The Week Before The Isolation

That week seems long ago.
Back then we could still go out.
Not go out to rub shoulders or any such thing. When it comes to physical contact, I’m all for social isolation.
Don’t try to hug this lad – he might bite!

That week before the Great Isolation, I wandered the streets of Adelaide while my Joy, and Amelia, and my infant grandson Little Bear shopped.
I wandered to Eckersley’s Art Supplies and bought a big wad of watercolour paper
– accidentally fortuitous because, even though I had no idea the virus would lock us in our homes just a week later, that wad of paper has served me well during the lockdown.
Who knows when I’ll be able return for more?

In King William Street, just outside the art shop, I was approached by two pretty young women.
That sort of thing doesn’t happen to me very often these days. It is no longer the 1970s, and I’m starting to look a bit grey and worn around the edges (just a little bit grey and worn).

Yes, they were pretty young women, apparently so friendly, and ever so chatty.
They tried so hard to talk to me about the book of Mormon.
Perhaps I look like someone who would be impressed by such an opportunity to partake in random theological chat and fancies.
A younger more impressionable bloke might have been pleased to be followed around in the street by two such gals, but alas, their love and admiration proved fickle.

Now, I didn’t tell them that, as well as being a past student of the sciences and some of the arts, I was the posessor of degree in theology (a real one).
I’d prefer them to simply see me as a retired, still handsome, old gentleman.

I don’t like to use my official title – but sometimes it can prove useful.
People often like to use so-called “ice-breakers” to facilitate communication.
Well, fortunately in this situation, my official title proved a real “ice-maker”.

When the head-girl flashed her million dollars worth of dental work in my face saying
“If we are going to talk, we really need your name – what can we call you?”
I replied, “Oh, ‘Reverend’ will do”.

Strangely this pair of religious enthusiasts lost enthusiasm. .They suddenly lost interest in me and wandered off in search of easier prey.
I wandered off happily with my watercolour paper, and sought out my family.
We shared tea and biscuits, and motored homeward carefree and content.

Then came the virus lockdown.

Memories and Awards

From my diary – November 2011

“On Monday I received an award from the ‘African Field Conference 2011’ in recognition for my service with the African communities (Sudanese ).

The citation reads -“For your contribution to the empowerment and commitment to the African Community“.

I have to admit that I was a wee bit embarrassed to be singled out in such a way and felt a bit guilty that I have been unable to continue my service with them.

But at the same time, tinged with the sin of pride, I am very touched and grateful for the award and my years with the Sudanese people.

(I have to say I do miss the Africans).

A good Birthday Present with lots of memories.”

The memories live on.

Michael and Me – The Dynamic Duo

At 5 in the Morning

5am and fast asleep.

The doorbell rings …

The rough-sleeping man, tall and bearded, is back in town.

He’s hoping for coffee.

Possibly he is hoping for money, but I think he believes me when I say I don’t keep cash around – it’s true.

I give him two cartons of chocolate Get-Up And Go milk drink, two packs of breakfast biscuits, and a pair of socks.

Year after year he is back.

He says that he has been going through rough times – and I am sure he has. But it is his life – his career … I think now that he actually likes rough times. Spare him a prayer.

But “Lead me not into temptation” – keep your doors locked, lest you get him into trouble.

No chorus yet – just a distant pair of carolling magpies, black and white in a monotone pre-dawn.

THEY BREED LIKE RABBITS.

“Hmmm” mused Rabbit, “Why aren’t we rabbits good at more things?”

“Well” Chair answered, “You rabbits are very good at breeding.”

“I was musing to myself, not to you” Rabbit snorted,
“Besides, you can’t give an opinion – you’re a chair. Your only purpose is to be sat upon.”

“That may be so” came the reply,
“But while people are sitting they think, and thinking is catching.
You rabbits should try it.”

“We think … we think” said Rabbit.

“You only think about sex. You are at it day and night … in fields, down holes – talk about ‘Don’t Litter Australia!” Chortled Chair.
“Breed, breed, breed … it’s all you lot do!”

“Well, smarty seat” sneered Rabbit,
“If we breed so much, why aren’t there more Rabbits? Why isn’t every living creature a Rabbit? Why isn’t the world chocker-block full of bunnies?”

“Ha” said the Chair,
“It’s because you are only good at breeding – you are absolute crap at economy.”

“Wot?”

“There are never enough resources to support all these litters of bunnies – It’s a battle to survive. Only the smartest and toughest rabbits, or the most coddled, survive. You should read Darwin” said Chair.

“I think you’re talking through your seat” replied Rabbit.

“It’s all true” laughed Chair,
“You bunnies are just a big bunch of miserable fuc….”

“Ooo, you are wickered!” Interupted Rabbit.

MODERN TIMES – A DAY IN MY PRE-RETIREMENT LIFE

(from my daily notes back then)

Anonymous Young Woman: –

“Why are you putting those signs up in front of the church? – I was going to park there!”

Anonymous Church Pastor: –

“This Morning we have a funeral, and we need this space for the hearse and mourners”

AYW:-

“But I always park here – it’s close to the School and the Coffee Shop!

ACP: –

“Well, I’m sorry, you can’t today – perhaps you’d like to park in the church car park just there.”

AYW:-

“I don’t know why you seem to think you can take over the whole street – I like parking there – it’s convenient!”

ACP:-

“But it is not on the street, it is off the street by the church’s front door, and it is church property – for church use – we don’t mind you parking there on days when we are not using the grounds, but this morning we have a funeral, so we need to use our grounds for that purpose.”

AYW:-

“Well, that is arrogant and grossly unfair! No wonder people are stopping coming to church anymore! … I’ve got rights too you know … I pay my taxes – I am a local … …”

ACP:-

“Calm down, calm down –

Taxes have nothing to do with it, and neither does where you were born. This space is owned by the members of this congregation (and you are not one of them). Sadly, this congregation has a funeral here today.

It is sad and hard time for the family, and we can make it easier for them if we don’t get in their way.

This off-street area is the place where the hearse and the immediate family park their cars …out the front of the church.”

“I have said you are welcome to park in the car park – it’s only 5 metres away – I’ll even open the gate for you.”

AYW:-

“Humph! You can keep your church! “

(stomp … stomp … stomp … brrrrmmmmm ……..)

ACP

“Sigh!”

This Is The News (Ode to Emma)

ABC News is on here in Adelaide.

I think Emma might have done something (subtle) with her hair, and she isn’t wearing a jacket.

Now, she looks very nice, but I am a Lutheran – we don’t like change – it makes us uncomfortable. …. She isn’t wearing a jacket, but a very attractive red top instead.

She certainly is lovely woman, intelligent, well spoken, well groomed – and she really is a great news reader, but now I am so uncomfortable … I’ll have to watch through my fingers.

I hope she’s back to normal on Monday.

….. next thing you know, a light bulb will need changing, and it’ll just be just all too much … all too much …

Oh change – don’t let it happen!

Mods & Bokkers

Genetic Modification of Plants – has it gone too far?

I found this in a supermarket
– startling evidence that genetic engineering of food crop plants has gone overboard! …

Ask yourselves, what results could we anticipate if crumbs from one of these modified crops were to blow into the fields of farmers growing straight normal Bok choy? I shudder to think!

Isn’t it time geneticists stopped playing Divine Baker?!