The winter solstice

We’re now at the shortest day of the year.  I’m bored with getting up in the dark.  To me, the solstice is always a harbinger of better times to come.

For Allison, it tells her that the worst two months of winter are just starting.  And it’s been an unusually cold winter already.

On Tuesday, the frost was so thick on the car that I couldn’t scrape it off with a credit card.  I had to rub off the top layer first, then dig in with the corner of the card, and mostly wait until the car heated up.

I haven’t posted much lately — the farm’s pretty quiet, and we don’t have any wwoofers.

Allison has been made redundant — the company she was with lost the rights to the IT product she was training people for.  So they mutually agreed to finish things up there.  She’s having a break, and just now looking for a new job.  Anyone need a talented online trainer?

My current contract winds up soon too, so I’m looking out for a new one.  The Australian government has just made massive cuts, so it might be trickier than usual.

The international situation also seems to be near the winter solstice.  Spain and Italy can’t be bailed out, so I’m expecting a crisis in the next few weeks.  Then will come the worst part of winter, and eventually the spring.  Best wishes to all our good friends in Europe; I’m sure you’re already having a tough time.

I am the walrus

I mentioned here that I’m now on the Board of the Goulburn Club, an ancient community-based licensed club.  My first meeting was in early February.

I’ve been there for four months now.  Before that, there had been about 18 months with a committee that just didn’t work.

In the end, the new committee comprised four of the old committee and four new additions, and the group dynamics are much better.

There was a backlog of regular work, let alone trying to turn the fortunes of the club around.  So we have been meeting every fortnight since February, and will have to keep doing that for a little while.

My contribution has been taking over the minutes — our meetings now have a detailed agenda, they start on time, and the minutes come out within 24 hours of the meeting.  Often within 2 hours of the meeting.

The club’s finances were in a mess, and we’re just now getting reasonably reliable financial statements out for the period since last July.  That’s been a lot of work, by others, but I can say that I’ve actively supported good financial practices on the committee and now we’re really getting somewhere.

With better financial information, a lot of things are being fixed up.  I can’t go into them here, but some of the errors and omissions have been significant.  The benefits will be seen next financial year, rather than the current one.

The big question has been whether the Club is financially viable at all.  We still don’t have a firm answer, but it’s looking much more positive now.

Recent evenings at the Club have been great — open fires, some great live music, and back to a real feeling of camaraderie.

Recently, I was a barman for a 21st birthday party — where all the guests came in fabulous 1920s gear!  The Goulburn Club is such a great place for that — maybe we should pinch the idea for a members’ function.  It was great to see that the Goulburn kids are so creative, articulate and mutually supportive.

There was a different young Goulburn crowd there a couple of weeks earlier, to see a really impressive local entertainer.  Again, really great young folk, and I hark back to my earlier comments that Goulburn might just be in a golden age right now.  And I’m really pleased to be making a difference at our club, as an important contributor to that.

On Friday just gone, the Club had a Beatles night – all the local entertainers came along and did one or two Beatles numbers, in their own interpretation.  Great music, good people

Allison ran the kitchen for the event – gee, it does sound a bit like the SCA, doesn’t it…  Fancy pies with a musical note cut out of the top, with mash, peas, carrots and gravy.  Bit too simple for an SCA event!  They also did fancy “Egg Man” (egg slice) entrees, which were yummy and very close to some medieval recipes, and cheesecake desserts.

My part was carting food up the staircase, then I was on the bar which was very busy.  I had to give up at 11pm as I found that I wasn’t calculating change correctly.  Bit of a worry really, but I guess I’d left the farm at 7am to drive to work and had been flat out since then.

I did come back the next morning to help with the packup.  And thanks to my son Owen too; he was a great help in the kitchen, and with the packing up.