Tuesday, June 21

Smacking and Violence

I have written on this topic before and usually get lots of negative feedback.  But I am undeterred.

Years ago when I had children, one of the ways of disciplining children was to smack them.  Yes, sometimes it was not just one smack, perhaps two or three. Usually on the bottom.  I have threatened to use a wooden spoon, but in reality, the hand was the "weapon" of choice.  It usually hurt me as much as it hurt my son or daughter.  It hurt me in my heart, but at the time as now, I believed that it was a good method of discipline.  They and I learned very quickly that they didn't get smacked very often - as they would generally obey, or avoid doing the things that caused this hurtful result!

I have read that this sort of discipline was the cause of people becoming violent.  I can swear that neither the children's father nor myself are violent people.  Not at all!  Neither of my children are violent either, and they have turned out to be good people, and good parents.  

However, I have been concerned for some time that parents are limited in the types of discipline they can legally used. Smacking a child can result in a visit to court and I know children know this and often threaten their parents.  Yes, I have seen that!

I have witnessed parents endeavouring to discipline using a range of methods - the naughty corner is one, and withholding treats is another.  They work with some children I have no doubt.

What concerns me is that I see that young people are more violent than they were in years gone by.  They appear to be more insolent and flaunt the laws in greater numbers than we have seen before.  I see young people, especially young men being quite happy to disobey a whole range of laws - especially road rules which sadly get them killed, but they nothing wrong with bashing people or raping women.

This article illustrates what I am saying.  Click here.   A group of teenagers get on the bus and one is smoking.  (Clearly that is enough to suggest that he was not a "bright" person.)   The elderly passenger asked the young man to stop smoking.  In any case it is illegal.  So the young fellow bashed the 71 year old pensioner. 

Let's recap.  A 16 year old breaking the smoking law, and then violently bashing an elderly man on a bus.  I am pleased to say that the young man has been charged.  But to me it is hard to believe that young people, (and there are many more young people committing similar crimes) seem to think they are invincible.  If convicted it will ruin this boy's life.  It will restrict his travel plans (overseas countries do not like to admit people with convictions) and it will restrict the sort of work he can do.  A prospective employer will be able to easily check his "criminal" record" especially if he is convicted.

I know some parents feel that if they could smack a young child - I don't mean "bash or belt" they will have a good measure of discipline.  

To me the argument that smacking causes violence is nonsense.  I think bashing might cause a child to be violent later.  I see with all the so called safer discipline we have indeed come to having a far more violent society. 

Saturday, June 18

Costume Day

Today is Heritage Day at the Caboolture Historical Village.   On this day I will be working in the old Hospital - a former Caboolture Hospital Building.  Today I will wear my Matron's outfit for the first time.  I have been volunteering there for over 3 years, and usually wear a convict outfit.

I have a "nurse" with me today.  I was asked to consider what we could do to entertain the visitors.  My mind ran amok!!!  Enemas?

(Strangely, another volunteer asked me what an enema was!!)  No, I am not allowed to offer free enemas.  Injections?  No.  Blood Pressure?  No - apart from the fact that my "sphygmo" will be quite out of place as it is a modern one.  It is hard to find the word "sphygmomanometer" these days!!

I also have a penis measuring device - and I will take a photocopy of this - I can choose who I will "share" it with.  (I was a sales representative/nurse advisor for a company that marketed a range of items including condoms for men with bladder leaking problems.)

Visiting the company website I learn that the product has been updated and looks very little like the ones that I was familiar with about 30 plus years ago.

In the end, I chose a safe, rather fun activity.  Making cotton wool balls.  These days we can buy already made cotton wool balls, but way back in 1963 we had to make our own.  While working in CSS (Central Sterile Supply) we would sit for hours pulling cotton wool from a huge roll, quickly rolling a ball into the palm of our hand, and throwing it into a huge stainless steel drum.  We would then sterilise them.  We also sharpened the needles for syringes as well as washed the syringes.  They were all then sterilised.

So today I will be making cotton balls in the old hospital.

Maybe a photo of me as Matron will appear in tomorrow's post.

In the old Hospital

Friday, June 17

A Wonderful Morning

"Oh, what a wonderful morning...."

We Aussies do live in a "lucky" country.  We Australians love travelling.  The country I have visited most in my life is China. After working there in 2008 and 2010, I have been back three times.  I love it, but when I return to Australia, I feel much more relaxed.  Living in a communist country certainly has its challenges, and I learned much about communism and yesterday I listened to a Richard Fidler episode where Cie Cie Nguyen spoke of her escape from war-torn Saigon.

To be honest, when I was in China, I was not concerned or particularly aware of the restrictions of communism, but I had been told about it.  But listening to Cie Cie's interview, I understood more of how life was for folk living under the regime in Vietnam at the time.

(I listen to many of Richard Fidler and Margaret Throsby's interviews on radio - they are downloaded onto a USB stick, which I listen to in my car.)

Sorry, I waffled a bit.  I was trying to explain how we Australians love our country and how we have the freedom to enjoy it.  Where I live it is more country than city - and we do sense the joy of this - being able to watch the sea and river life, and at night being able to more clearly see the stars in the night sky.

In the mornings, I enjoy watching the sun come up over Moreton Bay, and the sunset, not so easy to see from my home, paints beautiful pictures in the sky too.

I'd love to live right on the waterfront, and then I would not have to do what I did on that occasion.   When I peered out of the window as I rose from my bed I saw the sky had a reddish glow, so I quickly dressed, grabbed my camera and went to the waterfront.  

So much to enjoy.  

Tuesday, June 7

A Visit to the City

I visit the city often - usually during the day.  I am in and out before dark.  Today though I set off to do something late in the afternoon.

Stopping at the Eden Garden Nursery for a coffee and to say hello to a friend.  

 Then into the city.  I am so glad I had my camera - as I stood at the Holman St Ferry Terminal and clicked and clicked!  It is right next to the Brisbane Jazz Club.

As the sun went down, the view got better.  I loved the Story Bridge with its red lights that reflected across the water.

The reflections in the river were great too.  Click. Click.

The city of Brisbane looks beautiful at night.  Enjoy.

Monday, June 6


Something older folk have 'in spades' is memories.  We can look back over a long period of time and recall events, places, people and more.  Often I will write something about my past - happily.

In the last few days I had to write an article for WeekendNotes about Scottish dancing events - in fact for the article referred to as ceilidhs.  It was not a word that I recall being associated with the dancing I did a loooong time ago.

I remember doing a couple of Scottish dances - as part of my "ballet" classes.  We did classical ballet, tap dancing and some Scottish dancing.  I was never going to be a dancer - not in any way.  Too tall for a start, but I was reasonably co-ordinated.  But it was not for me long term.

I have always loved it though. I found this video on YouTube, and oddly it was from South Australia - my home state.  A Highland Fling - as I remember too.  Brought back memories.  I watched it through and remember now the steps though this old body won't do what I would want it to do now!

Saturday, June 4

Severe Weather

It is certainly not beautiful weather here at the moment.  Brisbane, Queensland and surrounding areas are experiencing a "Severe Weather Event".  (Below is a snip of a bit of the weather radar from BOM)

We have had a lot of rain - perhaps around 2 inches at my place - and a good time to stay at home.
Luckily I have plenty to do at home today, and don't need to leave home.

We are warned "If it is Flooded, Forget It" - and I don't normally drive through floods.  However today I did.  I will be communicating with the council about the blockage in my road.  When there is such heavy rain the drain blocks up - and I'd guess that there is a not that they can do about it.  A few hours later it will have drained away, but it creates an issue when it blocks and the road is flooded.

I am familiar with the flooding at this street, and I cautiously drive through it - but I know it against the "If it is Flooded, Forget it" rule.  Mmm.  Are we trapped in our street for hours?  Is it likely that there is a huge hole below that will swallow up my car?

My experience is that it is just the short-term blockage of the drain. Today I came to it - and slowly drove through it.  Luckily I made it through safely.  To me it is like a big puddle - though I know there perhaps is a risk that there might be something lurking below the water - like a hole.  

I will communicate with my local council on this.

I saw a whole group of boys perhaps in their early teens, in their undies or swimmers (how can I tell?) who went into the water to slide and run in it.  Silly I think.  How do they know that there is not a piece of glass in it?  Or something dangerous.  I wonder why the adults/parents were not stopping them.

Boys will be boys??

Wednesday, June 1

Affordable Housing

What is affordable housing?

According to Wikipedia "Affordable housing is housing deemed affordable to those with a median household income[1] as rated by country, State (province), region or municipality by a recognized Housing Affordability Index. In Australia, the National Affordable Housing Summit Group developed their definition of affordable housing as housing that is, "...reasonably adequate in standard and location for lower or middle income households and does not cost so much that a household is unlikely to be able to meet other basic needs on a sustainable basis."

One of the many problems in Australia at the moment is that housing is anything but affordable, especially for those on "lower or middle income".

Many of the senior single women I speak to - I am particularly interested in that cohort - earn around $794 per fortnight if they are on the "Aged Pension" - and for many their home rental is around $600 per fortnight.

This article gives some insights into the rental market.  Most properties on the rental market are three bedroom houses or units.

One or two bedroom units are marginally less than the cost of renting a 3 bedroom house.  My search for 1 and 2 bedroom homes on realestate.com reveals very few one or two bedroom properties. 

Blackall (almost 1000 kms from Brisbane), Collinsville, South Gladstone, Charleville, Clinton (near Gladstone) are around the $85 to $130 per week mark, but for me it is too far from my small family, (though I like the Clinton house!)

Almost all homes for rent at $200 or less are in areas some distance from Brisbane.  Perhaps if I was younger I would go - but it can be very lonely if you are long distance from family.

Even 100 kms from the city rents are high, and at 300 kms from Brisbane, there are some around the $250 mark.  If I was younger and fitter, perhaps I might consider it, but it is hard to move so far away from the city and the family.

One of the issues with single solo women is loneliness and lack of family support (often).  Another is security - which is more complex when one lives away from family and friends.

For example, if I was to move away from where I am now (which still is some distance from my daughter and son) it would be very challenging for them if something happened to me.  

To save $60 per week rent, it would probably cost me $3000 in moving costs, so it would take about a year to recover those costs.  Is it worth moving?  I am not sure. 
The reality is that there needs to be more low cost housing, and perhaps incentives to encourage people to take up accommodation in the areas where there is ample low cost housing - though I note that most of that is in places where business/mines have closed and employment opportunities are limited.

It is a challenge.