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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Sunday 16 February 2003 (Day View)

16.02.2003Sunday 16 February

I had another quiet day. Mum went to town and got out “Lord of the Rings – Fellowship of the Ring”, which is still an overnight hire. I had a midday nap. I went for my daily walk down to the Home Rule Bridge. We watched “True Lies” – and that about sums up another day in the life of Ned Martin. I wouldn’t mind one of those Harrier jets for personal use; although I’ve got a feeling they’d have a nice sized fuel bill. Half way through the movie a large beetle walked up onto the mouse wheel and paused the movie. I couldn’t help but wonder how city folk would handle this remote life. The beetle is over three inches long and looks remarkably like Darth Vader. Earlier a large snake-like lizard (which Mum mistook for a snake) startled Mum by running out from under the stove while she was cooking. This reminds me of a while back, a few years ago during the wet season. My sister, Bianca and I used to go tubing down the creek when it was flooded. This time we took along another girl – Gillian. She had just arrived from Melbourne a few weeks before, having lived all her life in the city. Once in the water she was too scared to get out without Bianca. There were too many scary things that could be out there. Anything from killer cows to woman-eating beetles, snakes, lizards, grasshoppers, biting ants... to her it was just too scary to be in the bush alone. To us it wasn’t even bush, it was just the creek bank, right near the road and not at all scary. I have been “out bush”, several hours from anywhere else, and hurrying home through the gathering dusk hoping to make it back while I can still see where I’m going. I’ve never yet got stuck out bush, but it has been close. A few times I’ve had to feel my way back along the road once I get out of the jungle. After that I took to taking a torch. I’ve even been a few hours into the jungle after midnight with only small maglights – I doubt a lot of city folk could handle that. The thick darkness, the omnipresent rustles, the myriads of unseen movements all around – a dingo howls in the distance, sounding worse than any movie ghost. A catbird screams overhead, so like a woman being murdered that they still startle me – and something large rustles by in the bush. Glowing mushrooms light up the tree trunks, whole areas of ground glow softly in some areas. Fireflies move through the trees like lost souls, sometimes flashing, sometimes staying lit and sometimes flying up close and bright – they can be bright enough to read by. I got good at walking in the dark. I could sense where a root would be (occasionally before I tripped); sometimes I would even manage to see the tiny but deadly wait-a-while tendrils in moonbeams which penetrated dimly through the thick canopy, before they could rip into me. I was always worried that one would get me in the eye and puncture my eyeball, as I had plenty get me on the forehead. I took to wearing a beret to keep them out of my hair. The spikes have a nasty habit of snapping off under the skin and going septic. I guess I must have been crazy. No sane person would walk around in the jungle at 2 AM. But I enjoyed it.
It is raining a little. It has, in fact, been wet for a few weeks now but we still haven’t had any flooding and our rainfall is down quite a lot on the average. If we don’t get more rain soon it looks to be a grim dry season, with the water table already low from the past years lower than average wet seasons and the almost non-existent wet season last year.

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