Window On Time

In a few days it will be the 17th anniversary of the bushfires that ravaged Canberra (the national capital of Australia) and its surrounds in 2003.  With bushfires currently burning to the west of the territory, Canberrans are understandably anxious.  It’s old news but some may be interested in this disaster.  In many ways, the Canberra bushfires brought about a much broader call for research and action to better understand and respond to bushfire risk.  Here are the sanitised details of that event —

On 18 January, two fire fronts combined to create a 25 km fire front and wind gusts of up to 65 km per hour propelled the fire towards Canberra. The Chief Minister declared a state of emergency at 2.45 pm and the firestorm hit the outer streets of Duffy at approximately 3 pm, and soon reached [other] suburbs ….  Four people were killed by the fires, more than 435 people were injured and there were 5000 evacuations. Approximately 160,000 hectares were burnt which equated to almost 70 per cent of the ACT’s pasture, forests and nature parks including Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and all government pine forest west of the Murrumbidgee River Stromlo pine plantation.  There were approximately 488 houses destroyed and many more were damaged.Read more

A Few Thoughts On Christmas and Politics, But Mostly Christmas

Sometimes it seems that I grew up in a golden era — at a time when world peace seemed possible, and Australians of all faiths lived together harmoniously.  Religious wars were something that happened ‘somewhere else’.  There was also no such thing as culture wars.  We had a strong two-party system, one representing business, while the other was perceived as the workers’ champions.  There was even an accord between business and labour.  Fancy that!  The way people voted was less about one’s religious affiliation or to which dioceses one belonged, it was predominantly about class.  That is what it seemed like to me anyway.  However, that has all changed. Read more

A Vow Softly Spoken

What is life without hope?  Amidst the ashes and broken dreams wrought by the bushfires in Australia, life goes on.

A Vow Softly Spoken

smoke in the distance
lights a wildfire in our heart
hope for the future
heart, mind, body, soul
we shall overcome

wedding

My nephew and his lovely lady got married recently.   I wish them all the very best.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

For the Ragtag Daily PromptWedding.

Things That Go Bump In the Night

I know I’m a little late to the party, but that’s the story of my life.  The party I mean is World Diabetes Day 2019 on 14 November.  The theme this year is Diabetes and Family.  I haven’t written anything to celebrate but I thought I would share this old post.  It is kind of horrifying, and I confess that I most worry about criticism from my fellow Type 1 diabetic peers because they seem to have their diabetes s..t together so much better than I do.  But that is just an assumption on my part.  Anyway, this is not about me.  My family deserve a medal for putting up with me.  They are the unsung heroes.  The second theme of this post is about not jumping to conclusions.  I’ve tried to make it funny as well.  It is okay to laugh.  So, here goes (again). Read more

Thanks For Nothing?

A few days ago, my feminist ideals were put to the test and found wanting.  I was having lunch in a restaurant whose main clientele were migrants to Australia.  I think I was the only Australian-born customer at that point in time.   In that nice, quiet haven, I witnessed an extraordinarily vile verbal attack by one diner on his female dining companion.  As he was speaking loudly enough (just below shouting volume) for all of us to hear, we were clearly meant to be complicit in the drama.  Or maybe it was just a tactic to embarrass and intimidate his companion.  Probably the latter.  It was horrible. Read more

On The Straight And Narrow

Last night, I thought I might write a very important post.  Then I chickened out.  But now …. oh well, here goes.

I don’t do drugs.  Never have.  I have had too many “hypos” (low blood glucose episodes), which are themselves quite trippy.  Some good.  Some bad.  So I stay well clear of them — drugs, not hypos, which is somewhat harder to “do”.  I don’t even drink alcohol anymore.  The most I’ve ever drunk was three glasses of wine.  You know, when in France … as you do. Read more

Standing Up For Peace

Day 29 — Share Your Music: 30 Days, 30 Songs

Music — it represents the sum of our lives.  Think of any aspect of human emotion or endeavour and there has probably been a song written about it.  Songs can unite or divide.  Just as there are war songs, there are also songs of protest and peace.  I prefer to call the latter, songs of kindness.   Every year I feel the love at Canberra’s National Folk Festival.  It is there that I first heard many of the songs that I have shared over the 30 days of this music challenge.  This year I had the very great privilege to attend the Festival’s Concert for Peace.  The concert was a call to action and an opportunity to honour the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (otherwise known as ICAN). Read more

I Am, You Are, We Are Australian – Or At Least We Could Be

Australia — A post in support of a more compassionate refugee policy.

Following the Christchurch terrorist attack, Jacinda Adern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, with much empathy and compassion, said that the attack on the Muslim community in New Zealand, was an attack on all New Zealanders, because “We are one.  They are us.”  Her words resonated with me, but I had no words to express my sorrow at the death and injury inflicted by one of my countrymen (allegedly).  I kept getting stuck on the question – if the murderer is Australian, does that then mean he is us and we are him?  I suppose many Australians would completely reject this notion.  After all, Australia is a multicultural country and for the most part, we live peacefully with one another.  But still, I wanted to know what was in people’s hearts, because how can love and compassion create a more tolerant, inclusive society if, deep down, we are afraid, uninformed, or worse, just plain racist? Read more

We Won’t Fade Away

 

A post for the environmentally-conscious and chocolate-mad.

chocolate

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got Friday on my mind.  I’ve been waiting for this event all year.  For many years it has kept me going — my National Folk Festival.  It is a magnet for extremists.  I say extremists because that is the language that is now being used by some leaders to describe the environmentally and socially-conscious. In the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, you would think that our leaders would have learned that scare-mongering can have dire repercussions.  It legitimises the warped views of those who would seek to achieve their aims through violent action.  It is the responsibility of our leaders not to characterise peaceful, concerned citizens as extremists.  Instead, let’s have a reasoned debate on solutions given the evidence.  In other words, let’s have some evidence-based policy making without the histrionics, and then we can vote on it. Read more

Two Kinds Of Music

I am having trouble organising/articulating my thoughts for my previously flagged “dear-to-my-heart” post.  When I write about serious issues, I like to think that I don’t talk crap – that my discussion is well considered (you can retire the girl from policy analysis but you can’t take the policy analyst out of the girl).  So, I have been doing some research and this has taken me down some holes that require, upon emerging, a full body scrub and several showers to feel clean again.

Anyway, this is not said post.  It is a link to a short TED talk from ex-shearer and award-winning West Australian C&W singer, Pete Byfield.  I caught a performance by Pete at a country market.

Read more