MULCHING MATILDA* - Introduction


My wife Christine, son Peter and myself went to Australia at the end of 1991 on a five-year posting, my job being that of Marconi Requirements Manager on the JORN (Jindalee Over-the-Horizon Radar network) project. Although the project became a long and stressful task for all of the Marconi Radar team, the stay in the big, red island was, for me, an unforgettable adventure. My family was totally new to Australia and we wrote our often naïve and maturing impressions as a periodic newsletter to our family and friends and as a record of the incredible experience.

The rest of this website is a collation of those newsletters. There is intentionally very little work-orientated content, so it is hoped that others may find them amusing, and, for those embarking on a similar voyage, maybe even instructive. I have added relevant hypertext links to sites that some may find useful. Most pictures are from my album and are thumbnail size, but all have hyperlinks to larger versions; both types are at 72 dpi for hopefully fast downloading.

I have now retired and settled back in England while Peter finishes his schooling. But we still miss Australia and its vast and beautiful land, its flora and fauna and its environments of every kind, from steaming rainforest to shimmering desert. Most of all we miss its people; by far the most lasting impression of Oz is the open, friendly, generous and helpful nature of the well-integrated and multi-cultural population. If any of them should read this, please take care of your continent - we’ll be back!


*Apart from being a silly pun on Banjo Paterson’s well known Oz “anthem”, as an amateur gardener “Mulching” Matilda reminds me of protecting my newly-planted Grevillea, Bottlebrush and Kangaroo Paw bushes from the alternate soaking in torrential rain and roasting in oven-like winds which characterise Melbourne summer weather, with a good mulch of good old red-gum chips applied liberally around the base of the plant.


Christie, Peter and the Prat with the Hat


Christine, Ian and Peter after walking to the summit of Snowdon following our return from Oz. The corks have dropped off Ian’s silly hat!


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