I think it’s fair to say that this blogging business is going to be a ‘slowly slowly’ affair for me.  


Part of the reason for this is good.  I’m naturally a fairly slow person.  I take a long time to come to decisions, and the journey is as significant to me as the result.  It’s for this reason that I find lightening home makeover shows rather bemusing, albeit entertaining.  I am constantly astonished at how a stranger can enter someone’s home, and make a series of really significant decisions about rooms and colours and fixtures without, so it seems, actually spending any time there.  I’m equivalently astonished at how so often the transformation is such an improvement.  But this is not how I can approach life.  I like to live in a house for at least a year before I come to any major decisions.


I need to see where the sun penetrates the interior in winter.  How it falls across the garden seasonally.  I observe the Iron Paw for her pronouncements on thermal comfort.  Mostly, I dither about the best place for book cases, and how to get more bench space in the kitchen.  (I don’t know what it is about older Australian houses, but their kitchens are universally crappy).  So it seems that I will be doing the same thing with this blog.  Taking my time, feeling the texture of it, experimenting with colours and so forth.  Exactly what I am doing with my actual house, in which I have only lived for just over six months.


I suspect that there is some kind internal/external mirroring going on here.  I want the inside of my house to resemble the inside of a pearl shell.  Soft, slightly luminescent, gently curved.  Hints of pinks, and greys and blues.  A serene sea at the cusp of sunset.  My actual life is not remotely this calm.  So I have chosen for this blog possibly the most challenging theme I could have.  I currently feel more like I have been by the tsunami that I dreamt about this week.  So, slowly slowly.  Gently does it.  There is no need to flog myself over this too.



The last post, written on the hottest day Sydney ever experienced, did not post until just now, six days later. I am not finding the technical side of blogging as easy as everyone says.

So it’s been an exciting six days. My baggage is most unruly.  For example, in my dream last night (dreams are an excellent barometer of the soul) I met the ex, outran a tsunami and survived a car crash.  So it would appear that starting this blog really stirred things up.  The timing was, in retrospect, tragically bad.  Because grief is a lot like navigating your way through a field of landmines.  You never know when the next explosion will come.  Some will say that the first anniversary of a funeral is a pretty safe bet.  But I made it through Christmas unscathed!  So there is no guarantee, except that that it will happen, and you just need to get yourself off to your preferred form of emotional triage as soon as you can.

Speaking of which…the kind of help you offer people is often reflective of the kind of support you want for yourself.  So, one time, when my sister was having a particularly atrocious time, I sent her a care package consisting of moisturiser, a bottle of one of her favourite perfumes and some pretty hair ornaments.  My message went something like this.  Yes dearest R, you are wading up to your neck in manure right now.  And there’s nothing I can do to make that better for you.  But even in the midst of disaster, you can still have lovely skin, smell pretty and have a bit of bling happening.  You can still care for yourself.  (This may account for the size of my earring collection.)  What I uncharacteristically didn’t send her was a book.  

Another friend sent me a quote about books this morning which expresses exactly my wonder of them and adoration for them.  Here it is.  ‘What an astonishing thing a book is.  Its a flat object made from a tress with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles.  But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years.  Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.  Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding people together who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs.  Books break the shackles of time.  A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic. – Carl Sagan.

So this is why I perpetually buy books, and perpetually give books.  Because I am bestowing the gift of creativity and wonder.  These two qualities are the antidote for heartbreak, and the invitation to a richer, fuller and more delightful life.


Treading in furballs

Yep.  It’s that kind of day.

42 degrees and a searing wind from the west.  Being a Swan River Girl, I grew up accustomed to the westerly being a sanity saver that would drop the ground temperature by several degrees.  Roll on the Fremantle Doctor.  It might be strong but sadly it won’t reach me here, with my overcooked brain not coping with very much at all.

This morning, I was woken by the dulcet tones of the Iron Paw hurking up fur balls at 5.21am (non daylight savings time) precisely. I managed to limit the result to the tiles rather than the carpet.  But then I went back to bed, and when I awoke from one of those half in/half out of sleep eerie dreams and headed for the loo, I trod in it.

I slunk off to my local cafe in Watson to attempt to get the day off onto a better note.  This failed, primarily because the ipad decided to have smoko.  So I was unable to prepare for my lesson and had to, most uncomfortably, wing it.  So, it seem ironic that I should begin my blog with a declaration of my undying devotion to paper.  It will never need to have a Bex and a good lie down.

I rushed home from my lesson to wait for the tradie to come and measure for some work done on my house.  While feeling sorry for anyone attempting to work outside on a day like today, I still fundamentally object to being made to wait for an hour and twenty minutes past the appointed hour.  No phone call, no nothing.  Its rude and unkind and disrespectful, and the normal behaviour here.  A la the blind people, who took six weeks to answer the fairly simple question ‘When will my blinds be ready?’.  They rang on Wednesday afternoon to say that they’d be there the next morning, expecting that I would be able to drop everything to suit their own convenience.

So, just putting it out there….I am sick of shitty customer service, and that Canberra is rife with it.  

PS: Why does the Iron Paw want to snog in weather so foul???

This time last year…

I was all dressed up, waiting for the funeral parlour’s limo.  Only the second limo ride in my life (the first was the same funeral parlour) and so they will be forever associated with unhappiness.  Burying your parents is an unsavoury task, to say the least.  The world you inhabit after is squidgy like rotten oranges, or like termites have been at your structural timbers.

So to start a blog today of all days, the first anniversary of Dad’s funeral (and as it turned out their wedding anniversary), is my act of faith.  I’m saying to myself, as much as to you, that squidgy oranges and savaged timbers make compost in which to grow a kinder, gentler, more vibrant, creative and happy new life.

That’s the plan anyway.