Frankston, Australia

adgray is a writer and a poet / - telling stories all her life / - writing them down once she learnt how / Scribbling! Always...


In this era of helping those doing it hard we all immediately think of the African plight
BUT the wise ones say CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

Well in my back yard there are thousands of people doing it BLOODY HARD!
The awesome Darren Stones is selling an absolute GORGEOUS calendar of his Drought shots & I have an an offer to go with it to sweeten this pot! It’s at the bottom of this page. Yes you can skip to that – if you PROMISE to HELP! [Go to ◄☼►]

But first the WHY -

People disregard farmers – “What are they grumbling about? They live on the land, they know weather induced hard-times are inevitable in their line of work!”
True, BUT this is the worst drought in over 100 years history! [Bear in mind our country isn’t much older than that and recorded history hasn’t been going for all that much longer here.]
BUT WHY??? It can’t JUST be the weather!
Bear also in mind how 100 years ago our population was a mere ?? I have no accurate idea because I googled it and cannot find any accurate official number! – “Try looking at the census!” – HA! I tried that the first one was 1901 but there was no actual figure calculated! Then there was an awful lot of excuses as to why it wasn’t done during the rest of the first half of the century and finally 1966 they had a go but forgot the aboriginals [like every other year] which prompted the 1969 rallies that insisted aboriginals were included as people let alone the FIRST Australians! And then there is a lot of stuff about the aboriginal history & ways now …..[digressing sorry] SO all I found was an estimated less than 5 million before WW1 and there are about 21.5 million now
Yes I digressed but the point was … well there were two points proved
1 our recording system either isn’t on line or SUCKS BIG TIME!!!
2 our population has at least doubled in past hundred or so years. [not bad for losing almost all our reproductive suitable males in that first bloody war! And then a whole bunch more in the second one – not counting the women because for some stupid rednecked male thing of the time they DIDN’T accurately count the women serving either! [hell in the 1stWW the men were just numbers – not listed by name! It was up to the commanding officers to know who was who in their men – to send the notice home to the family – bloody hard to do when the CO was a brought in bloke form the English Army & didn’t have a chance to ask! – hence the unknown soldier … I’m digressing again!☺]

Bearing all that in mind, I dread to think of the normal pressure our farmers are under providing food for us! YES THAT’S what they do! they get this bit of land and try to feed all of us sitting on our bums in the city with it! and 100 years ago we all had chooks & were all growing our own garden vegies & fruits to supplement! You can’t do that now, either there is no space or the councils say NO! But there’s no water to now anyway! Besides we have supermarkets just down the road right?
Ok the Farmers have it hard ALL THE TIME! and then along comes this bloody drought! & where did that come from?
My son Dan aged 7 came home from school with the answer of where the water had gone. He had been taught the water cycle at school – evaporation into clouds, then precipitation (rain) on the land, then it flows to the sea for evaporation again. But there is a problem that we don’t have enough rain – so you look back to find out why and see that there’s no clouds – so you look further to find out that there’s not enough evaporation – so you look back again and find there’s not enough water flowing … something has stopped the water flowing to the sea.
The ice caps are melting – trying to refresh the oceans & keep them cool. [Does cold water evaporate better than hot? Or I wonder if only clean water evaporates or is it that salt water is heavier than clean or lighter than it? But if there’s not enough flowing in then the ice has to melt to make up the surplus! Or is it OXYGEN based – that salt water doesn’t have as much oxygen attached or something and that the ice caps have oxygen stored too and that we are so many more people on the earth using up all the oxygen & destroying the trees who help filter it back into the atmosphere … are we really going to end up suffocating the planet?] (sorry digression is an alluring thing tho!)

Anyway back to Dan coming home from school with the answer to where has the water gone?

His reply – “In cars, swimming pools, air-conditioners toilets & the stupid bloody stupidmarkets!”

He’s Right too! Apart from the water used in the actual manufacturing of all this stuff think of all the storage of water in them! Turning them into glorified water catchments & effectively;y STOPPING the water cycle! [and while I think of it what’s with the preventing evaporation kick? If it don’t evaporate it can not precipitate!]

And think about WHEN all this started. It began in MY LIFETIME!
I can remember it changing – it was about 1970.
I’m 45 and the Australian city life I remember 40 YEARS AGO is a completely different world to what it is today, in fact I would hazard a guess to say prior to 1970 the last massive change of the same magnitude was the Mechanical Revolution of the late 1700s /early 1800s

Apart from the technological evolution of communication & the net etc, [& don’t start me on the medical breakthroughs postponing dearth & thus elongating life expectancies & so stretching the resources even further!] there has been a major issue with consumption vs supply – especially water yes I know even though at the same time we have all decided drinking tap water is a really dumb idea we have become even worse water hogs!

To look at Dan’s list these are the big water wasters that my 7yo son identified – tell me he’s wrong!
Like the story of the 11 year old girl who told the rescue blokes to let the truck tyres down to get the truck out from the bridge it was wedged underperhaps we should listen to our children!
True the population was smaller [I remember the hype of the10 millionth person in Australia!]
But we did things so much BETTER! and no I’m not just saying that cos I’m old! We did!
Our communities were closer friendlier more productive & happier!
Now we are isolated suspicious and spoon-fed selfish consumers!

“In cars, swimming pools, air-conditioners toilets & the stupid bloody stupidmarkets!”
40 years ago there were no supermarkets in Melbourne [I was in Camberwell a VERY affluent Melbourne suburb and if there had been a supermarket it would have been there! – Coles likes to claim they’re older but when it started it was a small general store emporium in Nhill a tiny country town, not a food market & NOT in the suburbs!]
We also did NOT have bottled water, en mass private multiple cars, private swimming pools, private air-conditioners, private multiple toilets, etc,… the list goes on.
Hang on I’ll list them:

- STUPID MARKETS! 40 years ago Supermarkets were in America and slowly coming to Australia – I remember “Dickens” being the first in our neighbourhood & how special we all felt that we could walk in the bright clean store and select our own things off the shelf! I remember also how COLD it was in there! On a hot summer’s day you took your cardigan to wear in the supermarket! But before then it had been a grocers where you stood at a counter and asked a shop person to go fetch your goods on your shopping list from the long isles – the colours butter yellow & fire engine red always makes me think of that store – that was the colours of the lino checks!
We had other services too – Bread came from the baker, fruit & vegies from the greengrocer, meat from the butcher, small goods from the delicatessen, fish from the mongers [or the F&C shop!] Shoes from the shoe shop, clothes & manchester from the drapery, suits from the tailors & anything else from the corner store general store or the fancier Emporiums! “Coles Variety store”/ “Myers” / “Grace Bros”/ “Georges” / “Buckleys” etc or the hardware shop or whatever other specialist shop. And there was the Market where all the various shops had stalls.
You could have stuff delivered from the grocer, baker, green grocer & butcher like the milk & dairy products were delivered every morning by your local dairy [I so loved the milko and his horse!] & when they came by you could hail him to stop & buy from him. And the boy on his bike brought the newspaper & your subscribed magazines! How my brothers vied for a paper drive – it was usually their first job to get their own money! and I was so proud of my son when he did one too! Stupid markets obliterated all these services and their quality! They forced the farmers to become magicians in meeting the demands, and the consumers gluttons for purchasing what was on offer!

- Toilets [yes I knew people who still used the back yard dunny & the night cart man! I remember the stink of them!] How many toilets do you have in your house and how many times do you flush it unnecessarily?

- Showers We bathed once a week – the kids all used one tub of water & we couldn’t wait till we were 10 and allowed to have a shower! How many showers do you take a day? / a week?

- EVERY CAR has at least 6 liters of water just sitting in it’s radiator – more in the air con & washer bottles. Trucks have 4 times that much! HOW MANY CARS IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD? When I was a kid you could count the cars in the street!
Heres a little adventure for you when next you’re out & about Drive past a car yard strip [better if you did it in a train you’d feel better – or more annoyed that you’re in a train & not a comfy air conditioned car] Count the cars you see sitting there [bet you can’t] then multiply by 5 for the guesstimated water litre storage amount [I’ll be nice – 6 is hard!] then think of all the car yards in the city, in every city and multiply your guesstimated water storage ….. THAT’S A BLOODY LOT OF WATER!!!!!!!

- SWIMMING POOLS hold a bloody lot of water – 57,000liters [to fill the average 10×5×1meter size pool]
How many city back yards have them? I’ll be conservative & say 1 in 10 ok? BUT there are MILLIONS of houses in Melbourne [god knows how many in Sydney!] I’ll be nice & say 2 million [we have 7+million people here but we also have lots of flats & big families] of them that’s 200,000 swimming pools –
200,000 X 50,000 = 10,000,000,000ltr ~ that’s TEN BILLION LITERS of WATER!
then multiply that by the cities in Australia then the world … get the drift? …. Thirsty yet? and it’s all just sitting there jumped in once or twice over summer & cursed all the rest of the year cos it takes up so much room & you can’t play footy!

- AIR-CONDITIONING ever heard of an open window? I know tall buildings can’t do that but how many, oh how many buildings do we need? There are hundreds sitting about the place EMPTY! With “For lease” cards in their sorrowful sealed windows! And thousands of litres of water sitting in their air-conditioners & fire sprinkler reserves. When I was a kid we had fans & our Fridges were just becoming modern with freezers attached! Now everyone has a fridge a chest freezer or a deep freezer of some kind and air-con throughout! Air-con homes air-con cars air-con offices – we never get FRESH air and we all have nasal issues!

- BOTTLED WATER 40 years ago it was unheard of! The first was Perrier! People would drive to Daylesford to collect mineral water from the springs there – it tastes hideous but people thought it did you good! – you could create a bottle of water by filling up a thermos or a flask with tap water. There were also only half a dozen flavours of soft drink and only a few companies distributing it. Bottled juice wasn’t thought of as a safe way to get your fruit vitamins, & adult drinks – wine beer & other drinks were limited. Bet you didn’t even think about Cordial it came as a concentrate your Mum made up with 2lbs of sugar and a kettle full of water! and what about all the cleaning products? And then think of the cans of stuff with water in them too – soups, stews, pet food [did you know most canned pet foods are 90% water based? cereals with colour – to look like meat to humans & flavourings for pets to recognise it as food! The Chunks you might come across in it are the only real meat in it!] fruits, sauces, …
I know this is hard but I need you to also consider this ;
Think of all the bottles & cans in the stupidmarket, all the ones on the shelves then on pallets in the store room then on trucks tripping about the state then in warehouses all over the country then multiply all this by all the western countries all over the world! THAT’S A LOT OF WATER!
and then think of the manufaction process – it was calculated last year that it uses 7liters of water in the production of ONE bottle! Regardless of the size shape & the contents!
Now think of all the stuff in a stupidmarket that is created like a bottle – plastic buckets, boxes, …. Dizzy yet?

So why am I pointing all this out? I mean we can’t pour it all back in can we? It will all eventually get back into the sea so we really haven’t done that much …. Then why have we a drought that is 11 years old that is effecting the whole country’s farming industry?
And why do we have stupidmarkets that import food “cheaper” from elsewhere so that what we have managed to produce is wasted?

This country of ours is the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD COMPLETELY SELF-SUSTAINABLE!! We DON’T NEED to IMPORT! we only do that to keep the rest of the world happy so they won’t try to conquer us! You know the aboriginals never left Australia – for 40,000 years they happilly stayed here & ignored the rest of the world! & the rest of the world ignored us! Now they all want a piece of us – it started 200 years ago when it was Discovered & it is happening again now with other countries “Buying” us!
So how come we are allowing that & destroying our resources?
Why are we NOT supporting our own people – the families being depressed in EVERY way who live in our own back yards & work bloody hard to feed us!

Ok if you are still here [it’s not as long as my rant of last week lol] THANK YOU!!! It means you have a passion about our water & our world wide wastage of water and a recognition that this drought & the plight of our farmers are the beginning of the death of our country and as such the death of the world! [or you are a silly as me!]


I have no money to pledge to help rectify this issue – PLEASE HELP ME HELP THEM!
I only have words! Please tell me my words are wrong!

If you can’t tell me I’m wrong then click here and see what Darren is doing to help
or here to see what the country is doing to help and help too – for me!

I can’t sell you my words but if you donate to this I will send you a collection of 5 poems! You pick the poems you like I will print them out myself, personally sign them and then post them to you. ok?
I know you say, “Heck I could just copy them off the bubble!” yep you can but they won’t be signed by me & How do I know you have donated? I’m trusting your honour.

= ☼ The Pot Sweetener! ☼ =

If you buy a calendar from Darren then I shall send you 12 signed hand written poems too! I will go up to the RB office [I can catch a train there!] and have them included in the calendar package sent to you. Deal? Just let me know when you order the calendar & which poems you’d like.

Please let’s just try to help!
Merry Christmas to you, to the Aussie Helpers & all our farming families!
Chookas! X♥X

Journal Comments

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