Monday, April 16, 2018

We still have a house


Well we still have a house, and are all safe.

We stayed up most of the night on Saturday monitoring the bushfire situation, early Sunday morning they downgraded the danger rating so we relaxed a bit. But by lunchtime the wind picked up again and the danger rating was put back up to emergency. The air was full of smoke and floating ash. The fire front reached the point that I had decided would be when we abandon ship (ie house) so we grabbed out bags and went. Several houses of family members living nearby evacuated at the same time - in fact we used our second car to help get them all to safety.

We went to a big shopping centre a few suburbs away, watched a movie (Ready Player One, which we enjoyed) then shared dinner and a hotel with brother-in-law's family (kind of had to stay together, with Ping's parents staying with them they didn't all fit in one car). All the local hotels were full, we had to go further towards the city to get rooms. I was very tired after the previous sleepless night and slept like the proverbial log.

In the morning the fire danger rating had been downgraded again, although the fire kept growing. Every time we checked the website the coloured-in area on the map was a bit bigger. The firefighters were still keeping it away from houses, but it was creeping south through more bushland. At breakfast I rang the dentist to check they were closed as the kids had appointments and was stunned to find they had reopened (after being closed on the weekend) - they are a couple of blocks closer to the firefront than our house - and we were quite a long way away so it was a mad rush and we were very late but they saw us anyway. The sky was amazingly clear, our house was still there, everything looked great.

By Monday afternoon (none of our people went to work) it was smoky again, fire still growing, but we were not in any immediate danger. Slept ok last night. There are burned leaves in the backyard, floated here from the fire, so we still need to be vigilant. Tim has gone to work today, we are hoping for rain. Still have bags packed and waiting by the door.

Saturday, April 14, 2018



We’re all packed and ready in case we have to evacuate. There is a bushfire nearby and blowing this way. We can see a red glow in the sky (it’s 9:30 at night) and the air is full of smoke.

We went out to have a swim this afternoon - probably our last swim for the season as the weather is set to cool a bit next week - and we could see a huge plume of smoke turning the sun blood red. It was a hot day and very windy - the wind so strong it ripped the safety instruction poster off our fence. The edge of the fire was 9 km away from us at that stage. A friend of Jasmine's living in that direction didn’t evacuate when advised to and was then told it was too late to leave, the roads were closed. The fire is now 1 km away, but on the other side of the suburb, it would have to burn through a lot of houses and the shopping centre to get to us. We’ve been told to wait and watch, for the moment. I suppose they don’t evacuate people unless they have to, the roads would get very clogged. I think we’ll be safe here. Not sure when I’ll go to bed though.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Last class


I had my last class for my Library and Information Services Diploma yesterday. I still have a whole term to go, but it is filled with work placement, online study, and a major assignment with a couple of one-on-one consultations with my teacher. No actual classes, so I guess I will never see any of my fellow students again! None of them live anywhere near me so we're not likely to meet up or work in the same place, although we do have a Facebook group that people post jobs and library humour on. I didn't think of it until after I'd left. It's not farewell for the others, most have other classes (which I've already done or am doing online) which continue into next term. Maybe I'll see some people at graduation. And my favourite teacher, too. (My second-favourite is supervising my work placement and my research assignment so I'll see her.) Many of the people I was friends with studied full time so already graduated last year.

Actually I'm not sure if I'll go to the graduation ceremony. I've already sat through it for my BA and my Grad Cert. I'll see how I feel in three months.

I had to get up two hours early this morning so that I could drive Jasmine to school for an excursion. My body and brain don't know if they should be awake or asleep. This confusion was definitely reflected in today’s diet! And although I worked on an assignment all day I don’t feel like I got much done. I should have just had a nap instead.

I’ve been watching the Commonwealth Games on TV. It’s like the Olympics, but with only Commonwealth countries - 53 former territories of the UK like Australia, Canada and India. The Commonwealth includes about a third of the world’s population but without USA, Russia or China at our games Australia wins a lot more medals!

Monday, April 9, 2018



This is why I don't use poison sprays in the garden. I've named him Morris.

Virtual queasiness


70.4 kg today, another 1.2 kg down. Awesome. My wedding and engagement rings are getting loose, I'll have to get them adjusted soon.

We have a VR (virtual reality) thingo and on the weekend Tim got Skyrim for it. It's the first really major game we've had for it. Skyrim is a fantasy adventure, swords and sorcery and dragons, that you can also play on a regular computer but with a VR headset it's really immersive. Unfortunately it also made me very queasy! You control how you move around in the game with hand-held controllers but of course your body is standing still - otherwise you would walk into walls and furniture in the real world - and some people can't handle this dissonance. Responses in our family ranged from no ill effects, to feeling like they were going to fall over, to mild queasiness after an extended play, to feeling very sick and having to lie down for two hours (me!). I get motion-sickness quite often in the real world too, or during 3D movies, no it wasn't surprising. Sad though, it looks like a great game.

So hot today, 34C in the middle of autumn. Apparently the hottest April day in 160 years. Who says global warming isn't real?!

Friday, April 6, 2018

It fits


I tried on an old smaller pair of shorts today, not thinking they would fit, but they do! Awesome. Of course, I weigh less now that I have for about 15 years so I'm not sure how I could have any shorts smaller than that! (I lie. Of course I've got clothes more than 15 years old.)

Also I bought a new belt a few months ago but tried it on by just wrapping it around my waist and it only just made it to the first hole. When I got it home I realised I hadn't allowed for the bulk of the material it going over once I threaded it into pants, and it didn't fit me after all. I didn't try it again until a couple of days ago, when I found that it not only fits but I am now on the second hole - even over thick jeans. So yay.

And I'm noticing how much easier it is to cross my legs.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Say nothing


I've been in touch with my work placement boss, so that is all sorted out. Of course on my first day, both children's schools have a "staff development day" and will be at home so I've got to get that organised!

At TAFE yesterday the young woman I sit next to, who was away last week, had a really bad black eye. I didn't say anything. It's such a stereotypical my husband/father/boyfriend beat me up thing I was scared to bring it up and embarrass her. But she was probably in a car accident or something and now it looks like I don't care? Other people in my class would have already seen her earlier in the week so if they were going to ask, they probably did days ago. She's probably told her story fourteen times already. Some situations are just awkward. My usual strategy is; if in doubt, say nothing.

I woke early yesterday with a very upset tummy. On and off bad all day. Bit fed up with the whole feeling sick thing, to be honest! Better today. And Aiden is finally more-or-less over his cough. And I didn't have brain-fog like I did with the flu so I managed to get a TAFE assignment done. I got back one I lodged a couple of weeks ago while sick (on the second try, first time I lodged I uploaded the cover sheet twice), only missed one thing, 14/15 so I was happy with that. There is only one week left of this term so a lot of things have been due.

Weekend again already? Time is speeding up.