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Dilapidation – A Process

This is the home of grandparents and, as it happens, was the centre of the world for a time.

This little house that stands un-recognisable today, once nurtured a family and stood as a symbol of rest and comfort for hard-working dairy farmers.

It will always exist in the minds of those for whom it was a beacon of the very substance of what family was, and is today.

Whilst the house is fading away and being consumed by the earth that provided for it’s structure, and now it is but a broken- down wreck; it will always find a place in the hearts of those who knew it.

Memories are the cob-webs that bind our existence, the structure by which we build our future, and the strength that provides for us to keep moving forward.

Without dilapidation there is no structure and without memories there is no character. Our lives are guided by our mind, it is the mind that houses things as they were, and things as they can be.

Bristlehound 2014

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Who Is Out There?

It will be November this year when we finally begin to understand “Who is out there”.
As a child, I lived in a country area of Australia and, as was common in “Those days” there was no electricity nor gas, just firewood.It sounds a little pre-historic I know, but it was the way of things then. Being not wealthy and combined with a rural life-style, one accepted things as they were and just got on with living.
I well remember the blanketed feel that came from an open fire and the smell of burning wood. Even the next morning wetted-down smell of coals and damp smoke, was something of a security.
A house that was warm and a bed that resonated the thunderous rain storms through its multiple blankets, was luxurious and life affirming.

To experience the wonders of electricity, it was necessary to visit the near-by town. There, was found all manner of enticing objects and contraptions.
Electricity and for that matter the telephone, were truly a spectacular leap forward and, for me, un-believable and magical.

Television was something that was around, but seldom seen and only by the more “well to do”. That is quite ironic because today it is quite usual when a television programme is used as a reference, that the “well to do” quickly remind all in the vicinity that they ” don’t watch television”. That always delights me.

Now here we are today with the internet and e-mails. How is this possible?
As an avid reader, even as a child I used to ponder “out there” and , like every other child probably, consider the chances of UFO’s being real and life on other planets as normal.

In reading today of the Rosetta Mission, I cannot but wonder if there has been a period in human existence, where such a Great Leap Forward has been encountered.
The Rosetta Mission involves a satellite equipped with really good stuff, to dispatch a landing apparatus onto a Comet that is 5 Kms wide. Not only did the Rosetta have to catch up to this comet by getting slung towards it by the Earth and Mars forces (Ooh!), but once it caught up, then land on such a small surface. All this is happening mega-miles from the Earth and has taken 10 years since launching.
Scientists are hoping to un-lock further secrets of the universe by taking samples from the comet and piggy-backing it for some time to come.

Now this needs to be put into some context. No electricity – landing on a comet mega-miles from Earth. That’s what is in front of me here!
How is this progress possible and what does this mean for the generations that follow us?

As we look back through history, it appears that our science developed at a pace that was understandable. It was measurable and controlled, running in parallel with life as it was. Now, it is seemingly beyond anyone to predict the changes that are before us, given the enormous growth in ways we maybe couldn’t have conceived.

This is a remarkable time to be living. I guess that the people of past generations must have thought the same,but to be living today where so much change is going on, does make one take a breath and appreciate the chances. It could be that science in the future stalls and becomes un-popular. This would mean ,today, could be viewed as the “Golden years of science”, the time of great advances and inter planetary travel. A time where possibilities were not only courted but rewarded. Our time here may just be the most important in human development akin to the discovery of fire being used by man. We truly are in a fortunate position.

Bristlehound 2014

Loss

bristlehound:

Life is catastrophe in motion. There is no escaping the results it produces. The journey set by ourselves is where the colour and depth most develop. After all- there is little that changes from one life to the next, it is for ourselves to invest and thrive. B

Originally posted on Clair Marie :

With the loss of several amazing athletes, friends and deep soul connections over the months I have been so tempted to throw in the towel. Not on BASE jumping but on making these connections, becoming deeply attached to those I love in the sport and just distancing myself from those who participate in it. I wanted to just run away from the pain and promise myself that I will protect me from the potential of continuing devastation by not becoming connected to jumpers any more. But then I realized how selfish that truly is and how terrible life would be if I actually did this.

It led me to ask. Do we allow the recent events and the fear of total devastation dissuade us and prevent us from making these once in a life time connections and friendships? Do we, for self preservation, close ourselves off to those who can…

View original 381 more words

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Time Lapse

My interest in Time Travel is acute enough to see me waxing lyrical about a second and third dimension, over a simple cup of coffee with my somewhat less enthusiastic friends.
I am fascinated about the possibilities of (briefly) departing this known dimension and entering a concurrent one, only to return and finish my previously commenced breakfast. Now that’s travelling.

What would I expect to find in this new and parallel world?
Well! I would expect the same existence but at a different time. Maybe I would be a child. Maybe not even born. It could be that ‘Back to the Future’ was in fact a documentary on time travel and not just a great movie.

Putting all of that exciting possibility thinking aside, I really want to make a complaint and so, to do so, I must tell a short story.

As a youngster with my aforesaid interest in Time Travel approaching its zenith ( not to mention some other interests maturing as well), I began to take a keen interest in clocks and their various styles and operation.
I have built a small collection of time-pieces around my interest not least of which is the clock pictured.
This clock has fallen into the hands of myself and my partner, as a family gift. It is of no great value in monetary terms, but has a significant history.
You see this clock hung in a Bank for many years and, at the time of the Great Depression, was handed to a Bank client as part refund of his lost deposits. Whilst it did not nearly cover the losses of the client, it was none-the-less accepted graciously and was dutifully re-established into the clients small shop. There it hung for many years.
When the shop was sold, it happens it was to my Father in law, as he continued the running of that same shop.
Upon the retirement of my father in law, my partner and I took custody of this great piece.

I have a beautiful fob watch that was my late fathers. It half works so I guess it must be half broken, but it’s lovely to have and a relic of my own family.

Other time-pieces are interesting as well, but the one great piece I really loved was a quant bedside electric timer that showed the time in big numbers. Pretty swish in its time and not without cause because every motel in the world may have shared its importance.
This particular time-piece was a little different in that when the electricity died, it didn’t revert back to that annoying, flashing 12.00,1200,1200……., no this was a classy piece. When the electricity went off it also went off, but the big difference was as power was restored, the time-piece picked up from where it left off. It didn’t correct the time, just carried on as if nothing had happened.

This is where I complain!

This time-piece had carried on for about 7 years un-touched. It had seen through outages (as they are now so eloquently referred to now) and it had seen off hundreds of storms. Through repairs to the building where power needed to be shut off, to fuses(remember them) burning out, this time-piece carried on.
Until one day!

Yes, a well meaning family member decided to take away that 7 years of time travel, take away that record of the ups and downs of domestic bliss and take away the many conversations accounted for over the time being ‘So wrong’. Yes! A well meaning family member filled with love and hope for my domestic capability improvement, ‘CHANGED THE TIME’.

So quickly history can be lost. One moment I was travelling in time, in a parallel universe of time, the next I am back in reality. Such is life.

I haven’t given up on my time-travel dream. My hologram remains potentially readied for that move to another dimension. All that I need now is a digital time-piece that cannot keep up with real time and I think I’m away.

Bristlehound2014 and beyond

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On The Road Again

Travelling through Australia and stopping off at the strangest of places, I have come to realise how much I love the freedom and the ability to have cordial friendships with so many.
I have only just completed a trip to the outback of Australia seeing the flora and fauna of this vast country, whilst taking in the rugged mountain ranges that so define the land here.
Throughout this period of travel, I (together with my partner and some friends) have met some hardy souls whom would struggle to fit into the day to day modern society that we call cities. They are however, adept at being experts at survival and scratching out a living from what seems to be barren and in-hospitable land.
The people inhabiting outback areas are, for the most part, well-worn and quick to sum up character. After all, if they can’t determine friend or foe in a blink of an eye, then it could mean disaster for them and their family.
I take great pleasure in the knowledge that outback people seem to like me and this makes me humble. To have such wonderful people, people with little to share, be willing to take the time of day to make me feel at ease, is both humbling and gracious.

There are many cattle stations dotted around the outback and some take in land the size of a million acres. It is not unusual to see no fencing for many miles but to see stock roaming freely throughout the bush, feeding on the salt bushes and the little fodder available.

Emu and Kangaroo are seemingly everywhere as this is their natural home and they are un-afraid of predators. We were lucky enough to see some of the largest Kangaroos in Australia and also many species of wallaby, some quite rare and shy.

There is something about this vast, open land that hits me hard. I so remember falling in love for the first time as a young man, a feeling that will never be forgotten although history will never account for its existence. Well something about this outback land of Australia gives me that same feeling of complete consumption. My thoughts, actions and deeds are all generated by an inner understanding of being part of something . In this case, the land presents its vastness, beauty and endurance, as my reward.

Throughout the many homesteads, stations, towns and pubs; people have shown their willingness to share the hopes and dreams they have cultured.
Whilst this country has a brief European occupation, it is none-the-less, a well established existence and has brought with it many developments.

The Australian Aboriginals have occupied this country for many thousands of years. Their unique and careful relationship with the land, has driven many a successful station here, but it is with their own culture that one is likely to be utterly amazed and delighted.
All over Australia, remnants of land control by the Aboriginal people can be noticed. From the bush land fires and the fish-traps, to the many controlled water ways, Aboriginal people lived and worked this country.
To see drawings and cave-paintings done by the Aboriginal people 10 and 20 thousand years ago, can only be described as an experience so unique it has no match.
To sit in a cave, occupied by people from so long ago and to view on the walls of the cave, pictures of beasts since extinct, is something that will never leave me. I am eternally grateful for the the chance to so humbly take in this wonder.

There can be much talk of hardship, harm and people against people. Often, we hear of the ‘Young Today’ as being a picture of the looming desperate times ahead. We are constantly reminded of the climate changing and the ever-present threat to world peace by lack of food and water.
Were all of these things be true of every moment of our lives, then life would have little joy. Situations are precisely like this for many of the world’s people and we should never forget the help we can provide.
We also have an obligation to seek out and establish happiness in much the manner of the early pioneers and the Australian Aboriginals. If a mast-head of possibilities is not developed and all we do is mire ourselves in the world’s ills, then we, as an animal, are taking the road to extinction.
It is for all of us to observe the great innovators and survivors of this world. To understand that it is resilience that will create a strong future. A belief that the young people can and will, make a difference. A belief that people are strong and can survive hardship without falling through the cracks of society.Most of all, understanding that people want to be our friends and that small percentage that don’t, will find happiness in others.

So as a traveller and intrepid bushman (not really that intrepid), I am privileged to have been be-friended by many and given the opportunity to encounter an array of characters willing to put their lives on the line to make a living in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. To have met and spoken with these people has provided me with confidence in the Earth’s people and hopeful expectation of a continuing existence as living creatures.

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The Big ‘D’ – discuss

Having been quite busy of late this is my first post for some time.
I dare say that, had it not been for the death of an associate recently, I would still be busily forgetting to post.
My associate was about my age and of similar lifestyle. He lived well and enjoyed life with excesses not being his normal way, he was conservative to a tee.
So it was a surprise to see his life end at this time.

What is it that steers us away from talking about the Big D. Or the ‘Passing’ or kicking the bucket. We have so many ways of avoiding the subject and yet it confronts us all.

My family has always had a fatalistic approach to death (that’s weird ) in that our mother who is now 93 has always been ribbed about when she’s going to ‘peg out’ and leave us some inheritance so as to buy the beach hut. She refuses to give in to us and remains fiercely independent, telling us she is not about to die and give all of her money. We are from an Irish background and from what I know of the Irish (very little) they love to laugh in the face of adversity.

Having said all of that and given the recent circumstances, I have begun to think of my own demise (death). I know it is not possible to plan but I have spent some time just playing with the possibilities. Sort of a wish list and hope it doesn’t happen like this list.

For starters I don’t want to die in a pub. I know that’s bad for business and it would be unfair of me to do that to the publican.
On the golf course would be inconvenient, it would effect the game of so many others and you know what golfers are like with their cards and that.
At home sounds good but the clean-up might be disconcerting for the remaining residents.
Drowning might be interesting, I guess because I’d be swimming already and it’s just an extension of that.
I don’t want do go in a yucky way and be all untidy but I guess you’ve just got to take what comes.

So it’s pretty easy to say what I don’t want to die from- or in, the big question is how would I really like to die?

Firstly a disclosure, I am as fit as a trout and it is not going to happen in the near future, not on my watch anyway.

Having given it some thought, I am not sure for me that location is of the utmost importance. Conditions will be yucky so I have to expect that. So I have figured out that my mind has to be ready.

I know that’s a bit strange and all spiritual, but for me and my penchant for all things simple, I think if my state of mind is where I want it to be then I will rest in peace.

However given that we are living longer and sometimes our brain doesn’t want to go on for that long, we can have a bit of clash between reality and the strange un-known world of dementia. In other words even our minds may not be part of our plan at the end.
Well I suppose there is every possibility that, even with adequate work-outs, the brain may just decide it’s had enough.

I’m going to counter this by using a system like ‘Google Maps’. When you plug in the location a little pin drops onto the spot you want. You don’t have to be there but you can bring up pictures and information, all the while referencing its location in respect to a town or country or the world.
That’s exactly what I am teaching myself to do now and will continue to do until my time is up.

My life has always been defined from within as being by water looking at mountains and birds while a breeze gently passes. This is a simple picture and, whilst it is a bit hokey, it is exactly what defines my person. It is for this reason that it shall remain my story and I will constantly remind myself to be ready. Be at that space in time. Be at that moment of peaceful definition.

I love all of the things around me. My family my garden. My job and all the things that everyone else shares. But they will not define me and that is up to me to ensure that I re-call ‘me’ often.

So the work has started in controlling my brain an wresting it into places that I want it to be. It won’t be easy but it has a advantage along the way of making me calm and thoughtful. I can see and feel that beautiful calm place already. What is your plan?

Bristlehound 2014

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The Age of Discontent

I am of an age that does actually remember the sixties, so I guess you may call me an outsider.
The sixties presented so many opportunities that, while growing up at least, seemed mind bogglingly vast.
The music of the day was transitioning from the swing and jazz to a pop culture incorporating such bands as The Beatles and Hermans Hermits (I’m into something good). Of course Elvis Presley ruled the day (In The Ghetto) and Led Zepplin was knocking on the late 60’s door with ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Great times and artists from whom much of the music of today has been built, as it should be.
By far the biggest thing to come from the 60’s for me was the moon landing.
How was this possible? It was a Boys Own adventure of the likes we had only read of in fiction. Pictures and sound coming from an outer celestial rock, with the anticipation of Neil Armstrong being taken by a passing Moonian, set this up as a life forming experience. Anything was possible.

I think that the world as one needs a constant dream. If it be a trip to the moon then let it be (Beatles 1970’s). It is easy to fall into negative goals by simply shutting down all dreams and crazy aspirations.
Having a war is a common goal – it is a common goal because we as human beings need to be striving for something. Working towards a future attainment. Conflict and anti-social behaviour, are goals because the future is un-clear and we are bereft of direction from within or without.

The 60’s because it was on the cusp of social and technological change, presented so much to this fortunate body of humans born and developing in this time. Yet if you speak with someone born in the 90’s, they may well say the same thing – that the changes and explosion of information has given them a boon and makes it possible for this group to stamp a mark on history, even more so than previous. This is the great thing about society and the Achilles’ heel, because whilst our own group and other age groups think we are the elite of human society to date, we will be superceded by yet another group.

We need more crazy people out there. Not the crazies that cause society harm but people who can think of outrageous ideas with little care for consequences. A balanced social structure should always account for a body of craziness so as to find a way to challenge our mediocre existence. By mediocre I mean a society that thinks war and conflict is a reasonable goal.
This is not a necessary part of a civilised world nor is it a requirement for economic growth, it is plainly and simply a cop out for not planning ahead.
What was the ‘Big Dream’ once the moon was conquered? What was it that fascinated the world?
To his credit, The USA President announced a Mars Programme, but this is simply a great idea made good – a duplication of the 60’s Moon Programme.
Where are the ‘Big Dreams’?

I know that there is advancement in all areas of commerce, medicine and social existence, but these are things that we expect to happen under good management systems. There is Research and Development paid for and providing great leaps forward for many companies. The world is slowly developing in such a way that poverty and third world conditions may, one day, become a thing of the past. All of this is good and positive.

In this time of information availability, it seems to me that; as even the most non-professional information seekers can and do find it easily, then the worlds base level of understanding improves. With this over-all improvement comes the ability to debate many more things at many levels with the resultant goal-setting of nations being the handling of maddened crowds. Each nation has now become a moderator rather that an instigator.

People need to be challenged. Give people a cause and they will rise to it.
If it is war then they will be there, if it be sickness they will survive, if it be hardship they will come through. This is the way of people, the way we are built it is part of this elite human group that currently roams the planet.

In this time, a time where information is collateral, where ideas come and go dependant upon how much background can be generally sought, we need a ‘Big Idea’. It has to be to the betterment of the world as a whole and something to which each nation can contribute. It may have been attempted by exposing Climate Change as a threat and thus building a world-wide base for its repair, but people soon tire of being penalised and convicted. Climate Change will find its way into the good management sector.

This ‘Big Idea’ has to be non-academic so as to shield it from the barrage of proper argument. It needs to be un-touchable and remain so. It has to be immune from information junkies blowing it out of the water before it gets a chance to grow. It sound like it may have to be something akin to a new religion or a spiritual objective – well so be it. Just let’s get it out there.

….. The picture was one of Neil Diamond as my first attempt at drawing back in the 60’s. My ‘Big Dream’ of drawing as an occupation.

Bristlehound 2014

Time to deClutter

As I sit amongst my Japanese Maples, I wonder what this next winter may bring.
It’s Autumn in my part of the world and that can mean only one thing – time to get a project.
Living in a cold climate, as I do, means that the Autumn and Winter can be pretty grey and quite miserable at times. My happy persona belies the contempt that I hold for such a greyness.
So, it’s a project that is needed and there is nothing quite so invigorating as a toss out and deClutter ( as we like to reference our French heritage).
Everything must go, start with the refrigerator and rid ourselves of those Christmas jams and Easter chocolates that never see the light of day. Who keeps Vegemite in the fridge? We do, and it never gets used. There is stuff that has no label and stuff that has gone so far off its come back on.
Those heady days of de-frosting the freezer are just a memory now with these new fangdangle double door- ice making- grocery list producing machines. Nothing to do but worry now.
On to the cupboards and the ‘Useless drawer’ so called because it started as the ‘Useful drawer’ and everything that was seen as useful was directed to it. Thus rendering it ‘Useless’.
In this post-apocalypse collection there is a wealth of things to find. Scissors, wrapping paper, string, scissors, staples, name printers, scissors, cards,boxes,batteries(dead), scissors(blunt), screw-driver set, you name it and it’s probably in there somewhere.
The trouble with getting into this collection of stuff is that there is the occasional photograph and that means 2 hours of looking at the pics and discussing the subject at length.
Cupboards are a trap. In fact Cupboard as defined actually means : Big waste of time.
When we renovated, some 12 years ago, everything was tossed out and then brought back gradually. So today we have all of the prodigal saucepans, the recalcitrant knives and the allusive floral mugs with a picture of the Royal Family on them. Nothing different, but it was great to have the power over these silent dictators, at least for a short while.
Bedrooms are just a no-go-zone to the efficient, busy house-keeping goal-setter. There is the man/boy cave of the 20 year old and it should never be entered without safety gear. Torch, breathing apparatus and stick are the preferred items of war. The torch is needed to see inside the bat cave, the breathing apparatus so as to stay alive with actual new air and the stick for any passing wildlife that may have entered without being seen (not joking).
On to the royal suite and time to rid ourselves of the self propagating perfume bottles, the ever increasing book brigade, the trinkets bulging out of the, once desolate handy jewellery box.
Bedrooms are a hive of advanced humanity. Important pictures, books and magazines sit comfortably with the wilting petals of flower arrangements signifying historic events. Not after I have finished – everything out.
Too late to start on the lounge room, the sitting room, the pantry(ooh!) and the bathroom/laundry. They will just have to go onto the wait list.
This process will take time but let’s face it, winter can be long an tedious so it should not be a chore to continue in an orderly way. No way will these cold, grey days set my agenda.

Bristlehound 2014

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