The Lolly Apocalypse


This is a national emergency. Our favourite lollies are disappearing from the supermarket shelves.

In a story published yesterday, we learnt that those wonderful little treats that helped fuel our childhood sugar addictions are being discontinued.

SPEARMINT Leaves, Marella Jubes and Green Frogs have been axed by the country’s largest lolly producer, Allen’s, while other classic treats have been downsized or changed.

Sweet lovers are up in arms at the latest stealth axings, which also include Oddfellow Mints, Sherbies, Butter Menthols Kids and Jelly Tots.

Bags of Violet Crumbles have also quietly been discontinued, although bars for now, are still being

While this is enough to trigger a Royal Commission, or at least a government inquiry, Allen’s has stepped up to ask what all the fuss is about. They say that while they’ve dumped the Spearmint Leaves and Green Frogs, the Sherbies and several others are safe. What a relief.

“The situation is that our lollies are actually going gangbusters, but we have deleted a couple – we have deleted Spearmint Leaves and also the Green Frogs basically because they weren’t selling so well,” Margaret Stuart said.

“The Red Frogs are going gangbusters though.

“They outsell the green by 10 to one.”

But Ms Stuart denied reports that Sherbies and Oddfellows would be going the same way.

“A lot of the things in the paper today are not true – we’re still keeping Oddfellows and Sherbies, and most of our lollies are exactly the same as they always were,” she

I must admit that I don’t eat a lot of lollies but I will miss the occasional Spearmint Leaf or three.

What are your childhood favourites? Are they still available? Leave me a comment to let me know how you’re coping with the lolly apocalypse.


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Learning for Life


I don’t think I ever really felt as if I fitted in at school. I did OK. There was nothing in my results to raise alarms. I just did what I did and was more than happy to leave that world behind at the end of my schooling. Having said that, I am incredibly thankful that I was able to have the education I did. While I didn’t really value it at the time, it has helped to set me up for all the years since.

A lot of us in places like Australia are less than keen about school in our early years. However, I see a real contrast when I visit churches partnering with Compassion in developing countries. Wherever I’ve traveled I meet children who are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to learn. Here, everyone gets to go to school. In many other countries it’s not like that.

Take, for instance, Togo where over half the population on A$2 or less a day. The average cost of a grade nine textbook in Togo is more than six times this amount. Imagine paying a week’s wage for just one textbook.

Even if children do get the opportunity to go to school, most will never have the opportunity for higher learning. Only 14% of students that finish secondary school in Sri Lanka will go on to enrol in tertiary education, compared to 86% in Australia. In Africa, only 8% of young people enrol in tertiary education, compared to a world average of 27%.

Thankfully Compassion is working to help young people bridge some of those gaps.

Education is a powerful way to reduce poverty. Every child in Compassion’s programs will have the opportunity to go to school and receive an education. But for thousands of these children, breaking the cycle of poverty requires extra educational support to see them succeed and thrive.

Compassion staff knows each individual child’s strengths, struggles and dreams for the future. They understand their specific education needs—and how meeting those needs can help them overcome poverty.

From vocational training and university education, to computer labs and libraries, from literacy and numeracy tutoring, to textbooks and classrooms, Compassion child development centres tailor their education programs to meet children’s individual needs. It’s an approach that helps to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Compassion’s approach is working but there’s much more to be done. It’s not only Compassion who thinks that their programs are making a difference.


Compassion child sponsorship, and the educational support it includes, has clear, positive outcomes for children living in poverty. Independent research conducted over three years by Dr Bruce Wydick and his team found numerous benefits for former Compassion sponsored children compared to their non-sponsored peers.

• They stayed in school for an average of 1 to 1.46 years longer;

• Were 14 to 18 per cent more likely to have salaried employment as an adult, and;

• On average, were 50 to 80 per cent more likely to complete a university education.

Compassion is currently running an Education Appeal to help ensure that young people don’t fall at the first hurdle when they’re setting out on life.

Right now there are thousands of children and young people who have great talents and abilities, but lack the resources to reach their potential. Your generous support will help give children around the world the extra educational support they need to live free from poverty. Please donate to this year’s Compassion Appeal to help provide children with life-changing education and skills that will impact all areas of their life.

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How will you be remembered?


There are many businesses or organisations which spend time trying to get others to consider their product or service. It seems it’s no different for Adelaide Cemeteries Authority.

I was reading at mUmBRELLA today that they’re currently running an advertising campaign to remind South Australians to think about how they’ll be remembered after death . Their ‘How will you be remembered?’ campaign encourages people to consider their own existence and how they live their lives.

“Contemplating your own death, or that of someone close to you, can be incredibly confronting, so the fact that many of us choose to react when it happens rather than actively discuss and plan for it is understandable,” said Adelaide Cemeteries Authority CEO Robert Pitt.

“Ultimately, we want this campaign to promote community education around life and death by encouraging people to feel comfortable thinking about their own mortality through honest and open conversations with their peers and loved ones. The brand campaign also serves to encourage people to reflect on what’s truly important in life, and to reinforce the importance of cemeteries as places to remember pre and post death.”

They’ve got their work cut out for them. Most people spend their lives actively avoiding the thought of their own death. We seem to have this strange idea that if we don’t think about it or talk about it, it won’t happen to us. Of course the evidence is already in on that one and it will happen to us … one day.

With that in mind it’s probably wise to consider that time, whether it be fast approaching or many years away. I certainly don’t dwell on my own demise but I do pause to think about it from time to time.

The Final Farewell
Sometimes I wonder who’ll turn up at my funeral when my life here is over. Will those who do show up have good things to say or will their silence tell a different story? I will have no chance to control what’s said when the time comes but I can do something about it while I’m still here by the way I choose to live my life. Will I leave friends and family with good memories? That’s up to me and the choices I make every day of my life.

I wonder about what kind of difference I’m making to the wider world. Will I be missed by more than those close to me? Will there be those I’ve never met who will be thankful that I was once alive? Am I making a difference through my work, the choices I make and the way I live?

Skeletons in the Closet

While we’re on the subject of our own passing, or at least I am, I reckon that something worth thinking about is having my family sort through all my belongings. I try to live an honest and open life so there wouldn’t be any surprises, but I’ve heard stories of people passing on, only have their loved ones find out later that the person they thought they knew was someone quite different to the image they had portrayed.

Wouldn’t it be awful for a family dealing with their grief to discover the person they thought they knew was hiding some dark secret?

I reckon the easiest way to avoid having skeletons in our closets revealed after our deaths is not to find better hiding spots, but to ensure that we maintain our integrity both when people are watching as well as when there’s no one else around. We tend to like ourselves a lot better that way too.

I’m not dead yet

I should probably add that my thoughts about leaving this planet aren’t because I’m planning on doing so anytime soon. I’m enjoying life too much to go at the moment. I have a magnificent family, a great job, wonderful friends and a blog that needs updating regularly. I’m not planning on leaving it all behind just yet, but you never know when your time is up.

Being confident that there’s something better beyond the grave isn’t going to convince me to get there any faster than I need to. I believe in life after death but I’d like to ensure that I get to live this life first.

What About You?

Do you ever wonder how it would be if you were no longer around? Will those you leave behind remember you as someone who made a positive difference to their world? Are you involved in things that will mean that your life will have an impact even after you’re gone?

I wonder also if you believe that there’s something more than this life. Have you seriously considered what there may be beyond the grave? Is your daily life reflecting your belief?

I’d love to hear your point of view on the whole subject. I look forward to reading your comments.

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Carry On Flying


You often get a fair amount of time to think while flying and as I’ve had the opportunity to fly a little, both domestically and internationally over the past twelve or so months, here are a few of the things I’ve been pondering while thousands of metres above the earth.

The first person to develop noise cancelling headphones that block out the sound of babies and small children crying will become an instant multi-millionare … and quite possibly be awarded a Nobel prize.

No one is so evil that they deserve to drink airline coffee.

When the cabin crew invite you to ask for anything that would make your flight more comfortable are you allowed to ask them to remove the row in front of you so that you’ll have room to store your legs?

But one of the biggest mysteries when flying is how do people manage to bring the entire contents of their home onto the aircraft …. in their carry on baggage? I am honestly amazed at the volume of luggage people attempt to stow in the overhead cabins or stash under the seat. Sure, you need transport when you get to your destination, but that’s no reason to put a luggage strap around your family car and call it cabin baggage.

Now the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for the world’s airlines, is looking to do something about the problem with their Cabin OK initiative. IATA represents around 250 airlines or 84% of total air traffic.

IATA has been working on the standardization of cabin bag sizes, as the current variety of policies among airlines can lead to frustration for passengers.

I always do my best to only travel with cabin baggage, even on international trips, but I always check each airline’s policy and ensure that I’m complying with their requirements. Sometimes, when I see the amount of cabin luggage others take onto an aircraft I’m tempted to wonder why I went to all the trouble of ensuring I was within the limit.

This Cabin OK initiative aims to solve the on-board cabin space challenges that passengers, airline ground teams and cabin crew have been facing.

  • Airlines will experience faster turnarounds without having to take bags from the cabin to the hold. Gate staff and cabin crew will be able to easily identify bags which meet the common bag dimensions.

  • Passenger satisfaction will increase with the reduction of frustrations of carrying their bags on board and an increased clarity of acceptable bag sizes.

  • Luggage manufacturers will be able to offer new Cabin OK size-compliant bags to passengers.

Do you think the initiative is a good idea? Do you think it’ll make a difference?

I’m wondering if this will be the end of people lugging heavy items on board while trying to pretend they weigh next to nothing.

Are you one of those people that takes everything, including the kitchen sink, onto a flight as cabin baggage, or are you someone who stares in amazement at the balancing skills of those who load themselves up before heading through the departure gate?

What are the other things you wonder about when flying? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section of this post.

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It’ll Never Work


Back in April 2001 Steve Jobs introduced the world to a brand new Apple product. The iPod.

The iPod went on to become a huge success but what were the initial thoughts of those who were already Apple fans? While some thought it was a great idea, others weren’t so sure. As the announcement was being made, many were hitting an Apple forum with their thoughts on Apple’s New Thing.

I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!

Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!

People were expecting more. Even though the iPod was about to revolutionise the way people listened to music, many people didn’t really think that a 5 GB music player would ever amount to much.

And then they saw the price. Not only did Apple want them to buy a glorified MP3 player, they wanted people to pay a premium price.

OH NO! Just checked Apple Store – they want $399.00 for this thing…Ouch!!!

This new device seemed doomed to failure in many people’s minds. A lot of people were trying to see the future as simply an extension of what came before. Apple was offering a new way of doing things. Many couldn’t get past the past.

I have no use for an Mp3 player.

My house has a CD player.
My car has a CD player.
My Mac has a CD player.

I don’t use headphones.

The iPod requires me to change my lifestyle to meet it’s needs…

I need round holes, not square holes.

For $99 I might buy the toy, for $399? Why?

While the iPod as a separate device is now losing popularity, it certainly has had an amazing history over the last decade and a half. (I should add that I have an iPod Classic with over 8000 songs on it. I’m not giving up on the iPod anytime soon.)

Apple took an enormous risk with the iPod. What would have happened if people hadn’t embraced this new device? Not everything Apple has developed and released has worked. They’ve had some spectacular flops but that hasn’t stopped them from looking for something new. Their successes have more than compensated for the times that they’ve got it wrong. (Or maybe the times that the public failed to embrace something new.)

It’s sometimes difficult to move ahead with an idea when everyone seems to be an expert and the so-called experts are telling you your ideas won’t work. How do you draw the line between believing in your own ideas and listening to good advice?

I wonder how often we’re prepared to do something that’s never been done before. Are we prepared to take a risk and do something different or are our ideas simply a slightly better way of doing something we’re already doing? How do we balance the very real need for improving what we’re currently doing and the need to find the next big thing?

Do you have ideas that you’ve put in the ‘that’ll never work’ category? Is it time to pull them out of the too hard basket for another look?

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