I am not a curious person, ladies and gentlemen, so it is well that I ended up sharing my life with my True Love and that we had two lovely, inquisitive boys. It is a truism, but without them, I would be the lesser.
There is much to be learnt from the curiosity of children. Read more
Australia burning — Dear Readers, one of my favourite poets and all round nice person, Frank Prem, is currently writing a series of poems on the bushfire crisis that is underway in Australia. Frank is the author of Devil In The Wind, a collection of poems about the personal accounts of those who experienced and survived the horrendous Black Saturday bushfires that swept across Victoria (Australia) in 2009. That book was published last year. Needless to say, I won’t be reading it until the smoke has cleared.
For those of you who may not know, Frank lives in an area that is currently sandwiched between two enormous out-of-control bushfires. This brings a poignancy and emotion to his poems that will touch any reader. These poems are laments for what is, what was, what could have been. Frank writes for all of us who are caught up in this situation. Check out his poems on his website at https://frankprem.wordpress.com/blog/ .
I want to share with you a couple of photos that my husband took in Namadgi National Park a couple of days before Christmas. Read more
December (Canberra summer) — Caught in transition.
I feel compelled to take photos, both of the mundane and the unusual, as if to bear witness that these places, things, people and creatures, once existed and that they mattered. Read more
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 little Aussie satirical poem because, well, life vapes and then you die. This is not the happiest poem so you may want to skip it.
It’s Christmas Time In the City
no joy no joy no
air no air no air none
white men jokin’
it’s Christmas time in the city
make haste to land of the smoke-free
blow smoke up ya
are we having fun yet?
not me not me not
no joy no joy no
air no air no air no
Christmas barbie in the city
Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen. It happens when you’re starved of oxygen. I will resume my normal calm programming as soon as we can breathe again. Maybe in a few months time. Or maybe when we meet our Paris emission target through accounting loophole. Not happy mo-mo.
Australia. Perfect one day. Bushfires the next.
Charity begins at home, right?
Son: The PM is going to hell.
Me: Why? Read more
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
Australia — Stop Adani. No coal.
So often novelist, Richard Flanagan, speaks for me on matters close to my heart. He is spot on when he says the fight to stop the Adani Carmichael mine is not just about Adani. (Read Richard Flanagan’s speech to the Stop Adani rally by clicking on the above link.)
The Adani mine infrastructure is needed to make other prospective mines in Galilee basin viable. Political power broker, Clive Palmer, also has mining interests in the Galilee basin. Mr Palmer’s political party, United Australia Party. has just signed a deal to direct preferences to the Liberal and National parties. The tag line for the United Australia Party is “Make Australia Great”. Seriously! In addition, the family of Matt Canavan, the Minister for Resources in the Morrison Government, also has interests in the Australian coal industry.
Several years ago, I attended an event where the Australian Council of Trade Unions had an information and merchandise stand. They were selling T-Shirts advocating for wind power. I remarked to the woman on the stand that there was an inconsistency between what she was selling and the views of then leader of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), who was concerned about the how the shift to renewable energy would affect his members. She said to me that the AWU does not represent the views of her union or the union movement as a whole. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (rivals to the AWU), has recently been applying pressure to the Australian Labor Party to support the Carmichael mine. It should be noted that the PM-in-waiting, Mr Bill Shorten, was once head of the AWU.
Do I need to remind Mr Shorten and his party that the AWU and the CFMEU do not represent the views of the entire Australian labor movement? Voters, if you come across representatives of the ALP door-knocking, remind them of this and send them a strong message that the Adani coal mine must be stopped and our environmental legislation amended immediately to ensure that the carbon footprint impact of projects is taken into account. Carbon neutrality must be a minimum for project approval. Read more
It is fair to say that I have been rather unsettled by recent political events in Australia. Read more
WordPress Daily Prompt — Cur
In response to the WordPress Daily Prompt “Cur”, I thought I would share with you a significant moment in Australian political history. It was the day the official representative of the Queen (of England and also of Australia), the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, fired the duly elected Australian government. Read more