Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spinning in circles

That's what Winston is doing right now.  In my study.  Apparently it's a bull terrier thing.

late last night, keeping me company

It's also what my head's been doing.  A few too many days of getting into work, sitting down and just being hammered by jobs until after 2, until I just sit stunned and brain dead, absolutely drained.  How the heck am I meant to get time to think about some of the bigger stuff that is also important?  I get home, then either gym (need to keep the weight down - for my heart (family history, both sides), my back (badly put together), for my self-esteem), or straight into the household chores, followed by preparing and eating dinner, maybe a little television, some time in front of the computer trying to keep on top of the inbox, a bit of time with the dogs, never as much as I would like.

Not quite straight.  Change from work clothes, toast and vegemite and blackcurrant cordial.  Comfort food right there - I've been on Vegemite and Cascade's Ultra C for over 40 years.  I've also got low blood pressure and don't normally cook with salt, so Vegemite is all to the good.  So is my much beloved coffee!  You can get meds for high blood pressure, but very little for low.  Coffee, salt, ginseng, exercise, water just about sums it up.

While so much of this is necessary, day-to-day stuff, the unexciting, keeping-the-wheels turning stuff, I find myself wondering how I ever found time to do things for myself when I was younger.  I accept that chronic fatigue syndrome and depression are part of it, even though the fatigue is now mostly in the past and major depressive episodes are throttled back with meds.  I know IT in the server sphere sucks large chunks of your life away.  Plus being married, well there are shared responsibilities, shared expectations.  I can no longer spend time brushing and walking dogs, read or embroider for hours then have yoghurt for dinner at 10pm.  He gets upset.  And to be fair, I can't last out that long anymore, plus it's a bad habit to be in.  And it's damn hard adjusting to marriage after some 20 years of living by myself, dearly as I love Himself.  So I suspect that is mostly it, but I also love my work and get on well with most of the people I work with.  Plus it pays reasonably well.  So juggling is a way of life now.

Which means the big question is how do I juggle?  Watch this space

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Life sort of resumes

The aunts are both safe and well.  Yasi did lots of damage, but only one death (and that one a candidate for the Darwin Awards), which is pretty impressive.  We had a brief and violent storm come through which was pushed way down south by Yasi - two of the big gum trees in the reserve bent over and snapped under the winds.  The magpies will need to build new nests.  Bad bushfires in Western Australia, but (without wanting to make light of them) bushfires are a normal part of summer in Australia, and it was started by accident. Oh dear - trust me, that phrasing was inadvertent, but it's one of those days when the right words are hovering just on the periphery.

And I find words endlessly fascinating.  I have a range of dictionaries (mostly from the UK) back to the 1740s.  They only take up a couple of shelves, so I wouldn't say I'm obsessive about them. I haven't read the full version of the OED, but I have read that particular book (Reading the OED, Ammon Shea.  Absolute hoot). But it is wonderful tracing a word through them, seeing how it changes.  Or just flicking through and then a word catches the eye.  Or I finally decide to look up a word whose meaning I've been guessing from context.

Slightly bizarrely, the last word looked up was pastern.  I needed to describe Winston's white markings - and he has white below each knobbly sort of knuckle thing just about the wrist/ankle.  So when you watch from behind, there's a definite flick to each movement of his paws. Fatal if they have poor movement.  I can see it, I know exactly which bit I'm referring to, but surety about the precise word has me delving into Harold Spira's Canine Terminology.  Maybe not quite a standard dictionary, but a technical dictionary is a dictionary none the less.

(crummy photo but hey, must be quick before Winston decides I have to pay him attention)
You can just make out some of the white foot business.  Actually you can see it better on Fearghus' paws. Paws are amazing.  Seriously.  If you have a dog (or a cat, guinea pig, ferret...maybe not a chicken.  Chicken feet are something else) check the paws out.  Quite apart from the fact that they now get used to having their feet handled which is excellent when clipping nails or checking for grass seeds, there is the incredible softness between the toes, the wonderful arch of the toes themselves.  And a beguiling tendency to pat you with a paw.  The tenderness I have to use for Bonnie with her arthritic joints.  The alternate flopping of feet that you can do when the dogs are relaxed.  At least, you can do it until they look at you as if you are dotty.

Life needs more of that kind of dottiness in it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crazy weather

Just about sums it up right now.  It's hot and muggy with intermittent rain coming down in solid waves and some high winds.  But nothing like what is happening up along the northern Queensland coast and then well inland.  Yasi is about to hit - the winds and rain are already frightening.  More here:

Like many Australians, I've relatives up there.  This is slated as potentially the worst cyclone to hit in Australia's history.  And there's nothing we can do but cross our fingers and hope.