All Kinds of Awful

The Queensland Resources Council has just announced that Queensland (Australia) coal exports have reached a record high.  The Australian government must be jumping for joy, with the resources sector once again contributing substantial growth in federal revenues (and the election war-chest).  Apparently two thirds of our coal is destined for steel making, while the remainder will be used for power generation.

Maybe it is just sour grapes, but the news does not lighten my current mood or temperature, which can best be described as volcanic.  Why?  Because short-term gains are being put before long-term national interests, and because I am sweltering in my lounge room through yet another extended extreme heatwave.  My phone tells me it is 41º celcius (105º F) outside. Read more

F is for ….

Fairy and features.

Dear readers and fairy enthusiasts, a while ago I decided to make a mosaic of a fairy.  Every garden needs a fairy, right?  I had never made a mosaic of a human-like form before, so I expected it to be quite challenging.  And indeed, it was.   It turns out it is difficult to mosaic a tiny face, all of 2sq centimetres, and I made rather a mess of it.  Nevertheless, as imperfect as it was, my friend decided she would buy it for her grand-daughter.  Read more

Chip Off The Old Block

I come from a long line of procrastinators.  It is kind of genetic.  There is always a tension about what constitutes over-sharing and yet it is apparently important to speak up about mental health issues, despite the discrimination this induces.  I’ve always had problems concentrating and getting started.  Organisation is not my forté.  I’m not sure whether anyone noticed.  Girls are good at hiding that stuff.  Plus I was kind of smart and I had compensation strategies that got me by.  I got through my first degree somehow (burning the midnight oil and eating a lot of chocolate).  I got a job in the government and worked my way through some of the ranks (burning the midnight oil and eating a lot of chocolate).

I was the Taskforce queen.  I could pull it out of a hat when deadlines were tight (it takes a lot of adrenaline to get my mind out of first gear).  Routine jobs?  Tedious and stressful (probably because they involved organisational skills that I did not possess).  I live in nuance, and that is often an uncomfortable place to be for a policy adviser.  (I do have some sympathy for our former prime minister who was constantly being criticised because he couldn’t give a simple answer.)  It is hard to sum up complex policy considerations in three talking points.  Still I managed, because you know, hard work.  It is the solution to everything, right?  At least that is what I thought.

Trigger warning.  This post contains material that may distress some readers. Read more

It Is Okay To Stick Your Beak In

In my previous post, I mentioned that my love and I had gone out to the river for a sticky beak.  It soon became apparent that not everyone understood this strange Aussie/Kiwi colloquialism, with a number of readers requiring a translation.  In response, I thought I should provide a general explanation for those too polite to ask for a translation.  Which is completely fitting as the explanation links in so perfectly with today’s post (unintended) about one of our most weird and wonderful mammals, the short-beaked echidna — a real sticky beak. Read more

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Possum

I spent several hours eating a lot of chocolate so that I could write a post today.  It was rubbish (the post, not the chocolate), so I ditched it.  Still suffering and not just because of the chocolate.  I must reform (new year’s resolution?) and prioritise my waistline (currently lack thereof) over my blog.  So when all else fails, post a photo! Read more

All Care And No Responsibility

There has been rather a bird deficit of late on this blog, so it is time for a couple of bird photos.  The Ragtag Daily Prompt is host, so it seems only fitting that I feature a cuckoo in today’s post.  Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species, leaving the host to do all the hard work raising the young.

On a recent trip to Tidbinbilla (a nature reserve outside of Canberra), I spotted a couple of Fan-tailed Cuckoos.  The Fan-tailed Cuckoo is an attractive little bird which lives in woodland and forests. Read more