Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Sunday Selections #278

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week?  Second verse, same as the first...


I am still snotty, and still intermittently voiceless (which some would say is not a bad thing).  I am also still delighting in the sky, and in the birds which visit.

Dawn this time.

Looking to the west.



And then looking east - where the action was...








Continuing on my same old, same old trajectory with birds.  A female king parrot, who was I believe at least as interested in us as we were in her.








Isn't she a charmer?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Words for Wednesday

The lovely Delores at Under the Porch Light had been running this meme for a considerable period of time, week after week.   Computer issues led her to bow out for a while and I took over.  When Delores' absence looked like being more permanent I begged and cajoled for other volunteers to share providing the prompts, and Words for Wednesday became a movable feast.  Sadly Delores has (temporarily I hope) discontinued her blog, though we have been told that she will be back in the fullness of time.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.  Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...  We can use some or all of the prompts.

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  I would really like it if as many people as possible joined into this fun meme.  If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud.

This month the prompts will be published here - but are provided by Mark Koopmans


This weeks prompts are:


  1. Espionage
  2. Charger
  3. Sheep
  4. U-bend
  5. Dent
  6. Fluoride
And/or

  1. Heisenberg
  2. Ceiling
  3. Orchard
  4. Velcro
  5. Plentitude
  6. Squiggle
Thank you Mark.  We have had fun playing with your words.

Next month the prompts will be provided by River, and I hope that you will all visit her to see what she provides to challenge us.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sunday Selections #277

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  I have been both snotty and voiceless this week (though both are slowly improving) so I am taking the lazy option.  This weeks Sunday Selections is much like last.


We are (finally) getting some cool weather.  This cockatoo was fluffed up against the morning chill.  I think they look super cute that way.



I have been busy in the garden over the last couple of months.  Weeding, weeding, weeding, mulching, mulching, mulching.  More to do, but a start has been made.






The garden continues its weirdness too.

The last of the roses.




Blooming simultaneously with the first of the jonquils...  


And the weigela in it's autumnal colours.



 And, to be completely consistent, a sunset shot illuminating a jet trail/contrail.



  

Friday, 20 May 2016

Homelessness

This is the promised follow up to my earlier post :  Its the little things...

Many (most?) of you know I have been volunteering on a crisis line for quite a long time now (eighteen years and counting).  As part of that volunteering commitment we are required to undertake follow up and refresher training each year on subjects which relate to the calls we receive.

I live in a city with a high average income.  A city widely regarded as 'well-off' and even affluentWhich is partly true, and totally misleading.  Some people who live here DO have very high incomes, which serves to increase the average, and conceals rather a lot of people who are struggling.  

My well off city has the second highest number of homeless people recorded in any capital city in Australia.  I strongly suspect that the numbers are under rather than over reported as well.  Private rents are expensive here, and public housing waiting lists are big, and long.  A waiting period of years is common.  Public funding for the homeless has been decreased by both state and Federal Governments.

So, I signed up to attend an information session at the Early Morning Centre, a support service for the homeless which co-incidentally is very close to where I do my shifts on the crisis line.  I should add that the Early Morning Centre only caters to people who can access services in the city centre.  There is a crying need for it to be replicated in other city centres and in the suburbs.

I signed up, and was blown away.  On a miniscule budget the centre provides a cooked breakfast Monday to Friday for up to fifty people at a time.  There are showering and laundry facilities.  The centre will accept mail for the homeless (essential if they are to receive income support).  There are lockers available so they don't have to drag their worldly goods around with them all day.  It is warm (or cool) and safe.

In addition, the co-ordinator has arrangements in place with other essential services to come to the centre (one or more days a week).  These include representatives from legal aid, medical practioners, and representatives from our income support system.  All voluntary, all well attended.  The centre has two paid staff (both part time) and relies heavily on volunteers and donations.

One of the things which captured my attention was the 'weekend food packs'.  The Early Morning Centre provides breakfast on weekdays.  There are evening meals available from a variety of sources which can be accessed - also on a Monday to Friday basis.  On weekends, things get more challenging.  There may be meals available in the suburbs IF you know about them and have transport.  Essentially, weekends can be a hungry time.

From this need, the weekend packs were born.  They are tasty, nutritious, don't require access to a kitchen and are light and easy to carry.  Components can include:   
  1. Single packs of cereal - can be eaten anywhere
  2. Small UHT milk cartons - for use with cereals
  3. Small individual 100% fruit (sugar free) drinks
  4. Sugar free chewing gum, because it is refreshing and it can also serve to help clean teeth if there is no access to toothpaste
  5. Single serve of sultanas - great energy food
  6. Single serve packs of fruit in natural juice
  7. 200g can of baked beans with a ring pull opener - an excellent source of protein, can be opened easily and heated on one of the free BBQs in local parks (And there are maps to list just where those BBQs are)
  8. Small tin (95g) of tuna with ring pull opening - excellent nutritionally and very easy to open
  9. Cup (not packet) of noodles - can be used most places if hot water is available (I forgot to ask how easy it is to get access to hot water)
  10. Some sort of snack as a treat - muesli bars and the like.     
I really, really like this idea and have made a commitment to myself that I will add one or two things from the list to my grocery shop each week, and drop them in on my way to do a shift on the crisis line.  Practical assistance, which can't be swallowed up in administration costs.  A win.
  
  

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Words for Wednesday

The lovely Delores at Under the Porch Light had been running this meme for a considerable period of time, week after week.   Computer issues led her to bow out for a while and I took over.  When Delores' absence looked like being more permanent I begged and cajoled for other volunteers to share providing the prompts, and Words for Wednesday became a movable feast.  Sadly Delores has (temporarily I hope) discontinued her blog, though we have been told that she will be back in the fullness of time.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.  Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...  We can use some or all of the prompts.

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  I would really like it if as many people as possible joined into this fun meme.  If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud.

This month the prompts will be published here - but are provided by Mark Koopmans.  Because Mark was so generous there are three sets of prompts to choose between this week


This weeks prompts are:


  1. Disney
  2. emojis
  3. Fashionista
  4. Carpool
  5. Slug
  6. Languishing
AND/OR
  1. Deity
  2. Ebonics
  3. Slashed
  4. Reebok
  5. Holder
  6. Knockers
AND/OR
  1. Wallow
  2. Spindle
  3. Bratwurst
  4. Knees
  5. Trinidad
  6. Victoria's Secret

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Sunday Selections #276

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week is a bit of a hodge podge.


The birds I promised.

Young crimson rosellas, yet to develop their adult plumage.  They look a bit ratty - but are surprisingly difficult to see in foliage...





Then some snaps of the garden, also as promised.  We have had a LOT of wind, and several of our tree dahlias (dahlia imperialis) have come crashing down.  All of them were over twelve foot tall, and they have brittle stems so their fall is not surprising.  Disappointing, but not at all surprising.  And they DID flower before the first frost which is another bonus.  Those that remain have been a splash of colour - and a haven for the bees.





And then to the skies.  Again.


We did get some blessed rain last week.  Not much, but it was very welcome.  And followed by a rainbow. 





Dawn and dusk have been their usual treats too.











Friday, 13 May 2016

Its the little things...

It is almost always the little things which make (or break) my day.

My always loving, ever supportive family told me 'small things for small minds' was the reason.  

There are without doubt people who lead 'important' lives.  I am not one of them.  I don't have a life plan either.

I muddle along from day to day.

Yesterday was a pretty good illustration.

I went into town to do my usual shift on the crisis line.

As I walked through the city centre I saw a busker who has recently claimed a particular corner as his own.

As I went past he launched into rippling classical music.  I had to double check that my eyes hadn't lied to me to me about his instrument.  They hadn't.  It was a recorder.  A fairly beat-up and obviously well used recorder.   So I stopped to give him some money and tell him how lovely it was.  When I continued on my way we were both smiling.  A win.

A block or so away I saw another regular.  A European woman who I think is in her late seventies.  She brings flowers from her garden to town in her granny trolley and sells the beautifully arranged posies.  We have been chatting for months and she told me that it is getting too cold for her, and she will be back in spring.  I am glad that I was there for her final day - and won't have to worry about her when I don't see her.

Nearly at the crisis centre I stopped in at the homeless community centre to drop off some food to go in the 'weekend packs' which are made up by the co-ordinator of the centre.  She does a lot on a very small budget, with assistance from one other staff member.  She wasn't there, but I was made very welcome, and invited to share a cuppa with them with the people using the centre.  (The weekend packs are clever.  A small collection of nourishing meals which can be prepared without access to a kitchen.  And meals for the homeless are reasonably easy to track down during the week, and much rarer over the weekend.)   More smiles.

We have a new group of trainees just hitting the phones.  Nervous and excited.  And needed.  So my role was supervision.  And the woman I mentored will be back to do another shift next week.  Another win.

I finished my shift and headed home to discover we had no Internet.  The ISP was having a hissy fit.

For a change the person on the help desk was helpful.  Not patronising.  Patient.  He couldn't fix the problem though.  Sigh.  And talking to him I started to sneeze.  And sneeze.  And sneeze some more.

Some hours later, Internet access was restored.

I am coming down with a lurgy and am snotty and achy.  And it was still a good day.  Not earth shattering, but a good day.  It seems that my introverted self has found a few places where I can interact and move on.  Without being drained, and without guilt.  Which is lovely.