Married at First Sight Rant

MAFS – Bad Language a Disgrace

I have watched parts of the “hit program” Married at First Sight 2019.  Some of the candidates use terrible language.   I cannot believe that Channel 9 thinks it is ok for such foul language to be spoken on the program. The bad language is a disgrace.  Sure, it is not a children’s program and there are warnings. But surely it would be easier to tell the participants that bad language is not acceptable.

Now, I know I can probably be described as a goodie-two-shoes, as the language used is not part of my vocabulary.  Once upon a time, when I was younger, such language was totally unacceptable anywhere. It was unacceptable on radio or television. These days, perhaps because of the influence of the media, it is common language.   I hear young children using these foul words as if they are acceptable everyday vocabulary.

The Dreaded F-word.

The “F-word” was used, and still is, I understand,  by males when they rape someone. While the meaning of the word may have changed in more recent times for some, there are many people, especially women who have been wronged, still are scared and horrified and for some have flashbacks when the word is used.

 

Embarrassment

Photo by San Salvador, El Salvador

Oh, why can’t we go back to nicer times when such language was seldom heard?

Can we Blame the Media?

We have so much violence in our world these days, so much anger, so much crime, at a time when we could or should be operating at a better level.  We have a so much better life that it was for folk earlier in our history, but we have allowed our standards to be so low that people do not feel safe, even in their own homes.

I often wonder if television is to blame for much of the negative behaviour.  The violence that is portrayed on some programs could quite well inspire people with a low level of intelligence to believe that the violence, crime, foul language and anti-social behaviour is acceptable.  It is not.

Channel 9 is not helping, broadcasting programs with such hostility and bad language, especially when they are supposedly “encouraging” the participants to love and honour each other.  It doesn’t work!!!

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My Writing Journey

So Much Writing

Here it is, just one month into the new year and my writing journey is going well.  Last year I was a speaker at an event where i talked about my travels. Some really funny things have happened as I visited various countries (not many) and explored my own, Australia, that I do make people laugh.  One of the audience said I should write it.  At the time I said that I couldn’t as I had another project underway.  True.  I did.  A novel I am working on, for some time.

But, weirdly, I started taking notes and then good hooked into writing the story.  I’m a bit miffed with myself, but proud too as I have in three months written over 37,000 words!   OMG!  Really?

Distractions.

Over the past nearly two years I have been house sitting.  I have mixed feelings about it.  When I started, I did it as I could no longer afford the high rents I was paying, and my legs and back made it hard for me to mow lawns, which I had to do or pay out more dollars for someone else to do it.  I lived in a van for sometime – but it was not at all conducive to writing.  No desk, back trauma and so forth, so I did some house sitting.  Mostly it was ok for me to keep writing, but not all places had comfortable seating/desk for me. In the end, I decided to rent a unit, which I am in now.  It’s on the second floor – no garden or lawns to mow.  In fact, I can shut myself away and just write.  No distractions.

I can sit at my desk, see nothing going on around me and just make my fingers dance around the keyboard.  The novel I have been writing has been neglected, but my plan is to spend some time working on it soon.  Progress has increased!  My writing journey is on high beam!

Other Writing

It’s not the only writing I do.  There are some blogs and I write for an online magazine too, though this has been neglected somewhat over the holiday period.  I have some projects on the go at the moment anyway, so will see what happens.  In the mix are also manage a couple of websites.

I am lucky I am “retired” and single as I can put aside a lot of time to do these things.  I have also been asked to help another writing business.  Mmmm.  I am thinking about that.

How Many Words can I Write in a Day?

I’ve listed that I should write 5000 words a day, but I might change that to 10,000 words per day.  One of the most prolific writers, Steven King is reported to write 2,000 words a day.  I do exceed that sometimes, but I am not consistent.  I think it is good to have a word target but not to beat yourself if you don’t reach it.  Here are some figures re other writers here. 

If I wrote consistently 2000 words a day for 30 days, it is 60,000 words!  Awesome.  I’d have my book written in no time!  But life gets in the way.  I talk to my writer friends and am happy with the progress on my writing journey, but it is not all easy. Some days I leave home at 7 am and don’t get back before 4 pm, and am often knackered by then.  Not much writing is done.

By Hand or Keyboard?

I am so grateful that my teacher in high school “encouraged ” me to change schools.  She said I wouldn’t  “amount to anything” so I changed schools and did typing as a subject.  I am so pleased I did that as my hands dance over the keyboard and I often say the words are in my fingertips.

Handwriting?  I do a lot of that too, but more so for communication.  Fountain pens with purple ink are my favourite writing tools.

 

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Ghost Cities of China

The Mystery of Ghost Cities

Every now and then, the press publishes stories about the “ghost cities”  of China.  I have been in some of the areas where there are amazing building projects, but the number of residents is very low.  If you watch the video below, you get some idea.

T

In my first semester in China, in the city of Shaoxing, we became curious about some buildings.  A group of Aussie ESL teachers when for a nighttime cruise on one of the canals around the city.  It was indeed a spectacular tour, though we knew little.  We could see interesting buildings, fantastic lighting, people in the parks in the parks beside the waterway.

It was when we came to an area where there were quite a number of high rise accommodation blocks. They were probably around 50 stories high, and few appeared to be inhabited.  Only a few had lights on.  We were told they were new and not many folk had moved in.  This was in 2008!

No Tenants.  No Need.

It was some years later, when talking with one of my former students that I learned more about the situation.  She announced that she had just bought a new apartment.  I asked if she was going to live in it or find tenants.  The answer was “neither”.  It was an “investment” and there was no need to get tenants.  “Having tenants mean that the owner has expenses for maintenance,” she said.

Later, when visiting China for her wedding, she arranged for me to stay in one of her apartments, that from time to time staff stayed.  It was in a huge complex of around 8 buildings – all 52 stories high.  I would have thought I would see other people – but in the building I was in, I never saw any people coming or going.  It was as if I was the only resident.  Spooky.

Vacant Shopping Centres

Near most of the unit blocks, there is bound to be a shopping centre.  If there were residents, they would need a local shopping venue.  But just as the accommodation has no one (or very few) the shopping centres have no shops.  There is the occasional shop – possibly on no or low rent, designed to make the shopping centre look active.  However, in a place with space for 50 or more shops, with just a couple operating, you can imagine they are not reaping heaps of financial reward.

The Future?

So what is the future of these places?   No one knows.  There are huge debts associated with these properties, and with no tenants there is no return.  Watch and wait to see what happens.

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And Then There Were Two (Black Hats)

Shaoxing Black Hats

When I first went to Shaoxing, China, in 2008, it was at the end of winter and everyone was rugged up as it was still very cold.  One of the items I noticed was the black hats worn by senior men.  Shaoxing hats.  They are not popular by young people, but can be seen on the heads of the men working on the little boats in the canals.

I was fascinated by them.  They are thick felt – wool.  I don’t know exactly where they are made, but there must be at least one factory in Shaoxing that does.

Di’s Shaoxing Hat

When did I buy mine?  I don’t recall.  There’s no way I would have worn it in China, as it appears to be a “men only” garment, but I have worn it in Brisbane during winter.  They are so thick that they warm the head (and the body) so well.  I wear it as a fashion statement, and do get a lot of questions about it.

To me it is more a reminder of the wonderful days I spent in China.  I get a laugh when I wear it.

I have thought of making it more “feminine” – adding a flower, bow or something sparkly, but have not done so.

And Now I Have Two

In the last month I have moved into a unit, just north of Brisbane.  As I have unpacked I have found a second Shaoxing Hat.  It really has me mystified as I am really sure I would not have bought a second one.  Did hat number one give birth to another?  They are identical.

It seems it will remain a mystery, as I have no idea why I now own two.  I wonder what I can do with the second one?

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What Was Lost is Found

Travel Souvenirs

I’ve just moved into a new unit north of Brisbane – much smaller than my previous accommodation.

It gives me an opportunity to look at some of the many souvenirs I have from my travels.

One small item had been lost, but now is found.  This special item is a small purple folding shopping bag which when not in use has its own little bag.  The large bag had been holding some paperwork from a Writing Group of which I am a member. A couple of days ago, a fellow member and I sorted out the paperwork and as a result, my purple bag was free!  I could put it in its little bag, and keep it in my car as I had done before.  But where was it?

First of all, I must tell you about the bag.  I bought it in Shanghai, at a wonderful supermarket and department store near the centre of the city, and near the apartment where I like to stay when in that city.

Chinese Supermarkets

There are a couple of wonderful supermarkets in Shanghai.  I don’t go to spend money, although I have been known to part with my Yuan for some food, but generally I am passing through.  I just love the way the store is set up.  They have little stalls within the supermarket promoting various foods and items.  There are usually one or two young ladies behind the counter, and you can seek further information or sometimes sample the food.

These Chinese Stores are usually much brighter than our Aussie models, and I just love exploring them.  This chain is in Shanghai, Taipei, and Hong Kong.

Where is the Bag?

I’d put it aside a couple of days earlier, as I knew I could use it again. But when I went to get it, I couldn’t find it.  Over the next 24 hours I’d look in various places in the hope of finding it, and almost gave up.  Then I found it.

So the big bag and the little bag are back together.  So neat and small – much easier than carting some of the big supermarket bags!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cool It With Bamboo

Bamboo Fan

Let’s Cool it with Bamboo.  I am a great Bamboo Fan!  These two words are on my business cards because I am an enthusiastic fan of anything made of bamboo.  I love it for so many reasons. It is quick growing, sustainable, almost anything can be made with it, and it just has so many exciting uses.

At the moment here in Australia, we are having a terrible heat wave, so I am more enthusiastic about my bamboo products.

Remember Taxis Before Air Conditioning?

It was quite a few years ago, I recall, that taxi drivers sat on a mat made of bamboo tiles.  Why? Because these tiles are very cool.  Sometimes not only did they have mats but the back of their seats also had a bamboo layer.  In summer in China, these great mats in a range of sizes with a variety of uses appear in the shops.

Some folk have a mat the length of their bed – lying on it is very cooling in summer.  Pillows covered with these little tiles are also favoured by some.

Seat Cooling Mat

My Bamboo Mat

Cool in Bed

I only have one mat, which I bought in Australia. The cost of it I can’t recall, but it certainly was not expensive!  It is easy to use in different ways.  I can sit on it – where ever I am – in my office on my chair at the computer, or on the lounge.

But the best thing is to slide it under the bottom sheet of my bed, where my torso will be when I am in a sleeping position and I can feel how cool it is.

There are many bamboo mats for cooling beds, and you can read more about them here.

You may find more examples of the use of bamboo tiles when you Google “bamboo tiles”.  The best place to buy them is in your local Chinatown or on eBay or Alibaba.  Or here.

So, experiment and see how bamboo can help you “Cool It”.

 

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First 24 Hours in D’Bay

First Day of 2019

My furniture and big boxes all arrived in Deception Bay, just after Christmas.  The unit looks chaotic – still, and I have a lot of work to do to sort it all out.  I am missing some items – no doubt never to be seen again.  It is nearly two years since the first removalist took my things into storage!

I packed up as best I could from the house sit – and drove to D’Bay yesterday and worked all day to bring some order into the chaos.  It was not my plan to move in before January 1st.  I want to make 2019 the best and was happy to move in on the first day of the year.

Over the years I have spent a lot of time moving house.  I am originally from South Australia, and with my husband and family moved to Warrnambool, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Sydney, Brisbane and a few additional moves in Brisbane. I’d love to think I would never find myself moving house again!

Boxes and Boxes

There are so many boxes to sort.  I have had too many hobbies – that’s why I call myself a Jill of All Trades and Mistress of None.

Below is a list of things I have learned/worked on.

Knitting

Crochet

Photography

Jewelry Making

Cheese Making

Paper Making

Painting

Cooking

Sewing

Patchwork

Family History

Travel

Writing

Collecting Shells

Collecting Chinese pottery

Calligraphy

And I have been a teacher (plenty of resources), student (still lots of notes and material0 from study days, and so it goes.

The shredder is working overtime at the moment!

Morning Walk

It’s not far to walk down to the waterfront, and that I did – with camera of course.  What a glorious day!  Here are some of my photos.

Across Deception Bay

Looking towards Beachmere

Bushes at the Beach

Among the Mangroves

Fishing

A Good Fishing Spot – Early morning at high tide

D'Bay

On the Waterfront

Walking Track

No doubt I will visit the foreshore often.  I am looking forward to life at D’Bay.  Just must finish unpacking the boxes!!!

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My Best Year Yet

New Year’s Resolutions

I haven’t heard many folk talk about these so far.  I actually prefer to call them “Goals” for the new year.  Yes, I have written them down, though this year I am going to have them visible to me easily.  I think on the inside of a kitchen cupboard. Because, I don’t like to “publicise” them, but like to be reminded of them at times.  I like the idea of “My Best Year Yet” – which is the title of a book.  As yet, I haven’t read it.

I have most of my worldly goods moved into my new apartment, which is still a bit of a mess, as I have not unpacked all boxes. It will take me a few more days to get them unpacked.  I have been there for a couple of hours for the last four days.  It is very hot, and I have a sore shoulder so I am trying not to “overdo” it.

My Key Goal is about my Writing

The last three years have been busy for me – the latter two house sitting.  While in many ways I am grateful for the experiences I had, I am looking forward to settling down and focussing on my writing.  I’m not getting any younger so the thought of not getting at least a couple of my books published before I depart this world is rather horrifying.

The new abode is much smaller than I have ever lived in, and I will have no garden to maintain and no lawns to mow.  Being on the second floor I have fewer distractions too.  My lease is for one year, so I am keen to put head down and work on my targets.

This article here has interesting information about New Year’s Resolutions.

It is also my plan to review my progress with these goals on the first day of every month – so I may find I have to “kick-start” myself along the way.

I’m looking forward to a Happy and Prosperous 2019!  I hope it will be my best year yet!

 

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Moving to Deception Bay

In the Truck

I was most fortunate as my son-in-law offered to get a truck and move my worldly goods from the shipping container, which has lived on his property for nearly 2 years.  In fact one of this brother’s and a friend help load the truck.  Another brother and my son were at Deception Bay to move things into the apartment.

All went quite well, though I think there are a few of us with sore backs!!

So Many Boxes

Of course, I knew I had too many things.  Quite a few of my boxes are filled with books, and collections of magazines, my writings, interesting articles and more.  I do find it hard to let go of things but will have no choice but to do so.  Some of my furniture will have to go – a chest of drawers is damaged – it can be fixed but I have nowhere for it.

I have emptied quite a few – and washed most of the kitchen items.  There are still some things I cannot find.  I also found a bag of clothes that certainly were never mine.  Where are my three chairs?  I don’t know that I can track them down.  The removalist I used to move out of my property did not do the right thing and I had to move it again. Somehow things went missing.

Kitchen Cupboards

Clearly, I have less kitchen space for my things – but I will manage.  The kitchen is quite user-friendly and I like the dishwasher.  A couple of things don’t suit me – but nothing I can’t live with.  There are always somethings that you don’t like – but I am renting so I don’t have a lot of choice with the way things are.

The Washing Machine

I was concerned that my Fisher and Paykel washing machine, a top loader would not fit in the small laundry space, because of the dryer.  I cannot open the lid fully as I have always done before, but it opens enough to work.  I love it that it is right in the midst of the lounge/kitchen, but behind doors.  It quietly does the washing and I have the choice of putting things on the balcony or taking them to the line.  I love my washing machine, and so glad I don’t have to replace it.

Fisher & Paykel 5.5kg Quick Smart Washing Machine

It will probably be a week or two before I have emptied all the boxes, but that’s fine.  I look forward to spending 2019 at Deception Bay.

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Planning the Move

Moving to Deception Bay

Moving is progressing. Yesterday I completed some more documents and collected the keys to the unit at Deception Bay, just north of Brisbane.  It is not far as the crow flies from Beachmere, where I am now.  It is close to the waterfront – with Moreton Bay right on the doorstep. Almost literally.  I don’t like moving, but am looking forward to this move.

D'Bay - from the waterfront.

Deception Bay with the Glasshouse Mountains in the background.

I walked around the unit, trying to work out where my furniture would fit.  It is much smaller than where I lived in Beachmere, and I may have to “surrender” some of my things.  One thing that I hadn’t calculated before is how my washing machine will fit into the laundry alcove.  I have a concern that the washing machine will be too tall – as there is a clothes dryer attached to the wall.

No View

My unit is actually on the third floor – and the view is pretty ordinary.  It looks inland over some housing.  It won’t be something that I will enjoy looking at, but there are other benefits.  The building is behind another building, which blocks out any view of the sea, but it also protects us from the wild winds that come in from the sea.

Metres to the Sea

I’ll just have to walk a few metres (or ride my bike) to the waterfront.  There’s seating, shade and a BBQ – and I am sure I will spend some time there.  (I have to work out how to use the BBQ) but it all looks good to me.

By the Bay

Picnic Area at D’Bay

Pro’s and Con’s

Unless one builds one’s own home, the chances of getting a perfect home are limited.  I like so many things about the unit.  There are some things that will annoy me.  One is the main door is just a wooden door – I am unlikely to leave it open to get cooler air in, and would love a security door.  Maybe I can negotiate to get one.

The main bedroom is quite small – I’m sure I will fit my bed in, but there’s not much more space.  Will there be room for my small tv in the bedroom?   Not sure.

There is a

dishwasher – Tick

clothes dryer – Tick

Balcony – Tick

Ensuite – Tick

Second bedroom – Tick

Second bathroom – Tick

Rubbish bins – Tick    (I don’t have to put the bin/s out each week!)

Swimming Pool – Tick

Handy to shopping centre – Tick

Lovely waterfront cafe – Tick

Library nearby – Tick

Waterfront nearby – Tick

Riding and walking tracks along the waterfront – Tick

 

I am committed for a year.  I am looking forward to it.  With some trepidation.

New Year, New Abode, New Life.

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