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A right (royal) pain in the arse


The excitement was palpable.

Not since Kanye stopped taking his meds and popped into the Oval Office wearing a MAGA cap hugging The Donald, had the media been in such a frenzy.

The princeling and Megs were coming to town.

Yep.

The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, Baron Kilkeel a.k.a. Prince “The royal ranga” Harry of House Windsor and his matrimonial mate, Meghan of Mad House Markle had landed on Australian soil.

Treated to such mundane Australian stereotypical adventures like cuddling a koala at Taronga Zoo, cuddling some cute kids in a drought affected area, cuddling a cute lifeguard at Bondi, avoiding the cuddles at Government House from Republicans and climbing some random bridge in Sydney.

The highlight of the Royal visit was yet to come.

Wait. Hold up. What?

The highlight was yet to come?

His royal Fanta-pants and the TV star could barely contain their excitement over their adventure further south to Victoria.

The Duchess had been combing the internet for some local designers and had settled on a lovely tie-died trouser suit from the St Andrews market.

Meanwhile Our Royal/Duke/Earl/Baron/Ginger Ninja was frothing over the prospect of cutting the ribbon at the grand opening of the Eighth Engineering Wonder of the World.

The real reason for the Royal visit had been revealed.

The beaming newly weds were here to flick the switch on the Research Road and Kangaroo Ground Road intersection traffic lights.

Shining a beacon of light and hope over improved traffic conditions, symbolising the greatest reunification since David Hasselhoff glued Deutschland back together.

The crowning glory of the you-beaut, wider-than-two-utes bridge.

Turns out, things didn’t quite go to plan.

In fact, the proverbial wheels started to fall off the Royal Caravan and accompanying media circus as soon as the bloodnut and the world’s favourite American divorcee’s plane landed at Melbourne Airport.

“Sorry your Royal Highness, but the Tullamarine Freeway is at a standstill after an accident,” announced the unwitting Uber driver who’d got the fateful call.

“No problems, we have the common touch, we’ll catch the Airport Link train to the city,” replied no-fuss-Harry.

“Er, sorry, but er, that hasn’t been built yet,” stammered someone official.

“Well, I’ve always wanted to catch a world-famous Melbourne Tram,” Harry graciously answered.

“Er, sorry, but er, the tram won’t get you to Warrandyte and the connecting Doncaster Rail Link hasn’t been built yet,” stammered someone official.

“Happy to jump in a helicopter,” responded Harry, smile starting to slip.

“Er, sorry, but er, Warrandyte is a no-fly zone.

“Every time a helicopter flies over the area, the Warrandyte Business and Community Facebook page goes into meltdown, taking up the entire 24kB/s bandwidth leading to all telecommunications to cease, water pressure to drop and the recycling bin not to get picked up for two weeks!,” stammered someone official.

Shaking his head, our trusty Rusty Duke, whispers to his lady: “Maybe we should just let this lot become a Republic”.

Across the airport’s long term carpark a voice boomed “Hey mate, you need a lift to Warrandyte?” as two muscly legged black-and-green-lycra-clad blokes pedalled furiously towards the royal party.

“Jump on, we can dink you there,” our two wheeled heroes added.

“That would be lovely,” replied the Duchess, now very pleased she had chosen the tie-died pant suit.

The cut making it easy to mount a bike and the tie-die covering up all evidence of mud splatter.

As our Warrandyte Mountain Bike Club heroes pedalled their precious cargo into town, our ever inquisitive kissed-by-fire sixth-in-line-to-the-throne exclaimed in wonder.

“Where are all the people?”

“Er, sorry, but er, the bridge is closed.

“No one can come south, so they’ve all gone to Eltham to get their morning coffee, smashed avo and groceries,” stammered someone official

“But aren’t we here to open the bridge?

“Don’t I get to cut the ribbon?

“Don’t I get to flick the switch on the traffic lights?” replied our copper-top, all but rubbing a bald patch on the back of his head.

“Er, sorry, but er, the bridge is nowhere near finished, we have some traffic light poles but they aren’t connected to anything, there aren’t any switches yet and no one has ordered the ribbon,” stammered someone official.

“But wasn’t is all supposed to be finished by fire season, I mean after, I mean September?” replied the Earl of Dumbarton, understanding dawning on him, he had actually found the dumb town he was Earl of.

“Er, sorry, but er, we had delays with… and…and…and…” droned on someone official.

“Well, I’m pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is pregnant.

“Maybe the bridge will be completed by the time our child has come of age and they can do the grand opening,” replied the proud father to be.

“Er, sorry, but er, wait. What. Hold up. That’s a brilliant idea. It might almost be finished by then,” stammered someone official.

The More Things Change

The Diary’s researchers have taken a peek into the archives to see what was happening in Warrandyte a century ago and guess what they found?

Hawthorn and Camberwell Advertiser Friday, October 18 1918, Page 4.

WARRANDYTE NOTES

About 100 returned wounded soldiers were entertained at luncheon and afternoon tea on Sunday, October 13.

The display inside the hall was most inviting, the tables being stored with the choicest of edibles, tempting in the highest degree and sufficient to satisfy the most exacting of epicures.

As the soldiers arrived they were all directed into the hall, the weather being wintry, and a gusty wind prevailed. Among the visitors was Mr Pearson, who has been such a prominent figure in this particular mission of conveying them to the different centres of attraction.

After luncheon, they sallied forth to see as much as they could of the little village and to gather the beautiful tinted leaves which at this season of the year are the glory of the bush.

One young fellow who had undergone six or seven operations on the table of the operating theatre, and was the wonder of the medical faculty, came sauntering back from his ramble looking happy carrying a little forest of green leaves, and pleased with the thought of taking a touch of nature back with him to gladden the hearts of those left behind.

The topic, however, was not of Warrandyte or its possibilities, but General Pau, who was to visit the hospital next day, and to them the prospect was a highly interesting one.

About four o’clock the cars began to move away, the occupants being none the worse for their outing, but much benefitted by the fresh air. Mr W. Aird, formerly of Ringwood, catered for the guests, and after the visitors had departed those who remained behind were invited by Mr Aird to partake of what refreshments were available, which was done ample justice to.

The whole of the arrangements were under the supervision of the Warrandyte Patriotic League. A welcome home was tendered on Saturday evening, October 12, by the residents of Warrandyte to Corporal George T. Clarke, better known as “Bobby”, who had seen four years’ service right through from the peninsula to western Europe.

He was the pioneer of the little town to enlist, and sailed on October 19, 1914. Corporal Clarke has been three times wounded, the first occasion being at the landing at Gallipoli.

On arrival in the township, he was given an ovation by the school children, and the reception in the evening was a hearty one, some of his mates from the 8th Battalion carrying him shoulder high. Being a general favourite, he was made the recipient of warm eulogiums.

Mr A. Aird congratulated him on behalf of those present on his safe return, which was endorsed by Sgt Thompson, of the 8th Battalion, and others.

Corporal Clarke responded in simple language, and expressed his pleasure at the welcome given him.

Cheers were given again and again for the guest of the evening. Items were rendered by Queenie Robertson, Francey Sloan, Mr Archie Clarke (a brother of Corporal Clarke), Mr J. Cooke, and Miss A. Mullens. Mr Woodford Smith (violin) and Mr A. Aird (piano) supplied the musical programme for the evening, and Mr C. Jones acted as M.C. Dancing was kept up late, and a most enjoyable evening spent, refreshments being provided gratis by Mr and Mrs Aird.

But the saddest of all was the homecoming to that vacant chair, for the mother who had said farewell and bade him “God speed”, had passed away during his absence.

Perhaps the blow had been softened, as not long after he had departed he had received the news that his mother had died suddenly, which came as a great shock to her many friends, but only he alone could the feel the full significance of his loss.

Articles in “The more things change” sourced through the National Library of Australia’s online archive Trove: https://trove.nla.gov.au/

image courtesy of Warrandyte Historical Society website.

War, climate change and our future


ON MAY 8 1970, Melbourne witnessed a then unprecedented event: a demonstration of around 100,000 people in Bourke Street against the Vietnam War.

In all, some 200,000 people protested throughout Australia that day, sending a powerful message to the government that the tide of public opinion was turning against Australia’s involvement in the war.

Nearly 33 years later, on February 14 2003, there were again massive protests throughout Australia – and elsewhere in the world – against the proposed invasion of Iraq.

Estimates of the numbers at the Melbourne rally alone ranged between 100,000 and 200,000.

I remember marching down Swanston Street to Federation Square and being stunned by the vastness of the crowd.

Fast forward to 2018, and we’re now facing a crisis of a very different kind.

A crisis that can fairly be regarded as the greatest in human history – climate change.

Throughout the world, average surface temperatures are rising.

Globally, 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2001, with 2016 ranking as the warmest on record.

This is one aspect of what we call “climate change”, but the term also refers to a broader range of changes that are happening to our planet.

These include rising sea levels, shrinking mountain glaciers, accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic, and shifts in flower/plant blooming times.

They also include weather events of increasing severity and frequency, like cyclones, droughts, and floods.

The effects of climate change are everywhere to be seen:

  • The Great Barrier Reef is dying largely as a result of increased water temperatures due to global warming.
  • Low-lying nations, particularly small island states, face inundation as a result of rising sea levels.
  • With increased temperatures and frequent heatwaves worldwide, there is increased evaporation of water which provides fuel for storms, exacerbating extreme weather events like cyclones or hurricanes, especially in tropical regions.
  • The melting of the cryosphere (frozen water in the polar ice caps and elsewhere) means that we’re seeing not only sea level rises, but also the exposure of dark ocean waters, which absorb more sunlight than ice – heating the ocean more and speeding up a relentless cycle of melting and heating.

The international Paris Agreement, supported by world scientific opinion, has recognised that the situation we face is one of urgency:  we need to take drastic measures to limit average global temperature rises to a maximum of 2oC (since the start of industrial times) — and pursue efforts to limit the average increase to 1.5°C — if we’re to avoid the worst impacts of dangerous climate change.

Given the great weight of scientific opinion and that our planet’s future is at stake, it’s not unreasonable to expect our politicians to show strong national leadership on the need for urgent, effective action on climate change.

However, leadership has been sadly lacking on this issue.

Instead, the climate crisis has become mired in short-sighted political expediency, climate denialism, and party politics — including the destructive Liberal Party in-fighting that recently caused the (second) downfall of Malcom Turnbull.

In the absence of proper political leadership, the pressure for urgent climate action needs to come from the community.

The People’s Climate March in Melbourne in November 2015 was attended by an estimated 60,000 people.

But we should be seeing far bigger demonstrations in our streets calling for urgent climate action, on the same scale as the one against the Iraq War in February 2003, if not larger.

For various reasons, however, this has not yet occurred.

Climate change has crept up on us gradually, especially over the last 50 years or so.

The adverse effects of climate change are worsening, but they’re occurring intermittently over an extended time-frame of years and decades.

Most of the time, our weather conditions appear normal and the urgency of the climate situation is not readily apparent to many people in the community.

Unlike the threat posed at times by war or terrorism (for example, by the looming invasion of Iraq in 2003), climate change does not present the same sort of imminent and tangible threat that people feel they can do something about, such as by taking to the streets in protest.

Part of the problem in getting people to accept the need for urgent climate action arises from the process of psychological denial, whereby people choose to deny the existence of unpleasant realities in spite of the evidence.

Likewise, the climate change problem is so huge that many people feel overwhelmed and powerless to do anything about it.

So they “switch off” and opt to do nothing at all.

The key challenges for the climate action movement are to engage with the community to a far greater extent, and to understand and overcome the barriers to widespread popular support for urgent climate action.

The proposed Carmichael (Adani) coal mine and rail project represent an excellent focus for community engagement.

In the face of the climate emergency due to the burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the federal and Queensland governments are ardently supporting and facilitating the Adani mine, which will be the world’s biggest coal venture.

WarrandyteCAN condemns the recklessness of both these governments, and urges everyone to do what they can to support the Stop Adani campaign.

WarrandyteCAN would like to know what readers of the Warrandyte Diary think about climate change and asks them to take part in the following poll:

Global warming is a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs.


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Tasmania’s temptations

I asked our resident Tasmanian expert Anna, a Tasmanian herself, how best one should spend a lazy few days on the beautiful Apple Isle.

If you are a foodie and love the outdoors, it will be hard not to resist her recommendations.

Upon arriving at Launceston Airport, collect your car and travel about 10 minutes to your first stop.

Enjoy a winery tour, tasting and lunch at Josef Chromy Wines, a state-of-the-art winery located near Launceston. Surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and vineyards, the winery offers a range of cool-climate wines, delicious food and warm service.

Start by walking in the vineyard and learning about the estate’s high-tech winemaking process.

Sip some samples served by a friendly wine expert then head to a two-course lunch paired with wine.

It’s the perfect way to explore Tasmanian wine country. Head o for a beautiful drive looping the vineyards and providores on both sides of the Tamar Valley.

Exploring the Artentwine Sculpture Biennial on o er over October and November 2018.

Next day drive to Cradle Mountain, roughly a two hour drive.

On the way keep an eye out for Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Café.

This place has an unending supply of raspberries and raspberry menu items.

Stop in, if only to buy some chocolate covered raspberries. is is important.

They are fantastic and will be perfect for an evening at Cradle Mountain Lodge with a good glass of red — I promise.

Spend your time in Cradle Mountain taking in the beauty of this amazing National Park.

The park contains an extensive network of walking tracks to suit everyone’s tastes.

A day walk map should be purchased from the visitor centre if you want to go on any day walks.

Start at the visitor centre will also provide tailor-made advice to match your walking needs with the tracks available.

Strahan is a harbour-side village with a dark and fascinating convict past set on the edge of the World Heritage listed Franklin–Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.

Strahan is full of stories from the days of convicts and pioneers toughing it out in Tassie’s “wild west”.

Strahan is also the departure point for the West Coast Wilderness Railway which do a half day tour journeying deep into Tasmania’s rainforest.

A scenic road trip will see you in Hobart for a city sojourn to end your gorgeous getaway in Tasmania.

What are you waiting for?

Our travel expert Carolyn is the manager of Warrandyte Travel and Cruise.

Email her at — carolyn@warrandytetravel.com.au

How can we get motivated to exercise daily?


FITNESS: Chris Sharp

I’VE BEEN in the health and fitness industry for over 25 years now and the thing I see most that stops my clients achieving their goals is self-doubt and not believing they can actually be the best version of themselves.

Life’s pressures such as relationships, work and illnesses will halt them and, on many occasions, they give up.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself; if you get off the fitness wagon, you just have to get back on.”

It’s always important to look at the big picture; one of my favourite sayings is “health is not just for now, it’s for life”.

Dealing with Setbacks: How to Stay Motivated When Feeling Flat

It is estimated that 60–70 per cent of the Australian population does not engage in regular physical activity.

The most common reasons as to why people fail to stick to a regular exercise regimen include lack of time, inability to get to a gym, lack of motivation, fear of injury, and misconceptions about exercise.

Barriers such as these have caused a majority of us to sacrifice regular physical activity, an element that is as vital to our health and well-being as food, water, and shelter.

By taking a closer look at the barriers that keep us glued to our couches, I hope to help anyone out there who is struggling to overcome them.

Here are some common excuses and ways to combat them on days you’re feeling flat: “I don’t have the energy to exercise.”

It can be a struggle to get moving at times.

But I can guarantee that once your body becomes accustomed to regular workouts, not only will your energy levels soar, but sitting still will become the struggle! I still remember being new to exercising on my own, not playing a team sport and sometimes dreading what lay ahead, but before I knew it, I began craving the workouts because I loved the way I felt afterwards.

“I don’t have enough time to exercise.”

This is the one I hear most of all and I often use this equation to quantify my response.

There are 168 hours in a week.

If you exercised at least three hours, that’s only 5.6 per cent of your time consumed by exercise.

It’s really not much is it?

One of the leading reasons many of us fail to stick to a regular exercise routine is the belief that we never have extra time.

With the busy lifestyles most of us lead, it can seem almost impossible to fit in a workout every day.

However, studies have shown that if we can commit 30 minutes a day to some form of physical activity, our health, well-being and productivity can improve dramatically.

I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is unable to dedicate just a half hour a day to their fitness, even if that means splitting 30 minutes into two sets of 15 minutes or three sets of 10.

Whether it be taking the stairs instead of the lift to the office, taking a walk during your lunch break, kicking the footy or throwing a ball or Frisbee around with the kids after work (I’m sure they would appreciate it!) or hiring a mobile trainer to train you at the destination/time of your choice, there are plenty of ways to keep active throughout the day.

When we exercise, endorphins (AKA ‘happy hormones’) are produced by and released into the body, causing an overall sense of happiness, relaxation and well-being.

So, if low energy levels are preventing you from staying active, focus on how fantastic you will feel if instead you were wide awake from working out!

“Exercise is boring…”

This is one I also hear a fair bit!

This is only the case if you choose boring activities!

You wouldn’t wear the same clothes all week, or eat the same food every day, so if physical activity is as vital to our well-being as these things, why choose the same boring exercise?

Choose something you enjoy, whether it is dancing, a sport, or having a personal trainer provide you with a program that caters to your likes and dislikes.

Ensure that you mix up your exercise routine, so you are not taking part in the same activity every day (e.g., Monday night dance class, Wednesday night personal training session, Friday afternoon beach jog/walk).

Do whatever it is you enjoy doing.

This way your mind stays motivated and your body stays challenged.

“Exercise is too painful”, or “I’m afraid I’ll injure myself”

The old saying “no pain, no gain” is one that should be disregarded completely! Exercise DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT need to be painful to be beneficial and effective.

Yes, it may be true that if you are training towards an elite level of fitness (such as an athlete or bodybuilder preparing for competition), you will need to endure an elevated level of intensive training.

However, for those of us who wish to exercise for the sake of general health and happiness, a moderate level of activity will suffice.

Still, it is important that as fitness increases, the intensity of our workouts increase as well to ensure that our bodies continue to respond to the activity by getting stronger and more capable.

You can do this on your own by increasing duration of activity, or number or sets per exercise.

Alternatively, a good personal trainer will be able to provide a program suited to your goals and adjust it according to increases in your fitness levels.

At NO stage throughout a workout should any pain be experienced, and if it is, the activity should be ceased immediately.

But there’s a difference between the pain of injury and the burn you feel when challenging your body.

A great instructor once told a class I was participating in, “This is not pain. This is just necessary discomfort!”, and I think a life of looking and feeling fantastic is worth enduring a bit of “necessary discomfort.”

The barriers mentioned above are only a few of the ones that can prevent us from engaging in regular physical activity, and I have only offered several of the many ways you can overcome them.

The main idea is to work on changing your perspective to get the motivation you need.

Next time you are tempted to put off your workout regimen until tomorrow or next week, remember all the benefits of exercise awaiting you, pull on those trainers, and get yourself on the track towards achieving the optimal health, fitness and well-being you deserve!

 

Chris Sharp owns and operates rivvaPT at 4/5 266 Yarra St Warrandyte