A Quick Lesson in Acronyms

Now I know that I am a little obsessive over this but it really annoys me when people use acronyms incorrectly. The following two examples are my biggest pet hates and they go hand in hand.

ATM Machine

I have had many friends ask me where the nearest ATM machine is. Why is this annoying? ATM stands for automatic teller machine. You are asking me where the automatic teller machine machine is? Now doesn’t that sound wrong?

PIN Number

And when they get to the automatic teller machine machine they will giggle and say “oh, I forgot my PIN number”. Again, why is this wrong? Because PIN stands for personal identification number.

So now, said friend is standing at the automatic teller machine machine trying to remember their personal identification number number. Perhaps if they stopped so much duplication they might be able to remember the four digits!



Craig’s Hut

Over the Easter break we visited the iconic Craig’s Hut. The hut is situated on Mt Stirling in Victoria’s High Country. Mt Stirling is part of the Alpine National Park. The hut is approximately 32kms from Mansfield. 2WD cars can drive most of the way and have the option of parking and walking the remaining 1.2km. Alternatively, 4WD vehicles can drive all the way to the parking area next to the hut.

The hut was built as a replica of a cattleman’s hut for the 1981 movie The Man From Snowy River. The movie was based on the well-known poem with the same name by Banjo Paterson.

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses – he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.

Extract taken from http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/snowy.html

The history of the cattleman and the manner in it which it was depicted in both the poem and movie are an important part of Australian history. These are the people that worked and lived in the mountains of this region. They built huts to shelter in as they drove their cattle through the land.

As well as it’s significance in the history of the region and Australian film and literature history, Craig’s Hut also symbolises another important aspect of life in the region. In 2006 it was burned down during a bushfire. It was rebuilt the following year, however the new hut is slightly different to the original one.

Here are some of the pictures I took on my phone when we there (stupidly I forgot my camera). They don’t quite capture just how stunning the views are, but you might get some idea. If you are ever in the region I highly recommend a visit.


The Lost Art of Gift Giving

I went to a wedding on the weekend. It was a beautiful wedding. Very simple and elegant.

As I arrived, I lugged a huge box from the boot of my car into the foyer of the venue. It was a gift that I had spent hours the previous day trudging up and down the stores at my local shopping centre trying to find. I agonised over many objects until I finally settled on something I thought right for the couple.

I chose a vintage drink dispenser; a large glass jar with a little silver tap that you can place beverages in when entertaining. I thought it would suit as they are a couple with young children. He also dabbles in brewing. In my mind, it was the type of item that you would not normally buy yourself but is nice to have. The type of item that I think is the perfect gift. It is useful to their needs but not so practical that they would have already purchased it themselves (or having two  would not be a problem).

When I got home I agonised over wrapping my gift. Not wanting it to break, I carefully placed it in a cardboard box and taped it up first. I then searched high and low for wrapping paper. Not finding any, I settled on brown paper and neatly wrapped the box. To decorate, I tied white ribbon, lace and a string of beads.

As I entered the foyer I approached the gift table. The invitation had not specified any gifts. There was no registry to follow or requests for cash. Yet when I got to the table (and I was running late so the rest of the gifts were already there) it was starkly obvious that I was the only person that had gone for a traditional gift. There were two or three small boxes on the table and my large box stuck in the middle of the table. To the side of the table was a large glass jar marked “cards”. This was full. Everyone, except for me had given cash.

Now I am not opposed to giving cash necessarily… ok… I am a little. When I say I am not opposed, I mean that I understand that life is expensive. These days most couples live with each other before they get married and have already got a toaster, blender and the rest of the household appliances that they need. What they need is cash.

But it still doesn’t sit well with me. When did gifts suddenly need to be practical? Who decided that you can’t just give frivolous objects that people might simply like?

I have this argument with my mother every Christmas. She has decided to cut back on the amount she spends on my children. Her argument is that they get so much stuff at Christmas time that they really don’t need more. Instead, she has opted to buy a small gift and put the money she saves into a bank account for them for when they are older.

I think the bank account is a nice idea and appreciate what she is trying to do.

What gets up my nose is the fact that Christmas has a value on it. Although I appreciate her actions, I find it unnecessary. Who decided that a certain amount needs to be spent on each person? Why is it that gift giving has become about a dollar value and not about the joy of trying to find something that the receiver might like? Why can’t children get heaps of useless crap at Christmas time? It’s something I just don’t understand.

I feel that we have lost the meaning of gift giving. For me, giving a gift was about the simple act of trying to understand someone else’s likes and choosing or making something that would bring them joy and happiness. I relish in the delight on a child’s face when they open a box a find a toy they haven’t seen before.

When someone opens a card and pulls out a $50 note, says thanks and shoves it in their pocket I feel that we have taken away some of that magic. All this focus on practicality and dollar values seems to have stripped the pleasure of gift giving.

Maybe I am just being old-fashioned or reading too much into it but I love gifts that are outside of my comfort zone. I love when people buy me things that I would never have thought to buy myself. It helps me to be adventurous and experience the world. There are things I have been given that I would never in a million years of thought to buy with my money (or given money).

What are your thoughts? Is this a lost art or do I just need to get with the times?


Every Monday morning I spend an hour with the Grade 1 class at my son’s primary school listening to the kids read one on one. While I was there this morning the teacher was instructing the rest of the grade on how to write a poem. The example provided was about the colour green. The kids then had to pick another colour as a class and they brainstormed that colour. They chose red. They had to think of all the things that look, feel, taste and smell red. Afterwards, they were each sent off to spend some time compiling their poems.

Although I passed grade 1 a long time ago, I liked this idea and decided I want to write a “red” poem too. So here goes…

Red is the colour of passion.

Red is the feeling of heat prickling my skin.

Red is the smell of blood.

Red is the colour of the sun.

Red is a kiss.

Red is cheeks blushing with embarrassment.

Red is the smell of roses on Valentine’s day.

Red is strawberries floating in champagne.

Red sky

Red sky (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Red is a wound, fresh and oozing.

Red is fireworks, exploding across the sky.

Red is the colour of love.


This morning I went for a walk in the countryside with my son. Actually, I walked and he rode his bike.

There were a lot of hills along the way and my 6-year-old son was soon running out of energy. He asked to stop and catch his breath.

While we paused, my attention turned to the dandelions growing along the side of the road. I’ve always been fascinated by them.

Being me, I instantly wanted to take a photo. All I had with me was my phone though. So I thought I’d give it a go anyway. I was actually quite surprised with the results.

Dandelion 1 Dandelion 2

Rainy Day Fun

We are at our caravan this weekend. It is nice to be away but unfortunately the weather is pretty ordinary.

The kids were starting to be a little bored and restless. I was trying to think of something (besides TV) for them to do in a small space. Then I remembered something I’d seen on Pinterest.

So, we created this race track. My boys loved it and have spent lots of time reinventing it and racing their cars around. Not to mention a pit stop or two. And all it cost me was a couple of rolls of masking tape.

Kids Race Track

What Happened to the Courtesy Wave?

I have noticed lately that some people just do not know the rules regarding the courtesy wave. In fact, in some areas the courtesy wave seems to have disappeared altogether. This really gets under my skin.

It is quite simple. When a driver waits pulls over to let you pass or holds back so that you can move into their lane, you need to raise your hand to give a little wave. It may not be written in the legislation, but it probably should be.

Too many people are just not understanding what is required. Maybe people are more ignorant or maybe they don’t understand common decency.

Although, I don’t really care why people don’t understand, there are really no excuses.

Of course, I’m sure all my readers are polite and wave when someone kindly delays their driving journey briefly to put their needs first. I know you are all kind enough to acknowledge these small but important gestures. I just wish everyone else was like you…