The Geraldton Crime Survey

This survey is for residents in and around Geraldton. 

Submissions are anonymous. 

Results will be published on Everything Geraldton. 

If you can't see the survey below (eg if you are viewing this from the Everything Geraldton app) click here. 


The crime rate in Geraldton is... *
Compared to other places in WA, Geraldton's crime rate is... *
In the last 24 months, I think crime in Geraldton has... *
Crime in the Geraldton community is primarily the responsibility of... *
Choose the most appropriate answer *
Choose the most appropriate answer
MLA Ian Blayney has done a good job of dealing with crime in Geraldton
MP Melissa Price has done a good job of dealing with crime in Geraldton
The Geraldton Police have done a good job dealing with crime in Geraldton
The City of Greater Geraldton has done a good job of dealing with crime in Geraldton
The WA Government has done a good job of dealing with the crime in Geraldton
Crime and the media *
Crime and the media
Everything Geraldton reports too much crime news
Everything Geraldton does not report enough crime news
Everything Geraldton reports the right amount of crime news
Everything Geraldton appears to be covering up crime stories
There is more crime happening in Geraldton than gets reported on Everything Geraldton
Reporting crime stories by Everything Geraldton helps bring attention to the problem
Reporting crime stories by Everything Geraldton does not help at all
The public deserves to know about crime that happens in Geraldton
Crime that happens in Geraldton should not be shared with the public
Do you support tougher sentencing for convicted criminals? *
Do you support the three strikes home invasion and burglary laws? *
In the last two years, how many times have you or someone in your care been a victim of crime? *

What Southgate Dunes mean to me

Southgates was the go to place on a Sunday afternoon.

Grandad would see how many families and friends he could round up and we would all troop down to the dunes in a convoy. Although, sometimes it would be just me and him.

Each year that I grew older I would slowly learn the changing map of those dunes a little better.

For example, dog bush. The bush that stood alone in the middle of the sand, which must have had an unwritten rule that obligated all dogs to stop and pee on, it seemed.

I was taught the ritual of letting air out of the tyres, and then how to pump them back up at the fuel station. 

How to change gears.

I was shown how to change a tyre. 

To avoid driving on seaweed. 

Always stick to the left.

To always stop before continuing to ensure the other side was okay to go down, because once you start you have to commit.

I have numerous stories, unique and common. 

One time we were in a convoy and the biggest four wheel drive got stuck. Several others tried to pull them out and all got bogged as well. It was a mess. We had several cars stuck, and only Grandad’s little old Suzuki left. It started to rain. The tide was rising. People were panicking.

But not Grandad. One at a time he got the snap strap and pulled each of the four wheel drives out.

Lets just say, his little Suzie didn't get the brunt of a joke again.

Slowly as I grew up we went out to Southgates less and less. 

Until I had my own licence, my own little (but newer) suzie. 

I took friends out there, and then friends began to get their own four wheel drives and take us there. 

We taught each other the fundamentals of four wheel driving that we had learnt from family, debated the best tracks and all in all learnt how to have a good time. It was a haven from school, people and work. 

There was always bulldozers out there. They had threatened development for years. It became a conspiracy. I mean, none of us believed anyone that had been out there could actually destroy it. 

Now I hear it is a possibility. A plan. 

And all I can think is my Grandad’s rule:
Always check the other side, before going down. Once you start you have to finish the descent. 

What I want to see on the other side of this is Southgates as a place to take my own children and grandchildren one day. A place to teach them how to drive, and how to enjoy life.  A place to create memories and explore. 

But what I am seeing is something completely different.

So before we start to go down this road, can I just ask;

Is it something you can commit to, because once the wheels start rolling, where do we stop?

A developer is trying to get permission to subdivide our precious sand dunes

Mayor slams Minister’s plans for Southgates

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn has described the State Government’s plan to change an amendment which will result in the rezoning of Southgates Dunes for development and future urban subdivision as “nothing short of environmental terrorism”.

The proposed changes to Planning Scheme Amendment No. 4 went to council Tuesday night at the Agenda Forum after the Minister for Environment, Hon Albert Jacob, and the Minister for Planning, Hon John Day, reached agreement on the conditions to which the Amendment should be subject if it is to be implemented.

Mayor Van Styn has hit back at the proposed changes to the Amendment saying that any development on the land would destroy sand supply to other local beaches and are completely outrageous.

“We are flat out carting sand to Beresford to save our beaches (from Pages beach) and here we have a proposal that will make that problem a lot worse,” he said.

“The idea of destroying the sand supply to our northern beaches is mind blowing and it’s hard to believe that anybody could think that is in any way a good idea.”

The Amendment involves subdividing an area of around 780ha of land on Southgates Dunes.

The Local Planning Scheme Amendment in its current form poses significant risks for the City both financially and environmentally.

“The Southgates Dunes are iconic and represent Geraldton a much as our lighthouse,” Mayor Van Styn said.

“We also need to be reminded the proposed developer is the same developer that was responsible for the mess at Cape Burney,” he added.

If the motion to object the proposal is passed by Council next week, the City will immediately advise the Minister for Planning that the Council strongly objects to the implementation of Local Planning Scheme Amendment No. 4 in its current form.

“Here is yet another example, of Perth based planning bureaucracies making appalling planning decisions that are completely out of step with local sentiment and is another clear example of why local government should be the masters of their own planning,” Mayor Van Styn said.

“I call on all of our community to do all they can to protest against this outrageous proposal.”


Has there already been excessive mining at Southgates?

Many residents over the past several months have expressed their outrage to Everything Geraldton over how much sand has already been taken from Southgates. It's clear from the beach, and the road, that much of the natural and iconic dunes have been flattened. 

What's not known by most locals is that conveniently the level to which the dunes have been flattened is the exact same height that the EPA have said needs to be in place when/if any sub-division occurs. 

Some locals are questioning if EPA guidelines have been breached, or if too much sand has been taken already from the dunes, due to the obvious scaring that is clearly visible to all passers-by. 

The mining that is taking place at Southgates is for the lime sand to be used by farmers. It is used to increase the pH levels of soil. The mining, if done at low enough levels, is sustainable, as the dunes do grow each year. 

 


Everything Geraldton welcomes your feedback regarding "Save Southgates". Provide your feedback with the link below. Or email geraldton@justeverything.com.au


If you would like to contact our local representatives, here are their contact details. 


Ian Blayney

Shop 2, 5 Chapman Road
Geraldton WA 6530
Ph: 9964 1640
Fax: 9964 2892
Email: ian.blayney@mp.wa.gov.au


Paul Brown

Unit 3, 5 Chapman Road
GERALDTON WA 6530
Ph: (08) 9921 4818
Fax: (08) 9921 4972
Email: paul.brown@mp.wa.gov.au


Darren West

84 Marine Terrace
GERALDTON WA 6530
PO Box 578 GERALDTON 6531
Ph: (08) 9964 1001
Fax: (08) 9964 1002
Email: darren.west.mp@mp.wa.gov.au


Mayor Van Styn has set up a Facebook page called Save Southgates. Links below. Like the page and share with your friends if you're interested in getting behind it. 

Let's save Southgates! #savesouthgates

Posted by Save Southgates on Friday, March 18, 2016

Brilliant idea to improve Buy and Sell safety

It's hard to tell how much of our economy has moved to "Buy and Sell" sites now. They've become an extremely efficient way of getting rid of unwanted items, but plenty of people are running actual businesses in them too. 

There's always the concern of giving complete strangers your home address though, especially when they're coming over to inspect the flat screen TV you're trying to sell. Are they scoping your home? Will they be back later tonight to help themselves? We've all had those thoughts. 

One very forward thinking cop shop in the US is offering local residents a safe place to conduct their transactions. Farmville (I know, right) in North Carolina has a monitored parking lot at the local police station where people can exchange goods and money, with the assurance a camera is watching. 

Here's what they published on FB:

The Farmville Police Department now has an area in the Police Department parking lot where you can exchange items purchased over the internet. This area is located where the officers park their cars at night, right in front of the PD main lobby, and is under 24 hour surveillance. There are parking spaces designated as an Internet Exchange Location and Police Vehicles Only, these areas can be used to exchange items.
With the increase in people buying and selling items online and through social media we wanted to make a location people could feel safe making the exchange.
We understand people feel hesitant to give someone their home or work address or meet them in a random parking lot and wanted to provide a location that was public, monitored and accessible.
If a buyer or seller is unwilling to meet you at this location to exchange items, you probably don't want to be doing business with this person anyway.

Do you think this is something Geraldton needs?

Leave a response in the comments below. 

The Farmville Police Department now has an area in the Police Department parking lot where you can exchange items...

Posted by Farmville Police Department on Monday, February 15, 2016


Thanks Aleisel for the heads up. 

Reminder to slow down in school zones

Multiple Geraldton residents have reached out to EG asking for the public to slow down in school zones. 

We thought we'd just post this short reminder to be extra careful of your speed between 7:30 and 9:00am each morning, and 2:30 and 4pm each afternoon. 

Several spots in Geraldton get extremely congested during these times, and patience is needed. 

Also a reminder not to overtake on unbroken white lines. We've had reports of impatient drivers putting others at risk by overtaking in school zones when unsafe to do so. 

 

Reminder not to leave items near donation bins

A community member was upset by the mess she found on Monday when visiting the Good Sammy bins. 

Keep in mind that a volunteer will probably have to clean this up.

Please put all donation items in the bins provided, or drop them off during business hours. Leaving them near the bins often results in people rifling through the items resulting in a huge mess for someone to clean.

"Went to drop stuff off at Good Sammy's this morning. Absolutely disgusting, how hard is it to put it in the bins provided?"

- Skye

 

Letter from woman involved in recent NWCH crash

Hi everyone, I'm Tina

Unfortunately I am the innocent person involved in the accident on Thursday afternoon. Don't ask me for details, that's up to Major Crash unit to sort out and release what information they deem the general public needs to know. Thankfully I am going to be ok, some healing to be done but I am alive and that's all that matters to me.

I would like to send huge thank yous to the public who came across the accident and helped and the ladies who stayed with me, rang my husband and my sons work. I can't thank you enough.

The lady from his work who stayed with him until I arrived at the hospital and my husband also arrived, thank you for your compassion xx. Sharkbay man - thanks for the pillow, made the roadside more comfy under my head xx. Please next time you are in Northampton let me buy you a beer.

The police, ambulance, off duty fireman, the doctors, nurses, orderlies, xray techs and anyboa\dy else who has assisted me since Thursday thank you from the bottom of my heart xx You all do an amazing job and your care could not have been better xx

To the people who see posts announcing accidents on sites like this please STOP asking for details of cars and names of people. There are protocols that have to be followed and if you need to be contacted by authorities you will be. Don't go saying 'oh but I have friends who travel that road'. Instead of sitting on social media actually ring your friends and family to ensure they are safe. If you don't get an answer try again or try another friend. My husband and our son were both at work and our daughter was overseas. They needed to be told of the incident before reading about it on social media.

To the people who hear gossip and continue it on, STOP. We have heard rumors about the accident that are just utter bullshit. Unless you are 150% sure it's correct when told to you don't repeat it. You're not helping anything or anyone.

To the people who immediately blame the road FFS STOP. There is nothing wrong with the road, it is the dickhead drivers who have no consideration for other road users. I do 2 return trips a day between Northampton and Geraldton daily, the road is fine. There are overtaking lanes and safe areas to overtake if you need to. But daily I see people using mobile phones, people overtaking on double white lines, on bends etc. The limit on the road is 110kph and yet I have been overtaken like I am standing still.

I love my family and enjoy going home to them each and every night, so please slow down, stop using phones and concentrate on your bloody driving. There is more than just you on those roads!

- Tina

A thank you to the Geraldton Police

I just wanted to say thanks to all the police officers that worked Australia Day to make sure it was enjoyable for the rest of us! There was a high presence and all incidents were dealt with very quickly :)

- Cassie

I just wanted to say thanks to all the police officers that worked Australia Day to make sure it was enjoyable for the rest of us! There was a high presence and all incidents were dealt with very quickly :)

Posted by Cassie Millington on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Your say: Geraldton's High Schools


High school students in Geraldton have been the subject of a strange experiment over the last decade or so. 

There used to be two seperate public high schools in Geraldton, John Willcock and Geraldton Senior College. 

The experiment was to send just years 8 and 9 (and later year 7 as well) to John Willcock, and years 10, 11 and 12 to Geraldton Senior. 

After all this time, no one seems to have been monitoring the success of the experiment, and today the state government finally announced the experiment was over, starting from 2019. 

Have your say on what you think about the decision in the Poll above. (click here if you can't see it.)

The full press release from Ian Blayney's office follows:


Two schools to cater for students from years 7 to 12 from 2019

Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney has welcomed Education Minister Peter Collier’s announcement in relation to the future of John Willcock College and Geraldton Senior College, which will both expand to take students from years 7 to 12 from 2019.

“This is an exciting announcement.

“I’ve listened, the government has listened and the wishes of the community have been met,” said Mr Blayney.

Education Minister Peter Collier said the move followed community consultation last year about public secondary schooling in the key regional centre.

 "It was clear parents want a continuous secondary education for their children, rather than having separate middle and senior schools," Mr Collier said.

Under the changes, both colleges will offer a broad curriculum with Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) options and vocational education and training.

About $20 million will be invested in John Willcock College to provide a new arts facility and medical centre, upgrade design and technology facilities, and provide new staff areas, change rooms, toilets and a cafeteria.

 A new academic extension program for students from years 7 to 10 will start in 2020.

"The extension program will provide students with a clear direction in their studies as they move into years 11 and 12 and on to university," the Minister said.

At Geraldton Senior College, about $5 million will be spent on specialist facilities, classrooms, an upgraded heritage building, along with the refurbishment of former residential college buildings, change rooms and toilets.

New local intake boundaries for each school have been drafted, to ensure a broad mix of students at both schools.

"Each school will provide a high quality education for a cross section of the Geraldton community," Mr Collier said.

Fact File

  • John Willcock College will employ a co-ordinator for the first three years of the academic extension program
  • Each college will be an Independent Public School
  • The changes to each school will be in place for the start of 2019

Your Say: Should people who commit crimes be given compensation for abusive childhoods?

2692562IW004_Soham
The foundations of justice are that no one shall suffer wrong; then, that the public good be promoted.
— Cicero, Roman lawyer and orator, c. 100 BCE

Kate Campbell for Perth Now:

A PERTH criminal has been awarded more than $18,000 in criminal injuries compensation for witnessing his father bash his mother when he was a toddler.
The 23-year-old, who said he saw the attacks from aged one to six, said the psychological damage set him on a life of crime.
Experts said the payout was unusual and could 'open the floodgates'.

What do you think?

Your say: Is it time to legalise cannabis? - Geraldton Police seize 75 plants and charge 6

A haul taken by Police in Mandurah earlier in the week. 

A haul taken by Police in Mandurah earlier in the week. 

Your say: Do you think it's time to legalise cannabis?

Some argue it's taking too much valuable Police resources, court resources, and prison space on a drug that is less harmful than alcohol and very readily available. 

Others think it needs to remain prohibited because of potential negative impacts it could have if it becomes even more easily available. 

What do you think?


Major drug busts by Geraldton Police

Throughout the week Geraldton Police have conducted a number of searches on homes in the Geraldton area, as part of a major drug sting. 

Six people have been arrested and charged. Their charges range from possing drugs and drug paraphernalia to intent to sell and supply drugs. 

Police also uncovered large amounts of what is believed to be stolen property. 

A large number of cannabis plants have been seized, as well as amounts of what is believed to be crystal meth. 

Full press release from the Geraldton Police follows:

Drug Warrants Executed

Throughout the week, officers attached to the Geraldton Local Policing Team have executed a number of Misuse of Drugs Act search warrants within the Geraldton sub-district in relation to illegal drug activity.

At about 6:15am on Tuesday 7 July 2015 police attended a residential address on Scott Road, Rangeway.

Following the execution of a warrant, police allege that several items of interest were located. It will be alleged that an amount of cannabis and crystal substance was located along with other drug paraphernalia.

A 24 year old female from Rangeway was subsequently charged with possess prohibited drug and possessed drug paraphernalia while a 27 year old male also from Rangeway was charged with possess prohibited drug. Both will appear at the Geraldton Magistrates Court at a later date. 

Further;

At about 12:00pm on Tuesday 7 July 2015 police attended a residential address on Abelia Street, Rangeway.

Following the execution of a warrant, a number of items were seized. It is alleged that a drug smoking implement as well as two swords and a machete were seized.

A 32 year old from Mullewa was charged with possess drug paraphernalia and will appear at the Geraldton Magistrates Court at a later date.

Further;

At about 6:10am on Wednesday 8 July 2015 police attended a residential address on Hammond Street, Spalding.

Following the execution of a warrant, police allege that a large amount of property, believed to be stolen, along with drug paraphernalia, cannabis and white crystal substance was located.

A 48 year old male from Spalding charged with two counts of possessing stolen property and a 41 year old female also from Spalding charged with possess prohibited drug will both appear at the Geraldton Magistrates Court at a later date.

Police are conducting further inquiries in relation to the various property items located in an attempt to return the items to the identified owners. 


CORRECTION: Error in police release sent earlier today. Police have seized 75 (not 40) mature cannabis plants and charged six people after a series of drug raids across #Geraldton Guardian.

Posted by Geraldton Guardian on Thursday, July 9, 2015




image.jpg

An interesting perspective on bypass roads

Your thoughts? We hadn't heard this perspective before...

"An open letter, beginning, to all shire councils, town councils, Chambers of commerce, everywhere in Rural Australia. I drive all over Australia, I'm not a truckie, I have a map and I am colouring in each road as pass over it. I see a trend in small rural towns Certain towns are dying, ceasing to exist Those towns with no stores, restaurants, hotels, motels remaining on the streets have something in common They have all built bypass ring roads, to divert heavy vehicles out of town I work at a roadhouse, I know truckies, Truck drivers aren't stupid, If you tell em you don't want them in your town, they won't go But the 100 trucks each day in each direction that no longer pass through, no longer buy 1000 litres of fuel in your roadhouse, no longer buy meals in your restaurants, no longer stop to just get human conversation in your pubs, no longer spend a night in your hotels or motels to get out of the cab occasionally, no longer shop in your supermarkets to restock the cab fridge. Winton in Queensland HAD a vibrant main street 2 years ago, now only the BP roadhouse, at the corner where trucks are diverted around town is alive, the town is closed down at 5pm, half the stores on the main street are empty the trucks turned away are a much bigger resource than the few caravans pandered to, who roll up once. Trucking is everyday, both ways Small town, or roadhouse with a ghost town attached, the choice is yours. 

Rob Dockrey"

Thank you to staff at car wash

This was posted to the Everything Geraldton Facebook page earlier: 

I would like to thank the Car Wash people next to Panaceum today for walking me to my car after being disgustingly abused verbally and with overt sexual threats by three men living in the house next door. I was parked on Lester avenue and heading to the doctor already fragile when one male started making lewd simulating gestures to a bottle of alcohol he was drinking. When I ignored him he became agitated and shouted disgustings acts he would do to me...insert racist comments here, fat, white...quite ironic considering he was of fair skin. I was very fearful and shaken and lovely lady in surgery called the car wash and had someone walk me to car. Police were notified and this house is known to local business as an ongoing concern. The ladies in red cross shop have visits regularly and often after " a hit" as one was told. When I left the surgery an elderly lady had just been subject to same.I'm not passing judgement on this page but I appreciated the kindness of the staff at the car wash.

- Stephanie  

3 year sentence for manslaughter

A 17 year old youth will be eligible for parole after 18 months after receiving a 3 year sentence for manslaughter for the killing of a 51 year old man with a paver last year in Wonthella. 

Ian Cutler from the Geraldton Guardian reports on the story. Click here to read. 

CBD gets makeover with street art

Artist Jordan Andreotta with his Octopus painting on the old Salvation Army building.

Artist Jordan Andreotta with his Octopus painting on the old Salvation Army building.

You’ve probably already spotted some brand new art work additions in the CBD but keep your eyes peeled in the coming months for even more colour.

Commissioned by the City of Greater Geraldton, several local artists are using their artistic flair to increase vivacity as part of the City’s Vibrancy Strategy.

As part of strategy, the City asked for expressions of interest from artists, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and city centre landowners to come together in a bid to add some vibrancy to the city centre.

With support from the Arts and Cultural Development Council (ACDC), a number of local artists have been commissioned to complete various artworks around the CBD with final designs approved by a panel from the City.

These artists are Shahran Jackey, Michelle Santarelli, Jessica Bibby, Karen Sanders, Craig Maynard, Anthea da Silva, Jordan Andreotta and Rose Holdaway with the help of local organisations Mara Art Aboriginal Corporation and Bundiyarra Aboriginal Corporation.

City of Greater Geraldton Deputy Mayor, Neil McIlwaine, said the City Vibrancy Strategy provided a framework for the City to raise the vivacity throughout Greater Geraldton.

“The artworks that we have already seen and the pieces we can expect in the coming months add even more character to our City,” he said.

“The City has invested considerable time and resources into the Vibrancy Strategy which will ultimately have a positive outcome for the community.”

Local artists Shahran Jackey, Michelle Santarelli, Jessica Bibby, Karen Sanders, Craig Maynard, Anthea da Silva and Jordan Andreotta.

Local artists Shahran Jackey, Michelle Santarelli, Jessica Bibby, Karen Sanders, Craig Maynard, Anthea da Silva and Jordan Andreotta.

Shah Jackey is currently working on a piece on a building in Marine Terrace which he says represents his love and passion for art.

“I can’t thank the City enough for this opportunity to express myself through art,” he said.

“I love the fact that I can create something beautiful that the community can enjoy.”

Other local artist Jordan Andreotta has also completed some artworks in the CBD which have a great local connection.

He has painted a Moorish Idol Fish on a building on Cathedral Avenue and also an octopus on the old Salvation Army building in Marine Terrace.

“I wanted my artwork to be able to resonate with the community so I’ve stuck with a theme of local sea creatures,” he said.

“The Moorish Idol Fish is a local species and I found the shape was very interesting and the fish was slightly obscure.

“The feedback on the work so far has been really positive and it’s been a really good experience.”

Shah Jackey begins his artwork in Marine Terrace.

Shah Jackey begins his artwork in Marine Terrace.

TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE, OR DON’T OVERTHINK IT?

A few weeks ago my son Jimmy had a mate over for the day.  The boy had been to our home before and he knew the drill - no tablets, computers, ipods, wiis, xboxes or anything else along those lines.  And so he walked in the door and headed straight for the old organ.  Jimmy picked up the ukulele.  The two of them spent hours churning out their own brand of 2014 pop/rock.  Sweet and hilarious entertainment.  They also squeezed a car wash into the day, and while I walked the dog on the beach they built life-sized racing car in the sand.

In the past this little boy has gone so far as to say that a play date with Jimmy was the highlight of his holidays.

The thing is, we do have a tablet.  And an old laptop.  A very old dvd player.  My daughter Jessie has an ipod nano with music only on it.   I have a smart phone but that is, very specifically, mine.

Sometimes I worry.  Am I denying my Gen Z offspring, the first generation never to have experienced the world pre-internet, a basic right of passage?  What kind of psychological disaster am I going to cause by not purchasing minecraft?

Is my steadfast refusal to purchase such things more about my sanity?  How can I not take positive peer reviews for the kids into account?  Yet… my social media stream regularly features parents having child-related minecraft battles.  Parents of younger kids unsure about what is/isn’t an acceptable amount of screen time each day.  Steve Jobs seemed to have some firm ideas on the whole issue.

My approach - and just to be very clear, I’d never judge anyone else for their decisions because I don’t walk in their shoes – I don’t go there.  I don’t buy it so the kids can’t consume it.

During the winter sport season I was chatting with a friend and another mum, running through the crazy week ahead for Jessie.  Extra-curricular activities like the school play, interschool sports and an extension learning program.  From my point of view it was merely a remark on the fact that everything seemed to have culminated into the one week, but the other mum made a rapid-fire comment.  “Sounds like an overachieving child”.

WTF??? This is my child you’re talking about and it wasn’t my intent to brag!  But of course I went home and pondered her comment.  Do I push my kids too hard?  I think about the lack of electronic devices in the house and my conclusion is no, they’re not pushed too hard.  They’re not pushed at all.  I suspect they have more time on their hands than many kids because they’re not in front of a screen.

I reflected on the year my kids have had.  The new things they’ve learnt or experienced at home.  How to kick and mark a footy.  Monopoly and Yahtzee.  Poker, blackjack, and a raft of other card games.  How to build a card tower.  Every loom band design you can imagine (yes ok, hello internet).  Large and small art projects.  How to make soap, cook a meal.  Grow strawberries and herbs.  They’ve washes cars for many of the neighbours.  Built amazing sandcastles.  Danced, sung, played their instruments – and no, they don’t get lessons.  Bounced on the trampoline, mastered the hula hoop.  Spent hours riding bikes, scooters and skateboards.  Climbed trees and built cubby houses.  Fallen out of trees.  Seen snakes, bandicoots, turtles, so many different birds.  Learnt how to identify several plant species.  Made cards and presents for every family member and friend in existence.

Is that overachieving, or is that because they’re finding things to do?  Don’t’ get me wrong – these things happen in mini-crazes.  One week it’s card towers.  Then next Monopoly.  And so it goes.  I’m not really sure if this is overachieving, or rather being pushed by some kind of default.  And because they have this zest at home for finding new things to do, it seems to spill into their school life.

When Jessie was a small babe and I a much more naïve parent, I remember saying to someone of my mother’s generation “how can I be sure that my words and actions today aren’t going to be my f***-ups of tomorrow?”

My own conclusion has always been that I can’t be sure.  I can only do what I believe to be best, and best right now is to keep doing what we’re doing.  Besides, I can’t help but think that if Jimmy’s little mate is a critic to be listened to, then life in our house is ok.