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Archive for the 'Books in my Library' Category

A Vision Splendid

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Back in 2005 I purchased a CCTV System. It has successfully allowed me to continue reading, despite my now very limited vision. My failing eyesight is due to a degenerative condition known as Fuchs Dystrophy. Like most resources for a disability, the reading system did not come cheaply.

So when it began playing up last week, I became somewhat anxious for I use it every day. However, a telephone call to Vision Australia soon put me in touch with one of the few technicians in Australia specialising in the repair of low vision equipment. His workshop, would you believe, was located in a neighbouring suburb. He checked my system over and I had it back the next day. Touch wood, it’s going great guns!

The workshop where my machine was sorted out reminded me of my father’s little office /workshop which he had for his specialist, mechanical engineering business. His workshop was situated right in the heart of Sydney and ceased operating around 1970.

The result of all this is a very satisfied customer . . . prompt, friendly (not forgetting convenient) service and the revival of some fond memories.

1 December 2011

CCTV magnifier

The Wattle

Friday, June 6th, 2008

The wattles are back and blooming on our bushland block. Although the wattle can apparently bloom at any time of the year, its blossoms are usually associated with the coming of spring.

The wattle blossoms in our back yard have definitely arrived earlier than last year. The fires of 2001 savagely destroyed most of the bushland behind our home. Although all of the wattles on our block disappeared, they have quietly fought their way back through the regeneration of their seeds. Since the fires, the long periods of dry weather obviously slowed their return. It is great to see that they are again establishing themselves in abundance and in a variety of types. The subtle, unique fragrance of the wattle blossom definitely invigorates the soul.

The golden wattle is Australia’s national floral emblem. The many different varieties of wattle have inspired many a poet to wax lyrical. I have been reading John Mathew’s 1902 collection of poems entitled Australian Echoes. He included a poem on the wattle. For him, their springtime arrival inspired not only hope and happiness but brought a welcome beauty to the landscape.

“Thy downy pellets bursting out
Begirt with filigree,
With golden velvet wrap about
And glorify the tree.”

(Now why does the second line of this verse remind me of our national anthem? Oh, yes … “girt by sea”!)

Around thirty years ago I wrote a song about the wattle. During the years I was teaching, I often taught it to my students with the coming of the warmer months. When I work in my garden I often find myself singing it.

6 June 2008 © Jim Low

Mr Stuart’s Track

Monday, November 13th, 2006

I have just finished reading John Bailey’s recent biography of the explorer John McDouall Stuart, Mr Stuart’s Track. It is a fascinating read about the man some, including Bailey himself, consider Australia’s greatest explorer. Throughout the book, Bailey skilfully recreates various hypothetical situations, based on recorded fact but laced with intuitive reasoning, to flesh out Stuart and some of his contemporaries. It makes very interesting reading and provides much food for thought.?

You can read more in an article I wrote about it.