Interesting aspects of life

Since I married a grazier or farmer as some would like to say, never in my life had I been interested in silence. I know, one would think this would be the weather, the scenery, the animals or the paddocks but I have decided it’s silence. We all drive in Australia our land is vast and spacious, so getting around can require long ‘road trips’ for me getting to the city and back is a 6 hour trip, I have done this on many occasions in one day, there is no option to fly, no airfield and no private plane is parked at my house nor in the town. Keith does have an airstrip which lands the RFDS, and other flying machines but there is no commercial service available.

I travel and note the scenery and changes to it with the seasons, the land is dry and the paddocks and hills are still brown considering we are now in the middle month of Autumn. I love the greenery of the Adelaide Hills it always reminds me of winter – my favourite season. It is a time when my grazier husband can relax, there is food around, there is water and the dams fill. we can have fire which provides warmth and comfort on those cold winters night.

I come to Adelaide a lot, not as much as I would like but a lot more than him, and it is here I realize that I miss it. The silence at night, the calls of animals the sounds of wind, rain, leaves rustling, stillness, roosters and dogs barking, it is a comforting silence. It is the noise of the land that allows you to lie in bed awake in the dark in peace. To really feel the soul of the earth is to hear the sounds of silence. We do get the occasional noise of a truck or car but this is rare and it is not a constant drone that seems to descend upon the city.

The sounds of the night I can hear are cats jumping on fences, cars constantly moving, droning through the night like they are looking for something. The noise level is defined by the size of the vehicle, trucks and cars make very different patterns on the road surfaces and keep coming in succession. Where is the sound of nothing? even after the vehicle has passed you can hear the next one coming, there is no rustling of leaves, no silence of the land as it rests ready to be woken at dawn.

The city is always awake the land never appears to rest, it is always assisting. I enjoy the city, it is alive but so too is the country, both offer many things, lifestyles, life choices and for me both are vital to my happiness and future growth. Living where I do is special and we try to leave the land value added rather than take away it’s value. Having the luxury of a welcoming bed at my daughters or parents place or hotel gives me the best of both world, though I now find I do sleep much better in the country.


We have fire again, not on our property this time but in the Ngarkat National Park that backs onto our property. It was started by a lightning strike about 5pm yesterday. My Husband went out to fight it about 7pm and arrived home at 230am in the morning. He was then called at 730am and asked to come back, he could be gone all day.

What have I done, I have put our fire plan into action, in Australia it’s Stay and Defend or Go. If you stay you need to be ready to defend, the property needs to be clear of trees and anything flammable – but the rate a fire moves nothing is safe, I have seen this first hand. I pack the car of the things we treasure and the paper work we would need should we ever lose anything in a fire. I take jewelry and photo’s as well as the computer back up drive and laptops. I pack medications for us and the dog and clothing, that is all as I have to fit the dogs x4 and cats x4 (if I can catch them) in the car so that I can go.

I have no idea what else I would pack and take, we are insured not that it covers everything but I can not think of anything else that I would load up a trailer and risk injuring myself or getting caught in a fire I could not fight on my own. Would I be sad to lose the house, absolutely devastated but they are things that can be replaced people and animals can’t.

Watching my husband get ready and leave to fight fire makes me worry about it. Having seen a fire here in 2012 it is frightening, its hot and the noise is loud. We got to 47.2 degree C 116.6 F here the hottest place in Australia yesterday Keith. My husband is a CFS (Country Fire Service) volunteer and as such is called to fires and works hard saving property and livestock. Yet under this Government he is not entitled to any compensation paid fire fighters are should he get sick. I have to wonder why? he and all the other volunteers do the same job as paid fire fighters, in-fact they don’t get to knock off for meal breaks, change of shift nor get paid over time to do the same work. The Labor Government in South Australia expects them to turn up and do the job for nothing (which they do) but will not allow compensation should they get cancer related illnesses that are directly linked to fires. It is disgraceful.

I don’t actually see the premier out here fighting for hours on an end in 45 degree heat with radiant heat being more than 10 degrees above this. The farmers have to do this in between looking after live stock, feeding live stock going about their daily chores and so can lose income from fighting fires, if the CFS guys & girls are from paid work they take the day off unpaid, you would think with the amount of stock and property these brave people have saved over their time, compensation should they get sick would be easily accessible. My husband has a National Medal for his years of service in the CFS and should he get sick or worse hurt in a fire, we will have to sell everything to look after him.

To all the volunteers everywhere that do such good works for people, places and property I salute you and value you and hope that your good deeds are repaid in kind.

is there really ‘fun’ in fundraising

I was at a function this week for thelongwalkhome2012

check out this blog and follow and donate to her she is an amazing young lady who is walking the Simpson desert to raise funds for the RFDS and I am proud to say she is also my cousin. But after all of the work I have been doing for the Keith Hospital in the ‘fun’draising capacity, I drove from Keith after work to attend this function at Glenelg, stayed with my daughter and then got up at 430am to drive back to Keith to work.

For those attending a ‘fun’draiser they go knowing they have to pull out their wallets and bid, play games, toss coins, participate in auctions, donate goods, products such as key rings, stubby holders to purchase and this is after you have paid to get in. This is not a go at the process this is to highlight how the process works. There is food to consume, drinks to swallow, meeting people who come from everywhere to support the cause. There are speeches to go through  and stories to hear. Most times inspiring, poignant, sad, happy and people want to hear them. It makes one feel attached to the cause, understand the motives as to why funds are needed. Once we know this many are happy to spend, we do then go home and forget it. I have found many are happy to attend and those that are not won’t come, for many and varied reasons.

Jenna Brook is attempting to walk the Simpson to raise funds for the RFDS and when she started she wanted to do it for nothing. Then her family told her to do it for a cause. In raising funds what people don’t see is the people or person behind the scenes that do the do. They are the ones who ensure the ‘fun’ is in ‘fun’draiser. They chase people, write letters, take the flack if it doesn’t work out. They make the calls no one else wants to do and most importantly they ask for money. This is a really specialised skill and one which many people can’t do. I have been in sales for many years and I have been able to do this, I have people in my own business who are shocked when I ask them to pay me before I let them out of my shop. But when ‘fun’draising I have no fear or shame as the money is not being gleaned for personal use it is for the ’cause’.

Good luck to Jenna and all the others who today are out doing things for other people. We are an amazing race, where we try to help others, I watched Dick Smith this morning and he should be held up as a national treasure instead he is treated with disdain as he offends the government with his push to support our dying industries and as a philanthropist he is probably unmatched in Australia, if there is somebody else greater please let me know. Oh and by the way the next time you are asked to a fundraiser – having seat warmers is good for the figures, you don’t really have to buy any of the additional extras.