Friday, 3 July 2009

The Queen and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer

is a Scottish Officer I have had occasion to research in the last few days. (It appears in the next book I am struggling with.) Those interested can look it up in Wikipedia. Suffice to say that it is one of those differences between Scotland and England that is a reminder that things are different north of the border. Scotland is another country. They do things differently there. Being of very Scots ancestry I find it interesting.
They do things differently here too. That is perhaps even more interesting because, technically, we are supposed to be one country. There are times when it seems more as if we are a herd of dingoes scrapping over a bone. We have been doing this since before Federation.
One result of this was a failure to agree over a standard gauge of railway line between South Australia and the eastern states. That meant that, some years back, we had to endure a disruption to the rail service so that the gauge could be changed for the goods service. The passenger line had to go to a single track working. Several stations were closed. The service was reduced. Trains no longer run to time.
For the past couple of months we have had no trains at all. The passenger line has been pulled up and is being relaid. Progress is slow. This is winter. Australian workers cannot handle what they consider to be bad weather. There are, no doubt, technical problems as well.
It is also causing other problems. The congestion on the roads is greater because the alternate bus service does not provide an alternative for all. It is not always an 'accessible' bus. Even if it is an accessible bus not everyone can access it. Some gophers simply do not fit. Not all wheelchair users can manage. There is only space for two such mobility aids. Prams, pushers and strollers are supposed to be folded and stacked at the front. There is limited space. On a train the child can simply stay put - which usually restrains them nicely. The alternative buses take much longer to traverse the difference.
I simply go nowhere unless someone takes me in a car. I am not permitted to put my tricycle on the bus although it can go on the train. The nice young man at the railway service office has arranged two taxi vouchers so I can get to two medical appointments next week. Apart from that I am limited to pedal power. Sometimes this is rather good. I can avoid meetings unless someone is so keen for me to attend they arrange transport. When it is cold and wet and blowing a gale I feel the founding fathers did me a favour. If they had not disagreed I would be waiting for a train.

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