We recently spent some time in Kangaroo Island and there’s an excellent Birds of Prey demonstration not that far from Seal Bay. As the lad is really into birds at the moment we went along to enjoy.
Archives for January 2013
It’s the eve of the beginning of a new school year. Where did the last six weeks of school holidays go? I joked to someone yesterday that it will be Christmas soon. I could have slapped myself, but I know that time is travelling faster the older I get. Scary.
Here’s some more things that my son loves about me according to his Christmas present to me.
Jenny’s nice to be around.
Listens, helps, cares,
And here’s another one.
You like to play Skylanders with me,
unfortunately shop with me,
have a walk with me,
talk to me,
and much much more.
You can use the computer 1,000,000 times better than me.
You teach me.
You even created me.
You are the Best mum I could have!
The school uniform is all ready for the morning and I think this year is the first year in his seven years of school so far that he’s looking forward to going back to school. I hope it lives up to his expectations. It seems like yesterday that we were both anxious about his first day at school.
I didn’t write that much about Christmas but my son made me something that I want to share.
He made me a little booklet with the title on the front ‘The things I love about you’.
I want to share some of those things.
The things that I love about you is when I ask for a hand you give me a hand.
You help with problems and find a solution.
You look out for me, and make sure I’m safe.
You care and respect everyone.
You listen to what they say and give every one an equal chance.
You have helped with maths, tried to help in spelling and helped my English and all.
We have had fights but they’re all solved. You’ve taught me right and wrong.
And I love you for that!
Yes, I have tried to teach him spelling, and so have his teachers. I corrected the spelling mistakes and put some full stops and capitals in the above, but the commas are all his.
There’s more. But that’s to come. And I promised him that I’m going to do the ‘Things I love about you’ for him as well.
The circus was in town during the last month and on a whim I bought tickets for JJ and myself. A bit of an expensive whim mind you, and I didn’t even get the most expensive tickets.
It was JJ’s first ever circus and about my third Cirque du Soleil.
It was a 42 degree day when we went but luckily the tent was air conditioned. I’d had a quick glance at the website that informed me the two acts went for an hour each with a half hour intermission.
However, when the first half finished we were only about 35-40 minutes into the show. Bit weird I thought.
At the end of it I felt a bit underwhelmed and JJ wondered why we hadn’t seen any trapeze acts.
I didn’t think too much more about it until the next evening when a friend rang me and asked what I’d thought of the show as she’d been at the same one.
I told her I felt a bit underwhelmed with it all and she told me that they’d cut quite a few acts. She’d spoken to others who’d been and she’d had a look at the website and realised that we’d missed out on some of the really good acts.
She’d rung up the head office in Montreal and was trying to sort out some sort of compensation for not seeing the show. She thought as we lived closer that we could go in if we wanted to see what we could sort out.
There had been no communication whatsoever to us that the show was being cut short. That annoyed the both of us. They’d cancelled the matinee show the day after hours when it was around 45 degrees. I think they perhaps should have cancelled ours. I can understand they’ve got to consider the welfare of the performers but….
So, the next day JJ and I went back to the circus and explained that we weren’t happy with missing out on a chunky proportion of the show and was there anything they could do for us?
I’m not comfortable complaining about bad customer service or about something not meeting my expectations but my main motivation for this was the amount of money we paid and not getting our money’s worth. Also, I felt cheated and I don’t like that feeling.
We ended up getting tickets for that afternoon’s matinee. At the beginning of the show we were informed that the show may be modified. If it was I didn’t notice as we saw the trapeze act – spectacular. And the trampolining – really bloody excellent.
So getting tickets for another show at such late notice worked for us because there were seats available in the same price range as we’d previously had. For those with more expensive seats probably not so much.
And after seeing the show again, JJ and I both felt totally satisfied.
Luckily my friend has got tickets to see any Cirque du Soleil show under the big tent anywhere in the world to make up for their lacklustre experience.
So we were much happier customers afterwards. We even spent $15 on two drinks, $11 on two icecreams and JJ bought the CD – well he chipped in a few bucks and me the rest.
This year is a federal election year and it will be an interesting one.
I’m not that political but I will watch with interest and participate as much as I can in a good outcome.
The current Prime Minister had female bloggers to afternoon tea a couple of times last year to let them, and through them their readers, know that she’s listening. Well I hope she is.
But when the single parent pension is cut for people whose youngest kid is over eight, I’ve got to wonder if they really care about women’s issues because let’s face it, most single parents caring for their kids are women.
2013 is election year. It’s not going to be all sparkling bubbles and cherries.
Let’s start with the fact, that as of 5 days ago, single parents have lost between $140 – $200 a week once their youngest child turns 8. That is 84,000 families affected.
Right now. Today.
Jenny Macklin, $35 a day will not pay for your blow-dry.
Seriously Jenny Macklin, you think you could live on $12,000 a year? Really? Show me.
I was on the single parent pension when JJ was born and got it until I started working four days a week which meant I got cut off from it and its benefits. During this time I relied solely on it for six months before I went back to work three days a week. Just as well JJ was a baby and the thought of going out was too much. Just as well I breast fed. Just as well I used cloth nappies, because I had just enough to pay my mortgage, pay bills and buy food.
Last year when I lost my job I had to go on Newstart, as even before the recent single parent pension changes, if you were a single parent you could no longer get these benefits if your kids were over eight. These were changes that Howard introduced six years ago. And don’t get me started on dealing with Centrelink and going on Newstart. I shouldn’t have bothered. It was a complete waste of my time for many reasons.
Anyone who has tried to get a job part-time knows that it’s not easy. Even if employers say they are family friendly, it’s quite often a load of crock. I don’t think I’ll see working part-time accepted as par for the course in my lifetime – and maybe it will never happen. But it should.
But back to the Prime Minister and getting female bloggers to her joint for high tea. Were any of these bloggers single parents having to rely on benefits? If so I’d like to know, but I think not and this is why. Single parents usually have some sort of part-time job, or a full-time one, and are running around looking after their kids as best they can and don’t have time to make their voice heard. No single parent I know does live on benefits alone. I know there probably are some who couldn’t be arsed getting a job and think it’s their right to collect benefits and I’d say its these people the government are targeting.
There’s some very ignorant comments on a story Mamamia did about these changes, but some well considered ones too that tell the stories of people who are really going to suffer.
A woman I know was freaking out about these changes late last year. She has to pay rent, she’s got three kids all over eight years of age. Her ex husband just lost his job and she’s only working around 15 hours a week because she had major trouble finding even that part-time job. She told me that the competition for part-time admin work is really tough.
Apparently if she’s doing it tough she can turn to a welfare agency. Like they’re not under a lot of stress already!
And that’s the other thing about single parents going on the dole. You only need to earn a small amount of money from work before your dole payments get cut. The single parenting payment cut off amount was a lot more lenient.
I’d like to hear stories from people that these recent single parent pension changes are going to affect. We need to give them a voice.
Photo above taken on Christmas Eve from a friend’s balcony. And ever since then I’ve had something on every day. I hardly drew breath after I finished work for 2012 until now. But it’s going to be 44 degrees celsius here today and I’m not really keen on venturing outside too much.
I had a good Christmas. I was the hosted it at my place and had my family minus one sister, and The Surfer’s parents and his two kids. It was the first time our parents have met and it went well. I’d borrowed a trestle table from a friend which meant we could sit outside under the shade. I don’t have the room to accommodate that many people inside for a sit down meal.
Unwrapping Christmas presents happened in two seconds and it makes you wonder why you bother stressing out over purchasing a gift that you’ll hope the recipient likes when it’s all over so quickly. Should one person unwrap one present at a time and gush over it more? I don’t know.
We were in bed before 10pm that night and then I felt like my holidays could really begin.
We had another function on Boxing Day, also the day that my son is half a year away from his last and next birthdays. You’d think at 11 and a half that he’d remember to bring his jumpers home with him. We retrieved one, but one is still missing in action.
But in other news he’s a baby whisperer. Jumping ahead a week or so to yesterday, we visited a friend from work who had a baby on the same day as my birthday a couple of months ago. She had been feeling a bit housebound and a consequently a bit down and said that we brightened her day. JJ was so good with the baby that I could foresee his future as a dad. I told him this, and he reckons that he’ll let the mother take care of his baby for the first couple of years and once it can talk and walk then he’ll be a bit more interested and have more to do with it. I don’t think that’s true but I can relate because that’s how I felt, but didn’t have that option. However, after h0lding an unsettled baby and putting him to sleep a couple of times, I’m kind of looking forward to maybe becoming a grandparent one day. And as a parent it was fantastic to see him having an intelligent conversation about his passions with another adult.
I lashed out and bought my son a new bed mattress. Nine years ago or so, I bought him a brand new bed and the mattress I bought with it wasn’t that great. He has been complaining about it and saying that mine’s heaps more comfortable. Now he’s got the really comfortable one and I waved bye-bye to the old one this morning to the lovely guys who delivered the new one.
I visited my sister who lives a couple of hours away, the one who didn’t make it on Christmas Day. She lives ten minutes away from this beach you can drive onto. It’s one of those ones where you have to walk out a long way to get into any sort of deep water. But the dog and JJ had a great time.
More catching up was done with some ex colleagues. We always have a great time when we catch up and this time was no exception. JJ took this photo and exhibited the patience of a saint while catering to four women who didn’t want to show their double chins or have photos taken with their eyes closed. I wish I’d sat up straighter!
By the time the eve of New Year’s Eve turned up a good relax was needed. This was after a big beach session and a very busy week.
To wave goodbye to 2012 we went to a friend’s place at Port Elliott. They’ve just built a big shed in their backyard which was where the kids camped for the night. Because they pretty much occupied themselves it was like they weren’t even there apart from being fed and bringing in the new year. I love parties where you get to hang out with a close group of friends. It wasn’t a big party but that just means you can get around and really talk to most people. The boys there were a bit younger than JJ and he showed some really great responsibility towards them by including them, and making sure they had permission to go over to the playground across the road.
I struggled to make it to midnight and then got my second wind and didn’t get to bed until 4am. The next morning after a couple of heavy duty disprin, some food, a coffee and a swim in the ocean, I felt fairly normal. I was okay to drive home later on that day anyway, unlike the man I drove home who’d stayed up all night polishing of my bourbon.
I’ve got a few more days of holidays, a week of work then a few more days off to go to Kangaroo Island.