Sunday, October 29, 2006

Big Houses 

On the Freo train Friday night I overheard a trio from the same workplace talking. The conversation was friendly and welcoming of a man from France. When told where the French guy lived, the other male commented that there are big houses over that way. The first guy agreed but said his house was seventies, illustrating in his French accent with:

I have a yellow toilet seat... and glitter on the roof.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

We'll Take You On 

At the first blind cricket training session, I wondered why we called it training - isn't this it? Who do we play? We play sighted teams.

OMG! I'm scared.

Sometimes we win, a fellow cricketer told me.

Is that because the ball's different? I asked, realising as I did how dubious I must sound about our cricketing abilities. Now that we've had a few practice sessions, we're a little more like the supercricketers I imagined. I don't suppose every team in WA is like the Warriors, let alone Australia, so my ideas about the cricketing skills of the average player are probably wide of the mark.

I missed our first match last Sunday, and we won. Sunday after next we'll play a team from Kulin, who come in to Perth to play us every second year. On alternate years, the blind cricket team goes to Kulin. For over thirty years they've also played a match in Busselton. There are a few gaps in our fixtures, so maybe we could do with a few more teams to play.

My bowling's improved, my batting's improved, my fielding's still hit and miss. On Tuesday I went to Jim Kidd at Harbourtown and bought myself a pair of sneakers, so I must be planning to stick with it. Until now I've run around in Blundstone boots. I'm a little scared of playing another team but I'm told for my first match I'll have a runner until I get the hang of it. Each team plays an innings each. Next week at training, we'll have a match against each other and perhaps that'll ease my nerves.

I still forget who can see what, and get confused when I need to throw the ball to someone - do I have their attention? Underarm? Or do they prefer overarm? If they miss it, is it my throwing?

Sledging practice started very successfully last week for some, but I think it'll take a while before I'm any good at it.

And the name of our team? The Venetians.

Mum thought that was pretty funny.

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Sideshow Dee 

Hey, by chance I read my stats and referrals today, and noticed a couple of visitors to my Blind Cricket post and a referral from The Disability Blog Carnival 2 at The Gimp Parade. There's a great selection of disability-related blog posts to check out here and naturally I clicked on one by Lisa Ferris (an American relation? lol) called Step Away, Other Mother, Or I Shall Sic My Worms on You. Lisa didn't let the opinion of a stranger get in the way of a fun trip to the park or the library with her kids - and she has a new worm farm!
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Messing With Geography 

Pop took Nanna and I for a drive around Busselton on Sunday afternoon. We headed towards Layman Rd, east of Busselton, to see new land developments near the Vasse River and the estuary. We stopped to watch birds landing in paperbarks by a lake. The trees were loaded with birds, the scene idyllic in a scrubby kind of way. Fixed on the birds, I didn't notice the ugly heaps of sand and fences just east of the crowded birds' rest. The scenes didn't blend well. If you're in Busselton around late afternoon, check out the birds.

Orange plastic mesh barrier blocking access to beach and calm water

We drove around Port Geographe, a canal development, to where the beach is cordoned off with a single-stranded fence. Pop says a woman fell into the sand and weed deep enough that the council thought it best to warn other beachgoers. We drove around the Port Geographe Marina and stopped where a bulldozer and other earth-moving equipment were parked. From there we walked down a beach track, which heads towards the beach and then parallel to it, trying to find an open access. We came to at least three closed access ways before we walked around one and took this photo.

A woman walking her dog told us to ignore the signs and that it'll be good when the work is finished soon. The Port Geographe Action Group have photos of the site taken in 2004.

Stateline Western Australia reported earlier this month on troubles at the first WA canal development at South Yunderup ('Counting the cost of building canals', ABCTV, 6 October 2006).

In Tasmania there are plans to develop a canal system at Ralphs Bay. Save Ralphs Bay encourages people to take action against the development. Ralphs Bay is home to a unique and endangered species of fish, the spotted handfish. Stateline Tasmania reports the need for more research into the impact of a canal development on the handfish ('Ralphs Bay's impact on fish species 'needs more research'', ABCTV, 9 September 2006).

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Roses Are Red 

Don't adjust your screens! My Nanna loves her garden and since my last visit a couple of weeks ago, her Satchmo roses have bloomed. They're a brilliant red that I can't quite believe. In Margs on Monday she bought a pink rose she described as 'gay' - and it's the kind of pink that puts you in a breezy party mood. Nanna knows when Mitre 10 and Bunnings get their plants in, and we also stopped in Cowaramup and bought a couple of plants there too. I'm heading off to a nursery soon - this three plants only deal (if you don't count the indoor bamboo plants, which are resting on their lucky reputation) isn't enough.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Someone left an anonymous comment on Sunday. It read:

Be VERY VERY careful and think twice about giving your valuable MSS to [INSERT NAME OF A WOMAN I CONSIDER TO BE AN ONLINE FRIEND - FIRSTNAME LASTNAME]. You will not be surprised to find she is plagiarising literary works!

Is it just me, or does that exclamation mark make the comment more like a hex?

The comment appeared with a post unrelated to Firstname Lastname, although it was blogged in the same month as a post which does mention Firstname Lastname. If you Google Firstname Lastname, the Temporal Island archive for that month currently ranks second.

My blog isn't widely read, and because the comment isn't attached to the relevant post, it's unlikely that it would ever have been read by a potential client of Firstname Lastname, even if that client had run a search and visited my archive. I've deleted the post anyway because I don't think it's right - either the content or the way it's been shared.

I'm mostly angry that someone's tried to use my blog to hurt someone else.

How would you react?

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Burnt Fence, Melted Recycling Bin 

The night before my last trip south, someone set fire to our recycling bins, destroying five of them and burning a section of fence. If I hadn't needed to bring my washing in ready for the trip, most of my regular clothes would be very smokey indeed. The fire brigade came at 1am but I heard nothing. On my way to catch the Australind, I stopped to take this pic of melted plastic bin and the fence, which in a different light looked fantastic and bubbly black. No reason to set fire to a bin, especially one full of lovingly washed and dried recyclables!

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Going South 

On Sunday before last, the afternoon before my last dentist appointment, I went for a walk down to the bridge over the Margaret River. So good to be so close to town and yet able to look into the forest.

Sunlight through thin trees

We drove past The Garden in Margaret River often and we often said to each other as we did, we'll have to have a look in there one day. The Garden is on Bussell Highway, between the high school and the Curtin campus. We left Augusta without ever visiting and so I decided to check it out.

Wooden bench in garden

A good garden, I think, has somewhere to sit and relax for a while, and I found a great place to do just that.

More sunlight through trees overhead

Originally uploaded by Deanne Ferris.

I'm going south again tomorrow on the Australind. I'll stay with Nanna and Pop in Busselton, and head down to Margs again for more appointments. Alas, I'll be back again on Tuesday but maybe I'll take a few more pics. So I'm finally having fun with Flickr!

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Climbing Roses at Jerramungup 

Our trips to and from Esperance took us through the small Great Southern town of Jerramungup. Rori needed a play in the park - any park causes major excitement before you've had your second birthday. We ate lunch here on Sunday (thanks for the yummy rolls Megs!) on our drive home and we noticed these roses at the war memorial, like a crown on the rounded head of the conifer. Now I've looked at the pic again, the roses are more like hair than a crown!

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I embarrassed myself yesterday. I didn't even know I'd embarrassed myself until afterwards, when I thought about it. As my vision deteriorates, my skin gets thicker (to save me having to spend all day at home by myself) but sometimes thick skin isn't enough. Sometimes you're a dill and you know it, regardless of the reasons, or the lack of reasons.

Today I caught up on some e-mail. The hot topic on the RPList is casino owner Steve Wynn's accidental tearing of Picasso's La Reve (The Dream). Almost all the comments are about how all other embarrassing RP moments are nothing compared to Wynn's.

The story, as recounted by screen writer Nora Ephron in her blog, is a good one. Not only did Wynn elbow a hole in the painting, but he'd just agreed to sell it - for 139 million dollars, a world record.

The story's attracted a lot of attention - there's an article in The New Yorker on Wynn and La Reve, at the BBC on Wynn and la Reve, and even in
China's Xinhua on Wynn and the 139 million dollar deal that (he) fell through. People with RP everywhere are feeling better about their own mishaps, because at least they didn't get reported as world news.

But what's great is that Wynn didn't get upset, at least not in public or with his guests. He even rocked up to dinner that night in a cheery mood.

So the message is, if you're going to be embarrassed, don't do it over some confusion at the Oxfam shop - rip a hole in your own Picasso. And if you own a Picasso, and you say it's no big deal, who's going to argue?

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Blind Cricket 

I have an egg on my leg after playing blind cricket. Not until I came home did I remember that backyard and schoolyard cricket are played with tennis balls, and that regular cricket players wear pads. Our balls are made of hard plastic and have holes so that you can hear the bells inside. Two balls are on field at once. The bowler's end is like Christmas.

A friend met me at the Maylands station and showed me how to get to the oval. The oval is very green and soft and, I'm told, you can smell this is true. The oval is also a dog exercise area, so you have to hope you don't tread in any dog poo. One of our group brought his daughter and their dog along.

I'd imagined blind cricket to involve super-cricketers who could catch jingling balls and launch them at the wickets while other super-cricketers skidded into an invisible crease. I already knew that the bowler would bowl underarm, and this disappointed me until I took the bat. Then I felt grateful that the space in which I could detect the ball (I have to look away to see it and track it - in my temporal island, I guess) wasn't too large.

For the first session of the year, I discovered a group of people much like me, people who enjoy playing cricket and for whom it's more practical to have the ball stay closer to the ground, or to have other players give their position and state their readiness for play.

For example, when totally blind players bowl, there's a routine of necessary name calling.

Bowler: Anne!
Wickie: Jim!
Bowler: Anne!
Wickie: Jim!
Bowler: Deanne!
Batter: Jim!
Bowler: Play!

When I batted, this routine was followed by the sound of me not hitting the ball and lots of advice. I'm not very good at following verbal instructions, especially instructions about how to position my hody, so mostly I said 'okay, oh great, I'll try that' and missed. My first over as a bowler embarrassed me no end but on the second go I could do it well enough that I feel confident I'll improve. I forget to count the balls, so I think I had a few longer overs. I've never had to know which is leg stump and which is off stump till now, but in blind cricket the wickie gives feedback to the bowlers, so they know where the ball went.

Everyone knows everyone else's cricketing capacity. When a player who doesn't hit hard comes in, fielders will move in as close as a couple of metres from the crease. So strange to me, to see a man bent forward, listening intently, and only positioned a couple of metres from where someone is going to whack a ball anywhere he can.

I'll definitely rock up next week. I like the players and I like that I have a reason to run around without the possibility of running into someone. At first I thought, this isn't cricket, this is crazy, I can't see the ball to hit it... the ball comes to me and I can't catch it... people say 'good fielding' when I'm fielding less capably than I did in primary school.

I'm right, this isn't cricket, this is blind cricket. And I can play.


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Monday, October 09, 2006

Roaming Margs 

I have most of the day to roam Margaret River after an 8.30am dentist appointment. My tooth's now ready for a crown and I'll have to come back in a week or so to have it finished. So far I've eaten an ice cream from Simmo's (I think sunny Sunday afternoon ice creams are the way to go), discovered that the hemp company has another shop on Market St in Freo, gone for a swim at the pool (I don't have a car, remember!), eaten a lentil pattie with salad for brekkie at Wild Thyme (in the old library building), and gone for a wander in the community garden. All I need now is a friand and it'll be time for the long journey home via Yallingup and a half-hour meal break at Lake Clifton. Lucky we went to Esperance recently, everything else feels close!
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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Barefoot and Dibbling 

I'm not sure what dibbling is but I guess dibblers do it. Caelan's circus group, lead by a woman called Isobel Necessary, performed at City Farm today. In the practice sessions, the children listened when Isobel cracked her whip but during the week, the whip was nicked! Who nicks an animal tamer's whip? Grrr. Fortunately, the children, dressed as animals (Caelan as a lion), could roll through hoops and onto mats for muchg applause. City Farm celebrated the Noongar season of Kambarang today and we listened to the very groovy City Farm Chameleon Band, ate lentil burgers, learnt about the Enough is Enough Campaign in Defence of Aboriginal Culture, checked out the Proper / Deadly t-shirts and caps, picked up Save Yarragadee stickers, and watched some marsupial puppets rap about the environment.

Which brings me to dibblers. I don't remember hearing much about them but a dibbler starred in one of the skits today. On Thursday I listened in to an interview conducted for BCWA's Consumer Voice audio magazine with Perth Zoo CEO Susan Hunt. The zoo breeds dibblers! After seeing an orangatan at the zoo with a crate or a bag over its head during my last visit to the zoo, I felt happy to hear that Tamara the orangatan will be released in Sumatra. Perth Zoo is re-stocking the planet with animals, how cool is that?

After all the moving about in the sun, I walked barefoot down Stirling Highway to catch a bus. I wear boots nearly everywhere I go, but whenever I wear sandals or slip-on-y type shoes, I want to take them off. Now's the time to do it because I think it won't be much longer and it'll be too hot.

Tomorrow I'm heading down south for a dentist appointment Monday. I'm hoping to get a friand while I'm down there, and maybe a swim at the pool.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Holiday... Celebrate 

No, I haven't given up blogging, I've been familying. Eight hours to Esperance, eight hours back - in a Tarago with my parents, my sister, my 22 month old niece and my brother/s (one on the way over, two on the way back).

We stopped in Jerramungup both ways and I spotted a surf shop in Katanning called 'High & Dry' which tickled my fancy. On Friday the warm weather tempted Megan and I to go for a swim. A wave surprised us and we both got dumped in the shallows and the weed.

Shannon is now a Mrs Somebody, which is kinda cool in a weird way. Now I want a new name, only without the whole wedding stressog. Maybe my new domain name will have to do. Yes, I have a new domain name! I did it before I left but my sister (the then-bride-to-be) rang on Tuesday night. Just as well because we didn't get much time in Esperance.

I stayed three nights in Esperance and four nights in Busso, helped my grandparents celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary (ate cake, read letters from the Queen, the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, the Premier and every local politician), visited my Nanna and threw Rip some random sticky-thing he found.

I'm still zonked but I'll blog again soon.

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