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Saturday 21 May 2011

It’s been another busy day and an eventful week all together. I spent the first part of the week on nervous tenterhooks, waiting & preparing for the forestry public meeting on Thursday evening – and the last two days recovering from it! It was a bit of a riot. Around ten minutes before we were due to kick off, someone muttered that there were a hundred or so people waiting to come in. On enquiry I was told it was forestry workers and Forestry Tasmania staff. In they came in their green FT jumpers or orange contractor outfits & filled the seating. People stood at the back & jostled in the foyer. Someone stood in the aisle holding a placard. If I was nervous before, now I was terrified (but determined)!

From the start there was constant heckling and abuse. People shouted with venom in their voices and stood pointing aggressively at the speakers. It started with a slideshow of photos of high conservation value forests – there was constant noise throughout and the speaker could not make himself heard. Then it was my turn. I just kept talking as loudly as I could & in fact they did quieten a bit. I tried to ad lib & answer some of their points in the presentation. At the end I lost my voice & croaked “thank you for your time”, sat down in relief & had to have a few asthma puffs! It pretty well went from bad to worse after that. That night I was too shell-shocked to sleep & wandered the house until 2.30am, finally getting about four hours sleep. Yesterday I was too exhausted to do much. I wrote a rather acid e-mail to the community liaison officer at FT who claimed I’d made mistakes in my talk & was deliberately ‘misleading’ the WWPG members. I’ve checked & the information I gave out was accurate. I didn’t send the e-mail straightaway – I thought I ought to sleep on it rather than sending it in a hyper, revengeful frame of mind. However, I have just re-read it & decided to send it after all – I copied it to some other senior FT people too – I hope it might put the cat amongst the pigeons.

On a happier note, amazingly the stuff I put in the car radiator appears to be working. The hours I spent trying to empty, then re-fill the cooling system & heater, run it to a “hotter than normal temperature” (who knows what the normal temperature is?) for 20 mins (“but don’t let it boil”), then “add the contents of bottle slowly”; seem to have paid off. I’m not too optimistic for the long term but who knows?

The dogs seem finally to have made friends this week. It seemed that Bruce (the ‘brick), would never accept Rosie-dog, but I tricked him into playing with her by attaching tennis balls to either end of a longish bit of rope before throwing it to them. One grabbed one ball, the other grabbed the other end & a great tug of war ensued! There was much growling & grumbling but eventually a great deal of tail-wagging too. Now they are playing a lot – Bruce is usually standing over Rosie while she wiggles beneath. They seem to be able to go for hours on end. Sometimes Bruce gets too rough & Rosie squeals, but she’s irrepressible & always goes back for more. It’s one of the more appealing things about her. Two dogs more different would be difficult to find. When you pick Bruce up you need to find the balancing point in the middle because he just does not bend – he’s literally like a hairy log of wood with four short sturdy legs. Rosie is so wiggly and slinky, she’s more like a cat than a dog. With her puppy-dog eyes and forehead wrinkled in puzzlement, she’s difficult to resist.

The piglets were advertised in the paper today. We had two calls, but ended up selling a big fat zero. Looks like they’ll end up as suckling pig roasts.

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