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Thursday, July 29, 2010

BALINGUP: "I've just enjoyed the bliss of a gorgy of friendship, food, scenery, and social fragrance," enthused PLInkletter, back from that magic town

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
29th July 2010

Thursday: My long term readers, from among the billions who regularly visit here, will not be surprised to learn that I retired late, very late, ridiculously late, getting close to dawn. I tell you this only to put some more punch into what happened some hours later…

About ten I was awoken by Janny's voice calling my name loudly, in distress. I jumped out of bed, from a deep sleep, cut very short, and it immediately fell into place for me that the last I saw my beloved wife was midday yesterday when I left her for a two week break some 250 kms south at Balingup.

Her voice was so real that I had to open the front door to check lest she had returned and was in need of my help out the front.

Yes, no it was an illusion, or whatever these things are, these voices we sometimes hear, loud enough and real enough to wake us up. It has happened quite a few times with me (and I don't enjoy it). I was anxious, nevertheless, that she might have had some painful experience, and so I phoned her to learn that she was fine, and judging by the jolly commotion in the background she was also having a ball.

I let her know why I rang, and she then became a tad anxious that I had had a premonition, because she has had a bad three weeks with excruciating thigh muscle cramps, including three in the two days I spent with her at Balingup just since Monday. However, after some Wednesday evening ministrations from the incomparable Reeve Chocson she has had significant improvement, glad to report.

And so I crawled back into bed relieved that Missus Inkletter was fine.

At a much more respectable time (mid-afternoon) I surfaced, still very tired, and began my day. Cadbury was keen to sink her teeth into a wholly mackerel meal, chased with milk, and so I complied. She missed me enormously for those long hours from Monday morning till Wednesday night. All cat lovers will know what I mean when I share that the attention that your cat lavishes upon you after an absence is significantly more passionate and solicitous.

I phoned my mother late in the afternoon to check on the progress of her cold since sister Mary took her to the doctor on Monday for medicine, and she sounded terrible. We chatted until her coughing prevented us going further, poor thing.

I took The Dear Leader to the local shops after dark, and he pottered around the aisles for half an hour, buying vittles and supplies. He is missing Missus Inkletter greatly, his only daughter, and it's only been a dysfunctionally brief three days.

It's time to expand upon the previous three days: About half ten on Monday morning, Reeve Chocson sans Chocci, who was working, picked us up, loading several tonnes of luggage and supplies into his Holden Rodeo, before we set off for Balingup.

Reeve and I ate our way south, sampling the victuals of a variety of provenders en route to the Southwest, providing a certain form of entertainment for Missus Inkletter. There was a little rain around, but the freezing conditions I had been told would likely take me out unless I dressed like an Eskimo, before even reaching Balingup, never eventuated. In fact it was, for Balingup, a mild couple of days for late July (Antipodes, you northern hemisphereans, Antipodes).

Reeve and I had the treat of watching the harvest moon rise, from the front verandah of the Homestead, to illuminate the seven valleys that meet in front of the old Universal Brotherhood community.

Our generous hostess, Margie Kismikkin, had arranged for that wonderful couple, the artists Duncan Moon and Helen Hulme, and the dear friend of us all, Sue, to join we four for a meal that Janny had made and we transported, as a birthday celebration for moi. All were unanimous, and furthermore, not one differed, that the three courses were exemplary, and what's more, delicious.

We had a great time socialising and fooling around, and even got to discuss some profound things.

Tuesday morning Reeve and I were driven to the Blackwood River on Nannup Road by Margie, and we proceeded to walk back the 12 kms. What a treat this walk was, despite a set back a quarter of the way in…

Don't tell anyone, but the Balingup to Nannup road is an utter delight, as it winds and twists along the Blackwood River and Balingup Brook; don't tell anyone lest a four laner gets shoved through the beauty of the valley all the sooner, to serve as eye candy to the speeding tourists, gorging on Coke and McDonalds, flinging their packaging out their windows.

Reeve was obviously being very kind to me setting a gentle pace (I was hesitant to accompany him, half convinced I'd die on the walk, and my corpse be sustenance to the wild beasts before he could get back with a vehicle to transport the corpse). While setting up a photo Reeve misstepped in the grass on the verge, and tore a ligament in his calf.

He refused to contemplate calling the walk off and calling for help (we had a mobble, though it transpired it was useless, for Telstra, in their love for their fellow competitors, is the only carrier whose phones work from the recently built towers along this route), and kept going, very carefully and in pain, assuring me that his knowledge of anatomy was informing what he was doing.

Which for starters was keeping moving, knowing that to stop would cause his calf to seize up; and it also involved walking backwards up the hills for a time, and lo and behold he gradually got much of the normal use of the calf back again, with the caveat that when he did stop back at the Homestead it would need, and did, considerable therapy.

We were treated to fog, mists, beautiful little and big birds, including a wedge tailed eagle, the deepest shaded forested slopes, bright sunlight sweeping across the landscapes from behind the darkest clouds, rainbows… I could go on and on and on. Suffice to say it was a walk I will treasure, not least because I shared it with a matchless friend. We discussed many things dear to our hearts.

The joys were not over for the day, because after we had filled in the corners with Janny's pumpkin soup and toasted sandwiches to die for, Margie drove me to the other side of the seven valleys to meet Peter Hicks of Yarri Springs, which meeting she'd being trying to arrange for some years now.

Well, what a gem Peter is! He gave me almost three hours of his afternoon, in which we chatted about a thousand profound things, and he graciously showed me around his magnificent bamboo botanic garden among the native trees around the permanently running stream dividing the block. I left walking on air. I realise that as much as I know about bamboo, I know nothing about bamboo, and that was without Peter showing off in any way. He was modesty to a fault, quietly spoken, thoughtful.

Reeve and I chatted with Janny, after Margie declared a draw during the evening and retired, until Janny threw in the towel about midnight, we lads not retiring till two. Again the discussion was inspiring and fascinating, covering many experiences that Reeve has had over his life that interest me greatly. One of the reasons I like to get him on his own is to get him to open up and share these experiences in safety with me.

Wednesday was our departure day. We boys helped move furniture and bits and pieces for the girls, then after a Milo (marvellous stuff) and Janny's homemade white chocolate biscuits with her killer cream filling, we kissed the beauties heartfelt tooroos, and headed north, about 1 p.m.

We ate our way up the towns and hamlets, but poor Reeve was coming down with a cat triggered allergic reaction, which he'd managed to suppress for the past two days. Bijou, a black beauty of a cat with preternaturally golden eyes, had been frequenting the house, as is her want (it's her place after all), pushing the limits for Reeve's health.

Nevertheless Reeve kept me entertained with his unrivalled sense of humour, his grace and graciousness, and his intellect. He left me at my place about 7 p.m., two and a half hours later than we had planned, and I began to digest the rare and blessed time I'd just been the recipient of these past three days.

Cadbury was overjoyed to have her pet (me) back, and spent several hours on my lap as I vegged out in front of Aunty all night.

This day on which I am writing is Thursday, and I have now chatted by phone to the delicious damsel twice today. I was keen to catch up with some current affairs on Aunty, so I logged onto iView:

And I'm glad I did: Lateline Monday 26th: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: a matchlessly presented Leigh Sales brought us an inspiring and superlative, yes superlative, interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, also beautifully presented. Ms Sales wore a Davy's grey high collared jacket with a black camisole, which gave an excellent contrast, dispensed with a necklace, had subtle-effect make-up and ideally styled hair, convex flared at the sides, with tiny pearl-like earrings. I think she looked about as wonderful as she's ever looked, and that's saying something.

Leigh Sales radiated and with grace while having the privilege of interviewing Ayaan Hirsi Ali on LATELINE

Ms Ali also radiated in her cream jacket and camisole, also without a necklace, her only jewellery being tiny earrings as well. Her make-up worked very well on her honey coloured skin. The two women positively shone, making it just a little difficult for men of virility like me to concentrate as well as we'd like on the words. (To any other lads who struggle with the distraction of female beauty, yet aspire to learn, close your eyes while listening to the vodcast.) In fact, it could almost be used as an ironic illustration, this interview, showing that beauty and brains can co-exist in harmony.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali shone both physically and intellectually during this LATELINE interview with Leigh Sales

Now concentrating on the words is advisable, for the wisdom that gently came forth from Ms Ali at Ms Sales' prompting was a revelation and enormously inspiring.

More story coming…

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