Episode 2:the Map is Up!
Robyn struggles with the giant map of Scotland unveiled in the last episode, but it ends up on the wall. A few “must sees” are plotted out. So much more to find out!
(oh THOSE islands ARE the Orkney Islands!! D’oh)
Robyn struggles with the giant map of Scotland unveiled in the last episode, but it ends up on the wall. A few “must sees” are plotted out. So much more to find out!
(oh THOSE islands ARE the Orkney Islands!! D’oh)
In April this year, I took a trip to the USA. I took two completely different routes: the Fast Lane and the Maine Road. Three weeks in New York, a city that’s always open and humming, book-ended a five day road trip to Maine, which I discovered, was mostly “closed-for-the-season”.
My plan for Maine was to take in few hikes in Acadia National Park, do some serious lighthouse spotting and sample authentic lobster rolls in their natural setting. I knew it would be a bit chilly but that didn’t matter after all, spring had sprung!
It should have twigged as I was tried to book accommodation. Most of the AirBnB listings said they were unavailable for the dates I was trying to book. I naively thought they must be just be very busy. I kept scrolling until I found someone taking bookings. I ignored the small print; “We re-open on April 14th” I would be there from April 7 – April 11th. A few days shouldn’t make that much difference? Should it?
Being from the mild subtropics, I didn’t understand how comprehensively closed everything in Maine would be. The larger cities of Portsmouth and Portland were business as usual, but the small beach-side towns in between, were in fact, “closed” except for the local grocers and a few cafes. In the end, this only added to the appeal of an impossibly “Pinterest” worthy coastline which I enjoyed without crowds. My loves for quiet hiking, quaint architecture and lighthouses were well served. The iconic lobster roll, on the other hand, was well and truly off the menu as a summer only delicacy.
Picking up the rental car from Laguardia Airport on a Saturday morning was a good idea. I missed the weekday traffic heading out of the city and I got a better deal compared to getting it in Manhattan. I caught the M60 bus bus from Harlem and then the free shuttle bus from the airport concourse to the rental car office.
Once on the road, it was a compromise between the scenic coastal route and getting to Kittery before dark. I headed east through Connecticut and Rhode Island, turned North on the I395 at New London up to Worcester, Massachusetts, then through New Hampshire and finally Kittery, Maine.
Six states in less than a day! Trying doing that in Australia!
My first attempt to photograph a lighthouse was foiled by a gated estate! I could see the Old Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse on the headland, but couldn’t figure out how to get to it as it was surrounded by private homes and a large golf course with big warning signs!
The tiny town of Kittery, on the New Hampshire-Maine border is the oldest town in Maine. Already around 5 pm by the time I arrived, I just managed to snag photos of the sun setting behind a bridge that looked just like the Sydney Harbour Bridge (the Piscataqua River Bridge). My accommodation for the night, a stylish AirBnB was right on the banks of the Piscataqua River. I chose to stay on the Kittery side because it was considerably cheaper than the Portsmouth side. An easy stroll across the Memorial Bridge took me into the commercial heart of Portsmouth within a few minutes so no harm done by saving money. I wandered around the quiet streets, looking for food and settled on Fat Belly’s Bar and Grill because it looked friendly and cosy. Turns out they make a mean veggie burger and serve nice cold wheat beer!
The next morning I headed out for the Whaleback Lighthouse on Kittery Point and discovered it must be the chicken’s day off!
My first attempt at a lobster roll was at Lobster Cove, York.
“No, honey” the waitress said, “NOT at this time of year!” Eyes rolling as if I should have known better. No lobster in Lobster Cove?
Empty car parks with massive capacity and tourist shops with boarded windows made it obvious that this town was used to big crowds. I was one of the few who braved the weak spring sunshine and the stiff wind that held squawking gulls in one spot, despite their flapping wings.
Meh…I am not much into shopping and the scenery was still open, so I was happy!
The Nubble Lighthouse at Cape Neddick was resplendent and Ogunquit quaint beyond belief with adirondack chairs chained to scenic spots. The main inconvenience? Closed shops = closed public toilets!
As I headed further north the piles of deep snow became more frequent and I kept my jacket-gloves-scarf-hat combo at the ready.
Old Orchard Beach reminded me of an aging, overblown gigolo with its fairground, ferris wheel and tall-legged wooden pier. The temperature reminded me of Antarctica!
Once again – no lobster roll.
“No Ma’am” pffffft… “only in the summer!”
I made good with half a sandwich and soup. I’d been in America long enough to know a ½ sandwich would be enough!
I picked up groceries for my two night stay on Mt Desert Island and settled in for a frosty night in a old colonial cabin right on the edge of the Acadia National Park.
Another early start had me crunching along the snow covered carriageway, past logs dripping in icicles and the rustling of turkeys hidden somewhere in the scrub. Acadia National Park had been described to me as one of the most beautiful parks in America but it was here that my (wilful) ignorance of the seasonal closures proved to be the most inconvenient.
The Park has a loop road, the majority of which was closed. I was restricted to a few limited sections. This did not deter me from a long walk around Eagle Lake after jumping a low fence. I had a lingering guilt that I had not paid the entrance fee suspecting I should have, to someone, somewhere, even though the booths were closed. I half expected to find my wheels clamped when I got back to the car.
It was sunny and -6ºC. I was well dressed with thermals, fleecy hiking pants, a merino wool jumper, goose down jacket, woolly socks, two pairs of gloves, scarf, balaclava and beanie.
This Aussie knew there was no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes! I picked my way through the snow like the Michelin Man, feeling a tad overdressed when some locals walked past in three less layers than me. After three hours walking around Eagle Lake, I headed into the town of Bar Harbor for lunch. This time I was determined to find the now elusive lobster roll. Haven’t they heard of a freezer up here? Five cafes and another hour later, I settled for – you guessed it – soup and ½ a sandwich.
Today was the day for “THE lighthouse”. The Bass Point Light which perches on craggy, often snow covered rocks with frozen waterfalls bedecking the plinth on which it sits. On attempt No 1 I found the carpark alright, but couldn’t find a path down to the rocks below. I figured that you could only reach it by boat. The boat tours, were of course, “closed for the season”. Never mind, I thought, next time I’m in Maine! I headed off to a nearby town for a warming coffee at Sips Cafe. I told the cafe owner about my predicament and she kindly explained where the path was:
“From the car park, look to your left. Find the dirt path hidden behind the toilets and follow it down as far as you can go.”
At attempt No 2, THE lighthouse mission was accomplished. Tick! Another photography subject off the bucket list!
Next, another hike took me around Wonderland followed by the Jordan Pond Shore Trail (Acadia NP) before hightailing it back to Portland for the sunset. Low clouds and a pink sky gave a perfect backdrop for the Portland Head Light at Cape Elizabeth
My night’s lodging, an AirBnB in Preble Street, was a large, rambling early 20thC Eastlake and Stick style home, with six bedrooms, several bathrooms, a pool room, a music room, a huge kitchen and at least three cats. The owner had texted me from Mexico, with the code to open the door and insisted I make myself at home. So I did; by having a good (but respectful) poke around looking at all the art and artifacts which covered nearly every surface. After a busy day walking and driving I was happy to snuggle up and read a book I had found on the shelf eating Italian take away with one of the super friendly cats on my lap. By this time, I had abandoned the idea of lobster entirely and was extolling the virtues of AirBnB via Facebook to my friends back in Oz.
With a late flight out, I had all day to take in Portland and started off with a self-guided architectural walking tour around the Weston Boulevard neighbourhood before heading downtown to check out the Art Gallery.
Portland, Maine is a town full of beards and while apparently not as Hipster (with a capital H) as Portland, Oregon it certainly had a small h hipster feel to it. The Sisters Gourmet Deli, a case in point. Fabulous food with modern (retro) styling.
Three more lighthouses, the Bug Lighthouse, the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse and the Ram Island Ledge Light finished things off nicely before I headed out to the airport for my flight back to New York.
You’ll be pleased to know, I finally got a lobster roll. A mini one; as part of High Tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York. It was OK but I’m kinda glad it was only mini sized!
Over-rated; lobster, if you ask me…
As it turns out, the “season” re-opens mid-April, so perhaps it would have been better if I had gone a week later when the Park was fully open. But then I would have missed the ice and snow and the beaches which I shared with those squawking, stationary gulls.
Here is the first episode of my “Planning a Scottish Vacation” series. Should be fun!
I wonder if Outlander has had any effect on tourism is Scotland!! 🙂
Back in the dark ages, in the dim, distant past when I was married, my husband bought me a very luxurious black leather briefcase to celebrate my birthday the year I got a big promotion.
Thirty years later I still have that briefcase and while I no longer carry it around with my sales catalogues and business cards, it does hold some very special papers.
These days I call it Pandora’s Box. It’s filled with old journals and copies of letters and emails between my ex and I when we were going through the meaty part of the break up. All the gnashing and wailing. All the justifications and arguments. All the pitiful pleading.
Declarations of love on Sunday where superseded by obscenities by Wednesday. I have trawled through it a few times with different effects on my psyche. In the Wine and Wedges days, (circa 2012) when things were fresh and we were still in each others lives, I would dissolve into a heap of misery and have yet another glass of wine! I would look for clues as to when and where I could have ‘fixed things”. In more recent times, I have vowed to create a big bonfire on the beach and dance around the burning ashes with glee.
Recently, I went through the stack of double sided sheets again. I started to put them back into chronological order to make better sense of them, thinking to myself there must be some blog-able gold in here somewhere! I could write a very murky expose about the demise of a relationship over a long period of time with all the indelicacies that would conjure up. But no, I am not that type. This post is about as tacky as I am prepared to get.
I was pleased I could read all the wretchedness and despair with a dispassionate eye. I came away feeling vaguely amused and not at all sad. I did however tsk-tsk at the time it took us to take the final plunge. The time we both wasted trying to patch the hull of our Titanic. But still we came out the other side and I for one am stronger.
Much of the writing is over the top emotional dribble. Streaming consciousness on overload! But some is gold. Of course, most is contextual and obviously a reply to now forgotten conversations. The papers cover the time from November 2006 – late 2008. At that time, I was in the middle of completing a Masters degree and I must say my vocabulary was much wider than it is now. I seem to have gotten less eloquent!
Now, when I talk about my divorce and my ex, I report that it was a relatively amicable separation and that we can still talk to each other in a civil tone. Reading back over this huge body of work, reminds me that it was really a death by a thousand cuts but some of those were bloody big gashes.
I am not going to spill the proverbial beans. I am not going to write that tell-all expose, but here are a few of my favourite lines, some of the passages that amused me. They are all from my words not his.
...I had other things in my head but they are like shadows now and I keep losing them…
…as I read back over this, it is only part of what I wanted to say and I feel like I can never explain. It’s all the chicken and the egg story. I am not sure where the seed came from but our life has been covered in lantana. We are still underneath it somewhere but now it’s too late to clear it away. I stand here knocking on the door of your heart with the weed killer! …[oh dear!]
…I can not explain… once you get caught in the turning lane you just end up going with the flow….
Ten reasons why I like you…
…. 10. You like watching the same daggy TV shows, you don’t like John Howard, you have a compatible outlook on world politics, religion, the relative merits of free range chickens and social justice. [chickens were a theme even back then!]
Maybe one day I will get around to that bonfire. But for now I think I‘ll keep Pandora’s Box with it’s oversized memories to remind me of a once passionate time of my life. One that I don’t want to relive, but a time that changed the course of my life irrevocably.
You never know, when I am ninety I might just write that steamy expose!
I have become a bit obsessed with the amazing microbiome that is present in our gut. The billions of microorganisms that live inside us and have the potential to do so much good if we look after them.
More and more research shows that this microbiome is essential to our physical and mental health and many of the health problems facing those in industrialized economies could be solved by paying closer attention to what bugs are in your gut.
When your bug population get out of balance (dysbiosis) your whole body is in trouble.
The gut biome has been linked to
Most studies of overweight and obese people show a dysbiosis characterised by a lower diversity.
Translation: Obese people have an imbalance of microorganisms with not enough variety present
It’s much better to have a good variety of microorganisms in your gut because:
The association between reduced diversity and disease indicates that a species-rich gut ecosystem is more robust against environmental influences, as functionally related microbes in an intact ecosystem can compensate for the function of other missing species. Consequently, diversity seems to be a generally good indicator of a “healthy gut.”
Translation: Having lots of different species of bacteria makes your body better able to withstand challenges because what one bug can’t do another type can. They can cover all bases by working together.
So how do you get a good mix of bugs in your gut? The key is consuming a goodly amount of dietary fibre and reducing the amounts of highly processed foods that we eat.
The idea is that we need to feed our gut bugs. Highly processed foods are easily digested and absorbed and don’t make it to the large intestine where most of the bug action is happening. By eating foods high in undigestable fibre, we give the bugs a meal as well.
How much is enough? Australia’s CSIRO recommend between 25 – 35 g per day. Having said that; too much fibre can reduce the diversity of your microbiome and if you suddenly change from a low fibre diet to a high fibre diet you can suffer from abdominal discomfort and flatulence. You should spread fibre consumption throughout the day and drink plenty of water to keep it moving through your intestines.
There are different types of fibre which have different properties. The main types are insoluble, soluble and resistant starch.
Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain living organisms such as yogurt and other fermented foods. Prebiotics on the other hand are foods that help the microorganisms in your body thrive.
A good analogy is that if you think of your gut as a garden, the probiotics are the seeds and the prebiotics the fertiliser.
Some chemicals and medications will damage your gut bugs.
Antibiotics kill bacteria. That’s their job, so they kill the bacteria in your gut too. You may need to take some extra special care of your gut bugs after antibiotics. There is some evidence that the appendix acts a reservoir for the microbiome and in time will help repopulate the gut with good bugs.
Emulsifiers are added to food to make oily and watery components stay mixed together. If you mix oil and vinegar together, they will after time, separate into layers unless you add an emulsifier. Some artificial emulsifiers have been linked to damaging the gut microbiome because they lead to a thinning of the mucous layer in the gut which in turn leads to leaky gut syndrome. This causes inflammation in many areas of the body. The answer? Prepare your own food from scratch as often as possible and avoid things your grandparents would not have considered as food. Be wary of foods with lots of numbers in the ingredient list and not many recognisable as food.
There does not seem to be much evidence that a well balanced omnivorous diet is any better or worse than a vegan diet. (see The BMJ article referred to below) Michael Mosley and others wholeheartedly recommend a “Mediterranean diet“. This type of diet is mostly plant based but does include meat, eggs, some dairy, healthy oils and nuts.
This post is only a very short summary of the growing volume of information available. Here are just a few of the articles you could read to if you want to know more.
Start with this comprehensive and easy to read article from the BMJ (British Medical Journal) Role of the gut microbiota in nutrition and health
These scholarly articles talk about the relationship between the gut microbiome and mental health and health in general.
Some good books are
Michael Mosley’s Clever Guts Diet.
A few weeks ago (60 for 60) I posted a list of activities that I intended on completing between now and my 60th birthday in May 2021. It was free ranging list and included little things like making a souffle right up to travelling to Scotland or Iceland.
I have been transferring the items to index cards which I intend to move from the to do to the done pile as they get done. I also thought it might be a good idea to work out a rough schedule of when I would do the activity so I could make efficient use of time and money. For instance, I want to see an active volcano and go to Iceland. It would be sensible to see a volcano in Iceland.
It was here at this point, that I saw the flaws in my list. I knew the list was ambitious. I knew it would be expensive. As I tried to fit things loosely into a calendar, I simply ran out of time. Let’s not even talk about how much I would have to spend! Of course, if I do end up winning the lottery (see this post) it will be fine! I can quit the day job and concentrate on the list full time. Unfortunately, though, I do have to work full time to pay for my fun.
I need to regig, remix and reassess the list. I need more small items that I can do without having to go anywhere or spend a lot on while still giving me a sense of accomplishment. I could replace all the travel with writing, but that takes time too. I want to succeed. I don’t want to set myself up for failure before I start by having unrealistic expectations and at the same time I don’t want to make it too easy either.
So here is the new list. The changes are subtle but they will make a difference.
Wish me luck! I will publish updates at 6 monthly intervals. I’d love to hear what you would have in your list. Please add your ideas in the comments below.
I took up running seriously a little over a year ago. I have written a bit about this in a few posts (here and here). I run to get some higher intensity exercise, and because once it’s over I feel like a bad-assed grandma! DAMN! I think to myself, I just ran a LONGGGGGG way! And I’m old! (ish!)
I am not super fit and I am a long way off breaking world records. The only person I am keen on competing against is my past-self. My present-self sometimes needs a kick in that bad-ass to get it moving! My goal is to do 10km in 55 minutes. It’s not unrealistic. I can do 5km in 27 minutes so I should be able to do 10 in 55.
I try and train 6 days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday are running days. Five km on Monday with sprints or hill runs; 7 – 8 km on Wednesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are gym days for crossfit or cardio boxing, Fridays are yoga and Sunday is a rest day. I sometimes switch the rest day depending on my schedule and other commitments.
As I haul myself out of bed at 5:30 AM, I grumble that I should cut myself some slack, but I repeat to myself JFDI!!! (Just f@#$ do it!!) A great mantra! The self satisfaction I feel when I do get up and exercise lasts me all day. When I am travelling or it’s school holidays I am not nearly as disciplined.
My standard Saturday run is 10km. My best time so far is 56:05.
I run on a nicely made bike path that hugs the coast. I can see and hear the ocean. I join the early morning bike riders, walkers and runners who share the path. Running gives me plenty of time to think. I can live in my own head and burble out a stream of consciousness. Typically, my run sounds like this.
|0 – 1 km||OMG I can’t breath! I am so unfit! Why did I even think this was a good idea. Come on lungs get it together!|
|1- 2 km||Oh there you go! My memory brings backs the good old days in the biochem lectures were I learnt about the anaerobic energy system. That’s right….it takes a little while to kick in.|
|2 – 4 km||I’m hit a steady rhythm; my breathing is not laboured. I should probably go a bit faster. The beat of the music is urging me along. I match my stride to the music. I start to get onto the flow…. I could do this forever! …. Marathon? Yeah, no worries! Easy!|
|4 – 5 km||When is that bloody running app going to tell me I’m half way so I can turn around. These shoes need replacing! Are they actually any good? I wonder about whether I’m hot or cold… I wonder about whether or not I’m breathing properly… my hip starts to give me a bit of a twinge. Great, I’ll be needing a hip replacement next!|
|5km||Veronica (the voice on my GPS) tells me my current speed and distance every kilometre. But 5 km is the turning point – literally. If I am under 30 minutes I know I have a good chance of reaching that elusive 55 minutes goal. If not, I may as well take it slowly.|
|6 – 7 km||My gait has settled back into a good rhythm. Kenny Loggins’ Footloose is almost perfect for my stride (I know I know….) and I pound my feet against the pavement with satisfying synchronised beats. I drift back into the flow and come up with all sorts of good ideas for stories.|
|7 – 8 km||Veronica breaks into my train of thought unexpectedly…and sends me into a flurry of calculation…can I do it? Should I sprint to the end? No wait… I can’t sprint 3 km!|
|8 – 9 km||Push it just a little bit harder, old chook. No pain, no gain! Oh no… here’s that little hill that’s always so welcome on the way out but not now that it’s facing up.|
|9 – 10 km||I can see the car parked off in the distance! Come on! Come on! You can do it!
YOU DID IT!!!
I DID IT!
Darn: 57 minutes and 48 seconds. I begin the self-justification… don’t forget you stopped to do your shoelace up twice, you slowed down to blow your nose at least three times…that should take; what; at least 30 seconds off the time…it’s really 57:18
I feel elated as I stretch on the grass. Not bad for an Old Chook!
I might have 2 minutes to cut off my time. I might need to increase my speed by a full kilometre per hour to average 11kph not 10.
But it’s not impossible.
It’s my goal and it’s just an few weeks away.
Be invincible. Not invisible!
For me, planning a vacation is almost as much fun as the actual travelling part. Perhaps even more enjoyable. It’s the time when I can have my fantasy vacation. Where money and time are limitless. When I can use the “Beam me up Scotty” machine to get instantly and effortlessly from one place to another. Where there is an easy route anywhere and no barriers or problems. Then, (noise or a vinyl record being scratched to a halt) I need to think about what is really possible.
When I am working on my “next big adventure” I pile all the ideas in and work through the scenarios of where to go and what I can afford to do both in terms of time and money. My goal is to distill it down to the actual itinerary and a detailed plan. (as an Excel document of course! See my post New York: Here I come!)
Just on the quiet, I have heard, there are some folk that don’t actually like this planning stage! That’s hard for me to comprehend 🙂 This post is for those of you who like DIY travel.
If the idea is too daunting for you, use a travel agent or book through a small tour group operator.
In my mind, the first thing you need to work out is not WHERE you want to go but rather WHY. Once you have the why, the where seems to fit more easily into place.
If you just want to sit around and relax and unwind, you could do that almost anywhere. You could even stay in your own town and be next to a pool, ordering a cocktail within a few hours! Thus saving money and greenhouse gases. If, on the other hand, your goal is to learn about a new culture, or set a physical challenge to climb every peak over 5000 metres, then you will need to put in a bit more work.
There are a lot of decisions to make. I have attached a document that gives you some ideas of the type of travel that might suit you (Page 3) and the questions (page 2) you should ask before you start planning in earnest. See here: Planning your trip. I have also included a “thinking points” checklist you might like to work through. (Page 4)
I have spoken about my travel values in a previous post. My type of holiday is:
I use these values as a starting point for all my plans. For instance, my next big adventure is to Scotland in July 2019. I have already booked a walking tour and will build the rest of the trip around that. Incidentally, giving me a few goals to tick on my 60 for 60 plan.
I have attached an example of my itinerary/planning document which you can use as a template. I print this out and keep it in my Dropbox as well as in Tripit, so I have all my details in an easily accessible format both on-line and off-line.
I DO NOT have any affiliate links with the companies listed. There are plenty of other places you could look for information as well. You can even do some fun quizzes to work out your travel style.
Always keep in mind, your vacation should fill some sort of positive purpose. It doesn’t have to be “fun” but it does need to be fulfilling on some level, even if it’s just winding down.
Australian Translation: In Australia, we generally call vacations, holidays. It is not limited to those official gazetted days like Christmas/ Easter etc. For instance, you might say: “Where are you going these holidays” and “I am going to Bali for my holiday”
PS Don’t forget to check out my shop!
This week’s post is the first of a series of photo essays about boys and their toys or perhaps men at their work. I hope to capture environmental portraits of people doing what they love.
These shots are of my (ex)-neighbour Marty and his mate, Matt. Marty is a miner and mechanic and Matt drives trains. They both love big touring bikes
I made these images in the Marty’s garage when they were fixing Matt’s Harley.
Thank you to Matt and Marty for being my first ‘subjects’. Marty moved a few months ago, you know its funny I always felt safer when he was living next door!
I have a confession to make.
I am a gambler.
I spend $AUD18 a week buying Lotto, Powerball and lottery tickets. Every week, when I go to the newsagent to check my tickets, I have that little knot of hope sitting in my belly. Maybe this time?
The $18 per week is the sum total of my gambling vice. I figure I can afford it and it’s a bit of fun so I don’t feel too guilty. I can justify it easily. I take a packed lunch to work every day. I don’t buy coffee every day. If I did, that would be $19 per week for the coffee alone! See! The lottery tickets are a bargain!
I have, of course, spent more than I have won. My daughter tells me I buy lottery tickets because of my working class background. Apparently, rich people don’t buy lottery tickets. They gamble in more respectable ways like the stock market or horse racing.
I don’t want to win a lot. $3 or 4 million would be plenty! I certainly don’t want to win one of those super Powerball prizes of $30 million or more! Of course, if I did, I wouldn’t be handing it back, but I don’t need it.
I don’t want to live an extravagant life. You know from my previous blog posts that I try not to be a thoughtless consumer. I just want to be able to quit the day job so I can write, travel and take photos!
I don’t want a buy a mansion with a pool or a pool room for that matter. I don’t want a Maserati. I don’t want to fly first class. (Hang on a minute, maybe that’s one thing I do want!)
I want to win just enough to pay off my current mortgage, buy a small investment property that I could rent out as a source of reliable income and then have enough spending money leftover for a relatively comfortable and creative life. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
Let’s see: with the mortgage out of the way and keeping my living standard at its current level; with a life expectancy of 30 more years, allowing for two overseas trips per year, a new car in 10 years, and a bit of a contingency fund for new appliances and furniture when the current ones wear out or break – how much do I need? A few calculations later and not allowing for inflation or interest earned, I figure I need $2.8 million. Therefore, $3-4 million is an appropriate goal.
I just need to win!
Don’t worry, IF I did win the big one, I have it all worked out. I will buy a number of properties that I would rent to lower income families for a very moderate rate. These people would be strugglers. The people Australians call “Battlers”. Honest, hardworking folk who are being left behind in this current housing market. There would be a catch to their lower rent, however. They would need to agree to volunteer for a community organisation for a negotiated number of hours per week. The time would be dependent on their other responsibilities but they would need to have a regular commitment to being a volunteer. They would do good. They would feel good. I would feel good! I would need to hire some people to make this happen because I would be too busy writing, travelling and taking photos!
…. and I’d take my mum on a cruise! A long one!