Two things dominated this week. The most immediate was our dust-storm on Wednesday which was the first for seventy years, and which made one understand primitive people believing in the supernatural. One was definitely reminded of blood and the end of the world! It all blew away and we enjoyed blue skies again but it was a timely reminder of Global Warming, as it was the intense dryness of the Centre of the Continent that caused the dust in the first place.
An icon obliterated!
Of course, there was a link to the discussions in New York and Pittsburgh as well, and that was the said G.W. I felt there was, maybe, a glimmer of hope in all the discussions. I was interested in Pittsburgh too, as Newcastle is often likened to that American city, being of a similar size and having been a filthy steel town in the past. There is one big difference, though, and that is the sky-scrapers. An enlightened founding father (almost) decreed, for religious reasons, that no building here in Newcastle should ever be higher than the Cathedral, and I rather like that.
So I come to my personal week. SUNDAY was something of a disappointment. We decided to take a picnic to Blackbutt Reserve, where we've often seen a lot of waterfowl. However, when we got there we discovered excavation machinery and a gaping hole with a puddle in it! The lake is in the process of being drained and refurbished! It obviously didn't discourage everyone, though!
I had a great time on MONDAY! I did one of my poetry readings at a nearby town, Charlestown. There were a hundred women in the audience and they were very engaged. They don't look jolly in the photo because I snapped them when they were listening to a previous serious item, but they were really great, in fact. I sold several books and made some bookings for next year and I was really in my element! The mood hung over choir practice in the afternoon and I felt on wings!
The Charlestown Audience.
On TUESDAY the choir performed for a local stroke group. Here's Betty doing her bit as a soloist.
'A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation'
I was due to give a speech entitled 'How Many Roads must a Man Travel Down?' at the Speakers' Club on WEDNESDAY, but I only ventured out to buy bread and milk at the corner store and that was a journey through red dust, so I was glad to hibernate for the rest of the day.
On THURSDAY we received our annual visit from the Nurse! These commenced when we were 75 and I felt them to be rather geriatric at first. As time goes on I think it's quite comforting to think that the powers that be are keeping an eye on our welfare, although, of course, our children would rally round if we really needed them. We received good marks all round (eye sight, hearing, diet etc etc) but I did a crazy thing! When asked 'What month is it?' I replied 'April!"!!!! The nurse, put a big black circle round this reply so I think she'll be keeping an eye on my mental capacity!
The Nurse has a cup of tea.
I went into town with Becca and Max in the afternoon. The bus is a big thrill to him. So different from my childhood, when a bus was the norm and a car-ride an unbelievable highlight!
This is the life!
On FRIDAY we received bad news, as we learned that a good companion of ours had died (not a close friend but someone we've known for a long time.) Many of the Probus members were really upset as many of them actually went to school with her. This cast a cloud over our afternoon rehearsal at Carole's. Here is Carole, herself, at her piano.
On SATURDAY we had a reunion of sorts. I have become friendly with Fay, a member of Malcolm's club, and she jogged my memory about Bonny, someone with whom I enjoyed teaching thirty years ago! We decided to motor up to Nelson Bay to visit Bonny, and we asked Joan, an unconnected friend who also lives at The Bay if she'd like to join us for lunch.We very nearly didn't go because another dust storm blew up. This one was only beige though, not dark orange, so we went and it all blew away quite quickly. We had lunch at the Pacific Blue resort. The swimming-pool, which encircles the resort, is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
A small bush-fire started while we were there, which was rather a worry, but we had a tasty meal and a lovely long chat, as well as walking round the complex, which we found quite grand.
We went back to Joan's for afternoon tea, before driving home.
A pleasant afternoon.
Till next week.