Shepparton News

Shepparton rises to the challenge



A Murchison reader took a stroll along the river on Saturday, and sent us these great pics; her email mentioned her appreciati­on for the serenity of her surroundin­gs (and I thought you might like to share it). Thanks Kay. I particular­ly like the one taken from River Rd.

No heroes here

‘What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of the plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves.’ Albert Camus, a Nobel Prize-winning French author/philosophe­r, wrote this sometime in the mid-40s. It comes to mind as I watch our city rise above itself — and I write it from memory of a philosophy lecture, around 35 years ago. (Can’t find it anywhere to check), so it may not be quite word perfect. However, the gist of it is certainly as originally written — when tested, mankind rises to the task required.

Nobody out there feels like a hero; the medical staff, the people working long hours to get food orders out, the volunteers delivering emergency packages, the restaurant­s delivering free meals (when there is little left to give), the citizens of Shepp as they line up for tests or vaccinatio­ns — all simply doing what needs to be done; each rising above themselves — but no heroes here.

So, it amuses us somewhat to be described as such — and I laughed when First Grandson told me about a zoom, staff meeting of teachers at his school. When he mentioned that his family is in Shepparton, the unified response was ‘You must be so proud’. He said to me that his first, unspoken thought was ‘Well, they are not rescuing people from Kabul.’

It’s interestin­g to note that Camus goes on to suggest that quarantine, from loved ones and friends, teaches people to truly appreciate and love the people in their lives; that they are happier, and nicer, after the quarantine, than before. Not so sure about this; assuming that we didn’t fully appreciate our families previously. We’ll be relieved when this is all over — but more loving?

I have very little to tell you, this week — that you don’t already know. So, can only share my thoughts and activities over the last few days.

So, having had our daily discussion about what my husband would like for dinner, I was cooking Irish stew. It appears to me that, without vision, he has fewer choices than he had in the past — and giving him a choice for dinner seems fair enough. The conversati­on usually goes like this: Me: Would you like X or Y or Z? Him: What’s easiest?

On this day, when I listed his options, he said ‘Is Irish stew easy? And could we have dumplings with it?’

Well, yes! We could I suppose! So, back to the stew. I must confess, over the first 20 or so years of our marriage, I made — what I thought was Irish stew — with beef. It wasn’t until we were enjoying a pleasant evening in Galway and paid a ridiculous number of Aussie dollars for the dish, that I realised I was supposed to use lamb. Mind you, the meal was ordinary; lots of over-cooked cabbage; surely, if you really want to put cabbage in a stew, you add it late in the cooking process? Apparently not in Galway.

I remember, we were on our second drink when I decided I wanted to go back to the Bay. He said ‘no way’ — drinks, strange roads, tired from the day’s travel, two hours there today etc. So I said I’d get a cab and if he wouldn’t come along, I’d go alone. It was summer — or, at least, an Irish version of the season — and the days were long.

Through the second floor window of the restaurant, I could see the sun heading to the horizon — but I couldn’t see the Bay. However, the logistics of taking a cab seemed complicate­d. Did I send the driver away? Did I ask him to stay and watch me watching the sunset? Hard to meditate with a cab driver staring at you! (In those days, my mobile wasn’t working in Ireland.) It wasn’t workable and I knew it — just couldn’t resist a slightly sulky ‘What have we come here for?’ He said ‘I’ll sing the song for you’ and, as we strolled back to the hotel, he did.

Sorry! I lack discipline and I’ve deviated from the very rough plan I had to tell you about my week. We return to the stew.

Now, in the kitchen, I’m on automatic (except when I’m trying a new dish — but these are usually pinched from restaurant­s or dinner parties and there have been few of late). And, on this day, I was thinking about Barack Obama — as one does when chopping vegetables; largely because I have been slowly working my way through his third book. It’s large, about 700 pages, but I’m slow because I keep stopping. I don’t always agree with him but, OMG, I admire the man’s brain power. There are a couple of statements I’ll run by you, at some point. I’d like to know what you think. But not now — because, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m writing about my week.

It was going to be a quiet one, of course. But, that’s okay, we’ll manage with phone calls from our boys. We’ve got plenty of food — and toilet paper (with a small click and collect order — which includes wine — to get in a day or two). My Man has his audio books and his cat. (The cat story is for another day too!)

The only thing in my diary was a vaccinatio­n appointmen­t. Then the phone rang — and the week started to reveal itself.

I need to take my husband to Benalla for a cataract removal — this is causing his days to be darker than ever. But prior to that, we need a COVID test (this is due to the Shepp outbreak having spread to the Royal Melbourne). And before that, he should see his specialist. And before I take my car more than 5 km from home, it really needs a service, if I can find anyone working. Oh! and there were click and collect orders which need to be collected and delivered to family households in iso. And, I need new glasses which, apparently, are now available and I am to pick them up when notified.

Add the previously diarised vaccinatio­ns — and the week was taking on a very different appearance. What can a woman do except ‘rise above herself’.

Monday, January 12, 1914 Thrown from horse

Two young ladies and two young men went out horse riding one evening last week, when, lo, all of a sudden, one of the young ladies (who, like her fair companion, was riding astride), was thrown from her mount when near the corporatio­n yards. There was a flutter and a rush to assist her, but quickly regaining her feet, she stood like Boadicea of old, ‘‘the British warrior queen,’’ smiled plaintivel­y at the company, and asserting she had not been hurt, got astride once again and rode off with the rest. Despite her assertion, however, she was for some days past been carrying about a muchbruise­d arm

My comment: Are we sure there wasn’t a plague of some sort in Jan. 1914? Certainly wasn’t much news!

From the Town Square

Very little news around town that doesn’t relate to the pandemic.

All I can say is ‘Please keep doing what you’re doing. We might not be heroes — just ordinary people doing their best for the community. But we will beat this thing! And, when we can (2022?) we should have a party . . . A big party — in the Town Square.

And it is spring tomorrow !!

— Marnie

Email: towntalk@sheppnews

Letter: Town Talk. Shepparton News. P.O. Box 204. Shepparton 3631.

Phone: Send a text on 0418 962 507.

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 ??  ?? In focus: Murchison Bridge above the river. Below: The Goulburn River taken from River Rd. These are the photos supplied by a Murchison reader.
In focus: Murchison Bridge above the river. Below: The Goulburn River taken from River Rd. These are the photos supplied by a Murchison reader.

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