Tag Archives: choices

Australian Election Presents 40 inch/101.6 cm Long Ballot with a 34 Party Choice!

Australian elections have been called and we will either have a new Prime Minister and some new Senators and Representatives on Saturday night, or our current (returned!) Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, will still be hanging in there. It’s been a contentious few years for the Labor Party with the whole Kevin Rudd then Julia Gillard then back to Kevin Rudd saga and it has soured quite a few people on the reliability and just-plain-sanity of the party.


Election time in Australia

Election time in Australia


At least we are mercifully spared from of the American style campaigns that go on for months and months. Over here there is a small window of a mere few weeks to be bombarded with campaign ads from both of the major parties.

But I had to laugh when my ballot arrived in the post this week and I had my charming postman sign it as my witness. I opened the envelope and took out the ballot which kept unfolding and unfolding and unfolding. It is 40 inches long — 101.6 cm over here. And there are THIRTY FOUR party choices!!!


34 party choices on the Australian Federal Election ballot for 2013

34 party choices on the Australian Federal Election ballot for 2013

A 40 inch/101.6 cm long paper ballot gives 34 party choices on the Australian Federal Election ballot for 2013

A 40 inch/101.6 cm long paper ballot gives 34 party choices on the Australian Federal Election ballot for 2013


Some of them are rather ‘interesting’ — so I thought I would share those group names.

We have the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (Hemp) Party rather amusingly placed on the ballot right next to the Family First Party, the Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party snuggles right alongside the Shooters and Fishers Party, the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party stands next to The Wikileaks Party in this paper parade, then of course we have the Sex Party and the Bullet Train for Australia Party, just to name a few. But wait, we mustn’t forget The Pirate Party! Who knew???

Just thought it would be informative for the rest of the world to see what’s on offer here in Australia. Now where did I put that pen?

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Consumer Conundrums on Cold Days

The day started well as we left our lovely little apartment a bit later than usual and walked over to the charming shop-filled street, Haarlemmerdijk. It was stunningly cold with just enough wind to cause every face to be sporting red cheeks.

Apartment in Amsterdam

Coffee at Bagels & Beans in Amsterdam-Photo by Mark Harmes

A mere 45 minutes later we were striding into Bagels and Beans for a hot coffee and a bagel with yummy fillings for lunch.

Neighbourhood living — neighbourhood shopping — some of the joys of renting an apartment while travelling. So why was I faced with so many consumer dilemmas today when all that I wanted, in addition to groceries, was bodywash — plain old not-too-fruity-scented bodywash.

Choices of bodywash in Amsterdam shop.

What you are seeing in the pictures below represents a small fraction of the multiple aisles of bodywash that were available in one store here in Amsterdam. And I can understand the desire to use these kinds of products instead of soap when you shower because the air is cold and dry and your skin needs to be kept as moist as possible. But having said that, why do the companies that manufacture these products believe that we want run around smelling like a rather artificial fruit salad?

More shelves full of bodywash in Amsterdam

The brand names were familiar in many cases, but I don’t speak Dutch and I was left to interpret the fragrance by the illustrations or English-similar terms on the front of the package. There was nothing soft and light about any of them and the smells inside were certainly nothing that Mother Nature would have ever combined.

I finally succeeded in finding one product with very few additives, a subtle fragrance, and a name brand that I recognized from our health food store back in Australia — but my head was aching from simply reading and sniffing for half an hour and Mark was chuckling at the entire experience.

It was Mark’s turn to be boggled next when he decided to pop into the local hardware store and I quietly came up next to him to take a photo just as I heard him say aloud, “OK???” He was perusing the fasteners and deciding what was the European equivalent was to what he would have used for a task back home.

Hardware choices in Amsterdam

I will leave you with one more humorous photo from our shopping adventures. This was a wedding cake topper in the window of a bakery that we passed on Haarlemmerdijk. How many brides do you suppose have really had to ‘pick up’ the groom who was collapsing from the strain of nerves on their wedding day? Click to enlarge it so you can see just how funny it is as she picks up her prince. Enjoy!

Bride picks up the groom on a cake topper in Amsterdam

Copyright © Deborah Harmes and
©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the copyright of all text and photos on this website. All rights reserved.

Unless noted, all photography by Deborah Harmes.