There is an oft-recited Australian poem by Dorothea Mackeller the second verse of which is:-
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!
The poem perfectly describes Australia. The line “droughts and flooding rains” is particularly apt with the weather we have experienced this year. Over much of the east coast of the country, from March to September there was little or no rain. The winter months — June, July and August — were unseasonably warm and dry. The inland agricultural areas have been ravaged by drought. The dams are running low. There has been talk of water restrictions in Sydney and farmers are hand-feeding their animals to keep them alive as the paddocks (fields) are just brown dirt.
Then, in the last two weeks, we've had exceptionally heavy rainfalls along the east coast of NSW and, fortunately, some of this rain has extended inland into the drought-affected farming areas. It’s not enough to end the drought in those areas, but enough to give the farmers hope.
It is a definite case of flooding rains here on the coast and, after ten days of rain by last Friday morning, I was beginning to experience cabin fever. Yes, I know it’s a good thing that I don’t live in the UK. Quite simply, I’m not happy when confined indoors and spending six weeks in hospital last year was hell for me. Even worse than going to a camera club meeting. Only a joke — calm down camera club members.
Now, regular Macfilos readers will know of my long-standing affection for the Leica X1 and will have read that on a recent trip to Romania, my X1 disassembled itself for the second time. The first time, four years ago, the small latch holding the battery in place snapped — a well-known fault. This time the latch mechanism came apart but remained intact.
Anyway, same result — a non-working X1 — so when I returned home I posted it to Leica Australia’s service agent, Camera Clinic, located in Melbourne. Within ten days they had repaired the latch, cleaned and adjusted the camera and posted it back to me in a very smart foam-lined Leica Customer Care box. Impressive. This is an eight-year-old camera, remember.
I collected the camera from the local post office last Thursday and decided to kill birds with one stone on Friday — to make sure the camera was functioning correctly and cure my fast-developing cabin fever.