Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Random Thursday

G'day all!

We are at last getting some much needed rain here in Melbourne. We've had about 20mm (most of an inch) so far. Hooray!



The downside is that it is cold and wet and I have to fix up my resume. I hate trying to sell myself. I have to get the resume done this arvo so that I can send it off to a temping agency before I have an interview and computer tests tomorrow. I don't want to do it, so instead I've been doing housework, etc. Once I start doing it hopefully I'll be ok but nyeh. Hateses this jobhunting stuff - it is one reason why I stayed so long at the last place despite it slowly draining the life out of me.

The other downside is that it is cold and wet and dull - very grey. It is hard to get good pics when the camera says 1/30 and 1/15 sec shutter speed so I still don't have pics of my recent dyeing efforts (including yesterday's).



I've spun up some yarn for a friend's birthday. It is pretty but barberpoled. Hope she likes it, not that she'll get it for a while cos it has to go overseas. I started plying it whilst waiting for the man to come and fix the window that the paper "boy" (ie the person who chucks the paper out of a car as it drives by) broke. At 10:30 I rang them to find out why he hadn't shown up for 9am. He hadn't bothered to ring to say he won't work in the rain. Thanks, mate. Cheers. After all isn't he the one around whom the world revolves? Surely he does not have to provide that Most Dread Thing, That Awful Thing, the Thing Tradies Fear and Loath Most? (aka Customer Service)

My carefree week in Merredin seems a long way away now. I am starting to think that maybe Nathan and I should up stumps and move to the coutnry, only we have not even owned this place a year yet. There are fewer job opportunities and my extraspecial food treats are not available and society is smaller but maybe we would be happier there. I certainly would be less grumpy with the traffic. Blasted cars getting in my way and spoiling the joy of driving. Eh, it is a long term dream. Nathan wants a horse or two and assuming I keep doing this spinning thing (it hasn't worn off in two years so far so maybe it has stuck) I want a couple of alpacas and maybe say four sheep. We'll see what happens.



A rant on being Australian.


Last Friday, 18 August, was what is called Long Tan Day. On the 18th of August 1966, the first Australian battalion to land in Vietnam encountered a large force of Viet Cong soldiers. (I am not getting into the need to go to war in Vietnam.) The Australian force prevailed, despite being somewhat outnumbered. 18 Australians were killed and at least 245 Viet Cong. The battle of Long Tan is seen as another turning point in Australian history, much as the battle at ANZAC cove 50 years earlier is seen as making Australia's character.

(The Aboriginal, NZ and Oz flags)


(NZ and Oz flags at half-mast, mourning for the dead)


40 years after the fact, Merredin dedicated a reflection pool to the memory of those killed in the Vietnam war and those that survived.

For some reason the ceremony, which was awfully full of Christian God-stuff (the Catholic priest and Anglican reverend did the honours for the god-stuff but the Uniting Church minister was not obvious), made me intensely proud of my country. It wasn't as if I was surrounded by a multicultural conglomeration of people - most of the attendees were white with maybe a few Aboriginals scattered amongst them. Yet I walked away at the end mulling on what it means to me to be an Australian.


Many years ago, Judith Durham/The Seekers wrote We Are Australian. The chorus goes like this:

"We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian."

For me this song encapsulates what it is to be Australian. (Worse, I get all choked up by it - how embarrassing.) We have a history of the "fair go" (give people a chance) and "she'll be right" (just let it be and it will work itself out, stop worrying about it) but we are being dragged in a different direction by our government and by a very few bad apples that are causing one particularly group of Australians to be tarred with one brush. We are a country of many different peoples of many different cultures. There is room for all these people. We can afford to be kind to strangers and to refugees (but our government isn't). We can't make everyone an Australian (our boundless plains are pretty much boundless, cos I flew over a LOT of empty country on the way to WA, but many of them are so dry they won't support sheep or cows, let alone more than a handful of nomadic humans) but surely we can be decent to the people who do arrive here escaping the ravages of war and persecution.

Being Australian is all about having a sense of humour. Life is a funny thing.

(You are kidding me - sand and gravel roads are slippery? This was the only road I saw signposted like this. Why just this road? There was another sand/gravelroad, unsignposted, going north not south on the other side of the crossroads on the main highway....)

So I walked back home (to where I was staying cos walking back here would've taken hmm, how long does it take to walk 3000km?) and mulled. I realised that if I believe in anything, I believe in people. I believe in my country. Odd, to believe in a country. It is after all just a thing. It is not animate, but does have a personality. It is alive but dead and is not sentient. It can't rub against me like Nutmeg does.

Very odd indeed.

Here endeth the sermon.

I have peppered this post with more pictures, this time of flowers and shrubs from the Kwongan (floristic group) out past Southern Cross. Look at what it is growing on - lateric sands! In areas with only around 270mm (13") of rain each year! I haven't named the shrubs cos I can't find our best book for tracking down plant names. I love the way the WA bush goes berserk in Spring, even if this is a Bad Year with Few Flowers. In a good year it is totally gobsmacking!

Hopefully I'll get some pics of the recent dyeing up tomorrow, but don't count on it ;-)

anon!

5 comments:

  1. Love the rain. We haven't had such a steady stream of it for a while, even if it is mainly drizzle.

    Good thoughts on being Australian. I, too, like that song, and when I was teaching, all the kids liked it too - fine sentiments in it. We can be one, but be many, at the same time.

    I thought you'd like to know that some of your skeins have been sold at the guild (I was on duty there today). Could only find one beautiful golden yellow/orange one hanging around waiting for a buyer - I'm sure it won't be there long.

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  2. I love that song - I get all teary...that and I Still Call Australia Home...Advance Australia Fair just doen't cut it in the welling up with tears stakes unless it is the Olympics!!!

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  3. Looks like sand to me - where's the gravel??

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  4. Soils with a high concentration of fines and low sand can liquify with water and shaking, like an earthquake or tires dirving by. This could make the surface slippery and unpredicatable. Just a naybe!

    Good luck with the jobhunting! Package on the way soon :)

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  5. Enjoyed seeing all of the flower pictures.

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