The stories about Carson’s Pond had been around for years. It was stinky, dangerous and harboured evil creatures that if they caught you would eat out your eyes.
It was all part of the myth of the pond. Crazy Colin had fallen in as a child and was never the same again.
It was a shame that over the years people showed their contempt by throwing things into the pond. It was thought the bottom of the pond was a treasure in itself.
Despite its foreboding reputation, it was a place we liked to picnic at. There was never anyone there. It was very relaxing even though at times there would be the odd burst of bubbles from its depths, followed by a curious bit distinct burp and a more than audible “excuse me.”
We would munch our sandwiches and pretend we hadn’t heard anything.
There was a rumour going around that a killer tide was coming in.
So everyone at the marina moved their boats to higher ground.
No one knew what a killer tide actually was, but the rumour was laced with enough hysteria to urge every boat owner to action.
First, one shifted his boat, said it was a precaution as his boat was worth a quid or two and he wasn’t taking any chances. Pretty soon no one was taking chances, and the wharf became a boat parking lot.
High tide was predicted that night. Sailors near and far waited in expectation.
The following morning the sea spread before them in its usual calm self. Hardly a ripple. A school of dolphins rose and fell.
The boat owners looked at each other, a feeling of inner embarrassment.
‘You can never be too sure, can you,’ said one to the other.
I was brought up in a Catholic family in a very Catholic world.
We were taught that basically as Monty Python said, that every little sperm counts.
However, when I was married and babies seemed to turn up as an annual event I engaged in many arguments with my then-wife. Whose responsibility was it?
Obviously, we were very fertile. She thought pregnancy and it happened.
By the time we reached our 6th it was time to take action. Poverty was staring us in the face; her body was reaching to end of its tether (so her dr said).
I had a vasectomy and that ended our reproductive lives. Despite that, she argued that I had removed her RIGHT to have children. I still think her argument was non-sensical at the time.
I was happy with the choice I made.
In terms of society, I think it is a woman’s right to decide what to do with her body. There are too many unwanted children in this world. There are too many unhappy mothers, unhappy fathers and families.
I think it is wrong for society to impose on the rights of women.
Too many ‘well-meaning’ ignorant people are more than happy to use religion to hide their prejudices behind.
In my case it took a long time for me to figure it all out, haunted as I was by the teachings I was brought up on.
But I saw in practice what happened to women forced to raise a child they are not capable of caring for.
Birth control should be a woman’s or family’s decision.
Tosca, the dog, not the opera, stood staunchly guarding her domain.
Standing on the back veranda she surveyed her kingdom with a quiet reserve ready to strike at any moment should her world be invaded.
Her owners were loving folk, who cared deeply for her and provided her with as many social experiences as possible as well as a treat every so often.
On this day her human mother had hung the washing out fearing it might rain and Tosca was making sure that if such an occurrence happened she would be ready to raise her doggy alarm.
As it was the day had been interrupted by the postman, the baker and a curious old lady selling buttons for “Dog-Friendly Day”. Tosca didn’t quite understand what that meant for as far as she was concerned every day was dog-friendly day, so long as you were, in fact, a friend.
She stood alert, looking at the sky, scratching herself and every so often giving her hindquarters a good healthy sniff and lick.
Like so many days time was about alertness, wakefulness and best of all snoringness.
She heard a rustling at the end of the yard. Someone was at the back fence. She stood to attention, sensing the change in the atmosphere, capturing a familiar scent, she knew this smell, it was the nosy neighbour, probably wanting to pinch a lemon or two or even have the audacity to dig up one of her master’s prize lettuces.
Tosca let loose with her best warning bark. A long and continuous sound ending with a crescendo of doggy warning.
The nosy neighbour called out her name, said in his usual friendly manner causing Tosca to run down the back steps to greet him, give him a loving lick and receive an affectionate pat on her head.
Having carried out her duties, Tosca retired to the veranda while the nosy neighbour helped himself to a prized lettuce.
I’m locked inside at the moment. It’s called self-isolation as I have tested positive for Covid.
Last week I was in Tasmania on a touring holiday with two friends. This week I’m holed up at home.
It was a wonderful trip, so many beautiful places to see and enjoy. We did visit Port Arthur wherein the colonial days it was a convict prison. A terrible place, people lived in appalling conditions. Then in 1996 a fellow went there one Sunday and shot 35 people.
Our history is what it is but it is a moving place when you consider what once happened there.
Apart from that place the rest of the state is magnificent. Sweeping coastlines to intriguing temperate rainforests. It was my second visit and as enjoyable as the first.
My isolation is allowing me to ponder how lucky I am living in Australia.