Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mrs Quld is teaching

What a year!

I spent all of 2012 working as well as studying which made me very, VERY busy mum and wife :) I finally graduated with a high distinction average at the end of 2012

The kids and GJ are all well; Georgia is in Year 10, Chelsea is in Year 8, her first year of high school and Ben is now in Year 4. GJ started a new job just before Christmas so 2013 is shaping up to be grand!

I started 2013 off with a few days of relief teaching at my favourite local school and in week 4 of term 1, I got a 12 month contract to take over a prep class (year before grade 1: so 4.5 to 6 year old kiddies).

I had always envisaged myself doing middle to upper primary teaching and have found teaching the preppies to be a huge learning curve, however I am LOVING having my own classroom!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

All is well :)
I am 2 weeks away from finishing my degree.
I now work, study and look after my family and have been all this year.......
I am 2 weeks away from completing my professional internship and are LOVING teaching.
I have no time to my self, however I am my loving life :)
I PROMISE I will get back into my blog.........soooooonish :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Curtains at last

When we bought this house, it came with the top of range, expensive custom made drapes on every window.

Unfortunately they were all  hideous!

The ones in the formal lounge were so ugly and filled with dust that they were thrown away immediately. I thought we would never have drapes here as the windows are so large (6m x 4m) and it would be horrendously expensive to cover them. Privacy is not an issue, as we look out over the treetops into green hills, but I wanted something to soften the wall of glass.
Before we left Jakarta, the kids chose custom drapes for their bedrooms and on the spur of the moment I got them to make up some sheers for the lounge. I am so pleased I did as I think they make all the difference for around $100.
GJ thinks that installing curtains is the devils work, but I smiled sweetly and he got out the ladder. I have to wait till we get a big group of strong men over to hang the other half of the room as the baby grand piano is in the way. But soon it will be done!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Tropical Sprue

I have finally received a diagnosis of Tropical Sprue, I've had it since December 2009.
It was a parting gift from Jakarta lol.
I have just finished my first of six bottles of antibiotics, some lovely heavy duty Tetracyclines and are already feeling much improved.
An unfortunate condition of these mediations is sobriety......yes 3 whole months of sobriety is necessary.

Uni is back on as of this week, I have tacked on an extra unit to a full-time load...I'm going to be VERY busy for the next few 15 weeks!

Tropical Sprue

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guilty pleasures

When I get stressed and or overloaded with uni assignments, I often take a few minutes out for a little guilty pleasure.....creating (and rearranging) little vignettes.
This bookcase is one of my favourite spots to tinker in
All of my extended family, bar my mother and sister, have passed away, and I have inherited some wonderful treasures. This antique bookcase was my uncles and it is filled with books from both sides of my family as well as my maternal and paternal family silver, plus GJ's grandmothers Carltonware. I love how the creamy glaze on my mothers Belleck china and the blue of the Wedgwood looks against the wood. I think I might have over-filled the bookcase, but I just can't take anything out, it all has sentimental value and gives me great pleasure to look at.

Uni starts back next week, I haven't have much of a break as I did a WONDERFUL 3 week prac teaching stint in a year 1/2 class. It was my first time with such young students and I loved it!

I think I am so busy with words for uni as well as family life i have lost my bloggy mojo...I think I have exhausted the Indonesian expat life and  will change focus to see if I can get back into the groove of regular posting.
I am going to start featuring my art, antiques and treasures.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Refugee spin masks racism By Steve Pennells June 7th, 2011

"A week before Four Corners aired its horrific footage of the fate of Australian cattle in Indonesia, Dateline on SBS featured equally graphic images - canings, detention and brutal treatment of asylum seekers at a Malaysian detention centre.

If the response to both is any indication, there was one clear winner in the battle for sympathy: the cattle by a landslide.

Australians seemed more willing to empathise with cattle exported for slaughter than they were with men, women and children who would be sent to Kuala Lumpur as part of the so-called "Malaysian solution".

It's an extraordinary comparison but it lays bare the ugly truth that our proud belief in a fair go for any battler often comes with a caveat - "battlers" get our support if they fit in with a homogenous, Christian Australia, a Neighbours reality where black, Asian or Muslim characters come in only as guest stars in fleeting visits to a white-skinned Erinsborough.

A week ago, the United Nation's top human rights watchdog, Navi Pillay, attacked Australia's refugee policies and the treatment of Aboriginals, saying there was a strong undercurrent of racism in the country.

"I come from South Africa and lived under this and am every way attuned to seeing racial discrimination," she said.

"There is a racial discriminatory element here which I see as rather inhumane treatment of people, judged by their differences: racial, colour or religions."

She was pointing bluntly to the elephant in the room - the racism that underpins much of Australia's discourse, attitudes, media and political debate.

When Prime Minister Julia Gillard first flagged the "Malaysian solution" - to exchange 800 asylum seekers who arrive on our shores for 4000 legitimate refugees in Malaysia - letters pages and talkback were filled with outcry: "We get five of them for every one we send across ... great deal, Julia."

The reaction made it clear that, however we try to justify it, the fear over asylum seekers is rooted more in race and religion than in the character of the people we accept.

I've visited and talked to asylum seekers waiting in camps or hiding out in towns and cities across Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and Kenya. They were families and individuals - so-called queue jumpers - living in shocking conditions and desperate for a chance at a better life.

In Kabul last year I decided to test the "queue" argument to see just what line-up the Afghans arriving in Australia had supposedly "jumped".

Unsurprisingly, there isn't one.

Any refugee fleeing persecution can't go to the Australian Embassy in Afghanistan because it is in a secret, hidden location and does not deal with visa applications of any kind.

The thousands of people in makeshift camps around the city also do not fall into the confines of the UNHCR's refugee classification, so they have no way to apply for humanitarian asylum.

In Afghanistan, as in Iraq, the so-called "queue" is a myth.

The only option these refugees have is to join the three million people living in camps across the borders with Pakistan and Iran, some for more than a generation, or seek asylum further afield, in countries such as Australia.
Some see no choice but to put their lives or their children in the hands of people smugglers.

For most of the 44 million refugees worldwide displaced by war or persecution there is no orderly queue.

The UNHCR battles to deal with a fraction of these people. In Malaysia alone, there are 94,000 refugees registered with UNHCR waiting to be processed. Despite the fact they're all considered legitimate, only 8000 are accepted by a handful of other countries each year. Do the maths.

It's why camps like Dadaab in north-east Kenya, built 20 years ago to hold 80,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia, now holds 352,000 and rising, with 42,000 new arrivals sitting outside its boundaries because the UNHCR can't fit them inside.

It's why almost three million Afghans live in exile and squalor on the Pakistan border.

I wrote about it at the time but it made no difference. The idea of "queue jumpers" has seeped so much into common wisdom that it is accepted as fact. It feeds so well into a simplistic interpretation of a complex reality that the truth doesn't seem to matter any more.

We can't rely on our politicians for any nuance, either. Three-year electoral cycles are the enemy of big picture debate and Canberra long ago adopted the slippery linguistics and psychologically calculated buzzwords of advertising.

After all, "queue jumpers" is such a great phrase - a neat pre-packaged opinion to steer a debate. Like all effective propaganda, it is predigested and does the judging for us.

It is an appropriation of language by people who seek to reorganise reality on their own terms. As is "bleeding heart" and "do gooder", which will no doubt feature in the letters and emails I am certain to get next week.

My point is that we seem more inclined to sympathise with the plight of cattle than we do at making any attempt to understand or empathise with the plight of this desperate throng of humanity.

The fury over asylum seekers or, more specifically, a certain type of asylum seeker, is also staggeringly disproportionate to the actual size of the problem.

If our obsession with boat people is solely about people being here illegally and not about race, then where is the outcry over the much greater number of illegals in Australia who fly here?

On June 30, 2009, the latest figures available, 48,700 people were here illegally after overstaying holiday or student visas. About 8060 of them were from the US and Britain alone - almost 3000 more than the total number of refugees who arrived by boat last year.

To put the situation into more context, look at the list of countries dealing with asylum seekers and we barely rate.

The UNHCR says 8250 asylum claims were made in Australia in 2010. Compare this with the US (55,000), France (47,800), Germany (41,300), Sweden (31,800), Canada (23,000), Britain (22,100), Belgium (19,900), Switzerland (13,500), the Netherlands (13,300), Austria (11,000), Greece (10,300), Turkey (9230) and Italy (8200).

Globally, only 2 per cent of the world's asylum claims are made in Australia. Not much of a "flood".

But what about the numbers compared with a country's population? Good point.

Even when comparing the number of asylum seekers with a country's GDP, which more accurately reflects the capacity of a country to host them, Australia doesn't rate. Cyprus and Malta come first with Sweden third, followed by Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Of course, none of this fits in with the rhetoric over asylum seekers or our overreaction to certain people who don't look or talk like us.

I'm dwelling on asylum seekers here but the argument can be stretched further.

Would there have been a bigger outcry in communities in WA's north if children being abused and abandoned were white? And what would have happened if the 12-year-old boy who spent a week in a police lockup this month wasn't Aboriginal?

Subconsciously or not, we see colour first and any nuance later.

I remember covering the Schapelle Corby trial a few years back and fending calls from a public obsessed at the injustice.

"She's innocent," the calls would usually start, "you just have to look into her green eyes to know that. Those animals are going to lock her up."

When Corby was sentenced in a Bali courtroom on May 27, 2005, Australian TV crews turned the court into a film set, production assistants miked up the key players and Australian tourists peered through windows waving flags as if they were at a sporting event.

The whole thing was broadcast live across Australia and New Zealand.

Just over six months later, another Australian, Van Tuong Nguyen, was hanged in Singapore. He was a Vietnamese-Australian. He didn't look like Corby and he had a name few could pronounce.

There were no Australians waving flags when he was executed and no national campaigns to free him.

Perhaps it might have been different if his name was Barry. Or if he'd been a steer."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Busy week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prac teaching all today with 5-7 year old snotty, but lovely kiddies and a maths uni exam tomorrow..........with a side of Sociology in the context of schooling uni exam on Friday 2pm....bring on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nicholas James Livingstone.......

It is twenty years today since I lost my brother in an accident, he was 18 years old.
He would be 38 years old now.
Gone but never forgotten.....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Heirloom Silver Cleaning

I  recently dug out all the family silver from storage and was dismayed to see how much tarnish  had accumulated. I was using the trusty Silvo Silver Polish to clean it and it was taking for ever; so I went to Google and found the BEST and QUICKEST way to polish everything.

It was so simple.

I lined the kitchen sink with Aluminium foil and filled it with extremely hot water and a bag of Bicarbonate of soda and then just put the pieces in and left them for a few minutes. After a rinse in warm water and a wipe with a linen cloth all the pieces were sparkling.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

I have been slightly unwell for the last 16 months, nothing serious but debilitating. We are now close to finding the reason, a lovely persistent Indonesian bug or something else.
I have just found unread 4700 emails in gmail and 800 in yahoo.....looks like I am going to busy for the next few weeks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia day 2011

The weather was absolutely glorious today for Australia Day. We lounged on the deck and in the pool with family and friends.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My home on Near Map

My SIL told me about this great new site which has aerial photos of all over Australia.
They are so clear!

This is my house, with my sheets on the clothes line!
I am sure it is only in Australia at the moment, but it is much cleared than Google Earth.
Have fun stalking your neighbourhood!