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Archive for January, 2016

Wise words and a very balanced view…

Nick Earls

Recently, it seemed as if half the people I knew were skiing in Japan, while I was close to home, in various parts of southeast Queensland. I had little to complain about – it was a mix of short beach holidays and staying at other people’s houses while our floors were re-surfaced, and every place had airconditioning, a pool, etc, etc. I had it good. But was everyone else having it better?

That’s what Facebook told me. Even without meaning to. Even when not one of the people involved meant to.

The lives of my peers were defined by awesome wintry vistas, mad grinning on chairlifts, more mad grinning apres ski. And my life appeared not to be.

Not so long ago on Facebook I saw a post by a writer I admire (talented writer, smart person), who said she’d just had Facebook envy when glancing over her partner’s shoulder…

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Legacies

That’s why I write… I hope my words will be important to my children – and theirs…

SOCIAL BRIDGE ~ Jean Tubridy connecting with you from Ireland

I guess everyone leaves a legacy of some description, at least, I’d like to think that they have the opportunity and that they have people who remember them long after they have passed on.

2016-01-28 18.43.23 The Flow of Words

One man who left a wonderful legacy to the world was Irish Nobel Laureate, William Butler Yeats, who died on January 28th, 1939.

His poetry lives with me every single day as it is etched in my heart and mind.

So many poems to choose from but this one never fails to calm me:

THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from…

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How to Track a Poacher 101

They do such an important job!

Fight for Rhinos

southern africa wildlife college photo: Southern Africa Wildlife College

Rangers are taught “basic training” in a short 6-8 week period of time. During this general training they learn

  • animal identification and behavior
  • bird identification
  • plant and grass identification
  • how to recognize and manage soil erosion
  • general patrol techniques
  • bush craft
  • bush survivalTracker training 4
  • first aid

This is a lot to take in during a short amount of time. Once employed, they study and learn on-the-job with senior rangers. During their time with a reserve, there is constant in-house training to enhance or maintain their skills. Additional outside training is welcomed, but can be more costly.

Rangers have some familiarity in animal tracking, but humans are  another kind of animal. Poachers are an ever-present danger. Due to the increase and intensity of poaching, it is absolutely essential for rangers to learn how to track them within their area.

Tracker training 2Tracker training by Colin Patrick Training.

Human (or poacher) tracking teaches them

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joondalup_railway_line#/media/File:Mitchell_Freeway_100_N_Stirling_Civic_with_train.jpg

Mitchell Freeway photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The train I catch to the city rides on a railway line between the North and South lanes of the Mitchell Freeway.  I loved gazing at the cars streaming on their way to or from work.  Comfortable in the air-conditioned, clean and very fast, with someone-else-driving carriage, I filled my notebooks as other commuters wondered what I was saying about them.

Short stories and poems written on my train journeys between Edgewater Station and Perth City, appeared in my book  Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey  and later  separately, in my Rail Tales chapbook. (Both books are sold out.)

Trips into Town.

However, there is a game I play on my way to work. Wearing my HBF corporate uniform, another day of routine smiles and customer queries beckons.

When the no-name monotony gets too much, I shrug off that persona and step into my imagination.

On the most normal and usual of journeys to and from work, strange things happen because I wear the seahorse broach my son gave me for my birthday. It seems that when I touch it, caress it, the cold metal seems to warm.

I can actually feel his love, the time he took to find exactly the right broach, the money he saved and his joy when I opened the wrapping, laughing and smiling with obvious delight.

A different me seemed to take over: moveable me, a nebulous entity able to drift like an invisible tide on air thick with wanting. I could change my life – become someone else by feeling envy or wishing for what others seemed to have…

Though the first time it happened, I was terrified.

Work at the Bank held no attraction that day.  In fact, I had finished up the previous day out of balance, fully expecting my pretentious I-play-the-game supervisor to take me to task.  Not a workday to look forward to.

So with the announcement “Next station Perth”, I was focusing my energies on someone who seems to have it all.

As we squealed into the Leederville Tunnel, the lights flickered then dimmed. I don’t know why but in that fraction of black, a thrill of anticipation ran through me.

The last person I concentrated on wore a lot of good jewellery, expensive clothes, bag and shoes.  She was attractive, with immaculate nails.  When the lights burned fully again, I was wearing the expensive clothes, lots of jewellery and immaculate nails. I had shed myself, metamorphosed into this perfect being.

What next?

Unlimited credit cards, meeting a friend for lunch on The Terrace, more shopping – check out the bank account and then, pop into the Italian jewellery for a new bracelet. I would of course decline dinner at the Hyatt because I have to get back to feed my cat.

Do I still have a cat?  Who’ll feed Soxies?

This dream couldn’t last and I had to try to return to my own skin but first, I had to find myself.  A creature of habit, I make sure I get the same train every night, waiting in the usual place on Platform 2 with sore feet and tired stance.

Just managing to board before the doors swished shut, I gratefully sat down. As the carriage pulled away from the station, I placed ‘her’ handbag between my feet.

We swayed to the left and the lights flickered then dimmed. There’s the fraction of black again and I concentrated, staring at ‘myself’ two seats away, firmly clutching Angela’s purchases.

It couldn’t really happen. My family would wonder how I managed to acquire such gorgeous clothes and new jewellery on my wage. They’d think I had a secret admirer and why weren’t they told?

They don’t know about the games I play to relieve the boredom. 

It’s all in my head of course…

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2001

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:HiddenCapacity  #BOOK:RailTales  #Prose&Poetry  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #TrainStories  #RidingTheRails  #TrainWriting  #TrainStories

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Excellent lesson from one of the best…

http://www.savethecat.com/podcasts/save-the-cat-podcast-blake-snyder-explains-his-story-beats-part-one

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BlakeSnyder  #SaveTheCat  #Podcasts  #WritingForScreen

 

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Tripping the light fantastic…

Inspiring City

Lumiere London saw the city transformed with light sculptures brightening up some of the city’s best loved landmarks.

The festival organised by the arts charity Artichoke and sponsored by the great and good saw an estimated one million people visit to see the show.  Crowds packed out spots in Kings Cross, Grosvenor Square, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly, Leicester Square and Westminster to get a look at some of the works of art which were showing for one long weekend only.

Rushing round London on a chilly Sunday evening is how I chose to visit the show and there was no way I was going to see everything although I did manage to give it a good go. The works ranged from the small and compact to the big and bold with every one different from the other and each a treat to stumble across.

It’s the third time Artichoke have exhibited…

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@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #WildLifeAtHeart   #ILoveRhinos  #ILoveElephants  #ILoveWildlife

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