Posts Tagged ‘Woolloomooloo’

Pensioners and Wildly gyrating Markets.

February 14, 2016

Put and call options. Etching 1991

The last few months have seen the price of oil dropping to $27.- a barrel. Some years ago, it was ‘peak oil,’ with dire predictions of shortages. People were hoarding it.  Now, they are finding oil everywhere, even under our houses, the local cinema and park-land. People have signs in the window; ‘Close the farm-gate, we want water.’

World markets are reacting like the drunken sailor at Woolloomooloo before being chucked at the back of the Bumper Farrell  Wagon. Bumper Farrell was a revered rugby player and policeman. (1916-1985) His first name derived, when as a schoolboy at the back of the school, he would be caught smoking used second hand cigarette butts, named ‘bumpers.’ He became a most feared policeman. His great grandfather was an Irishman who left the potato shortage for Australia in 1837 as a convict for having stolen a pig.

His fame as a rugby player grew in tandem with his rise in the police ranks to such an extend, the police paddy wagons (Irish again) were suitable named ‘Bumper Farrell wagons.’ It was a badge of honour to make a claim to have been picked up by such a wagon. Of course, if by the man himself, it would ensure an entry to almost everywhere that was unlawful, especially at illegal betting joints.

With the fluctuating money markets, the money men are back in full swing again. They are the ‘Short and Long sellers.’  They thrive on volatility. They are busy dealing in contracts of ‘options.’ An option is usually a contract in buying and selling shares   ( or currencies) that the trader doesn’t actually hold. It usually has a delayed settlement date. This means that provided the market goes your way, either up or down, depending on going ‘short or long,’ you only pay for the option contract and not for the shares.  And collect the difference!  A single contract holds 100 shares. It is believed that the short sellers (and long sellers) are actually negatively manipulating markets. The leverage on options, both selling and buying (Puts and Calls) are much higher than with ordinary shares.

I wonder what the return of retirement funds will be this year? The return on superannuation income is for many retirees the income they have saved up for during their working years. Australia also has a pension system that pays roughly 30% of average earnings. Not a fat pot. Our pension is minimal because of the ‘means test.’ The value of assets and other income is taken in consideration and the pension gets deducted accordingly.  I have a small pension from Holland. This resulted the Australian pension promptly being deducted. It seems a hand-out in Australia, instead of an entitlement that one has worked and paid for. I don’t know what happens if one has too many assets. Does one perhaps end having to top up the politicians to supplement their income?

It’s all good if health continues,…but what about if one gets ageing problems? I mean, a fall and lengthy hospital stay? The loss of eyesight and the driver’s license, a sense of direction or loss of not knowing where the fridge is, (where is my potato-leek bake)? I read a post whereby an old person needs a toilet every hour.  I am not quite there yet! But, what then? So far so good. I can still take two steps at the time. I was told by a friend that I am merely old and not yet ‘old old.’ That is when eighty is reached.

And then there is that sweet couple, George and Irish, who both turned 100 years and still together. Have a look!

Submissions with Harry’s Salvo’s soup in Woolloomooloo.

February 8, 2016


Did you know that there are lists of both good and bad publishers? No matter what transcribes in the world of books and publishers you can find all about it on ‘google.’ I seem to have submitted a 300 word synopsis to a publisher who is on both lists. How can that be? Not only that. Some want it on PDF and others on anything but PDF. I bandy about files, submitting to everything and nothing, lolling about hither dither as if a drunken sailor.  You can’t imagine what torture I suffered getting files changed.  I can understand how so many of us end up sleeping rough. Manuscripts fluttering about the concrete pylons of the M5 underpass

You click on ‘recommended publishers’ and the next thing you know a world of deceit, corruption and muffled screams during the night,opens up. The shadowy underbelly of something out of a production of Danish Nordic noir. You’ll be lucky to get out alive. I check the vertical blinds now and keep the lights switched off. A man wearing dark sunglasses was seen lurking in front of St. Luke’s community Hall during a performance of Dvorak’s 6th symphony. Is there a connection between that and my submission?

One publisher makes the threat that hard copies of book submissions will be ‘re-cycled,’ meaning shredded. Can you believe it? Most of them send you an automated message that runs along the lines; ‘If you don’t hear from us within four weeks, we are not ‘pursuing’ your submission,’ followed by the cheery message; ‘we do not enter ever into any discussion or give reasons.’  Most of them make it also very clear that no submissions of poetry, film scripts, alternative medicine, children’s books, the super-natural or chucking Chakras will be accepted.

Then there are publishers that will fleece you by pretending they just love the book so much they want exclusive rights which they will grant you if you send them your BSB and account number with pass-word so they can deposit a first payment.

Apparently, most reputable publishers do not accept first timers at all. The ‘better’ the publisher, the more the disdain for books and literature. They are so exclusive and behave so esoterically, that they have taken to not ever  be seen reading words, and just look up from their leather swivel chairs  blowing some very expensive rarefied air.

You have to get and woe an agent instead. It sounds as if you have to get a cookie before dinner first. But, what about the time? It will take years.  I can see that the self-publishing is a form that must be competing with paper-book publishing. Take the matter in own hand. I mean to wait for four weeks in order not to hear anything is hardly much of an encouragement.

Next time when you see someone queuing at Harry’s hot soup van in Woolloomooloo, consider that the bulge in his worn ruck-sack is not just a Smith-Family blanket, a stale packet of Arnott’s biscuits, (to keep warm under, next to the concrete pylon) but also a rejected manuscript.

In any case, it is heartening to see that most publishers are loosing revenue with profits down for most. The Chinese are rapidly becoming the world’s largest publishers. Some have turn-overs in the billions. Amazing!