Park hopping

The weather’s getting cooler here, proof that autumn is really here. I’ve often seen great photos featuring trees and fallen leaves taken during autumn so I thought that it would be a great opportunity to take some photos of my own. We went to Flagstaff Gardens last week, thinking that surely the park’s trees would be shedding their leaves by now. Boy, was I wrong. There were no fallen leaves in sight and there is only lushness and green everywhere. You’d be forgiven if you think that this photo was taken at the height of summer.

Today we went to an area near the city called King’s Domain. There were 3 parks in the area – King’s Domain Gardens, Queen Victoria Gardens and Alexandra Gardens. This time we were successful. Leaves are falling everywhere and we snapped away. Numerous sculptures dot the park and there were people walking, jogging and biking everywhere, there was even a lady doing yoga on a mat of leaves. It was very tranquil and all the stresses of the day simply falls away.

Anyway, it’s good to go park hopping this time instead of being mallrats as we’re wont to be. No worries though, there’s still a lot of parks and gardens around Melbourne to discover and explore.

Published in: on May 18, 2005 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Killing Me Softly With Your Smoke

One of my biggest pet peeve is smoke. Cigarette or cigar smoke to be exact. I hate it with a passion. Although I do not actually hate smokers personally, I’m absolutely revolted by the smell of cigarette smoke they blow my way. I just can’t stand it at all. The smell of it makes it very difficult for me to breathe and staying in an area filled with smoke also makes my eyes irritated and heavy.

Other than my personal dislike for the smell of smoke, I’m also very worried of the health risks involved. I’m not a smoker but thanks to the secondhand smoke I unavoidably inhale everyday while in the Melbourne CBD, I’m still at risk of contracting the various diseases associated with cigarette smoking.

Here is a list of health risks involved with cigarette smoking:

  • Cardiovascular diseases like coronary thrombosis and cerebral thrombosis. Apparently, this is the main cause of death due to smoking.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Gangrene (that could lead to amputation of limbs).
  • Cancer like lung cancer, bladder cancer, cancer of the esophagus, cancer of the kidneys, cancer of the pancreas and, for females, cervical cancer.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Fertility problems.
  • Aggravates asthma for those with asthma.

Now, I certainly don’t mind people smoking as long as I’m not in close proximity to them. However, there are times that I cannot avoid being beside or behind a smoker, specially in the city. If I need to walk from Swanston St to Elizabeth St along Flinders Lane, for example, and there’s a smoker walking in the same direction in front of me, I’m inhaling this person’s secondhand smoke! In order to avoid this situation, I’d have to walk faster than the smoker and try to overtake him. Unfortunately, more often than not, there’s another smoker walking in front of me again after overtaking the first one. Then, there are also those smokers who are walking in the other direction — towards me — that I try my absolute best to avoid.

And if there is no smoker walking away from me or towards me, chances are, there are groups of people smoking right in front of buildings along the streets. I’m just getting tired of having to hold my breath for prolonged periods of time to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke. I really wish that there’s some sort of ban or restriction on smoking in public areas such as city sidewalks.

Raquel and I are also subjected to secondhand smoke even at home. Our neighbor loves to smoke and he often does so outside his door which is, unfortunately for us, beside our door. So whenever he smokes outside, his cigarette smoke would seep into our living room! Why couldn’t he just smoke inside his own apartment. There ought to be a law.

I’ve heard a smoker said that they have the right to smoke. Fair enough. If you want to kill yourself, be my guest. But, mate, leave us non-smokers out of it. We have the right to live! Whenever I breathe in your smoke, you make me sick — figuratively and literally. If you want to smoke, do it in your own house or in an area where you won’t be subjecting others to your disease-causing habit. Please.

Published in: on May 18, 2005 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment