Archive for July, 2011


Teaching Knitting

24 July 2011

This last week I’ve been in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast.  Aptly named – it was beautifully sunny for the time I was there, while Sydney soaked in the wettest July days recorded in 40 years or so.

But I wasn’t on holiday.  I was learning to teach knitting with a group of 24 others, through the Craft Yarn Council of America’s teaching programme. This was the first time the course was taught outside North America so we’ll be the first Australians to get this qualification, which will be awarded when I’ve got the teaching practice part under my belt.   

I’ve done very little knitting teaching and had no idea whether I was approaching it correctly.  I learnt to knit when I was 5, taught by my mother and grandmother, and can’t remember how they did it.  But whatever it was they did, it certainly stuck with me!

So, now I just need willing pupils.  Anyone?


What Ethics?

17 July 2011

Until a couple of years ago, it was illegal in any school in New South Wales to provide lessons for children not attending Religious Education.  Those children just read or watched films.  Then the NSW Government said that Ethics classes could be introduced for the excluded children. 

The churches were up in arms.  At first, because they were concerned that parents would take their children out of the religious classes now that an alternative was on offer.  They were apparently right in their prediction.  Then the church leaders complained that it was discriminating against the children who attended religious classes because they were excluded from Ethics classes (strange argument I thought – don’t religious classes include Ethics?)The new Premier of NSW promised to abolish the Ethics classes but reneged when he became Premier. 

However, he counts on the support of the Shooters’ and Fishers’ Party (yes, there really is such a thing) and he has now agreed that restrictions on children owning firearms will be lifted and more schools will be supported to give firearms lessons to the pupils.

I hope all the children learning to shoot are either taking special note of the “Do Not Kill” part of their religious education or are paying particular attention in their Ethics classes.


The Case of the Disappearing MPs.

7 July 2011

I don’t believe that a Member of Parliament’s work can be measured by the number of column inches s/he receives in the press but I’ve found something recently I find quite interesting.

When Maxine McKew was MP for Bennelong, she was mentioned in the local press most weeks – often more than once, with photos, meeting with local businesses, visiting schools, attending conferences.  And every week, the Letters’ Page would have at least one letter from someone asking “Where is Maxine since she was elected?”  I thought these were from people who like writing letters but don’t actually bother to read the newspaper.

Since John Alexander has been our MP, he hardly merits a mention in my local press, except for this week when they covered his 60th birthday celebrations for some odd reason (and belated Happy Birthday, John). But where are the letters asking about the whereabouts of John and what is he actually doing?

I think all this shows is that the Liberal Party is better at orchestrating letter-writing campaigns than the Labour Party.


By Request

4 July 2011

By popular request (!) I’m posting another photo of me when I was young (and, apparently, hot according to some).   I was just 19 here and it was taken for a local newspaper where I was “Girl Of The Day”. 

Girl of the Day 1


Living A Lie (aka “Doing a Nora”)

2 July 2011

A number of my fellow bloggers have written in the last few days about Nora of Black Dog Knits fame.  The blogger who was a medical student, then qualified, who married her doctor fiance, who knitted, designed, took photos, wrote poetry etc etc etc.  I wondered how she managed to do all she did AND study medicine and mentioned that in one of my posts a couple of years ago.  She replied that she wasn’t Wonderwoman; just well organised.

Well we now know that she certainly wasn’t Wonderwoman.  Her whole life as laid out in her blog was a figment of her imagination and she’s made a couple of appearances in court lately charged (and pleading guilty) to impersonating a doctor.

Mary-Helen tells the whole story here. And Nora’s blog appears to have disappeared in the last day or so.

But this reminded me of a doctor I met last year when I had my accident.  I was on a cardiac ward for the first night (the only free bed they could find), just being kept safe and pain free until I had my operation the next morning. During the night a young rather frenetic doctor turned up at my bedside saying he needed to take some blood.  As he was about to do this, I vomited.  Then I vomited again.  He was getting a bit impatient but he eventually managed to get a syringe full and rushed off.

I rang the bell for the nurse who cleaned me up and I commented on this young man’s lack of bedside manners and how he seemed in such a rush.

The next morning, another doctor arrived to see me and explained she had to take some blood as the sample I’d given in A & E the night before had got contaminated, or lost.  Can’t remember what the reason was. I asked her about the sample I’d given in the night which intrigued her.  Which doctor?  Did he give his name? She’d check the records and the lab.  When she returned she told me there was no record kept of the visit and no blood sent to the lab.  By this time the nurse who’d been on duty during the night had left so wasn’t able to be questionned, and then off I went to surgery.  I forgot all about this visit for about two weeks so I never did find out whether the young man was a REAL doctor or “doing a Nora”.  But if the latter, I got the last laugh as I threw up over him, twice!