I could start with an apology for the length of time between blog updates – not a good practice with websites I am told – however, we have all been distracted by the pandemic and world events and time just flows on! And hopefully there is a lot of patience and understanding out in the community.
In our small sphere of the world, there has been a lot going on which has kept us interested, motivated and fully occupied. To list just a couple: there has been the rolling out of the Federal Government Future Drought Fund in which we have been caught up through various projects; there has been the very successful APEN (Australasian Pacific Extension Network) Conference – which was held virtually for the first time (innovation by Covid); and Amy has been progressing her PhD studies on the use of social media by rural/agricultural women around climate related challenges.
This is the first blog I have written since the Covid-19 Tsunami hit. Given that it has curtailed travel and I have had more time in my office – I certainly have no excuse. Maybe like lots of others I was just locked into a state of following the ebbs and flows and massive changes to so many – as well as the loss of so many lives across the world. The uncertainty, the despair, the hope.
So, we are coming to the end of a very hot and dry year in this part of the world – with scorching temperatures expected this week leading up to Christmas and no serious rain predicted until early in 2020. It’s hard enough for towns on severe water restrictions – with some already having run out of water – but so much worse for many of the farming and grazing community who depend on rain for their livelihoods.
It’s well into Autumn and here in Toowoomba we were heartened by some Autumn rain. I am not sure how effective this has been for producers on the Downs, but it has greened up our lawns – certainly good for the psyche.We had the opportunity to visit Spain, Morocco and Portugal over the last month. It’s always good to experience other places and be challenged to reflect on our own circumstances. We have our ancient culture in Australia although we lack the older architecture and modern history evident in many other countries.
I went to my website recently and was astounded that my last blog was from Spring 2017! And now it is Autumn 2018. I found this incredible – had so much time really passed by? I observed to someone that I felt like I was in a ‘very-fast-train’ with the scenery rushing past me in a blur! And I know life is more about living in the moment and smelling the roses…. So time to slow down a little – but still keeping up with the blog! What makes this possible is having Ben and Amy as key partners in the business. Ben’s YourData platforms for managing and reporting M&E are much in demand and Amy continues to be an effective project manager for many of our projects.