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Stories and Fiction • Re: Udate on What’s Happening with my Writings

August 18, 2017 Bidadisndat 0

Aaaargh! Double Aaaargh! And Aaaargh again!

Don’t know if anyone here has been afflicted with shingles, and I sure hope not: It’s a living death.

Came down with them three weeks ago and bellieve me, it’s something I would wish on my worst enemy.

Been living on antibiotics and pain killers since being diagnosed but the pain is slowly receding now.

Doc said it was probably because my imune system is shot to blazes at the moment and now he wants me to have some more blood tests,
which is not something that someone who has developed needle phobia wants to hear. :(

Anyway, I’m still in the land of the mostly living and I’ve been managing to put together a few more paragraphs in the Capt Dave saga,
and I should be able to post them soon.

Cheers, and y’all be kind to each other.

BTW, eldest daughter is going overseas on Tuesday – Destination, booked and paid for months ago, is Barcelona of all places.
Given the latest news my bet is that she and her B.F. will be carrying their bum bags with first-aid kits as I recommended. :)

Shin.

Statistics: Posted by Bidadisndat — Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:24 pm


No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: CAPTAIN DAVE BECOMES A FARMER

June 25, 2017 Bidadisndat 0

Well, here we go again cobbers: Finally another instalment – albeit a small one.
I’ll try to keep my writings a little more consistent than when I began this saga, but I can’t make any promises at this point.
Hope y’all understand.
Cheers,Shin.

Dave’s parents weren’t surprised by the number of friends that Dave and Bron had made in both the village and the town, but they were by the number who turned up for the get-together at Hook’s Eye on Boxing Day. Bron was also a bit surprised, having until now thought that her favourite fishing spot was known only to perhaps a dozen people, rather than the two dozen plus who were now present. Although the number had been limited to those that knew the location of the almost private fishing spot there was still insufficient parking for all of the vehicles that people arrived in, and several had been left parked at the farm with their drivers and passengers then being shuttled to the site.

Not all had came for the fishing of course, and though quite a few rods and lines were to be seen set up on the far side of the eye, the side closest to where the party was gathered had been ruled off limits for the day so that people could go swimming without fear of being hooked. In fact, it being quite a hot day there were already several people swimming in the warm and crystal clear water, with an optimistic young Brian hoping that their splashing would drive any fish in the hole over to the side where he sat patiently with his line out.

A large and colourful assortment of folding camp chairs, eskies, beach umbrellas, and picnic blankets upon which was arranged enough food to feed an army were spread out on a small grassy area on the southern side of the eye, and it wasn’t too long before those not swimming began helping themselves.

Men who had partners sat with them for the obligatory hour of mundane conversations that didn’t involve manly pursuits, with a few unattached singles feeling that it’d be polite to do the same sitting with them, until finally getting up the courage to break away and form several separate groups, with each having topics of mutual interest to talk about.

They’d never admit as much to their menfolk but mostly the wives were happy to let them go so that they could discuss, not gossip, you understand, but discuss among themselves things that, quite simply put, men couldn’t even begin to comprehend the importance of.

Not surprisingly, the tradies from town sat together with some of the men from the village who used the same fishing hole, including Dave and the excavator owner-operator Darren, and beers in hand began discussing ideas for improving their hidden-away spot.

“Well,” began Bear, “For starters I think we could flatten an area large enough to put in a couple of tables with bench seats. Use the same design as the one we’re planning to submit to council for the beach contract.”

“Yeah, that’d be good,” replied Pipes. “Though I think we should also flatten enough ground to be able to park our utes properly. What do you think…. Space for half a dozen?”

“Going to take quite a bit of spade work to do that much by hand,” said Chips, and for some reason they all looked rather expectantly at Darren.

“Hmm… If I understand correctly what you’re all trying very hard not to ask outright,” he said with a grin, “is that knowing that council’s given me the go-ahead to clear the road to the beach, could I make a bit of a detour and use my machinery to flatten the ground here.”

“Oh, what a good idea! You know Mate, that would probably never have occurred to me if you hadn’t been around,” laughed Bear. “Would it be much of a problem to do that?”

“Nah. In fact given the tightness of the bends on the descent down to the bay I can only float the machines to the top of the road anyway, and that’s not too far from here. Should be able to knock it off with the Bob-cat in an hour, maybe an hour and a half at most.”

“Hmm…. Since you’re going to be working down this way I’ve got another job at the farm for you if you want it,” Dave quietly said to Darren. “And it’ll be a paid job this time. I’ll talk to you about it later.”

“Thanks mate,” Darren replied. “I can always use some extra work.”

“Right,” Bear went on. “Tables and seating should be easy to organise, especially if we get the council contract to install the facilities at the beach: We could build two table and bench seat combos for us at the same time as we do theirs. I don’t intend to rip the council off – well, not much anyway – because we might be able to get more work from them in the future, but we might be able to pad our quote out a small amount…. Say, enough to cover the cost of one of the table and seat combos.”

“Sounds quite reasonable,” offered Chips. “And if we keep in mind that any facilities we put here would be available for use by the general public, if they happen to find the place, our consciences would be clear…. Well, mostly clear.”

“Anyone think it’d be good to have a barbeque hot-plate here too, same as at the beach?” Pipes asked.

A barbeque was thought to be a good idea by all and after some ideas were bandied about it was decided that they should build one that was fitted with removable cast iron gas burners and had both a hot-plate and a grill, with those wanting to use it bringing along and connecting their own gas bottle. The idea of having a padlocked cover over the hot-plate and grill was voted down as that would prevent people other than those with a key using them, though a lockable compartment to hold the burners when not in use could be incorporated. “Outsiders” wanting to use the barbeque would have to bring along a supply of wood or heat beads if they wanted to use it, and although that might deter some people it was considered to be a fair compromise.

Jeff Mullins had been with the group, sitting in position where he could keep a watchful eye on young Brian, and seeing the lad haul in what was probably his fourth or fifth fish got up and made his way to where he was proudly shown a bucket containing two nice flathead and three bream.

“Dave, I was watching you and Bron while I was fishing,” said a very happy Brian when he returned with Jeff to show off his catch. Both of you didn’t even try to do any fishing, which means I’m not breaking any rules!”

“Good for you, Brian. Looks like you’re going to have a pretty good meal tonight,” Bron said, putting an arm across his shoulders, giving him a squeeze and making him glow with pleasure when she added “And I think I’m going to have some pretty stiff competition when you’re old enough to join the Cock & Bull Fishing Club.”

“Actually, under eighteens are allowed into the beer garden of any hotel provided they’re accompanied by a parent,” said Gareth who was standing nearby. “Can’t drink alcohol of course, but I can’t see why Brian couldn’t become a Junior member of the club,” he added with a small wink at Bron.

Brian swung towards his mother in excitement. “Is that true mum? Could I really become a junior member?”

Before she had a chance to answer Jeff chipped in with “Of course you can. And if your mum can’t be with you, I can. Of course, in that case you’ll have to share any fish you catch with me as well as your mum.”

“Gosh, I’d do that anyway, Jeff: You’re always very good to me and mum, and I know she’s really happy when we’re all together.”

“OK Matey,” growled Jeff over a sudden lump in his throat. “We need to take these back down to the water and gut ‘n scale ‘em: Don’t want to make a mess in our kitchen, do we? Are you coming with us mum?” he asked Laura as he picked up the bucket of fish and began walking back towards the rocks.”

“Out of the mouths of babes,” murmured Gwen when she and others close to Laura and Jeff couldn’t help but notice, when they walked away on either side of Brian, that they’d both coloured somewhat more than what might have been blamed on too much sunshine.

As the day’s happy event began to wind down those that needed to be were ferried back to the farm to pick up their cars and head for home and soon it was only the tradies who were left to make a final check to make sure no litter had been left behind.

“I think we should attach a sign to the barbeque, asking people to make sure they take their rubbish home with them,“ said Pipes. “I know our lot would, but there are many drop-ins that might not.”

“Unfortunately true. It’s a pity there isn’t some way we could restrict access to the place, but it is on public land after all. By the way, Dave’s father gave me ten dollars towards the hire of the portaloo. Said it was the first time he’d ever seen one used at a private function and he was very impressed. Reckoned it was a much better idea than digging a hole in the ground and rigging up a screen around it, especially where ladies are concerned.”

“That was good of him. Both his parents seem to be really nice people don’t they? I wonder if the truck driver delivering and picking up the portaloo is impressed with the idea, given the state of the track he has to drive along to get here.”

“I doubt that it’d be much of a problem for him: Access to some of our building sites is often a lot worse than here. Besides, our company’s a regular customer and his company’s already been paid for the hire, so no need for us to worry about it. OK, Let’s go.”

Shortly after, the last cars drove away, leaving behind two seagulls looking in vain for any scraps of food that may have been left left behind.

Back at the farm the ladies set about preparing dinner while the men went into the garage to begin work on the restoration of several rusted but still good tools that had been left by McKenzie. Among these were two wood-planes, the working parts of which were disassembled, wire brushed clean and lightly oiled then put aside while the bodies were worked on. Fortunately the soles had only a light covering of rust and to remove that Gareth simply tacked two sheets of fine emery cloth to a perfectly straight and flat board and pushed the planes back and forth along it until the soles of both were smooth and shiny for their full lengths.

“Like brand new,” he said after the blades had been sharpened, the knobs and totes sanded and rubbed over with linseed oil and turpentine, and all the parts reassembled. He then took apart and did the same for a block plane and a spoke-shave, both of which Dave had thought were not worth the effort of salvaging and had been proved wrong.

Gareth, keeping company with Dave, and Gwen with Bron, had enjoyed the day immensely, and having met many of their friends, both at the get-together and elsewhere, understood why the young couple had decided to make Brocklesbury their home.

“In fact,” Gwen said over dinner that evening, “if we ever get too old and worn out to run our own farm up north, I think this place would be an ideal place to spend our retirement.”

“I think so too, Dear, though me having only recently turned sixty two, I hope that time’s a long way off yet.”

“You’ve only just turned sixty two!?” said Bron, trying to sound quite surprised. “Honestly dad, you don’t look a day over seventy two.”

Although everyone laughed the real joke lay in the fact that anyone who met Gareth for the first time would think he was in his early fifties, if that, not just because of his very youthful looks but also because he was more fit than many men half his age. Gwen always felt fortunate that despite her advancing years she too had somehow managed to retain her youthful looks and figure, otherwise she may have had to spend a lot of time chasing young women away from her husband!

* * *

Jeff Mullins was sat at the kitchen table having a cup of tea and Laura was drying the dishes after a meal of freshly caught fish when Brian, who was trying to read a fishing magazine, looked up with a worried frown on his face.

“Jeff, you remember when Mister Morgan said I could go into the beer garden of the hotel if I was with a parent… If I’m not with mum, how can I go in with you, like you said? I mean, you’re not my father and everybody knows that, so how would that work?”

“Well, Mate, everybody around here knows me pretty well, and they probably also know how much I care about you and your mum, so I don’t think anybody would think or say anything about it.”

“Oh. Be a lot easier if you were my dad though, wouldn’t it?”

Laura paused in drying the dishes and wondering how Jeff was going to handle that question tightly gripped the baking dish she was holding and waited nervously for the answer.

Jeff looked at Brian in the way that only a man who cared about him as much he did could and quietly asked “Would you really want an old man like me as a father?”

Of course I would!] And you’re not an old man either!”

“You think not? Oh well, In that case I guess I’ll have to talk to your mum about it.”

He’d spoken without remembering that Laura was standing well within earshot of the conversation but was made aware of that when she suddenly dropped the baking tray on the floor. By the time he’d risen from his chair and got to her she had already turned to stare unseeingly through the kitchen window into the night, and when he placed is hands on her upper arms he could feel her trembling beneath his touch.

Slowly he turned her to face him and the expression on both their faces as they looked at each other seemed to make any speech unnecessary, and when Jeff drew her close Laura buried her head in his shoulder and her unbidden tears soaked unheeded into his shirt. They held each other tightly for several minutes without saying a word, and a watching Brian somehow knew that though his mother was crying something magical had happened, and there was nothing for him to get worried about.

“You know what I’m going to ask, don’t you?”

“Are you really sure you want to?”

“Of course I am, otherwise I wouldn’t have said anything.”

“You don’t have to, you know.”

“I suppose not, but I’m a bit old fashioned I guess.”

“You know what my answer will be, don’t you?”

“I reckon I know that too. But I’m asking anyway: Will you marry me?”

“Yes Jeff. Yes, I will.”

Brian!

“Yes Jeff?”

“I spoke to your mum: I can be your dad.”

“For real?”

“For real. Now, go and get ready for bed.”

“OK… Dad.”

And as Brian happily trotted off to put on his pyjamas his mum set about making him a cup of cocoa, and one for Jeff, whose cup of tea had gone cold.

Statistics: Posted by Bidadisndat — Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:21 am


No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: CAPTAIN DAVE BECOMES A FARMER

June 25, 2017 Bidadisndat 0

Well, here we go again cobbers: Finally another instalment – albeit a small one.
I’ll try to keep my writings a little more consistent than when I began this saga, but I can’t make any promises at this point.
Hope y’all understand.
Cheers,
Shin.

Dave’s parents weren’t surprised by the number of friends that Dave and Bron had made in both the village and the town, but they were by the number who turned up for the get-together at Hook’s Eye on Boxing Day. Bron was also a bit surprised, having until now thought that her favourite fishing spot was known only to perhaps a dozen people, rather than the two dozen plus who were now present. Although the number had been limited to those that knew the location of the almost private fishing spot there was still insufficient parking for all of the vehicles that people arrived in, and several had been left parked at the farm with their drivers and passengers then being shuttled to the site.

Not all had came for the fishing of course, and though quite a few rods and lines were to be seen set up on the far side of the eye, the side closest to where the party was gathered had been ruled off limits for the day so that people could go swimming without fear of being hooked. In fact, it being quite a hot day there were already several people swimming in the warm and crystal clear water, with an optimistic young Brian hoping that their splashing would drive any fish in the hole over to the side where he sat patiently with his line out.

A large and colourful assortment of folding camp chairs, eskies, beach umbrellas, and picnic blankets upon which was arranged enough food to feed an army were spread out on a small grassy area on the southern side of the eye, and it wasn’t too long before those not swimming began helping themselves.

Men who had partners sat with them for the obligatory hour of mundane conversations that didn’t involve manly pursuits, with a few unattached singles feeling that it’d be polite to do the same sitting with them, until finally getting up the courage to break away and form several separate groups, with each having topics of mutual interest to talk about.

They’d never admit as much to their menfolk but mostly the wives were happy to let them go so that they could discuss, not gossip, you understand, but discuss among themselves things that, quite simply put, men couldn’t even begin to comprehend the importance of.

Not surprisingly, the tradies from town sat together with some of the men from the village who used the same fishing hole, including Dave and the excavator owner-operator Darren, and beers in hand began discussing ideas for improving their hidden-away spot.

“Well,” began Bear, “For starters I think we could flatten an area large enough to put in a couple of tables with bench seats. Use the same design as the one we’re planning to submit to council for the beach contract.”

“Yeah, that’d be good,” replied Pipes. “Though I think we should also flatten enough ground to be able to park our utes properly. What do you think…. Space for half a dozen?”

“Going to take quite a bit of spade work to do that much by hand,” said Chips, and for some reason they all looked rather expectantly at Darren.

“Hmm… If I understand correctly what you’re all trying very hard not to ask outright,” he said with a grin, “is that knowing that council’s given me the go-ahead to clear the road to the beach, could I make a bit of a detour and use my machinery to flatten the ground here.”

“Oh, what a good idea! You know Mate, that would probably never have occurred to me if you hadn’t been around,” laughed Bear. “Would it be much of a problem to do that?”

“Nah. In fact given the tightness of the bends on the descent down to the bay I can only float the machines to the top of the road anyway, and that’s not too far from here. Should be able to knock it off with the Bob-cat in an hour, maybe an hour and a half at most.”

“Hmm…. Since you’re going to be working down this way I’ve got another job at the farm for you if you want it,” Dave quietly said to Darren. “And it’ll be a paid job this time. I’ll talk to you about it later.”

“Thanks mate,” Darren replied. “I can always use some extra work.”

“Right,” Bear went on. “Tables and seating should be easy to organise, especially if we get the council contract to install the facilities at the beach: We could build two table and bench seat combos for us at the same time as we do theirs. I don’t intend to rip the council off – well, not much anyway – because we might be able to get more work from them in the future, but we might be able to pad our quote out a small amount…. Say, enough to cover the cost of one of the table and seat combos.”

“Sounds quite reasonable,” offered Chips. “And if we keep in mind that any facilities we put here would be available for use by the general public, if they happen to find the place, our consciences would be clear…. Well, mostly clear.”

“Anyone think it’d be good to have a barbeque hot-plate here too, same as at the beach?” Pipes asked.

A barbeque was thought to be a good idea by all and after some ideas were bandied about it was decided that they should build one that was fitted with removable cast iron gas burners and had both a hot-plate and a grill, with those wanting to use it bringing along and connecting their own gas bottle. The idea of having a padlocked cover over the hot-plate and grill was voted down as that would prevent people other than those with a key using them, though a lockable compartment to hold the burners when not in use could be incorporated. “Outsiders” wanting to use the barbeque would have to bring along a supply of wood or heat beads if they wanted to use it, and although that might deter some people it was considered to be a fair compromise.

Jeff Mullins had been with the group, sitting in position where he could keep a watchful eye on young Brian, and seeing the lad haul in what was probably his fourth or fifth fish got up and made his way to where he was proudly shown a bucket containing two nice flathead and three bream.

“Dave, I was watching you and Bron while I was fishing,” said a very happy Brian when he returned with Jeff to show off his catch. Both of you didn’t even try to do any fishing, which means I’m not breaking any rules!”

“Good for you, Brian. Looks like you’re going to have a pretty good meal tonight,” Bron said, putting an arm across his shoulders, giving him a squeeze and making him glow with pleasure when she added “And I think I’m going to have some pretty stiff competition when you’re old enough to join the Cock & Bull Fishing Club.”

“Actually, under eighteens are allowed into the beer garden of any hotel provided they’re accompanied by a parent,” said Gareth who was standing nearby. “Can’t drink alcohol of course, but I can’t see why Brian couldn’t become a Junior member of the club,” he added with a small wink at Bron.

Brian swung towards his mother in excitement. “Is that true mum? Could I really become a junior member?”

Before she had a chance to answer Jeff chipped in with “Of course you can. And if your mum can’t be with you, I can. Of course, in that case you’ll have to share any fish you catch with me as well as your mum.”

“Gosh, I’d do that anyway, Jeff: You’re always very good to me and mum, and I know she’s really happy when we’re all together.”

“OK Matey,” growled Jeff over a sudden lump in his throat. “We need to take these back down to the water and gut ‘n scale ‘em: Don’t want to make a mess in our kitchen, do we? Are you coming with us mum?” he asked Laura as he picked up the bucket of fish and began walking back towards the rocks.

“Out of the mouths of babes,” murmured Gwen when she and others close to Laura and Jeff couldn’t help but notice, when they walked away on either side of Brian, that they’d both coloured somewhat more than what might have been blamed on too much sunshine.

As the day’s happy event began to wind down those that needed to be were ferried back to the farm to pick up their cars and head for home and soon it was only the tradies who were left to make a final check to make sure no litter had been left behind.

“I think we should attach a sign to the barbeque, asking people to make sure they take their rubbish home with them,“ said Pipes. “I know our lot would, but there are many drop-ins that might not.”

“Unfortunately true. It’s a pity there isn’t some way we could restrict access to the place, but it is on public land after all. By the way, Dave’s father gave me ten dollars towards the hire of the portaloo. Said it was the first time he’d ever seen one used at a private function and he was very impressed. Reckoned it was a much better idea than digging a hole in the ground and rigging up a screen around it, especially where ladies are concerned.”

“That was good of him. Both his parents seem to be really nice people don’t they? I wonder if the truck driver delivering and picking up the portaloo is impressed with the idea, given the state of the track he has to drive along to get here.”

“I doubt that it’d be much of a problem for him: Access to some of our building sites is often a lot worse than here. Besides, our company’s a regular customer and his company’s already been paid for the hire, so no need for us to worry about it. OK, Let’s go.”

Shortly after, the last cars drove away, leaving behind two seagulls looking in vain for any scraps of food that may have been left left behind.

Back at the farm the ladies set about preparing dinner while the men went into the garage to begin work on the restoration of several rusted but still good tools that had been left by McKenzie. Among these were two wood-planes, the working parts of which were disassembled, wire brushed clean and lightly oiled then put aside while the bodies were worked on. Fortunately the soles had only a light covering of rust and to remove that Gareth simply tacked two sheets of fine emery cloth to a perfectly straight and flat board and pushed the planes back and forth along it until the soles of both were smooth and shiny for their full lengths.

“Like brand new,” he said after the blades had been sharpened, the knobs and totes sanded and rubbed over with linseed oil and turpentine, and all the parts reassembled. He then took apart and did the same for a block plane and a spoke-shave, both of which Dave had thought were not worth the effort of salvaging and had been proved wrong.

Gareth, keeping company with Dave, and Gwen with Bron, had enjoyed the day immensely, and having met many of their friends, both at the get-together and elsewhere, understood why the young couple had decided to make Brocklesbury their home.

“In fact,” Gwen said over dinner that evening, “if we ever get too old and worn out to run our own farm up north, I think this place would be an ideal place to spend our retirement.”

“I think so too, Dear, though me having only recently turned sixty two, I hope that time’s a long way off yet.”

“You’ve only just turned sixty two!?” said Bron, trying to sound quite surprised. “Honestly dad, you don’t look a day over seventy two.”

Although everyone laughed the real joke lay in the fact that anyone who met Gareth for the first time would think he was in his early fifties, if that, not just because of his very youthful looks but also because he was more fit than many men half his age. Gwen always felt fortunate that despite her advancing years she too had somehow managed to retain her youthful looks and figure, otherwise she may have had to spend a lot of time chasing young women away from her husband!

* * *

Jeff Mullins was sat at the kitchen table having a cup of tea and Laura was drying the dishes after a meal of freshly caught fish when Brian, who was trying to read a fishing magazine, looked up with a worried frown on his face.

“Jeff, you remember when Mister Morgan said I could go into the beer garden of the hotel if I was with a parent… If I’m not with mum, how can I go in with you, like you said? I mean, you’re not my father and everybody knows that, so how would that work?”

“Well, Mate, everybody around here knows me pretty well, and they probably also know how much I care about you and your mum, so I don’t think anybody would think or say anything about it.”

“Oh. Be a lot easier if you were my dad though, wouldn’t it?”

Laura paused in drying the dishes and wondering how Jeff was going to handle that question tightly gripped the baking dish she was holding and waited nervously for the answer.

Jeff looked at Brian in the way that only a man who cared about him as much he did could and quietly asked “Would you really want an old man like me as a father?”

Of course I would!] And you’re not an old man either!”

“You think not? Oh well, In that case I guess I’ll have to talk to your mum about it.”

He’d spoken without remembering that Laura was standing well within earshot of the conversation but was made aware of that when she suddenly dropped the baking tray on the floor. By the time he’d risen from his chair and got to her she had already turned to stare unseeingly through the kitchen window into the night, and when he placed is hands on her upper arms he could feel her trembling beneath his touch.

Slowly he turned her to face him and the expression on both their faces as they looked at each other seemed to make any speech unnecessary, and when Jeff drew her close Laura buried her head in his shoulder and her unbidden tears soaked unheeded into his shirt. They held each other tightly for several minutes without saying a word, and a watching Brian somehow knew that though his mother was crying something magical had happened, and there was nothing for him to get worried about.

“You know what I’m going to ask, don’t you?” Jeff said as he eased her back so that he could look her in the eyes.

“Are you really sure you want to?” she replied huskily.

“Of course ’m sure, otherwise I wouldn’t have said anything.”

“You don’t have to, you know.”

“I suppose not, but I’m a bit old fashionedin that regard I guess.”

“You know what my answer will be, don’t you?”

“I reckon I know that too. But I’m asking anyway: Will you marry me?”

“Yes Jeff. Yes, I will.”

There was a slight pause, then….

Brian!

“Yes Jeff?”

“I spoke to your mum: I can be your dad.”

“For real?”

“For real. Now, go and get ready for bed.”

“OK… Dad.”

And as a grinning Brian padded happily off to put on his pyjamas his mum set about making him a cup of cocoa, and one for Jeff, whose cup of tea had gone cold.

Statistics: Posted by Bidadisndat — Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:21 am


No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: The Mulberry Tree

June 22, 2017 Bidadisndat 0

Bruce & Icefire, Thanks for the welcome back.
Sorry to do this, but I missed a few paragraphs when I did the cut and paste from my lap-top, so you’ll have to back up and read the bits in blue.
From now on I’ll be concentrating on the Capt Dave story until it matches up with this one.

Bruce: Nevil Shute!!? Boy, that takes me back some. I can remember “On The Beach”, “A Town Like Alice” and “Trustee from the Schoolroom”.
His name was actually Nevil Shute NORWAY, though not many people seem to know it. He died a couple of years before I entered the Navy in 1963.

Statistics: Posted by Bidadisndat — Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:58 am


No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: The Mulberry Tree

June 22, 2017 Bidadisndat 0

Bruce & Icefire, Thanks for the welcome back.
Sorry to do this, but I missed a few paragraphs when I did the cut and paste from my lap-top, so you’ll have to back up and read the bits in blue.
From now on I’ll be concentrating on the Capt Dave story until it matches up with this one.

Bruce: Nevil Shute!!? Boy, that takes me back some. I can remember “On The Beach”, “A Town Like Alice” and “Trustee from the Schoolroom”.
His name was actually Nevil Shute NORWAY, though not many people seem to know it. He died a couple of years before I entered the Navy in 1963.

Statistics: Posted by Bidadisndat — Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:58 am


No Picture

Stories and Fiction • Re: The Mulberry Tree

June 21, 2017 Bidadisndat 0

Well, here we go followers. After this installment I’ll be switching over to the main story (Capt Dave…)to bring it up to the point where the two stories mesh properly, though this may take a week or so.
I’ve taken on board a couple of ideas that some of you have put forward and I’m pretty sure those people will be able to pick up on them as the stories progress. This is probably a good way to keep those interested involved, and I look forward to receiving not only new ideas but also the pointing out of any mistakes I make, especially if things get out of sequence. Please note that spelling is Australian English, which is like English English but with a distinct accent. (Think of Paul Hogan but not quite as forced, lol.)
Cheers,
Bid/Shin

Following a relaxing Sunday when they did nothing much more than go swimming and potter around the gardens, Dirk spent all of Monday plus Tuesday morning helping Frank with another fencing job while Sally kept herself busy by alternately working in the garden and knitting, along with a very successful attempt at baking a Mexican mud-cake following Reb’s recipe. Dirk thought the idea of baking a mud-cake in a mud-brick oven was hilarious but his laughter was halted when Sally told him if he felt that way there was no way he was going to get a slice…. Not even a tiny one.

On the Tuesday afternoon they drove into town and, along with Rob and Reb, undertook their Diving Medicals, all passing with no problems at all, and did a little shopping. Reb told Sally that when she’d put in the application for the Pottery Course Sally wanted to do at TAFE, she’d been told that although the current course had already started only one lesson had been missed and her friend would be able to catch that up quite easily if she joined immediately. The result was that Dirk and Sally, fortunately having put together BOBs which of course held toiletries and changes of clothing and were now kept in the truck, were invited to stay overnight at Rob and Reb’s so that Sally could attend the course that evening.

Over a late meal of pasta that the men prepared while the girls were at TAFE the conversation included the subject of BOBs and other items of equipment that, following Dave Morgan’s lead, Dirk and Sally now carried in the truck. Rob and Reb had always kept their camping gear in their ute but now they too resolved to make up BOBs for themselves, and also install a First-Aid Kit, Fire Extinguisher and a CB Radio.

When Dirk and Sally returned to their camp early next morning they opted to erect the second of the garden sheds that Dirk had brought with him, positioning it not close alongside the first shed but in line with and twenty feet to one side of it. The space between was to be roofed with some of the corrugated iron that they’d salvaged from the hayshed and it would be used by Dirk as his workshop. Because the two garden sheds were on raised floors, the lower ground level between them would mean that he’d have a bit more headroom to work under. A framework to support the roof would need to be erected of course, however he didn’t consider that to be too much of a problem and in fact it might be good practice for when he started work on the roof of the cottage. He hoped that eventually he’d also be able to put down a floor of pavers.

At first Sally thought that perhaps it might be better to concentrate on building the cottage first, however Dirk explained that having a shed to work from would actually mean he’d be able to get a lot more done in a shorter time, especially if the weather became unfavourable. She agreed that in that case putting up a workshop first probably was a good idea, but told him that he had to keep an area free for her to put in a potter’s wheel as she intended to make pottery to sell at the local markets…. Alongside the items he’d be making from all the fence palings he’d gotten from Frank. Because until now he hadn’t been informed of that decision Dirk had been unaware that they’d be operating a market stall, but did agree that it was a good idea. As Reb also wanted to get in on the act by making and selling Tiffany lamps, and displaying some samples of glass artwork in the hope that she might get orders for custom made leadlight windows and doors, Sally had told her that when the time came she could share the stall with them.

A couple of days later than he’d originally planned but now backed up close to one of the dunes farthest from the beach Dirk had been hard at work shovelling several cubic metres of sand onto the rear of the truck for nearly an hour. The sand was to be laid down as a base for the above- ground pool that would be used to store rainwater for use in the cabin’s kitchen, bathroom and laundry, and judging that he had enough thankfully tossed the long-handled shovel he’d been using onto the top of the load and covered it with a tarp. He and Sally had already prepared the area where the pool was to go, having removed all the grass, sticks and large stones and roughly levelled it, but Dirk thought that a good layer of sand underneath would be kinder on the pool liner and would make it easier to work on the installation.

Sally had breakfast waiting for him when he drove back and parked the truck adjacent to the site, which, located on the bank some twenty feet above where the cottage was going to be built, would provide enough fall to give a reasonable amount of water pressure to its gravity-fed plumbing system. He’d abandoned his original idea of using poly ag-pipe for the plumbing after seeing how Dave and Bron were using an automatic pump for theirs, and decided to install copper pipes that would handle the pressure if he was able to do the same at a later date. He wasn’t a licensed plumber however after having successfully if not legally installed the plumbing for an extra bathroom at his parent’s house in the city, he felt himself to be quite capable of undertaking that task when the time came.

Obtaining copper piping for the cottage was not going to be a problem either, nor now was the acquisition of floorboards, wooden lining boards and a good amount of timber for studs, joists, rafters, purlins and, not that they needed it, more corrugated iron roofing. Well, apart from several bull-nosed pieces that would be used over the back porch.

Rob had tracked down the Andersons; owners of the partially burned farmhouse on the outskirts of Brocklesbury, and who had been persuaded by the visit of a council ranger to offer the building free to anyone who was willing to dismantle and remove it. The council ranger, Terrence (“call me Terry”) Chappell was in fact a friend of Rob’s, and his visit to the Andersons had been in a strictly unofficial capacity. “Though I think I might have forgotten to tell them that,” he told Dirk and Sally with a laugh when he was introduced to them at the Cock & Bull later.

No pressure had been applied to the owners: The uniformed ranger had merely gone to advise them that their old farmhouse had been subjected to vandalism and in its current state was likely to attract more, with the possibility that it might even be completely destroyed. The owners told him they would like to have the building demolished but at present were not in a position to pay to have that done and were thus quite amendable to his suggestion that perhaps they could have it removed at no cost to themselves by offering it to someone who needed building material. “At least, what’s left of it,” he’d added, slyly implying that the building was in a far worse condition than it really was.

Of course anyone taking advantage of the offer would have to ensure that all of the material was removed and not just take the good bits. In fact, the ranger told them, the complete removal of the house might even make the land, which so far they’d been unable to sell, more attractive to any potential purchasers who wouldn’t be saddled with the problem of having to demolish it themselves.

The Andersons, feeling that that was probably the best way to deal with the problem said they would be quite happy to accept his offer to find someone who would be willing to do just that, and Terry lost no time after leaving their house to call Rob and tell him about the arrangement. When he’d finished work for the day at the recycling centre Rob drove to the campsite to give Dirk and Sally the good news and was asked if he could invite his friend to meet them at the Cock & Bull and join them for drinks and dinner after work on Friday evening.

That had been on the Wednesday afternoon, and Rob had arrived at the campsite shortly after Dirk and Sally had finished putting up the roof between the two sheds. It wasn’t bad timing as he was able to help them lift the heavy work-bench off the back of the truck and put it in in the new workshop, though it would’ve been so much better, Dirk told him, if he’d arrived a lot earlier and helped put the roof up, because it’d been a mongrel of a job! Especially as he had to suspend long bush poles between the sheds to support it, and only had an eight foot step-ladder with which he could work on the high parts. He did admit that the structure was pretty rough, and Rob made them laugh when he said that he hoped the roof of the cottage would be built in a more traditional manner.

The next day a very pleased couple had spent most of it at the partly burnt building checking out and removing some of the material they could use. Standing in the back yard was an old Hills rotary clothes hoist that Sally wanted, however the bolts holding it all together were pretty much rusted in place. Dirk, being a great believer in the powers of Penetrene and always carrying a can of it in his tool box, poured a generous ammount of the liquid on the bolts knowing that it would work its way through the threads and make them easier to remove on their next visit.

They stopped for a bite to eat and went to Jay-Jay’s for a hamburger, then went to the hardware store where Dirk purchased a plumber’s wrench and a pipe cutter, neither of which he owned but would need for both the demolition and work on their cottage, and a long extension ladder that he could have used yesterday. When they left the demolition site it was, along with other useable material, with the large farm gate that had hung open and unused at the entrance to the property. It would be installed at the top of the access way down to the clearing, and although the wire mesh of the gate looked a bit rusty it would add to the appearance of their cottage having been there for a very long time.

It was now Friday and though Dirk and Sally would be going to the hotel anyway, as would Rob and Reb, it’d be good to meet Rob’s friend and thank him personally for his help in securing them much if not most of the building material they needed. The address of the Andersons could be obtained and Dirk and Sally would visit and thank them also, but only after the old house had been completely removed just in case the owners changed their minds about the free offer and decided to ask for some sort of payment.

After breakfast he and Sally worked at shovelling the truck’s load of sand onto the ground and levelling it out, and by early afternoon they’d managed to erect the pool’s wall, have its liner installed and capping placed around the top edge to both secure the liner and add some rigidity to the structure. Dirk then fitted an outlet pipe and a shut-off valve to the hole in the side of the pool where the return from its filter had once been located, though being about two thirds of the way up its side required the addition of a length of pipe inside to reach down to the bottom, or at least to within a few inches of it. He did it this way in order to avoid putting an outlet hole close to the base where any leak would be a real problem to fix, especially if the pool was full of water. Where the skimmer box had once been fitted he’d cut a piece of metal to blank off the rectangular opening and then added a fitting for an overflow pipe, not that he thought it would ever be needed in this case, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

For the time being the pool’s cover would be left off as he wanted to build a slightly domed frame, probably from poly ag-pipe, to support it so that water would run off it if it rained. He’d do that fairly quickly because if he delayed too long the pool might collect a lot of debris from the trees close to where it was sited, and cleaning it out would be a pain in the butt. They were in no hurry to fill the pool because the water from the spring was all that they needed at present, however once their cottage was built it would quickly be put into service.

Statistics: Posted by Bidadisndat — Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:50 am


Stories and Fiction • Udate on What’s Happening with my Writings

June 20, 2017 Bidadisndat 0

G’day Cobbers,

Just a bit on where I’m presently at.
Well, for a start the Chemo treatment I was undertaking was succesful to a point: The swelling and infected lymph nodes around my neck and shoulders were dramatically reduced, however the news from lower down wasn’t quite as good.
My imune system was also knocked for a six by the treatment and I was advised that I might need regular transfussions to build it up again.
Not surprisingly I was a bit depressed when I was told, but the latest blood tests were good and everything is getting back to almost normal, albeit slowly.
I’m now officially allowed to work in the garden, provided that I wear a full dust mask.
I’m still working – After all, someone has to keep the planes flying – and the Airforce has been looking after me quite well.
At work I run our section’s Social Club and recently we had a barbeque to farewell three of our members who were being deployed to other units.
One of our sargeants told me to make sure that my uniform, (the only Multicam BDUs on the base), was clean and well pressed as the C.O. was coming along to make the presentations.
As it turned out, as mementos of their time with our section the three guys shipping out were handed plaques by one of the SNCO’s.
So there I was, working unobtrusively in the background cooking up the sausages and caramelised onions when I heard my name being caled out, and our Flight Sargeant told me that I had to front the C.O.
Oh Gawd… What had I done this time?
Anyway, I’m stood at attention in front of her waiting for whatever bad news was to come when all of a sudden she begins making a speech about the good work I’ve done, and finishes it up by handing me a citation!
Turns out that it was the first time that a personal citation had ever been given to anyone on the base.
Quite honestly, I found it difficult to keep a dry eye as I took hold of the framed paper, and a bit tongue-tied when I was asked to say a few words.
Mrs Bid was as pleased as Punch when I got home and after hanging the citation on the wall took me to dinner at our local Thai restaurant, and bought a bottle of Champagne.
As she was driving she only had a small mouthful, leaving me to finish the bottle by myself.
Boy, was I one happy little Vegemite by the time we got home!
OK Enough of that prattle. I’m getting back into writing mode and will slowly begin adding to the stories I’ve written and I hope you enjoy the additions. Please let me know if I make any obvious mistakes (or even not so obvious ones) and feel free to ask me any questions apart from “Where is this story going?” because even I don’t know that yet.
Cheers, and thanks for your patience,
Shin.

Statistics: Posted by Bidadisndat — Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:12 am