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Feb 2011

The Launch of the Barraba Artisans and Farmers Market

A friend of mine, Dave Drummond, has established a new organisation, the Barraba Community Incorporated, of which I am a member.

The objective of the organisation is to promote Barraba as a good place to visit. The primary tool is an Artisans and Farmers Market which was launched yesterday and will he held every second and fourth Saturday until the winter when it be changed to one Saturday a month. The market has stall holders selling their local food and other produce or their art items, pictures, jewellery, hand made shopping bags and knitted dolls and so on.

The launch was very successful with lots of locals and visitors in the town coming to the market all of whom were looking very happy about the experience.

I have offered to lead a team which will usher visitors around the town to see the important features such as the Playhouse Hotel, the cultural centre of Barraba with lots of film shows and many wonderful concerts by visiting well known musicians, The Barraba Cafe, Babes in the Bush, a wonderful shop with lots of stuff including decorations and toys, The Country Cafe, The Saunders Fruit and Vegetable Shop, The Barraba Bakery which is famous on the lists of many RV travellers,The Fine Fibres Studio, which is well known around the state by people involved in wool spinning and knitting, The Fuller Gallery, home of the Barraba Potters & Craft Guild of which many local ladies and a few local gentlemen and both my wife, Jean and my daughter, Sarah, are members, The Nandewar Historical Society Museum, The Shed of Knowledge, a wonderful collection of artefact from people's life and work in Barraba over the last many decades, established and run by a friend of mine, Ron Hiscock who does a wonderful job of introducing visitors to all the stuff in the collection.

I am hoping some time in the future to organise a concert using a harpsichord made by a world famous maker Bill Bright, who lives in the area and who uses a local artist, Rupert Richardson, to decorate the lids of some of his harpsichords. His instruments are rated as the best in the world which makes this a very important feature of Barraba. The organ in the Anglican Church is also pretty famous so we might be able to add it to the features of the town on market days.

Posted: 27/2/11 5:22 PM
Revised: 28/3/11

A really good local experience

The other day Jean saw a second hand ride on mower at our local hardware store. She knew that I need a ride on mower because I am not fit (or young) enough to do all the mowing our place needs with the hand pushed mower.

I checked the price of the mower and found that it was OK. All the new mowers I had checked were way to expensive.

I bought it on Tuesday and drove it back home and continued around the back lawn learning how to operate it properly. I had got it doing a wonderful job when it suddenly stopped. I got off and saw the drive pulley on the ground under the mower.

I spoke to the owner of the hardware store on Tuesday and asked if he could mend it for me. He said yes and offered to pick it up on Wednesday.

He was late coming so I went down and spoke to him. He said he was very busy because of a big backlog of work so I wheeled it down to the store and told him it wasn't a urgent job.

He fixed it today, Thursday, and drove it back to our place which was a wonderful way of helping a customer. I am glad that I will be able to do the lawns without causing myself any physical problems.

Posted: 24/2/11 12:12 PM
Revised: 24/2/11 6:20 PM

More 21st Century Stuff

A wonderful article in the New Scientist addressed the issue of misleading statistics in medical scientific papers and in the media reports on these papers.

There were many examples of statistics which were selected to mislead people by their reaction to particular numbers. One of these cases was a report of some medical problem which had a 400% increase in risk. The reality was that the risk had increased from 1 per 100 to 4 per 100 which was an increase from a pretty small risk to a larger but still quite small risk. The report (400% increase) was capable of convincing many people that the new risk was unbearably large when this was definitely not the case.

I see this report as supporting my view that the truth has all but disappeared from public information in the 21st century. Of course truth still exists and is still available to people who want to know what is really happening.

Many media reports seem to be designed to convince people that risk are much greater than the risk is in reality. In other words, the truth is much less important than support for particular businesses and interests.

Posted: 22/2/11 7:44 PM

A Hard Week

Last week was pretty hard.

Monday and Tuesday I spent lots of time on documents.

Wednesday I was out most of the day doing work for the Red Cross.

Thursday I spent much time working for the Lions.

Friday was another Red Cross day but I spent some time at Sarah's helping her reassemble a desk which needed quite a lot of work.

Saturday I did some chores and had planned to go to the cinema at the Playhouse to see a film called Social Networking which I thought might help my research into the use of Facebook to promote some of our volunteer activities. I need to overcome a bias against internet social networking programmes as I have read a lot of technical criticism of them. Late in the afternoon I started to feel bad so I decided not to go out which was a pity. Sadly Jean had a bad gastric day as well.

Posted: 20/2/11 8:00 AM

Extreme weather

We had an extreme wether event yesterday. A big thunderstorm with a pretty strong southerly wind.

photo of a baby crested pigeon

It wet most of the deck and it covered the front lawn with live and dead leaves from the bunya pine just by the kerb in front of the house next door .

Today I had to collect a very large number of the very pointy leave to clear the lawn.

This afternoon I sighted a baby crested pigeon lying in the sun on the lawn. It didn't move when I walked by so I got out the camera and took it's photo.

I guess it is a victim of the storm having been blown out of it's nest. I can't think of anything I can do to save it as I don't think we have any wires people here. I rang the vet and she told me that there is a wires person in Barraba and she said that she would ring them and ask them to ring me.

The Wires lady who lives near Horton Falls was in town with her children and she came and picked up the poor little bird. She said that she would be able to feed it and look after it and when it recovers she will bring it back to Barraba to release it near its original home.

Posted: 14/2/11 4:51 PM

William Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man

If I remember rightly, Shakespeare wrote about the seven ages of man with the seventh being a return to childhood.

I am definitely in the seventh age. Many physical things I have to do have problems because I don't have the same control over my body that I used to. This of course causes me to curse a lot and I have had to revert to using the words "Gordon Bennett" so that bad swear words won't be heard.

Some of the things I do are OK. Yesterday a lens fell out of my spectacles and I found that the frame screw had disappeared. Lying in bed thinking about what I could do, I remembered that I had a spectacle repair kit somewhere in my tool collection. Today I set about looking for it and realised that it was in one of the pencil cases in my big toolbox which was in the back of the Terios which I have recently changed the parking in the carport from nose in to nose out so I had to move that car to get at the tool box. After I did that the pencil case I was looking for was hidden and took a considerable time to find.

When I found the spectacle repair kit I was very pleased. I mended the spectacles and was relieved that I wouldn't have to drive 100 km to Tamworth without my spectacles on to get the frame repaired at the Optometrist's shop.

The fact that I succeeded so well gave me a great boost because I realised that not all my physical activity is in seventh age. Only some activities like doing up buttons show up as a return to childhood.

Posted: 3/3/12 3:06 PM


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Created: 13/02/11 and last revised 30/03/2014
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