Saturday, 30 January 2016

Middle East musings

That last post wasn't what I came here to write. I had started it, slept on it as you do, then decided it was worth finishing.

I was more thinking about the messages I keep getting from a past life. And I suspect it was that in the metaphysical sense as well as my current experiences. Today I had a care parcel to post to my lovely daughter in law, the one who is giving me the gift of another grandbaby, and I wandered to the markets for some organic produce and people watching.

What a lovely surprise to see a stall with all my favourite Arabic delights. And a lovely Syrian man with a big smile who enjoyed my delight at his matabal, tabouli and hommas. And falafal. Oh and zaata. And proper Arabic bread, like the ones from the small local shops. And a small treat, a date cake. Home made all of it. The proper Arabic way. He smiled at my shukran too.

I raced home, keen to savour this treat food that used to be my daily fare. On the way home I met one of the agents I rented my apartment from, a lovely lass with a small boy who wasn't a sleeper. We had swapped tips earlier and it seemed some of them worked and he now sleeps some more. The neighbouring apartment is for rent, I met the prospective tenants as we chatted in the way we do in my friendly small village. All this when I really just wanted to scoff my treats, I would have shared too.

Food sampled and a smile on my face, it was better than my memories. Especially the matabal and the tabouli. So fresh. I'm a bit full now and I have seconds for later, bonus. The other messages have come from friends I haven't seen in a while. Some personal messages, some through photos and comments that had me longing, some job prospects, some from a fellow traveler who is currently exploring all Morocco has to to offer. It looks so like Oman in his pics and his stories are of how lovely the people are to two travelers whose van is constantly breaking down.

So the feet are itchy, although it will be a small trip. Possibly Laos and Cambodia, or somewhere nearby. Maybe a longer one later in the year via those hot lands.

Treats - The date cake didn't make it

Discussions and kindness

I'm a little naughty sometimes, making comments on posts where people completely trash others for their beliefs, their actions, something completely outside their control. Take the latest attempt of shaming parents who don't immunise their children. A blanket shaming, not based on anything other than mass hysteria the drug sellers beat up via the sensationlising media.

Of course I wasn't going to leave that alone, knowing first hand the devastating side effects of vaccines. Making the choice after two of my children reacted very badly, one needing to be revived several times when he stopped breathing the other having severe temperatures and convulsions. I don't normally write about very personal stuff here. Today I break that rule of mine.  You see people out there are being silenced because their opinions are not seen as valid by others, they are being silenced and marginalised for making a decision they could live with for their children.

They are brave these people, like I was in my time, going against both popular culture and drug companies via the medical profession. The thing I observe from the position of age and experience, these people are the early adopters of what should become a trend and normalised as so many aspects of our modern life have become. The pro choice argument is a hotly debated one that comes to mind.

Once there's a bit more research into the side effects of so many drugs being administered to infant. Research into the cause of sudden infant deaths. That's what they initially told me my youngest would have been without my intervention. Not so it turned out, it makes me wonder about that explanation. Research that shows there is very little advantage to infants being immunised as their immature system cannot use the vaccines therefore they are only acting to compromise these delicate beings.

So back to those who are so nasty about someone else's decision. There is such misconception out there, fed by those who profit. Like the notion that a fully immunised child, child A, can catch a disease from an unimmunised one, child B therefore child B is causing danger to child A. So, logic tells me that if child A is immunised, they are safe from the bugs child B may be sick with? And if they're not, doesn't that call into question the effectiveness of immunisations? Why do it in the first place.

There was much vitriol aimed at me and my views, that simple child A-child B logic above and only that, and towards families who have made a choice outside the mainstream. A bit like the mums, like mine, who didn't take Thalidomide for morning sickness. Here is my final reply, it silenced all but one.

Thanks everyone for engaging in this discussion. Some worthwhile points here. There are many I could refute in some way, I won't because they are your beliefs. Just like mine are mine, based on anecdotal and scientific information about which we make choices. Which ones to read and subscribe to and which to ignore.

I find it very interesting in this day and age of such things as social media, that people are willing to so strongly judge the decisions of other people, people they don't know and people who may have little or no impact on their lives. The sensational headline to this story is about people not telling their family and friends that they are not immunising their child. So what? Big deal. People don't have to tell everyone everything that happens in their lives. No one else has the right to know, that's a privilege.

So here are a few families who, for reasons unknown to anyone here in this forum (unless they are the target of the sensational headline and have voluntarily made these public) have made a choice that's different to the majority. They may be staying quiet because of the lynch mob mentality that seems to pervading this space and any other where immunisation is sensationalised.

I would like people to be more compassionate to each other, to respect individual choice and listen to the reasons why or why not people make theses choices, without judgement, if you are privileged enough to be confided in. Remember to walk in others shoes for a while, they may make yours fit just that bit better or they may add a small stone.

Some of my friends don't know why I bother. It's because I care, and feel the pain of others less fortunate. The persecuted and unheard. I don't know if I make any difference. The reaction I got from my last comment has me hoping I've made a few people think about how their actions affect others, that words, even from a stranger, hurt. 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy New Year!

It's 2016, how did that happen! 2015 was eventful, mostly good events with some I could have done without. I suspect there will be more change this year, there's a bit of excitement in the air. The promise of things to come. The little ones are growing fast, the youngest two both now interested in chatting. That language explosion that happens to toddlers as they gain their voice.

Last evening I had the complete privilege of being on the water, so very close to the action, as Sydney exploded with light and sound as fireworks filled the night sky. It was amazing, 12 minutes of sensational visual artistry. And did I mention I was on the water watching from Australia One? With bubbles and all the trimmings? And some lovely folks, old friends and new?

It was a late night, an eventful night, one to remember for a long while I suspect. Today was quiet, very quiet. I didn't get pics of the fireworks, just decided to enjoy them hanging over the side for the very best view. I did get others.

Passing under the bridge - Fireworks ready

Amazing sunset aerobatics