Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happiness is Mine

The Teapot
Just for a change I am not complaining. I just got my parcel from Suck. It's not their fault. Due to the Ash cloud etc. there had been two attempted deliveries already and it had also been opened by customs. Bet the terrorist teapot got them going. I am relieved that they didn't call the bomb squad and destroy it before looking at it. Not sure how good it will be for making tea, but its sure to be a conversation starter!
Thank you for your tracking efforts Alexandra and friends. I look forward to reading more of your catalogue. It's more entertaining than the paper!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I must confess to a little road rage – or more precisely petrol station rage, this last week.  I’d forgotten what it was like to meet so many schedules. On Monday after dropping off the girls, I was sent to drop off the borrowed baby monitor and pick up the rented one. A baby monitor beeps loudly when the baby stops breathing.
I’m glad we picked Mum and the baby up on the Sunday because on a weekday the traffic was murder. After the third time around the block looking for a parking spot, I pulled into the line for 5 Minute Pick Up and Drop Off. It didn’t move for twenty minutes, so I asked the lady behind me if she would mind if I ducked in and made the exchange.
“Not at all,” she said. “I don’t think we’re going anywhere for a while.”
The first part was easy. I dropped the borrowed monitor off on the 8th Floor, but the rented one had to be collected from the 3rd Floor. It was like being given directions by the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. First I went to Paediatrics, then I was sent to Respiratory, but that wasn’t it either.
“Try Patient Appliances,” the lady in Respiratory advised. Patience is indeed a virtue.  A sign pointed down a ramp to the 2nd Floor, but then there were no more signs. People I asked in the offices nearby directed me back the other way. After my third pass through Pharmacy, someone walked me via a devious route to a cubby hole in a corridor to the left of the first ramp.
“I’m sorry,” said the attendant, “I can’t give you anything without a cashier’s receipt."
 “Where’s the cashier?” I asked.
“On the fourth floor,” he replied.
  I was feeling pretty guilty about the car by this time. There were signs everywhere saying that the fine for unauthorised parking was $50. I told him where I had left the car. I even offered him $50 cash. He sympathised, saying he couldn’t get a parking spot himself this morning, but no, he still couldn’t break the rules.
Thwarted I ran back to where I had left the car. The other car had gone. Cars were moving around it awkwardly and a lady balancing several children and a pram was fuming.
“Some thoughtless idiot has ditched their car here and other cars can’t get out!”
“Oh that’s awful!” I commiserated, slunk into the car, and drove off fast.
Two more laps of the block. Someone beat me to the last No Standing space and I drove into a part of the hospital where deliveries were going in and out. There were some empty parking spaces there. One said Reserved for Coroner, another said Reserved for Social Services and three were marked Reserved for Government Vehicles. I picked one of those and went in search of the cashier.
She was in a hermetically sealed cubicle off Emergency and there was a long line ahead of me.  I assumed that the high security was for health reasons. At last it was my turn.  I watched her painfully fill out the forms in triplicate – a pink one, a white one and a green one, then she shoved an Eftpos machine through a slot like they have in German banks and said brightly.
“Now you’ll have to wait till I print your receipt.”
Grin and bear it I told myself. Don’t blow it now. Nearly there. For a horrible moment I feared that she might shut down for an impromptu tea break, like they do in Russian railway stations when you have queued for hours for a ticket, but at last she handed me my sheaf of papers and I ran like the wind. At least I now had a pretty good idea of the layout of the hospital  and reached Patient Appliances on my first try. The man was most apologetic when he finally handed over the monitor.
“I can see you’ve had a hard day,” he said, repeating his mantra. “But you must understand that I can’t break the rules.”
“Yeah, that’s what the Nazis said too,” I said nastily. “I hope you never have to wait for a heart defillibrator.”
I raced back to where I had left the car. It was now boxed in by three white shiny government cars. The last one couldn’t get in. I smiled apologetically at the driver and hoped she hadn’t noticed the car seats and the mess in the back. She did see me carrying the monitor though, so I hope she forgave me.
I now had 45 minutes before the Twelve o’clock School pick up on the other side of town and I was almost out of fuel. I pulled into a service station. Oops! Wrong side. In the time it took me to turn the car around, an elderly lady had beaten me to the pump. It was the only time she moved fast. Another car pulled in behind so I couldn’t get out again.
Normally I am pretty tolerant of older drivers. I am usually pretty laid -back myself, but the seconds were ticking by and the school treats late mothers /caregivers harshly. They also have this little sign on the door which makes you feel really guilty.

This lady s-l-o-w-l-y opened her petrol cap and went inside. She came back with an attendant who   s-l-o-w-l-y filled her tank. Then the lady s-l-o-w-l-y went to her glove box. Good, I thought, she’s getting her money to pay and got ready to jump into her grave. But no, she was getting her notebook out to write down how much fuel she got, her mileage and the price and for all I know, her life story as well. Then she s-l-o-w-l-y put it back, got her handbag out and went into the shop.  She must have paid with five cent pieces because that took another eternity too. I was so very tempted to nudge her car forward a bit so I could reach the nozzle, but I wasn't driving my car and this one didn’t have nice big bull bars on it like mine has. There was nothing for it but to wait and wait.

Now I understand the person who wrote in to the Herald- Sun about the true purpose of Baby on Board signs. I can’t remember the exact words or who the writer was but it was something like “It’s to warn other drivers that there are sleep -deprived, distracted  and slightly deranged adults behind the wheel racing to get to a school pick up. “ Too true.

Help the Animals

My friend Tiina  has just written about her despair regarding the treatment of animals in Spain. Some of you have already had firsthand experience of this. Yes, money and more adoptions would help in the short term, but what I am hoping for is pressure to change the laws. Even a dog tax, or licensing system would help as, much as we may dislike them, it would discourage ownership of up to 17 animals at a time as is presently the case. I have written to  aavez and PETA to see if they have any suggestions, but if anyone can think of other ways to help or to add pressure for attitude change, would love to hear from you. Some pictures would help. So might letters to newspapers. I haven't been there myself, but I have heard this from others too, particularly German tourists. My cousin came back with a little Spanish dog as well.

Here is an extract from Tiina's letter minus the greetings, love and kisses.

Sent: Wednesday, 22 June 2011 3:49 AM

I've been here in Andalusia for four months now, and will be leaving on the day after tomorrow- though I should actually stay...: Too much to do over here- too many animals in need...
I have no words for telling you what I saw and experienced since I got here... I knew this was not Germany or Finland or..., where they at least treat their pets well while eating all kinds of animals and their products and therefore abuse them. Here, they eat them plus don't treat ANY animal well, it seems. Dogs and cats are treated like dirt, horses and donkeys USED for work. Dogs USED to protect houses, property- simply because they are cheaper than alarm systems- if one dies, it simply doesn`t matter. It's replaced the same minute! They (I hate to use the term "they", but I found out it makes sense here...) simply don't care!!
never feed them (or once in three weeks time); no water, 42 °C - no shade (same with horses, donkeys, cows etc. ...), when they die, dehydrated, after two-four weeks, depending on the state they were in when they were chained up or put into a cage with 25 other dogs, sitting in their own shit that is never removed, they simply throw the starving ones and the already dead bodies into the closest river and just get new ones. They hang them, just for a laugh, shoot at them, as vivid targets are so much more fun, cut their noses or/and ears off etc. etc..
Though I saw already much- at slaughterhouses, or in Asia, esp. China, where people are extremely cruel to animals, this was a shock- often neighbours who seemed so nice did those horrifying things... It's so normal over here- Spain is about a hundred years behind when it comes to animal rights. Animals are seen as objects here, worth less than stuff you can buy.
Anyway- to cut a long story short:

We came here to work and relax a bit, I wanted to focus on my PhD- and all turned out so very different!

We first stayed in this beautiful, big house high up in the mountains. When we found out about how many stray cats and dogs there were, we had to move to an even bigger place and found this huge finca with lots of fields and old stables... We renovated it, had a lot of friends and animal activists staying with us- and simply did what we could... A fulltime-job, never ending. I didn't have a day off since... No day for myself, as I organised and kind of structured it all. (Just tell you this to be excused for not having written any sooner... ,-(  )
Am exhausted, but happy. Only sad to leave while knowing this hell on earth goes on.

Why we go now? Well...

I have to leave to go back to modeling: All my money went into this private rescue-place. We need so much more money. It's incredible how much animals eat and all the helping hands here ,-) - and even more incredible how much all those operations, injections- the vet cost/s!

No, the real reasons is that people who's animals we had to take away from them- wherever possible legally...hmmm...- found out where we are and came back for taking revenge- not for getting their half dead animals back though!

All our cars and tractors were damaged, the fences and walls crashed, some of our people hurt. We knew it was a question of time and were prepared; it´s always better to take such animals far away and not to stay in the neighbourhood, for sure. We moved far, but not far enough.
But it's all good- every animal found a nice new home- I'm sad to say we only "gave" them to foreigners living here,  I am sure there must be animal lovers over here as well, somewhere, maybe hidden?...-, now that they have healed and regained strength, they get a new chance to lead a happy life. The weakest ones we keep, Jonne's mum takes care of my new doggie-friend, as she can't fly yet, nor travel by car.

So much more to tell you- but I know it can be too much at a time for someone not being involved- and I'm packing and cleaning and stuff- I'm the last one here to leave; two more nights, hoping nothing bad is going to happen...; but at least all animals are safe! ,-)

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Are you Missing us Yet?"

I have been home exactly 24 hours. My daughter has phoned to ask if I am missing the family yet?
What can I say? I am still waiting for my head to catch up with my body, though I have at last had nine hours sleep. I expect it's a bit like maternal amnesia, you know that euphoric post partum state where you forget how awful the birth was.

OK I am starting to recall some of the really nice moments like the smaller fairy saying "You're a fastcoach, Grandma!" (i.e. the opposite of a slow coach) as we were racing down the highway to pick up Dad from the airport. Or, following our discussion on rainbows, explaining to her older sister that when you get rain and sunshine together, "Any minute you'll hear a rainbow." Or maybe her older sister explaining carefully to the boy next door that she is wearing a "Leotart" not her underwear.

However, at the moment my memories are far more closely embodied in the wonderful little book by Adam Mansbach "Go The F**k to Sleep."
Speaking of same, Weekend Australian Columnist James Valentine has suggested several sequels (Weekend Australian June 25- 26, 2011:Inquirer:8) such as "Eat your F**king Greens" and "Don't F**king Whine" which he claims would bring great comfort to many a rattled parent or carer, never mind the profanity. I couldn't agree more. I could also be tempted by another of his suggested titles "Because I F**king Said So, That's Why." On some days I would even agree with the lady at the school pick-up who, when asked how her day was, said, " It's been one of those days when you understand why some animals eat their young."

Ask me again in about two weeks, or maybe two months when the memories of nightly bedtime battles and daily food fights has faded. Not that I don't love you all dearly.

P.S. Did you manage to get all the fairy dust out of the bathroom? That's what happens when you live with fairies.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I suppose it had to happen

On some days The Force just isn't with you.
It seems that the ash cloud from the Chilean volcano that disrupted air traffic last week has done a U-Turn and caused another lot of flights to be cancelled. I know it's far worse for the Chileans, but it would have been nice if someone could have told me that before I turned up at the airport bleary -eyed and coffeeless in the wee hours of the morning, along with about five hundred other disgruntled passengers. The late bulletin yesterday said all airports would be open and there was no contact from the airline.

Long queues of irate passengers

A sign goes up saying the Estimated Departure Time is now 13.50. A collective groan goes up. The Avalon Plane next to us isn't leaving until 15.50. Thank Goodness I didn't choose that one. From Mark in the smoker's pit I heard that this one was cancelled on Monday. His boss has footed his hotel bills but he's not looking forward to the parking fees he'll have run up in Melbourne. At last count they were already up to $180.

I suppose all smokers are temporary or temporarily smoking

The people in front are ringing their hire car company. "Why can't we get it back again? We've already paid for the whole day." A  red -haired woman in the Avalon queue has finally made it to the counter. She has a babe in arms. There are two children's car seats and a mountain of luggage on the weigh - in platform and two small children spin around her like demented planets.  The mother is losing it.
"We've been here since 4.a.m." she screams, turning to yell at one redheaded boy climbing up the luggage chute. "Ryan, get back here! " "And we've already had to pay $30 extra for the baby!"
The girl at the counter is young and unflappable and mutters something like " Sorry. It's company policy."
I feel for the mother. Now I know why they don't let you have tweezers and  nail scissors in your hand luggage. It's so you can't poke anyone in the eye.

Meanwhile our queue has shuffled along and I am at the counter. The new flight arrangements mean that I will be missing the connecting flight to Tasmania, so I ask what will happen then. "We can't tell you that. You 'll have to wait till you get to Melbourne and make enquiries there."

I drop my backpack into the baggage chute and call the family who pick me up and take me home again. Just as we are leaving the board changes to show the flight leaving at 16.10. Oh well, at least I get to have breakfast, a cup of coffee and another farewell.
The plane doesn't leave until around five thirty or six and I arrive in Melbourne just before midnight. There are no flights to Tasmania and there haven't been any all day. They are not sure about tomorrow. Tiger is not taking any further bookings until Monday. Qantas and Virgin are putting their stranded passengers up in hotels. Tiger offers to refund the unused portion of my fare. "We'll know more in the morning." Great. I can hardly wait. I'm simply dying for another night at another airport.

Loved the signs. The coffee wasn't too bad either
 By the time that's over and I have my bags it's too late to call my sister. She's an early -to -bed and early -to -rise sort of person and doesn't answer her phone at that hour.  Besides, I already promised her I wouldn' t make her come to the airport again after the terrible asthma attack she had  last time. Shops are shutting down around me and the cleaners come with those miniature street- sweepers and their mops.  I'm so tired I even manage to sleep on one of those metal seats in International Departures. Wonder who designs those things and whether they tortured flies as a child.

This was the last place to shut down.

At about 4.30 the pace picks up again. No one knows if anyone will be flying today, but Qantas is accepting bookings for Saturday, so I bite the bullet. With such a backlog of desperate passengers there are no discount fares or standby and it peeves me to think I could have flown to Bali for about the same money, but I am dreaming of long hot showers, my own bed and a very long uninterrupted sleep.

I ring my sister. At least she's home and hasn't gone to volunteer her services at some far flung cultural event. There' s a new orange bus she says, that goes all the way out to her place. Alas, no one can tell me where the stop is, not even the tourist information service, so I go with Skybus instead which should at least take me to the central railway station. This is an express bus that is supposed to take 20 minutes to reach the city but the Freeway is choked with traffic. I overhear the driver responding to the radio request about his estimated time of arrival. "Next Tuesday," he replies wearily.

Eventually we do get there and after  finding the right station for outer suburbia, the right platform and a ticket, I'm on my way.  My sister greets me like the prodigal son minus the fatted calf, and we have a couple of relaxing days - bird song, dappled sunlight, a couple of good movies and I'm off again. I'm glad she's given me a doggy bag. It's a long way to Gate 9.
Thanks Sis for saving your prodigal sister yet again!

Have you ever tried doing it while standing?
P.S. One of the nice things about paying for a full price fare is that you still get a sandwich and a small bottle of water. I had told my son not to bother coming early because the planes are always late and it takes ages to get the bags. He took me at my word. This time the flight arrived early (possibly making aviation hisory) and I was the last person standing in the pick up and drop off lane. I couldn't ring because my mobile was completely dead. Two more planes came and went and the Federal Police were starting to take an interest. I forgot that this son does live in a slightly different space time continuum to the rest of us and "later" could mean anything.

However, you'll be pleased to know that he did come eventually and I am now safely home. I promise I won't set foot outside the door for at least the next couple of months and can I please have that nervous breakdown now? I' m sure I have earned it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And today's emergency is.......

It must have been that bit I wrote last week about the appalling state of water in WA, but I have just been punished by the water Gods. Now we have none.

On Friday, it was the toilets with one of them not flushing and the other threatening to overflow. It was too late to call anyone, so I went to bed and prayed. Miracles do happen. By morning they had had a spontaneous remisssion and I didn't have to call the plumber. Possibly just a case of excessive toilet paper. The younger fairy is just getting the hang of it and is quite generous with the stuff.

On Saturday, amid much giggling, the girls managed to lock both bathroom doors from the inside and still get out. I didn't want to worry their Mum who was still in hospital with the baby and I couldn't reach their Dad who was working underground about 700 km away. The hinges were all on the inside too, so being unable to think of anything else to do except perhaps breaking the windows, we all went out for the day.  When Dad rang that evening  for his usual goodnight call and damage report, he guided me through some serious lock -picking and I finally managed to get the doors open.
This was just as well.

On Sunday morning  I was awoken around 7 am by the splish splash of little feet and the little one asking if she could put her bathers on. There was a heated pool in the laundry and a geyser in the bathroom. A hot water pipe had burst and flooded everything.
In panic I rang the rental agency who at least instructed me on how to turn all the water off. We paddled around the house for about four hours until a plumber came to do emergency repairs and my daughter rang to say that she and the baby were being released from hospital and would we please come and get them.
The house was completely awash. We used up all the towels  trying to soak it up. This  time it wasn't anyone's fault. "This always happens with this type of vanity. It's just normal wear and tear," the plumber said. "The hot water pipes always go first. I'll have to come back and do all the others. "
We couldn't  have a shower. I couldn't  have my morning coffee. (Alway bad!)  We couldn't cook or wash the dishes, have a drink or wash our hands much less do the laundry or have a bath.   I don't think we'll ever take running water for granted again! A great homecoming for my daughter.

It's Monday. The water has soaked into the carpets - 60 litres came out of just one of the bedrooms when the carpet cleaner came. It also soaked into the childrens' clothes and books, the well -stocked bathroom cabinets and  furniture. The girls' bedrooms are unusable so the older one will sleep with me and the younger squirmy one with Mum. The house smells like wet dog. The windows are all steamed up and  with all the heaters on, it feels like the hot steamy jungles of the Amazon.
I only have one more night here and can't for the life of me imagine what could happen next. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed. If it's anything exciting, I 'll be sure to let you know.

Yes, We have no bananas


Our fruit bowl has been looking a little strange lately. Since the Queensland floods we have  hardly seen any bananas and never for less than $ 13 per kilo. This makes exotic imports like Mexican Mangoes seem cheap at only $ 3.95 each. We've had pomegranates and persimmons, melons of three different kinds, mangosteens, paw paw and tamarilloes. We 've had passion fruit and fejoas and Aztec fruit (creamy white and slightly sweet, not unlike avocado in texture), custard apples and two kinds of kiwi fruit,  but still no bananas. While fejoas have been a hit with the girls, they are getting tired of all this exotica and long for the fruit  we used to take for granted.

Anyway, on Friday to my delight there was a stall on when I went down to pick up one of the children from school. Nestled among  the cupcakes and crafts, were some perfectly delicious looking pears. The trouble was that I hadn't brought my purse and didn't have a cent on me. When I asked the woman in charge if  I could give my $2 to the office on Monday, she looked at me the way my bank manager does when I ask for a  $ 5,000 cash advance.

"No way, " she said, "We don't do credit. Besides the office doesn't like having to keep our money separate."
What did she think I was going to do? Leave the country?

There were only two lots of pears left when I came back down the hill with child in tow. Other parents had obviously seen them. I considered asking one of the other mothers  for change but thought I might be making things look even worse for my daughter than letting the girls go to school in their self -chosen clothes.  Still, I couldn't quite give up on those pears.
By crawling around on my hands and knees  I found  $1.50 in change in the console (the parking money) and another forty cents among the flotsam and jetsam of textas, seaweed biscuits and socks on the floor. There was no way that the stall -holder was going to let me off on those last ten cents, knowing the PTA Mafia  as  I do. I could be depriving some child of a pencil.

Frantically I started moving seats, pulling off seat covers and pulling up carpets. I found another five cents wedged between the console and the passenger seat  and a last miraculous five cents in a child's purse under the booster seat ( I promise I will put it back!) before I had to do any serious dismantling. Triumphantly I marched the up the hill
No, the pears hadn't all gone as you might expect. Occasionally some things go right.
" I knew you' d back," the lady said as she handed me the last bag of pears. She must have seen that murderous gleam in my eye and been too afraid to sell them to anyone else.
Anyway, you'll be pleased to know that those pears tasted just as sweet and crunchy as they looked but  you know what? I still wouldn't mind a banana.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Rainy Day in Paradise

Dear Suck.UK,
It's another rainy day in paradise, so where is my amazing colour change umbrella? It's been nearly a month,


Thanks Folks!
Look forward to getting my umbrella when I get home.
Sure could have used it here, but it will be even more essential in Tas.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Last Croak...

At least for the time being!.
Given that my life totally sucks at the moment and I am unlikely to be doing anything exciting for a while and I am not feeling wicked or witty or wise, I beg to be excused from writing this blog for a while. Check in with me in September or maybe Christmas, just so I don't bore you to death in the meantime.

The littler pink fairy and I have been to the shops. It sounds like a frog pond in there. Here a croak, there a croak, everywhere a croak croak. Or maybe a pack of performing seals. I am one of them and shouldn't be here, but we do need to eat and I am out of cigarettes. I try to keep my mouth closed and am thinking we should all have those blue masks which people in Korea wore when I got there in the middle of the first SARS epidemic. They look scary. I am sure people do stay away, but do they actually work?

In case you are wondering what these exquisite pictures are about, the girls and I have been playing head body and legs. Basically you cut a selection of each out of the newspapers and mix them up. It can produce some very amusing results especially if you add captions.

I'll be sure to let you know if anything more thrilling happens, but sayonara for now.

I'm sure this must be illegal. It's the best fun we have had for days

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tell me you missed the blog.
No, I haven't died, but it's now official that we all have whooping cough and that's why we have all been feeling so miserable. Even the baby has it and has had to go back into hospital, along with Mum. It is very sad, seeing a tiny baby covered in tubes and struggling to breathe, but she is getting better now and so we hope, are we.
There is a virtual epidemic on. I don't know how many cases have occurred here but there were  4 - 5000 cases in NSW alone. The doctors blame all those alternative types (of which I was one) for the recent outbreaks because many of them failed to immunise their  children and have thus  reduced overall (herd) immunity.

This can't be true though, because we did have all our shots, including the recent grandmother one.  Increased mobility is another possibility. Too many people travelling and picking up exotic strains of old scourges. That sounds more plausible to me, but deep down I fear that nature is fighting back and developing new resistant strains, as has happened  with various types of  'flu. No one ever wants to see things like diphtheria or polio again, so let's hope that this is a one -off and not a sign of things to come.

The good news is that it has actually rained in Western Australia and for three days straight  at that. You could positively hear nature going "Aaaah! " It also means that the day when West Australians have to drink their own effluent could be postponed for a while. The reasons for rejecting it "are just psychological " claims Western Australia's Gung Ho paper,* (which also has an an op ed piece defending Climate Change Deniers and calls  their critics McCarthyists).  After all it argues, " It's being done in  Belgium, the UK  and the US.  This doesn' t exactly  fill me with confidence.
When Canberra and Brisbane were facing the same dilemma after prolonged drought, there were plenty of doubts about the health risks and the possibility of unknown substances such as hormones, viruses and chemical cocktails getting through because we do not  as yet have appropriate tests. Luckily for both places, they were saved by the floods which filled their reservoirs for the first time in decades.
I think we have enough health problems not to take risks, especially with drinking water, which I regard as a basic human right. We don't want to find out ten years down the track, that we got something as fundamental and essential as drinking  water wrong.  It already tastes terrible as it is.

Though many solids can be removed by filtration and many bugs by reverse osmosis and UV radiation, these procedures are not cheap either. It's been estimated that it will cost around $100 million, so why take the chance? Surely for the same investment we could invent better systems. For example, we could have dual systems like those we already have on our toilets, except to cover all the water used in the house- recycled water for lesser purposes and industry (not food processing!), leaving first class water for essential human needs or a simple system in each household to enable laundry or shower water to be used for flushing toilets. It can't be that hard or beyond the capacity of our scientists and inventors.
Simply capturing more storm water would also make the pie bigger  and be a lot cheaper, as would encouraging people to install water tanks.  Perhaps the vacuum toilet cisterns as used on aeroplanes would also be worth exploring further, thereby reducing water use without sacrificing quality or convenience.
On the same newspaper page the WA government boasts about budget surpluses thanks to mining royalties. Perhaps a small fraction of that money could be applied towards maintaining or improving water quality, rather than looking for ways to make it acceptable for people to drink their waste.

I don't want to totally bag out WA. The uptake of Solar Panels seems to be much higher here than elsewhere - it would be a travesty if it weren't given the abundant  sunshine -and I understand that this too has been subsidised by the state. There is also a modest scheme whereby  you can trade in two normal shower heads for two low flow ones. Definitely better than nothing - a step in the right direction, but I am sure the state could do much more, unlike cash strapped Tassie. It does show that Western Australia can do it if it wants to, so come on there guys, I am sure you can think of something better than this.Let's lead and not follow.

There, that's my moan for the day. I feel better already. Hope you do too,

*The West Australian can't be all bad either. At least it has a sense of humour and a good cartoonist. I was going to put  one by Dean  Alston in here but the server keeps rejecting it. He did say I could use it, so maybe later.