Friday, August 31, 2007

Forest Caves.

Down on Philip Island just along from Cape Woolami is an area of Beach called Forrest Caves.

If you wish to see these caves, then you have to go at low tide, as the caves in the rocks there are only visible at low tide and covered with water at Hight tide.

Unfortunately I went there at about half tide, so I only got a glimpse from a distance.

Saw one that I would have liked to explored further but couldn’t because of the water still in it and I couldn’t/ wouldn’t wait for the next low tide.

How often do we in life miss things completely because we come at hight tide times? Or we only see a fraction of what is on offer as we come at mid time, and can not or will not, wait for Low-tide? What say you? Walter

Thursday, August 30, 2007

“You can get it if you Really want”.

“You can get it if you really want, if you try try, try.” This advice, which was sung by the father of Reggae, Desmond Decker (& the Aces) still holds true today, as much as it did nearly 4 decades ago when it was a big international hit for him on the Hit Parades of the world.

While it is true that it is only a generalization and there are some things in life that you can never achieve no matter how hard you try, there are many things that are available if we are prepared to try hard enough for them. But like “Karl Linnaeus” in an earlier blog, one has to decide how badly you want it, to begin with and then try, try, try, until success comes your way or you die. Sometimes to achieve what you set out to do, you have to be so committed that everything else is irrelevant and huge sacrifices, either financially or personally has to be made. The question then arises, How committed are you really? Perhaps you will need to set more realistic goals and targets and be happy with that. Like me with my desire to have my garden, kids & pets, all at the same time. (See blog, ”Garden; Kids; Pets?”)

Which are you more like? Linnaeus or me? Or more beneficially still, are you just You! Unique & successful in your own right? Over to you: Walter

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Garden; Kids; or Pets?

It has often been said that, “You can’t have a good garden and Kids and/or pets too!”

Well I guess that it is true that you can’t have a great garden with kids and pets, but you can still have a good one if you are garden minded to start with and plan your garden around those so-called inhibiting problems.

I have done it many times with different gardens and pets; but always with the same three kids, plus their many friends.

It just takes a little bit of planning and sometimes some extra fencing and even sometimes some different plants to your original choices. But even there, different climates and locations will often modify this last situation anyway. With or without kids and Pets!

The thing is that, if you are committed to all the desired requirements (In my case garden, kids & pets) and are prepared to plan (the layout of the garden and yard) and go to the extra expenses (fences/ screens/ Borders) and the extra trouble (choosing appropriate plants and materials) you can still have a good garden. A garden that will still be the envy of most token gardeners, even if it never reaches the echelons of greatness like the gardens of the fanatics.

Half the secret is in knowing what you want before hand and then working towards it.

It will perhaps be difficult to achieve the heights of say “Karl Linnaeus”, but even there it has to be acknowledged that he had five kids himself.

I guess all I am trying to say here is that you may never have perfection but you can still have a lot if you are prepared to make the extra effort. Are you prepared to put that little bit of extra effort into your life or just fall back on the word of others that it is impossible? Over to You: Walter

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Karl Linnaeus.

Karl Linnaeus was born on 13 May 1707 in the south of Sweden, thus this is the 3rd centenary anniversary of his birth. Carl Linnaeus is the most well known Swedish scientist in the world.

He has left traces in many ways: there are places that bear his name, there are locations on the Moon that have been named after him, he is depicted on Swedish banknotes, and "Linnea" is a popular first name for girls in Sweden. Carl Linnaeus placed his stamp on a complete era of scientific history - the Linnaean era. The Linnaean era is characterised by an ambition to catalogue, organise and give names to the whole natural world. Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae with his famous sexual classification system that codified and simplified the naming of plants, thus making their study accessible to all people, being his crowning achievement. The first edition (1735) consisted of just 12 folio pages. By 1766 the epoch-making book had grown to 2 300 pages with more than 15 000 species of the three natural kingdoms: minerals, plants and animals. Linnaeus also was the first to grow and patent the artificial production of pearls.

He had the satisfaction of seeing scientists adopting his dual names system of divisions and naming and above all, putting the whole of creation into a system.

I vaguely remember hearing of Linnaeus from my Primary School Days and also became aware of him through my knowledge of garden plants, however this blog was inspired by a radio interview I heard while on Holidays in Wagga Wagga. While up there I was station hopping and came across an interview about Linnaeus.

According to the Linnaeus expert, Linnaeus was obsessed with birds and animals and in his study had branches and plants all over the room with birds flying free in the room and living among the plants and branches. All this while he wrote, often with the birds themselves adding a little to his manuscripts! A messy arrangement one would think but obviously one that helped with his research.

How his wife put up with this I don’t know but it does show his commitment to his task doesn’t it? I wonder how many of us have this type of commitment to our own chosen fields?

The answer too I think also explains why very few of us will ever be as knowledgeable or influential as Karl Linnaeus. However that may be, that should never stop us from giving our best as far as personal obligations and other commitments will allow us, should it. What say you? Walter.

Monday, August 27, 2007

At Observation Point. Finally.

Another moment from my long walk along the Cowes beach, completing my recent but strung out trilogy of that walk.

Anyway on the same foggy morning I told you about before, I went for a walk along the Cowes Beach towards Observation Point there. As said then, it was a reasonably easy walk about 3 kms along the sandy beach at Low tide, and the sand was hard and I made good and easy progress on my way to Observation Point and eventually reached the Point, which is only reachable on foot. I also know now that I wasn’t supposed to be there either! I know now as when I finally reached the very point from my side, I saw a sign on the other side to the one I approached by. So I walked over and read it. The sign was placed so as to be readable from the water. It said,” Absolutely no coming ashore here. Bird Sanctuary.”

Well! It was a bit late to tell me wasn’t it? So turning around and backtracking as fast as I could I headed back the way I came but higher up the beach now because the tide was now coming in. Thus I was walking high up along the high-tide mark where the sand was a little firmer than lower down.

As I was going back I saw another sign even higher off the beach and slightly buried by sand, so I went for a closer look and brushed a little sand away before I could read it. It warned people not to walk any further (along the beach to the point) as it was a restricted Bird Sanctuary.

A bit further on and closer to civilization was another sign that said, among other things, “No dogs at any time past here. Stay out of the Dunes. Walk along the water’s edge.

As I had no dog with me the first didn’t apply but the other two requirements were the very things that I did, but because I did so, I was not able to read/see any of their signs, could I? I know that it is impossible to put signs at low tide level but bigger signs along the way and more of them still would have done the trick for all but the stupid. I include that last little bit because I did see someone in the Bird Sanctuary area earlier with a dog on the loose.

Reflecting on the above, I wondered how many signs I have put out in the past and have I checked them lately to see that they are either readable or even still current, as well as in the right places? How about You?

What are some of the things in your life that you have put up signs to and then left them? How many of these things do you need to check to see if the signs are still readable or even still current? Over to you: Walter

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Observation Point – Isolated But Still In Contact.

Another Sunday and another spiritual moment inspired from our stay at Philip Island. (Don’t worry this will be the last spiritual one from there!) On the same foggy morning I told you about last Sunday, I went for a walk along the Cowes Beach towards Observation Point. As said then, it was a reasonably good easy approximately 3 kms walk, along the sandy beach at Low tide, even though visibility was poor. As the sand was hard and firm, I was making good and easy progress on my way to this place called Observation Point, which was only accessible on foot along the beach. As already stated, it was very foggy to start with but visibility improved as I went along.

Because of the fog and the fact that it was winter, I basically had the beach to myself! Or so I thought. Initially I thought I was isolated from the whole world but no, the world was still around me and I couldn’t escape from it.

One of the Psalms in the Bible says that there is no-where that one can go that he can avoid God and be beyond His reach. A bit like Mobile phones I guess? As I was walking along the apparently deserted beach that morning in the mist, about 2kms from Cowes, the fog lifted a little and I saw two men ahead of me, walking back from the water’s edge at low tide in a direction that eventually cut directly across mine.

As I got closer I could hear talking. As I got even closer I realized that one, whilst he was walking next to the other person on the beach, was talking to another on his Mobile Phone. I could also gather from the way he was speaking that the person on the other end was having trouble believing that the one he was speaking to was “on the Island now”.

It seems these days that if we have our Mobiles with us, we can be reached anywhere and at anytime. Even when we don’t want to be reached, unless we turn our phones off.

Sometimes I think humankind must have a built in Mobile phone in our Heads where God can reach us anytime and any place, if our receivers are on.

The trouble being, we often have our “God-receivers’ either switched off or leave the calls unanswered because we are busy doing other things to bother with God?

Maybe even worse, it could be like the chap on the beach’s friend on the other end, and we struggle to really believe where the call is coming from and ignore God’s call to us as unbelievable.

What say you? Is your God-receiver, switched off, on but unanswered, just waiting for you to make the right connections? Or is it on but you are having trouble believing the call is what God says it is? Again what say you? Is your direct line to God open or have you switched it off? Over to you now as the answer is figuratively and metaphorically in your hands now.

You can either switch on and answer God's call with your full attention, or you can continue to wander in the fog and mist and often with wet shoes from the ever-changing tides of life: Walter

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Doing what you can do, Verses What you would wish to do.

In a previous blog, I was complying about being Busy, busy, busy without actually seeming to achieve much. The fact is that actually I shouldn’t complain too much, I did upon reflection; achieve more than I first thought.

On top of my actual work achievements I did too actually achieve a free day last week and the weather was such that I was able to get out into the garden and get a fair bit done there. Again, not as much as I felt needed to be done, but enough to keep me happy and the place looking tidy again. Even if only from a distance.

Thinking on all this I came to the conclusion that sometimes we get so “Bogged” down in the peripherals of life that often we don’t really appreciate life to its full. And often the beauty and joy of some of the finer things are lost to us. Sometimes forever! Sometimes we let things that should be on the peripheral of our lives, like our gardens or hobbies, or even the trivia of work, dominate our every moment of free time and control our lives.

Instead of letting these hobbies, these trivial ‘things’, being opportunities for enjoyment and even rest, we oft times let them become dominant in our lives and instead of relief, they bring unnecessarily burdens and stress to our lives. (Unless we are professional gardeners, of course!)

Now I'm not saying we shouldn’t have a garden, or even the best garden we can, or any other hobby either, just that these things don’t have to be the best in the world, just good enough to bring real pleasure to you, no matter if the look so ordinary to others. Whether from a distance like my lawn, or even up close.

I have used my garden as an example here but this illustration really applies to every part of our lives when we try to do more than is really feasible. So what important things in your life are being left undone because you are worrying about the trivial in your Life? Again, what say you? Walter

Friday, August 24, 2007

What Sort Of Mark Are You Leaving?

Hi, how has your week been? Here it has been busy, busy, busy. Although having said that, I haven’ actually achieved a lot this week that would prove that. That of course doesn’t mean it wasn’t busy, just that what I did was visually fleeting, as is a lot of what all of us do, isn’t it? This doesn’t mean that the results themselves will not last, just the visual effects or reminders won’t. Should that really bother us? I don’t really think so, do you? Just as long as we leave a positive influence on the world around us, even if we can’t leave our own permeant mark to record our presence.

I think it is important that we all leave behind a good impression of our having been here, but I don’t think it really needs to be an indelible or defacing mark to prove it, do you?

I’m sure all of us have seen signs painted on Rocks and things, saying that so & so passed here with a date. Haven’t we? Personally I think the people who do that, are in fact, real “So & So’s”, but that is not my point here.

I feel that type of pointless, destructive mark, is not the type of mark I would like to leave. How about you? What sort of mark would you like to leave behind, compared to the Mark that you are currently leaving? And what would you have to do to bridge the difference? Knowing that, would you really make the change? Would you? Would you really? Every blessing to you if you do! Walter

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Simple Is Funny Too.

Last night I over-heard and later watched, a little of a top Rating Comedy Show on TV here in Melbourne. Although it has absolutely nothing to do with God or Religion, it is called “Thank God you are Here” and the Concept has been sold to around 16 countries in the world including Holland Israel and the US.

Anyway the basic concept is to get a Comedian, TV Personality or sometimes an actor, and dress them in a costume suitable for their upcoming skit and push them unrehearsed and without a clue of what they are about to do into or onto an appropriate Set. This Set is already staged and the Crew knows what it is about and then the guest has to work out appropriate responses to the script. To me it was a bit Like” Whose Line Is It Anyway" but with better props and a different crew each week.

Anyhow, no matter what it is like, it is doing big business and as I sad the concept sold widely. Last night, I heard some “stooge” going through her paces and her responses were rather long and contrived, and most unlikely to have happened. However I did admire her quickness and inventiveness to come up with these responses so quickly and easily. The next guest/stooge was a top Victorian Stand up Comedian. (Although I had never heard of him, but my son had and says he is really good in Stand up too.)

Well this guy was pushed into a scene of stranded Desert explorers and his replies to the various questions asked of him, were of the most basic and logical to such questions but done in a dead pan or even quizzical look as to why are you asking such a dumb question when the answer is so obvious. Anyway, he was really good in both his answers and physical responses and I was amazed at how funny “simple” really was when done properly.

This led me to wonder whether It might not pay us all sometimes to keep things a little more natural and simple rather than always going for the fancy and often convoluted.

This is particularly relevant to me as a Preacher; for in the next couple of sermons I am working on have words like Colligate, antithesis and Catena in them!

But what about you now? Are there some things in your life that you are making more complicated and maybe confusing than they need to be? Even if like me you decide to keep some of these things, will you not at least evaluate their worth and maybe even consider modifying them, even if only a little to make them more simpler and understandable? Over to you again: Walter

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cape Woolami Walking Tracks.

Whilst staying at Philip Island recently I went for a walk one windy morning along the walking tracks around Cape Woolami Point on the Island. There are about 5 kms of official tracks to walk around in various combinations or selections. I had plenty of time and supposed that I would probable never come back there to walk them again, as they are not that spectacular (apart from the sea view). So having decided that If I didn’t do walk them all then, I probably never would, I went on them all, including the longest one which, at one point, actually goes along the water’s edge at low tide.

I found the entry path to the water’s edge all right, but didn’t see the exit point and ended up walking another 2 or 3 kms, right out of the Park and into the nearby adjoining housing development. So I had to either backtrack or find my way back to and along the entry road. Taking the latter choice, I was nearly back to where I parked the car, when I saw the end of the track that I should have come back on. So after a short rest in the car, I went along this track to the beach, just to see why I missed the exit point earlier.

Well when I reached what should have been the exit /entry point at the Beach I realized why I didn’t see it from the beach. I didn’t see it because it wasn’t there anymore. It had eroded away and instead of an easy entry path to the beach, there was a shear 2-metre drop to the beach. Completely un-accessible and completely obscured to all from the beach!

Even though it was winter, we were there the week after the school Holidays, so one would have thought that they would have at least checked out all the paths and signs before hand, wouldn’t you? As it was, this problem only caused me minor inconvenience, as I had nothing else to do then, and all day to do it in, so the extra distance travelled, and time involved was no real problem, (except to tired leg muscles!). That Time, but what about on other occasions? What if time was short, or if a life depended on the path being where it was supposed to be and accessible?

What about the paths in your Life? Are they as clear as they can be? Do you check to see that they are still workable for those who copy and follow you, to use? Or is your life, instead of being a shining example to others, actually leading them down a false or dead end Path?

Will your life, if followed by your closest friends and family, leave them stranded and confused on a lonely beach? It is no matter that the beach is pretty now; if high tide is coming in to cover it all is there?

Again, what sort of track is your life-path to others? One to be followed, or one to be avoided? Over to you again, Walter

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cape Woolami National Park.

Whilst staying at Philip Island recently I drove out to Cape Woolami National Park to walk around the tracks out to and around the prominent and photographic granite rocky point there which is its main feature other than being a Sea-bird Haven and popular nesting/resting point. As I drove into the Park entrance there was a sign that said, “No Dogs. Penalties Apply”. I remember immediately thing, yeah, that’ll work, Not! It was my instant estimation that not too many dog owners were going to take much notice of that, as I had already seen many dogs on this holiday where they were not supposed to be. But Immediately I thought that, I saw another sign that I believed would achieve the desired result of no dogs roaming around among the Bird Sanctuary.

What did that sign say that would make it so effective to all but the most stupid? It wasn’t wordy, humorous, or even legally binding. In fact it was a fairly simple sign indeed. The next sign simply, read, “1080 Poison Laid. Foxes.”

Yeah! Don’t know about you, but I reckon that sign should have the desired result of people controlling and keeping their dogs out.

People may disregard the first sign, as they think their chance of getting caught are low and even if they do, the price/penalty would be affordable if not totally acceptable. But with the second sign the risks indicated and probable for disobedience, are much higher all around with the death of the dog the ultimate price to be paid for disobedience.

We all have a price or limit on the risks we will knowingly take, don’t we? Yes we will knowingly take some risks if we think we can get away with them or that the penalties are minimal or reasonably acceptable if we do have the misfortune of getting caught. Yes we will often take what is called calculated risks, but not if the penalty is too extreme, and definitely think long and hard if it includes a strong possibility of paying the ultimate price, particularly for a much-loved Pet.

What about you? What dangerous , unnecessary , or even foolish risks are you taking today? And can you really afford the price if all goes wrong in the end? Have a think about that and look past the “NO dogs allowed” signs and see that the reasons may be because of Poison Laid for other reasons. Remember too, whether you are a Fox or a dog, the poison doesn’t distinguish. Poison is poison and death is the usual result. So what poison are you taking unnecessary risks with today?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Chicken In Black By Johnny Cash.

Saw on a Country and Western TV Station recently a song done by the late Johnny Cash.

Being a bit of a JC fan I didn’t initially think it was one of his best but it bought a smile to my face and a lot of admiration to the guy and his lovely ‘warped’ sense of Humour.

As you probably know he has come across in the past as a bit of a sombre character (despite a history of humorous songs) especially for his characteristic trait of always wearing black. He has even written a song called “The Man In Black” explaining his reasons for doing so.

However in this particular song clip that I saw, called, ”Chicken in Black,” you get to see a side of him rarely shown. In it you get to see a chicken dressed in black, while Old J C himself, gets to run around in a colourful outfit of tights and cape, al la a Superman type of “getout”, and having a ball sending himself up.

As far as songs go, it is rather inane, and as implied earlier, not one of his greatest, but one had to admire the man in that although he has long and steadfast convictions for his actions of for always doing something in his own particular way and style (wearing black), he was not above himself in it and prepared to take "the mickey" out of himself and not take himself too seriously.

Oh yes he took his cause seriously, but not himself.

What about us? Do we at times take ourselves a little more seriously than we ought? Are there times when like Johnny, we should just lighten up a little and see the funny side? Even when it is at our expense?

Having said that, there is no way that you will ever catch me running around in a costume like that. How about you though? Not in wearing a colourful costume, but in lightning up a little, when needed? I’m not saying that we need to make a clown of ourselves all the time, but maybe, just maybe, once in a while it may pay our cause, just to lighten up a little and have a little fun. You never know when the change, as well as amusing people, may even help to get your original message across even better.

I believe we must always take our work and tasks seriously, but not ourselves, and that it doesn’t hurt to occasionally have a little fun doing it, providing you chose your moments. I am in no way suggesting you do it all the time, just to consider it, even if only like Johnny, once in a while! What say you? Walter

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Observation Point- Observing But Without Seeing.

Seeing that it is Sunday I thought I would pass on one of my more spiritual moments of our Philip Island holiday.

I went for a walk one (non Sunday) foggy morning along the Cowes Beach towards a place called Observation Point. It was a reasonably good walk about 3 kms along the sandy beach at Low tide. Thus the sand was hard and I made good and easy progress on my way to Observation Point. The only problem was that, because of the mist, I couldn’t see very much around me. There could have been big ships passing going on up the Bay like the day before, or little fishing boats out there. Could have been anything out there and I wouldn’t have been able to see it! Even close in front of me! Just as well that I didn’t really want to see anything wasn’t it? It was a place where ships and boats and sea are to be seen in abundance normally, but at that time it didn’t really matter to me, as I didn’t really want to see them then.

Reminded me a bit of how some people look for God. They look in the right places, but at the wrong times, and then complain that they couldn’t se Him anywhere! Yes they looked but with eyes that didn’t want to see!

Yet, if one really wants to find God, they will find Him, even in the fog and mist. One of the Psalms in the Bible says that there is no-where that one can go that he can avoid God and be beyond His reach. Not even you! I know that that is true for myself, what about you? Walter

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What Is Hot To You May Be Cold To Me.

In an earlier Blog, It Is All About Your Perspective.” I mentioned that I am one who always feels the cold, even when others think it hot! Now, I do know some people, (one of my brothers & one of my Brother in laws, spring to mind,) who really don’t feel the cold, nor do they understand that others like me do. Instead of accepting the fact that I do feel the cold, they make a big fuss about it. (Well used too, just don’t see them that much on cold mornings anymore.)

Anyway, on these past previous events, there I would be with my 4 or 5 layers on and comfortable with myself when they will come along in shorts and short sleeve shirts and make a big fuss about being hot. Even worse, on other occasions you will be in the house and again comfortable with the situation, and they will come in, and not being satisfied with lowering the heat, insist in opening all the doors and windows to “Cool” the place down, without ever considering why it was at the temperature that it was, in the first place.

I do agree that where a “Hot” person and a “Cold” person have to share facilities that there does need to be common ground, or in this case, a common temperature that caters to the basic needs of both parties, even if not total comfort of either. It is only when one party takes it to extremes that there should be a real issue. Don’t you agree?

So, what problems are there in your life, that you need, in conjunction with the other party, to take into consideration the needs and basic requirements of both they and you, and come to a workable solution that both parties can cope with, without ridiculing the other party as being “weird” just because they respond to the same circumstances as you in a completely opposite way. Over to you: Walter

Friday, August 17, 2007

It Is All About Your Perspective.

It Is All About Your Perspective. 26/8/2007

How do we really perceive reality? This thought came to me recently, just after I made a remark about that day' s predicted temperature, and then very quickly remembered a completely opposite assessment of the same temperature, made many years ago by someone else.

I think most of you know by now that we spent many years in the Transkei region of South Africa based in the Capita Umtata (now spelt Mthatha, I believe.) which was about 100 Kms inland from the coast on the South East side of South Africa, about 400kmns below Durban, Anyway, the winter day temps there were around the 20 – 24c range after a cold night around 2 – 4 C. Very enjoyable indeed I muss add, to one used to Melbourne’s winter highs! (By the way an apology is due here for all those who don’t operate on the Celsius/ Centigrade Scale. Sorry but you will need to do your own Maths to work out the Fahrenheit Scale. Again, sorry, but it is a loooong time since we changed from Fahrenheit here!)!)

However, for our last 6 months in South Africa (and our last winter there,) we were based further up the coast, at Port Shepstone, right on the coast, just 100 kms +/- below Durban.

We had a great time there as the house was on a hill overlooking the ocean, and we had Monkeys running through the yard and what we considered lovely weather. Which it was, except for one week apparently, when, if not all the Indian people, certainly all the Indian people that we were working with there at the time, were complaining about the current Cold Spell that Port Shepstone was experiencing!!!

I really hadn’t noticed it particularly, but I guess when you are used to a constant Temperature around 22c every day, 17c can feel like a cold snap, can’t it?

So for the people of Port Shepstone at that particular Winter- time of 2002, 17c was a Cold snap. But what about winter in Melbourne 2007?

When I heard that that particular day’s predicted top was going to be 17c, I spontaneously burst out with, “Wow, we’re facing a heat wave!” (Not that I really think 17 is hot! In fact I will write a later blog on how I feel the cold more than many, but that’s for later.) When one is used to constant temps around 22c, 17c is a cold snap, but when 10 – 14c, has been the norm for the past few weeks, 17c, even though occasionally seen in winter here, does seem like a Heat Wave. It really is in how you see the same fact from different circumstances and perspectives, doesn’t it?

So what is there in your life right now that you are complaining about or struggling under, that under different circumstances would be seen in a better light? And what can you do now, to show those things in a better light in your life right now?

After all, a lot of these things that bother us are benign in and of their own right and often it is only how we view and react to them that makes them helpful or hurtful to us. And through us, to others!!!!! What say you? Walter

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Quiff.

Went for my last Physiotherapy session at the Austin Hospital recently. As I was walking to the Physiotherapy section, I walked past a medical staff member who had a quiff on the top of his head. Looking at it, it was obvious that he had gone to a lot of trouble and a lot of gel to get his quiff to stay put.

Which I thought quite funny, as since a couple of haircuts back, I have had an unwanted quiff that I have to spend time and effort just to keep it stuck down!!!!!!!

Funny isn’t it, how none of us seem happy with what we have, and always seem to want the opposite? I have known short people who want to be tall and tall people who want to be short! People with curly hair who want straight and People with straight hair that want Curly. I am sure you can add some other examples of your own to the list.

Why is this so? Why are we never happy with what we have and usually want the opposite? Again I have no answers here, except to encourage us at these times to stop and be grateful for what we have and to use it to it’s full advantage, and stop trying to change it. In some case you may be able, superficially at least, to make some change, such as curly to straight hair or vice a versa, but such change is only temporary, usually expensive and often ultimately damaging to one’s health.

So what is there in your life that you are worrying about now, that really is superficial and ultimately unchangeable? A concern that you are wasting your time and efforts on? Get over it and move on to the more important things and enjoy the things you have and stop worrying over the things you never can have. Use what you have to the best of your abilities and have a happy life. That’s an order: Walter

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Long Steep Hill.

Heading to Wonthaggi recently I was reminded of a story my parents used to tell of their first Journey to Wonthaggi to visit one of Mum’s sisters. I believe I was there, but as I was only a “bub” at the time have absolutely no memory of it.

They had apparently been given clear and concise instructions on how to get there once Past Kilcunda. They were told of a bridge that came very quickly after a very long steep hill. Well they found the bridge all right but never saw the long steep hill!

What was a long steep hill to my Aunt and Uncle, was just a long low slope to my parents, thus they traversed the long steep hill that they were looking for without knowing it, because it did not fit their understanding of a long steep Hill.

I wonder how many things there are in my life that I missed out on because I did not recognize them at the time because they did not fit into my interpretation of what a thing should or should not be. How about you? Walter

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Will You Eat There?

More on the recent TV interview with Geoff Lawson, the former Australian Test Fast Bowler, recently appointed as the new Coach of the Pakistan Cricket Team. On the Show he was asked two logical questions about his new life in Pakistan. The first I have already recorded in “Where is it really Safe?”

The second question was, “What about the food there?” (That was another question often asked of us about our time in Transkei/South Africa.) Geoff explained that Pakistan (like South Africa) offers the best of all worlds with food. Yes, there are types of food available in Pakistan (& Sth Africa) that only the more adventurous, or fool hardy, would try! But there is also plenty of “normal” tucker there too. If you have the money that is! (And people in Geoff’s position do!)

I don’t know about Pakistan but I know that in Sth Africa, Western style food was plentiful, if not cheap, in most places.

That is not to say that Western food is best though! As Geoff added, he was also partial to some of the local tucker there too. Geoff has been to various parts of Asia before, including Pakistan, and has tried the local food there and already has his likes and dislikes of the local stuff.

We have done the same thing during our time in South Africa, and even now back in Australia, cook some of the foods first encountered there. And in at least one particular case, have passed it on to other Aussies who love it as much as us!

So the message today is, don’t be afraid to try something new, just because it is different or sounds weird. Try it, if you have the opportunity, even if only to say that you have tried it, and didn’t like it! You never know, you just may surprise yourself and like it. Who knows what tastes and delights you are missing out on now, just because you are unwilling to give something new or different a try?

What weird sounding food have you tried, even reluctantly, and found that you like it? Let us know please: Walter

Monday, August 13, 2007

Where is it really safe?

Recently I saw an interview on TV with Geoff Lawson, the former Australian Test Fast Bowler, who was recently appointed as the new Coach of the Pakistan Cricket Team. Not exactly the dream job that most Westerners would put their hands up for, particularly after the confusion surrounding the death of the last occupant of that position. Therefore it was logical that he would be asked why he would want to go to such a dangerous place like Pakistan seems to be at the moment.

He explained that it wasn’t really dangerous all over the country, only in certain spots. Certain spots that he would not be going anywhere near anyway!

My family can certainly understand this logic, having lived in Transkei/South Africa for 12 years during their transition from Apartheid to Democracy. Unlike Geoff, we lived close to one particular troubled area, the next suburb actually! Yet despite the troubles there, we often visited friends in this area. However we knew when to go there, and even more important, when not too. When one knows what the rules are (even when un-written) and reads the signs, one minimizes the troubles there. Despite the amazing potential for trouble and serious trouble at that, in that suburb, we didn’t experience any there! Well not in that suburb anyway! We did in our own, just not there!

Even when we did have troubles (In our own suburb) apart from the exceptions of the two petrol bombings, these were problems that people in Melbourne Australia and for that matter any city in the world, face too.

So the moral of the story is two-fold: Firstly, if you take reasonable care, you will be safe as one can be, anywhere, no matter where you are.

Secondly, no matter how much care you do take, no matter where you are, there will always be possible problems.

Therefore, whether you are in the most dangerous place in the world, or in the so-called safest place, take all reasonable care and concern everywhere and live your life the way you want, to the best of your abilities and as your circumstances allow.

Do not let fear of the past (or of the future) dictate your future. Just don’t be stupid either!!!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Religion is for Fools.

While we were at the Philip Island Baptist Church Service last month, their little in-house Book Store did a sales pitch on is a small little book called “Religion is for fools,” by an Australian author, Bill Medley. Despite being written by an Australian, it is published both here, in the UK and the USA. In Australia it was originally published by Viva Press. In the UK and US, it is put out by Monarch Books and distributed in the US by Kregel Publications (P.O. 2607, Grande Rapids, Michigan 4951.)

In fact this copy was published in America, hence all the above information was available to me. I am passing this onto you because I think it is a book for all Christians and non-Christians to check out. Now when I say it is a small little book, I mean it is a small little book! Just a fraction bigger than pocket size (unless you have extra large pockets), and only 160 pages long!

It is written by a former Australian Comedian (No, I had never hard of him either!) Now although I have never heard of him before, he obviously has a sense of humour like mine. (Which could explain why no one has ever heard of him, too!)

Anyway it is short and simply written, in the form of a letter (A long one admittedly, hence it is in 8 chapters with 8 short appendixes at the end. Actually, the appendixes occupy half as many pages as the main text!) Anyway, Bill claims to have been a sceptic originally and wary of “organized religion” when he started to examine the claims of the 5 leading Religions. (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism & Islam.)

He now uses this research to answer his sister in law, who is still searching for answers and is still where he was originally. As I say it is only a short book so obviously there is not a lot of in-depth material in it, but I still think it is worth a look if you get the chance, whether you are a Christian, a non-Christian or someone else.

If you have already checked it out I would be very interested in your opinion, even if you hate it. If you have not read it and you do get the chance to check it out, please let me know what you think sometime: Walter

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Good For My Cardiovascular.

While I was having my recent assessment with a Neurologist, I was told that Bike riding was out and that I should take up swimming. Not happy with that choice, I enquired about the merits or dangers of “just walking”.

I was told that as far as my back was concerned, walking was benign and would neither help or hinder my back, but would be good for my heart --- Actually what she said was, “Walking would be good for your Cardiovascular ---“. I didn’t hear much more after that as I was wondering what the heck my “Cardiovascular was.

My first thought was to ask for an English translation, but then I realized she meant my heart.

This led me to thinking how many times in the past I have been guilty of the same thing. Guilty of using the correct word but perhaps not the most common word, nor the word most commonly understood by most hearing or reading me?

Plenty apparently as I was at one period of my life, many years ago, often being told not to use so many big words when I wasn’t even aware that I was. How about you?

Are we (you & I) always aware, even to the point of sometimes dumbing down, to make sure that the people we are trying to communicate with get the message that we want them to hear?

Or do they usually need a dictionary or more time than we allow, to try and digest and understand what we are saying. Things that may actually benefit them greatly in the long run if they could but understand them? What say you?

I must add that the above does not stop me using the odd big word or two at times (like in a recent blog) just that I am now more careful and aware of my usage .How about you? Walter

Friday, August 10, 2007

No Bike Riding …For Now Anyway!!.

Before we went on our Philip Island Holiday, I had an appointment with a Neurologist to assess the Physiotherapy treatment of a pinched nerve in my back. It is responding slowly and hasn’t continued on as it was starting too, so that’s good. Any way while there, I was given some simple advice about simple daily activities and about an upcoming one.

Firstly I was told that I should walk up and down all steps, one at a time and not run up them two or three at a time as I used to do. I was told that this would be better for my back. Till then I used to run up stairs two or three at a time, as I found this usually took less effort and put less strain on my knees.

Funny isn’t it, how often we do something believing it is good and helping us, not realizing that it is putting another part of us under undue stress and strain and perhaps causing untold and unheralded damage elsewhere? Weird isn’t it? While it is bringing some slight relief in one place, it is causing untold damage in another.

Like wise when I said that I was going to Philip Island and intended to bike- ride around it even more than I did last year, I was promptly told not to, as this would openly put untold and unwise strain on it and ultimately stress and damage my already weak back much more.

Now I was really looking forward to biking around the Island like last year, so what do you do with advice like that? Do you ignore it and carry on regardless? Do you take a little on board, like leaving the bike at home, but still running up stairs? Or do you both leave the Bike home and walk up stairs one at a time?

I can’t speak for you but I left the bike at home and when walking along the Beach looked for as many stairs that I could find and walked up and down them one at a time, like I was advised. Yes although reluctant, I did what I was advised, but made a game out of it by counting the number of stairs at each spot and comparing them etc.

So I ‘m not allowed to ride the bike or run up stairs! So what! I can still walk and go up (& down) stairs, and I can still make these things fun for me! What about you? What are some of the things in your life now that you have to do although you don’t like them, that you may be able to turn into a game, even if not quite turn them into fun? Let us know your new ” Fun” games. Walter

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cartoon Seagulls.

Talking about seagulls I am reminded of a cartoon I saw in our Melbourne Herald Sun Newspaper on the day that we arrived at San Remo. It was very coincidental, as there we were observing the seagulls in reality and there was a cartoon of them, high lighting the risks and unknowns of their world.

The Cartoon was a simple long one-framer with, at first glance 4 identical seagulls sitting on 4 identical pylons in the calm water. It was only when I read the single caption that I looked closer at each bird and saw the obvious. All 4 were sitting on the pylons, but only one was sitting with two legs. All the others only had one leg! Hence the caption, “How’d did you get that?”

I wasn’t the Cartoonist but on this subject at least, we were both thinking along the same lines in regard to the dangers and self-induced blindness that we often bring to our busy lives.

Sometimes our lives are just so busy trying to survive that we don’t fully take cognisance of all that is around us. Both of the dangers and of the good things that were, at one time at least, available to all, but now either unknown or, in the case of the seagulls lost legs, no longer available ever to us!

Whether it is because of circumstances, or our own laziness, or the fact that no one showed us any better, some people live lives that bring unwanted consequences. Just like the seagulls live a life where unwanted consequences often occur simply through their desire to feed and live comfortably. So do we too sometimes become too observed in just staying alive that we miss out on a lot that was once available. Sometimes like these seagulls, forever, but with others, it may not be too late if we wake up in time.

Because many risks are taken in our lives often unawares to us, as we are simple too busy just trying to survive as best we can, many dangers and often-unexpected accidents happen because of these desires, sometimes these foolish desires of ours.

Sometimes for this foolishness, we will pay the ultimate price with our lives. At others it may simply be a loss of limb like the seagulls. At other times the price will simply be a mild discomfit or hindrance to us. One so common that we may even become like the one legged seagull in the cartoon, and become shocked and surprised when we finally see things how they are meant to be. And even then, try and make what you are, the norm, and try and make the “real thing” out to be the abnormal thing.

So what can we do? Continue on regardless? No, when we become aware of any and all problems in our lives. We need to, metaphorically if not literally, “Stop and take a deep breath, and survey the situation!”

In some cases, like with lost limbs, there is nothing to do to grow it back, but you can change your ways so as to not lose the other one or worse your life.

If it is still not to late to change, then you can do that. Oh! I know it won’t be easy and you will most likely need help that is not readily available around you, but usually help is available if you are prepared to look. The next main thing is to be realistic and make small steps towards change. Some have been able to change overnight but most of us find it hard at first and need to start with small steps.

The point is not how big your steps are, but rather that you are making them in the first place and then making them in the right direction. So, how are you going? Well we trust, if not, look for help somewhere. Walter

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pestered By Gulls.

While on my recent holiday, as I was not allowed to do any bike riding, I did a lot of walking along the various beaches there. One mid-week day, I was walking along the deserted Cowes beach, minding my own business when suddenly I became aware of a small flock of seagulls” hovering” in the wind around me.

They were so close that I believed that someone only slightly more nimble than me could have reached out and grabbed one. They really were that close in flight. Of course I didn’t do that, after all I had no idea what I would have done with one had I been proven right by catching one!

These birds, these scavengers, were hovering around “on Spec”. I had no food with me but they didn’t know that so hung around in the hope of getting something, even if they had to pester me in the process. Eventually they got the message that they weren’t going to get anything from me and gave up and tried elsewhere, but I was left wondering at their commitment and I wondered at how committed I am at times.

Do I believe in something so much that I make the most of every opportunity? Even to the point like the seagulls and try every potential opportunity, whether it looks promising or not?

Now I know that sometimes there is a fine line between being committed and being desperate, but again one can’t but admire these particular seagulls for seeking out every possibility, checking it out thoroughly and then when there is no result moving on again to look for the next possibility available.

Do you too have that commitment? Or like me do you sometimes struggle with it? Over to you: Walter

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Seagulls at San Remo.

When we stopped over at San Remo on our way to Cowes, it was around lunchtime so we bought some fish and chips there and as it was a little windy and on the cool side, we ate them in the car. It was very nice and even though I only bought a single serve of chips for both of us, there was more than enough with a few scraps left over that we couldn’t finish off.

Despite the cold weather, there was a family bravely braving the elements and having a picnic at one of the tables in the park along the foreshore nearby. As well as braving the elements, hey were also braving the seagulls flocking around them in the hope of stealing a feed. So taking pity on this family, I started throwing small bits of our leftover chips and scraps towards the seagulls. I am not a good distance thrower and it was around 40 metres to the table, yet it didn’t take long before some of them noticed and a few started drifting our way. Before very long indeed we soon had about 50 or 60 there. (No! I did not/could not count them properly!)

Watching these birds in operation was a lesson on life itself. Some were very brave and flew in very close and grabbed what they could. A couple even grabbing at them out of my hand while still in flight because they thought I was too slow.

Others came so far and no further, and got the odd bits and pieces that occasionally reached them. Yet others hung right back at the edges & got nothing or next to nothing other than being pushed and shoved around by the other birds.

Those who came real close got the most food but also stood the most risk of danger. Those who hung back, missed out almost altogether, yet still got pushed and shoved around for their just being there. Whilst those who took the middle action still got fed. True they did not get as much as the closer ones, but at the same time, they were less exposed to possible and probable danger. (And I am not talking about the dangers of eating too many polyunsaturated fats from the chips either!)

This led me to thinking about which category I fitted in to. I like to think I fit best into the middle action grouping. That while I am prepared to take some risks, I am also not that keen to take too many in the long run.

What about you? Which seagull are you? One who is too timid to try and therefore usually missing out on most things, yet still getting knocked about by life?

Or are you one who is too greedy for your own good? One who is well fed, but maybe too well fed to appreciate the dangers around you and ultimately too fat or slow to escape when danger arises like dogs, cats, other birds or even cars?

Or are you the semi-cautious one? Getting fed and doing okay, yet not so timid that you hang back and basically starve. Nor so greedy that you rush foolishly and sometimes dangerously too close and pay the consequences? (Sometimes the ultimate consequence!) I for one don’t know what category is really the best, but I know what works for me. What about you?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Not Cape Paterson Revisited.

As already stated elsewhere, while on our Philip Island holiday, we returned to the mainland for a day trip and visited the coast at Cape Patterson past Wonthaggi. Cape Paterson being another of the places I have visited periodically over the past 50 odd years, first as a child with my family and later by myself and later again with my own family.

Walking down to the beach from the car park I had two different reflections come to mind. One I told you about in “Cape Paterson Revisited”. The other I will describe here.

The feeling was not like going back 50 years or so to my childhood memories of Cape Patterson, but rather of going back only 10 years or so, but to another place and another continent.

Walking down to the beach at Cape Paterson, Victoria, Australia, I was struck by the similarity to the Wild Coast Area of The Transkei in South Africa. In particular to the area around Second Beach at Port St John’s.

The similarities, on the surface at least, show that while everything is unique in its own way, every thing is also similar too, and that it is not the place that makes a memory unique in your life but the unique experiences that you have had there. That is what makes it unique, special and important to you. Taking this thought one step further, when you think of the past, what do you really think about? The Place? The events that took place there? Or the people who were part of those events?

Where are your memories now as you read this? With places or People? If places, maybe you need to revisit that place, even if only to find that it is not the same and has moved on and that you need to do the same.

If of People, and those people are still alive, maybe you can visit them and let them know that you still have fond memories of them and the fun times you all had together. If a visit is out of the question, how about a phone call, or even a letter. Think about it please. But not for too long! Thing about and then do it! Over to you: Walter

Sunday, August 5, 2007

What is your life’s purpose?

While at Philip Island recently, we went to the Baptist Church there. Their Weekly Bulletin had a quote on the purpose of one’s life, by Rick Warren. The basic thought was, that everyone is driven by something in his or her life. It might be a problem or some pressure or deadline or some other thing. What it is, is not as important as is knowing what your purpose in life is. It is this knowledge that gives your life real meaning and direction. Knowing your direction in life simplifies and gives direction to your life. “Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless.”

As I thought on all that, I suddenly realised that that was what had been missing in my life for the past few years and it was only lately that I have re- found my meaning and purpose in life again. And with this came the realisation that it was this journey (of re-finding my life purpose again) that has been the un-conscience inspiration behind a lot of my blogs in the past few months.

The past few years have been good in one sense but they also have been a period of wandering and wondering too. A time when my life has been trivial and pointless! Now that I have re-found my purpose again, I am stepping out boldly on that journey again. The goal is still the same, the direction, still the same, but just a different “vehicle” to get me there. In the past I was an Associate Pastor for 12 months on my way to being an overseas missionary for 12 years, then when that unexpectedly finished, directionless; till now. So now I am returning to the task of leading a Church, but this time as the official Pastor of a small Independent Baptist Church, with our/my inauguration service today. But that’s enough about me and my purpose in life.

What about you? Do you know what your purpose in life is? Has it, or just you, changed over the years? Does your life still have meaning? Or do you, like me till recently, need to make significant changes? If so, are you prepared to do what is necessary to make these changes? Are you? It has not been easy to do this for me, but it has been done. I have done it, so, so can you! But will you try? Will you?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Cape Paterson Revisited.

While on our Philip Island holiday, we returned to the mainland for a day trip and visited the coast at Cape Patterson past nearby Wonthaggi. Cape Paterson is another of the places I have visited periodically over the past 50 odd years, first as a child with my family and later by myself and later again with my own family, and now just with my wife.

Leaving my wife reading in the car and walking down to the beach from the car park I had two different reflections come to mind. One I will talk about here and the other at a later date. (Not Cape Paterson Revisited).

Walking down from the car park little, initially at least, looked different and it was almost like going back some 50 years in a moment. In fact, at first glance the only thing different in my memory was that on this particular day, being winter, there was no one on the Beach! When we used to go there it was right after Christmas and people were swarming everywhere then.

The small cove there looked the same. The semi natural swimming pool in the rocks was still there, although on closer inspection it didn’t seem as deep as it did way back then.

Looking around however, although the Life saving Club Buildings and Playground was still there, many of the old buildings of my Youth had gone. Some like the old cement /Stone toilet block which then, looked like it would stand for ever, is gone with just a flat piece of the old floor left to show that something once stood there. . At least there was a sign that something once stood there, unlike with the old stone shop near the foreshore. Again another old solid building that looked like it would last forever but didn’t. Although it had long been closed, even when last visited some 10 or so years ago, it has now gone completely and if it weren’t for my memory, there would be nothing to indicate that anything ever stood there.

Man made things come and go. Sometimes there will be the signs of ruin left. At others no sign what soever, But the things of nature, the things God made, remain. Yet even there, there will be gradual change over the decades and centuries. Nothing, even the most solid, remains unchanged forever, and neither should we.

Yes there will be things of our childhood that remain like the beach, but there will be also many others that won’t and they should be accepted as memories of the past, things to be brought out for a while, and then put away again and to move on with your lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Holiday visits to the past, but don’t want to live there again. I want to use them to draw strength and encouragement from, and then to move on into the future to make new "Past Memories”.

How about you? Are you still living in the past, or are you just re-visiting to draw strength for the future? What think you?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Wonthaggi Revisited.

While on our Philip Island holiday, we returned to the mainland for a day trip and visited nearby Wonthaggi. Another of the places we have visited periodically over the past 50 odd years.

It was an interesting experience to just first drive around it and later to walk through the old centre. It was an interesting contrast as it was new around the edges with a big Supermarket, Mc Donald’s, KFC etc added since my childhood. However, at first appearance the old centre had changed very little with most of the old buildings still there and little redevelopment in the main CBD.

However on closer inspection it was observed that while many of the old buildings remained, not many of the old business were the same although some were. In its heyday, Wonthaggi was the centre of the coal mining Industry there, and when that closed down; it became more of a business centre for the surrounding Farmland and Dairy Industry.

Nowadays however it is more a Touristy town, with a lot of smaller businesses catering for them. So these days Wonthaggi has changed yet again from what it was to what is currently needed. Once a Coal mining centre, then a farming centre, and now a tourist centre and Later? Who knows!!

What about Us? Are we the same as we used to be or have we too changed?

Around the edges only? Or at our centre too? Wonthaggi has changed to suit its current environment. It hasn’t changed just for the sake of change, but for the sake of successful survival. Nor has it changed everything. Only those things that will enable it to continue on in a successful manner have changed. Those basic things, like some of the original businesses, still remain.

What about our lives and us? Are we exactly the same as we were 10, 20, whatever years ago? Refusing to change yet wondering why “nothing is happening for Me”? Or have we changed a little around the edges but not at the centre? In other words are we surviving, but only just? Is there something or things at your centre that need to be changed? I

What in our lives, what in your life, do you need to change, either completely or to simply modify? Mostly it will not be a radical overnight change, but like with the CBD of Wonthaggi something that not so much happened, but is happening over a number of years and always ongoing, a little here and a little there at the appropriate time.

I will close with these four questions for your reflection:

  1. What were you in years gone past? (Coal Town- Rural business centre.)
  2. What are you now? (Tourist Town.)
  3. What will you be in the future? (…?)
  4. What do you need to change to succeed at becoming point 3? (Lifestyle, friends, bad habits, job, the list is endless for you!)

Well, what if anything, do you need to re-evaluate in your life and what will you do about it?

For me it was changing jobs and moving back to what ii used to do. Who will it be for you? Let us know sometime, Walter

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Mrs. Gardener.

Many years ago, in the prime of their working lives, my friend and his wife decided that farming was not the way they wanted to spend their lives and so they sold the farm and bought a house on a five acre block on the edge of a large rural town. Building a large shed on the property and being a little mechanical minded and loving big toys, he decided that there was a market for a single operator business using an excavator and later a small Bobcat and so went into the earthmoving business from home. Which was great for him, but what about his wife?

Like her husband who used his abilities and preferences to start a new career doing something he loved, she decided to use her talents and love of gardening to turn the bare five acres into a veritable plant paradise.

Over this time she has bought, traded and acquired many, many plants and through her, many others including yours truly, have added new plants and colours to their gardens. She has used her gardening talents to not only make a garden that is an enjoyment to themselves but also one that others benefit from too. There have been a couple of open gardens there, with the proceeds going to local Charities; and many excess plants have been sold at Fetes and the such, to raise funds for worthy causes, plus she regularly supplies flowers for her Church and also for friends and family and even the occasional wedding.

Although there has been no need to turn this talent into a personal money making scheme, she has still been able to enrich the community and the lives of others through this practical use of her talents; so that both she and others get enjoyment and benefit from her love of gardening. Of course gardening is not her only interest or occupation, but one she uses to the benefit of the many, free of charge.

What about us? Are we as free to give, when we can, or do we see every thing we do only in terms of what it brings to us financially? Can we perhaps learn a little from Mrs. Gardener and use some of our talents to help others while at the same time extending and using our own special talents and loves? What say you? Walter

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mr Earthmover Upgrades Regularly.

As I told you, many years ago my friend and his wife decided that farming was not the way they wanted to end their lives and so sold the farm and moved into earthmoving as a sole operator business.

Although he is quite mechanical minded and more than able to do much of his own maintenance on his own machinery, he does not overwork his equipment until it drops. He uses his equipment for two or three thousand hours each, and then replaces them. Sometimes, like in the early years, he used these times to upgrade the size of his equipment, now simply to replace like size with like size. Using this policy of not over working his machinery and doing his own regular maintenance, he has an exemplary reliability record, with very little time lost to mechanical problems, which leaves him highly sought after, as people know that there will be very few “lost working hours” when he is on their jobs.

What about you? Are you looking after your equipment, whether it be actual tools or your own body? Or do you work yourself and your equipment into the ground and then wonder why you have so many problems?

Mr Earthmover upgrades and maintains his equipment regularly and it pays off for him and I can see no reason why it can’t do the same for us too, if we follow his lead! Can you?