Near the finish line

© PJ Croft 2023

Aaaah, another warm 26degC day in our Indian summer, 18 days into autumn and only a couple of weeks away from the start of winter. The seasons have definitely shifted – summer starts later, i.e. well into December, and as I say, it stays warm right through autumn. As well, Perth used to be a really windy city. I hated it.

I really noticed the difference when I went overseas, how calm it was. What’s happened is that the wind band called the Roaring Forties, which used to stretch up over the lower half of the state, has shifted south. That’s fine by me, because as I say, it’s much calmer here now, but it also means we don’t get as many of the rain bearing cloud fronts driven across the lower south west of WA, so less rain.

This happened quite suddenly, 1977 in fact. I clearly remember going on a trip to England in about April that year, and talking to people in pubs about the fact that it hadn’t rained in Perth for four months. Four months! To a Pom, that was remarkable. Or maybe they were just humouring me. Yeah, I think so.


Di’ja watch the coronation? I’ll confess that even though I’m a confirmed republican, even being a member of the ARM, the Australian Rupublican Movement, I still love the pageantry, the colour and the music of the British ceremonies. I started watching when the broadcast started at 3pm our time on the Saturday, and I stayed with it right through to the end at around 11pm our time. I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but I loved it. In fact I even recorded an edited highlights program, 1h 40m long, and I’ve watched about half of that. What a soft headed fool I am.

I couldn’t help noticing how soft and vulnerable Charlie looked. He didn’t have much to do so all he could do was sit there and keep his mouth shut, which he did. It was also very noticeable how much lower Camilla ranked in the proceedings. Although she can’t complain, going from commoner to Queen, she was definitely an “accessory after the fact”.

One point was that, being a fan of George Frideric Handel’s music, I’ve heard Zadok the Priest scores of times, but I didn’t realise how important it is in these royal ceremonies. Handel lived from 1685 to 1759 so the piece was written and performed after the time of Charles the 1st, (1600 to 1649). It has been performed at every coronation since then.

Did you know that Handel and Johan Sebastian Bach were contemporaries? Both were born in 1685 in Germany but moved to London, which was very much a centre of classical music then. Handel’s middle name is Frideric, by the way, not Frederick.

Of course, Shakespeare had lived around that time too, 1564 to 1616, so London was rich with literature and music.


I’m having trouble typing this piece. My computer is really struggling, and it’s a poerful computer. I’m converting six video clips that I downloaded from YouTube from .MKV format to .MP4 format and it’s using all eight cores of my CPU flat out. Everything else is being slowed down under the load. The software tells me there’s 3h and 20mins to go. It’s been going for 40 mins so far. I’m wondering if I should drop one or two of the pieces and do them later.

They’re clips of the UK ceremonial military bands and troops marching for Charlie’s coronation. I’m doing it because I love this marching music and because a friend is coming tomorrow and he’s bringing some of his slide shows to watch on my 4K Ultra Hi-def TV.

I’m hoping to persuade him to get one or more of his three sons to come here and help me with some of the physical stuff I’m doing. I find I’m struggling these days. I find it very hard to get down low and I’m at constant risk of tripping and falling. I tire very easily too. I’m sleeping ten hours a night and another hour or two during the day too. That’s not good.

I have many small jobs to do, but I’m struggling to do them. I need help. I’ll offer things in exchange. I have a lot of electronic stuff to give away.

in fact, surprisingly, my friend said all his sons are converts to film photography. One has even bought a vintage Hasselblad. That’s an expensive camera, even used!


I think my kitchen ceiling repairs are finally finished, after three months! A guy came this morning (at 7:15am!) to install some insulation in the ceiling to replace the “blow-in” rockwool that was lost in the leak.

I think that completes the work, at last. It’s not as nice as it used to be, but it can’t be helped. The kitchen LED down-lights are flush with the timber panels, instead of being recessed, but no-one who wasn’t familiar with the way it was would notice. They’re on a dimmer now, so that’s good. I wasn’t aware – in my day (say 20-30 years ago), a dimmer was a separate switch panel, but now it’s a snap-in replacement for the switch in a standard switch plate. You still need to be an electrician to swap the wires over, but apart from that it’s two minute job. Easy. I didn’t know that.

The insurance company, NRMA, are willing to accept that the demise of my dishwasher was caused by the water and rockwool insulation getting into the motor, and will add it onto the payout. Good one! I’ve been quite pleased with NRMA’s insurance coverage – they’ve done it all. I’m quite happy. Recommended.



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