People per Hour

9 August 2011

Yesterday was an extraordinarily tough day. It is so wet underfoot & still persistently drizzling such that everything takes an extra effort. I managed to slop round to all the birds with food & fresh bedding & had to wheelbarrow the food up to the goats. The yard was in such a state I scraped it afresh with a wooden board. It took an hour & when about half-way through I'd set up a 'pyroclastic' flow of liquefied mud & poop that oozed under its own volition through the gate & down the hill - it was quite horrible in a fascinating sort of way! The Suzuki gamely battled across the mud & slippery grass & - by taking scenic routes - I managed to get new bedding to each of the goat huts. Rosie accompanied me until she finally got zapped by the electric fence & howled pitifully. I put her in the Suzuki then & she was much happier.

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I'm still coughing well. Bronte says I'll get pneumonia out in this weather, but a new magic inhaler is doing wonders.

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Despite the flu & the weather I did manage to construct a new hay dispenser for the bucks - to keep the hay off the ground & as dry as possible. It's made from an old bed base & a $5 old school desk, both from the now recently-resurrected Margate Tip Shop.


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Brian Cox tonight - we enjoy our weekly fix of his oddball physics commentary. I can't help noting how he likes to pose on skylines or with the rising sun creating a halo behind him, but Bronte defends him stubbornly. Anyhow, posing doesn't detract from his message which is excellently well communicated. We need some climate scientists with the same passion & zest for clear communication.

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My hown town of Bedford, UK has been mentioned twice recently (I was actually born in Cardington, 3 miles outside of Bedford, home of the enormous aircraft hangers & the R101). On my ipod there was a discussion about the strange cult called the Panacea Society, of which some ancient stalwarts still exist in the stately Victorian brick mansions around Shakespeare Road. Also, there was a feature on ABC TV about Wrest Park, a dilapidated stately home & park which I've visited on several occasions. Apparently it has now all been renovated & opened once again to the public - I don't know why it warranted a news item here in Australia.

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I'm lapping up my latest Lee Child book. I recently discovered his Jack Reacher series when I left my Jon Cleary on a Brisbane-bound plane & bought a Lee Child from the airport bookshop (my stepdad is a great fan). They are ridiculously over the top (Jack Reacher against the world), but good adventures & you can't help but want to find out more - I keep putting the light out much too late because I can't put it down. Amazingly, when I got this one, Luke instantly remembered the title of the last one I had (which was back in November) - that child has got the most extraordinary memory & observation skills. We went to see his teacher at tea-time yesterday for his report & to find out how things are going. To our great pleasure, it seems he's doing extremely well, in many cases beyond the grade 2s that he shares a class with. More importantly, he's polite & helpful & his behaviour generally has improved greatly, which was a great relief to hear.

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I ought to mention that a historic forestry agreement was signed at the weekend, with Julia Gillard, our PM, making a flying visit to Launceston to seal things. It was drafted a couple of weeks ago but there was still quite some dissatisfaction on the part of the environmental groups, owing to the uncertainty attached to the conservation outcomes. We attended a rally organised by Bob Brown (leader of the Greens Party here in Australia) on Saturday morning which was quite rousing, despite the rain. There were some good speakers & a reasonably fair turnout. I was invited the previous week to join in a telephone meeting with Bob Brown & some of the other ENGO leaders to discuss the agreement & the rally. I felt most flattered to be asked but was down with the flu & it was such short notice - I had to cook, get Luke etc - that I declined & just sent in a statement. I'm sure they all think I'm such a part-timer & have no commitment to the cause! Maybe it's just that I have a life outside of forestry campaigning. The main upshot of the agreement for our little group, is that the majority of West Wellington is included within the area to get immediate protection from logging. We worked hard to defend the major portion of it intact, particularly that which adjoins Wellington Park & comprises the water catchments for Crabtree & Lucaston. We've even managed to get most of the Judbury catchment in there, despite the extensive roading & logging operations which have already occurred there.

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I haven't reported on Murphy-Cat for a while. He & I are on the same steroids at present! He for low liver function, me for asthma. He's been a different cat since these medications - he also gets a large chunk of Nutrigel per day which always promotes a great battle. Often I end up with Nutrigel all over myself, Murphy, the carpet & the furniture. His fur has grown back lush & sleek albeit somewhat greyer than before - he resembles an otter with baggy skin. Rosie also went to the vets last week for de-sexing, she was such a miserable, hang-dog creature afterwards & it's taking a while for the bruising & swelling to go down.


He's not dead - just sleeping!