Sunday, 25 February 2007


by Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best intentions do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.


Saturday, 24 February 2007

Before the fall...

Bit the bullet and had gutter guard fitted last week. In the past I have just gone up ladders to fish out the collected leaves but I am getting sick of this as a past-time.

Plus the news told us recently of someone who fell off a ladder and died doing the same thing.

Plus I usually only remember when we are having a thunder storm and all the gutters are blocked and overflowing.

So, gutter guard. The idea is the leaves slide off the roof while the water passes through the mesh into the gutter. (Water? What's that?) Should work. Certainly sounds good in principle.

And I only have to look above the house to know what is coming, come autumn...

Money well spent, I reckon.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Be a Freud, be very a Freud.

In a fit of volunteer enthusiasm (volunteeriasm?) I went and helped man the Psychology Society's information table on Monday at University.

This is O-Week, Orientation Week, at University and the place is full of wide-eyed, fresh faced young things all agog at the new adventure before them, wandering around the place clutching free sausages or, for the few lucky quick ones, Krispy Kream doughnuts. Like sheep they shimmied around, some in little mini-flocks, some on their own. All looking nervous and apprehensive.

The novelty will wear off pretty quickly, I suspect.

Didn't sign up many people to the society, it lacks the attractions of DUFF, the beer drinkers club. Don't know why. But it was a fun day.


Monday, 19 February 2007

Random acts of kindness.

Illustration: Leunig.

The Age this morning had an article on kindness.

The following are some suggestions worth considering:

Make a difference
- Smile when you make eye contact with a stranger.
- Mow your neighbour's nature strip.
- Introduce yourself to a new neighbour.
- Donate blood.
- Tell someone you love them.
- Give old clothes and toys to charities.
- Send a card to a friend or relative you haven't seen recently.
- Go to the assistance of anyone who appears to be in trouble. The person who needs a coin for the parking meter; someone who looks lost; someone who is carrying a heavy parcel and so on.
- If you know someone who is having a hard time fi nancially, put $20 in an envelope, disguise your writing, and post it to them.
- If the person behind you in the shopping queue only has a few items, ask them if they want to go ahead.
- Take flowers to a hospital ward and give them to someone who hasn't had any visitors.
- If you see someone with a pram about to ascend or descend stairs, offer to help carry the pram.
- Visit an aged care home and become a voluntary companion for a lonely patient.
- Offer to babysit for someone.
- Stop to take a lost animal to an animal shelter.

Source: Australian Kindness Movement


Thursday, 15 February 2007


Peter Bryenton posted the following in the comments section of one of my previous posts in the original Curate's Egg blog. It was too lovely to let languish there.

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?"

''That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them." "For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

St Valentine

St Valentine, patron saint of over priced roses.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Dust and Roos.

Just back from visiting a friend, a farmer, in central Victoria.

The clouds had little to offer the country; the haze is dust, once top-soil, raised into the air by strong winds. The photo was taken when I was out with him delivering a tanker full of water to a farm.

Meanwhile, back at his farm, they are caring for two joeys, baby kangaroos. Sadly the mothers seem to have succombed to a particularly virulent form of lead poisoning.


Saturday, 10 February 2007

An infinite number of monkeys...

A number of blogs require you to transcribe a set of distorted letters as a verification process. This can be prudent and I have no problems with it. I was just wondering if I will ever see a real word in that set.

It has been said that if you have an infmite number of monkeys typing on an infmite number of typewriters one of then will, one day, produce Hamlet.

Surely it is not too much to expect the Blogger verification program to come up with a real word? Like "coffee". Or "fruitcake".

Or ''Yorrick'' .

Stop Press: I take it all back. I am receiving unconfirmed reports that "tadebwqt" is a Bantu word for 'dried chicken spit'.

Google. They think of everything.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Ye Gods!

I have been scanning some photos from my parents album and found this one of me and my mother, circa 1978.

Mum's the one without the beard.


Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Imagine that!

I moved this post across to The Odd Angry Squark blog, to keep the Curate's Egg less contentious; religion and politics free, as far as possible.

Monday, 5 February 2007

A Pinch of Salt II

While we are on photo manipulation, I should give a brief, if rather reluctant, defence of George W. Make the most of it, it wont happen often.

The above photo has done the rounds of the internet for sometime now.

Here is the original photo:

The give away is the photo on the back of the book George is holding in the 'dopey' photo. It has been flipped top-to-bottom instead of left-to-right. This is how it should look if it is upside down:



For Shara, some of my passport creations. They date from the times when I used to correspond with Nigerian conmen and they would ask me to send them a copy of my passport to prove who I was.

The images have red desclaimers so that they cannot be used inappropriately.

A Pinch of Salt

I get a lot of people forwarding stuff to me.

The above photo came with a bit of a rant about the supposedly stupidity of Americans; the woman allegedly chose the elephant as being larger than the moon.

How dumb, eh?

But I was suspicious. The story a little too cute and the printing a little too sharp. I have learnt not to take what you see as 100% true. (Especially as I used to make false passports with Photoshop. But that is another story.)

So I turned to my on-line saviour in these matters, Snopes.

It would seem that the true picture was:

Photoshop mischief.

You can read the full story here.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Smashing shot, Witherspoon!

Margaret, Richard and I headed to the local oval on Saurday, armed with cold chicken, grapes, champagne and sundry nibblies, to watch a local cricket match.

I have no idea who was playing but we took great delight in cheering good shots and the fall of wickets with things like "Oh, cracking shot, Curruthers!" and "Oh, I say, that was a damn fine ball, Abernathy!".

We did get a few funny looks from the players on both sides but, hey, we had a great time.

That's about the size of it...