Kaete Walker

Kaete Walker

* Blog, Kaete

with one comment

12th June 2020

Getting ready for retirement sometime in the future, I resigned today the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN), a membership I’ve had for many years, though have had little active participation, of recent, aside the various ACMHN email lists I’ve belonged. The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses is an organization I’d certainly highly recommend, however, for those nurses wishing to remain longer term in the field.


15th May 2020

15th May. Last Tuesday I developed some symptoms perhaps suggestive that I might have the Covid19, and that given that I’d also been in close proximity temperature testing other staff members, as soon as I could I went off to the nearest hospital in my locality for swab testing. The result, that I was negative to Covid19, was in within 24 hours. I encourage all health care workers, all people generally, to have the testing, even if you have only the smallest of symptoms. Its uncomfortable to have the swab inserted far back into the throat, and far back into both nostrils, but its essential to have.

3rd May 2020

Not all that much as happened since my previous entry dated 25th April. The Covid19 restrictions have eased a little, though not a lot. Would have liked to have been visiting my daughter and partner in Katoomba, NSW, from were here in Newcastle, NSW, I live, though the distance may have been obstacle. I count myself so fortunate, cf so many others, that I have good internet access, and that I can communicate with loved ones at least that way. There are many here in Australia, indeed all over the world, who are not so nearly fortunate.

25th April 2020.

Anzac Day here in Australia, and I am forever thankful to those persons who fought in the various wars that Australia has been asked to be involved in. Yet, by the same token, so many lives lost, so many injuries, so many mental health problem, as eg, PTSD, I caution us ever getting involved in a war ever again.

Since one of my younger brother’s very tragic death in November last year as result of cancer, the third son my mother has already lost, so horrible, and since the Covid19 pandemic imposed travel restrictions of late, with my wonderful sister no longer able to visit and stay Newcastle with my mother, from the south coast of NSW where she lives, I’ve taken up some the responsibilities that each had previously had. Additional responsibilities and additional work, but nonetheless important if we are to keep our nearly 94 year old mother at home, and, for long as possible, out of a nursing home. Our mother looked after of us when we were children, so now time to reciprocate, and I don’t at all mind.

Work wise, I continue doing the mental health telehealth Skype like assessments of folk brought to hospital emergency departments, now numbering 34, in the north of NSW, and the telephone triaging/crisis intervention work I do (See, https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/Pages/Mental-Health-Line.aspx.) In the health district I’m employed, the Easter period saw very much less referrals for these services than usual, though we had thought there might have been more. As a result of the reduction I took some annual leave over the Easter period, staying at home the majority of the time, and luckily as I am, with the unit I have being adjacent a park, and getting out and about in the mornings doing the regular bike riding that I do, the necessary shopping I do for my mother and I, but otherwise being a hermit and recluse of sorts. Tis good.

These telehealth assessments (seeg http://www.hnehealth.nsw.gov.au/hnet/Documents/Psychiatry%20Training/NMHEC-RAP%20(Telepsychiatry).pdf) mentioned above, that we do, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, are designed to reduce the number of people having to be taken to major hospital centres for assessment, and thus reduce ambulance, police, and other travel, costs, that might otherwise occur. I think they work well.

That’s it for the latest update. More later.

Kaete xx

16th August 2018

Has anyone read ‘BEAUTY AND MISOGYNY- harmful cultural practices in the west’ by Sheila Jeffreys? If not, its available at, for example: https://archive.org/stream/BeautyAndMisogynyHarmfulCulturalPracticesInTheWestBySheilaJeffreys/Beauty%20and%20Misogyny%20-%20Harmful%20Cultural%20Practices%20in%20the%20West%20by%20Sheila%20Jeffreys_djvu.txt

A good read, I think. Of course, its also available in hard copy, such as the one I have. See, for instance, at: https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Misogyny-Cultural-Practices-Psychology/dp/0415351820

best wishes, Kaete


22nd Sept 2018


‘Vivente the Antidepressant’ stopped for a rest overlooking the boats at Valentine, whilst on a ride around Lake Macquarie, NSW, today. So lovely the weather!

Along the journey today, got chatting (as I often do with people) to a rider on a recumbent bicycle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recumbent_bicycle – too dangerous for my liking, as they ride so low to the ground low the vision of a motorist) who told me he had done many thousands of kilometres around Europe and elsewhere, over many years, and had come back to Australia, with the opinion that motorists here were both the rudist, and the most aggressive, he had come across in his global travels over the years. I do wonder why this ought be that they are?

Another chap today I met on my travels, Canadian born, working as a local researcher, was riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker bicycle (https://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker and, along with the Vivente, one of the strongest long distance touring bicycles ever produced). He concurred with the person I’d earlier spoken with. Why the rudist, and the most aggressive, we had come across, were in Australia, I do wonder? Why is it that they are so?


23rd Sept 2018

Folk who know me well, know I’m partial every morning to having a short black, expresso, coffee, and that, of all the places I’ve had a short black, expresso, coffee, over the many years I’ve been having them, has been the best I’ve had, at the Six Degrees restaurant (www.sixdegreesnewcastle.com.au/) overlooking the harbour in Newcastle. Alas, barista there is shortly moving away from the Newcastle region to live elsewhere. So very friendly and capable she is, I shall miss her very much. Best wishes Danny!


27th Oct 2018

This morning, and after having my standard Saturday morning short black (coffee, that is) at Six Degrees restaurant (http://www.sixdegreesnewcastle.com.au/ ) down by the harbour here in Newy I took a ride over to Metro Bikes ((http://www.bicyclingtrade.com.au/features/all-features/metro-cycles-succeeds-despite-breaking-the-rules ), where the owner, Bernie, asked me to take a test ride on two of the electric bikes he had in shop. Bernie, whom I first met back in 2006 or so when I was the then secretary, the now deceased Bicycle Federation of Australia, and he the then secretary of Newcastle Cycleways Movement (NCM) is quite the advocate for sustainable transport, so I guess for that reason we tend to gel.

The first bike was a standard lightweight mountain bike equipped with a post manufacture Bafang conversion kit (https://www.outsidepursuits.com/best-electric-bike-conversion-kit/#1 )

The second, pictured below, the lesser powered and, at $2000, the cheaper of the two (amazingly cheap, to my mind), was a Velecrix unisex framed bike (https://www.velectrix.com.au/bike/urban-unisex ).

I took the former around the suburb of Carrington in Newcastle, and despite a faulty accelerator lever, so fast it was, that I was glad there were no police around at the time.

The second, the cheaper of the two, I decided to take on a longer test ride, taking in one of the steepest hills in Newcastle, Tyrell St ( https://atsin.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/2013_10_03_tyrrellwest1.jpg
), plus up another very steep hill, Anzac Parade. just up from where I live.

Quite astounded that, here I was, approximating now closer to seventy years of age, than sixty, as I am now, going up Tyrell St in Newcastle, when the last time I was able to do that, even in my early twenties, and on a lightweight racer at the time, was almost never. Well, never.

Bernie, you have me convinced! ☺


2nd November 2018

Spent some hours over the last two days with the lovely Bernie of Metro Bikes (https://metrocycles.com.au/ ) here in Newcastle, as he converted my Viventi touring bicycle, photo below, into an electrified version of the bike, and one now capable of doing at least the legally speed limit here in NSW of 25kpm (and though I’ve since found a way to increase the potential speed to 40kph if I so wanted to do 😇)

What I really like about these electric bikes around at the moment is the propensity they have to keep us growing older folk keeping up our bicycle riding. The steep hills are not so steep, anymore..

Mind, there are some drawbacks with fitting an electric motor, and the battery needed for it. There is extra weight added to the bike for a start, I’ve found; plus, there are less available locations on the bike frame for the water bottles I had previously had affixed. No doubt I’ll find a solution, both. For the moment, in regard the latter, I’ll secure two of the water bottles, 700mls each, on the rear pannier rack,

Best wishes, all,


~~~ ~  @
~~ ~ _- \,
~~ (*)/ (*)

zoom,,,,,,,,,, ;-)


4th Nov 2018

Update, is that I took my now electric motor converted Vivente World Randoneer Deccan (https://viventebikes.com/our-bikes/deccan) for a 25klm, couple of hours test ride this morning, and up and down some local quite steep hills, and was more than impressed with what it could do, despite the weight (115 Kg- measured with the bathroom scales I have here at home- the weight comprising the bike itself, the electric motor conversion kit, the rear pannier bags I almost invariably have on, the tool kit, the first aid kit I always carry, myself, at 65kg, and quite a few groceries, too) I was carrying. Speed reached going up the steepest slope of Scenic Drive in Merewether, Newcastle, heading towards Charlestown, was an amazing 25kph. Not bad at all for the gradient!

Along a straight stretch, the top speed reached, 35 kph (strictly speaking, illegal of course, so I’ll change the maximum speed settings back to the legal). The battery indicator stated that at the beginning of my ride it was 100% charged, and that at the end it was 71%. As estimate, given my general regular commute distance I will only need to recharge the battery once a week. If I were to do a long trek up and down some very hilly terrain again, as I did last year with daughter Nonni last year on the ‘supporting gender diversity in the hunter: a ride for a very good cause’ fundraising exercise we did for Hunter Sex and Gender Diversity Inc, I’d surmise perhaps once a day, to perhaps once every two days.

The great thing I think about having this almost bombproof, heavy duty, Vivente World converted Randoneur bicycle of mine to being electric assisted, is that I can get much further distance, in a much shorter period of time.

Together with the indoor exercise bike I also have, and which largely reserved for periods of inclement weather, can still also have all the aerobic (and financial) benefits of riding a bicycle. This, be good :-)

5th November 2018.

Dropped in again to Metro Cycles in Newcastle in order to give feedback about the test ride yesterday, as mentioned earlier. Got to talking, as well, with a Canadian born, visiting professor at Newcastle University, who also has an electric assisted bicycle, though his a Dutch made, Gazelle. Good to compare notes on both bicycles, additionally on the Brompton folding bicycle he also owns, which a test ride bike similar to his, in recent I’ve too ridden. The Gazelle, and the Brompton, are nice bikes, each, and oftentimes hard to find in mainstream bicycle shops.

Aside the bicycling side of things, I’m looking forward, very much, to a few weeks on holidays away from my work, commencing this Friday. Had previously been thinking that I might head off overseas to Thailand or India as I  have before, but now having decided that I want to stay here in Australia, exploring, together with my bike, and my Hyundai van, some the many areas in northern NSW I’ve not yet seen, though in which I have a number of mental health colleagues I regularly by telephone speak. It will be good.


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Written by Kaete

April 25, 2020 at 15:16

One Response

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  1. Hello! I am in Newcastle too and have a Vivente. your blog came up as I was just looking for people who had converted to electric. How are you finding the conversion? And do you mind letting me know how much it cost you? Thank you!

    Cara Isaacs

    September 20, 2020 at 13:00

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