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I was sitting in the sunshine, purring cat on lap and was about to finally update this blog on my tablet, but the tablet is flakey and slow. I couldn’t view the screen to write on when it was vertical, but when turned side on I had about half a centimetre left to actually see what I was writing once the keyboard came up. Totally useless.

Now I’m here (on the PC), I, of course, have forgotten what it was I was going to write, so I guess I’ll write what comes to mind here and now.

Umm…

Life is fine. I still enjoy living in Melbourne despite some loneliness at times. But then I was often lonely back in NZ as well, especially after H left. (The house was way too empty and I couldn’t live there anymore.)  Now, when I see an aeroplane in the sky I don’t yearn to be on it. I love trains so enjoy commuting. There are plenty of birds to listen to and the sun shines way more often. There’s little rain and it never lasts long. I think I’ve used an umbrella about twice and have taken it with me and never had to use it. It does get cold though, but nothing that gets close to freezing. I don’t like anything under 15 deg C so that’s what I call cold and the average here at the moment is 14. They keep saying that Melbourne weather is changeable but compared to the Manawatu, it isn’t at all. There it could be nice and sunny in the morning and then turn to crap. Here it stays pretty much the same all day – if it’s sunny, it will be for most of the day; if it’s grey, it will stay grey most of the day. The weather forecasts are pretty accurate.

Talking of never wanting to go back (in my mind anyway)…  I never completely closed my Facebook account, heading in there very occasionally to see what family members were up to, never staying long, never scrolling through. Then I got sucked into it briefly by a message from FB telling me to upload a picture so friends could recognise me. It’s one of those stupid things that FB says like telling me I should celebrate my friendship with A because we’ve been friends for six years. He’s my brother for fuck’s sake. They keep mucking about with settings but don’t make it intelligent enough to recognise that some “friends” are tagged as relatives. I don’t want to go back to it. I scrolled a bit and saw a mixture of posts from 1 hour ago to 23 hours ago to 3 days ago. WTF? I want to see the latest, dumbarse fucking Facebook. I loathe the bloody thing, but if you’re not on it, you’re not in the loop.  I think it’s rather sad that the only means of communication these days seems to be through Facebook. After I did upload a stupid picture of myself I was inundated with “likes” and comments. The vast majority of them haven’t once emailed me in all the time I’ve been here, even those that I actually did write to (I have been slack on the communication front I must admit). I could be dead for all any of them care. Two of them have visited Melbourne without getting in touch or letting me know. So much for “friends”.

Do I miss NZ? I don’t miss the Manawatu or the place I worked. I do miss my bro and driving through the countryside, visiting him or friends, or the beach, say. I struggle to think of anything else. I’ll visit sometime soon, but have no plans yet.

This arvo I’m off to the rare book fair with M (a fellow Kiwi) which I’m looking forward to. I’m glad she’s come over to live. It’ll be nice to have someone else to hang out with at times. I don’t go to shows because they’re so expensive (so I do miss things like Summer Shakespeare) but there is always the gallery and interesting exhibitions. I enjoyed the David Hockney exhibit but didn’t go to the Van Gogh one, as I’ve been to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam (and he’s not a favourite artist of mine). There’s always something on somewhere – it’s just a matter of getting there.

Well, I’ve run out of shit to say. I still haven’t written about the trip to Myanmar. Perhaps I will. I finished a genealogy challenge so might feel more enthused to update this blog. I haven’t even updated my photography one as I’ve only taken photos on my mobile recently and didn’t’ think any were particularly good. I’m pretty slack on transferring photos from mobile and camera (when I do use it) to the computer. I just did the mobile transfer of five months’ worth of pics. Still haven’t done the camera transfer. I might take my camera this arvo.

Adios, and if there are any readers left, thanks for reading.

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Buddha day, Fed square

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Korean girls in costume, Fed square

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I can safely say I’m sick of cold, wet weather.  Sunshine has been sporadic for the past month or so.  Apparently, so far, it’s been the coldest, wettest spring in Melbourne for several years.  Great.  I shouldn’t complain – it would be the same or worse in the Manawatu.

I am still jobless, sadly.  I have applied for a few jobs but haven’t been able to get an interview as the other candidates were of a “high calibre”.  Great.  I am disappointed in the agency I’m signed up with.  I’ve had two phone calls from them in three months.  I called back immediately after missing one of the calls but by the time I managed to contact them, the position had gone.  Thanks.  Not impressed.  The woman I had before was brilliant.  This guy doesn’t sound like he gives a shit.  I saw a job advertised this morning.  It was for a one year contract at the same place I had an interview at late last year.  I figured I should apply for it, after fiddling with my CV again, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t do it.  The interview had been one of the most humiliating experiences of my life: – a panel of about five people seated around me, unsmiling and unfriendly.  I stuttered, spilt the glass of water, and seemingly didn’t answer their odd questions to their satisfaction.  Just to get to the interview was a one hour tram ride from the CBD.  I can’t go through that experience again.  I willed myself to apply, but then just cried.  I can’t do it.

Some days I’m really depressed about the situation.  Other days I try to think positively and fill the day with interests.  I’ve done a couple of (free) courses online, the latest one being a four-week photography one through RMIT, after a six-week genealogy one through the University of Tasmania.  I am doing weekly blog entries about genealogy.  I have just written another one which has taken most of the day.  When it’s fine (which it certainly isn’t today), I go for walks and take my camera with me.  In the evenings I watch one of many excellent TV series and movies on SBS On Demand.

A trip is planned with the girls in November.  C wanted to celebrate her 30th birthday overseas, so we are going to Thailand, Myanmar, and Singapore.  If I applied for a job, or got given a temporary contract, I would have to say I can’t work for about three weeks in November/December.  Perhaps I’m better off being unemployed until then, although that’s a long time to be without a job.  The trip is something to look forward to in any case.  I feel in need of a holiday.  It gets very lonely being at home all day every day (even with the company of a cat).

I’m rather disappointed in the lack of communication from some friends.  Perhaps they are embarrassed for me being out of work, after my “great move to better things”.  I don’t want their pity.  Some positivity would be good, but I get nothing at all.  Disappointing.  When I don’t get responses to emails or messages, I feel there’s no point trying again.  Isn’t it rude not to respond?  I don’t get it.  I just don’t understand people.  I found an old email as I was emptying an account before closing it.  I guess I kept the email because it reminded me of the duplicity of some people who call themselves “friends”.  In the email she called me a bitch (among other things).  She said as a friend she could say such things.  Yeah right.  With friends like that, who needs enemies.  She’d said some nasty things about me to others as well, so it’s no loss.  Needless to say, she hasn’t been a friend since.  It just made me aware, after reading it again, that I just don’t understand why some people behave as they do.  What did I do?  I’m totally unaware of whatever they think I’ve done.  I grew up preferring animals to people.  Still do, for that matter.

I’ll continue walking my path alone.

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Kalang park, Blackburn

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Friday dawned bright and sunny.  My place of residence doesn’t receive a great deal of light, so it was an opportunity to go out.

I considered returning to Wattle Park and then, perhaps, walking to Aldi from there to buy some groceries.  Then I wondered what groceries I really needed, and that it required a lot of walking.  Then I considered journeying into the CBD to return to the Botanic gardens.  I hadn’t had a lot of success with bird photos there, so looked about on Google for other parks I could get to.  A general search didn’t reveal much, so I then used maps and looked at the green areas close by.

I discovered a green patch with a lake, called Lake Sanctuary, at Blackburn, just three train stops from me.  Clicking on it revealed that it was a place for birdwatching.  That made my mind up.

The forecast had clouds for later in the day so I had a cursory lunch and headed out at 12.15 for the train.  From Blackburn station it was a 15 minute walk to the park.  Lots of kids at the playground near the carpark, so I ventured further in.  I found the track that circled the lake.

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There was a bench seat facing the lake so I sat for a while, and saw no birds.  I could hear plenty – rainbow lorikeets, wattlebirds, magpies, all up in the canopy.  I did see a few magpies flying around, and then finally saw a dusky moorhen and a wood duck.  I was about to get up and keep walking, when I spied a white dot on the opposite bank.  I couldn’t really see what it was – a heron?  I got my new camera out and zoomed in.  It was a Nankeen Night Heron!  I was thrilled.

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The zoom was fantastic.

I spotted a magpie and rainbow lorikeet in branches above me and attempted to photograph them.

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I waited for a couple of women to pass.  They had binoculars so were evidently birdwatchers.  I wondered if they’d seen the night heron.  I walked along further and saw a wood duck on a log, preening and flapping its wings.

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The women were paused at a viewpoint further on.  When I approached, they passed by, back to the track.  They didn’t smile, just looked at my camera.  I thought fellow birdwatchers might be friendly (they would’ve seen me taking photos), but not those two.  They walked quite quickly, so I don’t imagine they saw or looked around much.

I crossed to the other side of the lake and walked away swiftly from a whining child who, thankfully, was going in the other direction.  I was walking slowly along one of the tracks…

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when I heard what sounded like a grey warbler.  Then I saw movement and discovered it was a fantail.  I hadn’t known until quite recently that fantails were in Australia.  It was a “grey fantail” (they even have different types) and looked like the New Zealand fantail but without the yellow colouring.  Unfortunately, it was too quick for me to capture it.  As soon as I found it with the zoom it flew off.  I continued walking and saw more movement out of the corner of my eye and a little grey bird flew past and then a blue bird.  I gasped and stopped.  There were birds everywhere if I stopped and listened and looked for small movements.  The little blue bird, a superb fairy wren, came out to the path and darted in and out of the grass, seemingly unaware of me.  I tried to get several photos, but again, trying to zoom in on it as well as follow it proved difficult.

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It then became aware of me and flew up into a branch and, like many birds, started preening so I couldn’t see its head.

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I saw no other birds after that, but did hear them, including brown thornbills.  I sat for a bit but people passed by.  I double-backed, but more people were around so no more birds except the odd wood duck and a Pacific black duck.  I got one more glimpse of the night heron, which had moved a little further along but was still visible for those with a keen eye (or zoom lens).

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It had been a very pleasant, and rewarding, walk.  I had spent two hours at the park in total.

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One to bear in mind for any visitors.

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I had a wonderful day today.

Firstly, the sun was shining – always a bonus, and it was warm.  Windy in the morning but not cold.

I walked to Box Hill to buy a few needed food items.  When I got back I sat outside in the sunshine with Jasmine.  I took my new camera out in case some birds happened by.  Naturally, as I was prepared, none showed up.  Only when I don’t have a camera do they come and pose.  A day or two before a red wattlebird had come quite close and I could have got some wonderful shots of it.  It wasn’t to be.

I had an early lunch (using some of the ingredients I had bought) and read a book on my bed where some sun was shining through.  I then decided to make use of the sun and walk to Maranoa gardens to see if I could capture any birds there.  I wandered around, sitting occasionally in case some birds wanted to co-operate.  I captured a noisy miner and a young magpie.

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The rainbow lorikeets were noisy but, as usual, stayed up high in the canopies or flew swiftly by.  I continued wandering and sat again, trying to capture some red wattlebirds, and then some little brown thornbills.

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No real luck there.  I took a few photos of the lovely grevillea and other flowers and then headed to the exit.  Just before I left, I spied a red wattlebird and tried zooming in.  I think I got one decent photo.  Still, it was fun, and I was impressed with the zoom capabilities of the new Canon.

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I caught a tram back into Box Hill, deciding that I wanted a new bag for the camera.  However, I couldn’t find any.  Instead, I bought some wine and some curry sauce, and a jar for teabags, and walked back home.  Altogether, I’d walked over 8 km today.

Returned and had a cup of tea and some dark chocolate.  I went online to search for some storage options (I still have unpacked boxes) and a camera bag, while listening to some cruisy music.  No luck on the camera bag – I will have to go into Eastlands mall and have a look around – but did order some plastic drawers which at least look better than boxes.  Free, next-day delivery a bonus.

I cooked chicken satay and rice for dinner and watched “Who do you think you are?” which featured Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil.  Interesting.  Nothing else on TV so I returned to the computer and watched a Polish series called “The Border”.

Fabulous day.

Haven’t written about my Brisbane trip yet.  Will do so soon.

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V from my workplace had invited me for a weekend at her place, which was very nice of her.  We had arranged 19-21st August while she was on long service leave at home.

It was a gloomy, rainy day – pouring at Mont Albert, when I caught the train.  Got to Southern Cross then waited for the 3.10 to Geelong.  It had been a while since I’d been on a V/Line train (last time to Bendigo last year).

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It looked a bit brighter towards the west. The suburb of Deer Park looked awful – houses so close together you could jump from roof to roof.

Further out I saw half-grown lambs.  I hadn’t seen lambs since last spring.  It’s odd not to have seen sheep for about nine months.  I was delighted to see a flock of galahs flying and also some shags around a pond.

We arrived at an ugly industrial area that sounded like Kurayo, but discovered it was actually spelled Corio.  We were basically at Geelong and it hadn’t even felt like an hour.  I had enjoyed the trip.

V met me at Geelong station just as it started to rain.  We headed to a fresh food place in Pakington Street and V bought some ingredients for the evening meal.  She was going to make pizza bases.  I spotted some rather nice pizzas and pointed them out to her out of interest, and she decided to buy them instead – good choice.  I’m all for time-saving.  The houses in West Geelong were wooden and reminded me very much of NZ.  V’s house was no exception and had lovely oak-panelling.  Lovely big kitchen, split level, an office each for her husband, C, and herself and a library with shelves built by C.  It was a wonderful room with a large selection of fiction and non-fiction.

After pizza V showed me some of her genealogical research.  She also had a mini office next to the kitchen (perhaps it used to be a walk in pantry) which was filled to the brim with folders, boxes, filing cabinet, etc of her research.  She had obviously been doing it seriously for years.  I was envious of the space and organisation.  She showed me large sheets of a family tree that an ancestor had drawn up.  He had collected family details in 1870 which made for such a treasure trove.  One branch of her family alone filled most of those boxes and folders.

Saturday dawned sunny but windy.  After breakfast, V visited the fresh food store again.  It was a good shop full of nice things I would love to try.  V’s mother dropped by and it was arranged that C would drop her off to the hospital to visit V’s father who had pancreatitis, and then drop us off at Eastern beach for a walk to Western beach.

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On the way we passed a fabulous old house, known locally as the ‘wedding cake house’.  Apparently it had been shipped over in bits from England.

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Google Street view

It was a cold wind and we were heading into it on our walk, but it was an interesting one with all the differently painted bollards.

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We had a cup of coffee at one of the cafés along the way – this one more of a fish and chip shop, but a nice view.  We chatted about work and her insane boss.  It was her boss that put the kybosh on me working longer there, only to be contrary.  Apparently she was dismissed from her last job (why do these people get employed?).  Anyway, having got that out of her system, we continued on, past the ‘carousel’ (which I just call a merry-go-round).

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The horses had been found in a state of disrepair (with an example to show), which they had restored and made into a fully-working carousel.  I was tempted to go on it.  There was also an old organ there which had, until recently, been in working order.

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Just lovely.

The sun appeared as we headed towards the end of our walk and C came to pick us up.  There was still a cold wind though.  After picking up V’s mother from the hospital we headed back for lunch – a roll with cheese, ham, etc.

After lunch we went into Geelong centre to visit the wool museum and library and heritage centre.  We spent quite a bit of time at the museum, which was hosting a scarf exhibition/contest with some of the scarves for sale.

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Apparently it’s an annual event.  Many of the scarves were lovely and some, of course, quite weird.  We didn’t think much of the judges’ decisions as to at least three of them.  One looked like doilies sewn together, made of plastic, another was made up of cut up coloured plastic straws and another was just skeins of wool in a loop, tied together in about four places (no real skill involved there at all).

The museum itself was well done, even though I come from the land where back in the day there were about 60 million sheep.

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Carpet making

There were reproductions of shearing and other sheds and workman’s cottage, and the three of us (V’s mum included) pointed out old things we had had in our houses growing up, such as aluminium teapots, old tins and enamelware, etc.  On display were three uniforms from the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and we thought the designer should’ve been sacked.  At the end of the tour through the museum they had a reproduction of typical suburban house of the 50s and it immediately reminded me of my grandmother’s house in Westmead, NSW.

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The hallway, apart from the carpet, was pretty much exactly as my grandmother’s had been, with the same layout.

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There was little time left to explore the new library and heritage centre but we headed over there anyway.  The library reminded me of the public library at Palmerston North – a bit of an industrial feel on about three levels with a mezzanine.  I was pleased to see Australian literature was separate from the rest of the fiction.  My local library lumps them all in together, which is frustrating if you’re wanting to read Australian fiction.  Nice views from the higher levels.

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The heritage centre was closed, unfortunately, but V took me up to look through the glass door to get my opinion on the colour scheme.  It was horrendous.  The walls were a luminous hot pink, not at all restful for study.  V said she was going to let them know how awful it was.  Perhaps if enough people complained…

Back home and V’s mother headed off before dark as she lived in Clifton Springs, quite some distance away.  V made a lovely chicken and vege meal taken from one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes.  I missed seeing the rhythmic gymnastics on TV (Olympics) as C thought it was rubbish.  Naturally, he was more into the AFL games.  We did, however, see an interesting documentary on Versailles.

Unfortunately, my mobile phone battery was getting low and I had forgotten to bring a charger (idiot).  Daughter, C, sent me photos of Jasmine on her lap (she was staying over at my place).

Sunday dawned and the plan today was to head along the Bellarine peninsula.  V took me first to the botanic gardens which had been set up very nicely.  In all I was impressed with what the council had done around the place (even though they’d been sacked) – better than Palmerston North’s council in my humble opinion.

After V got her drive-through coffee, we headed to Portarlington (for some reason written as one word instead of Port Arlington).  The wind was still cold but we had a pleasant walk along the main street and popped into a couple of interesting shops.

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I saw a beautiful little bird with yellow wings, but didn’t have my camera.  (Always the case.  If I had had my camera it would’ve flown off.  Birds only hang around long enough for a shot when I don’t have a camera!)  I didn’t attempt to take a photo with my phone – it would’ve been too small to see.  I think it was a New Holland honeyeater, judging by photos and the brief glimpse I had.

On the way to Queenscliff (which I knew of from Phryne Fisher stories) V stopped at a place where ex-convict, William Buckley, was said to have met up with Europeans after spending 30-odd years with local aborigines – a fascinating story.  Apparently a book has been written about it and we both agreed it would be an interesting one to read.  From the coast we could see the skyline of Melbourne on the opposite side of the bay.

On arrival at Queenscliff, through a beautiful tree-lined avenue which reminded me of driving along the shores of Lake Taupo for some reason, V saw that there was a tour of the fort soon.  I didn’t know there was a fort at Queenscliff (and if mentioned in the stories, I had forgotten).  It was lunchtime and cafés were full so after a look in one shop we headed for the fort.  On arrival we were asked for identification and wrote down names and addresses.  It was then I saw some cadets coming out – I hadn’t realised it was a working fort.

The tour was an hour-and-a-half long and included the haunted keep.

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Apparently the windows in the lower section were often found open even though people kept closing them.  Some windows were slightly ajar and the guide asked us to close them.  There were once some archives kept there but a man who worked on them was plagued by ghostly noises, etc, and had everything moved out.  I didn’t see any apparitions or feel anything, sadly.  The ghost was shy.

The tour went past some buildings that had been part of the original township of Queenscliff, but were now in the confines of the fort.

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The higher lighthouse (there is a lower white one to the south) is one of only three black lighthouses in the world, and the only one in the southern hemisphere.

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The tour continued along the coast in bitterly cold winds and the guide told us about German ships and Japanese submarines trying to get through the heads in wartime.  This I did not know.  I thought only that the Japanese had bombed Darwin and got into Sydney harbour.  I hadn’t realised that they, or the Germans, went as far south as the entrance to Port Philip Bay.  The navigable space between the heads is very narrow – amazing that large ships can get through.

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Old naval mine

There was lots more to see including tunnels, cannons, guns, and the museum was interesting, but my phone battery was in danger of giving up completely, so I turned it off.

Unfortunately by the end of the tour it had started raining.  We returned to the full café and had coffee and cake.  I would have loved to have walked by some of the impressive buildings there but it will have to wait for a nicer day another time.  Instead, we had a quick look in a couple of the vintage shops.  I wouldn’t call them antique – I don’t think anything was older than the 1940s-50s.

V continued on through Ocean Grove where relatives still had one of the original old holiday homes (what I would call a bach), surrounded by large new mansions.  Barwon Heads was nicer, but it was getting too late for another stop or walk (the rain had stopped after we left Queenscliff).  On the way back V drove round a winery/restaurant where she had married C just last year or the year before (I can’t recall).  She had shown me a wedding invitation which was in the form of a penguin book – it was fantastic.

A fabulous day, marred only by heavy rain in Queenscliff.  The evening meal was a lovely one of Thai beef, this time a recipe from River Cottage, with wine, naturally.  There was a fascinating movie about Genghis Khan on TV (“Mongol”) that held us enthralled (in Mongol with Mongol actors, unlike some movies that use Japanese actors).

Naturally, a beautiful sunny day greeted me the next morning.  I had a leisurely breakfast and V dropped me off to catch the 10.46 train back to Melbourne.  A pleasant journey back, this time on the other side of the train.

I took a couple of photos despite protests from the phone (warning, warning, beep, beep, battery low).  The You Yangs, although not very high, had dominated views from everywhere.

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I love the cloudscapes.

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There was quite a wait at Southern Cross before I realised I needed to change at Flinders (and the trains were doing the loop not heading my way).  Got home in time to have lunch and see Jasmine had been sleeping.  She enjoyed purring on my lap that evening.

 

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I felt I should drop by. Strange, what did I use to blog about? Now I don’t feel a need. Perhaps it’s because H gave me a diary and I’ve been writing there instead.  It is difficult once you get out of the habit.

I am currently unemployed. My contract ran out and could not be renewed much to the disappointment of my immediate boss and colleagues. I applied for a couple of jobs but obviously didn’t have the required experience. It is a worry but the tax refund makes up for a couple of months of unemployment. I do hope something comes up soon. Do I have any regrets? No. The only thing I really miss apart from H, is being able to drive to my brother’s for a weekend of peace, lambs and Siedler.  I do miss that. There are some people I miss from work but continuing seeing most of them meant continuing working there and I no longer wanted to. Nope, I don’t regret my move. It’s just living with uncertainty.

I will spend a weekend in Geelong soon and am planning a visit to one of my cousins in Brisbane. It costs as much to fly there as it does from NZ to Aus, which surprised me. But it is a 2 hour flight. I hope I can visit Sydney soon and would love to go on an overnight train.  The only thing holding me back from lots of travel is the need to put Jasmine in a cattery (and I don’t have a car).

So what have I been doing? Lots of genealogy while I have a sub to findmypast.  I’ve embarked on another blog challenge – this time writing about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. So far I’ve done the grandparents. I start another genealogy course on Monday through the University of Tasmania.

There have been other niggling things to get sorted: the split-system air conditioning wasn’t working to blow out warm air; a blocked toilet; registering Jasmine’s microchip (which, according to one website, involved a trip to the vet); registering Jasmine with the council (yeah, cats are registered here and I wonder what the money’s for considering she spends most of the time indoors); ringing my aunt; tax return, etc. Of course the real estate agent dealt with the first two problems but it was good that I was home.  The other things niggled at me as they weren’t as straightforward as I’d hope they would be.

I’ve been watching some great TV programmes on SBS On Demand. There is so much good quality stuff to see. I’ve also been playing Sims 2, my only “vice” if you can call it that. I don’t know why I should feel guilty about it. Illogical isn’t it. Why should one feel guilty about a fun pastime?  It must stem from childhood. There were always chores or homework or practicing the piano to do.  Anyway, I have combined my interests in things medieval and non-serious writing by blogging a story of the lives of Sims in a medieval-themed neighbourhood.

I’m typing this on my tablet, which I hate, mainly because there is some warmth by the window here as the sun shines through on this side. My PC is in the spare room on the dark side of the building, unfortunately,  which means it’s cold.  If there are any typos it’s because of the vagaries of predictive text and the need to scroll back to proof-read. I’m now dying for a cuppa so will end here.

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It’s winter, the time of year when I just want to hibernate. I dislike the cold, the dark, the damp.

The only event worthy of mention is the big flood. I feel like I’ve dealt with it already since I added photos to Facebook. I may add later. At the moment I can’t be bothered.

This is the problem lately – I can’t be bothered. I don’t particularly care about anything at the moment. I’ve become grumpy and lacking patience, especially at work. One meeting in particular sent my crazy, but again, I don’t feel like writing about it at the moment. It took me a week to write up the draft of the minutes and the boss isn’t in a hurry to read them over. (She found the meeting impossible as well.)

I finished watching Anno1790 – a very good series and I found the main character very pleasant to watch. Handsome chap, Peter Eggers. I’ve had nothing further to watch. I tried watching the original series of Wallander but didn’t like it and gave up after half an episode. I didn’t care enough. Since then I’ve been watching repeats of “Escape to the Country” and a couple of other shows, nothing gripping, and playing Sims 2. I’ve switched to my medieval neighbourhood and made up storylines as I played.

In just over a week one of my cousins from Brisbane will be visiting. She sent me an email out of the blue (although we are Facebook friends) expressing a wish to visit. I said no problem, expecting her to do so nearer the end of the year – spring or summer. She wrote back saying she’d visit for three days on 12th of this month. How odd! Never mind. It will be good to see her. I’ve only seen her about once in the past 30 years. I know very little about her in fact. Before Facebook we hadn’t said or written a word to each other. It should be interesting.

I had better get back to work, even though I’m bored. It’s Friday, at least, and I can head home and do as I like – probably another round of medieval Sims, which I then blog about. I know, it sounds strange, but I don’t see it as being any different to any other interest or hobby, or different to watching TV all night or writing a story (which it is, basically). The Sims keeps my mind occupied. Winter nights can be long and lonely.

Enough. On with the rest of the day. Later…

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