Saturday, April 30, 2005

a Thursday thought

The autumn weather can be quite varied if you live on an island between Australia and Antarctica.

The other day it was a warm and sultry afternoon, peaking at about 27 [about 80 F]. Then the wind changed and strong winds coming off the Southern Ocean began lashing the island.

By the time I got up the next morning and took the goose for a walk in the garden, there was snow on the mountain. {Brrrr!}

It might be a good thing Kay gave me a pair of warm gloves for my birthday.

Thursday wasn't a great day for me or for my sister.

Firstly, the afternoon at the office went all right until I had to re-start the computer. I somehow found myself with three versions of the document I'd been working on -- and picked the wrong one.

This resulted in my querying my boss for information he'd already given me the previous day. Not only did I feel like a fool for forgetting, I felt as though it scuttled all my efforts over the last months trying to consolidate my position.

Every day that I'd worked, I'd tried so hard not to look like an incompetent buffoon -- to obliterate the memory of that last time I messed up.

I felt depressed for hours afterwards.

It didn't help that I've been so tired this month. Whenever I can, I try to sleep for half an hour in the afternoon, just so I can get through the rest of the day without feeling physically drained. Otherwise I catch myself nodding off in front of the television after dinner.

Secondly, it looks like I may have been overly optimistic about Julie's rooster. I thought last week that he was starting to improve, especially with Julie's round-the-clock care.

But things didn't go so well the last couple of days, and he died on Thursday evening.

Julie was particularly upset because he's the last male of one of her favourite blood-lines. Her last chance of breeding with some of the other hens.

On a more upbeat note, it was nice to see no less than seven Spotted Turtle-Doves out on the back lawn one morning. We have had them here on and off for years but they haven't been around much lately.

And in a spectacular display a whole flock of White Cockatoos roosted for a while in a gum tree down the street. You couldn't miss them: the noise they made was terrific and at a distance the tree looked as though it was covered in snow.

Kay tells me she hasn't seen White Cockatoos in the city or suburbs since about 1948. I certainly haven't seen such a thing before.

I spend a lot of time listening to the BBC Radio website but lately they've developed an irritating problem.

Remember the way a scratched record would skip or repeat a word as the needle went around on the turntable? That's what the audio on the website is doing this month.

I can notice it on the music programmes, but it's more annoying on the drama and comedy shows. Words will either disappear from the middle of a sentence, or they'll pop up again in another sentence. It's very distracting.

I'm hoping that they can fix this sometime soon, but I think the audio-on-demand department would be well down on the list of priorities at the BBC.

The first concert for the year at the Moonah Arts Centre featured the a capella vocal group the Wellingtones. They've increased in size since I last saw them -- there must have been 30 people on stage when everyone was singing.

There was a full house who enjoyed the performance greatly. Most of the songs were classic show tunes often heard from Barbershop Quartets but there was one striking original composition.

"In A Field In France" was written by a Tasmanian songwriter after the discovery by a French farmer of the body of one of his forefathers, a soldier killed in World War I. It was a moving moment to hear it in the week Anzac Day was being celebrated.


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