Sunday, January 12, 2014

A blog about blogging

Someone, a social researcher perhaps, or maybe a psychologist, could easily, if they could be bothered gauge my level of job satisfaction by the number of scratchies I buy.  There is a direct correlation that would appear lovely on a graph. Job satisfaction down - gambling on three matching  pictures being revealed up.

More difficult to predict is my blogging behaviour. Oh, my poor neglected blog. Does anybody who is a nobody blog anymore? Apparently vinyl sales are up 75 per cent and CD sales are down 7 per cent. Who could have predicted that 15 years ago?

Is it time to move on, reinvent, regroup, reassess?

So far buying scratchies has not been effective in changing my life. I might has well blog while I am waiting for the money to roll in.

Friday, October 11, 2013


The dream went like this: My phone rings and I look at the screen and see an inspirational quote. Before I can read it, or begin to wonder why and how it is there, the phone rings. It is someone calling to wish me a happy birthday.

I have no idea who I am talking to. I think I should know. I ask discreet questions, like a detective to try and work out who I am talking to.

The phone call ends and I am none the wiser.

My subconscious leads me to clarify a vague discontentment I have been grappling with, something about my connectedness, about my lack of connectedness, about my loneliness.

I am a confident introvert. I learned to be a confident introvert after starting my life as shy. In my early 20's I had distressing reoccurring dreams about phone calls. I needed to make a call, but the phone call always went wrong, the numbers wouldn't dial, the connection was bad, I couldn’t communicate.

Life forced me into challenging social and work situations, and being an introvert, I pondered and problem solved and one day someone said to me, "I wish I was confident like you." I had succeeded in appearing socially competent - confident even. I taught myself skills.  I developed abilities with the necessary tools.  I can start a conversation with almost anyone and find myself more frustrated with others' inability to communicate then my own.

I overcame shyness but essentially people are not really my thing. I recognise I need them, I like nearly all of them, I can find myself enjoying their company, I love a select few, but really give me a book or a garden to weed and I am just as happy.

Facebook, in those early heady days of playing parking games with my neighbours, finding long lost school friends, knowing what was happening in my friends' lives without actually seeing them, was a revelation. It suits introverts like me who can choose when to engage, or be the voyeur.

Facebook morphed and grew, it threw adds at me, trollers, inspirational quotes, videos, it changed and I journeyed with it, secure in the notion that there was a world going on and I was part of it.

The floods came in 2011 and people clung to each other in a shared experience and then fissures appeared just as the disaster recovery literature said they would. I broke a little and was repaired with tiny flaws that were new to me. I have retreated. I have been duped by the smiling faces in profile pictures, the status updates, and the busy-ness on my iPad, into thinking there are people in my life, when I don't really know most of them.  I don't know what makes their hearts' sing; I don't know what worries keep them awake at night.

I see the people I consider my friends less now than I ever did, though I see a photo of them every day, and most days I might see something they have written about their lives. Or perhaps an inspirational quote they like.

So, I decided yesterday to go cold turkey. What would happen if I did not look at Facebook for a week? Would I really miss anything?

I met a friend for coffee this morning, an event separate to my decision.  She is not a Facebook user. I haven’t seen her in three, maybe four months. She had important news to tell me. She struggled. It wasn’t news she wanted to tell.

The wind is restless today. The sun comes and goes and lights my garden in a damp way that is both transient and fresh.

I don't know what has happened on Facebook since 8pm last night, but I bet someone's status update says, "It's windy."

Monday, December 05, 2011

Patches Beach

During Work Safe Week our team received the usual list of stress relief remedies.  Boy, do we need them at times.

One piece of advice I don’t remember seeing before was to have an object that reminded you of something good and peaceful nearby.  I think in the past I would have dismissed this notion.  But that was before the stone.

In the first week of January my family rented a house at Patches Beach.  On the beach, in the middle of nowhere, the weather was crappy.  We walked the dogs on the beach, watched lots of DVDs and my daughter and I repainted our nails everyday – testing out the nail polishes she got for Christmas.

All, in all a very quiet and relaxing holiday was had.

The beach was home to some nice flat smooth rocks.  As a gift back to the house and its future occupants, we used nail polish to paint ‘Patches Beach’ on a rock and left it behind.  I also bought one home with me.

Then hell broke loss.  Literally, the day we came home the flooding began.  Then the rebuilding began.  The long, long days.

Somehow, clutching my smooth painted stone brought back the relaxing quiet holiday.  It was possibly the only relaxing week we have had all year.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I can touch my toes easily.  Not a second thought.

Inflexible people are frustrating.  Especially when it is an inflexible way of looking at the world, or an inability to do things differently.

So, I have no oven.  It died an untimely death.  Actually, its pretty old so death was where it has been heading for some time.  My kitchen is old.  Early eighties green laminate with wood veneer chipboard that is flaking at the edges.  Essentially a new oven before a new kitchen is planned is silliness.  Inspired by my friend Terri, the best cook in the universe, I bought a BBQ with a hood instead.  I learned from Terri at our Easter camping trip that there is nothing that can't be cooked on a BBQ.  Steamed pudding, pizza, corn on the cob, baked vegetables...

I am practising  flexibility on my recipes.

Not quite ready to try cooking a cake though.  What to do for the Birthday Boy?  Buy a cake? But lets be flexible.  Here it is...the ice cream cake.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flood Stories

I have had a long hiatus from my blog.

The Summer of Disasters interfered.

I started the year in survival mode. Instructions to my interstate visitors: “Make sure your kids know how to wash their hands in a bucket so they don’t get sick. “ My life reduced to this basic hygiene.

The electricity came back and we saw our business in Rocklea under water.  We couldn’t get there for days.  So started the months of rebuilding.

I return to work, 12 hour shifts doing  Community Recovery.  To me, every application for help is a real person, not a pile of paper.  I have nightmares about losing applications.  I am living, breathing and sleeping disaster.

I come to crave normal.  I am told not to expect normal.  I am told I will find a “new” normal.  I wanted the new normal.  I wanted to do regular grocery shopping.  I want cooking and cleaning to be a normal inconvenience, not an alien activity sometime after I have remembered to brush my teeth after I eat rather than before.

People, somewhere out there, other “unaffected” people wondered why we keep harping on, keeping telling our stories, keep talking nothing but flooding and lack of warning and please pick up our rubbish and when will our grant money come through and insurance company has become a swear word.  A seemingly intelligent man said to me, they just need to get over it.  I was stunned into silence.  Would it be appropriate to punch him?

This is what I have learned.

During the chaos, and sometime afterwards, people need to, I mean really deeply need in the way they need water, to feel like they are helping.

A community with leadership is a healthy community.  But then the rifts will happen.  It is inevitable.

Never, ever, start a conversation in this town without first asking, “How did do you with the floods?”  Under people’s skin is still wet with silty mud. And sometimes sewerage.

I have learned to accept hugs from strangers.

I have other’s stories tattooed into my being.  I am living my story.  I sometimes wonder will I ever live any other story.
I have learned that eleven months isn't long enough to stop me being angry.

But I have found a normal.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Make Money Fast (and a little gardening tip)

I have a hot money making tip for you.

Get your video camera and video me gardening.  I swear, if you are patient you will catch a gem for You Tube or Funniest Home Videos.

Just last week I headbutted a tree so hard I fell flat on my behind.  No witnesses. It hurt.  It really, really hurt.  A lot.

Then, the other day,  my hungry slipper got me attacked from behind.  I wore my slippers outside.  I know its, naughty.  They are daggy old things with the sole coming away from the toe so that they have a hungry mouth.

My garden tip, by the by, is to do with trellises.  Instead of having a trellis, I have rigged up some column shaped fencing wire trellises.  I can move them to where ever I have planted my climbing vegies, rather than having to plant the climbers where a trellis happens to be.

Anyhow, I spied some lovely little peas, and thought, I'll eat those.  I stepped into the garden with my hungry slippers and gobbled up those lovely sweet fresh peas.  Then I saw, Joy o Joy, more peas.  So, I stepped over said trellis. My hungry slipper gripped the wire, and well you should have been there with your video camera.  I was hopping around on one foot trying to untangle myself, not squash any plants and not scratch the skin off my calves.  Failed on all counts, and tore up the peas that were growing on the trellis.

I can't say when I might do something stupid again, but it might be worth staking the joint.