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Showing posts from November, 2011


Be someone's Christmas angel

My favourite grumpy angels The festive season is upon us. If, like moi, you don’t have a lot of cash, but want to take part in the spirit of the season and not feel too mean and scroogelike,  then here are a couple of ideas. The first few are nicked from  the Christmas edition of  Better Homes and Gardens. Most of the others are from Random Acts of Take your old Mobile phone to one of the major suppliers – Optus, Telstra etc.  and OXFAM will convert them into chickens for poor people in Laos, not to eat but to supply eggs for their families and to sell at the market. That sounds like a neat trick. Two phones equal one chook. If you aren’t near a phone shop, take them to your Post Office who will supply free pre -addressed postbags for your phonRing them  on 1300 730 070  or check their website  http//   for  more information.  Take your old glasses to OPSM who will send them to help someone in the Third World. Outside Australia, one

The great bicycle conspiracy

They are coming!  They are taking over our streets and houses. They lurk on verandahs, in backyards, in garages and behind locked gates. They are taking over shops and restaurants, parks and city streets. They congregate in large numbers at the university and plot secretly in dark alleys. They are getting ready to take over cities and governments. You never see   riders.   Just bikes.   You see them in hallways and sunrooms.... In kitchens and probably bathrooms too. On verandahs...   In front yards... ..and back ...and they probably visit one another  too. Taking over parks and parking spots Shops Restaurants .... and even the Museum for heaven's Sake! Taking on the market I can hear them now, "Arise and unite two -wheelers! Let us free ourselves from the domination of the car!" In Tasmania they have quietly taken over our backroads. In Taiwan the bicycle paths are linking up. Too bad about the wea

I hate instant messaging

I hate instant messaging at the best of times. For a start, there are all those cryptic acronyms and one friend uses no vowels at all which can lead to misunderstandings. Secondly, it's not instant, particularly when you are stuck in intuitive text mode and don't have your glasses on, but I now have two more reasons. I especially came back early from Cradle Mountain because a friend who'd had an operation on his hand was due to come out of hospital and I was supposed to pick him up. I didn't hear from him on Thursday and assumed  that he'd been kept in another day, or the operation had been delayed. When there was still no word from him on Friday, I rang him. He sounded fine but a little cool. He was home now thanks. Someone else had picked him up.  On Saturday night at 8 p.m. I finally received his message dated Thursday lunchtime. "Yes, Roni, I'm ready to come home now, anytime you're ready." When I rang him again, he said yes, when he hadn

Save the Internet

There is new proposed legislation in the US which will affect us all since the US controls most of the internet. It will require service providers to police the activities of their users and blacklist sites which are deemed unacceptable in any way. Read the full story and sign the petition here:

World Kindness Day

My volunteer flowers (on left) are doing so much better than the ones I planted It turns out that I am being kind to myself today. I finally took a tray up to the bedroom and made myself coffee upstairs. I would have had it on the balcony but it is raining hard outside, so I have brought the outdoor table in and I am having it here and afterwards I am going to read my book. It makes the place feel like a motel room. All it needs is a mini bar with expensive drinks and overpriced chocolates. I was kind to someone yesterday though - or at least hope I was, and I have made a small donation to the Fred Hollows Foundation today. There are many noble causes of course, too many, but Fred Hollows was a man after my own heart. He was a bit of an offbeat character who called a spade a spade and even, shock, horror! smoked, but when he saw a problem in the real world he just went ahead and started fixing it, without asking for permission, making submissions or going through the pr

Roads even less travelled - The Way Back

Time Travel If you want to hum along, the music for this segment would have to be Noel Harrison's Windmills of your Mind .  Yes, I know it's from the late '60's but we are going back in time to the mid seventies now and  the lines "...Down a hollow to cavern ( sorry, I always thought that said cabin ) where the sun never shone..."  and "Pictures hanging in a hallway And a fragment of a song Half remembered names and faces , but to whom do they belong..." are particularly appropriate. Mt. Roland, just behind Sheffield. The view that greets you when you arrive by ferry On the way home I took a different route, via Staverton, No Where Else, Sheffield, Paradise and Promised Land. The last time I travelled the road through Paradise was when I was pregnant with my daughter and we were looking for land. The land is still green and beautiful, the blue wrens still flit before you, and the cows look fat and contented on the hills, but I’m sure t

Roads Less Travelled 2 Under the Great Western Tiers

The Great Western Tiers provide the backdrop for this barn "with character" as youngest son would say. The mood changes as I near the end of the Lakes Highway and enter gentle farming country. The music this landscape evokes is more like the tender ballads of John Denver, especially Country Roads.   These country roads make right angled turns around farmers’ fields and their edges are lined with buttercups and daisies and hawthorn in bloom. Another old farm building with character It must have been a spring like this when I first fell in love with Tasmania. The grass is lush and green, the fields of poppies are almost in flower and fluffy lambs, fat cows and sleek horses graze in the paddocks, all watched over by the Great Western Tiers. It’s something to do with scale, but the roads and houses nestle into the landscape here and seem friendly rather than intrusive. I notice there are quite a few bicycle touring route signs out this way (from Liffey Falls on

Roads Less Travelled - The Lakes Highway

Part of the Circle of Standing Stones at the Steppes Historic Reserve Driving over the roof of Tasmania The Lakes Highway runs up the centre of Tasmania North to South or vice versa, from Bothwell to Deloraine. Although this route is officially shorter, it’s a hard drive with lots of bends, long uphills and gravel sections, so it takes twice as long as driving on the main highway through the Midlands. However, since it was a long weekend and fearing bumper to bumper traffic on the sealed road, I thought I would give it a try. It had been twenty years since I had come this way, so I vaguely hoped that the road might have been finished by now, but things hadn’t changed much. There was a bit of new work around Bothwell. There were a few more shacks and some were a bit fancier than before and there were quite a lot more muscle cars towing large boats. Detail of one of the Sculptures by Stephen Walker Because it passes over the Central Plateau this road is very exposed and is ofte