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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

a slow start to Wednesday

Every weekday since I left work two weeks ago I have been really strict with myself.
I'm out of bed by 8.00 a.m., showered, dressed and having breakfast by the time J trudges off to school at 8.30 a.m.

Not today! Sitting here dishevelled in my pyjamas, unwashed, unbrushed and sloooowwwly starting the day. B had to fly to Sydney this morning for his job and the alarm was set for 5.00 a.m. I had one of those restless nights ( frequent for me) where I wake every couple of hours. The last waking was at 4.59 a.m. before the alarm, so once B was out of the house I didn't even try to go back to sleep but read for an hour THEN feel asleep and woke up properly at 8.

I am reading this:

Number two in the Mary Russell series. It's the sort of book you want to read all the time to the exclusion of everything because it's so enjoyable.There are many more to happy I've found another series to read.

A book I just finished that I did NOT enjoy was Dark Rooms by Lili Anolik. Teenage angst,spoiled rich kids, token Hispanic poor kid, drugs, sex, mysterious murder of a young girl, weak heroine, horrible narcissist mother - I can't go on. If you are 17 and like Gossip girl or similar you'll probably love it, I thought it was pretty terrible. Speaking of bad books, book club met on Friday night and we all hated Girl on a train. Just to cleanse our brains next book is Far from the madding crowd
 which I last read 30 years ago and can't remember any of it except it's the only book by Thomas Hardy I've read that didn't make me want to jump off a cliff.

The other thing I have been reading a lot is cookbooks. Shady has been helping me:

I'm enjoying the novelty of having more time to cook. I made meatballs and sauce yesterday, and am making a Steak and Guinness pie tonight. Just have to get dressed and go and buy my one can of Guinness. On Monday I even made a trifle with some leftover bookclub cake. A trifle! and not even Christmas! The boys couldn't believe their eyes.

Here's a library book I borrowed from a neighbouring library - totally love the cover, also reading about the Bloomsbury people.

I am totally enjoying this limbo-ish period before I go to the doctor again. I'm less tired because I'm not at work. Still feeling like I'm on holidays, really. Doing lots of different things - the old classic thought - how did I manage to fit work in??

 We went to  G and N's new house ( G is my brother) and had a fabulous old fashioned Sunday lunch and then a walk in the beautiful winter sun to the Fairfield shops and had drinks there. Here's a live action shot just before we sat down to eat lunch.

The other weekend excitement was getting a new driver's seat for my car. My car is 19 years old. I want it to achieve 20 years. I am very, very cheap with cars and consider them a total waste of money but the seat was a bit broken. We went to a Dead Car Yard in Kilsyth and paid 30 dollars for a new (old) seat which B unbolted and is now in my car - which is called Bluey if you are interested. It was freezing cold and a bit spooky but I took some photos and it was certainly a different sort of way to spend an hour on a Saturday afternoon.

Friday, June 19, 2015

a catch-up post and a beautiful wedding

You would think that now I've left work I would have all the time in the world to write blog posts, but I've filled the last eight days since leaving work with little chores and calls and jobs like cleaning out the pantry (ugh) and sitting down for a period of time and marshalling thought and words just didn't happen.

It has been a calm and peaceful week since I left my job. The last few days were a bit frantic - the work just goes on regardless so little opportunity to reflect on everything. There was a really lovely long lunch and send off on the last day. I only had a very little cry so I did well. The funniest thing was that at 5.28p.m. just as I was switching off my computer for the last time, a little boy set off the fire alarm, so even though there was no fire, we had to evacuate the library and all stood out in the cold waiting for the unnecessary fire truck to rock up with sirens blaring. Someone said to me "I knew you'd go out with a bang" so it was laughs all round as I headed off into the wintery night.

As I relax I realise how anxious I really was the last few weeks. Not being at work is a relief. At the moment I feel like a total fraud because apart from feeling tired I feel pretty normal and am (almost) symptomless. There is a tendency to want to over commit to everything while I can - classes, groups, projects, social stuff - because I don't go back to the kidney specialist until the end of July, and no news is good news. If I told you what percentage of kidney function I have remaining you would be horrified. Think of a number and halve it and you might be close. This is why kidney disease is often called "the silent killer" because people don't know they have it. I was diagnosed nine years ago because I went to the doctor with horrific monthly migraines which had me in bed vomiting for a day every month. I assumed it was hormonal but it turned out to be terrifyingly high blood pressure which goes hand in hand with kidney disease.

Anyway, the earliest I'll start dialysis is about three months away. I'm hoping and praying for longer. At the next appointment I'll find out when I have to have surgery to make a fistula in my arm to enable dialysis. That takes six weeks to settle, and after that is ready when you need to start. It may not be for months. Fingers crossed. I'm truly enjoying every day I have now not attached to a machine. It's lovely to be at home on these cold days, cooking and pottering and reading. Book club here tonight with my three oldest girlfriends so I am cooking for that next.


Here are a couple of family photos from my niece's wedding on the long weekend. It was a beautiful wedding. Sigh. Everyone looked gorgeous and we had a great time. I just took a few phone photos which were not brilliant but they will give you an idea of it. S was here for a whole week - she cooked dinner nearly every night, did chores and made me a million cups of tea. I wish she wasn't so far away but we do see her regularly which is the best. I miss her very much!