Healing Together

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Australia Day is next week. The date is controversial, divisive. The date for Australia Day was chosen mid last century at a time when First Australians were not permitted to vote. This option was specifically granted to First Australians in 1962.

Today I have chosen a performance by Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Bandjalang and Gumbangirr artist, Eric Avery. Mr Avery is accompanied by his father, Graham King. Sung in the Nyaampa language, Wirrangintungiyil is a healing lullaby that Mr Avery learnt from recordings by the King family.

And finally, readers would be aware that Tonga, with a population of approximately 100,000 people spread across many islands, has been pummeled by a massive eruption of an undersea volcano and subsequent tsunami. The Tongan government estimates that up to 80% of the population has been badly affected by the disaster. An international relief effort is now underway. Donations to the relief effort can be made via the Red Cross. I am heartbroken for the Tongan people and hope the Australian community will continue to support you through difficult times, now and in the future.

Let’s heal together.

Take care, everyone.

Kind Regards.

Ron Sutton, Myths Persist About the 1967 Referendum, SBS, 2014

All My Trials – A Mouse In The House

I have three dogs – Makea Fluffy Bear, Ama Mouse and Fynnie Puss. Makea is a Finnish Lapphund, Ama and Fynn are Finnish Spitz. The Finnish Lapphund was originally bred to herd reindeer and to guard the family, while the Finnish Spitz’s role was to hunt small game like grouse and squirrels. Each dog barks a lot but usually for different reasons, so between them they have all bases covered. Much of our evening is spent barking at the possums that walk the telecommunications cable or at rodents that may or may not be frequenting their domain.

Unfortunately rodent numbers are up again and food sources are down. So life is very exciting for the pooches. This is not our first rodeo with the rodents. Several years ago, backyard chooks were quite the vogue and at least four sets of neighbours had them. With so much grain in the offing, the rodent population exploded. That was fine while the rodents weren’t in our house, but during the depths of winter, they somehow breached the walls. They got into our wall cavity and roof space. We could hear them scritching in the wall beside our bed at night. Ama could also hear them. As we lay in bed, Ama would run back and forth over our faces, barking at the rodents on the other side of the wall.

The situation became impossible as the rodents were well fed and weren’t interested in the traps we set for them. So we reluctantly called in the pest exterminator and he put bait out in the roof space. I suspect a number of our neighbours also resorted to chemical extermination at the time. Despite advising us that our dogs would not be harmed if they ate a poisoned rat, Ama subsequently fell ill. Fluffy was a bit off too. I quickly jumped online and discovered that secondary poisoning of wildlife had been reported in several European countries due to the use of the same rodenticide. Both girls (Fynn had not yet joined the family) had a course of Vitamin K as a precaution against possible secondary poison. We also quickly removed the baits from the ceiling and consigned them to the bin.

Anyway, we discovered that the rats had gained access to the house via the air-conditioning pipes. They had chewed through the insulation foam. Crafty buggers. However, they only came inside when it rained. So we waited for a sunny day and replaced the sealant. Problem fixed.

I often wonder whether consuming baited rodents all those years ago may have caused Ama’s liver damage.

Some readers may be aware that there has been a huge mouse plague in eastern Australia. Mouse numbers in the cropping regions have recently declined due to widespread flooding. At the height of the plague, there was a shortage of Vitamin K, and a number of dogs died for lack of treatment.

In Canberra city, the rodents have been spared death by drowning. Instead hunger is a problem as backyard gardens have been hammered by storms.

It occurs to me that the mouse plague may have been the last straw for the Bogong moth. Each year, Bogon moths normally migrate in their millions from the cropping regions in western New South Wales to the Snowy mountains. However, their numbers, which have been declining, were decimated by the drought and then seemed to suffer a complete population collapse in the year of the mouse plague. To my knowledge, no one has mentioned the mouse plague as a contributing factor in what looks to be the year that the Bogan moth will be declared extinct, but it makes sense, don’t you think? What a disaster.

Anyway, back to the rats. They’re back. Inside.

To be continued.

End Of The Story

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Photo by Emre Can Acer on Pexels.com

I think we should have a song in tribute to acclaimed actor, Sidney Poitier, who died last week at the age of 94. To Sir With Love, written by Don Black and Mark London and performed by Lulu.

Take care, everyone.

Kind Regards.

Wrong. Not Right

In the good old days when I had a career, it mattered what people thought of me. Making a good impression was essential to getting more interesting (rewarding) work. Two of my biggest weaknesses were that I had a habit of not finishing my sentences and forgetting words and the second “weakness” was that I was (am) fat. So naturally, often people thought I was fat and dumb. Being fat and being dumb are seen as significant moral character flaws. One of these flaws on its own is not an insurmountable problem, but combined, the difficulty level for climbing the career ladder increases.

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Painting Not Writing

Let me tell you a story. You shall see.

I don’t write. I paint.
A little pat here, a little daub there.
Need more colour, need more tones,
need to tone it down.

Start from the centre and build,
a puzzle to be solved.
Is a painting, like a story, ever finished?
I don’t think so.

Don’t ask me to start with a structure,
summary or plan.
I write by feel. I write by doing,
and see what unfolds.

Rainy Daze

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

It is quite damp here at the moment. In eastern Australia, the sky dogs are rumbling and drooling all the way from Coonamble in northern New South Wales through to Marlo in southern Victoria. Marlo is situated at the mouth of the iconic Snowy River in Victoria. I bet the Snowy River is flowing full throttle at the moment. That would be a sight to behold. Good for the soul.

That’s a nice segue to my song choice. Today we will be listening to Australian rocker, Jimmy Barnes, perform a cover of Soloman Burke’s Cry To Me. If you can’t view the video below, I encourage you to check out the original or one of the many covers on that popular video streaming platform. You know the one I mean. Enjoy.

Riding the wave rapids is a bit daunting. Buckle that life jacket and hold on tight, everyone.

Kind Regards.

That Will Be The Day

The wild weather keeps coming, doesn’t it? We don’t have to wait to know how incredibly difficult sustaining life, livelihood and shelter will become if we exceed 1.5c degrees of warming.

All over the world, we are already experiencing the results of poor climate policy decisions. It has been a particularly stormy few months in eastern Australia, and it makes me wild. Like the wind. It does not pay to get too attached to your garden or the trees, for Canberra, the bush capital, is being rapidly re-modelled.

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Love You, Miss You

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

I’m dispensing with the big finale to 2021. I don’t have the energy for it. Congratulations if you survived 2021. Instead, I would like to dedicate my Friday song to my mum, who I haven’t seen for over three years. I hope to see my mum again next year.

The song I’ve chosen is Leo Sayer’s More Than I Can Say.

Say it loud, sing it often.

Take care, everyone.

Kind Regards.

Friday Joy

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you. What a week it has been. It has exceeded all my expectations! You don’t want to know.

Today I also want to recommend a couple of podcasts to my readers who might be looking for some entertainment over the hols. My True Love (TL) is a great fan of podcasts. I have difficulty coping with endless talking, but I think the constant exposure to his vast trove of podcasts has slightly re-wired my brain. This year, my TL particularly enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcasts. As for me, I’ve always had a fascination with how we (humans) came to be, why we came to be and whether there are others like us (complex life) elsewhere in the universe. I’m currently watching the BBC documentary, Universe with Brian Cox. The more we learn about the universe, the more insights we can gain on our own world and on the philosophical and existential challenges for our future. On that theme, my TL suggested I listen to The End of the World with Josh Clark podcast series. I’ve just started listening to the latter but already the suspense is killing me. Maybe have a listen and we can discuss it next year.

I don’t know where I am going with this. Is this a wrap? Would I tease you? Of course, I would. Now, my TL thinks the only thing better than a ukelele orchestra performing Ode to Joy would be a class of first year recorder students performing it. Honestly, what’s wrong with the man! Here’s the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain bringing the house down with Ode to Joy. Grab your uke (or recorder) and join in.

Finally, I want to thank all those wonderful people who have worked on the frontline of the pandemic this year, including health staff, clinicians, researchers, medical supply manufacturers, educators, community organisations, through to those who have picked, processed, packed and delivered our food and all those other essentials to our car boots and homes throughout the year. Unsurprisingly, given the explosive growth of the new Omicron variant, they are now busier than ever and more than likely, exhausted. We owe you a great debt.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Stay safe, stay sane.

Kind Regards.