I was still married, still living in Coffs Harbour, still working for the bank. My husband had a computer sales / repair shop down at the Jetty, and on 31/12/1999 we hosted a huge party at the shop. He had an internet cafe as part of the business, and the shop was full of backpackers emailing their families with New Year wishes, as well as friends and workmates. We also had every PC in the shop turned on, just waiting to see what would happen when the clock ticked over to 01/01/2000.
Which was .... nothing. What a fizzler.
Twenty years ago. Wow. I was leading a totally different life then. What changes have we all seen, in that time?
As a sidenote, I now know what $1,000,000 in cash looks like. At the time, I was 2IC at the bank branch where I worked, and one night the manager asked me to stay back with her as Armagard was bringing a special cash delivery, just in case our ordering systems failed with the new year. Only she and I knew about it; we counted it, then stored it in a dual-key compartment in the safe. Thankfully we never needed it, and it was picked up again at the end of January.
The year is drawing to a close; only two more days until the new year. And if I hear one more person say it's the end of the decade I might just explode....
Christmas this year was utter magic. I went to my son's place for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and got a lot of one-on-one time with my granddaughter. She's 19 months old now and just starting to find her words, but she's adept at making her will known in other ways. She's just a lot of fun. My new grandson was only 15 days old on Christmas Day and far too young to really do anything other than cry half the night and deprive his mum of sleep, but hey, that's what babies do :-) .
I am sitting at my too-small desk, eyeing the pile of books that I was going to review for the LJ book bingo but never got around to it; also looking at my overstuffed bookshelves and wondering how I can ever downsize when I retire.... fortunately that's still more than a few years off. Maybe if I buy a bigger desk and throw out all of the accumulated stuff in my filing cabinet.... a bigger desk is a must as I'm working from home a lot lately, and this desk is crammed with the PC tower and two monitors. Something to think about in the new year.
Speaking of downsizing - I bought another house, back in October, with the aim of moving to it once I retire. It's small, but within walking distance of the kids' place, so will be quite convenient for the grandkids to stop in on their way home from school. Ah one day... I need to lose a lot of stuff before I can fit into that house! Might force me to play the mins game a bit more often :-)
Anyway. Happy new year to anyone who read this far, and everyone who didn't!
Scott McLaughlin is leading the V8 Supercars championship so far. On the out lap of tonight's race, he tangled with another competitor which resulted in neither of them being able to take the grid for the race.
Scott's comment, when interviewed shortly afterwards? "There are worse things happening in the world right now, I'm just getting on with things."
Scott's home town is Christchurch, New Zealand.
It's absolutely appalling, what happened over the ditch on Friday. I ache for the people caught up in it, those who have lost loved ones, those who are still in hospital, and those who are still reeling from the earthquakes only to have this happen in their home town. New Zealand is like an extra state to Australia; there is a large proportion of Kiwis who live here, and a huge number of Aussies have visited the Land of the Long White Cloud. Our Prime Minister (last time I looked it was Scott Morrison) commented on the close relationship between the two countries, calling the Kiwis our cousins, and I think you'd be hard pressed not to agree.
Remember "Star Trek, The Motion Picture?" Robert Short posted this pic over on Facebook, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - Inner Circle.
"Over the years I have always tried to include U.N.C.L.E. references in my work, though much of time you would never know it. These photos from Lisa Morton Flikr page show you that had the Enterprise stopped to look more closely at the details of V'ger you would have seen this."
I am so done with being considered responsible for all the ills of modern society; one smartarse on Twitter today suggesting that all Baby Boomers should be saying a big "sorry" to the Millenials for making their lives so hard right now. What the absolute fuck.
One particular lass crapping on about how easy we had it - with nannies and cooks and cleaners from the day we were born, lifelong Medicare, free tertiary education, low interest rates which enabled all of us to buy lots of houses, a clean Earth etc etc etc.... I pointed out that Medicare was certainly not lifelong and she should do some research; that interest rates reached a peak of 17.25% in 1989, that tertiary education was free for 14 years only, between 1975 and 1989 - just in time for Gen X - and before that there was no government assistance for fees, that my generation was the first to campaign on environmental issues etc. And of course she arced right back up saying she's sick of my generation who had such an easy ride.
Yeah real easy. I started work in a bank in the mid 70s. Three years earlier, if I'd been working there and got married I would have had to quit. There was no maternity leave, no compulsory superannuation, no medicare, no child care subsidy... I had to quit work when I became pregnant, and it was five years before I was back in the workforce properly. I was in my first house for six months before I could afford curtains. Floor coverings took even longer; in fact when I sold it three years later I still only had carpet in the lounge and main bedroom as it was all I could afford to get done. And the reason we sold it? I was pregnant, and gave up my job, and we couldn't afford the mortgage on one wage so we downsized from our 11 sq brick home to an old fibro shack that was within our budget. Up until recently air travel was out-of-the-question expensive; my mother had never been on a plane when she died at 61, and I can recall paying $600 for a round trip from Coffs to Sydney, where the same flight now is around half that, and the same fare would get me to New Zealand and back, with spare change.
There is going to be a huge generational wealth transfer over the next two or three decades as the last of us Baby Boomers shuffles off this mortal coil. So many people inheriting wealth that they didn't work for. Does that mean we should despise the Gen Xers too? Or the Ys, if the transfer skips a generation?
And you know what? I refuse to apologise for working bloody hard, for channeling nearly every spare cent into the mortgage in order to pay it off, for taking cheap holidays close to home in order to save money (truth be told, for most of my life it was all I could afford), for buying shares a portion at a time to build a portfolio over many years. Hardly fits the image she's trying to portray.
Gah I'm so angry right now. It would be easy enough to call this chick a latte-sipping smashed-avo munching inner city hipster but that would be a shallow generalisation.
I planted my new palms today, after re-digging the holes my neighbour so thoughtfully filled in. I had the sprinkler on the spot for half an hour last night, making sure that the ground stayed moist and easy to dig, and then we had rain overnight and this morning as well so it was lovely and damp. I'm quite pleased with them, and am considering getting some more. They're Golden Can palms which grow in clumps and have lovely smooth trunks, unlike the mongrel Cocos Palms I had in Coffs and hated.
Speaking of rain, I've been watching the news from up north - the Townsville area has been declared a catastrophe now. Imagine having one and a half metres of rain in a week! And now they have to open the dam gates fully, so that the dam doesn't burst. Ingham had 150 ml of rain just in an hour today; that's over six inches in the old scale. There's no letup in sight with rain predicted for at least the rest of the week, along with a tornado warning. I just ... WTF? We get cyclones, not tornadoes. What is going on?
And now bushfires in Victoria as well as the ongoing Tasmanian fires.
On the opposite side of the world, people are battling extreme cold. This is a crazy world right now.
Bit late to this particular party. I read a few of Ursula Le Guin's books in my early 20s but this one escaped me. Better late than never! I love her writing; she's almost poetic in her word choices and can conjure up an atmosphere so easily. Looking forward to reading the rest in this series. There are so many squares where I could have saved this but for now it's my Part of a Series square.
In other news: I nearly killed myself on Monday morning, outside in the heat, digging out two large shrubs. Once they were removed and I'd dug out all the roots, I carefully squared off the resultant holes, making them deeper in the process. I had to keep taking a little rest in the shade, and once I'd finished, after I had a shower and then some lunch, I was too tired to go to Bunnings for the new plants I want. Instead I had a sleep - something I never do during the day normally! My back is sunburnt, and my triceps and thighs are aching, even my stomach muscles are complaining.
So yesterday I get home from work and discover that my neighbour had filled the holes in. Grrr.... He keeps my yard tidy and he thought I'd given up due to the heat, and he was helping me out. Which is lovely... but! I wish he'd ask first!
It's been over 30 degrees for over a week now, and according to the forecast we have another week of it to go. Of course my aircon chose last Thursday to die, and also of course I can't get a technician out to see it before next Thursday. *sigh* Luckily I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom, and a pedestal fan that I've dusted off and put in the loungeroom, but right now all they're doing is stirring up hot air. It's after midnight and still 28 degrees inside.
Last night I went to my sister's house instead of her coming here as she usually does on a Friday night, and on Sunday I'm going to the kids' place for dinner instead of them coming here, so I have a bit of a reprieve. But it's the cats I feel sorriest for. Downstairs cats are fine, temps don't get so bad down there but the upstairs cats are suffering. Bodie-cat nearly broke my heart earlier today; he'd been sprawled out in my bedroom, but when he heard the beep from the aircon remote, when I tried it again just in case it had magically fixed itself, he came stalking out to the loungeroom and sat himself on the floor in front of the aircon unit, staring up at it, waiting for the relief.
Poor boy! I went out and bought a tower fan to put in that spot just so he'd have something to sit in front of.
Right now I have a wet flannel around my neck and a plastic bag containing four frozen lamingtons on my head. Hey, it's Australia Day, so I'm pressing the national treat into service! Or setting a new hat trend.