Black Friday and a spot of retail therapy

We who have always associated ‘Black Friday’ with Friday the 13th (unlucky for some), were no doubt confused by the retail rallying call of the past week. According to McCrindle Research, the US concept of Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), is gaining traction in Australia.  Back in 2017, a McCrindle survey showed that 1 in 4 (24%) of Australians had never heard of Black Friday. Two years on, only 6% of Australians have never…

Continue reading

Canned muzak takes away listener choice

Today I’m keen to vent my displeasure at the seemingly inescapable intrusion of canned music – known as muzak. Background music in public places was once described by violinist Yehudi Menuhin as ‘pollution of the mind’. Menuhin, the consummate classical soloist, led a campaign in the late 1960s to have muzak banned from shopping malls and other public spaces. Muzak is a company set up in the 1950s which produced pre-recorded background music and sold…

Continue reading

Demise Of The Fixed-Line Home Phone

The landline is ringing. A saxophone riff from a Men at Work song plays in my head (‘who can it be now?’). Despite my better judgement, I pick up. It goes something like this. (Pause) “This is Nicole from Australian National Broadband. We have been trying to get in touch with you as we are soon going to disconnect your landline, Press 1 now to speak to a technician.” I don’t press 1 and after…

Continue reading

One person’s rubbish another’s treasure

During a recent stay in a Brisbane bayside suburb, a kerbside rubbish collection was in the offing. You could tell by the untidy piles of trash lining the footpaths of suburban streets. On my daily dog walks, I became aware of a steady stream of cars with trailers doing the rounds, beating Council trucks to the treasure. Scavenging from kerbside collections is a time-honoured tradition. Whole generations have furnished their share houses with the kerbside…

Continue reading