Saying G’day is something we do most days as well as “how are you going” meaning R U OK? There are days at our place when we say lots of G’day’s, and all we are doing is walking around our neighbourhood! We have met people […]
When visiting Spain, you will find that this is the country of the siesta! When we were there, 16 years ago, we discovered the siesta. Everything quietens down from around 2pm – 4pm or longer. The Spanish then come alive in the evening. They eat and party late. Bedtime is around 12 midnight.
Why don’t we have the siesta as part of our Australian culture? Before we had air-conditioning, there were many limp bodies lying around in the afternoon. Work-time would slow down as everyone got drowsy. Just like we did after Christmas lunch, at Helidon, when I was growing up. Everyone found a cool spot for a siesta. Not everyone could fit on the much-loved veranda sofa and for us as children even the hallway floor was a popular space. We could catch the breeze from the front door to the back door. Then we would all awaken from our drowsy states around 4pm and enjoy cold watermelon in the shade of a tree in the backyard.
There have been proposals in Spain to change working hours and end the siesta. Maybe a good idea as people could have a shorter working day rather than a split-shift? The change is okay for those who are working inside with air-conditioning but not so good for the workers out in the olive groves. They need to find a cool, dark place and rest during the heat of the day.
When we were in Spain we adjusted to their culture and went and had a siesta too! Not like some tourists who want the shops open all day! Sign up on the door, sorry, we are closed for a siesta, does not make some visitors happy. But, what about “when in Spain, do as the Spanish do”?
I can fully understand the need for the siesta without air-conditioning on a hot summer’s day in a European country. I think back to when we were in Assisi. The Italians also like a siesta in the mid-afternoon. We stayed in this hotel overlooking the valley. Up multiple winding stairs to our room, concrete floors, with French door opening to the view. It was spectacular. However, in the afternoon to appease the sun the wooden shutters were closed to keep out the heat and it was time to rest.
These days it is popular to “power nap”. This is a mini sleep of between 15-90 minutes. Business people do it, athletes do it, parents caring for children do it. The best “power nappers” in the world are babies and young children. They just fall asleep whenever they feel tired, regardless of the situation or expectations.
Years ago, we had an electrician who would attend to all our electrical work. One time we had a major overall of our power-board. He would work in the morning, have lunch, find a shady spot then have a nap.
Napping during the day is not a usual part of my schedule. I find I sleep better at night if I don’t nap during the day. There is nothing worse than sleep inertia – waking up and feeling groggy! But then, sometimes on a cold winter’s day while resting in front of the fire in a recliner chair, a siesta seems the right thing to do!
If you like to take a siesta during the day there is now an “app” for you! This is the smart way to take a siesta with the help of your smart phone. The app will measure your sleep pattern and then wakes you up at the perfect time so you will feel more rested and ready to take on the rest of the day! I think I’ll try having a siesta this afternoon and dream that I am on holidays in Spain!
Feliz, siesta (happy siesta)!
It is in your interest to know what is going on with your bank accounts. Not only bank accounts but all your financial interests. While some people trust financial advisers and accountants it is always in your interest to check any documents they give you or ask you to sign. Take your time and if necessary take them away and sign another day!
In early May I wrote a post about The Royal Commission into the Financial Services Industry. I notice that it is now called The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. This is the royal commission that almost did not happen until the Liberal National Coalition under the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull changed their mind. I wondered whether Malcolm Turnbull, once a merchant banker, had a view that the banks could be trusted. If that was the case, he has had a surprise, given the bad behaviour of the banks and other parts of the financial industry that is being uncovered.
As of the 3rd May 2018 the commission had received 4501 public submissions, now there are 6320 (banking 64%; financial advice 10%; superannuation 10%). There are considerable concerns about the financial services industry, but mostly about the banks. People have entrusted their life savings with the banks and these have then disappeared into the ether. Take the couple who sold their property for $2.7m. They invested it all with Macquarie Bank who carelessly managed their money. Today, all they have left is $400,000. Where did it all go? Some of it went into the pocket of financial advisers and the rest through bad investment decisions their capital kept disappearing and disappearing. Did the bank care? Probably, the financial adviser has moved overseas or now lives in Bali and eating the cream that was skimmed off the top of each investment move.
When you are investing money, you must make sure, it is in your interest first and foremost. It is important to diversify. Don’t put all your money into the one investment option, like the couple who had $2.7m to invest. Many of us are not sophisticated investors, including me. But as I have researched the area I may be more informed than others who blindly trust the banker or financial adviser with that nice smile or welcoming handshake. That is not enough!
I always found it annoying that it was much easier to find the minimum monthly payment amount on my credit card than the total amount due for the month. I was pleased to see this month that the ANZ Bank is providing more information on their credit card statements. They give a minimum payment warning. This is now an Australian Government requirement.
Say you have a balance of $2,500 on your credit card. The monthly minimum payment is about $51. If you no longer use your credit card and continue to pay only the minimum amount each month, it will take a very long time to pay down the debt. Yes, around 23 years and 11 months before you are out of debt! Interest charges are around $6,800. This is, NOT in your interest. That little minimum monthly payment can get you deeper and deeper into debt. If you can’t pay off the monthly amount, then maybe it is time to cut up that credit card. It is time to reshape your thinking about what is important in life. Repair instead of replacing. Reuse instead of disposing. Repurpose – for example use a 2-litre milk container to store your home-made washing detergent liquid. Think about it! We all live in a happier space if we don’t have debt hanging over our head.
If you have fallen on tough times, then talk to the bank. It is time to work out the best payment plan and reduce the amount you will pay in the long-term – it is in your interest!
Life is full of lessons as we LEARN, PLAN AND LIVE. Some lessons I have learnt quickly, others I have taken a while to learn. It has been a busy week at our small castle – our home, this week. Every home should be a castle, our place of refuge, a place where we are warm, comfortable and happy. Our home is where we learn. We learn to take our first steps, we plan our dreams and goals, we live our life. We may go out to work, we visit friends, we go on holidays, but then we always come home to our castle – our home.
This past week my One&Only and I have worked on a project to update our chicken coop – Cluckingham Palace. I will take photos once the project is complete!
This weekend it is all about the royal family and Windsor Castle with the marriage of Prince Harry & Meghan. What an extravaganza. Royal wedding fever is taking over our lives. Over two Billion people will be watching! Yes, I will be one of them! I would not like to disappoint! I got out my tiara, the one I bought years ago, the fake one, when I was designing the Princess Chickens egg carton label. The tiara was used as the focal point. Even with its fake gems it looked quite good. The image below is the one I designed when we lived in Maleny (since updated). This is how I amuse myself in retirement! However, there will be nothing fake about the tiara and jewellery that will be worn by Meghan Markle for her wedding in about seven hours time. The royal family are taking care of the wedding bill. Prince William and Kate’s wedding cost $34m. My nieces wedding, 2 weeks ago, was very elaborate but did not cost even $1m. How much will Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s wedding cost? A right royal penny!
I came across the verse below during the week. Some good advice there. I only hope Meghan does not forget to return her borrowed jewels once the wedding is over. I think her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has taken a shine to Meghan so she may even get to keep her tiara!
In the meantime, I have to get ready for the wedding. Food to prepare, flowers for the table, crystal glasses, polish the silverware! The champagne is chilled! Tonight is not the night for living beneath our means!
Thoughts for Life
Live beneath your means
Return everything you borrow
Stop blaming other people
Admit it when you make a mistake
Give clothes not worn to charity
Do something nice and try not to get caught
Listen more; talk less
Take a 30-minute walk everyday
Strive for excellence, not perfection
Be on time. Don’t make excuses
Be kind to unkind people
Let Someone cut ahead of you in line
Take time to be alone
Cultivate good manners
Realise and accept that life isn’t fair
Know when to keep your mouth shut
Go an entire day without criticising anyone
Learn from the past
Plan for the future
Live in the present
Don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s all small stuff!
(Thoughts for Life – author unknown)
Do you know the politician who referred to news conferences as “feeding the chooks”? Yes, it was Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former Premier of Queensland (1968-1987), and the longest-serving. Sir Joh had a simple view of the world as a farmer and he took his observations […]