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I have always considered myself as a resilient, stoic individual. Give me a day or two and I bounce back from most things, but on Friday I just found that impossible. The alarm went off at the usual time to rise for the school day, and all I could do was weep into my pillow. I knew that I couldn’t trust myself to drive the 40 minute drive to the school. Mr FD offered support, offered to drive me to and fro, but his words just made me weep more. I could not console myself, nor have anyone console me.

I knew I needed help and so Mr FD drove me back to the city to see my doctor of the past ten years. She listened and I teared up and this is where I wonder about  the help people in real need receive. My doctor was understanding and suggested I see a counsellor, and perhaps she could give me something to help me sleep over the next couple of days BUT time restraints meant I had to make a longer appointment at another time, as soon as I could, to do a more complete mental health assessment.

So, if I was deeply, seriously, suicidal how would I have coped? Just gone out and lied down in the traffic?

I am not that deep and I have faith in myself that I will work my way out of this dark spot in a day, or a week, or a month, but what of others who are further down? It is difficult enough to get out of bed and present to someone your feelings and emotions to then experience “your time is up!”

I don’t blame the doctor, and I guess I could have said I needed a longer appointment when I phoned though as I said, I haven’t been thinking all that clearly to plan that well.

To me, it is just a symptom of our dysfunctional society where everything is a commodity that is allotted and priced, and inequities maintained. How do we reach out and support those without resources, without support, without resilience or stoicism or any of the terms we use for “getting a grip” or “bouncing back”? Or is it, now more than ever, a case of “physician heal thy self” – do it alone? Maybe that is why the self-help industry is a billion dollar industry!

continuation on a theme

It is difficult to maintain equilibrium and sanity at the moment. Today the young husband of one of Daughter1’s closest friends was killed riding his motorcycle to work. He was 37 and the father of three small children, the youngest just 4 years of age.

This was a man who danced at our daughter’s wedding, his lovely young wife played hostess at our daughter’s baby shower earlier this year – the centre piece she made for the party still sits on a shelf in their family room. Now their lives are splintered for ever.

No, this doesn’t change my life in anyway. Just as BIL’s illness changes my daily existence little, but it still doesn’t stop me feeling empathy, love and pain.

It was only just a few short weeks ago that I said to my work colleague how serene my life was and how happy I was and now in so many ways, more than I list here, it has unravelled. I guess it is true we can only live in the moment for we know not what the next contains.

Take your moments and clasp them tight.

Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be… or I would have packed the hip flask

Monday Monday 2Monday was one of those days when I started to envy the road kill by the side of the road on the way home.

At lunch time they held one of those tossing galleries where a teacher sits behind a panel with their face poking through a hole and students throw wet paint sponges at them. It was to raise money for charity. No I did not volunteer, one must protect the pearls!

I also stayed away because if one or two of my “favourite” admin staff had appeared through the peep hole there may have been more than paint in my sponge. I reckon I could still throw a mean rock…

And to think I get to do it all again today.

having the last slice

cake 3


Here’s my bucket list

When the doctors give me my final timeline amongst other things I am going to:

Run naked across the Governor General’s front lawn as my protest to British imperialism– Quentin is an understanding woman, I am sure she understand and I will wear the pearls; obviously only the pearls.

Rob a bank – I figure they owe me the money for all their excessive bank charges and I’ll be dead before I go to trial anyway

Update the stick list and get a bigger and rougher stick that will leave splinters when I beat them senseless. Or maybe they already are senseless and that is why they are on my stick list?

Poop on Rupert Murdoch – in a most elegant way of course, but I will eat fibre for the two days prior.

Tell Prince Charles what a bugger he was for marrying a woman he didn’t love and lying to her all the way.

Ask the Pope if he is catholic

Line all my former bosses up in a row and tell them what twits we all thought they were; before I beat them senseless with my thick, rough stick.

Sit in the public gallery during parliament and every time Tony Abbott speaks yell out “’ya mother wears army boots” or something

I can’t print here.

Eat all the cheese I want

Start eating sugar again – what’s it gonna do, kill me?

So that means chocolate for breakfast.

Not wash for two weeks in the peak of summer and invade personal spaces.

Throw my own wake and listen to everyone declare how much they love and adore me, and how they won’t be able to live without me.

Wear my favourite pyjamas all day and everywhere I go – except for when I am doing the nudey run across the GG’s lawn, but soon after.

Stop being polite to people with opposing views.

Order my own tombstone to read; “she died kicking and screaming and really pissed off”.

excuse you

Colleague sent an email out to all staff this week thanking us all for the lovely card, filled with congratulations and best wishes upon her engagement some months ago – that she never received. Yep, she took us all to task for not organising to sign a piece of cardboard wishing her happiness the umpteenth time around.

Anyone want to guess just why she might not have received a card?

design by committee at the smorgasbord

dream 1

Do you ever get to the point where you think, what is this damn well about? All this striving to be a success, meanness, competition, retail therapy and manicured toe nails? All this stupidity and wholeness that we fill our lives with, what is it for, what is it really for?

In reality, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the end. Anyone who has collected a loved one in their urn is aware of just how small the remanets of our existence is!

On our tomb stones, it doesn’t read, Here lies a woman of incomparable domestic talents, coiffured hair, a slim waist, gifted children, a hostess who could who could whip up a four course banquet for nineteen with a jar of miracle whip, a frankfurter, eight olives and a passionfruit and never once drove a cherry pitter into the chest of her mother in law, no matter how much the old bag irritated her. Nope, we go into the great goodnight with just our names, and the hope that we were dearly loved.

This week, we learned that Bil’s cancer has invaded his liver and lymph nodes. Today, I spoke with him and told him to let go with the swearing, the protesting and the railing because life really isn’t fair. Life’s a shit and then you die, right?

Why have the gods developed such an array of ways for us to reach our demise? Why could they not have one demise fits all and just have us wilt away like the flowers in the field? Why do some get struck down as they sit on the their toilets to meet their maker with their pants down; or choke on a bread bag tie as they eat their ham sandwich, which brings to mind the question of just how many people do actually get hit by a bus and so is it worth wearing all that clean, unholey underwear? To be made to suffer discomfort, pain, anxiety and terror seems an unfitting end to our earthly existence. Messy, as if the gods never had a full project plan for our ends – and any woman who has gone through child birth would think that the beginning isn’t so grand either!

Maybe the pantheon of gods heard there was an all you could eat smorgasbord on at Adephagia’s Big Plate Greek Diner over on the corner of Mt Olympus and Thessaly, and they all hot footed it over there, leaving Eileithyia and Thanatos to tie up the loose ends and they did a shoddy job on our births and deaths because they didn’t wanted to miss out on the lobster salad.

Yeah, good one guys. Hope you got ecoli.

Family rescue

Sunday morning, Mr FD and I packed our box of goodies and drove over to Sister and BIL’s house. There we found BIL sitting in the warm sunshine, watching Sister, his older sister and her husband (both about 80!) energetically pruning the garden in preparation for the new spring growth.

We filled their freezer with our meals, and then shared a up of coffee with them. It was, as Hangaku Gozen commented to my previous post, a family effort to say ,“I will take care of you. I cherish you and you can always count on me to keep you safe and healthy.” We are also trying to share the load with my sister.

After our visit, Mr FD and I felt that we needed something to life our spirits a little before returning home, so we set out to have a Sunday drive in the country, which is easy when you live in the country!

The valley where we live is bounded by the Great Dividing Range. Our house is on the very edge of the Liverpool Range. The valley is a very fertile farming area on a flood plain, and the reason why we flood. Our drive showed us just how badly the land had been scoured by the January floods.The rain runs down from the mountains into the narrow mountain streams to merge with the country creeks and then onto the Bremer and Brisbane rivers. A vast volume of water flows down those mountain streams.

We had it in the back of our minds, to find the farm where my grandparents lived when I was a small child, but as it is over 40 years since I was there, and even the country changes over time, I wasn’t able to navigate the way. Next time we shall take sister and BIL with us, as sister being 8 years old than I, is sure to have a clearer memory of the area.

The drive did bring back so many memories or Sunday drives with my family, stopping to paddle in mountain streams and to picnic on creek banks. In those days we thought nothing of swimming in local creeks, today we would never think of it as pesticides and fertilizers have contaminated the waters.

country stream, south east Queensland, Australia

country stream, south east Queensland, Australia

Mulgowie 3

a very odd local who was intent on taking photos of the underneath of the tree - perhaps planning to move in and live there sometime...

a very odd local who was intent on taking photos of the underneath of the tree – perhaps planning to move in and live there sometime…

what the local loved

what the local loved

A distant view of Castle Mountain

A distant view of Castle Mountain

not a Dalek - an old piece of farm machinery now a mail box! Any suggestions what it was originally?

not a Dalek – an old piece of farm machinery now a mail box! Any suggestions what it was originally?

more the local style for mail boxes!

more the local style for mail boxes!

By this time, my stomach was telling me it wasn’t enjoying itself any longer, and with no picnic repast to feast upon, it was time to turn for home, leaving us more roads to travel another day.

Saturday and the comfort of food

wild lilies in the fields around Margaret River, Western Australia

wild lilies in the fields around Margaret River, Western Australia

A little sleep in before I had to rise and dress to make my hair appointment. Afterwards, I went to the supermarket. The entire time it was as if there were two of me; one side going through the motions of getting my hair cut, buying groceries, and the other half just thinking about BIL and my sister.

I can’t do much at this stage, but I can cook, so I spent the afternoon in the kitchen making meals to pop in their freezer. I made a Guinness stew, a curried vegetable and lentil stew, savoury Mediterranean muffins, and a simple fruit slice with dried fruit and coconut. I made muffins for our own consumption. I suppose I was finding comfort in food, in my own way! Producing, not consuming!

Tomorrow, I will take them over to sister and pop it all into their freezer. I tried to choose recipes with lots of vegetables and fibre and as many antioxidants and nutrients as I could. As Mr Boy is always telling me “a vegetable from every colour range” on the plate!

Augie Dog kept following me about the kitchen because, oh dear me, from time to time a morsel of meat, or a chunk of carrot would fall his way, and of course he just had to clean it up! I had the screen door to the patio open and a butcher bird had the temerity to wander into the family room. Well, Augie was most put out and was soon on the job chasing it away! No bird on his patch obviously!

I hope you had as fine and happy a Saturday as our Daughter2 who is spending the weekend with friends touring the Margaret River area in Western Australia – famous for food, wine and cheese. Life is tough for our girl!

butterflies blue flying

Ever since we heard that my brother in law was hospitalised last weekend with severe and unexplained pain not  related to any heart issues we have feared bad news. It looks as though that is what it is.

Last year BIL underwent surgery for lung cancer (life long smoker) and now a bone scan has picked up hot spots in both his shoulders, rib, hip and leg. It is yet to be confirmed by a PET scan, but the doctor has told them that “it is not looking good”.

I am devastated, and I can only try to imagine what BIL and my sister are experiencing now. We are a close and loving clan, and I just want to make this all go away for them, for us.

This is all happening too soon, too fast.