April 17, 2007

Back to work wendy

Day two of being back at work, I'm exhausted already but glad to be back. I'm enjoying the new role so far although it takes up a lot of time, but the initial response has been quite positive.

The second week of the holidays had its ups and downs. I'm very glad that I spent so much time with Lister on Sunday as during the week I got that dreaded phone call from Dee. The poor thing was lying on her side gasping every few seconds and looking absolutely terrfied. We got her to the vet but by the time we arrived her heart had stopped. The vet tried massage, which was sweet, but we new she wasn't in for much of a chance. It was hard because she was still twitching but her time was up. We drove to mum's old house (Ally's now) in the Basin. The house looks so different as Ally was preparing to lease it now that she's living in Kinglake. We buried Lister up in the garden, right up the very back where the view over the valley is stunning. She's along side Megsy and Freddy and has a fruit tree planted over her. I'm glad we still had somewhere to put her. She still looked like a kitten sometimes even though it was almost 15 years ago when John found her with the rest of a litter in an abandoned house. Then came the drama when Ally and John had another of their infamous rows and Lister ended up in the pet shop. Of course she was rescued and became part of the family. On Sunday she had been sulking in her carry cage, she'd pretty much been hanging around in there since they had taken her and Kesha up to the Basin the week before for a visit. So I had taken her out to the aviary and set up more ramps and hidy places and high vantage points. As soon as I put her in she was climbing around, exploring and then sunning herself.

Aaron was back to work on Thurday. I did lots of reorgansing at home after we had the carpet guys in to replace the carpet in the office. There was also some other cleaning up after all the new downlights that other Aaron and my Aaron had put in. I love all the new dimmers and the extra lights. Of course there are more plans ahead!!!

On Friday I spent a fair bit of time at mum's with Dee having a big tidy up. All the things that mum struggles with now, like reaching to clean the shower or cupboard fronts. I'm going to try to get there more regularly.

On Saturday Dee and I went for a walk/hike through the hills near the Basin. It was lovely to catch up properly, even though we were pretty slack and only did the short track.

On Sunday I met Rach for coffee at Knox and when she went off to the footy I went to the movies and saw Priceless. It was my first time going to the movies alone, which is something I've always wanted to do. I figured Aaron wouldn't mind as it was a romantic comedy - not his favourite genre. I, on the other hand, loved it.

I finished the last two books in the Ellie Chronicles - Incurable and Circle of Flight. Although I'll miss the characters I'm glad it's finished - John Marsden has taken up too much of my time and the books are far too addictive - besides, I'm too old to read them and I'm not teaching English this year so I have no excuse. I've almost finished Introduction the Bhuddism and I've bought a copy of the Hand Maid's Tale (at last) so I'm looking forward to starting that.

Best be off and head for home.


April 08, 2007

Happy Hols


I'm currently enjoying the peaceful end of term one holidays but in this quiet time have cheekily borrowed a friend's internet to catch up on the blog. Sad to say that I'm actually missing work at the moment, not just the internet connection, but the truly amazing team of people I work with and our great kids...who would have thought I'd ever say that about year 9s but it is true, they're great.

I've been able to catch up with some of the boz crew a couple of times these hols...many of us seem to be spreading our wings and trying new projects, Katie, Jungy and Mandy are settled in new high schools and Pez has moved up the ladder to uni work (it sounds amazing; pure teaching with none of the hassles of uniform, ringing parents and report writing - but not for me I think) Rachel also has some career moves in the pipeline that I think she will excel at. No one ever stands still for too long in life so I'm glad to have time to catch up and see that the friendships I made over the years are still there even though we are spreading further afield.

I haven't been near the gym in weeks and have decided that food is my new best friend, just as well looks aren't everything eh???

I had an amazing experience yesterday when Lorraine took me to a Buddhist retreat in Monbulk. We receieved an empowerment from Manjurshri (must check the spelling) and learned from an amazing buddhist monk teacher from the uk. He was so interesting and entertaining and made so much sense. To actually experience laughter and joy within a temple was so far removed from my other hideous religious experiences involving temples. It made me realise that there is so much more to this life and universe than what we see and understand at this time. However, I am being very cautious and taking things in my stride. I'm glad that I have been exposed to this teaching though, it has made me realise how unimportant the things I have been clinging too really are. Possessions, people, anger, hurt...these are all just contributing to the delusions of our mortal (grotty) minds. I no longer feel sad when I think about selling the house as it is not important, we cannot take such things with us and it makes no difference if I'm in a modern home with all things that open and shut or living in a hut on a mountain side five miles out of Nepal...its what I do with my life, how I treat all living things that really matters. I've been reading a book by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso that talks about basic Buddhist principals and at the moment I'm reading about past lives and Karma. I think, if this is true, how sad it is that human life can be seen as so cheap, that people murder each other, fight wars, kill their own babies or even take their own lives! To gain a human life is so precious it is so sad that it can be wasted so easily. Anyway, enough of that...this is about our lives in our home, not about my explorations in to various forms of spirituality...that's for another blog perhaps.

Also on the subject of reading (and religion for that matter) I just finished Ayaan Hirsi Ali's autobiography. What an amazing woman she is, to have faced so much adversity and cruelty and to have come out not just a survivor but a fighter for the rights of women and political expression!!! She tells her story in such a lively, engrossing manner, I could barely put her book down. Of course now I need to read the Caged Virgin, which is a collection of her essays and hopefully find a copy of the short film that she and Theo Van Gogh made that led to his death and all the threats against her. Also on my reading list these holidays is Incurable (part of the Elly Chronicles) by John Marsden and if I get time I may go back to reading a Month in the Country.

Well, this blog is meant to be about the house and it has been all hands on deck this week. Our three month maintenance period is up so the house has been filled with trades this week and hopefully next. It has been very exciting, our new (correct sized) downlights look very elegant and the touched-up paintwork looks great. I love walking into the house as the "new house smell" (even better than new car smell) is stronger than ever and I feel the excitment I felt when we used to come and visit during construction...only now we live here. But as I said earlier attachment to material things only causes delusions so I must not get too carried away. I will however be glad when I can start on my native garden as in time it will provide habitat for insects and birds.

I have also had time to head out on some day trips. We spent a day in Healesville, navigating our way around hedge end maze. We stopped in at the new Beechworth Bakery (yay I don't have to drive to echuca now) and also tasted some exellent wines at the cellar next door and picked up a scrumtious pinot gris (perhaps this will be my autumn favourite). We stopped by Pet Penache on the way home and scored an invite (along with Ross) to the home of the lovely, gorgeous and gracious Sue and Geoff. Lou Lou has grown unbelievably, Bandit gave us a most joyous welcome and poor old Ziggy just takes it all in his stride. Sue and I polished off the pinot gris and a couple of chardonnays before the evening was through. At least Max will be happy as we bought him a lovely new futon. Hopefully I will wander up again next weekend and may pop into the Ivy in the hope of running into the charismatic Derek.

We saw 300 at the movies on Friday with some of the staff from Boronia FS. An interesting film, it annoyed Aaron, but although it may not have been 100% historically accurate I did appreciate the attention to detail with the costumes of the Spartan Warriors. I also convinced Aaron to go to the Irish with me where we happily downed some Bulmers and I sent a farewell toast and text to the lovely Jess who was flying out to start her new life in the UK.

What else can I report on??? Not much I fear. I really should finish and give back this connection.

Happy Easter to one and all.

Love Wendy