A few Questions I asked in a Comment I made a few Days ago

‘. . . . enormous changes are coming, probably for you and definitely for your children and grandchildren.’  This is what Chris Martenson says in his article from January 26,  2019:

By Chris Martenson: Collapse is Already Here


In a comment to my above post I ask the following questions:

A drop in living standards to sustainable levels? It seems to me, hardly anyone is prepared for a drop in their living standards especially if our leaders do not have the guts to insist on it.
What then is most likely to happen in the near future?
Some more far thinking people tell us, something catastrophic may happen, namely the collapse of our natural support systems. . . . The majority of people so far resist believing all this. especially when the leaders give the impression that it is all right to just continue with our way of living the way it is. So, why change anything when we have such a ‘good life’; isn’t this the attitude of most people?

Diary with Pictures from August 2019



Last Sunday we had some lunch at Bulli Beach, where it was pretty windy and no sun. But there were quite a lot of people at the Ruby’s Cafe. Many people came in groups and had difficulty getting seats.


Between 9 and ten in the morning is usually a good time to sit outside for our morning cup of tea. We are always looking forward to this!

At the beginning of the month we travelled again to Benalla to visit our son. This time we took the train to Benalla. We arrived in Benalla on Sunday, the 4th of August. Our return journey was on Thursday, the 8th of August. We had a great time in Benalla. Twice Martin went with me to the Benalla Swimming Centre. Peter did not want to come with us even though we assured him that the water was well heated.

Every day Martin drove us to a different place. So we saw at Glenrowan a multi-million Dollar anamatronic show. It was Ned Kelly’s LAST STAND at the Glenrowan Tourist Centre. I took the following pictures:









Maybe you’d like to have a look at this:


The Show

“This mulitimillion dollar anamatronic show  IS NOT A PICTURE THEATRE it is an interactive theatre production

Through the brilliance of animation and computerised robots, you will be transferred back in time, over 100 years, to witness the events that led up to the capture of the Kelly Gang.

Starting as hostages in the Hotel, and then onto gunfights – burning buildings – a decent hanging, and finishing in our magnificent painting gallery.

The show is educational, historically correct and entertaining.

The show runs for 40 minutes every half hour (separate rooms) from   10:00am   to 4.30pm daily.

The Glenrowan Tourist Centre is fully air conditioned. The theatre can seat up to 50 people at any one time.”



“On 28 June 1880, Victorian Police captured bushranger Ned Kelly after a siege at the Glenrowan Inn. The other members of the Kelly Gang — Dan Kelly, Joseph Byrne and Steve Hart — were killed in the siege.The gang had been outlawed for the murders of three police officers at Stringybark Creek in 1878.

Ned Kelly was tried and executed in Melbourne in November 1880.

The Kelly Gang’s last stand has become an Australian folk legend, however views are divided about how it should be remembered. . . .”


After the show in Glenrowan Martin drove with us to Wangaretta where we had an excellent lunch in the Preview Cafe.



We also had coffee and some desert!




This was probably on Tuesday when we were here at the Tolmie Tavern, and true enough: Nothing did happen! And we had thought, we’d get some lunch there! Everything looked closed and deserted.



We ended up having lunch a bit further on. I think it may have taken us close to two hours before we actually did have some lunch and decent toilets! Before we arrived at that beautiful old Tatong Tavern we had a good look at the Stringybark Creek Historic Reserve:








So, at the Tatong Tavern we ended up having a splendid lunch. I asked for vegetarian and did get this beautiful meal:






Trees in morning sunshine

These trees are my favourite destination when I go for my walk early in the morning. I want to get ready soon to go for a walk. For the last hour or so I tried to retrieve old pictures. Something did go wrong. A lot of my pictures I do not seem to be able to access. What a bummer!

Our daughter Gabriele would have been 62 yesterday. I found this little picture in memory of her.


The UK and Germany are miles ahead on climate action

UK and Germany showing Australia what’s possible


It’s easier to imagine a transition to a renewable economy, if we can see what that looks like in action. So we decided to take a select group of journalists to the UK and Germany, to learn from the clean energy revolution already underway, and to bring those stories back home to Australia.

The UK and Germany are miles ahead on climate action

Throughout the trip, the thing that struck the journalists the most was how far ahead the UK and Germany are on climate action and policy compared to Australia. Over the past 10 years, the UK and Germany have made significant progress transitioning away from fossil fuels into renewable energy. While Australia has been an international laggard with no credible climate policy to speak of at present.

Off the coast of England, the journalists saw huge wind turbines embedded in the deep; rode electric black cabs and bright red electric buses through the streets of London, and set foot in German towns that are leading the transition from coal to renewables.

Climate change policies receive bipartisan support in the UK

In the UK, the science of climate change enjoys bipartisan support, which has been brilliant for business and investment, because a change of government doesn’t equate to a rewriting of the rules. This support from both sides of politics has also paved the way for tangible action to tackle the climate crisis.

And recently, Great Britain went two weeks without using coal to generate electricity – the longest period since the 1880s. Records like this are set to become the norm, as it transitions to renewables.

Germany shows us what a just transition away from coal really looks like

While Germany, recognising the need to transition away from fossil fuels, also acknowledges the importance of involving everyone in the process. The last black coal mine closed in December 2018, after a decades-long process. In that time, nobody was made forcibly redundant. Instead, miners were offered generous early retirement packages or the opportunity to re-skill. And this year, Germany committed to closing its brown coal mines by 2038.

If you want an Australia led with imagination, pitch in a tax deductible donation to power our media work creating a vision for our future. And together, we can accelerate that momentum.

Telling positive stories to show Australians what’s possible

It’s real stories like these which can change the course of our future here on home soil. And we need to learn from them, if we’re going to bring everyone along with us in creating an Australia powered by clean energy.

These stories have now been seen by 1.6 million people (and growing), and have been covered by The Australian to the SMH, The Today Show and Radio National.

These stories are already making a local impact

Journalist and trip attendee, Nick O’Malley, recently published a widely read piece in the Sun-Herald and Sunday Age, titled, How Germany closed its coal industry without sacking a single miner. Following its publication, the NSW parliament announced an inquiry aimed at setting a ‘responsible road map’ out of coal and into clean energy. The inquiry will look at the full picture, including NSW’s energy needs, the economic opportunities of renewable energy, and supporting communities to adapt.

It’s clear that momentum is building around the conversation we need to have.

A collage of different media headlines that came out of the Climate Council's media trip to the UK and Germany.
A snapshot of some of the media headlines produced by the journalists that came on the Climate Council’s trip to the UK and Germany. 

This is Australia’s “fork in the road” moment.

Either we plan for the inevitable transformation, like Germany, or we remain in denial until our future is changed for us.

Will you join us in fighting for an Australia with imagination and decisive leadership on climate action?

Elphick, Gladys (1904–1988) by E. M. Fisher


This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007

Gladys Elphick (1904-1988), Aboriginal community leader, was born on 27 August 1904 at Wright Court, Adelaide, daughter of John Herbert Walters, gas-meter inspector, and Gertrude Adams. Her maternal great-grandmother was Kudnarto, a woman of Kaurna-Ngadjuri descent, who had married English-born Tom Adams in 1848. At 8 months Gladys Adams was taken to live with relations at Point Pearce Mission Station, Yorke Peninsula. Educated at the local school, as a child she rode horses, swam, played sports and taught herself the organ. Leaving school at 12, she worked at the station dairy. Women Elders trained her as a midwife.

On 13 June 1922 at the Point Pearce Church Gladys married with Methodist forms Walter Stanford Hughes, a shearer. They had two sons. Her husband died in 1937; two years later she moved to Adelaide and found work as a domestic. On 2 December 1940 at St Ignatius’ Catholic Church, Norwood, she married Frederick Joseph Elphick (d.1969), a soldier. They resided first at West Thebarton and later at Ferryden Park. Employed during World War II at the South Australian Railways’ Islington workshops, producing munitions, she won an award for a shop-floor invention.

In the 1940s Mrs Elphick joined the Aborigines Advancement League of South Australia and in the 1960s served on its activities committee, which organised social and sports events. As founding president (1964-73) of the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia, she worked to raise the status of Indigenous people in the community. The council employed a social worker, set up various sports clubs and arts and crafts groups, and encouraged women to learn public speaking so that they could confidently express their ideas. Members campaigned for the `Yes’ vote in the 1967 referendum that ensured Federal responsibility for Aborigines, and lobbied for the franchise and Aboriginal rights generally. They established a women’s shelter and health service in Adelaide, and took steps to set up a legal aid service and a kindergarten. In 1973 the women’s council changed its name to the Aboriginal Council of South Australia and included men in the organisation. That year the Aboriginal Community Centre was established to house the various services; Elphick was elected treasurer and was later made a life member of the centre. She was a founder (1977) of the Aboriginal Medical Service.

In 1966-71 Mrs Elphick was a member of the South Australian Aboriginal Affairs Board. She was appointed MBE in 1971. An advocate of adult education courses for Aborigines, in the 1960s she had helped to arrange evening art classes, conducted at Challa Gardens primary school by John Morley. These and other programs led to the establishment in 1973 of the College of Aboriginal Education, as part of the Underdale campus of the South Australian College of Advanced Education.

Known as `Aunty Glad’, Elphick, according to Kevin Gilbert, possessed a `lively sense of humour’ and `a shrewd personality’ that pierced through `humbug’. A highly respected elder, in 1984 she was named South Australian Aborigine of the Year. She died on 19 January 1988 at Daw Park, Adelaide, and was buried in Centennial Park cemetery. Her elder son, Timothy Hughes , had predeceased her; her son Alfred survived her. In 2003 the Aboriginal women’s group advising the International Women’s Day Committee (South Australia) presented the inaugural Gladys Elphick award.


Enormous changes are coming

In this article from January 26,  2019, Chris Martenson says that enormous changes are coming, and he shows us how there are only two likely paths:

By Chris Martenson: Collapse is Already Here

Nature is warning us loudly that it’s past time to change our ways.  That our “endless growth” model is no longer valid. In fact, it’s now becoming an existential threat

The collapse is underway. It’s just not being televised (yet).


From here, there are only two likely paths:

(1) We humans simply cannot self-organize to address these plights and carry on until the bitter end, when something catastrophic happens that collapses our natural support systems.

(2) We see the light, gather our courage, and do what needs to be done.  Consumption is widely and steeply curtailed, fossil fuel use is severely restrained, and living standards as measured by the amount of stuff flowing through our daily lives are dropped to sustainable levels.

Either path means enormous changes are coming, probably for you and definitely for your children and grandchildren.

Berlin in Petrenko fever: His inaugural concert with the Berlin Philharmonic


“Four years ago, Kirill Petrenko was elected principal conductor of the orchestra, one steeped in tradition. At his first official concert in that function, the Russian-born maestro gave a sample of what is in store.

Kirill Petrenko with orchestra members seen in background (picture-alliance/dpa/B. von Jutrczenka)

What’s the secret of a conductor’s success? His aura? Charisma? Stage presence? Authority? Technical ability? Hard work?

Those questions came to mind while experiencing Kirill Petrenko’s first appearance as principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. And were answered.

Read more: Back to the basics with Petrenko

The iconic Berlin Philharmonie shook to the performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and one could feel the tremors in far-off Bonn, where this author watched the transmission in a movie theater. Getting a ticket for the concert in Berlin was impossible, but that was a blessing in disguise: In the theater, one could watch the musical process up close.

Rare appearances

Back to the beginning: In 2015, the Berlin Philharmonic — one musician, one vote — elected the now 47-year-old Austrian, born in Siberia, to be the seventh principal conductor in the orchestra’s 137-year history. Only seven principals in 137 years points to a long history for each individual one.

Orchestra members, choristers and conductor onstage in the Berlin Philharmonie (picture-alliance/dpa/B. von Jutrczenka)All dressed in black, except for the mezzo-soprano — she wore red

Pre-election, the Berliners had experienced Petrenko only a few times, and post-election there were only four joint performances. In the season to come, Petrenko graces the playbills only six times — in contrast to his omnipresent predecessor, Simon Rattle. The reason? Until the end of 2020, Petrenko remains under contract with the Bavarian State Opera and will commute from Munich to Berlin and back.

So his inaugural performance was all the more hotly anticipated. It began with Symphonic Pieces from the opera “Lulu” by Alban Berg. A riddle of a work from the year 1934: highly modern, atonal.

With 100 energetic musicians onstage, one had the impression that the conductor was working harder than the rest together. Veins pulsed in his forehead, and long before the main work of the evening, he was working up a sweat.

Making music with modest means

Petrenko’s philosophy? “We have to see what we can achieve with our modest means,” said the maestro in a pre-concert interview. Modest means? The Berlin Philharmonic is considered one of the world’s most-renowned orchestras. Some even say: the most-renowned.

Was the conductor playing down the group or its members’ abilities? Hardly. “There are not just 130 musicians sitting there,” says cello chair Olaf Maninger. “The orchestra’s whole history is sitting there. And he brings along the respect for that into his official function.”

The remark about “modest means” can have been made by Petrenko only in relation to something much greater: a work of music, something that can be only approached and never fully revealed.

Conductor applauds musicians and directs them to stand up (picture-alliance/dpa/B. von Jutrczenka)A conductor who wants to insure that every one of his musicians gets fair credit

Beethoven’s Ninth sounding new

All the more so with a often-heard piece like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which had also been important to his predecessors Hans von Bülow, Artur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado and Simon Rattle. When conducting it, every nerve, ever fiber in in Kirill Petrenko’s body seems infused with music. He drives the musicians with expansive, energetic gestures, yet seems to conduct most of all with his eyes. In close-ups, those expressions are intriguing, ranging from desperation to jubilation, from wild to crazy — and culminating again and again in an ecstatic grin.

Read more: all about Deutsche Grammophon

Sometimes Petrenko seems to beseech, to implore his musicians with his body language. He often even seems to stand at the edge of a precipice, as though only his last reserves of energy and those of his fellow musicians could prevent the fall.

The exertion is echoed in the faces of the instrumentalists. They, too, play as though their lives depend on it.

Conductor, soloist and orchestra taking ovations (picture-alliance/dpa/B. von Jutrczenka)Moved and exhausted: Petrenko and baritone Kwangchul Youn

Passion and humility

Orchestra members confirm that wild, uncompromising demeanor. “He went absolutely berserk,” says horn player Sarah Willis, describing Petrenko’s passion. “He struck like a meteor,” agrees violist Matthew Hunter. “It was an explosive experience.”

Yet in conversation, the conductor seems quiet and modest, anything but a commanding presence. In an interview with cellist Olaf Maninger, he mostly avoids eye contact and speaks in a quiet tenor and with a thick Russian accent, as though embarrassed to be speaking at all. One understands why Petrenko rarely gives interviews. But the message is clear: “A concert like this comes only once in a lifetime. Yet the pressure is incredible. I couldn’t wait for the day to pass. I wanted it to be evening right away.”

And about the point of departure for the new relationship: “I had the feeling that the musicians are ready to honestly follow my intention. And so I want to give them some kind of confirmation, to say: ‘Yes, I’m the one!'”

No megalomaniac at the podium

The American Matthew Hunter, a member of the Berlin Philharmonic since 1996, explains what Petrenko’s modesty means in terms of music-making: “You don’t have to have a big ego onstage. In fact, it probably gets in the way of achieving musical aims. So you can be modest and still have the maximum musical authority.”

And the results? Beethoven’s Ninth was rendered with momentum, passion — and meaning. A work that has to withstand performances at every kind of official celebration sounded fresh, as though heard for the first or only time. Timpani player Rainer Seegers describes the experience, saying: “You take the maximum risk. But then you have the chance that something comes about that can never be repeated.”

Gazing into the crystal ball

What’s to be expected in the Petrenko era of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra? Matthew Hunter gives a hint: “I can’t predict how Kirill Petrenko will develop our sound in the next five or 10 years. But I would say we’re returning to something in our sound. The sound is in us, and it will be in the air.”

Rainer Seegers adds, “Something is returning, something that was there ages ago with Karajan. Restoring the unmistakable sound of the Berlin Philharmonic: I think that’s his secret goal or wish.”

Kirill Petrenko smiling broadly, partially covering his face with his hand (picture-alliance/AP/S. Hoppe)Just what does he have in mind?

For the moment, it’s more of a honeymoon feeling between maestro and orchestra. The program is to be repeated outdoors on August 24 in front of the Brandenburg Gate for an audience of up to 32,000, with transmission onto an LED screen, to television and to the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall. The program begins at 8:00 p.m. CET.

But what was the last thing heard the night before? Ovations, curtain calls, flowers, bows, hugs: the usual ritual — but the ovations wouldn’t subside. One felt the applause could have gone on for half an hour, had the chorus and orchestra not stood up and walked out. Then the auditorium thinned out, too, but the clapping and cheering continued until Kirill Petrenko appeared again on the now empty stage and bowed to the remaining audience members as though to say, “Yes, I’m the one!”

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Johannes Brahms / Foto 1864 - -

Symphony for the piano 15.08.2019

Johannes Brahms began with a sonata for two pianos, which morphed into a symphony and later into his first piano concerto. The result is so perfect, you’d think he’d planned it that way from the start.

Komponist Mieczysław Weinberg

Rediscovering Weinberg15.08.2019

Why are some composers popular, then forgotten? Or ignored during their lifetime and later treasured? Such is the case with the Polish-born Soviet composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, whose centennial falls in 2019.

Das Jugendorchester der EU beim Young Euro Classic 2019

Young Euro Classic launches a new season19.07.2019

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the world’s largest parade of youth orchestras has music by Beethoven in its sights – but audiences can also expect surprises.

  • Date 24.08.2019
  • Author Rick Fulke


Berlin Philharmonic Plays At Brandenburg Gate With New Russian-Born Conductor


Russian conductor Kirill Petrenko (file photo)

Russian conductor Kirill Petrenko (file photo)

“The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and its new principal conductor, 47-year-old Russian-born Kirill Petrenko, have performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for crowds in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

The concert at the historic site in Berlin was part of celebrations marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

An estimated 35,000 people turned up for the performance under the open sky.

The crowd celebrated Petrenko and the orchestra with a long applause after the final chorus with Friedrich Schiller’s Ode To Joy.

The concert marked the first time the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has performed in front of the historic Brandenburg Gate.

Petrenko had already begun his time at the helm of the philharmonic on August 23 by conducting Beethoven’s Ninth. He is only the orchestra’s seventh chief conductor in its 137-year history.

Petrenko, who is of Jewish descent was born in Omsk, Russia, in 1972 to a musicologist mother and a violinist father who was born in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

In 1990, when Petrenko was 18, he and his family emigrated to Austria where his father played in the Symphony Orchestra Vorarlberg.

In 2014, when Russian military forces seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and the Kremlin illegally annexed the region, Petrenko called for a solution to the crisis that would respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

Based on reporting by dpa and RBB-TV


Kirill Petrenko startet bei den Berliner Philharmonikern


“Er ist heiß begehrt: Kirill Petrenko, der in Russland geborene Dirigent, übernimmt Simon Rattles Nachfolge bei den Berliner Philharmonikern. Mit Beethovens “Neunter” legt er los.

Dirigent Kirill Petrenko (Foto: Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP,file)

Vor 13 Jahren, im Frühling 2006, spazierte ich mit Kirill Petrenko durch Berlin, nach einem “Don Giovanni” an der Komischen Oper. Wir waren beide gleich alt und beide in Russland geboren. Es war spät, aber mein Gesprächspartner hatte ausreichend Zeit für ein Interview, obwohl er kurz zuvor einen fulminanten Mozartabend dirigiert hatte. Wir sprachen Russisch. “Musik ist nicht zum Spaß da”, sagte er unter anderem, “sondern dazu, dass wir ständig an uns arbeiten, auch das Tragische am Leben erkennen und dadurch womöglich bessere Menschen werden.” Die Musik sei schlussendlich die höchste Form der Menschlichkeit, so Petrenko. . . . ”


“Dass ein Musiker mit russisch-ukrainisch-jüdischen Wurzeln zum Nachfolger nicht nur von Simon Rattle, sondern auch von Wilhelm Furtwängler und Herbert von Karajan wird, ist ebenso symbolisch wie historisch gerecht.”


Autor Rick Fulker

Beethovens Neunte ganz neu

. . . . . .

Ein Blick in die Zukunft

Was kann man in der Petrenko-Ära der Berliner Philharmoniker erwarten? Matthew Hunter deutet es an: “Ich kann nicht voraussagen, wie Petrenko unseren Klang in den kommenden fünf bis zehn Jahren entwickeln wird. Aber ich würde sagen, wir kehren zu etwas zurück.”

“Rainer Seegers wird da deutlicher: “Da kommt wieder so was, was vor urlanger Zeit mit Karajan auch war. Der Klang der Berliner Philharmoniker, den es mal gab, wiederherzustellen: Ich glaube, das ist sein geheimes Ziel.”

Petrenko und sein Orchester auf der Bühne (picture-alliance/dpa/B. von Jutrczenka)Zum Schluss lässt Petrenko die Orchestergruppen aufstehen

Zum jetzigen Augenblick steht aber erstmal die frisch gebackene Partnerschaft im Vordergrund, die von einer Art Flitterwochen-Gefühl überlagert wird. Am 24. August wird das Programm wiederholt – am Brandenburger Tor vor einem Publikum von bis zu 32.000 Menschen samt Übertragung auf eine LED-Wand, ins Fernsehen und zur Digital Concert Hall der Berliner Philharmoniker. Um 20 Uhr mitteleuropäischer Zeit geht es los.

Und wie ging die Aufführung am 23. August zu Ende? Mit nicht enden wollenden Ovationen, etlichen Vorhängen und den üblichen Ritualen: Einzelne Instrumentengruppen nahmen den Applaus entgegen, Chor, Vokalsolisten – und immer wieder erschien der Maestro, der glücklich und erlöst wirkte. Das hätte vermutlich eine gute halbe Stunde so weiter gehen können. Irgendwann standen jedoch Orchester- und Chormitglieder auf und gingen. Dann lichteten sich auch im Auditorium die Reihen etwas. Es ging aber mit dem Applaus immer noch weiter. Endlich kam dann Kirill Petrenko alleine heraus, ein letztes Mal, und verbeugte sich vor dem Rest-Publikum. So als wollte der bescheidene Maestro nochmal sagen: “Ja, ich bin es!”