The Centralian advocate Fri 11 Jan 2008
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
v. 61 no. 66
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
Centralian Advocate, Friday, January 11, 2008 31 PU B : C A D V D A T E : 11 -J A N -2 00 8 PA G E : 31 C O L O R : C M Y K Hartley Street School www.professionalsalicesprings.com.au 39 Hartley Street Tel: 8952 5263 A Rental Fix with Caela Zeneth The property rental market has been extremely tight for the past year. With housing shortages it has become increasingly diffi cult to get good deals on rent. Here are some tips to help you fi nd and lock onto the property of your choice: Set your budget - Make sure you are very clear about how much you can afford to pay. Your rent shouldnt consume more than one third of your weekly income if you earn $900 a week, your rent should not be higher than $300 per week. Consider the location - How much can you save on travel costs if you can easily cycle or walk to work? Also check out the neighbours and make sure your going to feel comfortable in the area- your home is your haven. Make a checklist -Write down all your needs and wants in a property and do a bit of research on the internet to see what your dollar will get you in the current market. By writing down what you want you are more likely to manifest it! Be prepared at viewings - Have your supporting reference documents prepared before you view a property. These include: your drivers license or passport, latest pay slips and bank statements, a letter from your employer, references from previous property agents and character references. In a tougher rental market you will often be in competition with others, so focus on making a good impression to the agent. For any property advice call the caring team at Professionals. Here to help you 2 4 2 6 0 5 /0 8 TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE Creating an indoor garden Indoor plants have increasinglybecome more popular, particularly for people living in units or houses with not much space. Today in most restaurants, offices, banks, hotels and shopping plazas you will find indoor plants used extensively, and in many homes. With the increase in interest in the varieties many nurseries now carry a greater range of suitable plants. But there is truly no such thing as an indoor plant. They all live outside. Most of those suited for growing indoors are temperate and tropical rainforest plants used to growing in shady, warm and humid conditions. Growing plants indoors can be tricky although if certain rules are followed you can have wonderful gardens with little fuss. When establishing a garden indoors you should be working towards trying to duplicate some of the conditions these plants have adapted to, with particular reference to light, warmth and humidity. Indoor plants need good light but they should usually be kept out of direct sunlight. Indoor temperatures should be around the 20 degrees with dramatic temperature fluctuations avoided. Indoor plants hate temperature fluctuations and they also resent dry atmosphere. In warmer weather you may have to group plants together to create a microclimate within the house. This can be supplemented by placing trays of water between plants and/or misting the plants foliage. Alternatively, you may try placing trays under each plant and filling them with decorative pebbles. Then water and sit the pot plants on top. This way the plants are not sitting in water although they will have the benefit of evaporating moisture creating a humid environment. Most indoor plants will grow better if they are given a rest outdoors periodically. Ideally after three to five weeks indoors the plants should be moved outdoors for three weeks. These plants should be placed in a protected location out of the direct sun. Alternatively, if you do not have a suitable place to put the plants outdoors move your plants around indoors so every plant gets to experience the best and worst locations. Having said this I know of people who have been most successful with indoor plants yet have never moved them outside. Recently I saw some fantastic pony tails in the offices at Elders that were thriving and they had not been in direct sunlight for more than three years. Indoor plants require regular watering, anywhere from once a day to once a week. Watering demands will be dictated by the type of plant, size of pot, quality of potting soil and the location of the plant. Getting the watering right is critical as the greatest loss of plants indoors is due to overwatering. Stressed plants that have been overwatered will shed their foliage or simply look limp. Be careful as underwatering can result in similar symptoms. During the growing season it also pays to feed plants regularly with a liquid fertiliser to keep them actively growing and promote general good health. Small doses at half strength every three to four weeks should be ample. Plants should be dusted periodically. Alternatively, if you move plants outdoors give them a good hose down. With large foliage plants you may wish to also wipe down each leaf. A Vespa adventure in Sicily La Vuccira markets in Palermo are a major tourist attraction for people visiting the island. Icaught an overnight ferry fromSardinia to Sicily. It was called the Emilia and was a floating version of a rundown tenement building in the Bronx. The lower decks were dark and dingy. The cabins were cramped and worn. And the hallways echoed with the muffled sounds of men fighting, babies crying, dogs barking and couples cuddling. I half expected to get a knock on my cabin door from someone called Jimmy TwoFingers Ragatoni, asking for a pizzo, a small bribe to ensure nothing happened to me on the crossing. Most of the Italian passengers were out on the deck feverishly thumbing text messages and making frantic calls on their cell phones. At first I feared that Id missed an announcement to abandon ship. The desperate way the Italians were trying to contact loved ones suggested that some sort of disaster had befallen us a fire in the engine room or a rogue Mediterranean iceberg, perhaps. It was worse than that. The mobile phone signals were fading and it would be another 10 hours before the ship would be back in range of the phone towers again. The noise made by my neighbours meant that I was up on deck when we approached Palermo at dawn the next day. The air was incredibly still and the sea looked like it had been buffed to a stunning platinum sheen. Monte Pellegrino stood regally crowned by a wisp of morning mist and the high mountain range that ran along the back of the city glowed in the early morning sun. The harbour was dotted with blue wooden rowboats and fishermen lazily dangling lines over the edge. The only hint of the citys dramatic history (Palermo is reputedly the most invaded city in Europe) was the dull thud of cannon fire from a fort to the west of the harbour. I was travelling around Italy on a bright Vespa the same shade of orange as Donatella Versace. I had already traversed Sardinia, and the adventure of Sicily and the Amalfi Coast lay ahead. I had spent most of my sleepless night journeying across the Tyrrhenian Sea studying a map of Palermo in my guide book to figure out the best way to reach my hotel. The map hadnt indicated that most of the streets in Palermo were one way. In the case of the route I had mapped out, heading in the wrong direction. Nor did it indicate that on Saturdays all the lanes around the hotel were closed and filled with stalls of the weekly Balero market. When I finally got within a block of my hotel, my way was blocked by hundreds of stalls, tightly packed together under a sea of tatty canvas umbrellas, selling plastic colanders, big pants and the occasional slab of freshly caught tuna. There was a tiny pathway through the markets but it was so narrow that people had to shuffle sideways to get through. Occasionally, the produce from a particular stall overflowed on to that pathway and people were forced to jump over a pile of artichokes or melons. I was only a couple of hundred metres from the hotel, so I decided to chain my Vespa Marcello to a pole, lug my bag the rest of the way and retrieve the scooter at the end of the day when the market had closed. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a guy on a scooter ride into the stalls and negotiate his way through the scrum of people. I expected him to be abused, maybe even set upon, but people stepped aside and let him through. The owners of the stalls that overflowed on to the path even shifted their produce momentarily so he could pass. I thought the rider must have been a one-off a market official, perhaps, collecting stall fees. But over the next few minutes at least half a dozen scooter riders plunged into a chaotic scrum of market stalls. So I decided to give it a go myself. I wasnt as skilful as the locals but I made good progress. I clipped a watermelon as I passed a fruit and vegetable stall, but luckily the owner was quick enough to catch it before it fell. And at one point I had to wait while a guy unloaded ice from the back of a scooter to a stall selling tuna. (A coughing chorus of protest meant I switched off the engine until he was finished.) But soon I was winding my way past plastic colanders and cheap plastic radios like a local. I found the hotel on a quiet corner just the other side of the market. The adrenalin was still pumping so I tossed my bags in my room and hit the streets of Palermo. I rode past men selling shoes off blankets on the bonnets of their cars, food stalls set up in the ruins of crumbling buildings, and women selling embroidered items from the windows of their homes. I immediately took a shine to Palermo. It had an energy, a brio, that suggested the citizens of the city were living for the moment rather than preparing for some illustrious future that may or may not come. Peter Moore
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