Showing posts with label Grafton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grafton. Show all posts

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Positive thinking

Whenever I think back to the pompous emptiness of the Anglican church environment in my native town of Grafton, a sad anecdote jumps into my mind. I've already alluded in this blog to a ridiculous book I was offered when I was about 13 years old: The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.

The man who gave me this book was a prominent Anglican clergyman, the Reverend Arthur Edward Warr, dean of the Anglican cathedral of Christ Church.

I can hear parishioners saying: "Well, that was nice of him, wasn't it!" My contention, retrospectively, is that it wasn't nice of him at all. In suggesting that I should read a best seller penned by an American snake-oil evangelist, published in 1952, Dean Warr (who knew me well, since I was a server in his church) was deliberately shirking his spiritual responsibilities as our pastor. He was acting lazily, saying to me (as it were): "I don't know what to say about Christianity to a local boy who appears to be more interested in science than in other pursuits. So, why don't you take a look at this."

The gist of the Peale book might be summed up tersely as follows: Ideally, Christian believers should be happy individuals, with an optimistic outlook on their personal existence. [Recall that, timewise, we were just a decade after Auschwitz and Hiroshima.] Now, the best way to become a contented and optimistic individual is to force yourself, through personal discipline, into "thinking positively" about every aspect of your life and your expectations. To put it bluntly, you should delude yourself by deliberately avoiding to recollect or cogitate upon anything of a harsh (negative) nature.

You don't have to be a profound thinker to realize that advice of that kind does not really belong to the traditional domains of science, philosophy or religion. It's what you might categorize as popular psychology, on a par with self-hypnosis. These days, many young people might even interpret this advice as a justification for the consumption of various kinds of "instant happiness drugs", from music, alcohol and hedonistic sex through to hard chemicals. Others, of a more introspective nature, might see it as an incitation to adopt Buddhism. Peale himself probably intended his "theology" as a good reason for dropping in on, and maybe donating cash to, the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan.

Since settling down in France, I'm annoyed most of all about this Yankee preacher and pop psychologist named Peale [May his soul rest in peace!] because I now know that he stole all his clunky theories from a notorious Frenchman: the pharmacist and quack therapist Émile Coué, generally considered today as the founder of a school of so-called autosuggestion. Everybody in France is accustomed to hearing of the celebrated "Coué method" of solving problems: Abracadabra! Simply force yourself to imagine that the problem no longer exists!

Must we therefore imagine that a worldly and cultivated American named Norman Vincent Peale, in the course of his peregrinations in the Old World, would have met up with the ideas of Coué, in French, and set about translating and expounding them into English? Don't be silly. A Yankee bumpkin like Peale wouldn't have known enough about Europe to protect his ass. It was Coué who got invited to the USA, where he was received personally by the president Calvin Coolidge. He presented his theories to enthusiastic crowds in New York and elsewhere… and it's quite possible that Peale heard summarily about his future spiritual guide, not in a lecture theater, but on radio or through newspaper cuttings.

In any case, today, I've lost interest (if ever I had any) in mesmerizing myself into believing in the remedies of the original inventor Coué, and certainly not in the Christian snake-oil variations of his Yankee imitator Peale. As for the clergyman Warr of my youth: Dear Dean, you might have been a little bit more inspired, as a spiritual mentor, back in Grafton in the '50s.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Acquiring land and a brand

I have a short family-history article appearing in the forthcoming newsletter of the Clarence River Historical Society [website], located in Grafton (New South Wales), my birthplace in Australia. In this article, I mention my father's branding iron (which I now have with me here in France). As a former employee at the Ford dealership in Grafton, my father chose V8 as his registered stock brand.

Click the photo to download a copy of my article.

Friday, March 19, 2010

God save Oz

In viewing some of the dull videos associated with the recent Atheist Convention in Melbourne, I was struck by the fact that certain debaters, opposed to Richard Dawkins, punctuated their sad and silly remarks by phrases such as "here in Australia"... as if there might be two world orders: one for Aussies, and another for ungodly wogs (outsiders). For me, the notion that Australians or New Zealanders or seven-day bike-riders might have some special connection to the Almighty is so weird that I can say no more... apart from mentioning the fact that apparently serious compatriots would appear to evoke such illogical conjectures.

I fear that media coverage of the recent event didn't result in a positive image of Australia. Tourist authorities say that they'll only have to publicize messages from friends of Australia, and that everything will be bananas. We love a dollar-burnt country... but we Australians need to stop believing that we can simply turn on our nationality like a tap. Our only birthrights are those that a precious few of our ancestors acquired through a lifetime of determination and hard work.

My compatriots persist in seeing things as "ordinary", whereas things in our modern universe are antipodean: extraordinary, upside-down, unbelievable, unimaginable.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Aging ghost from a ghost town

This year, my home town is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its proclamation as a so-called city... which no longer exists in reality, because the former municipality has been dissolved into a geographically broader entity that might be described as a regional administration. In a foreword to the following commemorative book, for example, the senior elected individual refers to himself, not as the mayor of Grafton, but as the mayor of the Clarence Valley Council.

Today's my birthday. I was born in Grafton (New South Wales, Australia) exactly 69 years ago. Now, if you want to know what Grafton was like when I grew up there (up until I reached the age of 16, when I left for university studies in Sydney), well you should simply go there today. Little seems to have changed. Nothing whatsoever appears to have evolved in a positive sense. It's a place devoid of visible development, of civic progress. A place where almost nothing of significance ever happens (apart from their antiquated colloquium on science and religion). The "city" makes a brave effort to take itself seriously (for example, the authorities commissioned the above book, written by an outsider), but the major economic actors moved out of town long ago, just as most of the dairy farmers on the banks of the Clarence abandoned their time-honored activities. Today, the global scene in Grafton is one of genteel decadence. When I last visited my birthplace, in 2006, I had the impression that I was wandering around in a ghost town whose ghosts are kindly requested to stay away from the few remaining pubs that still attract customers, and to keep off the streets after dark. I'm told that it remains nevertheless a nice town for people who like a quiet existence.

As the sole resident of Gamone, and happy to remain so, I guess I should appreciate that viewpoint. But I'm sure I would be terribly frustrated if I were obliged to reside in Grafton. I'm much better off here in my adoptive home in France.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Room with a view

On certain occasions, in unexpected situations, Google's street-view gadget (mentioned in my previous post) is capable of rising to photographic greatness. Admire, for instance, this splendid image:

For Google, it's an unorthodox "street": the motor vehicle roadway on the upper level of the famous old steel bridge over the Clarence River at Grafton. When I was a kid, I surely rode my bike a thousand times past this quaint little room with a great view out over the Big River... as it was called when first discovered (by an escaped convict). The photo shows us the rusty toothed wheels and giant beam that used to raise a central span of the double-decker bridge (for trains as well as vehicles), enabling ships to get through. And the little room in the sky housed the electric switches to set the mechanism in action.

Children often dream of spending leisure time in a tiny house built up in the branches of a big tree. As I look nostalgically at this little control room (which has lost its electro-mechanical soul, for the span has long been condemned to immobility), I realize that I no doubt dreamt, once upon a time, of opening its door—stealthily, in the early hours of the morning, when the sun was coming up over the Pacific Ocean, and transforming the Clarence into a vast silver lake—and stepping into this tiny mysterious attic, like a cell in the tower of a medieval castle. I'm sure it would have been a remote and exciting place, far removed from urban neighbors, in which to meditate upon existence. For a child, it would have been a good address. For Google Maps, this little room with a view is located, so it says, in Craig Street.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Virtual visit of places of my youth

It's fascinating to be able to use Google Maps while sitting here in Choranche, on the edge of the French Alps, to visit virtually various places in the Australian town of Grafton where I was born. I must warn you now that the rest of this blog post is likely to be more boring than watching your neighbors' color slides of their latest vacation.

Here's the house in Waterview, South Grafton, where I spent the first dozen years of my life:

My Walker grandmother and uncles lived just across the road in this charming house surrounded by wide verandas:

One of my sisters said quite rightly that it was as if our mother, in marrying our father, had never really left home, because she could return to her mother, whenever she had a problem, simply by crossing the road.

This little grocery shop was already there when we were kids, just a couple of hundred meters down the road:

It sold us basic survival food such as peanut butter. And here's a second shop, closer to South Grafton:

It was run by a friendly young woman named Shirley Zietsch. Just opposite her shop, the Royal Hotel was the starting-point for Saturday afternoon cycling races:

On the other side of the Clarence River, this is the house of my paternal grandparents:

I would stay with them every Monday night, so that I could attend the Cub Scout meetings. Later my grandparents built a new house in Robinson Avenue:

Etc, etc, etc... I warned you it would be boring! But don't you agree that it's fabulous to be able to use computers, satellites and a planetary network to waste time looking nostalgically at childhood places?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Was the hang glider invented in my native town?

For a blogger such as me, who's struck with vertigo as soon as he climbs up onto a chair [an act that literally brought about the accidental death of my 93-year-old grandfather Ernest Skyvington on Australia Day 1985, when he climbed onto a swivel chair to change a lightbulb in his Gold Coast apartment], it's pretentious to get involved in discussions about hang gliding. But that's my own fault. I brought up the question of Grafton's possible role in the history of hang gliders back in 2002, when nobody in my native town in northern New South Wales was aware of the relevance of such a subject. You'll find my account of things in my article of October 16, 2007 entitled Grafton in aeronautical history books [display].

I'm returning to this subject today in order to point out that a US reader named Joe Faust contests my facts. He certainly gives the impression that he masters the subject. Consequently, instead of adding unnecessarily my two cents worth of naive sentiments on this interesting debate, I recommend that you consult directly the lengthy and detailed comments of Joe Faust, at the end of the above-mentioned blog article. You can then acquire further information, if you so desire, by following up this subject with the help of Google. It goes without saying that Joe Faust and others are free to make use of my blog as a convenient forum for the pursuit of this debate... at least insofar as it concerns, say, the Grafton context.

Surprisingly, apart from my email acquaintance Graeme Henderson (the New Zealand fellow who delved deeply into the role of Grafton's John Dickenson in this context), I have the sad impression that few local folk have been interested in this historical question.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Friend on the rock

Bruce Hudson is no ordinary Australian friend. During my childhood in South Grafton, although our respective educational establishments were strictly antipodean [Bruce at prestigious Knox Grammar School in Sydney, and me at the public school in South Grafton], I got to know and admire this fellow as if he were a friendly icon of urban civilization, with profound attachments to my family, and a symbol (with the help of his father and uncle... with maybe a little push from my own father) of the great old-fashioned pioneering spirit of Australia. Bruce became my mate and hero. Meanwhile, he also turned into an authentic man of the bush. What I'm saying is not idle poetry. Bruce learned to live in the bush, and he has stayed that way. Today, he and his wife Debbie are operating three hundred acres of beef-cattle land out near Young.

Bruce Hudson has just sent me a fabulous series of photos of Australia's sacred rock, Uluru.

The aerial nature of these shots reminds me that Bruce's splendid father Eric Hudson [businessman, town councilor of South Grafton and great friend of my father] once invited me to fly, for the first time, in his Tiger Moth aircraft at South Grafton.

Australia's sacred mountain is a mystery. A rock that just happens to have appeared there in the distant past, in the middle of nowhere, like the black slab in Kubrick's Space Odyssey. Like my modest but magic Cournouze, opposite Gamone [see the photo at the top of my blog], Uluru changes color in a mysterious manner.

Several years ago, when talking with my friend Natacha Boudoul about the fabulous mountain of Mary Madeleine alongside Marseille, I evoked the crazy idea that sacred sites of this kind might communicate with one another, as it were, through some kind of terrestrial radiation. In receiving Bruce Hudson's images of Uluru, I'm convinced that this magic mountain-to-mountain radiation does in fact exist. And it functions perfectly. It's called the Internet.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A man and his mother

One of my earliest and dearest childhood friends in my native South Grafton is Ron Willard, son of my most unforgettable primary-school teacher. Ron was the first person I contacted when I went out to Sydney last year. And, for a long time, Ron has accepted totally and bountifully a great mission of love: taking care of his mother.

My Antipodes blog is being read by childhood Grafton friends who know the individuals of whom I'm talking. The actions of Ron—a kind of modern celibate monk—are the testimony of a beautiful and rigorous interpretation of the sense of our life on Earth, and of the adoration and celebration of our eternal Mother: an emanation of the Greek goddess Gaia, not to mention earlier Egyptian divinities.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grafton in aeronautical history books

Towards the end of 2002, while using Google, I discovered by chance that my birthplace, Grafton, was mentioned in the French-language website of the Fédération Française de Vol Libre [display] as the place where the hang glider was invented. The author of this article was a French university lecturer named Jean-Paul Budillon in the nearby city of Grenoble. For me, this reference to Grafton was unexpected, to say the least. Initially, I imagined a misunderstanding at the origin of this story. Hang gliders usually take off from mountain slopes... and there are simply no mountain slopes in my native town. But Jean-Paul Budillon mentioned precise dates and events, and even indicated the reference of an article and photos in an October 1963 issue of Grafton's Daily Examiner. I sent off a request for enlightenment to the CRHS [Clarence River Historical Society]. Their president, Frank Mack, delved into newspaper archives and sent me back a copy of the article. I learned that the wing had been designed and created by a Grafton man named John Dickenson, and that the glider pilot, Rod Fuller, took off by being towed behind a speedboat.

Rod Fuller is shown in these pictures in the latest equipment for those who like water-skiing with a difference. It is a ski-wing, designed and made by John Dickenson for the Grafton Water Ski Club. The ski-wing is something new and its design has been registered by Mr Dickenson. The wing, about 18 feet in length, will soar to a height of 70 feet. Its construction is rather unusual and, despite the frail look of the wing, it soars like a kite. The ski-wing was made from light timber and plastic, of the type used for covering bananas. It was made in a few weeks and donated to the ski club by Mr Dickenson. It will be one of the highlights of the club's water-ski carnival next Sunday. A water-skier straps himself to the wing and is pulled behind a speedboat until air-borne. It operates in similar fashion to a kite, but is much more risky to operate than the box-type kites formerly used behind speedboats. In the top picture, the Crown Hotel forms a background.
— The Daily Examiner of 21 October 1963

I put this data up on a personal website, along with other low-quality photos and a technical drawing of John Dickenson's invention.

For several years, my website article on Grafton's "ski wing" evoked no reactions whatsoever. Then a hang-glider pilot from New Zealand, Graeme Henderson, stepped into the arena and started to publicize John Dickenson's historical role. Henderson had found a Canadian article of May 2004, published in the Cloudstreet magazine of the BCHPA [British Columbia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association], which mentioned Dickenson's pioneering work.

The article in question [display] was written by Mark Woodhams.

My first encounter with Graeme Henderson was somewhat abrupt, in that he appeared to be criticizing the content of my innocuous web page about John Dickenson and Rod Fuller. The issues at stake were slightly technical. Since I knew little about hang-gliding, I promptly deleted my offending web page. In spite of his blustery manners, I congratulate Graeme Henderson today for having played a dynamic and efficient role in gaining recognition for Grafton's pioneers, shown in this recent photo alongside a replica of the historic wing:

The latest news is that John Dickenson's place in hang-gliding history has just been recognized officially by the highest instances, through an award from the FAI [Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the world's Air Sports Federation]. Here is the citation:

FAI Hang Gliding Diploma

John Dickenson invented the modern hang glider at Grafton, Australia. It was flown on 8 September 1963. John built scale models to determine design concepts, until a full sized glider was towed behind a speedboat. He incorporated the control bar into the airframe by designing the A-frame to distribute flight, refining this further when he invented the pendulum weight-shift control system. John developed the piloting techniques, and taught all the early pilots, including Hang Gliding pioneers Bill Moyes and Bill Bennett, to fly the wing. John Dickenson’s invention has been copied by every manufacturer globally, with few minor changes for over a decade.

[Click the banner to visit the FAI website.]

This is an enormous honor for Dickenson, Fuller and Grafton. The city's Big River made it possible—through Dickenson's inventiveness and Fuller's courage—to concretize the myth of Icarus. I would like to suggest that Grafton might look into the idea of a twinning operation with the town of Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet [not far from where I live], which is the hang-gliding capital of France. Click [here] to see their website concerning the fabulous Coupe Icare. Ten minutes ago, I was talking on the phone with Jean-Paul Budillon, who suggested that his hang-glider friends of Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet would no doubt be delighted to receive John Dickenson as a guest of honor for next year's Icarus Cup...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

History of my birthplace

My Australian background is linked to a pair of bridges. One, of course, is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The other is the double-decker road/rail bridge over the Clarence at my birthplace, Grafton.

When it was constructed in 1932, a span at the South Grafton end could be raised to allow shipping to pass. As a youth, I saw this span raised dozens of times. These days, sadly, there is no longer any river traffic on the Clarence. So, the local authorities decided to use the lower level of the bridge as a support for metal pipes, and this means that it can no longer be raised. Last year, when I walked across the lower-level footbridge, I had the impression that our once-splendid bridge was like an aged invalid, doomed to remain constrained forever to his bed. In any case, this bridge is totally antiquated, since it was designed to handle road traffic of 75 years ago. On the afternoon that my sister Jill drove me out of Grafton last year, we got blocked in a traffic jam, at the northern approach to the bridge, which was as bad as peak-hour situations in Paris. Meanwhile, I'm trying to understand why my native Australia—which is supposed to be a wealthy land—doesn't have modern bridges (and trains, too) such as the high-tech marvels we find in France, named Tancarville, Normandie, Millau...

After a lengthy and serious selection process, the municipality of Grafton has just chosen a Sydney-based researcher—described as a professional historian—to write the history of the city, and they've allocated a substantial sum of money to cover the expenses of the writing project. While wishing the winning candidate well, I must say that I've had serious doubts concerning the worthiness of this project, since I've never believed in committee-ordained creativity. Besides, the subject itself is so intrinsically uneventful [little of a profound historical nature has ever happened there since Grafton was first settled, in the middle of the 19th century] that it would take a gifted story-teller to add a little literary luster to the tale of my birthplace. Today, having seen a telling sample of the kind of writing signed by Grafton's future scribe [download], I'm convinced that my birthplace, in a couple of years' time, is going to hatch one of the most boring historical eggs that potential readers could hesitate in purchasing. It is a perfectionist mistake to imagine that a researcher can write the history of a place simply by filling in informational slots associated with a vast typology of themes. In any case, the result is sure to be dull reading.

A priori, Australian history is not however a dull subject. At the start of Australia: Her story, Kylie Tennant [1912-1988] quotes these words from the great US humorist Mark Twain [1835-1910]:

Australian history is almost always picturesque; indeed, it is so curious and strange that it is itself the chiefest novelty the country has to offer, and so it pushes the other novelties into second and third place. It does not read like history, but like the most beautiful lies; and all of a fresh new sort, no mouldy old stale ones. It is full of surprises and adventures, and incongruities, and contradictions, and incredibilities; but they are all true, they all happened.

Talented story-tellers abound in Australia. Islands of Angry Ghosts by Hugh Edwards, the story of the Batavia shipwreck, is a masterpiece. In a different register, I love the style of Les Hiddins, the popular "Bush Tucker Man".

We have, of course, a great and unexpected historian in Australia: Robert Hughes. When we were together at Sydney University, at the end of the 1950s, I recall Bob above all as a talented cartoonist, allegedly studying architecture. He went on to become a Time journalist, then he blossomed magically into a splendid Australian historian. I would even say, in measuring my words, the most eloquent Australian historian ever.

It would take a writer like Hughes to capture the vital past of Grafton. I'm thinking of the pioneering epochs when there was a bustling timber industry and vast pastoral activities. I have a fascinating book here, with data compiled by Tony Morley, that lists no less than 60 pubs in Grafton and its immediate surroundings. I often wonder: Who were the folk who once stayed, dined and drank in all these hotels?

I'm particularly familiar with one of these old-fashioned hotels: an establishment in South Grafton that was purchased in 1881 by my Irish-born Catholic great-great-grandfather from County Clare, Michael O'Keeffe [1831-1910], when it was still known as the Steam Ferry Hotel, because that was how you crossed the Clarence up until the bridge was built. [And don't forget that we're talking of a community whose bridge-building capacities have not exceeded one construction per century.] A century ago, Michael O'Keeffe gave the hotel to one of his daughters, married to a Walker from Braidwood, and it was known as Walker's Hotel for half a century. Once upon a time, it was a hub of affluent society. I stayed there last year. The building still retains a lot of its former charm, but the hotel business is now downgraded [to use a euphemism].

My Irish-born Protestant great-grandfather from County Fermanagh, Isaac Kennedy [1844-1934], used a bullock team on his property named Riverstone, further up the Clarence. This anonymous hand-colored postcard shows the kind of setting in which my Braidwood-born great-grandfather Charles Walker [1851-1918] worked on the Kennedy property as a so-called boy in charge of the bullock team.

Isaac Kennedy was a prosperous pioneer, and his commercial operations often brought him down to South Grafton, where he would stay at the Steam Ferry Hotel. Isaac had five unmarried daughters—one of whom, Mary Jane Kennedy [1888-1966], would become my maternal grandmother—and he never lost a moment in doing his best to find them husbands. At the bar of the Steam Ferry Hotel, after a drink too many, Isaac was capable of taking a handful of golden coins from his coat pocket and spreading them out on the bar for everybody to see, while declaring: "There's a lot more gold of that kind waiting for any eligible young man who wishes to be betrothed to one of my five lovely daughters." A wag responded: "Isaac, if you give me a fair price in gold, I'll take the whole five." If local history is to be readable, I believe it should include authentic anecdotes of that kind.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Illustrious Graftonian

The latest issue of the newsletter of the Clarence River Historical Society [click here to see their website] presents a drawing of a member of the state parliament of New South Wales whom I knew and admired: William Weiley [1901-1989].

Bill Weiley [father of my friend John, the celebrated Australian cineast] was a friend of my parents and grandparents. Around 1960, John took me along to Sydney's Parliament House for a luncheon with his father, and this encounter made a great impact upon me. It was neither the food nor the parliamentary splendor that impressed me, but rather Bill Weiley's enthusiasm for a theme he had just discovered: the Dead Sea Scrolls. I've never forgotten his words:

"Take a Sydney phone directory. Tear it in half. Reduce it to confetti, and mix it up. Now throw away two-thirds of your confetti. What you've got left is akin to the state of the Dead Sea Scrolls."

I was terribly impressed by this didactic demonstration, no doubt exaggerated, of the precariousness of our Biblical past.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Traces of the past

As a child, I often used to accompany my father, of a weekend, to his bush paddock near South Grafton, at a place called Deep Creek, where Dad would leave the Jeep and wander around on foot, inspecting the cattle. Although it was not a particularly wild or remote setting, I always liked to nurture the absurd thought that we were surely the first human beings, since the dawn of Creation, to stroll over this virgin land. It was fairly easy to cling to this illusion, in spite of the fact that this land had no doubt been exploited by previous proprietors for beef grazing. Except for my father's barbed-wire fences, there were no visible traces of human intervention in that dull environment.

Here at Gamone, the situation is totally different. I often have the impression that I'm a usurper on a territory that belongs to hordes of more or less ancient phantoms. Yesterday, Natacha sent me a paper written at the end of World War I concerning agricultural activity in the Bourne Valley. The author points out, not surprisingly, that the male work force was decimated, here as elsewhere in France, by the ravages of war. But he adds: "From Rencurel to Pont, no land is abandoned. Women, old people and children make sure of that." That's where Choranche is located: between Rencurel and Pont-en-Royans. Today, alas, there is no longer much agricultural activity here. In emptying the French countryside of its rural families, the economic attraction of urban areas has been even more effective than warfare.

The soil nevertheless remains a vast storage house full of traces of the past. After reading Natacha's paper, I was out in the yard digging up a plot of earth to plant tomatoes, and my hoe unearthed this curious iron object (which I've cleaned up and painted with anti-rust liquid).

It's a bullock shoe, which must be quite old. I would imagine that a Gamone farmer once used a pair of bullocks to drag a plow on the slopes. When I think of the effort involved in planting a tiny plot of tomatoes, I realize that it must have been incredibly difficult for these individuals to survive in such a place. In any case, I look upon trivial traces of the past such as this old piece of metal as small treasures. I have a tremendous respect for the hordes of phantoms.