So the seasons change. The fierce Australian summer has given way to autumn, and now the chill of winter can be felt in the air.
Not a bad thing, some people would say. This year we had record temperatures in my home town -- 42 degrees celsius, which is 105 degrees in the old Fahrenheit scale. That is way too hot for most people.
I found it difficult to tolerate, since I have been tired nearly all year. My sister Julie and her livestock took up a lot of time out of every day, and her "night owl" lifestyle doesn't really mesh with mine very well.
Last year, for example, I had to abandon my annual contribution to National Novel Writing Month halfway through the 50,000 word project. This is the first time in six years that has happened. There are things that you can do on four hour’s sleep, but writing fiction is not one of them.
Apparently housework is another. The place is spiralling out of control and I intend to try and get a handle on things next week, starting with installing a Trashpak container so I can shovel the garbage out of the house and see it hauled away every month.
One of my friends recently commented “You seem to be busier since you retired than you were before.” She’s not wrong. There seems to be something on every day.
Even last Sunday wasn’t exactly a day of rest. Up in the morning to go in to church as usual, then after Julie and I grabbed a quick lunch it was out to the Anglican church at St John’s Park who were celebrating their 175th anniversary. Thomas Heywood is the first Australian musician in history to ever make a professional living as a concert organist and his usual enthusiasm was undiminished as he played the church’s newly upgraded organ. After an enjoyable hour of light classics, we called in to the church hall for a Devonshire Tea followed by a tour of the lovely Georgian-style church.
It was dark by the time we left St John’s Park. We went back to my place and I served up a light meal while we listened to WAMU’s “Stained Glass Bluegrass” show on the Internet. This actually airs on Sunday morning in the US but the time difference means that we can listen to it live on Sunday night!
After that, it was time to go to Julie’s place again to feed the animals again. Including travelling time, this takes about two and a half hours out of every evening, so a not inconsiderable chunk of each day. I try to make some use of the time we spend driving back and forth every day -- at the moment we’re listening to downloads of the BBC radio serial “The Archers” whenever we’re in the car.
In fact a lot of my entertainment comes from radio, live or streamed over the Internet. The analog television transmitters were switched off last month, and although I do own a digital television set, I just don’t seem to have had time to clear a space and set it up! Maybe next month.