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Big W, going nuts on their Black Friday sale.
Wondering at the state of Australian retail

The above picture notwithstanding, the whole Australian retail sector, from farm to fridge, sucks big time. As I recently said.

I dare you to look at the above picture of Mrs Speech and Big W's grand discount and not laugh, snort, guffaw or chortle. Okay, you can chortle a little.

An Australian-USA Thanksgiving, with some New Zealand thrown in, too

That's the last time I play musical chairs with a little old lady. She totally hustled me.
Mrs Speech and I know a lovely lady from Colorado. There's another woman who goes to church with them, who is from Indiana.

They got together and nefariously planned a pro-USA demonstration Thanksgiving celebration for Australian family members and friends. And a little bit for them too I guess.

There was also a very nice, elderly New Zealand couple.

I brought along some HD NFL to watch (Packers! Lions! Friday night football!) and we had turkey, mash, sweet potato, glazed carrots, green bean casserole, olives, boiled eggs, fresh bread, and other stuff.
Thanksgiving traditions. I love 'em.

We had soft drink too. Mrs Speech didn't have much of that because I kept stealing hers.

It was topped off by pumpkin pie, which is something that totally needs to catch on over here in Australia. Pumpkin pie is awesome, especially with whipped cream.

Afterward we sung some songs related to the states of Indiana, Michigan and Colorado, and watched some Youtube clips of Americana-type songs. Everyone had a good time and was satisfied.

Baking ourselves in a mid-morning Australian summer

Beautiful. Our tax dollars put to good use.
A few weeks back I bought a new basketball from Rebel Sport. We had been walking a bit, again and we had passed the basketball courts at the high school a couple times.

They're absolutely beautiful. They had been resurfaced in the late nineties but wear and tear did them in a bit. That and the roots from the monster tree next to the court, which pushed up the far court like localised seismic activity; little rift valleys which meant you couldn't even dribble.

But they done been resurfaced and new hoops and backboards. So I dragged Mrs Speech over there Sunday mid-morning. Big mistake. We were there maybe twenty minutes before the heat got us. It was like being in an oven. The heat bounced off the court and sizzled us. We had no SPF or hats on. We had a bit of a walk home and took some pics of a babbling brook (DON'T DRINK THE WATER!!) and the turkey which scratches around the place.

He's built up a massive cratered nest thing. Mrs Speech wants to fatten him up so we can, y'know, Christmas...

Pricing the gobble-gobbles

Speaking of which, we were at the mall yesterday mailing off Jesse Tree Ornaments. We stopped at the supermarket yesterday and had a squiz at turkeys for Christmas.

Vegies? Check. Gravy? Check. Christmas Pudding? Check. Turkey?
If you're American, you have to know this one thing: we don't eat much turkey here. We have it at Christmas, wherein they might sell a few million, but outside that, not really. In fact, turkey is so synonymous with Christmas, that it would feel weird to eat it outside of Christmas day, unless you're having a turkey sandwich. But at $32.99/kg sliced that's pretty steep for most people.

Put in perspective, you Americans probably eat more turkey on one thanksgiving than we would in fifty years total.

Anyway, so we found a #34 turkey at the supermarket. That's 3.4kg/7½ pounds. It was thirty bucks. Down to twenty, it was.

My guess is closer to Christmas it will come down, and we might get something that size for ten to fifteen. That would be nice.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
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How about, 'the sale that irritates a nation'? Annoys a nation? Antagonises a nation?
Remember when I wrote about retail here in Australia and how the brick and mortars get it so wrong?

You probably don't. That's okay. You can stay anyway.

In my excoriation of the Aussie shopping experience, I forgot to mention how bad we are at online retail too.

One of the country's biggest electrical stores Harvey Norman has as of this year, only been posting about fifty or sixty thousand a day in sales online.

Which is, to hear Gerry Harvey whingeing about it, only about 1% of their total sales.

Australian businesses suck at customer service. They're awful. They don't bother.

Well, there are big profound reasons why Harvey Norman only does about a piddling amount online.

A frenzy of passion, or something along those lines

They're the same reasons that Click Frenzy, whose site I couldn't even link to two days ago because it caused a redirect loop, failed so dramatically.

Click Frenzy was supposed to be like the US Cyber Monday, except where Cyber Monday follows a logical progression begun with Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Click Frenzy was just...there. In the middle of November. Like your shorts hanging in the wind on your clothes line. Nice shorts, by the way.

It was a thinly totally not veiled attempt to grab some of the dollars going to the US for Cyber Monday which is of course two days from now.

Remember earlier this year, when the North Koreans announced loudly that they were testing a huge rocket, even allowed the western press in to cover the event, and when they hurled the thing to the sky it lasted about a minute, broke into confetti and rained down on the ocean? Happy couples everywhere sighed at the missed opportunity of being showered with Taepodong-2 missile.

That's what Click Frenzy was. Except if you throw in a bunch of major (and minor) retailers lasso'd together for a sale. Massive discounts, the site screamed. 40 - 60% off!

Gerry Harvey, you retail knick-knack.

Seriously though, in the interest of being fair, let's talk about what Click Frenzy got right. Okay, done.

The main item of complaint was that no-one could access it. More than a million people logged on to the Click Frenzy site, at which you could find all the 'deals' (more on that later) and then tried to click to the individual retailers' sites to buy.

The site shut down, whimpering about all the stress while hiding in the corner of a splashy banner which said, 'Wow! We're breaking all kinds of barriers here!' as if I cared about how many people were logged on at the same time. I wanted my kitchen knives.

The same was true of the retailer sites except without the inane spin. Myer just kept trying to access and then told me its server was full. Same with anyone else you'd buy from, selling things you'd care about.

You're dodgy, but I love you

It was in the back of my mind, that this thing seemed a bit unrealistic. We have two major, major sales in Australia - Boxing Day through early January and middle of the year - and two smaller ones around March and October. Everything else is ad-libbed at the whim of the retailer.

So when they plop a massive new sale on our doorstep like this it seems apparent that it's a bit of a cash-grab. Which it was. The sales weren't genuine. A genuine sale is when iTunes cards are discounted. A disingenuous sale is when Kathmandu backpacks are 'slashed' from $399.99 to $299.99. I hope they didn't hurt the Kathmandu backpacks when they slashed them.

These are not in-demand items.

Myer had about fifty items on sale. Such selective discounting generally means that they're trying to get rid of old stock, or things people don't want, or both.

It has also been pointed out ad infinitum that many of the 'discounted' items can be sourced at similar prices on a daily basis, from sites like Amazon.

This was not a serious sale.

The frustration felt by many was real and palpable and could have been avoided if we all just had a cup of coffee.
It was cynical and obvious and it failed. And a lot of people spent their time refreshing and refreshing and refreshing only to keep looking at their watch.

And now it's posited that the whole thing was just an information grab - everyone participating was told beforehand to register; I'm still not sure why. But they did get more than a million e-mail addresses. That's big business. They're worth a stack of money.

Never mind that the 'businessman' who headed the whole thing up, has an oeuvre of stinky rotten fish about him. If you read that link, you can just feel the conman oozing out of the page like a well-developed pimple gone awry.

Let's do it all again

Arnott says they'll be doing this whole scam sale thing again next year. Sounds positively buoyant about it.

All I know is that more and more Australian dollars will go overseas - particularly to the US, where they know how to professionally do retail. Clowns and Cowboys need not apply.

I mean, if Australian businesses can't get the job done, then Neiman Marcus and a strong Aussie dollar will.

But not Best Buy, who actively discourage international business.

Bit like the effect Click Frenzy had on Australians. They won't return for next year's debacle.
Eat your turkey Thursday, shop Friday, and keep shopping. This sale lasts through the holidays!
If you've visited the Etsy shop recently, you would have noticed that the halls have been decked. Pink Scissors Design is dressed and ready for Christmas.

Knowing that many of you are keen on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales - exclusive to those respective days of the week, I didn't want y'all to miss out on Pink Scissors Design Christmas Sale.

A beautiful Jesse Tree Ornament set embellished with sequins and beads. Looks lovely on your tree! Custom Order your Jesse Tree Ornaments with sequins and beads today!
Jesse Tree Ornaments have been very popular this year. Whether you celebrate Advent or not, Jesse Tree Ornaments are lovely decorations for your family tree. Advent begins end of November/beginning of December. If you are thinking of ordering Jesse Tree Ornaments, but know you will miss out on the beginning of Advent, go ahead and order them. They are beautiful decorations for the Christmas season. Great conversation items. And, excellent gifts. And, Advent is such a special time, it is good to jump in and participate at any point.

Christmas Sale Deal on Jesse Tree Ornaments - Ships for $5 anywhere in the world!

*Jesse Tree Ornaments with beads and sequins (the deluxe set) are made to order.*

Custom order a deluxe set by clicking here to contact me directly at my Etsy shop.

Quick Links to Pink Scissors Design Christmas Sales:
Jesse Tree Ornament Sets - order in bulk and save!
Christmas Angels - sold in sets of three!
Christmas Garland - 27 feet long, easily fits a 4 foot tree!
Nativity Ornament Set - Angel, Mary w/baby Jesus, Joseph, Shepherd, and Wiseman!
Christmas Stockings - Now $10!
Deluxe Christmas Package - includes angel tree topper, nativity ornament set, Jesse Tree Ornaments, Christmas garland!
Russian Doll Finger Puppets - Great stocking stuffers!
Rag Dolls - Ready for a Christmas cuddle!
Christmas Table Runners - Dress up your table for Christmas!
Quilts - Keep warm this winter!

So, pour yourself a cuppa and enjoy a browse and shopping at the Pink Scissors Design Christmas Sale!
Monday, November 19, 2012
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Once a day is enough, thanks.
As I have implied before, you don't mess with storm season.

And as I have explicitly stated before, I have broken my own rule.

Storms in Brisbane get fierce. They roll in from the west, typically around 4pm, a humid onslaught that begins with day turning into night, dark purple and green clouds which are basically stage one in GET THE HECK INDOORS.

The thunder peals and sometimes lightning is seen piercing the murky soup above.

Then the wind picks up. It usually turns your Mary Poppins inside out while the rain begins.

The rain slams us all of a sudden in the wet season, big fat rain as Forrest Gump put it, that falls straight down in enormous splashes on the sidewalk.

Mrs Speech and her GMail alert-enabled phone captured this yesterday.
Yesterday was like this only the day was sandwiched between two massive storm cells. Saturday night was punctuated by thunder which rolled in slow and then at night picked up like shotgun blasts, scaring the mustard out of Mrs Speech.

Sunday morning it died down. I went out and got Mrs Speech some breakfast. By late morning the sky was a beautiful blue and the ground dried rapidly.

By Late afternoon, it was at it again. We turned the lights on early and waited. The wind and the rain hit and we did it all over again.

Does the weather have to be so schizophrenic?
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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Marketing firm guy #1: "So, if we get Sam to say that his BMX racing was affected by acne, he won't come off like a unprincipled insincere sellout?"

Marketing firm guy #2: "No, no...not at all."
I want to tell you something...I don't know you, but I'm going to tell you anyway.

I'm losing my hair.

Have been for years now. A steady creep has left some sizeable bare paddock up the top end, if you know what I mean. A Widow's Peak has become some ruffles of hair hanging on to the mountaintop for dear life.

But...here's the problem. Please hold on, I need-- I need a tissue. Okay, I think I'm alright.

Here's the problem: it's affecting my confidence. It is. My confidence is-- is-- I can't say it.


Now, losing my confidence is a terrible thing. My confidence, man...it used to allow me to get out of the pool with the sexy woman in the one-piece looking on at my rippled abs. My confidence used to allow me to walk down the street with my work colleagues, all of us sharply attired in suits, and look back at the hot woman who just passed us, giving me a sensual glance.

My confidence-- it's abandoning me, jumping this Titanic like so many soggy rats.

What will I do without my confidence?

Okay, enough mockery

There's been this trend, the last few years, with Australian TV. All these baldness cures have exploded, and so have the ads which encourage people to buy them. And they all use the word, 'confidence', which apparently is in such short supply that it might soon be publicly traded.

There's Ashley & Martin where the guy in the white lab coat (he says he's not a doctor, so that's pretty shady) stands in front of a bunch of digital graphs and every time text appears, each letter appears with a beep
or boop sound.

Makes it all seem sciencey and serious right?

Because I used to think they'd just toss the hair of a young man into a cauldron, say a few spells and that's how they'd get your hair to grow back.

There's a couple like that. They go down in sincerity (and up in frivolity) 'til you arrive at the storied depths of Leimo which sounds so much like Lame-o that it just makes me smile.


Even if I were to dabble in witchcraft (the Leimo ad had no digital graphs or beep, boop sounds), I wouldn't waste the effort it would take to visit their website.

He's on TV, he must know where my confidence is

Then there's this other ad. Sam Willoughby, who's a BMX rider I had never heard of before seeing his commercial on TV, has a problem. He has acne. Well, had acne.

I immediately found myself developing a bond with Sam...you see, he-- he's had problems with losing his confidence too. He told me that when he got acne, it affected his racing. I can totally see how that would happen.

Men, when your confidence leaves you, you gotta understand how crushing it is. I can barely spoon my cornflakes some days.

Sam's issues ultimately have been dealt with and I pray that he never again has to deal with losing his confidence.

Now let's be real here for a minute. Let me just say this one thing:

Fellas, have you been so wussified that you'll fall for this 'confidence' nonsense? Have you totally abandoned the thought of being a man? What is all the metrosexual garbage still doing on our TV? What men have been so emotionally castrated that they fall for this junk and hand over their money to charlatans like these???

They couldn't even be bothered coming up with a name that didn't sound like LAME-O, for crying out loud!

I get that commercials are there solely to rip you off with stuff you don't need that never lives up to expectations. Cynicism 1, Naivety 0. Got it. The Big Mac never looks like on the ad. Caveat emptor.

(Brief side note: I am a retail mercenary. I will go into a store and bargain myself down to the best possible price wherever I can. Then I'll use that and do the same with the next store to see if they'll beat store #1's prices. And so on. They're ruthless. So am I. Side note over.)

But let's not abandon our dignity so much that we'll fall for the nearest guy on the street corner selling us junk we don't need at prices we can't afford. I mean, put your pants on and go to the doctor first, for goodness sake. I'm sure you would, I'm talking to the guy behind you.

Where's my foundation make-up?

Just sit back, relax and watch the top ten Chuck Norris moments. That's how real men get down.
There's a tedious pseudo-sermon on how men are being transformed slowly into women, but we won't do that now. Just know that it's manly to care about your appearance, it's not manly to worry about exfoliating your skin. There's a difference.

Mrs Speech is feminine, I'm masculine. We appreciate each other that way and the way that God made us. Individual and unique.

What really rubs my fur coat the wrong way is the people on TV shamelessly promote trash using shameless methods. See that video, at the top? Sam actually has a straight face. I'm not sure how he does it. Someone in the comments of that video said he made eighty thousand for that campaign. Maybe that's how he does it.

Men, your confidence is NOT tied to this rubbish! You can't possibly lose a race because of acne. See past the drivel and get on with your life. If need be, get over your hair loss, or acne, and focus on the important stuff.

I'm losing my hair, sure...okay. But my confidence exists independent of my 'hair loss condition.' Know why?

I have a cap.
IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS...................Man, I wish that guy would get out of the way.
If I did yet another blog post on us going to the mall, would you cry a thousand tears?

I know going to the mall is for most a prosaic experience at the best of times. I like it, for reasons passing understanding. There's something penetratingly social about going to be with other people who generally, are there for recreational purposes.

I even like grocery shopping. Weird, huh?


It was late night shopping tonight. No, wait wait...let me back up a bit. For those of you not from Australia, here's the deal with our retail: shops in suburban malls shut around 5:30pm. Sometimes six. Usually a little earlier on Sunday. But on Thursday night, they're open late (nine pm). In the city, shops are open till nine on friday night. Don't ask me why it's like that, it just is. I know what you Americans are thinking...'they shut at five thirty??? Is this Communist Romania?'

It's bigger than she is!!
I'd love it if they opened later. But alas. It does make thursday night shopping a little more fun. Everyone turns out the same night. I like being around people.

This will become more fun in about a month, when the masses pack themselves in, the dear little sardines, by the tens of thousands, into malls around the country, doing Christmas shopping. It'll be crowded. It'll be cramped. It'll be frustrating. It'll be sweaty. It'll be an experience where I test my morals - if a little old lady and I are both spying the last thing do I say 'Hey! Look over there, a skunk!' and then grab the vase and high tail it toward the checkout?

I can't wait! I already know what I'm getting Mrs Speech.


So today, Thursday night, late night shopping. A beautiful dusk greeted us, palm trees darkened against a baldly pale azure sky and a temperate breeze that was pure perfection. See, it doesn't have to be entirely prosaic.

I wonder if it's like the coffee...
I wish I had gotten a picture but Mrs Speech and I were racing to get to the post office which was closing soon.

Mrs Speech needed to mail off a couple Jesse Tree Ornament sets to people who purchased from Mrs Speech's shop.

By the way, to the people thus far who have purchased from Mrs Speech, thank you! We appreciate it. Your ornaments are either on their way to you, or hopefully you have received them already!

We had tea at the mall. Garden City has two food courts and a few little cafes and stuff dotted here and there, plus a recently renovated outdoor dining area with like seven restaurants, an ice creamery and a sixteen cinema megaplex.

We got some cheap Subway, and headed to Big W, which as I have mentioned previously, is much like Wal Mart.

'If we're going to be technical, Bethlehem was in the desert!'
I'm totally ready for the Christmas season. Man, knock me over with a sledgehammer. And I think Mrs Speech is getting there too, because she enthusiastically joined me as we went through all Big W's lolly (candy) aisles, preparing for all the holiday chocolate we'd be buying each other.

They have these awesome little gastronomical gift sets too. Like the rectangular tin of biscuits with a mini pool table and cues and pool balls on top which you can actually use to play mini pool! How awesome is that!! Also there was a pizza kit, with a stone tablet, round cutting thing and serving thing, and one of those stone pesto grindy things. I know, not too specific.

There was an Angry Birds themed chicken kit. ie, it had BBQ chilli sauce and things like that. I reckon the birds would get angry if they knew that their destiny was some dude's plate, with BBQ chilli sauce adorning them.

I want to give a shout out to Mrs Speech's family and their almond-selling business. We came across various nuts, one of which was French Vanilla almonds. Mrs Speech loves French Vanilla coffee. I got to wondering if she'd like French Vanilla nuts. Hmmm.

No visit to the elves is complete without a trip to the gift shop, you know.
We then got to roaming up and down the Christmas aisles. I've posted previously on them, they're loads of fun. Crummy nick-nacks you can make fun of, post on your blog and laugh at, alongside economical, traditional Christmas creations to replace the old stuff you don't want to let go of.

It's all good value, if you're not looking to spend $17.99 on one chilli pepper bauble (see video above), and I'm sure we'll roam up and down the aisles many more times. Sometimes we walk out with a little something.

The nutcracker marching band men were positively creepy; I don't know who in their right mind would want one of those spooky little buggers ominously peering down at them from the mantlepiece during the holidays. Maybe it's to scare the kids away from shaking the presents under the tree.

Mrs Speech loves the Nativity Scenes, and they had little Nativity figures which were quite nicely done. Not the exquisite creations which make your debit card cry, but humble I guess. Nice.

No...no, thank you.
They have some weird stuff...I've posted about the sparkly purple reindeer which would have to fight me in a bar somewhere like John Wayne in order to get through my front door. Mrs Speech picked up and then quickly put down a small, cartoonish dragon.

We wandered around Big W some, then headed out.

Earthborn is a nice place to wander through. It's patently feminine and sounds like a place for clay potters who love the environment, to come together in hippy harmony, but for some reason I enjoy browsing it. They have these massive clocks, seriously, two feet tall. If they needed a replacement for Big Ben, one of these would do. Anyone putting one in their lounge room would need to retreat to the kitchen just to properly read the time.

Not really an affirming message.
But they're definitely a lefty place. Buddhas, lots of flower petals, some real, some not, and self-motivational wallboards like that one to the right. I call nonsense on that stuff. But regardless. I bought Mrs Speech a large silver old-school milkshake cup there a few years ago, which I monopolised because I drink more at one time than she does, and I've been trying to find one since without luck.

Earthborn usually does good business because they price quite well and the staff are pleasant.

We moved on to JB Hi-Fi, and played with some of their new tablets. Love those things. They're so instantly addictive. Looked at some of their cameras too, for the purposes of maybe getting some better shots for Mrs Speech's shop. I'm amazed at how they've come down in price over the years.

Garden City also has a nice little Nativity Scene.
Coles was up next as we did a little shopping then headed out.

On our way though, we came across a wonderful sight: Garden city has finally put up its tree! See top of post.

And, although it's connected to their crud Santa's workshop, it's still nice to see. It must be thirty feet tall, with lights and bauble-tinsel and the anticipation of yes, yet again, it's that time of year.

Great way to end the night.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Little men in silk pyjamas riding horses.
Today (Tuesday) is Melbourne Cup day.

For those outside Australia, this is the premier non-religious social occasion/non-holiday of the year. I'm not sure what kind of bizarre non-category that is, but the Melbourne Cup is tops in that category.

Basically, 24 horses run 3200 metres (2 miles) in about three minutes, and lots of cheering takes place. Last year's prize purse was almost $6.2 million. The Melbourne Cup is one of the world's premier races.

It's known here as the race that stops a nation (that's its very self-important unofficial title). I can remember school days where the whole school yard would be quiet at that time.

It's traditional to eat chicken on Melbourne Cup day. Don't ask me why! When I worked for the State Government here in Queensland, we'd all bring a plate of stuff, finger food, you know, French Stick, coleslaw, salad, salami...what Australians think of as cosmopolitan food if you're wearing a black faux-peacock fascinator with a cream silk ensemble and open toe rhinestone buckle pumps. (It's not really though).

Traditionally, the people at the race get dressed up to the nines, and I mean...the nines. Top hats and black suits/dark ties for the men. Swank, silk and socialising for the women. Lots of booze.

You may detect a slight hint of yawn from me. I know Mrs Speech loves the idea of going to the race, getting dressed up, holding a champagne flute (if not actually drinking champagne) and generally taking in the grassy, excited atmosphere of a million people about to lose a lot of money.

But for me, it's just a horse race. But man, do people in this country get worked up over it.

Mrs Speech and I will be saving our celebratory excitableness for tomorrow when the next U.S. President is announced.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Up and down the East coast.
Sorry, East Coast.

Yeah, I know...it's tough. When weather like that hits you. When houses are flooded and only the roofs can see the sky. When the lights go out for you and the forty thousand people around you. When the rain whips you in the faces and dares you to keep walking even though you know you should turn back.

Sorry 'bout that. Y'know, soggy carpets and moulded walls. Streets filled with the waterlogged detritus of other people's lives and whatever that is, that thing over there. Don't touch it.

Don't swim in the water if you're flooded. Just don't.

Sorry for the disruptions to your lives, East Coast. The lack of power, the lack of basic supplies (if you weren't able to stock up), the inability to get to your family because the roads are gone.

Don't try to drive that road because the water doesn't look too deep. Just don't.

Sorry 'bout the economic damage: as though the economy wasn't struggling enough, now billions more are gone. Some of you will face horrible financial pressures. You'll discover fine print in your insurance policies that you didn't know was there. You'll be bunking with family members for longer than you thought. Buying food will be difficult. Christmas will be spartan.

Sorry, East Coast.

For the lack of supplies in your area, for the fights with the other guy over that thing in the supermarket, for the charlatans trying to gouge you because it's the way the market works...supply and demand, fella is an acceptable excuse to charge someone forty bucks for a flashlight. Sorry 'bout the animosity.

Sorry for your waterlogged cars, for the fire which somehow was begun by violent wet weather, for the tourist dollars gone, for your business which has been destroyed, for the pets that died, for the worry about whether xyz person was okay because you can't call them.

Sorry for all the lives that have been lost. That's harsh.

We (In Brisbane) did this almost two years ago. It was horrible. Rain bands from Tropical Cyclone Tasha soaked the state of Queensland and every area got it good. Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, the Sunshine Coast, even inland, to places like Toowoomba.

Cars were washed away like toys, roofs became islands in the muck, and Brisbane got hit.

Brisbane sits on a snakey river in the Moreton Bay region. Authorities had to control-release water from Wivenhoe Dam (which was at 191% of capacity) and the river swelled and eventually flooded multiple inner city suburbs. 20,000 homes went under a marsh of brown water.

The total cost was about $30bn. But worse, 38 people were confirmed dead with 6 missing. It was a pretty ordinary start to 2011.

Mrs Speech and I avoided it; our suburb sits substantially south of the city. The worst we endured was a waterlogged backyard and the whomp-whomp-whomp of the aid choppers which flew overhead every twenty minutes.

But we feel for you, East Coast. Queenslanders did it tough. Now you guys are doing it tough, too.

You're gonna find it hard to pick up the pieces but you'll manage. You might grieve for a bit, or maybe you just need to put some new carpet on credit as you go find a new insurance agency. But you'll clean up.

The tourists'll come back, too. Don't you worry about that. Everyone wants to see Atlantic City, because of Boardwalk Empire.

Just hang in there for a bit, East Coast. The lights, they're gonna come back on.

In the meantime, sorry.