I've had a couple of outdoor-tinted days lately. Even though sometimes I do miss my old life in Melbourne, there are more than a few perks to having come up here that make up for it in spades.
You remember how I've applied to do the SES's Inland Rescue boat crew course? One of the pre-requisites for that course is to hold a Victorian Marine Licence. On Monday evening one of my fellow volunteers (Maddie) and I went to the relevant course, provided in Shepparton by the Australian Boating College.
I can't speak highly enough of the seminar. The instructions given - as to use of buoy markers and boat lights, improvising sea anchors and a good deal more besides - were all very practical. I can certainly see myself translating it to the real world. The trainer may or may not have got a little extra authority from the fact that he looked just a bit like this guy.
Maddie and I were both left with a real sense of possibility for what we could do where boating is concerned and spent a few minutes talking about taking our unit's boat out on water as a training-and-shakedown exercise over summer. I will neither confirm nor deny that we also discussed the possibility of taking fishing roads and bait.
I had some spare time in my diary after work yesterday and grabbed the opportunity to do some exploring on foot in a new area. I laced up the shoes and set out on a run in the general direction of Harston (to the south west).
Only I would bother taking a compass bearing!
The road out of Tatura runs due west.
I was running into the lowering sun, which suited me fine as it had lost most of its bite. I turned to the west at the 5 km mark and went as far as the point where Crawford Road crosses the irrigation channel.
Full irrigation channels notwithstanding, the countryside really is drying off One of the places I ran past is already cutting and rolling hay. One almost wonders whether they're not doing this with a view to the total fire ban days that we're starting to get, with the associated restrictions and dangers with using machinery.
Coincidentally, I crossed paths with my SES Unit Controller who was out on his bike. He's training for the Tatura 200; I texted him later and found out that he'd gone a full 48 kms in that ride. We didn't stop to talk but just high-fived as we passed.
Coming back into Tatura I came by the Commercial Hotel. There are three pubs here in town, and so far I've only been to one of them (this isn't the one). Hmm. I've never really been a 'hey let's catch up for a drink' sort of man. Maybe I should try. There'e no good reason to fear trying new things (well, one probably doesn't want to try Krokodil for example, but you get the point). I also went by Sacred Heart church as well, which was looking peaceful in the early evening light.
The cloud built up very black in the evening and we had some rain overnight (not as much as it sounded - a whole millimetre). There's nothing better than falling asleep with the window open and the sound of water running into a tank outside. About the only bad bit of the evening was a brief serve from the old boy when I made the mistake of mentioning that one of the matters on my desk at the moment is a landowner who is unhappy that they can't pump water from her creek despite paying my employer for a right to do so. The reason the landowner can't pump is because the creek relies on rainfall, which has been in short supply for some months. Dad insisted it was all very unfair and related for the nth time a similar problem he'd had with the long-disbanded State Rivers Commission about 40 years ago. This, I think, is why it gets hard to talk to him much these days: you have to avoid going near any of his ancient grievances, and at his age there's quite a lot of them. Reason #1473 why I never want to get old, no matter what the calendar may have to say on the subject.
No more for now. Work is dead quiet today so I may write something more this afternoon.
Hope your days are going well.