Thursday, May 5

Tattoos and Metal

I have to laugh a little as I have a tattoo.  Not a real one, but one that I had expected would have disappeared without trace, within 48 hours of it being applied at the Urban Music Festival.

It is the U of the Urban event, and despite attempts to delete it, it remains, though getting fainter each day.

I have been the butt of a few jokes over it.   I do think it is amusing and I am glad that it will be soon gone.

I am not a fan of tattoos or metal rings in weird parts of the body.  I respect that many folk love it and I have seen some "masterpieces" or fantastic pieces of art on bodies.  I see a place for them, but I do almost puke when I see some.  

In the supermarket recently, I came face to face with another shopper - a guy , perhaps in his 40's who was covered with tatts.  His face was covered in what looked like a feather image over both sides of his face.  Weird.  And some metal rings around the place.

I wonder if he is employed, or if so what he must do.  I don't see that he would get "normal" employment. 

One of the things I have noticed is that so many young people spend a lot of money on tatts and metal bits and pieces all around their bodies.  I wonder if they will ever get employment.   To me it appears that many people on the very low income scale seem to find the funds to do this sort of thing.  They look like they are down to their last few dollars, but have had the funds to spend on the tatts, and they generally smoke, and I'd almost bet that they also indulge in drugs.

I wonder what their chances of improving their chances for employment, or a better life would be if they didn't smoke cigarette, didn't do drugs and didn't bother getting strange tattoos on their bodies.  

Once upon a time, I thought that only men in the navy or armed forces would get tattoos, and generally, they were on their body or arms.  Another group of men were those in prison, as they managed to get or make the tools to create ink tattoos on their body and they were generally not artistic, but rather nasty looking pieces.

One of the biggest growing business areas these days is the removal of tattoos.  I'm not surprised. 

Wednesday, May 4

Weekend Notes - Work for Writers

I started writing for Weekend Notes many months ago, and gradually I am learning to make the most of this amazing website that is international and gives writers in many places around the world an opportunity to write about places to visit and things to do.

Apart from learning about the country I live in, I can learn about other places, though I do focus on places I am likely to travel to - and at the moment it is other places in Australia.

The Peanut Silos at Kingaroy

Recently, I went on a drive north to Kingaroy, and along the way I stopped at Kilcoy, Moore, and Nanango and all along the way I stopped to take photos and find stories of some of the interesting spots to go. 

Historic Hotel near the Peanut Silos
Oh, there were so many.  Kingaroy is known as the Peanut Capital of Australia with a very interesting history on the growing of peanuts.  They also grow Navy Beans there - we know them mainly as "baked beans".

I like visiting historical places, so Ringsfield House at Nanango
was one place I called into. 

I know I like to travel overseas, but I love driving around my own country as there is so much to see.  You have to stop occasionally.

Years ago, when I travelled around Australia, I came across a number of women who were travelling with their partner, who explained that their menfolk didn't like to stop very much.  They liked to get to their destination quickly and the fewer stops the better.  Women I think are more adventurous.

I so love driving on my own, and stopping when and where I want. This I love.  Now, I do think that sometimes I would enjoy company, but I have learned that my travelling companions don't like stopping as much as I do.  They get bored with it, but I take my camera and take photos.  

Years ago I stayed at Taabinga Homestead and I was happy to visit again.  It hasn't changed (for years and years I am sure.)

So if you visit Weekend Notes you might find interesting information of your local area, and if you are a writer and would like to write for Weekend Notes, leave a comment and I will send you information on how to write for WN.

Tuesday, May 3

Houses and Building

There is a lot of discussion at the moment re the "housing market" in Australia at the moment.  Housing prices are going up and up, and often the houses are being bought by investors who don't necessarily put tenants in their newly purchased homes.  The number of empty homes in Australia is rising, and we do have a housing shortage.  This article is interesting.

I have written about the Chinese experience where millions of Chinese apartments are empty, and the Chinese are happy with that. I can remember my former student telling me that it was wise NOT to have tenants as, despite getting rental payments, the cost of maintenance of an apartment is such that it is more lucrative, apparently, to just let it remain empty.

I was surprised to hear that, and even more surprised to learn that the same thing is happening in Australia now.  Is it the Chinese that are behind this behaviour that is now more common in Australia?

I watched Four Corners on the ABC last night, which featured stories about the housing market in Australia.  A young lady with $150,000 cash deposit has been outbid every time she went to buy a house.  Because the investors are able to access more $$$'s from apparently over-enthusiastic lending practices by banks, which are lending high amounts to many people who will not be able to maintain payments if the market crashes.  The banks are not at risk of losing their money, but the folk who overborrowed, or whose documents have been apparently doctored by unknown persons, are at very high risk.

Also, there was a brief report on the standard of building.  Tradies are often using inferior product, or rushing through building tasks more concerned with finishing the job "near enough is good enough" and increasing their profits.  This is an issue that I have spoken about on many occasions and few people have taken me seriously.

I moved into a new duplex three years ago, and have had to endure problems as a result of poor building, or cheap product.  The first summer I was here, the air conditioning didn't work.  It appears that when the property was being built thieves stole the outside motor for the air conditioner and it was replaced by another one, and not connected properly.  The water tank was not put in properly - so that there is 15% of the tank that will never hold water as the overflow pipe was installed lower than it should have been.  Also the pump broke down, and also other items IN the tank were faulty.

You can see the overflow pipe - apparently it should have been a foot or so higher.

Over and over I have had to call the real estate agent to get repairs done.  The smoke alarm system was faulty - was completely replaced within months of me moving in.  I have had electrical problems too - with light switches arking.  (is that the word?)

The air conditioning motor is so low that one cannot mow the lawn under it.

Also, the air conditioning unit, on the outside of the wall (this is the one that was replaced after the earlier one was stolen) is so low that I cannot mow the lawn.  Did anyone ever consider this? 

Clearly to me there are several issues with Australian housing.  Certainly young people are being priced out of the housing market - though I recall that the same story was headlines when I was much younger and looking at getting into the housing market.

I do wish though that more care was taken by "building inspectors".  My father was a building supervisor, and not well liked for being so pedantic.  I recall that when he went to a new area, where, apparently, money was changing hands between the supervisor before him, to allow the building to be approved without being up to the standard required.  The builders did not get paid unless and until my father was happy with the work being done.  The builders who had gotten away with shabby work previously were most upset and threatened my father, but he won in the end.  Sadly, I doubt if there are many supervisors who are as pedantic as Dad was.

Sunday, May 1

Candles and Children

It has happened again.  A house fire as a result of a candle - and again, a candle in a child's room.  My advice to all mothers and fathers, and indeed anyone is that candles and children do not mix well.

An adult with a candle can be dangerous - but a candle near a child is far more likely to end up badly.

In the last few days, a country family has had their house burnt down, as a result of a candle in a child's bedroom.  Not only did they lose their house, but the child has been in hospital in a critical condition since the event, with burns to 80% of his body.

The child is in an induced coma - if he was awake the little boy, who is about two years old would be constantly screaming with the pain.

I recall when my grandchildren were young, how my daughter saw no issue with having a candle burning in her house.  I was always uncomfortable.  My words of warning fell on deaf ears, and indeed I ended up being the one that was seen as the "bad" person.  I have often had to shut my mouth, lest I get into a not to nice argument on some issues with my offspring.

I can guess that every mother would have had an event in the family with a near-miss event with fire or similar.  When my children were small, I was a smoker.  My son found my matches  in my bag as we were driving somewhere.  He was about two, but he'd seen how they worked and lit one while I was driving.  I freaked when he screamed and I saw the small flame.  He actually burned his fingers together.  Not a big fire, or a big injury, but enough for me to learn from the experience to keep my fire making implements well away from him.

It was not, of course,  the only time he experimented with fire or electricity.  One night he set his bed on fire when playing with his bed lamp.  We were lucky that night that not a lot of damage was done to him or property.  He was a boy after all, and much more adventurous than his studious sister.

I am against having rules - well, I mean strict legal rules - we have too many and most people don't know them anyway, but we have lost a lot of common sense.  OK, I know that my generation and the generations before were not all gifted with common sense, but I can recall having more rules than I perceive children having these days. 

We were taught to have respect for others, especially elders.  Clearly that is not something that most children understand.  I may be a bit "picky" but when I was growing up one would never address another adult by their first name.  And even as an adult, you would address another adult initially as Mr, Mrs, etc. until he/her requested that you use their first name.

I remember as a nurse, we had to address our fellow nurses, even if they were our best friend or a sibling, as "Nurse ......." and surname.  We would never address our doctors as anything other than "Doctor", and usually their surname too.  These days it is first names, and buddy/buddy.  

I digress.

Despite all the failed efforts by scientists and other to keep us living forever, we can't even keep our children alive if they have a major health event, and they still die, as do adults too. In some ways there is an element of luck.  

But don't stretch that luck.  You do that when you do, or allow to be done, things that have a high risk.  So protect your children.  By all means use a candle, but ensure that it is used safely.  A children's bedroom at any time is unacceptable.  The risks are too high.

This little boy that I referred to earlier, if he does survive, will undergo many hours of painful surgery and will probably have ugly scars for the rest of his life.  It is not worth it.  Do take care everyone.

Monday, April 25

Anzac Day 2016

I was up early this morning - planning to ride my bike to the Anzac service at Beachmere, but could not find my helmet.  It is unlawful to ride without it, so I ended up driving.  (I have since found it!!)

It was a cool morning - much cooler than we have had for some time.  Beachmere always has a rather large ceremony - which is amazing for such a small town.

Australians certainly support the Anzac Day events much more than they did a few years ago.

Lest we Forget.

Planes and Anzac

A busy weekend again, with part of Saturday and Sunday at the War Plane Fly In event at Caboolture Airport.  It was a busy place with a number of vintage planes taking to the air. 

The airport was certainly busy - and the camera buffs were out in force!

Do remember reading about The Red Baron?  

It was a huge weekend for me as I "volunteered" there for the Caboolture Historical Village on the two days.  I am so tired.

Sunday, April 24

To Kingaroy

A few weeks ago, I made a decision to drive to Kingaroy (175 kms) from where I live at Beachmere, to write stories for along the way.  I planned to stay overnight and then return home via Gympie.  I was a bit too ambitious as I found that when I arrived at Kingaroy, after a drive that took 8 hours, because of all the stops and interviews I did along the way, I would have to spend a few hours in Kingaroy anyway, so planned to do the Gympie trip another time.

I did leave home just after 8 am, travelling along the D'Aguilar Highway to Kingaroy.  There are many places to stop and visit along the way.  I didn't manage all I wanted.  There were just too many!!  

One stop was Kilcoy - where I visited the Art Gallery, a Winery, and Yowie Park.

I woke this morning to a huge fog in Kingaroy, so I went out to take a few photos early, and eventually set off around 9 am.  So many wonderful places for tourists and even then I had a list of more to go to.

Kingaroy is famous for peanuts.  There is a huge peanut silo overlooking the town, and a couple of peanut vans around - and plenty of peanut products.

But there's more to Kingaroy than peanuts.  There are about three wineries around town.  (I only managed one!)  There's a very interesting Museum, Art Gallery, historic homes and so on.    I'd like to have had the time to visit more, but that's all I could do. 

I stayed in the Burke and Wills Motel in Kingaroy. Burke and Wills didn't travel via Kingaroy though, which I find amusing.  As the sun set over the town, there was a lovely sunset, and the image does not do justice to it.

The following morning there was a thick fog over the town.

It is the end of the peanut season, and many fields are scattered with plants pulled up.  (Peanuts grow underground).  Many fields have been ploughed ready for new planting.

Kingaroy has a number of peanut silos - one huge one overlooking the town.

Peanut Silos at Kingaroy.