On your bike (alternate title The Secret of Health and Happiness)

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I’m sitting on my bike feeling like an athlete

Pumping on the pedals pushing hard with two feet

Think I’m 21, not true but it would be so sweet

Trying to stretch my body to a 60+ life cheat

 

The wheels below me spin going nowhere above the concrete floor

The resistance trainer squeals getting hotter at its core

Parrots on the outside watch me through the open door

As I sweat and puff and grip to gain a minute more

 

I took the vow on January 1 a New Years resolution

To plan a longer fuller life a Seaniverse solution

Write a recipe to follow to my end of days  conclusion

For what it’s worth I thought I’d share it take or leave my proposition

 

Health and happiness can be elusive when ageing as I am

Failing mind and body are inevitable and then bam

You die a death one way or another no way to stop it man

So get there smart, sharing and active as best you can

 

You can’t be everything to everybody but you can share with a few

You can’t extend beyond your limits but there may be limits you never knew

You can be concerned about the future or plan for it ahead

It may not work the way you planned but that’s an opportunity instead

 

So here’s the recipe for trying it’s not really all that hard

It’s based on good and bad experience, read from lots of greeting cards

Exercise mind and body, I run walk ride read and write

Consciously enjoy the present, there’s no point worrying through the night

Appreciate the world around you mindfully it’s the only way that’s right

Action your ideas, you’ll feel sharp and crisp and bright

Socialise with others in ways appropriate for each

Permit allow enjoy, calm rest and sleep makes life a beach

 

A considered “Yes” is the right answer almost every time

Follow these simple rules to be secure and feeling fine

It’s EEAASSY

  • Exercise mind & body
  • Enjoy the present
  • Appreciate
  • Action your ideas
  • Socialise
  • Sleep
  • Yes – is the right answer most of the time

 

I do appreciate for some it is not so easy, health of mind and body are fragile things, security can be a fragile thing. My best wishes to you all. I hope, possibly, maybe something above can be of assistance somewhere, sometime.

The point of human living

The awareness that comes to us via consciousness and the tool of language suggests to many of us there is a point to our existence

However, there is no rational justification for this view

In a very complicated way

Human existence simply happened

It has no intrinsic need of purpose or explanation

It is our egos that ask for that

It is the same for all of us

Human existence manifests as human living

Neither has any point to it

No enduring purpose other than as a fact to be accepted,

Or, possibly as an exclusive point in its own right

As an optimist, I choose the second version of what is essentially the same thing

Although I am unsure what this implies regarding longevity

As it still suggests much is futile

Because the longer each of us lives the more we understand human nature

Consequent behaviours replay across history for better and worse

Same dreams, hopes, ambitions

Same responses, actions, strategies

Same reactionary outcomes that trend toward destruction

To the extent, we often ask why bother?

Well, I guess we might as well

So, “Does it matter?” becomes redundant

Even if meaning could be universally applied

Lack of comprehension regarding our beginning and knowledge of the inevitable end render meaning meaningless

There can be no result, no understanding to be gleaned, no purpose

So where is the point of human living?

In the scheme of things (that doesn’t exist) it doesn’t matter whether you live or not,

But at least you get to choose

You either might as well or not

I choose to live for the transient pleasure of it, the observation, the feeling of it, the moments of joy, the acknowledgement that consciousness came to be and will come to pass, the participation, the experience of love, for being here now – if you like that set of clichés

However, the future is a place of little significance to me other than to say I would hope for my family and coming generations to also have the necessary security to enable them to share the ephemeral opportunity to appreciate being

Such a curious legacy of hope begot from my love

Lake Nagambie Walk

Trail Checklist

Name:

  • Lake Nagambie Foreshore Walk20191105_pho_LakeNagambie01

Responsible Authorities:

  • Strathbogie Shire Council
  • Goulburn Murray Water
  • Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority

Acceptable modes of transit:

  • Walk

Distance & duration

  • 3km return via High St or Lakeside Drive

GPS coordinates & map

36°47’07.8″S 145°09’11.0″E

-36.785508, 145.153068

20191112_pho_LakeNagambieMapGrading (using the Parks Vic Track and Trail Grading Manual):

Grade 2

Amenities:

  • Public toilets
  • Car parking
  • Potable water
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Playgrounds
  • Ornamental gardens
  • Platypus sightings possible under footbridge
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables and automatic bbqs
  • Shelters
  • Boat ramp
  • Water sports
  • Boardwalk
  • Side exercise trail to Blayney Lane

Hazards

Snakes, slippery surfaces, embankments, falling trees and limbs, deep water

Restrictions

  • No camping
  • Restricted alcohol consumption times

Trailhead sign

  • No

Informational Signs

  • Yes

Directional signs / bollards or trail markers

  • No

Conclusion

This pleasant walk is in current use and offers many amenities to visitors. A feature map brochure, separate to the Nagambie Tourist Map and including the Regatta Centre Walk, would encourage more people to extend their visit beyond just looking over the Lake from High Street.

Honeysuckle Creek Walk

Trail Checklist

Name:

Honeysuckle Creek Walk, Violet Town

HoneysuckleWalk02

Responsible Authority:

Authorities

  • Strathbogie Shire Council
  • Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA)

Community

  • Honeysuckle Recreational Environment Project (HREP)
  • Violet Town Action Group (VTAG)

Acceptable modes of transit:

  • Foot and cycle

Distance & duration

  • 3km as a circuit or divided into 1km or 2km loops across bridges

GPS coordinates & map

36°38’01.0″S 145°43’05.8″E

-36.633606, 145.718286

Honeysuckle

Grading (using the Parks Vic Track and Trail Grading Manual):

  • Grade 2

Amenities:

  • Multiple entry points
  • Easy car parking
  • Open parks and gardens
  • Native plantings
  • Good for bird watching
  • Picnic tables and seating
  • Informational signage
  • 4 Bridges across creek
  • Public toilets in adjacent Recreation Reserve
  • Rubbish bins in adjacent Recreation Reserve
  • Shelter in adjacent Recreation Reserve
  • Sporting facilities including swimming pool and Skate Park in adjacent Recreation Reserve
  • Caravan Park
  • Commercial centre nearby

Hazards

Snakes, tree and limb falls, flowing water, uneven ground and slippery surfaces

Restrictions

  • No camping
  • No horses
  • No dirt bikes

Trailhead sign

  • Not present

Directional signs / bollards or trail markers

  • Present, but not always and can be unclearBrochure  – HREP brochure available

Conclusion

This is an established, easy, bushy parkland walk with options for longer or shorter loops available. It is currently in frequent use by the public.

Reedy Lake

Trail Checklist

Name:

Reedy Lake Wildlife Reserve, Kirwan’s Bridge

  • At present Reedy Lake is empty of water.

ReedyLake

Responsible Authority:

  • Parks Vic

Community

  • None known

Acceptable modes of transit:

  • Walk, cycle, horse, mountain bike, dirt bike, 4WD

Distance & duration

  • 4km wide Reedy Lake Rd has four approx. 1-2km access tracks into the lake

GPS coordinates & map

36°43’31.4″S 145°07’13.8″E

-36.725397, 145.120493

ReedyLake

Grading (using the Parks Vic Track and Trail Grading Manual):

No common walking trails were found. The tracks to and around the lake are 4WD and dirt bike, heavily rutted and boggy when wet. Many peripheral tracks are being created. Controlled access along engineered dirt roads would improve this situation.

Amenities:

  • Camping
  • 4WD
  • Dirt bikes
  • Horses
  • Water activities when water is present
  • Highly significant Aboriginal cultural place
  • Significant birdwatching site
  • Diverse ecological vegetation classes within Reserve (flora)

Hazards

Snakes, tree and limb falls, slippery surfaces, getting bogged, dumped rubbish, uncontrolled camping, uncontrolled tracks and trails

Restrictions

  • Take your rubbish with you
  • No potable water
  • No toilets

Trailhead sign & Informational Signs

  • Only a one board naming sign seen

Directional signs / bollards or trail markers

  • None

Brochure 

  • None

Conclusion

At the present time, this location appears to be dominated by 4WD and dirt bikes. Tracks were impassable by other means. Dry weather would change this. No established trails for non-mechanised use were evident. Litter and dumping of rubbish was evident. Reports mention an uncontrolled camping site. This was not seen. One concrete grated wood bbq was found near one entry point. However, it did not appear to have been used and evidence of other open fires nearby suggested camping occurs in this location at random. Reedy Lake can be enjoyed by a diverse range of recreational users, particularly when water is present in the lake. However, it is also subject to abuse. Ideally, this would be corrected by planning for improvements in multi-purpose access and oversight by Parks Vic.

Ruffy Snow Gum Reserve Walking Track

Trail Checklist

SnowGumWalk Extends from Noyes Lane, Ruffy.

This track meanders down an unused road reserve through open Narrow-leaf Peppermint forest until it crosses a walking bridge and enters the Ruffy Flora Reserve. A circuit of this reserve takes you through swampy riparian woodlands dominated by ancient Mountain Swamp Gums. The path continues past a tiny population of Snow Gums, remnants of a colder climate, and skirts a chain of dark deep billabongs into bandicoot and koala territory.

Responsible Authority:

Road Reserve: Strathbogie Shire Council

Ruffy Nature Conservation Reserve: DELWP

Acceptable modes of transit:

Walk (mountain bike and horse with track improvement)

Distance & duration

3km return, 1.5hrs to the Reserve.

Additional loops could be added:

  • 4km via Bunting Hill Rd
  • 6km via Terip Church

GPS coordinates & map

36°58′4″ S 145°30′56″ E

-36.967745, 145.514873

Snowgums Trail Ruffy

Grading (using the Parks Vic Track and Trail Grading Manual):

Grade 3. Flat, but with some uneven ground and open woodland debris underfoot. Could be rated easy with trail clearance.

Amenities:

The walk commences at the Ruffy Recreation Ground, Maygar Park.

Parking at the Ruffy Recreation Ground

Shelter and picnic facilities at the Recreation Ground

Toilets at the Ruffy Recreation Ground

Horse containment at the Recreation Ground

Hazards

Tree & branch falls, uneven surfaces, bogs, flowing water, snakes

Restrictions

Take your rubbish with you

No potable water

Trailhead sign & Informational Signs

No trailhead sign in situ (there is one in poor condition that has been removed).

Directional signs / bollards or trail markers

No directional signs on nearby roads

No trail markers along the trail, but some exist within the Reserve

Brochure 

Available

Conclusion

This trail has the potential to be a key feature for visitors to Ruffy. With some basic work, it could be improved considerably.  This trail is currently accessible to walkers and is in occasional use. However, until the trail has been cleared for snake sighting, recommended use is probably best confined to the cooler months. With improvement, it would be a viable all year walking, mountain bike and horse trail.

Dreamland

Ah, my chimeric and fanciful place

A world to inhabit when I displace

Where food is abundant and water is clear

Where choices are free I’ll ne’er shed a tear

Where sharing is normal no money spent

Home is a shelter without mortgage or rent

Ideas are born to be actioned for pleasure

Actions observed for outcomes or leisure

Thinking is respected intellectual pursuit

Everyone loves and all follow suit

Where judging is absent because no one judges

Where grudges are absent because no one grudges

Where religion only follows the Gaia led path

To planetary health such joy makes me laugh

My friends are my friends conflict unknown

We simply marvel at how friendship keeps growing

A fortunate sighting

Image

RedbackIInDidgeridooThere is a Redback living in the didgeridoo. Lucky I noticed it tonight, sitting in its web just outside the mouthpiece. It nimbly disappeared inside as soon as I took the photo. The didgeridoo rarely gets used, but occasionally someone wants to give it a try. Could have been nasty! I will try to catch it and put it outside.

You know where I’m going with this (short version)

SPOKEN2019

This weekend I organised the second annual “Strathbogie has SPOKEN” event. We had 22 presenters and an audience of 50-60. This number pretty well filled our small, and acoustically delightful venue, St Andrew’s Church in Main Street. It was a seamless and fascinatingly diverse set of orations that made the two hours fly by. I kicked things off with a shortened version of the political piece below, which I wrote last year. It felt good to give written work air!

 

you know where I’m going with this

 

to the crush of high density and population growth

my oath

you and me both

with the new city millions that come

to the bustle and hum

to the high tensile strums

of the energy guns

at our heads

pay the bills or family fed?

that is the question we dread

as executive bonuses build mansions and poseurs

as the export of gas ups the home prices real fast

and don’t talk to me about electricity duplicity

so mean to me

these corporate utilities

fat cats

and multinats

squeeze me til I’m dry

then have another try

so my life is a scythe

cut the stress with a knife

kiss goodbye to the wife

and the kids and the love that I loved

for love’s sake

it’s a home bake

 

you know where I’m going with this

 

to parliament house

the joint of no nouse

of no brain

of no gain

where celebrity reigns

where the state of the nation equates with fashion

our political ration gets smaller and smaller

as narcissism, self-interest and recidivism ism their way to the fore

we want more

no!

they want more

no yore

just more

for the future is now a cash cow to be milked at the fence

of public expense

as the full and the fat suck at the teat

for the treat

of squeezed taxpayers sweet forming rivers of milk

and honey

 

or is it money?

pouring forth from a new scam

that’s rude

derived from ineptitude

it may be batts

it may be courses

they may be entrepreneurs

but they’re on the horses

bolted

after the gates have closed

 

you know where I’m going with this

 

to the US beholden

superpower

olden

folding the flag

turning for home

in the gloaming of their watch

withdrawing notch by notch

uncertain where the crotch of the matter lies

or whether their power even applies

exerting pressure as trade plies

but no so sure regarding human rights

and the rise

of the stateless states

the unreliable mates

the dates that became rapes

where the bright promising spring

quickly winged

to a cold dark winter

on the sling of David

and the Saudi flings

the belated failings

where democracy no longer sings

 

you know where I’m going with this

 

away from paradise lost

from the costs

from the Fausts

from the oppressive hosts

from the submerging coasts

to the ghosts of the past

rewritten to last

where my heart listens for hope in the sparks of principles sublime

not bereft

but to the time I have left in the cleft between life and death

in hope of nurture

in the sweet natural wealth of transparency ….. before stealth

 

you know

you know

you know where I’m going with this

My aubade

My aubade for thee

Played lovingly

Under window thine

On morning fine

Post sleepless night

Love’s tortured plight

I sing to confess

Hand on breast

 

As my music plays

I see our days

Together ahead

In love’s soft bed

Rich with the melody

Of my love for thee

 

Listen my love

At rest above

Unto me call

To climb thy wall

Open thy window

Into which I’ll go

To lie with thee

In love’s company

This is how I love you

You know how much I love you – much

I love so much to touch you – touch

Let’s not make a fuss about it – fuss

Just live and love together – just

I adore you I am all yours – adore

The more I see you the more I want you – more

Let’s spend our love together – love

Above the mundane we’ll rise – above

Be as one known one to – one

Like sun you light my world – like sun

The word from the high empyrean

Hark, hark to the word from the high empyrean

And bring with you your teeming hordes

Bow down before the ancient’s wisdom

Snatch hope from the teeth of devouring jaws

 

For dark, dark is the void of the Beezlebublean

Whose rivers of horror cross bloody fords

Whose principals are cast from demon and goblin

Where screaming of terror strikes chilling chords

 

Bark, bark the slavering hounds of hell

While nipping your ankles and corralling your soul

In fire and brimstone lose faith in death’s knell

For no death awaits you in hell’s fiery hole

 

Mark, mark aged words of the wise

From their learning of grace and all that is well

Where the choice of good versus evil applies

Ne’er beckon an offering for your soul to sell

Said Prospero, “Every third thought shall be of my grave.”

What Prospero said should not be decried

Give death its rightful standing in our lives

As a lens through which to view the good for which we strive

To ponder temporal versus the eternal that is always nigh

To elevate appreciation and despondency defy

 

And so, when vibrant youth immortality implies

When healthy vigour makes the future glisten in our eyes

When happiness is at its peak with all that it supplies

When prosperity creates opportunity many are denied

When security is such that all our fears it belies

Take a moment to remember it is only life that dies

 

Value life through death as on times fleeting wings it flies

The mind that honours death values life on high

How to quell Dragon fire

As liquescent a structure as ere had been born

Fluid in movement ancient evil forlorn

It rose from the surface as broken and torn

Through mirror like glaze the ragged head formed

 

Then took on the shape of mythological dread

The hunter and the scourge of the living and dead

Seeking blood and soul for a hunger ne’er fed

It rose every night from its hoard of a bed

 

The villages around at its mercy enslaved

To its will and its service when it sped from its cave

Deep within lake water cold as the grave

 

And it sought for its prey along tarns stoney shore

Cold hard rocks gave purchase to the legs at its fore

As snakelike behind it writhed serpentine lore

Dripping mucous dropped from the rank fetid maw

 

Scales of hard metal shed the pallid moonlight

Keen black eyed pupils pierced the night as if bright

Those who saw cringed at the terrible sight

 

Menacing and malignant beast’s cold beating heart

Razor like claws black knives of the dark

Terror inducing roar shaped the growl of blight’s bark

Spiked tail that it whipped left brutal spike’s mark

 

The villagers knew it would come just a matter of when

They planned and they schemed in their way of men

But against such a dragon who could they send?

When so many had tried and then failed again

 

One day came a stranger of the land of yore

So it seemed by his weapons and the clothes that he wore

Confidently speaking with the villagers he saw

Not intending to stay as he travelled some more

But the people saw a chance to hold him by law

And they plotted his detention by creating a score

As a bond so he’d fight at the dragon’s front door

 

A maiden they ‘suaded of rape she would cry

Of shame and dishonour and that he should die

They held him in prison for a year and a day

They said  they’d release him swore on their shades

If he’d fight the dragon and marry the maid

 

Before he would agree to do things their way

He thought and thought how the dragon he’d play

And a plan took some shape as he thought that he may

 

They fitted him with fine armour a new double edged sword

They released him to freedom as a man of his word

And he stood proud and strong in the sunlight en guarde

 

The road to the cave was hard wearing stone

The chill of the wind cut to the bone

He was cold and was tired as he advanced on beast’s throne

 

The dragon saw him come as many had before

It counted the notches three score and four

It drooled and it schemed as it watched from haunt’s core

 

The stranger he’d come from the land of the Goth

Where courage and valour were never enough

Shrewdness and cunning were part of his troth

His weary limbs clambered to the lake mountain loft

 

He spelled at the mouth of the ravager’s chamber

Took sustenance, slept and awoke with more vigour

For the maid who truly loved him gave magicked liquor

 

He advanced down the passage to scents of rot and despair

Knowing his fate awaited down there

Each step his last as he rounded each corner

Each shelter inadequate behind massive boulders

 

Fetid smoke clung to the walls and ceiling of each room

Grey light only to guide him through darkness and gloom

With the breathing of the dragon loud all to soon

His sense of foreboding filled the space as a tomb

 

Then the roof disappeared the walls out of sight

A gilded shape on the floor sparked as stars in the night

And the massiveness of the creature depicted such might

The stranger sang noble songs to himself to fend off his fright

 

Apparently sleeping he skirted the great shape

Hidden partially by his stealth and the grey of his cape

He sought out a soft spot near the neck or the nape

As he held out his sword and shielded behind plate

 

The dragon knew he was there as a dog knows a flea

Playing fearlessly with the stranger nonchalantly

Arrogant in its power of vast energy

To kill with a furnace quick violent deadly

 

The dragon’s eye was a slit tracking the moves of the stranger

The stranger was calming unaware of the danger

As he prowled and he sought with the skills of a ranger

The dragon plotted its move as for a babe in a manger

 

A flick of the tongue burnt much as acid

A drop of saliva turned all fresh meat rancid

The tip of its tail was as sharp as a lance head

It’s chances of murder it very much fancied

 

The stranger noted the eye movement below the eyelid

He realised under veil of sleep a wakeful dragon hid

And he thought of his plan to play the dragon with a bid

 

He called to the dragon. “I know you are awake you cunning thing

And I think I can beat you, of lake mountain I’ll be king

Because I have something you have not, a secret magic ring

The only way to use it is with the magic words I sing

 

Now the greedy dragon was curious and true to dragon lore

It  wanted answers fast it cut to the core

Because if there is one thing a dragon must have to adore

It is the thing it hasn’t got because a dragon always wants more

 

The dragon gave up its ruse of gentle breath and sleeping

It stirred its mighty body to a better position for peeping

It opened its emerald eye to seek the ring it should be keeping

And followed the agile stranger over dragon’s hoard leaping

 

The ring he said I hold with me has power to turn lead to gold

If you can sing the song of the ring I’ll bring it from its fold

And you will have riches beyond all the riches of times old

But in exchange for the ring I challenge you, your fire must go cold

 

Three questions you can ask me to learn the words to sing

If you learn the words I’ll give up the power of the ring

If you don’t you will give me what the people want to know

How to quell your fire until it’s cold as snow

 

The dragon thought on this and being arrogant and mighty

It took up the challenge knowing it’s  intelligence to be weighty

To beat a human would come easily and the ring it did so want

There was no fear of losing when it was effectively savant

 

Question 1 Where are the songs words to be found that I might read them?

Answer 1  They are unwritten in my memory is where I keep them

Question 2 What do they say that I might use them for myself?

Answer 2 They say that only I may use them or give them for another’s health

Question 3 When my health is so good, how may I learn the song please?

Answer 3 When you ask without threat and villager’s wishes you appease

 

The dragon considered pondered deep long and ready to refute

Then It came to a decision to make the whole discussion moot

Why not agree to these conditions accept riches share the wealth?

After all it had so much was tired of loneliness and stealth

Not to mention it still had home hearth and many years of health

 

I withdraw the threat of storming fire and death

If you share the rings secret I will quell my breath

If we can all manage this land without suffering for all

I will accept the people’s offer I answer yes  to their call

 

Th stranger sighed the deepest sigh ever heard from any man

As the weight of responsibility lifted and he raised his hand

Friend dragon unto you I make this oath.

We will share the wealth of our land from coast to coast

 

With that he turned to go to find his way back

Aware that the peace of the land was now a fact

A new purpose was in him with promise of a new life

Ahead lay a new community a new home a new wife

And he sang the song of the ring as he wearily trudged to the town

As each foot passed the other as each mile passed going down

 

“I sing the song of the power ring

For turning lead into gold

The ring that sings of powerful things

That only the truest can hold

For lead be lead and gold be gold

And none can change the two

Except the one who can answer the question of

How to share wealth away from the few?”