Friday, February 27, 2015

Be sure of what you Like on Facebook

Stepping into the foray of social commentary and the world of PC for a moment to make a comment and perhaps a heads-up on something I saw on my Facebook today. I did briefly think to put this as a post on Facebook but I don't want to offend anyone, nor look like I am having a go at anyone. So, being the big chicken conflict avoider and peace keeper that I am, I will make this a tale of morals for a generic audience.

You know that little LIKE button on our Facebook page? Seems like a harmless icon you click when you see something funny, or cute, or a shared POV. If it really moves you in some way, you Share the post, or even make a Comment. The latter two actions however, require a little more thought process than the quick hit of the Like button. When you make a comment, you think about the message you are portraying, how you want to say it, how it will come across. If you share the post, then you have a specific audience in mind, and weigh up if this action will give the right message. 

But, do we ever really stop to think what we are liking? How the action of Liking a post on someone elses FB page appears on our own page. What is this Liking saying about you - Your Values? Your Morals? Your Likes and even Dislikes? Your sense of humour or fairplay?

If you constantly Like cute little kittens and puppies, videos of baby pandas, miniature donkeys, Firemen rescuing fluffy ducklings, then we can assume that you are a girly girl (or boy) who is a big softie at heart.

If you Like pictures of rainbows and unicorns and fairies, then you are bit of a dreamer who puts their fate into the hands of the universe.

Inspirational quotes and sayings tell me you are determined, aspirational, a perfectionist who even on bad days sees the positive (at least strives to)

Political slurs and rants - usually a one eyed supporter of a particular party. (This goes for sports teams as well)

Funny jokes, video's cartoons - well who doesn't like a (tasteful) one of these? Except, this is where it all falls apart. One man's funny is another man's offensive. It's all too easy to like a joke or cartoon that may not be funny at all to some. 

So, why this commentary? 

Today I saw on my newsfeed a post about high profile Aussie women who had received personal and nasty tweets about their appearance. There was outrage by all the women posters, and deservedly so. 

But a few posts later, and the same person who Liked the above, also Liked a picture of our PM being compared to Gollum from Lord Of the Rings. 

Hypocrisy anyone?

I am not political, nor a feminist, I do however, have very strong beliefs in hypocrisy. If it's not good for the goose then its not good for the gander.

So these seemingly innocent Likes, allude to this person having double standards. Was this the message they wanted to put out there? Am I reading too much into this? Is Facebook just a bit of silly fun?

While I am on the quotes, maybe we should also remember this one all our Mothers taught us - "If you have nothing nice to say about a person, then don't say anything at all". Because if you do, then it says more about you as a person than it does them.

(Hang on, it's a bit hard to get down off the soapbox with my dodgy knee)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mirror mirror on the wall

Reflection and perception are funny things. 

I have this mirror in our new house. It was left behind by a tenant and it has remained there as the only bathroom mirror. Using it the first few times I was frustrated  as it is in very poor light, you can't get close enough to see the finer points and putting makeup on in here was a guess at best, not much better than doing it in the dark, at worst. 

But over the weeks we having been living here I have come to rather like the work this mirror  does. I wash my face in it, check for stray beard-hairs, put on my makeup and do my hair in its mediocre reflection. It all looks OK to me. My skin looks smooth and bright. The eye shadow  and mascara look in place. There doesn't  appear to be any moustache.

I think I actually pass as OK. Certainly presentable enough to pop down the shops, even off to work.

The full length mirror in the hallway, with great light and an honest face and the little flip down mirror in my car are singing to a different hymn book however. They think honesty is the sign of a true friendship. We are no longer friends.

I like the sweet little lies the bathroom mirror tells me. We can be friends.

Which got me wondering today. 
  • Do you still look good when you feel inside that you do? (and that your mirror is confirming this)
  • Is appearance only what you see or is it how you think you look. 
  • Who is judging this beauty contest anyway?
  • If you feel great, who cares?
  • Is this what blokes have worked out? A quick look in a bad, good or indifferent mirror gives them the false belief that 'yeah I look pretty good.' They strutt out into the world thinking they are gods gift while us women peer and scrutinise and confirm with 4 different mirrors in 3 different light conditions to convince ourselves that we really do look like we think we do.

So, for some smart, young entrepreneur, go out and develop a I-always-look-good mirror to replace all the honesty is the best policy ones. 

This also applies to my over 50 age and having to wear glasses for the small print. If I don't see the dust (or the ring on the tub, or the coffee stain on the bench) - does it still exist? Is this why older women get happier, and more relaxed?

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's the Little Things #2

Go on... you know you want to ... sing it .... 

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh
Kookaburra, gay your life must be!

These are a few of our resident Kookaburras that come to visit us each evening to roost in the big Spotted Gum by the stables. They arrive just as the last of the light is fading, laughing and calling to their family to come roost for the night. They number between two and six, and come most nights.

They leave at first light, saying goodbye with a laugh as they head off to hunt for the day. 

It makes us smile to know they like our home enough to make it theirs.

A few interesting facts about Kookaburras and the Kookaburra Song

  • They are an Australian Kingfisher
  • The song was first performed in 1934 at a Girl Guides Jamboree
  • The tune is the same as a Welsh song about a Blackbird
  • The song featured in a 2006 episode of Dr Who, Fear Her
  • The laughing kookaburra is not native to Western Australia
  • The laughing is to mark their territory
  • A girl wrote the lyrics to the song!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Work -

Gardening is the theme this month. Silly I know in this relentless Perth heat to be trying to garden. One advantage is that if plants get enough water, they sure do grow when its hot and humid. If gardening is the theme, then planning is the action. With 2.4 acres as our gardening playground, there is a lot of planning to do. 

Vege Patch (or what I want to call one day The Kitchen Garden)
The vegetable garden has been started, albeit a temporary bed to get some summer greens going. I started back in November by putting down black plastic over the vege plot area to kill off the grass and weeds. I don't want to use any chemical weed killers in my edible gardens, and this method worked well. The searing heat worked to kill off most of the grasses and weeds. A few runners of that evil couch persisted around the edges, and I did spray this with glysophate as no vegies will be grown here - it's the only way to kill that terminator stuff. 

Then we made raised beds from bales of hay and filled it with soil, manure and plants. See It's the little things

It's been good to have the time to watch and observe how this area is effected by the weather. It cops the easterlies in the evening and early morning and is in full sun all day. Shade sails have helped with the hottest days, but a good 12-14 hours sunlight is what vegetables love best. The wind can be managed with well placed wind breaks, temporary ones are hay bales while we plan and plant more permanent ones. 

Happy Marigolds 

We inherited the rose garden from the previous owners, and although their selection of 30 roses is lovely, the placement and position is not ideal. The soil is very poor and water repellent, with the roots of large gum trees to navigate. I have been adding sheep manure and soil improver, which seems to just dissolve into the parched ground. Must be making some progress however, as digging around it on the weekend I found a lot of earthworms. After we took back the property from the tenants, I also had to content with the rose garden being overtaken with kikuyu and cooch and every weed known to man. Its been a slow but steady improvement. The next challenge will be to try and keep the lorrikeets and parrots of the bushes - they seem to like biting off any new shoots or rose buds. Perhaps if I move the bird bath (der) from there it will be less of an encouragement to the birds. 

Sad, but hopefully still alive, roses

Five rose bushes have been moved as they were in the path of the new carport. Not the ideal time to be transplanting roses (in fact, its the very worst time possible) but we had no choice in the matter. Three have taken well to their move, the jury is still out on the other two. My favourite of these is a lovely fragrant, climbing Iceberg. I hope she makes it. They are now in a little 7.5m bed running along the south/east side of the vegetable garden. There is room for three more roses when the weather cools.

One little rose bush putting up a good fight.

The grassed area around the house was in a very poor state when we moved here. Tenants had been parking on the lawn area for years, compacting the soil and killing off any grass that tried to grow. The first job was to get some soil wetting agent onto it, then fertiliser and then work on the compaction. All this done and we could begin to water everyday, with runners being planted in the bare patches. So far, after three months we have 75% coverage. 

From this....

To this ...

...and this.

There so many ideas and dreams for this garden. I just keep jotting them down as I think of them and hopefully, eventually they will come to fruition. Some of them are:

  • I want to fill the garden with fragrance and beauty. The first part of this is to get some form with fragrant climbers. I found this website from the very knowledgeable Sabrina Hahn. Five of the best fragrant climbers 
  • Raised beds of strawberries at the ends of the stables.
  • A grove of Silver Birch with bluebells underneath (big ask in Perth, but my English heritage demands this)

  • A tropical and lush garden around the pool and cabana
  • A native garden to bring in the little birds