Archive for November, 2007


Welcome To Our World!

29 November 2007

At about 3pm, less than an hour ago, Inigo came into the world!  I’ve spoken to Lara – she’s fine, Mark’s fine, the baby’s fine.  I’ve no news about weight, length or any of the finer details.  Lara was a little concerned this morning so took herself to hospital.  They advised a C-section and when I spoke to her, she was just getting the sensation back into her feet. She sounded very chirpy and happy.

So, welcome to our world, Inigo.  May you have a wonderful life with your adorable parents, and two pretty fine sets of grandparents as well. 

Love to Lara and Mark. 


The Longest Day – Part 2

26 November 2007

History in the making

Maxine’s party in Bennelong – and as you can see, it wasn’t exactly a quiet, reflective affair.   Despite the fact that the swing to Maxine was greater than she needed to win the seat, John Howard is still (at the time of writing) refusing to concede it until the postal votes are counted.  You’d think he’d have other things to worry about with his beloved party collapsing around him – and all the housemoving that he has to do this week. 

The only really sad thing to come out of this election for me is that Kerry Nettle didn’t keep her seat in the Senate.  She’s the only Green Senator that NSW has in the Federal Senate, she’s young, intelligent, committed and a hell of a nice person.  Totally unsuited to politics, you may think, but she did a very good job there.   She’ll still be there until next July and I wouldn’t think she’ll be short of some very good offers for her experience and dedication. 

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The Longest Day

25 November 2007

Yesterday, out of bed at 4.45am.  At a polling station by 6.  Two hour break in the afternoon.  Left polling station at 6.30pm.  Drove over to Maxine’s party, which was packed with her “Purple Army” and every journalist and TV station you could think of.   Clapped, cheered, sang and shouted myself hoarse until 10.30.  Then onto my friend Mandy’s to join her party and finally home and to bed at 1.00 am.  I worked out that I stood up for about 19 of the 20 hours I was awake yesterday.  It’s a long, long, time since I’ve worked as a waitress or behind a bar and I’d forgotten what it was like to never sit down.  David chauffeured Maxine’s mother during the day and went onto polling stations when they needed an extra body. 

The atmosphere at my polling station was fairly cordial because all the Liberals handing out leaflets were young Americans, in Australia for 4 months!  Just a fun day out for them with no commitment to Australian politics.  This also confirms my view that Howard’s young volunteers aren’t volunteers at all.   

We knew quite early in the count that Maxine had won but although Howard did say in his speech that last night was the end of his political career, and he conceded that he’d lost the Government, he wouldn’t concede Bennelong as the postal votes hadn’t been counted.  Maxine was very careful not to claim the seat as hers, despite all the political pundits and television stations saying that she’d won it.  At times like this, I wish they’d use the system we use in England.  All polling boxes for an electorate go to a central place (the Town Hall usually), the postal votes are thrown in, all votes are counted and only then is the declaration made by the Returning Officer, in front of all the candidates.  As well as making it absolutely clear who the winner is, it would also have meant that John Howard and Maxine would have stood on the same stage to hear the results.  I think I’d have liked to have seen that! 

It was a magical and history-making day, and I’m so glad I was part of it. 


Election. What Election?

21 November 2007

Conversation at work today:

Colleague (seeing my “I’m Supporting Maxine” badge):  “Who’s Maxine”

Me:  “Maxine McKew.  She’s hoping to oust John Howard from his seat on Saturday:

Colleague:  “Is she a Liberal?”

Me:  “You aren’t that interested in politics, then?”

Colleague:  “No.  I’m going to vote for the Greens”



To Understand, Or Not To Understand

8 November 2007

I sometimes think I may be slightly dyslexic where street signs are concerned.  I very often have to think for a few seconds, or even minutes, to work out exactly what is meant.

At the moment, there are signs all over Sydney exhorting us to “Report Disabled Parking Cheats”.  Why should parking cheats with disabilities be picked out for special police attention?  But of course they don’t mean that.  They mean people who are illegally using parking facilities meant for the disabled.  In other words “Report Non-Disabled Parking Cheats”.

On Sydney buses there’s a sign I couldn’t quite understand when I first saw it.  In the area where wheelchairs can park, it says “Wheelchair brakes must be applied while the bus is in motion”.  I couldn’t see why the bus had to be moving before you could apply your brakes.  (A bit like the signs on trains which told us we couldn’t use the toilets when the train was in a station.) But again, of course, I’ve completely misunderstood.  You can APPLY the brakes whenever you want, but they MUST be ON when the bus is moving.

I think my favourite sign in Sydney is also to be found on the buses.  An order not to drink alcohol on the bus, with a lovely picture of a Martini glass and a wine bottle.  I presume that cocktail drinking on the bus in the rush hour had been a serious problem for the Sydney bus company and commuters. 


To Volunteer, Or Not To Volunteer

7 November 2007

A couple of weeks ago, I volunteered to help with Maxine McKew’s campaign to oust John Howard from his Sydney seat of Bennelong, and off we all trotted to the Granny Smith Festival in Eastwood.  (For those of you outside the country, Howard is the Australian Prime Minister).

Maxine’s volunteers ranged in age from 18 to 80 and came from every ethnic background that you could possibly find in Sydney.  Johnnie’s volunteers were mainly white, and aged from 18 to about 25.  I found this rather odd as all the polls show he has practically no support among the under 30’s.

But I’ve now been told by 2 people (neither of them, incidentally, from within the Labor camp) that most of his “volunteers” may be no such thing.  The “word on the street” is that they are mainly students, being paid $15 an hour.

A friend mentioned she found it strange when she saw Malcolm Turnbull surrounded by young flag-waving, T-shirt wearing volunteers as she didn’t think they were the expected demographic to support our Minister for the Environment.  Perhaps he’s up to the same trick.

If any of you out there want to apply for any of this “voluntary work”, please don’t come to me as I have no idea what the application procedure is.  However, if you want to help Maxine as a proper volunteer, contact her office.  Lovely people, purple T-shirt, and a very nice badge.

AND the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing something REALLY useful for your country.


To Knit, Or Not To Knit

5 November 2007

I’m lurching from one IT crisis to another at the moment.  No proper internet connection at home for the last 10 days, hence no posts on my blog.  And no reading other blogs.  And no Ravelry.  

But it does mean I’ve been able to get more knitting done and have kept to the promise I made myself not to start anything else until everything currently on the needles is completed.

Then I have the lovely job of deciding what to make next.

This, perhaps?  Or maybe not?