Wednesday, December 31

Pickling Beetroot

I grew up in the era where many people did their own preserving of fruit and vegetables - there was no choice.  We did not have supermarkets full of canned, frozen, or bottled fruit and vegetables, so we had to do it ourselves.

It has been many years since I have prepared my own pickled beetroot - I've been lazy for a long time, choosing to pick a can of beetroot off the shelves when I shop.  Recently I have been dissatisfied with the canned variety.  For reasons I do not comprehend the product is not as satisfying for me - I think they are reducing the cooking time and the result is hard beetroot.  Not to my liking.

So the other day I bought a bunch of beetroot, boiled it until it was soft, peeled and sliced it and put it in a jar with vinegar.  Simple.  I should have checked a recipe perhaps, but didn't.  Anyway, whatever I did, it went over well.  In fact my family were very impressed!!

And so I am making more.  This time I am using some other recipes to see if I can improve on my first (for many years) attempt.

For recipes go to Taste and Best Recipes

Beetroot - just need to cut off the leaves, rinse and put into saucepan

And so I am making more.  This time I am using some other recipes to see if I can improve on my first (for many years) attempt.

For recipes go to Taste and Best Recipes

Tuesday, December 30

Hot Cross Buns

Christians generally will know that Hot Cross Buns are a feature of the Easter Celebration in the Christian faith.  Many of us in Australia are upset that some of the major supermarket chains have these buns for sale - just a day or so after Christmas - more than three months before Easter, 2015.

Many people are outraged that these buns complete with the Christian symbol (the cross) are marketed and sold so early - I think demeaning the Christian celebration.  I have posted on the FB page of one of the major supermarket giants and have had a response that they will sell them as the public want them.  How do they know?????

So I am about to see how much support I get to embarrass these companies and try to get them to stop selling "hot cross buns" and remove the cross.

We will see.


Sunday, December 28

Christmas - for some a Wonderful Time of the Year.I

It is a wonderful time of the year - words similar to a Christmas song - Andy Williams gained fame for singing "It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year".  I do love the song and many other Christmas songs.

I love Christmas hymns too - and shall be watching "Songs of Praise" today on ABC television.  It is something I always do if I am home each Sunday at 11.30 am.

Christmas can be a most wonderful time.  Last year it was not a good Christmas Day for me as I was very ill with food poisoning - home alone and struggling.  Clearly I survived.

This year I spent Christmas Eve with some friends - friends from a long time ago.  My friend's daughter, now with four children of her own including a nearly 20 year old, was our babysitter many year ago.  My daughter is 47 now.  So it has been a long friendship with the family!

I then went to my daughter's place - and on Christmas Day I was there when the grandchildren awoke to see what Santa had brought them!


We did have a wonderful day - a lot of fun, good food and good company.  I do think though of those people for whom Christmas is not a happy time.  I think of the families whose loved ones passed away recently - or are suffering in some way and there are clearly many things that cause suffering, from health, to situations that I can only imagine.  I hear there are great "orphans" events these days - where people who have no family to spend time with at Christmas come together for a special event.

I was mindful that it was the first Christmas without my mother who passed away in June this year. And strangely when I returned home on Boxing Day and went into my fern house to check out on my plants, I saw that my "Joyce Orchid" was in flower.  I call it Joyce because I bought it just after my mother died.  I think of her often, especially when the orchid is flowering.


I love the celebrations, the food, the fun - but am somewhat perplexed about the "spend, spend, spend" that comes with this season.  I find it difficult to buy for family - they seem to have everything that I can afford.  They have so much that duplication is always a risk.  I know it is a challenge that many seniors find difficult.

Tuesday, December 23

Bloggers Earning Dollars!

I have a collection of friends I have never met, but we met and communicate regularly - our common ground is Blogging.

I blog for fun really - as a way of getting some of my stories "in print" and sharing of my travel stories and photographs.

Money?  Of course I would like to earn more - but it is not the focus of my endeavours.  I thank one of my Blogging Friends for sending information to me about a new platform which is planning to pay bloggers.  It is interesting. Easy.  Free to join, so it might be worth joining and discovering what the journey will be like.

Below is an interview with the founder of Tsu.  If you would like to join - here is the link.  Tsu




I have only just joined so cannot brag about dollars earned - but it is a good site to use - easy, and just maybe it will work.

Who knows.  Click here to join.  Tsu


Monday, December 22

Forty Years on - Memories of the Darwin Disaster

In some ways it is hard to believe that it is 40 years since Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia was so brutally damaged on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, while the rest of us were celebrating oblivious to the tragedies unfolding in the north of the country.

My family - husband, daughter and son, had travelled to Mt Gambier in South Australia to spend Christmas with my parents, who lived in their fairly new home just a few hundred meters from where I had done my nursing training years earlier.

We had a lovely day - can't recall the details but I know it was good - with plenty of food (maybe turkey, and vegetables and Christmas pudding.  Yum.  Everyone was happy.  I don't know who turned the television on late in the afternoon.  Perhaps my husband, perhaps my father.  The headline news was of the disaster in Darwin and we all watched on in horror and disbelief.

Some 66 people died, and many thousands lost their homes.  It was a nightmare.  I had not been to Darwin .  I wasn't to visit until a few years later where I remained in the airport, but in 2013 I did visit.  




The cyclone warning signal is something I have heard on occasions since then.  Even now it strikes fear into me.  I confess I cried when I heard it as I found the video for this post.

I still find it hard to watch the video above.

Of course it is a different city now - with many of the buildings supposed to withstand the high winds that come with cyclones, but there has not been another one like cyclone Tracy.  It was so cruel that it destroyed Christmas for all who lived in Darwin.

Something I will never forget.


Sunday, December 21

The Sacred Lotus Flower

Last year I accidentally discovered a whole lake filled with Lotus at Sandstone Point - not far from my home in Beachmere.  There is a large lake beside the Sandstone Point shopping centre.  There is a lovely lawned area and a shelter, and a path right around the lake.  I calculated that they would be flowering around December to February, so this morning I set off to see if there were good photography opportunities.

The area did not look as healthy as it did 12 months ago - with many of the huge lotus leaves dying off somewhat, and not a lot of flowers.  Perhaps I will return in a few weeks.  Maybe our dry and recent very hot weather has impacted on the flowers this season.

They are such exquisite and perfect flowers - from the pinkish bud that pokes out between the leaves, ncased in green petal-like protection that soon drops off and slowly the flower opens as the petals lose their colour, except on the tips.  I can understand how these are so sacred in some religions.  So perfect.

This is the Sacred Lotus.


When the petals are rady to drop off, the seed pod in the centre will change from yellow to green, and later brown.  As there were few seed pods in the pond, I can only guess that perhaps it is early in the flowering season for them.  

Interestingly much of the lotus is edible - the petals, the seedpod, the leaves and the roots.






I did a circuit of the pond and noticed that there were other water flowers blooming - some that we would call water lillies.  It is such a beautiful spot.

Last year there were many fruit bats in the trees surrounding the pond, but today I could see none.


The above photo shows the blue water lillies and some tiny white lilies that all seem to live happily on the lake.

Tuesday, December 16

Volunteering

I was brought up in a family that did a lot of volunteering.  As a small girl I joined the junior section of the Girl Guide movement an beacame a Brownie.  It was as a Brownie that I learned the value of doing "good deeds", and it resonated with me for all my life.

I progressed to being a Girl Guide and a Ranger Guide, but that sadly was the end of my formal involvement with the Guide movement, but it was enough to set the seeds of what I was to do for the rest of my life.

Over the years I have worked in a lot of volunteer roles, from school committees, editor of the school newsletter, various community groups, and in politics.  I was a member of Quota International, Lioness  and lots more.  I'd like a dollar for all the hours I have done helping others!

When I toured around Australia and spent time in Dongara, Western Australia I also helped out the Lions Club there.  I have also done Clean Up Australia - including the exciting one where a loaded gun was found shortly after we started and we were "locked down" because we were in the midst of a crime scene.

These days I am a volunteer at the Caboolture Historical Village - which I love as I love exploring Australian history.  Every day can be an adventure as there is so much to see and learn.

Last week I was in one of the exhibits with some folk from Pakistan and Sri Lanka (some will remember that it used to be called Ceylon), and one of the exhibits they found very interesting at the Village was the photos of all the folk hanged at the Boggo Road prison.  All bar one were men - the only woman hanged was an Ellen Thomson.  In any case it was fascinating.

The blokes were really interested.  They were fascinated that many of those executed were from other countries including two from Ceylon.



My role at the Village is wide - I have been a tour guide, and I am working in the marketing team, so kept busy.

As part of the marketing we are supporting a surprise program run by David Koch/Channel 7, as we have been recommended to be part of a program about getting a "rescue" for our website.  Funny really.

So if you read this can I ask that you visit this site and vote for the Village?  It will help us.  Maybe.

http://www.rescuemysite.com.au/nomination/historicalvillage-com-au/

Monday, December 15

A Seige in Sydney

I have to confess that when I heard about the siege in Sydney I cried.  Shock I guess, but in a way many of us in Australia have wondered when something like this in the name of Allah would happen in Australia.  I sobbed for a few kilometers and then pulled myself together.  But still I am uncomfortable - not frightened, and I think of the fear of the staff and customers at the Lindt Cafe.

Some of the information on this video (which I found on You Tube) - some people are very quick to share these sort of images, but not necessarily is the information always correct.



It is from all accounts a lone operator - so he has made us all aware of his abhorrent cause, and we are still determined as a country to support our government in ridding this country of these terrorists who seem to enjoy putting fear into people.

I heard an American, who is visiting Australia, discuss his surprise that the police want to ensure that all people are safe. He said the police in the US would have by now retaliated and stormed the cafe, and they would anticipate that there would be casualties as a result of such action.  He was critical of the attitude of the police today.  Personally I see their actions as reasonable, but I am in no position to criticise or judge what they are doing, but I do hope that they can resolve the situation without any casualties.

Again with people I was with today, the concern was expressed about Muslim women wearing face coverings - the  niqab in particular is offensive to Australians.  While I try to be sympathetic to the women who feel happy to wear these face coverings, I do know that many Australian women want it banned in Australia.  I personally happy for Muslim women to wear a hijab, which is a covering of the head and chest, but for women to have to view our world by looking between slits in a black piece of clothing I find difficult to comprehend, and I doubt if these women will really be able to assimilate with other Australians.  Are they wearing these coverings because they really believe that it is necessary, or is it the males in their families that insist upon it?  Australians are also appalled that young girls are being married off to men without their consent - that some family members are sending their daughters overseas to marry.  

I can only hope that today's situation can be resolved without any death or injury.    


Friday, December 12

Growing Liliums

We all love these flowers and for much of the year they are the choice of flower sellers - they look awesome!  I had these growing - though only white ones, in a home garden a number of years ago.  Marriage breakup and house sold, but as I didn't have a place of my own I did not manage to salvage my Liliums, (though did manage to keep some of the orchids I grew).

Recently I read somewhere that Lilium's grow well in pots.  So I went off to Bunnings and found some small plastic bags each with two bulbs in them, and came home and planted them in plastic pots.  Two bulbs per pot.  Apparently they like being a little crowded.  One packet's contents were a little sickly looking and I had doubts about their prospects.  The first pot (white flowers) took off quickly and I soon had buds on them.  Not long stems though.

I don't recall when I planted them, but it was only about 2 months or so ago, and slowly but surely they progressed.

Today one of the buds opened up - the two bulbs were supposedly the same, but you can perhaps see that their development differed, with the other plant having buds in slightly different formation, which I think will result in longer stems on the flowers.  We will see.

I have brought the pots into the house and the air is filled with the delicate and beautiful fragrance from the flowers.  I will (at the appropriate time of the season) propagate from these plants and purchase some more.


There are some instructions on growing them from Gardening Australia here.

Wednesday, December 10

Marmalade

I prefer to cook jams than eat them, but I do have one favourite that I enjoy eating more than cooking. I love my morning toast with marmalade.  The marmalade I like is orange marmalade, and after a couple of weeks of trying other brands I can say (with some authority) that Coles brand is the best.

I do consider myself somewhat of an authority on jam - having been the convenor of the Jam and Pickle Stall at my daughter's school's fete many years ago.  Also I was brought up making jam. I was born in Adelaide, South Australia back in the 1940's, and when we moved to our new home in 1948,  Mum and Dad planted a wonderful range of fruit trees, including orange, lemon, apricot, plum, and peach. 

My sister and I became jam makers during school holidays - we washed and cut the fruit and would stand over the big pot of boiling fruit, stirring until it was ready.  We knew how to check that it was all well, and we knew how our mother sterilised the jars and how she would load the hot finished jam into the jars and seal with cellophane and a rubber band, and we would write on little sticky labels the type of jam and the date it was bottled.

I miss having so much fruit to work with and eat, but then I don't have to work hard during summer to prepare it all either.  When my daughter was at school I happily volunteered to be the jam maker and convenor for their jam and pickle stall and once again I "slaved ovre a hot stove" to product the product for sale.

Occasionally I still do make some jam.  If I have surplus of fruit I will do so.  I have some strawberry jam in the fridge that I made some time ago, and several years ago I made my first Lilly Pilly Jam.  The Lilly Pilly is a tree native to Australia that has copious red or pink berries, but few people know the secret of making such jam.  I love it but it is not sold in fruit shops - you need to know someone who has a tree!!

It is a while since I have made marmalade (orange or citrus jam) and I have found one brand that I like.  I do like to support Dick Smith Foods, and bought their marmalade in my quest to support the Australian market but I don't like the marmalade.  It is darker than my favourite brand and not as tasty.  I also tried the Woolworths brand (don't like it) and IXL low sugar variety. Yuk!!!

I don't like to waste my food, so I will eat through the odd varieties that I have and when gone I will again open my Coles jar of Breakfast Marmalade.   Yum.


Sunday, December 7

A Drive through the Past

Yesterday, December 6th, 2014, I drove from my home in Beachmere, just 50 kms north of Brisbane, to a function at University of Queensland - lunch with my friends of 5W.  There is a big group of members in Brisbane - in fact around 70 turned up at the luncheon yesterday.

Along the way I passed many reminders of events in my life.  The first was on the highway at Aspley.  I can't remember when it was, I am guessing 1984, as I was working for an insurance company and I drove home from an evening appointment around 9 am and as I was passing through an area adjacent to a petrol station I hit three sheet.  I was driving in my brand new car - and the sheep ran out in front of me, smashing the whole front of my car.  One I killed, one survived and the other was thrown over my car and with broken legs thrashed around behind my car.  I ran across to the service station and called the police (no mobile phones in those days!), and went back to the car.  I actually cradled the injured sheep in my arms trying to stop it from running amok on the highway.  The police were going to shoot it, but it died in my arms.  My car was towed away for repairs.

A few kilometers along I passed a street where we used to live.  What amazing stories I can tell about life at that house.  We lived there only a few years but it was a bit of a party house (nice family parties) as it had a pool.  I could write for ages about things that happend there - the drama of the big storm in 1985 (Brisbane has just had another major storm event - the worst since that one in 1985), a rather dramatic Christmas when the young boys who were supposed to be playing happily with their sisters, drank a bottle of whisky and one ended up in hospital!  It was where our son taught mice to swim, where my husband had to rescue guinea pigs (while only dressed in his undies) when the back yard flooded and nearly drowned the beloved pets.  Oh, there are so many stories from that house.

It was from that house that the children and I left on an amazing adventure in central Queensland, when I drove the children up to Airlie Beach, and we had an amazing series of wonderful adventures.

Further along the road I came to the spot where I had another car accident.  When my car was returned after repairs from the sheep incident, and only a couple of weeks later, I was driving around the "roundabout" when a young girl clearly not concentrating, ran into the back of my car.  Badly damaged again, but not needing a tow truck.  I was not amused.  My new car was so battered in its first few months with me.  (Luckily that was the last of its dramas!)

Further on was Prince Charles Hospital where I worked back in the 1970's and the 1980's - initially in the cardiac area, and later in the psychiatric section.  A lot of memories there!!

I drove past the primary school that my children attended, and also passed a house that figured in our lives when we lived in the area.  My son had a friend who lived nearby, and one day the little boy was playing with matches as I recall, and set the house on fire.  I remember offering to have  the boys stay with us in the days immediately after the fire.   I can't recall how long he stayed - perhaps 4 or 5 days, and he went back to his parents.  A couple of days later the father and the boy appeared at our door, the father returning the items that the little boy had stolen from me!!!  So sad.  Some months later the boy ran across the road and was hit by a car - and was rendered a quadraplegic I recall.

The journey to the university is one that I have travelled frequently and often I have things that crop up to remind me of some aspect of my life.
Stained glass windows at the Women's College, University of Queensland

Lunch at the Women's College is also worth attending, but as it was a Christmas function we had roast pork and vegetables and a great choice for dessert.  I took a photo of the stained glass in the college.  Quite beautiful.

Also I was given the task of taking a photo of the whole group (see below), but we were offered the services of a lovely lady in the kitchen - a professional photographer, so I set my photo up and helped get the 70 members in order, and she took the photo so I was in it.

Around 2 pm I left and returned along the same route that had travelled earlier in the day.  Then went to a Christmas function at Beachmere before returning home and having a wonderful long night's sleep.

5W Ladies at Christmas Lunch

Saturday, November 29

Storm Season

Many of us remember that this time of year, many years ago, we were victims of many storms that lashed through parts of Brisbane.  I can recall picking up my children from kindergarten late in the afternoon (around 4 pm) when huge storms lashed Brisbane.  They are adults now with children of their own so it was a while ago.

We would rather be home and safe, but we didn't have the warnings that we get now, and often we would be caught up in it, not by choice, but by circumstances.  If you were coming home from work, and had to collect children from school or kindergarten, and it was storm season, you were likely to find yourself midst one of these storms - sometimes hail, but mostly high winds and bucket loads of rain.  I can recall dodging broken trees/branches on the road was I drove home hoping that we made it safely.  Luckily we always did.

It has been a long time since we have had massive storms, such as found their way across Brisbane last Thursday (November 27th, 2014).  I had had several warnings from Council Alerts, that storms, possible hail, high winds, etc could be heading in my direction, but we have had that often, but they've fizzled out and we've not even had a bluster of wind, and sometimes no rain.

This storm was different.

I was at my daughter's place at Hemmant (eastern suburb of Brisbane) and luckily my son in law drove my car up to a shed at the back of his house, so the hail - which was the size of  Aussie 10 or 20 cent pieces dropped where my car had just been.  Rain came down heavily, but at Hemmant it was short lived.  I was ready to go to a function in the city - actually at South Bank, across the river from the CBD, and was going by train.  Shortly after the storm passed I drove to the railway station and parked my car.

There was a train in the station, pointing the direction I was headed so I got on board.  An announcement came over the PA system that there would be a delay.  I pondered getting back into the car and driving, but knew it could be chaos in the city, parking could be a problem, and while I was procrastinating the train took off - on its wait to the city.  Sadly it only made it past two more stations before it stopped.  We were advised that all trains were cancelled.  We would have to find our own way to our destination or return home.

There were two girls from Dublin, and a bloke from Europe who were "lost" so I suggested they come with me.  Luckily I was able to get a taxi and we headed for the city.  They didn't have any money, so I paid the taxi when we arrived.  I went on to my function and the girls went on to the city. I don't know where the bloke went, but he would have been better off if he had stayed with us!!

The attendance at the function was small - clearly many people did not make it.  We learned a little of the destruction that had taken place all over that city in the storm, as many homes were badly damaged, cars had massive damage and the Army was called out as there were trees down everywhere.

Around 8.30 pm I set out to return home - someone had said that the trains were working again, so I headed for the station,  only to find hundreds of people waiting.  We were told there might be buses, but it was vague.  I returned to the streets looking for a taxi - many with passengers passed but none stopped for me.  In the end I phoned my daughter who came to get me.



These couple of videos show some of the storm as it was happening.  It was scary - and many homes damaged - a lot will be unliveable for many months.  Flooding was in many parts and so many cars have suffered hail damage - one being one that my daughter was buying.  There is some discussion about that at the moment, as who actually owned it at the time is debateable.



When I returned to my home on Friday afternoon I passed a lot of damage - trees down in many places, and I had see lots of other damage along the way, though most seemed to be in the western suburbs and CBD.

My home was safe.  (I had phoned my neighbours after the storm and they had checked my place. ) Some of my plants were shredded - and a plastic box where I grew my chives is wrecked, and there is leaf litter everywhere but otherwise all was well.  There was no electricity for nearly 24 hours, but as I was not home, I didn't use my refrigerator and it appears all the food is ok, though I am going to use some of it very quickly.

Will we get more of these storms this season?  Apparently they could be more prevalent.  Mmmm.  Must make sure I stay safe.  Luckily we do get good warnings now via SMS and Email.

Monday, November 24

Who nominated us?

I work as a volunteer with a team of folk at the Caboolture Historical Village - a rather large complex with over 70 historic buildings on 12 acres just north of Caboolture, in Queensland Australia.  If you are headed over that way, why not pop in and see just how the early settlers of this area lived way back in the 1800's.  Sadly there is no indigenous display - something that is being discussed and has been on the plan for several years, but you can learn how the Europeans lived in the area when it was settled.

Someone nominated the Caboolture Historical Village for Kochie's Website Makeover - a competition that David Koch who is a presenter on Channel 7 Australia's breakfast show Sunrise.  We don't know who did it - we are curious - but in the spirit of all good things we have decided to participate.

We've hardly started promoting the competition and seeking votes, as one apparently does in these sort of competitions, and already we have 55 votes.   Not bad for doing nearly nothing!

Anyway, I thought I could ask my readers to go and visit and vote for the site.  Click here - and it will take you the the page with information.


The top of one of the windmills in the Village

Not easy to see as they aare a little crowded - but some of the great coaches that have been restored.
With a not-for-profit organisation with a huge property to maintain and daily visitors, our website is very important to it, and we have received a detailed report which is very enlightening and refreshing at the same time.

We need all the help we can get.

Saturday, November 22

Bordello, Prostitution and Bamboo

I do laugh sometimes when my posts on my Bordello tour, my comments on Prostitution get high numbers of readers, and the other things that are more important to me don't rate so highly.  That's life!

During the week I visited a number of bamboo properties in Queensland, and I made a number of purchases at Bamboo Land at Torbanlea.  One was a little note book - make of bamboo paper.  I'd like to quote from the inforamtion that came with the tiny notebook.

"Bamboo is a fast growing, recyclable material which thrives in harsh conditions returning much needed nutrients to depleted soil.  Bamboo releases 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than timber.  Paper has been made in China for over 1500 years and as demand for paper increases bamboo is seen as an excellent renewable alternative to timber."



It is a tiny notebook, but will find a home in a small pocket in my handbag.  I usually carry a much larger note book, but I can see that this one will be handy.

I also bought a few other things including a Bamboo Mouse - pictured below.   I ust say I am impressed with the comfort.  It is a little larger than the mini one I have been using and very comfortable and it works well.  These items and others are available on the Bamboo Land website.


Why are we so reluctant to use more bamboo?  It is so much better for the environment - quicker to grow than timber and more versatile.

Thursday, November 20

Bamboo Everywhere

It is along time since I have been north to Bundaberg, but I went there this week to do some research.  I had intended to check the Bamboo Society of Australia website to check details of any members/nurseries between here and Bundaberg.  As it turned out I forgot to check but almost as soon as I realised I had forgotten I found a large nursery around Bauple.  I drove off the main road and up and around taking the following photos.






I drove further north taking note of many stands of bamboo along the way.  Driving around Howard there were some signs for Bamboo Land - so happily I visited.  Wow.  I was so impressed.

First of all I had to visit the Bamboo Loo!!!



Their shop had plenty of wonderful bamboo items.  Amazing collection and I purchased some - some tooth brushes, a bamboo mouse for my computer and some more bamboo undies.  Whoo Hoo!





It poured with rain, but when it slowed down I wandered around the gardens - below are some of my photos of the wonderful gardens.




Saturday, November 15

All the Way with LBJ - Melbourne October 1966

With all the excitement in Brisbane for the G20 this weekend I remembered when another US President came to Australia - and how I ended up in the midst of protests.  I was working at a hospital on St Kilda Road, Melbourne -  Prince Henry Hospital.  I had become disillusioned with nursing so tried my other (clerical)  skills and worked for a short time in the Medical Superintendent's Office, before decided to return to Mt Gambier to do my Midwifery (which was cancelled not long after I arrived.)

I had been aware that President Lindon Baines Johnson was due to arrive in Melbourne, and didn't plan to be where he was, but one day, I think as I was heading to the railway station to catch a train home to my lodging at St Yarra, I came face to face with all the drama.  I think LBJ had visited the Shrine of Rememberance - it was during the Vietnam War and there was much hostility about it. Harold Holt was the Prime Minister of Australia, at the time and there was a lot of political unrest.

As I walked along St Kilda Road, I became surrounded by protestors, and police on horseback.  I remember that clearly.  I don't recall I saw the President, and fought my way through the hostile crowd.  I remember being rather scared by it all.

I had no intention of visiting Brisbane City to day - I am not keen to have to watch the protesters today and get caught up in the traffic chaos.

It certainly is great that these world leaders have visited Brisbane - but I had no desire to see them.


On NaNoWriMo

I've tried and failed several times to complete NaNoWriMo - and mid way through the 30 days of frantic writing I don't know that I am going to succeed in completing the 50,000 words, but I am pleased to report I am doing much better than I thought I would this time.  Life seems to get in the way - not that I am short of writing time, and indeed have probably written more than 50,000 words already this month - on my blog or other writing I have done for two of the organisations for which I am a volunteer.

However, I am here to report that I am doing well.  Not halfway yet, but doing very well thank you very much.  And I am thrilled with what I have written as the first draught.  I have several days this week where I will have the time to write and as I can be a copious writer I look forward to adding thousands more words to the word count.

I'd love to have a "buddy" to write with - but have not though a friend is particpating, but so far we have not managed to connect.  She has completed the task on several occasions.

I purchased Chris Baty's book.  Chris is the guy that started this crazy month of novel writing in 1999 - and the book is full of wisdom on trying to complete this mammoth writing project and he has of course participated each year since he started the program.  I've rad about 10% of it - on my Kindle. I have had to put it down - so I can write, but will get back to it soon.

The style in which he has written it is rather chatty - and I think any would-be novelist will get some great advice from it.  I have been to copious writing workshops and classes and find his writing about completing a novel in a short space of time quite inspiring.

Recently the following Video was made - well worth a listen, though grab a coffee and perhaps a note pad and listen.  I am also a great fan of Blurb.




My story of total fiction - a wild ride for a young 18 year old girl who find herself living with a 70 year old woman in Queensland, a woman who has chosen to avoid the trappings of modern life and since around 1953 has survived living alone (with the help of her brother) on a county property that only recently was connected to the electricity grid.  My experience as a volunteer at the Caboolture Historical Village has helped with with some fo the historical data, and a crazy sense of humour has assisted.

It is of course halfway through NaNoWriMo and I am just a little less than a third the way through my writing goal in terms of word count.  However, I am thrilled with my progress.

This coming week I am travelling to Bundaberg in Queensland, in an endeavour to add some reality to the story.  The story is based around that area so I am doing some research.  I did catch the Tilt Train to Rockhampton, in central Queensland recently and as the train passed quickly through the area concerned, but a little too quick and not easy to take a photo!

Driving through the area I can choose to stop whenever I want to.  Also I will be staying overnight - alone, so more writing time.  Perhaps by the end of the coming week I will be about 75% finished.  That's the plan.

I recommend that you read Chris Baty's book "No Plot, No Problem" - I am still reading it, on my Amazon Kindle.

I wonder why my writing friends do not participate.  

Thursday, November 13

On Prostitution

It is not a subject that I know much about - but I do have some stories to share.  I am not aware that I have ever met a prostitute - even though I have visited a brothel, which I will shortly explain.

It is something that in my experience women do not discuss. I would think from memory, any mention of prostitution would result in words of disdain about the men and women who "indulge" in this industry.  I know many women feel that prostitutes reduce rape - if a man is so desperate for sex he can go and pay for it rather than attack and rape a vulnerable woman.  Women certainly don't sanction their husbands using the services of a prostitute - though of course we can guess that many husbands do and the wife/partner would never know.

I think there is an unspoken almost support of those women who choose prostitution out of financial desperation, though wish there was some other way of gaining financial and other support.  I have read of women paying their way through university with  their income from prostitution, but in the end, for the most part it is illegal in Australia.

It was legal and very much controlled in some mining towns in Kalgoorlie for many years and I had the privilege of visiting one of the famous brothels in 2013.  It is a  working brothel and a tourist attraction.  I know, sounds weird.  Anyway, when I discovered the advertisement for it in the tourist brochure when I was there, I visited.  The Madam was most interesting - she had certainly not been a prostitute, and ran a good clean safe operation for the girls, despite the fact that the strict laws that governed the industry were no longer.  It was fascinating.

Questa Casa in Kalgoorlie




Why am I posting this today?  In part because I read an article about how Sweden has changed its attitude and laws regarding prostitution.  It was this article - actually on Facebook that interested me.  Women are exploited in many countries - for sex, and much of it is legal e.g. procuring young girls for marriage (sex) in many countries of the world.  Men have a strange belief that they have a right to sex whenever they want it.  Having many wives helps to satisfy their sexual appetite but does nothing for the value of women. 

Wikipedia says "The laws on prostitution in Sweden make it illegal to buy sexual services, but not to sell them. Pimping, procuring and operating a brothel is also illegal.  The criminalisation of the purchase, but not selling, of sex was unique when first enacted in 1999, but since then Norway and Iceland have adopted similar legislation, both in 2009, and France began enacting a similar law in 2013"

Prostitution is governed by a number of state and federal laws in Australia - we have legal brothels and of course many illegal ones and there is a fair amount of traffic of young women being brought to Australia to do sex work.  Asian prostitutes are apparently very popular with the men.

The strict and somewhat draconian laws that governed prostitution in Kalgoorlie are no longer, and while some of the brothels, like the one I visited, are ruled by strict madams, much of the prostitution is carried out by young women from third world countries who are enticed here on promises of riches.

The issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections came to the fore a few years ago with the worldwide spread of HIV-AIDS which is still a problem, though much more manageable now with new medications and treatments.

For many women it is the fear of contracting HIV-AIDS from a husband or partner that has other partners.  The statistics in Australia are alarming to women.  It was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2011 that 60,000 men used the services of prostitutes each week.  I don't know what the figures are for all of Australia, but those figures alone are alarming.  We can only guess that many of those 60,000 are probably married men. 

The most recent data for Australia is here.   "An estimated 26,800 people in Australia live with HIV, the majority of whom are men."

So why does not Australia adopt similar laws to Sweden and the other countries that have followed suit?  Perhaps women need to lobby politicians more.  Perhaps because the majority of our law makers are men, some of whom may use the services of brothels, we will not get change in a hurry.

Women need to be more vocal to protect those women who are lured into this industry.  


.  


Tuesday, November 11

Swim with Crocodiles

Ok, we Aussies don't swim with crocodiles, however, in the north of Western Australia in 2013 at Lake Argyle I was on a sunset cruise in the lake and we saw freshwater crocodiles on the lake's edge, and some of the passengers did go swimming.  Not for me.  Not that I was particularly scared of the fairly harmless crocs watching on from the lakeside, I don't think I'd easily be able to get back into the boat if I jumped off.

Across the north of Australia there are crocodiles - huge ones - and most of us are smart enough to know that it is not very safe swimming in the areas where these huge monstors live.  Sure there are signs up in the tourist areas warning of the dangers, so why do people get taken?   Some folk have some strange sense of safety!  Or they are silly.

In the Northern Territory I did go on a tour on one of the rivers on the way to Kakadu where we went out on a boat to feed some of these monstors.

A Freshwater Croc 

Now you wouldn't want to swim with this Croc

Where I walked.....  (read the story)
I was extremely careful but I did stop my car and with great care walked along the edge of a waterway in crocodile territory to take some photos  - but I didn't take my eyes off the edge of the water.  I was looking for any sign of movement, any sign of a sneaking crocodile.  I was lucky I guess - I saw nothing.

Anyone doing any travel in the Australian outback needs to do some research - the heat, the snakes, the crocodiles are all waiting or unsuspecting travellers.  You need to carry plenty of water, wear a hat, and take a lot of care.

I drove around Australia and took great care - and I guess I had plenty of luck too - but had no problem.


Monday, November 10

The Dangers of the Outback

There are many things that folk from overseas do not understand about Australia and especially the outback.  Two things are (a) the vast distances between towns or civilisation in many regions of Australia and (b) the heat and what it can do to the human body that is not treated with care in these environments.

I have just read of a Belgian woman who was rescued from the Jim Jim Falls area of Kakadu in the Northern Territory.  Luckily her husband had the sense to call for help when she was distressed perhaps due to dehydration, but what the ABC says in its article is that they were in an area CLOSED because of safety issues.  Somehow these tourists have decided that they would be safe ignoring the signs that said it was closed.  I read that the radiant heat from the rocks in the area would have produced temperatures of more than 10 degrees hotter than areas not surrounded by such rocks.  In any case I get annoyed when folk deliberately ignore warning signs (or common sense) - and someone else has to risk their lives, and emergency groups have to use limited funds, to rescue them.

The woman is lucky - there have been deaths before..

I went to Kakadu on my trip around Australia - however, I missed out on seeing some of the most exotic places - some of which I would have loved to see because of the risks.  The biggest one for me was that I was a solo traveller and unlike the woman mentioned above, I did not have anyone to help me if I landed in danger.



It is a beautiful country - but the dangers lurk everywhere.  When I travelled I had some strict rules which I hoped would "guarantee" my safety.  There were one or two occasions, where I did not obey my rules, but luckily I was not stupid and I did the round Australia trip with no hassles.  In fact - trouble free.


One event occurred when I was at Eucla on the Nullabor Plain just past the South Australian border.  I had booked into the motel but, as I often did, set out to explore.  I knew there was a ruin of an old telegraph station, and I knew that there was a jetty not far away.  I walked off alone leaving my car at the telegraph station and headed for the sea.  It was mid to late afternoon, and I just walked through the white sand dunes, when I remembered that I needed to take my bearings in order to return safely to my car before dark.  Mmm.    It was not easy to follow footsteps in the soft white sand.  Luckily I thought to walk to the top of sand dunes and I could see a few trees.  (Nullabor means "no trees") so there were not many.  One tall tree stood out and I knew it was right beside the ruins.

I was able to walk on to the beach and the ruined jetty with confidence that I would safely return to my car.  I watched my time, took a few photos and walked back to my car.  It could have been different.  Luckily I took care of my car and had no problems though I did have a two way radio to call for help if needed.

Distances are something that boggles people from Europe and I can remember walking in an after hours medical centre when two of the UK doctors decided to drive to Cairns from Brisbane for the weekend, a distance of over 1700 kms which takes around 20 hours to drive.  They were doing it in a weekend!!!   When they reached Cairns they realised that they did not have time to look around, as they had to be on duty the next day, so they wearily drove back to Brisbane.  They were very lucky as they were not used to the Australian heat, and their rental car eventually broke down on them - as they said - at "Gumpie" which of course was Gympie and luckily not too far from Brisbane to be "rescued".  We Aussies thought it was terribly funny.

I took 5 months (though stayed with friends for long periods along the way) and was very obsessive about distances and my safety - which of course must have been right as I made it safely home.


Thursday, November 6

Are We Ruled by Greed?

I have heard the quote "Greed is Good" on occasions for many years.  Apparently now it is somewhat attributed to Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street way back in 1987 according to Wikipedia.  I am pretty sure I had heard it before but my senior brain does play tricks on me.



I am not sure that greed is really good - and I am sure that folks will argue with me on this.   Greed I guess is good for you if you are doing well with your greed - you have plenty of money, you have a good life, and so forth, but I look around me and see that the greed of some (or many) is resulting in the poverty of others.

I look at the big banks in Australia and see that they are making huge profits - massive insane profits, much of which of course is shared with shareholders, however I am gobsmacked at the insane amounts of money paid to the corporate leaders of these companies.  I see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Waste is everywhere - not just the rubbish I seen strewn around our wonderful country, but the waste in people's homes.  Do children need so many toys or clothes?  I am appalled at the number of young people who have rows and rows of shoes, of wardrobes full of clothes that are seldom, or ever worn.  (I know that my friends in China buy so much stuff in clothing stores and admit a short time later that they never wore and never will and cast it aside - hopefully to the poor.)

I recall a few years ago at a grandchild's birthday party commenting to my offspring that I found it difficult to comprehend why so many parents (read "mother's") would spend so much on gifts at parties and it was clear to me that the gifts whilst being appreciated on the day of celebration would be cast aside quickly as the children already had room overflowing with stuff.

How many stuffed toys does a child need?  How many gizmos?  It is insane.  How many children get gifts that they never wanted, never use and eventually are discarded.

Even adults are playing the game.  Despite my wish not to get gifts I get them - often things that don't physically fit me, or they don't fit into my wish list.  I thank the gift giver for their kind thought, wishes, and the gift - because I am polite, but deep down I wish I was given something that I would value or use.

I know that the more we buy the more the huge retailers profit, as do the banks, especially if the purchases are bought with credit cards and the folk and the other benefits are higher employment, and it looks like everyone is happy.

Where I live there are many people moving in and out of the area - I see the huge piles of things that do not fit into their houses - when the garage door is open you can see in and even just driving by you see why they can't fit the car/s in the garage.

As they prepare to move, or after they move there are huge bins - many of them filled with items that appear to be in good repair but are no longer wanted.  Recently some people moved out of a unit and left behind so much stuff - probably a lot of it rubbish, but there was a huge bed and some furniture that they could not afford to take with them or perhaps in the case of this family get more donated from one of the many stores or organisations that either sell or donate to "needy" folk.  They are needy because they have a greed for some things and neither save nor consider their future.

We have an increasingly unhappy society - there seems to be more lawbreakers - and I must say that if I hear governments telling us the opposite, I would suggest that it is much abaout the way they keep their statistics.  The police are busy with big issues mostly, which is fair, but so much petty crime or social disobedience is ignored.  People don't bother reporting some petty crimes - the police are not interested (and I have had first hand experience with that!) 

Older people are increasingly concerned about their safety.  Our televisions bombard us with the news of the latest gruesome crime further adding to the concerns, and people keep on doing what they want - many feeling that they have a RIGHT to do whatever they want.

For all the money, the greed, the things we can buy - we don't have a happier, safer, content community.  I wonder what the future holds.

Tuesday, November 4

The Melbourne Cup and the Horses

It is the horse race that stops a nation. The Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.  For my friends from places other than Australia would find this day quite extra ordinary.  The race of course is held in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria - but around Australia the festivities are enormous.  It is not a public holiday other than in Victoria, but across the country there is little work done especially in the afternoon.  The race is run in the afternoon, and the festivities start in the morning.  It is called "the race that stops a nation"!

Sadly I have never been to Melbourne but in the past have attended race meetings on Melbourne Cup Day in Brisbane.  On this day, November 4th, 2014 I was at a little bowls club at Beachmere for a cup event - and there were hundreds of these being held all around the country


There is a lot of planning for these events - clearly selling tickets or booking the numbers so that the event has a chance of success.  Most will offer a glass of champagne/bubbles on arrival, and tickets in Sweeps will be sold.  You can generally buy a $2, or $5, or $10, or $20 - though no doubt in some places $50 or $100 tickets will be sold.  Each purchase gives you "a horse" - you get either the number or the name of the horse and if it is placed in the Cup, you will win some money.  Usually with sweeps the money is shared with the "winners", though sometimes there is a prize for the person whose horse comes last.

Fashions on the Field - is a big event for fashionista's.  Fashion gurus, costumes, and more - just see some of the footage/photos from the event.  Major fashion designers are eager to see their fashions receive publicity so are keen to dress some of the "A listers" - those people who generally get a lot of publicity, whatever they are wearing.

A Fashion Parade, or a competition within guests to choose the best dressed guest, and/or the best hat is often a feature of a Melbourne Cup Party.

Food and drinks - that is important for a good party - lots of wine, lots of good food which hopefully will include prawns.  Lunch today at Club Beachmere included prawns, chicken, ham, pork, a selection of salads, hot bread roll and butter and lots more.  Dessert was a great selection!!!


There were lots of prizes, raffles, and lucky draws.  Many women were dressed in fancy gear - some men even dressed smarter.

There was a lot of noise and laughter and then at 2 pm Queensland time the big race started.  The television had been on for many of the races but with a large crowd it was difficult to hear what was going on, but we were all there for THE BIG RACE - THE MELBOURNE CUP.

The Winner is Protectionist  As the run ran, everyone watched and tried to listen, but with people yelling to encourage "their" horse to race to the finish line first it was all exciting.

Sadly after the race one horse died - it just collapsed and died and of course there will be a post mortem to discover the cause of death.  Another horse was injured following the race - in a freak accident as it shied after someone waved a flag.  Hopefully the horse will be ok.

I do feel for the horses - I don't like the jockeys whipping them - but it has been a feature of horse racing for ever, despite the fact that there is evidence that the whipping does not make the horse race faster and one jockey has been fined for over use of the whip.

The Melbourne Cup will be in the headlines of newspapers and television for the next few days. And then there is next year.



How does anyone know "the rules"?

As I look around the community in which I live - the country, the state, and the regional council where I live I wonder if anyone knows the rules of good behaviour.  Not that there is a written document, but I wonder how ordinary people get to understand what is accepted behaviour these days?

I guess it is always a problem - whatever community one lives in.  Even if there is an expectation that people "know" the rules they still disobey them.

This may be a long and convoluted explanation, but hear me out.

I have just been reading about a 26 year old man who with a 19 year old friend set out one day last week to trespass on railway property with the aim of doing some graffiti on trains.  I am quite sure both men knew that it was to be an illegal act.  But they went ahead.  I don't know all the detail, but the older man somehow was electrocuted.  He did survive initially - with burns to more than 80% of his body.  Apparently the other man called the emergency services.  He would have known then that he was in big trouble.  Fortunately he did not desert his friend - who later died from his injuries.

Stupid?  Ignorance/disobeying the rules?  Graffiti in this way is illegal, trespassing is illegal.  Was the "high" they got from their way of having fun worth it?

I know nothing of the 26 year old - but he certainly displayed little concern for his or his friend's welfare and no thought about his family who are probably busy as I write this mourning his death, and preparing for his funeral.

As I ride and walk around my small community of less than 4,000 I see the piles of rubbish in the streets and parks.  People who carelessly just drop the paper, drink can or bottle, or other rubbish right where they stand so that they do not have to walk a few steps or put their own rubbish in a bin.  I saw it when I drove around Australia - along the roadways all around the country is the evidence of the stupidity and lack of care by hundreds and hundreds of travellers.  They just chuck their rubbish from the vehicle as they drive by.  I have spent hours cleaning up the side of the roads and highways.  I lament the stupidity of this "morons" that seem to think that others should be responsible for their mess.

But I go back to my question, "how does anyone know (or learn) the rules of our society?

What on earth do students learn at school?  What do parents teach their children?  Why, as young adults, do people think that they can commit violence, public disobedience, and crime without their being consequences.

Many of my peers wonder at the wisdom of banning parents from smacking their children.  According to the "do-gooders" it creates a violent society - but as I write this, towards the end of 2014, we have a much more violent society than I can recall when I brought my children up - and they are parents themselves these days.   Did I turn out to be violent because my parents smacked me - or hit me with the wooden spoon?  Most of all my parents used it as a threat - for if one had experienced the wrath of an angry parent dishing out punishment with a strong hand or the wooden spoon - the pain is something that you did not wish to have again, so you obeyed the rules.  My children who were threatened more than actually punished, did not turn out violent criminals - for they too knew that the consequences of their actions might result in PAIN.  There is no fear or no consequences that young people these days have to face, and parents have less "tools" to use in their efforts to teach young people right from wrong.

Did the 26 year old trespassing graffiti vandal consider the consequences of his actions?  He was probably full of bravado with no thought as to any problems with what he was doing.  He's dead now and his family will have to deal with his death, the costs (yes, funerals are not free) and other consequences of his demise.

I could guess that 26 year olds don't read the papers, watch the television news, and ignore the copious pieces of paper that turn up in our homes detailing the various changes in the law.  They don't see the programs where potential travellers are denied an opportunity to travel because they have a criminal record.

Those who litter our country with no concern are probably the ones that want to be kind to animals, do something about the pollution and want the world to be totally free and safe, without understanding that we all must take a role in making the world a safer, cleaner and better place with a better future than we seem to have now.

With all the money spend on publicity concerning the health risks of cigarette smoking - and I see young people, many of whom look as if they are unemployed, continue to smoke.  Even older people who perhaps should know better continue to smoke.  I don't know what to do about that.

We all know that drug taking is a major problem - not only with health (it is proven that mental health diminishes with frequent drug use), but with the chaos that fills the lives of those who continue to use drugs, the potential to end up in jail or hospital, the massive cost to the community.  It is a major problem.  I knew in the 1970's of the consequences of drug use - as a registered nurse in a psychiatric hospital - we saw what drugs did to the mind and saw the consequences of people whose lives were ruined by their drug taking.  Still people seem to think they can take drugs with no consequences.  How can we teach them the truth?

How many idiots drive on our roads without a licence?  How many drive unregistered vehicles risking so much?

We must find a way to re-educate people - even some really formal re-education programs in return for Social Security.  People who rely on government pensions (unemployment, disability, aged) should also be required to do the right thing to qualify.  So if they smoke - reduce their pension, if they do drugs, reduce their pension.  If they do crime - apart from being dealt with by the courts they should get less money in their pension.

Do people know the real consequences of drug taking, smoking, law breaking?

Reward those who obey the law and are law abiding useful citizens somehow.  Worth thinking about!



Monday, November 3

Green Frogs

I get to see and hear green frogs where I live - and have managed to take a few good photos.  I look for them most nights especially during spring or summer, and when rain is around - perhaps they can smell the rain clouds - they croak loudly as if willing the clouds to let loose their rain drops.  It doesn't always work though.

We are enduring one of the driest periods on record - and long for some decent rain to liven up the lawns and the grasses for the animals - this is semi rural with  cows, horses, goats, sheep and other animals on properties around here.

I hadn't seen the green frogs during winter - but they are out and about now.  I found one on the top of my barbeque the other day, the same one that lives in my air conditioning unit and has done since I moved here over a year ago.

This fellow is a regular visitor.

This one high tailed it along the fence when it saw the camera.
I don't know where they go to exactly but previously I have seen several walking along the top of the fence - I wondered if they went to the house next door as they have a big fish pond. Well, bigger than mine.

I've seen as many as 3 or 4 walking along the top of the fence all at once, and I can only assume that some time before dawn the next day, they have made their return journey to where ever they rest for the day.

The Green Frog is an interesting species.  You can read the Wikipedia article here.

Well frogs don't go "La De Da De Dah" - but it is a song that I remember from my childhood.


Saturday, November 1

My E-bike

It was quite cool when I set off on my e-bike this morning.  I love my bike - love it that I can choose to pedal, or pedal hard.  I can choose to be kind to my right dicky-knee.  I went first to the Beachmere Markets - a bit quiet there but I visited most of the stalls.   Then for a wander to the beach front.  Low tide again.  I just love the scenery when the tide is low.   There were great groups of soldier crabs close in shore and long legged wader birds wandering in the shallows looking for food.

Looking out towards Moreton Island.

North to Bribie Island.
Then I called in at a friend's place - a cup of tea and a chat, and then off to the newsagent to get the Saturday Courier Mail, and then pedalled back home.  I left the bike ready for an afternoon ride, but I am procrastinating.  The wind is blowing a gale and it is hot.  Perhaps if I wait a while the wind will die down.

I have been keen to have a fritter - can't seem to get it out of my mind, but I haven't had the meat to put in it.  About midday when I was searching in the fridge for inspiration for my lunch I suddenly thought I should buy some beef and cook it.  I jumped in the car and went to Beachmere Butchery, and bought some silverside.

It was such a long time since I cooked a silverside that I'd forgotten so onto the 'Net and found a few recipes and it was soon in the pot.  Simple recipe - a pan of water with peppercorns, onion, cloves, bay leaves, salt and vinegar and I let it simmer for an hour and a half and it is all done.

Fritters tonight?  I think so!

Also while wasting time today I found a great article about a ranger on Moreton Island that loves photography - and what a grand place he has as his "canvas".  Good story, here.




Friday, October 31

A Round Tuit

I remember many years ago seeing a "round tuit".  I didn't know where it all started but it was a play on words.  It apparently started around 1964, and people who were always getting "around to it" when they procrastinated about things, was where it all came from.

At the time there were various gifts and items, that would be given to someone.  I think we all procrasinated about things.  I am a great list builder -  I usually write out a list of important things that need to be done the next day.  I do find myself doing the easy things first, though at times I deliberately do the hard ones first.

I tend to be a doer.  One thing that I seemed never to get "around to" was the train trip to Rockhampton.  I am glad I have done it.  It wasn't about money - more about time.  I would have liked to have stayed longer, but it was not to be.

Recently I have had discussions with a number of people wh spoke about "getting round tuit" on some issue of their lives.

One term that is used these days is "Bucket List" - since the movie way back where two terminally ill people set out to do things on their Bucket List.  I don't actually have a bucket list - though if I did one thing would be to visit Italy.

I remember some 50 years ago I was interested in going to Italy and for some months learned Italian - something that actually helped me in my nursing career as I was able to help a family of a sick woman.

Will I get to Italy?  It is on my list to do next year.  Watch this space.  I must do it before I get too old to travel.

I will get "round tuit!".

Thank Goodness it was Radio!!

Some weeks ago, I was asked to communicate with a radio station about some marketing for the historical village where I am a volunteer.  The radio station is run by volunteers too - so it has been difficult to make contact with the lady I was to speak with.  We've played telephone tag on more than one occasion.

Today, out of the blue she phoned asking if she could do an intereview - about 10 minutes away.  I was glad it was not television - as I was not dressed well enough for folk to see me, but because it was radio, I got away with it.  Thank Goodness.

It was a brief interview but I managed to take a few notes in the short preparation time, and though there was some problem with the signal - perhaps because I was on my only phone (mobile) and needed my notes on my computer - perhaps some challenges between the two technologies.

Still it went to air.  Maybe I will get some feedback.

Then I went out - after a shower and dressing more appropriately - to pick up some business cards and have lunch with some friends,   When I came home there was a letter in my letter box - address to "The Resident" at my address - suggesting I might be interesting in joining the NBN (National Broadband Network).  How  hilarious.  They should know that I am connected and have been for almost 12 months, despite the fact that their website declares that I am not in an NBN area.

Life can be confusing.