Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 4, 2011

SATURDAY, 1st JANUARY 2011 – a new year beckons!!

Fairly quiet around Sunbury this morning – and in this house. Susan stayed overnight at her friend, Rachel’s house, where she was looking after Rachel’s cat and birds while she was away, and Susie didn’t return here this morning, but went straight to another day’s work at Big W, so I would have the place to myself all day. Before I did much else today, decided to send a few overseas New Year’s greetings –  to England [Brenda], Singapore [Denia] and New Zealand [Dawn, whom I met here with her husband, Tony, last year] Met Brenda on the internet almost 12 years ago, Dawn began as a snail mail penfriend, and came across Denia on the internet about 3 years ago. Contact with all three is relatively spasmodic these days, but I guess that is the nature of life, we all move on. Nevertheless, I can hopefully say that as with many others, a friendship bond of sorts has remained. Anyway, I heard back fairly quickly from England with the wishes that ‘may all your dreams come true too’  –  not sure if I have much in the way of optimistic dreams these days, but the thought was appreciated. Dawn’s response later that afternoon was ‘annoying’ in a friendly way – telling me that they had just sat down to a New Year’s Day dinner of lamb with all the trimmings, followed by pavlova and fruit salad. In response, I told Dawn that I’d just ‘enjoyed’ a bit of yogurt, and some cold Christmas pudding with no custard!  I’m not envious of course  🙂

Anyway, true to form, I was not long in arising this New Year’s morning –  quick early drive into Sunbury to fill up the fuel tanks, and purchase a copy of the first edition of ‘The Australian’ for 2011. Then I rang through those ‘Flemington tips’ I’d been working at yesterday, and hoped for the best!

On the ABC TV this morning, I had a brief look at and interesting ‘wrap up’ of the past year’s politics in Australia. Titled ‘Moving forward, looking back’ it was [apart from filling up a gap[ at the end of a video tape] a useful reminder of the past year’s happenings in both Federal and State politics.  Meanwhile, the ‘Australian’ newspaper of 1st January 2011, tells us  ‘Military help called in as flood crisis deepens’ with a massive logistical operation underway across Queensland to evacuate thousands of people, and deliver emergency  supplies to communities and properties isolated by the worst floods in State recorded history. One area affected is the large regional town of Rockhampton, where my brother, Colin and wife Angela have just relocated to. A phone conversation with Colin yesterday, at least confirmed that they were not affected – on high ground about 10 kilometres out of the town. His problem, as a train driver up there, is that the trains have not been able to operate for about a week,  and that situation is likely to continue for another week or so! So he can’t work, as a driver, although I gather that the rail authorities have some extra training, etc organised for this week.

The ‘Focus’ part of the newspaper had quite a substantial report on the Queensland floods,  under the title of ‘Survival at the edge of disaster’  – a devastating cycle of flood and drought is the norm in large parets of Australia. A farmer in Queensland describes the average year as ‘drought plus flood divided by two!!’  Meanwhile, reports indicate that the Nina system arising from Pacific Ocean surface temperature indicates more higher than average rainfall ahead.  An interesting quote by writer Graham Lloyd: – ‘More telling is the pattern of annual rainfall over the past century which underpins Australia’s unchallenged reputation as a nation of climatic extremes. Extended drought is afterwards followed by years of torrential rain’  [although I personally maintain that those extremes are more of a ‘long term, slowly developing nature, than the kind of extremes we are currently seeing in the USA and northern Europe, or the immediate tragic affects of hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanos and earthquakes in various parts of the world, with their immediate outcomes. We are not usually affected [there are always exceptions of course – look at Black Saturday 2009] by that kind of sudden affliction.

I spent a large part of my first day of the new year with book in hand. Went out for another walk late in the afternoon, and later cooked a meal for Susan and myself – which she ended up not eating, after returning home from work, feeling unwell. Meanwhile, I’ve not raised again the subject of my ‘damaged computer’  -=  Jimmy would come and have a look at it, but so far, no suggestion as to when, and I imagine that like me, he will be back at work next week!  With the laptop not working quite as effectively as I would like, I am rather limited in what I can do, computer wise at present! With that in mind, I put aside the books this evening, and watched a bit of TV. This included the annual New Year’s Day concert from Vienna   – featuring the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the music in the main of Strauss and his Austrian contemporaries. A wonderful two hours of  music,. and some great ballet work along the way.  While he constantly received praise throughout the concert [by audience, and commentators] I actually thought the guest conductor was somewhat uninspiring and quite boring in his style of conducting. However what would I know!!! It was still a wonderful selection of music which I thoroughly enjoyed tonight.

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