Tuesday, October 6, 2015



I'm having a really hard time with stress. I feel anxious and a bit nauseous a lot of the time. Only 48 hours to go now before we auction our house. I'm scared it won't sell, or not for a good price. We have timed it with impeccable bad luck. We bought right at the peak of an 18 month housing bubble, and now a couple of weeks later things have slowed down as a million people have chosen Spring to put their house on the market. It's gone from over 90% clearance rate (how many sell) to under 70%. So I'm feeling very worried and my body is reacting to the constant stress.

Today was another hot day, we're actually having a heat wave here that is supposed to end tomorrow, so I chose the indoor activity of going to see a movie, something we hadn't done yet these holidays. We saw "Oddball" which is the true story of a naughty dog who ends up a hero protecting endangered fairy penguins (the littlest penguins) from foxes on a tiny island off the coast of Australia. It is a kid's movie, and mine loved it. I am always surprised when they enjoy happy little films like this rather than big budget animation (which they also like).

Another house-cleaning session (did I mention I am over it?) that ended in a bit of disaster. The kids had helped clean but were having a short computer session before we were kicked out of our own home again. Aiden was watching something he found so hilarious and distracting on YouTube that he wet his pants laughing so hard. Did I say wet his pants? More accurately, wet the carpet like a un-trained puppy. Big puddle. Ten minutes before people were coming to look over our house again. So that was fun.

We went to the library which had just shut for the day so we sat in the park. It was nice in the shade, late in the day. The kids rolled down grassy hills and only later remembered that this always made them both horribly itchy. So they did a bit of tree-climbing. I couldn't face cooking so I picked up a couple of pizzas (proper ones) and came home.

Only four people through the house tonight, with three having been through before. A good sign, that they were interested enough to come back. I think quite a few people are coming to the auction, whether they bid or not (or bid high enough) remains to be seen.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nap time


Really sleepy all day for no particular reason. Could barely keep my eyes open. Had a nap before lunch, and another one in the afternoon. It's another public holiday (Labour Day) so Tim was home to entertain the kids. I didn't leave the house all day.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Botanic gardens


Daylight Savings started today, which is great for me as I've been waking up way too early ever since the pelvic pain thing. Clocks one hour forward.

We cleaned the house again - I am so over it! Luckily not much to do after big clean yesterday. Turned out only two people came through. I guess everyone has already seen it.

We went to the Botanic Gardens today. It is all Australian flora with all different areas of the country represented including rainforesty bits:
and "Red Centre" desert bits:

This is a statue of an oversized spiny devil:

but there was also plenty of real wildlife, lots of water dragons (lizards) sunning themselves:

little ducklings shepherded along by suspicious parents:

and even a bunny rabbit, seen here disappearing into the undergrowth:

Lots of native flowers in bloom too. Nice long walk in pretty surrounds.

Tim is loving that we are forced to get out of the house as a family so much lately.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

More outside


Yesterday was not very exciting. We did the grocery shopping and walked to pick up the old car Nugget in the afternoon. The engine is sounding much better.

This morning we cleaned house for two hours ready for yet another weekend of inspections - the auction is on Thursday! Then we went out to another park on another sunny day.

We started by the lake (that is a pelican in the background, there were also lots of ducks)
then Aiden and I followed the creek upstream to its source. I suppose it was only a few hundred metres but it twisted and turned and was interrupted by little ponds and miniature waterfalls and we hopped over stepping stones and it was very nice. Then we met up with Tim and Jasmine again and the kids played on the flying fox thing.

Aiden wanted to show the others the lovely creek so we walked back to the start where it bubbled out of the ground and played "Pooh Sticks". For those of you whose childhood didn't include the books about Winnie the Pooh (a teddy bear) and his friends in 100-Acre Wood, Pooh Sticks is where you each put a stick (or leaf, or piece of bark, or whatever you find) in a fast-moving stream and then run along beside shouting in excitement and dislodging it when it gets stuck in an eddy and then see who wins.

It was lunchtime so we had pizza by the lake at a place we hadn't tried before but was really good. Sriracha pulled beef! Yummy. By then everyone would have finished looking at our house so we went home. To find big black marks all over the kitchen floor lino!? Someone dragging a freshly polished shoe? A kid in roller skates? Luckily the marks came off easily enough. I'll have to ask the real estate agent.

In the afternoon Jasmine went to a birthday party at SkyZone (trampoline place) and then both children went to their irregular semi-weekly kids' Dungeons and Dragons session at a friend's house.

I had the silliest conversation with the real estate agent. While chatting, I mentioned that I was born in the city of Melbourne. He asked which part, and I said "Geelong". He immediately said his family was from there and launched into talking about the suburb, its pros and cons, and which bit his ancestors were from and how they moved there in 1933 etc. Now firstly, we moved away from Melbourne when I was one year old and I have rarely visited any part of that city since then. And secondly I am not from Geelong. I have no idea why that name fell out of my mouth. I have no association with that suburb at all, and don't know why it was even in my brain. So I sat there wondering why I had instantly said Geelong, and listened to him talk about it. There didn't seem to be any point I could break in and say "Actually I'm not from there, I don't know why I said that," without embarrassment, so I kept silent. Completely unimportant, but I felt a bit silly.

Thursday, October 1, 2015



Another day spent mostly outside. Quite unusual for me! We did some errands in the city, which involved at least 45 minutes brisk walking back and forth, then met Tim for a nice lunch where we sat in the outdoor section of the restaurant. Then I took the kids to a nearby playground where they swang and slid and dug sand and got rather wet spraying each other with water canon things. I mostly sat and read. One great thing about older kids is you don't have to watch them every second! Although I rather regretted telling them they could get as wet as they wanted once it came time to get back in the car.

It was really nice Spring weather today, perfect to be outside. But it is going to be 10 degrees hotter by next Tuesday, like mid-summer. I've told the kids we'll have to have a couple of movie days, inside in air conditioning. I'm glad we've been outside while the temperature was milder.

I was going to leave rescheduling my doctor appointment until the kids were back at school in a bit over a week, to get test results, but my throat is still swollen and sore even though my flu is mostly over. I'm worried I need antibiotics. I have a tendency to throat infections whenever I get sick. I'll give it a few more days.

These school holidays have been pretty nice so far, but I need to think of some more things to do! Tim was going to take some time off but we decided we needed to save his days off for the big move in a few weeks, so I have to entertain the kids by myself. Not that they are difficult to entertain, but home is a bit boring at the moment with half their toys packed away. They enjoy being out and about anyway.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015



Today we went to Floriade, Canberra's annual spring flower/bulb festival. It seemed to be mainly tulips this year with pansies underneath, I don't think I saw any iris or hyacinths. Maybe those are already over as we are in the third week. It was pretty, if a little dull after the ninety-third field. Maybe I've been going too many years.

They had a huge mirror set up so that when the kids lay on the painting of a building, it looked like they were climbing up a vertical wall (here you can see both the reality and the reflection).

The baby animal petting zoo had already left this year as they are only there the first two weeks, but we went through the reptile petting zoo that replaced it and patted some lizards. One handler was holding a big lace monitor (very large lizard that likes to steal eggs from farmers, and probably the chickens too if it can catch them) and his arms were all scratched and bleeding from its claws as it climbed him like a tree.

Floriade also has an area with lots of stalls selling garden tools, mugs with pictures of tulips, floral scented soaps, lunch items, and bottles of water for $4.50. We always go around and taste test whatever food is on offer - some Indian butter chicken, chocolate fudge, herbal teas (Jasmine loves those for some reason), hot chilli sauces (Aiden's favourite), sugar-crusted almonds etc. I generally buy something each visit to justify all the free tasting, this time some mint rocky road.

We walked around slowly for about two hours.

We've been having more problems with our old car (which the kids decided to name "Nugget" because it is a gold colour and the word sounds funny when you say it, the new red car is called "Titan") and I took it back to the people that fixed it last week. I haven't driven it since then except to get it home and to move it a couple of times out of the way of Titan, but it was already making horrible noises again.

Getting home from the repair shop after dropping the car off this afternoon meant more walking (kids with their scooters) so I am feeling pretty tired. Lots of exercise today, but also too much sugar. It was a really warm sunny day, nice to get out in the spring sunshine. We put sunscreen on our faces and had long sleeves on, but I am feeling suspiciously warm around the back of the neck. I'll have to start being vigilant about that now that the weather has turned.

I've been having weird anxiety dreams, like I'd lost the new car, or when I couldn't remember if Tim and I were divorced or not! Everything with the new house is going smoothly - contracts exchanged, finance arranged etc, but we still have to sell this house. The auction is next week. If it doesn't sell straight away we'll be carrying a big debt until it does. The market has suddenly gone a bit quiet, in Sydney at least don't know about here. You'll remember we had to chose between three houses we liked, well the other two are still on the market. One is asking for offers, the other was up for auction last Saturday but didn't sell. So I hope the market is still strong here in Canberra!

I said a couple of weeks ago that Australia's version of Biggest Loser was pretty benign, well I have to take that back. They have temptation again (10 out 14 contestants ate junk), lots of drama between family members, and the show seems to be doing its best to create more conflict by making all the rewards controversial; for example instead of winning a 2 kg benefit for your team at the weigh-in you have to give a 2 kg penalty to another team. Of course this creates bad feeling. Clearly the producers think that seeing success stories of people conquering their demons and losing weight isn't enough. It is disappointing. I'm still watching it though.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Family and Community Day


Tim had the day off (Family and Community Day: a public holiday local to my city, when you're the politician/public servant capital you make your own rules) and the school holidays have started, so we all had a nice rest day. Played Dungeons and Dragons. I was really tired all day, these weekends away are exhausting! It was a good day.