Last week Nigel sadly (and with a degree of envy) said farewell to Andrew, who is now workingon the NSW north coast after completing his 4 year tenure.While Nigel is hoping that he won’t be alone for too long, he’s also mindful that it took almost a year to fill his own position 3 years ago so he’s not holding his breath.
Now, unlike general duties police, highway patrol officers work most shifts as a single unit unless they’re working at night (hence the “afraid of the dark” jokes) but it’s always nice to talk to someone, who actually understands the job and he’ll miss that camaraderie.
So here’s my attempt at talking up the vacant position.
When we first moved to Cobar, I was impressed by the way everyone got along. From the welcoming smiles from passers-by to the ‘let me help you with that’ offers (trying to lift a 12 litre bottle of water up and over the ute tray).
Before social distancing became the norm there was no shortage of community craft work-shops, sporting events including horse racing, dance classes and library projects – always something for anyone who wanted to get involved. Houses were decorated at Christmas time, Halloween took place in October – but only with houses that volunteered to be involved – and there were even regular street parades and festivals. I attribute a lot of that community spirit to the town’s mayor, Lilliane Brady.
If I’ve given you the impression that pulling up stakes, moving to the outback and renting out our house on the beach has been sunshine, lollipops and rainbows then I need to apologise. This blog started as a way of encouraging police and their partners to give special remote policing a go and I decided, at the onset, that there would be more positive than negative reports. But in the interests of balanced reporting and just in case I made it sound like the perfect bush change, I should point out that life hasn’t always gone smoothly.
So far 2021 has become the year of breaking things or, more accurately, the year of things breaking down. To be honest, I can’t blame it all on the recent thunder storms (or maybe I could if I tried really hard) because the TV was kind of on the way out.
So, not to dwell on the fact that we didn’t bother taking out contents insurance but we’ve now lost a 55” TV, laptop and battery backup (think big heavy black box that’s supposed to save your TV and laptop). Plus, the evaporative cooler has gone out in sympathy (of course, that never happens in winter!!) and needs a new solenoid (I don’t know either).
So we’ve had a couple of days of no TV and sweltering humidity until yesterday when our new best friend Alex arrived and fixed the evaporative cooler. One down and the rest will have to form a queue.
There might actually be a positive side to this electrical catastrophe because, thanks to suggestions from both sons, we’ve discovered the Raspberry Pi.
Now if, like me, you’re a bit over all things electronic and the never-ending “race to replace” with ever newer technology, you may be thinking of a yummy dessert served with whipped cream but No. After some serious research, Nigel has managed to set up and install this tiny gadget, which apparently is a computer of sorts that can do all the things that a desktop computer can do at a fraction of the size – and cost. They’ve actually been around for years – such is our resistance to “modern technology”.
Murphy’s Law didn’t actually stop there and we also ‘lost’ a cane chaise at the hands / paws / jaws of a Rottweiler who, despite being on holidays in Paradise, apparently didn’t like being home alone and decided to eat the (specially upholstered) cushion on our cane chaise.
After 13 years of ‘on and off’ holiday rentals, this was the first time that anyone had actually admitted to any damage plus it was Christmas so we could hardly charge them. Just one more “third thing” in the list.
So there you have it. No bright shiny start to the new year…. Not yet anyway…… but I suspect we’re still better off than many, many others, who have also spent Christmas ‘home alone’’.
I thought I’d end my first 2021 post with something to make you smile (thanks to www.keeplaughingforever.com ). As our friend, Amie said, “At least he’s wearing a mask”. Stay safe everyone and Happy New Year.