Posted by: jkirkby8712 | October 5, 2011

Tuesday, 4th October 2011 – counting down!!

After today, I only have to do this early Tuesday morning thing two more times!!!! A good feeling, I think!  Though this morning, I did feel like a cappuccino on the way to work, but discovered at the last minute I had no cash, apart from to buy a newspaper, on my person – decided at that point that I was not desperate enough for a drink [that I probably wouldn’t finish anyway] to struggle across the road through the morning peak hour traffic to the local ATM, so went without. It was a cold frosty morning –  luckily for Susan, I don’t think she had to go anywhere too early today, otherwise she would have had some windscreen defrosting to attend to [actually, if Dad was aware that she had an early start, he would have done the job for her!!].  This week [in sharp contrast to last week’s wintry conditions], at least these frosty mornings are been followed by a beautiful sunny Spring day, and it is no exception this morning.

Anyway I have, officially, 11 more days here before that age of retirement is reached. I’ve explained previously, that while there is no obligation on my part to actually cease fulltime work on that day [the 18th October], and in all reality, probably can’t really afford to do so, I’m simply tired of the fulltime commitment to a  job for which I have no enthusiasm or fondness for any more, I’m tired of the commuting, with often, up to two and a half hours a day, five days a week spent on the roads, and, well, there are so many tasks and interests that I would rather spend this time of my life on [though in most cases, those things will not earn me an income]. Anyway, this is the choice I made over 12 months ago now, and I have no desire to go back on that resolution.  There are reservations and apprehensions, but we will face those as they arise.

Interesting similarity in the ‘Australian’s’ front page headlines this morning, in terms of pointing to the range of issues facing the current Labor Party and/or Government –  just four of them, as an example  [and these make no direct  reference to issues such as refugees or the carbon tax] –  Tax change blows hole in budget [Billions of Dollars at Risk]  –  ALP six  fight for hearts, minds and votes [the fight for Labor’s federal presidency]  – Fictional warrior set for round two with PM [referring to a new novel by Jessica Rudd, daughter of Kevin]  –  Liberals maintain grip in the west –  and so it goes on.  This week,. We have a government initiated ‘tax forum’ going on in Canberra. Needless to say, the Liberals about it’s value, describing it as a ‘Labor-Green’ tax forum. It was actually part  of  the list of requirements that one of the independent mps last year, insisted on Julia Gillard promising to hold such a forum if she wanted his support to form a government. The current Treasurer, Wayne Swan argues of course that the forum would have been held in any case, as part of the government’s  policy of investigating and undertaking taxation reform in Australia. There is quite a deal of reporting about the forum, in papers such as ‘The Australian’ but I must admit I’ve simply skimmed over most of it – seems just too much like another ‘talkfest’ without any real action taking place, almost seems to be a modern means of delaying the taking of action on something by deferring such action while a committee looks at it, or some kind of community consultation or forum takes place, such as we are seeing now!  I think Tony Abbott called it a ‘gabfest’, which is costing taxpayers almost a million dollars, and isn’t considering on it’s agenda such major issues as the carbon tax or the mining tax!   He said today that   ‘I just think this is going to go the same way as the Henry tax review which took a year to do, cost a million dollars and came out with hundreds of recommendations of which only a handful were adopted; and like the 2020 summit which came up with 962 ideas of which only nine were actioned.

On a more interesting note [for me anyway], Marc Murphy has won Carlton’s Football Club’s equivalent ‘best and fairest’ award tonight  –  the ‘2011 John Nicholls Medal’.  Nicholls was the champion Carlton ruckman who was in the closing stages of his career when I started regularly watching the Blues play in the mid 1960s when I first came down to Melbourne to work.  I think that would have pleased son James  [who named his new dog ‘Murphy’ after his football idol] – actually James called around tonight, with a partial repayment of the money I lent to him for his car repairs a few weeks ago. We chatted football for most of his brief visit tonight.

Later tonight, I heard my ‘wandering’ daughter drive out again, quite late, but unlike Sunday night, when I lay awake for hours wondering where she had gone [hoping she had not driven up to Bendigo in the middle of the night], this time, I simply said to myself – well, I’m going to sleep anyway. And I did, right through until the alarm, getting up in the morning to find a brief note from Susie – ‘sorry Dad, went out after you went to bed, to stray with a friend’  – I at least knew she’d not gone far, because she had to work tomorrow!!!  Ahhhh, the ‘fun’ of worrying about one’s adult children, it doesn’t seem to stop, whatever their age!!!

Received an interesting email from the ChilOut organisation today, the group that campaigns to keep refugee children out of detention. Seems like they are trying to make their efforts more professional and supportive. This is what they had to say.

‘After limping along with everyone working on a voluntary basis for the last year, ChilOut has decided to get organised!  In the last year, ChilOut – through the efforts of our volunteer board – has kept people informed through newsletters, our website, facebook and twitter, liaised with detention centre visitors, organised a toy drive for Christmas, prepared numerous submissions for parliamentary inquiries, spoken at schools, community groups and rallies, visited Christmas Island and prepared a major report, No Place for Children, written articles, contributed to the ground-breaking A New Approach: Breaking the Stalemate on Refugees & Asylum Seekers, participated in sector meetings and provided media commentary. All the while juggling families, work and normal life.  With your help we can become more structured and even more effective!!!  We know from our past experience that the ChilOut campaign is so much more effective with a paid campaigner who can dedicate the time needed to coordinate the volunteer efforts of our supporters and the board. We also know that our wonderful supporter base raised the funds to pay for this position in the past, and we hope this can be done again.  Everyone is asking for money these days but if many of us can make a small, regular contribution we can guarantee someone’s salary and not have to spend energy fundraising by other means.  The position is 2 days per week non-ongoing, as we can only guarantee funding for a limited period at this time’. 

Certainly, 30 years ago, it might have been something I could have got interested in, but as intimated at the beginning of this entry, I’m trying to slow down a bit in my involvement in so many interests, and concentrate on just a few. There are so many interesting and valuable things that one can do with their life, but there must also be recognised that there is a limit to what one person can do!


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