Monday, June 11, 2012

Poor Treatment

I write this comment here - as it gives some idea of the way nurses are treated in distant regions.  I'm talking about Western Australia here, but I suspect that nurses in many remote places are not always treated with the care they should be.

Imagine this.  A contract for 10 days of night duty at a remote town.  Five nights on, two nights off, and five more nights on.  The nurse who went to help - the country hospital was desperate - lives 350 kms away from this town, and I might add is in her late 60's.  She's highly qualified and has been doing this sort of relief work for several years.  Hardly inexperienced.  In fact extremely highly qualified.

After completing five grueling nights of work, she came off duty expecting to get some rest and sleep! Only to be met by officialdom requesting she move out of the accommodation, as someone else was due to arrive.  What?  So where was her alternate accommodation?  Drive home for 350 kms?  After working all night?  It seems that it was somewhat a secret - certainly no one when she arrived at this outstation, that she was required to vacate for her two nights off.  And have a round trip of some 700 kms between her working nights.    After much argy-bargy, said nurse moved into the local caravan park.

The argument is still going on - the person responsible for the contract is unavailable - it is a weekend of course, so a bit more difficult.

The nurse is a good friend of mine - in fact we did our nursing training together in South Australia many years ago.  She often tells me of the treatment of staff and indeed patients in small country hospitals.  I find it astounding!

We will see where this ends - but instead of breaking the contract and heading home and leaving them in the lurch for the lat 5 nights she was contracted to do, she is staying, reluctantly of course as she is so hurt by this, she'd rather head home.

Normally she is provided with accommodation (and some of it rather challenging) for the time of the contract - from the start to the end.  No other hospital has required her to drive home hundreds of kilometers on off-duty periods.

Sad, but true.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another Bamboo Book

I bought this book for my Kindle - and loved it.  It is "Daughter of the Bamboo Forest" by Sheng-Shih Lin.   I like 'real books' but I love my Kindle too, especially when I am travelling.

I will load quite a few  books onto my Kindle before I set off on my round Australia adventure later this year.  I find it so convenient to read on my Kindle.

On Amazon this is what is said about "Daughter of the Bamboo Forest"

"Alone in the bamboo forest, seven-year-old Little Jade, still dressed in red silk after her father's recent wedding, wonders whether she will ever meet her real mother. DAUGHTER OF THE BAMBOO FOREST is a story set in war-torn, post-revolutionary China during the 1940s. From age seven to twelve, Little Jade longs for the attention of an opium-addicted father and clashes with a desperate, resentful stepmother. The young girl is inadvertently swept by the tides of history, encountering a plague that decimated a village, Catholic nuns in a convent school, and the fabled dragon king along the way."

It is quite a sad story really, about a little girl neglected by her parents, and living a life which is quite tragic really, but the reader follow Little Jade's journey which has quite amazing twists and turns.

The story is based on the author's mother's story.

Read about it/buy it here at Amazon. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bamboo Books

When I was doing research for my university assignment on I found that there were a few books with 'bamboo' in the title.  One "So Far from the Bamboo Grove" I found particularly interesting, as it was written by Yoko Kawshima Watkins, who relates the tale of life around the time that the Japanese lost World War II.

Her father was a Japanese government official working in Manchuria, and Ko, her brother and sister and mother lived not far away in North Korea's Nanam.  When it became clear that they had to escape, Ko, her mother and sister made their own way through North Korea to Seoul.  It is a riveting story.

There has been, since 2006, some dispute particularly about the planes that Yoko describes, but in the front of my copy, she explains that the story is as she can remember.

The book received many awards, including The Courage of conscience Award from the Peace Abbey in Sherbourn, Massachusetts.

I have thought long and hard about including the YouTube Video discrediting the author's story, as I find the whole thing offensive.  Yoko does explain that she was 11 at the time, and clearly she would have been traumatised by what occurred at the time.  One point that the
video makes is that bamboo would not grow in that part of North Korea as it is too far from the tropical zones where bamboo thrives. Bamboo actually does very well in cooler climates, and indeed does grow in places like the UK, Germany etc, and in Beijing, which is almost on the on the same parallel.

I do recommend the book, which I bought on Amazon, but I see it is available in Australia.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Little Bit of Madness

Those of my readers who know me, may recall that as a nurse I enjoyed (really) my days and nights working in psychiatry.  It was a weird, weird world trying to tread lightly through some amazing situations as my ill patients walked through their strange world.  I did find it fascinating - but in the end left as I felt that many of the staff were also succumbing to creating a world that was not the 'norm'.  When doctors and nurses not only cross the divide between doctor/nurse and patient relationships, you know you are in weird company.  I digress a little - I would have liked to stay working there but it was getting too weird for me.

One of my friends who has Bipolar has written about her experiences as a patient - and I was unable to attend her launch, but did buy the book from her. And yes, she has signed it for me.

I am about a third of the way through the book and I am so impressed with her writing and the openness of telling her story - warts and all.

I hope to finish it in the next few days (between other big commitments), but already I am recommending it to anyone who will listen.  It is called "Me and Her" - "One woman's story of manic dreams and her two personas. ME - wife, mother, writer and teacher.  HER - manic, psychic, healer to the living, telepathic to the dead, and she's very psychotic."

The book is called "Me and Her" and the author is the delightful Karen Tyrrell.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Salmon Fishing in Yemen

It was a long weekend here (May 5th, 6th, 7th) and I had some vague plans which fell through, so off to the movies.

Bulimba is a quaint place which is old, with many shops dotted throughout the main street, and plenty of restaurants and they appeared to be doing a roaring trade as I drove in.  There is a Cineplex theatre there - a very old theatre which looks a little worse for wear but is hugely popular - I think there are some 6 theatres within the old complex, and with some car parking.  Luckily I found a park there - I think the last space - and headed in to the theatre.

Timing was awesome, as I had only found my preferred seat and settled in when the theatre darkened and the in-house messages, ads from sponsors, and previews started.

I had seen a preview of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and it seemed a strange topic, though clearly there was a romance involved.

I loved the movie - and loved watching the behaviour of the bureaucrats and others as they tried to sort out the Sheik's strange request for the British government to help set up a salmon fishing program in the deserts of Yemen.  Money talks of course - and it SHOUTED at all involved.

One aspect that thrilled me was the photography - the scenery around the Yemen in particular was extra ordinary.There was much intrigue when the boyfriend was declared lost in Afghanistan - and that part of the story had a surprise (albeit a bit silly) ending.

Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Amr Waked star.  The cast is stunning.

I loved the movie.

It is a MUST SEE movie.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A new book - So Far

The advent and now proliferation of e-book readers is making it easier and perhaps more profitable for writers to go in this direction.

It is something that I am looking a bit closer at - as I near the completion point of some of my works.

A friend Thea Biesheuvel, also a member of the Society of Women Writers Qld, has had her collection of short stories published on Smashwords, a site where writers can publish their own work, and sell from that site.  Brilliant idea and I am looking at it closely.

Thea was born in Holland, and when she came to Australia she had little knowledge of English, but since she has gained a brilliant education and her writing is awesome.

Her book called So Far, and is available here.  You can download it to any e-reader, (I have a Kindle and I prefer to use this.)

You can purchase the book here for $3.99 (US)   Click here.

Judi Cox with Thea Biesheuvel

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What a wonderful film - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I had a busy morning and was going to do some uni work in the afternoon, but the new website has worked to refuse me entry to the material I need, and my pleas for it to be fixed have fallen on deaf ears.

So I went to the movies.  I am disappointed that  have missed a few movies that I wanted to see - will just have to wait until they are out on DVD now (Iron Lady is one!)

I really must try and go to the movies every fortnight.  Then I will not miss any.

I will see this one again - it was fabulous, and is really good for a great laugh.  So funny!  So real in a way.

Loved it.  Loved to see the colourful life of India and Judy Dench and Maggie Smith were fabulous in it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Book about the Pilbara in WA.

I have just finished reading Lonely for my Land by Tish Lees.  I met Tish at an Author's Fair in Maroochydore, Queensland, last year, and purchased her book for my friend Bev, who is a registered nurse working in WA, and who lived and worked at Karratha.  She read it with enthusiasm, and later when I visited her in WA in January, she loaned it to me to read.

She certainly had an extra ordinary life living in the Pilbara at a time when it was clearly quite primitive, and she tells wonderful stories about her life there.  I recommend it, especially as a gift for someone who lives in WA, or knows that region.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I must, I must - see a Movie This Week!!

It has been a while - but with study and travel I have not been to the movies, and I have rarely watched one on television.  I MUST have some ME time, so this week I will get to the movies.   I feel I have more freedom now that most of my study is behind me.

While I have not seen a movie, I have continued to read and I have a couple of recommendations.

My granddaughter treasures a book "A Waltz for Matilda" - which is a fabulous story - fiction, but much of it 'linked' with Australian history, of a little girl Matilda.  A.B. Patterson's "Waltzing Matilda" forms a framework of sorts.  In any case it is a brilliant story and fantastic read.  Jackie French, the author is quite a fantastic writer - and she writes good material - and I am in awe of the number books she has written.

Last year I attended an Author's Fair at Maroochydore, and purchased a book "Lonely for My Land", Tales of Karratha Station and the Nor' West, by Tish Lees.  Tish was at the Fair, and I spoke with her, and I purchased the book because my good friend Toby, with whom I did my nursing training with in Mt Gambier Hospital, lived and worked at Karratha.

I gave it to her for Christmas and she read it enthusiastically, and when I went to Perth in January for her graduation from university, she loaned it to me.  I am more than halfway through it - and enjoying it very much.  Tish clearly had a wonderful life - but they were tough times.  Karratha, which is in the Pilbara of WA was a pretty desolate place in the early 1900's, and into the war years, and so close to the action of World War II.  A great read though.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Must See movies in 2012!!

I've managed to see two movies in the last week - War Horse and yesterday, We bought a Zoo.  Both must see movies.

War Horse was gripping from start to finish with many twists and turns - and the graphic scenes of the carnage of World War I, was very heart wrenching.  We know so many lives were lost in that horrific war, but to see it played out in that way was hard to take really.  Why oh, why do we keep having violence and wars??

A great movie!!!

We Bought a Zoo was a much more family oriented movie - with with moments of heartbreak, and some audience members were seen to be sobbing into tissues.  It is interesting to note that the film was based on a true story of a zoo in the UK, while the film was about a zoo in the US.  Oh, well.

The real zoo is Dartmoor Zoo - you can read about it here. Dartmoor Zoo

Drought continues - at least re movies for me!

I have managed to see two movies, since my last post - I am pleased to say that I saw both War Horse, and We Bought a Zoo.  Both had their sad moments, but of course War Horse had the most dramatic.  It was painful to watch the World War I scenes - oh, why do we have such brutal wars?  Even the 'war to end all wars' didn't.

Still, I'd recommend both movies.  The last movie I saw was on New Year's Day - and I've not set foot in a theatre since, but I guess it is only 29 days!  I haven't read much either, but today retrieved a brilliant book from my shipping container.  It has been in there since just before my trip to Perth and Adelaide, and though most of my belonging are still in the container, I did get some things that I needed for my jaunt to Bali - which is only 3 sleeps away. (Whose counting?)

I doubt that I will finish this book before I go, and I won't be taking it with me as I have two books in my Kindle that I want to read - and it is much easier travelling with a Kindle.

The book in question is "A Waltz for Matilda" by Jackie French.  Many of us would recall Jackie as a zany personality on the now defunct Burke's Backyard, but she is an amazingly prolific writer.  The book belongs to my granddaughter who is 11 1/2 years old, and she just loved it  as I am doing.

Jackie has used the song "Walzting Matilda" based on the poem by A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson,  as the inspiration for the story of young Matilda, who sets out in 1894 at 12 years of age to find  her father in the midst of the shearers strike.  There's a lot of historical material in it, and the gripping story takes us through life in the bush.

I do have several other books to read, and I have also decided to read one of Amanda Hocking's books, as her story is inspirational.