Another week, another official interest rate rise. Oh my, how all that mad cash is getting to be expensive, or to put it more correctly – being priced accurately given the governments penchant for constantly expanding the money supply. What did people expect? Bizarrely enough, most pundits in the media predicted in confident tones that the official rates wouldn’t increase. They were wrong, and that shows you just how much the pundits know.
Some people might suggest that I’m bragging about the accuracy of last week’s interest rate rise prediction. After all, the prediction flew in the face of more learned folks. But that’s far from the truth. It pains me to be right in this instance, because my belief is that things will get worse from here. Anyway, what do I know, I’m just some dude living up in the forest watching the world from the sidelines.
Sandra has recently been reading Charlotte Brontë’s most excellent novel: ‘Jane Eyre’. I’d read the same book a few months beforehand, and mostly enjoyed the story. Mostly that is. Candidly, Jane’s earlier life, whilst fictional, made me squirm uncomfortably. My own childhood was also rather unusual. Probably not a good idea in this case to be an exception. Anyway, life moves on, we all grow older into adulthood and may even learn that one of the undocumented side benefits of marrying a person smarter than oneself, is that you’re confronted with astute comments such as: “Jane is doing the same sort of stupid s*#t, you would have done”. Yeah, thanks for that. Turns out the fictional protagonist and I share the same personality type.
It’s not a bad idea to know yourself. It’s been my experience that other people are more than happy to know all about you, sometimes to your detriment. In my first senior role, prior to making the job offer, the employer put me through a battery of psych-tests. After that, those guys knew more about me, than I did. Far out! And like the young and naive person that I was, what with them knowing all of my strengths and weaknesses, they put me in the ring for ten rounds up against the champ. And I lost that fight. After eighteen months of good experience, commendable work, but sheer utter craziness, I left. There’s only so much rubbish a bloke can take.
The next job I went to was so boringly normal, it was a relief to my distressed senses. The contrast with the previous employment experience, was not good. Wanting to avoid repeating that awful experience, I read widely on the subject of people, personalities, interactions, the universe and stuff. I’m a good student, and can learn fast when so required. It was a strange journey covering a vast swath of the human condition – even the darker sides. Who could ever forget Neil Strauss’s classic book: ‘The Game’? The book documented the authors own two year journey of exploration into the world of people, whilst he mastered the gentle art of the: ‘pick up artist’. I’m happy to report that the authors motivations for gaining a better comprehension of human interactions had somewhat different motivations to that of my own. It’s a choice I guess, but it proved to me that people sure do play lots of social games.
Everyone has their kryptonite though. Over the years I’ve encountered most of mine, and there’s a few of them, that’s for sure. Some of the situations were of my own making, but at other times it’s been due to external forces. With deeper knowledge, a bit of soul searching and some brutal honesty, I’ve been able to construct correct responses and build coping mechanisms. It’s a far from perfect outcome, but then perfection is unrealistic and I know that in the future, I’ll be making new and more interesting mistakes. That’s life.
Recently a friend asked a favour of me. I would not have asked for such a favour, but all the same, it was an innocuous request. Most people wouldn’t think twice about the favour. It’s no big deal, except unfortunately for me, it is a big deal. The simple request runs face first into a personality weakness, whilst at the same time pushes upon my hard won coping mechanisms. I’m beginning to sound like a self-help book here, but I don’t actually need the help, I just don’t want the request. Sorry, but no, will be how things will play out. And the stupid thing is that most likely there’ll be consequences for saying that, but I hope not. Oh well.
What do you? Jane Eyre would have run away, and maybe long ago I’d have done the same. Not now though. Nowadays, I have the mental tools with which to face life’s difficulties, hopefully with good grace. And with the challenging economic times coming, good grace is sure going to be something I hope others can also achieve, although I hold some doubts. Dunno. Maybe the best we can expect is for economists to stop talking rubbish in the newspapers.
The weather has turned cold here, like serious winter cold conditions. The rain feels icy, and outdoors will be 99% humidity for months on end. It does not make for pleasant working conditions. On Friday afternoon, a stormed rolled in.
By Sunday morning, the thermometer had dropped to 2’C / 35’F and the icy rain stung the skin. We usually stoke up the fire before bedtime, and then let it burn out over night. I’m assuming that in colder climates, the fire might need to be stoked up in the middle of the night. Inside the house that morning was 15’C / 59’F, but compared to outside, that felt toasty warm.
Just for a bit of a laugh, I wrapped my alpaca fleece scarf around Ollie’s neck, and he loved the attention. And probably felt warmer. His breed has it’s origins in the far north of the country where it is much warmer than here, so he feels the cold weather.
Before the cold weather hit, we continued the work of removing rocks from the paddocks. We need a lot of large rocks for the new low gradient path project, and it’s a good opportunity to clean up the paddocks. One particularly large rock in the paddock could not be removed, so we knocked the top off the rock, and it now sits about a foot below the soil.
All of the broken shards of rock from that job were used to fill a rock gabion cage.
Several other rocks were split and then moved up to the new low gradient path project. The still large rocks are all being used along the edges of the new path.
One of the rocks we moved up to the new path project was still a little bit too big, so we split that one in half.
The scary old rototiller was hauled out and pressed into work on the new path. The height of the path was reduced by about a foot. The section of the path we worked on this week is a fork. One path heads up hill and the other goes downhill. The fork was widened, whilst the gradient was made less steep, so that the various machines we use can turn easily without ripping up the path. The work is done mostly by eye and feel. After so many years of this sort of work, I can see and know if the path is off-level.
Once the soil work was done, the current batch of rocks were placed and aligned so they produce a pleasing curve around a fig tree. A surface layer of crushed rock with lime was placed over the soil, and with a bit of rain the surface will soon firm up whilst the soil compacts.
Looking upon the new path project from higher up on the property, you get a better idea of the sort of slope we are contending with.
Observant readers will notice some bare patches of soil in amongst the grass. A few weeks ago we smoothed out all the lumps and humps in that grassy area. The grass will regrow and by next spring, few folks would even recall what it used to look like.
We’ve been using a lot of the crushed rock with lime lately. Earlier in the week, we obtained another delivery of the material.
Whilst the weather was good, a couple of extra stair treads were poured on the new staircase project. The final stair step had to be protected from the rain (and wombats) whilst the surface dried. The job is now complete and the stairs are able to be used.
Citrus trees are the among the last of this seasons fruit. Most of the trees are still a bit young to produce fruit, but a few do provide a decent crop.
The other late fruit are the kiwi fruit. They won’t be ready to pick until next month, which is very late. For some reason I’ve noticed that the fruit responds well to a few frosts by becoming softer. Most of the harvest will be turned into jam. Yum!
Onto the flowers:
The temperature outside now at about 10am is 6’C (43’F). So far this year there has been 310.4mm (12.2 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 268.4mm (10.6 inches)