Top poems 1: The amazing web site of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

The amazing web site of Shakespeare’s Sonnets is not hype; it is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful sites on the Web. I go there for #1 in a new series on Ninglun’s Specials, where I promise not to be too original, but I do want to share some of the great treasures that have given me pleasure for close on sixty years now. Do check the VodPod in the left side bar too, as whenever possible I will add an appropriate video for each post in this series.


That time of year thou mayst in me behold

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou seest the twilight of such day

As after sunset fadeth in the west,

Which by and by black night doth take away,

Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,

As the death-bed whereon it must expire

Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.

This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,

To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Oh yes, except in my case Autumn is moving into Winter…


That was taken in Canberra in Autumn this year by Sue, whose WordPress photo blog is well worth visiting.

About the Whitfields: from convict days « Ninglun’s Specials

This page has had a major update, thanks to an email received yesterday. There has been a steady if not spectacular following of the page since it went to Ninglun’s Specials in April 2008, 288 views, often by interested Whitfields or their relations.

The gist of the update is as follows:

UPDATE July 2008

I received the following email on 15 July:

The Whitfield pedigree tree seems to be wrong.

I had looked up 3 years ago that Jacob Whitfield “ploughman” transported on the Isabella is out of Thomas Whitfield and Elizabeth Marshall — not out of John Whitfield and Susanna Pearson.

The Jacob Whitield of MAY 1774 Of Ballyhagen, Kildare, Ireland from both Bob Starling and the Leslie family tree appears wrong. The Jacob Whitfield of the Isabella should be from Grange MM*, Tyrone, Ireland born Feb 1759.

The listing of the convict in the 1822 Isabella ship’s log is below from online records:-

Surname Whitfield
First Name Jacob
Ship Isabella I (2) [1822]
Tried 1820
Trial Place Tyrone Co
Term Life
DOB 1760
Native Place Tyrone
Death Place
Remarks Ploughman

Had a phone call from Bob Starling to Colin Whitfield in Perth a couple of weeks ago…which prompted me to look it up again.

– John Van Luyn

*Does “reb” mean rebel? If so, it the first clue about the nature of his crime that I have ever seen. It would certainly fit into the troubled times in Ireland. A life sentence was serious, even in those days. This new information still makes his age seem quite extraordinary, especially if he is, as we have assumed, the father and not the grandfather of William and Mary, and there is still the 1832 marriage certificate below, giving his age as “60 years” which would fit better with the 1770s scenario. It is still a bit of a mystery; we are on firmer ground from William onwards…

Anyone know any more?

*You can find a Google map of Grange and surrounds here. It is in Northern Ireland.

Jacob was certainly not a Quaker, but Grange features in Irish Quaker history. See Grange Meeting: a Historical Sketch. It’s very interesting.

I don’t think, as you may see, that the matter of my convict ancestor is fully settled.

I also took the opportunity of clarifying a few sections further down the page. That text has been around, first on Angelfire, then on my other WordPress blog, and now here, since 2002, so it did need a little attention.

I hope people continue to find it interesting — not just relatives, but also anyone interested in Australian history.

Our rude ancestors: Old Sydney 2

Look closely at the following photo (courtesy of Wiki Commons) taken at Bondi Beach in 1900:


See what I mean?


I hope none of them preverts are looking at this site, Hetty! Just look at that bold little minx on the left, and as for that other one on the right, that’s so disgusting, isn’t it, Kevin? The photographer should be tarred and feathered, that’s what I say!

Coogee 1900 was apparently more staid, though God only knows what might have been there in the distance!


Didn’t know Charlie Chaplin was at Coogee! What he’s been up to down on the beach I will leave to your imagination…

So rude, our ancestors were!

And note the steam tram…

Sydney: World Youth Day 2008 fashion

Given the rules of the game laid down by Morrie Dilemma and his friends — How the NSW government has made World Youth Day into a problem — Ninglun Fashions of Surry Hills has come up with a range of tasteful plain t-shirts that may perhaps be acceptable under the special law.

EXTRAORDINARY new powers will allow police to arrest and fine people for “causing annoyance” to World Youth Day participants…

…The laws, which operate until the end of July, have the potential to make a crime of wearing a T-shirt with a message on it…People who fail to comply will be subject to a $5500 fine…


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