Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it.


Image: "Woman with Canary" by Debby Haskard-Strauss

Bin Night

It is bin night. Not a big deal in the scheme of things.

But I have a friend who has volunteered to put the bins out for me and they haven't done it yet. Okay it is only 5.00 pm but I am beginning to assess my options.

Of all of the household chores I need to do, putting out the bins is the one I struggle with most of all. Fortunately I am not much of a rubbish accumulator so can afford to put the bins out fortnightly, or even less frequently, rather than weekly.

Which is why my friend is going to put the bins out.

So do I remind them? And if so at what time? The rubbish truck doesn't come around until 7 am tomorrow so there is plenty of time but I am quite sure they have forgotten.

No, maybe I being too antsy, this is the first time it is bin night for my friend and the neighbors don't have their bins out yet which would be an obvious visual prompt... well not all of the neighbors - the woman from six doors down still hasn't put hers out, and the gentleman across the road, down the end of the street near the corner has still got his tucked away.

It isn't a real problem if they don't go out tonight - they were emptied last week when I had a bout of energy but, well it IS bin night. Okay Pearl, sit back, breathe deeply .... and find a glass of wine and try not to think about being a control freak.

Image: "rubbish bin" by Semut23

It's All About the Gate

... isn't it?

I have had a number of visitors to the ol' mansion recently and many of them have the annoying habit of not shutting the front gate as they come through. Now I acknowledge it is there more for decoration than any practical purpose - there are no cattle being kept in; there are no burglars being kept out - but surely there is a great unspoken rule that if you open a gate (or door for that matter) then you close it again afterwards.

On a farm it is more than a rule - it is as natural as breathing. And you only ever make the mistake of not doing it once - again, a bit like breathing. Having to chase down a trio of bobby headed calves heading in three separate directions is not my idea of fun.

So, back to my gate. No, none of my guests are the farming type so I guess I shouldn't presume the knowledge but I am also wondering if there isn't something a bit more going on.

Could it be that I am getting stuck in my ways? Could it be that I am becoming or worse still, have become) once of those people that have a black and white view on the right-ness and wrong-ness of things?

I know I have been pernickety about how the toilet paper hangs for years but that isn't a sign - that is a clear case of right (end hanging over) and wrong (end hanging under) with even the manufacturers agreeing with me. And I do like my clean glasses and mugs to sit upside down on the shelf - it keeps the dusty and everything else, another clear case of right and wrong. And I do like my bathroom towels to be neatly folded vertically and evenly balanced over the rail with the folded side facing the door .... okay I think that one is just me.

So maybe I am becoming one of those people .... just remember that I am right - and shut the gate.

Image: "The gate .... is open" by realtimelord

Sunday, November 20, 2011

To Help or Not to Help

I overheard an interesting conversation last week - a woman had told her husband to deny a request for help from another on the basis that as he didn't help anyone else, he shouldn't expect favors from others.

Now as the conversation went on there was a hint that the gentleman did help others, but not in the manner of frequency that the woman thought appropriate.

But setting that aside for now.

I thought we helped others because we could (skills, time, money or whatever) and because it made us better people for doing so. Maybe that isn't quite altruism, but surely most folks don't help each other with the expectation of getting something back, or considering that the person who they helped "owes" them in some way.

As much as I am cynical about the human race, please tell me I am wrong on this front. Isn't sharing ourselves in this way something that builds community, and friendships, and all of those other good concepts. And even if the other person is perceived as being selfish, would it be better to role model "better" behavior than reinforce the behavior that they are being judged for?

Yes there is a line in which if you cross it you are being used and I am certainly not advocating that we should give regardless, but that wasn't the circumstances here.

Tell me what you think and lend a hand if you can folks, lend a hand.

Image: "Tools" by spang141


You can't deny laughter: when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.

Stephen King

Image: "Smile" by !scoragra

Hanging At Number 5

 I went to Number 5 again today - i think this shall be my new haunt. For the uninitiated, Number 5 is a new cafe located at 5 Church Street in Bellingen. Very impressive .... and it does help that friends work there so there will always be someone to chew the straw with.

In any case I went for a coffee but couldn't help, as I do, spying on what other folks had ordered. The milkshake looked particularly impressive with a dusting of cinnamon atop its foamy head. I made an appropriately impressed comment and before I knew it, was presented with a shot glass sampler. The top photo is my proof. Now I figured this would just be a regular milkshake, unworthy of a photo so I drank it before I thought about it.

I was wrong - this was a drop of  heaven - real banana blended with homemade ice cream to create a thick (but not too thick) measure of lip-licking heaven. And as I was still drooling over the dregs of the glass, I was offered a chocolate one as well. Camera was immediately pulled out (bottom photo).

I shall have to investigate how they managed it but this had a real depth and roundness to the chocolate - no cheap syrup was used in its creation. To choose which one was better would require the same effort as choosing which of your children you love more - not impossible but emotionally draining.

I can also highly recommend the homemade chips - fabulous. And don't forget to ask for a serve of their own Church St mayo on the side - a delightful mix of dill and mayonnaise and other secret ingredients.

Stay tuned while I try the rest of the menu :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wow What A Year

It is amazing what can happen to a woman when she stops being a hermit and steps out the front door and into her community!

I am now officially the Secretary of the Northbank Community Garden for a start. I will only do it for a year - they are going through the incorporation process and there is all of the paperwork to get gone - it makes my brain cells tingle with excitement with excitement every time I think of legislation and minutes and the like lol.

Then of course there was the incredible inaugural Bellingen River Festival which surely is one of the most exciting projects I have ever been a part of. The actual day was, as the name suggests, a celebration of our River and there was bands, workshops, guided walks, a program run by our indigenous people, canoe races,a  lantern parade - oh the list goes on - and all for the cost of a gold coin donation ($1 or $2). 

My component was the Storytellers tent (yay!). I have spent the past few weeks running around town interviewing all sorts of people and beginning to collect photos that tell a River Story. I have started a project on ABC Pool to allow them to be used for future projects by others (and they are also all stored in the National Library). And on the day we had poets, people telling stories, a photo display as well as an audio/visual presentation.

I am now looking at pitching a program for ABC's Radio National based on storytelling and using some of the work created for the Festival.

Oh and there is my beloved Foodbox which I am actually stepping back a little - helping out with packing the boxes and other little bits - not for any reason but that I am trying to balance everything out. I was doing a newsletter and recipe development as well as media/public relations but they has been passed on to others.

Oh, and I did a quick trip to WA in July - and will be going again in three or four weeks - and yes it shall be blogged this time lol.

So all in all, 2011 has been one of my best ones yet - and there are still two months to go :-)