Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Our local rag, the Centralian Advocate and their insistence on calling town camp residents ‘campers’. The residents are not campers, the majority are permanent residents who pay rent (this much was made clear in the interview with a resident, but I doubt the majority of ‘readers’ actually read the articles). Sometimes the residents have family come to stay, but sometimes I have family come to stay – they don’t call me a camper. The language harks back to the early days of white settlement and feeds into the mindset that these ‘camps’ are supposed to be temporary. At least the ABC has got it right.
The Australian Government – on two issues:
Firstly, internet censorship. Did you know that the Australian Government has had a blacklist of internet sites since 2000 and that it is against the law to publish the list? This was brought to my attention at dinner the other night. Since when is it ok for the Government to block websites they receive complaints about? Last I checked we were in some sort of a democracy with freedom of speech. But maybe we’re not. The Chaser was recently pulled off air for two weeks after the ABC received numerous complaints. The complaining minorities seem to have the strongest voice. The list was recently leaked and is said to contain the usual suspects, sites about child porn, rape, bestiality, but it also contained online poker sites and the site of a dentist. Don’t the owners of the online poker site and the dentist have the right to know that their sites have been subject to complaint and a right of reply? No wonder business has been slow. The Age reported that the current Government is looking into changes to the law to allow more transparency.
Secondly, Steven Fielding. Oh yes Steven, your knowledge and research is vastly superior to that of the top scientists in the world (see insightful New Matilda article on this subject here). Since you choose to believe, based on your extensive research no doubt, that climate change isn’t real and are intent on fing it up for the rest of us, I choose to believe that you are not real (There’s a facebook group, join it).
PS 5% by 2020 is a joke K-Rudd, even America are doing better than us on this one.
Monday, June 29, 2009
For the last week I’ve been feeling really down, there’s a deep sadness, I just want to cry all the time and I’m so tired, with no real reason to be. This has happened from time to time and when I’m in this state I tend to avoid journaling about it. Things that have pulled me out before are ignoring it, hoping it will go away. Today is the first time that I have gone with it and not forced myself to feel cheerful and interact with the world. I know I can’t hide forever but for today it feels really good.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
As I looked at the array of flowers in Coles today I overheard a girl say to her boy ‘I know they’re a waste of money but Belinda will just love them’. I thought about what she said and I remembered the times that I have said it and you know what? It’s time for us to stop saying that lie and making that excuse. Flowers are not a waste of money. Flowers brighten my home and cheer me up. Every time I look at them I feel grateful that they are there. Tulips are my favourite, though I don’t have a suitable vase. Lilies are another favourite and really any flowers that are colourful will do. Fellas, flowers are worth every penny. Flowers make us happy. In Melbourne I was lucky enough to live near flower stalls and flower shops that sold bunches for as little as $4. Here they aren’t as cheap, but I do live in the middle of the desert, so what are you going to do? The flowers are still worth every penny.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Charging refugees for their time in detention? I don’t think so. Apparently Australia sends you a bill when they let you out of a refugee detention centre. A politician explained that not charging will encourage people smugglers. Um, excuse me? Do you really think that people smugglers are letting everyone know before they flee their war torn country that they will possibly have to enter a detention facility and will one day have to pay in excess of $45,000 for their time in said facility? I don’t think so. I think they are concerned about getting people out of the country and receiving whatever cut might be theirs. A journalist pointed out that we don’t charge prisoners for their time in prison when they are released so why should we charge refugees? A bill to repeal this legislation is currently being tabled in parliament, with bleeding heart liberal senator Petro Georgio leading the way.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
One of my colleagues recently received an email from another colleague in response to a problem he was having with information she entered into our database. He had checked it over with another colleague and had come to the conclusion that ‘the problem is you’. Luckily she found this hilarious and the problem isn’t really her.
It made me wonder, however, when is it appropriate to say ‘actually, I think the problem is you’? I fear the answer is never, though wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where you could just wash your hands of the issue and say ‘the problem is you’.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Two weeks ago I purchased some skinny black jeans in a lovely stretchy fabric. In the dressing room these jeans had plenty of give and made me feel incredible. For the past week and a half the jeans have been at the dressmaker. I’m five foot so any pant I buy, bar pyjamas, must be taken up. Anyway, Saturday night we were heading out to dinner and I wanted to wear my new jeans. I pulled them on and to my bewilderment they didn’t fit! The button does up but they feel way to tight, with the feeling extending all the way down my leg. I was mortified. How could jeans bought two weeks ago not fit now? I went to the scales and discovered what I had suspected, that since purchasing said jeans I had gained 2 kilos. My insatiable need to eat over the past two weeks may have had something to do with it as well as my sum total of zero mins/hours exercising (not counting the yoga/stretching I do each morning – remember when celebrities said that all they did to ‘stay fit’ (skinny euphemism) was yoga?). All this does make me wonder whether I should just give up skinny jeans. I love food, but struggle with portion control. I feel better when I don’t eat bread during the day – my naturopath advised me to stay away from yeast. But other than yeast, food is good. Exercise is what I need. When push comes to shove, I actually love exercising but it’s impossible to get out of bed during cold, dark winter months. The skinny jeans will have to go. Yet we all know that I wont give up skinny jeans and I will take up exercising. Better for my health.
photo from www.treehugger.com
Monday, June 15, 2009
I have an exam tomorrow!! Last year I began the process of completing a graduate diploma in Urban and Regional Town Planning. Unfortunately this course has exams and one exam is looming immanently! Yet I seem to be doing everything to avoid preparing for this exam. This morning I have read New Matilda, Twitter, The Age, Girl with a Satchel and Meet Me at Mikes.
Meet Me at Mikes lead me to a new procrastination tool (albeit extremely useful bookmarking/scrapbooking tool) Tumblr. Tumblr is perfect for someone like myself who has numerous bookmarks for something I may have looked at once or needed at one time for an essay but am too afraid to delete in case I may possibly need it again - an internet manifestation of my need to hoard. Think I’ll need to start one for uni research. Better do that now….
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Two separate issues have had me fired up this past week:
- The Uranium Mine.
I do not look forward to having a Uranium mine in my backyard. Exploration for uranium is currently taking place 25km south-east of Alice Springs. The grant of the exploration licence means that the exploration company CAMCO has the right to mine there if they find uranium. We have enough of a dust problem here without it being radio-active. Our town’s water comes from underground aquifers and the mine will sit within our water catchment area. Uranium leaks into the ground water have been common at a number of sites including leaks into the World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park. The Ranger uranium mine near Kakadu has had over 150 leaks, spills and license breaches since it opened in 1981.
- Town Camps
The Federal Government is in the process of negotiating leases over the Alice Springs Town Camps. Long before Alice Springs became an official town, indigenous people from remote areas have been staying at certain locations around the town when they visited Alice Springs. These locations became known as town camps. The white community has never fully accepted town camps and for the most part of the last century sought to eradicate the camps, including frequent expulsion of all camp dwellers from Alice Springs and the instillation of the two-mile rule. The camps survived nonetheless and people who live in the camps see themselves as permanent residents, not travellers. The current special purpose leases have only been secured within the last twenty years and with the history of the struggle is it any wonder that the town camps don’t want to sign leases?
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Yesterday I was reminded yet again of how good it is to be back at my old workplace. Kind of like wearing your oldest, most comfortable shoes…
It is currently winter here in the desert and yesterday I awoke to the fourth day of grey sky. Not an event that happens regularly and is usually to be celebrated when it does. However it hasn't been three months since I moved back from Melbourne and I was not happy. There was absolutely no motivation for my body to pull itself out of the bed. Grey, cloudy, cold weekdays are the worst. Grey cloudy and cold on the weekend is fine - no need to get out of bed besides making a cuppa tea and grabbing the laptop so you can continue watching Madmen. Weekdays are a different story and at some point, as close to 8:00am as possible, the boss is going to want to see you show up at work.
With the thought of being extremely late for work rather than moderately late, I made a bargain with myself. If I could get out of bed then I would get to wear my shiny new skull gumboots to work. The boots made getting up bearable and were responsible for my all day smile.
I am slightly concerned about the inability to get out of bed. This happened quite frequently in Melbourne due to the perpetual cloudy days and partly from some other dark place I’d rather not think about. I didn’t think it would happen here. I like my job and the people I work with. No need to stay in bed. Luckily there aren’t many cloudy days and to prove my point I woke up today to lovely sunshine.
On a side note - Back when my old job was my new job, in the depths of winter, I would wear my ugg boots to work. The early morning temperature in Alice Springs ranges between zero degrees Celsius and eight degrees Celsius. By lunchtime the temperature would have warmed up to a balmy twenty-three degrees Celsius and I’d change into my Birkenstock sandals.