Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Last Day of Summer

As I sit here ruminating over the fact that it's the last hour of the last day of February - I also suddenly realise that it's officially the last day of Summer for us down here in the Southern Hemisphere.
I feel cheated!!! What the heck has happened to this last month. It certainly hasn't been very summery - in fact most of our Summer hasn't been very summery at all. I also realise that I'm now running about two weeks behind on my "moving plan". Yes, shocking I know, I actually had a plan.

It was quite simple really - nothing to radical or structured.
Plan A went something like this;
  • Get quotes for International move & discover what sort of cost we are up for.
  • Decide what I can live without & what needs replacing anyway
  • Find out cubic meterage from quotes & figure what to sell off/get rid of.
  • Assemble cartons & packing gear
  • Start sorting through 33 years of photos, keepsakes & memorabilia  stuff'
  • Clean items that have been stored ready for listing.
  • Photograph & List what is being sold on local auction site
  • Sort kitchen, pack crockery, cutlery & pans that are going with us, leaving the stuff I am giving away to use until we leave. Ditto with small appliances.
  • Start on prepack of belongings that aren't needed in the interim
  • Torch - play with glass & fire
  • Paint
  • Beat up Metal
  • Torch More
  • Paint more - may as well take some those canvases over the ditch with something on them & use some of my paints up in the process.
  • Beat Up metal more
  • Torch even more
  • Pack Studio
  • Tidy Garden
  • Clean House
It was also a little selfish in a way. I wanted to allow myself March to get some serious torching in before packing up my studio for goodness knows how long & to complete some other projects that have been floating around in my head for goodness knows how long.

There wasn't a "Plan B" &, as you will no doubt notice, "Plan A" didn't involve stuffing up of a rotator cuff, bursitis, the discovery of calcium deposits, surgical procedures or cortisone injections. Ten days completely out of action - & now I'm forced to behave because it still hurts to reach too far or lift heavy stuff (truth be told it hurts to lift even light stuff) among a whole heap of other things. But at least I can type again without almost crying at every movement....& lift up my camera :)

I'm not so sure I'm going to get any melting of glass in, I definitely wont be pounding metal & I'm mightily bummed about both of those things. Maybe I'll be able to paint a little - my big easel is fully adjustable in all respects & angles.

Meanwhile a certain someone seems to feel that he is is more than ready to go at any time....
Nestled among the packed cartons in the garage indeed! Why isn't he packing, or lifting heavy schit.....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lego - It's Dangerous!!

Seriously it is, & I'm not just talking about the one block that never made it back into the box after the kids finished playing with it that you happen to stand on while making a mad dash to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Oh yeah - I remember those nasty wake up calls as the nice sharp angular edge of a tiny piece of lego meets with the tender sole of your bare foot, causing you to hop & mutter bad, bad words under your breath....or out loud, as you stumbled around in the dark trying to find the offending block so as not to step on it again.

Aside from that though, I'll bet you thought lego was cute little coloured blocks that, given a little imagination & a whole lot of time, incredible things could be made out of.... even if it never got to look like the image on the box front ( except for that one time that you spent hours helping to put it all together the first time when fresh & new)  in it's life time again.

Lego is all of that & more. You see what happens after the kids grow & stop playing with it is that it only comes out for visitors with children. The rest of the time it sits stored in it's under the bed size plastic slider bin on top off the vertical freezer in the garage plotting rebellion. Not only does it muddle up all the previously carefully sorted colours but I'm also quite certain that it  multiplies while thus shut away.

In fact it multiplies to such a point that when you decide that you must get this stuff sorted, condensed & packed in something smaller (perhaps because you are moving internationally or such) - you manage to tweak something in your shoulder while lifting it down. No big deal at the time, just a small popping sensation. But later that day the pain starts. 

The next day the pill hating you finds yourself at the pharmacy seeking the strongest pain relief they can sell you....& it's about then that you realise the Lego is not only dangerous, but quite vindictive as well.That 34 years worth of the stuff has indeed increased in weight to such a point that you should not have been lifting it down.

And there you have why I have been very quiet until yesterday. After a week of not being able to move my arm any more than about an inch without inflicting one of the nastiest pains I have ever felt (let alone type, lift my camera, wash my hair or do numerous other things - such as function with any degree of normality) I finally knew that I had to visit the Doctor & fess up to injuring myself playing with lego.... 

He mumbled something about rotator cuff tear & I vaguely recall thinking I sounded like a broken helicopter.

This week has been spent in more pain, sleepless nights, a drug induced haze caused by messing around with some really heavy duty meds that didn't work, having xrays & ultrasounds of my shoulder.  The pain is a little better during the day now - but at night it really likes to party. Let me tell you that trying to sleep sitting bolt upright & having absolutely nothing touching my shoulder is no fun......none whatsoever. 

Tomorrow afternoon that should all be resolved to some degree as I'm having an Ultra Sound guided steroid injection (really looking forward to that) & a small procedure done. Well I hope it's small!! The Doctor has kind of freaked me a little today with his response "It's not for the faint hearted" when I asked if it would hurt. Then again I figured that he hasn't given birth ;)

In the mean time I can't help but think of  an email that made me laugh years ago.The bottom line is that men really are better suited at lifting heavy schit - especially when the lego has multiplied ;)

One Year On

The Governor General of New Zealand", Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae said of Christchurch in his memorial speech today, "We have seen this community of people endure so much, it has been repeatedly tested, and it has not been found wanting."

I don't feel that anyone has said it better than that. There were many speeches & letters from around that world that spoke glowingly & with the highest respect of this community - & it was well deserved.
Those of us that have stuck it out, been here through thick, thin & a whole heap of aftershocks, either by choice or by circumstance over the last year will know what I mean. Today was a milestone. An official new beginning where the only way is forward.

All that was new a year ago isn't new now & even the resolve & resilience is feeling a bit old in some quarters. But after "the year of firsts" that all experience when they grieve, whether it be for the loss of loved ones, a way of life, jobs or homes you realise that life does go on, different to what it was before that moment when everything familiar & safe changed. 

From here on in the idea's & innovations that have arisen from this natural disaster are only going to get better. Simply because us stubborn, proud, bloody minded Cantabrians are determined that it should.

I thought that a particularly nice touch in the memorial service was the choice of realsing 185 Monarch Butterflies to represent each life lost in the earthquake & also to mark new beginnings.

Geurrilla Gardening on the corner of Stanmore Road & Worcester Streets where a row shops once stood.
I think I prefer seeing the cosmos, poppies, calendulas, rudebeckia & such to an empty weed infested section - don't you?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Sumpin's Up!

A certain cat seems to know that something is happening - that a change is coming. I really feel for this guy, the earthquakes have changed him. Hercules is somehow less settled & a lot jumpier than he used to be....& a whole heap thinner. I know he'd be my constant companion when he's here.... if only it wasn't for that darn dog that keeps hanging around his human.

Today, right when I was feeling a little peeved at the lack of a man around to help lift & move the "heavy schit" which it appears I'm not much good at at the moment, Hercules reminded me exactly what use men are when something needs to be done that only I can do because I want it done a certain way (& we all know men have selective hearing) or only I know where stuff has to go.

In this instance I was trying to restore a semblance of order to my desk as it seems that it has been piled with books & paperwork in the throes of 'being sorted' for far too long now. Ok - so in my little world two hours is far too long.....  can you imagine what two weeks has done to my brain???

I'm almost there, getting excited because I can actually see the surface of my desk & have such a short way to go....when up jumps Hercules & what does he do?

Bookish Hercules  5.35pm

Yep, he settles down on top of the books I was about to go through!!! I petted him for a few minutes & not having the heart to disturb him, thought "Ok - I'll go out to the garage & make a start on tidying my workstation" which got landed with a whole heap of glass frit & other objects during our pre Christmas shake up...& I did. The first time I turned away to get something out of the cupboard look what happens....

"I'll get her attention somehow while feigning disinterest" Hercules 5.48pm

And he kept that exact place & pose while I returned inside to grab my camera. Oh the parallels I could draw between this & the human male.....

Friday, February 03, 2012


Last night was a little chilly here.....& it is way to early in the season for the nights to be getting cooler if you ask me....which you didn't.  But hey it's my blog & if I want to voice my disgust at the lack of a real summer I jolly well shall ( all the wile blatantly disregarding the fact that I have spent the last few weeks stuck inside sorting things!).

So while I'm sorting & shivering, trying to arrange for vast amounts of possessions, people & pets to be shipped across the sea, the man is sitting over there in Brisbane talking (daily!!!) of the heat & the balmy evenings. Every time I mention the wind or the cold - I get told exactly what temperature it is there, what the wind is & the relative humidity - the whole 9 yards. Yeah - real subtle!

As if that isn't enough I get sent photos such as this;

The man was called outside on a frog alert & went armed with his cell phone. Now why couldn't a frog have come that close while I was there??

 Later a much better photo was sent through taken with a bigger camera (well done Blake!!!)

The contrast here is the fact that while the mailleman sits outside (while I'm shivering inside remember) looking at cool critters one of the two furry feline critters, who shall remain nameless, here that share my bed has kindly bestowed me with a 'gift' - possibly so that I don't feel too unloved or short changed.

Upon walking into my bedroom last night there on the floor at the end of my bed is a pieces, many pieces. I'll spare you a photo of that & let you use your imagination.
Oh yeah  -  I feel so loved...

Thanks so much Bizkit - I know it was you & have your number buckwheat!!