Living in the 70s

“Living in the 70’s”* is the name of a song and an album released in 1974 under the Mushroom label by the Australian band Skyhooks. The writings in this section will not be about the 1970s but reflect on the nature of the human condition and age. Thus the words of the song resonate with the insecurities and challenges of entering the septuagenarian years:

I’m livin’ in the 70’s
I feel like I lost my keys
Got the right day but I got the wrong week….

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Catch a bus – governments driving climate inaction are too reckless

I keep getting this feeling that things will never be the same again, that we are like passengers in a car with a reckless driver skidding out of control at speed towards a tree.

In the fifties and sixties, my mother would talk about the 1930s fires that devastated Victoria, of “Black Friday” – 20 or 30 years earlier. Just think about the devastating fires of the past 20 years, or the last 10, or the last 5: Sydney surrounded by fire devastating suburbs, Victoria, the Blue Mountains this year (2014), a suburb wiped out in the Canberra fires some years ago, Tasmania in the 1960s, Dunalley in Tasmania last year that still brings tears to people’s eyes when they talk of it, the 1980s Ash Wednesday fires in Victoria and standing in our Melbourne backyard with ashes falling from the sky from fires 150 km away. I experience the run of mid 40s temps reaching 47C in the shade on my friends verandah near Mildura before Christmas. Continue reading

The centre and south of Italy escaped the worst of Europe’s “Beast from the East”

The advantage in choosing central Italy to live was borne out during the week’s snow and ice from Il Burian that closed schools and universities in Perugia for a day.

Until two days ago, getting out and about was treacherous. Then on Thursday after a relatively sunny day, it snowed again in the middle of the night. However, rain started on Friday morning and the place became relatively safer for getting around for us older folk for whom a slip can mean sore limbs. Continue reading