Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hitting the Books

I thought I would ease myself back into study with an introductory unit on writing essays and the like (well it has been a while). That was until I opened the books on the unit I decided to delay Images of Australia 1A.

The unit is looking at how Australians see themselves, how others see us, how and by whom are these images created, the chnages over time, the validity (or otherwise) of a national image and a consideration of those that don't identify the the general images.

I have read through the first module (and all associated readings). I have taken copious notes. My brain cells are tingling with delight at the stimulation.

I couldn't possibly go back now - especially as instructions on essay writing etc, and preferred referencing (Harvard style in this instance) is all included in the study notes of the interesting unit. And I have already bought the reference books for what I shall now refer to as the "boring" unit so I have also had a read/revise this afternoon.

I must admit this has been a very pleasurable way to spend three hours on a Saturday afternoon lol

Photo: "essence of lifelong learning" by likk

Sigh ....

If one is luckly, a solitary fantasy can transform one million realities.

Maya Angelou

Art: "Imagine" by freaky655

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mountain Climbing ... or the Door Theory

Following on from my post ponderings the possibility and challenge of things to come there have been some changes - mainly in me but isn't that always the way.

My job finishes on June 30 and from there my doctor is recommending that I take some time out to give my poor back a chance to heal - or at least stabilise. This means I will be looking at the disability pension for at least two years. It has been really confronting to acknowledge the amount of pain I have been in, and all the subtle changes I have made to my life to both accommodate the circumstances while avoid dealing with the whole situation. I must admit when he made the recommendation an entire weight lifted off my shoulders.

As well as giving me this opportunituy, he is also coming up with a comprehensive plan to improve my quality of life when and where possible. Just fabulous!
So will I be sitting at home feeling sorry for myself - hell no! My study starts on Monday - I have decided to just do one unit this study period - ease myself back into things.

I am also looking at developing my writing and photography skills so that I can rebuild a career that will take me through the next 20 years, no matter how limited my movement is.

So while some doors of opportunities are closing on my present job (which I love so much) as well as dreams of taking my cooking further, I feel a great deal of satisfaction in being open to the possibility of new opportunities and seeing where they will take me.

Photo: "Heaven's Door" by bosniak

The Return of the Photo Challenge

Slackness has meant the Photo Challenge went away but a renweal of enthusiasm has meant that it back - or will be back next Friday 5 June.

For those who have missed to joy of this past-time before, it is an informal photo competition in which we have a theme for the week and we post our photos on or about Friday. There is no winner as such (can I say we are all winners by either playing or viewing - corny I know) just the opportunity to be a bit creative. All are welcome to join in or comment.
The themes were submitted by a couple of dedicated creatives (not me) at the beginning of the year. I post the next three themes each Wednesday (well I try to anyway lol)
So ....
Friday 5 June: Money
Friday 12 June: Domestic
Friday 19 June: Town
Happy clicking ....

Just Imagine

My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz. It's the letter I use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz. You'll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond 'Z' and start poking around!

Dr Seuss
Art: "Beyond Ourselves" by DusterAmaranth

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Mountain to Climb

There have been changes in Mountaingirl World - the most confronting is that I have a back injury and I suffer from chronic (and, at the moment, worsening) pain. Ironically this is not a recent injury - over two years now but this is a recent admission that I have a problem.

Co-incidentally I have a new doctor and I think he has given me the confidence to confront that which I have been trying to both deny and hide for so long - from myself as much as the rest of my world.

In the long run I know the timing will be good but it has come with the double whammy of the further realisation that when my present job finishes in 6 weeks there are effectively no other jobs that I can physically manage to do. I will have started uni by then - and from the head up things are still ticking along but movement from there down is very limited - and still very painful.

So my options for keeping the roof over the head and putting food on the table are very,very limited. I have asvings but that isn't goign to be a long-term option.
I do have one idea and although it sound ridiculous, it might genuinely be my only option - to go back to writing. Now writing books doesn't pay (or at least not in Australia) so I am thinking about a little lifestyle column or article in a couple of newspapers. I don't need to make big dollars, just top up my disability payment (sheesh I actually said that out loud).
I have worked out I can write on two main subjects food (history, seasons, recipes, cooking, general conversation on the subject), life moments/amusing anecdotes/people but also a myriad of others (like books, or art, or shopping, or life in a small town, or eco topics or ...) that will just take a little research (as opposed to effectively off the top of my head or observational comments).

Now the only things harder than getting paid for being published is finding an agent (especially as all of the advice I have received is to not send your work to one but to wait for them to find you) - and I am thinking I probably need both. Meanwhile I am researching newspapers and magazines around the English speaking world and ....

Okay I know that from so many perspectives this is not a practical idea - especially given my time frame to get started - but if someone can come up with something else that will pay about AU$500 per fortnight but doesn't involve me moving, lifting, standing or walking and is something can do from a suitable location (no I am not moving to Sydney) then I am well and truly open to other ideas.

Oh and if you know an agent who is looking for a new writer to represent lol

Photo: "Challenge" by Paulo Cassasco

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just Say "No"

Go WA dance, dance, dance:-)

Photo: "Sunshine" by xuvi

Mine or Yours?

My definition of stealing is: to take something that is not yours, without permission. I am sure that dictionaries - both regular and legal - may offer something different, or comprehensive, but I am going on my own definition for today.

On Saturday while sitting on the sofa I watched, with my jaw dropped, a young woman lean over from my neighbors mail box and steal one of my last azaleas. Admittedly it took her a couple of minutes but I was in too much shock to actual move or call out to her.

I then spent the next 15 minutes angry at it all. Okay I hadn't taken the photos of the flower that I wanted to - I was waiting for the golden light of afternoon to come across - but life goes on. I also knew that if she had've just knocked on the door and asked I would have taken the secateurs and cut the flower for her. So what was I most upset about?

As it was she and another friend, with large bunches of flowers came by the house again. This time I took advantage of the opportunity to let her know that I had seen her steal the flower and next time she should ask rather than just take. Both of them appeared stunned at the thought (was it because they were flowers in a garden rather than rings in a jewellers) but were polite enough to listen to me.

And in many ways that ended that. Except I still can't work out what offended me .... after all it was just a flower.

Photo: "Stealing" by cilium

Sunday, May 17, 2009

He's A Bloke, He's An Aussie

I went out to a club last night (no not the dancing kind - this is the restaurant and bar type of venue). Now there is a protocol when coming into these venues which I wasn't entirely sure I knew about so I admit I was a little nervous.

To explain that, if you live more than 5 km away from the venue then you need to sign in as a guest. Simple really but I wasn't sure whether it was 5 or 50 (and as I fit into the 50 km range would I have to join?) or whether those friends that I was meeting had to verify for me (and they weren't there at that moment). Okay it wasn't hard but I had questions.

Anyway, behind me in the queue were a couple of "traditional" 20-something Aussie blokes happily interjecting the "F" word a couple of times in each sentence and talking a little rough. I should immediately clarify that they weren't aggressive or rude in any way - they were just having a regular little conversation between themselves in the traditional Aussie way.

When my turn came at the front of the queue I indicated that they should go first as I needed to talk to the staff member on reception to find out what I needed to do. That person became immediately available and 10 seconds later I was organised.

Once I got upstairs to the restaurant I realised I had left my camera in the reception area. I quickly made my way back and the security officer indicated that he had noticed it and put it away behind the reception desk. My two Aussie blokes were still there and they made a general comment along the lines of "leaving already?" and I laughed and indicated I was just getting my camera. At that stage I rolled my eyes and in mock self-deprecation added "that you just can't some people anywhere".

Oh the change that came over these two "roughies"! Their faces looked concerned and one immediately added that he didn't want to hear me speaking about myself like that and the other concluded that I should never put myself down.

What was that about books and covers lol? Many thanks guys :-)

Photo: "C'mon Aussie, C'mon" by gamebreaker

Crock and Roll

Winter has arrived - well some days anyway -so I have begun revelling in the joy of my crockpot.

Not only is there the seasonal novelty of hearty stews, big flavors and general comfort cooking but there is the joy of being able to throw everything in and come back 5 - 8 hours later to find it all fall-apart moist and delicious (well it is almost that simple).

Add to that the fluffy sheets and electric blanket are on the bed(although I have only had to turn it onto level 1 so far) and my feet are permanently covered by socks now and you just gotta know I have a smile on my face :-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Smile :-)

The gods too are fond of a joke.


Photo: "Funny Guy" by sesjuzs

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For the Soul

Worries go down better with soup than without.

Jewish proverb

Photo: "Hioppie Soup" by Tannbanan

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sigh ....

Sometimes the cure for restlessness is rest.

Colleen Wainwright

Photo: "The Travel of a Marble" by meeresmurmel

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just Do It

If you cannot lift the load off another's back, do not walk away. Try to lighten it.
Frank Tyger
Art: "Souffle d'hiver" by Carole Felmy