Saturday, 30 November 2013

Stay of Execution ...... Plus an Update for Dec 9th -

Well, I started the year on a very horrid low note with the very real threat of cancer hanging over my head for the third time; major, major complications during surgery and post operatively, what should have been a simple overnight keyhole op & 1 weeks recovery turned into major surgery, being stuck in hospital for 8 days  -then 5 months recovery.  During all that drama the Council decided they were going to rezone my house from Low Density (R2) to Public Recreation (RE1) and placed it under an acquisition order under their LEP (Local Environment Plan) for 2013; they also wanted to put in a through road (I live in a cul-de-sac amid two others and two no through roads) at the bottom of the cul-de-sac.

Panic station amongst all the locals - there were a over 800 homes that would be affected if the plan went through intact - and so we all went into protest mode.

After months of protests and submissions the Council have today,Nov 30th, released a revised LEP and .... joy oh bliss .... they have decided against rezoning my street at this stage nor are they going to put in the through-road.

In their 2036 Masterplan they have earmarked the street for Public Recreation but that was drawn up in 2012 and I am guessing they will issue a revised one or else leave it to show their ultimate goal.

There were a total of 488 properties in the area that were to be rezoned for Public Recreation but that is now down to 93; while a total of 64 were for roads and now it is just 1.  This will be a big win for the locals if this new plan is adopted.

Mind you this is just a stay of execution but at least it means if I want to move I can sell on the open market or I can stay here in the knowledge that my house isn't going to be knocked down in the next few years.  I should be safe for at least the next five years.

I will have to now seriously think about whether I will sell & look for something else - or stay and hope that in 5 years they (the Council) have a change of ideas or a change of members.

Of course all I have to do is win first prize in the Lotto then I don;t have to worry and I can build myself something special, somewhere nice with a great big Art Studio like this beauty......

 ...... or find some rich sugar daddy who loves older BBWs ...... and let him build it for me.

Any multi billionaires reading this who wants to donate their money to a quirky crazed older artist (only 48 shades of grey though) please drop me an email - all offers seriously considered ...... ROTFL!!!

Meet up with some of the local ladies in the Facebook, Photo-a-day group for a Christmas lunch.  It is amazing really, the group is worldwide and has over 10,000 member; yet there are over 100 who live in Greater Sydney.  Pretty high percentage if you think about it; and if you were to spread it to NSW the number is very high.

UPDATE - Council meeting tonight (9 Dec) it is open to everyone in the Blacktown Council area.  Their intention is to vote on the new changes but they are giving two hours prior to residents to speak.  Our street will be going and I have written our speech/submission for another resident to read.

All we can do is hope for the best; a 5 year reprieve at this stage would be much better.  Then we can regroup and fight when the next plan comes out if we are impacted again.  Will let you know the results of the meeting.


The Liberal and Independant counsellors wanted to defer voting AGAIN but the Labour members said the public had the right to get this over and done with, one way or another.

Labour put forward a motion slashing another 66 homes from the aquistion list plus a couple of other issues.

Headed debate between both sides of  the Councillors, with the Residents making it very plain what we wanted from them.  Labour Councillors once again put forward the amendment to the revised plan asking for a vote on it; finally the motion was put to the floor and passed with a majority of one (not a big one but we got through).

Then came the final vote and it was PASSED!!!!  The Council Chambers erupted as that final motion was passed including slashing another 66 houses from the acquisition list!

So happy with the results. I came home with a thick document of over 1000 pages and have gone through it carefully.  They have given two maps that show my area, a 5 year one and along term and in both there are no changes earmarked although it does look like the houses in my area (including mine) have been marked to be rezoned at some point as Medium Density (R3) which doesn't worry me as much because I would still be allowed to sell on the open market if I ever decided to move.

Just shows you what people power can do; I think the council was amazed by the level of protest against their stupid rezoning changes.  So from over 800 houses needed by council I think the figure is now around 100.  That 488 needed for parks is now down to 27.

As aside note - the Council admitted that there are still homes required for RE1 in the 1988 BLEP that have not been purchased because Council does not have the money.  One Councillor, who was against the revisions, actually admitted that there was no way Council could pay for the houses under acquisition in this 2013 LEP so why the hell bother put us through all that stress?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Weather, Presents, Pups and Psychics ...... .

Trying to decide what colour to go when my next hair appointment comes up mid December ....  I'm thinking purple where the pink is - been bright pink now for the last few months so I am thinking a change of colour is in order.

Lousy photo (not that I can ever take a reasonable one ..  )  - just realised .... no makeup, horrid angle and old painting gear on ..... rotfl.

Would have loved to have been one of those beautiful women who seem ageless, are unforgettable and have beautiful features - but still I am happy with who I am and maybe being a little quirky and looking slightly different is my thing ...... ROTFL!

As I have mentioned in previous posts we have not had much rain in the last 6 months and the ground was dry and brittle.  The last few days we have had a couple of thunderstorms and, amazingly, there has been around 25cm of rain in that time over Blacktown.

I say amazingly, because for some weird reason we tend to miss a lot of the rain.  It can rain heavily a couple of kms away but often we get nothing at all; so to actually have a enough to give the ground a reasonable soak is really good.

Back in December of 2007 we had a terrible hail storm that cut a narrow swath through the area and, unfortunately, I was in that narrow band.  Every house in my street was damaged; in fact there were so many houses damaged in the area that the SES was swamped with over 6000 calls for help.
This was AFTER it had melted a bit

Luckily my two sons were able to come and put tarps on my roof as well as helping out other houses in the street.  The damaged to the area exceeded $200 million - the damage to me was over $60,000.

Next door's roof getting covered
The hail was enormous!  I grabbed a couple as they melted then shoved one in the freezer so I could take it's picture

My roof was almost totally destroyed, the solar panels for my hot water & electricity were broken as well as the hot water tank.  Every roof panel  (about 20) on my outdoor area was damaged and the garage roof and walls were full of holes.

 Damage inside was restricted to the hall, my bedroom and the kitchen but there was a lot there plus the stuff I had stored in the garage roof suffered lots of water damage.  My car was under cover but still took a lot of damage on the back. There were a number of cars in the open and all had all their windows smashed as well as dints on the body.

Christmas is fast catching up to us all who celebrate it; I give gifts to my family but haven't bothered with decorations for a number of years. I just don't see the sense of it when there is no-one to see them but the dog, cats and me; plus being a Buddhist, it has a different meaning for me than for Christians.

In fact Christmas hold sadness for me as I lost my Mum during the season and even after 17 years it is a reminder to me of precious things lost.  I suppose if I had someone to share the Season with it may not be as sad and filled with memories.

Still it is nice to see the grand children's faces when they receive gifts and the excitement they have is infectious; not sure what is happening on Christmas day but on Boxing Day I will visit my late husband's mother, I usually take my eldest grandson with me and we generally spend the day laughing about everything and nothing.  I can't believe he is growing so fast - 11 already!

I have been thinking of getting another dog .... Fozzie always had another dog to play with but for the last year and a half it has been just him.

If I do get another it will be from a Rescue shelter but it is hard to find one that will fit in with us - it will have to like cats and, of course, Fozz will have to like it.  I figured another female would be the way to go as his previous friends have been girls.

Was tempted with a lovely mastiff recently, she seemed perfect for us but some one beat me to her
Photo of Tully

I am not a fan of little dogs, love big clumsy oafs ..... rotfl.

I like this sweet girl but they say nothing about her reaction to cats so will have to wait till they have had more time to assess her  .

I also absolutely love Boxers - have had two of them and they are such characters - been scanning rescue groups in case on comes up.

But as I said the main thing will be - firstly if Fozz likes her and secondly - if she likes the cats.  So in the new year I will actively look for some cutie.

I recently won a 30min psychic reading from Cameron Bayliss and, although over the years I have had quiet a number of readings, I found this one to be rather accurate.

One or two things were incorrect but not in a way that was screamingly wrong.  I am not going to write what as said but it was personal to me and very revealing - some things mention were what the reader could not have possibly know - the final outcome was I felt things that had never been closed now were and I was emotional stronger because of it.

To quote Shakespeare's Hamlet : "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

I don't think we can dismiss the unknown just because we don't understand or don't believe ....

Anyway, I enjoyed my reading and will wait and see if any of the other remarks made come to fruition.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Memory Lane Trip .....

21st 1969
I bought a gadget that converts slides and negatives to jpeg to save on your computer; I have around 3000 old slides and been slowly going through them all.

A lot have deteriorated, lots are sooooo boring but some bring back lots of memories.

These few were taken between 1968 and 1973.

Some of the slides I couldn't remember at all and yet others I remembered people, names, places and emotions .... looking back at my 21st - the love of my life Stuart Smith sitting there; I had forgotten how much fun that night was.

Sailing into Tokyo 1969
The ones taken in South America and Japan were filled with vivid memories - did I really take myself to all those places by myself?

Standing at the Peace monument at Nagasaki Peace Park - filled with so much emotion.

The amazing Easter Island!  Machu Picchu!  Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman!

I remember being caught in Chile during the Allende Coup - I had flown from Peru to Chile to change planes for a flight to Tahiti and then back to Sydney.

Peace Park Nagasaki
Instead when the plane landed all the passengers were taken off and told there would be no flights in and out indefinitely.

Chile 1973
Machu Picchu 1973
So I was stuck in Chile for just over a week while the coup d'etat was happening; funny at the time it was exciting but looking back I was bloody lucky.

Gunfire, teargas, water cannons - ducking behind buildings so as to not get shot; the pain and burning eyes from tear gas and getting knocked off my feet from the water cannons.

The photo is of a demonstration that was taken from the Hotel Crillon ... there were hundreds of people coming from all directions and marching through the capital (Santiago) and I had heard that the military knew so I retreated to a high vantage point.

Start of a demo Chile 1973
Water cannons were used on the thousands around the area trying to make them dispurse before they got to the main destination.  There was also tear gas used which wafted up to where I was hanging out the window .... it didn't hurt as much as it would have for those on the ground and in direct aim of it.

I know this for a fact because one day I turned a corner and there was a mob of people chanting and protesting; the water cannon tanks and police came up from behind me and I got caught in the whole thing.  My eyes stung for what seemed like ages; luckily I got water from the cannon and sort of breathed through my wet shirt.  I bathed them as soon as possible and washed everything I was wearing.  Think it took a few hours for the symptoms to subside.

There was a shortage of accommodation but a nice guy who worked for Lan Chile airlines (Gustavo) was able to get me an apartment of a friend of his who was away from the capital.  It cost me $10 US for the week I was there.  Had to go shopping and there were lots of shortages - I lined up for toilet paper for a few hours - but he knew the best places for everything ..... lol.

Chile & Gustavo 1973
The funny thing was everyone sort of carried on as usual except people learned to run the opposite way when you heard gunfire or tanks.

Finally the planes started flying again and off I went back home; with an overnight stop in Tahiti, and filled with great memories that I would never forget.



Halloween on board "Canberra" 1969

"Canberra" 1969