Monday, December 31


Tagged on my habits

Gary tagged me to tell eight random facts or habits about myself. In turn, I need to tag others. The rules, should you decide to accept them: 1 - Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 2 - People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. 3 - At the end of your blog, you need to choose others to get tagged and list their names. 4 - Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight random facts or habits about myself.
I’m more an evening person, who’s therefore more likely to sleep in in the morning. But I’m not totally incorrigible; especially since water restrictions force me rise very early to water the garden veggie patch at least 2 mornings a week.

I like making lists, including the time to complete each task and to tick them off as they are completed

But timekeeping is not my best trait; I am often about 5 minutes late. Even when we have our choir practice at our home the members may be already knocking on the door as I am just finishing my breakfast.

Sometimes I can be easily distracted but when it comes to formal presentations my preference is to be always well prepared.

People think I am usually generous.

I don’t give up easily; rather I will persevere like a dog with a bone. When I badly dislocated my shoulder and fractured my elbow and radial arc I was told golf would never be possible again, but, with the help of a good physio I was soon regularly playing again.

As I have become older (and hopefully wiser) sometimes I’ve become too much of a talk feast.

Singing began formerly for me in my thirties which brought about a change in taste to prefer opera; as it remains, but I also appreciate most musical forms.

I will leave it up to any one reading this post if they would like to be tagged and join in.

Friday, December 21

Christmas break-up party

We held our final fundraiser and Christmas break-up party for the Malawi Support Group where we sang Carols and were entertained and danced to the wonderful music of the "The Degenerates" who donated their services for the evening.The funds raised will be used to complete the flooring. walls and chairs for the new church and hall building in Ntdandire, Malawi. I will have pictures in the New Year.

At this time each year we exchange Christmas cards to include family news and best wishes. Below was a simple but inspiring short message prefacing an email I received from a medical missionary who I have previously corresponded with in Malawi, now back in Ireland –I pass it on to you at this time of the year also with my best wishes ~

May the Spirit of Christmas bring you peace, the gladness of Christmas give you hope, the warmth of Christmas grant you love with every good wish.
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Thursday, December 13


Summer is officially upon us, as is evidenced by our dry backyard, contrasted by the green from our small vegie patch of tomatoes, letuce and zucini, kept moist by a layer of sugar cane mulch ( advised and set up by Chris Willams)
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Sunday, December 9

Eltham and the Yarra River Melbourne.

Eltham, where we reside is about 20km North East from Melbourne. The landscape is hilly, unlike most of Melbourne which is a flood plain. It is mostly soft clay, and its evocative panorama was painted by the early Impressionists whose prints are displayed along the many and varied walking tracks around the Yarra River.
It also has many unique mud brick homes and has attracted many sculptors, poets and writers, but otherwise is a typical patch of suburbia.

Because of the suspended silt carried downstream from erosion and run-off, the Yarra River has the reputation as "the river that flows upside down". It is of prime importance to Aboriginal people, whose meaning was thought to be "ever flowing".

I have composed a few rhymes about Eltham and the Yarra to capture those aspects mentioned. By the Bend of the Yarra River is another poem about the river and an imagined Swagman. A Swagman was a common site where I grew up in a country town in far Northern NSW.
Usually there would be one trudging along the road carrying a swag with a Billy plainly visible whenever we went out with my parents in the bush for picnics.

Yarra River & Eltham

River first panned in our quest for gold,
Impressionists painted scenes to behold;
The valleys, streams, hypnotic eucalypt scent,
for verses free flowing from this poets lips.

Bellbirds ring out in parks where we play
And the Magpies warble their carols each day;
In gullies of wattle, under ghostly grey gums
From mountain stream trickle to river beyond

As soil crumbles down the steep slopes
It joins the fast current, over sharp rocks
Down over rapids, flows upside down
Ever onwards over her sacred ground


Bend in the river seen in fading haze,
Swagman pauses to steady his gaze.
Birds cry warnings, in fading daylight;
Pray rest swaggie under a pale moonlight.
Swaggie heeded his feathered friend’s call
Made up his campfire for Billy to boil.

Daybreak, rested, smoked borrowed fag
Refreshed for ever to carry the swag ;
To wander the bush, to live off the land;
Odd jobs for farmers in need of a hand

The romance of the bush no longer I see
Or his picture with swag on a packet of tea
His tuckers all gone, like nations first dawn
Trees morn swaggie all alone and forlorn

The river’s currents are guided by stars
From their mountain streams to oceans afar;
Ghost of swaggie rests in it’s fresh air
Freedom at last to roam without care