Monday, June 22, 2009


I found it really interesting (especially after writing extensively about crime in South Africa) to read a round up about the local crime in a community newspaper recently. It was for the bay area which is west of where we live. The report showed individual incidents that had occurred. This is a summary:
The main story was an appeal for witnesses to an assault that took place outside a hotel/bar recently.
Other incidents were listed per area
Alexandra Hills
1. Car broken into. Swiss army knife stolen
2. Camper trailer stolen from driveway between 8pm on May 31 and 3.30pm on June 2.
3. Attemted break and enter at a house
4. Window of a classroom at the state high school broken. A fluoro light bulb and covers stolen
5. Car parked at shopping centre damaged between 11pm on June 5 and 1am on June 6
6. Brick used to smash 13 windows at high school. Soft drinks stolen from canteen.
7. Closed circuit camera stolen from sports club. Offender was on a bicycle.

1. Glass panel of door at primary school broken

1. Four hubcaps stolen from car parked in underground car park of shopping centre between 11am and 1pm

1. Two number plates stolen from car
2. Car broken into and property stolen
3. Two registration plates stolen from car
4. Rocks thrown at a car parked in a school car park
5. Business broken into and unsuccessful attempt to open a safe
6. School broken into. Furniture and other items thrown out of the window
7. Welding equipment stolen from business
8. People seen throwing rocks and breaking panels of a bus shelter

Mount Cotton
1. Graffiti vandalism to a sign
2. Sledge hammer or crowbar used to open a locked wooden door of a convenience store, but nothing stolen

1. Car stolen from driveway. Keys were left in the ignition

Victoria Point
1. Purse and mobile phone stolen from outside a supermarket after the owner left them behind and returned to find them gone

Wellington Point
1. House broken into. Jewellery, household items, keys to car, and the car stolen
2. House broken into. Jewellery stolen

Coochiemudlo Island
1. House broken into. Alcohol stolen
2. House broken into. Money, alcohol and mobile phone stolen

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bits and Pieces from Brisbane

String, Ordinary String

I was looking for ordinary string the other day. Had searched around the supermarket -- stationery, household stuff. Seen cotton for sewing, wool for knitting, plastic type of rope, but no string. So I thought I would ask someone who worked there. In response to my asking for string, she looked at me a little blankly. "You mean cooking twine?" Well, I wasn't entirely sure whether I meant cooking twine or not, so I just said that I wanted ordinary string like for wrapping around boxes and the like. "Well," she replies, "there's rope in the hardware section, or cooking twine with the appliances and kitchen gadgets and so on." I headed off to check out the cooking twine, which although thinner than ORDINARY string, was the closest I was going to get. I was relieved when my friend Lynda, after hearing this story, arrived the next time we had coffee together with ordinary string. So they do have it here, but I guess it's just a matter of asking in the right place!

Looking for a Job

Our local newspaper published a story today about a man who is looking for work by standing on the side of the road with a board advertising his services. The man has a sign with the words
(An ABN number is like a registration number if you are a service provider.)
The man was looking for permanent work as he had had only erratic work, and said that he was trying to stay off the dole. Two hours into his appeal, three motorists had stopped to discuss possible work.
The newspaper published the man's phone number for anyone who was able to offer him a job.
Incidentally, the national unemployment rate in Australia jumped from 5.4% in April to 5.7% in May. That's a loss of about 35,300 jobs.

Keeping Track of Trolleys

Trolley losses and trolley dumping are issues here in Australia. At the supermarket you see pamphlets and posters offering a reward of $1,000 for people who report the location of abandoned trolleys (names go into a draw and one person gets chosen as the winner every month). There's a toll free number to phone if spot an abandoned trolley. We've heard in the media about the suburbs that are the 'most notorious locations for dumped trolleys'. The council issues fines of $150 to people who are caught dumping trolleys. And most recently the Brisbane council has said that new rules banning trolleys outside of shopping centres were being drafted. In the meantime, one of our local supermarkets that has a serious trolley loss problem will have "coin lock boxes" fitted to the trolleys next month. These mean that shoppers will have to deposit a $2 coin in order to use the trolleys. You retrieve the money from the lock when you return the trolley.

In the Shops

We have a local store here that's known for it's cheap prices and no frills -- boxes of goods are opened, but the goods aren't packed on shelves. They have specials every week that generally following a theme (tools, back to school, winter warming goods etc). Recently they had appliances/office goods and the like. On the front page of their specials booklet I noticed what looked like a turn table. Doing something of a double take I had a closer look. Well, if you're one of those people who got rid of your record collection thinking that you wouldn't be able to play them anymore, you'll be sorry. For just $89 you could get a USB turntable on which you can record and backup your old LP albums to your PC through USB. How nifty is that?!
By the way, the same store was also recently selling chocolate coated chips -- as in Simba type chips, covered in chocolate. I am quite happy to munch through a packet of chips, or a slab of chocolate, but mixing the two together...I couldn't even imagine inflicting those on anyone that I know.


My local library always has all sorts of interesting information. Sometimes I find it really amazing that someone is sitting down and writing all these brochures and pamphlets and paying for them to be printed. Recently I found one called Keeping a Cat in Brisbane which was published by none other than the Brisbane Council. The guide is designed to help you care for your cat, provide advice on the most suitable cat for your lifestyle and to answer your most frequently asked questions.
Interesting to read some of the rules and regulations that go with owning a cat:
"Where possible, consider a cat enclosure where your cat is free to run around outdoors within the confines of a set area. Your pet is then less likely to be hurt in fights, pick up diseases, be hit by a car or cause a nuisance. A cat causing a public nuisance by spraying urine or disrupting other domestic or native animals may provoke anger from neighbours or risk being picked up by a local laws officer."
The council recommends that microchips are implanted into cats so that they can be easily identified if they become lost.
There are sections on vacinnations, worming, fleas and ticks, teeth, feeding, grooming, exercise (you might like to take kitty for a walk and cat harnesses are available for this)!

I am really finding it interesting living in a different country -- there is so much to experience, learn and discover.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Free Stuff!

Last weekend we went to the RACQ Big BBQ which was held in a wonderful park Roma Parklands in the centre of Brisbane. RACQ is a major short-term insurance company here. They also do roadside assistance etc. They hold this annual event, and this year it was part of Queensland Week and the 150 year anniversary of Queensland (the State separated from New South Wales 150 years ago).

So it was a really big bash this year, and I was amazed at being able to take the family to an event such as this for free. There were two stages with free shows on all day. Kai was in her element being able to see Dora the Explorer, who has become a real favourite for her, and there was a Spongebob Squarepants show, circus acts, magician shows and other events.

Then there was facepainting, a maze and a fantastic jumping castle to play on, balloons and peaks - all for free! And you could even help yourself to sun cream! On arrival children could be given a sticker arm band with a parent's cell number written on to it. And there was a free sausage sizzle -- for the un-initiated it's a piece of bread folded in half diagonally with a sausage in it with a squiggle of tomato sauce in it. How amazing to see this really long line of people waiting for free sausages, but the line moved really quickly and everyone was really patient and accommodating!

I'd like to go back to the park again as it looks really beautiful with amazing water features, walkways, a miniture forest, the 'Spectacule Garden' and has an upper and lower area separated by quite steep walkways and stairs. It also has a great play area that I know the kids would love to go and explore.