Merry Christmas

My brother arrived yesterday from Melbourne. We are all together for Christmas.

I love Christmas, well now I do, before, when I was with my ex, it was a time of misery, every special day was. She made it that way. Now, I guess I am one of those people that goes the extra mile, maybe even over the top, for Christmas. Of all the special days of the year, this is the most special to me.

Christmas is about family. You can believe all the superstitious stuff if you like, but trust me, you aren’t a virgin if you are pregnant. But the story of the beginning of a family, the celebration of a family, is really what it’s all about. I have said before I am not religious, and I don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious thing, and honestly, I don’t celebrate it for the commercial event it has become either. It is all about family. It is about family being together, spending time together, laughing, eating and enjoying each others company.

I guess with age comes the realisation of how important family is. Sure, there are always family members that really don’t give two hoots about anyone else, take my father for example, but all of us have someone in our families that care about us.

When I was younger, my brother and I weren’t the best of buddies. I guess it was because I would protect him from my father, but he didn’t seem to realise it, so I resented that. As time has gone by, and the older we have got, my brother realised just what I did, and now we are very close. I would still do everything in my power to protect him, no matter what.

It’s like that with Mum too. Many years ago, we were in a situation where Mum had had enough, but due to financial dis-empowerment, she didn’t leave my father at that time, but even though I was only 16, we stood side by side and tried to work it out, tried to see if we could, but mum was so brow beaten at that stage she didn’t have the confidence that she could do it. This time around, she has, she became empowered, and although still nervous about getting out of the bad marriage with my father, I reassured her that I wouldn’t leave her on her own. I have stuck by my word, it’s what I do, if I say I will do something, I will. She has always stood by me, and I will always stand by her.

I am not sure of how this Christmas day will go. My father will be with us, I mean, he has a separate life, he lives in the granny flat, Jack, mum and I in the house, we do see each other, but we don’t do a lot together, because even now, even though he is no longer under the same roof, every opportunity he gets, he is a nasty shit. I really don’t remember the last time I actually saw him do anything genuinely nice for anyone else, or be genuinely nice to anyone else. I know both I and Mum are holding our breaths to see if we can get through the day without one of his tantrums, it could happen, who knows. We include him because we try, we are nice people, it’s to our detriment the majority of the time though.

Anyhow, I really hope every one of you have a fantastic day on Christmas Day. I appreciate every one of you that bothers to read my ramblings.

Merry Christmas to all !!

Andy.

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The Midnight Hour

Here I sit as the clock enters the midnight hour. I have been up since 7.30am, and although tired, am still a bit wired. I have managed to squeeze a little bit of “me” time in each day for the past 3 or 4 days, don’t know how, but it is helping me to become a bit more settled into the new life than I have been so far.

For the past couple of months I pretty much haven’t had “me” time, it’s been go, go, go, packing the old house, cleaning the old house, driving 3,500km, cleaning the new place, fixing the new place, unpacking all our stuff, and now finally, everything is starting to settle, so now, I am finally getting a bit of time to chill.

Up until the past few days, I have been so exhausted by the time I have had dinner, that not long after, I have had to go to bed, because I just couldn’t stay awake any longer. I haven’t slept well either, although that hasn’t really changed, the pain from the fibromyalgia has been really bad, so interrupted sleep has been the order of the day, or more specifically the night, for weeks.

Mum has been unwell, as I said in a recent post, today she wasn’t good first thing this morning still, but has slept almost all day, I checked on her at lunchtime, because I hadn’t seen her, and she was starting to improve, and then after almost the entire afternoon asleep again, she finally was able to eat all her dinner, and actually stayed up and watched Django Unchained with me tonight. She even sounds better and has more energy too. She’s been ill since Saturday, so today was the first sign of improvement in all those days.

Today, I over did it first thing, as soon as I could I mowed the lawns, as they desperately needed doing, trying to get it done before it got too hot, but it was already warm, and very humid at 8.30am. By the time I was finished at 9am, I was feeling very woozy, I felt nauseous, and extremely tired, so I sat in the cool for a while, after having a shower because I was dripping with sweat. Later in the day, I sat and sewed the buttons back onto the new couch cushions, but didn’t do too much else outside, as I also ended up with a thumping headache by lunchtime. It wasn’t until about 6pm, that I realised the cause of my headache. I hadn’t had a single cup of coffee all day, and it was caffeine withdrawal. I immediately had a coffee, and woosh, the headache was gone. I had gone hours with this headache, if only I had realised sooner that coffee was the solution !!!

I also broke in the new BBQ tonight. We had sausages with salad for dinner, so I decided to fire up the BBQ and not heat up the inside of the house, so cooked the sausages outside. I have already come to the conclusion that it is the best BBQ I have ever cooked on.

So after all of today chores, we ended up with a monsoonal downpour late this afternoon, and it was a glorious thing to see. After all the gardening of the past few days, with the hot weather that has come back to us again, the garden needed a drink. I have been watering the new plants enough for them to survive, but now the whole garden has had a good drink, established and new plants, as well as the lawn. I refuse to water lawns, I like lush lawns, but don’t like watering them, the sky has to do that, and the grass has to learn to survive on that.

Jack has been working away at trying to learn to ride his bike today again as well, and he is certainly making progress, not a pro yet, but he is getting the hang of it. It’s nice having a garden where he can actually have the space to safely practice, and now hopefully, learn how to ride.

Anyhow, it’s now halfway through the midnight hour, so I will now attempt to get some sleep. My brother arrives from Melbourne in 2 days time, so still a few things to do before he gets here, but then, hopefully, I will be able to chillout a bit more over the Christmas break.

Andy.

Chewy lollies are nice.

I am sitting here after a busy day yet again, chewing on a fruit flavoured soft chewy lolly, thinking I am in heaven. Why does a small square of essentially just sugar make me feel so happy ? It’s strawberry flavoured, if you must know.

Maybe, it’s giving me such enjoyment because this is the first time I have had a moment to myself, except for when I collapsed into bed mid afternoon as the body, and the fibromyalgia fatigue got the better of me. It sucks having a chronic health condition like this, but still need to do everything that a single parent needs to do, like, everything.

Normally, I do have a little help these days, Mum will cook dinner or make lunch, which is a godsend, but for the past few days she has been laid up in bed with a virus that has knocked her for a six. So I have had to do it all again, and make sure she is okay as well.

I did 3 loads of washing before 8am, then went out and got some things from Bunnings, which included a gas bottle refill, and now I know my new secondhand BBQ, which was free, but cost over $1700 just 2 years ago, works like a new one still. I just don’t know how people can be so wasteful, spend $1700 and 2 years later throw it away. Anyhow, their loss is my gain.

Jack has been doing more painting today, his art is amazing. I know, I know, all parents think that, but he has actually won awards for his. And his photography as well. I will have to get some photo’s up of his work, so you can see it for yourself. I guess he was bound to inherit something from me, and being a good artist and photographer isn’t too shabby a thing to inherit from my genes.

Apart from the things I have already listed from today’s effort, I pruned all the plants around the garden as well, and now our garden is coming along quite nicely. We have planted about 60 plants in the garden since we arrived here a month ago. It was an established garden when we moved in, but very neglected and a lot of plants were just about dead. Apart from one tree, I have managed to resurrect them all. It’s amazing.

I love gardening. It is just so relaxing. That might sound crazy in some ways, because it is hard work too, but it relaxes my mind. I have too much going on in my head most of the time, I appear pretty chilled to most people, but inwardly I am wound up, nervous, anxious, pretty much a mess. So gardening is medicine. It makes everything go away.

Talking about the whole anxious/nervous thing, last Friday, we went to the local Carols by Candlelight, and it was the first time I have been out in a social environment like that since moving here. It was a strange sensation, I am always on the look out for my ex, but now, she is over 3500km away. Because of her schizophrenia, it was always a worry living in the old place, because you just didn’t know when you would run into her, and because she is a schizophrenic who is prone to act violently, I just didn’t want to have Jack witness that, or me have to experience that again. So every time we went out, I couldn’t relax. Now I have to learn how to.

Anyhow, enough of my ramblings tonight, I must try and get some sleep before it’s back into the daily grind again tomorrow.

Andy.

Another moment when being single gets the better of me.

I can’t believe I have been single for nearly 6 years now. Ever since I left the psychopath that destroyed me, I have gone through moments where it has got to me, that I am single, but I guess, I don’t want to be burnt twice.

It’s so hard, being in a situation where you’d love to have a relationship again, but being scared shitless of having the same thing happen all over again. Psychopaths reel you in, they are all nice and lovely to start with, so you just don’t know at the beginning.

I feel really lonely at times. It’s not so bad now that I live with my Mum, at least I have adult conversation, instead of trying to have in depth conversations with an 8 year old. But, I do miss having a partner, you know, all that nice stuff that comes with that.

I haven’t had a single romantic relationship since 6 years ago. I have done the online dating thing, and don’t get past the profiles, and then if I do get someone send me a message, I become suspicious quickly, and then just go my own way. All the weirdos don’t care if you are a single dad, but the nice ones (which is a matter of perspective I guess, considering what I am about to say), don’t want to go near you if you are a single dad.

I don’t get that. Why wouldn’t a woman want a man who is great with children, to the point that he has been doing it 24/7 for 6 years all on his own, can cook, clean, do the washing, and doesn’t worry about having to do it all on his own?

Maybe I don’t have enough tattoos. I don’t have any in fact. Maybe I aren’t ripped enough (ladies, if he is totally ripped, he only loves one person, and that ain’t anyone but himself). I’m a nice guy, maybe I need to be an arsehole? It seems that is what gets a nice woman every time. No, my mother brought me up well, and I guess having grown up with a father who was an arsehole made me not want to emulate him.

This always gets me around this time of the year. It must be the Christmas, but most likely the New Years thing, you know, where couples are meant to have a big pash at midnight. I don’t know. Maybe the love of my life is just around the next bend, who knows?

Andy.

I slept in but had a productive day

Wow, did I ever sleep in !!! 9am. Might not sound like an achievement for a teeny bopper who would sleep until midday no sweat, but for me, that is an achievement. I haven’t been able to sleep in, no matter how tired I have been, it seems my body clock just loves ringing the wake up bell at around 5 to 6am. Usually it’s the bladder that does the waking. Nothing worse than wanting to sleep in, but busting for a pee. Once I am up, I can’t go back to bed straight away, I don’t know why, I just can’t.

Anyhow, enough of the bodily functions stuff, I had a productive day anyhow.

I scored a fantastic stainless steel, all swanky, 4 burner plus food warmer and wok burner BBQ, and all for the fuel it cost to go and pick it up. It’s huge, I mean, it is a thing of shining beauty. Well, now it is.

I spent the day, after picking it up, spraying it with oven cleaner, blasting it with the pressure washer, scrubbing the stubborn stuff with steel wool and detergent, and then fixing all the bent panels and screwing all the loose panels all back together, by 5pm, when I finally finished, it is a glowing, shiny thing of beauty. It looks brand new, nobody would guess I got it for free. Tomorrow, I will go off to Bunnings to get a gas bottle, my current one is empty, so I need that to get it fired up. Bunnings is a dangerous place, mainly for my bank account balance.

Andy.

Outing to Yarrabah

Today, we went off on a pure “just drive and see where we end up” outing. Just Jack and myself. My Mum is unwell, so I figured that if we went out for a little bit, she could have some peace and quiet to rest.

After a breakfast of bacon and eggs, we headed off to Yarrabah, an Indigenous Community to the East of Cairns, on the other side of Trinity Inlet. It is a bit of a drive, I thought it was closer, but was so well worth it. The drive had us meandering through the sugarcane fields, and after the downpour we had yesterday from Tropical Cyclone Owen, a lot of the streams were flowing. This was the first time we went to Yarrabah, so didn’t know what to expect, and it was also Jack’s first time going to an Indigenous Community. There are certain things you need to observe when entering Indigenous communities, and you must have the utmost respect for the place and it’s people.

The drive took us up over the mountains, which was quite a climb up and over the range, but the whole thing was worth it. Below, is a photo overlooking the bay that fringes Yarrabah, who wouldn’t want to live in this slice of paradise ??

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We wandered on down from this amazing vantage point into the community below, and as we pulled up at the beachside, a lovely old Aboriginal lady in a wheelchair was having her morning wander around, and we had a little chat. She was an amazingly friendly and warm woman.

We then wandered onto the beach, where we discovered that 2 shipwrecks also inhabited the waters just off the beach. It was a popular photographic subject with both myself and Jack.

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Jack was trying to get the best angle.

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The western headland of the bay also was quite interesting and picturesque.

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We then decided to head back home, but took a detour before getting home to have lunch, which included a feast of Lychees we got at a roadside stall on our travels. Below, is the Western flank of Walsh’s Pyramid, with water streaming down some ephemeral waterfalls due to the heavy rain yesterday.

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We also happened across this colony of Fruit Bats, or Flying Foxes, which just so happens to be not far from our new home. I have been itching for a bit of an explore, but due to all the work we have needed to do, this has been the first proper opportunity.

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All the usual crap with fibromyalgia is happening still, and we still have tonnes more work to do, but it was nice to just kick back for a few hours, and start to explore our new home.

Andy.

Waiting

Life always seems to be about waiting. Waiting to go somewhere, do something, for someone or something. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Yep, that seems to be it.

This year, it has been a waiting game, waiting to move being the big one, now it’s done, it’s waiting for everything to be done so I can rest. I thought yesterday that I would rest, but it ended up that we went to do a simple trip to the nursery to get some extra plants for the screening fence we are doing, and it ended up at a shopping mall we hadn’t checked out yet, then Bunnings, and we eneded up finding another Op Shop, the best one we have found yet.

My rest day flew out the window, as we didn’t get back home until 2pm, then, I had to head out again at 3pm, as Mum found our new lounge suite, a beautiful cane 2 seat couch with 2 single seat chars, with yellow fabric on the cushions. I had to pick that up, before heading to the other side of Cairns to pick up a filing cabinet for myself at 4pm. Got home, totally spent. I could hardly get out of the car, let alone do anything else.

Today, we had planned to go and do our Christmas shopping, but instead I ended up spending the morning fitting a new door to Dads bathroom, one of those concertina style ones, so very fiddly, and also adjusted all his curtain rods as they were too low. Then, just because I have apparently turned into a masochist and love to basically kill myself, I hung the privacy screen on the verandah that Mum got the other day to stop a nosy neighbour, planted an orange tree I got from Bunnings yesterday, and mowed the lawns. I honestly don’t know how I am still operating. I hardly slept last night, and have been in agony for days, but last night was the worst. Bloody fibromyalgia !!!

Tomorrow’s plans have had a huge re-adjustment too, as we now have the ex tropical cyclone that crossed here on Sunday potentially going to revisit, this time as a a Category 2 or 3 cyclone, so we are going to try and do a clean up of the yard, removing the last of the rubbish from the previous owners of the property, as well as the last few cardboard boxes we had stuff packed in for the move. It will be a busy day of getting ready for a cyclone. At least life isn’t boring !!!

So now, we are waiting for a Cyclone. They reckon it will be here around Friday or Saturday, so only a couple of days to prepare. We knew that moving back to the tropics would mean we would get severe tropical weather, but I guess we had hoped that it might have been in the new year, rather than just 3 weeks after we arrived !!! Anyhow, this isn’t the first cyclone we have faced, we went through a category 5 in Western Australia a few years ago, but it will be the first for Jack, and it certainly won’t be the last in this part of the world, as most years cyclones affect some part of the coastline in this part of Queensland.

I am about to check out the latest update from the Bureau of Meteorology before going to bed. It’s going to be an interesting next few days, so I hope I get some sleep tonight.

Goodnight.

Andy.