Byoot day


Happy ladies on a fine day in Japan   (C) PJ Croft 2018

Wow, haven’t we had some rain? It’s excellent when it’s not too windy. It was a bit nasty yesterday, but today, expecting it to be cool, I wore a T-shirt under my pullover and it felt too warm by mid afternoon. Very nice day.


I had a doctor appointment to see the results of my 6-monthly blood tests and everything was fine (liver, kidneys, cholesterol etc), but very pleasingly, my HbA1c has come down from 8.4 in March to 7.6 now. That’s a big improvement.

We wondered why and talked a lot about diet, but the real reason only occurred to me later: sleep. Last year and earlier this year I was plagued by insomnia, as I said here ad nauseum.

But after stopping Tramadol (foot pain relief) and changing another med from before bed to morning, I’m back to sleeping normally again. I still have a few very light sleep nights, but in general I drop off quickly and sleep well.

It’s my opinion that this would account for the improved blood sugar control. I’ve emailed the GP to tell him and said, “Forget darkened room, forget milk before bed, forget shutting off the TV two hours before bed, forget stopping blue light from screens – think medications.” It worked for me and I am very relieved to be free of that insomnia!



Japanese signage   (C) PJ Croft 2018

I’ve had a letter in the post informing me that the Home and Community Care service, HACC, has had its name changed to Commonwealth Home Support Programme, CHSP.

Here’s yet another government change of name that will require all new stationery, signage and IT changes, at great expense. As my provider says, it means no change for me, just the new name. So why change? It’s hang the expense, obviously, in government.


Notice the –mme on the end of programme above. Many years ago we at Channel 7 were informed that Australian TV policy was to drop the –mme and just make it program. Despite being a paid up member of the Society of Pedants, I agreed with that change.

Also, in the paragraph above, notice the word stationery, distinct from its homonym stationary. I’ve never had trouble deciding which to use: stationery has the -e-, as in letters, while stationary has the -a- as in car. Simple.

Yet, with my pedant’s cap on, I gently ventured to correct my favourite photography blogger Mike Johnson ( ) when he confused the two.

To my surprise, he mentioned my chiding in the blog and said in all his years of writing articles and editing magazines, he had never heard of that rule before, and thanked me for telling him. I was very gratified as he is a very literate and erudite writer.



Restaurant, Japan   (C) PJ Croft 2018

Day after day, week after week, month after month, news article after article is appearing exposing companies which are exploiting their lower paid staff. Usually it is vulnerable employees who don’t have any bargaining power, being on various visas or work permits.

In the 1970s, ’80s and 90s we were bombarded with anti-union rhetoric by employers and the Liberal governments. In particular, this was the time of enterprise bargaining and attempts to get employees away from collective bargaining (i.e. union driven awards) and into individual “bargaining” between employees and employers. We were constantly informed that this would result in better wages and conditions for employees. John Howard, in particular, assured wages employees that negotiating one-on-one with managers would be a happy experience for both.

Look at it now, 20 years on. Union membership has fallen to about 10% (for reasons I’ve discussed before), but wages have utterly stalled for the past decade, in fact going backwards. The employers have not had to bargain with unions, so they are quite content to do nothing. At the same time, many, many employers are very happy to exploit employees as much as they can get away with. The only thing that stops them is the odd union member who complains.

Sure, it’s a minority of employers who do this, but how come we keep hearing about it?

And how come wages have stalled and gone backwards? Where’s the happy, cooperative attitude we were promised. It was bullshit across the board. The aim was to divide and conquer, and that’s what’s happened. Employment hasn’t boomed. The constant mantra is that employers need experience and qualifications, but they haven’t done anything to provide the apprenticeships or traineeships to enable people to gain the qualifications and get the experience. An apprenticeship is about five years, and from my own experience and observations during my working years, that’s what it took to get a self confident guy who could be left largely unsupervised.

I spit!



Off to school, Japan.  (C) PJ Croft 2018

So, have you noticed? So. It’s the latest cliche. Everyone begins speaking with “So”. It’s driving me, y’know, nuts! Y’know?


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