Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I was married to Ken for 43 years, but he died in October 2022. So I am now alone with two cats, eight hens, and a few finches and parrots in one aviary.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Homeless People in Australia

I was going to create a new blog for this topic, but decided against it, as there is no guarantee anybody would read it regardless of whether it was here or on a separate blog.  
I have been watching Filthy Rich and Homeless on SBS TV.
  Five wealthy Australians volunteer to live on the streets for  ten days, to experience life as a homeless person, on the streets, in crisis accommodation, hostels or boarding houses.  Anyone who has been watching this program will no doubt empathise with my feelings.  Those who haven't seen the show need to watch it if you want to know more because there is no way I can describe what I have seen.

I was one of many people living a comfortable life, ie. a roof over my head, food and clothing, etc., and feeling sorry for, but at the same time a little disgusted with people who choose to live on the streets.  I thought that many of those people were there because 'they had no choice' or because they chose to for whatever reason.  I was so wrong, so judgemental and narrow minded.

During the COVID19 lockdown days, I met two homeless people here in Eltham.  The first was John, who used to sell "The Big Issue".  The Big Issue magazine is a fortnightly, independent magazine that's sold on the streets by homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people.  Vendors buy copies of the magazine for $4.50 and sell them for $9, keeping the difference. Since its inception in Australia in 1996, more than 13 million magazines have been sold, putting $30 million into the pockets of disadvantaged Australians.

When COVID19 hit, the magazine stopped production because the sellers obviously would not be able to sell it on the streets any more, therefore leaving the sellers without an income and money to survive.  John and his partner Kate were reduced to begging.  I got talking to them both over the next few weeks, and supported them with small things such as money, gloves, and mats to sit on when they were sitting on the concrete footpaths.  Kate said something that resonated with me – she said nobody chooses to be homeless.  They choose not to live where they were before.  Every human being needs a home of some sort, where they can sleep at night, and feel safe.  That's all.  Safe, out of the weather, and somewhere to wash and go to the toilet.

The tv show presenters ask what can be done? What is being done?  Is it enough?  The reality is that most of the support for homeless people does not come from government.  It comes from NGOs such as the Salvation Army, The Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul, and many more.  Some of those organisations do receive some funding from governments.  Well meaning people put food and other essentials into collection bins at supermarkets which are presumably distributed to those in need. 
What governments – federal, state and local – all need to do is put money directly into not only basic housing for homeless, but support measures.  The reasons for homelessness are many:  mental health, drug abuse, low self esteem due to years of mental abuse, family violence.  The victims all need not only somewhere to live, but specialised help to get them back on their feet as best they can, and most of them want to, but they don't have the ability  to do it.

I have written to my local council, my state MP, and my federal MP – asking what they are doing about homeless people.  The more people who do this, the more our politicians will have to get things done.  I am sick and tired of seeing millions of dollars spent on sports, the arts and entertainment.  How do you think homeless people feel when they see countless stadiums and sports centres being built or upgraded, while they are living on the streets or in substandard housing?  When aged care homes are handed over to refugees instead of providing temporary or otherwise homes for our own homeless people?  When they see protestors marching through cities demanding justice for black people.  Black Lives Matter?    If I was 40 years younger, I would be out there kicking butts and carrying placards saying "Homeless Lives Matter More".
But I'm not 32 any more, I am 72 years old, and all that I can do is write this on my blog and hope like minded people will read it and join me in protesting on behalf of those that can't because they don't have access to any of the things that others take for granted.

Monday, April 01, 2019

We have a new cat!

I don't post to this blog any more, as all my 'news' goes on to the Home Makers Forum, and I don't have the time (or the inclination) to repeat everything here!  But for those who are not members of the forum I am posting some photos here of our new kitty Phoebe.
We got her from an animal rescue centre in February this year.  She is all black, and very sweet!
We have had two black cats before, and although we have had Tiger for 10 years and love him to bits, we still yearned to have another black cat.  Fortunately Tiger just adores her and there have been no territorial squabbles.  She follows him everywhere and they play and sleep together.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

I am still here!

My apologies to anyone who still visits this blog and is wondering if  I am still alive.  Yep, alive and well, but busy now as an administrator on a new forum, which is where I post most of the chit chat that I used to post here!

Friday, July 29, 2016

New car!

Today I drove my old car to Mantello Holden over at Fawkner, and Ken drove my new car home!
If he hadn't been able to do that, it wouldn't have mattered - I would have driven it myself, even though I'm a bit nervous about driving an automatic car after 20 years of driving manual cars.  It is still a Barina after all, with basically the same controls, although the new one has a lot more techo. stuff that I have to get used to!  Ken really enjoyed driving it; like most blokes he just loves driving something different for a change.  Tomorrow I will have to get to grips with it and take it for a spin, as the longer I leave it, the less I will feel like driving it!  I hate change, even if it is for the better :-(

On the way home, we stopped off at TyrePower in Eltham, whose mechanics have looked after our cars for years.  The guys had told me to bring it it to show them, so we did.  While we were there, I coaxed one of them to fit the seat covers on the seats for me.  I had someone take them off the old car over at Mantellos, but didn't like to ask them to put the covers on the new car, as they are fiddly and it takes a while to get them right.  So I have my leopard print covers on the seats, my blue crocheted rug over the back seat, and my bits and pieces in the glove box.  I used to have a little blue and yellow felt whale hanging from the rear vision mirror, which always annoyed Ken, and he said "you're not going to put that whale thing up in your new car are you?"  I didn't reply, but when I held it up to see how it would look, I decided not to hang it there, as the colour is all wrong for the new car.  So Ken got his way, lol!

Here I am with Dean, the salesman - who had just shown us how to work all the gadgets.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What I am doing these days.

Mostly looking after Ken, but that doesn't mean he is bedridden!  But he doesn't go out and about as much as he used to, and hasn't ridden his bikes for a couple of years.  He still enjoys driving his orange ute, but most of the time I drive him to wherever he needs to go, mostly medical appointments.  I have taken over the job of looking after the chooks and the aviary birds, but that is not a chore for me, as I love them as much as Ken does, and am happy to feed and water them every day.

I lost two dear friends last month.  Helen and Denise died within a week of each other.  Helen's death was an awful shock for everybody - she had an abdominal anyerism, something I'd never heard of, but subsequently found out there are no warning signs, and people don't usually survive.
I got to know my other friend Denise through Helen, as we shared a love of embroidered linens.  Denise was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about 12 years ago, but refused chemo or radiation treatment.  She said all that does is destroy your immune system, and she needed her immune system healthy to see her through the next few years, which it did, much to the amazement of her doctors!
She carried on her usual life of shopping and meeting with friends up to about two years ago, when her health deteriorated to the point where she wasn't able to leave her home.  So while her death came as no surprise, it was still very sad for her family and friends.

On a lighter note, my 14 year old car has developed a few rattles and hiccups that the mechanic can't seem to fix, so before I found myself stranded on the side of a road somewhere, I decided to look for a new car.  I didn't actually want a brand new car, but the one I found is less than a year old, and was a demo model for a Holden dealer, so it has only done low mileage, and is in new condition.  It is another Barina (my third) and I chose it because I have had my previous Barinas for over ten years, and they never let me down, so why change?  I pick it up tomorrow.  Ken said tonight "are you excited?" and I said "no, more nervous than excited.  I am scared of driving it out of the car yard and getting a dent on it within five minutes, and have you yell at me!"

Monday, May 09, 2016

Apologies to those who are still following this blog.

I spend most of my online time on the Down To Earth forum, or Pinterest these days, and as a result, I'm not posting anything here, because I would be doubling up on what I've posted on the DTE forum.  But I keep my stitching blog up to date, so if you want to keep up with that, go for it!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New Year update.

I have deleted the previous post.  Such a tantrum!  I had the early stage of a nasty virus when I wrote it, and by Christmas Day I was quite ill.  Ken caught it in due course and by New Years day when I was just starting to come good, he went down like a ton of bricks.  So it was a very quiet Christmas/new year period for us.  Didn't go anywhere, didn't have any visitors!

Not a good start to the year, and it has continued along the same way since.  One of  Ken's oldest friends died after a long battle with cancer.  Two of my friends are on borrowed time now, as their cancers have spread and nothing more can be done.  Getting old sucks.

Ken was booked in to have his defibrillator replaced on the 18th of this month, then the hospital changed it to the 8th of February, which didn't suit us, so it is now scheduled for 15th February.  It is only a half day procedure, but Ken is still nervous about it as the first time he was in shocking pain for days afterwards.

Our chooks are continuing to provide eggs for us and our neighbours.  I'm doing most of the work feeding the birds every day and cleaning out the aviaries and chookhouse when they need it, as Ken is no longer strong enough to do it.  He does spend time up there with me on a nice day though, and he organises the specialised feeding of certain finches and parrots which I am happy to leave to him.  We both love all our bird families and spend many hours sitting up there with a cuppa and something to nibble, and watching the birds antics.

I have started the year on a roll with my sewing, as I am spending most of my time at home caring for Ken now, so I have time to sit and stitch instead of going out nearly every day with friends like I used to!   You can see what I've been up to at my other blog.  I have been infected with the "colouring in" craze, and have bought and been given a dozen books in the past year!  At least I will be putting my precious Derwent pencils to good use now.   Since the life drawing course last year, I haven't done any sketching or painting, and colouring in has been my sole activity in the world of art lately.   It really is very relaxing.

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