I really don’t like flying. I like being there, but not the getting there part. International friends should rest easy in the knowledge that if they invite me to their place, I am unlikely to visit. My reluctance to get on a plane is rather convenient because aviation contributes 2.5 percent of global carbon emissions. As aviation affects the concentration of gases and pollutants in the atmosphere, it contributes 3.5 percent to warming (see here). Nevertheless as an isolated country far from global markets, Australia is dependent on air transport.

In truth, I would like my children to travel, both for their own pleasure but also because you can learn much about the world and other cultures through travel. If my kids fly with Qantas in future, they won’t be travelling on one of the Boeing 747 400 series planes. These planes were retired in 2020. This is the last one leaving Australia for the plane graveyard in the Mojave desert, California. I watched that plane fly over my house. It flew low and slow and seemed to hang in the air. My True Love (TL) was at our local park with his camera and he snapped this photo as it passed overhead.

The departure of that last Qantas 747 was a sentimental affair.

Sticking with aircraft, how is this for fancy flying? The Roulettes made an appearance at the air parade to commemorate the centenary of the Australian air force (the RAAF).

In Australia, we built planes before we built cars. Now we don’t build either. We had no fighter planes when war with Japan broke out in 1941. The CAC Boomerang was approved, designed and built in 16 weeks in that year. I got a little arty with my TL’s photo.

I suppose the current Australian government will be hoping for that sort of success for its new $1 billion initiative to build guided missiles in Australia. The government announced the initiative on the same day as the RAAF birthday celebrations. Nice touch that.

Presumably the federal government will be chipping in another billion to add to the $50 million that the Victorian state government has recently announced to establish a mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Australia. It is estimated that it will take a year for the mRNA vaccines to come off the production line, but perhaps that could be accelerated with extra cash. We shall see. I hope it happens and I hope the two governments do not quibble about where to locate the manufacturing plant. Let’s just get it done and save lives.

Let me finish with a couple of bird photos. Photographing birds in flight is not my forté. I guess it takes practise, patience and luck. Here a swamp hen chick exercises its baby wings and an Eastern rosella takes off.

This is my response to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Taking Flight. In addition, because it is Friday, we need music for my Friday song day. Today I’ve chosen Ballet of Unhatched Chicks with Pens & Jar Lids performed by Homemade Music. And you thought you could never be a classical musician. Knock yourself out.

Stay safe, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

About the photos:
All the the photos apart from the last two were taken by my True Love.

45 thoughts on “No Flight Risk

  1. Excellent photo series. “I really don’t like flying. I like being there.” I like that! ‘How are we coming along with that transporter beam Mr Spock!’ (Star Trek.) Loved the video too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel just like you about flying, which is why I’m unlikely to visit Australia. Luckily however, Europe remains within reach. No, wait … there’s a pandemic on. Love the photos, especially the birds, love the video! How cheery.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun article! In the US, we must have a special sticker on your license to be able to fly. The original mandatory date was Oct. 1, 2020 but because of Covid, the date was extended to Oct. 2021. Your True Love takes great photos.

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    1. So pleased to hear from you again, Sharon. I hope you are well.
      There has been quite some resistance to a national ID card here. I imagine there will be many officials here closely monitoring the US experience.
      I appreciate my TL’s photos too. He is keeping me in photos at the moment. I seem to have lost the will at the moment.

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  4. Fun and informative post Tracy – I see your government is about at cautious with their money as our is…..NOT! What’s a billion here a billion there 😡. Not sure what Sharon is referring to as I’ve not seen anything at all about a sticker requirement in the U.S. for flying. There was some talk about it but apparently it’s being fought as discriminatory and I’d thought it was dropped for now. I’m not a big fan of flying but I do overcome any resistance because I so love to visit faraway places and experience other cultures. Australia and NZ are two places I’m so happy we were able to visit as I loved both despite the hideous flights we had to take to get there!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great photographs Tracy! The issue of a lack of domestic vaccine manufacturing is a topic of criticism in the Canadian parliament raised by the Conservative opposition. Once Canada was a world leader in vaccine manufacturing but years ago the Conservatives sold off this facility. Ironic eh! The lab they sold off was operating as a non-profit and supplied inexpensive pharmaceuticals to Canada. Sorry if I sound a bit frustrated by such ideological past choices. The current question is ‘Shall Canada continue to fight the pandemic with more deficit spending or shall we pursue a path to austerity? So far Canada has spent over 300 billion on pandemic spending in one year and we are currently in a dire third wave! Let rates of infections rise or spend to support Canadian’s health based needs.
    ‘’Unhatched Chicks” is one of my favourites. My YouTube suggestion is by LeRoy Anderson, “Plink, Plank, Plunk.”

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    1. Thank you, Sid.
      Our very successful Commonwealth Serum Laboratory was sold off too in the 1990s by a Labor government. Outsourcing and privatisation was all the rage then and that trend has continued. Fortunately CSL maintained an R&D and manufacturing capability here. There has been much economic and health spending here. Also tax cuts! A focus on public health has supported economic recovery. There are so many other things wrong with the government’s economic strategy though that are unrelated to the pandemic.
      LeRoy Anderson’s composition brought a smile to my face.

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  6. You did very well with your birds-in-flight photos. I usually only capture flying birds with my camera by sheer luck (not skill).

    There should definitely be a vaccine production facility in Australia (as well as a proper quarantine facility). A friend who recently returned from a prolonged stay in the U.K. (6 months instead of the planned 6 weeks to help her eldest with the birth of her first baby), related her quarantine in Darwin in detail. Not fun and rather tedious with constant checks and health monitoring. The only thing she praised were the meals which catered for every kind of diet or religious persuasion).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I try but most don’t turn out. Still, that is half the fun.
      A boring quarantine must be the ideal, especially if it is accompanied by fresh air. I have a friend in Delhi who says it is dire there. The media has been criticised for being sensationalist. There would be many in the community that don’t agree with that assessment.

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  7. I don’t like flying either. I flew a lot as a child and always liked it. But as I’ve got older, I’ve liked it less and less and the whole climate change / carbon footprint thing adds justification to my feelings. But like you, I hope my kids will have the money and the opportunity to travel.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the moral that teaches future generations is… enjoy every part of our lives. We can’t assume we will grow old or retire with the liberty and money to travel. My husband is cynical that the concept of retirement as the baby boomers have known it, will survive another generation.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love those last two photos Tracy.

    I have mixed feelings about flying. I’m conscious of the emissions, and was really glad when T stopped travelling for work. I also hate the boredom and discomfort, of long-haul. But if I’m ever to see my UK family again, I’ll have to fly (being an even less comfortable sailor than airline passenger).

    I’ve travelled to Aus in business class a couple of times thanks to T’s work-created airpoints, and that’s a really pleasant experience, but I doubt we’ll ever have enough points to go further than Melbourne in that sort of comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve suffered the same guilt trip about driving in my polluting diesel 4WD to see my mother. National EV infrastructure can’t come soon enough IMO. However, we are a big country and if our national broadband network is anything to go by, it is no wonder the current Aussie government doesn’t want to sign up to a net zero target.
      You can probably offset your flight, Su, but since NZ is so dependent on air travel too, then likely the whole country would need to be covered by trees.
      When I travelled a lot for work I got the occasional business class upgrade. It is amazing what a little extra leg and elbow room can do for the comfort factor.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I hate to fly because a) I’m germ phobic and b) I can’t stand being crammed into small spaces with other people. *shudder* If this horrible pandemic ever ends, I expect that we will be driving cross-country to see our daughter in San Diego, not flying. When I lived in Norfolk, Virgina, I refused to go see the Blue Angels perform because every couple of years, one of the darned things would plunge to the earth and explode in a ball of flame, and there was no way I wanted to risk seeing that in person.

    Well, that was morbid. I like the photo of the kangaroos!

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    1. I am with you, Liz. I can’t count the number of times I’ve flown for work and caught flu or a cold for my efforts.
      After I wrote my lion story, I started to wonder whether my experience in that hot car as a child contributed to my claustrophobia. Probably not but you never know.
      You must be looking forward to that road trip. It will be so nice to see your daughter again.
      PS. I was getting worried about not hearing from you for a while. I was relieved to see that you had posted. Btw, I couldn’t leave a comment on your post. Probably a tech issue.

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      1. I am looking forward to the trip (although I have no idea when it will be). It’s tough that Sonia lives so far away, but she’s very happy there, so I can’t complain! 🙂

        Thank you for letting me know about not being able to post a comment on my post. I’ve just reported it to the “Happiness Engineers.” I really hope they can get this tech issue straightened out soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Had no idea about the last 747 and I liked reading about that, not so much though about the vaccination taking a long time. How are you all doing with that? In Thailand, we’re going through our 3rd wave, and it’s bad, and only 1% of the population has been vaccinated so far…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was reading about the virus situation in Thailand the other day, Lani. I also read that a mRNA vaccine might be manufactured there soon. I hope that’s the case as we need such vaccines to be produced in a number of countries. I hope you are okay? The new variants sound even more frightening.
      I checked our vaccination numbers. It looks like about 7 percent of the Australian population has been vaccinated but the rollout slowed down tremendously when the AstraZeneca vaccine was halted for under 50s. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get supplies of mRNA vaccines instead. Also, the over 50s are not keen on AZ either. I’ve had my first dose. So far, so good.

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