FAMILY LETTERS

Way back in 1992 I wrote some poems about my siblings and recently found them.

TimothyPicture 069

T is for Timothy an older brother of mine, And it's also to him I dedicate this rhyme.

I is for intelligent, of Tim it's certainly true; Accounting, sport and music are a few things he can do.

M is for manly, "He's growing up so fast"; They said when he was three years old "But let's hope it will last."

O is for options, Tim has only two and he knows; What's more, only Tim can choose the one on which he goes.

T is for trouble, Tim experienced his share; Cars, family, motorbikes, soccer - and herding goats for Mr Blair.

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SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT

2008_0521roof0016Variety is the spice of life. However, too much spice spoils the food. It is the subtle differences that bring about a pleasant change. It is the slight change of perspective that teaches us something new. Trying an old trick a new way uncovers a skill. Approaching the same situation from another angle helps get us out of the rut.

I thought about this today as I was getting dressed. I don't know why, but I put my left leg into my trousers first. It felt weird! I then realised that I don't think I have ever done that before.

Also I bought a new camera. Fiddling around with all the settings and functions, I notice that the subtle changes in setting help bring out a variety of finished products.

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SUNNY QUEENSLAND

Anzac SlouchWith NSW on school holidays I spent the last two weeks up in Queensland. I stayed with my "Aussie family" the Gollans. Highlights include but were not limited to:

  • climbing Mt Beerwah
  • organising a garage sale
  • working with Josh
  • ANZAC Day service
  • riding with Tim
  • Jemimah's surprise 18th (which I didn't give away)
  • basketball training
  • general socialising
  • seeing Serge and Tanya from Ukraine
  • walking in the bush etc.

Tim and Judith are both much better bloggers than I (and I currently don't have a camera), so you can see pictures of the climb and pictures from the garage sale on their sites. Judith also drew a really good image of an Australian diggers hat. Click on the picture for a larger version on Jude's site.

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I'M ONLY 35!!

I don't qualify for old age yet, hardly even middle age. In fact one of the kids at school the other day thought I was 16. But I do recognise that I and the people around me are growing older (and maybe growing up).

I read the following prayer on the wall in Aunty Jan's toilet. I think it's a beauty - and a great challenge to the old, the almost old, and the going to be old one day folk.

LORD, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy.  With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest LORD that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips on my aches and pains.

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UKRAINIAN INTEREST

Here's a great story I found from Australian Tim Cope in the Sydney Morning Herald. He trekked on horse back through the Carpathians in Ukraine. Here's an excerpt from his travel descriptions:image

As if painted on a vertical canvas there were colourful wooden cottages perched on the opposing side of the valley bordered by greying timber fences, haystacks and glistening spring pastures.

Click here to read the entire article. Photo also by Tim Cope.

WHY UKRAINE?

A number of people have asked me over the last few years, "Why do you want to live in Ukraine?"

Today I read an article about corruption in Ukraine. You can read this interesting article from the Kyiv Post here, but I was reminded how deeply ingrained bribery and corruption are in Ukrainian thinking and culture.

I reflected on an interesting situation on a train back in 2005. I wrote about the experience of two Russians telling me that this was the way they liked it (train experience). But what will I ever do to change the corruption I hate. Probably nothing. My life will just be that little more difficult because I refuse to be like them. Maybe it's just a case of pig-headed self righteousness or an unwillingness to accept my new culture. Or maybe it is the right thing to do.

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CLIMBING THE CORPORATE LADDER

The lychee is a small fruit with a red rough skin incasing a white wet flesh that looks like an eyeball and tastes slightly better. But for the last week I have been donning the yellow rubber gloves, climbing my ladder and picking these little fruit.

IMGP0115It's been fun, tiring, slow, boring, interesting and a host of other interchangeable adjectives.

I've been working with Bec Adams, a girl I knew from years ago in Sydney and Maclean. We have had some great encouraging conversations. Picking is finished now, I won't be disappointed to finish picking lychees but I'm glad I had the experience.

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