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Ongo Bongo!

Welcome! Ongo Bongo (I couldn't think of another name for it) is a place for me to make known things that I'm looking for to improve the whole Wilson's Almanac project. Thank you, friends of the Almy!If you have an answer, kindly leave it in 'COMMENTS' so

Updated: 2017-11-13T23:43:10.434+11:00


When the world wearies ...


"When the world wearies and society does not satisfy, there is always the garden." For decades, this charming aphorism (by one Minnie Aumonier, whose fame would appear to rest on little else than this fine aphorism) was on a large sign outside a plant nursery beside the Pacific Highway at Taree, New South Wales. I read it, I suppose, several hundred times, but have no photo. Nor can I find one on Google Images. Does anyone have a photo of this famous sign, which was probably read by millions? Do you remember this apothegm? Did it mean anything to you, as it did to me?

Alternative versions, found by googling:

"When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden."
"When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden."


Gold rushes historical


For a play I'm writing, I'm trying to find slang from the San Francisco gold rush (digger and gang slang), and from Australia's gold rush, both circa 1850s. Also a street map of San Francisco, 1851. Any ideas? Thanks, guys.

Shelton Lea


I seem to have mislaid my copy of a Shelton Lea book of verse, and I would be very grateful if anyone could provide me with a copy of one of my favourite poems, 'The Woman With the Peach Melba Hat' (or a similar title), which I heard Shelton read at the Harris Park Hotel in (I think) the late-1980s or early 1990s. I would like to read it at the poetry night I attend each month. Thank you.

Squidoo bedoobydoo


Hey mate! Will you please rate my Squidoo?


Do you want to have content for your podcast?


(image) I've recorded 366 daily Wilson's Almanac Book of Days daily 5-minute audio programs. At present I don't have time to podcast them -- I intend to do it myself by January 1, 2007 -- but if you or some enterprising person you know is interested in doing so for their benefit as well as the listeners' and mine, let's talk turkey.

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Would you like to help the Almanac?


If you would like to support the Almanac in a non-financial way, and have some time to spare, there are a couple of things that would be very useful. They will improve the Book of Days, and help new readers to find it.

One of the things is some Google searches and information gathering. The other requires someone with basic skills at putting info on Wikipedia.

Please let me know if you can spare some time, by sending me an email (the address is in FAQ in the menu bar at the top of this page). Maybe put something in the subject header like "Pip, I would like to help the Almanac". I really look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks.

Update: Nix the Wikipedia project. But the other still stands.

A Flash problem


Dear reader, I have a minor problem with the Flash animation on my homepage. Although I made it myself, I can't change one of the linked buttons (the spinning star that says AHA). I feel that this must have a very simple solution, but I can't find the answer, have forgotten how to do it, and I really would appreciate it if someone could spare the time to go over the problem with me. Many thanks.


'Stone Talk' by Sir Richard Burton


I would very much like to get the text of the poem 'Stone Talk' by Sir Richard Burton, either online or a hard-copy version. I can't find it online.

Twelfth Night and 12 Days of Christmas


The Wikipedia article on Twelfth Night currently begins confusingly: "Twelfth Night (January 5th? 6th?)".This is because at the Twelve Days of Christmas discussion page (my user name is Alpheus) I have maintained that the Twelve Days are Dec 26 - Jan 6 inclusive and that Twelfth Night is January 6 and not the 5th (which the article, which is linked from January 5 in Wikipedia, said before). The link on January 5 which currently and confusingly says "The eleventh day of Christmas in Western Christianity, and the Twelfth Night of Christmas in Western Christianity" should be removed.However, I will not make the changes yet as I believe some discussion is required first. As I see it, the solution depends on whether Twelfth Night celebrations were made on January 5th or 6th, and I note that celebrations were held on both Twelfth-Night Eve (Jan 5) and Twelfth Night (Jan 6), but the latter were the main ones.The best sources I know to quote are Sir James Frazer, William Hone and Robert Chambers, all expert 19th-century British folklorists. Frazer says "The last of the mystic twelve days is Epiphany or Twelfth Night", and Epiphany is January 6 -- I know some will say it began on the Eve but that was called Twelfth-Night Eve or Epiphany Eve and had different festivities. Hone says the Twelfth Night celebrations were on the night of January 6 (and the lesser ones on January 5 were called Twelfth-Night Eve).Chambers also asserts that although there were some apparently minor "rustic" festivals in England on January 5 (Twelfth-Night Eve), the main Twelfth Night festivities were on the next night, ie, the night of Twelfth Day (January 6). I have suggested at Wikipedia that unless someone betters these sources within a reasonable amount of time, any Wikipedian should make the changes required on the various pages.In the meantime, the Book of Days will continue to have the First Day of Christmas, and Twelfth Night just where they are, at December 26 and January 6 respectively. I have made some more notes at January 5.However, I welcome your comments on this if you have any further ideas, thanks.Tagged: wikipedia, folklore, customs, lore, christmas, christianity, festivals, religion, uk, britain, europe, calendar+customs[...]

New Zealand questions


In New Zealand in April, 1897, if you got off a steamship at Auckland on your way to Wellington from Australia, just to stroll around while some Australian cargo was unloaded, what would you see? Is it Waitemata Harbour you are in? What does it look like? And when you got on board again, how long would it have taken to get to Wellington, and what would you see there when you disembarked there?

I'm looking for building and street names and any other relevant info, for a period piece I am writing, just to give it authentic colour. Thank you, Kiwis and other friends.

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Does anyone know when the term 'forty-niners' was first commonly used for Californian gold miners?

Dawn and Dusk Club


Any information on the Dawn and Dusk Club will be gratefully received.

" ... centred around the Bulletin group of artists and writers, and named after a book by one of its founders, Victor Daley (Dawn and Dusk, pub. Angus and Robertson, Sydney, July, 1898 to glowing reviews).

"Foundation members of the Dawn and Dusk Club ('the Duskers'), formed around September, 1898, were Daly, Fred J Broomfield, Philp, Herbert Low (journalist), William Bede Melville, Bertram Stevens and Randolph Bedford. It was formed at Broomfield's home on the corner of Ice Road and Great Barcom Street, Darlinghurst, near St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney. Edwin Brady says the Dawn to Dusk Club's places of rendezvous were Giovanni's wine cellar, Paris House, the Coolalta, Pfahlert's Hotel, Joe Power's, and the Hole-in-the-Wall. (He wrote: 'The place was largely determined by purse; French menu and wine when the going was good, biscuits and beer when the ghost limped rather than walked.')

"Lawson created the motto: 'Roost high and crow low'. Lawson's sometime friend, poet John Le Gay Brereton had nothing to do with it, thinking they were just a bunch of drunks. Truth magazine publisher John Norton called them 'a band of boozy, bar-bumming bards'. Daley was elected Symposiarch of the Duskers and the seven 'heptarchs' were Henry Lawson, Stevens, sculptor Nelson Ilingworth, Frank P Mahony, George Augustine Taylor, Con Lindsay (journalist), and Philp, later commercial editor of the Brisbane Courier. Philp drafted the rules."


Birthdays, birthdays, it's always birthdays


I'm always looking for birthdays because that's the best way I can enter someone into the Book of Days. Some people, like one of my longtime heroes, Gene Sharp, simply have to go in the BoD, but I can't find his DoB. Anyone?

Rose de Bohème


The State Library of NSW has a very good research service, Ask a Librarian, the wonderful people at which help me a lot, and Ms Julie Wood has been very helpful providing me with some information about Agnes Rose-Soley (1847 - 1938). However, it seems that the SLNSW doesn't hold much biographical info about this Australian writer also known as Rose de Bohème. Anybody got any ideas? I have a list of her publications but I would like to know more about her involvement with the New Australia movement and the Sydney push. Thanks, bohemians.

Two Jerries


Anyone know the birth dates of two great US activists, Jeremy Rifkin and Jerry Mander?

Creo Stanley and EJ Brady


I'm looking for dates of birth, marriage and death of Creo Stanley, and anything about her relationship with Edwin Brady.

News news


Yesterday increased Daily Planet News to 140+ newsfeeds on the one page.

Three new features in the Almanac project


I've added three new features to the Almanac project. We now have Google News (illustrated) in Daily Planet News, making 38 global newsfeeds on the one page. I think it's a pretty good one-stop news source -- I don't know another like it (tell me if you do, I'd love to see it).

Also, I'm trialling two other features:

Blogmanac lite: Bookmark this if you want the Blogmanac in two-column format and with a faster download (no sidebar with blogroll, etc).

Tagcloud: I've added that to the Almanac Scriptorium homepage. The purpose of this is for the casual or regular visitor to see the main themes of recent posts in the various Almanac blogs. If you want to know what the blogs are, see the menu bar at the top of this page.

What is the Almanac project? At this stage, it's well over 3,000 pages to help with our aim "To give readers many reasons and many ways to 'carpe diem!' -- seize the day!" If you would like to see the project grow, or even stand still, please throw Puppy a coin. A couple of bucks every now and again will help pay our growing Internet and luxury bills. Many thanks.

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Bye bye SubscriptionRocket


I've sent so many emails to but still no reply, and still it's no longer working for me. Maybe the guy's sick, who knows? Anyway, now I'm removing all trace of it from my sites, bit by bit. It was good while it lasted.

Subscription Rocket down?


Subscription Rocket's homepage is not down, but the login is not working for me (it just gives me a link back to Home), and Troy McDonald has not replied to my emails over two weeks. Does anyone else have this problem? It's important to the Almanac as we have literally hundreds of links for his normally reliable services, and all the subscription boxes from my site are empty.

Peace groups list


Wilson's Almanac has a list of 1,000 worldwide peace group web links, available to Almaniacs and anyone else. It's now three years since it was made, and needs updating. It's a long, tedious, thankless job. Does that whet your appetite?

Info requested on Portuguese customs


Dear Mr Wilson,

I just discovered your fabulous site and I expect to spend many happy hours browsing through it this summer (I live in Europe). I have a question for you. Would you know what the origin is of the Portuguese custom of beating perfect strangers on the head with squeaky hammers or leeks on St. John's Eve and Day (24 and 25 June)? I've already done some searching, nut haven't found an answer yet. I've been to this site with pages that describe customs and devotions related to the liturgical year, including St. John's Eve & St. John's Day.

This site, although very interesting, sadly makes no mention of people pummeling each other with either leeks or hammers. Nor does this one, which describes all manner of Midsummer (St John's Eve) celebrations from pre-christian times to the present.
Can you help me?

Best wishes,

Can you help Catherine? Click to email her, and I would be grateful if you'd advise me too, thank you.

In the Book of days:

St John's Eve

St John's Day

Maps of Sydney


Anyone got any good maps of Sydney, circa 1880 to 1910? And for a mate of mine and me as well, anyone have any info on Robert Sparrow Smythe that's not already on the WWW? Ta.




Now that I have your attention ... Ahem! I'm looking for the birth and/or death date of Frances Trollope.

And for her son Anthony Trollope, I just want info on his sojourn in Australia (and, if possible, an online text of his writings on this).

At ease.

Hippie fonts


Does anyone have or know of any free hippie fonts? I'm interested in anything but I especially like the styles of R Crumb, Rick Griffin and San Francisco posters. Moscoso would be great too ... any Zap stuff.