Here at Poddler’s Creek it is beautiful, mellow Autumnal weather which is being enjoyed enormously by all the inhabitants. It seems that our Barnaby, a lone koala who has been with us for years, but is rarely seen or heard, may have been joined by another koala who was seen crossing the road and inspecting the large gum trees which are Barnaby’s home. We are living in hopes that Barnaby’s loneliness and solitariness has ended. It is hard to believe sometimes that lives lived in such close proximity can be so rarely observed. We have echidnas on the property too, but we see only the evidence of their activities – dug up ants’ nests, nothing more, ever.The kangaroos are more visible and can sometimes be seen very close to the house, much to the amazement of the cats! Parrots,cockatoos and many other birds are here in their dozens and greatly enjoyed at all times of the year.
The geese have been through a time of discontent, which is predictable at this time of year. Summer is over, but there has not been enough rain to produce much green growth, not enough to keep them happy and grazing to their satisfaction. There has been a problem with them getting out to cross the road and graze a neighbour’s grass which he keeps watered regularly, providing a very great temptation. Geese are intelligent, smarter than most dogs, so it is always a matter of keeping a few jumps ahead of them and learning to think like a goose! There has been great success with regular but random offerings of tip-bits – oranges, carrots, celery, lettuces, apples, grapes, potatoes, peelings, plate scrapings, stale cat food and stale bread. Keeping them guessing with the timing is a good ploy and keeps them interested and on their toes. It also keeps this goose-keeper on her toes! Last week three bags of feed carrots were purchased and delivered by the feed merchant, along with bedding straw and grain. They gnawed through the bags and ate the carrots in twenty-four hours and have since concentrated on releasing the straw bales from their string and spreading them throughout the feed shed. Geese 4 – Humans 0! Try harder next time!
Despite the calm, settled weather, the sort that makes anyone with wind-generated electricity despair, there has been much turbulence around in all the circles that radiate out from the centre of life. A friend from a while back, not seen for some years has died in rather difficult and dubious circumstances, leaving doubts and suspicions. He was always a man of questions, uncertainties and unease. An invitation to the funeral will have to pass. A strange request from a former spouse, not seen in ten years or more, has been answered and a visit arranged for next week – perhaps an apology will be forthcoming or at any rate some acceptance and understanding of the part played in a painful episode of life. Does the past ever leave us? It seems not, no matter how we try and the best option seems to be to accept, to face it with as much grace as can be mustered, to remember all the lessons learned from it and to hold fast to who we are now, in this present moment.
The tragic events in Boston cannot go unremarked. So many lives affected in so many different ways by the experiences those who were there have been through. It has been heart-warming to see the responses from around the world, the displays of solidarity and compassion. There will be much to do in the aftermath, lives have been changed forever, those lost to be mourned and the perpetrator/s discovered. There will be few who will not be thinking of the victims with compassion, sympathy and good wishes for the future.
I watched the funeral of Mrs Thatcher this week, a sombre affair. Many thoughts presented themselves, of past times, of living through the Thatcher years, of understanding Thatcherism from the inside and observing it and it’s effects on the lives of ordinary working people, many of whom became unemployed people, because of her policies and actions. I felt for the guys who were pall-bearers in their very difficult task of heaving her up many, many steps while managing to appear in control and I hoped they were weight-lifters and chosen for their physical strength and ability to work as a team! Thatcher believed there was no such thing as society, but her funeral rather disproved that; men, women, young and old coming together to make sure she had a dignified send-off, something she denied so many in her life-time. It has been feared that there would be demonstrations, but in the end people had their say, celebrated if they needed to and marked her passing in whatever way they chose, not bothering to demonstrate, most of them had probably had ample opportunities to do that in her life-time. She managed to inspire the largest demonstrations of all time while she was in power. That was enough.
Here in my home State a much loved iconic food producer (http://www.springgullyfoods.com.au/home – love the buzzing bees on the Home page!!) has gone into receivership, the family running the company are not sure why the slump happened but are overwhelmed at the response of those who love them. They did not realise how much they were loved and how much their products appreciated. We Aussies love our food and we love the products we have known all our lives. We hate to see these family companies disappear and this time we were not going to let it happen. What would life be without Spring Gully sweet pickled gherkins? The chutneys and jams are pretty special too, a little bit different and out of the ordinary. Simple pleasures, but ones which keep us in touch with our childhood memories, the continuity of our lives and turn out to be so much more than just a simple jar of something off a shelf. My pantry is now well stocked and I have my supplies in, like all the other faithful customers who just made that extra effort and will no doubt continue to do so. Our childhood memories are intact, as are our children’s and those of their children! In this life it is so easy to forget the basics, the seemingly mundane and the simple, to believe we are above caring about such things, but how much better off we’d be if we took time to remember, to connect and to care.
Here the marketer comments, perhaps it was a marketing ploy and if so it was very succesful but not repeatable – Like pickled onions bobbing in a Spring Gully jar, most of the brands in the Spring Gully Foods portfolio are likely to return to the surface of retailer planning and discussions.
If the unprecedented demand continues like we’ve seen in the last few days, staff at the food producer will be back to being busy bees for a long time to come.
Comments shared online and discussions overheard at the Magill Rotary Club market yesterday, where Spring Gully had a stall, suggest that many South Australians have grown attached to seeing Spring Gully labels and products in their fridges and pantries and felt panic at the thought of losing this connection with their past and childhood.
So much so that Eric Webb, chairman, was overwhelmed at the market stall yesterday, saying he’s never felt such a strong outpouring of support for the brand before.
The stall was almost barren at closing time, as were shelves in many Foodland and IGA supermarkets as consumers ‘did their bit’ to save a piece of ‘their’ heritage.
From a branding perspective, there is no doubt that the longer a brand is observed and used, the stronger the bond can be with consumers and the greater their sense of ownership of (and entitlement to access) the brand becomes.
In this case, longevity is definitely a key factor that has primed many South Australians to react emotionally to the sense of loss
What an interesting statement this is, when applied, not to pickled onions but to adoption From a branding perspective, there is no doubt that the longer a brand is observed and used, the stronger the bond can be with consumers and the greater their sense of ownership of (and entitlement to access) the brand becomes. Those who market adoption and maintain the industry are no doubt well aware of all the strategies available to them and the longer adoption survives the more it will be accepted, owned and seen as an entitlement. This is a rich field of exploration and it would be interesting to see research done on the marketing of adoption, adoptees and the links between this industry and others. Have a fun weekend, hope you enjoy some down time, some productive leisure and are back refreshed next week.