Not Sleeping

It is after midnight and I am awake, I blame it on the two coffees.  What possessed me to ingest two coffees before bed?  It could potentially be a precursor to some form of insanity.  Sleepless nights being one of those subtle indicators of impending issues of mental instability.

I have run out of ways to fill the empty void created by my inability to close my eyes and enter the land of sweet dreams and REM.  I finished reading the novel I have been meandering through for the past few weeks, I have browsed facebook, ogled instagram, tiptoed through twitter and I even jumped into minds to see how the new platform is developing.  I showered, meditated and got myself a drink and a bite to eat and now I have woken the dog.20180819_193154

For weeks I have been meaning to get onto the keyboard and post something on this blog, but there is always something more important to do, paid work, weeding, housework, grandchildren to nurture, animals to feed, husband to entertain and netflix to watch.  Life seems to be so full of things to do and places to be, in theory there is a reasonable balance of rest, relaxation, stress and work. In practice it feels more like a seesaw in motion than a balanced scale

In the last few weeks I worked out how to access this blog from my tablet and a few months ago I realised I could blue tooth my nipple pink keyboard to the tablet.  equipped with this not quite cutting edge technology I am now able to type in comfort from my bed, any time of the day or night without putting pen to paper.

The dog has hidden her head and is once again sleeping soundly.  Lucky bitch.  My left hand is aching from lack of keyboard practice, my brain is still buzzing from the evening caffeine hit.  I have so much I would like to get done tomorrow, so little I have to do, so much I should do, and if I don’t get to sleep soon so much I wont feel like doing. Isn’t it always the way.

I would like to clean the house and wash the sheets, the mother in law is coming, I want to rake up the honky nuts and weed the gardens.  I would love to clear some tracks through the block so we can enjoy the wild flowers, pull the non native intruders from the front verge and take the dog for a walk.  Most of all I would aspire to approach these challenges with enthusiasm and energy.  How can I do that when I am not sleeping?

Being awake at night doesn’t bother me like it does some people, it helps that I don’t have to work tomorrow.  However t20180819_1200181he hung over feeling the next day is unpleasant and does not lend itself to getting things done..  I think it is time to pull out the big guns, I am off to get some warm milk and honey.

catch you on the other side.

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App to the rescue

Well wasn’t that an eventful night?  In a state of stress induced insomnia, I managed to find a “google app” which knew the location of all my devices .  The app allowed me to send a message and phone number to the lock screen of my newly replaced Samsung S something or other.  The poor chap that  picked up the phone couldn’t do anything except phone the number I had sent.

So after much palaver and bother; phoning to cancel cards, reporting  to the police, learning how to use google remote access, posting to the local buy and sell and blogging my general dislike for the contents of my wallet.  The wallet, phone and cards were found safe and sound  in the hands of a technologically illiterate  man with a bung eye, two dogs and a demented mother.   Of course I rewarded him with free range eggs and cash.

The trek into town to order new cards, access some cash and pick up the phone and wallet was not on my agenda for today.  But since the days have been humid and its hard to do much when heat induced apathy sets in. It struck me I could use this unplanned trip as an opportunity to air the cobwebs from my favourite toy.

And I did. And now I lay on the dog blanket in the shade at a park by the sea, salt spray drying on my fingers typing one fingered on my tablet.  Tossing up between taking the SUP board out for another paddle or going to the Samadhi Cafe for lunch.

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Still later in the afternoon after a second paddle I am enjoying coffee, salad and juice, editing my blog and contemplating a trip to the prepper shop for a browse.  Don’t for a minute think this is a normal day for me. You wouldnt beleive how  much life has changed since I set up this page.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Dear Blog

20170217_194824Forgive me readers , it has been months, in fact years since I last posted.  The excuse is that life has become so busy that I haven’t had the opportunity.  It’s a bit of a shame because on the surface this would appear to have set my career as an eccentric novelest back significantly.  However I have been particularly busy living and there have been significant changes in my lifestyle.  On the surface  these changes do not appear to be leading in the direction of my aspirations, however they have provided me with many moments and will no doubt potentially assist me in getting to where ever I am going.

However today I am Blogging because I lost my phone … again!! Not just my phone this time, but also my wallet and cards.  I feel nauseous, anxious, frustrated and angry, not just about what I have lost, but that I need these things in the first place.  It weighs heavy on my mind that I carry so much “stuff” in my wallet and that this “stuff” I carry is so important that loosing it makes me feel physically sick and emotionally drained.  I know that I am forgetful and I get distracted easily and I wish I did not feel the need to carry such valuable cargo with me wherever I go.

I begrudge being constantly available and contactable through my phone, email and facebook.   I allow myself to be distracted by acquiring information,  pursuing pseudo social interaction, and keeping up to date with news and events?  Why does it leave me feeling so empty and unfulfilled and tired?

It makes me anxious carrying access to all my hard earned wealth (such as it is). Yet when I don’t have my cardsthere is always something I should, could or would have bought, something I really need or something I should be getting.  I have more money than I have ever had yet it never seems enough and spending leaves me empty unfulfilled and nauseous.

Once upon a time I thought of myself as a bit of a free spirit, I would do things spontaneously and some might even say recklessly.  Now I barely leave the house without my drivers licence (in case the traffic police stop me), my medicare card (in case I need a doctor), and any number of loyalty cards (in case I need to spend some money).

When did I turn into this person with 15 loyalty cards in her wallet?   How did I allow myself to get sucked into the soul sucking void of social networking ?  Why does money “burn a hole in my pocket”?  What is it about the contents of the missing wallet that make me wish I didn’t so desperately want them back?

burqa or bikini

I have been considering this topic with frequency over the cooler months following a number of unpleasant experiences with sun and flies last summer.  Now I am back in the hot, the fly season is starting again and this topic becomes more than just a thought, it becomes an issue which requires action.

Over the past weeks I have been attracting one fly at a time.  One unwanted hitchhiker who feels obliged to join me on my cycling journey.  He has a habit of landing on my lips, flirting with my nostrils and banging against my glasses.  Obviously looking for a nice mucous membrane to quench his thirst.  Despite this minor inconvenience it has been warm and sunny here in Derby and my skin is gaining a healthy looking cooper glow.  However in my efforts not to offend others I have been unable to expand the area of this glow. The main reasons being my less than pert aging curves, the presence of children and families at the swimming pool and the age-old truth that distance from water turns a bikini from swim wear to underwear.

In considering this issue I have three points to keep in mind:
1. I am not a big fan of the net over the hat idea, although I have no doubt it is effective (and don’t even go there with the corks on the hat option).
2. I  have issues with spraying myself with the equivalent of agent orange to discourage unwanted guests.
3. Due to our family history I have some concerns about the effect of sun damage on my poor long-suffering cleavage, shoulders and back.
4. I am a fan of getting as much as possible an all over healthy glow and this can be difficult when the pale coloured midsection rarely sees the sun.

Giving it a lot of thought over the winter months I came to the conclusion that this is not a new issue and it is likely that the solutions to my problems already exist. This is when I realised that it has been in my face all the time.  What I need is something made of loose cotton which flows loosely over my shoulders and cleavage with fly mesh over the face.  Something which gives me enough anonymity to that it doesn’t matter how far from the water I am or what people think of my body shape.

What I need is not just a scarf, niqab, sarong or veil but what is known in some other countries where there is excessive sunshine and flies as a Burqa – to wear with my bikini.  From what I have read these are worn for religious reasons and this would not sit well with a bikini – but from where I am sitting there are practical reasons to wear one and if the flies and sun become a more significant issue then the full body covering hijab, saree or thin cotton onsie may also come in handy

Burqu or bikini?  Why do we wear either of these items, are they for our men or for ourselves, for practical purposes, to conform to societal norms or for religious reasons? What happens when our desire to wear what we want offends others?   Would you walk around with me wearing my burqu and bikini?  In conclusion I have more questions than answers but it has certainly made me think.

 

*** By the way have set about designing my prototype burqu with the limited resources I have at my finger tips here in Derby.  The time I spend writing of its existence is of course delaying its eminent arrival (procrastination) but when my bright, airy, ozkiwi version of the Burqu is ready for its grand-reveal a photo will be posted to complete this blog. I suspect however  that the burqa and bikini will  only come out for private gardening and sun bathing and is not for public consumption.

 

Up North

I know that thinking about writing isn’t the same as actually putting pen to paper but if it is the thought that counts then we really should take into account that I have thought a lot about blogging.  Over the past year I have managed to think about writing frequently, particularly while riding my bike, paddling my board and rowing my kayak.

Thinking, imagining, reviewing, and reassessing have been big for me this year, even though I have tried hard to avoid them.  Despite feeling like I have been treading water,  life has been meandering, flowing and drifting around me seeking new direction and I have unsuspectingly been floating along for the ride.  For those who don’t already know, I am currently working in rural Australia,  Les and I are engaged and moving to the country, I am expecting my first grandbaby – daughter, and I am going home to NZ to visit for the first time in two years.

Much to my surprise life is pretty amazing.  Starting with the here and now, I am amazed I finally got my shit together.  I said I would do this and now I have.  I applaud myself because I have finally started my first short term rural nursing contract.

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So here I am, in Derby, if feels surreal.  Last time I was up this way I was 22, newly married, fit, young, reckless, full of energy and ideals and broke.  I don’t feel much different now, but I must be more worldly and wise.  I have wrinkles, a midlife muffin top, my joints ache and I do things in my own time but thankfully my bank balance looks healthy.  I don’t know what the future holds, but like last time I feel unusually content with the new plans and new beginnings which await.

Here there is nothing but time to think and write,  life has a timeless feel.  There is less to do and more time to do it.  The people seem friendlier although perhaps it is me that is friendlier knowing I don’t have to spend time with these people into the foreseeable future. I can’t help but feel that the transient-ness of this experience enables me to feel more comfortable and at ease with situations which would normally evoke anxiety and distress.  This experience seems to be providing me an opportunity to find a confidence that normally eludes me.

My camera and bike are invaluable, I am grateful to be fit and healthy enough to make good use of them.  The scenery and the environment are unique and accessible this is an excellent opportunity to capture and share images of this wonderful space.  The mixed blessings of computer, phone and tablet make this blog and regular contact with my loved ones possible and make it easier to be here.

Time will no doubt tell how I feel about this experience at the end of the eight weeks. But for now as I enjoy my days off, life feels warm and pleasant and I am looking forward to what I hope will be the first of many uniquely enjoyable outback experiences.

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Conspiracy theories and political correctness

Buying into and fostering intolerance on the basis of religion is not about bigotry or racism it is about inciting disharmony …. it is about power and wealth creation for people who really don’t care about religious beliefs or the human cost of war.

We are just another set of variables on a global spread sheet.

Our differences are being exploited as a weakness when embracing diversity should be our strength.

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summer sun, summer fun

SUMMER SUN, SUMMER FUN

There is something about summer, the smell of baking concrete, melting tanning lotion and evaporating chlorine.  The taste of salt, the texture of sand, the heat of sunshine.   The prospect of long days at the beach or by the pool, cool drinks, iced cream, barbecued sausages and the  company of friends and family.

Heralded in by the pantomime of Christmas and the inebriation of New Years Eve  summer shimmies and shimmers on to the main stage, bringing with it cloudless sky’s and friendly smiles.  As the weather warms, the holiday makers congregate close to the oceans where the sun comes into its own.  They bring with them the promise of holiday adventure, swimsuits and sunscreen, buckets and spades, tents and Caravans.DSC_0045

Initially they congregate as families and mates, then under the relaxed power of summer, barriers erode. Tweens, teens, children and adults find their equals. Surfers, boaters and fishers slip into the ocean at ungodly hours.  Readers, swimmers and beach combers relax closer to shore.  Singles seek other singles and parents share parenting responsibilities. Gradually the population warms to summers magical promise.  Long days and even longer  soul-searching, secret-sharing  nights.

Summer smells and tastes evoke memories of summers passed .  The memories inspire hope even when life is at its most challenging and lonely.  A reminder of how good life can be when the sun comes out and life stops making demands.

Thanks to my parents and my Aunt and Uncle (Zan and Allan) for the many wonderful summer memories.

goodbye negative voices – hello success

drifting on the canal
There was a fickle wind blowing as I paddled across the estuary this morning. There were no white tips, just a slight heaving as if the ocean was taking a deep breath and exaggerated ripples where wind and tide collide. I pushed, pulled and paddled my way towards the early morning traffic on the old Mandurah bridge. I took pleasure in the feeling of my core muscles tensing and my shoulders straining. This is exhausting, this hurts, this feels great, I feel alive.

Then I ponder what it would be like to have a “real Kayak” and to be good enough to enter races. Knowing that this is nothing more than a thought. Knowing that I have never taken anything to the next level. Knowing that I have never felt good enough.

Where do these thoughts come from, my love of the outdoors, my mixed feelings about exercise, my belief that I will never succeed? Realistically these idea’s have developed over many years and I have been influenced by many people. A feeling of resignation and mild frustration comes over me, nothing can be done to change the past, but I can make changes in the future.

In the last year I have been Kayaking regularly, not every day just once or twice a week maybe more some weeks maybe less other (especially in the winter).

You remember the clumsy, awkward, unco-ordinated girl, that was me. The person who will give anything a go, often more than once, but always seems to make it look hard. I am the person who watches everyone else get up and water-ski on their first try. While I humiliate myself by flailing through the water on my bum three times, manage a standing crouch once and face plant dramatically as a finale. I have been encouraged to persevere but have always felt that I was taking time away from those who could actually achieve.

The past year has taught me something important. I can successfully achieve if I have the motivation to consistently make the time to practice.

It is with poise that I enter my kayak, most times, now. In a moderate wind I am able to paddle almost effortlessly. By doing it on my own, in my own time and pace I have actually started to develop a skill. It will take a while to become an expert, to improve my technique and speed, but I am getting better every day.

The trick has been to stop comparing myself to everyone else and to ignore other peoples negative opinions. Repeatedly over the years these two things have stopped me even trying. Even the negative voices in my own head had become a force to be reckoned with.

As I skimmed over the waves with muscles aching and a smile on my face I knew that I had finally turned a corner, and as I literally turned the corner and braved a cross wind on the last straight before home I knew that I would be successful.

If loving makes me a lover – then writing makes me a writer

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In two years I will be fifty years old.  It is midlife crisis time and I really need to get a move on.  On my bucket list, there are no specific places I want to go or specific adventures I want to have.  There are however a number of things I would happily give a go and a number of places I have always wanted to visit.  But I have always been the sort of person who lets life guide me, I am more of a passenger than a driver, and this isn’t something I want to change dramatically.

Feeling restless with a sense that I am running out of time.  I am finally ready reassess the way I have always done things, because apparently if you keep doing things the way you have always done them, then things … hmmm… well whatever. Needless to say if I want things to change in my life then I need to make changes. If I am going to become the sort of person who meets interesting people, visits exciting places and does incredible things, then I need to start becoming a person who does things, rather than a passenger who is just along for the ride.

No doubt over the following weeks my goals and the changes I am making will become more apparent, but today with the first posting of my first blog, the change to be highlighted is that I am giving myself the opportunity to write creatively. I am ready to embrace my randomness irrelevant what anyone else thinks and irrelevant of whether anyone else is interested.  It is just important that I take this step and write regularly… because I always wanted to be a writer when I grew up and at nearly fifty it is finally time to grow up and write.