From the Coalface {SQT} Reading maps and other redundant skills

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Head over to her blog to check out all the other Quick takes!


I was reflecting today as I punched in a new address to my GoogleMaps navigation in my phone, that there are many skills I used to have in abundance that are now redundant.

The first off the list: reading the street directory.  I was such a gun with reading maps, especially getting from A to B using the road map/ street directory.  In Brisbane it even had its own special name of “Refidex”, which is the brand of a particular street directory.

I always scratched my head with the book title “Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps”.  What, I would wonder?  Am I not a real woman?  I can read maps really well.  What’s wrong with me??  


Another redundant skill:  running writing.

This is also called cursive or probably other names as well.  When I went to high school in the ’80’s, the only typing / keyboard subject I did was a very minor subject in Year 10, however, this was just about the most useful subject I ever did at school.  Keyboard skills far supersede the ability to write legibly today.

Even up to my last year at Uni, it was actually still possible to submit hand written assignments, would you believe?

And before you judge me for being totally ancient, just remember we had the best music in the  ’80s.



Next, another one I was good at: being a good speller.

You could argue this is still useful, but the number of typos you see in everyday interactions online makes me wonder if it really is a lost art.  I am a spelling snob.  It’s like seeing a crooked picture and being compelled to straighten it.  With the advent of spellcheck, there seems no more need to know when you want to ‘loose’ weight, or lose weight anymore.  Or if you want to ‘where’ your dress to a special occasion, or wear it out.  Fruit and veggie shops also seem very prone to this blunder.  The number of times I see tomato written ‘tomatoe’ .. sigh.  And then there’s the classic one.

I rest my case




Next comes remembering long strings of phone numbers by heart.

I could repeat back to you all the phone numbers of my friends and family at virtually close to the speed of light without batting an eyelid.

Another skill gone as I can hardly remember my own mobile number (I never actually call it myself) and my mum’s who I call all the time.. I wouldn’t know what her number is since they moved in the past 6 yrs, which means I have always had her on automatic dial.



This week we braved the wilds of “MovieWorld: Hollywood on the Gold Coast.”  We are generally not theme park fans, and it has been many, many years (18 in fact) since we last visited this place, but I was asked what I would like for my birthday, which mostly falls in Lent, and I decided on an experience rather than a thing this year.  Something we could do as a family.  The kids are still young enough not to be jaded by the over stimulating atmosphere, and my 13 yr old son is primed for the adrenaline-releasing rides, so off we went.


If you ever want to do an anthropological study on the diversity of humanity, then spend a day in one of these theme parks.  While waiting for my daughter on the junior taxi ride, I was wedged between a very young looking Islamic woman with 3 very young children, pregnant with her 4th in full hajib, and on the other by a tattoo-emblazoned lesbian couple and with their children.  Perhaps the most confronting realisation that I was in an international melting pot, was when I went to the ladies room which had a rather disturbing sign on the back of the cubicle door.   There were multiple positions of people using the toilet not in the way you would expect, with big red lines through the picture.  The pic below is one example but they had a number of others, including one that said (in pictures) DO NOT SQUAT ON THE FLOOR.. the sick feeling I had when I saw that.. who would do that?? who has done that?? has the cubicle I am in at this moment one where that has happened??  The mind boggles.




Years ago, my husband and I did an interesting assessment on our preferred areas of thinking when making decisions.  This assessment was very insightful, with me coming in as an instinctive thinker. We recently revisited these principles and it’s really a useful explanation for me as to why love IKEA so much.  I am not sure if it something that is available online yet, or whether there is a fee involved.  If you find out, please leave details in the comments box.



Have a great week everyone!



  1. Hi! I popped over here from 7QT after seeing that picture of the people on the toilet. So its kinda funny/embarrassing, but that is how my 4 yr old son goes to the bathroom (TMI?). He started doing this all on his own, because apparently it is the only way he can comfortably go. Apparently it is really common world-wide. Weird I know.


    • Thanks for stopping by! At least your son has graduated up from the squatting on the floor position. Just make sure you give him a tutorial before he visits Movieworld, lest the toilet position police should be on duty. 🙂


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