The Kindness Of Strangers

waterToday, was probably one of the worst days of my life…..and the best. Today, we ran out of water, unexpectedly and if you have lived on a farm you will know that it’s the worst thing that can happen…you can’t shower or do the washing or even brush your teeth. No water means NO WATER

For those who don’t know a couple of years ago I was in an accident that winded up with me being disabled and I went from a wonderful well paying job to living on the disability pension. What savings we had pretty much went to living and whilst times have been hard, we’ve survived.

I thought I had pretty much everything under control, food in the freezer, rent paid, electricity paid….sure I only had $50 in my pocket but that was ok until next week…..until we ran out of water. I called our local council to ask for help but as we aren’t really a “farm” (you have to have an income over $25,000 which we never have) we were not entitled to drought assistance.  North East Water only care if you are on their mains and we are on tank water,  Centrelink will help pay an electricity bill but not give you cash for water. I had no idea where else to turn and nothing but air coming out of the tap.

I am a strong, proud, independent woman, despite my disability I rarely ask for help….but sometimes you have to be strong enough to show a weakness and ask for help and believe me it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

So, I sent a tweet about my distress and thankfully someone was there. @JennaPrice, was the first to come to my rescue. She called and asked what I needed….one thing I will say about Jenna is she sure knows how to rally the troops.

So http://www.gofundme.com/waterfund was created and immediately complete strangers were sending through donations to help me!

People who I’d never met and probably never will…people who understood what it was like to be on a farm without water, people who, from the goodness of their hearts, gave what they could to this strange quirky lady they knew from twitter.

In less than 12 hours I had the funds to fill one of my tanks (about a month’s worth of water) Phew!!…now I can plan and budget for the next lot so it won’t happen again.

Thank you Jenna for the rally calls, thank you to those who donated, retweeted and commiserated with me. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you…now please excuse me while I have a good cry of joy and relief…….then have a shower

watertruck

The Water Man Cometh!

Ashamed To Be Disabled or Just Shamed

IDNot too long ago I had the pleasure of  participating in a car club run for the VW Club of Wagga.  Hubby and I woke early to make it in time to meet up with the Club and then drive onto the Air Museum in Temora.

It was a great day until we decided to go to the local RSL for lunch.  You see, I’m disabled.   Generally I walk now with a zimmer frame or on a walking stick if I don’t have to stand too long and on the rare occassion I use my mobility scooter to get around.   This day I was using my zimmer frame .

We went into the bar area to sign in.  At this point I was asked for ID so I pulled out my Pensioner card as issued by the Australian Government which included my full name and address but this wasn’t good enough.   The lady wanted a photo ID like a drivers’ license….umm I’m disabled….I can’t drive so no photo ID there.   I then rifled through my handbag and found my passport…..this Photo ID wasn’t acceptable as it was expired…..despite the fact I haven’t changed since the photo was taken (right down to the same hairstyle) and the photo was to verify I looked like me right?  So wouldn’t the point of showing the passport regardless of it’s expiry date still prove that I was …well…me?

After stating “Well that’s all I have”  the lady quite nicely told me that whilst she would get into trouble and the police were “cracking down on us” about photo ID’s I was allow to enter…..which was great because the other 20 people I was with were all behind me waiting for me to sign in so they could too.

I was embarrassed and annoyed and felt I didn’t “meet” the requirements to get into clubs anymore.  So, when I got home I decide to research the active law and guidelines for NSW Registered Clubs.  I started here  and found there are two requirements to enter as an Adult Temporary member

1.  I have to be over 18 years of age (I’d like to think these days I’d pass for 40 but I unfortunately do look older than 18)

2.  I have to live more than 5kms from the location of the Club.

Nowhere does it state that Photo ID is a requirement.   Each club has it’s own “requirements” but legally you do not HAVE to produce photo ID when entering a club premises.   Some also have a greater distance requirement which I believe encourages people in the area to pay a regular membership fee each year.

I then rang the Local Police as she stated “they were cracking down”  so I asked them what this crackdown was she was speaking of?   Apparently it was directed to correct entries being made by people entering club premises eg.  correct address information and that it’s been signed.   Again, I was advise that no photo ID was required providing I met items 1 & 2 above and have filled out a correct entry form.

Now to get around this I can go and get a Photo ID card.  For that I need a valid passport or Drivers’ license and a medicare card….now just to be sure you were paying attention…..I don’t have a drivers’ license because I can’t freaking drive!!! I’m disabled!!!   Rub it in why don’t ya!  I’ve lost my independence and it’s good of you to remind me of it every time I need to prove who I am!  Also I’m a pensioner (gawd that makes me feel old) and I can’t afford the nearly $400 it will cost me to get a passport I am not going to use as I don’t intend on leaving the country again….ever.

So I’m going to have that argument every time I enter a Club where they want photo ID……and while I am on the topic what happens to those images that are scanned every time someone enters a club?  Why do we like sheep produce this information without ever checking what happens with the information we give them?

In the mean time, I will have to keep explaining I have a disability and explain why I don’t have photo ID and hope then let me in….Oh and if you are in the queue behind me….Sorry for the delay.

What Will It Take?

Will Banning Guns Work?

Will Banning Guns Work?

Today when word got out there had been a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School parents rushed to the school to get their children….of these parents, twenty were taken into a separate room and told their child had been killed.  Their child would have been aged between 5 and 10 years old.   Just think about that for a moment…five….year…olds!

Today, Adam Lanza made a decision to kill.  He forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School where he killed 20 children and 7 adults.

In total at the time of writing this, 28 people have died with others seriously injured.  Would stricter gun laws have stopped this from happening?   In any society if someone WANTS to get a gun then they will.  Does the easy access to these weapons make these occurrences far too easy? Why are semi/fully automatic weapons even allowed?

It should be remembered that the USA is not alone  in this.  Australian Martin Bryant‘s rampage stole the lives of 35 people.  Anders Breivik killed 75 people in Norway.

The saying goes….guns don’t kill people…..people kill people. Do gun laws only keep people who want them for recreation or protection from getting them.?….but what if those people couldn’t have such ready access to the weapons they killed with?

To the families including those of Adam Lanza I offer you small comfort and condolences as nothing can be said or done right now to ease your pain.  I hope that some changes will come of this….for the sake of the children.

What If?

what-ifRecently a local girl known to me was killed in a single car crash.   The cause of the crash was texting whilst driving.  Personally, I don’t own a mobile phone so that’s one thing I am not guilty of but does this mean we should ban phones from all cars? or indeed ban them entirely?

You see,  blame is a very easy thing to do as long as you are laying it and not expected to take it.

Mel Greig and Michael Christian managed to do something previously unheard of…..they managed to call a hospital and trick staff into giving out information on Princess Katherine’s medical condition.  Did they think it through? Probably not.  Did the station executives and lawyers see this a coupe sure to get ratings?  Of course they did.

You see, the entire focus of the prank was the Princess.  Not the nursing staff.

When Jacintha Saladanha committed suicide over the weekend it was a terrible tragic thing but no one could have known this would be the outcome of this prank so I don’t believe any blame should be given to the radio show hosts or indeed that station.

For example, if  a person defaults on their mortgage then eventually the mortgage holder will come and seize the property  Under certain circumstances this may be the final straw and the mortgage holder commits suicide.   Is this the fault of the bank?

Was it the fault of phone company who created the phone that the young girl I mentioned earlier? If she didn’t have a phone she would still be alive.

What if …….the world is full of them……What if the station had successfully obtained permission, what if Prince Katherine didn’t have extreme morning sickness, what if someone other than Jacintha had answered the phone.

But it didn’t. There are no what if’s  in this case….all these things happened.

As another example, Kyle Sandilands whilst on air called a woman a “fat slag”  What if this was HER final straw and she had taken her life?  Compare this to the actions and reactions of Greig and Christian.  I am not making them the victims.  Clearly we ALL need to stop playing the blame game in this tragic event. Chances are they won’t work in their chosen profession again.   Punishing them will achieve nothing just be thankful it’s not you how will have to live with it for the rest of your life.

When It All Goes Wrong….Horribly

Princess Katherine leaving the hospital with Prince William

Princess Katherine leaving the hospital with Prince William

Most of us were overjoyed to hear of the pregnancy of Princess Katherine and Prince William.   The news itself was released earlier than the couple initially wanted after Kate’s admission into London’s exclusive King Edward VII Hospital for extreme morning sickness. The couple realised it would only be a matter of time before this information was leaked to the media.

This situation set up a perfect storm and during the whirlwind of media frenzy a young woman died.

I am sure that you have often been driving in your car listening to the radio and heard a prank call the DJ’s have played on an unsuspecting victim.  In the past I’ve heard of the husband who requested flowers be sent to his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day (unfortunately his wife was listening in as part of the prank) or the young woman in tears because she thought they had failed the immigration test and they were going to be deported….all this pales in comparison to the most recent prank to go horribly wrong.

Greig and Christan

Greig and Christan

On Monday, 2Day FM jocks Mel Greig and Michael Christian thought they would give the hospital a call and pretend to be the Queen and ask how Kate was doing.  It was 5:30am in the morning and only nursing staff were on to answer the phone.  That fateful day Jacintha Saldanha answered and was advise it was the Queen checking up on her grand-daughter.  Jacintha put the call through to the ward where the nurse on duty advised “the Queen” at length of Princess Kate’s condition.

It was seen as a cheeky prank…..Prince Charles himself joked later that day “How do you know I’m not a radio station” when asked Kate’s condition.  Unfortunately, no one thought of the impact this would have on the staff who were duped by the pranksters.

Jacintha was found dead today in an apparent suicide just a few blocks away from where she put the fateful call through to Kate’s ward.  In the aftermath the radio jocks have removed themselves from the air, the station has posted a heartfelt apology to her husband and two children, the Palace and Hospital stated they were deeply shocked and people are outraged.

But really, who could have predicted this would happen?  Did the DJ’s go too far or was it just a prank gone horribly wrong?  Regardless of your thoughts I am certain we will be hearing a lot more of this situation in the coming days. My sincere condolences go out to those affected the death of this beautiful angel of mercy.

Jacintha Saldanha committed suicide over a prank gone wrong

Jacintha Saldanha committed suicide over a prank gone wrong

A Matter of Pride

Occasionally we have to make tough decisions…..for me recently it was ending a business relationship I have been involved with for over 9 years.

One of the reasons for this was because I felt I had become isolated from the direction the company was taking.  In previous years I was always involved in all aspects of the company including writing promotional material and copy for their website.   I began to feel like the ugly sister at the Cinderella ball.

Have you ever been in a position where you had to make a tough decision?  It may be to end a relationship or leave a long term job on a chance for something better.   How did it work out for you?

I am a believer of one thing….if we were meant to look back we would have eyes in the back of our head so I will continue to look forward to what the future holds.

Perhaps it was pride as one major change was something I could not accept.  It meant a loss of income I in all honesty can’t really afford….but I’ve got my pride…..so excuse me while I go fall on my sword…….proudly 🙂

fall-on-your-sword

 

 

Binder Woman To The Rescue!

Totally Bound Women!

Poor Mitt Romney….it seems every time he opens his mouth its to change feet.   Who can forget classics like suggesting aircraft come with opening windows so in the event of a crash people can escape through them….unless you are fat….because there is NO WAY you are gonna get through that porthole baby!

And he gets an honourable mention when asked to comment on the plight of the very poor.  He said there was no need to worry because there is a safety net for those people.  PHEW!  Thank goodness for that Mitt!   See in his eyes what we really have to worry about  is the very rich because they are earning all that money every day…without a net!

His latest and perhaps most funny gaffe was when commenting at a President debate on Oct. 16, 2012  where he said “”I went to a number of women’s groups and said ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”   I’m pretty sure he actually meant “I went to a number of organisations that support women and asked them to send me their best and finest and I got so many names because women are FABULOUS!   But Binders full of women?  Really Mitt?

This left me wondering what other groups he could approach and what he would receive back.

Perhaps a trolley cart full of disabled people or a rigid folder of men or maybe we could even get a storage organiser of children?  I think all Mitt really needs is a label maker….or maybe some duct tape

Meanwhile I’m off the save the planet……..BinderWoman to the rescue!!!!!!