Radio Silence – Care Factor Zero

Apologies because today’s blog was supposed to be about my new casual job in the Cobar Returning Office and how I hadn’t had time to write a blog because of the Cobar Council election last year as well as the current by-election. I was going to extol the virtues of our voting system, explain how our electoral system is probably one of the most democratic in the world plus impress you with the lengths we go to to ensure that everyone who wants to, may vote.

However, after months of trying to be more gracious and despite a partner, who supports and challenges me to be my best self, I think it’s time to admit that I have failed my New Year’s resolution spectacularly because this blog is actually a giant whinge.

Continue reading “Radio Silence – Care Factor Zero”

And so this is Christmas

Another  Christmas – our last in Cobar – is drawing to an end and  I’m looking forward to next year’s  coastal Christmas, with its mandatory prawns and oysters.

Of course, there’ll be quite a few good memories and people that we’ll miss because Cobar has been  nothing if not welcoming. From the garbage man when we first arrived, who waited just long enough for me to remember that it was bin day, to the postie who runs the Rural Outback Animal Rescue and, on Christmas Eve, takes bags of dog treats to all her “little mates”, to our beautiful neighbours, who surprise us with human treats over the fence.

From Christmas house decorating to teddy bears and wheel rim / shoe trees on the road into town (who knew?) – through the best of times and the worst of times – Cobar has been quirky and fun.

May we all have a peaceful and relaxing Christmas with better times ahead in 2022.


After Elvis died (the car, not the King) we were hopeful that our financial woes might be behind us as we set about re-building the bank balance. While Nigel was busy with strike forces and a fair amount of overtime – not to mention the border crossings – I put my hand up to work at the Electoral Returning Office in preparation for the September 4 council elections…. Yes I know they were postponed, but not before we were sent quite a lot of materials, to be sorted and stored for the 4th December council elections.

Also and just for fun, I took on an editing job for a friend’s daughter, who was writing a book – and whose grammar and vocabulary would have put most journalists to shame – while, at the same time, also exploring my heritage in concert with a genealogist on the coast. Life was hectic but enjoyable and with the new car engine done and dusted, we were on the road to financial recovery.

All up, there had been quite a few late nights and not many sleep-ins so when Covid travel restrictions were finally lifted and, owing in part to the change of the election date, we found ourselves free to return to Paradise for a leisurely couple of weeks – catching up with friends and neighbours, walks on the beach, prawns and oysters for dinner……… Border crossings and returning offices became a distant memory.

Of course, when the tenants/tourists are also the landlords every holiday has a slight “down-side” so, in the lead-up to Christmas, there was just a “pinch” of maintenance thrown in for good measure.

It was during one of these “tiny” maintenance projects that a conversation with our builder ensued, which went something along the lines of….”See that rust there, do you think it’s something we should be concerned about?” and suddenly the holiday was over.

Without boring you with the details, let’s just say that our holiday dreams pretty much evaporated – walks were replaced with work, dining was replaced with digging and catch-ups were replaced with concreting. While Nigel and Ron did the heavy work, I culled the jungle / sub-floor, giving away King ferns, Clivias, Philodendrons etc for fear they’d be trampled underfoot.

As it turned out, two weeks was far from enough time and, with tenants booked within the month, there was a hasty retreat home for more electoral/policing work (while Ron kept working) before returning to finish the job.

Now that the work is completed, I’ll leave you with some before and after shots…… Roll on 2022!




PS for anyone wondering about that bed to bench project…..

Well my lovely neighbour has kindly taken it and painted it and it now resides on their front porch.

And now that the December elections have finished, here’s my next project.

PS I could tell you some stories about the elections but apart from saying that I worked with lovely, funny, supportive co-workers and a very patient boss,  for the rest of it I’m sworn to secrecy:-)