Category Archives: relationships

Ahhh  !!!! –  Rural life in the city.



Yes, one can have a rural life in the city.

Well they can have one anywhere they please.

How do I know this?

I read the WEEKLY TIMES.

It is an institution. Full of all things rural, semi, urban and metropolitan living and issues affecting us all.

Who needs the politics and “fake news” when we can have our fill of interesting and ground breaking news through the reading of this marvelous newspaper.

Of course since its inception, in 1869 and 7611 issues later.

It is still going strong.

Originally for farmers in rural communities, it bought news of wool, wheat, sheep, cattle prices, sales and stories of the movers and shakers of the agricultural industry; and world at large.

Of course it has always had a political story or two.

But on reading back issues they are far more informative of who people were, what their policies were and how they could (or did) change the world.

A precise record of our history.  Whom needs Peter Fitzsimons books (sorry Pete) when you can read either a proper paper or e online version of “the truth and the real truth….” Of how we all did cope.

Through fire, flood, drought and hail, storm, rain, changing commodity prices, governments, wars, and every other issue that life throws at us.

Why Australia really does /has and will continue to ride on the proverbial ‘sheep’s back’.

This week, was catch up week. I had two back issues to peruse.

In them I read about:

  • the ongoing Murray Goulbourn dairy industry sale (debacle), will Saputo wont Saputo buy them??
  • how insurance companies were not paying out (properly) for stolen livestock,
  • where the rain fell, and how much.
  • What the farm outputs would mean in terms of GDP growth for Australia.
  • the cost of water (per gigalitre) in large regional cities and how this varies across Victoria to how it hits our HIP POCKET.
  • The ongoing wind and solar farm debate. It must be good, in some way, as it seems to be providing employment in rural communities; where needed.
  • The newly floated idea of changing electoral boundaries, to offset our spiraling semi-rural and urban fringe population explosion. What should we call these new areas?
  • Of course it is currently cotton season. So there is always a story or two on how this industry has evolved with best practices, minimal water and chemical usage.
  • In the COUNTRY SECTION there is excellent articles on people, food and books. In the most recent one there is a very interesting, not boring, article on DR Sally Norton who heads up the AUSTRALIAN GRAINS GENEBANK in the regional city of Horsham, Victoria.     
  • Peter Cundall – Australia’s’ living treasure writing about all things organics. or Facebook and Instagram.

So have a read. You may be pleasantly surprised on what you learn. And we are never too old to learn…….

OH yes the best bit for me, apart from the cooking page is: The Property Section.   All those grand houses, land, lifestyles for sale.  Man I wish I could buy them all.


Easter is over and i have a tummy ache.


Once again, it has been far too long between ‘drinks’ oops I mean blog posts.

Although- come to think about it – it has been a long while since I had a nice glass of vino.

There has been so much going on in the world I have had a bit of writers block.  Where do I start? What should I really comment on? etc etc. yes it has happened to all of us.  How do I know that – wellllllllll !!!!  there are numerous other blogs that post about this particular topic. Even the Daily Post  and The Community Pool had some tips, recently.

I have had plenty of laughs over at The Return Of The Modern Philosophers blog.    Man can Austin pull some type of witty repartee outta the bag, even when he is dog tired from the day job, and its current all about Mr Trump.

Colleen Cheesboro has had me fantasying about all things Fairies, the bottom of the garden and some great links to those helpful sites  -for writers block.

Whilst the contributors to the site called The Seeds for Life have been my de facto cheer squad. Just to get me out of bed and tame / tie up /wrangle the black dog that resides at my house.

As for all of you Thanks.  I hope you all had a very nice Easter.TN_pic073b

Here’s some more candy; just in case you have not had enough.

At the big chain supermarket, where I work, it was frenetic to say the least from as soon as school got out for holidays the week before up till today.

Seriously folks it’s only ONE WHOLE DAY that we are totally shut.  But you spent $$$$$$ like it really was growing on (sustainable regrowth) forest of trees.  That was OK, as far as our management were concerned. It made us look fantastic for the all important bottom line.   As for my team of replenishment experts I was incredibly proud of the way you ( us) all pulled together and got those never ending pallets – split, sorted and onto the shelves as quickly as possible.

The Customer Service team – again you rocked because even though SOME customers thought you were fair game for all their woes, moaning and bad moods ( because Aunty r and Uncle P with their 4 precious kids had dropped in unannounced) you stood tall ( and proud) SMILED and ensured everyone of them it truly was a wonderful day to be alive.

As for those of you WHO THOUGHT THEY COULD SHOPLIFT, just a few extra Easter Treats; well sorry but we really were on to you as soon as you skulked into our stores.  Yes even the paying customers dobbed you in.  So HA!!

OK it did not quite have a 100% strike rate there but it was a lot less than the company anticipated.    Folks  here’s a friendly tip: majority of us are casually employed and Yes it is as hard for us to make ends meet but that does not mean we stoop to your level.  You only make it hard for every one else.   So please stop trying unless you really do ‘want your day in court’.

Now one more extra special thanks:  “Lightning”: I know you are reading this and I know you are still safe. (Thank you Big Guy upstairs.. I feel blessed to know this fact. My own Easter miracle).

I truly loved the BIG bunch of flowers you left at the customer service desk for me..

I only wish you had waited just long enough for me to see you.  They made me cry. Of which I really did not want me peers see me do…. See! they all think I have no heart and I am this emotionless person who they adore as their Team Leader.  So damn you in the nicest possible way.

I still have some of them left sitting in that beautiful hand crafted vase you gave me all those years ago.  So do not forget your mum for Mothers Day.

I hope all of you had a great Easter.   Cheers.5573


Today is three years since my dad passed away.

It was  quick agonising death that only took four days. Metastatic Melanoma.

Today I went to the International Airshow at Avalon, because he loved planes, trains, and trucks etc. I thought it would be appropriate to take his spirit there since he never got a chance to go see such a spectacular event.    It was loud, from all the jets and helicopters and PA system, busy with easily 20,000 people doing much the same.  And mindbogglingly fascinating.   I still miss him and wish he was here to share my blogs.

I miss writing letters to him and making his favorite fruitcake with toasted almond slivers on top; and the endless chats over strong black tea with 2 sugars.

i miss cooking him simple hearty meals and the way he would always be interested in what the kids where up to.

I miss everything there is to be said about him.  I still miss my father – Robert “bob”Charles Swain born in Preston, Victoria and passed away, unfortunately in the Andrew Love Cancer Centre Geelong .

So here are some photos of my dad from the earlier years. Damn he was a good looking bloke.

Twas’the night before Valentines

Yes sirree!!! it is the night b4 Valentines and well I am still a bit cynical.

I have tried to cheer up by reading lots of other blogs on the subject.  All I read is how there is heaps of us out there just wanting “the Cinderella”version of the day to happen. Just once.

Since the last post we have definitely had a continuation of the past themes.

BUT with a difference. I, personally, reckon it had something to do with the moon eclipse.

As the world began to dislike POTUS again, we had our Prime Minister.

Yes – Mr Turnball – blue blood, business man,  wearer of very nice tailored suits with ‘that’ harbourside mansion turned to the dark side.

Here he was in Parliament, of all places, suddenly getting down and dirty like a drunken sailor on shore leave. Absolutely giving it to the leader of the opposition. OMG it was so funny to see and hear him sling mud and slander and all things in BTW at the opposition .

No he said she said stuff just plain old you are scum came out of his mouth and boy did most of us google that up a million times, or you tubed it, or even better it started the news at 6pm.   All us ordinary folk suddenly wondered where the other Malcolm had gone to but hey it was damn funny and great to witness.

Then there was the story about how most vitamins are just plain useless and you have all been conned. OMG well done and take a bow you clever marketing people over all those years. You def. earned your bonuses.

Our weather went totally crazy here and in the Northern hemisphere, with snow snow snow and more snow falling all over the USA, huge dams overflowing people being evacuated and yet down under we had SUMMER with a vengeance. The evil Sirocco wind bought 40+ c days; for a whole week; or more in some parts. Then the cyclone turned tropical rain storm in WA bought flooding and damage. Only a week before they were fighting bush fires.  On the weekend the sirocco wind blasted NSW and QLD with devastating bush fires; still burning . The current one is 200km front on it and created its own thunderstorm and lightning. Of which there are spectacular pictures on google.

And tonight our local community goes in to FIGHT mode as the proposed juvenile prison protests begin.  Poor Werribee never seen so many people in its main street ever.

On a more personal level I have decided that my job is boring and I will be leaving real soon.  There is no point in wasting precious energy on that one. ( thank you Eddie Two Hawks and Seeds of Life  for the push)

I spent a nice 2 hours reconciling my past valentines and where I may be going wrong.

But like my favorite blogger The Return of the Modern Philosopher says for all of us hopeless romantics there is always hope.

I wish all of you a happy valentines day. It does not have to be full of flowers and chocolate ( although chocolate is great) or dinners or carriage rides etc. As long as you look at yourself in the mirror and say “Hey your not bad, I like you”.


Damn Its Valentines Day – real soon.

Eikk!! or is it EEK!! it is already February 6- Superbowl Day in the USA.

I have cheated a little in the last couple of posts because not only did I like the other stuff BUT I am going through some sort of emotional roller coaster.  Not personal but with everything that seems to be happening in the wider bigger badder world.

I am trying not to let any of it affect me. BUT How does one do that???

When Every where we turn President Trump is upsetting someone/thing, the war in Syria just won’t stop, our refugee crisis is still not under control, the weather is bloody hot one day and cool the next.( Thank God I did not waste $100 on a new swim suit; hardly had the hot weather to justify swimming in it.),

and more, kinda, locally we have Our justice system just out of control.

Our two main juvenile jails have had riots, break outs, damage and some how these  “kids cannot be just given a good hard kick up the backside or clip under the ear. Why ?? because we may “- i cannot really remember but its something about deprivation , liberties etc…

 I DO NOT CARE whether they are locked in solitary confinement for 12+ hours a day or they do not get to watch television or eat their favorite foods.

How is it that they get a lawyer ?? when those of us who really do need one and cannot afford it are left on a VERY LONG WAITING list.

I only care about all the people who have been car jacked, had knives, machetes and guns pulled on them or their homes broken into, trashed, personal belongings like war medals and sentimental things stolen.  Cars driven off and used in other crimes or crashed , burnt or worse still involved in bad accidents.

So I am having a roller coaster week like many of you are. and it is Valentines Day next week. Sheesh!!! time to put the “I am so happy with life smile”on my face and tell everyone who asks- Yes I love Valentines Day; even if I am single and am getting a laugh out of a TV show called Married at First Sight.

If you want some humor about this check out my friend Austins blog about on Return of the Modern Philosopher.  He seems to be able to always get what the rest of us are thinking and inputs a humorous twist to it. 

So I will try to find something more cheery for the next post.

Now wheres’the remote??? got more laughable TV to watch in the guise of I’m a Celebrity get me out of here.


There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills. source: The Buddha image: Eddie’s Image Collection, Buddha

via It Is a Poison — Eddie Two Hawks

So where am I in 5 years

Yesterday I blogged about a book given to me 5 years ago. Called precisely that “Where will you be in 5 years from today?”.

After some thought I did realise I had made some headway on into my ‘next 5 years’even if REAL LIFE was getting in the way.

According to the book: “The purpose is to stir your creative juices and to inspire you to really get in touch with your dreams.  The goal is not to provide a list of “should”be done with the next 5 years- but to stir up some possibilities of what “could“be done.”

So in those intervening 5 years whilst I was doing ‘what should be done‘; I did begin to achieve some long held ‘what could be done‘dreams.  Those being my further education in a form of a Accreditation in Workplace Training and Education, renewal of baking, blogging and knitting.  The knitting bought me in contact with people who acted as mentors and helped my self esteem at a time when i had lost most of it.  I lost count of how many baby bootees, rugs, jackets and socks I knitted for charities.  Along the way I met people who helped me learn more complicated patterns and designs.  Also meeting a terrific couple who grew alpacas; of whose wool i have turned into a scarf and jumper for my sister.

I, also, joined a writing network and began crafting my writing skills by entering competitions.  I even managed to knock out a novel of 98,000 words had it appraised and roughed up 4 follow up books…Yet to be written. My dad read the novels many editions, helped with the grammar and suggested some changes, whilst the network professionals guided me through the shall we say ‘the politics’of being published.  Of course i got knocked back 6 times by 4 main publishing houses; so i have decided to put it on a backish burner for the time being.

The only thing I am struggling with is an exercise in the book:

YOUR TOP VALUES IN LIFE. with the following questions:

  1. What are the 3 things I like most and least about myself?
  2. Who is the happiest person I know?
  3. Who are the two people I like and respect the most and why?
  4. Who am I?

And MY TOP 5 VALUES ARE: identifying the top 5 lifetime values which are a shortcut to identifying my top goals in life.

So there it is. Have I achieved anything since I got this book? some but maybe not enough to call definite.

The only comfort I have is that I think I am not alone in pondering these questions.

Am I right? or Am I confused by the whole notion I need to re evaluate or re position my life now 5 years have passed?