Sursum Corda*

(*Lift up your hearts)

I get up just before the sun to walk Lulu. My Dad called staying in bed after you wake up ‘scugging’, – I am not a scug.

The first few minutes are  mostly muzzy: where are my shoes? Fill the bird feeder or the bird shrieks until its fed, waking herself… why am I doing this thoughts begin seeping up….

Then Lulu woofs and I go to her room and she kisses me and bounces around making soft growly joyous sounds.

As we step outside the cool freshness is sublime.

Morning skies this week have been blue with high wispy wind clouds tinged pink by  early sunlight. This morning they were swollen, lowering grey with a hint of purple. Maybe it will rain.

stone curlewAt the end of the street, two stone curlews freeze and pretend invisibility. Lulu suspects something but is not sure.

We are heralded by the butcher birds who whistle and chortle from tree to tree. The kookaburra leads us across the park.

Under the big gum tree that is shedding its winter bark and displaying its new pastel green skin, two crows are examining something on the path. They shout squawk off  but flee as I approach. Their interest was not a blue tongued lizard as I had thought, but an Australian wonder: a squirrel glider.

squirrel-glider.jpg

Such a pretty little thing! It hopped towards me miaowchirping as if to say thank you, pleasecanIwalkwithyou. I said No and herded it to a tree waving away a persistent crow. It scrambled up  and was soon safely out of sight. A lovely little animal – I have not seen one before.

We walk on under a fig tree quivering with breakfast birds and past the water-dragon.jpgsilly ducks that think I am a feeder. I am not.

Two water dragons stretch their necks, frozen to bathe in the morning sun.

magpie goose

Three magpie geese waddle away from us as we walk down to the bridge.

purple swamphenLulu tries to ignore the purple swamp hens (pukeko in New Zealand) who gallump across the path on tbush turkeyheir long feet and the bush turkey scuffling on its mound of leaves which it uses to keep its eggs warm.

Back up the path, we meet Harry a big grinning chocolate Labrador for a sniff and a smile. Then home again.

Let us give thanks and praise.

Dignum et justum est. It is right and just

 

 

 

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Raucous cacophony

Australian birds are numerous, many are garishly coloured; they are not very shy and when together frequently create a raucous cacophony. It seems to have  rubbed off on to a number of Aussies too!

bluebirdIn the early morning we are stridently informed by the blue ring-necked lovebird that there are insufficient sunflower seeds for breakfast.rainbow lorikeets

No sooner is the feeder topped up than rainbow lorikiets chase him away and colonise the feeder in  a mass of scarlet, electric green, purple, orange and yellow, squawking and crooning.

noisy minersA sudden intensified chattering and shrieking from the local noisy miners indicated that there might be a snake about. Sure enough – coiled on a branch above another seed feeder is our local carpet python. Still a youngster at about two metres and the thickness of a pick-handle, his brown paisley camouflage makes him nearly impossible to see.

31.1.18 Our python 001

The noise attracts the attention of a family of sulphur crested cockatoos who perch in the trees about the area, grinding out their harsh shrieks.

To make matters worse this corella cacophonyattracted a flock of correllas, which circle above like helicopter gunships, adding further creaking shrieking.

Finally, the local crows croak by adding their indignant comment to the whole affair.aus crow

The noise is a raucous cacophony.

 

The snake slumbers on, unperturbed; none are brave enough to engage.

Lewins honeyeaterEventually they all get bored and move off,  leaving only the Lewin’s Honeyeater which chatters on all day every day, a Spangled Drongo  and spangled drongothe crested pigeons  (kuifie duifies) which are practising for Spring because the sun is out.

Later, my wife who has been trying too sleep after a night shift, is awoken by a crow and a butcher bird on the verandah,  arguing over a dazed spotted dove that had taken refuge behind a pot plant. I rescued it and had to go inside to avoid the butcher birdclose attention of the persistent and clearly hungry butcher bird.

 

So much for the stillness of suburbia – it’s worth its weight in gold!

Bollemakiesie

The young can make us young again too.

beer and braai

As is our habit we braaied at the weekend, well on Easter Monday. It was our usual family gathering with dear friends and some visiting rellies from across the ocean.

Somehow there was a slightly more festive spirit than the norm which seemed to make the beer and fizz go down easier.

We were a somewhat eclectic crowd with some in their sixties, fifties, forties, thirties, three dogs and a four year old sprite.

Normally a fairly shy child, on this day, she was filled with the energy of a March hare and the command of a Ringmaster. While we chatted and kept up the level of our liquids in the early stages, she inspected the toys and her dolls house, engaging the dogs in a number of role plays. A bit later, I noticed the dogs had gone missing. I found them in the dolls’ house, waiting patiently to resume the game.

However, the young queen bee had moved on and was engaging the adults, commanding their participation in a number of exercises and role plays, including  catch-the-grasshopper and a tea party.

Her timing was impeccable and her enthusiasm and commands were charmingly irresistible. The new activity at Playschool was yoga so all were instructed to participate in yoga exercises. Peer pressure enforced participation, which should have been more wisely considered in some cases.

Head over heels (bollemakiesies in Afrikaans) were the exercise for men and all surrendered their dignity to roll around on the grass in pairs. The last pair included a grandfather who was proud to have been in his primary school gymnastics team and remembered well his star turn of a somersault over a wooden horse…

His bollemakiesie was very well executed, symmetrical and straight. However, the total effect was spoilt by the unfamiliar pressures on reasonably airtight gaskets. The resultant lapse of the system was quite a blast.

dogrofl.jpg

A nervous glance sideways revealed that it had not gone undetected.. two people were crying and the dogs were trying to run away…

Growing old does not prevent infection by the rashness of youth, it merely impairs the ability to maintain dignity and integrity while under its spell.

My granddaughter is quite a lot older and wiser now.

finger pull fart

A day in the life … sometime soon

As I eased myself into the seat already moulded to my preferred posture, I replied to the pleasant Good morning to ye I received, grinning to myself because I was talking to a machine. Oh well, a mother’s training endures!

I was on my way to Bunnings to collect the customised shovel I had ordered this morning – a glitch had caused a drone jam, so it couldn’t be delivered immediately.

Amazing really – all I had to do is think about what I needed and tell Siri who placed the order, giving my specifications. Bunnings would have it printed by the time I got there and offered me a complimentary coffee as they could not deliver immediately.

whizz carThe self-drive car whizzed off, covering the 10 km distance in 8 minutes, while I flipped through my voting preferences on the issues before e-Parliament.

Amazing that the trip only cost me 5 zillBits – back in the day, factoring in motor vehicle purchase cost, petrol, rego, tolls and insurance, it had cost 20 times as much.

My shovel was loaded at the drive-through and my coffee was handed to me – exactly as I like it. Siri had already paid Bunnings.

I told the car to return via the Protein Bar so I could pick up some fillet vege fillet.jpgsteak – the new worm algae protein meat barbequed magnificently and gave me a perfect medium rare. The Bar took a box of my tamarillos, pawpaws and apple chives in exchange.

 

The rump would be accompanied by fresh salad from my own vertical garden and home-made sauerkraut. I was also going to toast some crickets as they were now juicy and plump. That was why I needed the new shovel – to be able to transfer compost from the waste processing output to the garden rows.

I was really proud of the fact that my home is self-sustainable and produfuture house gardences sufficient to supply the sixty-five families that now shared the Bahr Place precinct.

 

Overcrowding wasn’t such a problem if one used the wonderwall barriers which muffled noise and projected scenic view holograms but didn’t affect birds or rain – I even had a rooster which crowed the dawn every morning! No complaints either when I listened to Bohemian Rhapsody at max volume.

(I revert to my old naturally deaf ears…)

 

The chickens give me eggs and meat and are happy scratching through my vertical gardens on all the walls and the roof. The water tanks give me prawns, mussels and trout. Admittedly my fruit trees need to be pruned regularly as the basement area iss under 3 metres high. The arnica did exceptionally well and was great for aches and pains from a hard day’s gardening, as did the marijuana I grew under licence for pain relief of the few remaining cancer victims not cured by gene therapy.

 

Mind you, who am I to complain – I am only 95 and Siri told me my body indicators showed I was in perfect health and can expect to live another 30 years at least, before I get treed. I am proud of the fact that I have reversed cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s and still have one of my original knees, eyes and hips!

become a tree

(I  have refused my great grandchild’s request to clone me for her next child –  I believe we are all unique and special in our own way and should stay that way).

 

 

Caught in the rain

Up at 4h35Hmmm – looks a bit grey and they did say rain in the forecast.

Look South East: dark clouds. Lightening up in South West whence our rain is from. That means the rain has past. I won’t even need my hat – I hate rain on my bald pate;  it’s hot in  summer, but not needed at dawn.

Come Lulu, let’s get your lead on and away we go.

A quarter of a mile into the park and there are a few sprinkles, no worries…

Now a drop or two – if it gets worse we’ll duck under a tree. There’s no thunder or wind so more likely to be crowned by a kookaburra as crushed by a falling branch.

Damn, it’s coming down harder and the tree doesn’t work; have to dash for the shelter over there … it’s only 50 yards.

Haven’t dashed for years and I’m nearer 70 than 60 now, so it was not a walk in the park! My crocs nearly came off when Lulu ran around me, effectively trapping me in the lead, so I had to do a quick pirouette in the now teeming rain … we made it, eventually.

We made it – it won’t last long and at least in Queensland, the rain is warm and one dries quickly. Wish I had worn the hat!

Damn! Mosquitoes love stationary people! Hah! Got the bastard!

wet dog

 

What does one think about when stuck in the rain? Lulu is sulking because I won’t let her wander and sniff.

Murphy’s Law No 2(g): if it doesn’t look like rain it will.

Well, it is a fine opportunity to meditate. Wish I had read the book, done the course… my mind seems to go into flutterby mould when I try to focus…

I know – I’ll think of something to blog. Very little response to my last two serious bits, maybe it’s time to lighten up? How about some happy stuff, rather than the acceptability of lies and the new morality of the past? Mind you: I was right about Bitcoin! It will hit US$10k this week!

Here’s an idea: what about getting caught in the rain in the park! (just a passing memory).

I have just remembered a cardinal principle of my life: you always have a choicestand like this.!

 

Getting caught in the rain can be a miserable experience or it can be a good one.

It’s your choice!

 

You can have a happy day too, if you like…

meet me in the rain

Murphy’s Law No 147(b)

If you have a puncture while cycling, it will be in the proximity of the furthest point from home.          

Being  a disciplined thinker, I didn’t invoke any special inference the last time I had a puncture just after I turned to go home and had to walk 2 miles to get there. However, it seemed more than coincidence when I had a puncture yesterday, just 100 metres from where I turned to go home. This time it was a 4 mile walk.

Maybe next time it will be 8 miles from home… except that I am going to carry one of those puncture fix kits from now on!

black schnauzerJust as well for that bit of reverse fortune, as the black dog had slunk in for a sombre lurk and the enforced march cleared the air; black dogs don’t like competition, so it slunk off!

I think it slipped in with my tax return. This is my 4th year of involuntary unemployment, so I have little to distract the taxman with. That doesn’t make completion of the form any easier! One would think that by now the Revenue dudes would have worked out an idiot proof format so that any dummy could complete a return…

But… wait… maybe they did … and my brain has atrophied to super-idiot size…!  See how easily the black dog slinks in? Its the government’s fault and I don’t have a vote even though I do pay tax…. rage can get the endorphins flowing nearly as well as exercise!

My consolation is that I have time to enjoy the birds making their nests and write mimosawonderful books about myself and sniff the subtle anisescent of the spring flowering mimosa on the wattle trees.

photoOf great joy right now is the bright colours of my nasturtiums, which are nearly my favourite flowers now, especially as they are entirely edible: flowers, leaves and seeds

Hmmm… maybe I should be finding a new project to distract me – this design by IKEA caught my eye:

ikea-flat-pack-garden.jpg

It’s a flat-pack garden farm of the future – I have the plans if anyone wants to build one: all you need is a saw, hammer and a screwdriver.

Or maybe this is more your style? ikea garden

Whatever – the point is that we all need to start growing our own vegetables…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We don’t know how lucky we are!

Here in the Redlands Shire of Queensland, we probably have the best living conditions in the world!redlands survey2017 p1 2017-07-06 001

Take a look at the major issues of the shire! Wow! Drugs are the major threat – a modern day Nirvana affliction.

Traffic is a problem because we have too many cars!  There is horror when the two coincide:

  • Driving along a main road recently we nearly got taken out by a spaced out punk in a hot rod spinning out doing a wheelie at an intersection. He lost control doing a 360⁰ spin which missed our car on the other side of the road by inches!

And you think living in Syria is dangerous, or Paris, Brussels, London or New York..!

But our rural roots come through in the swing to the right that is evident in the attitudes below.

surv p2

But look at the support for euthanasia and medical marijuana! And the sugar tax!

So we rich people want to get skinnier, die when we choose and do so happily!

We see China as a big threat but are happy to take their money for our exports, sell them our property and encourage their tourists.

What are the questions not asked?

Do you support increased Police powers including:

  • invasion of privacy of communications
  • shoot to kill if there is a  threat to life
  • preventative arrest and detention of terror suspects…?

We are not back to the death penalty yet, but it may come back to that…!

Another touchy political subject is student loan debts … perhaps no more loans unless a 75% pass rate is achieved? And don’t leave the country until you have paid what you owe?

Lucky I am not standing for election! In a social welfare funded state, clawing back what has been granted in the past is a political nightmare.

Therein lies the root of the failure of liberalism – if you swing too far and maktrump-fingere too many allowances, the return swing becomes very lumpy – ask the US Democrats!

 

Not only do we need to count our blessings, we also need to ensure we don’t give them away!!

 

never-let-society