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Dec 2010

New Year is coming

Yesterday I went to Tamworth Airport to pick up the family from San Francisco. On the ay down I noticed that the shadows of the Power poles in the sunshine were almost invisible because the sun was nearly overhead. I realised that we had just past the summer solstice and the sun wasn't in the northern sky.

I met the aeroplane which was a quarter of an hour late, waited for the luggage to be unloaded and then put them all in the car and headed off to Barraba. We had a long and pleasant chat on the way back to Barraba.

After an afternoon with the family in Henry St and a visit to Gotha St we returned to Henry St for dinner and an evening chat. Everyone was really happy to be together again. Later I dropped them off at the Playhouse Hotel where they are staying while they are in Barraba and picked them up after breakfast this morning to take them back the Henry St for the day.

This afternoon some of them went to the Barraba swimming pool for an afternoon swim. They came back tired but mostly happy to have had a swim in our beautiful pool. Some of them spent time in the Playhouse Cinema before they cam home.

We are looking forward to some adventures. The San Francisco family want to visit the Australian Radio Telescope so I plan to take them to Narrabri tomorrow.

We are all having a wonderful time eating, drinking, chatting, and playing games.

We are very happy to be expecting Alain, our son, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle, to come down from Brisbane on Friday to stay for a few days.

The San Franciscans are going back to Sydney after New Year's Day to visit with their other family and their friends before they fly back to San Francisco in mid January.

Posted: 28/12/10 4:37 PM

Xmas is here

Yesterday I was deeply involved in the Town & District Christmas Tree which celebrates xmas in Barraba by having a party on xmas eve with the town band entertaining the crowd, the Rotary Club providing a barbecue supper for all the attendees and the Lions Club providing xmas presents and an ice cream and a fruit drink for all the children under 11 in the town including any visitors. We had spent many weeks running a big raffle in the town to raise the funds needed to buy the presents and the supplies.

Today we had a wonderful xmas day at the Marrett's house with a couple who are friends of both of our families. We enjoyed the chat and the wonderful lunch and xmas cake cooked by Sarah and iced by me.

Everyone enjoyed their xmas presents. Our most significant present was to the whole Marrett family, a new dish washing machine to replace the old one which had filed and wasn't repairable. The whole family had had to do all the dishwashing by hand for many weeks and now they will simply have to load and unload the machine and rest while it does the work of washing.

We are looking forward with great enthusiasm to visits by the family from San Francisco and Alain from Brisbane for a new year celebration.

A couple of days ago we watched an eclipse of the moon out of our living room window just after sunset. I was staggered because it first appeared to be one third of the time to full eclipse but soon afterwards the moon was a full moon. I had been reading my report of an observation of a lunar eclipse while we were camping at The Entrance in the motorhome and that report showed that the time from the start of the eclipse to totality was about an hour and totality lasted for about two more hours . I talked about my puzzlement and was advised that the eclipse had started some hours before sunset and all we saw was the last few minutes of the phase from totality to the end of the eclipse.

Posted: 25/12/10 7:00 PM

Today we had a beautiful visitor

I was called out onto the front porch because there was a blue tongue lizard visiting us.

photo of the blue tongue lizard photo of the blue tongue lizard

Sarah suggested that we offer it some banana and it was most keen to eat some.

Reptiles have always been animals we love to meet particularly when we were grey nomads.

I have a sighting list which goes back to September 1998 and which records 93 sightings

The most impressive one was a was a beautiful big Perentie which crossed the road in front of us in the East MacDonald Ranges near Alice Springs in October 2000.

The saddest one was a Dugite which we saw in the Tuart Forest south of Perth. It was crossing the road in front of us so I stopped and it stopped to look at the Motley. When it continued across the road, a four wheel drive coming the other way swerved so that it would run over the snake which made us very angry.

Posted: 13/12/10 12:34 PM
Revised: 15/12/10 11:54 AM

Much more work to be done

I am faced with an overload of work to be done before Xmas.

I have lots of Lions work to do in preparation for the Town and District Xmas Tree which takes place on Xmas Eve.

I have lots work ahead of me to do all of our Xmas cards.

I have to clean up and mow the back lawn. I have to trim the privet hedge which is too big and covered with flowers which need to be removed before they ripen and are eaten by the birds and distributed round the town or into the river.

I also need to fit three new doors in the house and I have to try and mend Sarah's stove which didn't respond correctly to the installation of a new hot plate. I also have to fit a new screen door to the Marrett''s house.

The weather has turned hot which makes some of these tasks quite difficult.

I have achieved some of the outstanding tasks. I assembled the new kitchen cupboard today so I can move the kitchen nook table out into the new back deck so that we will be able to accommodate plenty of people (up to a dozen) there for daytime meals and happy hours.

I do have work to do for the Community Development Committee, the Barraba River Landcare Group, Barraba Lions Club, and Towards Transition Barraba.

Next year all this work will continue and I will add significant work for the Barraba Branch of the Australian Red Cross. I now think of myself as a full time volunteer.

Posted: 9/12/10 9:20 PM

The back yard is back in order

All winter the back lawn has been overcome with tall weeds. I wasn't fit enough to get them down. I bought a brush cutter but using it was very hard on my old body so I only managed a path to the back shed before I had to switch off.

Because several years ago the council had sent in a tractor slasher to clear the very tall grass from the back paddock, I asked the council if I could have another service. A few weeks ago the guy from the council brought the tractor slasher to our place and told me that I now had to pay for half an hour of work. He said that if it only took ten minutes to do the job I could use the remaining time I had paid for later.

Because I had not been able to mow the back lawn because of rain and lack of fitness, the weeds had grown up again so I asked the guy from the council to have the tractor slasher come again. Yesterday it came and the driver was the one who had donee the first job those years ago so he wanted to do the back paddock as well as the back lawn. I was really happy with that because the sheep had all gone back to Mark's place so the grass in the paddock would not be eaten. The driver did a wonderful job and all looks pretty good now.

I will have to rake up all the windrows of cut grass and then use the mower to get back to very short grass. I just hope that the weather turns dry so that I can do that soon.

Posted: 2/12/10 9:40 AM


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Created: 2/12/10 and last revised 30/03/2014
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