Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Today it is cold. Yesterday was worse and a bit of a shock to the system, nuthin' I can't handle though in my present frame of mind. It has been predicted to get to 12 degrees today I think. Yesterday it got to 8 degrees on this side of town. There was sleet, but luckily I wasn't in it. Snow in the higher places of New South Wales and Victoria. I let Rufus our pup sleep inside the house last night because of the cold, I hope I don't live to regret it and have made a bad precedent with that. Poor little fella though. Brrr. When he looks at you with those puppy dog eyes....
Yesterday was my first day at the new job. Nothing too hard there. Only about 2 hrs for Mike and I to do the stuff allotted to us. The job is cleaning a school for 2 hrs each afternoon. Not lots of money but a nice supplement to the family earnings just the same, and there might be room for more hours if all goes well. Its funny though, when I went into the first class room the smell bought back memories and I smiled and thought, that smell never changes. The smell of dry paper and pencil shavings and kids. Not an unpleasant smell, not to me anyway.
I have not had the chance to follow up on my pottery yet here in Canberra. I had a look at a government sponsored art facility on the other side of town called Straithnairn. It has heaps of kilns , woodworkers, sculpture, painting etc and looked really great, but such a long way to travel. There are work studios and kilns that I can hire there and exhibition space, but I don't know, not yet. Also run, sponsored by the govt. is Canberra Potter's Society which has its own gallery, workshops for hire and lessons, etc, much better than Wagga club but I just haven't got around to joining there either. That doesn't mean I am giving up, just that I need to make money and look after my family first before I get back into my beloved pottery. I think maybe also that if I get back into my old life style I will be duplicating some of the things that made my life in Junee very busy. And I want to slow down for a while.
If I lived in a perfect world I wouldn't have to earn money and I could play with clay all day, but that would mean chasing a market, otherwise what would I do with the stuff that I made. Or maybe I could go to university to study ceramics but that's not gunna happen. That is a dream.
Years ago I went to T.A.F.E for 6+ years learning pottery just for the fun of it but then T.A.F.E. decided that they weren't for hobbies and they should be teaching people who want to make a career out of their chosen subject. So that spoilt it for me and I gave up going there. I never wanted that. If that had been uni I would have had a degree by then, but where I lived was inaccessible to a Uni, (Urana, nearest T.A.F.E college was at Corowa 3/4 hrs drive away) and I had babies to look after. It was however an escape from my mummy and wife duties for one day a week and probably kept me sane.
Anyway, on to a different subject. I took Mum to the Kingston bus depot markets on Sunday. She had a ball. She went from one food stall to another, sampling and buying everything that took her fancy. We came home with fudge, Turkish bread, wood fired bread, baklava, caramelized macadamia nuts, my favourite rose flavoured Turkish delight, a bottle of tiny marinated figs, honey mustard sauce, creamed honey and boutique cheeses. Yum. Lots of fun too. No she didn't buy all of that herself, he he.
Tomorrow morning I have to go back to the Drs to get the results of my back x-rays and blood tests. I have also been given a blood pressure machine to play with and have had to keep a record of my B.pressure for the week. When I was at the pathology place having my tests done last week I was talking to the lady there and she said I had chosen a very good Dr, so that was good to know.
O.K. that is about all for today.
Bye Love Linda.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

I've always got to start with G'Day, its Aussie to start with G'Day. G'day is short for"good day to you".
I have been having a visit from my son David, my daughter Annie and her boyfriend Michael for the last few days. It has been nice, I have missed them after leaving them behind in Wagga when I moved here. They have all gone out together to see a band tonight, with Mum's taxi service of course.
I am quite pleased with myself at the moment because having to find my way around Canberra has been a challenge to my memory and I have been doing quite well at remembering my direction and street names. Something I have not had to do for quite some time, as I knew my way around easily where I lived before here. I am beginning to enjoy driving around the city now.
I rang my cousin Ellen who lives in Scone the other night. My god can she talk! But I guess that's o.k. because I only talk to her every couple of years. She is on my Dad's side of the family. She is a font of knowledge about our family history and always talks about all that stuff, which I find interesting. Her dad was my fathers elder brother. All the uncles and aunties on that side of the family are gone now.
This Friday past was A.N.Z.A.C. day. I went to the march here in Canberra which was pretty special because I have never been to one here before.
Special because this is our nation's capital.
Special because there were 30.000 people who turned up for the march and ceremony, here in Canberra , a record.
Because each year we see less and less able bodied marchers who were servicemen and women in WW2. None now from WW1.
But more spectators each year to acknowledge their efforts in our countries history.
Special because I saw lots of children, both in the march and doing their bit for the march, like the little girl guides giving out sprigs of rosemary for remembrance to the public.
Before my Dad died he used to get quite disappointed that the marches and their spectators seemed to be dwindling. He would be pleased to see that nowadays ANZAC day has gone through a resurgence and lots more people turn up now. He used to get upset at the thought that the service persons who lost their lives in the service of our country were being forgotten.
I was also pleased that I kept my emotions under control at the march. I haven't always managed it. Not just because of my Dad and my army upbringing but because it is so bloody sad to see the old guys up there so proud of themselves and yet so sad for their mates who didn't manage to come back from the war.
My most memorable ANZAC day was when I was 14 years old and Dad took my sister and I to the dawn service at the war cemetery in Singapore. Perfect lines of white marble headstones, lots and lots of them slowly becoming illuminated by the rising sun. Which in turn slowly made the names readable in the early morning sunlight. Very emotional. The names of unknown soldiers, Aussie sons, many of whom were barely old enough to go to war. Younger than my own sons are now. Which brings me to; the prompt for Sunday scribblings this week. "The Future of our Planet"
You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one.
I hope one day you'll join us
And the world will live as one.
Great words, I wonder if we will ever manage it?
No, I guess not, not while men take the power to lead other men, the way they do into war.
While man is so greedy,dishonest in their greed and unwilling to give in for the sake of peace.
Right oh!
I suppose that might be at odds with someone who has grown up in the army environment that I have. But maybe , just maybe, I learnt some things along the way.
Bye Love Linda.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Today I went back to Junee to get some more stuff out of that shed to cart over here and store in this shed. We now have tools, garden stuff and some clay. I will have to get back into that (potting I mean). Pete and I both took our cars, Pete's with the trailer on the back. The last of the pot plants are here now, plus a couple of plants that I took from the garden as it is dying off badly from lack of water and love. I watered the gardens and cleaned the fish pond which had quite a bit of this algae type plant growing in it that grows in long green strands and takes over. I probably can't get rid of it without poisoning the fish too. I took the red, pink, apricot and blue iris, and the day lillies, even though the day lillies hadn't flowered for me yet I want to see what they do.
I also rocked up to the new hospital and got my guided tour. It is very nice and better for the patients who have more space, nicer environment etc. The staff are tired. They moved in a week and a half ago and are still working out processes and procedures for the new place. It looked like a bit of a rabbit warren to me, but I guess if I had to work there I would soon work it out. That's not going to happen though is it.
Nan came to Canberra on Wednesday, we got her go cart here today. It has yet another flat tyre, a legacy of the big bindies (cat heads) in Junee, I haven't seen any around here yet. She will be able to go to the shops by herself when she gets used to the place. Watch out! Nanny on the loose. When we got home this evening she was sitting on the lounge all rugged up and met us with complaints that the house was too cold but she hadn't tried to put the heater on or light the wood fire, and didn't know what food she should have got. She said she had been cold all day.
My shoulders and arms have been giving me hell over the last few days. On Thursday, especially Thursday night, I was in agony and several different pain killers made no impact on the pain. I know I had taken too many over the 24 hr period and was getting quite worried. I made a Drs appointment for Monday. Surely there has to be something better than taking anti inflammatories that eat away your stomach to take the aches and pains away. I have been on these nasty drugs for too long now, maybe the new Dr will send me somewhere for exercise and physiotherapy. After the little bit of lifting I did today my shoulders are in spasm and it feels like a constant Chinese burn in my shoulders and neck and I can't look down because it hurts too much.
Michael and I went to the job interview on Friday morning and were given the job. We will be cleaning a school together for a couple of hours each afternoon, plus an office near the school. It adds up to 17 hrs each per week. Should be good. A good place to start, the boss fellow said there is room to have more hrs later if we want them. It is also good because Michael and I can travel together so that will be easier for us both. The boss , Brett, will ring us next week some time to give us final details etc. He said during the interview that he was a very good judge of character so he chose us, that's nice isn't it.
That's about all I have been up to over the last few days.
My new red lounge should be delivered next week some time. We are still waiting... waiting. I thought it should have been here by now. Ah well!
Dave our second son, is coming to visit us tomorrow, we have to go to Yass to pick him up. He has a week off work. Annie and her Michael are coming next weekend for a visit.
Next weekend is Anzac day.
O.K. bye for now. Love Linda.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Yesterday we drove down the big hill (the escarpment) to Bateman's bay and had lunch then went a bit further south along the coast through Mogo and then to my favourite little beach Tomakin. I have written about Tomakin in my blog before. Of course at Mogo you find the lolly shop so we had to go that way.
We decided that we would take Rufus our dog with us because he hasn't been to the beach before, except at the river in Wagga, which is not quite the same. Before we left I put his bed in the car for him to sit in. He is quite content to sit in it in the car as he can see out the window. We will try to teach him that the bed goes when we go on a longer trip in the car so he knows what is going on.
Anyway we got him to the beach and he was a bit wary at first but most interested, as always, in the delicious doggie smells. When we got onto the beach we let him off the lead because there were no other doggies around and he was fascinated with the clumps of seaweed lying around so had to mark as many of them as he could manage with his scent. It always amazes me that he doesn't run dry trying to do this. He is so funny. Next he decided that he loved the feel of the sand on his feet and ran wild, around each of us in circles, kicking up the sand as he went and trying to catch it in his mouth. He soon decided that it wasn't good to eat. Then he bought us sticks to throw, which also put sand in his mouth so he thought better of that too, after a very short time. He was curious about the waves chasing him but didn't get too far into the water as it was a bit chilly.
Me with my warped sense of humor made balls out of the damp sand and threw them for him to catch and he jumped high trying to get them but was most puzzled when they disappeared on hitting the ground. He tried to dig them up again but couldn't find where they had gone. I am so mean, but it was very funny.
Having him at the beach with us was like having a child again, discovering new adventures and loving every minute of it. Running in the sand for the joy of being alive. Lovely.
Also at the beach were six of those big kite things, I don't know what the proper name for them is, that surfers use to pull them along in the water. They looked great fun and skim along the top of the water very fast jumping over the waves.
It got very dark and threatening around 3.00 so we hurried back to the car and came home again. One of the advantages of moving to Canberra was the distance from the coast compared to where we were in Junee. It is only a 2 hour drive from here.
I have to go and talk to a bloke on Friday morning about a cleaning job. He has contracts for 2 schools and an office. By the phone calls I have had with him it sounds o.k. and he might take Michael on as well if we are lucky. It is 17 hrs per week if I get it so that should be o.k.
I decided against applying for the job I mentioned a while ago in a nursing home as it is right over the other side of the city and would have been a pain to travel back and forwards to. I better get my resume fixed up for Friday.
It looks like there are quite a lot of jobs advertised that I could tackle. There was even one advertised on the weekend for a facilities cleaner at the zoo. I reckon that might have been a pleasant place to work. But no, I will wait to see what happens with this bloke on Friday first.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Sunday Scribblings.

Fearless... was a writing prompt for Sunday scribblings this week which I always enjoy reading but don't always attempt, I thought I would give it a try. Is this drivel?

Fearless.... nah not me.
I am afraid of.... well lots of things.
Afraid mostly for and of people.
Afraid of failure, of poor judgment of other people,
for myself and by myself.

I am not a risk taker.
Not at all.

But no, when I look at it from another point of view,
maybe I am not so afraid.
I am certainly better than I used to be.
Does fearlessness come with age?

Fearless in the face of the event
to think about it later
Then become a shaking jelly fish
but still with that Scorpio sting.

Fearless when challenged by fear
to prove my bravery
and beat my fear
in front of my children.

Some days are better than others
I challenge myself
to be

Bye Junee.

Today I have been so bored. So I thought I would get on the puter and do something. Here are the last of my Junee pictures.
The picture above is of my friend Brian. the picture was taken at the museum. He is a great character and a big asset to Junee. He was the woodwork teacher at the local high school for many years and after retiring he does a lot of work around the town helping people out and entertaining them. He is a bush woodworker, he calls himself a chair bodger, meaning he makes great chairs without using any power tools, nails or screws, what so ever. He uses old hand tools, and when he can't find the tools makes his own. He does wood working classes to share his skills and works with shaving horses and pole lathes that he has made himself. I did a day class with him years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, I made (with help) a little hobby horse shaped coffee table to use in my back yard. As well as his wood working he works within the church and sings to the oldies up at the hospital and at different venues around town, including sing- a-longs he arranges with the local museum each month. He plays the ukulele, mouth organ, squeeze box and guitar and keeps rhythm, drumming with his hands on the guitar while he plays and sings.
My first memory of Brian was seeing him riding his pushbike to school in the mornings, down the hill outside my house in Junee. He lives probably 15 km or so out of Junee at Wantiool on a few acres and he would pedal in to town, no hands on the handle bars because he was busy playing his mouth organ. I thought that was funny but a bit irresponsible for the students to see, but funny, that's just Brian. My last memory of Brian was when he turned up at my farewell from the hospital and sang to me "now is the hour" with all the hospital staff, and I had to fight trying not to cry. A week or so before I left Junee there was a festival on in town called the "Rhythm and Rail festival". Brian did his woodwork in the centre of the museum, I did some pottery, there was also hoopla, someone sewing on an old treadle machine, which sewed perfectly, blacksmiths, penny farthing bikes, bush cooking and poetry, spinners, singers, bands etc. It was good fun. Part of what the museum is trying to aim for, in calling itself a living museum. Brian also pulled a sulky around town with a fiddler in the back singing the Junee Junie song. Funny guy, he also built the sulky. I wish I had a photo of that.
Brian also got burnt out in the big fires a few years ago, lost all of his workshop and tools but his house was luckily undamaged. He now does his woodwork from the museum.
This is a picture from the farewell dinner we had with the Canassist people in Junee. They became good friends of ours. Can assist raises money for cancer patients treatment etc, it is something Peter has been involved with since his twin sister died of cancer at the age of 28. I am the fat one in black in the middle, Pete is behind me. Michael is standing at the back with the black shirt. The lady beside me in the blue pants is June, she is retired now but was the pottery teacher at Wagga Tafe for years and owned a pottery shop in Wagga too. I have known her for years.
This one was taken at the Loftus. It is an old pub turned into a restaurant and B&B. In my opinion the nicest food place in town, although not the cheapest. It was taken at my hospital farewell on 15th of March. I even had to give a speech. Ha! Me!
The picture above is taken from the verandah of the museum in Junee. it used to be the Broadway hotel and still has a big archway at the front of the building where carriages used to drive through. It is now the museum and downstairs houses a coffee shop and lolly shop. It is looking back towards the centre of town along Broadway. This area of town has been revived over the last few years with the new co-op supermarket being built just around the corner and the new medical centre built on the corner in front of that. If you could see back the other way, you would see the club and new hospital which has just opened since I left.
Here is Matilda Sprite, looking over Canberra from the mount Ainslee lookout.
Straight in line with the lookout is the war memorial and in front of that the bit where they have the Anzac day marches. The lake in the centre is Lake Burley Griffin, named after the architect bloke who planned Canberra. In the back ground is the Brindabella mountain range. It is set in quite a beautiful setting isn't it.
The Canberra C.B.D. on the northern side looking from Mt Ainslee lookout.
Also taken at the museum. The black smiths forge. I don't remember these guys names but the guy in the blue shirt is from the historical engines club in wagga and the guy in the stripey shirt was the bush cook. He made us a yummy stew in the camp oven at lunch time with lamb chops and told me a lot about his travels. He is also an artist and had done some pottery, mostly sculpting.
This was Brian's woodworking area at the museum. It shows some of his chairs. Note the big one with the back rest at the front. He calls these conversation chairs because 2 people sit facing each other and use the up raised bit as back rests. The chairs look strange but when you sit in them they are really comfortable and relaxing. Some of them have a leg a different length so they can rock back and forth. Brilliant.
I haven't been feeling the best over the last 2 weeks. Constant indigestion and aches and pains to add to the menopause symptoms of hot flushes. I think I should stop taking the anti inflammatory for a while and put up with the aches and pains before I do my stomach any more harm. Trouble is without the anti inflammatory my shoulders will seize up and I will only be able to walk for a little while before my hip and leg does the same so I will put on more weight. Whinge Whinge. I am so fed up with this.
Mum comes back soon so I will be able to whinge about her driving me batty too.
I have to stay home today because I am waiting for a service man to come and check out the hot tub / spa that came with this house. It trips out the circuit board when you press the button to switch on the air jets. Yesterday I emptied the water out and cleaned the filters but I don't know how or what chemicals to put in the water to look after it so this man can tell me what I need to do to look after that as well. Pete and I got in it the other night and it was beautiful but I would like to be assured that the problem with the air jets won't get us zapped. Luxury eh!
This house is really good, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, rumpus room hot tub, and comes at a price. But I might as well enjoy it while I can because when we buy our own place again I probably won't afford to get something as good. There has been a lot of talk in the news about the affordability and availability of housing, both rental and purchasing in our capital cities lately. But I still want to buy because renting is so expensive and lost money in the long term. Our house in Junee hasn't sold yet.
O.K. I better stop there, and go and find something to do, oh my shoulders are aching, whinge whinge.
Bye. Love Linda.

Sunday, 6 April 2008


Today was a beautiful day. Sunny and clear, cool in the morning and evening, perfect Autumn weather. Pete and I went sticky beaking around at the sights here. There is lots on to look at at this time of year. We looked at the lifestyle fair, the Hall markets and at the display home village. We only saw one house we looked at that we liked much. The new homes on display are a far cry from what was around just a few short years ago on the housing market. What I really really disliked about them the most is the shift away from having a back yard and a patch of dirt to play in and garden with. The land sizes of the houses we were looking at were all below 500 square metres. Yuk. A distance of just 6 feet between each house and a skinny strip of back yard about 8 ft wide along the back fence. What was nice though was the amount of storage in the houses and the good sizes of the living areas and consideration to heating/ cooling passively. I couldn't stand living somewhere where I couldn't dig in the dirt and plant things. From the lifestyle fair I got a nice grevillea to plant out the front yard to replace the dead shrub I demolished on Friday. We can use the wood in the heater but I will need help to finish the job as I haven't got the dead stump out yet. The grevillea has orange flowers and silver grey foliage it will grow to 2 or 3 metres and is not prickly. No, it is not a monstrously huge silky oak. Should be drought tolerant enough to survive in a rented house after we have gone.
On the way home we went to a chocolate cafe and had a bit of cake and a cup of hot chocolate each. My cake was great. It was a raspberry mouse and chocolate cake. ( No calories in that!) I haven't tried out the oven in this house yet, maybe tomorrow I might cook some nice but naughty cake to try it out.
Tonight for tea we had Turkish bread, heated in the oven and filled with a red salmon, coriander and mayonnaise mixture, hommus, tomato, avocado, onion, and lettuce. It was nice, easy too.
Yesterday we looked around the furniture places and I bought a bright red leather lounge. It is lovely, I have always wanted a red lounge, I love red. I got a 2 seater and a three seater matching pair. I get it in a week to 10 working days. All paid for by my finish up pay from my old job. Which I finally got after 3 weeks wait.
Well that's about all for the last few days of my boring life.
Goodnight. Love Linda.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Today is a cool clear sunny day here in Canberra, with a 16 degree Celsius maximum expected temperature, and it feels like it too. I have had the wood heater burning since mid morning, when I got over the last round of my hot flushes. Ha. There was several inches of snow overnight in the snowy mountains, just up the hill, not too far from here.
This morning I watered out the front yard and divided and replanted some of the daisies and succulents around that are in the garden. I found a few patches of bulbs just emerging through the soil, they look like freesias.
I am really annoyed today to find out that my finish up pay is still not in the bank. Sonia my supervisor from my Junee job faxed the pay office people on the 13Th of march with my details and I have rang them three times before today to see what is happening to my pay. They told me it would be there last Friday, then today, now they have told me that it will be in the bank this Saturday. Pretty shoddy service guys, not to mention very very inconvenient to the person waiting on their final pay. I guess you wonder why people get annoyed at you and the health system gets bad publicity. I don't want to work back in the public health system for quite a few reasons. The most annoying one though is the penny pinching and cost cutting.
This afternoon I have been looking on the puter at job advertisements. I found one for a cleaner at a nursing/retirement home place on the other side of town that sounds good ( yes I know that that is the same as my last job) so I rang up to enquire and it hasn't been filled yet, so they are sending me their application forms. I have been getting a bit bored in the afternoons when the housework is done so it must be time to look.
I have been watching the birds around the area. There are some very cheeky currawongs that have been coming into the back yard to get the left over seed that has been discarded from my bird cages onto the back lawn. I also have a pot plant saucer underneath one of the downpipes from the roof to catch water in and birds have been bathing in it and drinking there. They are not timid at all and sit and watch you to see if you might leave anything they can eat. There are also lots of Indian Miner birds, some top knot pigeons and I have seen quite a few mountain lorikeets, wattle birds, magpies, pee wees, sulphur crested cockatoos and galahs. It is good not to see sparrows everywhere like there was in Junee. The only introduced birds I have spotted so far have been the miners. It is interesting though because the top knot pigeons here are smaller and a bit different to the ones around Junee, I don't think they are a different breed but maybe showing regional differences. I am tossing up the idea of encouraging the local birds by leaving out feed for them or whether it is a good idea to do so as they could become dependant and less able to look after themselves in the wild. Opinions greatly appreciated on this. What do you think?
I have met the neighbour over the back fence and the people across the street, so far that is about all. Oh and the rude teenager a few doors down, across the road, who cut the corner in his car and gave me a dirty look because I was in the way. It is a very small street. I am as yet not considered a Canberra driver as I have been unable to master the art of zooming around round abouts on two wheels and staying upright in my little car. Lol.
Oh and while I am on the subject of driving. Last Tuesday I was nearly wiped off the face of the earth by an inpatient truckie on my trip back to Junee to pick up my pot plants and take my daughter back to Wagga. I am sure he must have been on drugs or something because he was trying to harass me and push me to go faster all the way through the road works on the Sturt highway. There is a lot of roadworks being done between Yass and Gundagi at the moment as they are working on the duplication of the double carriageway between the two towns and on the bypass near Coolac . Anyway there was a truck and another car in front of me and this truckie behind me thought we shouldn't slow down for the road works and that I could go faster than the vehicles in front of me so was trying to push me by running up to within a foot off the back of my car. When we got to Gundagi I moved into the right hand lane of the dual carriageway to turn right into the shops there and this guy moved into the lane with me to overtake, when I slowed down to turn in, he kept coming and nearly hit the back of my car almost running over the top of me. I reckon he missed me by no more than a few inches. That stretch of road is notoriously bad with several fatalities happening in the last few years at that very spot.
Well that is about all for today's post. Thank you for your comments, I always check to see if I have any and love to receive them.
Bye Love Linda.