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Information overload.

I’m getting heartily sick of the news lately. For many years I’ve almost religiously read ‘the news’ almost as a duty. I’ve thought it essential to be informed so that I can form an opinion based on as wide a range of sources as I can find… online of course. Lately tho ‘the papers’, i.e. the news sites, seem to be filled with dross, trivia and more tragedy than you can poke a stick at.

There’s no way to shut yourself away from the world entirely if you want to have at least *some* idea of what’s happening around the world, but I think there are times when the information overload is too much to bear. Lately I’m finding it harder to resist the urge to abandon the outside world and retreat into my own space, internally *and* externally, perhaps the blog is symptomatic of that( ?), but I can’t tell. What I *do* know is that there is more to life than the ‘macro’ world and it’s time for me to take a break, even with the way the world is shifting to the political ‘right’ around the world.

Perhaps it’s best for me to just plant veggies, pick nuts and forget the outside world for a while.

Money makes the world go around.

So here we are living in a beautiful part of the world with acres of ground, orchards growing all sorts of fruit and a theoretical source of income from 10 acres of hazelnut and olive trees and yet… no *real* actual cash income. Unfortunately over the last 30+ years I’ve been totally spoiled with the wife earning a huge salary and being able to pretty much spend what I liked on whatever I liked so now, with no income at all, I’m feeling the stress a little. Aha thought I, so go get a job!! Well I obviously *have* worked in the past on occasion, most recently for IBM via Manpower as a customer complaints agent. Great job, with low pay and no regard from anyone but lots of fun. However, that was some time ago and since then have remained a ‘house spouse’.

In this part of the world however jobs of any sort are hard enough to find for young people and even more so for those of us of ‘advanced years’. The ideal of course would be to find a job that requires only access to the internet. That would suit me down to the ground, but of course *finding* that job is the problem. No doubt out there somewhere is the ideal job but as always how to locate it and sell myself to a prospective employer?? Right now these are unanswerable questions. I’m doing ‘research’ (necessarily online) but so far have come up with nothing. It’s not really urgent right now and I would assume (rightly or wrongly) that even with a nominal farm we’d still be eligible for some sort of state pension if our income dried up completely. I’ll be looking and asking questions but… who knows?

Nice ‘ere innit?

Had to go to Bega Hospital this morning for an x-ray. We can ignore the 2.5 hour round trip as an inconvenience because it can’t be helped, it’s one of the little niggles of living in an area with such a small population. Anyway, as I was driving along I was reminded time and time again how beautiful it is to live in this area. There was a lot of low cloud today misting up the mountainsides and valleys and giving the whole area a romantic look.

Sadly I was on a main road so couldn’t just stop to take photos but here are a couple I took few days ago of the area immediately outside our front gate… now I’m asking myself why the image is so small. There are times I hate computers. 🙂

 

 

Oh… I see. it’s only after it’s been published is the expanded version available. Makes sense I suppose. Either way not the best of pictures and doesn’t really display what I saw today. Next time maybe.

 

 

 

Discovered a new old favourite!

A long time ago when I was blogging regularly on my “Opinion Australia” site, I used to use a handy little program released by Microsoft as part of their ‘Live’ suite. As is usual with MS they decided to make dramatic u-turns and after some huffing and puffing decided to make this part of the suite ‘open source’. The result has been the creation of Open Live Writer which has all the functionality of the original, and more. Essentially it allows you to use time when you are out of reach of wifi, more common than you might think, two write blog posts and upload them when you get home, or uni, to work or maybe to o free hotspot!

This is the first post I’m making using the new software but I’m already pleasantly surprised with how it functions. For me of course it’s going to be *really* useful because our internet connection is almost permanently throttled down to 128kps… ridiculous in the 21st century but that’s what we’re stuck with out in the bush.

So. That’s all for now. This is really a ‘taster’ post so no pictures, no funnies, just a hmmm… this is nice! Open-mouthed smile

What outcome on the income?

The obvious problem with leaving a well paid job and moving away from the sort of company liable to employ you in a similar role is that you end up in a situation where you have no income. So in those circumstances what do you do?

If you said ‘panic’ I’m right there with you. Well I sort of was but again obviously, that couldn’t last and we had to start trying to make sense of our situation.

To begin with we had bought a nut farm so our first step was to check the potential harvest. Wonderful. We’d arrived in a drought period and there were no nuts. To add to our delight we discovered out olive trees cropped biennially… and we were in the wrong year. More joy.

Something needed to be done and the answer was simple… no, not to panic again but to make something. With that as our inspiration we set out to creat things ‘farmy’ that we could sell at local markets until the nuts and olives fruited etc.. Over tha opast few weeks we’ve set to making pickles, jams and chutney’s, bottling them and preparing ourselves to set our stall up (literally) in local markets.

I should point out here than we have as much experience in creating, bottling and selling pickles, jams and chutneys as we do farming, in other words none. More on that in the next post and probably the next twenty-five or so!!

The ‘big move’.

We’ve come up with a plan… a cunning plan at that! We have to move. Deb’s employment is gone and this house is clearly cursed (more on that later). This means we *really* need to move to regain some sort of financial and emotional stability. The past few years have been appalling and it’s time to simply call it quits and pull up roots. We’ve located a place outside Adelaide that looks to be suitable. Three bedroomed house on 20 acres!!. If the place sells for our asking price, we might have enough to pay for our new house outright. This leads us on to the real plan.

So we should have a house paid for. If Deb can’t find a job in Adelaide we’ll manage on unemployment or part-time work and live quietly. If she *does* find work then this is where the clever part of the plan comes it to play. We save… and save… and save… for three years. Towards the end of the three years, we buy two strong containers, put them on blocks somewhere sensible and fill them with our furniture. Oops… let’s backtrack as little. Before we pack up the furniture we buy a caravan and a decent car to tow it. We test out our ability to live long term in the van and… hopefully… all will work out well. We can practice driving around the property to learn how to reverse, tow, park etc so we’re ready for the open road!

It’s *then* we pack up the furniture and other gear into the containers so that we can set off on our adventure!

The general idea is that we rent out the house and that income, along with the income from the Brissie house, would be enough to keep us mobile… approx $1000 or so monthly (maybe up to $2000). We do this for as long as we feel fit and active enough to do it and then when we decide we’ve had enough, we get off the road and settle down in either of the two houses. In between times we have capital growth so we’re not losing out… much. Effectively someone else will be paying us to go on an extended holiday!

As I said, the timeline for this move is three years so by the time the wife is 55, and I’ll be 72… we’ll be set to go. I’m not fit for much now so I’ll not be up for physical work anyway by then but who knows, I might just manage to lose some weight and get fit. 🙂

There is much planning to do between now and then, and it all hangs on Deb getting a job with a decent salary, but we are being positive. At the very *least* we’ll leave the trauma of living here behind us and move on with our lives. It’ll be sad to leave Karmah and Leuca behind, but I’m sure they’ll understand one way or another.

The MRI results are in!

Got to the consultant at lunchtime having picked up the wife’s scans. By the time we arrived I was *sure* the results were going to say Multiple Sclerosis so I sat down in the office and waited. The ‘eye guy’ did a preamble making sure we understood what was wrong wasn’t his fault… and then explained what was wrong.

Seems she has a pituitary macroadenoma with a haemorrhage. This basically is a benign tumour on the pituitary that has also had a ‘bleed’. The result is that it became swollen, and pressed against the optic nerve in the region of the optic chiasma thereby affecting her visual disturbances.

Off to the neurosurgeon on Monday for advice and probable date for an operation.

Guilt is a pain.

Occasionally I do things and feel guilty immediately. However, the most common experience for me at least is to get a memory of something that happened a long time ago and suddenly think “Oh god did I really say/do/make/etc that?”. Then the guilt hits and because, whatever it was, happened so long ago, there is no going back so no making amends of any sort. I tell myself the usual guff, i.e. learn from your mistakes and move forward, but that doesn’t help. What I usually feel guilty over are the effects, real or imagined, on the other party whether it be a person or animal and there’s no easy way to deal with it… especially for an obsessive like myself. Not more to add right now, just saying… 🙂

More ‘leggy’.

As I said earlier, the Doc gave me stronger antibiotics to fight the infection in my shin, but I’d forgotten he told me to stop taking the iron supplements I’d been taking because they interfere with the efficacy of the stronger medication. Naturally… I immediately forgot so each day I’ve been taking two of the antibiotics along with one iron pill so, basically, I’ve been compromising their effectiveness. Tomorrow I’ll have to try to remember. My excuse is I have a lot on my mind right now. 🙂

Chronology… not fixed.

Please don’t read this blog with the idea that the posts and the timeline will be in any way linear. I expect to hop about from time period to time period and place to place as the fancy takes me. Current affairs, i.e. my life as it is, will be mixed in with life as it was. Basically, I just have the urge to write down what’s in my mind when I open the blog.

Also, sad to say, my memory isn’t what it was (if it ever was what it was – see earlier post) and apart from the issues highlighted earlier, I may actually duplicate events in multiple posts… hopefully without too many paradoxes and contradictions. 🙂