Tuesday 30 December 2008


Another booklist came today. Dad and I read it at the meal table and both of us wondered yet again at some of the books that get published. They are, as he puts it, 'so negative'. Do we really need books about sexual abuse, marital infidelity, violence, murder, gang rape, bikie gang wars etc?
There is a place for academic writing about these things no doubt, if it is designed to assist in reducing the impact on the victims of such problems. Reading about the 'true life' stories of the victims however seems no better than those who are mere onlookers at the scene of an accident or other incident. If you can't do something positive to help then get out of the way.
I picked up a library book I have been wanting to read - Kathy Reichs "Devil Bones". Now yes, that is about murder and forensics. It is fiction. It is not designed to intrude on the life of a living, breathing human being or their family.

Monday 29 December 2008

Post Christmas Sales?

Post Christmas sales are a curious thing. I had to go into the city this morning for another purpose altogether and was rather dreading it. It is day 3 of the post Christmas sales. I rather thought that the city would be filled with frantic shoppers. Perhaps they have spent all their money. Today was rather quiet.
There were plenty of 'Sales' being advertised. Many people will have bought things they do not need and do not want.
I obtained the books I needed - dictionaries - and would have been home early but the cash register in the shop was not working properly and I was delayed. The modern shop assistant cannot cope without a cash register. This not merely because they need a place to store the transaction for the inevitable computer but because the assistants are unable to add up or give change without a machine informing them of the amounts. I had done both (accurately) in my head before I went to the counter. Despite that I do not believe I am particularly adept at mathematics. Statistics at university nearly defeated me, especially after I heard two very senior staff discussing how to manipulate them in order to get the desired result.

Sunday 28 December 2008

A little sorting

I suspect I have far too many knitting patterns, especially for shawls. There are four large folders full of them.
Yes, I knit but I do not knit to patterns. I like to have them because they give me ideas.
This afternoon, in preparation for the new bookshelves, I decided to sort some of them.
They are now rearranged, one lot into a folder of things I am unlikely to use even for ideas. The rest are still a jumble. I may get around to that.
There are other things I want to make for myself and for Dad - or should I say, need to make?
He needs another good handknit casual pullover. Those my mother knitted are largely unsatisfactory. He wears them because she made them but clearly feels uncomfortable in them. They were not well made. If she tried anything more than plain stocking stitch with raglan sleeves the mistakes would be obvious. She was too impatient to knit well. It was the same with sewing.
As for myself, let's just say that I have knitted myself one garment in the last 17 years. The rest have gone to other people, including all the shawls. Those garments I do have are looking a little worn. Oh well.
Of course it is getting too warm to knit. That is a good excuse to start on the patterns I should be writing....but a new novel is more fun. I have still not heard from the two people I sent a copy of the other one to - perhaps they did not get it. One can hardly ask! Then perhaps they did and it is so awful they do not know what to say. It would be nice to know but it seems unlikely when they have not acknowledged receipt of same. Oh well again. Perhaps I am not meant to be an author - even of a blog.

Thursday 25 December 2008


There has been more drama in the family. My sister slipped on a patch of cooking oil outside a restaurant she was passing in the city and damaged her newly partially replaced knee, her back and her wrist so the Blog has been ignored while I did her Christmas cooking etc as well as my own. Thankfully she did not actually break any bones.
Christmas - we went to the Greeks as usual. Seeing some of them just once a year the changes are obvious. The youngest starts high school this year.
The oldest, my nephew Yiani, is about to switch courses and will be doing medicine instead of medical technology. It's been a major decision.
They are a group bound together by blood relationships but they do not have many interests in common. It is getting harder to understand their grandmother as she uses more and more Greek words. I can understand some but Dad really struggles.
Dad has finally acknowledged that he will not be making any new bookcases and offered me some bookcases from IKEA as a Christmas present for both of us. I gave him two books to help start filling them!
Both books reflect his interests. One was on the Exclusive Brethren and their political influence in Australia. It should make interesting reading. The other was on making wooden tops - small challenges which he will enjoy more than making a bookcase!
My sister remained in hospital for the day so we all trooped in with Steve (her husband) taking in 'nibbles' in the form of cheese (haloumi and brie) and dips and crackers and soft drinks for a little celebration. We exchanged presents there. It was all recorded by Steve as keen photographer - much to the embarrassment of my nephews.
I am relieved Christmas is over with no major dramas.

Monday 22 December 2008

A mini-gathering of the clan

We made it out to Tea Tree Plaza yesterday, courtesy Helen and her car. The traffic was thick and the drivers their usual pre-Christmas crazy. TTP was also full of people and noise. We caught up with Meryl, my late mother's secretary and spent about an hour and a half chatting and drinking iced coffee because of the heat.

Julie (cousin's daughter) came to pick us up for the party. It turned into a mini-gathering of the clan - people from WA, NSW and Victoria as well as the local members of the clan. The ceiling fans kept the room fairly cool but the noise level rose - when Gunns get together they talk.

I wonder how many other families do this sort of thing. We are, thanks to Malcolm's efforts with the family history and the official gatherings, very much more conscious of family than we were. The older cousins have always kept in touch but now some of the younger cousins are making the effort.

Do we have anything in common apart from family? Oddly, yes. There are plenty of teachers, engineers and maritime personnel among other things. We have common values

Saturday 20 December 2008

Waiting hours

I was interested to discover that, unlike doctors, pathology collection units do not work on Saturdays. At the closest location they only work between 8:30 and 14:30 Monday to Friday.
This seems to be an excessively short working week.
Of course many people do attend in the morning because they are fasting and their blood samples are therefore taken early in the day. But, what of the elderly patient for whom the doctor orders a blood test? It means a second trip out, often when they are feeling unwell anyway. Doctors themselves appear to be reluctant to do the most simple of procedures - undoubtedly because they are overworked, have little time and fear litigation if something goes wrong.

Friday 19 December 2008


It's an Adelaide seaside suburb - for the tourists. I had to visit someone there yesterday.
It is, in the eyes of some, rather quaint. The main street 'Jetty Road' has a tramline running up (or down) it. There are a lot of shops, often aimed at tourists, along it. Some tourists should feel quite at home because there are an increasing number of places which I suspect have US origins - the latest being a Baskin-Robbins icecream 'parlour'. I was not tempted by an 'icecream fruitcake for Christmas'.
Although busy, indeed very busy, the area somehow lacked a festive feel. There were few decorations. There were pre-Christmas 'sales' everywhere but I did not notice any particular queues in the shops. Nobody seemed very intent on spending Rudd's gift voucher here.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Exam results

The Year 12 results were out today. It makes me wonder, yet again, about any form of three hour examination. One of the students I have been helping did well enough but should have done better - he just 'freaks out' at the thought of an exam, any exam. He can hand in brilliant assignments. He will probably get into his second choice of university course but life will probably be second choice all the way through unless he can overcome his exam phobia.
There were some other year 12 students hanging around the shopping centre trying to kid themselves that they were satisfied with their results.
Interesting that the student with the best results was the one who served me in the supermarket. She could scarcely wait to tell me her TER - 96.5 - and she has managed to hold down a part-time job all year to help her family.

Tuesday 16 December 2008


5% to 15% and we only get the latter if everyone else starts on the emissions bit as well.
I think this might be something of a con job. It is Rudd trying to be all things to all people again. He is, once again, behaving more like a public servant than a Prime Minister. I wonder if he has watched Yes, Minister and then Yes, Prime Minister?
He has tried to buy votes with a pay out to pensioners and now he is trying to tell people that he will pay for the cost of this scheme. Of course this is taxpayer money isn't it? We will pay for it in the end. He won't.
On another point - Virginia Bell of NSW has just been appointed to the High Court. No doubt a worthy appoinment and good to have another woman on the bench. However it does mean that South Australia has still not had a single appointment to the High Court. Unlike the editorial in today's Advertiser I am not sure our Chief Justice would have been a good choice but it reflects badly on the state and on the federation as a whole.

Sunday 14 December 2008


I am waiting for someone to discover this barely started blog. It may take months. It may never be found.
I have this plan to write a blog of my (proposed) journey around the UK. Would people be interested in the peculiar meanderings of someone riding a tricycle around the coastline? Stranger things have been done I am sure.
I need to think on this.

Friday 12 December 2008


It's raining! Nothing to get excited about you say? I beg to differ. Adelaide is in the grip of a drought. This will not be enough to break it and the cherry farmers in the hills will not be happy because they do not need it right at this moment but the rest of us do.
Thankfully the new rain water tank went in on Monday. That makes 7 tanks now. There will actually be some water in it. It will be far from full but any water is better than none as we look ahead to a very hot summer.
I do not like summer. Scotland, even in winter, is beginning to look incredibly attractive. Failing that the south of the South Island of New Zealand might do the trick.
The papers are full of the need for a Bill of Human Rights. Given the lawyers are getting in on the act early it seems likely that this is more likely to be a Bill of Lawyers' Rights.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Done it!

Done it!
I've been told to get a blog. I do not need a blog. It is one more thing in my already cluttered life. I like to write but I do not need to write a blog - yet. It may become addictive but there are other things to write - communication boards, letters to the editor and novels.