Way back when I was a kid, some nefarious prankster stole my push bike. Back in those days, push bikes were expensive items and so they were clearly worth stealing. Having my push bike stolen was quite a set back for my shamefully capitalistic ways. You see, not only was my push bike used for transport between my house and everywhere else, it was also the source of my income, and this was a problem for me because income was not forthcoming from anywhere else.
Some people say that I work hard nowadays, but back then as a kid, at times I had three jobs in addition to school. That meant, two newspaper rounds in the morning and a chemist round in the evening. I particularly enjoyed the chemist round job as it involved delivering prescription medications to the elderly, and they were usually grateful enough to tip me. It was a well paid gig. Perhaps on the other hand, those elderly folks thought that I needed a bit of feeding up and so they gave me the tips so that I could purchase more food? Similar to my bakery superpower today perhaps?
Having three jobs at times, meant that food was always available. The local fish and chip shop used to sell tasty potato cakes, pickled onions, and dim sims. On the other hand, the local fish and chip shop was something of a 'den of iniquity' as it had a Space Invaders machine, and a lot of my hard earned cash was spent learning how to defeat marauding aliens. Anyway, the food always kept my energy levels up because I had to do a lot of riding around on my push bike.
But then some rotten person stole my push bike and ruined a good thing. The bike was locked up at the time, but I learned the hard lesson that bolt cutters could produce a return on investment for the purchaser!
Me, being me, I decided rather than purchasing a new push bike from scratch, which would have put a dent in my savings (and Space Invaders entertainment budget), I'd simply go to various bike shops around the area and haggle over prices for various components that made up a bike. Then I'd put the new bike together myself. And in a matter of days, I had a new push bike, and could continue my capitalistic ways.
In these enlightened times, adults now deliver newspapers and those newspapers are individually wrapped in plastic and thrown from a moving vehicle. As a comparison, when I delivered newspapers as a kid, and the sun had yet to make an appearance, and the rain was sometimes falling, I placed a households newspaper on the shelter of their front veranda. And I ask you, do pharmacies get children to burn off their packaging and rubbish in a backyard incinerator these days? Ah, fun times.
These days we're much more enlightened and push bikes are used in vastly different ways. In rural areas, push bikes have become a dirty word that provokes ire.
You'd think that issues such as: pollution; guns; arson; and/or restrictive local government would generate a lot of rural heat? Well they do, but nothing really pushes the rural hot button and unites country folk like: push bikes.
Now for the record, I am reasonably apathetic about the subject and take a live and let live approach. But then I also live on a dirt road, off another dirt road, and so no bike rider in their right mind would ever venture into this unfashionable end of the mountain range.
On the other hand, the more fashionable end of the mountain range has a nice sealed road leading up and over the mountain, and that road features a fourteen degree incline. Riders can challenge themselves on the long sweaty ride up to the mountain plateau, and then they can challenge themselves again at vastly higher speeds on the way back downhill to their vehicles again.
The problem as I see it is an expression of the larger problem of 'population pressure'. Population pressure has been defined as: "the sum of the factors within a population that reduce the ability of an environment to support the population". To put that definition into context, there are just too many weekend bike riders for the infrastructure in the more fashionable end of the mountain range to easily support them.
Unfortunately, there also seems to be something rather strange about that bike culture. From an outsiders perspective it can occasionally express itself to the locals as a highly competitive and aggressive culture, which does not win friends in rural areas. I have occasionally been unfairly abused by highly emotive push bike riders, and I tend to remark to the editor that: "Oh my! That one appears to be exhibiting 'roid rage (steroid use), don't you feel?"
There really is no easy answer to the problems of population pressure in this mountain range - and long term readers may recall that the hordes of 'leaf change' tourists will soon make an appearance now that Autumn is almost here.
Anyway, when I used to ride around on my push bike it was always for a practical purpose. As a contrast, every weekend a lot of energy gets used riding up and over the more fashionable end of the mountain range, and I'd love to put that energy to use hauling rocks or firewood! Alas, that is the very nature of a predicament!
Speaking of firewood, we've been cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking firewood this week! And the daytime temperatures have been in the mid thirties Celsius (86'F), so every morning for the past few days we have been getting up at day break and putting in a few hours on that most important of farm tasks. One night, the overnight temperature didn't go below 27'C (81'F) but we're made of tough stuff and just got on with the job:
|Far out, 6.43am and the outside temperature is 27'C / 81'F and the sun is barely above the horizon!|
|Two days of cutting and hauling seasoned firewood produced a tidy heap|
|The secondary firewood shed is now full|
|Just as the door to the full CBF Sub branch / firewood shed was closed, a rain storm moved in over the valley|
|The author shows off one of the two shopping bags full of wild apples which we picked this week|
|The author smiles as he contemplates apple wine and apple cider vinegar using the free apples|
|Each raised garden bed now has its own individual irrigation sprayer which can be endlessly modified.|
|A close up of the individual irrigation sprayer in action|
|Scritchy the boss dog gives the much larger puppy Ollie 'what for'!|
|A formidable creature appeared on the back verandah|
|We leave the thousands of elderberries for the birds and they love them|
|Jalapeño chili's. I'm honestly a bit frightened about these...|
|Long capsicum (peppers). Total 100% yummo!|
|Eggplants. I'm hoping they put on some serious size before autumn|
|A pumpkin over a watermelon. How often is that seen?|
|Corn on the cob. Next season I hope to replant some of this seed|
|The mid sized tomatoes are just beginning to ripen. How tasty do these look?|
|The birds appear to have missed these plums|
|An almost perfect European pear|
|The Asian pears refuse to be outdone and are just as tasty|
The recent heavy rain and only Very High UV (down from Extreme ratings) has meant that the flowers have bounced back with a vengeance!
|Geraniums and Nasturtiums make for a colourful display|
|Globe artichokes are the coolest colour flower|
|More Geraniums. I've nicknamed this variety: Stinky Red|
|Honey bees are enjoying the copious and hardy Agapanthus|
|The mint family of plants are flowering and the bee here is enjoying the Oregano|
As a general rule I don't purchase cut flowers, and neither do I plant Eucalyptus trees near to the house (due to the fire risk). That is actually two rules. Anyway, with Valentines Day closing in upon us I planted a stunning Eucalyptus Ficifolia close to the house for the editors enjoyment and pleasure.
|We planted a pink flowering form of Eucalyptus Ficifolia this week|
Before we close out the blog, I just wanted to give a shout out to the excellent English rapper Big Shaq for his song: "Man's not hot" from which I ripped the title for this week's blog. An awesome song and total respect. Who can deny the sheer cleverness of the lyrics: "Two plus two is four
Minus one that's three, quick maths"?
Minus one that's three, quick maths"?
The temperature outside now at about 8.45pm is 15’C (59’F). So far this year there has been 104.6mm (4.1 inches) which is up from last week's total of 103.8mm (4.1 inches).