Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
One of the things that impressed six-year-old me most about the new family home my parents had just bought was that the property had a name (that and the fact that I would have my own bedroom and would no longer have to share with my baby brother). I'd never known a house with an actual name before but our home had a sign over the gate that read Yaraandoo. Later, much later, I learned that meant "place of the white gum" which was ideal because there was indeed the most perfect white gum tree in the back garden. It was a stately old thing with a circumference so wide that it would take three of us standing arms outstretched to circle the thing. We all desperately wanted to climb it but the lowest of branches was way out of our reach. It was the type of tree we always imagined should be home to a whole family of koalas (although not once did we ever see one). I say WAS because although my mother still lives in that home, the tree is no longer there. It was chopped down about 30 years ago and while I understand why I am still glad I was out of the country when it happened so didn't have to see it. In the end it came down to this. It was the tree or the house and quite possibly its occupants. The ghost gum was huge and very close to the house. The way it swayed in tropical Queensland storms scared the living sh*t out of my mother. The fact that she spent her life raking up the leaves it dropped also gave her the sh*ts, but that wasn't what led to its demise either. That type of tree has the nickname widow maker because of its tendency to drop giant limbs. Our tree had started to do just that and for the safety of all it had to go. As one who had sobbed for weeks when Judy in Seven Little Australians had died under a fallen gum, I knew about the lethal power of the eucalyptus tree but still I lament its passing. The sign is still over the gate but I rather think there should be something more like this carving in a tree on the university campus where I work. Nothing can replace a tree like that but something should be in its place. At least that's what six-year-old me thinks.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
While frankly, I can't imagine ever needing a reminder that I am female but I think she had a bit of a point about natural cycles and the need to take notice of them.
Specifically, tides. Not even for a second did I consider the not so small matter of tides when I decided to take the fur friends to Nudgee Beach at dawn this morning. As a dutiful wife, I volunteered to take my husband to the airport at 5.30am. That would a) mean I was out and about at an indecent hour and b) I was very close to the fur friends' favourite place at a time of day that should be perfect for dawn beach shots. It seemed like a perfect arrangement except that it was far too overcast to see the sun rise and the far bigger issue - the tides. A run along the beach would have been lovely if there had been a beach. So it didn't go to plan but we decided to make the most of it and three hours later we arrived home for breakfast. Meals go on a cycle too and that's one pattern I never ignore.
Friday, April 11, 2014
I would last 20 seconds on Survivor. I wouldn't even last until the first tribal council meeting, I'd evict myself. This creature loves her creature comforts. And frankly I am quite perplexed about the whole camping thing. Why, for the love of God, would people volunteer to holiday in places where there are no flushing toilets and running water. Bathing is one of life's simple little pleasures. Whether it be a long hot bath or a refreshing shower, washing away the stresses and strains is a feel-good-for-free thing you can do without guilt every day. What's not to love about a bath? Quite a lot if you ask the fur friends. For the first time today I took the fur friends for a hydrobath and seriously you've never seen such a performance. Pathetic. But whether they like it or not they both smelt and looked a whole lot better for the experience and that, too, it a simple pleasure.
My fur baby Rumple and the visitor Cousin Fed are just like that. They will have wrestles which you would swear are fights to the death which will stop, almost as suddenly as they began, and the two of them will curl up together and go to sleep.
I wish I found clocking off quite that easy. The off switch is a little faulty at the moment and getting a good night's sleep is annoyingly illusive. I'm sick and tired or feeling sick and tired and thus tonight I shall take Valium for the first time. It's something I have resisted by desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm hoping that like the tactics of Sam Sheepdog, a short sharp measure will stop the problem in its tracks and then I can just clock off ....
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
|In the scrum at the dog park|