• Socio-Political

    Is Kowtowing an Acceptable Practice in the Workplace?

    Kowtowing means to act in an overly subservient manner. In East Asian cultures it is the highest sign of reverence. But is kowtowing acceptable in workplaces in the western world, like Australia? Furthermore, what is happening when it occurs in the workplace? I commenced my public service career of 25 years in the 1980s. Back then all job promotions were seniority driven, not through merit. So, I believe I am credentialed to provide commentary on the topic. It was in such an environment that I learned early that everyone kowtowed to those more senior. This meant we had to be careful with our words. Also, our commentary, and views. If…

  • coronavirus
    Life Matters

    The life of a cynic in a pandemic

    A cynic is a person who always see’s life as having negative consequences. This is before they actually happen! If this is so, then living with a pandemic have many of us developed the personality traits of a cynic? We keep away from certain areas in our community just in case we get infected with COVID-19. We wear masks. We social distance. We do not have as many people over to our place, as before the pandemic. Sometimes a mask is mandatory. But what about times when it is not? Are these people cynics – believing the worst might happen? We wait for the news. We watch, we listen. What…

  • religious paintings on a cathedral s ceiling
    Short stories

    A Short Story: The Touch

    We both stood at the basin. I watched on while she washed her hands. They caressed one another, touching, departing, and touching again. Water trickled through her fingers. She looked mesmerised by the sensation of running water, touching her, cleansing her. When we sat down, she told me hand washing reminds her of art school. In the 1950s she was a student at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, Sydney. After every class there was the slow methodical process of removing paint. She enjoyed the physical sensation of water running through her fingers. It was calming, a soothing sedative. Caught up in the moment with her hand washing she became…

  • woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
    Life Matters

    About regrets

    Frank Sinatra an American singer and actor was well known for his song ‘My Way.’ The lyrics tell a story about regrets. If you are around my age, you will know the song. But what about people who are 40 years younger than me? Do they know the song? Do those in their 20s and 30s have regrets? Or do they live a carefree life, happy and breezy without any worries? If the ‘younger set’ have misgivings about their actions in the past they could be more familiar with the song ‘Shouda, Coulda, Woulda.’ What if we have regrets Is it okay to have regrets? Or should we cast them…

  • bedroom with table under lamps near bed and curtains
    Life Day By Day

    Cleanliness is next to godliness

    The saying ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ echoed in my mind as I looked at my bedroom curtain. Not only looked but wondered what I should do. The curtain covered a sliding door to an outside terrace. This is where I was when I looked towards the door and saw mould on the bottom of the blockout curtain lining. I realised this was a health hazard and a problem I had to solve. We moved into the house five years ago, only the second owners. Curtains covered the door, window each side and a long panel of windows on the other side of the room. Then there were the fabric…

  • green cacti in pots near window
    Life Day By Day

    For the love of Cactus

    You might have a favourite plant, tree or flower. You might be a rose enthusiast, or an all-round gardener. But there are some people who love Cactus and they do not all live in Mexico. Here is a story about Matt, and his workmate Jack. Matt and Jack had attended a work site that was about to be demolished when Matt noticed a Cactus. It was destined for the waste management facility with other demolition material. Unless Matt stepped in to save it. As an Xerophile, a Cactus enthusiast, he contacted his boss to ask if he could keep the Cactus. Afterwards, Matt asked his workmate Jack to help him…

  • cooed food
    Health Matters

    What’s for breakfast?

    What’s for breakfast? Is that something you get asked at your place or is breakfast a traditional meal? That is, everyone knows what’s for breakfast. Brekkie as it is called in Australia is our first meal of the day. Unless you are a shift worker and your mealtimes run on a different clock. When I was growing up breakfast was cereal and toast. My sister Susan’s favourite was Sanitarium Weet-Bix, mine Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. In the winter, my mother would make porridge. I was never a big fan of porridge; it was too mushy. However, these days I cope okay with porridge, fresh fruit, milk, and honey. If you eat…

  • Life Day By Day,  Life Matters

    Annoyingly polite

    If we are an active participant in life annoying situations or people will form part of our life. Most of us can cope with little annoyances. Someone pushes in and takes your place in the queue. Or you drive into a car space to find a shopping trolley occupying the space. These situations happen regularly. But what if we find annoyance is our best friend? Is it time to do something about it? A debriefing with a friend or an appointment with a therapist. Or do we need to question ourselves? Have you been in a situation and so annoyed, but do nothing about it? If so, you have experienced…

  • close up of tree against sky
    Life Matters

    Finding our happy place within

    When I look around the world, I see people putting effort into creating a happy place. People want to be happy. Happiness makes us feel good. After finding our happy place within we are more likely to manage adversity. We can then travel life with a steady and quiet optimism? So, how do we find our happy place within? What if everything around us is not working in our favour? Sometimes we can experience ordinary days that turn into the mundane. Or ordinary days that turn out wonderful. Yet how do we get to the point of feeling okay when life is ordinary, and things are not going as well…

  • town with medieval cathedral on seashore
    Life Matters

    Finding our happy place

    If we are struggling to find purpose in life, then another possibility is to find our happy place? A place where we find peace and comfort. Our happy place is somewhere we can retreat. It is our sanctuary. It is a place to help us thrive in life when life is more on the downside, then the upside.   If you are someone who does not experience the ups and downs of life than you are truly in a happy place. But, for most of us life does not work like that. It might go along alright for a time than the unexpected happens. It can be as simple as…