Extreme weather strikes

Is the planet receiving more than its usual extreme weather events of late? I have a sceptic uncle who thinks not and it annoys me that he always finds some other historical event that can explain it all. He doesn’t believe in global warming either.

I can not believe the enormity of the April storm from the Illawarra, Sydney, Hunter and up to the QLD coast. Severe rain fall and cyclonic winds gusting from 100 to 135 kilometres per hour. People loosing their lives in the Hunter and in the Queensland. It’s so sad for their families. It does seen odd to me that cyclonic winds are being recorded so far south.

Then a week later Sydney cops one of the most wildest hail storms. So much hail it looked like it snowed in the backyard.

Nepal Earthquake

I understand that Australia gets it fair share of cyclones each year in the northern tropics and the USA gets its tornados in their warmer months but it just seems the planet is getting more horrendous extreme weather events these days. Or is it just that the news crews can get the information out quicker? Insurance premiums are getting enormous, I wonder when the insurance companies say so more to anything weather related in the policies?

Then there was the earthquake in the Kathmandu area of Nepal with multiple tremors. The earthquake killing more than 8,800 people, left more than 20,000 injured and destroyed thousands of homes. With so many events in just a short space of three weeks it is concerning.

I wonder if there are any studies out there on the number of these events are they are growing in quantity. Is it due to climate change as the media claims? And really, if the scientists can show the statistics that they are increasing due to climate change will it make any difference to my uncle the sceptic, sad on both counts but I think not.

I give the planet earth the benefit of the doubt with climate change. Do you?

Bad behaviour and mental abuse

It has been horrific seeing the reports on the news about domestic violence being so high in Australia. More than one woman is murdered by her current or former partner every week. I don’t want to believe those numbers are so high.

I saw a report in the newspaper that domestic violence related matters accounts for 40% of police time that costs the economy $13.6 billion per year. But interestingly enough most women don’t report their experiences of violence to police because its perpetrated by their current partner. It would be easy to say just leave the creep but I know it’s hard. The ‘central element of domestic violence is an ongoing pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling a partner through fear’.

Reminds me of our neighbours who used to live next door about 10 years ago. Karen wasn’t hit but suffered horrible verbal and emotional abuse from her husband. She couldn’t see it at first and her self esteem was so low. She would make excuses for him. Her husband around us always acted normal and loving to his wife.

rosie batty

My husband Jason was shocked one day when he went next door to return their washed bowels from a BBQ we had with them at our place. Jason heard the verbal diarrhea he was giving his wife about how she acted at the BBQ. Jason couldn’t help but on seeing Karen red eyed from crying said a few words to Jeff. Jason thought the words and tone were not called for. Jeff apologised to his wife after Jason badgered him to. We think Jeff was just embarrassed into it and not sincere.

Karen was so apologetic days later with me. But it wasn’t a one off argument either. We’d hear all sorts of excuses for the continual arguments we could hear over the fence.

She would say, he isn’t bad, he isn’t hitting me or anything. She said he was changing a few weeks later. But we were convinced he was. He was drinking more Karen added one day. His job was causing him grief. I would phone her a few times when we’d hear the arguments getting scary, just so I could perhaps stop the argument when she or he answered the phone. That sometimes worked. It was awful feeling like I couldn’t do anything to help.

At one stage I asked would she consider going to counselling, both of them. She was too scared to suggest it to him. I said perhaps she should just go then.

He had to be kept up to date with what she was doing 24hrs a day. She couldn’t do this or that without him being there. She wasn’t allowed to work. As his work was drying up, she wanted to do some part time work, just to help with paying the bills. He wouldn’t let her work, saying she couldn’t as they were wanting to fall pregnant. They had been married for five years and he was getting pressure from his family for grandchildren.

Perhaps there was more that we could have done, we felt helpless. Finally he left her for a boys weekend away with strict instructions to call him regularly. Instead she packed her bags and with the help of her family moved back to South Australia with the rest of her extended family.

Good news is they got a divorce we were told. I wondered what ever happened to her but we lost contact. Luckily they didn’t have kids.

Anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty says the process for reporting abuse ‘has to change’ to help victims break their silence, is so true.

Bali Nine duo

I feel for the Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on death row and their families here in Australia. Their stupid decision back in 2005 looks like it will cost them their lives. It’s now the 18th of February and recent attempts by the Australian Government for clemency have failed. So too has requests to transfer their sentences to life time in prison not been accepted by the Indonesian Government.

“Yes they have done a terrible thing, yes they should spend a long, long time in jail but they don’t deserve to die.” Our PM said today.

But what should the Australia Government do? Are we simply too late? Should we be doing anything? Sure I can sign a Facebook petition but will it really make any difference, from my lounge room here in Sydney, Australia?

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

At first in 2005 I was one of the many Australians who thought, if you commit the crime you do the time. This crime is in another country and you have to abide by the country’s laws. But then to execute someone for a crime, is that really right? I don’t think so.

Indonesia isn’t alone having the death penalty as a deterrent either. There are 32 USA states with the death penalty. Which begs the question, is it a deterrent? I don’t think so.

Do the Australian Government or at least the Federal Police feel guilty? It was the AFP who wrote to their Indonesian counterparts, airing suspicions that a group was about to embark on a drug smuggling operation back in April 2005. I don’t think so.

So there are nights when I just don’t want to see what has happened in the TV news. Have Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran had their final day? Well for today, I don’t think so, but it saddens me that it might be tomorrow.

Am I alone in thinking this?

Multi-tasking life

It is possible. I know I can do it. I can juggle, eat, talk, walk, shop and organise all at the same time. I have done it in the past. I am just struggling to do it, right now.

I had hoped having time off over Christmas/New Year that I would be relaxed for the New Year. But it’s the end of January already. Next we will be talking about Easter and hot cross buns will be in the stores already. Too late, they are there already.

I blogged about our back deck and hoped it would be completed before Christmas. It wasn’t and we have had so many issues with trades and that was after the Council issues. Our deck was finally finished in late January, when all the trades had come back from their holidays. Their mess is gone. The issues are resolved and the deck looks great.

The kids will be back at school in a week. My husband is back at work already. The fridge is full of food. The bills are paid and I am back to my lists of work to do. I have decided to put more on my list for me in 2015. I have added the fine tune of my multi-tasking skills.

Do you have year lists? Or year goals. If so, do they work for you?

Why are the rules so complicated?

I just wanted to have it sorted. You commission a builder to do a job. You pay them and you enjoy the new back deck with friends.

“Do you know the plans for the back deck will take about a month to get approved by your local council?” I a told by the builder.

“What I reply? We are not building a house extension,” I say.

“It shouldn’t be a problem, easy job to put in the retaining wall on the side next to your neighbours property but there are restrictions on how close you can build up to the property boundary.” The builder goes on to say.

“What’s the process to get it approved by Council?”

” Just take this plan to Council and pay the $, they will review the plan and it is all easy,” I am told.

“Can you do this online,” I ask the builder. Not with our Council I am told. Aghhh its 2014 I grumble. So that was me, back in early September. We wanted the back deck to be completed for Christmas as we were hosting Christmas this year.

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Little did I know that we would have to wait and wait for the Council. I call, I call again. It’s been sent to a team leader planner or someone. Then we are told to come in and see the planner as they had to do an inspection and there is an issue. That was late October. We visit the Council.

“Do you know you need to talk to Sydney Water as there are storm water pipes down the side of your property that are quite close to the edge of our property. The retaining wall will need to be very close and could hinder…” blah blah blah.

So we had to discuss the plans with Sydney Water. Another month passes by. Revised plans go back to Council and the length of our deck is reduced to make way along the side for a larger space between our deck and the edge of our property. Apparently, this will guarantee no issues later when we want to sell the house. At one stage I asked the builder just as a local bus drives past do we need the State Transit authority to have a look at the plans.

“They are called the RMS these days,” I am told. But taking my joke added, yes perhaps the NSW Government as they administer the states public education system and then it was all on. The battle of knowing which government state, federal and local did what service in our community.

So now that it is late December & will our deck be completed in time for Christmas this year? No. What about Christmas next year 2015? Hopefully yes but it is all depends upon the weather, trades and the like. Jason my husband has been really sick recently (another story) so we have been focused on him getting well.

Has anyone document what each of the government departments do? I’d like to know. I think there needs to be a cheat sheet, so we all know.