In unitate robur est

Galahs in Trigg Bushland. Fuji S100fs, 2008 © PJ Croft

In unity there is strength. My motto from now on. Unions rule, OK!


Wow, I have never been happier that I don’t live in America (and that I don’t risk falling pregnant, of course 🙂 ). What do you do when the highest court in the land, the last, highest step in government, turns its back on you and reveals itself to be biased, partisan, unworthy of trust and respect? How do you have hope, when there is no-one left to turn to? How can you respect an institution when its members reveal themselves to have lied in their confirmation hearings, yet are appointed for life, with no requirement to retire and almost no prospect of removal? I’m talking of the US Supreme Court, of course.

I’ve been saying for years that the United States has gone insane, and the events of the past week have proved it.

This would normally a matter for a shrug of the shoulders, but this is the most militaristic country on Earth, armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. We must absolutely fear that the madman-in-chief, Trump, could be re-elected President, and he would be very, very vengeful. We must fervently hope that the congressional committee examining the January 6 insurrection finds that he has committed crimes and successfully prosecutes him, thereby preventing any chance of his re-election.

I can only grieve for the USA. It is absolutely filled with fine, talented and upright people, but it is also filled with religious nut cases who have managed to subvert the processes of government. I’m telling my cousins over there, “Get out of there! Save yourselves.” They are US citizens, but they also have Australian citizenship, so they could emigrate here, as far as I know. Run, my cousins, because there is going to be a civil war in the USA. I know I can never visit there again, much as I would like to.


It’s not just the USA. I’m sorry to say that I really believe we are on the edge of a global catastrophe, the end of civilisation, in fact. Global heating, plastic pollution, species extinction, ocean degradation, deforestation, war, madmen such as Putin, Xi Jinping, Bolsonaro, Bojo Johnson. Forest fires, floods, storms and cyclones. Methane pollution.

Especially wars. I seriously think that we are on the verge of a nuclear war in Ukraine and Russia. This is the worst risk that I have ever known in my 75 years, worse than the USSR Cold War. Putin is mad enough to think he’d be able to get away with a tactical nuclear warhead or two.

Perhaps that would be for the best. Wipe the Earth clean with a global nuclear war, so that the Earth can start again. I won’t be around to see it, but I grieve for the younger generation.


I’ve just had a cup of coffee made in my new Aldi Expressi capsule coffee machine. I’ve had it a week and I can’t say I like it very much.

It doesn’t heat the water enough for my liking. I feel I need to put the resulting coffee into the microwave to add heat, which is annoying. Otherwise it gets cold too fast.

But mainly, it’s odd. There are only three buttons on the front, two cups sizes and a third button which looks like an ice cream cone. This is a pre-heat/rinse button, and you must press it before the other two buttons are available. It pushes a small amount of water through first, maybe 50ml, taking about 20 secs. At first I threw this water away, but now I’m leaving it in the cup and using the other button to add the largest cup amount on top. I still have to press that button twice to get a cupfull. Odd. I must admit, I haven’t read the rather full instruction book … I’d better reserve judgement.

I am so annoyed that my multi-capsule machine has died. I have a cabinet full of different sized capsules (e.g. Nespresso, Caffitaly) which I can’t use now.


I’m very annoyed also, at receiving a WhatsApp phone message just now.

I haven’t said so, but my six year liaison with my Austrian partner Veronika died completely a couple of months ago and ‘we don’t talk no more’. One of the ways we used to talk on many occasions, almost nightly in fact, was by WhatsApp. So when I saw the message a few minutes ago headed, “Hi dear”, I got quite excited. Was I forgiven?

But no, it was a damned solar power company trying to sell me solar panels! Bloody hell, how did they get my WhatsApp number? I went to send a nasty reply, but got a screen asking me what I wanted to do, and so I blocked their number.

But hell, I was disappointed. Six years! We had our rough times, Veronika and I, but I thought we were set for the long haul. No, she took offence at something I said, as usual, (it’s almost impossible not to upset her) and signed off, saying she just wants “peace of mind”. I am very, very sad, heartbroken in fact. Although she is, as I said, almost impossible to live with, I still wanted to live with her at least part of the time. We had some great times together. It worked well – neither of us wanted a full time live-in housemate, so a long distance relationship was ideal for both of us.

But the last time I saw her was August 2019. Then she went back to Vienna on a routine visit, got caught up with a knee replacement, then the COVID came along and she couldn’t leave. She ended up spending three winters there. She’s back in Bali now, but won’t come here no matter what inducements I offer. Kaput. It’s a great pity Veronika. You are the most difficult person to get along with I’ve ever met, yet I still wanted you. You push me away.

It’s a great pity. She had a terrible upbringing, abused by her parents, especially her father (now deceased) from her earliest age, and other men in her life. She grew up full of hurt, pain and anger, anger especially at men. From what she told me, I’m not surprised and I fully understood. I wanted to help, but it was almost impossible to establish and maintain trust. She has a metaphorical suit of armour that clangs shut at the slightest sign that she might be hurt. I managed to keep it open for some long periods, but sixty years of pain and hurt was too strong. Clang!


Two weeks today. That’s how long the Peugeot has been at the RAC workshops. I’ll be up for parking charges before much longer.

Every day I await a phone call to tell me it’s fixed and ready, but nothing so far. They told me last week that it needed another cooling system hose which had to come from “the East”, but I’ve heard nothing since. The only good thing is that I don’t yet have to pay the final bill. The total cost, including a full service, is going to be around $1200. Ouch!


I’m suffering from a pain in my left side, bad enough that I need to take pain relief until I can get in to see the doc next Monday (it takes a week to get an appointment these days! That’s too long!!)

I have ordinary paracetemol and that helps a bit, but it’s not enough. I also have paracetemol + codeine and that works pretty well. Trouble is, it’s another drug that interferes with my sleep. I never used to have this trouble, but now I’m having real trouble with several drugs I should be taking, but can’t for this reason.

It’s very clear cut – when I don’t take these medications I drop off very easily, within 5 – 10 minutes. But having taken the Pro-deine today, I reckon I’ll be able to count on an almost sleepless night tonight.