Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Tinsel Up and Ring Those Bells

Are you one of people who say that no one will take away our festive season and that we have the right to celebrate Christmas as we have in the past. Do you say, 'These people came to our country and accepted our terms and conditions so suck it up! We will continue to say Merry Christmas and if they don’t like it they can go home!' If you are, you are not alone. Australia is a very tolerant, easy going Nation, but to most Christmas is sacred, a tradition that is bound into the very fibre of the Australian psyche. 

I believe that Christmas is a wonderful time and that we should embrace it, celebrate it, and keep our wonderful tradition. We fly around the world at this time of year and we embrace the traditions that have been put into play in other countries owing to their customs and beliefs. 
However, as said previously, I do get tired of the whinging from a small minority that have entered our shores, that Christmas and the birth of Christ somehow offends them.  I get tired and disappointed that a lot of people say, 'I couldn't be bothered this year, its too much effort.I get tired of the oldies who say, 'Leave it to the kids this year.I get tired of the people who say, 'Can't decorate until after the 1st December!' 
Why is it that these people who hang strongly to tradition who make these excuses.  For the old, what problem is it to bring your family in to dress, and undress, your home to show and celebrate your beliefs.  God knows, your kids may grab the spirit and elevate it to a level that you may not have even contemplated.  To those who say they couldn’t be bothered with opening boxes and stringing a few baubles around because your too busy, I ask you, 'Are you the ones who want  Christmas to be celebrated in the way tradition has always been?'  To those who say, 'Not until after December 1', where did this tradition start?  Or in fact, have you already bowed to another countries calendar and beliefs by waiting for ‘Thanksgiving’ to pass.  Hello!!! We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in this country. 
There is no hard and fast rule in our country.  We celebrate Christmas full stop.  Whether we start on the 1st of November or the 24th of December, just do it.  Be unified in the way that we celebrate the very essence that our country has been built on.  Just enjoy, display, and stand proud that we can do it.  Don’t succumb to peer pressure and say, 'Hum bug, we didn't need it anyway!' and then in years to come say, 'Give me the good old days.
Yes, I am weird, granted, but I start my decorations whenever I start to feel a foreboding presence of good will to man and see every star twinkle as if Jesus may be born tomorrow. Yes I do believe, but I believe above all whether you believe in Christ’s story or not, this is the season of love and harmony.  This is the season to give.  This is the season to shine our light of our beliefs and traditions.  I dress my house to the best of my ability with a limited budget.  Each year I add to my collection.  Each year I add to the memories of old, remembering those that have been here and now gone that I want to celebrate with. That is indeed what God is all about, love, friendship and caring for each other. 
Don’t be complacent with what is happening.  It was not that long ago that these holidays were that, holidays.  Holidays in which the world stopped, while we enjoyed family and friends.  Sneakily however, those holidays have disappeared and we have Christmas Day. Then back to it on Boxing Day.  Family can’t just pop in when the expectation is for them to be there for work on the Boxing Day sales. Or, that people are so disorganised that they could not stock an extra bottle of milk allowing Coles and Woolies to seize the opportunity to open to cut your holiday short even further.  Not so far back, Easter ‘the Holiest of Holy’ was a 4 day break to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.  Now, we tend to have a day on the Friday to think about his death, by Saturday we are busy kicking sand in his grave as we are racing to get to the shopping mall. 
I ask you, when are we going to rise and be counted for our beliefs.  When are we going to shine, and show the world, that we too have tradition and we are not afraid to show it.  (To hell with what others think)  When are we going to lobby our politicians and express that we want Christmas Carols in schools, and that we need to say Merry Christmas to whoever we please. 
To those who make the excuses for not standing to be counted in our celebration, I ask you, will you not be the first to say, ‘What happened?’ when it is all gone. 
We at Winc have prided ourselves on the Christmas spirit.  We have been and still are proud to bring love and happiness to our world through our wraps.  These wraps are not just pieces of fabric to be discarded after one use but fabrics of our being which when carefully handled, will herald another Christmas, New Year, birthday, wedding and other celebrations that will build traditions that over the years. Celebrations that will build a country of love peace and harmony for our future.
So join with me and shine your Christmas light and let the detractors, the procrastinators wonder how Christmas is still here when they have not lifted a finger to secure it in our calendars.  Remember is easy to whine about something but a lot harder to stand for the cause. 
So come on, string up some tinsel, put a bit of glitter in everyone's life, and come on, ring those bells!!!

Seasons Greetings.


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Black Friday in the City of Love

As we in Australia open our televisions, our computers, our radios in the early hours of our Saturday, we view the atrocities that are happening to our fellow man in this City of Love. 

We watch with disbelief that any human being could unleash their evil on innocent victims.  Let's not say these atrocities are done by true Muslims but are done by  radicals who have disobeyed their God, their Allah. The true Muslim God is forgiving, a merciful and loving God.  These radicals take the world in their hands and do not listen to their God but are brainwashed by evil men who are not Angels sent by Allah but men working hand in hand with the Devil. 

As we sit and watch the reports of this night your mind wanders as to how beautiful this city is, or was. Your mind wanders those streets that you have wandered many times before (we were walking these streets at the same time last year) and never once do you believe that this could happen to you. Yes, we were there when the Charlie Hebdo atrocity  was launched. In spite of the incessant Dee Dah of the police cars, the increased presence of armed soldiers on the streets, you think this terrorism attack will not affect normal travellers and citizens. Yes, it was a disgusting, cowardly act but it appears it was not directed at the ‘everyday man’ and we did not have this sense of fear, as now. 


Now we know that no single person is safe from these lunatics. They relish a world in fear.  Security is increased, and no person is free to live life  without surveillance  cameras, X-rays, scanning and the like.  We are no longer free citizens of the world but, lab rats with people following our every move to keep us safe from these random attacks.

To the victims of these killings our  hearts, our tears our emotions and love go out to you and your families. To the survivors our blessings and love also.

To the heroes, the rescuers, the police, the military, the hospitals we thank, and bless you, too.  These attacks have brought so many that we must thank to the fore. Not only those that we see on our screens but, many service providers that we often do not think of.  Having said that I will list a few that I can think of:  the cleaners in the hospitals, the ambulance drivers, the street cleaners, the metro staff, the taxi drivers, the air traffic controllers, border security, eurostar, the telephonists, the embassies, the counsellors, traffic controllers, airport staff, politicians, builders who repair the damage, the shop keepers, news broadcasters and journalists, to name a few.  Our thanks goes out to you for helping life go on with as little disruption as possible. Without you, the love would no longer be in Paris. 

As a city grieves let us move forward believe in humanity and love, report anything untoward and care for our fellowman as if there is no tomorrow. Show no fear, even though your heart may be quaking! Remain defiant and vigilant and do not succumb to the fear these scum wish to inflict.

We are in this together. We pray that these radicals may be stamped out and that we all believe, that no matter which God we follow, each God has the same edict and that is love.

God bless Paris, God bless France and God bless a united world with peace.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Give Smokers a Break!

Tonite on the news we had our State Health Minister sanctimoniously announcing stricter smoking regulations in Queensland and the possible introduction of a licence being required for the vendor selling cigarettes. I assume a licence would also come with a hefty fee (how suspicious of me) which would duly be passed onto those addicted to nicotine. All this is done under the guise of the burden of health costs of those unfortunate enough to be smokers. Now, I am not a smoker – I have never even tried smoking. My Dad was an 80 cigarette a day man, and fortunately I have never felt the need to smoke.


I must admit I think it is the very best thing they have ever done to ban smoking in enclosed public premises and I think I would be pretty safe in saying that most smokers agree with me. However, I cannot believe that smokers are now almost completely ostracized from society as there are fewer and fewer places where they can top up their nicotine level legally. Really, I think that smokers are a pretty harmless bunch and nicotine as a drug, although very addictive, is pretty innocuous. You do not see cigarette smokers rushing off in a drug induced psychosis doing terrible things to people and property. Every day, we see on the news increasing incidences of domestic violence, random violent attacks on people and property due to the perpetrators being ‘high’ on ice. Our emergency services people are at very real risk as these people (though I do not know if they qualify as people any more) display super aggressive behaviour with super human power. I would love to see them pull out a tazar and zap the crap out of them. They deserve nothing less.  And yet, we are seeing cigarette smokers increasingly being treated like criminals depending upon where they choose to light up. Does the same thing happen to Ice users? I have seen some pretty spaced out individual, with all the hallmarks of an Ice addict, and all that seems to happen is everyone gives them a wide berth!

Are any of these people charged? If not, why not. I thought taking drugs was illegal. I thought assaulting people and destroying people was illegal. I genuinely do not know if they are charged and I certainly hope they are. However, instead of cluttering up our jails, our psychiatric hospitals or our emergency departments with these scourge on society, how about we drop them off on a desert island for a couple of months and let them fend for themselves. They will either kill themselves, kill each other, or get clean and learn some resilience at no cost to the tax payer. I have a feeling that all that happens is that they are fixed up and sent on their way. No fine, no nothing! But you light up in the wrong place and the happy police will be there in a flash with their miserable little fine book out and ready.

One of the people I know has a daughter who is a heroin addict. She is a blight on society and my friend often tells me not to donate to the Salvos as they feed these addicts which allows them to spend every cent of the social security on drugs. This is as well as all that they steal to feed their habit. When was the last time you saw a cigarette smoker doing break and enter to buy a packet of ciggies. Though, this may begin to be more common as the price continues to rise. Drug users who inject are also at very real risk of Hep B and C and HIV. I have yet to see one single case of cigarette transmitted HIV or Hepatitis B or C!

When you fly, no-one mentions the dreaded ‘F’ word. That is ‘F’ for fat! How politically incorrect is it to complain about the obese requiring two seats and only paying for one resulting in them squeezing themselves into their space and yours. Oh sorry, they all suffer from a medical condition that makes them fat. Yes they do, it is called eating too much. I am of an age where I can remember the time when people actually smoked on planes. Shock, horror, the plane never fell out of the sky either!!! I do not know of a single aircraft that has crashed due to someone smoking, yet aircraft are in very real danger of being overloaded due to obese passengers. The finding of one aircraft crash in the Mississippi was the plane was unable to successfully take off due to overloading because the passengers were too heavy. 

All this persecution of cigarette smokers is apparently due to the cost on the health care system. What about all the obese people and the problems they cause for the health system? I am sure the health system is buckling under the weight (excuse the pun) of the obese in our society. There are complications from operations, diabetes, pregnancy complications, joint problems and the list goes on. So if we are going to tax smokers out of existence because they are costly patients, how about we start taxing fat people for the same reason. It has got to the point where we actively discriminate against smokers. I do not know of another group of people who are actively legislated against! Yes, I think everyone agrees that smoking in confined spaces is a no no! However, smokers should be allowed to light up outdoors wherever they are. Most are very conscious of how their habit affects others and are fairly considerate. How would anyone else like being told where they can go, what they can do, and where they can do it!

With all the hoopla surrounding smokers and the evils of their habit I find it increasingly interesting that government see smokers as an easy cash cow for their coffers. On the pretext of pricing cigarettes beyond the budget of most, the government raises huge amounts of revenue from this tax. How much of this tax actually goes back into programs that help the addicted give up smoking. None I bet! So the sanctimonious politicians will continue to take the God approach and ban smoking just about everywhere, even in prisons. And yet they turn a blind eye to drug use and steroid use in society and prisons. Smoking keeps everyone more placid so it makes sense to ban it and condone the use of steroids. NOT! 

We are the nanny state! We no longer take responsibility for ourselves and have squandered all our freedoms to the state. Politicians love this, as it gives them a feeling of power and doing something, and we are stupid enough to allow it. It is time that we all took responsibility for ourselves. If we smoke, we pay for our healthcare (I know many who do) so if we need medical attention the government does not pick up the tab. If we make choices that mean affect us adversely, then the responsibility is ours  and ours alone, be it drug taking, be it overeating, be it riding a bike without a helmet. Get the government out of our lives and for goodness sake – give the smokers a break!

Sunday, 27 September 2015


The festive season is almost upon us and when you visit the shops they are beginning to fill with baubles, trees, gift ware and the likes. Christmas is a time of family, sharing, giving and joyous festivities.  We fill under the tree with gifts and wares, decorate our houses and streets, and gather with family and friends. Though Christmas time is a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Christ, in the western world Christmas has become predominantly for children, wrapped up in the Santa mythology of gift giving. Christmas is a time of family and in as such, quite a difficult time for many. The brave face of tolerating relatives you cannot stand, or the absolute exclusion from family festivities mean the Christmas is quite a difficult time for many. 

A couple of years ago, when visiting my friend, we ran into an acquaintance of his and he inquired as to how her Christmas had been. Looking slightly embarrassed she said she had had an awesome Christmas where she purchased her gifts and placed them under the tree, and on Christmas morning had opened them all herself. Her Christmas shopping was for herself as she came from a fractured family. I told her that I admired her greatly because instead of wallowing in self-pity she took what could have been a very lonely time and turned it into a little celebration for herself. I also explained to her that she must never be embarrassed to admit that her family was dysfunctional, as I think every family is dysfunctional to a degree. 

We all just present this rosy facade to the world where as in reality, petty jealousy, mental illness, sexuality, substance abuse, gambling and downright nastiness tears families apart.  Family fractures know not the boundaries of money, as the wealthy often have more problems than the poor. The only difference being that the money is there to preserve the fa├žade of unity and the pretence of dignity and decorum. The money also means there is more opportunity to actively conspire and use as leverage to keep everyone exactly in the place they want them. After all there is always the threat of changing the will. When there is wealth in a family it all seems to be about getting more wealth, who is in charge of the wealth, and who uses the wealth to actually bring down other members of the family. I personally do not understand as there is often more money than anyone would see in their lifetime so why actively conspire to make sure others miss out. 

Then at Christmas time, they trim their beautifully prepared tree, fill the table with glorious food and invite ‘the family’ to attend. Personally I would rather poke myself in the eye with a pencil. I think ‘Keep your money!’ But also think ‘Leave me alone to lead the life I choose!’  Let’s not keep up the public pretence of the happy family whilst all the time stabbing certain members in the back. Money makes strange bedfellows as those who think that it is the universal panacea put themselves at the mercy of the unscrupulous, and downright illegal, activities of family members. In doing so, they prove that they themselves are no better than the matriarch or patriarch who’s devious and questionable dealings keep the family members exactly where they want them. Oh, and let’s not forget, to the public this family is worthy of sainthood. 

Just because a family is wealthy it does not mean they do not have trouble with drug abuse. It does not mean that the poor have a mortgage on gambling addiction. It does not mean they are angels when it comes to domestic violence and it sure as hell does not mean they have happy children. It simply means that they are better placed to hide it, they are able to buy their way out of trouble, put undue influence on those in high places to have charges dropped and sweep the whole lot under the carpet.


There are many wealthy families worldwide that are shattered beyond repair. We look at their public persona in wonder and envy and think ‘If only!’  Do not envy them! They may have material possessions beyond compare but how many of their children crave the touch of a simple Mum that loves her children beyond all else. A few years ago the results of a survey of Sydney teenagers surprised everyone. It this materialistic world when they were asked what they would like above all else, they chose ‘To spend more time with their mother.’ So while these wealthy children appear to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and have a perfectly trimmed tree with designer gifts underneath, given the choice they would probably prefer time with their Mum, to play games with her, to be read to and just truly be cared for, not simply provided for!

They say that ‘Money is the root of all evil’ and in my dealings with a particular group of people I can say for sure that this statement is almost 100% correct, especially when it comes to their own. To the world, this benevolent group is generous beyond belief but behind closed doors the malevolence and the wheeling and dealing would take your breath away. No-one is safe, and while those in favour now may rest on their laurels and smile at the demise of others they should forever be on ‘high alert’ because they could well be next.  I do not pretend to understand how others gain glory and happiness from the misery of others. I simply pray that Karma will one day come into play and all of those within this group that have made their way, justifying their disgusting treatment of others for the glory of money find themselves on the receiving end. We will see how well they survive then in the face of adversity – not too well I hope!

With the fracturing of poor families, once you decide to get on with your own life, they basically leave you alone to do your own thing and let you lead your life the way you choose. There is no threat to hang over your head. You could say to me that at least money can make a miserable existence a whole lot more comfortable. However, ultimate money often means ultimate power, and ultimate power gives ultimate corruption. So, maybe to be poor and to be allowed to be master of your own destiny, without the fear of ultimate corruption hanging over your head is a much better alternative. 

So next time you feel a little embarrassed that you do not talk to your sister any more, or that you are estranged from your parents, do not think you are alone. Make your way with those who truly want to be your family; those who do not judge you by your wealth meter; those who do not judge you on your sexuality; those who do not judge you on how articulate you happen to be. These friends who love you for just you, are now your family! The old saying ‘You can choose your friends, but your family is just thrown at you’ has never been truer. Grasp this and run your own race. This Christmas when you are included or not included in the family trauma called Christmas lunch, choose instead to celebrate with your ‘real’ family – your friends!