Feelin’ Good

Everything feels really good down here on the fungus farm.   You know and appreciate feeling good when you have just gone through a period of feeling bad.  The contrast heightens the pleasure.  My bit of feeling bad was maybe 5 days of having fevers and the disagreeable choice of violent coughing every 15 minutes or choking to death.  Discerning readers will have already deduced I took the former choice.  This was a 24 hour activity which left little time for healing sleep.  It is well recorded in the annals of science that the lack of the gentle calming beta brain waves, the data organising REM periods, and the cleansing delta waves leaves one feeling unrefreshed.  In fact a tottering wreck.  For a few days there I managed to get through some chores but felt like, and probably looked like, a zombie from some C grade movie.  

Now the sun is shining, birds singing (I swear they totally stopped while I was down in the dumps), and I had a good and productive day slashing grass and weeds, washing and catching up with chores.  We have all been there haven’t we?  Laid low by some virus or bacteria with only the hope of dying keeping us alive.  The triumph is to spring back with new enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm, triumphs and indeed springing becomes more challenging for us older folk, but hey, gotta keep trying.  

The weather has been rather ordinary being cool, totally overcast, and with light drizzly rain from time to time.  It happens a lot in May which at Possum Valley has the highest number of days of rain of any month.  Though by no means the highest rainfall.  Graphs and charts for Possum Valley weather are on my page “Rainfall”.  It is just as well I like rainy days as well as sunshine, living where I do.  So the weather a bit uncomfortable for my guests, but many have been rewarded with some good wildlife sightings.  In the last week, guests at both cottage had good views and pics of tree kangaroos just a few meters from both of the cottages.  Today I was servicing Blackbean Cottage and a platypus was feeding under the bridge.  Having finished the service, I stepped outside and there was a juvenile cassowary just 10m away.  Much to my surprise, (s)he didn’t run away but looked at me for some time and walked in front of me to within 5m.  I had some friends staying at the homestead, including a young lady from Canada, so I briskly walked past it hoping to bring them down for a perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a cassowary in the wild.  Much to my surprise it followed me up the hill just as they were exiting my house so my grand announcement was totally upstaged by the bird itself, before I had the chance for introductions.  They also saw saw a Victoria’s rifle bird, which is always a treat. 

I was babysitting my grandkids for 2 consecutive days this week, and for 2 days after that I was trying to reassemble my house from the wreckage.  I suppose it is my own fault.  If I shouted enough, I guess they would cease and desist with their constant and unlikely experiments into the properties and uses that my household objects can be put to.  I guess my weakness is a suspicion that they might actually be learning something from the seemingly random trail of destruction.  They are boys aged 2 & 4.  Only just as they both had birthdays in the last couple of weeks.  I forgot and they didn’t mention it because I suspect their parents didn’t tell them.  What a slack family I have reared.  

I went out on the town down in Cairns for the first time in this millenium.  

Trying to blend in

Trying to blend in

I had noticed the decor featured the class of clientele that the “Three Wolves” in Cairns was trying to attract.  I hope I posed in a suitably supercilious manner.  To serve bourbon, the barmen torched a piece of specially imported American cedar then upended the glass onto it to ‘smoke the glass’, before pouring the bourbon.  Quite theatrical and of dubious benefit.  There was music playing at a level that one had to speak up to be heard by even the person next to you.  This jacked up the volume until only bellowing in your companion’s ear could be understood unless one was adept at lipreading.  This broke up party conversations into one on one conversations.  I discovered what I had been missing for the last couple of decades in the social scene.  Not much, though it was intensely interesting as a social study.

My real excitement in going down to Cairns was finding a 2 bearing, 4 pole, 240v AC, single phase, 3.5 KVA generator.  I don’t suppose you get quite the same thrill as I do hearing those specs.  This was the machine I had tried to get 35 years ago to be told it was out of production.  It is old and battered outside, but looks much better inside.  The old man who had this machine lived in an industrial shed with basic living quarters on a mezzanine floor above.  His superb and crowded workshop was devoted to making fully working models of say a wreck recovery vessel for the delight of kids.  He and I were kindred spirits and I offered him $200 for the generator.  He didn’t even bargain and loaded me up with other stuff like 20 kg of welding rods, 30 kg of assorted bolts, springs etc.  A very generous man.


  1. Raewyn Belson says:

    Good to know you are better Paul.Fascinating read always and thrilled to know my Granddaughter that young lady from Canada, got to see the Cassowary and other delights at Possum. “Three Wolves” was also a fun experience for me when there with Martin. If I close my eyes I can sometimes relive the joy that The Wet Tropics bring. My family always treat me to adventures and Black Bean at Possum Valley being the highlight. Please look after yourself now you have Grand babies to care for too. Thank you for the hospitality you show to everyone.

  2. Ingrid says:

    Hi. What an entertaining read ( as usual). Glad you are better. I have had Possum Valley on my mind lately particularly the sauna!! I am working on my last assignment for the semester woo hoo and closely watching vacancies section…

    • Thank you Ingrid. You will be pleased to hear that I have totally rebuilt the sauna stove from scratch. Actually, not built from scratch, but a much more substantial sheet of steel 1.2m by 1.7m and 6mm thick. Today was it’s inaugural use and I’m awaiting feedback from the guests.

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