Flubbeddydoo

What to call a post when you don’t know what to call it? I guess it will do.

I just wanted to start by saying that I apologise for not having posted much recently, I have just been very busy and preoccupied with too many things, life has just been a roller-coaster. Taking Jack to birthday parties, running Mum to various different things, trying to get the car prepped for a roadworthy to change the registration from another state, helping Dad build a fence across the side to secure the backyard, and throw in the Cairns Show, Cairns Gem Festival, Jack’s art classes, trying to get my art studio organised and built, and then on top of all of that, untreated fibromyalgia, it’s just been hectic, tiring and crazy.

Good news is, Mum has been seeing a new doctor (third time lucky) and yes, it seems we may have found the doctor we have been looking for, someone who is willing to help us with our fibromyalgia, and has an understanding of it. So, on Wednesday, I am off to see her as well.

I have gone months and months with no treatment, and hell doesn’t even describe it, so hopefully, I may finally get back onto the meds I need. The new doctor has not had a problem prescribing the only effective medication for Mum, so hopefully she will be the same with me.

The other thing that has been happening with me, inexplicably, is I am not hungry much recently, although it’s not making much difference to my weight, but for example, my first food today was tonight’s dinner. I didn’t even realise that I hadn’t eaten all day until I sat down for dinner. I knew I had bypassed lunch, I was engrossed in a job I was doing, and Mum asked me if I was going to have lunch, which I said I wasn’t hungry, but realising I hadn’t even had breakfast, because I was so busy getting Jack ready and then launched into my project for the day, was quite a shock.

Anyhow, I am going to leave this here for now, I am totally worn out, and, during doing a spring clean of my room, I happened to find 1 fast acting Tramadol tablet in my travel case, which I had no idea was in there, so I have taken it, and now the pain of the fibromyalgia is dropping to the lowest it has been most of this year, it may be a good time to get some sleep, because that hasn’t been very good recently again either.

Andy.

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School Holidays are here again….

We have just completed the 3rd day of the school holidays. Between the usual duties of doing the washing, and garden maintenance, Jack and I have been playing with the mountain of Lego I got him for his birthday. We are discovering just how many sets are there, there are sets that go back to 1978 that we have made so far !!! We now have a fleet of different trucks (newer style sets, so time consuming and huge), and a Firestation, (a huge one again), plus a 1979 Holiday home, and a few other buildings as well. And we haven’t even made a 1/3rd of it yet.

Today I took all the wheels off the car, put it on stands, and checked all the undercarriage out, getting ready for it’s roadworthy inspection, making sure everything is fine. I also pressure washed the underside as well, so now it all looks like a brand new car underneath. There are no leaks at all, this car has never leaked but wanted to make sure, and the brakes are all fine as well, with plenty left on the brake pads. It was a huge task, and I am paying physically for it now, but at least I now know that apart from a windscreen replacement, it is all okay and should pass the roadworthy inspection with ease.

After all of that, Jack and I went for an explore around the place, as Sugarcane harvesting has commenced, and seeing this is the first season we have lived here, I wanted Jack to see what happens. We found a place where a harvester was working, and watched for ages, as it went backwards and forwards across the fields. Jack was amazed, and there were a whole heap of white egrets following the harvester, obviously picking off all the harvester disturbed bugs. After that, we went on the hunt for some Cane Trains, and saw several, a couple were smaller ones, and then we spotted a huge locomotive carting a substantial load, more than 1 km long, to the sugar mill.

It’s all rather exciting, and when you go into town, the smell of the freshly crushed cane, and the smell of the subsequent juice being refined down to sugar, is sweet, literally !!!

Anyhow, time for bed, and hopefully sleep.

Andy.

 

Trying to get in the right place, where ever that is…

I have been struggling very badly the past few weeks, and it just doesn’t seem to be improving just yet. Nights of sleeplessness, pain that has been unbelievable, and all sorts of other fun stuff going on, and the complete despair of knowing that I will have to go to the doctor sooner rather than later, but expecting the exact same treatment, or lack of. I haven’t felt this lost for a while.

Every day I just tick the day off best I can. Distraction from just how bad I feel is starting to not work, although I try every day. I mow the lawn. I painted the shed today. I helped dad lop back a big willow that was hanging over the new shed and carport a couple of days ago, which was a big mistake for my well-being, on both a physical and mental/emotional level.

I am a wreck. I’ve started to get some sores from the stress on my body, particularly on my face. It’s the whole, messy package.

I just don’t know how I am actually even achieving a thing at all.

I am still managing, according to Jack, to be a great dad. I don’t know. I am still a better dad than my own in this state, but I feel as though I am not the dad I expect myself to be.

My tolerance of my father is very low right now. His nasty, smart arse, know-it-all (but knows nothing) unfunny behaviour just grinds me. I have given up on pleasantries, well, I keep the peace more or less, but his nastiness towards pretty much anyone, and then his acting as though he’s done nothing wrong, just makes me really fucking angry.

Just a little insight into what we are talking about here. Sexist and racist jokes. He doesn’t see them that way. He doesn’t believe he is a misogynist or a racist, but apparently jokes about dumb blonde women are funny, and blackface is okay.

He always expected someone else to do his housework, in the beginning it was his mum (who didn’t help, as she did everything for him and turned him into what he is), and then his wife. Only in the past few years has he actually ever done anything at home, and it was like he needed a gold badge every time he did anything. “I vacuumed today, I need a gold sticker”. “I cooked 1 meal this week, I need a gold badge.” “I turned the washing machine on today, that’s doing the washing”. Right now, his little granny flat reeks. It is such an horrendous smell, just like his room when in the old house, perhaps, actually, worse. He even came up near me today, and I doubt he’s had a wash for a few days.

If anyone actually stands up for themselves after or during an onslaught of abuse from him, they are picking on him. I mean, we are talking about a person who displays every attribute of a classic abuser. Is the perpetrator then cries victim.

Things unravel. It’s funny, I have heard a line from him, that he attributes to his grandfather, time and time again, and even just last week, “if you tell a lie, you have to have a good memory”. Well, his lies unravel at such a rate, it’s almost amusing now, especially when he quotes his grandfathers line.

When I changed my bank to a new one, from the old, “the family has always banked with such and such bank”, he gave me a huge amount of grief. Funnily, a bank statement arrived yesterday, for him, from the bank I changed to.

Apart from laying bare the hypocrisy, it uncovered another lie. He blamed a disagreement with Jack on Jack’s birthday last year, and chucked a huge tantrum, telling the whole family he was leaving and that we were all basically arseholes (on his grandsons birthday, and no apology has EVER been forthcoming for that), but now we have discovered, with the exposing of several things, that he was planning it for months, but he still sticks to the crap of this disagreement as being the catalyst for him splitting up with Mum.

His bank statement (which, now being from the same bank as mine) only comes every six months, that every six months starting from when the account was first opened. So, in January last year, he opened that account, the plan was already in motion. 5 months prior to his blaming Jack. He actually said on the infamous night, that he already had his own bank account. So yep, nothing at all to do with Jack at all. He really is a low bastard. His memory obviously sucks, because he exposes his own lies, and he doesn’t even realise it.

I guess that my little vent of the spleen is because the other thing is that he has a total disregard for any other persons feelings, or how they are in any way. I ended up helping him cut back that willow, just to keep the peace. I was, and have been incredibly unwell for over a month now, but he just doesn’t care. But, if he has a touch of hayfever, we all need to care. Well, I don’t like anyone being unwell, but his total disregard for anyone else has brought me to a point where I just about have found the second person in my life now that I have no care about at all now. The first being my second abuser (my father, I now realise was the first, and the reason why I thought  it was normal and accepted the second one for so long). I know he is my father, but all the shit I have gone through because of him over the years, I have paid my dues to him, and owe him nothing. I only do anything for him now for the sake of my mother.

Well, I still don’t know up from down, I am still a mess, still really unwell, and, well, lost. I don’t know what the future holds for me, and right now, it all sounds to painful and exhausting.

Andy.

 

From the Photo Archives: Some Sunsets..

I thought I’d go for another instalment of photo’s from the archives. Here are some fiery, and not so fiery sunsets for your viewing pleasure……..

2012 Bridgewater Bay

This first one is at Bridgewater Bay, SW Victoria.

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This was taken in 2014, on my way back home from Warracknabeal, in Victoria, near The Grampians. I timed my return to be in this area at sunset……..

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…….and this is one of the shots of The Grampians. The lenticular clouds were amazing above the mountains this particular day.

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I also got this shot, with the rocks illuminated rad, with grazing sheep. Looks much better blown up big, this photo.

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Not one of the most photographically great photo’s, I hate having so much man-made crap in the way of a sunset, unless it suits, but this was the sky on fire, right out my front door a few years back, in Heywood, Victoria.

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This was out my Mum and Dad’s front door at Narrawong, Victoria.

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A little better shot a few months after my other front door shot at Heywood. Almost a painted sky.

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One of my all time favourite shots, I was coming back home from a day out to The Grampians, and this just presented itself. I actually had to turn the car around as I caught it out the corner of my eye as I was driving past, and by the time I got the camera out and set up, I thought I would lose it, but it just lasted for ages.

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This sunset was at the Lee Breakwater in Portland, Victoria. I tried so many times to get the perfect shot with a seagull, and this was closest.

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You will see a few shots at this place in coming posts, it’s at Bridgewater Lakes, in SW Victoria. That’s the Southern Ocean right there, and there is no other land once you leave that beach until Antarctica. Looks warm, was bloody freezing !!!!!

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This was the same day, it’s very misty due to sea spray, it was roaring that day, both wind and surf. The sea is about 500 metres away and about 100 metres below, and the ground was still vibrating with the crashing of the surf.

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And yes, another on the same day at Bridgewater Lakes, with…….the actual lakes !!

 

2016 Phillip Island (31)

This was taken at Phillip Island a couple of years ago, while not as stunning colour-wise as the other ones, I actually like the muted colours.

2016 Narrawong (19)

Another less fiery one, this time at the Surrey River In Narrawong. The reflections just made this. Was expecting a much more lively sunset, but alas, it didn’t happen. Still like this shot though.

2016 Condah (68)

A very plain Jane shot, simple, but I love it. The rays emitted from the horizon were amazing. This is at Condah, in SW Victoria.

2016 Casterton Sunset Storm (6)

This shot came at the tail end of an unsuccessful storm chase, I was chasing storms that just didn’t seem to want to play ball. On the radar, they looked to be moving my way, but they were dissipating and reforming just a little further away constantly, and as much as I drove, I got no closer to any real action. Roads that don’t go directly anywhere don’t help. But, I got this sunset near Casterton, complete with some stars.

2015 Condah (2)

I had this shot, taken near Condah, as my computer desktop image for a while.

2013 MacArthur Windfarm (4)

And to round the sunsets off, how about some renewable energy ?? This is the MacArthur Windfarm in Victoria.

I hope over the coming months I will get the opportunity to gather a few more images around this area  of sunsets, it just so happens that most of the time, it doesn’t work out well with it being dinner time and all.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this lot, until next time, have a nice day, or night, whatever it may be in your part of the world.

Andy.

Meltdown

Today I had a freaking huge meltdown. I am one of those people that doesn’t go off much, I am the calm and collected one, but when I go off, I go off. It’s a family trait, my Mum and Brother are the same.

For weeks my mother has been in this mire of self pity, she also has fibromyalgia, but instead of accepting it and getting on with life as best as possible, she has immersed herself in the internet, the tv, food, and just self pity. She’s put on weight, I did also, I was in a bit of a funk as well, mainly because she has been and it tends to drag those around you in as well. I snapped myself out of it after a week, but she had got to the stage where the internet and TV was more important than putting the empty milk container, or tuna tin, into the recycling bin after she’d emptied it, which was like 12 inches below, under the bench.

Jack has also been not listening and doing the basics of the things I expect, I don’t expect much, but it’s not hard to put toys away after you use them, or put the washing IN the basket, not right beside it on the floor. Now we have a new family member, a younger dog, in the house, leaving shit everywhere is just asking for disaster. He’s also been just, pardon the bad language,  fucking plain rude to me, and I destroy myself making sure he has as good a childhood as I can manage, which, is much better than most able bodied fathers do with their own children.

There is a bunch of other things that have accumulated, like Mum saying she won’t put up with Dad’s shit anymore, but not really making it clear to him. He is a petulant child all on his own, and he is just so full of shit, and his own self importance. He probably won’t ever stop being a shit, but letting him think it is okay, is just becoming an enabler to his crap behaviour.

Yeah, yeah, I’m venting. I let fly this afternoon, at Mum and Jack, I told Mum outright that I was sick of her wallowing in self pity, that leaving rubbish within inches of the bin was just fucking bullshit, and that I am in agony ALL THE TIME, and am severely fatigued ALL THE TIME (she isn’t even remotely as bad with fibro as I am yet, she even admits it), but I still get off my arse and do shit, even when physically I feel destroyed.

In the time she’s been in the wallow, I’ve painted the side fence, installed solar security lights, still stuck to my laundry schedule (she’s run out of clothes a few times, as she has just not bothered to keep to her schedule, and she only has to wash her own clothes and bedding, I do 2 peoples stuff, and the extra kitchen and bathroom washing), done the lawn mowing several times (Dad just doesn’t bother, he sits arguing with strangers on Twitter all the time, another example of his shitheadedness), I get Jack to and from school every day, make meals, take mum out shopping when she wants (she doesn’t drive), I am just a fucking slave, and it is just too much. I really just feel that nobody realises I am actually a human being, I’m just the car driver, the home help, whatever. I am at the point that I don’t even think a holiday would help me not feel this way.

When I made dinner tonight, just after I exploded, Mum actually got up and started doing some stuff. Jack did too. After dinner, Jack made sure he put his dishes in the sink, and mum got straight up and washed them. It’s nice, but really, should it take you losing your fucking bananas to get others to help out ?

We all live here, shit, shouldn’t we all do our bit? I’ve even had some thank you’s from Jack, but, I told him that right now, all I can see that is is that I lost my shit and it’s not genuine, just I guilted him into it, and that for me to believe it, it needs to continue. I am sort of over window dressing, it needs to be genuine, and I need to not be a fucking slave.

Being as ridiculously unwell as I have been recently, doesn’t help. Fibromyalgia unwell, everything else is fine, since I have been getting flu shots and taking probiotics, the respiratory illnesses have become a thing of the past. This week, I have had to sleep from when I brought Jack home from school, until dinner was ready, 3 times. I have also felt like my head was going to explode, it’s not pain, just pressure. Body pain has been ridiculous, and as much sleep as I get just doesn’t do much at all.

Well, I am going to stew a bit more, try and sleep, and see you all later.

Andy.

 

Fur baby

Tomorrow, we are going on a 150 km round trip to Mareeba, to visit a Dog Shelter. We may have found a new member for our family.

This is the first time we have decided to go down the shelter dog path, and Max, the dog we will be looking at, is a cross between a Pomeranian, Staffordshire Terrier, and Chihuahua. He looks beautiful, all white, and is apparently good with kids, so on the face of it, sounds perfect for our family.

It’s been nearly 5 months since we lost our beautiful girl, Smudge, the Jack Russel Terrier, a dog that had been a part of my life, through good and bad (even the ex bad) for nearly 17 years. It is still in my mind, how we lost her, until she had her stroke, I had never heard of a dog having a stroke. But, despite all that, the memories of the joy she brought will stay with me forever.

Tonight, after I tucked Jack into bed, I went out and retrieved the dog carrier out of the shed, cleaned it all and reassembled it, as we had it in 2 parts, we used to use one half for Smudge’s bed, with a nice high loft pillow and a blanket inside. It is now reassembled, hopefully with no lingering scent of Smudge (I don’t want Max doing anything in it because of another dogs smell, if we end up bringing him home)  and is in the boot of my car. We, Mum and I, have kept it hush hush from Jack, as if we go there and he doesn’t fit us, then there won’t be disappointment, but also, it will be a hell of a surprise if we rock up to pick him up from school with a dog !!!

Anyhow, short and sweet tonight, I need sleep, last night was the second night in a row I have been woken around 4.15am, last night it was 2 cats brawling right outside my bedroom window !! The night before the smoke detector. Hopefully tonight it will be a good, full night sleep.

Andy.

Chillagoe, a bit of catching up

I hadn’t realised that I had been so tardy in getting these up.

We went on a big outing a few weeks back to Chillagoe, which is west of Cairns, about a 3 hour drive. It is an old mining town, mainly tin, but other metal ores were also mined around the place as well. It is also one of Australia’s biggest sources of marble.

Below, a few photos of the day………

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This is the site of the old abandoned smelter. Back in the 1990’s, when I first went to Chillagoe, you could walk right around those old structures, nowadays, it is all fenced off, with quite a well designed viewing area, and signage telling you all about the place.

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This is one of the 3 Chimney’s at the site, this was apparently the main on.

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This is a different perspective of the site, showing all three chimney’s the one in the centre was for the powerhouse.

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Even in the wasteland around the site, these beautiful flowers were trying to make a go of it.

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This was where the ore was crushed in the first stage of processing.

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A closer up shot of the powerhouse chimney, which was a different design to the others, it had flat sides, whereas the other two were round to the top.

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After touring the old smelter site, we headed a further 30 km northwest, on the hunt for fossils. Apart from a small piece of petrified wood, we only ended up with a few nice pieces of jasper. This is the Walsh River, beautiful cool and flowing water, and it is so remote out there, it was just serene.

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Another shot of the Walsh River from the road crossing.

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Red termite mounds and Brahman Cattle, you certainly know you are in Northern Australia when you have that view.

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It takes a fair bit of gravel road driving to get out to Chillagoe and beyond, and there are these amazing limestone tors all around Chillagoe. The dirt and dust, and the occasional 3 trailer Road Train is worth the effort.

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One of the truly massive limestone caves that dot the area. In the 1990’s we went into one called the Donna Cave, with all those stalagmites and tites, and they are amazingly beautiful, it’s amazing what happens when you just add water to limestone, and wait a few thousand years !!!

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The limestone ranges, with those red termite mounds that are synonymous with Northern Australia. I’ll leave you with the below closer shot of the scene above. This trip made me realise just how much I love the Savannah Grasslands and Woodlands across northern Australia.

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Andy.