Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Friday, January 30, 2009

3, 2, 1

Two days of weekend and then the kids walk into the classroom for the first day of school, 2009. I can't wait to meet them all! I'm not the least bit nervous. I'm looking forward to it.

My ankle produced a nice 'egg' of swelling where the organ landed, and there's a faint but very blue bruise covering a fair area of my ankle, and a red line where the edge dug in. The swelling has gone down now and the stiffness has disappeared, which is a great sign after only one day! But I suspect the bruise will get darker before it gets better. At least it doesn't hurt any more.

Dad was rather amused at me for having injured myself in such a matter, but as he put it: "people mend, whereas we always regret it if we break things that matter to us." Very true. I'd rather have a bruised ankle for a couple of days than have a permanently smashed electric organ in my carport! He also says he'll come and play with the electronics in the thing and see if he can get it working again. Yay! He's got some sort of electrics qualification as part of being a fridge & aircon installer and repairer, so he knows what he's doing lol.

I've only been back in Perth two weeks, but I've had to break out my diary to start keeping track of social engagements! Which is totally weird, but wonderful. I caught up with "the uni girls" for dinner this evening, I've got a lunch at Mum's tomorrow, dinner with a friend (male, and yes, potentially could morph into a date, eeek) next Friday night, and coffee with a friend from high school on Saturday next. So many people want to see me, it's lovely :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quick check-in

Yes, I'm still alive :)

I've been at the new school for two days now and it's delightful. Everyone is nice, everyone is relaxed (even when they're frantically busy!), everyone is helpful, everyone seems to love their job. My co-teacher is great fun and my classroom is gorgeous. The whole thing just feels right.

And I scored an electronic organ! It recently stopped working and the school can't really afford luxuries like repairing an organ they don't need and only inherited in the first place, so they were just going to get rid of it until I sputtered and put my hand up and asked if I could have it. So I borrowed Dad's trailer today and brought home an organ. I'm still waiting for G (housemate) to get home to help me get the thing OFF the trailer, mind you. And I won't get it repaired until I've got the money. But once I've repaired it, it's mine! Mwahahaha!

Anyway . . .

I'm happy, the living arrangements are working out really well (G and I are two peas in a pod and we work perfectly as housemates, I couldn't be more pleased), and I feel like crying every time I reflect on how lucky I am. This is a good thing!

Adding: G decided to go late night shopping, so I decided to go get the organ off the trailer by myself, despite it being a huge heavy thing. This went fine until I stood it upright. I managed to catch my ankle with either the foot or a pedal as I was trying to prevent it from dropping the last 10 centimetres and slamming into the concrete. So now I've got my ankle elevated and an improvised icepack on it (farewell frozen beans, I never really loved you anyway). There's already a spectacularly blue line of bruising where it landed, and I'm just hoping I haven't done any internal damage. I most definitely do not have time for that!

I did, mind you, stop the organ from slamming into the concrete :D

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I've rarely had a holiday as long as this one since I finished school. Most summers when I've been studying I've still had a part-time job, and I've never taken this long off a full-time job. And when one's only been studying the holidays don't quite have the same impact, especially if you're not on campus every day.

So . . . what's interesting is that I've found that there's actually a limit to how long I want to be on holiday, and this is about it. I'm bored. I'm restless. I'm getting irritable because I've done all my holiday pastimes to death and they're not as much fun any more. My sleeping schedule is even starting to right itself as I feel more and more like I've had enough of this structureless lifestyle. I want to go back to work. Yes, I said it. I WANT TO GO BACK TO WORK. GIVE ME SOMETHING TO DO!!!

I'm writing this down with every intention of reading it when things start to get exhausting towards the end of this year. I don't want to forget that this feeling is possible. No matter how much I may long for the holidays during term, I wouldn't want them to go on forever.

It's also interesting that this is the first time EVER that I've gone back to full-time work after a holiday or break without a sense of sickening dread. The archaeology job made me constantly sick with anxiety, and the public school wasn't much better, even before I started working there I was at a fever-pitch of nerves. With the Montessori school I'm just eager to get started. Yet more evidence that things are finally going right!

I'm HAPPY! o_O

Friday, January 23, 2009

Well, I'm here.

I'm on horribly slow dialup, a temporary service provided by my ISP until my broadband gets connected. It's maddening - I can't believe the internet was ever this slow, let alone slower! - but at least I could clear the 50 emails and check a few sites lol.

I didn't end up getting packed on Sunday - an idiot at the removals office read the name of my town, associated it with the name of a very similar-sounding town 200km south, and sent them there instead. This was not discovered until I phoned mid-afternoon to see where they were and the guy asked which major town I was near, and was then like ". . . oh." So they came at the crack of dawn, 6:30am, on Monday, and packed and moved me all in one day.

Tuesday I went back to clean the old house, but it was hot and I was tired and my 12yo sister came with me to "help" but finding jobs for her to do turned out to be a nuisance, so I put off finishing the clean until Thursday. On Wednesday I unpacked, again with 12yo sister's help, rather more successful this time but I'm still only half unpacked. Thursday I finished cleaning the old house, handed over the keys and said goodbye to that town. It hasn't sunk in yet, no doubt it will!

And that brings me to Friday. I've got to unpack and sort enough boxes today so that my housemate can move in comfortably tomorrow. I've got a long day ahead of me and I'm still quite tired, and aching all over because my body is not used to this kind of exercise! It's probably doing me the world of good to do a week's hard physical labour, but my thigh muscles and calf muscles and back muscles think I'm an idiot.

I think I got bitten by a spider for the first time ever on Wednesday. I was unpacking kitchen stuff when my right big toe started to ache and itch and burn like crazy. Not quite get-me-to-a-hospital painful (which since I had no petrol and a twelve year old in tow is a good thing!) but very sore. Rubbing and massaging didn't help so I just sucked it up and got on with unpacking with a limp. Later I had another look and there was a dark red spot right where the centre of the pain had been. No lump or obvious puncture wounds, just discolouration. Later I did find a small garden spider of some sort in the kitchen, but I've no idea whether it was that or any other spider. It stopped hurting by that evening and the spot is gone now, so whatever it was that bit me, it clearly wasn't one of the dangerous ones!

I'm really liking the new house. It's a 1950s cream brick house with wooden window and door frames, fairly run down but with recently re-tiled floors which lift the whole thing. The neighbours have sheep, I'm getting used to the railway freight line right across the road, there's a tiny general store around the corner, and the house and its environs just have a nice feel to them. For the first time ever, I can imagine staying put in a rental house! I'd like to stay here until I'm ready to buy, if I can. I really like it and I feel at home at long last. In all areas of my life - accommodation, job, location, hobbies, I'm happy with my life and plans RIGHT NOW. Not the plans for later, the plans I'm working towards eventually, but the plans for the next few weeks and months. This is a new experience!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


There's a million more things I could do around the house to be ready for the packers, but it is at least in a state where I won't be disgraced when they get here, and right now that's enough because I'm beat and HAVE to sit down for a while. I've had 5 hours' sleep three nights running and three very busy and stressful days (I didn't tell you about the car battery dying on Friday and Dad's valiant rescue of me, the car, and my need for bond money since the government sucks, but yeah, Friday was intense) . . . and I'm physically and mentally wiped. I have to have some down time or I'm going to wind up sobbing on the packing teams' shoulders.

Which, I'm sure, is not a novelty for them. They probably move many teachers in an even worse state of distress than I am in! It's still 10 days before state school teachers go back (9 days for me) so this is luxuriously early for a move. Many people haven't even got this years' school placements yet, let alone a moving day. So I should just chill the hell out. It could be worse!

(. . . "There could be snakes on here with us!" - thanks, Mr Pratchett)

The phone (and thus internet) at this house will be disconnected tomorrow and it'll take up to 5 working days for the phone, then another 5-10 for the internet after that, to be set up at the new house. So I'm going to be out of regular internet contact for a couple of weeks. I'll be online for sure - the local library has internet computers and so does the school, and I'll be at both frequently! - but I won't be sitting around on the internet a lot. I may go nuts. Or I may get a whole heap of writing and flute practise done. Who can say?

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So, the removalists phoned today (Saturday). They're packing me tomorrow afternoon and moving me on Monday.


I completely discombobulated the house so that I could sort boxes and throw stuff away, thinking I would have at least a couple of days' warning before the packing team arrived - not 20 hours' notice and when I was 2 hours from home! There is SO much sorting and tidying to do, and it's already got to nearly 8pm and it's still over 30 C and as sticky and humid as a sauna and looking like it's going to storm, and I had a late night (stayed over at Dad's and nattered until nearly 2am) and an early start (up at 7:30 to get to the Montessori foundation course) and sat on hard chairs in the course all day so I'm stiff as a board, and both my hands ache for various reasons and my knee is acting up . . .

In a nutshell, BAWWWWW.

I don't know how on earth I'm going to be ready for a packing team who are turning up "tomorrow afternoon" when I don't know what time . . . I'm an Aspie, I need a deadline! *panics*

This is going to be a LONG night, and I only have four frozen cupcakes and no chocolate or diet coke. Maybe I should run up to the servo and remedy that before it closes in 10 minutes.

. . . yeah, I should.

But before I do that, because I won't have time to do a proper entry on it, I LOVED the Montessori course and found it inspiring and validating and brought me right back to my roots as a self-regulation raised child and a firm believer in self-directed education and respectful pedagogy. I am totally in the right place.

Oh, and it turns out that my new principal taught my brother during his time at a Montessori high school, the presenter of the course taught my cousins at another Montessori school, and one of the teacher aides is the mother of a boy who was in 10yo brother's class at the public school he started school at. LOL Perth.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I'm still sorting through those boxes of papers and bits and pieces. There's so much accumulated stuff there, and reading parts of it (particularly when flipping through old notebooks to see if they're still usable) is quite painful. It's like reliving the past 5 years of my life, the problem being that I already lived them and they were sodding miserable. In one notebook I found pages and pages of journaling from when I was making up my mind / screwing up my courage to quit my archaeology job and leave Sydney. I was living in a constant state of fear and anxiety in that job, never knowing where the next blow was coming from, constantly on that fight-or-flight edge. I had to slam that notebook shut and chuck it away as fast as I could. I know now that a lot of my problems in that job were generated by my own issues as an Aspie - all the misunderstandings and confusions - but it was still a crazy-making place regardless. I've worked as an undiagnosed Aspie in places that were not that manic. It was not just me! But remembering what I went through at the end there was gut-wrenching.

I've found some good stuff, too, of course - old cards and letters from caring friends, photocopies of good papers that still interest me, random photographs, etc. And a few bits of humour.

The following was written on a piece of notepaper from that same archaeology job. It was fairly early in my career there, and was inspired by two draft reports I'd received back from the client in a heavily, and idiotically, edited state. "C" is the client's comment; "A" is the snarky answer I wished I could give! All of the comments are real and came from high-profile public clients.

C: There does not appear to be an executive summary.
A: Appearances can be deceiving. Executive summary is on second page.

C: Significant vistas: you have not addressed the view of the building from the grave on the hill.
A: You can't see the building from the grave on the hill.

C: Spelling error: unkempt
A: No, that's the correct spelling.

C: The "grassed area" you refer to is not grassed. Do you mean that it should be grassed?
A: No, I mean that it is grassed. What you mean is that it is wild grass, not lawn. Would you prefer "abandoned lot" to "grassed area"?

C: "Possibly Pinus radiata" - is it possible to be more positive?
A: If it was, would we have said "possibly"?

C: Is this paragraph out of place?
A: . . . No?

C: The diagram only has 4 layers . . .?
A: There are four lots of information represented in the diagram

C: I disagree that this item has heritage significance and should be retained.
A: Me expert, you client. You don't have to like my findings.

C: This information is not referenced. Please cite your source.
A: That would be your email on the subject directing me to include this information.

C: Please remove all interpretation schemes and suggestions from the report as it is not part of the scope of this project.
A: You mean the ones you requested at the last minute, right before the report was due?

C: The section on indigenous heritage has disappeared.
A: You did mark it as "irrelevant: remove" in the last edited version.

C: I don't understand this sentence.
A: That's not my fault, please consult a dictionary.

C: "Item is of little significance." Do you mean it is of no significance?
A: No, I mean it is of little significance.

C: "Maintenance is the responsibility of the client" - this is incorrect. Maintenance is the responsibility of the tenant.
A: Remember those emails I sent asking for information on who is responsible for maintenance? This is why answering them would have been good.

C: ?
A: Are we playing guess-what-I-don't-like-about-this-section? "?" what?!

Any theories on why I burned out after 18 months of consulting? Anyone?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Love and Tears

Mum just forwarded to me an email from my aunt, who is currently living in England and was able to go to Phyllida's funeral. From her description it was an absolutely gorgeous service and very satisfying and joyous as well as sad.

I'm bawling my eyes out, but I'm glad too. How strange is that?

Making Plans

I'm still working through those boxes, throwing away amazing amounts of stuff as I go. Whole piles of the stuff. Undergrad lecture notes from 10 years ago - I don't care how many funny apropos elephants I drew in the margins. Goodbye! Et cetera.

In between times I'm procrastinating on the internet and looking at various things I want to join or do after I move.

I've found the church I want to get involved with, a very active and progressive Anglican parish with its base in an adjacent suburb. Closely involved with that church, and located in its buildings, is a choir I want to join. The choir practises will take care of my Wednesday evenings rather nicely, and worship is at the very civilised time of 9:30am on Sundays.

The concert band I want to join rehearses in the city on Tuesday evenings, so that will be my once-a-week trek out of my normal area! That will be my flute outlet.

There are two local swimming pools, one in the same suburb as work and one in the suburb adjacent to my house. The former is an open-air one that is only open in the warmer months, and only has one swimming lane open when I'd like to be there, so I will probably go to the latter, which is indoor and has more room for laps. I'm aiming to stop and swim for half an hour on the way home from school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It won't take long out of my day to slip into bathers, go for a swim, fling on some dry clothes, drive home and then shower and do my hair and stuff. So it should work pretty well.

So my week will look like this:

Monday - School 8am-5pm, swimming
Tuesday - School 8am-5pm, concert band 7:30pm
Wednesday - School 8am-5pm, swimming, choir 7:00pm
Thursday - School 8am-5pm
Friday - School 8am-5pm, swimming
Saturday - NOTHING! (well probably grocery shopping lol)
Sunday - Church 9:30am

On the days when I don't swim I'll probably aim to go for an evening walk at least, but I know that once I'm teaching again my feet will be very sore in the evenings and walking may not be a possibility (hence the swimming).

I'm really looking forward to all of this!

. . . and K-Mart has 30% off womens' swimwear if I try on my swimsuit and find that it's too big. Of course they do o_O

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Hate Packing

Have I mentioned that? I've mentioned that. Yeah. I hate packing.

Today I'm starting on the task known as Working Out What Is In All Those Blasted Boxes. I have boxes of stuff - that's the only way to describe it. Papers I need. Papers I don't. Photo negatives from high school. Random items that have become jumbled together, like a small plastic bag containing three candles, an AA battery, a decorative teddy bear and a comb. Bags of untouched toiletries from some forgotten birthday. Bags of half-used toiletries that got lost in a move and turned up again years later. Six kinds of notepaper because it always goes missing. Broken coathangers. Lone socks. Scraps from notebooks. Scrappy notebooks. It's a MESS.

Some of the boxes are largely unchanged - apart from frantic I-can't-find-that-mathom rummaging - since my friend Jenna helped me turf things into boxes at the last minute when I left Sydney. There's good stuff in there that I bought, lost and forgot all about. And there's heaps of crap in there too because every time a friend helps me move house they do well-meant things like assuming that my paper recycling pile needs to be packed, so the same throw-away stuff ends up in boxes again, and again, and again.

It HAS to be sorted. I refuse to keep lugging the refuse of the last 5 years around with me. But oh man it's giving me a headache trying to get through it all! I have to look at every single item and every single piece of paper and decide whether it it's 'keep' or 'throw', and if it's keep, I have to work out where to put it.

I'll be so glad when it's done - it'll be awesome. But for the time being? GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Monday, January 12, 2009


The completely insane train of luck continues.

We applied for one house, and got it. Just like that.

The removalists say I'll be going sometime next week, probably the 20th or 21st like I originally asked for.

It's all happening!


Edited to add: AND, get this - we want to replace the curtains in the rental house because they're those chiffon tab curtains that are basically see-through. Right now, Spotlight (fabric, craft & homewares store) has 25% off tab top and eyelet curtains for VIP members. I'm a VIP member. *falls down in a dead faint*

When I told her this, my housemate-to-be asked whether I'd saved a leprechaun. She may be on to something.


It's really odd when one's past and one's present collide.

Back in September 2005 I attended a Railway Heritage conference in Tamworth NSW and gave a presentation about what happens when a railway line is stripped and used as a public walk trail. It was called "Railways as an Archaeological Resource: Relics, Recognition and Reuse".

Part of the conference package was that attendees were to receive a copy of the written version of the papers presented at the conference. I chose not to turn mine into a paper - it was a great presentation but as it was only observations and heritage & conservation commentary I decided it wasn't substantial enough for a paper. I was still supposed to get copies of the other papers, but I'd completely forgotten about it.

Since that conference, I've moved states and changed careers. So it was extremely weird to get a call from the organiser at the University of New England (New England NSW, not New England in the USA), wanting to find out my current postage details so that they could send me my copy of the papers! I'm sitting here in a small town with one more uni degree and a year's teaching experience, and this ghostly hand reached out from my archaeology past to give me something I'd forgotten I was getting. Most peculiar!

Giving that presentation was one of my earliest steps on the road to healing, too. I was terrified of public speaking throughout my undergrad uni days - I got used to it, sure, but I never liked it. Offering to do a conference paper was so out of my depth that I wondered if I'd gone mad. But I wanted that opportunity. I was sick with nerves beforehand, and I was trembling so much when I started that I wasn't sure I could hold the laser pointer steady enough for it to be any use . . . but my presentation worked. I was talking about railways to a room full of railways buffs, which has got to have helped :D They laughed when I wanted them to laugh, they were very interested in what I was talking about, and they used up the entire question time afterwards asking me stuff (and stuff I could answer, too!) and just discussing what they'd seen. It was a true "oh wow!" moment for me, when I finally began to have some sense of myself as existing outside of my insecurities. I must find out sometime whether the video that was taken on the day is available. I'd like to be able to watch that and remember how much courage that day took, and how far I've come since then.

These days, get me in front of an audience and I'll never shut up :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I will admit . . .

. . . that it is beautiful outside. There's a full moon, it's cool but not cold. The sky is clear and the stars are crisp. It's lovely.

BUT . . . the roaring easterly gales we usually get at this time of night, while spoiling the feel of the evening, would blast all the hot air out of my house - something the soft gentle breeze out there isn't doing.

Just sayin'.

PS: There have been many evenings this year when I've stood on my verandah and listened to the bats swooping around in the sky above me. Yes, you can hear bats. No, I didn't know that either before I thought I heard them and looked it up. But I've never managed to see one until this evening, when I've caught the odd flicker of movement while watching the stars. They're awfully hard to see, even with a full moon. But I can hear them!

Have I Mentioned . . .

. . . how much I hate the heat?

It got to about 42 here today, on the 14th day of a heatwave that has seen maximum temperatures above 37 C every day for two weeks. And consequently I'm lethargic, can't seem to get hydrated no matter how much I drink, have an inconsistent appetite, can't sleep at night and can't wake up in the morning, keep getting headaches and generally feel like crap. And because my temperature is off I keep burning my mouth on hot food, which just isn't fair!

The heatwave is supposed to break tomorrow, which means that we're expecting a maximum temperature around 33 degrees instead of the 38, 39, 40+ days we've been having. It's better than nothing, but Perth is only expecting 27. *sigh* I can't wait to move!

The good news is that as of Thursday I have a future housemate. Her name is Grace and she's pretty cool, and we have a lot in common, so I think it will work out well. On Friday we put in a house application, so we've currently got fingers, toes etc crossed while we wait to see if it's accepted. Then of course we have to start paying for the damn thing. I HATE rental bonds! Oh well, it will be managed somehow-or-other.

So . . . yeah. I'm hot and sticky and feel like crap, but stuff is happening slowly and in a few weeks' time it'll all be managed and sorted and settled. I start at the new job in two and a half weeks - how scary is that? Scary but wonderful. I just have to move first . . .

Friday, January 9, 2009

UK readers, a request?

My mother's cousin Phyllida is being buried in London today, and I'm finding it really upsetting that I can't find anything about it on the internet anywhere. Everything is on the internet, why isn't there a funeral notice or obituary or SOMETHING I can access?

So if you're reading this from the UK, I have a request - it would be wonderful if you could look in your newspaper and see if there's anything about her that you could scan in and email to me. I don't know why it's so important to me, but it is, somehow, and I would deeply appreciate any help.

Of course, you'll need to know her surname (well, probably . . . there may not be many Phyllidas anyway!), so if you're from the UK and willing to help, email me at and I'll send you the particulars.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I've barely worn jewellery for weeks, because I tend to only wear it when I'm going out anywhere more important than the shops, and lately I really haven't. But today I'm going to Perth to go house-hunting and meet a potential housemate, so I put on my watch, ring, bracelets etc.

Just now I was reading Facebook and leaning on my hand, and I could hear this ticking sound. I looked all over for what could be ticking on my desk or around my computer . . . until I realised that it was my watch. It ticks louder than I remembered lol.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Guilt, Lack of . . .

It's amazing what can happen when one takes guilt and self-negativity out of one's life.

Since New Year's Day I've allowed myself a period of complete time off. No housework except the minimum necessary to keep the house from descending into total slobbery; no have-to-do lists; no exercise if I felt it was too hot; no fussing about preening and looking gorgeous if I was staying home and just felt like vegging, etc. And most importantly, absolutely no guilt or self-criticism permitted over any of my relaxation time. No harassing myself over what I was or wasn't doing. Complete emotional time off.

Well. That worked rather differently to expected.

After only a couple of days of chilling out and feeling utterly guiltless about it, I felt like doing some of the things that actually needed to be done, like phone calls about my house move and so on. And I found I didn't want to slouch around the house in old clothes - in fact I've delighted in keeping my hair shiny and freshly-washed, and in wearing clothes that look and feel good. And after a week - ie today - I started wanting to do the housework, wanting to get some exercise (I've just come back from a half-hour walk around town) and wanting to do everything that needs to be done.

Guilt from outside is a great de-motivator. Nothing is more off-putting than feeling like someone is oppressing you into doing something. But it can work that way from the inside out, too. Once I stopped harassing myself, I found that I could actually handle these things with equanimity. . . I even found myself annoyed because I'd run out of dish-washing detergent and couldn't do the dishes, rather than seeing it as a wonderful excuse. Who would've thought?


The brain does very weird things sometimes.

Hornets (aka huntsman wasps or spider-killing wasps - big-ass waspy things) are one of the few insects I really can't deal with. Most I'm quite comfortable with or can at least handle with a minimum of fuss. But hornets - especially the slim ones, that are shaped like a normal wasp but twice the size - give me the creeping horrors. I scream and run away from them like I scream and run away from nothing else.

Yesterday I was thinking about this, and wondering why. I cast my memory back over various events involving wasps and hornets, and the only thing I could come up with was when I saw my cousin Vanessa get stung by small wasps when I was about 14.

Except . . . something about the memory was off. I "knew" it had been Vanessa that got stung, but I could remember the flailing from my own perspective. What?

So I sent my brother an email, and he confirmed that it was me that got stung by the wasps. Vanessa was there, along with our friends from across the road, Shane, Donna and Sarah; but I was the only one that got stung. For some reason, since then I'd altered the memory, disassociated myself from being the victim and put my cousin in that role instead.

I wonder why on earth I did that?

There's one other occasion from my childhood when I know I disassociated a memory. When I was about 11, my friend Erin and I were mucking around in the kitchen, "cooking" (which usually meant either screwing up and wasting ingredients, or getting bored and giving up halfway through). We'd opened a can of something, and from what I remembered, Erin cut her thumb on the edge of the can, right across the knuckle, and it was rather scary and bled everywhere. It was years and years later that I suddenly went "wait a second, the scar from that is on MY THUMB". It's still there today, for that matter. One slightly jagged cut scar, right across the knuckle of my left thumb. But at some point my brain had gone "do not want" and started telling me that it was Erin's thumb that got cut, not mine.

It makes you wonder what else in one's memory isn't real! *cue Matrix soundtrack*

And I still haven't figured out why I'm so scared of hornets in particular. Maybe it is just simply the fact that they're big, solitary, unfazed by most attempts to kill them, and they come at you at head height with malice aforethought. That's enough, right?

Monday, January 5, 2009


I think it says a lot about the tenacity of life in general and humans in particular that the Swan River Colony survived a single Perth summer, let alone lasted long enough and grew well enough to become a thriving city by the time air conditioning was invented.

Can't you just picture them? The women in particular, in their copious underwear, ankle-length dresses, huge sleeves, corsets . . . this is the kind of costume they were wearing in the early years of the colony.

I'm wearing a thin t-shirt and thin board shorts, I've got my hair pinned up off my neck, and the air conditioner is doing its best in the next room, and the fan is directing cold air in here as best it can. But I am sweltering. I cannot imagine what it would have been like in that kind of get-up, in a house even less well-designed for the heat than this one. It's amazing that any of them even lived to have kids, let alone managed to build a successful colony.

Can you tell the heat is dominating my thoughts just a bit?

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I've been lonely this evening. It's the first time I've felt this way for ages - ever since I broke up with S I've relished my quiet, stress-free, crazy-free evenings. But up until recently I had days full of people, both wanted and unwanted, and my evenings of solitude were a luxury.

Today, however, my house has felt distinctly empty and I've felt very isolated.

It's not a raging, desperate feeling. I'm well on top of it, and I'm certainly not about to go rushing around trying to fill the emptiness with anyone or anything. I'm just a little curious about why this feeling has come about at this point in time. Is it simply the unmet need at the moment (I'd like someone to chat to or hang out with, and currently there's no one available)? Or is it coming from somewhere else?


Undiscovered Talent?

As a teenager, when I was constantly around musicians of all sorts, I longed to get my hands on a string instrument. I didn't know if I would be able to play, but I just wanted to hold a violin or a cello, grab a bow and see what it was like to make a sound on one of them. Of course, being me, I never expressed this desire even to my strings-playing friends, let alone to my parents!

Recently, Mum bought a $10,000 Kemble piano for my 12yo sister, who is exceptionally talented and needed a decent instrument to practise on. The guy at the music store was desperate to make the sale, so he started throwing in extras. First he included a $600 guitar free with the piano (12yo sis also learns guitar). Then he offered to throw in a cheap violin as well. Mum was curious about whether 12yo could learn the violin as she has perfect pitch, which is required for the orchestral strings. So they got a violin too, and then drums for 10yo brother (who learns drums, obviously) at cost price. Mum took the deal (and is completely not sorry that my stepfather actually lost his job the following day due to downsizing - in fact she's glad, because otherwise 12yo sis wouldn't have the gorgeous piano!). So, 12yo sis has a violin just kind of sitting around.

Yesterday, some rellies came over to Mum's for lunch (it was Mum's birthday), and an uncle who used to play violin offered to tune 12yo sis' for her. It was gratefully accepted and he tuned it up for us. After everyone had gone, my stepdad played around with the violin a bit, and then I asked if I could have a go.

I've held a violin exactly once before, in the music shop when the guy was trying to sell Mum the piano. I got a decent note out of it then and was rather pleased with myself. This time I played around rather more, and was trying to see whether I could make the different notes off the one string. And I did. I did whole tones right up a scale. I'm not sure which scale I was playing, but I got seven perfect, clear, tuneful notes out of the lowest string of the violin. I have close-to-perfect pitch and so does Mum - not like 12yo sis' talent, but not bad either - and Mum agreed that the notes were right.

So now more than ever I'd really like to get my hands on a string instrument that I can play with and teach myself, or even get lessons. I can make nice notes on a violin, just like that - maybe I could learn to play well some day!

Another dream for the "when I'm debt-free" box, I guess :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome to 2009

As a child, I always felt that it was most unreasonable that the dates and days didn't relate directly to each other. The week starts on a Sunday, so the year ought to start on a Sunday too, right? The mismatch really bothered me as a kid, and I was reminded of it today because, damnit, it feels like Sunday and it's actually Thursday.

Anyway . . .

My Sunday weigh-ins are going to be augmented this year with other statistics. As well as weight-related stuff I'm going to be posting the number of fiction words I've written each week (I'm going for a minimum of 500/day, but over the holidays I hope to get some stored up against the busy times!). I have a vague idea about some other things I'm going to post as well, but we'll see about those later in the year when normal life gets started again.

I can't believe it's January quite yet . . . I start a new job in 28 days and have to move house before then . . . this is going to be an interesting month!