Peace returns to Paradise, sort of…

The children have all gone back to school and holiday time is over for most people. Life is back to normal routines.

We are lucky, being retired, life is one long holiday. So yesterday we biked down to the beach.beach 003_5184x3888On the way we had to stop so I could take a photo and show you what is happening on a very regular basis in this area.beach 001_5184x3888I heard the sound of demolition start as we had breakfast at approximately 7am and, at the end of our street, this is the result 3 hours later. This was, in my opinion, a perfectly good house. But someone has paid in the vicinity of $800,000. Then possibly because they considered it to be old-fashioned they demolished it, so much waste. Now it is just a section that they will build an enormous boundary to boundary “modern” house (MacMansion…), no space for a garden then enclose it with a high wall. I feel sad to see this happening and I bike on my way to the beach shaking my  head.

beach 008_4777x3435Look how different the beach looks now, almost deserted. The seagulls can relax in peace. Quite different to 2 weeks ago. {Take a look back here)

The flags are out and the lifeguards are on duty.

beach 018_5184x3888So Jack goes for a swim. The ocean is such a beautiful blue and I delight at the contrast as I paddle along in the white, frothy, foam that swirls around my feet.beach 011_4966x3688The northern end of the beach is our favourite and today it is almost deserted.beach 029_4986x3392Looking towards the southern end, towards Burleigh headland, you can just make out a few more people at that end.

beach 019_4245x2854Time for lunch and what better than fish and chips at our favourite “Fishmongers” down James Street.

As we sat savouring our meal a large group of happy Chinese tourists came in. We smiled at them and I practiced one of my very few Chinese phrases,”ni hao ma” ( How are you) They were delighted and beamed back at us. I know from experience how talking to a local, when travelling, can make your day.

beach 039_5184x3888They are only here for 2 weeks. One of the young women will be studying, for a year, at Bond University and the whole extended family had come over with her to wish her well.

 

I hope we helped spread some good will that they will take back to China with them.

Here is another part of my home that I would like to share on Krista’s WP photo challenge “tour guide”  

27 comments

    • We dislike fences and walls around properties, it makes them look like prison compounds. Our short street is not too bad with only 5 of the 14 houses with high walls and interestingly enough 4 of those 5 were recent renos.

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  1. What a lovely post, and how great that you two ambassadors for the human race find ways to make people smile! You’re both wonderful and dear people!

    Ecuador is about to have a week of ‘crazies’ as the Carnival Weekend kicks off and builds thru Tuesday… I’m heading home now and will be driving in that traffic for 7 hours… send me tolerance for crazy drivers on the road!

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    • Being a major tourist city we get all nationalities here. We like to make them feel welcome. I also know “thank you” and “goodbye” in Chinese. All very useful when I travelled through China in 1990.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How Californian! Fortunately, my mothers house has ‘Proposition 13’ protection, which means that she does not need to pay the taxes on what it is worth now. The protection is transferable to the next generation, but the third generation must pay normal taxes. Although I appreciate the protection, it saddens me that families that have been here for many generations can not afford to stay in the homes of their ancestors. That is why my Pa sold the home of my Great Grandparents. I hope that my sister keeps our Mother’s home as long as she is alive, or that either my brother or I do, even though none of us need to live there. It is a good home for my niece or great niece. It would be gratifying to think that my great niece could live there (if she chooses to) four generations after my parents (her great grand parents). Maybe by that time, she will be earning enough to pay the taxes, or the ‘good’ economy will collapse and the property value will be comparable to that of Detroit. I really do not have much sympathy for those who pay millions to live there if they lose it later. They did not make it easy for us natives. The house was originally one of the larger ones, on what was known back then as a ‘suburban’ parcel. The newer houses are so ugly and big, with such high fences that shade parts of the back yard. There are times that I want to report the fences to ‘code enforcement’ (because they exceed the height limit). It was such an excellent suburban neighborhood years ago. Now, the only time I hear from the neighbors is when they complain about something. They want new windows on the old house. They do not approve of the old fashioned color. There are too many trees. My brother parked his classic old Pontiac in the driveway where everyone can see it. Oh my! They call me because my sister and my brother are not as nice as I am, but I just get my sister or brother to call them back. No one wants to hear my complaints. There are actually two adjacent homes that have NO trees! NONE! Even though I love the neighborhood, and it is my homeland, I really do not like what it has become.

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    • It sounds as though every where is going crazy with all these “politically correct???” enforcements. When you say “tax” is that what we call rates? Or is it an extra payment you have to make? So how old is your mothers house?

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      • Property tax is what we pay local, state and federal government so that they can operate and do nice things like pave roads, build airports, maintain bridges and such. Property tax is assessed on the value of a property, even if the value is beyond what the property is actually worth. The house that my parents payed $50,000 for is now worth nearly two million dollars. The home would need to be sold to pay the taxes! However, there is a difference between what the home could be sold for and what it is actually worth. (Just because someone would pay two million dollars for it does not mean it is worth two million dollars.) Because of Proposition 13, taxes for homes that were purchased prior to 1976 are based on a more realistic value, so are somewhat affordable.
        Incidentally, although I believe that we all should pay taxes, I can not understand where local tax revenue goes. In a region where most homes are worth more than a million dollars, and generate proportionate tax revenue, there should be plenty of tax revenue for ‘everything’ the community needs. Yet, big cities like San Jose never have enough, and can barely afford to maintain their roads. Oklahoma City, where homes are quite affordable, has significantly less resources to rely on, but always seems to get everything done. Despite the harsh weather, the roadways are in good condition.
        My mother’s house was build in 1956, in an area that was suburban at the time. Because it has a suburban parcel, developers would like to remove it to build a few monster homes. It was twenty years old when my parents got there, so there were a few nice trees, which the neighbors now dislike. The neighbors do not like my mother doing her own yard work, but she enjoys gardening and growing her fruit trees. There are more trees there than the nine adjacent homes around it, and two of the other homes have NO trees (like I mentioned earlier).

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        • That is very interesting. It is a bit like our rates which goes to the local government for repair and maintenance of everything. The state or as we say commonwealth government do not get their hands on the rate money. They get all other taxes. I think I would get on with your mother…😄

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          • People should get on with others more. I am extremely very easy to get on with; so when a neighbor gets me angry, I do not have much sympathy for him or her. I know how hard he or she had to work to get me that angry. Although, I let my brother or sister deal with the neighbors because they are not nearly as restrained as I am. I used to deal with them myself because I wanted to be nice; but I find that ‘nice’ is far less productive. If my sister deals with it, I do not hear from the offending neighbors for quite a while. I am so tired of their offensive complaints, especially when I see what they do to the formerly idyllic neighborhood. I really wish they would move back to wherever they came from.
            Wow, sorry about the rant!

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    • The Chinese people said it is very different nowadays, back then there were still lots of bikes and people wearing the blue Mao tunics. But I remember them as being very friendly to me

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  3. It looks so peaceful on the beach when not crowded. We are having the same issue with McMansions here and it saddens my heart. The value of houses and land is sky rocketing. Then the homes are purchased and knocked down. I am looking for a nice forested area near protected lands to I will know no one can build in the area near me. The forest of my youth has been replaced with condos located on roads named after trees they have deforested. One day they will wake up and realize the land they covered over was what gave them life and health. Love your photos

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    • I so agree with these sentiments. They do the same here, building “gated communities” with high walls right round so you need a pass word or key to get in, then calling them names like “Forrest glade”, so ironic with not a tree in sight. I hope you find your piece/peace of land to build on

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    • A good beach for “pootling” Gilly.ill come with you…. yes they do get permission from the local authority who don’t seem to have any guidelines these days, unfortunately

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