Malmsbury Bakery for a pie and tea, rain drumming on the corrugated iron roof, shooting from spouts off the street veranda and pouring along the cobbled gutter. In previous years I've seen this land parched, suffering 15 year's drought, all but indigenous trees wilting or become leafless skeletons, the sky cloudless blue, dry creeks, remaining farm ponds dry or holding a pool of borrowed water below their parched banks. Now the skies were grey, the air cool, even slightly chilly, the upper part of mount Macedon hidden by low cloud, screen wipers working steadily, cars throwing up spray. It was 2.15 in the morning for us, and hardly eleven in the morning in John and Annie's house. "It's more like Corfu rain than English rain" said Lin. Tomorrow we head north past Brisbane for the first seminar on Mayor-CEO working relations in the hot weather of outback Longreach in northern Queensland.
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Interesting news via June Samaras of green developments in Anavras in central northern Greece and I see that Jim Potts, quoting a depressing tale of ill-tiding about the Hellenic economy in The Daily Telegraph of 26 October by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (plus at least 114 comments), wonders how much of this is alarmism - κινδυνολογία. Well indeed. Keynes, or was it Galbraith, or Ezra Solomon (thanks Google) or - whoever - suggested economics was invented to make astrology look like science? None of us knows very much as the king knows who summons his wise men for advice in difficult times. I wonder if this is how things felt in Europe in the 1920s; the bonfire of the European democracies that Mazower describes so well in the first half of Europe's dark century. (See: IFS disagreement with the Coalition on interpretation of COINS in aftermath of CSR 2010)
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It's 0255 EST Sunday morning here in Bendigo...no lights on as I know it enough now to get round blind, though without my specs I wondered momentarily at the tiny lights of our tooth brushes glowing greenly in the dark, hearing low hum of the fridge, then the lights of our laptops on the sitting room table, ceaseless rain making white noise around the sleeping house. My body's fooled about the hour. Is it tea-time in England - four or five pm - or supper time in Greece? Eightish and already dark again with the earth turning towards our dawn. Who like us lies dead to the world? Who's bustling about their work? I'm somewhere between. We're all up in another three hours to head to Melbourne and fly north to the Queensland outback.