Thursday, July 11, 2019

My own history

In the last two decades I have spent so much time on my computer – writing, creating websites, adding to my blogs, saving my photos. I started, recently, writing “My History”, from the date I was born (and even a bit before that, because my older family certainly count!).

I was born in 1956. We lived in a house that my dad had designed and built for us. I learned to ride a bike. I rode horses. We went on holidays in Kawhia and Mt Maunganui. He built a fourth bedroom on when the youngest was born. We moved into a larger home that he built for us, for reasons our old property was sold by the council when they built a new road. Dad then started to build wedding gifts for three sisters – the other sister and our brother got the cost of that in their wills when dad died. (This pic is my marriage present.)

I started looking at photos from 1956 right up to now, and started adding some of them into “My History” (that’ll have a better name when I have written much more) – my parents’ families before I was born; me as a kid; where I went when I left home; the Drury Lane theatre I was involved with for 18 years; the NZ Seniors Swimmers which I joined with and went to Auckland and Napier for competitions; what I used to do and do now; the motorbikes I have owned; the Ulysses group in Hamilton and, when I moved to Brisbane, the one in Brisbane – Mt Lindsay; the shows I went to see; where I used to work; where I used to live... So much stuff!

I wondered how many other people do as much stuff as I have done – and why do they do that? What was their education? Are they degree-educated? Graduate Diploma educated? PhD? When did they do their university study, if they did? I left school to work before I started University of Waikato – twice. It didn’t mean anything to me way back then, but there were some issues – not started by Waikato – which involved day cares which Waikato also had. Six years ago, before my surgery and stroke, I got my Graduate Diploma of OHS. I felt I’d made my name! These days I am doing a BA through OUA and Griffith – my recovery for my stroke. I was so damned old when that happened, but I know I can do the BA.

I rode so much for the Mt Lindesay Ulysses group when I moved to Brisbane – we went north, south, west... all over! I used to ride a Yamaha 800 Diversion partly with my ex, but then I wanted my own. So I bought a Yamaha 700 Virago, then a Suzuki 800 Marauder, and then a Yamaha 1100 V-Star – which I loved so much and still would own another of those! After my stroke I thought I’d never ride again, but a friend in Redcliffe took me as a pillion out to her sons home where he loaned me his Indian! I was in heaven as I rode that!!

My present car I bought 8 years ago – it was 5 years old then, a 2006 PT Cruiser which I have held onto and love it! It has a present problem with a noise in the front, but I will get that fixed when I can afford to from my DSP. I had that car when my dogs and I moved out from the home I had shared with my ex, and we moved into a lovely little property in Inala. That community pleased me, and I was a short walk away from the main shopping centre so went there often. So many people I met there, so many different cultures. That suburb may have been one of the best I have been in.

My only problem now is that I can’t work any more because of the aphasia I suffer from my stroke. Oh, I had tried to, with assistance from CPL in Beenleigh, but I only worked 10 hours a week because I got so fatigued, and eventually, after 10 months I was made redundant. Yes, that had already happened to me three times in New Zealand.

And yet I am now 63 years old, I should still be working up to retirement but I am now studying, not reading as I used to before my stroke, will not ride a motorbike again unless I could afford to, and I feel okay, isolated in my duplex in Bellbird Park. Perhaps all people like you should read this and wonder what they do... is it something like I’ve done for the last 63 years?

I feel pretty damned good about my life. Even though it could be better.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The best place to live is...

With the climate change working globally, taking this world underwater or almost dead, where can we live – or where can’t we? I did some research to find out what place won’t be underwater – and where that would be the best place or the worst place to live in the next decade.

On 20 April 2018 Conde Nast Traveler listed those places already affected by climate change, including:
  • The Great Barrier reef, Australia, which scientists have said has seen “coral mortality rates in the range of 50 percent, meaning half the living corals have died from bleaching.” 
  • Venice, Italy, where “Lorenzo Quinn created a massive sculpture of hands reaching out of the Grand Canal in an effort to draw attention to the sinking city." 
  • Glacier National Park, Montana, USA, where “since 1966, a warming climate has significantly reduced the size of 39 different glaciers in the park—the worst of which have seen reductions up to 85 percent.” 
  • Middle East’s the Dead Sea which is “shrinking at a rate of around four feet a year.” 
  • The Amazon has been reported on by NASA as “trees will start to die if the area's dry season lasts longer than 5-7 months—right now, the dry season clocks in at just a few weeks shy of that threshold.” 
  • Yamal Peninsula, Russia, is heading towards loss of reindeer herds “as earth continues to warm—a dangerous premonition for Russia's reindeer herds.” 
  • The Maldives in the Indian Ocean “risks vanishing entirely as climbing tides are already displacing locals.” 
  • Key West Florida which “The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that the sea level in the Florida Keys will rise 15 inches over the next 30-odd years.” 
  • The Rhône Valley, France, where “production will shrivel (... an 85 percent decrease). 
  • Mumbai, India, where the home of 18 million people will not exist as it does as “as a mere two-inch rise in water by 2050 would leave the city prone to frequent flooding.” 
  • Rio de Janieiro, Brazil, will see “the sea level around Rio will rise up to 32 inches by the year 2100—enough to cover the city's famous beaches, airport, and even some inland neighborhoods.” 
  • Alaska wilderness is facing “the state’s many ice caps... receding at extraordinary rates, triggering landslides so intense they register on the Richter scale.”

On 5 June that same year the World Bank had some photograph awards for pictures which showed more about “The Challenging Face of Climate Change in Central Asia”. They received 300 entries, and posted some to three categories: 
  • Category: "The role of woman in the sustainable use of natural resources in changing climate conditions"
  • Category: "The effects of climate change on the state of glaciers and water resources in Central Asia"
  • Category: "The impact of climate change on the welfare of the rural population of Central Asia"
The NaturaI International Journal of Science wrote its article on 20 April 2018 titled “Clear signs of global warming will hit poorer countries first”. It said that Bangalesh and Egypt already knew their countries were facing future hits. 

Foreign Affairs wrote their article on 29 November 2018 and called it “Climate Shocks and Humanitarian Crises: Which Countries Are Most at Risk?” and said that “throughout 2018, weather events also had devastating humanitarian consequences in developing countries, from immense floods in the Indian state of Kerala to an intense drought in Afghanistan that affected millions.”
The US News’ article, dated 24 January 2018 and titled “That Sinking Feeling”, said “Most nations think other issues are more pressing, but climate change takes center stage in these five.” Those 5 were Vietnam, Chile, China, Colombia and Mexico.

Or yes, that one is Australia. The Australian government department, for a government which does not even believe in climate change! Read that one – it talks about coasts affected by sea fluctuations, it talks about how climate change and natural disasters “impact[s] the location and design of our cities and the built environment”, it talks about how extreme heatwaves can result in greatest health threats. Do we, the public, know about that? If so, why don’t we believe that?

Where would you live in a decade? Two decades? Five decades... if you’re not already old? I don’t know where I would be, but I’ve been looking at other places (maybe)... but not islands already sinking into the ocean. Maybe not even Australia.