Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Musical Monday # 89

Musical Monday

I was introduced to Musical Monday by Delores who copied the meme from another site.

I think it’s a fun way to show off some of the music we like and brighten up our Mondays at the same time. 

I’ll be finding my clips on you tube, so will simply credit that site since there are often so many versions of everything and I wouldn’t want to accidentally credit the wrong artist.

Today’s clip is: a drum cover of Music Box Dancer.

We all know I like drums as much as I do piano, so you can imagine how happy I was to find this. Probably not to everyone's taste, but I like it.

and then I found this:

the cutest little drummer ever.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Selections # 265

Welcome back to Sunday Selections!

This once-a- week-meme was originally begun by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock, as a way to showcase some of the many photos we all take, but don't get around to showing on our blogs.

The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to me, River, somewhere in your post
3. leave me a comment so that I know you've joined in and can come over and see what you've posted.
4. hop on over to Elephant’s Child to see more of her wonderful photos.
  Andrew often joins in too.

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week we're having a look at some of the views around the Port Adelaide wharf where Fisherman's Market is.

cormorant sitting on an old small-boat dock

cormorant sitting on a rail.

random boat coming in from an outing

part of the Birkenhead Bridge. The signal boxes you see here indicate when traffic should stop as the bridge is about to open to allow passage of taller ships or yachts.

the bridge signal.

some of the original wooden pylons that once held up a smaller bridge, long ago, before the concrete bridge we now have.

the Dolphin Explorer ferry coming back in. This boat does regular cruises way out to the river mouth where the possibility of seeing dolphins is pretty good, although some days there isn't a single dolphin to be seen.

here she is a bit closer, so you can see she has three levels.

and here the passengers are disembarking. I've taken one of these cruises, but didn't see any dolphins.

those little white circles and smudges are jellyfish, small, about the size of your palm. some days there are just a few, like here, some days there are hundreds. 

looking across the Port River from the north bank to the south bank.

I think this is an original signal power box, but I could be wrong. There wasn't any sign attached saying what it is or was.

a gun off one of our old Navy ships,

and all the gears that made it do what it was supposed to do, turn, lift, lower etc.

the Port Princess, another of our River Cruises boats.

near the market shed, seagulls rushing to grab food thrown by lunching people. 
The red strut in the foreground is one of the supports holding up the lighthouse, which I have shown before, long ago. 

more seagulls on the tarpaulin sun-shade of the Dolphin Explorer. I took this from the viewing deck of the lighthouse.

one of my favourite photos, an old tugboat (I think), high and dry.

another river boat, the Yelta.

last, an old sailing ship, the Falie. I'm not sure if she is a well repaired and maintained original, or a replica. Probably a replica.
Information is probably available at Wikipedia, but I can't be bothered looking for it right now.

Again, these photos were all taken with my old Canon Powershot 460, no photoshopping, no resizing, no blog name, all are just as I took them.

Friday, February 26, 2016

waiting, waiting, waiting

I'm sitting here at home, waiting for a plumber.
I sat here at home all day yesterday, waiting for a plumber.

Last Wednesday, while I was out, the water supply must have been shut off for a while, because when I got home and tried to fill the kettle, (yes, Andrew, the new kettle),the pipes banged with air bubbles and the water was all spurty for a few seconds. And it was dirty. 

So I left the tap running, went into the bathroom and turned on the shower, the basin taps and flushed the toilet, to clear the air from the pipes. All of them made that awful banging thump as spurty water rushed through, but there was an added sound from the cistern as I flushed the toilet. 
Then the toilet wouldn't stop running. The tank filled up and when it was full, the overflow kept running into the toilet and I tried to turn off the water at the little tap on the pipe, but that didn't work.

I  went to the housing office first thing yesterday, was there before they opened, and went straight to their direct-to-maintenance-phone, explained the problem and asked for a plumber. Then I came straight home to wait.

So I've been listening to running water since Wednesday evening, trying to ignore it. I phoned Housing again this morning to remind them I was waiting for a plumber and the nice girl on the other end of the phone said someone will be out between 8am and 4pm, which made me laugh a bit, since it was already 10am when I phoned.

I also ran an empty cycle in the washing machine, to be sure the water would run clean the next time I needed to use it. I really didn't like the amount of thumping coming through those pipes, that kind of pressure has been known to damage washing  machines. 
I watched the water sloshing around in there for a few minutes and was surprised by the amount of suds it generated. I hadn't added any detergent, so this must have been built up residue from previous washes. I'm wondering now why the residue didn't wash out during the rinsing cycles. Whatever the reason, I'll be using less detergent in the future. 

The important thing about having the water turned off, is having at least one of your taps turned on and left on until the water begins to flow again. That way there is no air build up in the pipes. I'm not sure if the plumbers these days know about that, or if it is just too difficult to go to every affected flat and ask each person to leave a tap turned on. 
Probably the latter, since many people, like I was, may be out at the time. And of course a plumber can't wait until conditions are ideal before he fixes the problem he was called for. 

I'm guessing P's toilet got fixed last Wednesday, because I had let housing know that it was leaking.
Today there are painters there, so maybe next week I'll have a new neighbour.

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, assorted people have been taking monthly turns at putting up a selection of six (or twelve) words which is called “Words for Wednesday”.

We have taken over this meme from Delores, who had been having computer problems.
This month the meme continues here, at Elephant’s Child, with words and images supplied by Sue.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.   

Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  We would really like it if as many people as possible joined in with this fun meme.
If you are posting on your own blog - let us know, in our comments sections, so that we can come along and read your masterpiece.
I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. emergency
2. tragic
3. ashes
4. fabric
5. analysis
6. early


1. fumbling
2. useless
3. forearm
4. grasp
5. double
6. antidemocratic

and we also have two images: a mausoleum and an accordion playing clown.

Here is my story:

 Geri had been told that life was a tapestry, with the threads of people's lives being woven into a pattern as their years travelled on.
Today, as she stumbled around the square, looking and feeling lost, Geri thought the fabric of her tapestry had been rent in two, forever unfixable. 

She walked blindly, eyes filled with tears, not seeing the beauty of the mausoleum as she passed it, 

nor hearing the laughter of children and the happy tunes of the clown busker as he played his piano accordion. 

There had been no early warning signals, no indication at all that her world was about to end. The tragic suddenness of the massive earthquake, the explosions that followed, had taken not only her apartment building, but the ones to either side as well, and the ones behind. Emergency services had been quick to respond, but the fires were too fierce; what had been left standing, was now nothing but ashes and rubble. 

Geri knew insurance companies' analysis would take a very long time, she herself had once worked for an insurance company. She'd had a "prepare" box for years, never thinking she would need it; documents, identification, spare cash and credit cards, even an extra phone, all stashed in a safety deposit box at a bank far away from her apartment building. Another prepare box, (the insurance companies always recommended people have two, just in case), was in the basement of her parents home, in Kinbrace, Scotland. 

She wiped away a fresh flood of tears, using the thick bandage on her temporarily useless forearm as a towel. Glancing around, Geri realised she was more than halfway across town and hadn't yet stopped to eat this morning. A few minutes fumbling in her shoulder bag, and she was able to grasp her wallet, pulling it out from the jumble of junk that always seemed to live in there. Spotting a cafe, and moving quickly to the last empty outdoor table, she ordered a double espresso and two serves of croissants with strawberry jam.

Then Geri began scrolling through her phone contacts. Who to call? Who to call first? The bank of course, to let them know she was on her way, then her parents to reassure them she was safe and had a place to stay. The Social Services people at the hospital had found flats for the survivors. She'd spoken to her parents the day of the earthquake, they'd been terribly bewildered; Bridport, Wales, wasn't an earthquake area. As far as anyone knew, there had never been so much as a tremor. 

Feeling better after eating, Geri sat at the small table and watched with amusement as a rowdy mob of men and women marched along the north side of the square. They were shouting something repeatedly and waving placards with antidemocratic slogans on them. Nobody seemed to be taking much notice of them, except the six burly policemen who marched along with them to prevent trouble should anyone start something. 

Geri realised her tears had dried and she had actually smiled for a moment. Yes, her tapestry had been rent in two, but she was alive and well, apart from the huge gash in her forearm, and she had a place to live, for now. 

Perhaps this was the plan all along.
A new life tapestry would begin, a different pattern would emerge.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday Thoughts # 85

from I shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett:

"Every family, even up in the mountains, kept at least one pig to act as garbage can in the summer and as pork, bacon, ham and sausages during the rest of the year. The pig was important."

from The Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett:

"Nanny stood up and tried to look haughty, which is hard to do when you have a face like a happy apple."

Today's Thoughts:

Australia Post, our national mail service, has been in the news here lately. 
They're losing money.
Due to a lot of internet shopping and emailing etc, they've declared a failing of the business. 
People aren't sending as many letters and cards to each other via 'snail mail' as they used to.

They're losing money! Australia Post that is, not the general population. 

So they've come up with a plan. 
Increase the cost of a stamp to $1 and reduce services. 
I can see how increasing the cost of a stamp might bring in more cash for the company, but reducing services doesn't seem right. 
Ignoring the letters and cards situation for a moment, consider the online shopping which 'they' say is further reducing their business. This can't be true. Yes, people shop online, but then the packages have to be delivered, right? 
And who does this? Australia Post of course. 
Not exclusively, many things are sent by courier, but so they were in the past also. 
Where's the difference?

In the distant past when I was about fourteen, we had twice a day mail deliveries Monday to Friday, and Saturday morning deliveries. I know this because I had a crush on the 'postie' and would wait by the front door to get a glimpse of him on his bicycle. The crush died when I saw him in town one day kissing his girlfriend.

Anyway, the current service is to be reduced and a three tier service will take its place. 

I've thrown away the paperwork we received in the mail, so maybe I have it a little wrong, but there will be "regular mail" which will now take up to two business days longer to be delivered, more expensive "priority mail" which will be delivered faster than "regular mail" and even more expensive "express mail" which will be delivered the next day. 
Unless it's posted on a weekend I presume, because our Post Offices aren't open then.
None of this sounds any different to the current service. Except for the raised costs.

In my carefully considered opinion, and the opinions of several thousand other people who have written in to the newspaper editor pages, the biggest problem with Australia Post's loss of money isn't the lack of people posting letters, but rather the obscene amount the CEO receives as his annual salary. 
How much? 
OVER half a million dollars! 
I believe he gave himself a pay rise last year. 
If he put some of that money back into the business instead of his pockets, maybe Australia Post wouldn't be struggling quite so much.
And if they didn't lose so many letters and parcels, people would have more trust in them too.

Then there's this article from our Sunday Paper, 21 February 2016:

"Did a test on how long it would take to send a letter to my brother. 
Paid the dollar stamp, posted the letter - it took two weeks for the letter to arrive at his house.
My brother lives next door. Two cans and a piece of string can do a better job than Australia Post."

Maybe all they really need to do is lift their game. Get off their butts and do the job they're paid to do? 
Possibly they're a bit demoralised (demotivated?) by their low wages in comparison to their CEO!