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MEETING AN OLDIE IS NOT SO PAINFUL. LINGER AND GIVE IT A GO
I invite you to visit also my literary blog: Journeys in Creative Writing where I post original fiction including short stories, poetry and 'Paternity', a full length mystery novel.
It's an entire year since the devastating bushfires in Victoria, Australia - when so many families lost their lives and hundreds watched as their precious lifestyles and property were dessimated by roaring red flames. Today I'm thinking of the people of those areas - the little communities of Marysville, Flowerdale and King Lake among them - as they continue the struggle to embrace this loss.
It takes time to recognise fully what happened that day. Grieving takes time too.
Once this happens those who are affected, even from a distance, can move on slowly towards the future.
We know that there will always be tragedies. But whatever the difficulty, it is certain that we human beings will get through to the other side more healthy and whole when we stick together, facing the future surrounded by loved ones and friends.
From now on I’ll have piping hot showers courtesy of the bright Australian sunshine, and I’ll rarely need to pay a cent for it. There will always be enough for me and a herd of visitors, except occasionally in the depths of winter.
The water was hot enough for a greasy washing up in a few hours after installation, and I’m told that I will need to boost my hot water with electricity only very rarely. Otherwise the sun does all of the work. It really is nutty to waste the immense benefit of harnessing the power of the big orange ball in the sky. I could do this because the Australian Rudd Government has set up generous schemes to subsidise householders for solar hot water and electricity, and for roof insulation – all in the cause of reducing climate change and incidentally stimulating the economy. My two solar collectors on the roof, 315 litre hot water tank and full installation and materials cost me $A1,000 out of pocket expenses as my contribution. The Federal Government is paying $A1,600 and the State NSW Government $A800. Another Federal scheme which set up renewable energy certificates to encourage the manufacture of energy efficient solar systems further reduced the cost. It will take a while for me to get back my $A1,000 contribution, depending on how fast energy costs rise, but I’m more than willing for that. I feel I will be helping out the environment and I’ll love the small power bills. I certainly could not have footed the entire cost by myself, thus I’d have been pumping unnecessary pollution gases into the air for the rest of my life. I bought roof insulation when I first moved into this house, without subsidies, and it’s been the best. My house is rarely uncomfortable in our hot summers and I never use my old air conditioner. I’ll think about solar electricity when my wallet recovers from this assault. Of course, Australia is lucky on the sunny skies front, but solar can be used to break down the use of coal and other polluting power producers in most areas of the globe, at least to an extent. I’d be interested to know what’s happening at your place? Do you use alternative energy sources such as sun and wind? Leave a comment and we can chat.
Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
I'm past my 70th birthday and undaunted.
So far I can look back on probably a dozen different phases in my life, all producing deeply felt experience:
- A barefoot carefree childhood in an Australian seaside town
- Work as a young journalist in the days of hot metal and male chauvinism
- Dipping my toe into real life in Sydney the big city
- Marriage and precious motherhood
- A second career in corporate public relations management
- Another marriage and disillusion
- Battles for financial justice in the law courts
- Re-jigging a career
- At 60 my first university degree (Creative Writing and Australian History majors)
- Fighting sometimes lost causes
- Sneaky aches and pains of the approach of age
- Living on a pension.
All fodder for writing and a valuable background for the development of what could become one day an incisive point of view.
My blogs may become a way of answering the question: 'What's next?'