has got to be the colour purple before I read this thread and now I know why I don't bother.Words like this "You Toot, and RnR are two of the best people ever joined YLC." and this one and that one is special poster.Everyone who bothers to post on this forum is worthwhile. Your remarks are not only insulting to all other YLC posters, they will also prevent other posters from  even bothering.Unbelievable babble. 

 Why no mention of Hola, Thea, Cranky, sageman and others who make this forum a very interesting place? WHY?

PS: and Rainey, Frank, Mick and all the others from the other forum.

Every line someone writes on the  forum, adds to the interest of the forum, even  the fox. Would be great if some people think before speaking.

Phyl if you join SD at the campfire may I please be included as I think SD is my type of person,  love the down to earth fair dinkum Aussie people with a great sense of humour.

We all have a right to speak and these are my opinions Regan. Good for you, you have now mentioned the posters/posts you read and it is called 'freedom of choice'. I do not go to the other forum :).

We are also allowed the choice of reading posts we choose to read and these Posters I mention, are writers of the ones I choose. No insulting was done and none needed either.

The tourists down here have had some of the most benign weather I have seen over a Christmas/New years break.

Another beautiful day today. I put one of the cars for a service and everybody a bit busy to provide a lift home straight away so another customer did the honours. It really is an easy town to live in.

Off to Albany on Thursday to let the eyeball jabber have a look, no passengers as Wendy is taken care of and the two mutts will go into kennels for two days. That will have their spoilt noses out of joint. No caravan, I will stay in a motel. A bit of solo time in a car over a distance is good for a think I find and I have a bit to do.

Anyway for those interested if I am off line for a few days I just be busy is all.

Take it easy.


You will be missed S.D. It will be a change for you and a change is a holiday. 

Keep your mind on the road though. Your two furries sure will be annoyed with being put into the kennel :)

Do not think about the eye treatment as although awful, is over quickly hey. Oops no tomatoes please.

Enjoy your break SD. All the best with the eye.

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