Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
When you live in the other hemisphere, and many of the news stories are of the fires in Spain, France, Portugal and many other locations in Europe, that England has had Red alerts for EXTREME Heat. Knowing what that feels like, the heat and fear of bush fires(wild fires) yet; Living in my world I woke to a rather unusual sight snow on the hills across the river the lowest it has been dusting the trees on the closest hill and settling on the ground. Weather advice is for gale force winds and maximum 7dC/33.8 fahrenheit. Overnight it hit -2dC/28.4dC at 7am. We have been cruising so far this winter, mild really, yet now mid winter as it is according to the months is making us very aware down in my valley that Winter is still here with some beauty. When you have snow so occasionally it is such a treat, even those who are stuck due to road closures do not really mind. Here sitting inside as it is way to wet for me out in the garden. The fire is toasty the dogs have eaten their bones after a run. My heart aches for those impacted and fearful of the wildfires. I know the possibility is so real in my beautiful valley home. I have watched plumes of smoke rising seen flames just across the river, had ash falling on my home, and land, burnt leaves, thankfully not burning still. I empathise for all in these situations.
Yet even with the snow covered lower mountains, nature is doing as she does, I picked my first jonquil (damaged by the wind and broken) her scent is sublime and she is such a pure white. I have placed her in my toilet, where her natural perfume (it is a very cool room which always has an open window) and when ever I go in it is so lovely. Both in looks and perfume one flower stem is long lasting and perfumes the room so well.
The Hellebore are just flowering. This one is white with purple spotty lines inside. So lovely and best the Wallabies and possums seem to not eat it.
As dusk falls and I have tended all the animals as well my own dinner. (I eat rather early) I have the wood fire stoked and I know I am so fortunate, to live with so much and have so much. To be able to live with nature is a privilege. I am very aware of how quickly this all may change. I hold onto the moments, and am very thankful.
This is one of our favourite beach/riverside walks which is pretty close and if we take the long way home, it is on the way home. The rocks have many fossils, though over the years I have lived here, the rock cliff has eroded so much.
It was a beautiful winters day though it was a little windy we all enjoyed it.
The following photos are the northern end of this beach it is very different on this day as it was sandy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Scomo) gave a speech this morning (10/03/2020) to business people. I am not too sure how many small and self employed businesses might have been represented. What I heard him say was that businesses should think about continuing to pay any casual employee who is forced to isolate.
What a very bizarre thing to say. I can not imagine many businesses that can afford to pay casuals, casual rates whilst they are isolated.
The reality is that casual rates are higher and this is to cover sick leave and holiday pay.
He never really mentioned the health and concerns for the people impacted already by the deaths or illness, or isolation. Nor did he actually tell us what OUR Government is going to do to help the people. Nor did I hear and I may have missed if he did mention if people used holiday and sick leave it was still going to cost businesses. Now sick leave is there for the very reason you are sick. So USE it if you are, but if you are in isolation are YOU SICK? Holidays will cost your employer more money.
A day or two ago he did or some representative suggested people buy extra food items each week. (me I think I will stock up on chocolate. Fruit and nut that is dairy, protein (nuts) sugar, fruit fibre, Some of the new salt cracker with chocolate. Well I cant get toilet paper… lol. If only chocolate was still wrapped in paper I could use that in an emergency but my septic system would not like the plastic
It seems that now with Qantas impacted due I imagine to peoples fears and the risks inherent of traveling to so many locations where the virus is spreading.
In a statement, the airline said: “The latest cuts follow the spread of the coronavirus into Europe and North America over the past fortnight, as well as its continued spread through Asia.”
As part of the cutbacks Qantas will:
Ground 38 aircraft, including eight A-380s
Re-route services to London, flying via Perth instead of Singapore
Ask staff to take annual leave and unpaid leave
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said while redundancies were a last resort, the changes meant about 2,000 jobs were now surplus to requirements.
He also said the senior leadership team will take a pay cut of 30 per cent, in order to “pull every lever that we can to make sure that the group gets through this environment”.
Jetstar will make significant cuts to its international network by suspending flights to Bangkok and reducing flights to Vietnam and Japan by almost half.
Both Qantas and Jetstar’s domestic service reductions will be increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent.
“This will be a survival of the fittest,” he said.” I imagine the survival of those 2,000 surplus to requirement staff are not included in that statement. I imagine those surplus to requirement are being notified. I wonder how many of those are casuals? He did not elaborate on the numbers of staff he is expecting to take unpaid leave or holidays, (which is not a saving to any company as in Australia full time and part time staff are paid an extra 17.50% of weekly wage to actually take holidays. On top of their normal pay. So this will actually cost more to the company than if the staff were working.
Australia vulnerable due to high household debts
In Australia the big concern is household debt, which now stands around 120 per cent of GDP and nearly 200 per cent of household incomes, and as the housing market has bounced back in the last few months, individual loans have become even bigger.
Add that to what is happening overseas, and many are wondering if the world is slowly inching back to conditions like those that led to the global financial crisis.
However, Shane Oliver is not yet unduly concerned.
“If you look at the overall picture I don’t think we have anything like the degree of gearing on the sub-prime mortgage debts that we saw going into the GFC,” he said.
“It’s hard to see a sort of a bubble akin to the US housing bubble like we saw prior to the GFC.”
Shane Oliver does think a good old-fashioned recession is coming, though.
A recession which a ticking debt bomb and the lowest interest rates in history will make worse.
Now the Australian Footy League (AFL) if no large gatherings are allowed they will play games with no people watching. The season starts Thursday 19/03/2020. I can’t imagine how Melbourne people and Tasmanians will survive if they can’t watch their footy at the stadiums.
University of Tasmania is being impacted by the Covid-19
Tasmania’s university was “not making enough progress to be the right size to be sustainable even in the short term”, the vice chancellor told staff in an email
UTAS’s educational offerings would be cut from about 514 degrees and courses to 120 by next year, in an effort to cut costs and “cut through this tangle of complexity”
The university was “over-reliant” on Chinese students — a factor which had backfired in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, UTAS admitted
National mortgage hotline has been receiving a spike of concerns due to mortgage stress of people, and the Government has requested that the banks go ‘easy’ on the folk who have asked for more time to pay. Interesting as interest rates are at the lowest point they have been in Australia for a long time.
I do hope the banks do heed this as I have been there in needing more time to pay here and there. Thank You Bendigo Bank! (I bank with them and that is all I do not gain anything for saying this). I was honest with them. This was quite some years ago, so I can not say it might happen today.
It is all very interesting and suddenly so many decisions are being made, so it would seem that neither Qantas or the University of Tasmania will be paying casual staff that may be forced into isolation or casual staff at all as they will be the first causalities. My feelings are that if a staff member was exposed to Covid-19 on a flight where you were working it would be compensation. Other wise it would seem from my thoughts which are purely my own, that it would be best to use it as unpaid leave as this way the company would not have to pay you a thing.
Though again my personal feeling would be at a time like this if you asked every staff member if they would prefer to take a pay cut of 30% and keep their jobs it might help everyone. Now instead 2000 surplus to requirement positions means what exactly? I am assuming that no other airline will be looking at employing anyone in this current market. So I am guessing that many will not have much savings and they will be applying for guess what NEWSTART soon to have a name change,(at a huge cost for reprinting of all material I imagine and logos training stuff sigh) Jobseeker payment. Oh how much better.
I can only imagine that there will be many more distressed people with mortgages who will be very distressed and anguished about the possibility of no income to pay their mortgage.
Or rents for that matter. Casual employees who will always be the first to be let go, when businesses no matter what their size are struggling. I find it interesting that taking holidays was mentioned.
At least the price of petrol is supposed to come down in the near future. Yeah! Oh and I imagine there will be big specials on toilet paper here in Australia in the near future as so many people will have so much in their homes.
The Reserve Bank last week cut the interest rate by 0.25points what worries me more is Donald Trump tweeted how wonderful it was.
Australia’s Central Bank cut interest rates and stated it will most likely further ease in order to make up for China’s Coronavirus situation and slowdown. They reduced to 0.5%, a record low. Other countries are doing the same thing, if not more so. Our Federal Reserve has us….
The major Banks lenders were widely expected to hold on to the savings given the dramatically reduced profit margins on home loans. But all major banks have passed the full amount on. SHIT we are heading to a recession!
“The banks are now walking a very fine line and with savings rates already down around 0.10 per cent, they have very little room to move,” comparison site Canstar’s finance expert Steve Mickenbecker said.
“A 0.25 per cent interest rate reduction to the average $400,000 home loan over 30 years could mean monthly principal and interest repayments falling by $56 to $1,794, and an interest saving of $20,249 over the life of the loan.”
Now if I have a mortgage and I could continue to pay the same amount I had been paying before this interest rate cut I would not change it. Because IT woulld save me even more interest and reduce the length of the loan.
It is these times you feel really bad for people who have fixed home loans.
Back to renters, and University of Tasmania. With all the students who have not been able to come to the university there will be a lot of available rentals I imagine in Hobart and Launceston which is a good thing for those people who are living out of their cars and homeless. Oh but wait most of those will not be able to afford the bond or the rent. So will this see more people in mortgage stress. As there investment property may not have any tennants? It is a bit of a vicious circle potentially.
I also noted that in Adelaide people are not eating at the Chinese Markets? Seriously why NOT. Is it like the toilet paper, Oh its because the people there are are Chinese and Covid-19 came from China. I am shaking my head. Do people believe that the people who have these businesses are likely to have Covid-19?
So these poor businesses are struggling for no other reason than they sell Chinese/Asian food and are usually run by Chinese/Asian Australians or immigrants who have lived here for a while. Sigh With that kind of logic I really feel for any person who looks Asian or now will it be Italians will pizzerias and Italian cafes and restaurants be avoided? I bet they have no casual staff at these places working. I bet Scomo they will not be paying these casual workers. They can probably barely afford the rent and overheads.
It was also interesting to see China’s President visit to Wuhan where he spoke with patients, ….via video screen and still with his mask on and when he actually spoke with doctors and army personnel he still had his mask and a good distance between them. Yes all is fine in Wuhan things are returning to normal ‘not’. I also heard that his visit to neighbourhood the residents were moved out and everything was sprayed, again with who knows what. I assume the residents were allowed back in after he left. Caution is a good thing.
How am I a person with CPTSD feeling about all this. Well my medication is working so well, I am OK with it. It may be more that I already live relatively isolated. I only go into town once a week generally unless I have an appointment. Or I absolutely must for something as I had to today to pay my internet (that is another story for another post perhaps).
I also live out of town, my neighbours are far enough away I do not have to fear coughing or sneezing if I sit on my deck. I have always had a pantry and enough meat for my dogs for a month or more in the freezer. Of course there is the concept that what if the power goes down. All that meat will be no good. Not going there. Right now Australia is doing OK. Well except for the loo paper issue we do look like a recession may be on the cards.
It is very unlikely there will be any positives for the budget and I do not see it being in the black after the drought, fires, floods, and now Covid-19 and what economical impact that may have.
We are also coming into Winter, and our normal cold and flu season. There is no use worry for me about any of it. I certainly will not be receiving any help from the Federal Government, I feel for all those who are on Newstart and will potentially be going on it. As casual and seasonal work potentially begins to dry up. As many businesses that rely on tourism and that is a lot down here in Tasmania. May begin to feel the pressure of it all.
I can not imagine how the homeless must feel with no protection from exposure to normal colds and flu let alone to this Covid-19. They also do not have the ability to stock up on anything. If they are on Youth allowance even worse off. They do not have easy access to wash their hands with soap for twenty seconds. Yet nothing said about them either by Scomo.
Being on a low income means I plan for the future (12months any way) in most ways. About this time of year I begin to think of my wood supply for winter. I have been fortunate with having a fantastic wood supplier. It is an interesting phenomenon where I live you can have one a great supplier one year and then the next they have vanished. So to have the same one for quite a few years, is wonderful. The added bonus is that he no longer takes anyone else on preferring to maintain his long term customers.
I rang him on Sunday it was all good. So I began to think how to budget for it. 4 tonne at $120a tonne. A great price same as last year, and $30 a tonne cheaper than other suppliers. So I am assuming most will have raised their prices this year. I was thrilled.
Monday morning I woke up and was in the loo, not yet dressed, I heard a vehicle slowly approaching my driveway. I looked out the window and saw a ute loaded with wood. It was reversing down my driveway. I quickly finished threw some clothes on and raced down stairs. Grab my car keys and outside. I moved my car to enable the ute to go where I wanted the wood dropped. My brain working overtime, as I had zilch dollars to pay.
The guys reversed in and dropped the first of two loads. I went up to my wood man, explained the situation. He said it is all cool mate. I know where you live. You just have to love living in a small country area, where trust is still there. Of course my thing is not having debts so my benefit is due this week I will put as much as I can towards this bill.
Last year the wood was not delivered for two months, I had time to save. For me the fact is I have enough wood now for the winter. The bonus will be my heating bill will be paid in full before the end of February. It is a good feeling. I also have kindling on hand with my trees that drop branches and leaves. I have also been using the toilet paper rolls with the wrapping (paper ) that comes with them as an insert these will also be fire starters. I also go collecting pine cones. Brilliant fire starters.
Added to this I was thinking about buying a new pair of winter shoes/boots. Something feminine as I do tend to live in my walking boots during winter. I have an old pair and a newer pair so at least I have a change if one pair gets wet. I was sitting at a cafe having coffee with a friend and a lady I have met came up to me and said I have been trying to find a home for these would you like them. She gave me a pair of boots, Black with a rose pattern on them. I said oh thank you yes. Her only request was if they did not fit me to pass them on to someone else. I assured her I would.
My friend looked at them after I had shared my story of wanting some new feminine shoe/boots for winter and advised me not to get disappointed, but they did not look as if they would be wide enough for my foot. I felt they would…well I hoped I really hoped.
I put them in my bag and kind of forgot about them. I guess in a way I did not want to find out they were too small. So today I have tried them on.
They fit. They are a bit long, and I have fat ankles but they fit my wide foot. I am so delighted. They are probably not what I may have picked for myself. Yet at the same time they were free, go with most of my colours and as I have said in other posts I am not a fashion follower. Perfect shoes for going into town or our in during winter.
It is warm today not super hot but muggy. We are supposed to have rain by this afternoon and cooler conditions for a few days. Nice. I picked some more sweet peas, and I do like sweet peas perfume and in my upstairs loo it is the only air freshner I use the sweet smell of flower or herbs. I am not any good with chemical smells. They also look lovely. A lovely greeting first thing in the morning.
hmm maybe I should try and clean the upstairs windows at some point. Cobwebs everywhere. It is a problem of a rough sawn timber building and I don’t mind them. Helps keep insects down.
Oh the blow flies and house flies have been bad this morning. I was reading that flies are not keen on peppermint oil. I have some really good quality peppermint oil and rubbed a drop on my fan. It worked all the flies have left or hidden. Away from the smell. Simple pleasant. I have my windows and doors open as I have also read that it is not a oil that dogs are good with. My dogs can come and go as they please. There is plenty of fresh air.
I end this post with so many things that have made me thankful. I am thankful for:-
kindness of people, community, support, my dogs, fresh clean air, flowers, simple pleasures, plenty of wood for winter, cobwebs, new shoes, my garden, my home, my life, waking up each morning, enough money to live on, food, clean water, the fact I have water, my car.
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