Friday, September 23, 2016

End of term


Today was the last day of school term for the kids (three out of four terms), we head into two weeks holiday. Tim doesn't have any time off so it will be the three of us finding things to do. If we get some nice spring weather we'll definitely head over to the beach a few times.

I completed my goal of finishing this round of editing by the end of term, scribbling on the hard copy print out which Tim had also made suggestions on, and I'm part way through typing up the changes. I can finish that with the kids home, no problem. The thinking part is done. I hesitate to say my novel is completely finished because I keep thinking of new things. This is version nine of the manuscript and there have been some pretty big changes since the first draft!

It's so nice to have Tim back home. And now it's the weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2016



Tim is coming home today, yay! I didn't mention my husband was away all week because I don't advertise stuff like that on the internet "defenceless female home alone" or "home vacant for a week while family on holidays", just in case someone tracks down my location. I only talk about it after the event. But he has been away on a business thing since Monday morning and gets home tonight.

Of course I have missed him a lot, but the worst thing has been trying to sleep. You'd think lack of asthmatic snuffles beside me would help! But I get nervous without him here. It's weird because I lived alone for years before we married, and liked it, and didn't get scared at night. I guess I'm not used to it now, or maybe it is having children to protect. The last three nights I've been on high alert, unable to relax to sleep properly. Couldn't shower late at night because I felt too vulnerable. I had to get up earlier, which is fine because I was awake anyway. So after three nights of this I am so tired! My face feels all droopy. But Tim will be home tonight and I'll be safe.

Nigella Lawson seems to be able to feed sixteen people on one roast chicken, with leftovers. I cooked one last night for the three of us, there is one tiny piece of breast left. Aiden ate daddy's share. He is nine and ate half a chicken all by himself! He scrounges for food after dinner too. Growing boy. He is so little (with us as parents he is never going to be tall) with no body fat, but active. Luckily he likes real food and it's easy to direct him to have an apple, or some (homemade) yoghurt. Salad is one of his favourite foods. When he was little enough to fit in a shopping trolley seat I use to give him a whole capsicum (red pepper) to eat as we went around the supermarket and strangers would often comment about it. He doesn't like cheese or potato (except chips) and only recently started liking chocolate. Unusual taste buds.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016



I seem to be affected by the weather much more than I ever remember being - although maybe I just didn't notice before. On sunny days I am happy, on grey cloudy days I feel sad, lonely, and trapped. Perhaps because this is a particularly dark house with inadequate lighting, it is very gloomy on rainy days like today. Come on spring, get your act together! And I need an electrician.

I also feel a bit unsettled because I just found out something, by accident, about a close family member that I really feel they should have told me about. Because we are family, and because it is not about me but it does affect me. I'm going to need to bring up the subject with them. A bit awkward. I won't talk about it here because if they don't think it's my business, they certainly wouldn't think it was your business! I do respect their privacy, but as I say it does affect me and I need to talk to them about it.

... well I spoke to them and they thought they had already told me, were sure of it, so there you go.

I'm still going back and forth with the council and the pool builders about the big tree. Waiting for a final decision.

I just checked the weather report and it's clouds and rain for days. Blah. Maybe I need some kind of sun lamp.

Another Tuesday


I meant to get out to the park, I really did. But the weather turned a bit gloomy in the afternoon so I knuckled down and worked at home in my comfy armchair and got some really good editing done. My goal is to get that finished by the end of this week, which coincides with the kids' end of school term. I'm scribbling changes on a hard copy print-out, so I'll still need to type them up, but that is easier than the thinking creative work I've been doing. It's nearly done, and polished, and a reasonable approximation of as good as it's going to get! It's been a long process, even not counting 40 years of practice. Over a year of writing, then a long break due to life happening, then about a year of rewriting and editing and polishing.

Then the scary bit, looking for a publisher.

I spent some time this morning dealing with issues about our planned swimming pool. It's those damn trees. The council decided one big tree right in the middle of the backyard has to stay, there is also a protected zone around it so that is most of the backyard blocked. They sent a suggested revised plan with the pool squashed down one side. The rest of the yard would remain wild scrub, I guess; full of lizards (nice) and spiders (not nice), under the tree constantly dropping leaves and branches (Australian gum trees like to drop branches with no warning, and although they are evergreen (ever-grey more like) they drop leaves all year round), not great for a pool. Or a pretty garden or lawn or seating around a bird bath. We had to get a big gum tree lopped at our old place in Canberra because it dropped a big branch on our neighbour's roof and broke some tiles. It is not a particularly nice tree either, it's not the one I thought we were going to have to keep. So I've been in conversation with our pool people, I told them about the bushfire protection rule which seems to allow us to remove the tree anyway because it is close to the house and we are in a bushfire-prone area. They haven't confirmed yet. It's a bit of a worry, but I guess we'll work with whatever we have, even if it ends up being a little plunge-pool in one corner. That would be sad though. I feel like we have a completely unusable back yard at the moment. None of us have been out there for ten months except to plan the pool! The kids need a backyard they can play in.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Nasty dream


My weight this morning was 83.8 kg, a tiny bit up. It was down all week but Saturday undid that. Not that I "earned" any weight loss, I wasn't paying any attention to food or exercise all week. It was a hard week. Pelvic pain and headache all week, day and night, hopefully it will ease up now.

Yesterday we had family over in the afternoon, the boys played Arcana Evolved (a variant of Dungeons and Dragons), Jasmine looked after little cousin Emma, I just mooched around. Actually I spent a lot of time over the weekend working on my little cross-stitch that I am making for when Ping has her baby, I can hardly tear myself away from it. It is supposed to be a ten hour project, I am a bit out of practice so it might take me longer but I'm half-way done now. The problem is that the house is so dark and my eyesight isn't what it once was. The original plan was to sew while watching TV in the evening but the light is too poor. I do it anyway, and have had to unpick sections a couple of times! I sit near a window during the day.

I had the most horrendous dream last night. I've been having bad dreams through this whole peri-menopause or whatever, but this one was worse and I need to write it down to debrief. Skip if you are squeamish. For background, I do have four cousins who are heavily pregnant right now, and I recently read a book where a dangerous snake had its head chopped off. So the dream imagery wasn't completely out of the blue. So in the dream several snakes had escaped from somewhere and one was very venomous. I had a little hand axe and was trying to chop its head off, but kept missing. It was slithering between several very young children who didn't seem to notice it. Eventually I got it. Then I had to continue going after more snakes. I saw my cousin; lying naked, tanned and heavily pregnant (she is not actually one of the ones pregnant in real life) and I went over and used the axe to start to chop into her stomach. I don't know why except it was something to do with the snakes. I was trying to get right through the huge belly to sever her spine but it was hard work. She was screaming and some other people looked over but decided everything must be ok because it was just me and I must have good reason for what I was doing. Then I woke up, very shaken. So vivid and gory and disturbing. I still feel a bit ill now thinking about it. It was 1:30 in the morning when I woke and I was dismayed that I still had most of the night to get through.

The only reason I can think of for the dream is maybe wanting to get rid of the fibroid growth in my own uterus and being scared of surgery? Or, since I'm not aware of being scared, maybe it just shows my eagerness to get on with it. In a horribly brutal and violent way. It was like being in a horror movie.

Anyway, today was quite nice. The weather turned again and we had a sunny day. I didn't get out much, only to the library and shopping, I plan to go to the park tomorrow.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Baby Shower and Birthday Party


It was a busy day with a baby shower then a birthday party at a restaurant.

The baby shower was lovely, a group of about 20 women, some of whom I knew well, some I had met a few times before and some I'd never met. I didn't really get around to chatting to new people but I was particularly happy that I was able to have a good talk to a woman I'd met a few times and liked but hadn't had time to get to know before.

There was plenty of food, mountains of food. Cupcakes and little tarts and mini quiches and all sorts of things. I ended up trying at least five different things but most of them only ate a little bite or two then left on my plate. My favourite was a pikelet (little fluffy pancake) cooked with raspberries all through. Not sweet, but delicious. Jasmine was invited too, she ate so much! I don't mind as long as it's not too often.

Veronica cried when she opened her gifts and we all laughed at her when she blubbered out "it's the hormones!"

Tim's brother Nick chose to have his birthday party at a German restaurant. I didn't even know German restaurants were a thing. Don't they just eat sausage and cabbage? It reminds me of that joke:

Heaven is where the police are British, the lovers French, the mechanics German, the chefs Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the lovers Swiss, the mechanics French, the chefs British, and it is all organized by the Italians.
Except I thought it was German cooking in hell. Because we were in a big group, of course we had to have a set menu instead of choosing. There was quite a lot of concern amongst those who don't like pork! But German is apparently Nick's favourite and it was his birthday so he got to choose! There were certainly lots of sausages, about six different types, and several kinds of pickled cabbage! Pork knuckle and ham and prosciutto, mainly pig products. But there was also schnitzel and pork belly with crispy crackling so that was yummy. And very fatty, I felt a bit ill. And tired, we got dessert (which I didn't eat) at 10pm.

Usually I would say the company made up for the food, but unfortunately it was one of those places where the background noise of music and crowds of people is so loud you can only talk to the person right next to you by shouting and repeating yourself. Aiden was very bored, he played on my phone until the battery ran out then moved on to daddy's. I didn't really get to talk to anyone, so it wasn't a great night for me. Came home and went straight to bed, was probably asleep before the kids. Best part of the evening!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Car and cup


I spent the morning getting the car sorted. Took it to be inspected (browsing at Bunnings Hardware while I waited and buying some gardening gloves) then drove to RTA, unscrewed the license plates (again) this time not having to chase a gleefully escaping screw under a parked car, very tricky that was on Wednesday, or finding a large spider like I did the first time; waited only a few minutes for my number to be called at the RTA, this time all paperwork present and correct, new plates handed over (for a fee, of course), screwed them on, DONE! Car now registered in correct state. It's only taken ten months...

I exchanged my cracked teacup with no problems, and they gave me a two year warranty so they will replace this one even if I break it myself! Nice.
It was in a gift set with a matching plate. I had to buy the triple-choc brownie separately. I tried it out for my afternoon tea when I got home, in future it will be my breakfast set.

I always wash my delicate cups by hand, at the moment our dishwasher is broken so I'll be washing everything by hand. Or, alternatively, not washing. The kitchen bench is piled high.

I decided to make a cute bunny cross-stitch for my new niece due in a couple of months, and I bought the material and threads today after seeing the pattern in a magazine. I used to cross-stitch quite a bit, before I had children of my own and no longer seemed to have the time or energy. I have a large project that has been in an "almost finished" state for twelve years. This is a little project that shouldn't take me too long, maybe it will get me back into it. I like to have something to do while watching TV. TV only takes one eye and a quarter of my brain.

There might be a problem with the pool, the council have decided the biggest tree right in the middle of the backyard has to stay. Bugger. Need to squish the pool right over one side and turn it the other way, and have leaves drop in it all year. Unless we find it's close enough to the house to constitute a bushfire hazard, need to measure the distance. Not that the council told us about that. It's like in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy where information is "on display" in the basement in a locked filing cabinet guarded by a leopard.