Over another Hump

Monday, December 26, 2005

Times They are a-Changing

My beautiful grandchildren celebrating a birthday. Hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas. Frances.

Times keep a-Changing.

Special days in childhood
took forever to arrive.
Birthdays, holidays and Christmas,
their countdowns multiplied.

Our mother kept us busy
with a trillion things to do,
sluggish days were ticked away
before we our nightly prayers.

Years on time's become distorted,
the clock's accellerated pace,
new resolutions are due again
with last year's incomplete.

No time for all I had proposed -
who knows where it's gone.
How come, now I control my life,
so much is left undone?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

'Tis the Season.

I have now had over 1000 visitors to my site, some are regulars. I am pretty excited about that. Now that all you Northerners are preparing to celebrate your white Christmas we are gearing down for a very hot one here. It regularly hits 35C before mid morning. The following is an exercise I did recently. It sort of tells you what we are experiencing. Our spring was the hottest ever recorded here.

Lights Out.
I roll over, eyes shut, unwilling to recognise it is almost morning. The soft whirr of the fan has been a constant during the humid night. Now its blades barely move the air. The mosquito net tangles in the sheet as I turn, its roughness clings to my damp salty cheek.
Outside the bushbees buzz around the cactus flowers; strange how they favour them when the smell of the neem tree and mock orange is so intoxicatingly sweet on the pre dawn air.
An early truck coughs along the dusty road outside my window, the smell of diesel overpowers garden perfumes momentarily. I recognise the sound of Lofty's truck. The air tastes of fumes and dust, my louvres rattle from the heavy vibrations as it passes by.
Cockatoos begin the dawn chorus. Their first shrieks of the day drown the twittering of the smaller birds. I shudder at the raw sound, thankful that they will moderate as the day progresses.
A soft body snuggles under my arm. I know it is my red cat, his jump is more of a cushioned float than the other cats. I trail my fingers through his soft fur and murmer sweet nothings in his ear. He believes me and rolls onto his back to offer his perfect belly for my pleasure.
The other cats land on the bed seconds later, all paws blazing, as they voice their discontent at the lack of food in their bowls. I recognise the different meows, the pathetic 'mew' of Molly, the brash 'growl' of our adoptee (he seems to like our home better than his own) and the determined nail clicking of our dog, who will not be over looked.
I sigh, reluctantly open my eyes and prepare for the day. It's not yet 4.30 but what do they care?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Trials in Paradise.

Now the summer has arrived our water problems have trebbled. This town has suffered years of erratic water supplies and I have finally blown my stack. The following is a letter I have just posted to our shire council. I probably won't get a reply but it eases my ire.

For presentation at Council Meeting.
Dear Sir,
Yesterday while in Hughenden I visited your public toilets. Let me congratulate you on the cleanliness of the facilities and the pristine porcelain.
Today I worked hard to catch up on my household chores. I folded washing and put aside a third of the wash to treat for the Torrens Creek Stigmata - that familiar red streaking that identifies our town's inhabitants. Past experience told me it was a useless exercise, but I live in hope. I scrubbed the bath and basin, removed the orange glaze which covered the once white surfaces, then hosed out the residue. Fresh red drops decorate the porcelain surfaces. The old toilet has defeated me - but, hey, the foul water keeps the frogs away.
Next I ran the wash-up water into the sink. I believed that cleanliness is next to godliness, shame that we can't live by that rule here. I don't relish washing my eating utensils in water the colour of strong tea, despite the assurances that it (the water) is fit to drink - sometimes.I won't drink it now, even though we have a filter, the water comes through opaque at best and smells if left in a container for a few hours.
I would like to thank the council for the care you show the citizens of Torrens Creek. You have unified our rather diverse community with this water problem and, at the same time, have stifled our over-zealous attempts to maintain our Good Housekeeping status. The erratic water supply, which we are charged for, leaves stains on all surfaces when wiped, walls, white goods, benches and clothes. Strange how the stain seeks the favourite clothes...This all causes us to pause each time the urge to clean occurs. You are helping us to slow our life style. Unfortunately, my blood pressure keeps rising.
Also, thanks to you, my modesty is intact. In earlier times nuns tought me to sprinkle talc in the bath to cloud the water. Torrens Creek water ensures that I'm safely invisible while bathing. I now use the talc for what it is intended, although the irritants in the water cause me to use twice as much.
I imagine you are all familiar with those television advertisements asking for contributions to help third world countries have access to pure water? Maybe the council should consider applying for a grant to help Torrens Creek obtain the same?
Now, at the end of the day, I am thinking longingly of a cool welcoming bath to relax in. Can you tell me where I can get one?
Yours truly
Frances Mackay