Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And so on...

Well the water mystery solved... You know all those gutters I cleaned and painstakingly made sure filled the water tank...

For the mosquitos.

Because it's nothing but a big ornament. It is not connected in any way to the house. The water comes right past it... from the shearing shed a hundred and fifty yards away. And as Richie had run out of water (on account of not switching a tap off by accident), and as they didn't realise it ran anything... they unplugged the pump and have been taking truck loads of water... Ah well, it's not hard to put ours on to the loop. And we have water.

I was doing a little research about life in the Northern territory for the book I so frantically busy with, and hit on this description of a family living in the remote outback there during the depression. It rang such a chord with me I had to quote it for you:

As described by Max Sargent, the tenth of fourteen children of the Sargent family: “We were possibly the best fed people in Australia right through the depression, with butter, cream and milk, cheese, dried fruits and fresh fruits, fresh vegetables the year round, more than what we could use, but no money!”

Boy, he could be writing about our lives. We have more food than we can eat. Cash can fluctuate, depending on how late the publishers are this time. Now with Barb working, and the low cost of being here, it's a little less scary. But I guess we have it lucky, and I do appreciate it.

I got sent a bunch of weird statutes... some of which I think should become international law.

All residents may be fined for not owning a boat.

New Jersey
It’s against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.

and back to writing...


  1. Sadly, the vast majority of the strange laws are utter nonsense (and I can tell that without even looking at them). They take a law that says, say, "it's illegal to hitch your pet to a fire hydrant" and turn that into "it's illegal to hitch your Vietnamese pot-bellied pig to a fire hydrant" Sometimes they take a really, really old and no longer current law and quote it as if it's still current as in: "It's illegal in Seattle to stab someone with an 8" hat pin" (leaving the impression, of course, that it would be legal if the pin were shorter).

    Lisa S. in Seattle

    1. It is legal if the pin is longer, but only on Martinmas. 'no longer current laws'? Do they have a statute of limitations or have to be repealed? Personally (as knitting was a male 'privilege' in I think the shetlands or faroes, not allowing during fishing season makes sense :-). And everyone NEEDS a boat.

  2. That Sargent quote sounds like my childhood -- on a poultry farm with a varied orchard and a cow and our own kitchen garden. Everything we could possibly eat, fresh, and absolutely no money to spare at all for anything except necessities like one new pair of shoes every year, a drum of kero to run the frig, petrol for the car...

    I ate my first bought restaurant meal when I was 8, breakfast on Kalgoorlie railway station -- liver and bacon, and that was such an extraordinary event, I can remember every detail almost 60 years later...

    1. My parents were depression kids and Scots or worse Afrikaans Calvinist. Careful. Waste-not-want-not. It rubbed off. Our meal tonight had half a cup of bought flour and a tablespoon of oil. Everything else came off the land. As a writer, I'm glad to be able to do that! But society isn't geared for people like us.

  3. In one small town in Kansas it's illegal to bury a dead body (no mention of live ones) in the middle of a public thoroughfare ... without a permit.

  4. Sounds like my relatives who lived at the mouth of the James River at the Chesapeake Bay. My Grandfather lived on the Newport News side, which thanks to the Newport News Shipyard still had a money economy. Twice a month they'd load up the car with things like gasoline and cloth and cross the newly opened James River Bridge. Where they'd picnic with the kin folk and swap out. In those days the term "swap meet" literally meant a barter exchange.

    My family would get fresh food, or canned (as in jarred) food, and the kinfolk would get things that had to be paid for with cash. Which they had precious little of. But according to family legend they had the best ham, watermelons and chickens anywhere.

    Since my grandparents had a large garden and my grandmother was a whiz at harvesting all sorts of food from the river (soft and hard shell crabs,clams, mullet, croaker.....)often a portion of the food brought back was donated to the soup kitchen downtown.

    Which was far better then just giving cash as it helped _two_ sets of people. The kinfolk in the Smithfield area got hard goods and the destitute got a good meal. Today we call that a "win-win-win". Back then they just called it "helping out".

    1. Well, we're working on a sort of barter system. I like it, it cuts out a lot of middlemen who add little. We eat and live very well on it, and I daresay the tax man would be mystified and think we were up to some form of crime, which, other than swaps which they don't like, we're not. But a cashless society... :-( we still need fuel, gas, internet, phone, electric (the last I hope to lose one day) and of course licenses - this is Australia. Gotta keep the beaurocrats paid and busy. Sigh.