The Simple Things in Life

Driving to Mudgee on Sunday afternoon I found myself thinking I would rather have been lazing on our couch watching a Sunday afternoon movie with Jeff than spending another 5 hours in the car alone. By the time I got to Coonamble I was feeling a bit melancholy about it all and decided some lunch might improve my demeanour. As I turned off the highway towards the main street I found myself looking at the Sunday afternoon matinee I had been yearning for. I couldn’t decide though if I was watching Rio Bravo with big John and a dash of Dean Martin or Tim Allen and the other big John on their Wild Hogs adventure. There was no couch either, so I knew it wasn’t real!

What am I raving on about now, I hear you say … well …

Perched on its corner ahead of me was the imposing two story Bucking Bull Hotel with its wide veranda, bright yellow adverts and welcoming, shady interior. Apart from the name and its relevance to the story, the pub was not what attracted my attention. It was the saddled horse hitched to a veranda post on one side and four large motorbikes, including one very glittery blue trike parked at the curb around the corner! Two worlds meeting or colliding, I wondered.

A horse in Coonamble is not a strange sight and neither are motorbikes of any description; it was just the timing, and placement of the props, that sent my mind on one of its numerous tangents.

Before I could gather my thoughts and take a decent photo (because I thought no-one would believe me!!) the owner of the pony had emerged from the pub and mounted his trusty steed for the trip home.

As I followed him up the deserted main street (no tumbleweeds in sight) I briefly found myself wondering what the rules are for drink riding, assuming he’d had a drink, as I considered whether this was one of those “only in the country”, or “it’s the simple things in life” moments. I decided in the end it was the latter that are often the most rewarding. Plus on a hot Sunday afternoon, driving, it pays not to over-think things.

The memory amused me for the rest of the journey – being a lone ranger was no longer an issue.

The Bucking Bull Hotel

More than Tea and Scones

Each year members of CWA of NSW raise money for a specific medical research project.

On average over $30,000 is raised annually for research that attracts little or no government funding but which helps find answers for sufferers of chronic and debilitating conditions.

At present we are supporting Crohn’s & Colitis Australia and I asked if they would provide a brief summary of the work they do and how our donations have been used so far. It is reprinted below.

CCA Logo high quality jpeg (2)Crohn’s & Colitis Australia – recipients of the CWA of NSW Medical Research Fund Cheque 2014

Thank you so much to the Country Women’s Association of NSW for nominating Crohn’s & Colitis Australia as the beneficiary of your fund raising for the last 12 months.

For those who may not be aware, Crohn’s disease and colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases or (IBD) that affect over 75,000 Australians. It’s very much a young person’s disease normally diagnosed between the ages of 15 – 35. However, we know that children much younger than that are being diagnosed.

The number of people with an IBD in Australia is predicted to rise to over 100,000 by the end of the decade which means that we will have one of the highest prevalences in the world.

People with IBD live with a chronic illness that baffles the experts as to why we get it in the first place and what we need to do to cure it.

Until we find a cure, the best we can do is to treat the pain, the bleeding, fatigue, the weight loss and the crippling diarrhoea that characterise these life-long incurable diseases.

The funds raised by the CWA of NSW last year were allocated to two research projects:

The POCER Study and the Angela McAvoy Fellowship.

The POCER study has won a number of international awards for its ground breaking research which has found ways to significantly reduce surgeries in Crohn’s patients and keep people disease free for extended periods of time.

The Angela McAvoy Fellowship is researching the influence of diet and fat cells in causing inflammation, and is identifying ways to reduce inflammation in the bowel through diet. This research is being undertaken at the Monash Medical Centre.

The funds raised this year will again go towards research to continue funding projects that are leading the way in IBD research.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, and the team at CCA I want to extend a very warm thank you for your support and this incredible contribution to our work.

Lauren Mann
Fundraising & Events Coordinator


Things Happen for a Reason … don’t they?

Whilst having a cup of tea with Emma and Jeff on Sunday morning and absently wondering what to write about this week a news break came on telly which consisted of declarations of war, warnings about the spread of the Ebola virus, possible terrorist attacks in Australia and unprecedented security for the G20 meeting and injecting chemicals in the soil around trees in Melbourne’s CBD to help hay fever sufferers. I will admit my first thought on the last item after listening to all the other reports was cynically verbalised by Emma almost immediately – First World problems, eh?

Before you jump to conclusions Emma and I both suffer from various allergies and we certainly were not trying to belittle the symptoms suffered. It just struck me as incongruous that these news items should appear in the same bulletin. I’m still trying to process what I think about it, but I guess the last story is quirky and takes our minds off the serious and depressing content of the others.wedge tailed eagle

In nature things happen for a reason. Jeff reminded me today of a story his cousin told us recently about flying pigs. Seriously! He spotted a wedge-tailed eagle with a wild piglet in its talons flying, he presumed, back to the nest when a murder of crows attacked and the eagle was forced to drop the piglet. Whilst the crows were busy fighting over the released piglet the mate of our first eagle was quietly heading in the other direction with a second piglet firmly in its sharp clutches. Somewhat cruel for the piglets but nature at work; survival of the fittest and clever teamwork!

In most religions things happen for a reason. How many times have you heard or uttered yourself that old phrase about God working in mysterious ways? A neighbour once told me she silently utters a prayer to St Christopher for a parking spot in the busy main street of Narrabri, which is more often than not, granted. It works, I’ve tried it myself!

How is this related to my initial jottings? I guess what I am really wondering is, why are all these things happening? Is there a reason or just bad timing/coincidence? Have we done our dash with Mother Nature or our Father in all his forms?

Do I need to get out more?