Tuesday, May 31

Apparently I am Awesome.

I hope I don't breach copyright with this - but it came in an email.  Thought I'd put it here.

No matter what our kids
And the new generation think about us,


To Those of Us Born 
1925 - 1970 :

At the end
Of this email is a quote of the month by Jay Leno. If you don't read anything else,
Read what he

Very well stated,
Mr. Leno.
 ~~~~~~~~~ TO ALL THE
 1930s, '40s, '50s,
'60s and '70s!! 

First, we survived
Being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank
 While they were

They took aspirin,
Ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then, after that
Trauma, we were
 Put to sleep
On our tummies
 In baby cribs
 With bright colored
Lead-based paints.

We had no
Childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets,
 And, when we
Rode our bikes,
 We had baseball
 Not helmets, on
Our heads.

As infants and
Children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts,
No air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..

Riding in the
Back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water
From the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one
Soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes,
White bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar.
And we weren't overweight. 


Because we were
Always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave
Home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights
Came on.
 No one was
Able to reach us all day.
 --And, we were

We would spend
Hours building
 Our go-carts out
Of scraps
 And then ride
Them down the hill,
 Only to find
Out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned
To solve the problem..

We did not
Have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were
 No video games,
No 150 channels on cable,
 No video movies
Or DVDs,
 No surround-sound or
 No cell phones, No personal computers, No Internet and
No chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS And we went
Outside and found them!

We fell out
Of trees, got cut,
 Broke bones and
 And there were
No lawsuits
 From those accidents.
We would get
Spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand,
And no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms,
And mud pies
 Made from dirt,
 The worms did
Not live in us forever.

We were given
BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses,made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and 

-although we were
Told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes
Or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just
Walked in and talked to them.

Little League had
 And not everyone
Made the team.
 Those who didn't
Had to learn
 To deal with

Imagine that!! 

The idea of a parent bailing
Us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! 

These generations have
Produced some of the best
 risk-takers, Problem solvers, and
Inventors ever.

The past 50
To 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas..

We had freedom,
Failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are
One of those born
 Between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS! 

You might want
To share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers
and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are
at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents

Kind of makes
you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?
 ~~~~~~~ The quote of
the month 

by Jay Leno: 
"With hurricanes, tornados,
fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the
country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist
attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?" 

For those that
prefer to think that God is not in control...go ahead and delete this.
For the rest
of us..... 

please pass this

Monday, May 30

All About Front Fences

There's been a bit of media discussion about front fences in housing.   I live in a street where fences are not permitted, though two properties do have them.  When I was a child we had a front fence - my father made a low brick and stone fence around 1950, and was still in place 60 years later.  My parents had a wonderful garden and small front lawn - and it is pretty much the same now as it was all those years ago.

In the township where I now live, other streets have houses where fences appear to be approved - and some the house is behind a 7 foot high fence, so one can not even see the house.

In the last couple of weeks there has been media about Canberra where front fences are not permitted.

There are other places around the world where front fences are not permitted.  I know much of what we see of housing in the UK there are few front fences.  

Personally, I like to have a fence to border my property - a low hedge is fine.  I don't wish to live behind a 6 foot high barrier.  I understand that others have other opinions and would prefer to live behind a high privacy screen/fence - though I do feel that in a suburban area that if you have a dog a high fence might be a good idea.

When I moved here I was told that they were forbidden so that people could see and make friends with their neighbours. The latter does not happen in our neighbourhood.  In part it is because our living space is at the rear of the house (and I have a 5 foot high fence there), and we seldom set eyes on our neighbours.

The lady across the road is a school teacher - I have not seen her for months.  I never see her leave for work or return home, because unless I am sitting in my bedroom with blinds wide open I don't see her coming and going.

I seldom see the neighbours on either side - unless I go out of my way to visit them!  If I am at the front of my house and look in both directions I seldom see any of the folk that live in the street.  Many are renters and do not stay long - and getting friendly with neighbours is not done the way it was done many  years ago.

My front yard is interesting - because of local flooding the house is 2 meters above "flood level" - the driveway slopes high to the garage.  There is a lawn, a small rock wall, and a rather ghastly "garden" below, with a log boundary.

In some ways it is ok - I only rent so would not get over enthusiastic about gardening - it is not an easy garden to work on.

The biggest issue I have is that young people do not understand property boundaries and often use our driveway as a ramp!!!

 * * *

The video below has nothing to do with fences - but it is an awesome display in Chile.  I'm exhausted watching it. 

Saturday, May 28

Driving North

Today I drove to Maroochydore to have breakfast with a friend at a Cafe there.  She is a Writer with Weekend Notes too, and we chatted for a few hours about our writing and our lives.  She wrote about Grandma's Outback Farm Kitchen, so we went there.

Afterwards I drove her to the Information Centre and then went on to Yandina.  I went to visit a couple of places to write articles.  I found that there were three other tourist places in the same road as the famed popular Ginger Factory, that moved to Yandina a few yeas ago from Buderim where it started life.  It was called the Buderim Ginger Factory but now is just "The Ginger Factory".

Opposite The Ginger Factory are two places that I visited.  One is Nutworks which features the Queensland Nut/Macadamia Nut.  Next door is the Pioneer Coffee Roastery so I went there too.

Also in the street is the Yandina Historic House, and I went there too.  Some great artworks can be found there.

Then the hour drive home which was uneventful.  I do like getting out and about and enjoy going to get more articles for Weekend Notes.

Thursday, May 26

Fly or Drive - Why I Choose to Drive.

I am still considering the journey from Brisbane to Melbourne, then across to Devonport by boat and a few days drive around the island of Tasmania, then from Melbourne to Adelaide and then back to Brisbane.  Probably around 5000 kms, and I plan to go on my own.

Because I wish to attend an event in Launceston, Tasmania, on August 7th, I have to go at that time - when it is bitterly cold.  My friends all want to warn me about the cold, but despite the fact that I suffer from Raynaud's Disease, I am keen to go there, by myself, and during winter.

Why not fly?  Wouldn't public transport be better?  Yes and No.  I don't mind driving on my own, so I am not worried by such a long drive, and as I write for Weekend Notes  I will be able to do some research possible articles on my way.  I choose to drive only 300 - 400 kms per day, so that I can stop frequently  and take notes and photos for articles.

If I went by public transport it means flying to Melbourne, or Hobart or Launceston, and not being able to visit all the towns along the way, and it means I will have little control over my travels, but worst of all, I will need two suitcases for my winter clothes, computer, cameras etc.   Also, I suspect I will have to stand around waiting for taxis, buses etc, and more likely to feel the cold of Tasmania, Melbourne and Adelaide.

If I drive I will not have restrictions on my luggage, and I can turn the heater up in my car and keep warmer.  I will also be able to put my fold up ebike in the car too!!

When I explain all this, my friends agree, but most don't think they would set out on such an adventure.  

I was in China in December and February - and the temperature there was below zero on a couple of occasions, and I managed.  My wonderful coat, made in China especially for me, is rather large. It would take up most of my suitcase, and I know it keeps me warm.

It will go in the car and will be easily accessible to me as I travel.  Easy as!!!

Cost???  Well, it will be around $4000 - but I will be able to earn some dollars as I write my way around.  Not enough to recoup my costs, but I am still keen to do it.

However, still in the planning stage.  

Anyone interested in writing for Weekend Notes?  Leave a message in the comments section.  Writers from all around the world are welcome.  Let me know.......

Wednesday, May 25

Where is my Kindle?

Where is my Kindle? I hate it when I set out to "downsize" and in the mess of what results I lose something.

Today I went to download an ebook from Amazon.com.au and I could not find the Kindle.  I still have not found it.  It can't be far away, but just can't set me eyes on it.

However, I was able to download the book - to my Samsung
Tablet.  I have the Kindle App on it - so I can use that!!  So glad.  Will still look for the Kindle though. 

I so like being able to read books on the Kindle - though I still love "real books".

Better go and read the new book........

I have completed my 20 articles for Weekend Notes this month, and will start on next month's list.  I will set out to write 30 articles in July.  A big ask, but doable.

I am interested in working with writers who would be interested in writing stories for Weekend Notes.  Leave a comment if you are interested.  

Monday, May 23

The Golden Rule

Do you remember "The Golden Rule"?

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?"

In Matthew 7:12 Jesus says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Thus, the Golden Rule has always been a basic part of the Bible's message.

I do not recall where I first heard this.  Perhaps it was at Sunday School way back in the 1950's, or maybe in Religious Education classes around that time.  

While I declare that I am no longer religious as I explained in this post - however, I do believe that there are some good advice from the Bible.  

What would our world be like if we all upheld the Golden Rule?  Would we have all the violence?  What difference would it make?

Would a man or woman be unfaithful to their spouse if they abided by the Golden Rule?

Would people commit crimes if they understood and followed the Golden Rule?

Would there be violence against others if we all stood by the Golden Rule?

I often wonder if our young people have any comprehension of the laws of our country?  Do they learn the rules at school?  I don't think so.  How do our lawmakers ensure that our people know the rules?  And yet people are punished if they don't abide by the rules they don't often know.

Still, if we all knew, understood and followed the "Golden Rule" we would have a happier safer world.

Dawn over Moreton Island

Friday, May 20

How Many Books is Too Many?

How many Books is Too Many?  I wonder.  I recall a cousin telling me that she had more than 10,000 books in her library - and we worked out if she read 2 per week it would take almost 100 years to read them all - and she was more likely to buy new books along the way.  Mmmm.

Just recently a local community group, of which I am a member held a Book Sale to raise funds as we had little or no funds in the bank.  It was necessary to pay for Public Liability Insurance and other items.

I weaned out a number of books that I no longer wanted and donated them.  My daughter also gave me a box of books as a donation too, but I found a couple of MY books there, one of which was very special to me.  How glad am I that I was able to go through the box first!

Counting mine has never been anything I wanted to do - but I do know that I have too many, so this week I set out to reduce the number and prepare a box of books for the next Book Sale.

Going through the books, one by one, has been interesting.  I found one book that I knew I had, but had forgotten where I had put it - it was at the back of the bookshelf, and I happily grabbed it.  It was a book written by a lady, who self published.  It's quite a long story, but the brief story is this.  The first print run was discarded as there were errors in it - and she was promoting the second run.  When I found it full of errors I contacted her assuming that I had somehow been given a book from the first print run.  She quite rudely assured me that I had the latest copy - which she had spent over $1000 to have an qualified editor edit the work.  I was unimpressed!!!

As it turns out, I often used it in workshops I ran about the importance of getting one's work PROPERLY  edited and proof read!!  I haven't needed it recently, but glad I have it.

I will continue with my cleaning out of my things - and hopefully really reduce the number of books I will keep.  

I've got a lot of paperwork to destroy too!  My house is not looking clean and tidy at the moment.  The work goes on.

Thursday, May 19

Garlic and What I Learned in China

I love garlic and use it frequently in my cooking.  I have attempted to grow it, but have not been very successful at it. In the past I managed it in a garden, but my "in pot" garden is not always as good as I would like.  

When I was in China in December, I saw some strange things on a window sill.  Garlic growing in glass jars.

When I returned to Australia I eventually got around to trying it myself.  In three glass jars I put some cotton wool - and sat some garlic bulbs on the cotton wool, watered them and kept watching and waiting.

After a few weeks inside the house, I put them outside, and watered as often as I remembered, but nothing happened.

Then I brought one of the jars inside, and perhaps it is because it enjoyed the music, or the conditions were better, but they started to sprout.

I still have two jars outside on the veranda and I note one is sprouting now, but the one I brought indoors has much more growth in it.  In fact, there are about six bulbs sprouting.

I will watch and see how it all develops.  My Chinese friend says they sometimes use the green leaves too in cooking, and not the bulb.  

I am going to experiment with shallots too - as this should work also, especially as often we use the green leaves.

So, another glass jar and more cotton wool, and some "old" shallots (I use the ones on the left) and will see how it works.  I get annoyed that when I buy a bunch of shallots I don't use them all at once and some go to waste.  The shallot photos were not taken by me, but on a Coles image site.  I hope they don't mind.

One of the challenges of living on one's own is that often we have to buy product, which would last a family a day or two, but for just one, there is often a lot of waste.  I am a happy Coles Supermarket customer, but take care when purchasing that I reduce my waste.

Tuesday, May 17

Weekend Notes

I write for Weekend Notes - mainly in Brisbane, so when I am out and about, I talk to business owners and take photos, and then conjure up a story.

My latest stories have been about Sutton's Beach at Redcliffe, the Old Church Gallery at Moore, and a tiny little Museum at Blackbutt, as well as a Lavender Farm up near Kingaroy.

You can read all of my articles by going here. 

Weekend Notes operates in many cities around the world, so if you are planning to travel, it might be worth a look to see what is available at your destination.

Lavender growing near Kingaroy.

I find I am always looking around for new story ideas too - and travelling to see what else I can find.

If any writer is interested in writing for Weekend Notes, leave a message for me and I can help you get into the system.

Monday, May 16

Chinese Navy

I didn't mean to post this - but hit the Publish button and not the Save button.  Was going to write something, after hearing on ABC Radio about a group of Chinese ladies dancing at Wellington Point Queensland.   

Google hasn't been helpful in identifying "Navy Dancing" but it came up with this on YouTube.  I do have to laugh at it though.

The Chinese do a lot of dancing in public - I have seen them in parks, in Nanjing Walking Street (Mall) and under bridges in China.  It is something I would love to see here in Australia, but...


I have been asked to post an article about an event happening this week on Weekend Notes.  I was given the flyer - and I now see that it has n phone number.Grrr.

Signs - oh, I could go on and on about them. Small business owners and community organisations, who clearly don't have the benefit of "expert advice" create signs that are useless.

Magnetic Signs on Cars - so many folk have gone to the expense of getting magnetic signs for their cars, but too many put too much information on them.  Unless you are sitting beside a car at traffic lights  or in a car park it is often impossible to read the "important message" that the owner wishes you to gain.  Often too small or too much information.  

Recently the local community held a fund raiser, and as part of the group I asked the key person about "corflute" signs.  Corflute is the white plastic board used to put signs on the side of the road e.g. political signs, short-term signs about an event.

I was told it was organised.  Can you imagine my disappointment when I saw it?  It had on the corflute the flyer that had been distributed in the community - but certainly NOT legible by drivers passing by.  There was no place to stop and read it unless you got out of your car in the car park and walked to the side of the road.

 A good roadside sign is something that is put on the side of the road to attract passing traffic, with brief information.  

Don't bother with too much information and too small print for passing traffic.  Don't waste your time.

I remember the acronym KISS = Keep it Simple Stupid/Sunshine

Sometimes less is MORE.  

The flyer that irritated me this morning is well done, it has the title of the event, the address, date and time, but no phone number.  I need more information, but I doubt I will find the lady who runs the business without going there.  (Luckily I have an appointment in that street later today).

So, if you are planning to do some signs for your business or event, have a look at some good ones.  Watch the cars passing by and see what information stands out on the magnetic signs.  

If you are creating a flyer - delete excess words, and make sure you have contact details, event details in brief, date and time, address, and even website/Facebook if you have one.

Rant over.  

Sunday, May 15

Here's the Rawleigh's Man

Today at the markets at Bribie Island I saw something that brought back many memories for me. 

The history of the Rawleigh Company which started in the US is very interesting, and you can read it here.  A factory was opened in Melbourne, Victoria in 1928, and the products were distributed.  It was the early door-to-door salesmen, and I remember it well.

In the 1950's our Rawleigh's man was a regular in our house - the guy, whose name was Brian I think, was a golfer, and sold Rawleighs as his only income.  I know my mother bought antiseptic ointment, but I don't recall what else.  I can remember he would come into the kitchen and open his big rectangular bag and show us the latest products.  I think my mother bought every time he called.

In World War II the service men and women who went overseas carried the antiseptic ointment in case they were injured - cuts, and abrasions they could treat themselves.

I did know that the company was still operating, but was surprised to see it at the markets.  People are still making money with the products direct selling.

The Ten Commandments

When I was little I went to church.  I believe that I was a good Christian girl, though I confess I didn't read much of the Bible.  I did go to church every week though - for many years.  When I was in Primary School my sister and I went to Sunday School at the Methodist church near our home, but when a "Church of England" church came to our neighbourhood we changed.  My mother's family were very very "Church of England" with my mother's uncle being a rector of a church, and all her side of the family were initially very Church of England.  (It became the Anglican Church in 1981).

Many family members are buried there.  It is the third oldest church in South Australia.  Read about it here.

My family also has links with the first church to be built in Adelaide - the Holy Trinity Church.  My parents were married there.  As I write this I realise that I have never been to that church.  In some ways it is a surprise to me, as I now think my parents should have taken me there at some stage.  I will try and go next time I am in Adelaide.  You can read more of the history of this church here.

This piece was to be about the Ten Commandments. I am sorry I digressed.  There's much written in religious books, (including the Bible) and on the Internet about the Ten Commandments.  I know the world has changed, but I have always believed that they were still good to follow.

I know there are various versions (including the short version and the long one, and different interpretations, but the following is as I recall them.  These days I don't know what percentage of our Australian population follow Christianity and I confess to not being a regular worshipper or even believer, but I do believe in the Ten Commandments.  I do believe that if we followed them, we would have a much better world.

Murder, robbery, and adultery are common in our lives now, sadly.  

The 10 Commandments List, Short Form

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Perhaps we should have an updated version to help people improve their lives and the lives of others.

Wednesday, May 11

Two Things I have Learned from the Chinese

There are so many things to learn from the Chinese.  They are an amazing people.  I do enjoy going there as every day, almost every hour, there is something to learn.  They do a lot of things that we "Westerners" might consider strange.  I often say "almost everything" is different.  Living there confuses one's brain, as we are so used to doing things one way, and have to learn that little is the same as we had learned in our own country.

There are two things, though feeling a little weird in a way, that have some merit.

One is bathing.  We in Australia are used to having a shower every day.  Sometimes more than one shower a day if we choose.  

On arrival in the private home in China, I was given two plastic bowls.  When I asked what they were for, I was told that one was for washing my body, and one for washing my feet.

Mmmm.  Why would this be?  They had a very sophisticated bathroom.  In fact, they had probably four bathrooms, and one I was familiar with had a shower, hand basin, normal "Western toilet", and a urinal.  Hot and cold water.  In fact, better facilities than I have in my own bathroom in Australia.  And running water in each bathroom and the kitchen and gardens.

Many houses do not have running water, and even a sophisticated home in a village rely on water from a well, as seen in this photo below.  

I accepted the plastic bowls but did not use them for their intended use.  I showered every day.

Later talking with my friend, I learned that the Chinese do not shower every day as we do.  Probably once a week they shower, and all their other "washing" is done with the bowls.  And everyone has their own bowls apparently.  

What I learned:  that it is not necessary to have a shower every day (information which is being spruiked by some health scientists - that regular showers are not as healthy as we generally believe).  As water is big issue in Australia, and we are currently experiencing huge droughts in some area, it is clear that we can keep our bodies clean and healthy, and use less water, which should be good for the country.

(An elderly (in their late 70's) couple I met have never had a bath or shower. Always using the bowl method.)

After a lunch with some 60 guests at a home in the village, all the dishes were washed on the stone floor around the well.  I do think they then used a type of dishwasher, that, using heat, sterilizes the dishes!!  (The house was quite grand, and had a sophisticated media room, but the dishes were done in this way.)

The second thing I learned, which I am doing, is that the Chinese keep a thermos flask of boiled water handy.  It saves boiling water every time you need a cup of tea or coffee.  I don't drink a lot of tea or coffee at home, but the Chinese have regular cups of tea.  In the workplace especially, a thermos of boiling water is kept on hand.  There is no waste of time waiting for "the kettle to boil".  

I like that.  I have a thermos flask that gets little use - or did until now.  I boil the kettle in the morning, then use it throughout the day.  I am saving on electricity.  And perhaps saving water too.

The Chinese also look after their cemeteries more than we do, by having a day, a public holiday, Qingming Day - Tomb Sweeping Day.

Friday, May 6

Stupid, Stupid.

It seems to be happening all around the place these days.  Homes and businesses are being robbed on a regular basis.  No one seems to be safe these days.  Every day the media is full of stories of the latest break-ins, the latest assaults and murders.  It is a rather scary world we live in these days, even at a local level.

Even in our little backwater the robbers are active.  Which is why EVERYONE should take care to lock their homes, and windows if they have no security screens.  I am lucky as I have good security, but I know it is only a deterrent, and if someone really wants to get into my place they only have to break a window.  Not so easy when I am home, perhaps, but if I am out, I am more vulnerable.  Luckily I have good neighbours who keep an eye out for me and my house.

One has to take care, where ever you are.

Yesterday I was at the supermarket in Caboolture, and on leaving the store I went to the escalator to go down to the car park.  A man and a lady (as it turns out not known to each other ushered me onto the escalator as I had a trolley,  and followed me down.

Around halfway down, the man said  something like "I'm pissed off. I bought a five-litre cask of wine, and I left it outside the toilet door when I went to pee. When I came back it was gone."

The girl didn't say much.  I think it was just "Really?"

Then as we reached the bottom of the escalator the man went in one direction, saying "I think I know who did it.  I'll get the bastard".

The girl and I exchanged glances and both burst out laughing. What idiot could think that leaving a cask of wine in a corridor would think it would be there when he returned a few minutes later??

It does show that one has to take responsibility for all their belongings.  The idea that a cask of wine might be ignored by someone walking by is a bit crazy.  I mean, it doesn't make sense.

I am aware of a number of local residents who do not bother to lock their doors, and strangely I have heard both of them almost boasting about it!  Others could have heard.  Yes, I am aware that both women have noisy dogs, and I know that it is a deterrent, but it still leaves the dogs and the house vulnerable.

Thieves are often opportunists.  Looking to see when someone leaves a door open, a window, keys in the car and so forth.  It is a sad reality that everyone has to take such care.

So many folk go to the trouble and expense of security cameras these days.  I've thought about it, but unlikely to get them.  Luckily I feel rather comfortable with the security doors and windows, and I do take care to lock my doors all the time.  As a solo woman, I am aware that I am more vulnerable.

Please be safe.

Smoking Kills

Despite all the warnings of the dangers of smoking, people still do. I know I was a smoker once upon a time, and luckily was able to give it up easily in the end.  I didn't have a troubling addiction to it.

I am so surprised to see young people taking it up.  It is not like the "old days" when every movie star smoked through the movies.  In those days, it was "cool" to smoke, as there was not the evidence of the significant health risks smoking can cause.

These days we see or hear of so many people succumbing to the dreadful cancer disease.  Not always, but so often linked to smoking.

I am so pleased that none of my family smokes.  In fact, I don't have friends that smoke either.  The only people I know who now still smoke are some volunteers I work with.  I do think the people who can least afford to smoke, those on low incomes or unemployed, or unemployable are the ones that keep up the smoking habits.  

The cost of cigarettes is so high, that I wonder what people are prepared to go without, so that they can afford their ciggies!

This is from the Quit Smoking Victoria website.  

"For instance, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes for an average of $18 a day, you're spending more than $6500 a year. Once you think about all the things you can do with the money you'll save when you stop smoking, you may find the extra incentive you need to give up smoking for good."

The price of cigarettes is escalating again too. 

Scary to think one burns up this amount of funds.  

Drugs and Me

There clearly is something wrong with me.  I have never 'done drugs'.  Though I was in my teens when the young folk in Australia started widely using "weed" to get a high.  It was something that I never came into contact in a social setting, which is a bit weird in a way, because somehow I missed it all.

A joint.  A roll your own cigarette of cannabis

I was married in the late 1960's, and my social life for the next few years was more about young children than the party/dance scene, and somehow I missed it all, for which I am glad.  I did however smoke cigarettes for a few years, but gave that up some 40+ years ago.

My sister, somewhere in the 80's I think was rather gobsmacked that I had never tried it.  She lived in Adelaide and I lived in Brisbane, so completely different social sets were we involved in.  I think to this day, she is still amazed that I hadn't tried it.  Oddly, no one ever offered it to me, and I never saw any of my friends smoking pot, or indeed doing anything with drugs.  If they did, it was not near me.

I am not necessarily a "goody-two-shoes" - but it was something I never had any wish to find out about, and no one I knew did it.

As a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, I was aware that many of the patients "did drugs" and we had some rather hilarious and scary events where patients were high on something.  I recall one guy standing on his bed screaming that sharks were swimming around his bed trying to get to him!!  

Once a few years later, I found a small packet of weed on the ground near my car, looking as if it had fallen out of my car.  It didn't, for usually I was the only one who was in the car.  I picked up the little packet, saw it was some grass/weed and quickly put it in the rubbish bin, with my heart pounding.  If the police had arrived, and there was no reason to think they might, it would have been presumed that I had the drugs for my own use.  Maybe.

Now I do drink wine, though I don't do it to get a "high".  I don't set out to get drunk and these days barely have more than two glasses of wine at a time, unless I am at a major event.  I can't recall the last time that happened. It doesn't much.  As I live alone, I don't drink when I have to drive home!!!  I have no designated driver.  It is only me.

The history of marijuana is interesting.  I am aware of course that drug taking has been a part of modern civilisation.  I accept that some people need to have the "high" that drugs give.  However, I am extremely aware of the lows that scome with it.  So many folk become addicted to it, and spiral into a chasm that is so deep they can't get out of it.  Their lives are ruined.  They become dysfunctional.  They start to resort to crime to pay for their ever increasing living costs and drug payments, and they become unemployable.  So many parents abandon or treat their children badly.

Even in the last couple of weeks I have learned that some parents introduce their children a very young age to drugs.  It seems horrifying to me!  So many lives ruined.  All for nothing. 

I read some of this article about drug addiction.  I can accept that when a person is an addict, it is classified as a disease, but it is a disease that has come on because the person made a decision at some time to try drugs.  He or she, took that first step, either as a decision of their own or enticed by other people or promises of a better life, when the facts are well known that it is a slippery path.

The statistics are not encouraging and I wonder why so many people think it is ok to use in this way.  I do think that medical cannabis used correctly has its place, but I wonder if that encourages others to use it too - those that one day are going to end up as one of our horrible statistics.

"According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there were 455,000 emergency room visits associated with cannabis use in 2011. These statistics include visits in which the patient was treated for a condition induced by or related to recent cannabis use. The drug use must be "implicated" in the emergency department visit, but does not need to be the direct cause of the visit. Most of the illicit drug emergency room visits involved multiple drugs.[51] In 129,000 cases, cannabis was the only implicated drug.[52][53]"  
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_(drug)

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.