Kickin’ Through the Leaves

My advice on letting go your inhibitions and and kicking through the leaves:

Anywhere else; do it.  

Here; Don’t.

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Deathadder
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Wayside

My blog entries have slowed to meanderings and I have fallen by the wayside.  Re-reading my old posts, especially some of those on my first blog,  made me realise that sometimes in my writing I was almost achieving what I once aspired to, but I am not any more.  An old friend’s Facebook posts recently have driven home that she is a better writer than I and indeed a better person with a more interesting and worthwhile story to tell.  She should be writing a blog.

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Tui in a Kowhai Tree

I feel I am at a dead end.  My life has been one of neophilia and hodophilia, the love of new things and of travelling to new places.  I believed, or told myself,  each new adventure in a new location was also a way to do something good.  Maybe it was.  Maybe it was actually just running away from old places.  Most of the major moves I have made have been after events I would rather forget.

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Battle Hill Stream

That raises another disturbing thought.  I spend a lot of time remembering things I would rather not, and trying to remember things I cannot.  Odd.  Mnemophobia is a word that means both the fear of memories of past events and fearing memory loss caused by mental illness such as Alzheimer’s.   The irony of the duality in that word, and in my current frame of mind, is not lost on me.  I have already written that one of my greatest fears is Alzheimer’s.  I have also written, sometimes obliquely, of the memories I wish I did not have.    Then I remind myself that I am writing this blog principally for some future me so I might remember.

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Owharoa Waterfall, Karangahake Gorge

I watched  Hunt for the Wilderpeople on Google Play last night.   I really liked the movie.  I never read the Barry Crump novel on which it was based, but Taika Waititi made a gun movie from it.  Not flawless, but  so very very kiwi and so very entertaining.  One of few films that can make me laugh out loud, and one of many that can make me weep.  What was interesting was that it was not the poignant heart-rending scenes that caused the latter reaction, but two simple things – or perhaps three; Kiwi humour in a kiwi accent, and the New Zealand bush.  This made me realise something.  I think I may be homesick.

I pondered this for a while and this morning I think I have pretty much come to the conclusion that as soon as I have a few more grand stashed away, I am going home to retire.  Maybe next year.

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Roadside Grass near Thames, Coromandel

These are four of my favourite New Zealand photos.  Each a pleasant memory.

Going Up

Back on the Pregabalin.  After a couple of days the woozy lightheaded feeling passed and I regained my faculties.  I also lost much of the chronic pain I was feeling before.  Clearly the doc was right and it was originating in my back, not my legs.  Science is a wonderful thing.  I still feel the grating pain in my knees, but it seems less debilitating and I can walk further now.  With the use of my beautiful crocodile and snake carved walking stick from Solomon Islands I am venturing around the community more.  The uneven ground is why I need the stick.  A misstep causes me to stagger and nearly fall when my knee gives way.  There are no paved surfaces here.

I have set up a gym kitset on the deck outside, and in the evening when it is a little cooler (and when there is no one around to watch) I do a few upper body exercises for half an hour or so.

The problem with walking and exercise in general here is that the temperatures are now already reaching 40 degrees C during the day and will soon be going higher.  Neither Zeus the dog nor I are overly keen to venture out in the blazing heat.  Neither are the children after school, so I am having a fairly quiet time.  I see some of them for a while in the evening and we talk about the things they want to do, and what we shall do soon but they are not very interested in my company once they learn I can no longer take them out bush or anywhere else in the troopy.

We had an edict from on high a week or two back advising us that we were no longer to transport anyone in the back of the troopies and only one passenger was to be in the front passenger seat using the lap and diagonal seat-belt.  It seems that liability issues are catching up.  I know Northern Territory has already outlawed the troopy with sideways seats in the rear. Lap only seat-belts are not acceptable either.  It has always been a concern with me, and I have always driven most carefully whenever I have youngsters with me anyway.  The consequences of harming someone are unthinkable.

I have always known my main value to most of the youngsters was that I was a means of transport for them to get to the bush for bush tucker or to the lake for a swim and to football games.  I hope I can re-engage with them once I have all the new toys and kit I am expecting.  Meantime I guess I have a little time on hand to get on with my study for Cert IV in training and assessment. I have now completed successfully six of the papers. Four to go.

As a diversion I am spending half an hour a day learning Irish. For no other reason than it is the greatest challenge I can think of at present.  And because it is a beautiful sounding language.   And because otherwise I would probably go spare alone every evening here.  Doubling the dose of my fluoxetine has certainly helped me to cope better with that.

On the wildlife front, the King Brown snakes are out and about.  There are quite a few young ones recently hatched too.  There are bush turkeys gathering in expectation of the plague of locusts that will likely hatch as soon as the rains set in and the vegetation starts growing again.

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Full Moon Rising 

Side Effects

For the first time that I can recall, I am noticing some side effects of a drug I am taking.

(EDIT) it was not the first time. see my next post.

Since I have been taking pregabalin  I have been having visual disturbance, drowsiness, lack of coordination, and the not unpleasant feeling of being stoned (or what I think being stoned would feel like if I had ever been stoned!).  When I sleep I have weird dreams.

Despite the fact that the pain is not bothering me, I think I had better stop taking the pills until I have another chat with the medic.    I have to drive to Halls Creek on Sunday afternoon.

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Learner Pilot

My drone education continued yesterday with a few more flights successfully completed, though that was more due to the quality of the aircraft rather than the skill of the pilot. The first flight over Caroline Pool came up with a high wind warning as soon as the aircraft was higher than 60 m. Then the drone disappeared from my sight just as communication with the controller was lost, so I could not even see where it was on my iPad screen.

I was about to give it up as lost, when it hove into sight and connection was reestablished. Viewing the recording later I could see it had hovered for a short time then plainly concluded that it should head home by itself. Once communication returned I could see it was now in charge. I had only had to watch without interfering as it returned under its own control to the spot from where it had taken off.

The second flight went better. I kept it fairly low and always in sight. However when I told it to return to home by itself, this time it became confused and tried to land in a tree. A warning flashed up that the landing site was not suitable and asking me to guide the aircraft to a better spot. This I did. Smart little machine.

My third and fourth flights were out over old Halls Creek.  There I just practised manoeuvring.  I tried to follow some wild horses, but lost them. I am learning, but I need to remember to turn on the camera to record all the flights.

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Spéir Súl

At last my new toy has arrived.

To cheer myself up, and because I fell deeply in love with Jake’s when we took it out last week, I bought a drone with a really good camera.  The DJI Phantom 4 Pro. This will replace the GoPro I lost, and then some.

I have named it Spéir Súl, which is Irish for “Sky Eye”. It sounds better in Irish.

It was not cheap, this new toy, but I rationalise the purchase by considering it to be a new stage in my photography adventure, plus it will enable me to see, and photograph, places I can no longer access on foot. Besides. I am on my own now, and how I spend my money and my time is my own affair.

That seems a little defensive, so perhaps I do feel a little guilt.  But I’ll get over it.

Today I took her out to Palm Springs for her maiden voyage.  I wanted to film the rock I am no longer able to climb, and the view from the top I can no longer get to.  However, the drone would not fly for me, because before it’s first flight the software that controls it from my iPad demands that I register and activate it first.  Of course, that requires connection to the internet, and there is not even phone reception out there.

Mission aborted.  Try again tomorrow.

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