Monday, March 2

Adelaide Writers Festival

I had a call from my cousin Betty Snowden recently informing me that she was presenting at the Adelaide Writer's Festival on March 5th - so it was a good excuse to go.

I am almost packed, but don't leave Brisbane until Wednesday at midday, but I am nearly all ready to go.  I am looking forward to attending the event - which is regarded as one of the best writers festivals in Australia.

I should have thought of going before - but was certainly inspired to listen to my cousin!!!  Adelaide is where I was born, and I generally know my way around quite well, though I am not familiar with the area where the festival is being held, but am sure I can find my way there.

My sister will get me into the city and I will have to walk (or taxi - depending on the pain in my foot).  My sister works all day, so I will probably stay at the Festival, and hopefully she can pick me up late in the day.

On Friday we will probably scatter my mother's ashes - perhaps up to Mt Barker where she was born way back in 1915.  She made it to nearly 99 - not quite the 100 she was targetting.

This photo of my mother, Joyce Watson, was taken a few years ago, when we (the family)  had sat by her bed all morning as she lay "unconscious".   We had thought that was the end for her, but after about 5 hours of being in this condition, she awoke, and put this crazy hat on - (not hers!) and chatted on as if nothing had happened.

Clean Up Australia 2015

I have been a frequent volunteer at Clean Up Australia events - I don't recall how many or for how long I have been doing it.  I did so in Beachmere last year, and this year volunteered to be a site co ordinator.

It's not a mammoth job, but it certainly would be easier to just be a clean up volunteer.  I have paperwork to complete now, as well as having to peg signs in yesterday, pick them up, and deal with the volunteers etc.

It all worked well, though some of the guys came back with items that they should have left - including big shards of broke glass - which I had to get picked up by the council quickly as it was so dangerous.  Didn't want to leave it in the park overnight.

One thing the group did bring back was a lady's hand bag full of drug paraphenalia, and I did, as requested phone the police.  I am glad I didn't sit in the park waiting for them as they arrived at my house around 4.30 pm!  They did look in the bag, and took it away. 

I wondered if the locals might think that I was in trouble with the police. 

Friday, February 27

On the Train Again.

Back in January, a group of volunteers from the Caboolture Historical Village joined the steam train which travelled from Brisbane to Cairns to celebrate 150 years of Queensland Rail, and had a wonderful time promoting the Village.

It returned to Brisbane yesterday and three volunteers, including me, dressed up, joined the train.  We could not buy tickets as they were sold out, so we joined the train without tickets (as we knew that no one checked), and managed to do the Caboolture to Roma St, Brisbane, without being asked for a ticket.

Is this me?

Train arriving at Caboolture
My two travelling companions
Mind you, dressed as "criminals" it seemed fitting!!  We were the focus for lots of photos, and much laughter especially as my two offsiders ate from their stale loaves of bread!

Back at Roma Street

One thing that we were curious about was that we had to catch a "normal" train back to Caboolture - and wondered how we would be treated by fellow passengers.  Us, dressed like we were.  On the Roma Street station folk looked at us with great suspicion, but we were not the only ones in outfits as there were a couple of blokes on another train dressed in a toga!!!

Actually apart from some strange glances all was well - in fact we spend the time talking with two passengers who had been on the steam train - they too were returning home.

It was a great exercise to promote the Historical Village.

Thursday, February 26

The Leg Hair Shaver.

I am one of the lucky ladies that has little problem with leg hair.  Being a blonde for most of my life, my leg hair have been pale, and luckily not bushy.  When I was a teenager, leg hair wasn’t a big deal as we wore clothes that were less revealing than in recent times.  Same with under arm hair - but typically, even though it was rare for anyone to see it - we generally disposed of it!

Now, as a senior woman, leg hair is still not a big deal for me, but occasionally I look down and see isolated hairs showing up in the light and reach for my favourite electrical “beauty” appliance, which has a great story.

Way back in 1969, July, I recall,  I attended the launch of a soap in a big event at the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne.  My husband was a representative for Lever and Kitchen, which released the Lux toilet soap at this grand affair. 

I was 7 month’s pregnant and had to hire a dress to wear to this salubrious event.  A friend (her husband was the state manager as I recall) was 9 month’s pregnant and she too hired a dress.  Strangely they were almost identical!!

On that night all the ladies were presented with gifts – one of which was a Philips special presentation which included the shaver for ladies, and various manicure items.  I have long since left the manicure items behind as I preferred other tools, but I have kept the shaver.

As I used it this morning to demolish a few stray leg hairs, I reminisced on the event and the fact that this item – has survived 46 years and still works well, just as it did as a brand new item.
Eeek!!  That reminds me that “my baby” will be 46 years old this year.  Sad.  Feeling old.

Saturday, February 21

Great Lighting Choice

Last year an elderly family member, while recovering from leg surgery, ventured to the bathroom in the early hours of the morning without turning on any lights.  He thought he could manage to walk from the guest room to the toilet down the corridor without turning on a light.  It was pretty much pitch black - but somehow he thought he would manage.

He didn't of course, and tripped over something and banged onto a chair which he had placed in an unusual position the night before to rest his leg on.  Bang, down he went and hit his head on the seat of the chair.

A family member heard his screams and helped him get to his destination, before helping him back to bed.  Sometime later, she became concerned and phoned me - her mother, (former nurse) asking what might have happened.  My diagnosis was spot on!!  He had broken his neck!

Call 000 (Emergency number for Australia) and get an ambulance!!!!

She did.  The ambulance officers were initially of the opinion that he had not broken his neck - but when  the xray's proved my diagnosis correct he was treated in a spinal unit and spent time in a brace before he could return home.  He was in a brace for many weeks, and then not allowed to drive for a long time eithre.

The message is clear - it is not wise to walk in the dark without a torch!!!

So for Christmas I bought a night light for the man recovering from his broken neck - a light that is activated by movement.  I had bought one myself - and have found it very useful.  Living along I am not afraid of turning a light on - there is no one to disturb.  I always carry a small torch with me - especially when I am away from home as often one can be mildly disorientated when waking in the night.

The light I purchased (and there are many similar on the market) was a Click brand from Bunnings, and it has another key feature which came into play last night.

Currently, here in Queensland we are suffering the affects of Cyclone Marcia - luckily for me I am far south of the major cyclonic weather - we just have flooding where we are!!!

Last night I was sitting watching television when there was an unexpected power outage.  It did only last a short time, but what happened impressed me and made me leased with my decision to use the Click light.

Suddenly without warning all power was lost.  Immediately the Click light came on - giving me more than adequate light for me to see around the room - so I didn't have to be concerned about falling over furniture in the dark.  The Click light also has a torch function.  I could have, if needed, have used it as a torch to find my way around the house to light a candle or source another torch.

As it turned out the power outage was short lived and the only inconvenience was having to correct the clock on my microwave.

However, I am going to be talking about this light - or similar ones.  It could well have saved me from injury.  It is such a comfort to know how this works and how useful it could be.

I recommend that everyone has one of these!!!!

Friday, February 20

Living with Cyclones

I am lucky - so far anyway, as the current cyclones are some distance away - there is one near Darwin in the Northern Territory, and another, Cyclone Marcia crossing land some 640 kms north of my home.  The affects are being felt here and further south, and no doubt will affect us for a few more days.

The advice from the government and emergency service agencies is to stay home, so I am.  My appointment that I had intended to go to today has been changed, and I have no reason to leave home, though my camera is keen to get out and take some photos.

The rain is pretty amazing - it is just pouring down, and gutters/downpipes are overflowing.  The sound of the rain is amazing too.

I have lived through cyclones that have come close to Brisbane in the past,  It can be scary - but luckily I have not had to experience the damage that other communities have experienced.  

Overflow from my downpipe

My water tank is full and overflowing

The local school is closed and there is minor flooding around.   There are two roads in/out of Beachmere, and both flood, especially with a high tide, and there is a king (higher than normal) tide due today, so we do expect the road could be closed sometime today.  There is a storm surge to take into consideration too - so some flooding is very likely.

I live alone and am well above flood level.  Where I live was formerly a swamp - as much of this area has been swamps for thousands of years.  The developers were required to build up the land by around 2 metres, so I feel quite safe from flooding - unlike many of the residents of this area.

I have food, water, wine (so important!!!) and if the cyclone does come closer I have all the provisions I need.  I am also lucky that my car is in the garage, so (fingers crossed) I do not expect to experience much danger personally.

It will give me plenty of time to catch up on writing etc.  As long as the power lasts!!!!

I do hope everyone remains safe and that there is little or no damage to property.

Thursday, February 19

About TED

I was introduced to the TED program by a Dutch man, sitting by a pool in Bali, Indonesia and have been a fan ever since, spending a lot of time watching the many videos.

The idea of TED is to spread ideas - especially good ideas.  Go to the TED website for more information and to check out some of the speakers and ideas.

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend a TEDx event at Griffith University and I repied and accepted and was thrilled to go yesterday.  I didn't attend the actual event, but  it was happening at the Gold Coast and we were witness to it all via the technology of streamlining.

Though I must admit - it was almost as good as being there in person.  So far the videos are not posted to the TEDx - but I will endeavour to share them here when they become available.

The speakers were excellent - check the details of the speakers here. 

Below are some great TED talks.

Below is Geoff, who sadly passed on recently.

Just go to the TED website, and write in a topic of which you have interest and see what comes up.