Monthly Archives: January 2015

Beneath our radiant southern cross….mumble, mumble, mumble

Australia Day through the eyes of an Aussue expat living in Ghana, Africa.

six degrees north

Sitting here, on the West African coast, I’m dreaming of another coast, the coast of Australia. For an Aussie girl in a foreign land, it’s a an indulgent memory of a coast of sublime blue, bordered by green which fades into ochre. It’s the coast of my childhood, and while the palm trees of west Africa recall the tropical coast of North Queensland, it’s the yellow sand and the silvery seagrass which backs onto dull greens of coastal scrub that I am remembering tonight.
Indulging in these sweet recollections is a pleasant distraction from todays ‘work’, which has been a mild panic over a long avoided university assignment. This one is on the importance of ‘voice’ in narrative. So logically enough my thoughts have turned to the sound, and more importantly, the authenticity, of voice.
So, what does the Australian voice sound like?
:: Is it the tragic, but much…

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A wet and misty day in paradise.

A wet and misty day in paradise.

 

Looking very much like a scene from a Northern winter, it's summer in Sydney...not quite your postcard perspective!!

Looking very much like a scene from a Northern winter, it’s summer in Sydney…not quite your postcard perspective!!

Happy Australia Day 2015! It’s overcast, wet and even the cricket has been delayed.

Just in case you didn’t check out yesterday’s post, this was yesterday:

Mister still roasting as a very hot Australian sun sets.

Mister still roasting as a very hot Australian sun sets.

 

People often tell you that tomorrow is another day and most of the time I’ve politely nodded while feeling highly sceptical, cynical and plain unconvinced. How could my entire world change completely overnight like waving a magic wand? Surely, there would just be more and more of the same and one day surely follows another. Why would it change?

Well, overnight, we have seen an absolute change in the weather here in Sydney. Yesterday, there was blue sky and the sun was blazing overhead like an oven. I’ve always meant to actually test whether you can actually fry an egg out on the raod on days like that but eggs are rather messy and I always seem to forget. I’m sure someone somewhere has tried and can tell me if it works but that would somehow spoil the magic.

While our last day in paradise has been spent indoors, I was watching a few yachts sail past and even a couple of what I could only call zealous kayakers paddle by and then I realised that they were out there carpe diem seiziing the day despite the rain. I didn’t know whether that was a good thing or just blind obsession but as much as I love going out in the kayak, I don’t like that sensation of having wet raindrops patter again your skin. It’s sort of creepy…as in scraping fingertails down a chalkboard kind of creepy. No, I’ll stay inside.

That said, I am considering a swim in the pool. It was so balmy warm last night. You see, it has solar heating and we haven’t adjusted the settings so it was like swimming in a balmy soup. Yes, it’s going to need a good dose of something when we leave. Unfortunately, at those temperatures it’s going to become amoeba soup.

We will be heading back home tonight. Tomorrow, will be our last day of school holidays where we will be quickly trying to adjust our body clocks to the inevitable early mornings and trying to get all our ducks lined up for the real new year.

At least, I’ve made a list.

Sadly, something tells me that we’ll be relieved just to pull up at school on time with hair done, shoes on and something in the lunchbox. We are still struggling to implement our scouting motto: “Be Prepared”!!

By the way, I still have the boot on my broken foot as we start the new school year and the operatic cough is starting to look like I’ve had whooping cough. While this might excuse me from being wondrously organised for the start of the new school year, that isn’t going to help the kids get a good start or perhaps aiming well beyond our station…actually, get ahead.

Wish us luck!! We really, really need it!!

xx Rowena

Are you sure we didn't miss the turn off?

Are you sure we didn’t miss the turn off?

The dogs love being able to run around at low tide when we go to Pittwater, Palm Beach. the rippled sand is pocked with soldier crab holes and as the sun sets, the place is quite a moonscape.

Bilbo (right) is striding straight ahead and while I was flicking through possible Rumi quotes, my husband suggested:

“Are you sure we didn’t miss the turn off?

I shouldn’t laugh.

My husband and I have had many explosive moments with me in the navigator’s seat. I don’t know why I always end up navigating because I get lost in the shower and even struggle to follow a map when I turn it the right way up (OK folks…I mean “upside down”.)

I know we probably should invest in one of those GPS thingies for the sake of our marriage but after experiencing the possibilities of neuroplasticity personally, I had hoped that with a bit of practice, that I’d miraculously find my way.

Moreover, I was also concerned that if I gave up, my sense of direction could even get worse. In that case, I might even need GPS to find my car parked in our own drive way.

I shouldn’t jest!!

Anyway, Bilbo looks hell bent on going straight ahead but Lady isn’t quite so sure: “Are you sure we didn’t miss the turn off? I can just see Bilbo, who is a much more introverted, serious dog grumbling back to her:

“We’re fine. I checked the map before we left. I know exactly where we are.”

Then I can see Bilbo quoting Daniel Boone:

“I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks”.

As much as I love John Lennon’s quote Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans,” sometimes, you just want to reach your destination!

Do you have any navigation dramas to share?

xx Rowena

Looking For My Song

I know so many adults who would like to learn an instrument and so many kids who stubbornly refuse to practice…even when they profess to love their instrument. This post writes about this so well and connects up with much of my writing about learning the violin xx Rowena

rachelmankowitz

I used to write songs. This was a long time ago. I bought a Casio keyboard with my leaf-raking money when I was eleven or twelve, and tried to remember my years of piano lessons to pick out a melody. But I never felt like I could catch the song I was looking for.

I feel like being a musician, for me, is as impossible as being a dog. I don’t have the right internal organs to get there, no matter how much I might want to. I don’t have the right brain, the right ears, and the right fingers. I’m just not that person and I feel the loss acutely. Cricket and Butterfly have their own unique songs. They have particular patterns and rhythms and pitches that really get their message across, but I feel muted. I can write and speak my story, but I can’t sing it, and…

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Accepting the Premio Dardos Award

I would like to accept the Premio Dardos Award and would like to thank Ruth from https://ruthspoetry.wordpress.com/ for the nomination.

Premio Dardos  means “Prize Darts” in Spanish. The award to given  for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.

As everyone always says, it was difficult to narrow down these nominations. I have also been nominated for the Inspirational Blogger Award so I have tried to distinguish between the two. It is not easy tracking blogs down in my reader so I have inevitably left blogs out which I love. I am intending to put some kind of address book together for my blogging activities soon. It’s hard to keep track of things once you follow more than a couple of blogs.

I am nominating the following blogs for this award and recommend you go and check them all out because they are all very well written blogs, which I love and also fit the parameters of the award:

Max the Dog: https://withinthekstreets.wordpress.com/

Dr Alun Withey… https://dralun.wordpress.com/

Jo Robinson : https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/

Psychologistmimi: http://psychologistmimi.com/

Musings of Puppy Doc: http://phoebemd.com/

Behind the White Coat : https://doctorly.wordpress.com/

Rachel Mankowitz: https://rachelmankowitz.wordpress.com/

Such Small Hands: https://lilyellyn.wordpress.com/about/

Ali Isaac Storyteller: http://aliisaacstoryteller.com/

Sirena Tales: https://sirenatales.wordpress.com/

Back to Real Life: : https://mammaflybox.wordpress.com/

Bucket List Publications: http://bucketlistpublications.org/

Noelle Granger https://saylingaway.wordpress.com/

Just So You Know: https://trinabartlett.wordpress.com/

Chronic Conditions and Life Lessons: http://kimgosselinblog.com/
Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings : https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/
premio-dardos

premio-dardos

dardos-rules

Congratulations to all the nominees. Well done!!

xx Rowena

An Amazing Story About the Kindness of People.

Living with a disability or chronic health condition is a struggle but quite often, as in this touching post, you experience the best of humanity. People go out of their way to care and help out. Just beautiful xx Rowena

Kindness Blog

man in a wheelchairIn 2005, I was travelling in Italy with my parents. My Dad was in his early 80s, suffering from advanced Parkinson’s… but he wanted to see Italy before it was too late.

One morning in Venice, he slipped and fell, and had to be taken to the hospital by water ambulance (an adventure in itself!). A couple of hours later, my Mom called me from the hospital–they were releasing him, but couldn’t give them a ride back (it was a holiday of some sort), so I needed to take his wheelchair to him.

It was raining when I left the hotel with the folding wheelchair. It only weighed about 20 lbs, but it was large and awkward to carry, and there were 17 bridges (all with stairs) between me and the hospital. I dragged/carried the chair up each flight of stairs and bounced it down. By the third or fourth…

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