Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Frank Drysdale has died. Frank (Rev. Frank Drysdale) taught Joan at Geraldton Senior High in the 1950s. When we married in 1966, Joan had asked Frank to marry us and he was happy to do so.
We caught up with Frank at a few Geraldton SHS reunions over the years and at the last two we were made aware of his progessive dementia. To us he seemed perfectly OK, but his wife and daughter told us of his worsening condition.

Amazingly in the midst of his dementia and later Altzheimers disease, he invented an educational card game, Numero.

A good man!

Last night brother Graham and I collected our sister from Perth airport on her trip from Esperance to Colorado USA. She had about 5 hours to get her next flight to Sydney, so we had a nice Chinese meal and visited Helen and James before taking her back to the domestic airport.

I have learned quite a few things on the domestic front since my Joan died. One I discovered when ironing handkerchiefs: there are two sides to a hanky and usually one is the bright side which when ironed should end up exposed to onlookers when used in public. Another interesting thing I discovered is that bedsheets have an automatic notification of washing date. New sheets have a taught, pleasant feel to them. The autonote function lets me know that washing is needed when the sheets become entangled and clingy...is it not so?

Today I will visit our friend John who is in care. His dementia will probably not let him recognise me, but I am going specifically to cut his hair. Hope he does remember me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Waltham Traveller

The garage sale is almost finished with lots of fabric etc still left over. We have decided to donate it to a couple of groups who make stuffed toys for kids in impoverished lands. Joan would approve! Already this afternoon, one group of women took a lot of fabric to make clothes for women and children who have had to make a quick getaway to a refuge from violent partners

When we were searching through cupboards etc to collect together all Joan’s stash, I found my grandfather’s gold pocket watch. It is an American Waltham watch made in 1899. It is a Traveller model which is not their top of the line, however it is rather nice and I was looking at having a new face glass fitted and a clean and lubricate. The first rough estimate for a clean was $350 - $400.
I can only guess what a new glass will cost as I believe it has to be hand made.

Time for a rethink as I am not one to ponce about pulling a gold pocket watch out of my waistcoat pocket attached to a fob chain to check the time at the supermarket.

Alternatively I could sell it as is?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

'The Literary Larrikin'

After I posted my little report on the riot in Vancouver, a regular reader, Bernie, who lives in Canada, told us that the next morning around 1200 of the Vancouver citizenry turned up to do a big cleanup of the mess left by the mob. Very impressive! I wonder whether the result would have been the same here in W.A.?

The garage sale of Joan’s stash went well, but there is at least as much again for a second sale this Sunday. $1200.00 was donated by buyers and when we finalise the second sale and add the total from her books sold it should be over $2,000. Not a lot....but she would be well pleased by it all.

I am not psychic and don’t believe in it at all, however some coincidences make me think. On Saturday night I had a meal with another couple and the conversation turned to books and I mentioned a local author, Tom Hungerford. One of his books is the first collection of his short stories. The collection is called Wong Chu and the Queen’s Letterbox. I have mentioned Tom Hungerford before, because in the early part of the 20th century as a young lad, he had a couple of holidays on my grandparents’ farm at Toolibin and forged a close relationship with my mother and my uncles. On Sunday Tom died. He had had a wonderful life signing out at the age of 96.

He worked for a turbulent few weeks on the memoirs of WW1 leader, Billy Hughes and resigned, noting that Billy Hughes was as cold as sea ice, vain as a peacock, cruel as a butcher bird, sly as a weasel and mean as cat shit. I don’t think that they got along too well.

Tom Hungerford's biography has been published under the heading of The Literary Larrikin. Google Larrikin if you want a definition.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rioting for fun

I guess I live a pretty dull life. No riots for me. Vancouver, Canada is a nice place and one would not think that the citizens of that place would riot using the excuse that their hockey team lost to a Yankee team....but they did!

Cars burnt, shops looted, lots of agro with the police and everyone smiling, cheering and filming the action on their phones. They seem to have forgotten that the damage they did is to their own property, not of the dastardly Yankees.

One little problem with the need to be seen on FaceBook and Twitter is that the cops are working their way through the rogues gallery to try and identify the culprits.
A more restrained sample of a FaceBook post by a highly intelligent chap.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A couple of facts

Today I learned a couple of things. Firstly one should not turn on the sink tap when there is a spoon in the sink.

Secondly, a fact that is not well publicised about photovoltaic roof panels. It seems that whilst our unit can produce around 1200 watts in bright winter sun, I should not expect that the Australian bright summer days will produce the same amount. The reason being that every increase in degree (Centigrade or even Fahrenheit....you remember F don’t you?) heat of the solar panels results in a proportionate reduction of power production. So when the sun is bright and the panels are relatively cool the highest yield occurs. So there! I confess that I only heard this fact this morning when talking to a tech. who was finishing off the installation of Helen and James’ system. Of course solar hot water systems work in the reverse....summer is far better for hot water production.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Joan's stash

Lots more yet to be brought out
Joan’s friend Juliet and sister Dorothy made another push to collect together and categorise Joans collection of fabrics and dyes for the upcoming garage sale next Sunday. It was Joan’s wish that they sell the collection and funds raised be donated to a local cancer support group. The sale of her craft/embroidery books brought in over $350 and we believe that the garage sale will most probably double that result.

That amount will not really do much for cancer research, but will help the group give comfort to Western Australians who need information, support and care while they fight their own battle against the disease.

Dorothy and Juliet are contacting quilting, embroidery and craft groups to let them know of the sale.

Joan would be well pleased with what is happening.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This old love

Our son Martin rang yesterday evening to say that his hot water system had ‘kacked itself’. As the landlord I could see some big problems ahead. His hot water system is in a vertical space shared by units on three floors. I drove down with the keys to the HWS cupboard. Fortunately when we opened the cupboard it was obvious that the upper floor unit’s HWS was the problem. Saved some money and problems there. The upstairs tenant was not home so Martin left a note on his front door. He is a bus driver and gets home around 6pm.

I am having the odd teary episode over the loss of my wife Joan. I’m not depressed, but when I am reminded of some event in our 46 years together it gets to me. On Thursday, I went next door to give our neighbour Judy one of Joan’s pieces of fabric art. I didn’t know it was going to end up in a sad situation, but it did. Driving down to Martin’s unit I was playing a CD of the Australian singer Lior. The first song has a beautiful chorus...

we’ll grow old together
we’ll grow old together
and this love will never
and this old love will never die

Listen to it here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Done and dusted

All the computers are gone. They are at North Lake Senior Campus where they will be distributed by the IT department to needy students. The lounge room looks a bit bare after hosting some 16 machines. Next clean-up will be the dining area once I move all the ‘stuff’ to my workshop.

The police drama I mentioned a couple of days ago never made it on to TV. No report in the newspaper...nary a whisper. Something strange there as the police helicopter and a Channel 7 chopper flew around here for at least 45 minutes and there was a TV crew on the ground where a task-force type group of cops were gathered.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Copper Chopper

As I write there is a police helicopter hovering overhead...has been for about 35 minutes. I wish the crims would go somewhere else; that copper chopper is extremely noisy. I ventured out to see what the fuss was all about and just a short distance from our place there was a large police presence at a house. It is quite a nice house and I doubt that it is one of the drug labs we hear about too often.

I guess there will be something on the news tonight.

I managed to sell the leftover rolls of turf from Helen and James’ place. The bloke who is taking it cannot pick it up, but is willing to give James $20 for delivery and $4 per roll. Better than having to take it to landfill.

Yesterday I contacted a government Senior High School close to here which caters to a lot of newly arrived immigrants from places like Somalia. I figured that many of them could use a computer and to that end the school’s IT man visited and took away 10 machines and will collect the rest this afternoon. He will distribute them to worthwhile students, get their story and take their pic so that I can place them on a photo site enabling the people who kindly donate their machines to see where they have ended up.
Refurbished and ready to go

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lawn Vs Rocks

Yesterday we finished preparing ground and laying the lawn. It looks good, but there are 16 rolls of leftover turf to try and get rid of. Later today I will make up a few handbills to place on shopping centre notice boards. Could be lucky!
The previous owner of Helen & James’ house obviously didn’t like lawns and in several areas which we changed back to lawn he had covered the ground with old carpet and then covered the carpet with about a ton of river stones. They have just gone to a landfill site

Joan’s rose bush has had its first flower. It has a lovely scent.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Of lawn and fabrics

Yesterday James and I finished off the lawn laying project at Helen and James’ house. It is not a huge area of lawn, but it replaces a bed of stones which was very difficult to walk on and not much good for Ruby their dog to roll on. It looks great, but unfortunately James miscalculated and ordered far too much lawn. It is quite expensive and today I will put a notice up at the local shopping centre to see if they can sell the remainder locally at half price.
Alternatively James will build more lawn areas as an alternative to the rock gardens the previous owner established. The lawn is a buffalo type called Sir Walter and even comes with a certificate of authenticity....Wow!

Also yesterday Joan’s sister Dorothy and Joan’s friend Juliet continued with the sorting and grouping of Joan’s huge stash of fabrics. They will need another day of sorting before it is all ready for a big garage sale. Amongst all the fabrics and craft stuff they found a genuine fur. Joan had bought it years ago to make Teddy Bears. Helen liked it, but these days it is not politic to wear genuine fur.

In the afternoon, I received a phone call from an aboriginal lady I gave a computer to about three years ago. She tells me it has lost all her games. I will drive north of the city on Monday to reload games. I will take another iMac with me in case hers has decided that it is time to retire. This is the first time anyone has chased me up for a ‘warranty repair’ on a machine I have given away.

Friday, June 3, 2011


It would seem that the state government of Western Australia will look again at the problem of indigenous communities in the state’s north. Alcohol is the scourge of these communities and quite a few have banned the sale and importing of alcohol. This has resulted in large numbers of outstation people moving to camps outside larger towns so that they have access to grog shops.

This is a little ditty from prohibition times in the U.S.
Yesterday we had a gathering at Margaret’s house with the usual suspects. Lots of needed laughter with one gem from Ralph; an ex-airforce friend.

The Alcoholics Calendar


Thursday, June 2, 2011

I've won!

will not be writing the blog any more as I have just won 950,000 British pounds in a lottery I didn’t even buy a ticket in. Just pure luck, I guess. With all that cash I shall hire a ghost writer to carry on with LFR.
Click the image to enlarge

Or maybe I will write until the cash arrives.

I have decided to give Helen our breadmaker, It is a bit long in the tooth and also I can’t seem to follow the instructions to get a nice loaf. I have been buying a nice commercial loaf at $2.00 which lasts me almost a week without growing penicillin mould. Joan would program the breadmaker to deliver fresh, hot bread at 7.30am on bake days. I’m OK on computers, but this breadmaker has me foxed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Climate change

Went for a counter lunch with a lifetime friend Jack, today. As usual too much food, but lots of good conversation. When he dropped me back home I found that I had a power blackout. It has been raining heavily and I thought that may have caused it, although in the 7 years we have lived here we have had only one previous blackout. I openened the meter box and reset the tripped mainboard switch. A little while after, it tripped again, so I rang the solar installers and they will come tomorrow and investigate.

Last night I watched a wonderful movie 'The Station Agent'. Well worth a look if it is at your local library. 8/10 from me.

We are just getting into winter here and now that I have the solar array on the roof I want some sunshine to reap the rewards for being a Greenie. Here in the west of Australia we have a very mild climate and even winter brings many sunny days.
Unfortunately it is getting very dry and the climate doomsdayers say that it is going to get worse...soon. Last evening there was a discussion on SBS TV with an American scientist versus about 60 climate change skeptics. He held his own and I think there were quite a few skeptics who were swayed by his answers to their questions. I figure that most, if not all the people on the program will be gone before it can be shown that climate change is not just an aberration of the norm.