Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Just how many times can you wake up through the night before your patience starts to wear a bit thin? Fell asleep in the armchair around 9.30 last night so by the time I dragged myself off to bed it was still much earlier than I usually hit the hay. Woke up a couple of hours later which is pretty normal for me, went to the loo, visit to the fridge for a drink and a piece of chocolate to make my furry mouth taste better, back to sleep.

Heavy rain in the early hours woke me again, repeated the process, then at 5am the rumble of thunder in the distance probably woke more than me. Disappointed it didn’t work itself up into a decent storm, it passed in about fifteen minutes, I do like a good storm.

Then as if that wasn’t enough, a little chirper decided to start up just after 6am right outside my bedroom window. It is rare that I am not fond of all creatures great and small, but the incessant cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep at full throttle with no variation in pitch or volume was the last straw. Tapping on the window and telling him to rack off made no difference, so had to resort to opening the window and shaking a branch of the tea tree to send him packing so he could inspire someone else with his dawn chorus.

No chance of nodding off after that, gave up.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Never being one to turn up my nose at someone else’s cast offs, and an advocate of recycling long before it was deemed fashionable or ecologically friendly or simply necessary in order for the planet to survive, I’ve trawled markets, fetes, garage sales, roadside cleanups and second hand shops finding most of what I need over the years.

Right now I am relishing the loan of a computer monitor to replace mine which has been glaring pink at me on and off for quite some time, more on than off to the extent I’ve had very little interaction with the ‘pooter lately. Emails have gone unanswered, no internet browsing, only the bare essentials attempted, so my workmate’s fortune in now having a laptop means I have inherited his 15” monitor until I can resurrect mine.

Mind you, I did have to crawl on my hands and knees and drag the thing from the front door to the study on the front door mat, there was no way I was going to be able to pick up what was definitely big and heavy enough to be used as a boat anchor. I did manage to get it from the floor to the desk though, just, and as is obvious I am back clacking mindlessly away on the keyboard.

Doesn’t take much to keep me happy. I’ve managed to prolong the life of one little monitor and save it from being added to the heap of discarded paraphernalia in the computer graveyard. So much of what we manufacture and consume becomes obsolete almost as fast as it comes off the end of the assembly line, I guess that’s what keeps the economy ticking along and the advertising agencies in business.

Anyway, for this little camper I’m happy with my boat anchor, and if I need to write something important when I’m not actually in front of the computer, well, then I’ll just have to find a piece of paper, the laptop can wait.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


A stuffed radiator in my car caused me to rethink how I was going to get to Hobart and back for Jack Jumper treatment No 2. Opted for the bus, a mode of transport I haven’t used in many a year, but in the end the two and a half hour journey proved to be something of a blessing.

When you’re whizzing along the highway you do notice things along the way, but they’re somewhat in the periphery due to the necessity of concentrating on the job of driving. From the elevated perch in the bus though, and seeing as someone else was doing the driving, I was treated to being able to leisurely take in the passing scenery in more detail.

A maintenance truck coming towards us on the train line, they do look weird when they do that, gorse spreading like a cancer wherever it could take hold, the Poms have a lot to answer for besides importing rabbits when they decided to bring in that pest of a thing. Towering Hawthorn hedges in bloom in pink and white, or bloomin’ hawthorn hedges for those who don’t like them because they block the view. Canola, GM or otherwise, growing prolifically by the side of the highway having escaped the confines of their paddocks.

All along the way Tasmania’s convict and cultural heritage was evident, an abundance of historic homes, some humble, others more stately, both privately owned as well as providing tourists with many choices for where to stay the night. The popularity of historic towns Ross and Oatlands was evident by the number of tables occupied outside cafes as people enjoyed their morning coffee in the sunshine.

Roadside sculptures, black swans on the Derwent River at Bridgewater, including the mother swan and her five cygnets I’d spotted last week, bright pink and red pigface cascading down the grassy banks on the approach to Hobart, memorials of flowers attached to trees and telegraph poles marking the place where loved ones had lost their lives. To top it all off, gazing out of the café window during the afternoon on busy Liverpool St, several seagulls were taking the risk of retrieving the remains of someone’s dropped lunch from the middle of the road as all manner of vehicles sped past. Quite comical, they weren’t satisfied until they had it all, no matter how many times they had to weave in and out of the traffic.

It does you good sometimes to stop and have a decent look at what’s going on around you. We can miss so much as we hurtle along, often with blinkers on so we’re not distracted from the seemingly oh so important things we’re doing. I know it did me good to be a passenger for a change, not to be in the driver’s seat, so I could delight in the little details.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


There are some parts of my life where I have been left behind in the Dark Ages. My little Mazda is still the proud owner of a cassette player, so for my trip to Hobart yesterday I decided to get out my recent 50c bargain from the op shop, Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. Hadn’t heard it for years, so to be lulled by Richard Burton’s rich voice was a treat as I headed south over the twists and turns of the Great Western Tiers. 50c definitely well spent.

The journey down, and an exhilarating walk on Blackman’s Bay beach with a bracing wind off the water, was the pleasant prelude to my real reason for visiting Hobart. Suffering an anaphylactic reaction a few months ago to a Jack Jumper ant sting, a darling species of the ant world which has lethal capabilities, today was Day 1 of my treatment in the Jack Jumper Allergy program. The purpose? To get desensitised so the rotten little blighters don't kill me.

What I thought was going to be a rather uncomfortable day turned out to be something of an anti climax. 2 blood tests, one at the beginning and one at the end, not simple seeing as a search party has to be sent out to find a decent vein any time I have a blood test, and seven injections of venom later, I proved to be a model patient with no bad reactions during the day. Felt like a bit of a fraud, though the staff reassured me they’d rather that than a drama any day.

Only ended up with a significant local reaction on one arm, making me feel like I could give someone a decent right hook, as it is red, hot and swollen from my elbow to my armpit and uncharacteristically “beefy”!

On the bright side, the atmosphere in the Hobart Hospital unit where everyone receives their treatment is a bit of a hoot, and for a while was a bit like Bourke Street with people playing musical chairs and beds just to find a spot to park themselves. With around 350 in the State on the program, and about 20 in and out during the day, Dr Christine Chuter and nurses Rachel and Anna kept track of us all, amidst much friendly banter as the lolly jar did the rounds to keep everyone happy

So, one day down, 5 years to go!!! Back next week for more of the same. Oh dear, what have I signed up for.