Monday, October 19, 2009

Unmasking Autism

The local Autism support group hold an annual fundraising ball.  The organisers spend much of the year planning it. 

They held an auction for celebrity items, a silent auction and this year they sold treasure chests disguised as noodle boxes for $10 containing either a trinket or a treasure.  Apart from the auction and a few items in the silent auction all items are donated. Some of the treasures were worth quite a lot such as a resort holiday.  I was outbid in the silent auction but I did manage to win two open movie tickets in my treasure chest. 

The group runs other fundraising activities throughout the year but this is their primary event.  They are trying to raise enough to buy land and build a purpose built centre. As Coffs Harbour is about half way between Sydney and Brisbane it would save many people an expensive and stressful trip to either of the cities. The centre would house a library, diagnosis/assessment rooms, lecture theatre, meeting rooms and play area.

My dress is a silk chiffon, lace and felt creation by local artist Leonie Watson. We made our own masks - so they don't look quite as smart as some worn by others. The majority of the feathers were donated by a Wompoo Fruit Dove that flew into the window of our previous home. It seemed a shame not to do something with the beautiful feathers.

More info and photos here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Playing Tourist

Recently we had a visit from my cousin Sarah and her husband Paul, from England.

The last time I saw her was three years ago when she was here on business so it was only a brief visit.  This time they stayed for three weeks.  It was so good to have them here and Little Tree took to them quickly, insisting that he and Paul spend hours over his sticker book and giving as much cheek back to Sarah as she gave him - "Yeah, wha' are you like, Sarah!"

So apart from days spent on our sunny verandah talking, drinking tea and eating way too much food, it was a good excuse to play tourist in our region. So here are some snaps....

Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour Marina

Whale watching

Pet Porpoise Pool

Butterfly House

Dorrigo National Park

Life immitating art.....

Finger Puppet Show.....

Dangar Falls

Shearing at my Mum's

Local Eastern Grey Kangaroos

This may be the last opportunity they have to visit, although they say they intend moving here just as soon as they win the lottery!!!! Goodness only knows if I'll ever get back. Even if funds allowed it, it would be a miracle to get Little Tree onto an aeroplane and I couldn't go without him and Mr I as it would not be worth going back unless I had at least six weeks there and I would find it too hard to be away from them that long.

Things to keep the boredom away

Well, let's see there's....


and Peacocks......

and Snakes....

(waiting to dry so it can be painted) Little Tree keeps popping outside to check that snake has not slithered away or been eaten by a hungry kookaburra.

or cooking pancakes.....

And when all else fails there is always Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Return of Saturn (ish)

Such as inconstant blogger am I.

Here we are in school holidays again and I wonder how the time can fly so fast and yet seem so ponderous.

This year has been decidedly Saturn returnesque. Our confidence on so many fronts has been shaken and it has been a year of questioning, searching and discovery and a realisation of our own mortality.

Mr I has been hit hardest with a brother needing a liver transplant, a father with a kidney tumour (which the experts think is benign) and most recently the death of a loved uncle in a head-on collision. Add to this stress caused by a mentally unstable staff member at work making bizarre complaints and you have more than enough to be getting on with. I have been dealt health problems to work through including an ongoing gut problem for which I do not have results yet. And I thought I had been doing all the right things for a coeliac.

Yet out of darkness comes light. Having my ideas about myself and the world shaken up has led me first to fear, anxiety and despair and having dwelt there until I've had as much as I can stand, I've moved on to an openness to life and a reaffirmation that this planet, at least, is primarily about creation (and don't get biblical on me unless you want a raspberry blown in your direction). I mean there is so much energy out there that is supportive of creativity whether that it is through biological reproduction or artwork in all it's various forms or the loving company of good friends and family or the gentle everyday work of being a keeper of the hearth, wife and mother.

I love blogworld - there are so many warm, intelligent, artistic, creative, funny people out there and all have touched me at one time or another with their humaness (if there's such a word). I thank every one of them for what they have unknowingly given me.

I am making tentative and cautious steps back into the world, not entirely trusting (as I naively was, a long time ago) but tremblingly braving the risk of hurt to feel alive again.

Hurrah for all the wonderful potential in each human.