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People without a gate do not realise what a gate is. 

It is the ability to lock, open, accept or reject a welcome visitor or an unwelcome visitor. Obviously, without a fence to accompany the gate, it is worthless. But, with a fence and a gate in place, what little we own in the world is precious. Without it, it is open to plunder.

I go and visit my Mum, Redhead, every few days. We speak everyday, of course. But when I drive in to her driveway, I see the gate that has stood there for over 38 years. The gates are made of wrought iron and were created in a different country in expectation of their arrival in Australia. They were forged with love and craftsmanship and, over the years have stood as guards to whoever pops in to visit. Over the decades, they have never had to serve as anything more than the beefeaters in London: there for pomp and ceremony as opposed to any real barrier to intrusion.

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People have come and gone at Redhead's house. The Jehovah's Witnesses were welcomed through the gate, served tea and biscuits and sat down to have a chat. Real Estate Agents have poured through that gate and invited in to share their gossip about the local market and the state of things in general.

Children, now grown into adulthood, have walked through those gates at Halloween and been served " goodies " and welcomed with a smile, love and a kind heart.

Christmas carols have been sung through those gates and people have been welcomed in at times of happiness, joy and family togetherness. Those gates, forged in iron all those years ago, have seen new born babies arrive, loved ones gathering to grieve at the passing of a loved one and the excited delivery of good news.

Every person who has entered that HOME has walked through those gates. 

Redhead's Gates are what we all want. If someone comes in, it is because they are welcome. If they are not, they can bugger off.

Years ago, a visitor arrived who had betrayed our family trust. He was told to go away and never come again. The gate was shut. Permanently.  

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The gates of Vienna

The wonder of a gate should never be underestimated. A strong fence and a robust gate offer a sanctuary if it is needed and a place of gathering when invited.

Since when did a Government have the right to determine who and who cannot come through someone's gate? 

Redhead has invited strangers and friends through her gate for over 38 years.


Now, it is padlocked at 5 o'clock to ensure that she is safe.

The gates that have stood so long are now her Guardians and her sentinels to ensure that she can wander about in her own place, her own space and feel content that, at least there is somewhere that has no intrusion into her life.

How many of us can say the same? 

How many of us have fences and gates? How many Nations have fences? How many Nations trust the gates that are opened to allow strangers in?

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I sit here in my unit that has no gate, no fence, no private space and I am surrounded by security screens on my windows and doors. 

I find myself yearning for a fence, a gate and the ability to keep the bastards out.  

Our lives are so open to intrusion from unwanted visitors that our fences and gates are being torn down, one by one, slowly but surely. 

I spoke with Redhead today and spoke about the fence and the gates. 

She said " what would I do without them? " 

I think of those gates, wrought all those years ago, and thank God that she has them. And I am glad that she has a bloody big padlock. 

I wish we as a nation had one. 

I just wonder who holds the key? 

Because, right now, the gates are open and hell is pouring in. Flooding in. 

We are in for a tsunami of hate. 

My God. we need a padlock but I suspect " they"  have the key. 




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