"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Saturday, 28 January 2017


OK, so January has rolled around. The heat is here, not as bad as some years and bringing a decent amount of rain too. The grass has come on and the cattle are looking fat and happy. The hens are laying well, the pigeons are breeding and the choko vine has decided to try for world domination by swallowing up the entire chook shed. Will have to see to that soonish. I like chokoes but there are limits. At the moment I am feeding Percy, our resident porker, on the excess chokoes and household scraps. I think I have the feeding balance right this year, he is neither too fat nor lean. We will know for sure in a week or so when he gets invited to dinner.
The bees are in full swing. I have been dividing off new hives as much as possible without weakening the parent hives. A few weeks before Christmas I moved four new hives down to the dry lands to test the local flora for nectar. I did an inspection a week ago and managed to bog my truck up to the axles. It appears they have had some rain. You wouldn't know this by looking at the surface which was hard and dry until you break through the crust. Then you find your self in a quicksand the consistency of wet glue... It was a *very* long day.
Which reminds me. For Christmas I received this from my wife.
Which soon became this courtesy of Karl (A blacksmith/jeweller mate mentioned in earlier posts)
and so today the young feller and I went out to the workshop and set up a branding line for the hive bodies yet to be assembled.
There was some maniacal laughter and cries of "IT WORKS!!!!! HAHAAAAHAAAA"
You will see it had a little difficulty on the timber frames. I found it needed a couple of love taps at the ends to bring the brand back to flat. I suspect it curled just a little when heating. Works just fine now though!
The branding is required by law in Australia to keep crooks at bay. I am also quite pleased the DPI gave me back my old brand number even though it had lain unregistered for some twenty years.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Who serves whom?

I know I do not usually make comment upon current politics. Nevertheless I feel compelled to voice my opinion in light of the behaviour of our current crop of political simians. This problem does not appear to be isolated to Australia either as even the most cursory glance at the news will show.
In short it appears they are pleading poor while ensuring big business gets bigger and their own pockets are well lined. Instead they wish to punish the people who have worked hard all their lives and paid their taxes accordingly.

In my opinion they appear to have forgotten they are the servants of the people, not the masters.

Recently I was reading about the history of my own people- the ancient Celts and came upon a very interesting form of leadership. In some tribes the King was chosen by the people and would rule with almost absolute authority with a couple of exceptions. It was his responsibility to ensure the prosperity of his tribe. Should the harvests fail or sickness affect the people it was his fault. The only other law was that he rules for a set term of ten years only! At the end of this time, or sooner if he failed in his duties to the tribe, he was put to death. No exceptions. This was considered a great honour and the men of the tribe would apparently eagerly compete for the chance to become the next king.
This was a society where the ruler was truly committed to the job! How far we have fallen.