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Gaza – A Human Tragedy

Let me preface this by saying that I am neither pro nor anti Gaza, and for that fact I am neither pro nor anti Israel, I am simply pro human. Like millions of people the world over I abhor war of any kind, so many innocents die, cultures are destroyed, too many tragic stories to tell, families destroyed.

In an age where missiles can be launched with almost pin point accuracy there can be no excuse for the destruction of the only power station in Gaza, the long-term effects are horrendous. I find it difficult to believe this was an accident, it was a deliberate act to strike at the very heart of the people of Gaza, not just Hamas, but Gaza. Can you imagine living without electricity, we go stir crazy when we have a simple blackout, the people of Gaza may be facing twelve months or more to rebuild this plant. Can you imagine going twelve months with no electricity?

The world must act to stop this senseless carnage, the mass destruction of a people, any people, cannot be allowed to happen. Israel has been plagued by international strife since its creation, what will it take to bring peace to this volatile region.

I have said it before, and I will say it again, thank the universe I am an Australian, truly the luckiest country on earth. Let us all wish for peace.

Racing Pigeons

Its been 35 years since I last raced pigeons, 35 years since I have even held one. Racing pigeon enthusiasts the world over say that you can never get the sport out of your system and they are right, I cannot wait to buy my first pigeons again. Racing pigeons is something I can continue to enjoy through my retirement, it will keep me out and about, and hopefully keep me healthy.

Last weekend I took my first steps back into this sport, and yes it is a sport however the pigeons are the true athletes, the fanciers are just the trainers. Anyway last weekend I bought my timing clock which is used to record the times that the pigeons arrive home from a race, I also bought a hamper which is used to transport the pigeons.

I have been looking everywhere for a good book on the  sport written for Australian conditions, and the lovely old man I purchased my clock and hamper from gave me one to read. I told him I would come back and buy it as he had taken all the cash I had on me, however he insisted I take it and pay him when I return for my next batch of purchases.

This man has some of the best pigeons I have ever seen, they all looked strong and proud, and while I would dearly love to buy some of his pigeons at the auction next month I do not yet have a loft to house them in, however after the auction he is selling his lofts and other accessories, and I will be going back for perches, nest boxes and traps. If I can con my eldest son into coming with me I may even be able to buy one of his lofts, although they did not look particularly easy to dissemble.

That’s it, my dream is becoming a reality, and I cannot wait.

Whooping Cough, Over It

Back to the doctor’s today, I have had this chronic cough since before Xmas and I am well and truly over it. I am fine as long as I am in a warm room but as soon as soon as I change rooms cough, cough, bloody cough. I can’t go out at night, I can’t go out if it is cold through the day. Hello, it is winter.

The last couple of days have been particularly bad, I am coughing to the point that I dry wretch, and I have trouble catching my breath, then I get dizzy and my breath is laboured for quite some time afterwards.

In December it was misdiagnosed as asthma, in February it was misdiagnosed as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which actually made the most sense, and then in May it was diagnosed as Whooping Cough. Like most people of my generation I was immunised against this as a child but that only lasts 20-30 years, and I am slightly past that. This is the third time in five years, it’s not fun.

The only relief I have had to date is when I take the steroid Prednisalone but the doctor only puts me on that for a week at a time. I have tried various linctus medications, umpteen puffers of various sorts, and antibiotics. On Saturday I have my second lot of x-rays. Joy!

Things could be very much worse so I am not really complaining just having a whine.

A World Gone Mad

Like millions of people the world over I am shocked and abhorred by recent events in Ukraine, events that have culminated in the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17. Families torn apart, nations united in their grief, a world in mourning.

One man’s decision to push that button, another man’s decision to supply military arms to terrorists, the world has indeed gone mad. Let us not lose our heads, let no country declare war on another at this time, economic sanctions yes, but not war.

It really is a small world, I went to school with Helena Sidelik, one of the victims of this terrible crime against humanity. I did not know Helena well, we only had a couple of classes together and exchanged few words, but it hits home nonetheless. One cannot hope to imagine what the Norris and Maslin families in Western Australia are going through, how does one cope with the loss of just one child, they lost all three as well as a beloved father.

It is tragedies such as this that make me doubt everything I believe in, how can things like this be allowed to happen. I am sure the families of all those so tragically taken will find their own ways to deal with their losses, whether it be belief in God or simply fate, somehow we do all find a way.

I pray to the Universe that the perpetrators of this terrible crime pay their dues, and that we are never again witness to such horror. Hold your loved ones tight and tell them how much you love them. RIP MH17.

English Language – Nonsense

As more people around the world become multilingual it has made me think twice. I did study German for five years at high school, and French for a very short while in primary school, but I would not call myself multilingual. I know there are now no end of short courses available, but I really cannot be bothered at my age.

It has made me think about the English language though, and what a nonsense language it really is, I would hate to be the one learning English as a second language, there are just too many anomalies, too many idiosyncracies. Please excuse any spelling mistakes moving forward as I have made them intentionally to emphasise my point.

Take for example the following words, say them out loud and you will see what I mean. Though, Bough, Enough, Cough. How many ways can you pronounce the letters “ough”, no wonder so many migrants have trouble with our language.

Then of course is the word bow, as in tie a bow, or bow, as in take a bow. The list goes on with sow, as in sow a seed, or sow, as in a female pig. Moving right along with the word mall which is pronounced both as mall and mal, but did Humpty Dumpty fal off a wal, no he did not. Even in the same country these words are sometimes pronounced differently in different states, how do we explain it, “It depends on what school you went to”.

Moving right along we come to the adjective vain, however when vain becomes a noun we drop the “i” and the word becomes vanity. Why drop the “i”, should the word not be vainity? Staying with the word vain which means excessively proud, we also have the word vane, pronounced the same, which means a blade or a plate moved by air, as in a windmill. Then there is tire and tyre, wind, as in the wind is blowing, and wind, as in you wind your clock, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

Just when you thought it could not get any stranger our American friends came along and substituted a “z'” for an “s”, in words such as familiarise, summarise, emphasise, when will this madness end. I give up. :)

How many other oddities did you spot in this post? There is at least one.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..9 July 2014

Its been a while since I put pen to paper, or to be more precise finger to keyboard. I have been completely unmotivated for the last few weeks as I still have whooping-cough and it is really dragging me down. I am no longer infectious but the constant coughing and struggle for breath is very draining and I am over it.

Unmotivated I may have been but there has been a bit going on. Brian has had another three procedures on his back in a very short time, the first two were a complete waste of timer however the most recent last Friday seems to have done the trick. It is early days yet but we are cautiously optimistic.

Brian has more good news, he has been nominated for an award in his field of work. I am not sure how much I can say about it and I do not want to jinx him, but I am very proud of him and his achievements. He is very different from the Brian I met all those years ago.

I have some news on the work front as well, the company I work for is merging with another real estate company as of 1 August. I am not quite sure how I feel about it at the moment, I will have further to travel which is a pain, there is nowhere close to buy my lunch which means I will have to take it, which in turn means being more organised in the morning. If only I could retire, but I can’t.

This could be a good thing though as there was nowhere to move up where I am at present, while there is that possibility at the new place. I will have to learn new software which does not bother me, I just thought I would retire where I am and I don’t really want to move, but you get that.

Winter is well and truly here in Adelaide, and while I much prefer winter to summer, I really prefer spring. At least we are getting good rain this year, the farmers always need rain, and the reservoirs should be full for summer.

I am quite pleased with the way my beloved Adelaide Crows are playing at the moment, onwards and upwards, you can still play finals if you keep up your recent form. Congratulations also to Australia’s newest sports star, tennis player Nick Kyrgios, well done young man, don’t let it get to your head, stay grounded.

Where there is good there is bad, Gerard Baden-Clay, how can a jury make a decision based on the facts as they have been reported in the media. I don’t know whether Mr Baden-Clay murdered his wife or not, and if he is guilty he should be punished, but there must be no reasonable doubt. While talking about reasonable doubt Rolf Harris has got just what he deserved, didn’t he make a fool of all of us, he should never again see the light of  a free day. Then there is Oscar Pistorius, clutching at straws I think is the best way to sum up his current situation, I think the odds are against him.

That’s enough from me today. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..14 June 2014

Damn chilly in Adelaide today, winter really is here, even with the gas heater on I am having trouble staying warm.

After a lazy morning, we got up at 10.00, this morning we tried out our new Nutri Bullet for the first time. We decided to start with the first recipe and work our way through, this morning was kale, pineapple, pear , apple and banana, an interesting mix, pretty green. Iw ouldn’t say I disliked it, but I wouldn’t say I liked it either, the texture was interesting. We are not going to give up on it though as it did fill us up, tomorrow’s concoction is berries.

Breakfast finished it was off to buy a birthday present for 7-year-old Jayden, Kane told me he wanted a real cricket set, nothing plastic. We searched the length and breadth of the Elizabeth Shopping Centre but no cricket set to be found, so we continued on our way to Sportspower, again nothing. In desperation I decided we would buy everything separately, Jayden would not care as long as the end product was what he wanted. The guy that served us said he would check out the back as there were no wickets on display and to my pleasant surprise he happened to find a lonely cricket set that had been forgotten about, I was happy, I had what Jayden wanted.

Next stop was to pick up Jade as we have not seen her for a while and I thought it would be nice if we picked her up so she could see her cousin for his birthday. Jade is gorgeous, she chatted all the way and by the time we arrived at Kane’s Jade had us up to date with all the goings on in her life.

To my disappointment Jayden did not seem all that excited about his cricket set, but I suppose a cricket set cannot really compete with the present he got from his parents, an X-box. We stayed at Kane’s for an hour or so and then headed home, we did not see the kids once, the entire visit they played on the X-box. It is not often I don’t get a cuddle but today was one of those days.

Kane on the other hand is very excited as he picked up his new car yesterday. Don’t ask me what it is, it is a 4 wheel drive of some description, all I know is that my son is very, very happy, and that is all that matters, he works hard and he deserves it.

I have just watched Port Power get beaten by the Sydney Swans in the AFL, and Brian is having a siesta. It is nearly time to wake him up as we are out for dinner tonight. Vietnamese cuisine with friends from my days at Wattyl.

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