Thursday, August 31, 2006, 08:32 PMI am home again with much relief at leaving the city lights far behind. I made it back to Meribah late this afternoon after a round trip of some 1200 kilometers to the Prince of Wales Hospital once more in Sydney. Mind you I did take in as part of my upward journey a detour along the Murrumbidgee River Valley which is far more exciting than just the Hwy.
It was about 4pm & a nice time to take Mo who was doing circle work with excitement at my home coming, for a much needed walk, according to him. We were met with much baaing in the field from my White Dorper sheep, some 20 in fact who ran to greet us as I was seen to be carrying a bag of treats. So having this bait of special feed pellets, in hand, I am looked apon as being the most wonderful sheep carer ever known to such beasts. I can pat them all over & chat no end while they smell my breath & look nonchalant in reprose of this much endured trial of waiting. This is tolerated just as long as I deliver the "food" & do not take too long in their minds about it !.
So, back to the hospital & the coming together of the three Ians. The most important being Dr Ian Jacobson MB BCh FRACS Ear Nose Throat Surgeon Paediatric Head & Neck & more importantly for me Otolaryngology.
Ian did a Fat Augmentation of my right vocal chord to improve my voice as this side has been paralysed.
Dr Ian Woodforth was the Specialist Anaesthetist for this operation to make up our trio.
Dr Ian Cole of Sydney associated with this coming together will be duly kept informed.
My shared hospital room was with a very interesting character in the person of Stan Knopman, a long standing resident of some 68 years at Bondi in Sydney. Stan a man of 85 years & being a World War Two veteran serving 5 years in the Pacific islands was finding himself at battle again this time with circulation problems. It was a nice time of sharing conversation & Stans friendly smiling face I'm sure held many stories of trials & tribulations in life that we had not time to cover. I did not sleep well that night & found myself checking Stan frequently as he slept on without notice.
Steve Lai a native of Malaysia was the very capable Nurse who in turn made regular checks of myself. Steve left Malaya when he was 21 & did his Nursing training in the U.K. where he met & married his French wife. He then worked with Nursing in Paris for some 14 yrs before coming to Aus to clock up another 15 years including 2 at Brisbane. Steve confided with a smile over the top of his glasses with a soft voice that after 30 years of Nursing he is looking forward soon to retirement.
It was John who in wheeling me to theatre commented he does work for Opera Aus makes a fine point to end this blog.
Murrumbidgee River Jugiong
Dr Ian Jacobson & Steve
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Monday, August 7, 2006, 10:05 AMThis demon in my head is a chondrosarcoma one that cannot be removed or stopped, at least at this point of time in medical history. However, this type of sarcoma can be tamed by surgery which was achieved remarkably well by a man of great fame here in Aus.
I speak of the neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo who can be found at Prince of Wales Private Hospital in Randwick Sydney. He was assisted by Dan Gilligan from Iowa in the U.S. & surgeon Thomas Kertesz of Sydney. Dr Teo surgicaly removed 95% of this sarcoma that was set on paralyzing me.
So now it is that this demon as I call it is tamed & subdued, but will continue to lurk within. In time Dr Teo will be called on again to operate depending on when & how the tumor once more presents itself.
In the meantime life goes on & one is constantly reminded of the heroism found in the daily lives of people who live with many serious health problems....It serves as a reminder for me not to complain about the few problems I now contend with.
I have much to thank God for along with all the many, many people who prayed for my successful deliverance.
Thank you one & all !
A special thank you to Stevi Jones a modern day Florence Nightingale who's compassion shines through in the every day care of her patients.
Time to spread my wings
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Monday, May 8, 2006, 10:09 PMIn due course I will get back to my unfinished entry of Bringing in the Sheaves or is it Sheafs ?
However, more importantly of late there is a health issue which has distracted me.
I have not been able to come up with a way to continue or end this Entry so I think it is best left untill such time as I can.
(To Be Continued)
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Saturday, April 15, 2006, 09:08 PMDawn & Sunset colours of any note will soon be gone as the days shorten & the Autumn takes over. Already the days are much cooler & the winds that sweep up from the southern oceans at times with a chill herald that winter weather is on the way.
So, I will put in a nice sunrise of late while I can & remind myself I must make a move on some outings I want to do before the weather becomes to inclement.
I made the effort to catch up with bringing in the sheaves at Ganmain. This type of hay production is used for making into chaff & has been an ongoing farm enterprise in this area for a long long time.
Wednesday November 15
I think if my memory serves me correctly it may have been about this time my rountine scans picked up something was wrong so that is why this story was not finished.
The long time in fact of chaff being made at Ganmain goes back to 1893 when the first chaff produced was sent to Sydney in three truck loads with the grower being paid 100 Pounds. To use wheaten hay in the form of these sheaves has long been held by the Logan & Hitchens Company to produce a far superior chaff...James Logan was cutting chaff back in 1905 with the peak years being around 1910 to 1925. So for many a long year it has been a familiar sight to see these "loafs of bread" built sheaf haystacks around the Ganmain district.
However, times have changed & the men skilled in building these stacks have faded away with age & each year now are harder to find. Others with these skills are disappearing along with those associated with rural industries. Also modern ways of mechanisation arrived in the form of making hay into Rolls. This saves on man power, so now a lot of this wheaten hay from the crops is put into these Rolls & stored in a large shed all done by machinery with a minimum of skilled hands.
It is said this year or another may see the end to the sheaf hay for chaff at Ganmain due to this skills shortage. This year has seen a another savage blow & by far the worst dealt to the chaffing industry with the severity of the drought causing all the crops grown this year to fail. I went to capture then the men who still toil under the blazing sun in the old ways of Tossing the Sheaves to bring in what stacks still remain.
Ganmain is an Aboriginal word : Meaning scarring as found on warriors
A unity exists between the men who toss the sheaves which I think is best represented here
A tree providing some shade is welcome relief to loading the truck
Tossing the Sheaves
There is rhythm of actions & movement as these men apply their skills
Working up there is no place for the faint hearted as seen with Glen Brill
Loaded trucks await delivery to the chaff cutter back at the Mill
Sheaves are fed into the conveyor prior for steaming & chaffing
The finished Product will be stacked with other skills to await Sale
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Wednesday, April 5, 2006, 08:54 PMLate in 2002 when I began the restoration of 8ha at Meribah to plantings of Native Flora Dean came to visit me with Mnt Ulandra Nature Reserve wildlife Ranger Angela Lonergan. This meeting was to initiate the beginning of the Conservation Partners Program. At this time I wanted to place on record my site as containing aboriginal artifacts & to hand over to Dean the many stone implements I had collected over the years from this area along the creek.
On going from this I have wanted to take photos of some of these stone implements for my Aboriginal Heritage section of this website. So it was that on Mon of this week I journeyed to Tumut the gateway to the Snowy Mountains & the regional office for the National Parks Wildlife Service to meet Dean in this endeavour.
I must say I feel proud to have this association to Aboriginal Heritage thereby providing by way of these artifacts an ongoing study to a little known area where I live with Wiradjuri history.
Later after taking my photos I was invited by Dean to accompany him into the Tumut River Valley to inspect a site of high cultural value. The valley is very dry at this time of summer yet a lot of water is flowing in the river. Dean explained this valley was the main thorough fare for the Wiradjuri into & out of the Mountains.
To the Plains people who journeyed in here the closing valley & ever towering peaks must have been an epic & awe-inspiring event in their lives. Journey here they did on an annual basis late in the summer months to feast on the oil rich Bogong moths that fly to these peaks by the thousands from southern Queensland. These moths were cooked by rolling on hot coals which at the same time removed the wings.
Leaving this valley & the mountains behind Dean escorted me downstream from Tumut on my way home as far as the village of Brungle....Travelling on from here takes one to Gundagai & the Murrumbidgee River.
Brungle was a quiet little village way back in 1888 ( & still is today) when it was decided to established the Station a place in which to re-patriate displaced Wiradjuri from earlier times of white settlement. In many ways the vision splendid here failed as the settlers from the beginning resented its presence & the occupants in their midst. The Aboriginies themselves maintained an opposition to the way in which the station was managed. However today descendants of those earlier & sadder times still reside here including Deans family who have had a long association with Brungle.
By the nearby Nimbo River at Brungle village stands a mighty Red River Gum where many years ago stone implements in the hands of Wiradjuri were used to remove a large piece of bark to fashion a canoe. Dean took me here & is seen in my photo pointing to what was at that time the parameter of this canoe. Above the canoe scar can be seen another circle scar from bark removal....This was possibly used when cut in half to provide the ends to that vessel or paddles.
Unlike the grain growing area where I live many trees bearing these scar marks can be viewed in the Tumut area ...Most will be many hundreds of years old.
Saying farewell with Thanks to Dean for his hospitality I moved on down to Gundagai where I visited the ancient ceremonial bora rings site. It is ironic that a short distance from where these rings are located on the river flat are the present day Rodeo ring & arena for Camp Drafting.
Having never seen a Bora Ground before this was very interesting & I think remarkable for it to be still intact. I was very intrigued by the placement of these two quite large adjoining rings consisting of a slightly built up ridge of earth in forming the circle.
I suspect when one stands at the northern end to this Bora Ground viewing south it is directly in line to where the Southern Cross might first appear in the night sky.
I am anxious now to return there at dusk to see if this is so.
Stories in a book titled : Brungle & Tumut is available by the Aboriginal Womens Heritage.
These Stories by the women stand as a testimony to the struggle & sacrifices made by parents bringing up families at Brungle as recounted by their family life.
The Moth Hunters by Josephine Flood
The Aboriginal People of the Monaro by Michael Young.
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