Sunday, November 10, 2013

This and That

The weather is wrecking havoc across the world with a typhoon of never-before-seen strength buffeting the Philippines and now heading north.  It almost beggars belief at the destruction wrought.
Closer to home I am beginning to feel human again after a few days laid low with flu, which visited uninvited and is slow to take its final leave.  However one can be thankful that this isn't Christmas week when time is of the essence.
Over the last two or three weeks we have observed a mudlark building its nest high in the gum tree above the house.  I was a little concerned that once the chicks hatched we may be subjected to dive-bombing as the once-friendly willy-wagtails turned nasty after their chicks hatched.  I need not have worried.  The baby mudlarks are growing, the parents spend endless hours feeding their brood and last evening I am sure one of the babies tested its flying powers flitting, haltingly, from branch to branch. 
The photo was taken before the flight.  I must admit the best part of living in the country is the closeness of nature; one cannot possibly be bored when watching the life cycles of the creatures we share this space with.  [Must admit spiders do not fall into that category!]
When one reads of parents driving their offspring to school and giving them mobile phones to keep in touch I do wonder how the youth of today will cope when they finally are given their freedom.  Yesterday, the newspaper featured an article about a girl who at the age of nine, and after a 'run through' was allowed to go to school on the train carrying no phone.  She did take the wrong train, but it was her common sense that sorted that problem, and she learned from the mistake.
I recall allowing our children [from age 10] to travel to Dunedin [50 miles away] by bus with enough money in their pockets to go to the movies, buy a lunch, and a small amount left over for spending.  They always arrived home on the bus and were rather perplexed when their classmates admitted they would not be allowed to do the same.  Our children grew up knowing how to use public transport, and be in charge of their decisions.  To me it is sad that so many children are not presented with the same trust today. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

October? Lost!

I made no postings in October!!  I have been busy, which is really a reason, not an excuse.
November blew in with a rush of heat; the temperature rose to 40°C on Sunday, the day I celebrated one of those birthdays others think must be celebrated but which I could have forgot about.  There were many pluses for the day however.  My daughter came up for the weekend and took us out for lunch on 'the day'; distant family phoned, sent cards and presents, and I ate too much.  Have you ever tasted chocolate coated ginger?  Glorious, absolutely glorious!! 
Normally my chocolate treat of choice is Turkish Delight.  Were I to be confronted with the choice between the two, and only allowed one, I do not know which would win.  I can think of more difficult dilemmas. 
This year the Melbourne Cup, a horse race that slows down the work ethic of many Australians as the hotels, TAB [betting agency], and work parties took over the day.  I did choose a horse; did not put money on it as invariably I choose a horse that runs towards the end of the field, as this one did.  There were sweepstakes in workplaces and generally a mood of geniality prevailed.
It was also Guy Fawkes day; a day not celebrated in Australia any more.  The very dry climate at this time of year is part reason and I suspect political correctness plays a larger part.
Having spent most of my life in New Zealand where Guy Fawkes was celebrated I find the absence of sky rockets and bonfires, toffee and part roasted potatoes, hedges on fire and crackers in mail boxes strange, but somehow comforting. 
Christmas is fast approaching and the sewing machine has been busy ... sorry to say the sewing machine will not be getting a break for a few weeks yet.