Monday, April 09, 2007

Four Days

Now is the last day of the four day Easter break. It's been a great chance to relax and enjoy being with the family. We've had a great time just hanging out together and taking it easy.
Sam has recently joined a church who get together for the Passover as part of their Easter program. Prior to Thursday night I was quite ignorant of the the various observances leading up to Easter but am keenly interested to learn more. I was glad to have been invited to attend and was very impressed with the service. We shared a meal of Lamb, bitter herbs, flat bread, salt water and boiled eggs. While the minister put the evening in context by reading a brief description of the event from the old testament when the Hebrews were saved from a pestilence which passed over Egypt delivering death to all first born. The service then moved on to the last supper and the events prior to Jesus capture and crucifixion by the Romans.

Before Thursday I had no idea of the significance of the Passover it was a great way to learn about these religious practices. The atmosphere in this Church is accepting and inviting, the people seem to practice true fellowship and the atmosphere very friendly and inclusive. So far I have been made to feel very welcome even though I have revealed to them that I am not a Christian. I would like to attend future services but can’t help feeling like an impostor and wonder if it is an imposition on them to have a non-Christian attending so regularly. I can’t help thinking my presence would somehow dilute the faith of their community.

Friday - Play & Lee Point Beach

dough Art
Play-dough craft

On Friday we got up early and made a great batch of play-dough in four colours, red, blue, green and and pink. It's quite bizarre that flower can be bought far cheaper than clay and surely with all the starving people in the world it would be better eaten than molded into childish figures but such is life. Kids love playing with dough! Ours did for most of the morning until we put together the ever expanding Thomas track and played trains and farm animals for most of the day.

Lee Point beach 04.07
Lee Point beach, (Casuarina Coastal Reserve)

In the afternoon we went to Lee Point Beach and tried to fly our kite, there wasn’t enough of a breeze but I can’t be sure this is the reason it didn’t fly because I have never been able to get a kite off the ground for more than a few seconds! Somebody please tell me what is the trick! (I have since read that in Bermuda Christians fly kites on Good Friday as a symbolic gesture for the crucifixion of Jesus and his assent to heaven. What a coincidence that we chose to take the kite out on Good Friday!)

Driftwood on the beach

I prefer not to take the dog to the beach for a variety of reasons but she hadn’t been out for a while and Sam insisted. After just a couple of minutes there I already regretted having her with us. It wasn’t her so much as the accumulated harm caused by dogs and people in general. After being at the beach for just five minutes we were astounded to see a precession of people and dogs all filing onto the beach from the car park. It was peak hour at Lee Point and nowhere to stand without being accosted by frantic and excited K9s.
Besides the humbug of so many animals and people there is also the associated masses of dog shit polluting the beach. But this is not the thing that really bugs me. Lea Point beach is renowned for it’s migratory birds and is a flat backed turtle breeding site. There are small shore birds and waders dotted all along the coast, which are under constant attack from boisterous hounds, playful pups and bloodthirsty beasts! I have watched people unleash their dogs simply to allow them the joy of chasing wheeling shoals of shorebirds along the coast. The dogs barking and scampering as the birds launch from one roosting site to the next! Although it is unlikely the dogs would ever catch any birds, although they may, the effect of continually taking flight must be exhausting for the birds and would surely reduce their ability to survive. It sickens me to see so many dogs on the beach forcing the natural inhabitants off to who knows where.
Although our dog doesn’t stray from us while we walk, as far as I can see we are contributing to the harm done by so many thoughtless visitors. There is now a new dog free zone between Lee Point and Buffalo creek, but the signage is easy to miss on a low tide and we actually entered the area with our dog! We were not alone and I watched in horror as two young blokes took their unrestrained dogs straight into an area that was full of birds! One of the dogs chased something into the bushes and the whole thing got out of hand. This is just one small example of something that must be played out innumerable times on any day throughout the week. All the time the wildlife suffering so we can roam where we like. Soon the tourists will arrive at Lee Point caravan park and the beach will be littered with their plastic bait bags which are left to be washed into the sea and eaten by flat backed turtles! Coincidentally the turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Casuarina coastal reserve but these are often dug up and incubated by Parks and Wildlife staff because they would stand no chance of survival with so many dogs roaming the beach! We have decided we will not take our dog out there anymore.

Dead shore bird devoured by hermit crabs

On Saturday I bought a copy of The Ten Commandments on DVD for under $10! What a bargain! We've been watching it on and off all weekend. Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston were awesome and the poetic theatrics of the movie are great to watch especially since this kind of acting has been ditched for less wordy stuff. The masses of people seen in wide angle shots are actual people and not computer generated AI replicas! Of course there has been heaps of criticism of the films lack of authenticity in keeping with the story but I don't feel to corrupted. These days we are exposed to so many interpretations of historical or religious events that I expect most people would be able to establish that this is not the definitive account of what happened 3,000 years ago.
Saturday night we rode our bikes down to the Bucket park and met with some friends. We played in the pool/lake for about 2 hours! She hasn't been in the water for about four months and had forgotten how to hold her breath in the water but soon caught on and was keen to practice. It was a great day and the beginnings of the weather was very close to dry true dry season.

On Sunday we ate lunch with friends who live in a third floor apartment opposite Nightcliff beach and enjoyed another delicious roast. The pumpkin was absolutely delicious thanks Gillian. From where we sat we could see the first mass of dragonflies stretching their newly emerged wings as they hovered on the sea breeze above the Casuarinas and Eucalypts. After lunch we ate a little chocolate and relaxed into the afternoon. The kids sang improvised songs and dressed up in costumes. They paraded themselves in front of us and waited for the applause, then they'd race off to find something more stunning to impress us with. When the costumes ran out they paraded around in their birthday suits! When the novelty of all this play had worn off and we were beginning to get drowsy it was time to go so we packed ourselves up and departed for an afternoon snooze! What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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