30 Days, 30 Songs (29)

Don’t Tear It Down

This song by V Spy V Spy was released in 1986 and I relate to it, even more, today than I did then. It makes me both sad and angry when fine old buildings are knocked down only to be replaced by ugly concrete stacks especially when those stacks are so badly built that people can’t live in them as has happened in two recent cases in Sydney. It makes me mad when people are made homeless because a stupid reality show buys the boarding house where they lived to refurbish but not as public housing; or when the refurbishing is just a token saving of a facade. Our cities are losing their character forever. This song is a musical rant about that.

Slump

I’ve been having a bit of trouble blogging for the past couple of months. I haven’t even had the enthusiasm to write posts for our doll blog. I can’t say exactly what the trouble is. I’m not tired of blogging. It’s just hard to find something new. I guess after six years of pretty much continuous blogging that was bound to happen.

I remember feeling like this last winter too. The weather does have a bit to do with it. Not only because the dark days affect my moods sometimes. My house is rather dark which makes taking doll photos a bit tricky. I either have to use lights or bring them into the kitchen or wait for a nice day to go outside. The lights are handy but they have short cords so it limits where I can put them. I may have to think of a better set up.

A scene from my Barbie fashion shoot last weekend

With this blog, it’s more about the lack of variety in my life I guess. I rarely go anywhere new to take photos and photos are often the starting point of what I want to write about. Unless the person with me is also interested in taking pictures I really prefer to do my photography alone. I am sure that friends would take me somewhere if I asked but I hate feeling like someone is waiting for me to finish. It makes me rush and I don’t take as many pictures as I’d like to or I don’t spend as much time thinking about what I want to do.

Little Blue Lake Tasmania
Little Blue Lake, Tasmania by me.

So, what to do? Blogging challenges are good. I always try to participate in my favourite photo challenges even if it means editing and reusing old photos. Writing prompts help too although sometimes I skip them because the word of the day leaves me stone cold uninterested.

This month I joined in a music challenge a few times and that has been fun so I think I will have to look for a few more new challenges to try.

I could write about politics, current affairs and opinions. I do that sometimes but I don’t want to turn this blog into a continuous rant. Not fun for me or the people who bother to read it.

Even if I don’t write anything myself I read and comment on other people’s posts. Sometimes a post I’ve read will give me an idea for one of my own. If I find my comment is half a page long that’s usually a clue.

I took this in a park in New Norfolk

I think that one good day out might blow the cobwebs away so I must find a way to do that even though the days are short and I feel guilty when I leave Cindy at home alone on a non-Op Shop day. In the meantime at least I’ve managed to cobble a post out of nothing. If Seinfeld can do it so can I.

Beijing 4 June 1989

tank-man-tiananmen 1989

I read that in China today many young people have never seen this famous photograph taken in Tiananmen Square. The Chinese government has edited it out of existence.

That sounds very Orwellian to me so even though I don’t suppose anyone in China will see it here it is again. My photo of Tiananmen Square was taken just a few months later in March 1990.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/thirty-years-on-how-the-tiananmen-square-massacre-unfolded

Encouraging Bad Manners

The cricket World Cup is just beginning and after some debate about whether I could afford it or not I decided to subscribe to a sports streaming channel for a month or so in order to watch some of it as it is not on FTA TV.

A World Cup Trophy

I received an email from the streaming company which included this paragraph.

Out to dinner when a match starts? Just whip out your phone and start streaming LIVE at the table or watch the replay the next day on the bus or train. You can also Use Apple TV, Telstra TV, Android TV or Chromecast to watch it on the big screen.

It really annoyed me that they would suggest getting out your phone to watch live TV when you are out to dinner. How rude is that? We should not be encouraging that sort of behaviour but they speak about it as if it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore your family and friends. This is what replays and recording TV was invented for.

I know. It’s just advertising spiel but it really got my goat. I will be watching the cricket at home on TV. It will be at night so it’s unlikely I’ll miss any but if I had company or was out when it was on bad luck. I’ll watch the replay later.

It’s Raining Again

It has rained every day this week and the next few days are looking no better. There has been no opportunity to go anywhere except to the Op Shop and yesterday out for a meal with friends. As I’m having trouble thinking about what to write about I thought it would be interesting to go back to June 2013 and see what I was writing about back then. What do you know? I was writing about the weather. I had just started joining in with the Daily Prompt and this one was about rain. It is interesting to look back considering that since I wrote this we’ve had drought conditions again and the terrible bushfires last summer.

Singing In The Rain

When I think of these words I immediately think of the famous scene in the movie of the same name where Gene Kelly dances in the pouring rain. It’s a catchy song but I have to say that on the few occasions I’ve been caught in a rainstorm and soaked to the skin I did not feel in the least like singing and dancing. Squelching along with sodden shoes and wet clothes sticking to you is no fun, especially if you know you have an hour long bus ride home to endure before you can get out of them. I can remember two or three occasions when it has happened to me and most of them seem to involve rained out sporting events.

However, I do enjoy listening to the rain when I’m snug and cosy at home.  It feels good to be in a warm room or a warm bed listening to the rain thundering on the galvanised iron roof.

“It’s really coming down out there.” David and I used to say to each other.

“I’m glad we’re not out in it.”

Of course, there is more than just being grateful for our good fortune in having a roof over our heads.  After a hot dry summer, it is wonderful to see how everything turns green again after a good rain.

Many people think that it rains all the time in Tasmania and parts of it are quite wet at times, but Hobart itself is the second driest capital city in Australia. Adelaide, where we used to live,  is the driest.

image topiary group by dry lake.
Lakeside Topiary group, July 2008

image topiary group by lake.
Topiary Group December 2009

There were drought conditions here for some years in the mid-2000s and the Midlands and east coast of Tasmania really suffered. Farmers had to put stock down because there was no feed. Lake Dulverton at Oatlands dried up completely. I was told that years ago they used to have sailing and even speed boat racing on Lake Dulverton, I have walked around the lake and seen the remains of moorings. There was even a sailing club and the building is still there. That year the lake itself reminded me of the cover of the Midnight Oil album “Red Sails In The Sunset” which showed Sydney Harbour with no water.

It would have made a great dirt bike track at that time.

image dry lake & sign
What Water?

Finally, there came a wet winter, it rained and rained. Gradually the lake filled and finally, in spring of 2009 it was full for the first time in many years. I remember visiting the lake around this time and seeing people rowing and fishing on the lake. That did make me feel like singing.

So even though I curse it when I get caught in it or when David used to spatter the washing with mud with his car or I fell over in the garden I really do love the rain because it brings new life.

image fisherman
Fisherman December 2009

Blogiversary #6

I wrote my first post for this blog on 30 May 2013. It feels like I’ve come a long way since then.

I wrote my first post for this blog on 30 May 2013. It feels like I’ve come a long way since then. The post below is one of the first ones I wrote. I talked about my habit of procrastinating. I still do that I’m afraid but usually not about blogging.

The last month or two I have cut back on my writing on both blogs. Not intentionally, I’ve been a bit distracted. I had a week off from the Op Shop after Easter and thought I would have time to write more but I didn’t. We had a busy month after we came back and I spent a lot of time reading and writing about the upcoming election. After the results came out last week I didn’t really feel like reading or writing anything for a few days.

I think that I am one of the bloggers who relies a lot on photographs to help tell my stories and lately I have not been out and about with my camera. I’ve learned to take a lot of photos of things around the home but I was getting tired of that too.

Potted Blooms (2)
Marigolds and Lobelia

Usually with me, the longer I leave something the harder it is to get back to it so it was good to reread this early post and remind myself of what I was trying to do in the beginning. I haven’t changed anything in it just corrected some typos. I think that only three or four people actually read it, my first months as a blogger were not stellar so it will be new to most of you.

After writing this piece I went on and wrote four more in the next month and have now passed 1,300 posts of my own. Quite a few of them have been ranty ones and I expect there will be more in the future.

Procrastination

Procrastinating is something I am very good at. Like most of us, I procrastinate about things I don’t want to do, going to the doctor or dentist, unpleasant household chores, making phone calls to name a few. However, I have a bad habit of procrastinating about things that I do want to do. Maybe I’m just lazy. I want to finish scrapbooking projects, do other craftwork, go for walks more often but I get distracted by small things and then I think “It’s too late, I’ll do it tomorrow.” Sometimes I even find myself doing busywork to justify not starting something I meant to do. MC900287030

When I started this blog it was because I thought that I’d like to write more often and about more subjects than my doll collection. Since then I’ve looked at some of the writing challenges, been interested in some but not actually written anything because I didn’t know how to start or because I didn’t feel that I could write as well as others on the same subject. I’ve got mad at the television on umpteen occasions when I’ve seen trailers of programs that annoy me or when my husband watches the fourth episode of “Pawn Stars” in a day (Rick Harrison really annoys me.) I had meant to write about all these reality programs and why they annoy me so much. Why have I not done that? (Note: I have done that. Frequently I think.)

It is because it worries me that people will disagree with what I say and might criticise me. I know I would find that hurtful even though I also know that I’m not alone in feeling that way. It shouldn’t really matter to me if people I don’t know and will never meet think that I am ignorant or that I write badly. It would worry me more if people I know thought that about me, even though they would probably be nice and not tell me. I can’t deny that I’m lacking in self-confidence and don’t like confrontation but I’ve decided that as far as blogging goes I’m going to try.

If I don’t write anything I won’t get any better so I’ll just put down what comes to mind and maybe as I go on it will get easier. I will write about the things that annoy me and why. No doubt there will be negative comments sometimes but I will try to deal with them. I expect it will be good for me and help me get out of my comfort zone.

Gratuitous Pet  Photos

Run Cindy Run!

There was no food here so I guess Polly was after the dots on the tablecloth.

RDP: Pink

Don’t Pinkize Me!

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the colour pink. I don’t dislike the colour.  I like it, especially in nature. A walk around my garden would easily show that.

pink rose in the back garden.

Ground cover rose grown from a small pot.

No, I dislike the way that pink is used to represent women and girls all the time. It’s as if we can’t be happy in any other colour.

When a woman takes part in a predominantly male sport like motor racing you will often find her team in pink overalls or the car is pink. That wouldn’t be annoying if it wasn’t nearly always the case.
Karolina i Silvette

Pink is used a lot to promote women’s issues. Breast cancer for example. In Australia, everyone knows The McGrath Foundation who raise money for breast care nurses, a very worthy cause let me say. The organisation was founded by Jane and Glenn McGrath in 2005 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Glenn was a well known and popular cricketer so the Sydney Test  Match is always their biggest fundraiser for the year. The players wear pink caps, the commentators were pink ties or even pink suits and the crowd is generally a sea of pink. Again I don’t think this is a bad thing.Jane McGrath Day - Day 3 at the SCG//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I just sometimes wish someone would come up with a different marketing idea that’s all. Apparently, it wasn’t always this way. I didn’t know this but up until the 1940s pink was generally associated with boys and blue with girls.

While these days pink is seen as a more feminine color, it wasn’t always that way! In an article from Smithsonian.com, it says that in 1908, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” It was around the 1940’s that these colors switched.

Nearly all girls toys incorporate pink. People go on about diversity but the recent 60th Anniversary Barbie was literally pink from head to toe. Pink hair, pink outfit right down to stocking and shoes. She looks like a lipstick! Does anyone remember when Barbie was not associated with pink? No? well, I’m older than she is so I do.

One of the 60th anniversary Barbie’s Photo from Mattel.

So as I said, I don’t dislike pink; I do dislike how commercialised the use of it has become. There is a whole psychology around colours in marketing. I don’t like it because I don’t like being manipulated.

Flowers in my kitchen

References: