Kafkaworld's Blog

February 25, 2011

On Living in Woorim

I live on the ocean-side suburb of Woorim on Bribie Island.  Between the house and the beach, there is a road, and then a good sized park full of banksias, ironbarks, wattles and Moreton Bay Ash trees, among many others.

This is the view.

Looking left

Looking right

In 1995, when I first moved to Bribie, you could walk through the park, across a tiny bridge under which flowed a small creek, then up over a large dune and down onto the beach.  As the years have passed, the Caboolture Shire Council, now the Moreton Bay Council, took the view that Woorim’s natural beauty was not attracting enough tourism, and they have been fiddling with the suburb ever since, largely to its detriment.  We now have severely tidy and landscaped parks, two playgrounds and much more litter.  Due to sand dredging at the main swimming beach, our creek and the bridge have been swept away by severe erosion of the dunes which had been previously stood for decades.

Over the past few months, council workers, armed with chainsaws and giant mulching machinery, have visited at regular intervals to tidy up and/or remove trees from our park.  I’m not a very pro-active person, but when they turned up yesterday morning and three more trees disappeared, anger overcame inertia and I fired off a short, sharp riposte to our local councillor, Gary Parsons.

 

 

Dear Gary,

Up until now, I have tried to be philosophical about the council vandalism which is being imposed on our previously peaceful and relatively wildlife friendly suburb.  I’ve watched numerous native trees being removed and mulched (another 3 have gone today from right in front of my house),   the sand dredging debacle which has caused the dreadful erosion and loss of dunes and the so called ‘management’ of the remaining dunes which seems to involve ever more de-vegetation.

Meanwhile, the creek which used to run between the dunes, a haven for native frogs and fish, has been washed away.  The precious few metres remaining continue to be ignored and degraded by weeds and litter.  It seems that if it can’t be fixed by a chainsaw, Council can’t fix it.

Over the past few years, in the small area where I walk daily and do your job for you by picking up endless rubbish, we have lost frogs, fish, pardalotes and wrens from the beachfront, because their habitats have been destroyed.  Instead there is  a sort of Disney landscaping which is very neat, tidy and won’t unsettle the tourists.  It’s looking more and more as though Council is more concerned with the interests of tourism rather than the rate payers and others who actually live here.

It gives me no pleasure to write letters of complaint, but Council’s actions are increasingly forcing many of us to the conclusion that you have lost interest in we locals, and in the environment we love.  If we wanted ricketty tinky cutesiness and mindless glossy tack, we would have moved to Noosa or the Gold Coast.  I love Bribie Island, and Woorim in particular.  Please don’t turn it into a soulless lifeless theme park.

***********

A little over the top perhaps?  Maybe, but I really feel strongly about this.  I have yet to receive a reply and don’t really expect one, not being very important as far the the Council is concerned,  but it certainly felt good to let off some steam.

 


 

 


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February 16, 2011

On Good Days

Having started the week splendidly, the good times have continued.  I can’t believe it.

Wedding Shoes

I ordered these a few weeks ago from brandsexclusive. I’d been searching around Brisbane in vain to find something casual but not sloppy, small heels but easy to walk in and not fiendishly expensive.  Originally I wanted Festive Pink, but as the dress, bolero and nose are already Very Pink, I thought pink shoes could be overdoing the whole fluffy cupid ambience.

Having paid online, I naturally assumed I’d been the victim of a scam and I would see neither money nor shoes again.  But here they are.

My next good moment was the arrival of another online purchase, which took even longer to arrive.  Marieke Hardy, on the final First Tuesday Bookclub, had suggested a subscription to McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern would be an appropriate present for people with an interest in new/quirky/odd bits and pieces of writing.  Fearing none of my nearest and dearest cared about what Ms Hardy thought, I was forced to give it to myself.  That was last year and, again, I had given up hope.  Yesterday this arrived.

"A Headful of New and Unseen Work"

And it is exactly what it says it is.  Honestly, it’s like having a party in a box, unique, diverting and thought provoking.  This is Issue 36 and I can’t wait for number 37.

Here is the description of the contents of The Box.

“I’d love nothing more than a chance to crack your forehead open along a tidy seam and give the contents of your mind a nice gore-free sift.  This McSweeney’s issue was conceived as an approximation of what that experience might feel like for the sifter (without, admittedly, any regard at all for the feelings or rights of our mustachioed siftee).  What would your head look like inside?  Mine, I think, would look like a disorganized yellow filing cabinet”. I stopped reading there to ponder about the inside of my head, scared myself shitless and went straight to bed.  I suggest you don’t worry about the inside of your head.  Life is difficult enough.

Helpful advice to improve the sifting experience

I’ve read 3 of the items so far and have been hugely entertained.

Okay – so far, too much consumerism.  The next is more an experience.  Madam Butterfly is the first work of the Australian Ballet this year.   There are 13 performances with almost as many casts.  The divine Ms Eastoe is doing 3 performances.  We are going once.  WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!  Yes indeedy, there has been a happy confluence of karma and we are all going on March 5.  I can hardly believe my luck.  The boy couldn’t care less.  He’ll sleep/snore through Act 1 as usual, then come to life in time for *spoiler alert* the heroine’s ritual suicide at the end when he will burst into tears and be inconsolable until I take him down the road for dinner.  I swear, one night he won’t be able to restrain himself from leaping on stage to rescue the chicky in distress, and we’ll all be arrested.  I’m looking forward to that.

And for my final submission ladies and gentlemen, I bring you news of Radiohead’s forthcoming album.  If you go here, and look under Thank you for waiting, you will discover ‘King of Limbs’ and how to pre-order it if you are so inclined.  Thank you for waiting indeed.  Some of us had given up hope, life had lost its meaning, Thom has DESERTED me, you know how I get.

So, considering all that, I just may be in a slightly better mood next time you have to have dealings with me.  Live in hope, that’s all you can do.

February 14, 2011

On Valentine’s Day

Filed under: life — kafkaworld @ 4:59 am

I couldn’t agree with you more.  It’s a Capitalist Plot: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, the whole damn lot should all be banned.  Let’s keep the world drab, grey and uneventful as it was always meant to be.  Let’s just have one day following another, plodding endlessly, until finally, we step off the edge and it’s all over.

I admit I used to be like you, a staunch member of the fun police, determined not to become a tool of capitalism.  Now I’m old and I just don’t give a damn,  so a few days ago, I arranged for my dear boy to be sent a rose and half a dozen heart shaped chocolates …  to his workplace.  Two reasons.

1.  He’s had a hellish week being the only doctor working in a 5 doctor practice.  Maximum stress and pressure not only trying to see everyone who needed him, but giving them the care and attention they deserved.  He could do with a pleasant surprise.

2.  I thought it might cause some trouble and make him the subject of local gossip.  Who exactly is this person, with very bad taste in flowers, who is stalking the doctor.  Does his poor wife know etc etc.  I’m hoping the rumours will get back to me later this week.

So, there we are.  I’ve started the week with a rosy pink day.  The greyness will be back soon enough.  Don’t judge me.

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