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Jack Frost

I thought I wasn’t going to see one this winter, but there it was – a massive frost covering a field in the mountains. At minus 3, the best viewing of a frost of course, is with a beanie pulled low and a warm cup of tea held tightly. It was a magnificent sight, and…

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Tribute to a humble fruit

Some months ago I bottled several kilos of olives, and now they are ready for consumption. And what can I say? What words are sufficient? ‘Delectable’ might not be the exact word to describe something bitter, but it would not be incorrect. ‘Sublime’ might be too extravagant to describe a humble fruit, but it would…

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Eyes in the back of my head

I can see! I can finally see! The tint film on the rear windscreen of my car had bubbled with age, and was nearly opaque and very much a driving hazard. But I was reluctant to remove it, for fear of damaging the copper wires of the demister. But I watched this hack on youtube…

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Fleeced and fleeced

Wow! Eight bucks. My first ‘polar fleece’. There it was hanging on an op shop rack – a lime green, three zipper, polar fleece. Bargain! And now I’m learning that it actually was, but not for me, but for the manufacturer who probably spent no more than fifty cents making it. I thought that ‘polar’…

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The squeezebox

I encountered a busker recently whose performance seriously put me in two minds. One mind, to reward his effort with sympathy and charity, which action my wife encouraged and my heart agreed. The other was to withhold my money on the grounds that the man should have been arrested for disturbing the peace, and that…

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The little seedling

Lord, what is it, that they do not see When they take aim And point their hostile goads at me? Is it because I’m small Or can’t be seen That makes them bold? That makes no sense! For even tiny seeds are warmed and urged to live, And few there are that treat their vitals…

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Captain Pride

Did you know that those red and green navigational markers in the river are there for a purpose? (When travelling upstream, you’re supposed to keep to the right of the red markers and to the left of the green ones.) But the river was wide, and there was plenty of room, and the red markers…

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Nightmare scenarios

Sometimes when I feel a bit daring, I pull the book “Extreme Encounters” off the shelf. It’s full of the testimonies of those who have suffered a near death experience…. I don’t mean one of those operating theatre stories….. but someone who was mauled by piranhas, and someone who fell foul to an avalanche, and…

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Sermons from the Gallery

I’m either getting old or becoming an art snob, for I found this year’s Archibald entries challenging. Schaeffer’s withering critique about art in America came to mind when I walked through the door into the exhibition: “Mediocrity masquerading as creativity”. But one exhibit caught my eye, submitted by Leslie Rice. It was a dark picture…

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The wiser woodcutter

This morning I was wrestling with a piece of firewood that would have defied the strength of Samson! (Well, he might have just managed to split it with a lucky strike….. but he wasn’t around.) The piece was so hard and the wood so knotted. Sharpening the axe would have had no effect. Sometimes of…

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