ruminations from my verandah #50: i’m cold . . . . and why is it so?Hi, I’m Rob Greaves.

I am the Senior Editor of the Toorak times, but this is me writing as me! A guy sitting on his veranda sharing his thoughts.

This is the fiftieth posting in this on-going, and totally ad hoc column, called “Ruminations From My Verandah” and, it’s the first for 2020.

In fact, it’s the first one for almost 18 months but hey! I did say it was an ad-hoc column!

So here I am sitting on my verandah. I don’t have a glass of wine or beer in my hand like usual, but more on that in a moment.

I’m sitting on the mighty veranda desperately trying to believe that Summer is a warm month. It’s not an easy task.

I am loving the fact that everything is so green, even what I laughingly call “grass” is thick and lush.  In the past it would have been brown-green, and barely covering the dusty ground.

It’s the icy wind coming in from Bass Straight that is the killer, and yes, I know it wasn’t that long ago we were all in dread of the bushfires.

Now some of us are in dread of floods so I guess sitting here safe but cold, is at least a blessing in disguise.

I just wish the disguise wasn’t so all enveloping!

So I find sipping some JD Black helps warm the old cockles and that is probably part of the issue.

No! Not the cockles . . . but the old. I remember when I was a lot younger the cold simply failed to really bother me – then again maybe I was simply too stoned to care!

This started out with me having Facebook open and getting ready to write a one to two line commentary on the fact that this has been the shittiest summer I can remember.

It seems to me to be a summer of a lot of pain and very little pleasure.

Yet somehow the words keep flowing. Maybe that’s courtesy of the JD. Then I suddenly realised I was in the start of a “rumination, something that had been missing for far too long!

Back to the shitty summer.

The pessimist in me says – “It can only get worse!

“The optimist in me says, – “It can only get better”.

The realist in me says – “Get used to it, this is the new world order as delivered by climate change”.  Climate change! Totally supported by a totally self-absorbed federal government, who says they are always thinking of the “people”.

So, now we find we need a re-definition of “people”. Those who have access to wealth and power!


What about the rest of us? Given 20% of Australians hold most of the wealth – that means 80% of us don’t have access to wealth and the power it brings. Yup! That’s the majority of Australians, but, so what?

We care about each other – well many of us do! 

But again so what? 

At election time almost half of us who are not in the “rich/well off” category chose to join the 20% who are well off and voted in this Conservative Government back in. Now they claim they have a mandate for their “head in the sand” policies when it comes to climate change.

Ok! OK!.

Yes, they can also claim a mandate for a whole range of policies and procedures.

For example these policies have resulted in Australian debt doubling since they came into power.

They have for isolating refugees and made a mockery of our creed of “a fair go!”

They introduced in the INDUE card – you know, the card that they give some people on welfare so they have no real control over their finances.

Oh, these people do have he stigma that comes with it so I guess thats something.

Well, I deviate! Maybe its because of the JD or maybe because the more I think deeply about what I am experiencing around me, the angrier I get.

I guess it’s triggered by a feeling of helplessness which in turn, generates more and more thoughts of frustration.

My fingers are literally flying across the keys.  I have more thoughts, more words, more anger than I can get down before another torrent flows forth.

Anger can be directed inward or outward, inward is self-destructive, and I’d advise against that. Yet, except for a growing number of school kids, I see little anger being directed outward!

Is this part of the Australian belief system that – “She’ll be right, mate!”

God I hope not because while I sit here freezing my balls off, in summer, I don’t think it will be alright – mate!

The wonderful thing about the veranda and having a rumination, is that it can go anywhere. It can stop anywhere.

Frankly, it’s not a “learned article”, its not a dissertation, it’s the meandering thoughts of myself. 

They say, a glass can be half full or half empty.

Mine is completely empty BUT, I am warmer. No, I don’t think it’s the alcohol, I think it’s the energy I’m putting into “pounding this keyboard.

That’s great that my activities are warming me up but, I’d rather we didn’t have climate change and global warming.  I wish that the sun was beaming down and warming my cockles ….. just like it used to do in years gone by!

I wonder if I will be even colder in summer in another 18 months time?


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I have been with the Toorak Times since April 2012. I work as Senior Editor of the Toorak Times, but I also think of myself as senior contributor. I've been in the Australian music scene as a musician since 1964, and have worked in radio and TV and newspapers (when they were paper ), serious experience in audio editing, and a lot of video editing experience. Currently I'm working as a radio program producer for a national interview program as well as my work with the Toorak Times