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Monthly Archives: May 2010

The end.

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The Bucket (at least for the moment) is full.  

This is the lid.

My blog contains 290 stories written over a period of 2 years.

It is my autobiography, diluted with a lot of nonsense and dogmatic drivel.

To continue would be an exercise in self-indulgent twaddle and repetition.

So I thank you.  A really heartfelt thank you to everyone who has ever read this blog, especially those who encouraged me and took the time to leave comments.

Thank you also to my old New Guinea friends, especially those in Korbau and Mindom villages who inspired so many of my stories by showing me that much common sense has been lost by Western society which now mistakenly believes that the "good things in life" involve material possessions.

If you need me I'll be in the shed at the bottom of the garden resuming my reclusive pre-blogging life.

All that remains for me to do is officially hand over the entire contents of this blog to Inga, who, after I have shuffled off the coil, will  never have grounds for wondering what her Father's opinion might have been regarding every subject known to mankind.

I could not conclude this blog without once again publishing Desiderata.  If all the lengthy ambiguous scriptures of every religion on earth could be replaced by this single page of philosophy our world would be a much better place.

Thank you for your company on this journey.

Take care of yourself……..and each other.




Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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One last story

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I am often asked the question;
"Why, when Mrs GOF is able to occasionally travel overseas,
do you choose to stay at home by yourself?"

My stock answer is always;
"None of your freakin' business now please rack off."

I never tell them the real reason which I am happy to reveal to you, my trusted reader, which is that I am frightened that my Defence Shield might not work outside of Australia.

No,no, no, come back….don't leave yet……logic will eventually gain the upper hand.  (Well we can at least live in forlorn hope.)

Most of you have already discovered how annoying and totally aggravating I can be when I really set my mind to it.  
A complete pain in the arse.

I was born that way.

I was also born very short sighted which necessitated wearing spectacles ever since my early school years.

At Castlemaine North Primary School, with considerable joy, I discovered the most important law in the Universe.

My "four-eyed force shield" provided impregnable protection against all of my classmates (and probably a few teachers and sundry strangers) who quite frankly were busting to punch my lights out almost on a daily basis.

In Australia during the 1950's there was an unwritten law passed on from parents, and reinforced by teachers, that hitting people with glasses was the lowest form of disgraceful behaviour.

I was quick to recognise this loophole in the laws of Australian society and accordingly took full advantage.

No contact lenses for me thank you, and my policy has served me well for 6 decades.  Not a single busted nose, black eye or cauliflower ear to be shown for all of my years of impertinence, impudence, subversive conduct and giving people the absolute and utter dribbles.

That is why, in the interests of maintaining my cranial integrity I dare not leave these shores, to visit some place where I am sure the same rules do not apply.

Nah. I know where I belong. I like the shape of my head just the way it is now, thank you.  But feel free to come visit me….anytime.

But remember, regardless of your urges and justification,

"Never hit boys wearing glasses."

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The Bucket will resume on June 1st 2010

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In recent years I have taken to setting aside a little quiet time each day to be thankful for what I have in this life.

A Baby Boomer who had the accidental privilege of being born in Australia. Someone who has never known war first-hand, or real economic depression and hardship like my parents did, and who has always enjoyed good health.
These are not things I ever take for granted now.

Nevertheless, there are occasionally some trivial things which tempt me to complain just a little.

A long time ago I saw a beautiful thing.  It was called sunshine.

There is good reason why no-one prior to 1983 chose to settle permanently in this quite small orographically-influenced super-wet belt of these tropical tablelands.
Having spent most of the last three and a half months living in the twilight  "fogness"  inside a deck of cloud seven thousand feet deep, with one inch of rain blowing in horizontally every day on a 20+ knot south easterly, I am Vitamin D deficient, morose and uninspired to work in all the drizzle and slush.  Or write blogs.
In an attempt to counter this seasonal condition I have been in the habit of doing an almost daily 8 kilometre walk through the rainforest. 

This activity is partly driven by fear.
Fear that at my age, if I sit on my arse for too long I may never get up again.
Mostly however, this "jungle time" gives me the opportunity to come to grips with my own insignificance in the overall scheme of things.

Today, under the umbrella in the pouring rain, and ankle deep in  mud at the end of the track, I wondered how the original Aboriginal hunter/gatherer inhabitants ever survived wet seasons in this country.
No waterproof houses.  Firewood too wet to burn, and having to go out in the rain daily to forage for food. It must surely have been a miserable existence.

Would they have considered themselves to be "disadvantaged"
in any way?
Possibly not.  Like those living in subsistence cultures around the world, the people probably found many sources of happiness.
Family.  A successful hunt.  The rainforest tree whose delicious fruit was just ripening. Discovering a previously unknown dry shelter amongst the rocks on the mountainside. 

If humans still inhabit the Earth in 200 years from today, will one of them unearth the archaeological remains of my existence here and conclude that GOF too must have lived a life of great deprivation relative to his modern times?

Please excuse me while I pour myself a glass of wine, sit on a comfortable cushion next to the fire in my little weatherproof house and give that proposition some more thought.

P.S.   May is our worst month of the year for harvesting solar
          With batteries below minimum capacity it's either the
          computer or house lighting which has to be sacrificed.
          Mrs GOF says it's the computer. (except for emails).
          I can't argue with that.
          Back on June 1.   Take care of yourself……and each other.


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