Archive | March, 2014

Answering Some Questions

31 Mar

Unload and Unwind

australia I’ve done a couple of posts regarding Australian humour and our assorted flora and fauna that continues to fascinate so many people and I’ve realised that from a lot of the comments that I get there is a great deal that people living outside my country don’t know or the information is gathered courtesy of Crocodile Dundee [thank you for THAT Paul Hogan].

So I’ve decided that over the next few weeks I’ll intersperse some posts, regarding different aspects of life in Australia as well as some of the more exotic of our native animals, with the other items that I put up for public view.  However I think it would be good to start this series with a simple introduction to Australia and Australians.

Now I may spend a great deal of time arguing that my country’s government has lost its mind [which I AM right about]…

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Our first Time at Sussex Inlet in March 1985

31 Mar

My children and grandchildren had the idea we could celebrate my 80th birthday at Sussex Inlet. We always loved to go to this place. Peter, I and the children have such lovely memories about it and often talk about it. I have stored some memories about Sussex Inlet in three of my ‘Pages’. Today I opened Sussex Inlet Page’I’. I thought, maybe some other bloggers might want to have a look too. So I copied one of the photos and the text to the first page. (I noticed nobody had actually looked at this page so far!)

As I said I copied only one of the photos. If you look at this post and would like to see some more photos, then please go to the above mentioned post in my pages about Sussex Inlet. There are many more photos to be seen in that page and two more pages about Sussex Inlet.

Uta with daughter Caroline and grandsons Ryan and Troy (the twins!). It was a wet morning.

This was our first time at Sussex Inlet. Caroline was six and the twins were still five. The rain lasted only for one day. After this we had beautiful summer weather again. When our son Martin came to visit with his wife Elizabeth the Inlet looked gorgeous in lovely sunshine.

It was March 1985 and in July Martin and Elizabeth had their first child, a boy named Tristan.  After daughter Monika’s twins, Tristan was to be our third grandchild. (The following grandchildren were all girls. Monika’s three girls and Martin’s two girls. So we have eight grandchildren ; the last one of them was born in 1997. In the meantime we are also blessed with three great-grandchildren. )

After having experienced Sussex Inlet for the first time in 1985 we went back there lots of times. The children and grandchildren always loved it. Only our first born child, daughter Gabriele, was never able to join us at Sussex Inlet because she needed an Iron Lung for the night to sleep in.

We were happy that our youngest daughter had the company of the twins. The three of them did get on very well together. When people saw us with the three of them, they often thought they were triplets! The twins would ring their mum from a public phone near the office of the camp-site. The place was still called a ‘camp’ but it had newly built units which  could accommodate up to eight people each.

In March 1985 the unit we were in had only just been built.  Everything looked brand new. The best thing about Sussex Inlet was that it was very secluded. We called it our little paradise.

Dapto to Tempe to Redfern to Sydney Central to Martin Place to Bondi Junction

29 Mar

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Peter discovers a rose in the park in front of the station.

Peter discovers a rose in the park in front of the station.

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The above pictures are from last Sunday when we took the train to Tempe to meet the family at the Concordia Club. We also took the train last Saturday going to Redfern for a W.A. Dowe Memorial Lecture. The speaker was our good friend Richard Lawrence Giles. The talk was about THE ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF LAND VALUE TAXATION and started at 2 pm. At a coffee shop near Redfern Station we had some coffee and cake.

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RIMG1602 Next time we are at this place I’d like to try some of the healthy things that are on offer for 6 Dollars: ‘Immunity Boost’, ‘Detox’, ‘Revitalise’, I think all this sounds good. We happen to know that a lot of university students and maybe teachers get off the train at Redfern to walk from there to Sydney University. Any coffee shops on the way would probably be patronised by some university students and teachers. In this particular coffee shop two very friendly young guys did look after the customers.

Today is Saturday again. We had been contemplating to go to Redfern today to watch a free movie. We did get an invitation to:

CINEMA ET SYMPOSIA.  It is a seminar on film – based on Shirley-Ann Hardy’s book “Stolen Land, Stolen Lives and the Great Con Trick of Debt. It says a moderate discussion of the film follows. Free Admission. Refreshments Served. Time 2 pm – 4 pm.

Why did we not go? Simple answer: We needed to stay home to have a rest. Since Peter’s eye operation nearly two weeks ago our life has been a bit too hectic for our liking. After all we are not spring chickens any more! So what did we do apart from the two above mentioned train travels? Well, after the operation Peter went to see the eye specialist already three times for consultations! He also had to get a new referral from a GP (General Practitioner). On the day of the operation our daughter Caroline was able to stay with us. She did the driving to and from the hospital. It was great to have her around. In the evening Matthew joined us too and we had a good time together. Next morning C and M had to go back to their respective work.  They keep themselves busy with working and studying.

The next day one of our neighbours inquired how Peter was going after the operation. We mentioned that the doctor in Figtree who had done the operation in Shellharbour Hospital , wanted to see Peter for post operative care. When the neighbour heard about this he was kind enough to offer us a lift to the bus stop. He even would have driven us to Figtree, but we said we would be all right catching the bus. On the way back we caught a bus which stopped a bit closer to home, so we did not have to walk very far. The operation had been on a Tuesday, the trip to Figtree on Wednesday, then on Thursday I found out that another neighbour, my friend Irene, was about to drive  to Dapto Mall Shopping Centre. I asked her could I have a lift. When I told her I wanted to go for a haircut, she said to wait for her at the hairdresser’s. She would drive me back home then.

Irene parked in an area where it would be easy for her to drive out again. Apparently she is not all that confident yet with her parking. Her husband had been driving for all these years. When her husband recently died very unexpectedly it was up to Irene to get used to driving again. Irene gave me an idea. Maybe I was capable too driving to the Shopping Mall the way Irene did it? All of a sudden I felt I might be able to do it. I told Peter about it when it turned out Peter had to see his doctor in Figtree again on Friday. Surprise, surprise, I actually managed to drive the car to that beautiful parking spot on that Friday. From there it was not far to the bus stop. The following day, Saturday, I managed to park the car near Dapto Station. We left Dapto at 11,35 am and did not get back till nearly 7 pm. But fortunately it was still a little bit light and rained only a little bit. Something similar again the next day, on Sunday, when we caught the train to Tempe. We did get a lift back home in daughter Monika’s new car. Mark was the driver and dropped as off near Dapto Station where our car was parked.

Now to the second week after the operation. On Monday Peter had to go to the Medical Centre to get a new referral for the specialist. I drove him to the Dapto Mall Shopping Centre again. From there he could walk to the Medical Centre. On Wednesday, when Peter wanted to see his eye specialist once more for he still could not see very well with his right eye, well on Wednesday I parked the car in the Shopping Centre again. Just to make sure I asked Peter did he bring the referral from the GP. It soon was obvious that he had left it at home. So I drove back home with Peter. Peter found the referral at home. Then back to  our parking spot in the shopping centre. We ran to the bus stop. Peter was sure the bus would have left without us by now. But he was wrong. Luckily the bus was running very late again. We were really lucky to catch it. Peter had thought it could not possibly be running that late. And it goes only once every hour!

We made it in time to the doctor’s appointment or 10 am. But we had to wait for quite a while. Several other patients were waiting for Michelle, the doctor. So Peter had to wait his turn. The bus going back to Dapto is also only once every hour. When we approached the bus stop to go back to Dapto it turned out the bus had left ten minutes ago. That gave us a lot of time till the next bus was due. We used the time to go for some lovely coffee and cake. 🙂

As I mentioned before we went to the Concordia Club in Tempe last Sunday. I found some more pictures from that day which I had not published yet. Here they are:

A picture inside Concordia Club

A picture inside Concordia Club

 

I took this picture because I thought it looked cute. I think I saw a Swiss flag inside the club. I am not sure where these traditional outfits are from. Maybe Switzerland or Bavaria or Austria? Anyway, I think these dolls look cute!

 

This sign is in the outside area of the club.

This sign is in the outside area of the club.

 

 

The Australian and the German Flag outside the Concordia Club

The Australian and the German Flag outside the Concordia Club

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Various little sculptures in the outside area:

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Michelle, the doctor, told Peter by the end of the week Peter can drive again. I think she meant by the end of this week. This kind of lets me of the hook. I have no vision in my left eye and Peter has at the moment hardly any vision in his right eye! Aren’t we a nice pair?! 🙂

By the way, we go to Martin Place when we see our dentist, and we go to Bondi Junction when we see daughter Caroline and Matthew. We are very happy that we have a good train connection from Dapto to Sydney. And a ticket for the whole day for public transport (that includes now buses) is for pensioners only 2,50 Australian Dollars! We really like this. 🙂

Migration, the University, and What the Hell is a Knowledge Economy?

27 Mar

confessions of a worried teacher

I tend to go to work relatively early – not out of any conscientiousness, simply because I wake early and get bored.  While much of the day the corridors and stairways thong with students and faculty going about their ‘knowledge work’, the early morning presents a different kind of labour.  I greet the cleaners, the silent bodies of our public buildings, clearing away the debris left by student and staff alike, making the place ready for another day of knowledge-intensive activity.  There is a sense in which my articulated identity as a knowledge worker, of an academic identity construed in large part by identification with epistemic communities, is quite separate from that of the cleaners I say hello to.  I am forced to contemplate the nature of this encounter, and in particular my privileged position.  I encounter something more than just different functional roles – after all there is a…

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Struggling with Precarity: From More and Better Jobs to Less and Lesser Work

26 Mar

The Disorder Of Things

Once a French neologism, precarity is now a household name describing in equal measure the fate of low-wage, part-time holders of bullshit jobs, seasonal and migrant workers, creative entrepreneurs of the self, “graduates with no future,” foreclosed homeowners, debtors and increasingly even segments of the salaried bourgeoisie. At its most basic, a term for the economic uncertainty and existential angst associated with the dissolution of fixed employment, precarity also suggests the disintegration of stable societal bonds, occupational identities, social protections and a sense of entitlement and belonging characteristic of the old proletariat. In short, then, precarity is the experiential dimension of the crisis of the society of work dating back to the 70s and 80s.

Diego Rivera Detroit Industry Mural 1923

Increasingly advanced production methods, introduced since the 70s to tame shop-floor insubordination as well as reap the untapped potentials of global competition, have caused a decline in growth rates, which no amount of…

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More Pictures from Sunday, 23rd March 2014

26 Mar

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Monika made some pictures with her phone last Sunday. I already published my pictures and Peter’s photos. Now here are some more of Monika’s pictures.

Lucas on the lawns of Concordia Club, Tempe

Lucas on the lawns of Concordia Club, Tempe

Well, Lucas, this field is for running!

Well, Lucas, this field is for running!

Lucas, do you want to play?

Yes, pick up the ball.

Yes, pick up the ball.

Well done, Lucas!

Well done, Lucas!

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This picture was taken by Monika when we stopped at Bulli Tops on our way home last Sunday.

This picture was taken by Monika when we stopped at Bulli Tops on our way home last Sunday.

Five iCloud Pictures

25 Mar
Lookout from Bulli Tops

Lookout from Bulli Tops

In my previous post I mentioned the Concordia Club at Tempe and that we had a family lunch there. I could actually not publish any lunch photos for I completely forgot to take a few pictures of our food. But I was thrilled to get such beautiful pictures of little Lucas running around on the lawn in front of the club with a few older boys who look like they are very much enjoying watching this cute little boy running around and picking up their ball.

Lucas did get a bit tired after lunch. Ryan and family had their own transport and went home soon after lunch with Lucas probably falling asleep in the car! They gave Monika’s daughter Kristal a lift too. Martin and S had been in Sydney only for the weekend. Mark and Monika gave them a lift to the airport in the early afternoon so they could catch their flight back to Melbourne.

When Mark and Monika came back from the airport they gave us a lift home. Mark was the driver. Near Bulli Tops he asked us would we like him to stop for an ice-cream. It turned out they had delicious ice-cream at Bulli Tops. We all enjoyed it very much. Plus we had a terrific look down the escarpment towards the Pacific Ocean. Peter thought of taking some iCloud pictures. I am happy to publish them now.

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Here I am with daughter Monika.

Here I am with daughter Monika.

 

 

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Earlier on while we were waiting at the Concordia Club for Mark and Monika to return from the airport, Caroline and Matthew were still with us. A very friendly young fellow sat with us at our table outside. During the conversation we found out that his sister is married to a German and lives in Berlin where he has been visiting twice. He said that he liked Berlin very much. We told him about our connection with Berlin. And so it went. He then offered to take some pictures of the four of us. Here they are:

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