On My Way

The road trip has begun. We have left HC. Dave is flying in a helicopter over the bungle bungles and I have been talking to motorcyclists. The car is heavily laden with the detritus of my life. She is carrying her burden bravely. Tyre pressures @ 40 & 42. Onward Japanese Juggernaut!

Tomorrow I finally get to see lake Argyle by boat and on Thursday the long drive begins with no firm itinerary.

Advertisements

Adjusting

Technically I am on annual leave until 8 May, my final day of employment at the Shire of Halls Creek. But I have already handed in my credit card and completed my last return. I have performed my last duties. I will not be returning to work. In real terms I am a retired person. When I awake in the mornings my only obligations are to matters I have decided to attend to. I am still adjusting to this concept. The freedom of being on holiday always had a time limit until now. A future that depends entirely on what I choose to do is difficult to contemplate. It also has some uncertainties. Where will I live? How will I manage my health and mobility issues? What unexpected snags and costs might affect my plans, when I get around to making them?

So far I have mapped out my next steps in the most general terms; take a week or two to show Dave around my part of the Kimberley, triage my stuff and pack what I can take with me, and head for Kate’s place in Queensland. From there the plans are still flexible. But they include visiting 91 year old Mary in NZ as soon as possible, shipping my car and contents over, finding a place to live. I may be returning to Oz to do that after a quick visit home, in which case a Queensland vacation may be in order.

I must sort out my future medical and medication needs.

I also have to access my superannuation and get myself onto the old age pension, or whatever pc term is used to describe it these days.

And I must keep my fingers crossed that I will not need another job in order to eke out a living. The things I want to get on with do not involve paid employment.

hdr2_3745 - Copy

Gypsy

Roaming free as the breeze
What’s to stop me and why?
I can live as I please
Open road, servo pie…

With apologies.

8608B193-912E-4B92-B57F-F12BB0DE0FE8.jpeg

My history has made me train wild animals but I’m more famed
Because I’ve really trained myself to be as spry as any elf
The circus life taught me a lot, now the circus is finished – but I’m not.
For I’m not afraid to potter round the dark
I’ll breakfast on tomorrow’s question mark
Adventure is in my blood why any lion could smell it well
But I always hold the whip and I’ll never let it slip
Whatever comes I’ll take the good and send the rest to hell

Roaming free as the breeze
What’s to stop me and why?
I can live as I please
Open road, open sky!

My lion taming acting was enough to create quite a buzz
From Timbuctu to Samarkand I wowed them in the hinterland
I was king of the king of the beasts on the stage
Why, the public wouldn’t let me out of my cage
They loved it when the lions licked my paws
And I got the lion’s share of their applause
I follow with the bold and the brave when the bold are gone
Whatever I wish I’ll be when the wish appeals to me
For there’s a thing worth more than gold
My creed! I must go!

English words by Anne Ronell (1939)

The music for “Open Road Open Sky” was originally composed by Johann Strauss for his 1885 light opera “Der Zigeunerbaron Wikipedia16“. The English version of this song became popular in 1939 after Ann Ronell adapted Strauss’s music and wrote new lyrics.

Paradise

“Paradise” comes from the Persian for “walled garden”.

DSC04208sm

In My Memory Garden

In my memory garden
At the centre, under hazel
Grows a single shamrock.
A spiral path of babies’ tears
Gravels out through blackberries
Bluebells, balm and celandine
Snowdrops under oaks
A solitary silver birch
Pansies, pinks, carnations.

 

Play here amongst the toitoi
Flax, raupo, tadpoles, frogs
A tree hut in an aged willow
Sliding down a scented macrocarpa
Roses from Home
Daisy, dandelion, buttercup
Gorse and gooseberry
Mushrooms.

 

Turn
Sea-salted pohutukawa
Seaweed, rocks, sandy sedge and sunshine
Ferns, moss, forest and waterfall
Jasmine and jonquil,
Mallow and mint
Daffodil and dahlia
Yellow tulips

 

Turn again
Here are hibiscus, frangipani,
Mud, tides. corals, sands,
Tropical palms.
Crabs and coconuts.
Birds and fishes
Chirping in mangroves.

 

Return;
Kowhai, tui, fantail
Rosemary, rocket, sorrel
Bay and cultivation
Potato, bean and brussels
Moonflower, lily of the valley
Holly, wild honeysuckle, rue
Milkweed and butterflies

 

Wandering now
Wattle, Eucalyptus , bottlebrush and banksia
Jacaranda, poinciana, poinsettia; parakeets
Little dragons and honeyeaters
Spinifex and bindii

 

Turn once more, return at last
At the spiral’s end
A little thyme alone
Lichen, lilies, nightshade
And a standing stone.

DSC00107

Insight

An insight into my character; I
Am the sort of person who,
If told I’ll never walk again,
Will embrace my never-walkingness
And never walk again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Worm

Seriously

I fear sometimes I am losing my whimsy.
The Wise man warned me not to let that happen.

Holiday Happy

Here I am in Halls Creek, just as last year, minding a friends house and Lani the dog again.  The poor thing has a broken leg and is limping around in a cast.  She is a sweet and affectionate girl and follows me wherever I go.  So I try to sit still a lot and scratch behind her ears.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My own dog, Zeus, I left behind in Bililuna.  The neighbours were sorry when they heard I would be away for a month and was taking Zeus with me.  He is a good guard dog and his barking alerts them when someone is prowling around.  And there has been quite a bit of prowling lately.  Several break-ins over the last few weeks.  I have to admit I was worried about leaving the donga again, remembering always what happened while I was away last year.  Even with the cage, three padlocks and three deadbolts I am still a little paranoid someone will break in.  So I suggested that maybe they would like to keep Zeus with them.  I was happy they enthusiastically agreed.  Joe emailed me the other day to tell me Zeus has adapted to being with them without any fuss or bother, and that he had awoken Joe at 2AM the other morning to tell him someone was outside.  So Joe is happy too.  I am just hoping that Zeus’ range of observation extends across the road to my place.

It might have been problematic had I brought him up to Halls Creek with me anyway, so I guess things have worked out well.

For Christmas this year I have invested in new camera gear for myself.  I replaced the Olympus Tough that was stolen last year, with the latest model and I have already found it is a big improvement on the one I had, while still being submersible, rugged, and sand proof.  It is capable of taking some pretty amazingly sharp macro photographs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For the long range nature photography I ordered myself a new Sony Cybershot DSC-RX10 Mark IV 20MP Digital Camera. This will be my fourth Sony camera.  They have never disappointed me and I am told by a knowledgeable expert friend that I will not be disappointed this time.  I am hoping it will arrive in the coming week.

In the meantime I am just chillin’.  Sleeping in, having a quiet time.

I found a little visitor in the dog’s water bowl yesterday.  I rescued him, took a few photos and let hi go in the pot plant area.  Lani the dog was quite cool with it.  So I hope it is safe.  It is a Little Red Tree Frog.  Litoria rubella.  Which I now realise was the same species that I found accompanying the Green Tree Frog in the shower at the SPQ some time back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Matauri Bay

I shall pack up and leave here, move to Matauri Bay,
A cottage I shall take there, sufficient for my need
Kumara I shall grow there, fed with flotsam seaweed,
And I shall live alone there, and while my time away.

And I shall look for peace there, and take my medication,
Wander to the beach and look for shells along the shore;
Beneath pohutukawas; reveries and meditation,
In the evenings I shall read all of the books I loved before.

I will pack up and leave here, it’s time to move away
I miss the bellbirds’ chorus and the singing of the sea;
I’ll exchange the spinifex and red dust in my grey,
For a small boat; to feel the ocean rocking under me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This is not Matauri Bay. This is a tribute.  That’s Dave.  

©ARF

Yep. It’s derivative.  Intentionally so.

Love’s Labours Lost

It’s a disaster.  I am a fool!

Worse; I am a relationship wrecker.  Before it even started.  Oh, the ignominy of it all.

Eric RimLeaper is still behind the washing machine!  He is calling louder than ever.

He is still here!

So who was that green tree frog I guided out of the house the other night?  Have I just ruined Eric’s only chance at finding his one true love?  Was it a she, and was she wandering the kitchen uncertainly in search of Eric while I wrestled with my conscience before sending her out into the night?   Why didn’t Eric call or come out to greet her if he was there?  He must have known she was nearby, surely?   I am not well versed in frog etiquette, but I would have guessed there must be some way they can sense each other’s presence?

The only other explanation I can think of is that Eric knows a secret way to get back into the donga that I am not aware of.  I sincerely doubt that however because the whole place was cleared out for new flooring and doors etc after the great burglary.  If there were a gap or hole I’d have spotted it before I filled the house up again with all my junk.

If that wasn’t Eric the other night who was it?  How did the stranger get in?  Did I have two resident frogs all the time?  Why was Eric so quiet the last couple of days?  Was he sulking?

Any way you look at it, it is a conundrum.

Oh the mysteries of nature.

On reflection, if they can come and go as it seems they can, who am I to worry?  They are welcome to share the house.  I enjoy their company.  Zeus ignores them, and they seem content to be here.   Or one of them does.

It is not easy being green.    Or being landlord to someone green.

 

 

Later:  Bloody Hell. He’s louder than ever.  Every call seems like a recrimination.