Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Showers

Who would have thought there'd be such an instant difference between March and April? April 1st dawned dark and squally, with alternating patches of bright sunshine and driving rain.

This usually means only one thing, and sure enough when the clouds rolled back momentarily from around Mount Wellington, we could see that the first snows of the year had fallen. Then it clouded over again, like a giant drawing closed his robe.

At least the goose will appreciate the result of the wet weather, with improved grazing on the back lawn, though she actively dislikes the noise made by the rain on the roof of her quarters.

I don't suppose I can blame the weather, but my back isn't improving as fast as I had hoped this week. Oh, it's better than it was a fortnight ago, but it still bothers me when I first get up especially.

Friday morning I felt perfectly dreadful. Julie's night-owl habits had kept me out of bed till almost 3 a.m., I'd had to get up to answer a call of nature around 6 a.m. then the phone rang at 8:59. By the time I rolled out of bed I felt like I'd been run dragged through a hedge backwards.

At least the water situation at Julie's place seems to have been resolved. The pools of water have slowly dried up and the dogs no longer have to run through the mud to get in and out of the place.

Talk about spoilt for choice. With live radio, streaming audio on the internet, podcasting and MP3 discs, there is simply too much stuff for even a dedicated radio buff like myself to keep up with.

I've resorted to burning the half-hour programmes on to a CD and listening to one each night while I'm getting ready for bed. At least that way I can be sure of getting through 180 hours of Old Time Radio in a year.

This week I listened to several episodes of Leave It To George and A Man Called X, American thrillers from the 1950s. Yesterday I quite enjoyed listening to a 1957 episode of X Minus One "The Lights on Precipice Peak", based on a Galaxy magazine story by Stephen Tall. Two no-nonsense mountain-climbers get into difficulties and are rescued by friendly extra-terrestrials – characteristically one of the climbers says "If this is a gag, I don't get the joke."

I did get a chance to watch a little television on Friday: the ABC finally had a new episode of Dalziel and Pascoe after years of repeats, and the Nine Network aired episode #1 of a new Australasian science-fiction series Maddigan's Quest, featuring a travelling circus in a future century after the collapse of our civilization. Looks good – shot on one of those new high-definition video formats.

I remember Nan asking me some time ago to keep an eye out for any war books for Don that I might come across. Last week in the Salvation Army op shop I picked up a thick hardcover reprint of Eric Feldt's 1946 book The Coast Watchers. I wonder if it's of any interest to him?


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