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World » Life @ Number 8
Mar 252011
 

On April 5th, 2011, people all over the world will be going barefoot to raise awareness of the impact that a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life. There will be organized walks & events that day – all in an effort to spread the word.

visit Peggy Ann Designes to read more

then get ready to link up on 5 April.

Mar 202011
 

I was noticing northern hemisphere blogs celebrating the arrival of spring.

Then

I thought of these words:

Every time I look down on this timeless town
whether blue or gray be her skies.
Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears,
more and more do I realize:

I love Paris in the springtime.
I love Paris in the fall.
I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,
I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.

I love Paris every moment,
every moment of the year.
I love Paris, why, oh why do I love Paris?
Because my love is near.

Then this music popped into my head (no images just the music)


Fast Tube by Casper

Eric posted this on Saturday

ssshhhush – enjoy the music while you dream.

 

Mar 182011
 

“My grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love. Here, today, we love and we grieve,” Prince William told the crowd.

(you know who she is, right? & we can guess when she said it: lovely words, great wisdom)

HRH Prince William is presented with a maori cloak during a Memorial Service on March 18, 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Feather Cloak (kahu huruhuru) – Of all the traditional garments of the Maori, it is the feather cloak which is the most highly prized as a family and personal heirloom. The base of the cloak was made from flax fibre (muka) which had been washed, bleached to almost white and softened. The fibres would then be rolled together until a long yarn was formed, which was then woven into the large rectangle, shaped at the shoulders and hips. Onto this was fastened the feathers, the most prized ones being those of the huia and kiwi ( especially the rare white albino kiwi). Sometimes the cloak would be fringed with taniko or white kiwi feathers. Less prized but certainly more colourful cloaks were made from the feathers of the wood pigeon (white from breast and green from back), kaka or native parrot(red) and tui (blue-black). kaupapa foundation, body or main surface of a cloak korowai cloak ornamented with black rolled cords mahiti very fine cloak with tassels of fur from a kuri’s (Polynesian dog introduced to NZ) tail ngore cloak decorated with pompoms paepaeroa kaitaka cloak with vertical wefts paheke cloak ornamentation of rolling coloured cords patea kaitaka cloak with wide taniko border along the bottom and narrower ones on each side.

Christchurch gathers to remember

Mar 142011
 

I read an online report (but I forgot to keep it or the link) about the natural disasters of the

last 72 days.

It was from an Australian point of view.

Queensland rains, floods, the inland tsunami, Brisbane flood, more rain

cyclones especially Yasi that hit the Coast around Tully south of Cairns,

the earthquake in Christchurch. And now Japan: the earthquake, the tsunami

which may have been more than one. Now the nuclear risks

it’s all very depressing. Or it could be. We need to remain informed but not be overwhelmed.

(On Friday when I 1st hear the Japan news, my 1st through was oh no I’m not ready for the next thing, and my 2nd thought was I better get ready.)

I then made a plan for coping carefully.

We need to think carefully about how much TV coverage we watch, Especially where there are children in our homes. But not just for them. For us.

Yes, we do need to remain informed, right now as I type the TV station show has been interrupted with a  news flash: another tsunami is about to hit, (now cancelled) and there are reports

of another explosion at the nuclear plant – reactor number 3 – at Fukushima. Live CNN coverage. Dr Sanjay Gupta is on site.

I will watch a little longer then I will turn it off.

Lets look at some ways we can protect ourselves from emotional inundation

from all the bad – sad, heart-breaking news.

  • Turn off the TV, or change to station with limited or no news. Perhaps a movie. A light comedy, a romance. Not war, or disaster.
  • Watch a DVD
  • Play some music you love.
  • Cook while the music is on.
  • Go for a walk. Take your charged up mobile/cell phone, look at the beauty of nature.
  • Call a friend. Talk about happy stuff.
  • Read a lovely story to your children.
  • Plan a special dinner for your family. Food they love, a beautiful, creative of fun table theme, candles, music.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Tidy your home. Working with something you can control often eases anxiety about things we cannot control.

In other words walk away from all forms of media.

If you cannot leave your computer, log out of twitter, maybe even Facebook etc. Don’t click on the news links friends may post. Shut down the news sites.


Fast Tube by Casper

How are you coping? What is working for you?

love ya all


 

 

 

 

Feb 232011
 

I WAS ON MY was to a cafe to meet a fellow writer. That morning,  I had not turned the TV on. I’d missed the 10am ABC news, & then also the 10:30am. That was unusual.  I dashed out at about 10:45am.

As the 11am news bulletin loomed on the radio in my car, my mobile phone rang. I pulled over & seeing it was a cousin pulled over. We did a quick catch up, & arranged to arrange to meet up.

11:07am I was on the road again.  PB waved at me as I drove past the cafe.  I quickly found a park.  Wondering if the sprawling road works were post flood repairs I hurried up to my friend & shared a hug. I placed my order for peppermint tea & then P asked me if I’d heard re Christchurch?

She quickly filled me in. I thought immediately of a friend who had an adult daughter there and called. She didn’t know anything about the earthquake. I urged her to make contact. (She was safe having left to see Glaciers down south)

An hour later after a hug good-bye I drove to local shops. The car radio was on & I heard an interview with the Mayor of Christchurch. A little shaken at the details I pulled into a car park, and called my son. He filled me in with details & sent me some images.

In the chemist the girls greeted me cheerfully unaware of the events unfolding in New Zealand. The images that appeared on my phone shook me.

I went into the supermarket, wanting chocolate. I don’t eat chocolate. I drink it but I don’t eat it. I steered myself in a different direction, not wanting the migraine that would surely follow such indulgence.

I became aware of vague unsettled feelings. I felt my eyes tear up.

I don’t cry easily. I started to feel unwell. I purchased some fruit & other items in case I was about to go down sick for a few days.

I found myself repeating just get home, go home Jane.

Once home, I flicked on the TV and watched reports from Christchurch. I cried.

I felt increasingly distressed.

Enquires produced the information that relatives I didn’t even know of were all safe.

I kept watching. I cried more.

I felt so unwell, I decided I needed to sleep.

I woke at 4:30 uncertain if it was pm or am. I wasn’t even sure where I was.

I returned to the TV, and watched the extended broadcasts. I cried again.

I wondered if I was sick or in shock. Why I was crying?

Sure, I am a New Zealander, however I have spent more than half of my life here in Australia.. I am also an Australian.

I wondered at the tears.

I watched a couple of other programs; an attempt at distraction, but felt drawn back to the news coverage.

About 11pm I turned it off and went to bed.

I woke before dawn, Wednesday morning & watched the early news broadcasts.

I cried again. I turned it off.  I walked away.

I sat & thought about all this.

I reviewed the last few months of my life.

I think I am in disaster-overload, tending towards shock.

I yearn for the simple life, easy days; I am drawn into nostalgia. All the while knowing those days are gone, & will return no more.

Therefore I have decided t not watch tv, today or listen to the radio.

I have planned some fun things for the next week, involving friends, fresh air, physical activities followed by yummy healthy food.

I will especially care for my spirit.

I cannot turn my back on the traumas of the world, New Zealand, Libya, Queensland, family & friends etc. But just for now I need to look away.

If I do not secure my oxygen mask first, what use will I be to anyone I seek to assist.

* I now have a movie evening booked, horse riding, country air, meals with friends, seaside photography time…and at the end of this day of limited media I feel much better.

Feb 222011
 

‘…New Zealand alone is family.’

Australian Prime Minister Wednesday 16th Feb 2011. 2:03pm

Less than 6 days later, our hearts are grieving for the sorrow & tragedy that is Christchurch.

12:50pm (NZ time) Tuesday 22nd February 2011

a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit.

one minute that shook a city, barely recovered from last September’s quake


Feb 122011
 

…just over two weeks ago in the middle of the night, I noticed twitter was running fast with a lot of messages not in english. I wondered what was going on.

Now we know: Egypt.

“On the 25th of January, the internet generation, our generation, said enough!”

“Egyptians took to the streets from all walks of life — men, women, Muslims and Christians, old and young, rich and poor.

“All of them hand in hand, wanting their freedom. They wanted their dignity back. The Egyptian people led by the youth.”

“And the best, most eloquent, articulate speeches that came out of Egypt were in the form of 140 characters.” (via Twitter)

Egypt celebrates

Feb 072011
 

Australia is facing all kinds of weather challenges. As are other parts of the world.

Everyone in your home ought to have their own personal Grab n Go bag.

AM From The House that AM Built was recently not able to return to her home, having been out when the evacuation order was put in place. She worried about many things including the important documents sitting on her wardrobe floor. She stayed in a hotel for a a few days & her boys wore the same clothes for a week.

We have talked a few times about being prepared.

AM told me she could not get prepared because she had no electricity, this was after she got back into her home.

You do not need electricity to get prepared.

A little personal preparation will cut cut down some stress later…

For each person in the house you will need:

A back pack. Old or new, it doesn’t matter, it has to have good shoulder straps & fit the size person  who will wear it. One with 2 or more outside pockets is best.

Line each back pack with a tie top plastic rubbish/garbage bag.

Make & attach ID to each pack. Include any MEDICAL ALERT INFO, name address, phone number include mobile/cell (of parents if the bag is a childs) Use regular travel suitcase tags. Waterproof please.

Now add what you think is important

BUT do remember you have to wear this on your back.

Think 72 hours which is 3 days: IN A WORST CASE SCENARIO you are likely to have found aid or been found by then.

  • important documents (mortgage, passport, insurance policy numbers,medical info etc (in a snap lock bag please) A good idea is to scan documents & save to a memory stick for later reference: eg insurances, centrelink, medicare, social security info etc. Top up with a few much-loved family/pet photographs. Do not save in some obscure program.
  • medications – scripts if you have them. In Snap lock bags.
  • a seasonal change of clothes ( you will be reviewing this bag seasonally) roll a shirt up tight n small etc. in winter add extra sox etc. In summer add a sunhat
  • snack bars/mini meals/water – water purifying tablets – think food for 72 hours which is 3 days.
  • Torch & batteries (or wind up)
  • Small radio & batteries (or wind up) here is a list
  • Anti bacterial wash liquid &/or wipes
  • Whistle
  • compass
  • rain poncho
  • etc

do not now put our Grab n Go somewhere you cannot get to it quickly & easily.  Mark your calendar for 6 months from now to do a season clothing change, eat the treats & put new ones in. Refresh the water etc.

NOTES: always keep your mobile/cell phone charged & never let your cars petrol/gas tank go below half full/empty.

Jan 262011
 

‘Writing this speech trying to convey the humour and good nature of the Australian people, and searching to explain why this is still the lucky country, has been difficult at a time of terrible disaster in Queensland. And yet to the outside observer nothing becomes your people more than the way they respond to the horrors of flood and fire.  In 2009 the bushfires of Victoria, today the floods in Queensland have reminded the world of the resilience and courage of the Australian people.  It is reassuring to the rest of us – helpless spectators that we are – to be reminded that such appalling tragedies bring out the best in human nature, demonstrating that the notion of community, the principle of being a good neighbour are not merely slogans but the practical means by which communities survive in desperate times.  It also reminds us just how a penal colony became a great nation.  The history of this place is the triumph of a few who by common purpose and strength of necessity built a prosperous nation in a remarkably short time.’

read the complete transcript of Sir Michael Parkinson’s 2011Australia Day speech

Jan 242011
 

In Australia,

in my corner of the world

the rain has stopped, the river level is falling, school is in, the sun is shinning: summer has finally arrived in Queensland. Well, here in the SE corner.

Does that mean we are all done with the wild weather of the last couple weeks/months?

It looks that way, or does it?

for a few days I have felt not…

reading Saturday’s Courier Mail, yes a little late but still, on Page 62 I came across this:

Des Houghton writes in a Column called
‘PS…’

‘Worse Weather on the way

Long-range weather forcaster Hayden Walker (there is a photo of him)
was on the money when he accurately predicted the floods on
radio 4BC a year ago.  And Walker tells me he is sticking to
his forecast that Queensland will be hit by a cyclone later this
month, another one in February and possible two in March.  He
believes the southeast is n real danger of more severe flooding
in March. Don’t throw away those sandbags yet’

Who is Hayden Walker? ….the son of Lennox Walker, the world-famous Australian Long Range Weather Forecaster, and the fourth-generation of a remarkable lineage of Forecasters.

But let’s hope he is wrong. This time. Please.

Check out Walker’s Weather webpage




Jan 152011
 
(this blog post title is a quote from Mel on 7s Sunrise program)

Today, ‘Salvation Saturday’ over 12,000 volunters arrived to help clean up after the flood.

But first, the flood

an inland tsunami is how the raging waters that swept through Toowoomba (west of Brisbane) & then crashing down the range; sweeping thr0ough Grantham & Helidon claiming many lives in terrible circumstances.

sudden & deadly

this is what the people of Brisbane faced as they went out to friends, neighbours & strangers:

whole houses, apartments had filled with the muddy river water. Then drained…

house after house after house after street after street after street after suburb after suburb looked like this:

Premier Anna Bligh said ‘

“As we weep for what we have lost, and as we grieve for family and friends and we confront the challenge that is before us, I want us to remember who we are,” she said, breaking down.

“We are Queenslanders.

“We’re the people that they breed tough, north of the border.

I have decided that this is my contribution to photohunter’s theme ‘Shadow’#248

for surely we have had a shadow over us; but shadows leave and brighter days & times arrive.

‘How far that little candle throws his beams. So shines a good deed in a weary world.’

- Shakespeare

Dec 272010
 

**********************************************************************************

My mother would have been 85 today.

If she was here we might have used her Royal Prince Albert tea set (which her 1st granddaughter now has)

She especially liked high tea

image from here

Mum loved fresh flowers & so I am sure she would have loved this vase

from Tiffany & Co

Happy Birthday Mum, I love you. I miss you.

xx

Dec 272010
 

*************************************************************************

I have a few things I want to blog about

1.The Weather. This is such a prominent issue here at the moment.While this is the forcast for today it hasn’t changed for a while.

here is what we have to look forward to – I have overseas guesrts arriving 29th so hopefully…

2. Christmas Food:

finally, this treat made by Miss 8 & Miss 6

rocy road base, crushed & not crushed maltesers in the ice cream.

this is my contribution to Weekend Cooking- see more here

Dec 212010
 

*************************************************************************

1. Make individual lists: food, gifts, guests, Essential to do.Then simplfy them: simplfy means there will be less work, and less money spent. Less stress.

Visit Lisa Johnson over at PoppyPaperie to learn how.

You might have to be tough but really, Must you make 87 hand decorated cookies? Might not Great Aunt Susie enjoy a hand written card from you, recalling sweet childhood memories rather than anything you could buy.Would you mother enjoy an afternoon with you helping her on a project rather than a present that cranks up your credit card.

2. When you do go shopping maintain your own pace: don’t get hyped up by the crowds or music or whatever. Take your list & pen. Try not to Don’t take children or elderly relatives.  Organise your trip before you go, so that you go from A to B to C and not back to A.  Eat before you go.

3. Be patient: on the roads, in the car park. In the stores. Nothing is more important than having a peaceful safe experience. And while someone might take hold of the last pair of black gloves just as you do, chances are you will not find yourself in a scene from the movie ‘Serendipity’, the guy holding the other glove is not likely to be your soul-mate.  Be gracious. Walk away.

4. Enlist help: get your children to help with tasks that fit their age: show them how then let them go to it. Ask adults to help. After all meals have to be eaten Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. Washing needs doing, ironing etc.

5. Plan relaxing tasks for the evening: don’t try to wrap children’s gifts while they are awake. This includes Teens!!! Wrap for adults when they are out of the house.

6. After the evening meal is cleared away, Make hot chocolate & settle down in front a much loved movie: Write those Great Aunt Christmas cards while you watch, or in the ads if there are any.

7. Remember why we celebrate Christmas; who it really is about. And if that doesn’t apply to you then remember it is the end of the year, a time to unwind and relax.

8. Finally, next week take time to reflect upon what worked & what didn’t.  Make Lisa’s book (see image link above) buy or find a fresh note book. Call it Your Christmas 2011 Book. Record your thoughts.  In 11/12 months you will not remember your resolve to never again make 87 decorated reindeer cookies. Transfer your lists from this year to it.

May the Peace & Joy of the season abound in your life, & dwell in your heart each day.


Dec 192010
 

***************************************************************************************

Yesterday, a new Christmas tradition commenced. I took Miss 8 & her sister, Miss 6

(locally, I have another Miss 6, & 2 Miss 3s, & a Mr 7 months)

to the Queensland Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ takes audiences on a journey with young Clara into a dream world where toy soldiers battle with enormous rats and beauty, courage and chivalry triumph.

The Stahlbaum family’s Christmas celebrations set the scene for magician Drosselmeyer to weave his magic spells so that Clara meets fantastical characters, including a Prince, a Snow Fairy and dancers from across the world.

Tchaikovsky’s score was performed by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Queensland Ballet’s Principal Guest Conductor, Andrew Mogreli.

I asked the girls if they would like to attend a live theatre production each year, and the responded with an enthusiastic yes!  2011 will be a Nutcracker-free year.

By 2012 I may be able to take the then Miss 10, the 2 Miss’ 8 & 2 Miss’ 5.

This post is part of Sweet Jeanette’s ‘Very Merry Christmas Party’ Link-up.V

Visit here to see more & also read my Summer-time Christmas Guest Post

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