Monday, 28 December 2015

Random jottings: Is the ANZAC spirit dead? I don’t think so.

I wrote this blog in October 2013 when Australia was suffering due to bush fires across the country. I am sharing it here once again as a tribute to the thousands of volunteers and emergency workers we rely on when families and animals suffer due to the forces of nature.

Random jottings: Is the ANZAC spirit dead? I don’t think so.: I have often heard it said that the ANZAC spirit is dead but what is the ANZAC spirit? I believe it is still alive. In particular it is...

Friday, 10 April 2015

In memory of a dear friend (with a smile)

A very dear friend passed away just before Easter. She was a great cat lover and had a wonderful sense of humour.

I am posting these amusing cat pictures in remembrance of Christine. She would have loved them! 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Why I wrote Angel with Drumsticks

Writing this book became an important project. My husband Angelo met we were in our 40s so we had not shared the early years of our adult life.

He told me early in our relationship that he had been a drummer and devised a new way of playing the drums that filled up the gaps in the music but initially didn’t relate a great deal about his band. 
I really only knew it was mid-late 60s and they were called Angel and the Brains. Until I talked to him more about his experience I didn’t even know why they picked it for a name.

It was several years into our relationship that the story of La Messa dei Giovani and the bands performance started to come out and I became more and more intrigued as to why this band, who supposedly were not only excellent musicians but also considered one of the original Italian Beat bands.

This is the story of my husband life until he emigrated to Australia. He was the band leader and drummer of Angel and the Brains

Over time he shared more of his story with me and I convinced him it was one that needed to be written and the truth told.

I didn’t realise until we talked over his sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet recollections spanning six years of his life just how emotional it was for him to share his memories.

The exercise of recording his memories and researching additional information together brought us closer. I came to understand him so much more.

I am proud that finally his story has been told.

Book overview

In a new book about the Italian Beat band, Angel and the Brains, one band member tells his story about what really happened following the first beat mass performed in Rome on 27th April 1966.

It is a hard hitting revelation of how the bands, following an invitation from the Catholic Church, to perform the Mass, had their careers destroyed by the Vatican in an attempt to save its own reputation.

The reader will discover that many articles written in recent years are wrong in their descriptions of what happened following La Messa and falsely acclaim the event as being a successful innovation of the Catholic Church at the time.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

How much new technology and inventions do we need? Part 3: Out and About

Traffic lights with countdown indicators.
Generally we all feel they are likely to cause more accidents. Son, who has done his share of street drag racing in his young and foolish days, said they would take the fun out it because it is more challenging when you have to guess how long the lights will take to change. Would that then mean it would reduce accidents by those foolish enough to try drag street racing? 

Fresh pizza vending machines
Me, I don’t trust fresh food from a machine even if it is untouched by human hands. Italian husband who loves his home made pizza – I can’t repeat here what his comment was. Son pointed out to his father that it’s an Italian invention and showed us a video clip of one (on his smartphone of course) Husband still not impressed.
Coke machine
We all have different tastes in soft drinks in this house so we all think it would be good but personally I prefer small plastic bottles.

Stairs with slides 
Quick responses to this: Husband it’s dangerous, son: it would be fun, me: won’t help me get up the stairs
Parking garages with lights showing open spaces
This is a great idea but we’ve got some suggestions for improvements. How about different coloured lights for motor bike spaces and disabled parking? Can we also get a solution for outdoor daytime parking please?
How to stop littering  
This would be a bit of a novelty and may work for a while. Here in Australia you often see people bowling their rubbish like a cricket ball into a bin anyway. Son did comment that it was smaller than the bin opening and we all felt the rubbish wouldn’t be picked up in many cases if it missed.
Bike racks that don’t take up sidewalk space. 
We think these are an excellent idea
Caution signs that are funny. 
At first we thought it was unnecessary but then we realised people might notice them more because they are funny. 
Movie theater screens in the bathroom so you don’t miss anything.
Even husband and son (who love their TV and movies) couldn’t see the point. Son did point out there are some urinals that have screens overhead (guess it’s a man thing)

Theatre with bean bag seats.
Son thought this was wonderful but should be only in Gold Class. Me, who has only been in Gold Class once, thought the existing seats were already very comfortable. 

Water fountains with built-in water bottle filling station. 
We have these in our local area and think they are well used.

Subways where you can pay by recycling. 
We thought these would also be a good idea in shopping centre car parks, near fast food outlets etc. Better still (in Australia at least) make plastic bottles with refunds on bottles to start with (Sorry SA I know you are already the smart state and do this)
Benches that you can turn to always have a dry seat 
We think these would be good but what happens when it is raining all day and they keep getting turned?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Reluctant Political Candidate (Part 3) - Election Day 19th March 1988

In preparing for Election Day the committee put together a route that would take me to every polling booth. This was so I could talk to people as they went into vote and, most important to me, to thank the volunteers handing out how to votes and provide them with refreshments. We even gave donuts to the Labor Party volunteers who were not as well looked after as ours.

Hank did up his work van; no one could miss us, and drove me around all day. I had an absolute ball. Because I knew winning was unlikely, I was able to relax and enjoy meeting all the supporters. We must have had a very similar route to my opponent because nearly everywhere we went we were told McManus had just passed through as was looking very worried.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this was a new electorate and considered a very safe notional Labor majority.

That evening we had a post election party at home with family and many supporters and of course my wonderful committee. When the results started to come through I was totally astounded how close we got. I was won, as expected by the Labor Party with McManus receiving 56.6% of the vote and the “Libs” with 43.4%.

There were two highlights for me in the results. Thanks to the advice or Michael Baume and my determination not to be overridden by an outspoken, self centreds and slightly intoxicated person we won the Appin polling booth for the first time in many years.

There was an extensive housing commission estate in Bellambi and during the campaign I was invited by a local church minister to door knock the area with him. The range of questions was unbelievable. On Election Day we got an enormous 17% swing to the Libs at the Bellambi polling booth.

Following these results Burragorang started to be considered a marginal seat but another redistribution of boundaries before the following election it was merged with other seats.

I was extremely pleased with the result, thrilled with the efforts of the campaign committee and workers and very grateful for the opportunity and experience.

Friday, 13 March 2015

How much new technology and inventions do we need? Part 2: In the home

Wall outlets with USB chargers and nightlights.

Absolutely! More and more devices need USB chargers. Plus it means I can recharge my phone in any room and not miss calls if I’m not in the same room. Nightlights as well? Yes please.

The ultimate outlet would also have extension cords built into the wall

Me, who hates the effort needed to find the right length extension cord then end up with one way too long for the job or too short and have to find another one to extend the extension, yes please.

The ever practical son wants to know what happens if the reel breaks, you’d have to pull the entire wall out. I decided I want them anyway and son can pull the wall down and rebuild it if it breaks. Easy peasy female solution!

Power boards that you can expand and rotate 

Both husband and son agree with me that we can’t see a practical use but husband want one for the workshop anyway. Just in case. 

I must admit I do like the pretty one. Didn’t you read the previous post in this series and my obsession for colour co-ordinaton?

Device that charges your phone from hot or cold drinks. 

We are all a bit ho-hum on this one

Or this solar powered charger. 


A fun way to clean.

I have visions of me crashing into walls. I can’t even control the Segway on my Wii. Son did point out they would probably be good in large floor areas – shopping centres, aeroplane hangars etc

USB rechargeable batteries. 

Problem here is that we use rechargeable batteries for every battery operated item in house so we would need several of these gadgets. Husband is always recharging four AA and two AAA for his headphones and remote control. We’d need a USB hub for that alone.