Friday, July 27
I was quite overwhelmed by the thoughtful comments on the card from my colleagues and also enjoyed a great dinner, to reminisce with laughter and good fellowship. I received some nice wine (already consumed) and a very generous gift voucher at my formal presentation which I have used to buy new luggage for our trip overseas. See below
The first few days have been busy planning our trip from early September to tour the south west of England and then by ferry to Ireland, stopping off for a tour in Beijing on the return leg which was an afterthought. Our route will include a few days stopover in HK on the way over and just short breaks for connect flights from Helsinki on both legs to break up the journey flying Qantas/Finnair.
We had dinner with friends recently who had travelled to Ireland and hence gained a few points of interest.Unfortunately on the return our planned stopover at Beijing has the tour dates coinciding with China's National holidays(1st~8th October)and it's peak time for all domestic travellers so it will be crowded as 1.3 billion people all go on national holidays !
In my retirement I intend to be involved to a greater extent than previously with grandchildren, reading, extra golf, travel, visiting museums,short day trips and other projects yet to be formalised.
My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting up with two bloggers recently, Val and Gina, when we enjoyed looking around Monsalvat. Val has posted some deft photos and a great summary click here to view.
Wednesday, July 18
Ntandire Church & Hall takes shape
Good progress continues to be made and we hope to soon fund the roof sheeting to largely complete the external building works. The Community is also grateful to our ladies school at Eltham who have supported the project.Sometime ago I wrote a story for them.
A Children's Story about Malawi
I am indebted to Trish Taylor, from the Malawi Support Group, whose editing helped to make it a suitable story for the schoolchildren of Eltham.
Rainbow Worm was once deep in the earth; a special Worm, longing for freedom, different to all of the other worms digging in the soil. Rainbow Worm was storing up great energy and courage to emerge from his darkness, into the light outside. When he emerged, the sun was bright, and burned colours into his delicate skin, but he was strong and courageous and endured his discomfort for it was not to last for long. Soon came the soothing rain. It increased his strength; giving forth such great energy it caused an almighty wind to sweep Rainbow Worm up into the sky.
We recognise this today as the rainbow!.
Rainbow Worm wanted to help. He viewed the Earth from his wondrous sky place and saw a very poor but hardworking community in the African country of Malawi. He decided that this is where he could help. He realised it was one of the poorest countries on the planet, but he also saw that the people had generous and warm hearts. This is why Malawi is known as the “Warm Heart of Africa”. "How can I help?”thought Rainbow Worm. From his wondrous place in the sky he noticed a group of school children in Eltham on the vast continent of Australia. He decided to take them on a journey to Malawi. All he needed to do was to tap on the classroom window and they found themselves crossing the wide oceans from Australia to Africa on the back of Rainbow Worm.
On landing they spotted a group of people cooking up a great feast. They learned that it was a feast where all are welcomed; a feast to remember and celebrate the lives of St Kizito, a thirteen-year-old- boy, and his friends, who died because they dared to believe in the Christian God. They were welcomed into the celebration. There in the midst of the people was an old woman, her face wrinkled, but compassionate, her body bent, her character straight and true, her person small but mighty in spirit. She stood surrounded in a golden aura.
"I am your dear "Sister of Compassion ". I have been here for 25 years now so it is my home. I came here to work with these people, especially those who are suffering so much with the AIDS virus. Before I came I worked in the capital city, Lilongwe, in the hospitals as a medical missionary. But I was asked to come here to help for the suffering is great. Many things need to be done. We need help for special classes to teach families to be healthy and to improve their diets. We need help to develop language skills and to encourage sporting activities. I am trying to organise concerts around the world to raise money to help these people.”Rainbow Worm and the children listened to their dear Sister of Compassion.
It was time to leave. Sadly there was no time to stay and enjoy the feast. “Never mind," said Rainbow Worm, “We have much to keep in our minds and hearts, much to pray about". It was late so their thoughts returned to home where morning was breaking. They told the amazing story to their parents. Many people in Eltham came to hear about the story. Some formed a group that came to be called the "Malawi Support Group." This group worked hard to raise funds for Malawi and the good people of Our Lady Help of Christians in Eltham continue to do this to this very day. An act of love for the people of Malawi from the people of Eltham on that great Australian continent.
Sunday, July 8
It’s easy to drive yet bristling with technology, such as rain sensitive wipers, light sensitive lights and an electronic stability control system to take over should you swerve violently to miss say a Kangaroo and temporarily loose control. The diesel engine is neither loud nor smoky by virtue of a carbon filter and starts instantly on cold mornings. The carbon filter traps the carbon particles generated from the burning of the diesel fuel. Engine response are excellent with strong pulling power generated at low engine revs which boosts economy. On a trip your likely to only use 4.9 litres to 5.5 litres of diesel per 100 km. At highway cruising speeds of 110Km per hour (68 mph) the engine is barely ticking over at below 2,000 engine revs.
For those interested in more technical details the 2.0-litre diesel engine is a 4-cylinder inline with 4-valves per cylinder fitted with an air-to-air intercooler and turbo to improve torque output. It develops 320Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm and when accelerating an automatic 'over boost' function is activated between 1750 and 3200rpm, increasing torque to 340Nm. The engine emits up to 30% less CO 2 than its petrol equivalent.
In Australia 97% of vehicles use petrol but I predict within 20 years there will be a huge swing towards the more efficient economical diesel engine types which are now more prominent in Europe.
Sunday, July 1
The Roving Ellipsis has recognized my blog as a “Thinking Blog”,thankyou for this recognition, although I am not generally in favour of blogger awards.
However I think it provides an opportinity to introduce other bloggers, who may not comment regualarly or even be linked and their respective interests. Those tagged can elect to post about 5 other thinking blogs. Link to this post for the meme origin and award display.
I think all of the blogs I have linked to my own blog make me think and are meritorious so if anyone else linked who is interested please let me know and I will make up another 5.
Ideas and universe. Abhay is always thinking about life and the wondrous world around us.
Mindance likes to think about new ideas and usually is exploring several books simultaneously.
Syllogism has green fingers and an active mind with a good sense of humour.
Sunburst is interested in many different aspects of the arts and life but sometimes despairs as to the art of politics.
Val is a retired librarian with a keen interest in train travel, bookbinding and the environment and a host of other things.
We exercise our bodies as way of keeping fit and likewise our minds benefit from stimulation arising from many different forms of conceptualisation. Ultimately I think knowledge and reality are the same thing but what do you think?