For the last 2 years I have been in Europe at this time of the year.
May 1st, 2008 I was in Appenzellerland, Switzerland and travelled to Liechtenstein while back in 2007 I was with my sister in Paris and went to Chartres and the cathedral. The night before we had attended a string concert playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons in the glorious La Chapelle followed by dinner in St Germain.
Therefore it is a bit of a letdown to be home this year. I should be preparing the house and garden for sale but we have had an unusually early cold snap. The weather is ridiculous with the hottest temperatures on record back in January leading to the disastrous bushfires down south and now some areas are having the coldest April temperatures on record and the earliest snowfalls in 13 years.
I know I am moving to a colder area but I will certainly look for a house which is easier to heat. My present home has open plan lounge, dining, kitchen with halls and high ceilings (split level home) all needing to be heated just for me. The cheaper alternative is to go into the bedroom and read.
The ensuite renovation is now finished and the main bedroom painted with new vertical blinds but I have not yet put everything back, much is still on the floor of the 2nd bedroom.
The landscaping is finally finished, it took 3 months but I have to do final touches with new soil and plantings and the cold weather has been a deterrent there.
I cannot see anyone buying this cold house in winter so will now leave it until August to contact agents. At the moment the leaves are turning and there is a good display of sasanqua camellias and nerines but they will soon be finished and there will be just bare branches. In August the spring bulbs will be appearing followed by the blossoms and azaleas to attract a buyer (I hope).
Meanwhile the financial news has been improving. My super funds finally began to go back up in March and early April but have stalled again now, not helped by the flu scare. I moved them to a conservative position over a year ago which helped but did not stop their decline, others have lost far more. I now have to decide if and when to move them back to take more advantage of any rise. I think I need to wait a bit longer.
I have been offered 2 days work per week for 6 weeks starting the week after next. It is a school where I enjoy working although I do not like the 60km each way drive and it will be difficult as I have not worked for nearly 18 months.
I may not have much time to read or write blogs while working.
I do recommend Rev Susan Russell's sermon from last Sunday. "Let No One Deceive You". She has really excelled herself there.
Also the writings of Maithri from Swaziland. The Soaring Impulse are inspiring.
I feel very guilty when I sometimes feel a little down. My life has been so lucky. I have had very little illness. I am a little concerned about the flu epidemic, having just had my yearly vaccine which was free this year due to my age. The last time I had the flu was on 10th September, 2001 and I was in bed the day of 9/11 or rather on the couch watching TV that dreadful day. The vaccine each year since has prevented my previous regular occurrence at least every second year. I would prefer to keep it that way. However why should I complain when I read of the people with whom Maithri is working. If possible I would encourage you to assist him in his work through the paypal link on his site.
Finally some photos in my garden taken on May 1.
Peter Ball sentenced
1 hour ago