I remember when children called adults ‘Mr’ or Mrs’ – or sometimes ‘Miss’.
I remember when all children AND adults respected teachers.
I remember when children stopped talking and stood when their teacher entered the room.
I remember when children used decent table manners – and cutlery.
I remember when parents didn’t swear in front of their children – or almost anyone.
I remember when children went to bed at a decent hour.
I remember when children received one or two gifts for their birthday and one gift plus a few extra treats for Christmas, instead of receiving a gift or a treat every time a parent visited a shopping centre.
I remember when children didn’t EXPECT to receive treats and gifts a hundred times a year.
I remember when children slept in small single beds and didn’t expect a ‘queen size’ bed by age 12.
I remember when children wore children’s clothes, suited for children and not imitation adult wear.
I remember when children walked to school or to the bus stop – on their own or with friends.
I remember when playgrounds had tan bark for ‘soft’ landings and not sponge rubber.
I remember when it was ok – a badge of honour even – to have a broken arm in plaster from a fall and not a disaster of huge proportions - and an invitation to sue.
I remember when children drank water when they were thirsty – even if it was from a garden hose.
I remember when, if children were bored in school holidays, they had to resort to using their imagination – and that of their friends - and not expect parents to provide entertainment.
I remember when movies were acted stories of adventure, usually with faithful dogs or other animals, and not with unfunny (often rude) cartoon figures or violence, blood and gore.
I remember when children shared peanut butter sandwiches and no one died.
I remember when children had coughs, but didn’t need to carry a ‘puffer’ with them forever.
I remember when bananas came in varying shapes and sizes – some as doubles – and if they had brown spots, that was only a sign of a more sugary taste, not a reason to chuck in the bin.
I remember when carrots sometimes came with two ‘legs’ and were enjoyed and not discarded.
I remember when school lunches contained meat or cheese and did not require a special cooled lunch box - and no one was sick.
I remember when mothers made cakes or biscuits and children were allowed to ‘scrape the bowl’, without being warned of the dangers of digesting raw egg.
I remember when farm kids drank milk straight from the cow and grew healthy bodies.
I remember when shop-bought milk was just milk, with no fancy brand name or additives providing a dozen choices.
I remember when a telephone was attached to the wall and not something carried in a pocket.
I remember when pop tunes were called ‘hits’ and were often quite tuneful.
I remember when you needed a new pair of socks and you didn’t have to buy a pack of five.
I remember when Hot Cross Buns were eaten on Good Friday and not all through the first four months of the year….and never contained chocolate.
I remember when an ‘electronic device’ was a term used by scientists or technical experts and not something owned by children.
I remember when people registered a polite complaint about a perceived omission or mistreatment and didn’t react by screaming obscenities at shopkeepers or service personnel.
I remember when children stood and gave their seats to the elderly on public transport.
I remember when motorists grouched about another motorist’s driving, but resisted the urge to get out of the car and ‘punch their lights out’.
I remember when an authentic Australian flag was expensive and could only be bought at an Army Disposal store or from a Government official - and was not a cheap, nylon (‘made in China’) item to drape on shoulders to express a suspect form of patriotism.
I remember when the word ‘terrorist’ was never seen in newspaper headlines.
Sorry to be talking about politics, but….
‘Jeremy Corbyn is the most unlikely of modern political leaders. His suits don't fit. He rides a bicycle and in his spare time he enjoys growing vegetables in his North London allotment.’
That’s what I read in Sunday’s newspaper.
Well, Hooray for all that!
May I ask WHY the above statement seems to be said in a manner that suggests Jeremy Corbyn is not a suitable person to lead a country? Or even that he is a bit odd?
Grows his own vegetables? Wonderful!
In my humble opinion, if these characteristics of Corbyn’s are accurate, it shows a slightly more than adequate suitability for office – and decency - far more than the ‘born to rule’ puffed up arrogance displayed by many of the opposing team.
Meanwhile, in Australia, how do our Liberals/Tories stack up?
Here’s a surprising bit of history that I found on the internet:
‘The Liberal Party was frequently the principle party of Government in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These governments were radical, reformist and far sighted, they backed the masses against the classes, swept away vested interest and privilege, and secured increased rights and freedoms for the people.’
Excuse me? When was that? I obviously missed out on all those great times of Liberal rule. These governments ‘swept away vested interest and privilege’? They did? When?
Who or what is this statement referring to? It certainly doesn’t seem to fit into the latest rendition of the LNP.
All we see nowadays is a party that supports the already advantaged, so ‘out of touch’ with the real world that PM Turnbull didn’t even realise how perfectly he demonstrated this when he commented that if the current younger generation couldn’t afford to buy a house, then Mum & Dad would have to step in and help!!!
In an attempt to find a similar piece of historical wisdom about the Labor Party, all I could find was this piece of promotional hyperbole:
‘Labor’s commitment to fairness at work, access to quality education no matter what a person’s circumstances and a firm belief that we should all have the same opportunities in life underpin what we do.’
Sounds great, but does it work that way? I suspect not. It would be so good if that’s what happened when the ALP was in charge.
Sadly, Australian politics is in need of a ‘kick in the pants’ similar to what some other countries are experiencing.
BUT, but, but, hang on….certainly not the same upheaval that has befallen the United States. I wouldn’t wish a Trump on anyone. In fact I can hardly bear to type his name as I wonder what the next ghastly move in that terrifying debacle might be.
And, sure Jeremy Corbyn didn’t win office, merely gave the Tories a fright – but a great big one, nevertheless.
France is looking hopeful. In Monday’s newspaper:
‘President Emmanuel Macron's fledgling party appears set to trounce France's traditional main parties in a parliamentary election and secure a huge majority, according to results from a first round of voting on Sunday.’
Is there even a slight chance that, as citizens of the ‘Western world’ become dissatisfied with current political shenanigans and discover an alertness to what ‘people power’ can achieve, is there a chance that politicians of all persuasions might start listening to the ordinary people?
Is there a chance that political parties will actually start to tackle such nasties as tax avoidance by corporate big names and, instead, focus on the people they profess to work for? To take climate change more seriously; to stop all underhand dealings and to think of themselves more as servants of the people, not as their own Number One priority?
We can only hope.
Sorry for getting all political, but it’s in the air lately!
And, give me a bike-riding, vegetable-growing Corbyn style polly any day.
In February this year I published a blog about my unhappy experience concerning a fine imposed for having my dog (off leash) on a beach.
If you read this earlier blog you may remember that I had taken my 13 year-old, partially blind, small dog to the beach to cool off one afternoon and was stunned when an officious council employee arrived and issued an ‘infringement notice’ for ‘ANIMAL NOT UNDER EFFECTIVE CONTROL’. Although the dog had been on a leash, I had removed it while she waded in the shallows.
Here’s a part of what I wrote:
‘The man with the badge on his shirt is not amused when I ask, ‘Surely we’re not in trouble for having a dog on the beach?’
He writes in his note book and informs us that dogs must be ‘leashed’ at all times.
I suppose I should not have told him that it was ‘a pathetic rule’ because that made him more belligerent - which then caused me to take on the role of ‘assertive female being talked down to by an officious and obnoxious man’. ‘
My February blog ended with me attending a meeting with a councillor to dispute the validity of the fine, owing to the fact that there were no signs forbidding the public from having dogs on that part of the beach - and that I had seen lots of other dogs frolicking with their owners along that exact foreshore on many previous days.
The whole experience was most upsetting, but, two months after the meeting with the councillor, having not received any further notification, I supposed that the fine had been retracted and thought nothing more of it.
Until….in April, I received (in the mail) a ‘FINAL NOTICE”, stating that I had ‘only 28 days’ to ‘choose an option’ of how I was planning to respond to the fine.
My options were:
1. To pay the fine of $121 in full,
2. Apply to pay by instalments – but this option was only available to recipients of fines over $200.
3. Elect to have a court hearing or
4. Lodge a statutory Declaration – only available for ‘vehicle related offences’.
So, there was really not much of an option for me.
To choose none of the options available – such as they were – invited intervention by the ‘State Enforcement Registry’, which could lead to the following:
1. suspension of my driver’s licence,
2. an order to my bank to collect the money owed,
3. deduction of money from my wages,
4. seizure and sale of my ‘property’,
5. an ‘arrest and imprisonment warrant’.
But what to do?
I wrote to the ‘Animal Management’ section of the local council (and to the councillor whom I had met with in February) stating that I had not received any further notification and had assumed that the matter was closed.
What followed shocked me.
Letters from the ‘Animal Management’ person and the councillor arrived; both disregarding any of my concerns.
I was provided with a copy of a letter claimed to have been sent to me some months before, which I had NOT received. There was also a copy of the original ‘infringement notice’ – the one that the councillor had taken from me – but now changed a little, with more details added; details of which I was previously unaware.
If it were not so infuriating, it would be laugh-out-loud funny.
Here are the ‘observations’ of the ‘issuing officer’, (as written):
‘Sighted female at waters [sic] edge with dog off lead. Male sitting in chair watching dog walk towards (a word scrubbed out) female’
Added was a description of the ‘female offender’ (that’s me). I will not list all he wrote, suffice to say he increased my height by 5cms and lowered my age by 10 years, which was the only nice thing about this whole debacle!
There followed ‘Other notes’ which were all written in angry upper case, including his observation that ‘female became argumentative…’ Of course I was ‘argumentative’!
So, here I am again. And on and on it goes.
Although Animal Management have refused to withdraw the notice, they have kindly (?) ‘granted me an extension’ until July 1, whereby I have to decide whether to pay the fine or ‘consider electing to have the matter heard before a Magistrate’s Court’.
Apart from venting my frustration at such a petty approach to a minor ‘infringement’, I felt a need to write about all of this to demonstrate an example of how money (that could otherwise be spent more wisely) and time is wasted on such matters.
Take note: There were two (TWO) officers in a council owned vehicle conducting ‘random patrol of area’. I was with my elderly little dog at water’s edge – nowhere near any signs prohibiting such actions. The small dog was (temporarily) ‘off leash’ so a fine of $121 was issued, stating ‘ANIMAL NOT UNDER EFFECTIVE CONTROL’ (she was!).
Every word I spoke was filmed and recorded.
After declining to hand over the fine, the two officers then drove all the way to my house (some 15 kms away) to deposit the infringement notice in my letter box.
So, now the decision is whether to pay the fine or waste more time and money by requesting a Magistrate’s Court hearing.
As a law-abiding citizen, I am far too respectful (and wise) to insult the honourable institution of the Magistrate’s Court with such a matter, so seems as if my only option is to pay this excessive and unnecessary fine.
I truly think that a gentle warning, probably taking less than a minute, would have been more appropriate.
Am I right or wrong?
Would love your comments.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.