Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Amazing the places your mind can travel to in the space of an hour or so. Poatina’s Good Friday service began at the village monument, revisiting the events leading up to Jesus’ arrest, mockery of a trial and sentencing. We followed the cross slowly up the hill, flanked by eucalypts and then the prominence of the mountain as we climbed higher, until the cross and all the pain it represents stood out in stark contrast to the beautiful autumn morning sunshine.

Arriving at last at a bare patch of ground on the bluff overlooking the valley, we stood in the warmth or sat on tree stumps as the events of the Easter story unfolded. Through readings, music, a moving re-enactment of Mary Magdalene’s grief, a poignant drama depicting the enormous impact of individual forgiveness, and sharing the symbols of bread dipped in wine, a whole range of feelings were experienced.

We were asked to reflect on what we were thinking as we followed the cross up the hill. I sent myself back two centuries to imagine what I might have done on that day, and it was interesting to admit that I think I would have been cowering in the shadows of the doorways as the crucifixion procession slowly wound its way through the city and up Golgotha’s hill. The very nature of the spectacle and the mob mentality would have been a magnetic drawcard, but I wonder if I would have had the courage to identify with his followers, for I think fear would have been my predominant emotion.

Knowing the sequence of events that led to this historical moment is one thing, but to reflect on its impact on a personal level and feel blessed, confronted, thankful, and humbled in such a short space of time brought back the reality of the story on a human level.

The enriching time together as a small community made the gathering for tea and coffee and hot cross buns afterwards that much sweeter.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Spider & the Fly

Amazing the silly things I can get up to on a rainy day when I don't have to go to work. The immortalised spider and fly greeted me as I went to do the dishes the other night so I just had to respond in some way.

The Spider and the Fly

She’s coming right toward us
Said the spider to the fly
I think she means to kill us
I really don’t know why

We wouldn’t even be here
If the door had been shut tight
We were happy on the outside
But attracted to the light

We had to sneak our way inside
To check out if our mates
Had also come this way before
And here had met their fate

Whoever had gone in this house
Had never once returned
We thought they’d stayed to have some fun
But now my stomach churned

Hey fly you’ll have to help me
I’m all exposed out here
She’s coming at me with a stick
I’m downright froze with fear

I’ll head her off so you can run
Across the window ledge
I’ll hover here just out of reach
And then we’ll have the edge

I’ll land on all her dishes
Spread on the kitchen sink
Then buzz around her fuzzy head
Now that will make her blink

Oh dear, the room has all gone dark
Quick, make your getaway
But look, another light is on
Showing me the way

Do I dare to go towards the light
My mind is full of doubt
The lady with the stick might come
But I do want to get out

Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Is what my Mum once said
So here I go with trembling heart
Hope I don’t end up dead

Now this light’s gone, I’m in the dark
What has she done this for?
But now a new light beckons me
And look, an open door

She wasn’t trying to kill me
I knew it all along
She gave me back my freedom
Oh I do feel big and strong

Just wait till I go back and tell
The story of this night
When courage won out over fear
With the help of a little light

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Unnatural Selection

 Interesting walk in the bush this morning. Disturbed a wallaby who scurried off quick smart, a deer appeared on the track, stared straight at me then literally BARKED at me in obvious indignation before taking off, an echidna waddled through the undergrowth quite unperturbed until he spotted me and hid his face in the hope that because he couldn’t see me, I couldn’t see him. Butterflies followed me wherever I went, a lovely experience, and then there was this.

Now, I would’ve thought it would be deeply ingrained in each seed pod’s DNA that from the moment it makes its momentous once in a lifetime descent from the place of its birth to that of its death, it would know what to do.

Maybe not, for this Mummy Wattle was working overtime and flagrantly disregarding all laws of nature. Either she was being somewhat over protective or over controlling, but whatever it was she was going all out to ensure her progeny were to be the chosen ones who would rise to the top of the heap and carry on the species.

Today the bush, tomorrow the world!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Serendipity?...Nah,,just a Scam

Just when I’d finally got myself geared up for a week off, what should arrive in the mail but a lovely glossy brochure from Cherry Tourism advertising holidays in Asia. Not just advertising though, but included with the brochure were two scratch and win tickets for a holiday promotion detailed inside, and lo and behold, what had I won? 2nd prize of $160,000!

Now, did I get excited? Of course not. Smelt a rat straight away, even though it was a well disguised rat. The breakdown of the promotion stated there were two 2nd prizes to that value, and guess who got the other one? My daughter in law Melanie!! Now what are the odds of that happening? About a zillion to one I reckon, probably the same number of other recipients in however many countries who’ve just received the same piece of mail from somewhere in Malaysia.

I didn’t even bother to check out how they intended to squeeze the dollars out of me, but Glen thought he’d see what their devious little plan was, and apparently you had to send $7000 for them to release the funds, but in their favour they were prepared to be oh so generous and cover half of that so all you had to send was $3500 to receive your wonderful prize. Isn’t that nice of them.

Makes me wonder what makes these people tick, but then I guess I’ve never really understood the criminal mind that has such complete disregard for the honesty and vulnerability of others. If they’ve gone to such trouble to devise such a plan, supposedly covering their tracks sufficiently that they won’t get caught, then surely someone somewhere in their ranks of shady characters should have some actual skills to set up a legitimate business that makes money legally instead of preying on the unsuspecting ones who get sucked in by such schemes. I guess in my naivety that’s asking too much.

With the endless emails from Nigeria over the years fooling people out of their well earned savings, at least it was interesting to actually receive something in the mail which I can now pass on to the ACCC who can add them to their list of scam schemes to investigate.

$160,000 would’ve been rather nice though, could’ve had a doozy of a holiday with that.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Surviving the Challenge

 After two years of giving Jack Jumper ants a wide berth, killing off their nests, stomping on them, squooshing them, grinding them into the concrete, anything to avoid another sting which could give me a repeat anaphylactic episode, what should I do but submit myself to a sting challenge with my arch enemies.

Having been receiving desensitization treatment at the Jack Jumper Allergy Clinic in Hobart for just over a year, and with four years to go, this was the acid test to see if the treatment was working. Out he came to do his thing, and do it he did, not just some quick sting mind you, but the little bitey blighter had to attach for sixty seconds, something you’d never let them do if they attacked you in the backyard.

Thirty minutes later I was still in the land of the living so out came Ant No 2 to see if he could outdo his mate. He decided to let go after about thirty seconds so had to be encouraged to reattach and whoopee, did he ever do so with a vengeance. With the only reaction being a local one producing a nice big fat red forearm that resembled Popeye after downing his magical spinach, I then had to go back the next day for my usual treatment of a jab in the upper arm. Being one of the most toxic ants on the planet, it was most gratifying to know everything’s on track and that an accidental sting won’t cause a life or death incident in the future.

Which is just as well, for I stopped on top of the Great Western Tiers not far from home to check out the area burnt out by the bushfire before Christmas to take a few photos. Alpine bush is never particularly lush, but the landscape has taken on a much starker appearance, with rocks exposed even more than usual as all ground vegetation has gone. Our beautiful natural environment has many challenges of its own to meet, and the fact that a mere three months on it is showing its resilience and sending out shoots of new life to reclaim what has been lost is testament to its inbuilt survival mechanisms.

While standing amidst the strangely quiet blackened trees and charred rocks I had to chuckle, for there trekking down my shirt was a Jack Jumper, think he launched himself off the tree I was standing under. I could’ve stopped anywhere to take my photos, but it had to be that spot didn’t it. I’m convinced I send out pheromones that attract them from far and wide, for I found two new nests in the backyard when I did the mowing the other day. Can spot the blighters from 50 paces, though I think they can also do the same with me, but now I have the upper hand.