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Voting – Saturday 2 July 2016

21 Jun

I’m very apathetic about politics most of the time, but I get very focused around election time. I think everyone should vote, especially now we have wonderful new election rules where you don’t have to tick ALL the boxes on some voting papers. 
I do hear some people say they think their vote is pointless, they get confused and so on. So today’s #blogjune is my list of useful suggestions for preparing to vote: 
If you are not free on 2nd July –  you can go to an early voting Centre or apply online for a postal vote at (note you need to do this before Wed 29 June) 

Find out where to vote: 

Google election information 

An early vote does mean  you will be missing out on supporting the great Australian tradition of a sausage sizzle. Usually more flavorful than Bunnings you can ensure your vote is food accompanied by visiting 

the Snagvotes map

or the Google election map  

or tweeting @auspolling from a smart phone with your location services on. 

For more detail read this 
Can’t remember your electorate

Check the Google election site

or the AEC can tell you 
Don’t understand all the parties:

– find out from AEC who your candidates are 

– check their websites

– try Cate’s explanations on her blog

– or this summary

I don’t want to vote for some of them: 

Well you do have to number every box on the green House of Representatives form BUT for the white Senate voting form you only have to number 1-6 above the line or 1-12 below the line. 

That’s right: you can now leave some people UN voted for! You can honestly say they didn’t get your vote. 

More information available online at

Happy Voting everyone 👍


19 Jun

Another weekend relaxing post for #blogjune today.
As a chatty, social extrovert I can often forget to give myself some quiet meditative time. For 10 years now I have been taking a pottery class once a week that offers me space for my brain to relax, and a real creative stimulus.

As well as providing me with fabulous barter items to trade with other creative friends, I haven’t had to find a birthday present in the shops for years. 

The pottery school I attend is inspiring as I am surrounded by imaginative people doing different things with the same materials I have; thus continuously sparking new ideas for me. Here’s a gorgeous coilpot handbuilt by my classmate Linda :

In a work context I met the interesting artist Charlotte Watson who was exploring raw components that make up tiles or other manufactured products. After discussing my pottery with her, she mentioned she was looking for broken pottery to teach herself kintsugi as part of her exploration of joining together base materials. Following her exploration I have some of my broken pottery repaired into new beautiful pieces like this: 

The idea of embracing cracks as adding beauty to a new whole, is also a philosophy that helps me look differently at mistakes or challenges in my life. 
Ask yourself next time life seems to have gone wrong, what you learned during the drama and how you might be a more understanding person in future because of that experience.  


18 Jun

I babysat a small child for 6 hours today so I have no conversation or energy left. *No facts stated tonight will be checked.  Tonight’s #blogjune will be an easy spiel about my current favourite tv show. 

@sbs2 screen  “If You Are The One” week nights 5:30 except for Friday’s and Sat/Sun at 7:30pm. It’s a dating show hugely popular right across it’s native China. I think Australia is the only country to screen it with English subtitles*. My level of fandom has now reached the heights of having met the senior @sbs2 translator, and heard about the challenges of translating Chinese to Australian humour!
The format is 24 women standing at lecterns with buzzers. Single men come on stage individually and present themselves through 3 videos, and one skill challenge. Initially I enjoyed the show mostly because of the refreshing honesty of the women about what they were looking for, or saw.

My favourite girl, Wu Yu, once informed a guy who had been overselling his own attributes:

“why do drums make the most noise? Because they are hollow inside”.

Bluntness comes also from the contestants’ friends in their third video, tagged the “frenemy” video. Only non-Chinese contestants make the mistake of having friends who say positive things about them. 

Frankness includes insensitive statements about candidates skin colour, height, weight, eyeshape, eyelids (single v double) and other strange preferences. However preferences seem to be evenly distributed so it works out. Also frankness offers a genuine desire by contestants to date someone they meet on this show with an intent to marry, real information about how much they expect their partner to earn, what role they want to play in the relationship and what they expect in a partner. 

What has kept me hooked though is the wonderful Twitter members found online commentating along with the show at #ifyouaretheone   Given that those of us without Mandarin are reading subtitles AND tweeting at the same time the quality is wonderful. 

We have a drinking game that calls for drinks every time significant themes occur eg

– a contestant sings a song

– eyelids are mentioned 

– a contestant comes from the town of Dalien

– a contestant’s nerves show in the volume of their introduction and we deem them a “shouter”

– when offered a range of background information on the women who have selected him, a candidate chooses the “housework capability” question

– Monkey King is mentioned (one candidate referenced this repeatedly)

– male candidate job is as a personal trainer

– gifts are brought 

– token judges mention their latest film/song

and many more.

We also 

– give creative nicknames to favourite candidates: Sister Corn and Sister Mario definitely stand out

– learn great popular culture information about how China is navigating the last 6 years

– become obsessed  with Chinese tv stars Le Jia, Meng Fei and Ms Huang

– have come up with an advice list for male contestants of how to best please the women eg do not ever admit to having more than 3 previous girlfriends, or have pretty girls on your frenemy video
Come and join in. 
I have made great friends online through #ifyouaretheone with whom I can joke and laugh as my true self, and gone on to meet some in real life. An hour with them always lifts any sad/bad/tired mood. 
Thank goodness for sbs and Twitter 👍

Give thanks for your pets day

16 Jun

Today has been long and busy and frustrating and cold and wet. It is a joy as always to come home to be greeted with love by my wonderful dog Monty. 

Hope all your pets out there are warm and happy too. 

Being a commuter

15 Jun

Today I didn’t ride my bike as I was going to a seminar on a side of town I’ve never ridden to.

So I was a commuter coming home tonight at 5:30 from Flinders St Station. It’s honestly been 10 years since I have had to be a peak hour commuter. Normally I leave work so late I miss the peak times even if I’m not riding.

I did love that my train leaves from a platform that also has a stall selling hot food. Cold weather justified my fast food purchase nicely. Way more cheery than a vending machine. Plus it had clever customised Dare advertising aimed at commuters.

I was VERY impressed by the #ptv announcer. He had to read out every train arriving and leaving, remember to remind people to stay back behind the safety line at set time periods, communicate clearly and stay sounding cheerful. I’m sure my voice would have had ‘tone‘ 20 minutes into my shift, but his was resolutely clear and upbeat. Loved the throwin lines, such as “Passengers waiting to get to West Footscray we appreciate your patience. We really appreciate it,  as you will be waiting some time …”

Luckily his predicted “Good service all the way on the Upfield line” stayed true and I had a clear run home.

Stay safe everyone.

Why #blogjune ?

14 Jun

Today’s #blogjune is about the impact on myself of actually undertaking daily posts.

So far I have

– learnt I need to chill out about not doing a post

– started reading other people’s blog posts regularly and learnt a lot

– discovered sometimes the act of writing leads to things you didn’t know were in your head spilling out as your text

– engaged again with my blog site, updated and renamed it since my interests have developed since my original site creation many years ago

– felt unnerved by the pressure of looking back over every day to find a post topic

– discovered I write a lot and I don’t need too; a post can be as simple as a photo or a few lines of text

– felt less intimidated by writing other things eg more active on Twitter again

Telling stories

13 Jun

Over the past 12 months I have heard repeatedly in a work context the theme about the value of communication through stories. The idea that we connect with others over a concept far more if it is told as a story, than as a business case, a marketing concept or a factual outline. That telling stories improves your chances of other people understanding your message because it communicates across workplace silo’s, reduces jargon, offers people a shared feeling to connect on and hence see your idea in relation to their own experience. That telling stories encourages collaboration, allows others to share their view of how your story can happen.


I’m a storyteller. I ramble, talk, chat, create verbal stories incessantly. So this theme appeals to me – finally others would see the value of putting an idea in context, creating real life scenarios around theory, placing plans within a framework of people and real life practice. A story offers you something human about the storyteller – a sense of their own values, their own experience, their own vision of where they want to go with an idea.

I’m also very focussed on results, here and now. So I can also experience telling stories as timewasting, that outlining an idea would now take a lot, lot longer. A culture which encourages story telling also means those hearing the story require patience, an openness to hearing the whole message. They can also mean that the storyteller feels more personally attached to their way of telling the story; that questioning, critiquing, retelling the story can be taken personally, be seen as questioning the storyteller’s reality.


Telling stories is not a statement of facts. It’s not a business case view of the world. As a child been told I was ‘telling stories’ was often a way to say I had been making things up, creating something I put forward as truth but was from my imagination, lying.

As an adult storyteller I can do parts of this still. I can take the bare bones of a story and polish it, remove long winded explanations, digressions, facts that distract from the main conclusion, add in verbal shortcuts to get an emotional sense felt at the time yet not connected to if you weren’t there. As a friend of mine once said “It’s a great story Ruth. It’s just the way you tell it, I don’t recognise it as that night we were out”.

Presentation is not a bad thing, unless it leads to ‘story selling’* rather than direct story telling. Seductive as this is from a marketing perspective, as stories have the power to communicate complicated context possible as a simple message, something our brains want to absorb; it will be counter productive in the long term in a workplace culture as it loses  one of the reason’s we can find stories engaging, the real connection to other people’s experiences.


So I’m going to try and pay more attention to the message, and less to the polished flow of words. I’m going to try and keep my stories human even if that’s messy.


* Stefani Romenti et al, 2013. “Make it personal.”, Communication World, Jan 1 2013