Sunday, November 29, 2009


Nature likes balance and that's just what she's doing.  After all the floods this year, nature is now providing us with hot sticky days and teasing us with afternoon clouds that any other year would yield storms and rain - cooling the ground and air and making it more comfortable to....just be alive. As a result our nights are broken - first it's too hot to even be under a sheet, then a little later I pull up the sheet, then a bit later a light blanket but after a while I'm too hot again so the process begins all over again.  On top of this Little Tree has a nasty cough which may or may not be a virus/may or may not be whooping cough (which is going around) and we've had hardly any sleep for the last three nights. course, the kettle belongs on the bench not the pantry and bugger I just tried to rinse out the full bottle of fragrant oil not the one containing just a few drops - well at least the bathroom smells nice *apologetic shrug* and why isn't dinner cooked? oops...helps if you turn the stove on.

Is it any wonder that someone only had to look at me yesterday for me to morph into some hideous monster, as likely as not to bite off your head and spit it out at your feet then walk away looking quite satisfied. As dear friend Rachel says - tiredness is evil. It changes normally happy, agreeable people to foul creatures that, even though we have no reasonable right to complain, can't help but be horrible to our undeserving partners. And this is exactly why I DO NOT like Summer here. Spring is perfect and Autumn is gorgeous. Winter is refreshingly cold without being icy but Summer sucks - the beach is only an option early or late unless one enjoys heatstroke. The river is a better option - one can find shade - however with all the dairy farms around and the runoff we've had.....well, need I say more? 

As I write this a strong wind from the hot parched inland west has picked up, rattling the doors and windows, so even though it's a hot wind the air movement provides respite. And my darling husband has taken Little Tree to visit his grandparents (they are happy to accept responsibility for their exposure to illness)  so peace and quiet reigns. And now I've had my little rant I think it's time to put the kettle on.... if only I can remember in what obscure place I left it this time.

(couldn't resist this image :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Razzle Dazzle

An incredibly creative friend of mine and a couple of her friends are putting on a fashion parade next Saturday and they've asked me to sing for them.  Well no, sorry there is no piano. Oh, okay then it will have to be something acapella.

I'm singing Handel's Silent Worship which people may remember as a duet in the film "Emma" between Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Frank Churchill (Ewan McGregor).  So nothing very demanding or strenuous.

Even so, I should be rehearsing it but trying to sing in this weather ends up feeling like I've spent too much time in the sauna.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mustn't Grumble, But....

We have people in our area that are claiming for flood assistance following the 5th major flood this year.

Yet today is melting hot and I feel two sizes too big for my clothes and the sweat is trickling down my back - yuk!  The sky is clear and blue except for a slight haze caused by the humidity, the soil is already parched and beginning to crack and the lettuce seedlings have died. There is not a trace of rain or storms on the weather bureau's radar and the only place to be comfortable is sitting directly in front of the air conditioner. I put washing on the line an hour ago and it's dry already even with the humidity. It's these kind of days that have me wondering what sort of insane person chooses to live here.

(It's even too hot to do this)

At least complaining of the heat is distracting us from time to time from the latest in the Drama Queen saga that is causing so much stress to Mr I and consequently the rest of the family. Let's just say that if I ever consider working for a management committee, I hope someone will quietly take me to the nearest psych ward and leave me there. This has been going on since May and looks like it's approaching crunch time. But I keep thinking that. This year has been like one of those soapies where things just keep happening and it gets to a point where it's no longer tragic but hilariously funny because by then you're thinking okay, what on earth is going to happen next - bring it on, I'm curious to see how imaginative the script writers can be. 

It was just after one of these events that I was sitting on the verandah shaking my head in dazed and bemused wonder that it suddenly struck me that life is really a role playing game and we have all just chosen our characters and walked onto the board and then become so dazzled with the play that we've forgotten we're not actually the characters and the board is just our chosen plane of existence.  So when I realise I'm getting too identified with the play and I feel I'm going to go mad and all this cannot be happening, I watch my breath and sense how my body is and remember that all the stuff happening is just content and that I can choose to step back. At least, at the moment I'm managing to do that. I might have to work harder if the game becomes horrible rather than merely grim.

In the meantime I'm buying lottery tickets in the hope that should we win enough Mr I can give his employers the you-know-what which will take care of one headache at least.

Here's hoping that 2010 will be a more comfortable year for us.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Literary I am Not

Before we went away on holiday, I called into our local secondhand bookstore and walked out with, among other things, James Joyce's Ulysses. I have heard so much about this book for years that when I saw it I thought I might see what all the fuss was about.  No, I did not take it away with me - not totally silly.  But now I am wondering if there's such a thing as Ulysses for Dummies. LOL

A Long Time Coming

We're back.

We have just returned from spending a glorious week relaxing (read collapsing) at Angourie Rainforest Resort in Yamba on the north coast of New South Wales. A mere two and half hours drive from home.  It was so peaceful and quiet it made me realise just how noisy it is at home. A very big thankyou to Holiday Coast Respite and Action Support - without them it would not have been possible.

(phew, such a long drive!!!)

This was our first family holiday since Little Tree was a baby - that's eight years! Our reluctance to try earlier was directly related to L.T's inability to cope with new places and our unwillingness to cope with his distress while supposedly on holiday (under these circumstances - relaxing and holiday - mutually exclusive terms).

Given the success we've had using social stories as a support for events that I know L.T will find challenging, I rang the resort and asked if they would kindly take photos of the property entrance, office, pools, playground, games room, exterior and interior of the actual villa we had booked. I must admit I was unprepared for the willingness to help shown by the resort staff - I know this sounds crazy but I was so grateful I cried when I hung up. Reiko was great - she sent exactly what I needed.  I drew up a social story for L.T incorporating the photos using Powerpoint and we read through it every bedtime for about two weeks.  As the time came closer I wrote it up on his weekly calendar. I was still apprehensive but needn't have been - he was excited and couldn't have been better behaved on the drive up. We took the social story with us so he could look at the photos and match them to reality. My undying gratitude goes to Kris at DADHC for showing us the magic of social stories.

(Yamba headland. North and south break walls in background. To get to North wall you need to catch a ferry or drive 20 minutes to Iluka)

It was the best thing we've done for ourselves in years and going through term time rather than school holidays (fewer people at the resort) was inspired. I really liked Yamba with it's many waterways to enjoy - estuaries, harbour and beaches not to mention some great boutiques. Apart from sight seeing and just a little retail therapy, Mr I and Little Tree spent many hours fishing while I lazed around reading novels or enjoyed having the huge pool almost exclusively to myself.  Little Tree especially liked the children's pool and we had trouble getting him out when other children were splashing alongside him.

(Collecting stones on Pippi Beach, Yamba)

The highlight for me had to be the 3 hours at the day spa mmmmmm yum. As suggested, I arrived an hour earlier than my booking so I could use the steam room and therapy pool and thoroughly relax before being led to the treatment room and pampered with body brushing, ocean wrap, scalp massage, sweat wrap, facial and body massage. Heavenly! I floated out of there more relaxed than I've been in years and smelling gorgeous. I am hoping that we'll be allocated a respite package again next year so we can go back.

(Tranquil view from villa patio)

I had arranged for my sister-in-law to come in and feed the goldfish and Shu-Shu. When I heard that there had been another flood at home (fourth one this year) I was a little concerned (but not for long) that she may not have been able to get in  - I was determined not to think about home or worry about anything and I was remarkably successful. We came home to a very happy-to-see-you-but-don't-you-dare-go-away-again [gentle bite and swipe with the claws while purring] cat. The fish did not do so well (scene from Shrek II - dead fish floating in bowl) - I can't blame my sister-in-law, I had already lost one fish and was crossing my fingers the others would be okay. Obviously I need to give the tank and everything in it a thorough clean before I buy new fish.

(Close up)

Mr I had arranged to have an additional week off so we were able to spread that feeling of holiday mode a little further with walks on the beach (I walked, Mr I went beach worming).

(Late afternoon North Beach, Mylestom)

(Late afternoon North Beach, Mylestom)

So now it's back to school and work and I get time to blog and catch up singing and knitting (although I did take my knitting away, all I managed was 4 rows - reading was less energetic, hehehe).