Posted by on Jun 6, 2015 in Meetings

A lovely Irish greeting to begin the meeting on a cold wet morning; I can’t type the lyrical words of Sergeant at Arms Emma Hayes, but it translated to a ‘hundred thousand welcomes’. Or so she said!

Taking a break from parking, Toastmaster Kevin Warwood’s theme was ‘Today in history’. Throughout the meeting he supplied us with a number of interesting snippets of information about people and events associated with 5 June.

Tina Mackie was our bard this morning, reflecting on the change of seasons with the timeless words of the song ‘Turn, turn, turn, to everything there is a season’. I don’t expect many of us knew that these lyrics trace back to the biblical times of King Solomon.

IT security aficionado Kim Carter was first speaker, speaking from the CC manual project 3, Getting to the point. The point Kim was driving home was that cyber risk is very much alive and well, the hackers know all the tricks and the majority of passwords are so easy to crack. We need to keep ourselves safe online, and passwords that can’t be hacked easily or compromised are the answer – at least 16 characters long and made up of random characters. And to remember them, use a password database. Kim is very happy to advise people about this. Thanks Kim!

‘Porn stars’ – a speech title to make you sit up and pay attention at 7.20a.m. Claire Ruru, also speaking from CC project 3, got to the point by informing and inspiring us as to how it’s possible to afford to travel for months at a time – without being a bank robber or a porn star! Lots of great tips about saving money on the small things when planning to go travelling; (think no takeaway coffees, limiting eating out, clothes shopping in Op shops) and also having the discipline to bank all those savings. And when travelling, forget the posh hotels, hostels are fine and heaps of fun, eat in the markets, pick up some teaching and you’ll be able to keep on the move for months. It’s all about finding the courage to do it. Living in a ‘beachside, private, gated community’ also helps! But nipping out for a morning shower when it’s -4C takes a lot of courage, I think!

Going to the loo in open places! Getting to the bottom of the subject, Amanda Cartridge’s speech from CC project 5, Your body speaks, explored ‘loo services’ and what makes you happy. Her recount of digging her hole in Africa to ‘go’ , thinking she was private, only to turn to find a grinning goat herd watching, was entertaining. But to the goatherd it’s natural and he is happy with his lot, even if that is little. The message was to reflect on what makes you happy and do it at least once, or twice a day.

Vivien Cowey’s table topics session covered bringing about world peace (Deb is all for banning religion); living on the moon for a year (side-stepped by Garry to talk about Bill Black and his helicopter – well it is up in the air); convincing authorities to turn off the internet for a week (Brent somehow managed to bring this back to watching porn!!???); and finally the world is actually flat (Mark has found though, that on Google Earth it is in fact round).

Kevin didn’t disappoint by managing to bring in a mention of parking at the end of meeting, but still finished off with a couple more interesting ‘today in history’ facts.

I couldn’t resist googling a few random facts myself and this one has to be my favourite. So …. did you know that on this day, 5 June, in 1977, Alice Cooper’s pet boa constrictor was bitten by a rat it was trying to eat, and died.

Have fun, change your passwords, go well, save you money – and eat plants.

Thanks for your fantastic blog Sandra Smith

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