Archive for April, 2010

Do I need a law passed to wipe my ass too?

April 29, 2010

Maybe if Australians were left to think for themselves we'd make better decisions

Is Australia a nanny country? I was at the theatre with my mate last night and I commented how it’s so great to be able to take booze into the theatre with you after interval. We’re not allowed to do it in Oz… although I used to just smuggle a glass of champagne underneath my coat.

Thank goodness my parents taught me from a young age that the key to smuggling booze into a music festival is to pour vodka into a water bottle or hide wine in your coat. (My dad has a special leather jacket that can hold two bottles of wine, quite a find).

My British theatre-going buddy was surprised at this and said that it must lose the Aussie theatre companies a bit of money in bar revenue. I have to agree. I went on to say that we couldn’t eat and drink on trains either, like you can in the UK. We do have silly rules in Australia, which is why Western Australia is sometimes nicknamed the ‘nanny-state’.

Today I discovered that the Australian government is going to ban brand labels and other marketing imagery on cigarette packaging by 2012. We will be the first country in the world to do so. I had to sigh at this. Can’t people make decisions for themselves anymore? Do they really think that have ‘Marlborough’ written across a cigarette packet is going to influence whether someone smokes the cancer sticks or not?

Do we really have to run after everyone and slap them on the wrist for every little thing they do wrong? It’s like the government assumes we’re all a bunch of sheep that can only make poorly-informed decisions.

Anyway, in England what I enjoy more than drinking in the theatre or eating on the train, are the pub rules, or lack of them. On Friday I was enjoying a bevy at a pub in central London and all the customers had spilled out onto the street to enjoy the sunshine. Sure, we had to dodge taxis and fight each other for a space on the pavement, but I’d rather have the freedom to do so than be forced to drink inside.

I know a pub in Perth, WA, where we can’t even carry our drinks to a table outside because that is deemed ‘street drinking’. Give me a break. Does someone need to hold my hand and lead me to the table as well?

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Gordon Brown proves he’s two-faced

April 28, 2010

Gordon Brown seems to have really done himself in today. He proved himself as a two-faced prat after he labelled a woman as a bigot when his microphone was still on.

After inquiring about her grandchildren and chatting to her about Australia in a friendly manner, he jumped into his chauffeur-driven car and started bitching as the car sped off.

In what was a lucky scoop for Sky News, Brown said to his companion in the car that it was ridiculous that the woman was chosen to ask him questions, that she was a ‘bigoted’ woman and that the event was a ‘disaster’.

The day was organised with the idea that Brown would speak one-to-one with people from the public, but that certainly backfired. Obviously he doesn’t enjoy mixing with us commoners as much as he pretends.

First Troy Buswell and now Gordan Brown. Are all politicians dimwits? I’m losing faith at this rate…

You can watch the video below.

Troy Buswell you are a dirty, filthy man

April 27, 2010

Troy Buswell

Oh dear Troy Buswell. You really do put the UK politicians to shame!

This week the WA treasurer really reminded me of the UK MPs caught up in the expenses scandal. However, Buswell has trumped these pollies by not only using taxpayers’ money on items that are not work-related, but to pay for hotels he used to conduct his sexual affairs!

But why am I surprised? This is a man that is a sexist pig and in the past has sniffed chairs of female party members. He was crying in front of the media when this scandal came out and he was asked how it would affect his wife and children. Obviously he didn’t learn his lesson.

An honourable man (if you can call a lying, cheating bastard an honourable man) would’ve resigned as soon as this scandal came out. But not Buswell. Oh no, he has the balls to tell everyone that he won’t be standing down.

Thankfully Premier Colin Barnett forced his resignation… but now do you think Adele Carles, the Greens MP for Fremantle and Buswell’s mistress, should stand down too?

I don’t. See it’s bad to have an affair but it’s not really anyone else’s business. It only becomes the public’s business when you use taxpayers’ money to fund the sex fests. And as far as it has been proven, Carles didn’t use taxpayers’ money to fund her romps.

However, just like Bill Clinton, I’m sure she’s going to lose her political position. It just doesn’t look good to sleep around, especially when married. How long will it take for politicians to realise this? Probably forever.

What Anzac Day means to me

April 26, 2010

War memorial in Leeds

So it was Anzac Day yesterday and I wasn’t feeling well so I missed out on the London celebrations, which was a bit of a bummer. When I told my boyfriend in the morning that I was too sick to go he mumbled that a stomach upset didn’t stop the diggers from fighting for us. Gosh, that made me feel guilty for a Sunday morning!

To me Anzac Day is a day of reflection and appreciation. I reflect on what it must’ve been like for those who fell in Gallipoli and appreciate that they fell for us in order to make our world a safer place. It also makes me think how lucky we are to grow up in a country where there is peace.

My parents grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when it was peaceful and it was only when my dad was 18 that the Rhodesian Bush War (civil war) began. He was so young and yet all of a sudden he was fighting alongside his best mates, attempting to stop Mugabe coming to power.

As we all know now, Mugabe won that war and continues to rule Zim. It’s so sad and difficult to image a safe place such as Australia, and Rhodesia as it was then, being taken away from you. My parents left soon after the war and never came back. They were one of the lucky ones – I still have family living there.

I can’t imagine myself living in a war-torn place and I certainly can’t imagine my boyfriend going off to war. I know that he would if he had to and that was what it must’ve been like for my dad.

It’s such a brave thing to do. But I know that my dad doesn’t think of himself as brave – it was what he had to do and I know it’s something that will stay with him forever.

So on Anzac Day I think about all of these things and remind myself how lucky I am.

WAMI nominations

April 22, 2010

Birds of Tokyo by J-F Foto

The Western Australian Music Industry nominations for this year have been announced. Living on the other side of the world means that I have kind of lost touch with my local home music scene, but not so much that I didn’t know who the nominees were!

Sugar Army seemed to have scooped most of the nominations, with eight including Most Popular Live Act and Best Rock Act. I’m not too surprised at that because they were already taking off before I left the country.

Karnivool and Birds of Tokyo have received nominations once again and they seem to be a popular favourite most years. Eskimo Joe, John Butler, Sugar Army and Karnivool are all to go head-to-head for the Most Popular Album gong and it should be interesting to see who wins that one.

It’s pretty awesome to celebrate how much talent WA has. Each year there are so many great bands up for nominations and from a state that only has two million people, it shows just how talented out music scene is. To be honest, I miss it, and I live in London!

My new found hobby

April 21, 2010

I have a new hobby – jewellery making! I was at the library the other day when I stumbled across a couple of books on bead making, so I decided to give it a go.

It turns out to be rather addictive. I hunted down some bead shops in London and went and bought quite a few bits and pieces. I spent the rest of the day making them into necklaces, earrings and brooches and now have plans to do some more.

I’ve joked to my partner that I might have to start a company that sells jewellery so I can fund my new habit… because otherwise it might cost me a small fortune!

So, any ideas for a company name? And no, Carmen’s Creations is already taken!

A necklace I made

Bristol

April 19, 2010

We went to Bristol on the weekend and I absolutely loved it. It’s so nice to get outside of London and experience the other towns in the UK. They have such a different vibe to the big smoke. Bristol really reminded me of Fremantle back home. We had perfect weather as well – we got sunburnt! Never have I been excited about sunburn and 18 degree temperatures before… spring has finally sprung – bring on summer!

What are Australia’s obsessions?

April 15, 2010

Last night I went to a skin care product night at the Australia Shop in Covent Garden, London. I was waiting at the end of the night to purchase a skin treatment (you always end up buying more than you planned at those events, don’t you?) when I stumbled across a book.

This book was titled something like ‘The Xenophobes Guide to Australians’ and I had a quick flick through it.  Some things seemed rather obvious, such as the fact that we Australians like to hold cake sales (which was listed under culture, which I thought hilarious) but other things weren’t so.

One section was titled ‘Obsessions’. Underneath this is had ‘Australians are obsessed with car accidents’. At first I was stumped at that. Certainly we’re not ‘obsessed’ with car crashes?

But then it went on to say “The media love to report on car fatalities, especially around holidays such as Easter and Christmas. They love to keep a ‘road toll’ and tally the deaths in the newspaper.” On second thoughts, this was quite true.

At my old job in Australia I worked as a journalist for a community newspaper. I was in charge of the police round and this included going out to all the crash sites and getting the story. Not the most glamorous aspect to my job!

However, it was true – we reported on traffic accidents so much! I couldn’t count how many times we featured a car crash on the front page.

It was all in an attempt to make people more aware and to improve safety on the roads. But does it work? In the UK they hardly ever report car crashes, from what I can tell… yet less people seem to die on the roads. I’m not sure if this is because less people drive in the UK.
For example, in Britain in 2007, there were only 5.5 deaths per 100,000 people, whilst in Australia there were 8. So does the media really help the situation in Australia by reporting on it so extensively?

Perth to scrap its Ferris wheel

April 14, 2010

The Perth Ferris wheel

Oh dear. It has been revealed that the Perth City Council is going to take down the Observation Wheel on the foreshore.

The attraction cost A$10m to build and install and will close on May 2 after the operators and the City of Perth were unable to agree on its future.

Apparently the operators, World Tourist Attractions, want a five-year extension on their lease but the council doesn’t want to give it to them because it has plans to revamp the foreshore, beginning from the end of next year.

People on the website Perth Now have whinged that Perth is already so boring, even without scrapping one of its only draw cards.

Personally, I don’t think people go to Perth for a silly Ferris wheel – that is miniscule in comparison with the London Eye – I think people visit my home town for its beaches.

The problem is that there isn’t much else. Other people on Perth Now were complaining that there is no development – shops and so forth – along the beach that attracts the tourists. But to be honest, that’s one of the reasons why I love Perth… because there’s not much development along the coastline.

I remember going to the Gold Coast a few years back and if you sat on the beach in the afternoon you wouldn’t be able to sunbathe. The massive skyscrapers that line the shore would mean you’d be sitting in shadow come 3pm.

As for tourists – I don’t care if Perth remains a hidden gem. Tourists can be annoying anyway. Trust me, I live in London and I’m over them!

American army kills journos in ‘game’ like fashion

April 12, 2010

I watched some disturbing footage last night of Reuters journalists in Iraq being killed by the American army, along with some innocent bystanders.

What I saw really disgusted me. The Americans gunned these people down – who weren’t carrying any weapons and unable to defend themselves – as if it was a joke and they were playing a video game.

The footage was leaked on the website www.wikileaks.org, a human rights website that publishes information sent to them mainly from whistleblowers.

It’s scary to think that this thing could be happening all the time but we don’t know about it. Not only were two journos killed, but two children were seriously injured and it’s not certain whether they survived.

This isn’t the first instance I’ve hear of where journalists have been killed. In 2003, an Al Jazeera journalist was killed during an airstrike on the organisation’s offices in Iraq. The US denied the TV studios had been deliberately targeted, yet they had made it known beforehand that they were uncomfortable with Al Jazeera’s portrayal of the Iraq war.

In both of these two instances, the American army has not been held accountable. I think that is so wrong and horrible for the families of those killed. You can watch the video below, but I warn you – it’s not for the faint hearted! TV stations refused to show it all…