The Australian election is coming up next month and today the opposition leader Tony Abbott revealed a new controversial maternity scheme. The Coalition’s scheme will provide mothers earning up to $150,000 with 26 weeks (6 months) of paid parental leave, at their actual wage or the national minimum wage (whichever is greater), plus superannuation (to a maximum of $75,000). Fathers will be eligible for two weeks out of the 26 weeks with the same conditions. In contrast, Labor’s parental leave scheme is paid at 18 weeks minimum wage (a maximum of $11,200). The new scheme will apply for each baby born after July 1, 2015 under an Abbott government.
Australia has Ellen fever right now as popular talkshow host Ellen Degeneres, does an Oprah. Even though Ellen is married to Portia De Rossi who’s Australian (born in Horsham and grew up in Geelong) she has never set her foot in the country before. Isn’t that a bit strange?
Ellen and Portia landed yesterday and are spending the first few days in Sydney. Where they head after that I don’t actually know, I would assume they would head down this way to go see Portia’s family but who knows. I don’t really care that much to tell the truth.
I came a cross something exciting today, a new magazine with focus on just Sweden written by Swedish based Australian writer/editor Laura Philips – Mr. Wolf. I was invited to the launch that’s held next week but unfortunately I’m unable to go since we’ll be in Adelaide at the time. The magazine is will come out quarterly and it will be profiling the leading personalities in contemporary Swedish Culture (from musicians, artists, bicycle makers, denim producers and jewellery designers). I’m looking forward to reading the first edition if I can get my hands on a copy.
Our stuff from Sweden were (finally) delivered this morning. The apartment is a mess but it seems like it’s all here. Let the unwrapping and unpacking begin. Keep your fingers crossed it’s all in one piece.
We went grocery shopping at Woolworth’s last night and just like Simon’s mum said there was saffron to be found in the spice section. No having to ask the cashier for it when you check out and pay like in Sweden, no it was right there on the shelf. Mum bought saffron in Sweden the other day at Apoteket for 30 kr for 0.5 g so comparing to that it’s more expensive here. I paid $6.58 for 0.5 g ( ca 45 kr), that’s $13,160 (!) per kilo!!. Maybe you can get it cheaper somewhere else but it’s a very expensive spice indeed.
I realised I probably need another package though before I start my saffron bun baking. I haven’t really been baking that much in Australia before and I have another dilemma that I hope to get some help with. We don’t have self raising flour in Sweden so maybe someone can shred some light on when I should use the normal flour and when I should use the self raising one.
One thing I really, really miss about Sweden is good tasting tap water. I don’t think you really appreciate it until you don’t have it anymore. I love Swedish tap water but here it tastes like chlorine. I know it’s perfectly safe to drink it but I just can’t come to terms with the taste. It tastes slightly better when it has been refrigerated but still nowhere close to tasty Swedish water. What do you think about the Australian tap water?
I must admit getting my Australian drivers license was both less stressful and a hell of a lot cheaper than me or Simon getting our Swedish ones. Application handed in and approved on the spot and for $170 they gave me a licence valid for the next 10 years. My actual license will be in the mail in 5-10 working days. Sweet!