They say that the best things in life are free, and although I agree with that about 91.2% of the time,  I did indeed get a wonderful reminder of that over the Easter break.  I guess the 9.8% of me believes that yes getting out into nature and spending time with family is indeed free,  but you need to fill the car (which costs you $) with fuel (which also costs $$) to be able to get to them in the first place,  or get deep into said nature.

One of life's joys is being able to go out in a boat (which cost $) fishing with my son Dwayne and 2 grand sons â€" Jet aged 7 and Mitch aged 4. Not only is this a brilliant time of the year to indulge in a little fishing and camping,  but the weather has been fantastic and so taking young gentlemen outdoors is a lot easier when you're not having to contend with the elements like wind and rain!

In the Swan Hill region we're incredibly lucky to live in the midst of 5 rivers, and on one of the longest rivers in the world - the Mighty Murray River,  which has had, and continues to have it's share of environmental struggles like black water, salinity, European carp etc.  These are truly magnificent natural resources we have here,  which allows the production of some of the finest foods in the world in our fruit & vegetable domestic and export markets and our growing nut exports further downstream.  I do believe it's important to teach our young people the importance of such brilliant rivers and how to look after themselves when around it,  and how to nurture the longevity of the river itself.  So taking my boys out on the river is such an important exercise in so many ways.  For the grandson's it was all about fun and fishing. Result of 1 hour fishing = 16 e European carp and loads of smiles and fun had by all.


The best thing about it was of course the passing on of my knowledge.  It's almost like it was the first time I realized I was the elder in the group,  and passing on my stories, teachings and rules about the river.  But if we can all pass on the knowledge we have acquired about respect for the river, the rules and enjoying the outdoors, well we might just have passed on something more valuable than we can ever imagine to future generations,  and that, my friends is truly one of life's greatest, free gifts.