Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Hi everyone,
Another day here in water-world.
Perhaps I should say rather, lack-of-water-world.  Talking with the old boy over breakfast he noted that the two wells on the place are now down to about 18 inches of water, which means that there's not going to be a whole lot for cattle and people (or indeed, for cattle OR people).  He has an idea of getting the drilling rig up here and re-working the holes, or at least cleaning them out.  I have some doubt that this is a viable plan - the rig has been idle for years now and whether it'll need work before it can be put into service is (I think) doubtful.  Further, getting it up here will involve a couple of trips in the semi-trailer and dodging the traffic authorities and the police.  I suggested that maybe having a contractor do the work might be cheaper in the long run, but he said that in that case he might as well sell the cattle now.  I wondered aloud whether that was such a bad idea given that the market is good at present and we're facing a long dry summer.  He was disinclined to agree and I let the matter drop.
I hate myself for how I'm struggling to respect Dad at present.  I really do hate myself for it.  But, I also find it painful that he seems to have become more close-minded.  He scoffs any time there's a news story about climate change, and especially at the idea that human activity might be involved, which I find disheartening when the changes in the world are now becoming very real.  I find it hard to explain it, but it hurts me that he'd never consider getting a hearing-aid despite getting harder and harder of hearing, so that both mum and I have to shout to make ourselves heard.  And that he takes so little care of his body that, once he's ensconced in his armchair of an evening, he really can't move out of it.  I know he's a good man - I've always known that and never doubted it - but somehow something about the way his life is going, and the way it's taking mum's life with it, just breaks my heart.  The truth is that I don't know if I want to watch this particular drama falter and sputter its way to a conclusion.  If something happens that lets me be a better father than I am a son, then I think that will be the boundary post of filial duty.
Continuing the water theme, the highlight of today was a field trip with the work-experience girl to Goulburn Weir, which included being shown how the new flume-gates work.  The weir is a great piece of design from the late Nineteenth Century (somewhat upgraded since then).
However dry the country is, the sight of this much water is something to gladden the heart.
The day has otherwise been dead quiet, and tomorrow will be quieter too (the boss will be away and it remains to be seen how many of my co-workers will be here).  Tonight SES training is being replaced by a dinner at the golf club to farewell our Unit Controller and his partner, who are both having to step away from operational service for work reasons.  I'm looking forward to it, and also to the fact that this means I can get a run in here in Tatura after work, then have a shower here and head over to the dinner.
No more for now.  I'll try and get some good pictures while running this afternoon, and maybe to show you some of the tribe at SES.  Hope you're all doing well.

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