I had been looking forward to the long weekend all day Friday and had been planning my attack on the great outdoors. However, Mother Nature had other ideas; she turned Sunday and Monday into a wet, cold and windy mess. Weather that made my first and second choice of outdoor activity off-limits.
My first choice was to take a two-day hike of the Conondale Range Great Walk. But I decided that it was silly to tackle the walk if I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy the views or experience when there will be perfect winter’s days ahead.
My second choice was kayaking from Coochiemudlo Island. I was going to hire a boat for a few hours and paddle around the island. However, driving rain and winds gusting at 25 knots put paid to that. So that put me at a loose end.
At first I got frustrated about the weather’s affecting my weekend. I got cranky and sullen because my plans had been destroyed. I sulked alone at home for an hour before I realised that the only person suffering was me. While I might not have wanted to get out and ‘do’ anything anymore, I could still get outside and enjoy the rain. I raised our orchard a few months ago, had some extra cash in my wallet and could borrow Mum’s ute so I decided to head out into the garden to finally mulch the orchard to properly finish it. Besides, shifting two cubic metres of mulch in a wheel barrow is still exercise.
And so it was that I spent a few hours each on Sunday and Monday shifting two cubic metres of mulch onto the orchard. It doesn’t look like much right now but there are 14 fruit trees, two passionfruit vines, and lots of herbs and flowers in our orchard. The trees vary in age from 3 months to 3 years so they are at various stages of fruit-bearing capability. Winter was a good time to do the mulching because the stone fruit and pear trees are deciduous, making it easier to move around the garden.
It was fantastic to get out in my garden. My garden always reminds me of the need to work with the weather and seasons, rather than fighting them. It’s also a reminder of the need to accept the good that each weather pattern brings. Rain is great for the garden because everything grows. Heavy rain is a great excuse to take it easy for a few days and recharge the batteries.
It’s a good time to think about the adventures ahead and how to achieve them.On that note, the wet weather gave me time to surf the internet to research inflatable kayaks. I will have paid my university fee loans (HECS / Fee-HELP for Australians) off at the end of this financial year. At 32 years old, July will represent my first ever pay cheque that will not include a mandatory HECS repayment. I spent over 13 years at university from age 17 to 31 and racked up a massive debt. Out system here in Australia allows us to borrow money from the government to pay for university. The loan is indexed annually based on CPI, so it’s a cheap debt. We have to make compulsory repayments through our taxation every year when we reach the income threshold.
I have been working full-time since I was 17 years old and have always earned more than the threshold of the day so have always had HECS taken out of my pay. So it’s exciting to be paying the debt off. I’m going to blow the entire amount on a Sevylor Rio inflatable kayak, two- or three-piece kayak paddle and touring PFD. I like the relative simplicity of the Rio and believe it will work well on Moreton Bay and the rivers where I will be doing most of my paddling.