Showing posts from October, 2014

The Accident

Well, it's been a bit of a crappy year for us luck wise. Everything that could have gone wrong has, pretty much - career, health, financial issues; a much-wanted move back to Sydney delayed by one complication after another. Way back in January I bought a car, anticipating it would take me a couple of months to learn to drive and then I could pay my way through uni as a youth worker; instead it took nine months, five tests, and a minor bump in a carpark that cost $1200, before I finally passed last week. We pencilled in the move for next week, and yesterday DH was doing some packing; I took Baby G to the pool to get him out from underfoot. We had a lovely time, and I was driving us home feeling positive our luck had finally turned and things would be okay now, when my car apparently blew a tire in the worst possible place -  the hairpin bends over Waratah station . I wasn't sure what had happened, only that the car was handling funny. I tried to get it under control before we c

Newcastle Hosts The Climate Warriors

It's pretty irritating living next to the coal train line in the shadow of the world's largest coal port. The outside walls of our house are constantly covered in a later of coal dust. I have to wash the dust out of the laundry baskets every time we use them (and yes, we do regularly do laundry). I quit smoking over five years ago and don't have asthma, but I've a constant hacking cough that spurs strangers to tell me "those ciggies will kill you, you know", and endless chest infections. So that's not much fun, but it's even to scarier to think what happens at the other end of the coal chain, such as the  lethal air pollution in Beijing cause by burning Hunter coal . More dire, if possible, is the very real and immediate threat that Pacific Island nations could disappear entirely due to rising sea levels - destroyed by climate change caused by the very coal seen for so long as the lifeblood of the Hunter. So a group of activists from the threatened nat

How Tony Abbott Made Me Irish Again

I was born in Ireland, becoming a small part of the history of the Irish diaspora by migrating to Australia as a young child. (And for what it's worth, the processing and approval for my parents' application took over a year; they did things "the right way" and I still don't hate people who try to seek asylum by boat in Australia. I digress). I didn't think much of it until a brief spell of anti-Irish bullying in late primary school - nothing compared to what people of colour face, of course, but still enough to make me rather ashamed. Then as a teen in the Britpop years, all I wanted was to move to England. They had the good music and Madchester and The Face , which I read religiously in my high school in a dull part of coastal NSW, fuelling my dreams. What did Ireland have - dancing with arms by your sides, jokes about being dumb, postcards of cows captioned "An Irish Traffic Jam"? I couldn't see anything interesting about Ireland, anything to