For those who wish to delve back, way back in time…

2024 (22)
  • May 27th, 2024 - We Haven’t Turned Around (19)
    Standing outside upon the concreted drive way, you could see that the heavy duty gates were locked. Tightly. Where were all the mowers, tractors and other stuff? Cheery machine branding signs clung bravely to the concrete tilt slab sided walls. An A-frame board on the other side of the locked gates announced that the business … Continue reading Archives
  • May 20th, 2024 - Given the chance (33)
    Last week, I mentioned the state governments appetite for debt. That escalating debt business seems to be all the rage these days in western countries, and so I thought in the interests of equal opportunity, we’d take a quick sticky beak at what the federal government is doing on that front: That’s a lot of … Continue reading Archives
  • May 13th, 2024 - What a life (44)
    During weekends, the more fashionable western end of the mountain range enjoys an onslaught of tourists, especially at this leaf change time of year. The exotic trees turning deciduous look nice, but the seething mass of humanity, and their rubbish, kind of detracts from the delightful scenery. Anyway, the local pub is located over there, … Continue reading Archives
  • May 6th, 2024 - Keep it up (36)
    Earlier in the year a business wanted me to do some work. Candidly, there was some reluctance. Anyway, I put in a generous offer, and didn’t hear anything. The words: “Thank you Lord!”, formed in the darker corners of the mind. A plan was rapidly put into action. Apply some more stringent requirements and add … Continue reading Archives
  • April 29th, 2024 - Am I dreaming? (45)
    The other day I gave a talk on the subject of soil. The direction of the topic was of my choosing, but the angle of the story alluded me. What would connect with the people listening? What would generate some interaction and discussion? Over and over, the subject bounced around and around in my mind. … Continue reading Archives
  • April 22nd, 2024 - High Risk Behaviour (45)
    Where was Dame Plum the Kelpie dog? She was only here a moment ago. We’d been working splitting boulders down at the forest edge. Without noticing, Plum had entered the forest. I’m very uncool about unsupervised dogs, there’s a lot to go wrong out there, and dogs can be stupid. Come! The firm command was … Continue reading Archives
  • April 15th, 2024 - Moderation (35)
    The clock was turned back an hour a week or two ago, and once again mornings are filled with the light of the early morning sun. It is a truth universally acknowledged that waking up in the dark is especially hard, for some people. As a child of a rare 1970’s single parent household, waking … Continue reading Archives
  • April 8th, 2024 - More than you know (38)
    A mate of mine was talking to me recently about a health issue he was dealing with. I don’t really know what is normal for conversations like that, and it’s rare for me even to talk about my own health matters with anyone. Basically, I’m happy to be alive, and as everyone knows, the facts … Continue reading Archives
  • April 1st, 2024 - Standing in the way of control (40)
    This year has had such a weird vibe to it. Sure, there are always inexplicable goings-on in our society, but some years are weirder than others. Just for one example: The state where we reside has a ban on the fracking of rock deposits to release their natural gas for extraction, and fair enough. However, … Continue reading Archives
  • March 25th, 2024 - Underwater (46)
    What’s this? Tuesday was busy doing paid work. It’s generally understood that work pays the bills. But then what was this all about? The nice telco had sent me a text message saying that they were soon going to switch off the 3G phone network, and my phone needed to be upgraded. I guess the … Continue reading Archives
  • March 18th, 2024 - Smile like you mean it (39)
    They did me a favour, yeah. The past month or so I’ve been processing upon recent events, and the results are now in. The early 1990’s recession set Sandra and I upon this path. When the Titanic was sinking, the general rule for seats on a lifeboat was women and children first. In the 1990’s … Continue reading Archives
  • March 11th, 2024 - Wipe-Out (44)
    A sort of ripping and tearing sound woke me in the dark hours of the early morning. It was a hot night. We’re in the midst of summers last hurrah of a heatwave. The windows were open letting in the warm night air. The hot wind was blowing from the centre of this arid continent. … Continue reading Archives
  • March 4th, 2024 - Cool About It (45)
    For a blog, ostensibly written about the development of a small holding in a mountainous area in the south eastern corner of Australia, I rarely write about the plants and growing conditions. The internet is full of people creating content about living their best life on the land, and wow, how easy it is for … Continue reading Archives
  • February 26th, 2024 - Heading for the door (67)
    I really liked the Doctor. The bloke had such a cheeky sense of humour. Laying back in the dentist chair, with all manner of deeply uncomfortable things going on to my mouth, he decided just at that moment to invite Sandra in to the room so that she can take some photos and share a … Continue reading Archives
  • February 19th, 2024 - A bad idea (40)
    A remote town in the far north western corner of this continent achieved an enviable record today. The hottest recorded temperature on the planet so far this year. Yeah, winning! Admittedly, it’s only early days for the year, what with it being February. But all the same, 49.9’C / 122’F in the shade sure would … Continue reading Archives
  • February 12th, 2024 - Audacity of Huge (27)
    A hot Australian summer’s day. We’d knocked off work early. Lunch was calling. Sandra and I jumped into the dirt mouse Suzuki Swift for the short drive to grab a gourmet pie. With the destination being further inland, the heat just feels hotter there. Nabbed a table for two in the shade. Went inside and … Continue reading Archives
  • February 5th, 2024 - Reform school for Kelpies (32)
    Ruby the dog has her own ideas as to how the world should work. Experience may slowly be disabusing her of this rather quaint notion. Earlier today she was sent to her very first morning at dog obedience school. Initially, the kelpie was frightened by the sudden change in routines. Fear soon turned to anger. … Continue reading Archives
  • January 29th, 2024 - A Cross Road (40)
    When you get to a cross road, it’s best to slow down and take stock of the situation. On Saturday, we headed to a nearby town to sample the wares of a local bakery. The search for the very best bakery products sure takes a lot of work. There are no shops or stores in … Continue reading Archives
  • January 22nd, 2024 - The Man (32)
    Someone did wrong by me this week. Seriously wrong. But I’m the man, I can move on. And that’s what I did. At times such as these, everyone needs a long dead military genius to guide their way through the more problematic moments of life. Sun Tzu, are you listening to me mate? What would … Continue reading Archives
  • January 15th, 2024 - Sophisticated Kelpie (39)
    The other day Sandra was freaking out about something or other. Being a bloke has its benefits, you get to be super-chill, confident and stuff. Except I couldn’t say a darn thing, I’d had my own freak out earlier in the week. We’d had a few warm days, and at that stage the firewood was … Continue reading Archives
  • January 8th, 2024 - Intuition Clouds My Vision (55)
    In the immortal words of the actor Matt Damon: “In the face of overwhelming odds. I’m left with only one option. I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.” You have to admit when up against the ropes, it’s an option. Today it rained, all day long. There’s more rain forecast for tomorrow. … Continue reading Archives
  • January 1st, 2024 - We’ve Got To Do Something (43)
    Another day in paradise, another crazy week of summer weather. 127mm, or in the old school talk, 5 inches of rain fell during the week. That’s rather a lot of water to deal with. About a third of the rain descended in 20 minutes on Wednesday afternoon. It was utter mayhem out there at the … Continue reading Archives
2023 (52)
  • December 24th, 2023 - Energy (51)
    For those of us who hate early mornings, they can be a bit of a sore trial. As a young bloke with a lack of pocket money, or any of the other stuff my peers enjoyed, pre-dawn moments were spent at the local newsagency earning mad cash. It was brutally cold delivering newspapers in the … Continue reading Archives
  • December 18th, 2023 - Cactus (40)
    Relocated a cactus today. The spiky plant had been growing in a pot, and needed to be moved. It was moved, carefully. The spikes on the thing are wicked sharp. But perhaps, they’re not sharp enough, because years ago a wallaby, wombat, or perhaps even a rat, had taken a nibble. Brave creature. After the … Continue reading Archives
  • December 11th, 2023 - Project Tiramisu Derailed (36)
    Mid last year, Sandra and I had the pleasure of attending a cheese making course. It was a very thoughtful gift. Despite having made yoghurt for over a decade, neither of us knew anything at all about how cheese was made. Don’t believe the hype, many cheeses are pretty easy to make. Whilst on the … Continue reading Archives
  • December 4th, 2023 - Good Mood (54)
    Took a phone call the other day from some bloke I barely know. He was asking me for assistance with a basic work problem. The thing is, the bloke made the mistake of not offering me anything in return for my assistance. He just made his demands, and guess he just hoped for the best. … Continue reading Archives
  • November 27th, 2023 - Dying Star (37)
    Recently I’ve been watching a charming British television documentary series from 1987: ‘The Victorian Kitchen Garden’. The word charming is used here in the most literal sense. One of the two lead characters in the series is an old bloke who had actually worked as the head gardener for the very English manorial estate for … Continue reading Archives
  • November 20th, 2023 - Getting Away With It All (33)
    Three dogs are on the wrong side of the glass sliding door. All want in. Bounce, bounce, bounce. Crazy dogs aren’t allowed into the house, they’re told. Demurely, and with the quiver of repressed energy, the dogs place their bottoms on the tiles. Tails are outstretched. All are attentive. The door is opened, and three … Continue reading Archives
  • November 13th, 2023 - Fruit (43)
    Tuesday was the Melbourne Cup public holiday. That’s the public holiday for a horse race. Sandra and I spent the hot day fixing up the fencing on the new 600 square metre (6,500ft2) vegetable and citrus enclosure. The combined weight of the fencing had pulled the four posts out of alignment. Those post are kind … Continue reading Archives
  • November 6th, 2023 - Goats Track (35)
    The other night I was watching a utoob video of some off grid dude making the most extraordinary claims in relation to ‘off grid’ living. He was up in the far north of the US, and clearly ‘off grid’ means something different up there. Not being connected to the electricity grid, is what those words … Continue reading Archives
  • October 30th, 2023 - Old Yella (32)
    Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I used to do all of the servicing and maintenance on the vehicles I owned. Generally the cars were old, and the technology was pretty simple. The things started, went, and stopped – most of the time. Back in those days I owned a 1982 Suzuki Jimny … Continue reading Archives
  • October 23rd, 2023 - Hunting for witches (42)
    People don’t read this blog to immerse themselves in yet more commentary on the rather tiresome sport of politics. However, given the events of the past couple of weeks I’ve decided that a brief foray into that landscape might be worthwhile. If I may add, the politicians at the helm of this here ship, otherwise … Continue reading Archives
  • October 16th, 2023 - We got this (32)
    On a dreary spring day, with rain sweeping across the mountain range, Sandra and I were in the shed looking at the partially disassembled chainsaw. I may have remarked that the clutch we’d ordered, didn’t look anything like what was facing us in the machine. The videos on the interweb made the job look super … Continue reading Archives
  • October 9th, 2023 - A moment of regret (43)
    There comes a time in everyone’s life when they do something truly stupid. It happens to everyone. It can happen in but a single moment. Late this afternoon, all was good with the world. The weekend had been quite lovely. After a very wet start to the week, the weekend had been sunny, dry and … Continue reading Archives
  • October 2nd, 2023 - Tangled, Content (35)
    Please state the nature of the caffeine emergency! The water pump suddenly dying on the fifteen year old coffee machine is a bit of a show stopper for a morning coffee! I’d call that a caffeine emergency! The machine has had more repairs to it over the years than the metaphorical granddads old axe. The … Continue reading Archives
  • September 25th, 2023 - Lazy Eye (31)
    Back in 2006, an 1890’s brick Victorian era workers cottage sheltered us from the rain. A few years earlier, the house had been a brick shell with a single mains power point. There was one tap over the kitchen sink delivering questionable looking water. Organising hot water was a priority, but then so was replacing … Continue reading Archives
  • September 18th, 2023 - Like it is (33)
    Dame Plum was the smaller of the two 12 week old pups. Ruby was larger, and spicier, something of a cheeky character. She’d never make good boss dog material. Plum on the other hand had a certain reserve about her character, you could see it, even at that young age. Ollie the mighty Bull Arab, … Continue reading Archives
  • September 11th, 2023 - The Road to Snow-where (44)
    A few days ago a big storm spread its wings over this part of the country. The origins were from that huge frozen continent to the south. With only the Southern Ocean between here and there, those storms sure do bring some cold and wet weather. The wood heater ran for two full days. We … Continue reading Archives
  • September 4th, 2023 - Beyond Comprehension (36)
    It was a sunny day way back in 1997 when an inkling that not all was right with the world, sneakily crept into my awareness. Sandra and I were at an auction for a house just around the corner. In Melbourne, house auctions are often a very public display of the actual monetary value of … Continue reading Archives
  • August 28th, 2023 - Just like a tractor (31)
    You stare at the intricate workings at the rear of the fire truck, and hope that nobody asks you to do anything. So that connection goes up there. And that valve operates the flow on that pipe. And does this connection flow into or out of the pump? It doesn’t seem obvious to me how … Continue reading Archives
  • August 21st, 2023 - Never Be Like You (47)
    Years ago, I’d read that because of automatic teller machines, kids believed that money comes out of walls. It’s a pretty funny belief, but hardly any stupider than governments spending more than they earn, then appearing utterly baffled that the ever expanding money supply is leading to inflation. It’s possible the kids are smarter, and … Continue reading Archives
  • August 14th, 2023 - Breathe (39)
    Long term readers will recall that last summer we produced a huge chilli pepper crop in the greenhouse. There’s still hundreds of the little blighters left to consume. We’ve added fresh chilli to all manner of meals this year. The fruits are a good source of Vitamins A, B6 and C. They also taste great … Continue reading Archives
  • August 7th, 2023 - Righteous (37)
    A constant theme I see repeated often, and have heard said from plenty of visitors: Here’s a way to make money from your property. It’s consistent enough that there must be something in there. Beats me why people keep saying that. I’ve got a day job. That makes money, the farm, yeah I don’t think … Continue reading Archives
  • July 31st, 2023 - The Impression That I Get (33)
    The bloke was a bit taller than me, and maybe a few years older. Smoked like chimney. It would be nice if he didn’t smoke in the car. Probably my fault for bringing the complicated brake problem to his business. The windows down, which is fun in the winter weather, eventually sent the smoke stink … Continue reading Archives
  • July 24th, 2023 - Killer Kale (48)
    It is possible that Sandra and I have been so deeply involved in infrastructure works over the past couple of years, that we’d taken our eye off the ball with the plants. You can’t do everything you want on a small holding, and inevitably compromises and mistakes sneak in. But it’s when the wallabies eat … Continue reading Archives
  • July 17th, 2023 - Pets and Drugs (46)
    Sunday night I lay awake, sweating. Oh my gawd, was this to be the end for me? Sleep was far away. Tossing and turning, I must have woken Sandra up about a dozen times. That’s what a sleep terrorist looks like. It was a cold night too, and I just felt hot. The next morning, … Continue reading Archives
  • July 10th, 2023 - The Future, or not (33)
    Long term readers will recall that the farm here is connected to, err, nothing. We do have dirt roads, so that is something, but sometimes even those are not good. For Sandra and I, that was part of the appeal of the area. There’s something quite energising for the soul to pit your wits and … Continue reading Archives
  • July 3rd, 2023 - On the Borderline (65)
    There’s an old Russian fable about a scorpion and a frog. The scorpion wants to cross the river, and a hesitant frog falls for the assurance that if the scorpion stings, they would both drown. And drowning is exactly what happened midway through the river crossing. The story goes that the dying frog was told: … Continue reading Archives
  • June 26th, 2023 - LosT (36)
    Maybe it was reading the book of oral accounts of the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires which ripped through this mountain range forty years ago. However, it could equally have been the uncomfortable one-off experience of forcing my body to breathe underwater. In the late 1990’s we were on a boat far off shore and offered … Continue reading Archives
  • June 19th, 2023 - Science Blankets (61)
    The ongoing Fluffy intrigue with the new (second hand) sheepskin bedding, has been fascinating to observe. Based on who dominates the sheepskin, Dame Plum is clearly Boss Dog. Spare a moment for the hapless Ruby, who foolishly displayed her initial misgivings and believed that the replacement sheepskin was some sort of mischievous plot against her. … Continue reading Archives
  • June 12th, 2023 - Muffin of the day (44)
    Watching the ongoing fluffy canine intrigue with the new (second hand) sheepskin bedding, has cause me to wonder about change. Can people change? Do they even want to change? And what does it mean when people fail to accept change? Ruby the Kelpie sure didn’t want the change involved in accepting the replacement sheepskin, but … Continue reading Archives
  • June 5th, 2023 - Not cheaper by the metre (33)
    Time has this habit of sweeping you along a journey. Inevitably there’ll be storms, droughts and hard times, that’s life. There’ll also be lessons learned and good times. Although you’d hope there were more of the later, and less of the former. Not always the case. The land here was cheap, there’s no point talking … Continue reading Archives
  • May 29th, 2023 - Sheepskin (49)
    “What is this shit? I so hate you!” A sulky Ruby kicked Ollie off the white leather second hand couch. Usually Ollie and Dame Plum sleep upon this couch, but not that night! Ollie the big dog, now lost and forlorn, standing all alone upon the timber flooring, took one look at Ruby’s new sheepskin … Continue reading Archives
  • May 22nd, 2023 - Such Great Heights (38)
    Monday night we’d decided to head out to dinner for a pint and feed. I’d known the manager of the business for a few years, and it wasn’t his last night, it was his second last night. It’s up for sale that business, and the rumoured price inadvertently made me blurt out: “It takes a … Continue reading Archives
  • May 15th, 2023 - We Will Become Silhouettes (55)
    Back in the early 2000’s, writing for the hippy press was a lot of fun. The first articles published were probably of a similar standard to my earlier gardening efforts, you know, there was a bit of room for improvement. In those heady days, physical magazines and books were actually published, and people paid for … Continue reading Archives
  • May 8th, 2023 - Sidelines (47)
    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 … Continue reading Archives
  • May 1st, 2023 - Where do we go now? (52)
    One of my daily activities is skimming the news headlines. It’s a useful exercise, and gives me a good feel for some of the things going on in the world. Such news titbits are useful, and can help a person interpret overheard conversations. Funnily enough, the other day a couple of well-to-do blokes were conducting … Continue reading Archives
  • April 24th, 2023 - Good Tines (35)
    Late last year there were some not-so-vague plans for future projects around the farm which required excavation works. When you live on the side of an ancient (hopefully extinct) super volcano, it is a truth universally acknowledged that there is no such thing as flat land. You want flat land? Well son, you’re gonna have … Continue reading Archives
  • April 17th, 2023 - Vacation Forever (55)
    The weird thing about houses costing more each year, is that people think the houses are worth more. It’s the same house isn’t it? You know, the thing which keeps rain off your head. Maybe it’s just me that thinks that a dollar doesn’t buy what it only recently did. There was a similar mania … Continue reading Archives
  • April 10th, 2023 - Messed Up (33)
    Don’t you think it’s strange that the worlds major oil suppliers collectively decided to cut supply by 1.2 million barrels per day, and the news media treated the announcement as if these kind of things happen all the time? Except they don’t. Perhaps the news media didn’t quite get around to comprehending that any cut … Continue reading Archives
  • April 3rd, 2023 - To light a fire (31)
    The spoken words came from the kitchen: “That was a rookie mistake”. When words are backed up with facts, truth becomes hard to deny. After all, a genuine rookie mistake had been made. At such awkward moments, good grace can be found in the gentle art of acceptance. The laconic reply: “Yeah”, conveyed a sense … Continue reading Archives
  • March 27th, 2023 - Escapism (43)
    Last week the blog covered the subject of economics. As a subject, it’s all very dull, that is until your boss tells you that you are redundant. Economics takes on a whole new meaning then. The definition of redundant in this instance, means: surplus to requirements. Ordinarily that’s not a problem, and right now, jobs … Continue reading Archives
  • March 20th, 2023 - Chew Bank of Fluffies (39)
    You’d have to have been asleep in a deep coma for the past week not to have noticed that there’s been some odd goings on in the world of banking. Usually banking is something of a very boring world, but not this week. Reading the news, the quotes of those in the know, and the … Continue reading Archives
  • March 13th, 2023 - Shake it out (41)
    My grandmother ended her days in an asylum. Back in the day, that’s where crazy people were kept. I never knew the crazy side of her, but she did always have this sort of other worldly presence, almost as if she’d only just popped by from the land of the faerie to have a cuppa. … Continue reading Archives
  • March 6th, 2023 - Grifting Away (49)
    An undocumented side benefit of writing this here blog, and having delightful ongoing conversations with people living in distant countries, is that new words enter my vocabulary. One such useful word originating from the United States of America, is the word: Grifter. In Australia, which prides itself upon the abstract concept of: ‘mateship’, there’s no … Continue reading Archives
  • February 27th, 2023 - We used to vacation (58)
    Laying on my back with my head upon the pillow. The wind rushed into the room and over the woollen blankets. Ah-roo-gar the wind said. Hard to sleep with such a racket. Closed the window, but you could still hear the wind calling outside as it moved through the forest. The trees noisly moved back … Continue reading Archives
  • February 20th, 2023 - Otherside (44)
    Forty years ago, on February 16, the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires wreaked havoc in this corner of the continent. During that drought summer, reservoirs dwindled to vapour and the city residents had their water rationed. 1.3 million acres of land burned. Eight days before the really big fire, the city of Melbourne was engulfed in … Continue reading Archives
  • February 13th, 2023 - Techno Fan (45)
    A person gets a lot of status working at the top end of town. Did that for years and got the t-shirt. Owned an old Porsche 911 too. A cool car, the thing has authority and street cred. People try to drag you off at the lights all the time. You don’t have to worry … Continue reading Archives
  • February 6th, 2023 - Flip Me Upside Down (55)
    Ollie, wake up! Wake up dude! The early morning alarm makes a quiet sound in another room. Dame Plum, Kelpie boss dog hearing that, musters the other two fluffies for another day of activities. Dame Plum looks over at Ollie before commanding: You know the drill. Snuffle Sandra’s hand. Wet it good and proper. Ollie … Continue reading Archives
  • January 30th, 2023 - Where it’s at (43)
    Why don’t you write an amusing blog next week? Sandra remarked after editing last week’s blog. I don’t feel funny, was the reply. From hindsight, the reply sounded a bit lame. However, over the past few weeks, my brain has been busy absorbing esoteric knowledge in relation to all aspects of the off grid solar … Continue reading Archives
  • January 23rd, 2023 - Miracle Mile (52)
    Being cool, yeah, it’s cool. Take it from me. Sure, you lot may scoff. And fair enough too. But yeah, cool. So at the petrol station the other day, the little dark green Suzuki Jimny was scoring a drink of fuel, and some young bloke was super excited about the car. Like really excited. His … Continue reading Archives
  • January 16th, 2023 - On My Knees (45)
    Went to purchase a sack of locally grown potatoes at a farm gate the other day. The sun shone. Warmth pressed upon the skin. Grasses had begun to yellow. The scent of dry and dusty soil. Cicadas called rhythmically. Warm air filled the lungs. The shade of an old elm tree, an invitation to linger. … Continue reading Archives
  • January 9th, 2023 - Three Pizzas Macedon Ranges, Victoria (47)
    Down Under, the Christmas holidays coincide with summer weather. Santa has to deal with hot sunny days, warm nights, barbecues and beaches. You ain’t in the wintry northern hemisphere now, son. Old Santa sure has to deal to some weird weather extremes down here, and Rudolph’s nose is glowing red due to heat exhaustion, not … Continue reading Archives
  • January 2nd, 2023 - Too hot to handle (51)
    Normal summer weather has finally arrived. About time. Hot days, warm nights, and the plants are finally growing. Ordinarily I sleep like the dead. The eyes close, only to awaken for unusual noises, and of course the outrage which is the dreaded alarm. Tinkle, tinkle goes the alarm. Go away you rotten device, surely it … Continue reading Archives
2022 (52)
  • December 24th, 2022 - Smoko (64)
    By now, you’d think that people would realise that I’m on a break, and don’t want to be fricken disturbed. They’re trying to stress me out, but I ain’t taking it. I brought out the big guns – just stopped taking calls. And the voice mail they hear, says I’m not checking voice mails. At … Continue reading Archives
  • December 19th, 2022 - Social Debt (41)
    It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. When new behaviour rears its head, you begin to wonder what exactly is going on. Had a couple of different people phone-bombing me and that’s a new thing. This is the gentle art of calling a lot, over a very short period of time about a single issue. … Continue reading Archives
  • December 12th, 2022 - Inertia (49)
    Reader numbers were down this week. Way down. Proves you shouldn’t whine about your work. At such times, the sensitive-to-statistics-person tends to write about the subject of Oil, for that’s sure to boost reader numbers. Always worked before! That’s something of an ongoing in-joke between Sandra and I. Fortunately, writing out there in the public … Continue reading Archives
  • December 5th, 2022 - Holy Socks (45)
    Monday I was having a mild freak out. It’s not my usual style, but with three work weeks to Christmas, the volume of paid work yet to be done is bonkers. And some of the work is far more difficult to do, than common sense would suggest. Two hours that day was spent on hold … Continue reading Archives
  • November 28th, 2022 - Local hero (48)
    Many years ago when travelling the surrounding countryside, it was hard to go past second hand bookshops. In other parts of the world, brand new books are probably cheaper than they are down under. Down here, a book can find itself a second life for itself in the dusty shelves of a second hand bookshop … Continue reading Archives
  • November 21st, 2022 - Guide to better living (44)
    Next Saturday an election will be held for both the upper and lower houses for the state parliament. There are other, and perhaps better activities than voting, which were planned for next Saturday. With those other plans in mind, Sandra and I went and placed early votes. What annoys me about the voting process is … Continue reading Archives
  • November 14th, 2022 - Talk is cheap (44)
    It’s hard not to notice how emotive our current batch of leaders are. They’re always getting razzed up about some boring subject or other, then they emote. I don’t much care for that. The other day, our state leader appeared to be threatening jail time for journalists if they broke some rule or other. Not … Continue reading Archives
  • November 7th, 2022 - Stranger Days (38)
    Ordered an attachment for one of the farm machines last week. The machine is super awesome, and we use it around here all of the time. And who knew that it’s got a useful attachment? We wants the attachment, my precious! However, before putting in the order, it seemed like a wise idea to contact … Continue reading Archives
  • October 31st, 2022 - The Fear (55)
    Standing room only. The place was packed with people. Sandra and I stood among them, just off to the side. Someone came to the microphone, spoke words, left, and they were then replaced by others and their words. Rituals took place. Outside the windows, rain fell over the green landscape. Cold winds moved the trees. … Continue reading Archives
  • October 24th, 2022 - For those who are prepared to dig (47)
    A local bloke with an excavator business cut in the road the farm sits off. Before then, there was a road, it just wasn’t as good as the present road. The former road was an old Cobb and Co coach route which lead all the way up to the Victorian era health resort of Craigielea. … Continue reading Archives
  • October 17th, 2022 - The Middle Finger (42)
    Someone around these parts is spray painting local road signage with the dark and foreboding words: “I see you”. What does that even mean? And who are they seeing? What do they even want anyway? Seriously, there are so many questions left unanswered. Life is sometimes like that. On Wednesday I was working at a … Continue reading Archives
  • October 10th, 2022 - Week on Repeat (50)
    It’s been another funny old year. Makes the sensitive person wonder just what exactly is going on with the climate? Last week was bonkers wet. Thursday we headed north to attend the Elmore Field Day. It’s a farming expo, and of course for lunch there were the tasty sausages sold by the bloke with the … Continue reading Archives
  • October 3rd, 2022 - Three Leaf Clover (50)
    The foxes around here sure know there are yummy chickens to be had. And as a chicken, it ain’t easy, livin’ free. Years ago the chickens used to free range around the orchards for an hour before the sun went down below the horizon. Chickens are amazing creatures, they’ll take themselves to bed at sunset, … Continue reading Archives
  • September 26th, 2022 - Where you fall (38)
    As an adult, far from the clutches of family, a person can look back over time and realise just how strange things were. A few weeks ago I wrote about an extreme and rather violent incident which found me on the wrong end of a sharp knife blade as a young bloke. At the time, … Continue reading Archives
  • September 19th, 2022 - Carry that weight (35)
    Country works subtle changes upon a person. Nowadays, the serious young man who strove with earnest zeal at the top end of town, is gone. Where to, we’ll never know. What’s left over, is what remains. Plus an accumulation of the many strange experiences which come from living in a wild locale. The early morning … Continue reading Archives
  • September 12th, 2022 - Top Chook: Maverick (60)
    Winter months are cold and wet. For those born during the winter months, birthdays mean short days, extreme humidity, and dark comes early for those who are celebrating the annual passage of time. Not great times for solar power production either, and darkness descends when the government decides: Son, you’re gonna be locked down. There’s … Continue reading Archives
  • September 5th, 2022 - Breaking it slowly (54)
    Every right thinking person knows how civilised it is to enjoy coffee served in a ceramic mug. A cup barely supplies enough caffeine to get the brain into first gear, so only a mug will do. Such times are improved when accompanied with a delightful book, perhaps with maybe a muffin, if you’re lucky. The … Continue reading Archives
  • August 29th, 2022 - The Only Way (40)
    The Dirt Rat is dead,Long live The Dirt Rat! What the heck? How could this be happening, and now of all times. So, you’ve gotta lower the window all the way down, then keep the switch pressed firmly for a few moments. That will reset the body computer. Then you can wind the window fully … Continue reading Archives
  • August 22nd, 2022 - Coffee and Musing (54)
    “Aren’t you cold?” they sometimes say. Others walk past talking loudly to their friends and family about how cold it is. Those people are worse, because concern is easier than derision. “No” is the best answer, and has the benefit of simplicity. The matter is settled. A sheepskin jacket, woollen jumper and hat, and cold … Continue reading Archives
  • August 15th, 2022 - Giving it a go (50)
    Many years ago I had the good fortune to commence working in a senior role at a business which was going through the aftermath of a fraud. Various people at the business had to work themselves through the stages of grief. Fingers were half heartedly pointed, lessons were learned. Before long, recoveries were made. The … Continue reading Archives
  • August 8th, 2022 - Baffled (42)
    It’s hard to say what’s the most important lesson learned during the past dozen years of living here. There are just so many contenders for that title. And it is not as if we can chuck the lessons into a cage and let them duke it out in a no-rules battle for supremacy. In these … Continue reading Archives
  • August 1st, 2022 - The Jimny Predicament (41)
    Look, it’s probably a bad thing when you purchase your first vehicle at the youthful age of 17, from a wrecking yard. Just before events run their natural disastrous course, parents probably should step in and talk some sense into their wayward children. Alas, my parents were busy with their own dramas, and failed to … Continue reading Archives
  • July 25th, 2022 - Free (70)
    An arm restrained my forehead, whilst the cold sharp blade of a hunting knife pressed at my throat. Was this to be the end? It was embarrassing how easily I was over powered, and was glad that Sensei was not there to see it. It was an unexpected move, and only my step father would … Continue reading Archives
  • July 18th, 2022 - The Sweet Spot (37)
    The yellow powered wheelbarrow is beyond economic repair. It’s always a tough decision to walk away from a farm machine, especially when the thing has performed sterling service over the years. Some of the blame can be placed upon the economics of the situation. Blame however is also shared with the design and construction of … Continue reading Archives
  • July 11th, 2022 - Heck of a stink (31)
    The road ahead was clear of traffic. The recent bike lane addition made the road somewhat narrow, but hey, at least there were no bikes or cars to be seen. Had the zombie apocalypse occurred and the general break down in society meant that nobody got around to telling me? The youth music national broadcaster … Continue reading Archives
  • July 4th, 2022 - The forgotten centre (47)
    The gas bill arrived in the email in-box a few days ago. Ten years ago a 45kg / 100 pound gas bottle cost $85 to get delivered here. The bill in the email in-box this time around was $234 for the delivery of one gas bottle and quarterly rental for two gas bottles. Originally there … Continue reading Archives
  • June 27th, 2022 - Do you remember? (40)
    Recently, Sandra’s father died. Sandra and I, share some common experiences. One of those is that the formative male in both our lives was not the father. In my case it was my grandfather, and for Sandra it was her uncle. As an incongruous fun fact, her uncle drove the same base vehicle that Mad … Continue reading Archives
  • June 20th, 2022 - Don’t be the load (37)
    Wednesday morning, about 10.30am, the connection to the Internet suddenly died. There was no notice, no prior warning of any impending failure. Nope, none of that. Notice would have been useful, but no. It would have been OK, except for the mountain of work to do. That for me was the real problem. And suddenly … Continue reading Archives
  • June 13th, 2022 - Chain of Fools (44)
    Ruby has been the hardest dog to train. She has her own ideas about things. There are opinions. Distractions. Possibly important Kelpie business that needs attending to. I’m cool with all that. However, there are certain basic principles that Ruby has to abide by here. And one of those principles is that all of the … Continue reading Archives
  • June 6th, 2022 - A maze of death (57)
    The light from lamp posts defined civilisation, the circle beyond their glow the unknown wilds. Winter weather had stripped the leaves from the fruit trees leaving only bare branches. Short grass provided little cover for whatever was out in the cold winter night. A silent large white presence waited patiently high up in an apple … Continue reading Archives
  • May 30th, 2022 - Coulda Woulda Shoulda (56)
    The leaf change tourists have been something of an enduring mystery to me. What is a leaf change tourist you ask? Fair question! A leaf change tourist is a person who travels to an area to witness and/or photograph the autumn foliage, often whilst doing unusual things with unusual props. I freely admit that the … Continue reading Archives
  • May 23rd, 2022 - To be human (48)
    The blog content rarely strays into current events, after all, there are more learned and better informed discussions about such matters – elsewhere. However, occasionally exceptions must be made, for on Saturday a Federal election was held. Voting in Australia is compulsory for adults who’s names are recorded on the electoral register, and most adults … Continue reading Archives
  • May 16th, 2022 - What it looks like, with the lights on (45)
    Anyone with eyes to see, knows that Triffids are easy to out run. Those predatory plants with the toxic stings, just aren’t all that fast on their feet. Zombies on the other hand, and fast zombies in particular, they can ruin your whole day. One minute you’re happily pulling weeds from the garden bed, and … Continue reading Archives
  • May 9th, 2022 - Bored of the whinge (57)
    “Self help week’ was how my grandfather called it, thus proving that it was best not to attempt to hit him up for stuff. Every spring he used to take me camping with his WWII buddies, and I loved every minute of it. They’d put me to constant work fetching this and that for them, … Continue reading Archives
  • May 2nd, 2022 - No win, no way (68)
    Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, famously stated that: “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario”. After all, he’d managed to survive the infamous Kobayashi Maru training exercise, so perhaps he was right? The training exercise was designed as a no-win scenario in order to test the … Continue reading Archives
  • April 25th, 2022 - Time and Money (60)
    Earlier in the week I heard the refrain: do what you love, and you’ll never work a day or a night. That’s a load of rubbish. I already do what I love, it’s just sometimes there’s too much love. And then I hate what I love. It’s complicated. But yeah, sometimes I just want to … Continue reading Archives
  • April 18th, 2022 - Is it worth feeling sad about? (48)
    Thursday found me standing on the back of a Vermeer S800TX machine digging out a flat site for our new greenhouse. What a long and convoluted journey it’s been getting to Thursday. Youth favours great hair, and the household had plenty of big hair. All very rock and roll. Looking back at the younger version … Continue reading Archives
  • April 11th, 2022 - Background Colour (49)
    A month ago I’d penned two blog essays on the subject of Oil. To me it seems like an important subject which was worthy of discussion. After all, the price for oil only a month ago was pushing around US$120 a barrel. A month later, and oil is still expensive, now a bit over US$100 … Continue reading Archives
  • April 4th, 2022 - Blood Plum (36)
    The following extract is provided as a Fernglade Farm guest post: Thwack! Chris had cracked the door open, reached into the room, thrust downwards, and come into contact with a Kelpie’s head. The feeble rays from the early morning sun had inspired Ruby to wake the household up extra early. An error of judgement! Ruby … Continue reading Archives
  • March 28th, 2022 - Is someone getting the best of you? (46)
    Computers are great when they work. When they don’t, they’re boat anchors. Internet connection is kind of a useful feature if you want to send and receive emails. Even the dodgy thirteen year old laptop could connect up to the internet. But not Sandra’s computer. And of course, it was a work day. The bare … Continue reading Archives
  • March 21st, 2022 - Do I wanna know? (44)
    Sometimes you get caught up in the day to day. You don’t or can’t see the bigger picture. You get bogged down in the detail. It happens to the best of us. The other day I read an amusing joke related to this problem. A very serious looking bloke was interviewing a young lady, and … Continue reading Archives
  • March 14th, 2022 - Come what may (43)
    Recently I’ve been thinking about my old mate Mike who died a while ago. Apparently the health authorities cancelled his appointments because the officialdom were oh so worried that he’d get the health subject which dare not be named, and die. That fear didn’t work out so well for my old mate. He was a … Continue reading Archives
  • March 7th, 2022 - C-dawg talks Oil (53)
    The following extract is provided as a Fernglade Farm guest post: Hey kids! Gather ’round and talk with your bad uncle Chris. Call me C-dawg. Oi! You, over there, stop mucking around and get over here. That’s better. Get in a bit closer. C’mon. Yeah. Gotta talk to you kids about oil. Whaddya mean it’s … Continue reading Archives
  • February 28th, 2022 - Detachable face (53)
    Last week a whole bunch of scrap materials (including an old car radio), were used to produce a boom box powered by the sun. It’s for the new shed. Not a bad idea, although some of the details were a bit dodgy. Take for instance the car radio itself. One of the two audio channels … Continue reading Archives
  • February 21st, 2022 - Better off super-chill (66)
    Recently, I haven’t been taking care of myself. I’d actually forgotten what it was like to feel relaxed. Hardly surprising after all. It’s come after two of the craziest years that I can recall. And as an old fella I can actually recall a few years. Yeah, frickin crazy days. On Friday morning I remarked … Continue reading Archives
  • February 14th, 2022 - Mentors (50)
    Cherry season has finished for another year. We’ve planted a number of cherry trees on the farm, but those trees are purely for ornamental purposes. The birds take all of the fruit. And I really do mean all of the fruit. The cherry trees put on a good flower show each year, and we’re good … Continue reading Archives
  • February 7th, 2022 - The Trickster (53)
    Recently I’ve been reading another instalment in the Arthurian saga. For those who don’t know, the Arthurian tales are set in the years following the departure of the Roman legions from the fifth century AD Britain. Nobody really knows what went on in those days because the people back then were simply struggling to survive … Continue reading Archives
  • January 31st, 2022 - Back to the past baby (48)
    The Editor, Sandra, had warned me about the perils of relying on the country train services. It just wasn’t all that great a service way back in the day. The infrequent services were inexplicably cancelled or late with little warning. A formative memory for her was heading into the city in order to sit a … Continue reading Archives
  • January 24th, 2022 - The less I know the better (50)
    Warm summer days. Dust and heat. The grass has yellowed and the cicadas sing. The early afternoon sun has force and the orchard trees revel in the heat. There’s little wind to speak of and the activities of the birds sound far louder than usual. The sounds of mankind have diminished. It’s quiet up here. … Continue reading Archives
  • January 17th, 2022 - Total Rubbish (46)
    It sounded like a truck. The deep rumbling coming from the road sure was loud enough. The mist hid the truck. What was going on that weekend morning? Were the neighbours getting a large delivery? Was it a drilling rig for a well? Turns out that it was the garbage truck. But why on a … Continue reading Archives
  • January 10th, 2022 - Poa Grass (41)
    The Editor and I were directed to take especial note of the single specimen of the Poa Tussock grass. It was a good looking chunk of green grass. Hundreds of individual clumped leaves reached a bit above the knees. You know you’ve earned wisdom when internally you’re thinking to yourself that you’d hit that grass … Continue reading Archives
  • January 3rd, 2022 - 2021 in the rear view (58)
    The Editor and I had a mild disagreement this evening regarding the title of the blog. The Editor won the round, and so the title is as you find it. I’d intended to title the blog ‘2021 with a bullet’. This would have been a nod to an obscure Australian music reference which few if … Continue reading Archives
2021 (53)
  • December 27th, 2021 - Been doin it for a bit (58)
    It wasn’t quite two decades ago, but it was probably close enough to that. The Editor and I were living it up in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. Plentiful cafes where the barista’s knew how to prepare a proper coffee. Walking to the supermarket was a reality. Trams ran along major roads, and the … Continue reading Archives
  • December 20th, 2021 - How can I make it OK (56)
    The guy looked kind of familiar. He was delivering some supplies for the new shed project. The supplies were 6m long (almost 20ft in length) and I had no other way of bringing the items back to the farm. Curiosity got the better of me: ‘Didn’t you deliver materials here a dozen years ago?’ And … Continue reading Archives
  • December 13th, 2021 - Make Yourself Mad (46)
    The road was steep. Trees grew on either side and branches loomed overhead. A utility vehicle had stopped on the steepest section. The nose faced uphill. The Editor and I were travelling downhill along the same road. Dinner at the local pub was the destination. If I’d known the people in the utility vehicle, I … Continue reading Archives
  • December 6th, 2021 - Little Talks (50)
    The sun dipped below the horizon. The sky near to the horizon has a really weird and ominous pink hue. And air near to the horizon looks seriously dirty. Above the pink hued dirtiness, where the previous summer clear bright blue sky only recently dominated, there is now a washed out duck egg blue colour. … Continue reading Archives
  • November 29th, 2021 - Waste A Day (52)
    Few things scream the word ‘decline’, more than an inability to obtain basic items, whilst also paying record high prices for fuel. The other day I paid $1.839 per litre (3.8 litres to the gallon) for fuel when filling up the petrol tank in the little red Dirt Mouse Suzuki. That was something of a … Continue reading Archives
  • November 22nd, 2021 - Magic Dirt (57)
    When future historians look back in wonder at these present Titanic days, they might possibly assert that giants once strode the Earth. The future archaeologists will possibly also scour through the incomprehensible remains of our planet spanning civilisation, and wonder how the population of the vast cities were kept fed. I can see the future … Continue reading Archives
  • November 15th, 2021 - Sick Muse (64)
    The front door was opened, and just inside the door, a face groggily peered up at me through sad and hurt eyes. Pressed up into the corner, nestled against the wall inside the doorway and not wanting to move a single muscle. Each move represented agony, and she was done. She’d had enough and was … Continue reading Archives
  • November 8th, 2021 - Masterpiece (52)
    Another week has gone by, and somehow another insurance bill has increased. This time the increase was 17.4% over last years bill, which at least wasn’t as bad as the 20% increase in that other earlier insurance bill. Mathematics isn’t my forte, possibly due to the constant interruptions from the school bully in year nine. … Continue reading Archives
  • November 1st, 2021 - What’s the use? (49)
    For the vast majority of my life, I’m reasonably super-chill and unflappable (edit: this is simply just not true. History is written by the victors!). Unfortunately a few evenings ago I had a mild panic attack. The ringing in my ears was accompanied by a mildly woozy feeling. There is an old saying about it … Continue reading Archives
  • October 25th, 2021 - The power and the passion (62)
    Thursday morning, a tree from the neighbours property fell onto the road. The wind was up that morning, but the tree, tall as it was, proved no match for the wind, and so it eventually fell to the ground. Gravity has been known to have that effect. However, before the tree reached the soil, it … Continue reading Archives
  • October 18th, 2021 - Against the wind (65)
    There weren’t that many single parent households in the 1970’s, it being generally considered at the time to be a difficult social proposition. Yet all the same that was where I found myself. My dad cleared out when I was super young, and I barely knew him. The lesson I took away from him was … Continue reading Archives
  • October 11th, 2021 - Captain Fun (62)
    What did you say there Plum girl? What have you been reading on the interweb anyways? Are you seriously suggesting that in the future, dog food will be delivered by drone, and we’ll own nothing and be happy? You’re my sister Plum, and we’ve known each other since way back when, but that’s the stupidest … Continue reading Archives
  • October 4th, 2021 - Broken Dreams (58)
    The local pub has been shut for a few months now. A concerned person sometimes wonders if the local establishment will ever reopen at some unspecified point in the future? It’s possible that they will, but the current restrictions limit the number of patrons dining or folks drinking indoors, to a maximum of ten people. … Continue reading Archives
  • September 27th, 2021 - Orange Crush (46)
    On the other side of the partly frosted glass window, just behind where I was seated, silhouetted by the flashing lights, there was a presence looking inwards. Nobody inside knew exactly why this was so, but by all accounts it had been the fourth time that day. Tuesday was such a strange day. Most days … Continue reading Archives
  • September 20th, 2021 - Hold on (60)
    Monday mornings recently have taken on a certain sort of unknown horror, like a vague and ill defined shadow lurking around at the edges of a Stephen King novel. In an earlier life I predominantly worked with big business. I could navigate my way around the sort of weird intricacies of such enterprises, usually with … Continue reading Archives
  • September 13th, 2021 - Stuck in limbo (72)
    It’s been remarked upon before that it is always darkest just before the dawn. Well that sure is true. It is really hard for people not directly involved to understand what it feels like to have been couped up in isolation for, what is it now? That’s right 222 days. Not that I’m counting. Unlike … Continue reading Archives
  • September 6th, 2021 - Raised by the wolves (50)
    My mother was a difficult lady. As a single mum, she probably had her hands full, what with holding down a job, studying for an undergraduate degree part time and putting meals on the table for us three kids. Her hands were probably more full at the time, than I realised way back then. Hindsight … Continue reading Archives
  • August 30th, 2021 - If you tolerate this (57)
    Restrictions on movement in the state of Victoria, where the editor and I reside, have been reduced to 5km (or 3.1 miles) from home, all due to the health subject which dare not be named. This presents something of a minor challenge when a person lives in a rural area, although there is some minor … Continue reading Archives
  • August 26th, 2021 - Ghosts of Christmas Future (15)
    My grandfather was a major male influence in my early life. My dad left when I was so young that I can barely remember him, whilst my mother and sisters were so busy with their feminine intrigues and business, that I was basically left to my own devices and had to fend for myself. Of … Continue reading Archives
  • August 23rd, 2021 - Hate to tell ya so (26)
    This past week rates pretty highly as one of the less enjoyable weeks of my existence. I’m an old fella now, and the present times remind me of the sheer panic and uncertainty that were the early 1990’s when the economic world was collapsing all around me. Way back then I worked as a really … Continue reading Archives
  • August 16th, 2021 - Dead Butterflies (48)
    A long time ago, I used to enjoy reading science fiction books. The floor to ceiling bookshelves which line the hallway of this house are full to the brim with many cherished books. The editor commands one side of the hallway, whilst I reign over the contents on other side. The bookshelves are quite extensive, … Continue reading Archives
  • August 9th, 2021 - Max-Carnage (46)
    The editor has become the accidental lock down whisperer. She knows somehow in advance that there is to be a looming announcement which has such a massive impact upon our lives. Although how she knows is something of a mystery. Thursday morning, the sun was shining and the weather was sweet. In the late winter … Continue reading Archives
  • August 2nd, 2021 - Devils haircut (42)
    As a late teenager, I had the good fortune to train for many years under one of the greatest martial artists that this country has ever produced. Sensei (Raoul Kent) was a formidable presence and I’m currently reading a book on his life, and it is bringing back all manner of memories from those teenage … Continue reading Archives
  • July 26th, 2021 - Alive (49)
    Fluffy head the chicken died this morning. She’d been ailing for a few days leading up to her final fate. During her final few days, when the other chickens romped around their hen house and attached run, doing their thing, Fluffy head moved with a ponderous lethargy. The signs were all too clear. Yesterday, she … Continue reading Archives
  • July 19th, 2021 - Petty isn’t pretty (65)
    Culture shock doesn’t come much harder than being unceremoniously relocated from an experimental hippy dippy school for disadvantaged kids, to a more English than the English grammar school. The kids in the experimental school were aggressive, and sure there were tensions, jockeying for position and grievances, but being from disadvantaged homes, the kids had probably … Continue reading Archives
  • July 12th, 2021 - The Comedown went down (52)
    It wasn’t the worst road trip in history, but it might have been close to it. Maybe fifteen years ago, four days were spent in the car watching the scenery slide past outside. Sometimes it’s hard to recall that there is so much activity going on elsewhere, and yet that is exactly what goes on … Continue reading Archives
  • July 5th, 2021 - Method to the Madness (55)
    The dirt mouse Suzuki is a small red car. There is nothing particularly aspirational or exceptional about the car, it is small and red after all, and this runs counter to the prevailing ideology which favours much larger and darker shades of vehicles. But more importantly the car uses little in the way of fuel. … Continue reading Archives
  • June 28th, 2021 - Out of the blue (54)
    Tuesday morning was really sunny and just nice, for a winter’s morning that is. The air in Melbourne had the right amount of winter bite that morning. I’m sure the good vibes weren’t from the cappuccino caffeine buzz, or possibly the heady sugar and fat high from the tasty muffin I’d just devoured, but it … Continue reading Archives
  • June 21st, 2021 - Never gonna be expectational (53)
    On Thursday night the editor and I headed into the city for a night out. When you live in the bush, you don’t really need to venture into the countryside to suck up some relaxing vibes, because the relaxing vibes are around you, all of the time. Nope, we head into the city to suck … Continue reading Archives
  • June 14th, 2021 - After the storm (65)
    ‘Are you heading to Daylesford’, she asked? ‘Nope, we’re heading to Blackwood’, came the reply. ‘Where’s that?’ Ah, a city slicker enjoying a day of work in the countryside. The blonde haired young lady on traffic management duties standing in the centre of the road was holding a large stop sign and certainly looked very … Continue reading Archives
  • June 7th, 2021 - Love in a time of Corvid (57)
    There is a window which has a view out across the valley and then way out over to the now extinct volcanoes in the west. The land is old and has many folds and ridges. Rivers and creeks drain the lower lying land. A patchwork of forest and fields, but mostly forest extends clear to … Continue reading Archives
  • May 31st, 2021 - Diary of the confined (52)
    These days turned out nothing like I had planned. Yesterday I was speaking with a friend about the plight of Australian citizens stuck in India and unable to return home again due to the health subject which dare not be named. It was only a few weeks ago that many voices were raised in the … Continue reading Archives
  • May 24th, 2021 - Chasing Cars (65)
    If it is ever going to snow, and some years it doesn’t snow, then August will be the month when it happens. August is the coldest month of the year at the farm. I’ve been thinking about cold weather because we’re now only a month out from the winter solstice. Each day, the sun is … Continue reading Archives
  • May 17th, 2021 - Get me out (56)
    My dad left the family home when I was about two, or maybe three years old. I don’t really know the details, but from time to time there are hints and flashes of memories where he appeared to be a grumpy sort of bloke. After he left, birthdays were accompanied by a card in the … Continue reading Archives
  • May 10th, 2021 - Secret forest business (54)
    I’ve had to take a bit of a break of a few weeks duration from all the rock breaking and hauling work. This break in that project also includes the excavations of clay by hand. Those activities are all hard work, and the editor and I have been doing the work for many months now. … Continue reading Archives
  • May 3rd, 2021 - Turn on the light (57)
    Many years ago we resided in the inner northern suburbs of the big smoke of Melbourne. I unfortunately worked at a very serious job at the top end of town. Serious jobs can work strange things upon a personality, and the need to do something creative in my downtime slowly took a hold of me. … Continue reading Archives
  • April 26th, 2021 - Freak Show (65)
    Twenty years ago, the editor and I lived in an inner northern suburb of Melbourne. We could walk to the city in about an hour, and the suburb was full of cafes, restaurants and the sort of amenities you’d naturally expect from such an area. The house was a terrace house on a long and … Continue reading Archives
  • April 19th, 2021 - Tales of the unexpected (50)
    A couple of days ago the median (which is the exact middle price point) for house prices in the big smoke of Melbourne just passed the million dollar price tag: That’s inflation for you, and I guess a million bucks isn’t worth what it once was! For some reason, the article took me on … Continue reading Archives
  • April 12th, 2021 - All or Nothing (54)
    A long term reader recently made the suggestion that I occasionally write about the random things which I observe in the big smoke of Melbourne. It sounded like a good idea, so why not? After all, it is one of my hobbies to walk through the gritty streets of the inner northern suburbs of the … Continue reading Archives
  • April 5th, 2021 - Prized Possession (68)
    Earlier in the week there was an article in the news discussing the rising house prices across the country. I didn’t know what to make of the article, but for some reason a memory surfaced of the legend of Cassandra. Cassandra was a legendary mythical Trojan priestess, who was cursed by the God Apollo … Continue reading Archives
  • March 29th, 2021 - The lights were on (47)
    Last Thursday the editor and I travelled in to the city in order to see the stand up comedian Michael Hing. He’s really funny, and whilst much of the show revolved around mental health issues, he kept me laughing for a solid hour. Who knew that death threats and mental health concerns could be funny … Continue reading Archives
  • March 22nd, 2021 - Sounds good in theory (49)
    It’s been almost a decade since I can recall a summer which was as cold and wet as this summer. And that one also followed on the year after an epic scale bushfire. Way back in 2010 was one such year and 1437mm, or 56.6 inches of rain fell over the farm. I’d never imagined … Continue reading Archives
  • March 15th, 2021 - Rock Legend (50)
    Occasionally a person must blow their own trumpet, or risk becoming deflated. How awful would it be to become deflated and then mired in thick mud? After all, I’m not much of a fan of mud. When I was a really young bloke and the editor and I had only just moved in together, we … Continue reading Archives
  • March 8th, 2021 - Watch your step (64)
    Earlier this week found me recounting the story of the end point of my first adult permanent job during the recession we had to have in the early 1990’s. The words: ‘Don’t come Monday’, holds something of a special certain dread for me. The unemployment rate was 10%, and only the dark fear of losing … Continue reading Archives
  • March 1st, 2021 - Love Bites (61)
    Hi everyone. I’m Plum the serious sheep dog, who just happens to be sister to Ruby the fun loving sheep dog. The two of us girlie sheep dogs came to Fernglade Farm when we were about 12 weeks old. Back then the farmers may have been of the prejudiced kind, because we were judged as … Continue reading Archives
  • February 22nd, 2021 - Tool (69)
    Earlier this week, a friend who is moving her family to a rural locale asked a seemingly simple question: What equipment do I reckon her family might need in their new rural locale? Innocuous questions are often the most difficult to provide a straight answer to. For some reason people seem to ask me these … Continue reading Archives
  • February 15th, 2021 - Groundhog Day (71)
    Another week, and we’re in yet another lock down due to the health subject which dares not be named. For the next few days across the entire state, there are only a few reasons to be caught more than 5km (3.1 miles) away home. To be caught further away from home than that usually incurs … Continue reading Archives
  • February 8th, 2021 - When Scruffy met Poopy (91)
    Once upon a time, there was a scruffy terrier who had only a cat for a friend. The scruffy terriers owners kept the dog in a backyard all day long with no humans to talk to or work with. His only friend was the cat. And as we all know, cats are fickle beasts with … Continue reading Archives
  • February 1st, 2021 - Mountain Fastness (81)
    Besides teaching me something about human nature, my professional work has taught me to rapidly take stock of the economic health of a business. There are times when exercising my professional skills where comforting, soothing and reassuring words must be dismissed entirely from consciousness. Those words are then replaced by other less flattering words which … Continue reading Archives
  • January 25th, 2021 - Greek Tragedy (76)
    In the end, the unwieldy scales of balance and equilibrium all hinge upon the story of poop. It was such a hot day today, and no doubt last week’s description of the summer as a ‘relatively cool and damp’ season tempted the weather Gods to ‘bring it on’. They have an awful sense of humour … Continue reading Archives
  • January 18th, 2021 - Lemon to a knife fight (76)
    It hasn’t been a warm summer, although some days are actually warm, but mostly the weather this season has been cool. The day in question was an exception however and the sun shone with force. The editor and I had spent the morning splitting, hauling and storing firewood so that when the serious cold weather … Continue reading Archives
  • January 11th, 2021 - Media Release: CBF (60)
    Date: Sunday, 10th January 2021 Executive Summary: In preparation for the coming winter, firewood stocks are currently being replenished. Investors will of course, enjoy the continued dividends now and into the future. Over the past twelve months of operations, the directors of the Cherokee Bank of Firewood (CBF) have taken further and serious steps towards … Continue reading Archives
  • January 4th, 2021 - Prediction 2021: Zombies (65)
    Maybe it is just the odd corners of the Interweb which I read, but predictions for the coming year seem to have become part of the traditional landscape. I’m all for tradition, if only because the recent past seems so much like the future, except that it can be different. Anyway, you heard it here … Continue reading Archives
2020 (52)
  • December 28th, 2020 - Ruby Thee Stallion (65)
    The summer of 2019 / 2020 was hot. Seriously hot. Drought held the country in a vice like grip. Plants could not grow when the only rain which did fall was half the expected average. Dust was all pervasive. It was on the ground, and also in the air. Dust storms, soon lead to fire … Continue reading Archives
  • December 21st, 2020 - The comedown (80)
    It seems so weird to me that serious people, professional agitators and the media all suggest that with a few minor tweaks, life as it is currently experienced and enjoyed can somehow become sustainable. Dunno about you, but sustainable to me means being able to do the things you do today, tomorrow and in another … Continue reading Archives
  • December 14th, 2020 - Make do (65)
    Friday lunchtime found the editor and I stuck in traffic heading back out of the city. The vehicle edged slowly past the road works and other slow points along the journey. Buses stopped in the left hand lane to disgorge passengers whilst also letting new passengers onboard. The other vehicles on the road waited patiently. … Continue reading Archives
  • December 7th, 2020 - The Great Escape (83)
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that 2020 has been something of a rough year for plenty of people. At the very least, heaps of peoples travel plans have been seriously disrupted. However, what has captured my attention of late, is that there has been a slow but steady exodus of people from the city … Continue reading Archives
  • November 30th, 2020 - I’m not keeping score (80)
    Earlier in the week found me listening to the Triple J national youth radio current affairs program: ‘Hack’. Being an old fella, it is not a bad idea to hear what the kids have to say about things. Everyone is doing it tough this year due to the health subject which dares not be named, … Continue reading Archives
  • November 23rd, 2020 - What we do when the power’s off (64)
    Late Spring turns to Summer. The weather is warm, other times hot. To place your nose outside the well sealed house is to be confronted by the smell of heat. Fortunately the farm is located on a quiet back road. When the rare car travels past on the dirt road, a cloud of dust travels … Continue reading Archives
  • November 16th, 2020 - Mirror (56)
    A few days ago I looked at my face in the mirror. I’d liked to believe that I was ageing well, but then the mirror reflected the face of some old dude back at me. Who was this old dude with weather beaten skin and the greying beard staring back at me? Despite the gradual … Continue reading Archives
  • November 9th, 2020 - Catch-19 (49)
    There have been times of late where I’d enjoy going back to the future. Due to the health subject which dares not be named, the future is clearly now not what it used to be. Actually, this year has been a good year for my business because I seem to be working harder than ever, … Continue reading Archives
  • November 2nd, 2020 - Both no and yes (54)
    Of late, a quote from Tolkien’s epic tale: The Lord of the Rings, has been bouncing around my head. The quote was from very early in the story where the Hobbits: Frodo; Sam; and Pippin, were travelling through the Shire and dodging the wicked Nazgul, who most likely wanted to capture or kill them, possibly … Continue reading Archives
  • October 26th, 2020 - Eye of the Tiger (55)
    This was such a waste of time. Why was I even there? The advertisement had asked for a dynamic candidate. Maybe they didn’t really want that, but only thought that was a desired trait because it seemed like a good idea at the time? After a long conversation, the people conducting the interview just looked … Continue reading Archives
  • October 19th, 2020 - Ruby Chewsday (52)
    “Who’s the best cattle dog of them all? It’s you!” So true. It was awkward and a little bit embarrassing to hear Chris singing his silly song to me whilst Plum and Ruby were hanging around. But I love it all the same. It is so very true, I am the best cattle dog of … Continue reading Archives
  • October 12th, 2020 - Gimme the prize (53)
    Rain poured down out of the sky. It was a torrential, almost tropical rain, but at least the day was sort of warm. In those days I didn’t think much about the weather forecast. Who does? Anyway, it was a long time ago, and there I was on my push bike cycling the short ride … Continue reading Archives
  • October 5th, 2020 - Where ever you find yourself (52)
    There was a line in the 80’s TV show Cheers where the character Norm, who’s wife was apparently at home whilst he was at the pub, suggested that: Women. You can’t live with them… pass the beer nuts. It was a bit cheeky for the character to have said so, but you know, some arrangements … Continue reading Archives
  • September 28th, 2020 - Road to snow-where (54)
    My worst fears were suddenly realised, for the editor was in the kitchen. The editor is not normally in the kitchen at this early time of the day. I hadn’t even had the chance to absorb the caffeine from the first coffee. It is of course a truth universally acknowledged that I should never be … Continue reading Archives
  • September 21st, 2020 - Can I be forgiven (66)
    Mike never really forgave me. How many times do you have to hear the same tragic story told over and over again? There we were – so the story goes – in the hot summer sun driving down the Great Ocean Road just near to the famous surf break of Bells Beach. The roof was … Continue reading Archives
  • September 14th, 2020 - Take away cake (79)
    A nice looking dark cake was sitting precariously on top of a collection of boxed goods as they were juggled by the pedestrian walking up the road. My guess was that it may have been a chocolate cake, or maybe even a darker version of a banana cake. But whatever the case, the icing was … Continue reading Archives
  • September 7th, 2020 - Eyes without a face (58)
    Tuning into the news today, oh boy! Another couple of weeks in lock down have just been added to our sentence due to the health subject that dare not be named. I must confess to feeling a mild state of shock at this turn of events. It is one thing to discuss the decline of … Continue reading Archives
  • August 31st, 2020 - Full circle (44)
    We’d had a really lovely day. Sure things are in lock down right now and it is hard to go anywhere, but there is still plenty of time for laughing, loving and living. The wind howled earlier that day and the dark had long since settled over the mountain range. Rain fell heavily just outside … Continue reading Archives
  • August 24th, 2020 - House work (75)
    Last week we messed up. The editor and I had spent so long on work around the farm and also paid work that we’d neglected to do any of the house work. And house work is no small matter here. So, on Monday morning I discovered that I would have to do an entire week’s … Continue reading Archives
  • August 17th, 2020 - Hero of the Day (60)
    Ollie the Australian cuddle dog, is actually a fearsome Bull Arab. The particular variety of dogs was bred in the far northern tropical parts of this country, for the purpose of chasing down and detaining feral pigs. Alas for poor Ollie, there are no feral pigs roaming the colder southern forests of the Central Highlands … Continue reading Archives
  • August 10th, 2020 - Party Vibe (69)
    Maybe it is just me, but the party vibe down in the big smoke of Melbourne is way dead. It is kind of funny, but people living in the big smoke of Melbourne usually head out of the city and up to the countryside for relaxation so as to immerse themselves in nature. The editor … Continue reading Archives
  • August 3rd, 2020 - Kebabs and other stuff (68)
    2020 has most certainly been a rather strange and unusual year. Last year something like 11.3 million departures took place down under. Not bad at all given our population is only 25 million souls. However, now international and domestic travel has all but ceased. But then some people seem to think that it is normal … Continue reading Archives
  • July 27th, 2020 - The winter of her discontent (72)
    Tragedy lurks among the living. However, like enduring the presence of a grifter in our lives, we dare not trust that companion, but neither can we shake it off. Tragedy hangs onto us with a vice like and tenacious grip, and we dare not turn our attention away from it, because that is when it … Continue reading Archives
  • July 20th, 2020 - We made plans (76)
    A car and trailer had pulled over by the side of the road. It endlessly amuses me that large utility vehicles are oft seen towing trailers. Maybe the owners don’t want to scratch the trays of the vehicles. Who knows, but what is known is that the large utility vehicles are expensive to own and … Continue reading Archives
  • July 13th, 2020 - Behind the scenes (55)
    Last week the final key strokes of the blog were completed. The essay was re-read from start to finish, a few edits were made, and then the call went out: “Oi! Are you ready to edit?” It must have been about 11pm on the Sunday night, and the idea of bed had become an appealing … Continue reading Archives
  • July 6th, 2020 - Titanic Days (78)
    It is hard to think straight when there is the sound of a petrol (gas) generator chugging away on the other side of the door. We’re pretty much onto the details of the weather forecast, but some days even we get things wrong. With the original forecast in mind, we committed to using the electric … Continue reading Archives
  • June 29th, 2020 - Scritchy and me (59)
    It is with much sadness that I announce that Scritchy the farm boss dog for the past decade died on Thursday morning. Scritchy lived for nineteen years and she ruled the fluffy collective of dogs with an iron paw. She will be much missed. When a boss dog is lost, the remaining fluffy collective gets … Continue reading Archives
  • June 22nd, 2020 - Lying by omission (73)
    Today marks the winter solstice in my corner of the planet. The sun shines upon the land with feeble rays at this dark time of the year, and perhaps using less romantic descriptive words, it is basically just cold. Although at 37.5 degrees latitude south of the equator, it really isn’t all that cold comparatively … Continue reading Archives
  • June 15th, 2020 - The Editor’s and Chris’s Excellent Adventure (56)
    On Friday the winter sun weakly shone with what felt almost like warmth. The weather was indeed sweet, so the editor and I took ourselves off on an adventure. The adventure ended up at one of the most picturesque lakes in the country, and fortunately for us the lake is under an hours drive away … Continue reading Archives
  • June 8th, 2020 - Defining moments (64)
    We’ve all had a few of those times known as defining moments. You know when the world seems somehow different after you’ve been through the moment. And you never really know when they’re going to hit you hard in the guts, leaving you forever changed. And it can be the most innocuous of circumstances. People … Continue reading Archives
  • June 1st, 2020 - The taming of the Fluffy (68)
    Maybe it was just me, but when I worked in the corporate world and ran a graduate program, very occasionally I encountered an assistant accountant who just couldn’t wait to teach me all that they knew. Their sense of self belief and willingness to push boundaries exceeded their capabilities, yet they knew it not. Sidewinder … Continue reading Archives
  • May 25th, 2020 - Heavy is the head (40)
    Years ago a bloke told me an odd story. There was no surprise that he was recounting an odd story because he was a bit of an odd bloke himself. Odd stories came naturally for him. He was no friend of mine either, just someone I’d bump into every now and then. And he’d invariably … Continue reading Archives
  • May 18th, 2020 - Hunger and stories (86)
    Growing up in a household with a single mother, I guess that must have meant that we were relatively poor. I can’t really say that as a kid I took any notice of that lowly status. Things were just as they were, and none of my friends seemed to live more opulently than we were … Continue reading Archives
  • May 11th, 2020 - Greedy Salt Chip Scab (73)
    How did that famous song sung by Bob Dylan go, oh that’s right: ‘For the times they are weird-ing’? Possibly he might not have sung those exact words. Given a vast portion of the population is in lock down (due to the subject that dare not be named) he might have been better off belting … Continue reading Archives
  • May 4th, 2020 - Fluffy Red Shoe Envy (72)
    When you live on the underside of the planet, things are different. Europe and North America, well they’re heading into Summer. However, in the Southern Hemisphere, we’re heading into winter. And over the past week an Antarctic blast has delivered cold air and serious amounts of rain. One of my pleasures is reading a book … Continue reading Archives
  • April 27th, 2020 - Poopy’s curse (75)
    Long term readers will recall the deceased canine: Sir Poopy, the Swedish Lapphund. Whenever a rat, rabbit or fox cub needed dealing too, Sir Poopy was there doing the hard yards. His services on the farm were performed with minimal fuss. He was a quiet achiever. But like all super heroes, he had his kryptonite: … Continue reading Archives
  • April 20th, 2020 - The Tooth-Off (77)
    Saturday morning I picked up the newspaper at the local general store. The sheer waste from the take away coffee annoys me no end. But how else do you support local businesses that are important to the local community, other than spending money in those businesses? The newspaper is getting thinner too. Back when I … Continue reading Archives
  • April 13th, 2020 - Courtesy and Clouds (82)
    Some people are like clouds, and the world is brighter when they’re gone. In these strange days of massive re-localisation, I’m very careful about local relationships and how I’m perceived. Most of the local people I know well around this rural area help me out as much as they are able to do so. And … Continue reading Archives
  • April 6th, 2020 - Sick Fest 2017 (74)
    The day started off like any other normal day. Other people seem to enjoy early mornings, alas I am not one of them. Ordinarily when the world is not going mad, or I’m feeling distressed about having to get a dog put down, I generally sleep well and deeply. And that was the case back … Continue reading Archives
  • March 30th, 2020 - Heart’s a mess (99)
    Last week the tale was told of the intersection of a personal loan, a personal computer, and the editor. The editor stuck around, the loan from the bank was paid out, and the personal computer had a really fascinating journey. I learned a lot about the nature of some folks during the computers journey, so … Continue reading Archives
  • March 23rd, 2020 - Love in a time of crisis (101)
    Without any doubts, the past week has been the craziest week that I can recall. At the beginning of the week I had a business, now at the conclusion of the week, I don’t exactly know what is going on. The things I’ve seen and heard this week would stir the blood of the average … Continue reading Archives
  • March 16th, 2020 - Flat out (98)
    Of late it has been hard to shut out the constant noise of fear from the media about the novel coronavirus. That’s not to suggest that the virus is not something to worry about, because it looks as if it will be a problem for many folks. However, the result of all that constant dumping-on … Continue reading Archives
  • March 9th, 2020 - Straight Lines (110)
    We’ve all received a back handed compliment. You know the type, it’s a mix of compliment and criticism all mixed up in one horrid thump-upon-the-skull type of sentence. Folks do such things to make themselves feel better about their own ordinary lives. Fair enough too, if it makes them feel better. Hopefully the recipients have … Continue reading Archives
  • March 2nd, 2020 - The Great Unravelling (91)
    The long deceased American author Mark Twain once wrote of dogs that: When a man’s dog turns against him it is time for a wife to pack her trunk and go home to mama. Fortunately for me the canine fluffy collective that work here on the farm, are most definitely on my side. The editor … Continue reading Archives
  • February 24th, 2020 - Just a gent (77)
    Ollie the Australian cuddle dog here. I’m technically an Australian cattle dog, but I just like cuddles more than cattle. Cattle are boring and they never do anything fun. Some folks train my brothers and sisters to hunt feral pigs and rogue cattle, but that all sounds like a lot of hard work to me. … Continue reading Archives
  • February 17th, 2020 - Two for One (59)
    Scritchy is getting to be an old girl. Scritchy (as everyone knows) is the miniature fox terrier, who of course is the boss dog on the farm. However, it has been a long time since she has actively wielded that title. These days she commands her Fluffy canine crew from the comforts of a bean … Continue reading Archives
  • February 10th, 2020 - The Littlest Little Farm (70)
    By now, long term readers will know that the editor and I work pretty hard. However, the truth of the matter is that on occasion we totally dodge work, and we’re cool with that. That was the case last Thursday. We woke up on Thursday to a glorious summers day. The sun was shining, and … Continue reading Archives
  • February 3rd, 2020 - Things don’t seem (61)
    Intriguing events can sometimes coalesce when a person gets off the couch and goes to the pub. Mind you, I can’t recall the last time that I actually sat on a couch for any length of time. For one reason, the green couch behind me has no room. Ollie the Australian cuddle dog (by now … Continue reading Archives
  • January 27th, 2020 - Virtual Kebab (77)
    The Global Financial Crisis was a fun time to sell a house. In Melbourne it is fashionable to sell a house by the process of public auction. There is not much more of a public display than for all of your neighbours to stand around the street whilst an auctioneer conducts a public auction for … Continue reading Archives
  • January 20th, 2020 - Ain’t no instructions (72)
    Trial and error is a tough way to learn, but for some things I don’t see anyway around using the technique. Last week’s blog included a short note about using coal to produce electricity. I then contrasted coal to the process of generating electricity using renewable energy. And as I was writing the story, I … Continue reading Archives
  • January 13th, 2020 - Getting away with it all messed up (67)
    The recent horrendous bushfires have been dominating my thoughts. I mean, for a start, the media attention has certainly been focused on the fires. And fair enough too, the fires have burned through nearly 11 million hectares (that’s 27.5 million acres). That’s a lot of land burned, and a back of the envelope calculation suggests … Continue reading Archives
  • January 6th, 2020 - Around and Around (72)
    Around and around she travelled, at ever increasing speeds. She’s once, twice, three times, but she ain’t no lady. Still, despite her less than lady like demeanour, I love the old Scritchy dog. And incidentally, she made it around the house six times that day before I put a stop to her craziness. At eighteen … Continue reading Archives
2019 (52)
  • December 30th, 2019 - Heavy cross to bear (60)
    Smoke, thicker than the very air itself, obscures the usual blue summer skies. The colours are washed out by the smoke and things take on a yellow and brown hue. Every breath is an exertion, and the extreme summer heat does nothing to make it any easier. Plants wilt under the intensity of the sun, … Continue reading Archives
  • December 23rd, 2019 - Compromise is not a dirty word (60)
    The scent of Eucalyptus oil is a powerful memory for me. On hot days just outside the front door of the house, the heady aroma of the local forest can be a beautiful thing. But like certain forms of beauty, the aroma can also hold terror. I haven’t always been a country bumpkin who enjoys … Continue reading Archives
  • December 16th, 2019 - The Eyes of the Overworld (83)
    I love the ongoing war of waste. I mean who doesn’t love it, and the war efforts seem like a whole bunch of fun to me. Over the years it’s been one of my strategies to gain an advantage by not participating fully in the ongoing war effort. I figure it takes income to produce … Continue reading Archives
  • December 9th, 2019 - Chickens, death and stuff (64)
    One of the Araucana chickens died earlier this week. One day she was bossily bossing all of the other chickens around, and the next day she was dead. Chickens are like that, and you never quite know when they’ll drop off their perch. Anyway, I discovered the lavender coloured Araucana chicken one morning sprawled out … Continue reading Archives
  • December 2nd, 2019 - Cold Spring Mountain (47)
    The only thing that I can be positively sure of, is that I am entirely unsure as to what the weather will hold in store for the farm. And the sheer variability in the seasons from year to year means that I make mistakes with the timing of planting. Large parts of this driest inhabited … Continue reading Archives
  • November 25th, 2019 - I feel the need. The need for mead (63)
    When you think back upon the concerns of your past, it is funny to consider just how far and strange the journey that one’s life becomes. The 1986 film Top Gun cast a long cultural shadow. At the time of the films release I was a teenager, the soundtrack dominated the airwaves, the quotes were … Continue reading Archives
  • November 18th, 2019 - The Joke’s on Them (63)
    Last week, the editor suggested that a trip to the cinema was in order. I quite enjoy going to the cinema to watch films on the big screen and who doesn’t enjoy the comfy seats? Plus the editor always nabs a particularly tasty bag of lollies. And at the end of the film there is … Continue reading Archives
  • November 11th, 2019 - All Ears (55)
    A few nights ago, I awoke from a vivid dream. During the daytime, I can barely recollect visual memories, but night time is a whole different world. My dreams are occasionally vivid, and I almost feel as if I am walking alive in the dream state. I’m not immune from nightmares either, and know what … Continue reading Archives
  • November 4th, 2019 - Hammer to Fall (80)
    This evening I randomly walked around the surrounding forest whilst the sun set. Despite being late spring, the air was cool and humid. Over the previous 24 hours, a storm had dropped more than an inch of rain over the farm, and the ground, trees and everything else was wet. Walking under the canopy of … Continue reading Archives
  • October 28th, 2019 - The Wrong One (74)
    I love food, who doesn’t? Anyway, last Wednesday evening I was at a restaurant and was served a meal which was bland. Actually bland wasn’t the right word to use, a better way to describe the meal was to suggest that the closest approximation to the meal was a particularly filthy batch of washing up … Continue reading Archives
  • October 21st, 2019 - She’ll be apples (74)
    Some folks have been telling me of late that they fear ‘climate change’. And they must be right, because they sure looked genuinely fearful to me. Other folks have taken to the streets recently and are pressuring local governments to declare a ‘climate emergency’. And they must be right too, because some local governments have … Continue reading Archives
  • October 14th, 2019 - Bored to death (63)
    Wonder is the feeling of stepping outside your door of a morning, only to discover what fun the local wildlife has had in the orchard during the previous evening. There is never a dull moment living here. And the wildlife raging and partying through the orchard is as much a part of the farm as … Continue reading Archives
  • October 7th, 2019 - Likee (52)
    Early mornings are rarely clear for me. My head reclines upon the pillow, whilst my eyes adjust to the light of day streaming in from another part of the house. Surely it had been dark only moments before? Maybe? I just need a few more minutes sleep, but the phones alarm chimes incessantly with the … Continue reading Archives
  • September 30th, 2019 - An old story (66)
    Earlier today I travelled for three hours (one way) in order to speak to a lady about a machine. It is an interesting machine, the price was agreed upon, and the machine was loaded onto the bright yellow trailer. Then we headed home. Today was a beautiful spring day for a car trip as the … Continue reading Archives
  • September 23rd, 2019 - Goodbye Yellow Rock Road (68)
    The climate in Australia could best be described in one word: Variable. From one month to the next, I really have no idea as to the sort of weather that the farm will have to endure. However, just because I don’t necessarily like the sort of weather that I’m enduring, doesn’t make it go away. … Continue reading Archives
  • September 16th, 2019 - The Help (70)
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. My deeper understanding of that particular aphorism took me a long time to acquire. And as usual, the understanding came with a whole bunch of unnecessary pain. As a young adult I was very earnest. The unbearable lightness of … Continue reading Archives
  • September 9th, 2019 - The year of no car (60)
    Email rarely holds the same appeal and anticipation as unlocking a post box at the local post office. There is magic in the simple opening of the hinged post box door and peering inside. You never quite know what will be contained within the dark confines of a post box. Sometimes there is so much … Continue reading Archives
  • September 2nd, 2019 - The Blue Hat (77)
    I just wasn’t cool enough. I mean who is cool enough? A few years ago I spied a blue hat in one of my favourite shops in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. About once a week, I’d pass by the shop and the blue hat called to me from the other side of the … Continue reading Archives
  • August 26th, 2019 - Modern Grain Theory – Roasted the Sheep (56)
    We continue the intermission from our usual programming… This is the final instalment of the gripping tale of a duck that ends up in murky financial waters. Editor says: Thank goodness you’re winding the story up, I can’t recall the previous three instalments! Our hero Sitting Duck, the cadet reporter, has been sent by Truman … Continue reading Archives
  • August 19th, 2019 - A rose is a rose in a row (63)
    The gripping conclusion to Modern Grain Theory has to wait for another week. (Editor says ‘wrap it up, it’s getting old’) Regular readers will recall that for obvious, and mostly weather related reasons, the blog last week focused on snow and winter rain. During such weather conditions, it is very hard to work outside. And … Continue reading Archives
  • August 12th, 2019 - Breaking wombat news: I had plans (101)
    Breaking wombat news: Heavy snow falls over the Central Highlands of Victoria The conclusion to the Modern Grain Theory story has to wait for this urgent news update from our local reporter on the ground. Over to you Chris! I had plans. No seriously, I really did have plans to continue excavating soil on the … Continue reading Archives
  • August 5th, 2019 - Modern Grain Theory – Basashi the Horse (61)
    We continue the intermission from our usual programming… Our hero Sitting Duck, the cadet reporter, is no longer sitting because he has just been brusquely dismissed by the economic theorist Truman the Turkey. Sitting Duck has been sent by Truman to seek out Roasted the Sheep. The look of stink-eye that Truman Turkey gave our … Continue reading Archives
  • July 29th, 2019 - Out of mind out of sight (70)
    INTERMISSION: We now take a break from our unscheduled break to bring you an important message from our sole sponsor: The biosphere of planet Earth. Last year a friend loaned me a first edition copy of the 1972 book: “The Limits to Growth”. Of course the copy had to be a paperback edition, and whilst … Continue reading Archives
  • July 22nd, 2019 - Modern Grain Theory – Truman the Turkey (58)
    We continue the intermission from our usual programming… Our hero Sitting Duck, the cadet reporter, is in fact sitting in Big Pig’s opulent office, whilst Big Pig pontificates upon the subject of Modern Grain Theory. Sitting Duck, really didn’t concentrate all that well upon the finer details of the central tenets of Big Pigs new … Continue reading Archives
  • July 15th, 2019 - Modern Grain Theory (56)
    We now take an intermission from our usual programming… Sitting Duck had done all the right things so far in his life. As a young duckling, he’d studied harder than the other ducks and achieved good grades. Eventually, he’d attended University and earned himself an undergraduate arts degree majoring in journalism with honours. Of course … Continue reading Archives
  • July 8th, 2019 - Ollie’s excellent adventure (77)
    A pungent stench emanated from the rear of the vehicle. The fifteen year old Suzuki Vitara dirt rat is a small vehicle. However, when it comes to potent stinks, the rear of the vehicle is very close indeed. Ollie the Australian cuddle dog (by now everyone knows he’s an intelligent Australian cattle dog), was looking … Continue reading Archives
  • July 1st, 2019 - Christmas in July – Penguins and Polar Bears (87)
    The winds roared, the temperature dropped and the rain was unrelenting. The noise of the wind howling through the trees during the previous night woke me from my slumber on several occasions. Before dawn the rain was falling heavily, and it continued to fall steadily until well after sun down. Two and half inches of … Continue reading Archives
  • June 24th, 2019 - Fire Sale (60)
    The house was frankly a bit of a dump. On the other hand, the proportions were grand, and I’m a bit of a sucker for 1880’s boom style architecture. The houses from those days are fairly basic, but with lots of interesting details, such as the cast iron lacework at the front of the house. … Continue reading Archives
  • June 17th, 2019 - Early morning horror (62)
    Early mornings are usually accompanied by strange sounds. There is the initial solid sounding click. Then all goes quiet whilst the boiler goes about its boiling. Another click produces a delightfully anticipated whirring sound as the pump pushes hot water through the coffee grounds. But nothing quite compares to the hiss of the steam as … Continue reading Archives
  • June 10th, 2019 - Dig Dug (63)
    Alas for my misbegotten youth. As a teenager I was a mercenary little scamp, occasionally working three jobs at a time. And three jobs meant that I was usually rolling in mad cash. And back in those heady teenage days, businesses actually paid in physical cash. In these enlightened times, pays are represented by some … Continue reading Archives
  • June 3rd, 2019 - Failure is always an option (67)
    When writing a weekly blog, it is tempting to only write about the successes and the wins. But sometimes you don’t win, and despite your best efforts, success is out of reach. This week, I acknowledged that Moby (body) Rock is a worthy adversary that bested me. Moby (body) Rock is the huge chunk of … Continue reading Archives
  • May 27th, 2019 - Ye Scurvy Dogs (85)
    Someone once recounted an amusing story to me, the gist of which was that children these days believed that money came from ATM’s (Automatic Teller Machines). From one perspective, the kids are correct, but alas for them, that is only part of the larger story of money. When I was a kid, ATM’s were unheard … Continue reading Archives
  • May 20th, 2019 - Gravity sucks (86)
    Humans exist day to day in a very complicated process of co-operation with other members of our species. But at the same time our co-operation also applies to every other species that live on this delightful planet. And co-operation inevitably involves relationships. I was thinking about such matters the other week, because somebody asked me … Continue reading Archives
  • May 13th, 2019 - Starting small (60)
    It seems to me that these days everyone wants things big. A big house, a big car with maybe even some big debt. Heck, even I want (and got) some big land. I like having big land, so I have no problems with people wanting a big house or a big car. I’m just sort … Continue reading Archives
  • May 6th, 2019 - Poverty with flair (58)
    I was looking at old photos this evening and the above photo leapt into my awareness. It was from 15 years ago and not only did I wear a watch in those days, I was also sound asleep whilst the old boss dog, The Fat (a Dorgi which is a Dachshund – Corgi cross) and … Continue reading Archives
  • April 29th, 2019 - Cow’s Backside (80)
    Food is such a fascinating topic. I enjoy growing food as much as I enjoy preparing and consuming it. My perspective is that us humans eat food three times per day (if we’re lucky), so it is probably not a bad idea to have an interest in the subject. Since 2010, we’ve kept a batch … Continue reading Archives
  • April 22nd, 2019 - Fake Plastic Trees (62)
    Politics these days is a funny business. About one of the best explanations of the workings and processes of election results in representative democracy as it is understood down under is that: Oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. We’re in the midst of a Federal election campaign down here and I have heard some … Continue reading Archives
  • April 15th, 2019 - Movin’ On (55)
    The other day I was uploading old blogs onto this newer blogging website. It was a strange, and uncomfortable experience for me to look back upon the recent past and wonder about those earlier days. I’m not the sort of bloke to dwell upon the past, however looking at those old photos it became clear … Continue reading Archives
  • April 8th, 2019 - Eco, what? (65)
    A local bakery provides a delightful lunch consisting of roast pork (or roast lamb) and salad greens in a bun. The bakery has a large selection of cakes too, and I’m quite partial to their Lamington. Occasionally when the editor and I are in the mood for such a lunch, we venture off the farm … Continue reading Archives
  • April 1st, 2019 - Threes (80)
    Some weeks you’re on top of the world. And other weeks you’d rather not have to revisit. Friday, was Sir Scruffy’s, final day. He was a charming old fella but he’d reached the end of his lifespan. Sir Scruffy came into my life one day as a boon companion. The traffic was heavy and acting … Continue reading Archives
  • March 25th, 2019 - Bless this mess (87)
    Last week I wrote about the recent student strikes. The students on strike from school have been gathering in ever larger numbers to protest against a lack of action on climate change. The kids have got a point, because I don’t see any action on climate change either. Maybe climate change isn’t such a big … Continue reading Archives
  • March 18th, 2019 - A strong case to answer (79)
    It must have been about 1990 when my mates and I were in the city for the huge rally, demonstration and march protesting the Gulf War. We protested along with tens of thousands of other people, and I’d never seen so many people in one place before. We were all walking along Swanston Street and … Continue reading Archives
  • March 11th, 2019 - We’re going home (69)
    Long term readers will know by now that I rarely write about the subject of accounting. From time to time the subject of accounting can be quite interesting, sometimes it can even be amusing, but mostly the profession has a well earned reputation for being rather dull. Occasionally I’ve been cornered at a party by … Continue reading Archives
  • March 4th, 2019 - Steel dragon (64)
    The shop was full of quirky and fascinating items. It was the sort of shop where those mysterious items spilled out onto the footpath enticing passerby’s to purchase them. I was a passerby myself, and despite having never set foot in the shop, I always imagined that there was some old dude out the back. … Continue reading Archives
  • February 25th, 2019 - Talkin bout Vegan (59)
    Some people have all the fun. I keep hearing about self righteous and proselytizing vegans, but all the people I know who pursue a vegan diet, are by and large, lovely people. They quietly go about their lives, pursuing and enjoying a plant based diet. Perhaps there are grumpy ones out there, but I feel … Continue reading Archives
  • February 18th, 2019 - Ramping it down (81)
    Early last year I went with friends to a ‘Trivia Night’ at their local golf club. It was a fun night, despite me suffering from the flu. My friends weren’t members of the golf club, and I don’t believe they even play golf, but the club usually put on a good feed and kept a … Continue reading Archives
  • February 11th, 2019 - Peak balls (86)
    The lights go red. It’s a very busy intersection in the inner north of Melbourne. And whilst five lanes of traffic have come to a halt, a young lady and a bloke daringly walk into the intersection and perform in front of all of the stationary cars. The young pair juggle balls and otherwise generally … Continue reading Archives
  • February 4th, 2019 - Tell them all I said Hi! (79)
    As a kid we moved around a lot. I often changed schools and houses, and that was a natural consequence of having a single mother. At the time I thought that every other kid experienced that too, and it all seemed normal to me. Anyway, practice makes perfect, and I learned at a young age … Continue reading Archives
  • January 28th, 2019 - The Show Must Go On (88)
    Trees shift and sag with the hot wind. Brown and yellow leaves fall from high up in the canopy, almost as if they were imitating snow. The heat is surprising, and the only escape from the scorching sun and forceful wind is inside the house. Despite the heavy insulation, inside the house just gets warmer, … Continue reading Archives
  • January 21st, 2019 - Shades of Grey (76)
    An interesting side effect of the Christmas summer holidays was that the editor and I encountered both younger and middle aged adults at the local cafe. It was as if these previously unseen categories of persons had popped out of the forest or one of the nearby towns. Perhaps to enjoy a cappuccino or latte … Continue reading Archives
  • January 14th, 2019 - A very special fluffy (58)
    Dogs make for poor company in a bedroom. They snore, and they’re very comfortable ripping out a hearty fart. And sometimes when they’re enjoying a dream, they’ll be sound asleep and not moving anywhere, but their feet are running at speed along the timber skirting boards at the bottom of the walls. It is a … Continue reading Archives
  • January 7th, 2019 - 6am has never been my friend (85)
    During the Christmas period I thought about family and what that all meant. And honestly, I can’t say that I’m any wiser on the subject. My dad left when I was a very young kid. He was there one day, and the next he was gone. It was all really a bit of a mystery … Continue reading Archives
2018 (37)
  • December 31st, 2018 - Full of hot air (89)
    Hot days produce the most spectacular sunsets. As the sun sets below the horizon, the air burns with deep reds, oranges and yellows. The insects and frogs herald the warm summer nights with their myriad sounds. And the light from the setting sun highlights the little marsupial bats against the deepening sky as they dart … Continue reading Archives
  • December 24th, 2018 - A Christmas Tail (78)
    ‘Twas the months after Christmas, and all through the night Small dry brown pine trees, were dumped in plain sight They were thrown from vehicles without any cares Safe in the knowledge that tip fees would never be theirs. It is all right, in fact everything is all right, the struggle continues but we’re making … Continue reading Archives
  • December 17th, 2018 - But why? (79)
    The other day I was at the petrol (gas) station filling up the new dirt mouse Suzuki. I happened to glance across to see that another customer’s fuel bill was $188. The shock of seeing that extraordinary bill almost caused me to vent out a loud naughty expletive! Long term readers will know by now, … Continue reading Archives
  • December 10th, 2018 - What would you do? (73)
    Ollie, the Australian cuddle dog (who occasionally pretends to be an Australian cattle dog) earned his breakfast this week. The editor and I, as well as Toothy and Ollie were walking around the lower part of the farm, when all of a sudden a magpie (a family of birds that live on the farm) swooped … Continue reading Archives
  • December 3rd, 2018 - The Omega Kids (60)
    Earlier in the week, the editor and I had a desire to see the ocean. And so, we took ourselves – and the shiny new, dirt mouse Suzuki – to visit a coastal town that we know and love along the Great Ocean Road. It is a nice town, and the local fisherman’s co-operative sells … Continue reading Archives
  • November 26th, 2018 - The old dog and the boss (72)
    You don’t have to spend more than a few minutes with the dogs (colloquially known as the “Fluffy Collective”) here at the farm to know that Scritchy the fox terrier, is the boss dog. She is the boss, yet whilst being relentlessly cheerful, she is as mean as a canine could be. She rules the … Continue reading Archives
  • November 19th, 2018 - War on worms (64)
    People are concerned about the War on Waste. I’m not concerned about the War of Waste, because I’d have to suggest that as a species we’re pretty good at creating waste, which is a good thing for the ongoing war efforts. The other day, I was thinking about the ongoing war as I watched a … Continue reading Archives
  • November 12th, 2018 - A post about fences (a fence post) (66)
    The first of the seasons strawberries ripened this week. Over my life, I’ve purchased many strawberries from markets and farm shops, but nothing, and I really mean nothing, prepares you for the explosion of taste that is a sun ripened strawberry plucked directly from the bush. We’ve been growing strawberries for about five or six … Continue reading Archives
  • November 5th, 2018 - Acting dumb (62)
    Some people have only one tool in their mental toolbox, and they try to use it in all sorts of inappropriate situations. Having only a single tool in the mental toolbox can be very unfortunate indeed, especially for other people around them. Take Sir Scruffy for example. Sir Scruffy is a very charming dog, and … Continue reading Archives
  • October 29th, 2018 - Megalodog (65)
    The editor and I visited a local dog shelter at the beginning of this year. As long term readers may recall, at that time Sir Poopy fox bane, suffered fatal renal failure. I really enjoyed Sir Poopy’s company, but renal failure is a tough thing to endure and he rapidly went blind, lost weight and … Continue reading Archives
  • October 22nd, 2018 - Cat on a hot tin roof (57)
    The afternoon sun sure is hot. The UV recently tipped into the ‘High” category, whatever that means. All I know about that, is that when working outside in the late spring sunshine, it sure is hot. That phrase was going around and around my brain today because I was actually sitting on a steel roof … Continue reading Archives
  • October 15th, 2018 - Dexter (67)
    Earlier this week, and late into the evening, the little dirt mouse Suzuki Swift stranded the editor and I in the big smoke of Melbourne. The engine began over heating. Upon noticing the problem, I decided to switch off the motor thus preventing any further damage. We then assessed our options for getting out of … Continue reading Archives
  • October 8th, 2018 - Why I don’t write for children (57)
    It would be nice to have access to bucket loads of mad cash. Just think of the things I could do here on the farm using heaps of mad cash! Sometimes, in the darkest hours of the night, I think to myself that I should write for children or young adults. It seems like a … Continue reading Archives
  • October 1st, 2018 - Neat AF (91)
    Earlier this year there was an amusing advertising campaign which began with the line, ‘Broke AF’, before then going on to make a solid case for consumer credit. The advertising campaign may not have been targeted at me, probably because I’m too old to understand what the advertisement was originally going on about. I had … Continue reading Archives
  • September 24th, 2018 - Yoghurt Retreat (64)
    It is a burden to be perpetually uncool. Sometimes I wish I was more like the cool kids because nowadays the cool kids seem to have issues with their digestion. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems to be a thing and I’m missing out. Unfortunately, because I’m uncool, food ordinarily goes in … Continue reading Archives
  • September 17th, 2018 - Not Sustainable (68)
    As a bit of a confession, I regularly read the real estate section of the weekend newspaper. I am a bit guilty reading it because it feels like having a dirty little secret. Anyway, it is no longer a secret, because I’ve just shared it with all of the nice people that read the blog. … Continue reading Archives
  • September 10th, 2018 - Revenge of the birds (93)
    I ran into Toothy at the Lost Dogs Home, way back in July 2006. By the time July rolls around down under, it is winter, and that was a particularly cold day. Or maybe I was just upset because I’d only recently had to get the old boss dog put down. She was a tough … Continue reading Archives
  • September 3rd, 2018 - Two Toilet Roll Terror (67)
    The other evening the editor and I were in the big smoke of Melbourne on the hunt for a coffee and cake, and then a meal. Such expeditions are profitable undertakings because you never quite know what food genius you’ll discover on the journey. On a recent hunter gatherer expedition, we discovered a small “Piña … Continue reading Archives
  • August 27th, 2018 - Mad Skillz (66)
    A few days ago I conducted a discussion with the Green Wizard’s Association of Melbourne on the topic of renewable energy. I know a thing or two about renewable energy because I’ve been mucking around with the technology for about 11 years now and the house is not connected to the electricity grid. Over that time … Continue reading Archives
  • August 20th, 2018 - Like An Onion (76)
    A mate of mine loved the film ‘Shrek’. He used to talk about the film, recounting stories where Shrek did this, or Shrek did that. I don’t dislike cartoon movies, but long term readers will understand that I take the word ‘busy’ to the whole next level, and so despite my mates insistent urging to … Continue reading Archives
  • August 19th, 2018 - Snow Mount Macedon 19th August 2018 (2)
    Hey everyone! We interrupt the usual programming to bring you… Snow! Yay for snow!
  • August 13th, 2018 - Dry times and mince meat (64)
    So far this year, the climate in this mountain range has been warmer. If it is going to snow, August is usually the month that snow will happen. But no, it has been warm enough that we haven’t seen any snowfall that lasted more than a minute or two. The winter here is still relatively … Continue reading Archives
  • August 6th, 2018 - The War on Warts (76)
    Everyone is so worried these days about the War on Waste. It is a serious problem. Indeed the other day I spotted a lady sitting at a table inside a cafe consuming her coffee in a takeaway cup. The takeaway cup was manufactured using plastic lined cardboard with a plastic lid. Fortunately for the war … Continue reading Archives
  • July 30th, 2018 - The Princess and the Peanut (66)
    Very occasionally I find myself having strange conversations with people. That was certainly the case a few weeks back when a townie bloke I only know tolerably well provided the unasked for and candid observation: “People living in rural areas are stupid”. Thanks for sharing that opinion with me… I didn’t take offense because I … Continue reading Archives
  • July 23rd, 2018 - You can’t stop regress (58)
    The farm is now a month on from the winter solstice. Spare a thought for us people suffering though the coldest part of the year. Even Scritchy the ultra tough miniature fox terrier boss dog is finding the conditions to be cold – and not to her liking at all! In the depths of winter … Continue reading Archives
  • July 16th, 2018 - Apples and Oranges (59)
    Once upon a time there was a bloke who planted an apple orchard. It was a large apple orchard full of productive trees, all of whom he knew well. All of the family worked on the orchard and after so many years the trees produced enough apples that they could all happily eat apples any … Continue reading Archives
  • July 9th, 2018 - A test of values (56)
    Vroom! Vroom! In my late teens I was quite the petrol head. I loved cars. I loved everything about cars, and the faster they went, the more I loved them. I owned a car before I even had a license to drive one. Here it is: I bought the snot green car for cash from … Continue reading Archives
  • July 2nd, 2018 - The loan (55)
    In my final year of high school, my mother somehow talked me out of my various part time jobs. I loved the cash those part time jobs brought, and for as long as I could recall, I’d never been without work – and cash. The lure for me was the promise of something rare and … Continue reading Archives
  • June 25th, 2018 - Sunday night is alright (64)
    Long term readers will recall that I was a mercenary little child, who during some years worked up to three jobs a day as well as attending school. What can I say, I liked the cash! And anyway, I had incentive to work hard because pocket money was as rarer than unicorns! I’m always surprised … Continue reading Archives
  • June 18th, 2018 - Ocean Olley (70)
    By now long term readers will know that Ollie the Australian cuddle dog (he is technically an Australian cattle dog) replaced the sadly departed Sir Poopy the Swedish Lapphund. Ollie’s duties are exactly the same as the much missed Sir Poopy. I took a quick look at Ollie’s job description and it included a number … Continue reading Archives
  • June 11th, 2018 - A good use for a Temporal Anomaly (57)
    Every right thinking person knows that in the science fiction world of Star Trek, a Temporal Anomaly is a disruption in the space-time continuum which can be related to time travel. Temporal anomalies can take many forms and have many different effects, including temporal reversion, the creation of alternate timelines, and fracturing a vessel into … Continue reading Archives
  • June 4th, 2018 - Aphorism (13)
    Pennywise the clown has had an illustrious career. The horrific clown character is a creation of the author Stephen King, and is the protagonist of Mr King’s1986 book: “It”. Who likes clowns? I don’t like clowns and never have. I reckon they’re pretty scary with all that makeup and stuff, and clearly they have something … Continue reading Archives
  • May 22nd, 2018 - Hey dude, where’s my podcast? (0)
    Just in case you were wondering, I just wanted to let people know that I have now deleted the podcast for the farm blog. To be honest it was a lot of work, and the activity brought me no additional conversations with like minded people and so it ended up being all work and no … Continue reading Archives
  • April 30th, 2018 - 2018 April posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 30 April 2018   Rule of thumb This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: The weather here is ever so slowly moving towards winter. The days are shorter and cool, and the nights are even colder. As we head closer to the winter solstice, the sun drops lower … Continue reading Archives
  • March 1st, 2018 - 2018 March posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 26 March 2018   Back to the wall This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Some people don’t enjoy public speaking. They get anxious, flustered, and can even feel vulnerable. I on the other hand, quite enjoy public speaking. When I was a teenager I lost any fear … Continue reading Archives
  • February 1st, 2018 - 2018 February posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 26 February 2018   If it makes no sense This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Of late I have been reading Mr Gene Logsdon’s book: “Small-Scale Grain Raising”. It is an excellent book and I recommend it highly. Mr Logsdon is a practical bloke with a lifetime … Continue reading Archives
  • January 1st, 2018 - 2018 January posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 29 January 2018   Unbearable lightness of being an idiot This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: I haven’t always lived this way. Almost two decades ago, I used to live in an inner city suburb of Melbourne. It was 4km (2.5 miles) from the city centre, so … Continue reading Archives
2017 (12)
  • December 1st, 2017 - 2017 December posts x 4 (0)
    Sunday, 24 December 2017   A very Scruffy Christmas tail – with zombies This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Sir Scruffy, I want you to write this week’s blog! I can only do my best, he replied. What do you want me to write about? I dunno, you’ll … Continue reading Archives
  • November 1st, 2017 - 2017 November – posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 27 November 2017   Dumb ways to die This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: The old washing machine died last week. The appliance was over 15 years old, and in its day it had provided sterling service, but alas it has now passed on. Passing on, in … Continue reading Archives
  • October 1st, 2017 - 2017 October – posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 2 October 2017 Into the Great Unknown This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Tonight, for the first time in many long years of writing, I had no idea what to say. Seriously! That is how writers block sometimes occurs with me. It was a complex situation, because … Continue reading Archives
  • September 1st, 2017 - 2017 September – posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 4 September 2017 The Cube This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: One afternoon last week I jumped on board the country train and headed into the big smoke of Melbourne. The country train gets me to Melbourne in comfort in under an hour and dumps me off … Continue reading Archives
  • August 1st, 2017 - 2017 August posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 7 August 2017 Big Farmer This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Early last summer, Sir Scruffy, the scruffy terrier who has a most delightful personality, had an infected foot. Apparently, a very sharp grass seed had become lodged in his foot. A wound then formed on Sir … Continue reading Archives
  • July 1st, 2017 - 2017 July – posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 3 July 2017 The system only dreams at night This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: On Saturday, the sun finally shone all day long for the first time in about two weeks of otherwise cloudy winter weather. The skies were clear and blue and the sun sent … Continue reading Archives
  • June 1st, 2017 - 2017 June – posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 5 June 2017 And they’re off and racing This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: I reckon the movie character Forrest Gump (as played by the actor Tom Hanks) gave running a bad rap. Whatever! I took up running as a sport well before that 1994 movie anyway, … Continue reading Archives
  • May 1st, 2017 - 2017 May – posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 1 May 2017 Always Someone Cooler Than You This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Deleted Spare a thought for the poor editor who has the unfortunate task of stoically enduring my rather juvenile sense of humour. Back in 1998, I’d completed my undergraduate degree only the prior … Continue reading Archives
  • April 1st, 2017 - 2017 April – posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 3 April 2017 Jesus Toast This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: The gentle winds here are now blowing cold air up from the Southern Ocean. The warm days of summer are rapidly becoming a memory. The past week of weather has been decidedly brisk, and the wood … Continue reading Archives
  • March 1st, 2017 - 2017 March – posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 6 March 2017 Scary Cable Monster This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Poopy had quite the fright this week as he was confronted by a scary cable monster! A cable was temporarily placed across the veranda and clearly that coaxial cable was a scary monster because Poopy … Continue reading Archives
  • February 1st, 2017 - 2017 February – posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 6 February 2017 Fern Trek 3: The Search for Sir Scruffy This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Captain Scritchy walks onto the bridge of the juggernaut ship that is Fernglade Farm. Poopy the Pomeranian howls: “Captain on the bridge”. All other canines stand to attention at their … Continue reading Archives
  • January 1st, 2017 - 2017 January – posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 2 January 2017 Large and not in charge This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Some weeks nature can give you a gentle reminder just to show who the boss is here. Other weeks nature gives you a solid kick in the rear and stomps the living daylights … Continue reading Archives
2016 (12)
  • December 31st, 2016 - 2016 December posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 5 December 2016 Running on Empty This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Into the dark night the call went out: “CQ. CQ. Are there any YL’s on channel? Over.” Way back in the dark days of my early teenage years (well before the Internet) all of my … Continue reading Archives
  • November 30th, 2016 - 2016 November posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 7 November 2016 Copperhead Road This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: During the Prohibition Era (1920 to 1933) in the United States there was a ban on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. Despite the prohibition, people didn’t suddenly stop producing, importing, transporting and … Continue reading Archives
  • October 31st, 2016 - 2016 October posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 3 October 2016 One thing leads to another This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Oct 3 – One thing leads to another.mp3 It is a heck of a thing to receive a month’s rainfall in just one week. Over the past week 90mm (3.5 inches) of rain … Continue reading Archives
  • September 30th, 2016 - 2016 September posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 5 September 2016 Totally addicted to… Mustard This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Sep 5 – Totally addicted to mustard.mp3 Hope you are all enjoying the podcast. You can either listen to the podcast directly using your Internet browser or you can simply download the file (using … Continue reading Archives
  • August 31st, 2016 - 2016 August posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 1 August 2016 Game of Bones This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: Aug 01 – Game of Bones.mp3 Hope you are all enjoying the podcast. You can either listen to the podcast directly using your Internet browser or you can simply download (using the Save Link As … Continue reading Archives
  • July 31st, 2016 - 2016 July posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 4 July 2016 Repo Man The life of a gardener is always intense. I was not born with a green thumb. My first foray into growing vegetables was a complete disaster. I originally believed that planting a punnet of purchased seedling lettuces during the middle of a hot summer down under, into composted woody … Continue reading Archives
  • June 30th, 2016 - 2016 June posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 6 June 2016 Shooting stars Last Thursday during the day both the editor and I worked in the big smoke of Melbourne. The evening was warm for this time of year and the sky was clear. As we were already in the big smoke, we headed out to our favourite stomping grounds of the … Continue reading Archives
  • May 31st, 2016 - 2016 May posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 2 May 2016 Wombat with the good hair Earlier this week the moon was so bright that I remarked to the editor that these were “Ned Kelly” nights. Ned Kelly, of course, was the notorious bush ranger who has achieved status as a cultural icon in Australia. Ned was eventually hanged by the authorities … Continue reading Archives
  • April 30th, 2016 - 2016 April posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 4 April 2016 Twelve monsters Did you hear that rustle in the garden? What could possibly be lurking in there? There are plenty of large, overgrown and menacing-looking plants poking their leaves out from that mass of vegetation. And they’re all hungrily seeking out the sun. Hopefully, I never encounter a Triffid (a fictional … Continue reading Archives
  • March 31st, 2016 - 2016 March posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 7 March 2016 Endless Summer Friday was feral hot. In Melbourne the maximum temperature reached 33’C (91.4’F) in the shade. I woke up to the smell of dust in the air. Indeed, the entire house smelled of dust. That dust was the top soils blowing away with the wind from some unknown source far … Continue reading Archives
  • February 28th, 2016 - 2016 February posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 1 February 2016 Breaking the rocks on the chain gang Last summer I manned one of the stalls at the local Sustainability Festival in the nearby town of Woodend. That day, I met a whole bunch of lovely people. It was a really fun day and it was also great to talk with so … Continue reading Archives
  • January 31st, 2016 - 2016 January posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 4 January 2016 Frog in hot water There is an old story, which is most likely an urban myth, about a frog in slowly heated water. And people, please don’t try this at home, frogs are alright by me! The story goes along the lines of the frog being placed in a pot of … Continue reading Archives
2015 (12)
  • December 31st, 2015 - 2015 December posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 7 December 2015 Devils haircut Summer has arrived. The air is hot, dry and dusty. The trees are still green, the ground is turning yellow and brown, and the vegetation is drying. A eucalyptus haze hangs over the mountain. You can smell the trees. Grass now crunches beneath my feet and bidgee widgee burrs … Continue reading Archives
  • November 30th, 2015 - 2015 November posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 30 November 2015 I like my new shed better than my old shed It’s hard to know when to abandon a project or a bit of infrastructure. Sometimes it is obvious that something isn’t performing as originally intended. Other times, the weather conditions have proven to be too much for the project or bit … Continue reading Archives
  • October 31st, 2015 - 2015 October posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 26 October 2015 THE EDITOR STRIKES BACK A long time ago in a mountain range far, far away…. Well, to be totally honest it was only a few weeks back, but it does seem like a long time ago that the new chicken enclosure “Chooktopia” project was completed. The completion of the new chicken … Continue reading Archives
  • September 30th, 2015 - 2015 September posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 28 September 2015 Berry nice! Around two decades ago, life found me hanging out with friends at their house. It was the usual sort of hang out in those days which meant talking rubbish, partaking of the occasional ale, making up rubbish plans to take on the world, but mostly it just involved us … Continue reading Archives
  • August 31st, 2015 - 2015 August posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 31 August 2015 How much can a Koala Bear? Last week, the temperature plummeted, the skies darkened with thick heavy cloud and the rain fell liberally for days on end. All plans for outside garden and orchard activities were abandoned. Fortunately, I have an area that is outside and protected from both the rain … Continue reading Archives
  • July 31st, 2015 - 2015 July posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 27 July 2015 Choking on Chooktopia Some weeks the weather here can be very mild and pleasant and it can be a total joy to be outside working on projects around the farm. Some weeks though the weather can be absolutely feral. This week, I totally cleared my diary of work and social obligations … Continue reading Archives
  • June 30th, 2015 - 2015 June posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 29 June 2015 How to dig a hole Last week’s wind really dried the landscape. It was as if the strong winds blowing in from the centre of this hot continent stole every drop of moisture from the soil surface on the farm and then just took all of that moisture somewhere else. On … Continue reading Archives
  • May 31st, 2015 - 2015 May posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 4 May 2015 Building Walls Winter is slowly exerting its grip here. And with that knowledge in mind, you sometimes have to know when to ask for a bit of help. This week I hired a couple of guys for two days to help turn some of the many fallen trees way down below … Continue reading Archives
  • April 30th, 2015 - 2015 April posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 6 April 2015 Easter eggs Mid-autumn is a good time for chickens because they’ve regrown their feathers after the summer moult just in time for the weather to turn cooler when they’ll really be requiring all of those feathers to keep warm. It is sort of like being able to grow your own woolly … Continue reading Archives
  • March 31st, 2015 - 2015 March posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 30 March 2015 Watching the detectives Scritchy, the miniature fox terrier, who is the boss dog here, has both some good and bad qualities. One of the good qualities is that she can obsessively hunt rodents. Whereas it would take me days of observation to work out where rats were living, she can just … Continue reading Archives
  • February 28th, 2015 - 2015 February posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 23 February 2015 Chookflation The northern half of Australia was hit this week by not one, but two tropical cyclones (Marcia and Lam). Cyclone Marcia was declared a category five cyclone which is about as strong as a cyclone gets. Both cyclones have caused significant damage with the extent of that damage only becoming … Continue reading Archives
  • January 31st, 2015 - 2015 January posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 26 January 2015 The seed of an idea It’s the 26th of January here and for people in Australia that means Australia day which is a public holiday. Yay! The public holiday celebrates the landing of the First Fleet on the continent way back on the exact same day in 1788. For those that … Continue reading Archives
2014 (7)
  • December 31st, 2014 - 2014 December posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 29 December 2014 The Hills have eyes For the past few nights something new has turned up here at the farm. Scritchy – the boss dog – and I, go for a walk at night to keep an eye on the kangaroos, wallabies and wombats just to make sure that they’re not wreaking too … Continue reading Archives
  • November 30th, 2014 - 2014 November posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 24 November 2014 A tale of two tomatoes The ancient Aboriginals believed that the spirits of the country would be wrathful if the correct ceremonies and rituals were not performed at exactly the right time and in the right location. Their culture revolved around care of the land (country). What I would consider to … Continue reading Archives
  • October 31st, 2014 - 2014 October posts x 4 (0)
    Monday, 27 October 2014 We’re back babe-bee! I couldn’t help myself, I had to somehow work the word “bee” into the title of this week’s blog! Hehe! A small section of the bee food flower, vegetable and herb garden Last week I received a phone call from an unknown phone number and the person never … Continue reading Archives
  • September 30th, 2014 - 2014 September posts x 5 (0)
    Monday, 29 September 2014 It’s feral out there Some nights it’s like a zoo out there in the orchard. Last night was one of the first warm nights of the spring season and the wind was blowing strongly with the air that had collected over the warm deserts in the centre of the continent. A … Continue reading Archives
  • August 31st, 2014 - 2014 August posts x 4 (0)
    Weekly notes from Fernglade farm: A permaculture and organic small holding farm A weekly blog discussing the projects and the realities of living on an organic, permaculture and off grid solar small holding farm in the south eastern corner of Australia Monday, 25 August 2014 Break through The German Field Marshall, Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf … Continue reading Archives
  • July 31st, 2014 - 2014 July posts x 4 (0)
    Weekly notes from Fernglade farm: A permaculture and organic small holding farm A weekly blog discussing the projects and the realities of living on an organic, permaculture and off grid solar small holding farm in the south eastern corner of Australia Sunday, 27 July 2014 A little bit more sunlight Activities this week focused on … Continue reading Archives
  • June 30th, 2014 - 2014 June posts x 2 (0)
    Don’t speak too soon Last week, I wrote: “probably won’t cool down much more overnight due to the cloud layer”. As soon as last week’s blog entry had been published the thermometer started to drop. Eventually it settled on about 2 degrees Celsius (35.6F) and as the dark of the early evening settled in, it … Continue reading Archives
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