Reminiscing

As you do … on cheap electricity and a gas-led climate emergency.

The late, great John Clarke, together with fellow comedian, Bryan Dawe, explain Australia’s energy market. [Videos might only be available to Australian audiences.]

But don’t mention the planet.

You have to wonder if those companies with large long term contracts for electricity are paying proportionately much less than small users of electricity? It would make sense. Discounts for bulk purchases are pretty standard, aren’t they? I wonder if small users are thereby subsidising the big users? Do we know by how much? On top of that, the Australian government has committed $600 million to fund a new gas-fired power station to boost capacity when domestic demand and hence, gas prices. peak. As gas is expensive and government will want to reduce the budget deficit incurred from the pandemic (including clawing back the cost of its gas-led recovery investments), it doesn’t sound like future electricity prices will be minimised. Maybe this will just spur more businesses and individuals to go off-grid? That is likely to make it even more expensive for those who can’t afford to make that switch. It doesn’t seem to be a win for the hip pocket or the planet. Who does win then?

A Water Birth

There is nothing like the Lens Artist Photo Challenge to make me feel all philosophical. This week’s theme is It’s A Wonderful World. I have decided to focus on water because water is awesome. It’s essential to our being. Earth is the only terrestrial planet in our solar system that has liquid water at its surface.

Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the continent with the least rainfall. At the first hint of rain at the end of the recent horror drought in south-eastern Australia, swarms of flies emerged to drink from the puddles in still dry dams. How awesome is that?

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Double Fault

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Over the last fortnight we’ve been importing coronavirus cases so that Aussies can sit back and watch the Australian Open tennis. It’s good for tennis and good for the Victorian state economy apparently. As you can imagine, some residents of the fair city of Melbourne (where the tournament is being held) are none too happy with the latest virus breakout via a worker at one of the Australian Open quarantine hotels. Melburnians spent six months sheltering at home last year so they are entitled to be a bit miffed. It also does not seem fair on the quarantine workers who risk their health every day to ensure that the rest of the country can live virtually virus free.

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Green For Canberra

Canberra news – Unlike this time last year when there was nary a blade of grass due to drought and high temperatures, Canberra (Australia) is green once more.

La Niña is sending rain our way and our total dam storage is 90.9 percent and increasing. The buzz of lawn mowers rivals that of the bees and swathes of grass and weeds get the chop between showers. Meanwhile, the results of the Canberra election have been finalised and here too, there is to be more green in the legislative assembly.

In other news, a recently retired federal minister who, as part of the federal leadership team, had a hand in the decision to pursue a gas-led recovery for Australia, is now promoting a green recovery. That may look good on his job application for the position of Secretary-General of the OECD. One might ask, “How emissions-intensive is your recovery? What’s your goal?”

Stay safe, everyone. Be kind and question.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

When Am I Too Much For This Place?

This week’s theme for the Lens Artists Photo Challenge is Sanctuary.  I’m not sure what more can be said about this topic that I haven’t said already, so I’ve decided to re-post my earlier discussion/photos on this subject.  At that time, I said that I didn’t feel safe anywhere.  That is not quite true.  I do feel safe with my family.  Thank goodness for that because in these days of Covid and being confined to home (provided you are lucky enough to have one of those), there are many people fearful of the ones they should be able to trust the most.

WordPress (and now the Lens-Artists Challenge) has asked us to explore what it means to find your place in the world.  Where’s your safe space?  Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up?  Do you prefer the city over a small town?  I have to admit I find this an incredibly difficult challenge because I feel very ambivalent about my place in the world.  I don’t feel safe, or comforted, or any of the things that WordPress has asked us to explore.  I feel that I am possibly too much, that we are too much.  However, I am here.  I live in a wonderful place and I’m grateful for that.  The issue of whether I, and we, can live sustainably is a complex one.

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Peace of Mind

Hello dear readers, I hope you are all of sound mind and body. If not, and even if you are, you will love Mark Berkery’s nature blog, Nature’s Place. Mark is a gifted photographer and exponent of macro photography. His photographic subjects are primarily insects, spiders and other small critters. His photos are exquisite. Mark is also a firm believer in nature’s healing power and combines this with meditation. If insects, macro photography and/or meditation interest you, go check out Mark’s blog. For those of you who live in Southeast Queensland (Australia), Mark is proposing some meet-ups in a public park. So if you are looking for a bit of quiet time (an hour or so) in the great outdoors and would like to go along, check out the details of the meet-up here. Fostering good mental health is a very important part of learning to live with Covid-19. Mark is doing his bit to help others who may be struggling.

I do not know Mark personally, and cannot vouch for the actual state of his mind, so readers must make their own judgement regarding the bona fides of the invitation. Whatever you decide, definitely check out his blog. It is fantastic.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Corvid-2020 Weekly Challenge #10

Welcome to Week 10 of my Corvid-2020 Weekly Challenge.  Corvids are birds belonging to the Corvidae family, encompassing ravens, crows, magpies, jays and nutcrackers.  So peruse your corvid photo, poetry, music and story archives and join the challenge.

You can participate in the Corvid-2020 Weekly Challenge by creating a pingback to this post (my pingback approval settings are set up for manual approval, so it may take a little while for your pingback to appear) and/or by leaving a hyperlink to your submission in the comments.   Tag your post Corvid-2020 or C20WC.  I really do hope you will join in.

My turn now. Read more

The Changing Seasons – February 2020

February (Australia) – another month of what Tracy does best.  Catastrophising.  Still, I’ve included a few nice photos.

After so much stress last month, it was not surprising that I seemed to have more than my fair share of illness.  I started the month with a terrible head cold and I am finishing the month the same way.  Lucky me.  Many of my fellow Canberrans have been similarly affected by the strain. Read more

Just A Dabbler (And I Don’t Mean Duck)

Too many posts from me lately, ladies and gentlemen.  Not sorry.  Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is masterpiece.  I thought I would join in, because I can.  I’ve written some stories and very bad poetry in the past, and dabbled in mosaics.  Not every piece has to be a masterpiece.  In fact, most of my written pieces are full of grammatical and spelling errors, but you probably already know that. The moral of this story is go where your heart takes you (including to Yass to buy a raffle ticket).  Take that logic!

Here’s my Finnish Lapponian Dog mosaic of which I’m very proud.  That’s allowed, isn’t it?  Months of work were involved so it was very satisfying when I finally got the last tile stuck down and the grouting (approx 5 different colours) finished. Read more