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Monday, 16 October 2017

Hey, What Happened to the Weekend?

Apart from passing my truck license (Yep still pretty stoked about that!) it was a typical sort of week and weekend here. 

Writing outdoors with chickens in attendance...

 
And writing-ending kitty smooch-attacks...


There was walking in nature...





There was fire-brigade business to enact... (Check out the cool new jackets organised by me and put away in their new owner's pigeon-holes!  So pretty to see! )


There was property maintenance, mostly involving the chooks... 

The chook-dome is now completely Fort Knoxed!
A replacement for the fallen tree perch that finally fell right down. Yes, of course they hate it and are ignoring it!

Music was made, indoors and out...



And last but not least, art was done!  (Shhh, it's still a secret but I can trust you, right?)



Saturday, 14 October 2017

I passed!

I'm now a licensed medium-rigid truck driver. I can drive the fire-trucks all on my lonesome. 


And I'm totally buzzed!  That is all!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Bonfires and Creative Fires

 Our bonfire on Saturday night was so much fun!


Our Firey friend, Fifi, fed us so well to thank us for burning her pile of garden refuse that we felt much over-rewarded and we had a very jolly evening!



It's a family brigade!


And some of us also got a tad silly!
You definitely had to be there!
I stayed home from Fireys this week.  I wanted to catch up on some housework and baking, and do some peaceful creative stuff.   It was nice.  Like stolen time always is!   

I did some more work on the painting that I'm working on for a niecey's birthday. (With chickens, since nearly anything I do outdoors these days involves chickens!)   



I also videoed another song for you.  This is one my sis and I wrote a long time back and we had so much fun with it.  I think the idea was that the character in the song would eventually learn a lesson, but they were just too irrepressible in the end.  :D

       
It's been a musical afternoon today too.  Niamh was over to do some art and writing, so we did some sketching of our favorite subject (Cyrano Fitty Kitty of course!)  and then we worked on a song we've been writing together.

It's fun having other creative person in the family! 

I have a couple of truck lessons this week, then my test on the weekend, so I might leave my Friday post till lunchtime Saturday, so I can tell you if I've passed or not.  Fingers and toes crossed please!  I'll be fine as long as I don't do something silly due to nerves.  Why do I do these things to myself?  Because challenge is good?  (Remind me of that on Saturday morning!)


 
 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Spring is Flower time!

The wild flowers are really coming out around here now.

I don't know all of their names, but these blue lovelies are Leschenaultia.


These pink ones might be a variety of Pimelia, but they are usually white.  Their leaves are rather Grevillea-like.  The trouble with native Oz plants is that the same class of plant can be a huge tree and a tiny ground cover, and there are very local variations in color and style just to complicate things!


These are some sort of orchid.  Maybe donkey, but they have more magenta on them than I am used to seeing.

These aren't native.  I think they are the last surviving bluebells. We used to have quite a few.
And this is the east side of mum's verandah, with Clivea flowering in the foreground and lovely deciduous trees beginning to leaf up in the background.


This Acacia Saligna is one I planted a few years ago.  It has particularly big flower balls.


And here is a flower of Arabian beauty, also known as Mahlee, as I led her up to dinner the other night.


Stop taking photos and get me to my dinner!    Ahh mares, I do love how opinionated they are!

Not flower related at all, but here is Andyroo doing a scary "Deliverance look".   I had to take the pic to show him how scary he looked, and you can't see his eyes glinting in there like I could!

    
We're off to another bonfire soon, with brigade friends again. The good people I have met there and become true friends with are some of the best things that have happened to me in a very long time!   Whatever else has happened there, and some of it has been really crappy, the friendships have made every bit of it worth while.  Love you guys!



       

Monday, 2 October 2017

Whoops!

See one lazy post and now I have lots to tell you!

Firstly here is my mad sis on her mad horse already. It was just a quickie, to ride him up from his paddock. and I'm sure she was partly doing it to to get that first remount over with, but still, mad.  Horses and horse people have this in common: Neither has any sense of self preservation!  :D


Fionn's leg is still not great but it is slowly healing.  It really was a very bad cut.

I saw these photos go by my facebook feed this week. Archie, my smart-arse young pony who went to be a trick horse, at his usual best, being a pain in the butt down at the beach.



 
And using a mattress for a head-rest in the gooseneck.

He was an odd horse to live with: He was truly afraid of nothing and if he saw something new, he would canter towards it.  Very unhorse-like!  He is having such an interesting life now with Louise Crosbie. It suits him far better than living here with me and one aged pony.

We had a lovely bonfire night at a Brigade friend's block on Friday night.

Although for a while it was more like Armageddon than a bonfire, because Gogs lit up all the Grass Trees.  Don't worry, it doesn't hurt them.  They quite like a bit of a tidy up of all the dead bits, and these hadn't been burned for a very long time.


This was an amazing scene:  Sun setting through a burning Grass Tree.
I was brave and played my guitar for a while while people chattered, then we ate an amazing dinner cooked by the young fellers.  I don't know, I've never met 20-year-olds like those two young blokes. They totally have their shit together, as I'm sure they would phrase it!

Saturday morning we had Fireys.  I haven't been to my bushfire brigade for a while. The joy is somewhat lacking lately due to the nasty politics, and there's been other stuff to do. It was ok, though. A lot of my fave people were there so that was nice.  I'm sure, come the season, I'll be ready to turn out to fires, but for now a bit of a holiday doesn't hurt.       

Saturday arvo we set off our own last bonfire.
It was the last day when our shire could burn bonfires without a permit.  It's good to have it all done.  (And let's not mention the three huge ones we have up the block. They can wait till next year!)

This was a weird photo of Andyroo.  Smoke, or his natural angelic radiance?  Maybe he had toothache?   :)

Sunday we had Incident Management Training with my other brigade, the Darling Range Coms brigade.  I got to do a new job for me; placing T-cards, which means you are welcoming in, and helping keep track of, every vehicle that arrives on the fire-ground at a big fire.  It was interesting and I got to see a lot more of the big picture than you do while working the radios.

Taken from my spot at the T-card entry desk.  It is not all serious at the training. There were a lot of jokes flying around!

This was my spot, but I was out of it to take the photo.  


Some Hazard Reduction burns have begun happening but I haven't put my hand up for one yet.  I've been feeling really tired and overstretched.

It's ok, don't think it is my lyme coming back, I just need to learn to pace myself better, and it would help if I could stay out of the chemicals more, because breathing perfumes, washing powder enzymes, outgassing plastic and all the rest just creams me.

Unfortunately, people equals chemicals these days, so if I want to not breathe lots of toxic stuff, I would have to be come a hermit again, but I really don't want to do that.  Just need to find a better balance, then take my knocks as they come.  That or start wearing my fire mask everywhere!  

I'll leave you with this pic of a mud-brick shack sitting abandoned on the block near Gogs's.  I wonder what tales it could tell?

  
 
    


Friday, 29 September 2017

New life experience...

I did a radio interview about my books this week, specifically the two horse books, from the galloping plans series, because it was a horse show.  

 

I was ok.  No freezing up. I think the drive in traffic was harder for me than the interview.  I love to talk about my books and about writing, so I was pretty happy to chat along.

Also, lovely Kate was talking about preparing for fire season just after my interview, so since I'm a Firey, I could chip on in that too.  :)

I don't have much to say today, for some reason.  Life goes on.

I'm still writing.  Got to my 20 000 word mark on the new book. I'm still writing my course idea and doing little cartoon drawings for it.   That's been fun.


Been playing "Talderoy" by The Pirates Charles on my guitar too much.  I'm sure it's not because i get to swear.  Well, maybe a bit because of that.  A live version by them:


I've nearly worked out my next lyre song.  We've picked up a lot of branches and sticks.  We've done some good socialising.  We've fed horses and minded dogs for my sister.  I've driven the firetruck round and round the district, and have my test in two weeks time, which I have yet to convince myself i won't fail.  I'm crap at driving tests because my nerves get in the way.   Perhaps if I hum Talderoy to myself all the way around the test, I'll pass?       

Ah well, maybe by Monday I'll have something new to say!

In the meantime, here's squishy baby Pippa cuddled up on our couch.

          






Sunday, 24 September 2017

What a weekend!

We had a very busy day on Saturday doing trail support crew for the local Oxfam Trailwalker.  It's the sort of fun extra stuff you can do when you are an emergency services volunteer.

It was a very rainy and stormy weekend, so bad that the 100km walk was cancelled, but the 50km one went ahead, and a lot of the 100km people went on that as well instead, so it was a very busy start with around 1000 people heading out in two separate shifts 45 mins apart.  Here's Andrew doing traffic and walker wrangling just after the first lot started.

Look for the orange raincoat!

Despite the weather everyone was in a great mood and that continued at least as long as our shift.

Some teams were dressed up, so it was fun keeping track of them as we went up and down the trail doing this and that and they slowly progressed.  This team was easy to follow!

We handed out lollies between checkpoints to cheer people along, gave muffins to road marshals, and did whatever other jobs came up.  Towards the end of our shift we got a call to go and shift a light tower.   Luckily I had Andrew there, because I'd have been too timid to tackle the job, but he read up on it and worked it out just fine.  Thank goddess for handy blokes!


Special kudos to the walker who handed me a lollypop with a handmade "You're awesome" tag on it as she walked by.   Carrying lollies 50km just to thank the volunteers you pass is a special kind of lovely!

Also special notice goes to the two lively street marshalls who wore cow suits and blew bubbles and rang cow bells to encourage people past their point!

Andrew just sent me this pic of me, taken between checkpoints, cold and wet, but no more bonkers than usual.  :D 


The trial support vehicle was a Prado.  Nice!

Sunday we met with some of our local druid friends and had a lovely chat.  In the afternoon we went out to check a local tiny house display.  On the way home the wet weather turned into weather suitable only for ducks, with buckets of rain and even hail coming down in an extreme sudden downpour.  


The little jimny handled it pretty well but the windscreen never did unsteam completely.

When we got home our front path was a stream, but the rain had gone as suddenly as it arrived.

The wet weather isn't putting off the local flowers.  Here's a trigger plant and some blue Leschenaultia in the forest


 Mum's wisteria glowing in the evening light.


Google did this animation for me, and it's a weird one because it starts with Tuppy and ends with Rosie.  Took me a while to work out why there was a lead and then there wasn't! They must have been standing in almost identical positions when I took the pics and google has joined them up!   Even technology has trouble telling black labs apart.   :D



I'm sure spring will be back eventually, but the longer the wet weather holds back the fire season, the happier I'll be!