Friday, March 8, 2024

Update for 2024


Greetings, fellow bloggers. Is blogging still a thing?

Since I last posted I have become permanent at my favourite workplace, I am in my second-last term of my Masters degree, my weight is much the same, my health isn't great at the moment, lovely husband is still lovely, my daughter is in her 3rd year of Occupational Therapy at Uni, dramas at acrogym, son is in final year of high school, father-in-law very unwell, and I need a new kitchen. 

In more detail:

About 18 months ago the organisation I work for went through a "transformation". I jokingly always put the quotation marks in, just a reshuffle with a fancy name, right?, but actually it probably was pretty major. Anyway, it included several rounds of job interviews for nearly everyone (very stressful for some who had been there a long time but had to re-interview, and quite a few people left). Firstly, permanent staff either got slotted in to new positions or had to interview if there were too many people at that level. Then casual staff like me had the chance to go for what was left. I stuffed up my interview really badly. It was online, which I had never done before, and I had to share my screen and do a demonstration. I practiced a lot and thought it went smoothly on the day despite my nerves. Then I found out I had demonstrated the thing I had been practicing and not the slightly different thing they actually asked for on the day. D'oh! I was actually rated unsuitable (apparently the panel were not all in agreement about that). I told myself I didn't care too much, I stayed casual at my favourite location instead of permanent part-time somewhere else. Then there was another round of interviews, open to external applicants, to make an 'order of merit' for future openings. I did well in that one, and was told I was top of that list. Indeed, I was offered a job quite quickly but in another city so I turned it down, but stayed top of the list. And didn't hear from them again for a long time. 

Meanwhile everyone in my library retired and new people started, except for the person I was filling in for. Stacey was there 2 days a week and me the other 3. So on my days I, as a casual and also the lowest ranking person, was suddenly the expert old-timer! Weird. Then Stacey went on long term leave. Because I was working on my Masters, my new boss let me go on 4 days per week instead of 5 (Fridays are very quiet anyway), and also put me on a long term temp contract so I could use sick leave and flex which casuals don't get. Finally at the end of last year Stacey quit. I hadn't seen her for a long time, as she was never there when I was, and she was a private person anyway, so I don't know why she had gone part time and then left at her non-retirement age. My boss hinted it wasn't good, but of course didn't share any details. Anyway, the boss called me into her office and said they would be hiring someone new, unfortunately as I wasn't on the list it wouldn't be me but she could offer me a couple of days somewhere else. Ah, what? No, I'm top of the list! After a couple of weeks sorting that out (I wasn't on the list from the failed interview, but was on the other one) I was given the job. So yay. And even better, she let me stay on 4 days and has got someone in to do the other one day (I haven't met her, but her emails are nice.) 

So I am now happily permanent. And I am nearly finished my Masters so then I will be able to go for higher ranking jobs. If I want to. I've enjoyed some of my studies but it is a lot of work so I'll be glad when I have some free time again. I've been doing well though, all Distinctions and Credits. 

That's a long enough essay for today!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Work and study

 Hello hello, all is well here. I've neglected my blog, maybe because I got involved in a chat forum elsewhere and wasn't inspired to write about my life twice. 

My weight is the same, or worse. I haven't really been making any consistent effort. But the long cold rainy winter is nearly over, weather is warming up, and I'm hoping Spring in a couple of weeks will help. Also, I'm going to have my Mirena IUD removed. It may or may not have had any effect on my weight, more likely other circumstances like Covid lockdowns were more important, but is it coincidence that when I tried a slow-release contraceptive implant (Depo-Provera) 20 years ago I put on 10 kg, and when I tried this Mirena slow-release I also regained a lot of weight? I don't know. Worth a try.  

My casual work has been up and down, lots for the first three months of the year then nothing the second three months, but things are getting interesting. My favourite library asked me to start soon 3 days a week for 10 months, which is awesome. At the same time some permanent jobs became available, that I have applied for but haven't heard yet about. Only problem was, the one I'm most likely to get/want is only one day a week - and on the same day as my upcoming casual work. I've been torturing myself in advance - what if I have to choose between my favourite location 3 days a week (perfect!) but no job security, or one day a week further away but permanent and a foot in the door for increasing later? It's government (local) so once you have a permanent job you're pretty much set for life if you want. Then yesterday my casual boss called to say they'll only need me 2 days a week after all, which would be a bad thing except the one day they are dropping is the one day at the permanent job... so hopefully the universe is coming together and I'll get that job and do both. Fingers crossed.

I'm filling the other days with working on my Master of Information Studies (Librarianship) at Uni, online. It's three years part time. I'd thought about doing it for a while and have 'calendar regret' for not starting during Covid lockdowns when I wasn't working, having the degree would have made me eligible for an even better job going at the moment, but oh well there will be more opportunities in the future. I've done quite a lot of study in the past, but the level required for Masters did overwhelm me a little at first. My first essay I barely got a Pass, which was a shock! But my second got a Distinction so I'm on track now. 

Jasmine has her P plates now so drives herself to gymnastics 4 times a week plus dance group. Driving her around every day had become part of my routine and a felt a bit lost the first week without it. Do my kids even need me any more? But seems like a good thing now. But she needs her own car! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

All clear

I'm feeling fully recovered now apart from slight wheeziness, like I don't have full lung capacity back. Otherwise good. 

I had a mammogram last year that showed a dubious shadowy area, today I had the follow up with an ultrasound and it was just overlapping breast tissue so I got the all-clear which is awesome. I wasn't super worried but I was a little bit, after all my mother did die of breast cancer - considerably older than I am now. I'm still waiting to have my colonoscopy scheduled, it's been a couple of months since I put in the forms but obviously hospitals are a bit busy at the moment. 

I celebrated my all-clear with KFC and cake. Not really ideal. I'm really struggling to get back into a weight-loss mindset. At least I walked half an hour today (in the rain!) because I refuse to pay the ridiculous hospital parking fees and unrestricted street parking was quite a long way away. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Real face

 After a slight relapse I am now feeling recovered from Covid - so I was sick for 12 days. I still have a occasional wheezy cough but feel fine. My sore feet are also much better, perhaps due to a combination of stretches and then complete rest while I was sick, so yesterday my podiatrist gave me the all-clear to exercise again (gently). Is that good or bad news?? It was funny, I hadn't ever seen him without a mask but yesterday we were chatting about his strong Scottish accent (which isn't a problem for me as my best friend in primary school had a Scottish father and I got used to it, new people couldn't understand a word he was saying!) and he said older deafer people sometimes struggled and he had to take his mask off so they could see his lips move, he pulled it down for a second and he didn't look at all as I'd thought! I hadn't realised I had imagined a face for him, but apparently I had because his actual face was a surprise. 

Jasmine gets her HSC results in a week so that is exciting and stressful. All her friends are going to Wollongong University but it doesn't teach Occupational Therapy so she's applied to Sydney, and it needs quite a high mark. If she doesn't get that she's already been accepted into easier courses in several Unis but hasn't decided what she will actually do if she doesn't get her first choice. 

It has rained so much here, all spring and summer. It's the middle of summer, in Australia, and we've used the swimming pool twice. Warm but rarely hot, and so humid. 

Sorry, not much to talk about in these days of pandemicness. 

Friday, January 7, 2022


Tim and the kids seem completely recovered from Covid-19, and I am finally feeling on the mend. My last few days have been mainly runny nose and headache from my clogged sinuses. Pain under my eyebrows! And general tiredness. But a lot better today. One of the weirder symptoms linked to Omicron was bad night sweats. I've been having night sweats on and off for years due to peri-menopause, but these were really bad. Every single night of 2022 I've woken once or twice drenched in sweat and have to change my pjs (washing every day to keep up) and still feel yuck until I could shower without waking everyone else. Last night I still woke but only a light sweat, I didn't even bother to change! 

I gave up on ever getting a PCR test, the queues were so long they turned us away each time, and can't get hold of an RA test online either. I was supposed to get a pack delivered today but I've just been informed they are out, although they were in stock when I ordered days ago. We made plans a while ago for the whole family to go to Queensland soon for a holiday (not MY plans, I thought they were crazy even though Delta was easing at the time and Omicron hadn't arrived yet) and we need at least a negative RA test get on a plane to cross the state border. I'm doing my best to find some, but I refuse to invest myself emotionally in the holiday plans as I think it's likely we won't be able to go. Queensland has a history of closing it's borders, although to be fair they haven't yet despite very high case numbers. I'm not wet-blanketing it but I'm just internally shrugging and not getting my hopes up. Of course it would be lovely if we can go, and stay at SeaWorld for a week and go to the beach and restaurants and everything. How long since I've left the house?

I've had to order groceries online as we're in isolation, but there is very little on the shelves. So many people are either sick or in isolation that the shops have supply chain issues. Either the item is "out of stock" when you browse the virtual shelf, or at checkout you're informed what you thought you snaffled you actually can't have, or else on delivery day they have run out. Last time delivery was next day, this week delivery in three days. They are really struggling to keep up. Last week the only fresh meat I could get was a chicken. This morning I got the updated delivery list and the only thing I seem to have ended up with today is half a leg of lamb. Starting to envy doomsday preppers with freezers full of food! Fruit and vegetables are very scarce too, I don't know if they have anyone to pick them. (There was whole watermelon for sale. $34 each. I didn't get one.) Have ordered juice for the vitamins, though even that was tricky to find a brand not rejected at checkout. We won't starve, we can always order pizza or something and we've got plenty of pantry staples like pasta and rice, but it's not the same as real fresh food. I'm really hoping that by Monday I'll at least be able to go and rummage through the shops myself. My sister-in-law dropped off a meal and friends sent us a food gift basket which was lovely.  

Aside from just feeling ill, I haven't done much. It's been warm but rainy, very humid, so I haven't even been going out into the backyard. I felt well enough for a family board game yesterday, hopefully we'll be able to do more of that. It's been a couple of weeks of us all in separate rooms playing computer games, watching TV, or napping. 

Monday, January 3, 2022


The first two days of Covid19 for me were sore throat, head and body aches and exhaustion. Yesterday it moved into a new phase of coughing up the lining of my throat (or that is what it feels like), runny nose, and loss of taste and smell. Strong foods still have some taste - vegemite, pepperoni - but other things I've tried so far I haven't been able to eat they were just so unappetising. And I can't drink my beloved tea, tasteless yet cloyingly milky (I have the tiniest splash of milk). It makes me sad and grumpy, food is usually my friend, but on the other hand I'm already losing weight so there is that.

I haven't actually been tested, I've dragged the kids out of bed twice to go to a drive through clinic but were turned away each time as they were too busy already. Rapid antigen tests are sold out everywhere online. I have all the symptoms tho and am living with a confirmed positive so I'm just going to assume. 

Tim has been sleeping on the daybed in the loungeroom to isolate, but since we became 99.9% certain I have it there didn't seem any point to that so he came back to our bed last night. Didn't last long, with me coughing up a lung every few minutes. He snuck away back to the loungeroom. 

Tim is starting to feel better so I can look forward to that, I am a few days behind him. Aiden seems to be in an earlier phase, and we're not sure about Jasmine. She has a runny nose but nothing else, and she's been trying really hard to isolate from us. She desperately wants to be able to go back to acrogym next week. Half the family members who were here at Christmas are also sick and have now tested positive, although they tested negative when Tim first got sick. 

I've ordered groceries online to arrive today, the only other time I tried that was just before Christmas and it was a bit of a disaster, arriving 5 hours late and with meat due to expire the next day. But I don't have a lot of choices. The virtual shelves were half-empty and then when I got to checkout there were warnings about even more things being unavailable so I'll see what turns up. I think a chicken was the only meat I ended up with. I guess ordering on a public holiday during a pandemic isn't an ideal time. I'll try again in a couple of days. Case numbers are bad, and that doesn't even include all the people turned away from the testing clinics, so a lot of people are sick or in isolation and can't work. Food isn't really a problem, we can always order take-away but none of us are hungry anyway. 

I binged a great show called Smash, about making musical theatre. Like Glee with grownups. Great music and dance numbers, personal dramas. Just finished season one, luckily there is a season two. As a family we've started watching Witcher season one whenever we're all up to being out of bed, I like it but if I didn't have Aiden to explain the completely unexplained timelines decades apart I would be hopelessly confused. And I watch cricket, mainly to nap to as it helps me go to sleep. 

Reading an awesome fantasy series I got for Christmas by Naomi Novik starting with A Deadly Education. It's set in a school for magic but it's nothing like Harry Potter (which I also loved of course). Very inventive. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Covid New Year

 Or Happy Covid Year? Or Happy New Covid?

I woke up sick yesterday. Pretty sure it's Covid-19 since my husband has tested positive, I'm getting tested today. It feels similar to the flu - but don't forget how awful the flu can make you feel! Sore throat and headache and exhausted and generally yuck. Last night was horrible, all those hours of tossing and turning and sweating. 

Oh and yesterday evening Aiden said he was starting to feel unwell. I haven't seen him yet this morning but I'll take him to be tested with me. 

So now instead of Tim isolating himself from the rest of the family, it will be Jasmine keeping away from us. Although actually it might be better if she caught it now rather than later. Uni doesn't start until February, Acrogym is on an extended break due to Covid (Jasmine's state competition at the end of February, she's just gone up a level and got a new partner, they already didn't have enough time to prepare and now it's a disaster, there haven't been any competitions for the past two years but we were really hoping for this one.)

Tim's cousin Matt who was here at Christmas has tested positive too. It has begun. Tim's dad and stepmother, who both have cancer and are therefore vulnerable, were with her family this Christmas. Looks like they dodged a bullet. And Tim's aunt Vanessa was kept away by her husband, which she resented at the time thinking he was paranoid but turns out not a bad decision. Also, she isn't vaccinated. She plans to get it eventually? When they bring out the vaccine in a flavour she likes or something. 

Looking on the bright side, hopefully this will get it out of the way at the start of year then we won't catch it again. Ever. Right?