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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ignore the red arrow

The village of Nelligen


Which points to a house for sale that I'm not interested in - although it's very nice and since you may be interested, here is its link to www.realestate.com.au.

What I'm interested in are the aerial photographs of Nelligen Village and the sweeping views up and down the river all the way to "Riverbend":


Looking upriver ...

... then turning right and facing the bridge ...

... before looking downriver and straight at "Riverbend" inside the bend on the other side


In fact, the last one would make a good postcard, don't you think?



Thank you, Raine & Horne, and I hope I haven't broken any copyright laws; after all, all this additional publicity might get you an early sale. How about it, Colleen? ☺



Written in stone


Well, in red scoria really. I carry a handful in my pocket and each time I pass the bench, I plonk a piece down. Each piece represents one full circumambulation of my imaginary tennis court.

At a width of 23.77m and a length of 10.97m plus a couple of metres thrown in along its imaginary edges, that makes each walk around the court 100 metres. According to which I've just walked 2.5 kilometres!

No, I haven't become a fitness freak who's suddenly going to have a coronary and drop dead in his tracks. I just read that sitting is the new smoking, and since I sit a lot because I read a lot, I thought I give my creaky old knees a bit of a 'walk-out' before I start on my next book (which isn't 'How to get fit by walking round an imaginary tennis court').

I'll report back to you as soon as I use a new bench(-mark).



Here's your new screen saver

Click on the image to fill up the whole screen


It's another early morning in Paradise, which is the best time of the day when everyone is still asleep except for yours truly who's just starting on his first cup of tea and debating with himself how much of nothing he's going to do today.

Walking along the river and talking to the trees, I wonder what I'd do somewhere else. I'd have to whisper, wouldn't I, or else they'd put me away. Here the only one who might hear me is the odd wallaby, and he won't mind as long as I let him graze in peace.

My best friend Noel told me just weeks before his untimely death, "Don't sell Riverbend; that would be the ultimate sin!" Did he know something that I still grapple with, namely that this is Journey's End, which Julian Barnes described so aptly as "the end of any likelihood of change"? The thought is both comforting and scary at the same time.



Monday, January 15, 2018

Michael Moore's 'Slacker Uprising'


Slacker Uprising traces Michael Moore's 62-city tour of the swing states during the 2004 Presidential election. To get the slackers to attend, they were offered a clean change of under-wear and a promise that no event would start before noon.

Watching this DVD I felt like the chap who'd brought home "Big Jugs" from the local video shop because, instead of Moore attempting "to save John Kerry and the Democrats from themselves", we get Moore the film-maker following Moore the public speaker from venue to venue as he is cheered by adoring crowds, hailed by the likes of Joan Baez, Michael Stipe and Viggo Mortensen, and showcasing his witty way with hecklers.

Slacker Uprising offers neither analysis of nor lessons from Kerry's defeat. In fact, it offers no argument whatsoever, just a lot of shots of Moore's name on digital marquees and his face preaching to the choir.

Watch it at your own peril.



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Every second Sunday


We've just come back from Nelligen. Although we live in Nelligen, we live across the river on what they call "the dark side" for reasons unknown to us as we live safely tucked away on our seven acres and hear nothing of the sinister side of life farther up the lane.

Every second Sunday of the month the local hall hosts a market which sells homemade and homegrown as well as outgrown and unwanted things. Padma picked up two dozen "homelaid" eggs and I an unwanted book by Julian Barnes, "The Sense of an Ending", which I already have but which I thought would make a nice present to someone still stuck in the Wilbur Smith/Hammond Innes/Jack Higgins reading phase.

“How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but mainly to ourselves.” from 'The Sense of an Ending'



'The Sense of an Ending' is a short, sharp novel about a man who tells his own story and then comes to doubt it. It was also made into a movie which is far from a straight film conversion but beautiful in its own right. It's Barnes at his usual contemplative; it's about the fallibility of memory; it's about the cycle of life and this urge for what we describe now by the ugly word 'closure', to loop back to a moment in the past.

"You get towards the end of life - no, not life itself, but of something else: the end of any likelihood of change in that life. You are allowed a long moment of pause, time enough to ask the question: what else have I done wrong?" from 'The Sense of an Ending'

I think I read the book one more time before I give it away as a present.