At various periods of my life I have been a biometrician, a computer programmer, a geneticist, an agricultural scientist and an ornithologist, and I have had more than 50 scientific papers published in various
fields, under the name of E. Belinda Dettmann.
Now retired, I have become a genealogist, member of the International Society of Genetic
Genealogists (ISOGG), and an expert on the use of DNA tests to investigate
Now, as I know how to do this (more or less) and with more time to think, I intend to put some of my accomplishments on display here, just in case anyone shares my interests.
Other hobbies include cricket (playing, watching and analyzing the game), bird-watching, reading whodunits (particularly historical mysteries), local history, family history (my own and other people's), armchair archeology and environmental protection.
The picture you see above is Newport Beach, and this is where I live. It is a suburb of Sydney, Australia, in the area known locally as the Northern Beaches.
Newport had been the summer holiday home for both my parents' families from before I was born so, as a child, summer simply meant days and weeks spent at the beach. Although my career took me away from Sydney for many years, when I retired I knew I had to come back to Newport.
The Ghosts of Newport
Whenever I go down to the beach I walk with ghosts. ***** My earliest memories.A place of dreams. ***** 441 Barrenjoey Road.Grandmama in the back room.Telephone XX1944.Blossom and Henry Prince over the back fence.The Isleys next door.The Prattens and the Heydons just along the main road.The Sellars next door to Blossom and Henry in Neptune Street. ***** Summer holidays.Nor’easter blowing.Southerly buster.Rain on the tin roof.Mosquitoes and mosquito nets.Roar of the surf. ***** A patch of rainforest, nestling under the plateau.The Quarry.Creeks flowing into little lagoons on the beach.Big banksia trees along the track to the northern end of the beach.She-oaks on the northern headland.Norfolk Island Pines. ***** The aboriginal midden on the sand dune.Fossils in the rocks.Small round pools on the rock platform, each one containing a circular stone.The surf.Burning your feet on hot sand. The Reef. ***** Seaweed.Cunjevoi.Seagulls. Terns diving for fish.Flotsam and jetsam.Pumice from the Krakatoa eruption.Cuttlefish.Dolphins. ***** No water meter.Canna lilies along the front drain. The mulberry tree. Banana trees up the back near the outhouse.The smelly cupboard. The cork in the wall over the kitchen sink.Stink bugs in the lemon tree - Grandmama used to catch them and drown them in kerosene in an old teapot. Old carpets spread over Denise’s section to stop the grass growing.Asparagus beds fertilized with seaweed.Digging up potatoes.Hydrangeas beside the front steps. ***** Tim: It’s a rising tide tomorrow morning, dear.I think I’ll go fishing up the north end. Belinda: Can I come, Dad? Tim: Yes, if you want to. Lea: Don’t let her get too close to the big waves, Tim.
Lea: Well, did you catch anything? Belinda: Yes, Dad caught a black drummer, a wirra and two chicken fish, and I caught a chicken fish! Lea: Did you bring them back for me to cook? Tim: Yes, here’s the drummer, but those little chicken fish are all bones, and you know what Henry says about a wirra.The only way to cook it is to stew it up in a big pot with lots of water and an old boot.After 24 hours you throw away the wirra and eat the boot. ***** Bluebottles.By-the-wind sailors.Sea anemones. Octopus.Toadfish.Neptune’s Necklace.Black Drummer.Silver Drummer.Groper.Parrotfish.Slippery green weed on the rocks. ***** Sandstone boulders fallen from the cliff.Shale.Golden sand.Dad’s Fishing Rock. North Beach Waterhole.Fred, our Aussie Terrier, on the surfoplane. Grandmama in the water still wearing her straw hat. ***** Family cricket matches on the Common outside the back door. Slips-catching practice on the beach – “Throw yourself!” ***** Spotted Doves calling at daybreak.Red-vented Bulbuls in the coastal scrub.Wattlebirds.Strawberries in the garden. Blackberries beside the path up the north end. Christmas pudding on the kitchen ceiling. Dartboard on the inside of the front door.French cricket on the front verandah. ***** Going for an early morning swim: Low Tide – out in front, or the Pool at the south end.High Tide – out in front, or drive to the pool at Paradise Beach on Pittwater. ***** Pittwater.The Catalina moored off Church Point.The Newport Arms.McCarrs Creek.Scotland Island.Winji Jimmi.Bushrangers Hill.Bungan Castle.Bilgola Rock Pool.Palm Beach.Barrenjoey Lighthouse.Avalon Golf Course.The Plateau.The Serpentine.Koalas at Avalon. ***** The Rocklily Tavern.Tomato glasshouses at Mona Vale and Warriewood.Narrabeen Lake.Dee Why Lagoon.Black Swans.Wakehurst Parkway.The blinking light.Roseville Bridge.Collaroy Plateau.Oriel.The Spit. ***** St Ives.Terrey Hills. "Thalassa, Thalassa! the Sea, the Sea!"Tumbledown Dick.Christmas Bells. “Here’s where the kangaroo hopped across!”“Going down to Newport, All Bow!” ***** Shearwater. The Watts.Attunga Road.Old Barrenjoey Road.Post No Bills.Sold to the Andersons. ***** Annie the Austin 7.Essex: FL590.Black Hillman Minx.Cream Hillman Minx.Black Ford Custom: TD888.Blue and white Holden: BRY932.Old Morris Minor. Chrysler Valiant: TD888.The Lovells in BLE222.