Friday, May 30, 2008

Mobile Post

Wow - this is my first `post' from my mobile phone. I decided I'd better get my head around this technology, for when we go to Morocco later this year. Hopefully it will work just as well using a Morrocan telecom provider.

Monday, May 26, 2008

how do I write about the frustration of not working? It's driving me nuts not having a job to get up and go to. It was OK up until late last week as I had the work on my new garden to keep me going, but as the weeks draw on and my financial resources dwindle, projects come to a halt from lack of funding and I find myself wondering what there is to get up for today. I try to call at least two recruiters everyday and scour the job websites and phone or email my own network of professional friends. I'm just having no luck at all. I can't even seem to get to an interview! They don't like me because I've got a TAFE background, they don't like me because I'm not well enough connected, they don't like me because I don't have enough commercial experience, they don't like me because I don't have enough IT experience, they don't like me because my TAFE background isn't current enough...... and so it goes. There is nothing worse than being a highly competent individual with heaps of energy and not being able to get paying work.
Anyway - here's the results of soem hard physical labour last week:

The front garden is shaping up after a
busy time taking down the diseased gum out the back and chipping all the branches. The pile of mulch took me two days to spread. The ground is still as hard as a rock, so plant hole digging has consisted of mattock work and soaking the holes to get some depth.

I'm really pleased with the design I came up with for the front. I've used miniature kangaroo paws, Correas, Acacia cognata cvrs., one Agonis flexuosa purpurea and will eventually put some tree ferns up against the house wall, as it is perpetually shaded there. I also created a little damp hollow and have used some mosses, rushes, a christmas bells and a dianella there. Hopefully I'll be able to keep them going through next summer, with backeted waste water. I put clay at the bottom of the hollow to slow down the drainage.

The back yard is next, and I can't wait to be working and earning again so that I can confirm my plans to change the back fence for one that I can see through. Look at the lovely mist that was rising off the creek the other morning. It is a constant delight to watch the play of light over the reeds and grasses and through the trees in the creek reserve.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

death and falling angels (for Kristin)

Boys take a lift with the wrong person, girls slip on railway tracks, girls go missing from facebook pages, dogs sleep, oceans part us. Everytime I drive the Westgate she's tumbling off against a perfect sky until the water smacks her to a halt.
Oceans engulf us, rivers trace our faces, anguish bursts from our skins. Holding grief is like driving a car in the night. Not feeling the wind, not smelling the bitumen, not talking to anyone, not listening, not touching or being touched, not recognising the scenery. Remembering is like watching a video without the sound. Incomplete and unfinished.
I'm driving, inured to the world. Every song on the radio has a line for me. " the scenery flying past and I'm standing still?"
Grief never changes, it is always fresh and startling in its anguish, as if we don't know it, haven't met it a hundred times before. It is the most (in)human of emotions, coming from so deep within that it changes everything, yet nothing is changed. That which we loved is gone and the sky remains blue, the scenery rushes by while I'm standing still.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Anyone would think I'm a bird hater

Well after having the arborist nearly decimate anything green at my place, now I've gone and introduced a bird murderer into the mix.
Meet Charlie - he has definite `mouser' capabilities, however I don't think he's going to make it as a bird catcher - he took a flying leap to try and gain enough airspace to make it onto my computer desk tonight and his front paws landed on some paper causing him to slide right back off again leaving his dignity severely impaired. He will be an indoor cat, with a limited run built outside. At the moment he is a fairly timid 4mth old who has just been separated from his brothers. They were all in a big cage during the day and a proper cattery at night, so having the freedom of a whole house, and being alone is a bit daunting.
Last night he slept in the wash basket on top of the blanket box at the foot of my bed, and every couple of hours I'd half wake to plaintive little meows, and I'd mumble at him groggily until he went quiet again. But he was up with the first streak of light around 6am and peering out the window to watch the world wake up.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Birds and Chainsaws

You know you should NEVER leave a guy with a chainsaw in charge..... I had the arborist come in today to clean up some of the trees in the yard. We had hoped to take down the big euc., that is riddled with borer, but the permit hasn't come through from the council, yet. David started cleaning up various other trees, and removing the cypress out the front and the sick lophostemon out the back. I needed to go out for ten minutes to the shops, and when I came back he had almost removed the lovely bottlebrush on the side fence. I nearly died! It's a favourite tree of all the little birds that enjoy my yard in the morning. I made him stop, but now I have a very sad looking bare branched callistemon, with just a few scrappy bunches of leaf here and there. Luckily I know that they re-shoot as soon as they get some rain, but the poor little finches and honey-eaters will have to find somewhere else to shelter for a while.
Mum sent me off on a wild chase this week, to find a Gould bird book for her friend who is ill and can only sit and watch the birds out of the window. She doesn't have the strength to do anything else. Mum searched for the book online and found her way to a publishers page, then suddenly found herself hyperlinked to eBay where the book she wanted was for sale. I got roped in to doing the eBay purchase, and then found I could get another copy of the book, so I bought one for myself. Now I know I have Starlings, Blackbirds, Sparrows, Greenfinches, Silver eye finches, Grey Butcher birds, Pallid cuckoos, Little Wattlebirds, Magpie larks, Magpies and possibly White Plumed Honeyeaters. (I'v seen something with a white band at it's throat). Amazing, and I probably wouldn't have seen any of this if I had had to go straight back to work after moving in.
I'm aching to get started on re-planting. The little birds especially love pecking around in my yard and I watched fascinated one day as one bird kept making short dives off my clothes line, then would appear to stall & flutter mid-air then go back to sitting on the clothes line. It took me a little while to work out that it was catching flying insects. The position on the clothesline, with it's back to the early morning sun, allowed it to see the tiny air borne insects and it would make its short foray into mid-air, catch the insect, stall the flight & return to it's watch post.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Goofing off

A Colourbond moment - From druglord black to nature green!

I'm trying hard to find a new job, to support myself in the manner I like to be accustomed to. I've put in lots of applications and had a number of interviews. I even made it to second round on the last one, however it wasn't to be. It's an interesting experience, because you re-format yourself to fit the different roles being advertised. Sometimes you reply to something because you're getting deserate, then you realise it's simply not you. Other times you see something you'd really really like to do, and you know you are completely capable of it, but you just can't seem to make the sale. Other times the recruiters talk you into something you were a little half hearted about and suddenly you really want that job, but it slips out of your grasp. All the time there's that horrible voice in the back of your brain saying "You'd better get something soon..." it clouds your judgement and affects your performance. I have my usual suite of stress busters on hand as the following photos will show ....

Compost from the Carport Gutter & Yes I finished painting all the eaves and facias.

I found a bike for MUM!

Rockpools at Altona. I can make a study of the tide times so I know when to take Benni there for a play.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Alchemist and other thoughts

Serendipity - don't you love the sound of that word? Fate, dejavu, destiny, all the words we have to describe things that seem to be pre-ordained, immutable, of extraordinary coincidence or just meant to happen.

Sometimes I subscribe to them, sometimes I don't. On Thursday the fortune cookies message seemed an omen. My sisters & I often refer to ancestors, seeking assurance that they will guard us through life's travails and set us on the right path. (Assuming we allow this to happen, by not ignoring omens etc)

The cold hard rational side of me poo poo's these ideas, but they make good fodder for an idle brain!

As does day dreaming about the perfect lover. Someone who will make me feel like a princess in a desert tent under a night sky of a million stars, who will make each morning seem like endless summer and will magically remove obstacles from my way (oh yeah).

Unfortunately the trade off to get a bloke like that is just too much! I enjoy living on my own and I really don't want to fulfill someone else's fantasy of the perfect woman (even though I know I am one). Damnation, it's that independant thought thing I have rearing it's head again! No romantic lovers for me, although I did like Will Smith's answer to the question of how to have a marriage that lasts in Hollywood. He said "marry someone who's smart and intelligent.", and the reporter said "and beautiful too!"

Too many drugs

I got through Friday by taking a Nyal Herbal remedy for Sinus relief. It was one of those ones that have different tables for day and for night, mainly because the night ones have a soporific effect. So I took two of those on Friday night as I wanted to make sure I got enough rest to handle the flight back to Melbourne on Saturday morning, and the interview process on Saturday afternoon. They worked. I remember getting up at about 4am to go to the loo and thinking - "Hmm, I hope I can walk better than this tomorrow." Then I had a weird dream in which my dog (I don't currently have a dog) was with me in a high set Qld style house and there was a BBQ happening, and I threw a bit of gristle out the back door. The dog went after it and simply plunged off the landing at the top of the stairs and fell onto a bare earth patch that looked as if it had just been dug & was waiting for planting. The dog got up and sort of staggered and I looked down into the backyard and saw Gerry and said to her "have a look at the dog, will you?" and then I thought the dog was more injured than it looked, but I knew she would sort it out. Then the dream ended. Sally says the dog is me and I'm jumping off cliffs again, but I know it's ok because I know I've got people (my family) to look after me. That actually makes sense to me.
Anyway I made it back to Sydney airport on time, but I had an absolutely horrific trip home. I decided to stop the herbal drugs and take another Sudafed for the flight home, and I don't know if what happened was a reaction between the herbal drugs and the Sudafed, or because I also decided to try some of those `EarPlanes' ear plugs to equalise the pressure in my ears. When I put the earplanes in my ears, I noticed that the one in the left ear felt like a tighter fit than the one in my right ear. After the plane had ascended and levelled out, I began to feel dreadfully ill. At first I had my eyes closed and I felt as if the plane were slewing to one side, and see-sawing, so I opened my eyes. That didn't feel any better. Then I felt really nauseous, and I suddenly thought, "I'm having a hypo," so I desperately scrabbled in my bag for jelly snakes. I felt so ill at this point that I thought I was going to pass out, I began to sweat profusely. I pulled the left EarPlane ear plug out, and managed to get my glucometer out of my bag & check my BGL. It was 17 (!) so I wasn't hypoglycaemic. Gradually the nausea settled and the feeling that the plane was slewing around disappeared. I was still sweating so much that it was running down my face and my shirt was soaked, then I was chilled to the bone. In all the illness probably lasted 5 - 10 minutes. I was very frightened. I think that it was most likely caused by the EarPlanes, perhaps because my right ear was blocked by the sinus infection and my left ear wasn't. It was enough to put me off using them on the descent into Melbourne, so then I suffered severe discomfort and have put up with snarly ears all day.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

head colds

Argh! I'm in Sydney and I've got the worst 'orrible 'ead, dolb. I woke at 4.30 am with my nose running and my eyes sore. I more or less didn't get back to sleep and got up at 6 am . I stuck it out until 10.30 am when I had to leave my nice cosy home to go down the highway to Avalon Airport & catch the plane to Sydney. I popped the first Sudafed then. Everything was out of sync. At home I jus't coudn't get my act together to sort out what paperwork I needed and what I had to pack. I ended up arriving at Avalon an hour and a half early becaues my sinus inflamed brain couldn't calculate the time to drive there properly. I did get to read `The Alchemist' by Paoulo Coelho, while I waited, and finished it before we arrived in Sydney. Lovely book, I'm not sure that it has entirely converted me to mystic spiritualism, though.

The descent & landing in Sydney was pretty miserable, reminiscent of that horrible flight back from Townsville when I was so sick two years ago. My right eardrum has never recovered from that and it is playing up now. I'll blame this viral infection for me wandering around Sydney and buying some new business clothes - but they are very nice!

I've been to dinner with the guys from the Industry Skills Council, and in between trying to think straight with a headcold, two sudafed and three glasses of wine, I think I did ok and gleaned some information to go on with appropo of the looming interview on Saturday.

I'm staying in the Wyndham Asia Pacific Resort, Syndey., which I've accessed with my holiday credits. It's really weird, I'm doing this trip totally on the cheap, using the budget airfares, and the holiday credits for accommodation, and I'm getting these lovely things happening. When I bought the new clothes, I was given a box of gourmet choclates, when I arrived at the hotel, I was given a bottle of red wine and told that there would be a complimentary breakfast in the morning, then Russell Savage paid for dinner for everyone tonight. Its a bit like the omens stuff in The Alchemist. When you are following the path that you are supposed to everything will help you and point you in the right direction. The tag in my Fortune Cookie after dinner, read `Your path is arduous but will be amply rewarding'. The only ample thing I can see tonight is a definite tendency to increased waistlines.