Saturday, November 28

No Time

I have had house guests for nearly a week.  It has been wonderful to see my sister and her friend, and we have had a great time.  We have had time to enjoy each other's company and visit some special places around where I live.

Vintage Truck Arrives at Village

We visited the Caboolture Historical Village briefly.   I had a meeting.  As we arrived a tow truck delivered a vintage truck from nearby Wamuran.  One fellow told me that it may date back to the 1880's.  Great history.

Caboolture River at Beachmere

We visited various parts of Caboolture, Beachmere and Bribie Island.  Then spent one day in the city.

My sister loves plants with huge roots!!

Then on their last day with me we went to the Buderim Ginger Factory, which is now at Yandina and spent a few hours there, before heading up the mountains to Montville and Maleny.

Ginger Flowers at the Ginger Factory

Gardens and lake at the Ginger Factory

Terrorising Lizard

 We did the shops at the Buderim Ginger Factory, and then headed up the Blackall Range - but before  we left the Ginger Factory we had a coffee and the lizard above "terrorised" us.  I don't mind lizards but prefer that they don't stand beside me and look like they are going to run up my leg!!!!  This one was very challenging!!

These red flowers were wonderful at Montville

Trip home was challenging as the Highway was blocked in both directions after a nasty accident involving 6 cars.  One person killed.  Luckily we were on the Steve Irwin Way and though bumper to bumper, and slow as, some times stopped, we did get home!!  Safely.

Saturday, November 21

The Dressmaker - The Movie

Yesterday I went to the Bribie Twin Theatre to see "The Dressmaker" - a movie that was filmed in Australia with Australian and overseas actors.  It is not what I expected - but I found it most enjoyable most of the time!!

Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth - indeed all the cast were great.

The country scenery was impressive - before I knew for sure (I had to wait until the last of the long list of credits had almost finished) to learn where it was filmed.  I guessed Victoria, as the huge stones and dry land were typical.

The Murtoa Mechanics Hall was the old hall in the film.  You can see it here.

It was a strange movie - hard to determine the category for the film, but "quirky" might fit.   All the actors did a great job, and there were some hilarious moments.  Loved the costuming!

You can read the Wikipedia article here. 

Below are some  trailers.

I did enjoy it and could well go and see it again.  Soon.

Friday, November 20

Sexual Abuse Royal Commission

Sexual abuse has been going on for years - and in some schools, churches and other organisations it appears to have been, systematic.  Those people who don't understand that it is abuse of children and others and that the perpetrators continue to seek out the vulnerable and do what they do.  I wonder if with all the law changes, increase of penalties and so forth, if it will every end.

In some countries of the world women and children are sexually and physically abused - and so many men believe it is their right to do what they want with the victims, and often the victim is killed.  If they live, they are often so traumatised that leading a "normal" life afterwards is denied them.  It is horrific.

But in a world where males are usually the leaders, the persons in power in government, business, churches and so forth appear to do nothing, as it suits their own aims.

Many years ago, I was a whistleblower about a teacher at the school where my son attended. I have been assured that my son was not a victim, but I learned that others were and set out to have them punished.  The school has been the subject of the Child Abuse Royal Commission hearings recently in Brisbane.

It was hard to believe that the "strange" behaviour between teachers and students was not considered to be "illegal" or wrong by the headmaster of the school.  It is hard to believe that someone like a headmaster would not know what was going on and act to protect the children.  I reported the concerns that I had, and of course had no proof, and everyone labelled me just a "trouble maker."

So concerned are organisations about their public image that they do nothing to protect the victims, but do everything to protect their reputation.

Up until the time I appealed to the church to act on the sexual abuse, and their refusal to do so, I was a regular church goer, but from that time, I have refused to attend church.  I refused to be part of an organisation that considered itself to be of more value than the children in their care.

The Royal Commission had hearings in Brisbane this month, and I watched the television coverage of the hearings and have had many tearful times, as I learned more about what went on in the schools.  I cry because I was not able to get anyone in positions of power to do anything about it.  We removed our son from the school.  I cry for the boys whose lives were so changed by the behaviour of these devious and abusive teachers, and the way that they were supported in the schools while they committed their vile acts.

The whole episode has weighed heavily on my mind since those days around 1983 when I became the "trouble maker".

It has been a very traumatic experience for me - and for over 30 I have carried the burden of my inability to make a change.

At least I tried.

Monday, November 16

What a Day!!!!

Wow!! How can I explain my day - in a way that folk might comprehend.  Well, I am not going to try to give detail at this point, but to say that I travelled north to Cooroy to meet some folk about a project I am working on.  (Sorry to be a big vague.)

I met this amazing lady.  We did seem to click.  Perhaps we both had senses of humour that worked for each other.  She took me on a drive to show me a house near Boreen Point.  And then she took me to Boreen Point.  I might add, that as I left Beachmere I realised I didn't have my camera.  It was not a bad thing in the end, but I had wished I had it with me.  I feel somewhat "naked" without it - though I had my small camera and my phone so I still could have taken a photo.  However, as it turns out, I didn't.

We went to the house and I was shown a strange fruit.  In fact, it is a cherry from South America.  She and I pigged out on the cherries, and then we picked them and put them in plastic bags for me to take home.  I loved the property - the fruit trees, the bamboo - yes, a great stand of amazing bamboo - and loved the area.  The strange cherry is called grumichama - and we ate so many of them.  Below is a photo of some of them.

My new friend has lived around these parts for some time, and though we only met today, I am planning that she will be my new best friend.  We had so many laughs.

I am in some way glad I didn't have my Olympus with me, as I have promised to go back there with the camera and in my own time, take photos of this magic place.  I thought I had been there before, but when I arrived I knew that I hadn't but it is a beautiful place and I know I must return!!!

I drove through Cooroy but didn't stop - that's on the agenda for my next trip.

I did have another "appointment" with a friend/relative, so I headed back to Caboolture.  I did have a small adventure as I was nearly out of petrol.  Have you ever tried to find a petrol station in Eumundi?    So easy to miss, which I did, and then at the post office I saw two ladies chatting and stopped and asked them.  They laughed as they told me that it was not like a normal petrol station.

Not only was it so unlike what I expected, but someone comes out and puts the fuel in the car.  When was the last time someone did that for you?

Still, I made it back to Caboolture, had coffee and a long chat and then headed home.  What a day.

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Sunday, November 15

Power Outage

Our weather has been somewhat typical of Brisbane/South East Queensland in early summer.  Storms, rain and all that goes with it.   Yesterday I was in the supermarket when the lights went out.  We all had to leave as the staff could not operate anything without power.  I left, somewhat disgruntled, and headed home, and found I could not put the car in the garage.  No power.

It was a dark and gloomy day, so my house indoors was dark and without being able to use the lights it limited me in what I could do.

My phone was almost out of power, so I could not charge it.  I have a small charger but could not find it, and the one the local council issued me does not work for me.

I found a magazine to read, but it was hard.  I gave up.  I could not turn the radio on.  Silent, dark, boring.  Another disadvantage of living alone I thought.

I had so many things to do - and each one required some element of electricity.  The ironing, some writing (I wanted to preserve what little power I had on the laptop too).

I ended up laying on my bed and pondering some fo the issues in my life at the moment.  Tiny Houses.  Study.  Writing.   My week's plans, and so on.

Then after almost 2 hours there was a sound, and some flashing of lights and the power returned.  I quickly connected the phone to power, reset my internet, and got on with doing things, though first I went outside to my car in the rain (thank you rain for washing off the bird poo from my Thursday visit to Bribie Island), and headed back to the supermarket.  I bought more stuff than I wanted to do when I was there earlier, and then went to the Tavern and bought a bottle of wine (bubbly actually) and came home.

I pondered on how reliant we are on electricity and my wish and determination to have some sort of solar power system.  Soon.
This is a line of storms later in the afternoon.

It was a good night.  Today I have the ironing to do, and some writing catch up.

Saturday, November 14

More on Tiny Houses

I am becoming more interested in the tiny house movement, and looking at the options.  It is something that has been around for a while overseas, but slowly coming to Australia.  We are familiar with small and large homes being created from shipping containers and we know small and luxurious homes are being created from these, but the tiny house is somewhat different.  The focus is on the small house.

People are even creating smaller, more mobile houses, like this one in China.

The cost of housing is rising and houses are getting bigger and with more "stuff".  I enjoy watching the television program "The Block" - though confess I sometimes get irritated by the behaviour of some of the contestants, and I am gobsmacked by the amount of money that is spent on luxurious items.

House prices are increasing leaving large number of people having to rent, which is not inexpensive, and additionally leaves one at the mercy of a landlord/land agent with increasingly challenging rules and often much neglect of maintenance issues.  

I do have a lot of stuff - and I am quite comfortable with the idea of downsizing, though expect it will be difficult.  Still, I intend to do so - especially for my family's sake.  I don't want them to have to go through all my stuff - I want to be organised in my latter days to make it easy for my family and I am keen to reduce my living costs so it all makes sense to me.

Over the next few weeks before I set off for China, and when I return, I will be making some very big decisions about my housing and it just may include creating a tiny house.

I wonder if I can do it?

Friday, November 13

The Tiny House Movement

Housing for me is a BIG issue.  I currently rent a duplex in Beachmere, and the rent is going up and up.  It is going to be too hard for me to pay it soon.  It is a challenge now, but bynext year I will be really struggling.  It is an issue for many solo senior women - and the cohort in which I find myself!

I have for some time being looking at the options for me.  A granny flat idea has been discussed with family, and there is ongoing discussion and a possibility for me, but nothing definite.  I have in recent times been interested in the "tiny house" movement.  Around the world people are making decisions to live in small houses, and it is a growing trend because for many living in a bigger house is too expensive and many of us believe that we do not need BIG houses to live in.

Today I have been doing a bit of research and found a couple of companies that are making them.  One is Fred's Tiny Houses. 

I like my three bedroom duplex as I feel that to have someone come and stay with me from time to time is good, but for most of the year the two bedrooms are barely used.  I really don't need them.  I will find another way to have friends visit me if I choose to go into a tiny house.

The tiny house idea interests me a lot at the moment.  Perhaps I could afford one!!  I think that as I pay over $1200 a month to rent, that in ten months I will have "freed" up $12000 to pay for it. 

Downsizing?  I know I can do it.  I can rid myself of some of my book collection - not all!!  I don't need as many things as I have had in the past and think I can fit into a smaller house.  As I age, I look at doing less house work - three bedrooms and two bathrooms to clean vs one bedroom and one bathroom sounds good.  If I have any choice in the construction of such a build, I will look at easy clean options which clearly the builder of this place did not know.

Now I will be looking for somewhere to house my tiny house and for the moment will be looking at somewhere around Beachmere.  Any takers?