A question of priorities

We had a power black-out last night which affected a wide area of our region and which lasted for several hours. As soon as we had found our torches, lit the candles and switched on the LED lamps, I picked up the phone directory to call the power company and get some idea of how long the breakdown might last.

Going to the first page, I found this was exclusively devoted to the problems of young people, and the first entry (top of the page) that my eyes lit upon, was a list of organisations to contact if I happened to be questioning my sexuality or gender identity. Very useful information, I suppose, when you are sitting in the dark trying to find the power company phone number.

I found it scary to think that more of the population is confused about its gender identity, than the millions of us that experience loss of power in our homes. Eventually I found the electricity emergency number on Page 7. Our priorities are interesting, aren’t they? I mean, can you imagine the thousands of people, sitting on the ‘wait’ line for hours hearing a recorded message saying “all our operators are busy, but your call is important to us.”

After a couple of hours during which you have worried yourself sick over your gender identity, you eventually get to talk to a real person. Then what do you say? Beats me. Or maybe you have waited on the line so long that you have resolved your identity crisis yourself, and have hung up and headed for an appropriate bar.

Eventually I found and dialled the power company number. Here I got a recorded message saying that some areas were experiencing loss of power; Energex was trying to find out what was causing it, and would provide a further message the following day.

I can only hope that those phoning in for emergency advice on a gender identity crisis manage to get that advice in time.

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A useful tip

Dingos in Australia have been in the news as potentially dangerous animals for some years now. Not, I believe, because they are wild, but because they have become habituated to humans, mainly tourist who feed them. There have been attacks on small children and it is never a good idea to let them wander around camping grounds when dingos are present.

Some years ago, our small yacht dragged its anchor in Great Sandy Strait while we slept. It then drifted ashore on the inside of Fraser Island, balanced for a while on its keel in the mud, then crashed down on to its side. It was 3am, the boat wouldn’t float again till the next high tide; we couldn’t stay in it, so Julie and our poodle made up a bed in the dinghy. With nowhere to sleep (or sit) I set off in the pale moonlight to walk on the muddy ‘beach’ until dawn.

After a while I realised I was being followed … there were three dingos padding along behind me. “Shoo”, I said, waving my arms, and they just looked at me in curiosity. Why should I worry, I thought, and continued walking. After a while I turned to check on them again; now there were five and they had closed the gap between us to 20 metres. I shouted at them again and waved my arms, but they didn’t move.

So, with great presence of mind, I ran straight at them, bellowing and waving my arms. Now this is where it becomes embarrassing, where my scheme went “a-gley”.  Running at top speed, the slippery mud my feet beguiled, and I sat down heavily on my backside. But here, a friendly providence intervened.

As I slid on my bottom at speed through the mud, yelling and waving, the astonished dingos looked at this incredible apparition hurtling towards them, turned tail and ran for their lives.

This was a valuable experience which I pass on to all those who might be pursued by a pack of dingos in the hours before dawn. Now you know what to do. Good luck with it.


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Down Under Dissertation

Do I have to have a reason?

So why on earth would an Australian blogger select a page theme which shows a rather gormless-looking camel staring at a pyramid? Well, I suppose I liked the look of it and it seemed to say something to me about my place in the scheme of things  ………………………..

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

 Percy Bysshe Shelley » Ozymandias

Look on my works ye mighty, and despair
In case you don’t feel inclined to despair about the works I have left behind, you could try my feet; they are enough to make anybody despair.
Well, like Ozymandias, I suppose the camel seemed like a good idea at the time. It’s a sobering thought though and it makes me aware of my own mortality. Funny thing; this didn’t happen till I passed 70 and then left it far behind. In my remaining time, there are a few things I would like to say … whether anybody listens or not is barely relevant. I now have a platform from which to say. them.
But first – to plug our main blog sites – and if you are interested in Australia, in camping or the outdoors anywhere – take a look at http://ozcamper.wordpress.com/  which provides practical camping and travel information, as well as access to our 262-page ebook Camping Guide Australia.
Julie also has also published ebooks on warm-to-hot climate gardening at http://gardenezi.wordpress.com/ and maintains an Australian blog on travels, gardening, news and views at http://tambodreaming.wordpress.com/.
All books are available from Amazon as Kindle ebook downloads.
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