Panda in Queensland?

Have you seen a Panda in Queensland?

My business card mentions Bamboo – for when I was in China I learned a lot about it.  I am very keen to learn more as over the last few weeks there have been more products created with this amazing plant.  But would I see a Panda in Queensland?  I am proud of this photo for I have been showing it to friends telling them that I took it in this state.

I had my camera with me when I visited a Bamboo Nursery on Mount Tamborine Road, at Wongawallen.  It is a place I have visited before and enjoy exploring to see the wide range of bamboos that are growing there.

When I came across the Panda, I did not realise that it would look so realistic – it does look real, but it is not.

Panda in Queensland? 1

Panda in the Bamboo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are there Panda’s in Australia?

Yes, but only two.  They are both in the Adelaide Zoo, and I have been there to see them.  The two have been there since 2009, and it has been hoped that they would mate and produce an offspring.  They will be there until 2024, but don’t seem to be enthusiastic about creating a baby.

There’s no news yet on any pending panda baby – but everyone hopes that very soon, the two get their acts together and do the deed.  We would love to see a baby panda in Australia, and certainly the South Australians have high hopes.

Bamboo in Australia

I remember when I became interested in bamboo, especially after my first visit to China in 2008.  It was there that the apartment building in which I lived on the university campus, was surrounded by bamboo and I discovered in local shops a range of products created with bamboo.  I bought my first bamboo towel there and it inspired me to be a great bamboo supporter.

In Australia in those days and before, bamboo had a bad reputation.  Many people had previously experienced negative issues – many people knowing how the running variety took over gardens and was so difficult to eradicate.  Somewhere, somehow, people learned that there were two main varieties of bamboo – the running and clumping plants, and how much easier the clumping varieties were to manage.

Now in 2021, we can see so much of it growing in gardens.  Especially in Queensland where I live.  And around Australia, there are great bamboo nurseries, some of which I visited on my trip around the country a few years ago.

Bamboo Products

There are so many new products being created with bamboo.  Fabrics are used for clothing at many stores, bamboo towels and sheets, and even Ikea has a range of products.  There is so much about – but generally the population does not understand the benefits to our world, as bamboo grows so quickly and is more versatile than timber.  Bamboo increases oxygen in our air.  Go to Google and ask “Does bamboo create oxygen?” and this may be your answer.

Bamboo is a crucial element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A grove of bamboo releases 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. … Bamboo is a wonderful replacement plant for trees with its short growth cycle and a high carbon dioxide exchange rate.

My business card says that I am a “Bamboo Fan”.

(The panda in the photo is NOT a real animal.)  I wonder how many bamboo nurseries around Australia are fortunate enough to have a real-life-looking panda visiting their properties?  I guess that there may be others.  Have you seen any?

What is your experience with bamboo?

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Best Photos of 2020

What are My Best Photos from 2020?

What are my best photos from 2020? When I look back at my photos taken in the last year, I realise how busy I have been with my camera.  I enjoy visiting places, and as an avid traveller I have grown a big collection but in the last 12 months I have done little travelling, thanks to COVID-19.

But I have picked out a few for you to see.  Some feature on the cards I create to sell or give away.

  1.  The Australia Signat the Caboolture  Historical Village (Queensland, Australia).  These and others now on view at the Village, were first on view at Expo 88.  Many of us remember visiting Expo 88 at South Bank during that amazing year.  Following Expo, the signs were at Shaftsbury on Deception Bay Road, which later became Arethusa College.  Eventually, they were refurbished by the volunteers at the Village and then put on display.
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Caboolture Historical Village

2.  Mushrooms

One day, as I was walking on the waterfront at Deception Bay, I was surprised to see a large patch of mushrooms or toadstools.  There were different colours and so many growing after rain.  It reminded me somewhat of my childhood in Adelaide, where in winter we would forage for wild mushrooms in the paddocks around our home, or further out.  We loved going to Uncle Ossy’s as there were always plenty to pick and eat.  I doubt these are edible.

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3.  Stones

Again this photo is from Deception Bay.  Fairies inhabited the waterfront near the swampy area, and they would often leave small gifts for anyone.  I found this beautifully painted stone there.  Maybe one day I will paint some stones.

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Stone left by fairies

4.  Steele

This rascal is a member of the Gough Family of Hemmant.  In those days he was THE dog of the household, but recently has been joined by a young crazy pup, Flint.  Steele and Flint are Australian Shepherds.

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Steele

5.  Wynnum Jetty – my very best photo of 2020.

This photo has appeared on many of my cards this year.  The sea was calm and there were several folk on the jetty – made for a great shot!  It is one of my most popular images for 2020.  Wynnum is a suburb of the city of Brisbane, on Moreton Bay, Queensland.

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Wynnum Jetty Queensland

7.  Manly Harbour

Best Photos of 2020 7Right next door to Wynnum is the suburb of Manly.  Often the region is referred to as Wynnum/Manly – with both suburbs overlooking Moreton Bay, and the many islands in the bay.  Manly is known for its large harbour, and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

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Manly Harbour

8.  Scarborough, Queensland.

On Christmas Day 2019 and 2020, I joined family members for the celebration of the season at Scarborough Beach, which is also on the edge of Moreton Bay, but around 40 km north of Wynnum.  When we arrived mid morning, I just had to get my camera out of the car and take a photo before anyone appeared on the waterfront.

I am sure it will be a popular image on my cards in 2021!

Scarborough Qld.

On Christmas Day 2020, the view from Scarborough Beach across to the Glasshouse Mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do I “create” my cards?

I use all my own photographs, which I take with my Olympus camera.  I often drive many kilometres just in search of a good scene to capture.  Occasionally I will collect a series onto a USB stick and head to Officeworks, where I print the cards in colour.  The cost is 10 cents.

The cards and envelopes I purchase from a paper shop at Brendale, just north of Brisbane, called BellaPaperie.   I print information on the back of each card, usually just the place of the photo, my name and link to my website.

Then I use a blue glue stick to paint the back of the chosen photo and attach it to the card.
When dry I insert the envelope and then insert into a cello bag.  All done.

Occasionally I sell them, but often just give them away and ask that they be used to send positive messages to people who need some support.

My Magpie Friend

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Travel Australia

When Will I Travel Australia Again?

Covid 19 has changed things for every one.  It has “clipped our wings” making travel challenging or impossible or just complicated.  At the beginning of 2020, we were all looking forward to a “Happy New Year” but for many it was anything but.

I had rather vague plans – one was to go back to China for my last farewell.  I thought that my future travel plans would be difficult as I had a few health problems and was getting “older and bolder” that I may not enjoy the travel as I had previously done.

 

Katherine, NT

Visiting NT

As well, I thought I’d drive down to Adelaide too, with a detour to the north of South Australia to visit some historic places connected to ancestors.   But it was not to be.

China No Longer Friendly to Aussies

As I write this I am aware of the terrible relationship developing around the world with China.  Australia and the USA are just two of the countries involved in the argie-bargie. Some Chinese don’t feel safe coming to Australia, and I would not feel safe going to China.  So I say goodbye to China electronically.

Only yesterday, walking in Brisbane city, a group of Chinese people approached me, asking me to sign a petition to end the Chinese Communist Party.  The brochure had some rather difficult to read stories about the actions of this “most bloodthirsty terrorist organization in the world.” I certainly have concerns about the behaviour of the Chinese government.  I don’t think a petition in Australia is going to make any changes.  Perhaps only make Australians more aware of some of the disturbing stories.

Anyway, for me, it is Goodbye China.

Will I travel Australia again?

I have a route already mapped out, with mileages (for I will only drive around 300 km a day), and places to stop overnight.  It is around 2000 km if I go via Broken Hill.  If I stick to plan A – it means overnighting about 6 nights.   Doable.  However, I have a plan to drive to Port Augusta from Peterborough and going on to Wilpena Pound.

The Covid 19 restrictions have been lifted, so I can go, though I am not keen to drive in the heat of summer.  It will be a long hot drive.  Maybe I will wait until nearer the end of summer.

Previous Trips

We drove to Adelaide or Melbourne often, especially when our offspring were little.  We used to set off, usually on a Friday afternoon about 3 pm, and I would have made a “pasty pie” which we would eat at Warwick, before settling the little ones down to sleep overnight.  On occasions,w it was in the back of the station wagon.

Ian would drive for most of the night, and I kept awake.  I never liked driving overnight, as I was concerned about hitting a kangaroo or other animal.  We never did. It was my turn to drive from around 3 am.  I loved this time – still wary of animals, but soon I could watch the sunrise.

We’d often do the trip in around 24 hours.

Preparation for a Long Drive.

On reading this article I must acknowledge that we didn’t prepare as much as is recommended.  I thought that with two adults we’d be okay.  But I have made long trips on my own in the last 10 years.  I drove my Mitsubishi Lancer around Australia in 2012/13, and certainly didn’t have a male to help, but all was well.

In 2017 when I drove the Toyota Coaster to Central Australia, I certainly was not well prepared but the only vehicle issues I had, I was in a town.  But I certainly think there is good advice here. 

 

 

 

 

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On Being Tall

Always Tall 

I was always tall.  I remember my days at primary school when we had to form a line, with the short ones at one end and the taller ones at the other.  And guess who was always at the end – always last in line!!  Yep, me!

That was the way it was – always.  Now there were some benefits.  I always laughed that in at a sport or other crowded event, I could see above the crowd.  And I was easy to find in a mass of other people.

But there were negatives.  I really wanted to be in a community of tall people!

I didn’t always like being the tall one.  I wanted to be more like others.  I used to laugh and say it was hard for me to cry on someone’s shoulder.  Not that I cried much, but there were times that I was upset.

My feet were big too, and getting shoes I liked that fitted well has always been a problem.  And on a plane I like more leg room to be comfortable.  On the rare occasion, I was in a hospital bed, my feet hit the end.  I hate single beds because my feet push at the bed end.

Talking about feet, when in my teens and early 20’s high heeled shoes were what my peers wore and so did I.  Sometimes.  I never wanted to be taller.  But it was the fashion and I was someone who liked fashion.  I liked the look of them, but not what they did to me!

On a bunk bed on a train, I have to keep my knees bent, and I hit my head on things that normal people don’t.

wildlife photography sutirta budiman @sutirtab Unsplash.com

There’s always a tall one

Friends

Is my height a bit intimidating for some friends, or would be friends?  Sometimes I think that my friendships with shorter folk are difficult.  I do like my friends to be as tall as me, but it doesn’t always happen.

Because I seem to be forever travelling/on the move, I have many friends, but not many really close friends wherever I “land”.  Still, I do have a pretty busy social life and am not complaining about not having enough friends.

I left home at 18, disconnected with school friends and cousins mostly, and worked and lived in 4 states in Australia.  Also worked overseas, so I am a bit of a wanderer I guess.

The Trouble with Company

I have travelled with friends, and in groups, but I am always causing trouble.  Particularly if I have my camera.  It takes a few minutes to set up a photo, take it, check that it worked properly, and move on.  Often my group has moved on.  Sometimes I can’t find them.  I slow them down for they are often on the lookout for me.  But, as I have mentioned earlier, I was usually easy to spot.

The Tall One in China

When I was teaching in China, I was always the tall one.  It did come with some benefits too.  Tall and with blonde hair, I was easily seen.  Even from a distance.  I remember something that happened in the first few weeks I was there.  I was walking around the West Lake and Hangzhou when I heard someone calling my name.  Dianne.  It was a lass that I had met only a couple of weeks earlier, a student at the university.  She recognised me from a short distance away.  My head was higher than the shorter Chinese.  I met her friends.  It was quite funny.

No Change Expected

I may have shrunk a little, but not a lot.  I am still tall.  Taller than most of the people I mix with.  I don’t expect things will be any different in the years I have left, and when I walk I like to walk tall.  My family are tall.  Including the grandchildren.  That’s Life.

#aussidi

 

 

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China’s Attitude

Thoughts on China’s Current Stance

China is an amazing country, but I find it sad that Australia and China have now got a very complicated relationship.  I am no expert on the situation, but read/listen to, the news in the media and feel a strong sadness.

When I first went there in February 2008, I felt very tentative.  I had not planned to go there, and a late offer to start Semester One at Shaoxing gave me little time to research.  I knew very little about this most interesting country.  So here I was, a tall blonde Aussie in this country where it was unusual for the Chinese to see “foreigners” or “laowai” as we were called.

Of course, I stood out like a “sore thumb”, which meant several things.  Most people were pleasant, and I lost count, very early, of the number of mainly young Chinese people who wanted a photo with me!  But there were other times when (mainly older) Chinese would stand in front of me and shout “laowai” – which sounds like “low way”.

Fortunately, especially in my early days, I was not often alone, so I only felt mildly intimidated by the behaviour.

Silence

When we arrived and attended our first meeting to learn about our new life at the university, we learned that we were forbidden to talk with students about politics, religion, and a few other topics which escape me now.  As it turned out, the subject I was to teach was “The Major English Speaking Countries of the World” which included the United States, UK and Australia.  Some “forbidden topics” were discussed in the textbook given to me.

architectural photograph of lighted city sky Photo by Li Yang of Unsplash.com

Shanghai, China.

I was to learn that the majority of the students had little knowledge of the political history of China, and how it was a taboo subject.  I remember in the early days one student, who wore a t-shirt, with the image of the “tank-man” at the Tiananmen Square massacre on the front, and how he was trying to educate his fellow students of the truth.  I was concerned about him, and soon he disappeared.

Communism

I’m no expert on their political system, but essentially as I know it, it is not a democratic country with elections of politicians like we have, but I know little.  I do know that the Chinese people are very cautious about talking about politics, and their government, for if they say the wrong thing, it is likely that someone would find out and punishment might result.  There are very strict rules on a lot of things, but like any community not all obey the rules.

One of my former students was in Australia a few years ago and found out about the massacre in Beijing which happened years before.  I felt for her and she was able to find out more about it.  She found it unbelievable and phoned her father back in China.  He confirmed that it was true, but told her not to talk about it, and to not speak of it when she returned.

Corruption and Cheating

I saw so much of this when I was in China.  Very high communist folk broke the rules often, especially in business.  I won’t go into details here, but what I learned surprised me.  Even the way cheating was acceptable.  When I failed a student for not attending class nor doing any work, I was in trouble for his father was very generous to the college.

 The Way Power Works

Few people told us that they were members of the Communist Party, but some did, and explained that it offered them many more opportunities.  Employment and travel was high on the list, and we always were curious about the students going to other countries to work, especially Africa.

I learned that money changed hands at high levels.  I learned that some senior Chinese men took advantage of young girls, and I had experience of bullying.  I don’t think Australia has done anything deliberate to upset the Chinese, other than request an inquiry into the way the Covid 19 Virus was handled.  I certainly believe that we (the rest of the world) need to know the truth about how it came to do such damage and where it really came from.

Why does the Chinese government disregard the arrangement that they made a few years ago about Hong Kong.  Australia has not intervened but is not happy with what is happening there. The country I visited is probably almost unrecognisable now, and the people live in fear.

Is that all that Australia has done to upset the Chinese?

Sadly I will not return to China.

Would you visit China now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Abuse of Women Continues

Abusive Men

I have just read this article  and wonder if the abuse of women will ever stop. There is so much abuse of women by men.  This lady talks about the response from the community that were once her friends, and how she was treated after she left her abusive husband.  I know that similar happens for many women – that they are sometimes ostracised by those that the women thought were her friends.  Sadly others find that have to remain friends with just one of the separated couple.  It happened to me.  In part, because I left.  With good reason, though not from physical abuse.

Power and Intimidation and Abuse of Women

Only a couple of days ago, I was abused by a man who lives in the same housing block as me.  While he doesn’t have a drivers licence and doesn’t drive, he has a car, which is parked beside mine.  Two days ago, as I returned from shopping he was hosing the garden beside his car.  As I drove in, I didn’t see him, but as I turned into the parking spot, he pointed a hose, which was gushing full bore, over my car.  He did it several times.  I waited and saw he was hosing the other side of his car, so I decided to exit my car.  Then he pointed the car at me and wet my head and shoulders with the full force of the hose.  I was shocked and scared and ran to a friends apartment.  This is a man whose bad behaviour has been reported on several occasions and he seems to ignore it all.  A mental problem maybe?

The Power of Men

Just recently there has been a lot of media about politicians behaving badly.  Two senior Australian politicians were featured in the media for behaviour that is unbecoming of a leader.  It is no secret to most women that there are men from all walks of life that consider themselves superior to women and especially in the workforce, continue to treat women as “tools”.  I won’t go into details, but I was abused by two powerful men – but (and not due to any action by me) they were caught out.  So many of us do not complain as there were no witnesses, and not prepared for the pressure of going through action against these men.

woman holding equality now banner

Photo by Shaojie on Unsplash

Equality?

I doubt that in my lifetime we will come close to any equality.  There are laws to give women the same pay as men for the same job, but I am not sure if it is working 100%.  But the abuse issues are not all about equality.  As someone said yesterday on hearing my story of the encounter with the man and the hose, he was just a bully trying to intimidate me.  Though it is more than that with this man.

Older Women

This cohort lived through an era when the man was head of the household and unless the woman was stronger than her husband.  My mother was quite a robust woman but never worked after she married my father.  He was not an abusive man, physically, but he controlled my mother, especially with finances.  He earned the money and distributed it to her when he felt like it.  He gave her weekly funds for “housekeeping”, and he was the major decision-maker.  He did consult with her, but he was “the boss”.  We had to laugh as he was of Scottish descent, and as they had a reputation of being “tight” with money, we used to tease him about this.

He also stashed cash in his clothing in their home, and Mum found it when he was in hospital once.  As it was thought he’d not survive, she thought she had won a lottery.  However, he did survive another 10 years.  When he did pass, she was in a nursing home and had no idea how to manage money.  She had not managed a bank account and was overwhelmed.  Fortunately, my sister was able to assist, but these circumstances are not uncommon with women who married in those times.

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

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The Little Bird

Lessons for a Little Bird

Can you see the little bird?

The little bird hides.

I heard the noisy birds – no wonder they call them Noisy Miners.  The parents flew to it and then flew away – each time bringing some tiny morsel for the baby to ear.  The little bird looked quite relaxed and wandered a short distance along the branch, and then back again.  The parents kept a close eye on it, as they sourced food items in the garden.  Can you see the bird in the photo above?

When I came close to the baby bird with my camera, it appeared unconcerned.

Noisy miner.

Stepping out (just a bit).

It carefully stepped along the branch of the plant – almost unconcerned about me and my camera.  I was hoping I was not scaring the little bird – but it seemed to ignore me.

The little bird takes baby steps

Bravely stepping out.

The Little Bird Flies and Hides

Sadly I couldn’t get any pics of its next action.  It flew into some branches and I couldn’t see it, and then minutes later it bravely flew again, ending up on the lawn mids the rubbish of the gum leaves and bark that covers the lawn.  Then it flew again, this time up into a tree, hiding in the plants.

Here I am.....

It’s OK – here I am.

The adult birds closed in and appeared to be giving it words of encouragement and it flew again, getting some height, and soon disappeared into other trees in the garden.

I am glad I managed to see the little bird explore the garden under the watchful eyes of the parent birds.  So pleased that I could get some photos without scaring it.

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Overcoming Loneliness

Overcoming Loneliness for Women

I added the last two words to make this topic for women – as I think I have more clues for overcoming loneliness for women, because I am one.  I would say that many women see finding a partner – usually a man, though it is not unusual for senior women to bond and have a relationship with a woman.

Either way, it is whatever suits you.  Personally, I am not interested in another “relationship” with anyone.  I do enjoy some aspects of my lone existence.  I have considered the responsibilities and time sharing one would have with a “partner” and do not want to follow that path.

Causes of Loneliness

Many women find themselves “single” in their latter years – there are some who have never married, but most have been “left behind” – either their spouse has died, or moved on to another relationship.  I know of one lady whose husband is ill in a nursing home and has been for years.  He doesn’t even recognise her now and despite caring for him in many ways, has had to make a new life for herself.

Sometimes the issue is that the partner is still around but is so involved in a life of his own, leaving you to lead your life mostly alone.

I have told my story in this post – but I also wonder if the fact that I am tall has had an influence.  I recall some years ago with a fellow tall lady, recounting our experiences, as it is sometimes difficult for both women if one is very short and the other tall.  We had both felt this was so.

Once upon a time, there were bigger families, and in small populations, it was easy to maintain a friendship with a relative or school friend.  People tended to live in villages – now with large populations in cities and suburbs. It is not so easy to maintain strong friendships.

Loneliness exits when you have friends

Photo by Sam Manns Unsplash.com

Make Some Changes to Overcome Loneliness

Don’t allow yourself to become miserable.  Take some steps to make change in your life.  You are going to have to test and measure.  Experiment.  See what works for you.  Don’t be shy.

  • Volunteer or join an organisation, particularly one that has social events.
  • There are many groups worth investigating including sports, writing, book clubs, community service, travel, and so on.  Go to your local community centre – you are bound to find flyers and information about local groups.
  • Arrange to meet someone for coffee or lunch. (If affordability is an issue for you, work out how you can do it within your budget.)
  • Check out Meetups.  (www.meetups.com)
  • Observe – you may find there is someone on her own living near you, who would love to meet and chat with someone.
  • If your situation is really upsetting you, speak with your doctor or someone like Lifeline. (In Australia it is www.Lifeline.org.au – Phone 13 11 14)

You can Google the topic e.g. How to Overcome Loneliness and you might find some good ideas in articles like this one.

The reality is that if you feel lonely – YOU need to make some changes in your life.  What can you do?  Sitting home alone, eating alone and not communicating with others is not good for your health.

Make a list of things you like to do, and see how/when and who you can do these things with.  And it is ok to go out on your own sometimes.

As someone who loves photography, much more than most of my friends, I find I like to travel or go on short walks just to collect images.  Just for me. Although I do put my photos on cards and give them away too.

Overcoming Loneliness 9

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Organisations I belong to include

Bayside Women in Business

Older Women’s Network Qld

Society of Women Writers Qld

HOW – Housing for Older Women

Have you any ideas for the readers?

 

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What are the Consequences of Loneliness?

What are the Consequences of Loneliness?

On reflection, I have had many periods of loneliness in my life.  I came from a small family – my parents, a sister (four years younger than me), and me.  As I started school she was just a toddler, and though I loved and played with her, those 4 years made a big difference.

Most of my interaction with her was after school, weekends and holidays.  We had good neighbours, where the two girls were of similar age to us.  But we had a problem then.  They were Catholic and we were not.  I recall that at their school, they were educated about the people who did not belong to their faith.  I recall some of the words of a ditty they sang to us.

Lone woman sitting on floor near window

Photo by Anthony Tran of Unsplash.com

School Days

I didn’t have a really close friend in primary school, for I was very involved in the Brownie and then Girl Guide program and there were no very good friends then.  They were all my friends, and no one was a special friend.

It’s me I know, and I don’t understand why, but in high school I didn’t have a close friend.  In some ways, it was because of the school I attended – where I had to ride my bike (always alone) for quite some distance.  I left my first high school after three years, and went to a school in the city – again well away from the local girls.

Working Life

My early working life was somewhat lonely – in one place I was the junior, treated rather badly by the older ladies in charge, and then later, I worked alone.  When I went nursing I did have close girlfriends – living in a nurses home with so many other single young ladies was great and we did have a great social life and there was always someone to talk with.

Married Life

After I married I moved interstate and it did take me a while to make new friendships.  My husband was a sales representative and travelled most weeks, leaving me along to manage life on my own, well not exactly on my own.  Two babies and a dog took up most of my time, and at one stage I also worked at a local hospital.

We moved again to Melbourne, and again I had to find new friends, not easy while the children grew up, and as was often the case, my husband would be transferred and we would be on the move again.

I manage well on my own.  I have had to.  We have moved house more than a dozen times.  I’ve lost count.  Each time, for me it was hard.  The children went to school and I often had a short-term friendship with other mothers, but I also worked too, and a few of the positions I had I made friends but they were not lasting.  Some of my friends moved away too.

As a registered nurse, I was often on night duty – which was never a great circumstance to make friends.  I had other positions too, and though I made acquaintances often I’ve never really had a good buddy.  Well, except for one friend – who oddly lives on the west coast of Australia and I live on the east coast.  We communicate often and do spend time together too, as often as we can.

Marriage Breakup

After nearly 44 years of marriage I left.  A long story which I don’t intend to tell here.  For the next few years I went back to study and lived alone house sitting – again mostly in areas that I was not familiar with, and had no close friends.

It has been 10 years that I have been on my own, and though I have friends, I have issues with loneliness.  I have many friends, but most days I am on my own, nights I am on my own and often weekends.  I do belong to a few organisations and I have a list of friends (many on Facebook), but I still feel lonely.

Consequences

What are the Consequences of Loneliness?   One of the major ones for some people is health and mental health issues.  Some people feel the issues so overwhelming that they see the only way out as suicide.

Just health issues – if you are feeling unwell you often need someone to assist – physically and mentally. And what if you are too sick/injured to call for help.  Even in these days of much technology, some people are dying alone – often after being unconscious for a long period.  (One lady who lived in the same housing block as me, was dead for 6 weeks before anyone noticed!)

Memory issues – I think this is an important issue that is not mentioned very much – but just having regular conversations with friends or family keeps your mind and memory active.  So many times I am reminded of an event or a person, just from chatting with someone.

Learning – just chatting with someone may “teach” you things e.g. new local shop, event, computer/phone skill and much more.

There is plenty of research being undertaken at the moment.  But there are many things that people can do to reduce their loneliness, which I will address in a future post.

Are you lonely?  Sometimes?  Always?

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Bungeworgorai Creek

Free Camping at Bungeworgorai

My first experience of free camping was at Bungeworgorai Creek. When I set off in August 2017 to attend the Rolling Solo event at Ross River, I was so new at camping, and so “green” at driving my Toyota Coaster.  I had only taken it on short journeys and each one was a drama.   When I left Brisbane in haste to make it to Dalby, I was shaking like a leaf!  Maybe that caused the visor to rip off the front of the van going up the range to Toowoomba.

I made it safely to Dalby and spent my first night in a caravan park – still shaking I think from the drama of the first day of my trip.  It is true that I considered giving up and returning to Brisbane.  But I took a deep breath and decided to proceed.

My next stop was at Bungeworgorai Creek – a free camping spot beside the Warrego Highway after Roma.  I had no experience of free camping and cautiously drove into the area.  There were 3 or 4 vans there.  One was a Toyota Coaster pulling a trailer with a small car on board.  The man had two cats he was travelling with and they roamed free.  One of them caught a mouse in the grass and was playing with it near his van.  The man was friendly and came over and looked at my Toyota, and we had a short chat.

Bunge what?

Free Camping by the Warrego Highway

I had parked near a caravan which was towed by a small truck.  The couple were friendly, and invited me for “Happy Hour”.  They were typical grey nomads enjoying travelling around Australia.

On and On I Drove

My next free camping night was at Tambo.  I’d read that there was a free camp there, but it was not where I had been told.  I had coffee at a cafe and a lady told me about the “new” area of free camping, just a couple of kilometers away on the banks of the Barcoo River.

After spending time at the Tambo Art Gallery and the Tambo Teddies shop, I was ready to take a break, so decided to go to the camping area.  I found it rather quickly.  It was much more heavily treed than I had expected, and there was not a lot of water in the Barcoo.  I had trouble finding a spot, but eventually stopped close to a couple.  They were from NSW and were horsey people, though had left their horses behind with family.  They were a lovely couple and we spent a lot of time exchanging stories.  They had a lot more than me.

Free Camping Under the Bridge at Camooweal

When I reached Camooweal, I recognised two other Roller members and we got chatting in the late afternoon.  They were keen to free camp by the Georgina River and I followed them down and found a spot in the dry dusty area beside the river.    I was surprised to wake in the morning and find them gone. They must have left before 6 am.

It was my last free camping for a while, as for the next week or so I was in paid camping spots.

Camooweal is on the border of Queensland and Northern Territory – so I was soon off on my way to the Barkly Homestead.  It is a camping ground and road house and I had stayed in a cabin there on a previous trip.  All was well, and the following morning I left for my next stop at Devils Marbles or Karlu Karlu.  It was here that I met up with more Rollers.  As well, I met an amazing lady who was taking her disabled husband on a drive.  She had to bathe him, feed him and their two dogs, dress him and drive a large vehicle towing a very big van. I was so impressed with her, especially as I heard him speaking to her in a rather unpleasant manner.

 

 

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