Friday, July 24, 2015

shady is smiling

I love this photo, what a cheeky smiling boy, what a life, lying around on Laura Ashley velvety cushions!

I've become the most casual and intermittent blogger, which is not what I intended when I came back but life has got in the way, particularly now I am in Kidney Disease World as opposed to Library World. But that really is a weak excuse - now I'm not at work I feel great nearly every day: I have more energy, am sleeping better and am not anxious about things,anxious about the fact that I was feeling so ill I was unable to commit to anything and even getting out of bed was a challenge some mornings. Now I can be peaceful and slow and do one thing a day rather than five if I feel tired.
I feel so grateful that I could leave work when I did, so I can enjoy the time I have left not tied to dialysis three times a week and waiting for transplant.

I saw the specialist yesterday and I'll be having day surgery soon to start off the arm fistula for dialysis, which is, fingers crossed, at least six months away. I'm actually feeling a lot calmer about the whole process as time goes on. At first it was all I could focus on and I was having near panic attacks when I lay down at night, and quite often breaking into tears with no reason or notice, but now I am really just living and enjoying every day and not projecting further than the next medical appointment or blood test and not getting panicked about future events I can't control.

I've been doing something social at least once a week during the week. This week my sister and I went to see Women he's undressed, Gillian Armstrong's new film about Orry-Kelly, an Australian costume designer in Hollywood in the 1930s-60s. He won three Oscars and did the costumes for a most amazing range of films, From Casablanca, to Some like it hot, Auntie Mame, OklahomaNow voyager, Dark victory - nearly 300 films.

We were huge movies buffs when we were teenagers, and loved all those classic movies so it was great to see bits of them all again in Armstrong's documentary. I loved it.

When I'm home I've been reading a lot - have raced through the first three Mary Russell/ Sherlock Holmes novels by Laurie R King, and I'm finishing off James Runcie's latest Grantchester stories. Also started Roxane Gay's Bad feminist essays. After that I've promised my son I'll have a crack at the first Game of Thrones book, which he's just finished reading. He, like everyone else in the world apart from me, has watched all the series and loves it. I know pretty much nothing about it about from that it's pretty violent and sexy and I'm not sure about it but I'll try the first 100 pages. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

rainy day timetable

Pouring with rain today - not stopping - and it's very cold - six degrees when I last checked. So we are enjoying our rainy day timetable, none of us have left the house except to get more wood for the fires. B is currently doing a jigsaw and J is in bed reading a school book for English which has to be finished tomorrow. I've been going through a pile of art books and taking photos of faces for some drawing inspiration. I also made a new CWA slice - lemon and coconut iced top with golden syrup in the base which has given it a gorgeous caramel coloured bottom. Dinner is going to be freezer leftovers, of which there is plenty. Lazy day as well as rainy day. Very nice.

The photos above and below are from a little day trip B and I took to Barwon Park, an historic property about 90 minutes out of town. It's only open on Sundays and Wednesdays and has been on my mental list of place to go for years. It's a very grand, 42 room mansion owned by the National Trust. You can walk into every room except the dining room, and wander around and pretend to live there if you are me.

The drawing room was EXACTLY the layout of Mr Bingley's drawing room at Netherfield Park ( see BBC Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice) with little groupings of chairs, piano, card table set up, chaise lounges etc. I think I even said "Netherfield Park is let at last" as we walked around. I took quite a lot of photos but being an old house, the windows were quite small and on a winter's day, not much light.

The principal rooms were large and had nice outlooks but the servant's rooms, and even those of the children were depressing cells. The nursery was at the very back of the house down a long corridor and not big.  As I said to B, the servants were probably up at 5.00 a.m. and not in bed until 10 so it was really just a place to lie down in exhaustion. Bad old days if you weren't the wealthy part of society.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

what's currently happening: plus some random op-shopping

Ludicrous as it sounds, now I'm home I feel busier than when I had an actual job. I do something every day. A really nice thing is re-connecting with some different friends that I haven't seen in quite a long time, over a year.  The last nine months at work were so busy and I felt so exhausted most of the time that I was conserving energy on my days off in order to be able to go to work, so I wasn't sociable on my non-work days. Kind of a stupid way to live, actually, and not sustainable in the long term. So as well as pottering around at home and doing nice things here, I'm also meeting friends for a drink or a lunch or going to a play ( last Friday: Mother, Noni Hazlehurst - really good) and putting out some feelers in new directions towards different things, which I'll write about at some point. Of course I am living in a bit of limbo / fool's paradise until I see the specialist again but right now I feel GOOD.  Rested and fresh and positive. Making vague plans to spend a week in Tasmania in September, again, depending on my health stuff. S  just had some surgery to rectify the butchery violation botched procedure she endured at the hands of incompetent staff at a Big Hospital nearly 18 months ago. She is hopefully now going to actually recover, all this time later. Fingers crossed.

I have been in an out of op shops a bit, looking for actual things rather than just browsing. Spending a couple of hundred dollars on new quilt covers or ridiculous amounts on other goods made by people in poor countries for slave wages is just something I can't bear. Also now, living on one wage much better economy not to do so! All the things pictured below cost between one and five dollars each.

Nice little teapots for my Chinese tea

First of 4 liqueur glasses I will buy. Embarrassing scenes last book club when the travelling bottle of Baileys came out and I had no small glasses ( decluttered them all years ago because we never used them)

giant pickle jars I use as kitchen cannisters

Adairs brand cotton quilt cover for J's bed

Nice voluminous cotton shirt for me

Next book club book is the Madding Crowd!

beautiful tablecloth

Quilt cover for S's old bed.