Why All the Blather?

You know, I’ve been thinking…

Those who are a) not American citizens, b) do not reside in America, and c) are ineligible to register to vote in American elections because of a and b, should perhaps refrain from getting themselves so het up over what’s currently going down with Donald.  Let’s face it, people rarely go on about leaders in other countries unless said leader is an entitled narcissistic sociopath, who is  hell-bent on causing chaos, and capable of creating international incidents that could cause a major world conflict.

Oh, wait…

Anyway, what I have found so senseless is the number of non-Americans who not only blindly worship at Donald’s feet, but have spent his Presidency obsessively posting and sharing provoking pro-Donald nonsense on social media, and every Trumped-up piece of fabricated “truth” they have found on Parler and MeWe, while ignoring what was really going on..

As time went by, proclaiming anything that showed him or his supporters in a bad light as “fake news” they went absolutely nuts on social media. The things that showed up in my Facebook newsfeed had me almost choking on my Fruit Tingles (my go-to fix when online). Didn’t matter that the evidence was staring them in the face. “It didn’t happen!”

Well sorry, but it did. Donald Trump was never going to be a good choice to run a country. He is vain, he is arrogant, he is a true sociopath and if those who voted him into the Presidency in the first place had not been so “starstruck” they might have voted for Hilary instead and saved America from the mess it has found itself in now. I’m not saying Hilary is as pure as the driven snow either, but at least she has her wits about her. Donald, on the other hand…

Yes, I’ve seen some funny posts that have targeted him, have even shared some of them, but that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is the long-winded drivel that some avid Trump supporters have lifted from Parler, MeWe or some other Pro-Donald site and shared all over the place in an effort to convince us that he is the Second Coming and heaven help us if we dared to contradict it with cold hard facts.  I never shared any of those. Sometimes I have had to wonder if they really do believe what they’re posting, or are they trying to start an online war. Or perhaps just hoping to get noticed. Whatever, whitewashing him to the point of sainthood is not going to cut it. He’s a loooong way from sainthood.

But Donald has been voted out now and he and his followers need to accept that the trash party is over, so therefore, pack it in and go home. The fact that so many Americans finally saw the light and voted in favour of Joe Biden says it all. Donald’s tirades and actions since his fall from Office also says a lot and the behaviour of his diehard followers just confirms everything that was ever predicted back when he was voted in!

I am not American, don’t live in the US,  am ineligible to vote in their elections and am baffled by others, who aren’t American either, deliberately inciting violent online brawls via mind-boggling tripe and misinformation.  For goodness sake, it’s done!

Grow up!




The Toxicity of the Karens and the Chads

Happy 2021!

We’ve all come through a bit of a different Christmas and New Year haven’t we? Well, for those of us who took onboard the need to continue with the social distancing rules anyway. Some opted to throw caution to the four winds, but for most of us things had to be done around the New Normal.

Which doesn’t feel very normal at all, but that’s the way of the world for the time being and common sense would suggest we all just go with the flow for now.

But it’s nice to know that some things haven’t changed. Well no, it’s actually not all that nice, because I’m talking about the Karens and the Chads. For those of you who don’t know what a Chad is, it is the male version of the Karen, and they are starting to come to the fore now. Although to be honest, I think they have always been present, but have managed to stay below the radar because we have been distracted by the antics of the Karens.

Both however, are highly toxic.

Karens, as we know, have a  heightened sense of entitlement, and can become loudly aggressive when they believe their “rights” have been challenged, which we have seen many times when one of them has been confronted with the directives regarding masks and hand sanitiser. They also have issues with social distancing and anything else that might stymie their desire to do whatever they want. They get downright nasty, and then they get abusive.

Chads also have a well-developed sense of entitlement and are as obsessed with their “rights” as the Karens, but where the Karens tend to throw noisy tantrums when confronted with reality, Chads tend to be quietly sinister. They get sarcastic, caustic, and are also very fond of glaring at whoever has had the audacity to challenge them. You will spot the occasional Chad who can be as loudly vocal as a Karen, but more often than not they keep the spleen to a lower decibel. But it’s just as nasty.

Karens and Chads often present as a pair, which would be par for the course I suppose, like being attracted to like and all, and when they come up against a reality check they tend to operate in tandem.  The Karen becomes immediately indignant. The Chad kicks in with the eye-roll, followed by the glare. If that fails to exempt them from having to comply with whatever it is they don’t want to do, despite it being a reasonable request that the rest of us don’t have an issue with, the Karen will then begin to express her displeasure via rudeness and if that doesn’t work, will resort to aggressive body language and shouty voice. The Chad will back her up.

As I mentioned, Chads get off on being sarcastic, but that’s only the start. Chads are also very entitled and strangely, all of them tend to believe they are gifted with a far greater degree of intelligence than the rest of humanity, especially business owners/staff who insist the current rules, which apply to everyone else who enters the premises these days, also apply to the Karen and the Chad. But the Karen and the Chad are hellbent on challenging any form of constraint. Confronted with the hard and fast rules for masks and hand sanitiser, they will go on the attack and that’s where the Chad can get really nasty. She rants, but he quietly throws down the gauntlet and can become quite threatening if that fails to move things along in their favour.

If this isn’t an offence worthy of arrest yet, it should be, because business owners and their staff do have the right to insist on any current rules of entry, which means hand sanitiser and masks these days, and the Karens and the Chads need to be brought back down to earth with a resounding thud because this is life now.

And they need to get over themselves.

The Christmas Dilemma

A lot of families will not be doing the Big Family Christmas thingy  this year,  social distancing not being consistent with packing the crowd of assorted parents, grandparents, siblings, kids, aunts, uncles and cousins into the one house anymore. Some families will feel genuinely despondent about that, but others will be secretly contemplating the bliss of not having to deal with the dramas that inevitably punctuate all the peace and goodwill etc, etc, that is supposed to be the tone of the day.

They will be spared the soap opera that airs every year, without fail, when the family congregates. Like the animosity from Nana Hortense,  who has never approved of Aunty Beryl,  (“Alan could have done so much better!”) and after two and a half shandies begins speak her mind. Or Cousin Sharon who experiments with a new lifestyle every year while searching for her “true self”. She’s thirty eight and apparently still searching. Last Christmas she had been trending a version of grunge/punk and calling herself Rabid (or was it Raven?) Something like that anyway.

“For goodness sake, Sharon!” her father had snapped when they’d arrived  around the same time, last year, at the suburban abode of Aunty Janet and Uncle Ted “Get that bloody safety pin out of your nose! You know it upsets your mother!”

Then there’s the assorted children, some feral, some reasonably civilised, the teens who haven’t see each other since the Christmas before (and would rather be anywhere but hanging out with the relatives) eyeing each others’ clothes and gadgetry while making adolescent judgements, and the general hubbub of a large family gathering where any tensions simmering in the background inevitably escalate over the Christmas Dinner table.

And, thankfully, no one will have to deal with Uncle Alf (who is actually no relation to anyone at all) having one too many after dinner brandies and then trying to corral much younger females into position under the sprig of mistletoe… Yes, some families are definitely going to have a break this year.

Of course, this is not to say that all families are like that. Some are really close and love getting everyone together to celebrate Christmas. No one starts in on anyone else, the kids are all friends, Christmas Dinner goes down a treat and it’s an all-round lovely day.

But there’s enough of the other kind to throw a spanner in the works of the whole Family Christmas thingy.  Which is why COVID might be a blessing in disguise! And whoever got lumbered with hosting the family for Christmas Day can happily suggest a virtual get-together via Zoom without a shred of guilt. Nana Hortense can knock herself out with the shandies, Aunty Beryl can click out of the whole thing when Nana gets started, and Cousin Sharon can be whoever she is this Christmas, from her own lounge room. Sharon, we hear, has gone all boho now (currently living in a coastal tree house community,) so when she accidentally sets herself alight via a floaty sleeve drifting too close to a patchouli-scented candle (thank goodness for that pitcher of kale-infused mineral vitamin water!) at least the incident takes place on her rug, not yours.

“For goodness sake, Sharon!” her father bellows from a little square on the lower left of the screen “Get rid of those bloody candles before you burn the place down!”

“But I’m channelling the Ancient Spirit of  pre-Christian Yule! And, as I’ve already told you, my name is Wind Song now…”

“Oh, well that’s just typical! Now you’ve upset your mother!!”

“Well what can you expect, Alan!” chips in Nana. “With a mother like Beryl and all!” Geez! Just how many shandies has Nana had?

You can almost feel sorry for Sharon though, but you’re also quietly thanking the Universe for sparing you from Family Christmas Gathering 2020 because it was supposed to be at your place this year and with the kind of year we’ve all just had…

Thank you COVID!


The Shifting Bug

No, I’m not talking about moving house. I’m talking about that sudden desire to rearrange the furniture, be it just a couple of things in a room or the whole room or even the whole house.  I’m really susceptible to suddenly wanting to change rooms around and it’s on me right now.

Except I’m living in a flat at the moment. It’s a really attractive flat but the space is limited to a degree and there are only so many rearrangements I can do. I did the lounge room some time ago and fortunately I like it the way it is because it looks open and spacious…and there are not a lot of other options to change it again anyway.

Which leaves the bedroom. It has been as  I originally set it up when I moved in here and while it works well, I have decided it could work even better if I changed things around in there, and while the bed will probably need to stay where it is, the other things in the room can definitely be shuffled into new locations and then the whole room will look transformed.

And you know what they way; a change is as good as a holiday. Well I already live on the outskirts of a little coastal village, and right across the road from my local beach so it’s all very holiday-like here anyway, but that just gives me added incentive to give in the the Shifting Bug and do a big move-around of almost everything in that bedroom, thus creating a whole new space and I should be happy with it for at least the next six months or so.  Or indefinitely if it looks really really good.

To be honest though, I don’t know why I get these sudden compulsions to rearrange an entire room, but when it’s upon me I become the furniture shifting ninja. It doesn’t matter how big it is, it doesn’t matter how heavy it is, because if it has to be moved it gets moved and if I go down in a heap from exhaustion afterwards, that’s cool, because I am seeing a nice attractive space from my spot on the floor, which gives me the incentive to crawl out to the kitchen, heave myself to my feet and put the kettle on. Caffeine is really good when you’re shoving stuff hither and thither. And chocolate. Chocolate is excellent.

I used to think I was maybe unique with the moving a room around compulsion and was almost afraid to tell anyone incase they thought I was a bit strange, but it turns out I am not alone. I know other women who experience the same thing from time to time and they can’t fight the desire either. When it hits, it hits big and we have all found that our strength reserves almost triple when it comes to having to shift that weighty piece of furniture halfway around a room. It’s quite amazing really. I know from experience that while I may struggle with a loaded laundry basket, shifting that heavy chest of drawers from one side of a room to another is a walk in the park. Ditto that just as heavy oak dressing table from where it is now to another spot on a completely different wall will be no big deal. That’s just the way it is.

It must be the adrenalin, I think. You know it’s going to look good so you can’t wait to get into it and you don’t even notice how much effort you’re having to put into the pushing and lifting and shoving until the next morning, when you wake to every muscle screaming profanity and getting out of bed means rolling over til you fall out because sitting up and swinging your feet to the floor just isn’t going to happen. But the room looks just lovely!

Even from the floor.





SocialTrash Media

Tired of Facebook blocking your posts and/or flagging what you’re posting with their fact checks? Has the social media giant dumped you in “gaol” because you failed to get the message about the content of some of your posts? Are you sick of having your content censored? Then you are probably looking for somewhere else to spout your spleen and your deliberate and damaging misinformation. Therefore, what you really really want is another social media site where you can feel right at home amongst like-minded individuals who are as mouthy as you are.

And I’m not talking about a healthy differing of opinions here, I’m talking about the deliberate promotion of rabidly inaccurate inflammatory trash.

Therefore…welcome to MeWe and Parler! Both these alternative social media networking sites will be right up your alley because you can say what’s really on your mind, no matter how nonsensical it is, with very little (if any) censorship on what you’re posting, and where you can interact with others of the same ilk. If you believe it, you can post about it any old how you want.

MeWe calls itself the “next gen social network” and is owned by a company called Sgrouples, which was founded by a guy named Mark Weinstein, who thinks he has the potential to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Well, in 1988, Mark Weinstein did create a very early social network type site called SuperGroups, but it only lasted three years because the site’s investors shut it down in 2001. Okay then, not quite in Mr Zuckerberg’s league yet…

Both MeWe and Parler have become very attractive, however, with Donald Trump’s supporters over the last twelve months or so, as well as with a motley crew of anti-vaxxers, racist types, QAnon and various other extremists since Facebook and Twitter started coming down on those spreading damaging misinformation (anti-vaxxers mainly) and bile (Trump supporters mainly) via their stance on blocking  posts where the content is blatantly wrong or deliberately misleading, and if you are one of those who posts that type of content then that would definitely pee you off, because how can you stir up controversy if no one can read your rubbish?

Anyway, as well as those who sign up to MeWe as members, any random individual can set up an account on the network and pretend to be an official outlet for various genuine individuals or groups and, naturally, this appeals to MeWe as it makes the site appear to be attracting more active growth than it actually is. What makes it so attractive to those with nonsense to share though, is that there are no filters regarding fake news items and information that is just plain wrong. The site prefers to view posts such as these as “opinions” which apparently make them okay. Could be why there is so much QAnon content on MeWe.

The type of users MeWe has been attracting lately though are making it look an awful lot like Parler. Like MeWe, Parler is based in America and is another site which has become very popular with Trump supporters, right wing extremists,  anyone into antisemitism, QAnon, and those who live and breathe conspiracy theories and generally see Big Brother everywhere they look.

So what is Parler? Parler is also a social media platform which resembles Twitter in many ways and was first launched in 2018. It has become the go-to site for those who have been banned from mainstream social media networks because of their rabidly over-the-top and/or potentially dangerous posts. The site markets itself as a “free speech” unbiased alternative to the other mainstream social networks, and yet it censors conservatives.  So I’m guessing “free speech” only applies if you are spewing the same trash as all  the  other OTT types Parler appears to attract. Talk sense and you’re outta there, hon.

So why would any normal person want to go there? Well that’s just it, normal people don’t. It’s the other lot which find MeWe and Parler so attractive and what could be worrying is the growing number of members drawn to these two sites, and their dogged belief in the content they see there. With luck, the lot of them are simply all talk and no action.

With luck…

Preserving the Pisauridae

Preserving the what?

Pisauridae is the family name for the various species of water spider which, while not exactly on the endangered list as yet, are nevertheless heading down the road towards rarity, as urban sprawl and excessive rural land clearing threaten the ponds and streams which are their natural habitat.

And that is a real shame because these spiders are as beautiful as they are unique.  The only truly aquatic spiders, they are completely harmless to humans (although adults have large fangs and  can give a painful bite if handled) these graceful arachnids live their entire lives around water.  In Australia, water spiders inhabit the coastal areas right around the country.

Excellent swimmers, water spiders can skim at incredible speed across the water surface when startled, but will also happily dive beneath the water and swim just as swiftly to a safer spot if threatened by a predator.  And did I say these guys are fast? Good, because they so are!

Water spiders are nocturnal, coming out in the evening to take up a position at the water’s edge where they anchor themselves via their back legs to the bank, an overhanging rock or piece of log or foliage, while spreading their other legs out across the water surface. And there they wait until dinner arrives. Their main diet is insects, but they also like the occasional small fish or small frog and the odd tadpole. They will eat a lot of mozzies (mosquitoes) which is ideal and on the whole, will live harmoniously with the other denizens of the pond or stream.

Ranging in colour from black through dark grey, brown, occasionally speckled and golden yellow, most have a distinctive while stripe down each side of their body. Males grow up to 10mm long and females to 30mm. Their leg span can be up to 180mm (18cm) so if you have a pond in your garden, your paddock or a gentle creek meandering through your property and you decide to nick out with a torch to see if you have any resident water spiders, you’ll be unlikely to  miss ’em, and those body stripes are borderline reflective in torchlight. One of the larger species in Australia is Megadolomedes australianus, also known as the Giant Fishing Spider. You definitely won’t miss one of those if it has downed stakes in your pond. And lucky you if it has!

The thing is, these spiders must have a body of water to survive. They can make do with wet, mossy ground but given the choice, they will opt for water every time. Which is where you can come in. Do you have a spot where you could put in a pond? It doesn’t need to be huge and plant nurseries often carry a range of ready-to-put-in ponds that would be ideal. Place some rocks around it, plant some leafy foliage and then leave it to become it’s own mini ecosystem. The frogs will come, the insects will come and if you are really lucky, so will one of the beautiful water spiders. Keep the water level up and the water free from becoming stagnant and the local aquatic life will thank you. Almost all gardens will benefit from a water feature anyway, and they can be made really attractive, but mainly you will have created a safe haven, as well as a point of interest when you suss out what has moved in.

Certainly, you will want to ensure your pond child safe, if you have little ones, but there are various ways you can do this which will still allow everyone to enjoy the pond, but will prevent the littlies from falling in.

Perhaps this could be your next home project. You could probably do this over a weekend or two and the whole family could be involved in the planning and the actual doing, and have something really attractive to show for it at the end.

And while we all still have a degree of lockdown time on our hands…

Go for it.




When the Sign says Sanitise…

Are people beginning to become desensitised to sanitising?

I’m only asking because more and more often now I am seeing people walk straight past the table in front of them in shop doorways, either no longer registering the sign asking them to please use the hand sanitiser provided, or just opting not to use it because the threat of contracting COVID-19 has diminished for them and they no longer see the need.

This is not okay, as far as the business/shops are concerned, as they provide that sanitiser because they want people to use it. It is a requirement for entering the premises and I cannot see why some people have such an issue with that.

Well, it’s like this…it’s not just your safety they have in mind, it’s also the safety of every other customer who enters the premises and therefore it is your responsibility to use the hand sanitiser provided regardless of what you may or may not believe about The Bug. This request is not a biggie.

Nor is it a threat to your rights as an individual or a judgement on you personally. It is simply a requirement for entering the premises and your hands will not drop off as a result of following the directive and using it! Why are people having such an issue with this?

The same applies to face masks. At present they are not exactly mandatory in Australia but some shops and businesses are asking customers to wear one if they wish to enter the premises, and that is the store’s right and again, it’s not a biggie, so just carry one in your bag or whatever and don it when asked.  No one is stepping on your rights by asking you to wear a mask, but you are violating theirs if you refuse.  Ditto the hand sanitiser.

So why are some members of the community who have to make an issue out of it? It’s not a big ask. It’s not difficult to do. It’s not going to ruin your life (if anything, it just might save it one day!). So why the song and dance about following those directives?

But more and more people are. Possibly because some are still of the belief that COVID-19 is “fake news” or some other covert government plot to “control” them, or they are of the other bunch who truly believe if it’s out there it will only infect others, it will not happen to them. Neither is a wise belief and the high number of people who have caught the virus, and the number who have died from it, should be enough to convince us all that there is a virulent nasty making the rounds of the planet and every single one of us is at risk. Unless, of course, we follow the directives put in place to lessen the chances. That’s why they have been put in place! I don’t understand why some people are failing to follow what, to me at least, are very simple requests designed to help us to keep The Bug at bay, and hopefully remain at much less risk of falling prey to it.

In a way it’s just general hygiene. Things like washing your hands should be a given anyway, but while you’re out and about (and hopefully social distancing when you are) sanitising your hands is a good idea because they are coming into contact with doors, with cash and a myriad of other surfaces with which you have no idea about who else has had contact…and whether they were sick when they touched.

And that’s the thing. You have no idea who previously touched the surfaces you touch and that alone should be enough to make you take the precaution of using the hand sanitiser provided for your convenience at the door of the next shop you enter.

It’s not difficult.

Artificial Intelligence. Yes or No?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is certainly making more inroads into everyday life, to the point where we don’t necessarily have to push a button any more, because all we have to do is speak to the compact little unit that makes it all happen and it all happens! Interesting.

So we no longer have to get off the couch if we don’t want to, just speak a command and the TV will come on (could this be the end of losing the remote?), music will play, the phone will call whoever we wish to speak to and the home AI system will even lock doors, turn on lights and send footage from our home security cameras to our phones so we can check what goes on when we’re not there.

It almost rules out having to think too much, doesn’t it? Let alone having to physically do something, and while this may make those who use it (and more people are now) the envy of those who want to but can’t afford the setup yet, I sometimes wonder just how good an idea it really is. Do I really want a little gadget running my life for me? Sure, they look cute and everything, but…is this what I really want?

Okay, so it’s fun and it’s really convenient. Via an AI home system you can send the little vacuuming robot on a whiz around the house while you check the recipe the system has brought up on your kitchen device, or set the kettle to boil while you spend some downtime with a downloaded novel. It can’t bring your coffee to you yet, but give it a couple of years and there will be something that will. It will probably make it for you first!

Hang on, aren’t there coffee machines that already make it for you, from go to whoa, now? Whatever, they still can’t bring it to you at this point. Anyway…

So then, your house is now the coolest one on your block because it does everything for you and all you have to do after a hard day’s slog is come home, walk in and drop into the massage chair. Well sure, that sounds all very nice, but what will you do in regards to general physical activity? You know, as in when you used to move about from A to B to C around the house doing actual things for yourself? Oh that’s right, your AI gadget probably talks to your exercise machines (it definitely will if you have a Google Nest Audio) and all you need to do is verbally direct it and it will set them in motion for you. Heaven forbid you should have to flick a switch or press a button.

Okay, fine! That’s why you went all AI in the first place so that you don’t have to do any flicking or pressing! Whatever!

But the big question for me is this…what happens should your system develop a glitch? Or gets hacked? Like, it cuts off your phone, sets the exercise bike to manic and tells your car not the start? Then it prevents you from initiating the manual override, locks you all inside or worse, locks you all out of your house altogether? You are probably thinking that is just ridiculous but if it’s smart enough to run everything in your house, run your phone and your car, it just might be smart enough to play silly buggers with you, or worse, your AI system decides it doesn’t like you anymore and goes all Twilight Zone on you.

Or the hacker does. Either way, it’s not good.

Personally, I like perusing the old recipe books, the physical ones, when I’m in the mood to create magic in the kitchen.  I don’t have issues with pressing buttons or flicking switches, with walking over to the bookshelves and physically selecting a real book to read. I am not put out by having to turn a key in a lock or trot around with the vacuum cleaner and feel comfortable with not wanting or needing to speak to a gadget to make things happen.

Perhaps I’m just too smart for AI.




Thank Goodness for Books

Lucky I’m an avid reader. I will go through a novel a week, sometimes two, and it’s just as well because with all the social distancing and restrictions on travel, my games of Memory, Scrabble and Monopoly are spending a lot of time on the shelf under the telly.

Not gathering dust though. One of the things I’ve been doing a lot of is cleaning. Not that I don’t normally clean, because I do, I don’t like a messy space, but when a lot of other activities are off the agenda and I’m not into daytime TV, doing an almost daily whiz around with the cloth and the vacuum  etc has become my newest normal. But at night I like to read.

And it’s just as well because my fellow players (my kids) and I can’t get together to play those games nearly often enough because of the restrictions in place to keep us safe from The Bug. And it’s killing us! Like, we’ve been known to sit up until the wee small hours with a family game, or six, and we did it regularly, when family visits could be a lot more regular. And we had the best time ever going hammer and tongs on each other in a close match.

We are mad keen Scrabblers  and get the kind of close scores that lead to “revenge” matches, one after the other after the other, then a cuppa break, and then another game, it’s great! It’s the same with Memory and as for Monopoly, it’s just open slather when we all get together over the Monopoly board.  Everyone wants Mayfair and Park Lane and once we set everything up…it’s on!

But as I mentioned, playing regularly is not happening at the moment, and attempting to play on my own, well take it from me, it doesn’t quite work. Hence books.

The beauty of a good book is that it will grab your attention from the first page and keep you happily occupied until the last. You can read a book on your own. The joy you get from a book is as good as landing on Mayfair when you already have Park Lane, and have enough money left over to put a house on each and the other players just keep landing on them…

Books even take precedence over social media with me. I love crime fiction, mystery and a good creepy story and right now I have a hot selection in several piles sitting on the coffee table (thank goodness for the local op shop) so I am one happy woman! So I am very thankful that I’m a big reader or I’d be going crackers about now because one can only take so many walks, read so many newspapers and make so many batches of biscuits and meringues. The plants have been repotted, the wisteria trimmed and, well, the house got dusted to within an inch of it’s life. Again.  I didn’t vacuum though. I showed a bit of restraint there because it was only done yesterday.

I’ll just do it tomorrow.


What’s the thing with Cashless?


So Woolworths is going to do the cashless thing. Not at all their stores as yet, but I’m guessing it’s heading that way and while they are calling it a trial period at present, it’s my guess the length of the trial period will be equivalent to what is deemed the length of time it will take for people to get so used to it as to accept it as the norm. And then it will be set in stone.

That’s how anything bound to be unpopular with the masses is introduced. It’s just a “trial period”. Except that it isn’t. Trial periods have an end date and this move by Woolworths doesn’t.

Okay sure, many of us use our cards for transactions much of the time but that doesn’t mean we have lost touch with cash. We haven’t, and despite the tendency to use our cards often, many of us still like to deal in cash too, especially for smaller purchases. Many still like to use cash at the checkout. Cash or card? We like to have the option.

Thing is, people tend to vote with their feet and if their local Woolworths, where they usually shop, does the cashless thingy and they decide they aren’t happy about it, they will spend their money elsewhere. Woolies are no doubt aware of that but anticipate that a) people will get over it and come back, b) they will have no choice but to shop at Woolies if there are no local alternatives, or c)  the number of customers who will permanently boycott them will be too small to make any real difference.

They’re possibly right on all counts, except that times have changed, and rather dramatically this year, and people will no longer accept that there are some things that can’t be stopped so they may as well accept it. They don’t accept it anymore. They make very determined moves against being forced into something they don’t want and it would appear that a lot of people do not want a cashless society. They want to see actual cash, touch it, and spend the stuff when and where they want and they will go elsewhere to do that if Woolworths stops cash use in their stores.

If Coles and Aldi follow suit, we could see the re-emergence of the smaller independent supermarkets that were killed off as the big guys moved into towns across the country, and local food markets could be set to become even more popular, way beyond their usual expectations, as anti-cashless shoppers flock to their stalls to buy local…and pay with real money.

Which would not be a bad thing. Local markets are a great place to buy fresh local produce. Vegetables and fruits, local honey and dairy, even local meat. Find a local food market and you will find good quality food at a good quality price. And the stallholders don’t have an aversion to actual money!

But I don’t think the big supermarkets are aware of the potential threat that local markets could become. Big companies which have a monopoly on something usually don’t.  They are so big, the local weekend market is so small in comparison, it just won’t happen. But I think it might, especially in the light of the present day push to buy Australian, buy local, support the local community etc.  People angry at being told they can no longer use cash in their local supermarket will find an alternative, and in time it could have an impact on Woolworths.

Maybe sooner that they think.