Paradise has a name ... Riverbend


[Cottage Information]  [Pict.1]   [Pict.2]  [Pict.3]   [Pict.4]  [Pict.5]   [What's new?]

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

And surely you will have your pint!

And surely I'll have mine!

And we'll take a cup of kindess yet,

For auld lang syne!

We two have run about the hills

And pulled the daisies fine,

But we've wandered many a weary foot

Since auld lang syne.

We two have waded in the stream

From morning sun till dine,

But seas between us broad have roared

Since auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty friend!

And give a hand of thine!

And we'll take a right large goodwill draught,

For auld lang syne.

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Did the light in the fridge turn off after the door was closed?

Yes! And not only did the light turn off, but the ketchup was dancing with the cheese. The fridge in our guest cottage went one better: it turned off completely! No light, no ice, no cold! And our guests had just arrived with bags full of groceries and bottles of beer and wine and other goodies!

What to do? A call-out by a tradesman on a Public Holiday would probably cost more than a new fridge. So we drove down to the Bay and visited K-Mart where we found a nice little 112-litre bar-fridge which at a height of 850mm would fit nicely alongside the cottage's kitchen counter. Another swipe of the old credit card and $189 later we bundled the new fridge on top of the roof-rack for a slow and agonising 8-km trip back up to Nelligen.

We drove at walking pace with me doing a Mr Bean and holding on to the strap that tied the fridge to the roof-rack. Of course, we incurred the ire of every wannabe Grand Prix driver behind us! Judging by the tooting of horns and digital gestures, Christmas and the spirit of Christmas is well and truly behind us! Get ready for another year of dog-eat-dog!

Monday, December 14, 2009

We wish you all a safe and happy Christmas!

There is so much more to Christmas than presents to each other, cooking large and heavy meals, opening bottles of good wine and enjoying festivities. It is a great deal more! I know that Charles Dickens is regarded as a sentimentalist. Well, we can do with a little sentiment in these days when men's minds are turning perpetually towards destroying everything and if possible everybody! There is one book written by Charles Dickens which I read every year: The Christmas Carol.

Listen to the unrefined, unenlightened Scrooge talking. He is speaking to his nephew, a pleasant cheerful fellow, possessing a warm heart, and loving life. He came to wish his uncle a "Merry Christmas".

Scrooge mounts his hobby-horse and says: "What's Christmas time to you, but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!"

That is Ebenezer Scrooge, and that is how a good many people talk these days, though they may use different words.

"Christmas! Sentimental twaddle! Wasting money on silly cards smothered in robins and holly. It's so childish! Spending money which you cannot afford on trifles. A merry Christmas, why not a Merry Monday or a Merry Bank Holiday! Pah!"

Here is the answer which his nephew gave Scrooge:

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time when it has come round ... as a good time - a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers ... and not another race of creatures. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket I believe that it HAS done me good, and WILL do me good, and I say, God bless it."

That young man was right, he was right in 1852, and he is right today. There is just - something - about Christmas. The Church has other great festivals, and each one brings its own particular message, Christmas holds the beginning of the very foundations of the Christian religion, no matter which sect you may belong to and whose teachings and forms you may follow.

They're all "simple" teachings: to be kind, forgiving, charitable, and pleasant. To set aside Christmas as a time for friendliness and brotherhood. We may not observe all those things for very long, we may forget them on the morning of Boxing Day, but if we have felt them for one day in the year - well, that is something.

So on Christmas Day when you hear that grandest and most triumphant of all hymns, no matter whether you hear it rolling out of a great organ in some vast cathedral, played on a wheezy instrument in some small village church, or even on the radio or on a record, let the full magnificence of the Adeste Fidelis be an actual demand! "Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!" and be joyful, and open your hearts and - enjoy yourself, and have a Merry Christmas.

Peter & Padma & Malty & Rover
and the Possum in his Possum Penthouse, the resident kangaroo, the almost-tame kookaburra, and all other creatures great and small.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Long may she rain!

My scientifically calibrated rain gauge tells me there has been a lot of rain during the night! At least the width of four strips of planking! No wonder all the watertanks are full to overflowing. How do you figure out how much rain it takes to fill a 22,500-litre tank? Easy! Go to your nearest hardware store, buy yourself a long ladder, lean it against your house, climb onto the roof and measure its * area. Then apply the following formula: 1 mm of rain collected over an area of 1 m² gives you 1 litre of water! If you have a very tiny house with just 1 m² of roof area, you'd be hoping for 22,500 mm of rain. Conversely, if you live in a huge house with a 22,500 m² roof, just 1 mm of rain will do the same. As will do any number of permutations between the two. With all those figures spinning in your head, just make sure you don't fall off the ladder as you make your way back down again.

* some of you may want to measure it's area but I won't be drawn on this; after all, it's Christmas time, the time of grammatical peace and goodwill.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Coming home

There's no place like home especially when home is "Riverbend" on the beautiful Clyde River.

„Willst du immer weiter schweifen? Sieh, das Gute liegt so nah. Lerne nur das Glück ergreifen: Denn das Glück ist immer da.“