Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nurses Action

It was over 25 years ago that I was involved in the Statewide Victorian Nurses' Strike.
This time there is on-going Action as ANF struggle to negotiate wages and conditions with the
Baillieu Government. It is not the wage that is the sticking point (police and Ambulance have been granted a big rise), but the plan (declared a secret Govt document) to abolish nurse -patient ratios including using nursing assistants as a money saver.
Fair Work Australia just orders nurses back to work, with threats of fines or imprisonment but do not direct Baillieu to continue discussions.
So there have been 4-hour rolling stoppages, all across the State. The big concern is the increased work load will drive nurses to leave the profession, and the Ratios is what we have fought for all these years!!
We at RCH do not strike (that would lose public support in a big way) but there is a wave of red in the hospital as nurses wear Union action t-shirts and many flags abound, including one at our desk.
Stop work meeting
To show our support for the Industrial action the nurses from Royal Melbourne and Women's who were stopping for 4 hours (night shift ratio staff left on) and walked to the Children's at 930 -1030 so our nurses joined them at the front of the Hospital. This on the day that started the wettest 24hours in the last 12 months. Lots of horn tooting and support from passers by and drivers as well as the tram rang its bell as it went slowly past! . Lisa  Fitzpatrick came to address the group .Like old times.The Speech kept short due to the torrential rain!!
It was so muggy that even though I got damp I dried off in about 10 minutes. 
The crowd dispersing
“The document, seen by the Herald Sun, outlines the circumstances under which the Government wants to win the right to override nurse-to-patient ratios, including where hospitals are struggling for money or staff.The official plan, which was presented as a secret proposal by the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association during confidential Fair Work Australia hearings with the Australian Nursing Federation, also calls for nursing assistants to be used as an alternative to fully trained staff to meet the ratios. Details of the proposal emerged at the same time Health Minister David Davis wrote an open letter to the state’s nurses saying he did not want to abolish nurse-to-patient ratios.”
 News today is the order to return to work 'or else" Not sure what the next step will be 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Under the boardwalk!

A really hot day 38 degrees and a northerly wind made for a HOT day at the Club. There was a Cat regatta with a less than satisfactory roll up. There was no Club racing so after I sorted the canteen I went for a paddle and short swim, and with a really low tide I walked under the Club decking.
We have been having the piles under the club and decking replaced over the last two years (an expensive item due to the difficulty!) But there is now a varied style all with a level of encrustations depending on how long they have been there.
All beautiful in their own way

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kate's Birthday

Thursday 23rd was Kate's 13th birthday and I went down for tea. As I arrived Andrew was coming out of the house and said he was off for a swim with Kate, and as I had brought my togs (being 29degrees) we spent some time in the pool waiting for Lynne to get back from Nick's Sax lesson.
Cake and Candles
Lynne's oven is broken so she had cooked veges on the BBQ and we had roast chicken from the shop Kate said it was not her first choice(roast lamb) and we had  bought cake.
At the cutting of the cake Nick sped off and Andrew stayed close to be the recipient of the kiss for the closest boy! Kate played hard to get but gave him a kiss in the end!
Kate had a school project 'Create a gift for your brother or sister" So Kate built this.
The Iron Maiden Torture chamber!! They are all golf tees.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Building my Wine glass collection

My life must be fairly uneventful over the last month as I have not had anything to blog since the holidays. I have started sailing with Cliff and Steve regularly on Good Golly Miss Jolly, and am steadily rebuilding my confidence. We had a sail on a  heavy day last week and I survived (we came 4th) and if I keep visualizing that, I know we are in control.
Ours is the boat at the far right.
Warning: A boring-to-some account of the races to follow!!
Yesterday was very light wind as we rigged the boat, but predicted to rise by end of the day. By the time we left shore it was about 10kn.and had risen to 15+ as we finished. We were really pleased with our performance in the first race staying up within the first 3 boats but after the 2nd beat to windward Steve called the lay line (best angle to approach the mark) really well and we were first at the last mark. Running down wind with the spinnaker is not our forte, but we stayed in front and won by 3 boat lengths!! Great cheering on our boat and the others as they congratulated us.
The start of the 2nd race was a hoot. All the boats were tightly clumped and all yelling "up! up!" as you head up into the wind to start. 2 boats were over the line and had to restart but we were slow getting away and over the race stayed in 4th place. There was an extra triangle to this race and we felt well we have time to catch up. 
Side note. The course is made up of triangles, windward and return the latter being called the sausage, as on the diagram it is a straight line going up and back. Steve told us that Marcel calls the triangle the chop! So we had 2 chops and a sausage!
Andrew and Di and Sonia in Osprey were well ahead, uncatchable we felt, but as we got to the top mark when they crossed in front of us they were only about 10m away. We went round the mark in 4th place and hauled up the spinnaker; beside us was Bernard who just started to slip back, so we were 3rd as we jibed round the last mark with a reach and spinnaker to the finish. Because of the angle to the mark, we decided to go low and get set up then come up on the wind (faster position) As we came up on what was a strong reach Steve out on trapeze and me working the main as we roared along. We heard Sid's spinnaker flapping beside us and yelling, then we were gone and we just roared past Andrew and won by about 5 boat lengths!!!!! The reach is the most exciting leg of sailing and we were fast and in control. a real buzz!!
So I am re-establishing my trophy wine glasses that were broken when Spencer pulled on the tea towel where they were drying.
This was on Eccles with Bernard and Jason
Sailing dinghies is not the most glamorous of sports as testified by my all over sun protection gear!!
My Boat Three's Company that I sold this year. Me in the red
Three's Company was out sailing yesterday which was great. Lots of people came up to me and said "I saw your boat out"when corrected that it was no longer mine They said "yeah but..."

Christmas Lights

While Brooklyn Victoria is not on the scale of Brooklyn New York a local street is becoming  the for Christmas lights So we planned a walk ...