Saturday, 12 March 2016


The language spoken in English.  Yeah, there might be an accent and some odd words they occasionally throw into the conversation, but it's plain English.

While I was on my trip there, this odd item came up in the news.  The government (at least the Department of Family and Community Service)....has decided to spend roughly $900 Aussie dollars ($750 American) each on 150 staff teach them how to speak English.

Now, when I was told this in the beginning.....I kinda thought we were talking about immigrant or migrant folks that they'd hired as employees....who didn't speak English.  They want to teach English-speaking people to speak English.

What this is mostly about is the fact that they've (in this department) gone and made a lot of jargon words to fit forms, requirements, family situations, and everyday activities.

What is said is that families now come back after some initial meetings and complain that the clerks and staff members are confusing and the customers can't grasp what is going on.

They gave a couple of examples:

"There are two issues here: the affordability of housing more broadly, and affordable housing."  This was spoken by an actual state minister (Brad Hazzard).

"While we look to the future, it is advisable not to look backwards."  This was given by the Premier Mike Baird.

This is a two-day course, and I'm guessing there will be some certificate given at the end of this.  Sadly, it'll say that you graduated from an English-language course, and you will be somewhat shamed when you show back up in the office and this gets brought up.  The co-worker will ask if you learned some English, and you fake them out with simplified phrases and 5th-grade wording.

Somehow, I would speculate that in three years....some other idiot political figure will come up and say that everyone in this department speaks at the 5th grade level, and there will be another help improve your English speak at a very articulate and higher-educated level.  Of course, it'll be much more expensive..  

The Perfect Property for Someone

This was an odd thing I came across on the Australian trip.  South of Melbourne, along the Great Ocean Road.....there's this small town of Airey's Inlet.

On the coastline, there is a lighthouse and house associated with it.....up for sale.

The real estate people say the property ought to fetch a minimum of 1.9 million Aussie dollars (roughly 1.4 million American dollars).  Well.....they say this, but in a bidding frenzy and with some deep pockets, I could see it going for double that.

The thing's a public situation.  There's a public road passing the house, with public parking adjacent to the lighthouse, and an area for people to walk out and see the coastline.

The house?  That's another's a wood structure that's been around for at least 120 years.  Six bedrooms and two baths.

Someone might buy it for a bed and breakfast deal but you have no extra property to build on and it's hard to see you recovering what you paid, with just a room or two rented out.

Haunted?  Well, they did a TV series around a dozen years ago from the lighthouse and the whole theme revolved around it being haunted....but it's more or less legend stuff.

Maybe if this were an isolated beach, with privacy to might be worth the deal, but I have my doubts.  Some writer will probably buy it......settle back for a year or two to write some tragic story over love gained and love lost, with a lighthouse theme in the background, and then make a million dollars off the book sales.