Comin’ along

The Aussie Alps? Central Australia. The Guardian, May 2021

Phwooaaar, another beautiful 24deg “winter” day; cloudless blue sky, no wind. It’s only 10 days to winter but it’s still T-shirt weather.


Speaking of which:

Angle of sunrise and sunset at 21 March each year, the equinox.
Angle of sunrise and sunset at 21 June each year, the winter solstice.
Angle of sunrise and sunset at 21 Dec each year, the summer solstice.

This is a web calculator where you can input your own location, or any other location on the planet, and see these results. I find it very interesting, especially the colour of the light at various times.


It’s day 9 since my skin cancer operation and it’s coming along OK.

At 20/5/21

My GP says this is “healing well”. It started to bleed on the evening of day two and was pretty messy and painful for 24hrs, then it stopped and has been OK since. Although it looks bad, it’s not painful. The wound where they took the skin graft, on my chest near my right armpit, is a bit more sore, but tolerable.

However, I’ve noticed that he seems to have cut the facial nerve or muscle such that I have a drooping eye and eyebrow, now. I can’t raise this eyebrow any more. When I point it out to people, they say, “Oh, yeah, I didn’t notice it until you pointed it out.” It’s OK. I’m not vain at my age.

I’m awaiting a call from the surgeon to have a review and the stitches removed, after about a month, I think.


I mentioned that I was reading the Kindle versions of a series of six books about a hypothetical World War 3. Well, wow, EPIC! I’ve finished them all, each about 500 pages, so that is one massive book in total. The sequence is: Ukraine; Korea; The Pacific; Taiwan; Russia; and China.

The writing is not high literature, in fact it’s almost comic at times – “Ratatat ratatat blam, bang, BOOM!” Seriously, that’s the way he writes. It certainly does convey the pace of war, though, and the sheer hard slog and terror of the soldiers in the trenches and bunkers.

We Aussies get plenty of mentions, attacking and taking Jakarta when Indonesia joins forces with China. Unfortunately, the Indos don’t have the equipment or the training and are ineffectual as fighters. Then Aussie and NZ troops are used to take on India, both in the north of China and then on their home soil. India also fights with Russia in Europe but Allied airpower puts them out.

As you can imagine, more than 3,000 pages allows for tremendous breadth of storyline, including detailed strategy and tactics. Despite the, at times, pedestrian writing, it held my attention, especially as it became more technical in describing the use of drones for wide area internet after China knocks out all the world’s satellites. The authors write convincingly of the way the US overcomes this slight roadblock.

I’m impressed enough that I’ve gone on to the next two books called The Monroe Doctrine vol. 1 & 2. They only cost $5.99 as Kindle downloads. Very useful.


Hmmm, I’m struggling with fatigue and lack of energy these days. Also muscle weakness. I can hardly stand up sometimes. I’m having to nap for about 2hrs a day. I’ve made an appointment to see the haematologist re the CLL. I don’t think there’s anything that can be done, but, what would I know.


I think I’ve mentioned before that for the past 15 – 18 months, my reticulation controller box on the side of my house has been home to a nest of wasps. There’s a hole on the swing-out cover and they got in and built a nice mud nest.

As long as I was careful and slow moving, they didn’t mind me opening the cover but I didn’t like it much and wanted them gone. I especially didn’t like the mess they made all over the control panel with their yellow poo. I thought of schemes to make them leave, but didn’t actually do anything.

Anyway, this morning I thought I’d better switch the reticulation off for the winter sprinkler bans, so I slowly opened the door to the controller. I heard a bit of a rattle as I did so and as I swung the door open, the nest detached itself and fell down onto the ground at my feet. The wasps all came swarming out and I thought, “Oh, shit!” But I stayed still and although they were flying around me, they took no offence and the swarm dissipated. I slowly reached out and switched the controller off, then slowly closed the door again on what seemed to be the sentry wasp, sitting there and not swayed.

So I moved slowly away and I hope they will decide to find a new home somewhere else. I’ll check again later to see if they’re gone.