Bunker bulldust day 220

Hot town, summer in the city
Back ‘my neck gettin’ dirty and gritty

Phew, 35C yesterday. I slept most of the night on top of the covers and with the fan blowing on me. I’ve started the cold showers again. I love it. What a change. Only a few weeks ago I was complaining of cold fingers.

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I was very surprised when I answered a doorbell on Saturday morning to see the young lady who was my Silver Chain cleaner for all last year. In that time we became quite good friends and after she finished up in January this year to move back to her country home town, she started writing me letters. Totally innocent, I assure you, but I am very flattered. We’ve exchanged three letters and I didn’t expect to see her again, but on Saturday, there she was. It was just for a visit, but since she was in Perth with a friend in High Wycombe, she did the 50 minute drive up here to see me. In her current model Mazda MX-5, I might add.

We talked and talked and had coffee at the Dome and I was glowing with pleasure. I am hugely flattered. She’s only 23, don’t get any ideas, but …

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Damn! Target at Clarkson has closed down. Sure, it’s not a very up-market store but I found some good clothes there in my size, 4XL. It wasn’t a big range but I found enough to satisfy me. As well, they stocked my jocks, boxer shorts that is, in my size 5-6XL. I used to buy a pair (you got two on a hanger for $18) even if I didn’t immediately need them just so they would know that I’m still buying. I used to mention this to the checkout ladies and ask them to pass it on to the manager. I’m not sure if that did any good (ho ho ho) but they stayed in stock.

We still have K-Mart left but they stop at 3XL. I’ve never been able to buy underwear there, not in many years anyway. I might have to start stamping my foot.

This is just another example of the way we are losing things. As we’re supposed to be advancing in quality of life, at the same time so many things are closing down. We used to have Carlo’s Italian Cafe just down the street from me ever since I’ve been here, 2013, but it changed hands and the new owners changed it to a parmies and chips type of menu, but they closed up about four months ago. There are two other empty shops on that side of the street. The Westpac bank on the other side is gone. The newsagent reduced their shelf size by half a couple of years ago, and now it’s been cut in half as a shop, too, making it cramped.

At my Trigg location we used to have a small shopping centre down the street, with a large IGA grocer, a good newsagent, a women’s clothing shop and a small but good hardware shop. If I needed screws or a paintbrush or sandpaper, it was ideal.

Then in the other part there was a greengrocer, a great fish and chip shop, quite a good deli and an op shop.

And a service station! Full mechanical workshop. Good service and advice.

But in the late ’80s it was all wiped away. The land was more valuable for redevelopment, so they bulldozed it all and built units. Pah!!

This is the pattern. There are no small interesting shops any more; they are all franchises or chain stores. Banks are closing branches as fast as they can. Everything is in the big shopping malls like Karrinyup and Joondalup. Except that HBF has just advised that their Joondalup branch is closed down. Bah! I didn’t need it more than a few times a year, but I did need it.

I suppose it’s just a part of getting older.

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I heard a good radio interview yesterday on Conversations on Radio National, with a British woman who’s written a book called The Salt Path. It describes her and her husband’s adventure after they went into a financial deal that fell apart and they lost their house. Suddenly at age 60 approx. they had no house and no money. This was in South Wales in the UK.

At the same time the husband, with the curious name of Moth, was diagnosed with a terminal brain disease called CBD, Cortical Basal Deterioration. No treatment, no cure. Given two years, with declining brain function. Wow, talk about a double whammy!

They just had enough money (GBP85) to buy a tent, a couple of cheap sleeping bags, a small stove and rucksacks. That left them with about GBP30, which is not much!

For some reason, they decided to just set out walking a track around the south west of England, from the north side of Devon to Land’s End (been there!) along the Cornwall coast (been there) to Dorset. They had no money for campsites so had to camp wild, usually after dark so they wouldn’t be seen as wild camping is not legal. They would sometimes wake in the morning with an entirely different idea of where they were.

Anyway, they made it in three months, often relying on the kindness of strangers and finally found a stranger who wanted an old farm, a cider apple orchard brought back from the derelict state. Ideal.

The thing is, the walking did wonders for Moth’s health. For both of them, really, but it seemed to cause Moth’s brain disease to almost go into remission. Yeah, we hear this often don’t we? The benefits of exercise for the body.

Anyway, I found the talk so interesting that I found the book on Amazon and I’ve ordered it ($20.35 and post free on Amazon Prime, for which I pay an annual fee. I also found it on Booktopia, the Aussie store, but it was $33 plus postage, probably about $10. I like to support Aussie stores but $20 vs $43? Too much difference.)

Which reminds me, last week I got the urge to read “Raj Koothrappali’s” book, Yes, My Accent is Real and Other Things I Haven’t Told You. This Kunal Nayyar, the actor who plays Raj in the Big Bang Theory.

The point is, I found it on Amazon last Monday, ordered it at $30 and as a Prime purchase, post free, and it arrived on Wednesday. Amazing.

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I think I mentioned my 13 year old worker – he’s just texted me asking if he can come again. Yes! I said, tomorrow. I’m very pleased with his work. I set him doing the front last Thursday and he did an excellent job in two hours. Excellent. I’m very pleased. That was probably the hardest thing I need done. The jobs left to do are not as hard or boring.

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