Sunday, October 30, 2011

Business irons out budget wrinkles

Image courtesy of fellow blogger Susan Dewitt.

ENTREPRENEUR is a big word that evokes images of big money and big talk but each edition of the Classifieds unveils many quiet achievers who don't need to wear titles like 'CEO', even when they can.
The steady stream of entrepreneurs creating new businesses fuels the economy and enriches the culture, locally and wider.
Those with ideas and drive can have the supreme satisfaction of building their own business, without fancy titles and expense accounts.
The Classifieds are a showcase for what used to be known as the "self-made man" but now should the "self-made person".

I HAVE had the pleasure of talking with a true "self-made woman", a mother-of-four who created an income stream, firstly for her family, then grew it to employ 12 people.
Speedy Ironing Service's brightly coloured notice with artwork stands out under the 'services – domestic' heading. About two decades ago, Marita Neville started the business with a two-line classified.
Marita looks back on her business as a journey of learning and discovery that has allowed her to "grow personally".
"Ironing was something I could do at home; I started with a friend but then kept doing it as my own business," she says.
At the time, the Victoria Point 'commercial hub' was just a corner store on Colburn Avenue. Marita lived nearby in a new estate. She needed to travel to Canon Hill and Mt Gravatt to shop.

GRADUALLY, over the years, Marita gave up ironing, but kept up the driving for pick-up and delivery.
Now she has two drivers and concentrates on managing the business.
The drivers have computers showing the necessary client details. Marita, in fact, lists the use of such IT as a highlight of her business development.
"I have learnt so much – about management, how to run the business more efficiently, dealing with people, computers and IT," she says.
"It's not just an ironing service."
She has streamlined the accounting and business practices.

SPEEDY Ironing Service has clients throughout Redland City. Marita has thought about servicing a wider area but says she is comfortable with the geographic limit at this stage of her life.
"Ten years ago I may have wanted to keep expanding the business but I now have 14 grandchildren and they are a big part of my life," she says.
She talks about her business achievements with humility: "I am a Christian and believe that you don't do something like this all by yourself but get help from God."
Marita is part of the congregation at Redland City Church, Thornlands

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.This article has appeared in The Redland Times.

Image magic: from daguerreotype to digital culture

Wow, now the world can see it! Here are scenes from beautiful Moreton Bay, protected from the Pacific Ocean by two huge sand islands, dotted with other smaller islands and with the vibrant urban culture of Redland City on its southern shores. These images by internationally renowned Redland photographer Julie Geldard certainly show why we are proud to call ourselves "Redlanders". Long live the Redlands!

THE Frenchman who is credited with taking photography out of the laboratory and into the world's mainstream culture would grin and grimace at the explosion of digital imaging almost two decades later.
Photography is now at society's fingertips, probably to a degree that Louis Daguerre would never have imagined.
Louis developed the camera with the most intriguing name, the daguerreotype (it's always a buzz to tap out a word like that).
At the time and for many decades, photography was a specialist skill and the property of highly trained practitioners.

NOWADAYS anyone can happily snap and show their handiwork to the world on the web.
The true professionals – remember how we used to call them 'shutterbugs' – are still clicking away, however.
Their work still carries the stamp of authority that says, "This is my work and my art," and it stands out in the proliferation of images like stars in the digital imaging universe.
Such professionals could be expected to look down their noses at the legions of amateurs but Wellington Point photographer Julie Geldard is delighted so many are recording the things that mean something to them.
"It's wonderful to have more and more people experiencing this magical world and capturing beauty; it makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy," she says.

JULIE, a highly accredited and awarded photographer with about 15 years' experience, advertises her "Master your Camera" classes in the training and tuition column.
She says use of just the programmed automatic camera settings gives control to the camera, rather than the operator; she shows how an understanding of camera functions can improve the images.
"I encourage the photographer to see magic moments, how to enhance their subject with many techniques such as leading lines, and how to not distract from their subject," Julie says.

SHE holds "ongoing and affordable practical workshops" weekly for participants to maintain their skills and advanced half-day workshops in specialist areas.
Weekend and overseas "photographic extravaganzas" to destinations including Thailand, the Greek islands and Africa are also on the agenda.
“One develops a second sense for that fleeting fantastic moment when a great shot is enhanced by light or a captured emotion to take it from good to breath-taking,” Julie says.
"My aim is to teach the technical skills, then enhance the creative skills to give each participant a life-long pathway to photographic growth and enjoyment," Julie says.
“One is never alone in the world with your camera.”

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this article has appeared in The Redland Times.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Unofficial anthem echoes through time, space

Image of giant log at the genuine Pub With No Beer.

THE song that country music superstar Slim Dusty took to the top of the charts more than half a century ago was destined to get ingrained in Aussie culture. However, the popularity of the catchy tune and lyrics of The Pub With No Beer spread far past our borders and to other countries.
The song had already echoed around the world for more than a decade when a boy, barely into his teens, started learning guitar in Durban, South Africa.
The Pub With No Beer was in fact the first song that Glen Stuart learnt to play. He wondered what life was really like in Australia, and in 1979 he migrated here.

GLEN now lives at Thornlands and works as a sales representative in the fibreglass/composites industry. That's his day job, of course, because he is still a keen rhythm guitarist, picks up his instrument at every opportunity, enjoys jamming and has played in bands.
A few years ago he joined his lead guitarist-uncle Brian Jones in a band called Sneaky Pete, with Brian's son Warren on drums.
Brian and Warren also came from South Africa to make the Redlands their home.
Glen has a musical project on the boil and has used the Classifieds to recruit a bass player for his new band, which will play blues, rock and rock 'n' roll.

OVER about the past year, Glen has been playing with a lead guitarist, Aiden Battenally, drummer Rob Greatrex and singer Amanda Reynolds and they now need the right bass player to hold it all together.
"Basically we all have day jobs and we get together because we simply love playing music; it's our passion," he says.
"At this stage we are looking to get a CD together by the end of the year then starting into gigs.
"We are looking for someone (on bass) who is willing to grow with the band."
The first applicant auditioned last Monday and another will have a try-out next week.

AFTER mastering The Pub With No Beer, Glen's gaze actually turned 180 degrees to North America and rockabilly became his favourite style.
However, the new band will play everything from rockabilly to Led Zeppelin, he says. Unfortunately, it's too early to give a band name for advance notice of the debut in 2012. About all I can say is: watch this space.

Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in
The Redland Times.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Stopping to smell the roses, soak up the art

Images clockwise from immediate right: sculpture in Qld beech, cast aluminium tile honouring the creatures of Moreton Bay; Australian flora motifs carved in Qld beech and cast in aluminium; bronze of the late Bill Branch, commissioned by the southern bay islands RSL sub branch.

SOMETIMES everyone has to take a step back, look at how they expend their energies and ask themselves, "Why am I doing this?"
Today I must be on a bit of a 'downer'. That question opened up some old scars and relatively new wounds.
My expeditions into the real world of the marvellous community of classified advertising have been branded over the years as "trivia".
Yes, you read it right - the good old six-letter putdown, in a media culture driven by self-righteous sensationalism.
I am no stranger to the curled lip, smug shrug and blithe indifference to my monument for the heritage of publishing.
Whether the expression is outright disrespect or stony silence, I can handle it because I've had a good few decades dealing with it.
The people who trust me to tell their stories more than make up for the lack of courtesies that seem inevitably to confront me in my calling.

TODAY, when I looked at my world and stopped to smell the roses I realised that I do devote a lot of effort to this while neglecting beauty around me.
So just to get on an upbeat I thought I'd share with you some of the marvellous artworks by my wife, Jenny.
By the way, she gets a mention in
an earlier post. Visitors to the site may already have seen the wasp man.

Jenny's work is also on exhibition at her own current site, with more in the archives of cyberspace - some character studies, cast metal tiles and more 'special person sculptures'.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Carl Barron beware: cockatoos watch your walk

IMAGE: No, it's not Carl with a crest. Cockatoo picture by courtesy of a fellow blogger with the site, Little Australia, which is well worth a visit.

REDLAND seems more like a rainforest than a city in the recent Lost & Found columns. Our feathered friends of many breeds are on the move.
Lost: a green ringneck parrot at Birkdale and a rosella and a rainbow lorikeet at Alexandra Hills.
Found: a grey cockatiel and a "pretty parrot", both at Capalaba.
And that was just in Tuesday's paper. Bird watchers undoubtedly have looked forward to today's chapter of Lost & Found with bated breath, keen anticipation and sweaty palms.

A LOT of emotion runs through this soapie but there's also some good old belly-shaking slapstick comedy, which comes free with each bird.
If comedian Carl Barron ever needs a stand-in, a sulphur-crested cockie could imitate that famous walk and probably get a few more laughs.
Alexandra Hills carpenter Chris Shumack managed to smile yesterday even as he counted the cost of advertising for his rosella – and rewarding the finders – three times in about two years.
"He has become a very expensive bird," Chris said. But he was thankful the tactic previously worked, and this time he was optimistic of a reunion soon with Fatso.
"He's the biggest, heaviest, overweight bird I have ever seen – he's totally food driven," Chris said.
"We bought him from a bird show at Cleveland a few years ago and we had him inside the house.
"We had hoped to domesticate him and get him trained, but he would attack you for food and then again after he got the food.
"He was very, very aggressive and never very friendly but he could talk a bit: if you turned up with food he would say 'hello'."

FATSO escaped from the cage he shares with a rainbow lorikeet, after the installation of a new perch caused a momentary lapse in security.
He is no stranger to doing it tough on the streets and has been accused of bullying innocent householders, demanding food.
Chris said the yellow and blue bird had a distinctive red spot on his neck.
Nearby at Birkdale, Steve Speechley was also hanging onto hope that his green ringneck, Arthur, would turn up, about a fortnight after his escape. He said the bird, which could say 'Arthur', meant a lot to him.

STEVE, who works in property maintenance, said there was a simple explanation for the spate of lost birds: "It's the breeding season – they go missing about September every year."

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising – and their feathered friends; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.