Welcome 2020

I wish a happy new year is in store for all my faithful readers.  Both of you.  For me 2019 was a good year when most things went right, business was good, weather was OK though often inconvenient, and I got to spend a lot of time with my grandkids.  My 2 grandsons who live just down the road aged 3 1/2 and 5 1/2, spent mostly 2 days a week with me at Possum Valley.  Up from 1 day a week the previous year because my daughter Alice was doing a uni course in pediatrics via home study, and I think we all know that little kids demand a lot of attention.  I am lucky in having an occupation where I can service cottages, meet guests, do maintenance etc with a couple of kids in tow.  They are even a handy excuse if I haven’t got the cottage ready when very forgiving guests arrive.  And for new guests, it encourages them to see me as gentle and human, rather than an old hermit/ogre when I have a couple of naked kids in tow.

Though for the elder one, greeting guests in the nick may be a thing of the past as he still likes to meet them, but rushes to don a few clothes when he hears a car coming down the track.  His recent modesty is probably my fault.  We were showing a family around Blackbean Cottage and he was talking their ears off as usual, as he does know a lot about Possum Valley and bush life in general, when I interrupted him and suggested he stopped playing with his dick when talking to people as it was rather distracting.  I said it very lightly, not at all in an admonishing tone, and the guests laughed and suggested it was going to happen for a while yet.  But I think I have inflicted a permanent inhibition on him.  He still likes running around naked, and come to think of, so do I, though the running bit I can do without.  I got up this morning and it was 18C and a sunny day coming, and a rare occasion with no guests, so being quite comfortable, I didn’t bother to put on any clothes.  It steadily climbed to 30C and is now gently declining.  On such a day it is very comfortable to let it all hang out.  And hang it does, in unsightly bulges in all directions.  Guests may rest assured that I will never present them with such a horrifying spectacle and will be suitably dressed in my usual shabby clothes when I greet them.

As recorded above, I had a little “inconvenient” weather.  For a lot of 2019, many people down south had disastrous weather.  Drought and fires has been the reality lived by people in the bush in southern states, and the city people haven’t escaped unscathed with choking smoke and baking temperatures.  Even people in Dunedin in NZ can see it and smell it.  And our grinning spin-doctor-in-chief, otherwise known as Scomo, has empathised for all he is worth (about nothing), and said this catastrophe is what we can expect so suck it up out there, while I get on with business as usual and send our thoughts and prayers rather than any actual help.  I’ll be digging coal, fracking gas, making money etc.

Have we had enough fun yet?  Can we plan a little bit further ahead than the new year’s resolution will last?  Has Scomo any plan beyond managing optics?  Pass round the fig leaves and try to make it to the next election everyone.

It used to be that managing the present was good enough for effective government.  That was about 200 years ago, because things didn’t change much.  Since then there have been accelerating changes that governments have hastily dealt with by makeshift remedial actions. Now the future rushes upon us and governments should leave maintenance in the hands of bureaucrats and focus their entire attention on the future.  Scomo and his government seem the least likely people on the planet to achieve that aim.  I could convene a committee at the local aged care nursing home that is more progressive than him.

It has got to the point where on a press-the-flesh ultra sympathy tour, people left his handshake just dangling.  The ultimate Aussie insult.  How could a PR specialist have got it so wrong?  Because he is decades behind what the Australian people already know and is still in denial.  The climate emergency is happening now and accounting tricks won’t make it go away.  The laws of physics can’t be amended, suspended or repealed at the whim of government.

The authorities have admitted that the fires can’t be extinguished despite the valiant efforts of the firefighters, but must wait upon gentle, beautiful rain to rescue a nation in torment.  Perhaps in February.


  1. Maggie Thatcher was (and still is) vilified for closing down many of the UK’s coal mines. Your chap is now getting it in the neck for keeping Australia’s going. How times change, eh?

    • Yes, Maggie could see they were uneconomic and perhaps wanted to put the boot into Scargill and the unions as well. Here Scomo isn’t only trying to keep existing and huge coal mines in operation, he wants vast new reserves in the Galilee Basin to ‘dig baby dig’. He is the piper and we know who is calling the tune. Actually Scomo has worse worries. Going on holiday to Hawaii while Oz goes up in flames isn’t a good look, then saying ‘well this happens all the time’, but it doesn’t, then a press the flesh tour to shower sympathy but no help on people who’s houses have burnt down didn’t go well when they refused to shake his hand and told him to “piss off”. He thought some PR spin would smooth things over, but he is now a dead man walking.

      • Without coal we will be nothing, so maybe that’s one thing our P.M. has right – as for his show ponyism, it’s easy to do while he doesn’t have to think about all the hard things our wonderful country is facing – drought, floods, bushfires – too-hard basket for him. Now we have Covid19 he has managed to step up to the plate because he has to. Still his mind’s on saving the economy, not on the individuals who are suffering. Handouts are good but more future planning is needed so those who lose jobs now will have them back again real soon. I have no faith in any of the politicians, their first focus is on themselves. If only this current Pandemic will change us all to the extent of falling back to a sensible way of life. Like Paul I was brought up in the era after WWII, and it was the best time in my whole life, the 1940’s & ’50’s were sane, generous, intelligent, educational, loving, empathetic, sympathetic, knowledgeable, glorious years – I long for them to return.

  2. Nailing some of the arsonists would help.

    • Actually the fires are not down to arsonists. The very few fires lit by arsonists were very limited and quickly extinguished. The fires create huge showers of embers blown in the wind kilometers ahead of the fire front, creating new fires. Also the fires create their own weather including dry thunderstorms with strikes starting new fires. It might be convenient for you to think the catastrophic fires are self- inflicted, but the real enabling factor is definitely climate change.

      • Hopefully, Paul, you mean natural climate change, which from what I know has been happening for billions of years. Some are so vain they think they can alter the planet’s climate, and some are so cruel they want to blame us all for it. Well I won’t take the blame, and no one else should either. We are just a blip in time, and it is vain to think we are important to the whole. So much has gone before us, who knows what will come after. I only wish I had the eduction/intelligence to lay it all out here – ice ages, catastrophic events, extinctions, the world has survived all these and more. If we all do our best, do the right thing by our planet, it will survive into millenium.

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