Friday, January 27, 2006
My Country revisited
_ MY COUNTRY AGAIN_ Today in our daily paper there was a cartoon showing a Fireman with a hose spraying flames from the fires, The words on it were ~~ I love a Sunburnt Country A Land of sweeping plains of rugged mountain ranges It’s Men and Women of the CFA (Country Fire Authority) with apologies to Dorothea MacKellar the author of My Country. An extra bit says IT’S Beauty and it’s terror The wide brown land for me.!!! Thankfully we have had some rain and most fires are under control, but can start up again with lightning (and stupid arsonists). These CFA people are all volunteers & not paid. I can remember seeing both my parents putting out smaller fires with just Wet Bags (sacks). I guess they kept us near for safety. It is a very scary thing. When I was a very young child ~ I used to wonder where I would prefer to live ~~ the country or the city? It was during the war & we saw in the paper the bombing of Britain etc. But my VERY young mind thought The country ~ snakes and fires, The city ~ Bombs. There was no way to win. We did eventually move to Melbourne into a succession of houses, which Peter wrote about ~~ with photos ~~ he is the clever one. We also went to a few different schools. Can you imagine going to a school with hundreds of pupils, after being at our tiny little one teacher school in Dixon’s Creek?? It was a major shock, and we were very shy kids ( seen and not heard was popular then). We survived and even enjoyed some of those experiences. I had a great teacher, who was an English lady when I was in my early teens. She was a wonderful teacher and I enjoyed English when she almost made the poems & stories come alive. A definate influence in my life. We tried our hand at farming for a couple of years, about an hour away from where I live now. Dad had some sheep and with Peter’s help and a couple of nice dogs worked with them. And even cleared some of the land and cut wood etc. Mum and I had “chooks”. Is this the same word for poultry overseas? We had lots of laying hens and sold eggs. We also had a few turkeys – the gobbler used to terrify me a bit. We had a few ducks and geese. We used to buy day old chickens and I for one enjoyed that time. We had lots of our friends visit from Melbourne, an aunt and uncle lived close by, as did my mother’s mother. Peter has also written about that trip in two trucks with all the disasters along the way. We had a lovely cat from the time we lived in Dixon’s Creek. He used to sit on a large post on our boundary fence, and come flying down the road to meet us, if we were coming home from school, specially if Mum had come to meet us. Well he travelled to all the 4 or 5 houses in Melbourne and then to the farm near Benalla, then back to Melbourne He lived over 14 years, from before our older brother died in 1940. Streaky – great cat. I read – “Cats leave paw prints on our hearts”. He did !! .The News is on now and a glider pilot was found hanging in a tree. He had been there overnight – a Hungarian man. I am too chicken to even fly in a plane. I f God had meant me to fly I would have wings!!! Enough for now.