Sheep, shy winner, frog spawn…

Next week is Lunar New Year (19 February), but I see in today’s paper that Sydney starts celebrations tomorrow. And it will be a sheep year.


Or a goat year: hard to separate the sheep from the goats in Chinese, as 山羊 = goat and 羔羊 = sheep. The coming year is the year of the 羊. Year of the yang.  I was born in a yang year, 1943. And now on CNN I read: Chinese couples shun Year of the Sheep babies.

Newly married, Zhang Xun was keen to try for a baby — at least until friends told her that any child born in the upcoming Year of the Sheep would face a lifetime of bad luck.

Perturbed, she convinced her husband to delay their plans to conceive. They now hope to have a baby in 2016 – the Year of the Monkey, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

“I’m just superstitious,” she told CNN.

One of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, the sheep gets a bad rap.

Many people believe that sheep babies end up with characteristics associated with their birth signs — docile and destined to be followers, not leaders.

According to one common folk saying, only one in 10 people born in the Year of the Sheep find happiness….

Oh dear! A bit late now…

Shy winner


Last Friday night at City Diggers. See Diggers turns 85.

Frog spawn

Our Great Leader had this to say on 7.30:


LEIGH SALES: But Prime Minister, that is the exact message that you’ve been giving over and over again for quite some time, yet your disapproval rating in the Newspoll that was out today was 68 per cent. Clearly the public is not buying what you’re saying there.
TONY ABBOTT: Well, I accept, Leigh, that things have got to be a little different in the future. …
LEIGH SALES: A lot different …
TONY ABBOTT: Quite considerably different – I accept that, Leigh. And one of the points that I made in my speech to the Press Club last week is that if you look at what New Zealand did with fiscal consolidation, they had a very tight clamp on new spending. They didn’t engage in big cuts. They had a tight clamp on new spending and New Zealand has got government, as a percentage of GDP, from 35 per cent to 30 per cent – a very big change in just a few years.

Good response to “look at New Zealand” in today’s Herald: Australia can’t afford to mimic New Zealand budget strategy, say economists.

…the chief economist of HSBC Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham, says New Zealand’s economy has performed exceptionally well recently, and its government has helped the economy get those results by cutting spending and raising taxes – including introducing a carbon price and lifting the GST rate to 15 per cent.

He also says Australia should not follow New Zealand’s fiscal strategy because its economy is too weak.

“Now is the wrong time for fiscal consolidation,” Mr Bloxham said….

And yes, the Kiwis DO have a price mechanism on carbon! See the NZ Government Climate Change site.