Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Who has the voodoo doll of me?

Ok time to fess up... I am not perfect... in fact I have made a few enemies in my time (I'm not really sure how but that is another story).

Last night I had an experience that clearly confirmed that someone, one of my American exes I suspect, has acquired a voodoo doll in my image.

Sitting on the couch with TLOML (who is wonderful/incredible/fabulous/and even better than I imagined etc) watching the teev suddenly my left butt/hip starts to hurt with a deep ache...  a moment later my right ankle develops a stabbing pain for no reason, I hadn't even moved it!  The ankle hurts enough to take my mind off my butt (oooh that was a weird image), but not for long because a moment or two later it's my right shoulder, then there is something stinging me at the back of my right knee, oh hang on -- nothing really there... no actual sting.  Then it's my right side of my butt with a deep throbbing ache.  If it didn't hurt it would have been amusing.

I started to describe this to TLOML (who is terrific/adorable/fabulous/and actually cares about my aches and pains etc) and while we are talking these blocks of pain continue to move around my body.  Mostly they were aches but, just so I don't get too bored, there were a few sharp stinging pains and some weird skin sensations... wandering imaginary insects, huge patches of burning skin etc.

Now any of my pals out there who are unfortunate enough to share this bloody rotten condition with me may have experienced feelings like this...  Actually wandering random pains are not all that unusual.  What was really odd last night was the speed of the changes.  I could hardly keep up with what was hurting most while trying to describe it to TLOML (who is gorgeous/amazing/fabulous and genuinely seems to be in love with me too for some insane reason etc).  I was announcing a new location about every ten seconds.

As a rational and well grounded, sensible woman, I can, of course, only come to one conclusion; someone  is playing roughly with a voodoo doll - an effigy of me.  I don't think they were doing the stereotypical sticking in of pins, mostly I think they were squeezing or pinching parts of me with an occasional little pin prick.  Perhaps they have acquired one like these ones pictured below (available at Voodoo Authentica)

All I can say is that I hope they misplace my effigy as soon as possible because I felt like I was playing some strange twisted version of "Whack-A-Mole" that would have been more appropriately called "Rub-A-Sore Spot"...  I couldn't keep up and failed miserably.

Fortunately this episode petered out eventually and I was able to enjoy Tablet Time with TLOML (who is excellent/awesome/fabulous and who I love more every day etc).  Courtesy of Dr McLovely I have been getting some sleep which IS interrupted by pain but IS NOT interrupted by the jumbo jet that is landing in the bedroom every ten minutes or so (aka the air conditioner).  I have even been dreaming a LOT lately.  If lack of sleep is really the culprit in the FMS mystery I should be feeling better...  I'm sad to report that "better" is not the Word of the Year so far for me.  "Happier" has taken what appears to be an unbeatable lead in the Word of the Year stakes!  That might be courtesy of TLOML (who is enchanting/amusing/fabulous and who has plastered a huge smile on my dial etc).

Herbert, would you please make the villain stop playing with the doll?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Domestic Goddess....um...well...um...?

Ok here it is in black and white, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth... (As best as I can relate it through the twisted lens of my perceptions.)

I've never been much good at cooking nor any of the other domestic arts.

I can get by, but only just.  My idea of cooking is to get take-out or to go to a restaurant.  My idea of cleaning is to not make a mess.  I am pretty good at staying on top of the washing, at least that way I get to play with water, and I do like to wear clean clothes.  Ironing is one of those things I can do but I avoid.  Suffice it to say that I have spent my adult life taking a minimalistic approach to domesticity.

In my defense I will say that I am handy.  Fixing things is generally fun, a bit of a puzzle and then a tremendously satisfying outcome that pours positive strokes into my instant gratification pleasure centre.  A couple of days ago I fixed TLOML's sliding screen door.  It took $12 and about five minutes (including diagnosis and then installation of the new rollers).  I have been living large on the praise I got for that!  Apparently it had been a giant pain in the arse for about five years.  I'm working on procuring some decking board and I will be doing a little verandah repair in the next few days too...  that ought to put a shine on my halo!

Anyway, yesterday, because TLOML had not had enough sleep, had gone to work and stayed late for a meeting, and was heading out in the evening for an exercise class, I decided to demonstrate my rusty dusty domestic skills and save TLOML a few worries.  So after dropping TLOML off to work in the morning I went to the smaller of the two tiny supermarkets we have here on the island.  (Note the use of the word "we" clearly I am beginning to identify as a resident!)  I bought, pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, beautiful tomatoes with the vine still attached, and cheese.  Then I headed home and stripped the bed and put on a load of washing (this involved a couple of trips up and down the quite long flight of stairs to ground level where the laundry and the clothes line are located).

Then I took another run down the street to the liquor store (the bottle shop) to get some cheap red wine for cooking.  Finally it was time to start the masterpiece.  If I may digress for a moment and correct a few misapprehensions... although I choose not to cook and I'm not very good at the timing and coordination of meal preparation (having had so little practice) I actually can cook.  I'm reasonably creative (one day you should ask The Boy about the White Gumbo) and not bad at combining flavours (though the White Gumbo might belie that point).

It began with the rinds and the fat of 5 rashers of bacon cooked to a crisp and then removed, this leaves a small amount of bacon dripping which is far and away the most indulgently delicious fat for any cooking project!  Then I sliced three big brown onions and tossed them in with two heaped teaspoons of garlic, one of ginger, and one level teaspoon of chilli.  I had to drop in some butter as there wasn't enough bacon fat.  Then I sliced and added about ten medium sized mushrooms.  In went seven vine ripened tomatoes - sliced, the rest of the bacon thinly sliced, and about a cup of tomato paste and two cups of cheap red wine.  Simmer and stir regularly.  Meanwhile back at the ranch the washing came in from the line, unfortunately it needed my help and refused to spontaneously fold and stack itself.  Then I sliced the zucchini and tossed it in, cut up the broccoli (even the stalk) and added it too.  Another slosh of wine and turn it down to simmer and reduce.  This concoction can be made with any veggies you happen to have on hand, any meat or it can be vegetarian, the only really standard requirements are the onions, tomatoes, and the wine.  The rest is completely flexible.  You can serve it on pasta or rice, or over meat or even on toast.  TLOML and her son were both suitably impressed (I did warn them that they will need to wait for the next blue moon to see this or anything else cooked by me).

The only problem with my stint as a Domestic Goddess is that I overdid it a bit and I have been paying since about 4pm yesterday afternoon.  Roving muscle spasms and some fairly cruel baseline pain have sidelined me today.  I have even broken my rule about taking drugs that make me drowsy during the day. I caved in and took a valium a little while ago.  I'm hoping that it will help with the spasms but so far not so good unfortunately.  So yesterday's Goddess is today's giant slug lying down.  I still think it was worth it!

All the while I was cooking I was trying to think of a suitable name for my creation.  Heretofore it has always been just called "gunk" but I think it is deserving of a more elegant and sophisticated title.  I considered calling it "Henry VIII Sauce" as I beheaded the zucchini... I would love to hear some suggestions?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Tropical thunderstorms and whacky weather...

Last night there was the most amazing storm!  Thunder, lightning and torrential rain.  We were all awakened and the poor dog quivered and shuddered between TLOML and me.

My darling lost more sleep from an already shortened night.  I did too, but I have such low expectations regarding sleep that if it wasn't the storm waking me it would be an aching shoulder or a stabbing pain in the hip.  This was much more exciting and more fun.  I actually like storms.  If I had my druthers I would probably have been outside on the verandah watching nature's fireworks, but the dogger was scared and the g/f really needed to get as much sleep as possible.

The weather is different in Australia than it was in the US.  There seem to be so many more drastic weather events in North America.

I lived in Minnesota and the whole idea of a place where you are sweltering in summer (temps over 100F sometimes and quite humid (probably from all those 10,000 lakes)) and then dealing with temps well into the negatives in winter is beyond imagination in Oz.  The freezing rain, snow, and the days when it is too damn cold to snow, make winter a real endurance sport in MN.  I strongly suspect that it is unfit for human habitation but that those Scanderhoovians are too damn stubborn to admit it.

Then my stint in Oklahoma was interesting.  In that wonderful English film "Shirley Valentine' Shirley talked to her wall, "hello wall"... in Oklahoma it is "hello wall cloud".  I know where Frank Baum got some of his inspiration for The Wizard of Oz.  There are few things more alarming than to see the sky turn green with banks of clouds that appear impenetrable!  If I had experienced the storm we saw last night while in Oklahoma there would have been tornadoes for sure!  It was a definite "super cell" and yet for some reason it is very rare for these huge storms here in Australia to create funnels.  Another thing about a storm like that in Oklahoma there would have definitely been downed trees and power lines and thousands of people without power etc etc.

Northern California is really beautiful and as I managed to avoid any earthquakes I have no complaints...  but... it is kind of interesting in some weather ways...  Mid summer The Boy and I were dying in the 104 degree heat in Willits when only 30 odd miles away, as the crow flies, at Fort Bragg where we went to have a swim, everyone was wearing jackets!  On top of that when we did try to go in for a swim the water was SO COLD that I, literally, lost all feeling in my lower legs.  Then on another day driving from Cloverdale on Hwy 101, where we were being broiled alive (sans butter and garlic), to San Francisco we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to find wisps of fog against the hills of SFO.  There is of course that wonderful quote, often erroneously attributed to Mark Twain, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  We certainly experiences the truth of the saying no matter who actually said it first!

Then I did some time in Houston, Texas.  Here the fixation on those incredibly destructive hurricanes that spin through the Gulf of Mexico and then tear up some unfortunate area of shoreline is really quite justified.  A trip through Galveston, about 45 minutes from Houston, still reveals the destruction of the 2008 hurricane "Ike" which at one point was over 600 miles in diameter and caused damage from the Florida Panhandle to Corpus Christie.

Now Australia isn't completely devoid of weather we do get cyclones (hurricanes by another name) and they have been known to damage this beautiful island on which I live.  TLOML's shade cloth over the pool is still sporting some substantial rips from the most recent cyclone.  There have been some very nasty cyclones in the past but most of them affect areas of quite low population.  Cyclone Tracy that decimated Darwin on Christmas Day in 1974 was especially significant as it did wreak havoc on a major city.

I have no idea why storms like last night don't drop twisters.  It might have something to do with the ocean.  Maybe if Australia had more population in the middle there might be more reports of tornado like phenomena.  We Aussies cling to the coast like born-again lemmings refusing to either jump or move inland.

It seems to me that when I was a child in Sydney you could pretty much set your watch by the "southerly buster" that would roll in to cool us all down around 3.00pm.  Sydney has been doing a fine impersonation of San Francisco this summer quite cold and damp.  It is really giving all those anti-global warming wowsers good ammunition for their argument.

It's just all different.  Nothing is the same as it was and no two places are alike.  The only constant is change.  Thank goodness I subscribe to the "Variety is the spice of life" philosophy!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Paradise and love can only go so far...

The last few days have been a bit of a trial for me.  I appear to have contracted some generic flu/cold bug of some sort that started as a sinus issue with increases in pain and fatigue.  Now it has moved to my upper respiratory tract giving me a gravelly voice and a phlegmy cough.  The problem with this is that so many of the symptoms are actually just an increase of those that already contribute to my average day.

There have been times when I have used the analogy of how one feels when one has the flu to describe the nature of the constant low level pain and fatigue that are just part of the baseline for me.  When an ordinary (read "healthy") person comes down with a bug they feel sore and tired.  They like to rest more and lie down more but they can force themselves to do a strenuous activity if they really must.  Welcome to my normal.

So here I am, happier than I have ever been in my life, enjoying paradise with fabulous food, wonderful company, and virtually no stress and feeling really quite crappy.  Yesterday was the worst day for the flu'ish feeling.  Today just feels like a quite unpleasant flare with the added pleasure of a very sore throat.

There are a lot of bugs in the tropics, ones with multiple legs, not just bacteria and viruses!  I know that seems rather obvious but when you have weird skin sensations where you feel like you are being bitten or stung for no good reason, or when you feel things walking on your skin that really aren't there, the added factor of the presence of "actual" bugs makes for a weird mindset.  I'm slapping myself too often, getting sudden stabbing pains in a tiny spot and then searching for something that caused it.  People could be forgiven for thinking my condition was psychological instead of physiological or neurological (the verdict is still out on that one re Fibromyalgia though the current theory is blaming the central nervous system) when they see me scrounging around looking for imaginary ants, spiders and beetles.

Sooooo...  I just took some pain killers and I'm getting my poop in a group for another social engagement this evening.  I have been out more since I arrived here last Tuesday than I was in four months in Sydney!  It seems that a highly social two thousand can outdo an insular five million hands down.  Of course TLOML is very social and involved in all kinds of things and in Sydney I was verging on reclusive.  The good thing is that most things are very close to home here.  TLOML and I haven't really got the "I need to go home now" signal down yet.  I don't like a big fuss and would like to be able to just slip quietly away if I'm getting too tired or sore to party on.  We are working on it.  Certainly this evening I might come home quite early (unless a couple of glasses of wine does what pain killers can't do) and I have no problem with TLOML staying on especially as we will only be a couple of blocks from home!

I have had a remarkably good run.  I managed to avoid colds and flu for well over a year including time spent on two different continents!  So I'm going to try and suck it up and have a good evening in spite of having a nasty dose of crud!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sweating it out

Phew - I know all my friends up in the Northern Hemisphere are suffering through their winter and I know I have been gloating somewhat about their negative temps.  I believe I have earned the right to gloat by spending 7 years in Minnesota and particularly by going skiing one day in jeans and long johns when the temp was minus 10 Fahrenheit (about -23 Celsius).  Karma being what it is I suspect my gloating is coming back to haunt me.

It's warm today, really quite warm, one might go so far as to say it is too warm... you might even say hot.  Right now it is a very humid 86 F with a "feels like" rating of 95 F...  I'm most definitely "all of a glow" and the languid rotation of the ceiling fan is providing scant relief.  It's more than partially my fault that I am now glowing (I guess rivulets might count as more than glowing?).

One of the things I failed to mention in my account of the road trip was that the front right turn light assembly (take note of my new and improved lingo acquired while searching online!) fell off the car somewhere on the first day.  It appears that the previous owner had failed to clip it back in properly after a minor front end repair.  Now Shermie (short for Sherman Tank), my car, is a Volvo, an older model but not showing her age too badly, so parts are quite an expensive proposition.  I went downstairs to check exactly what the part looked like and warmed up considerably.  The genuine part is just over $300.  There is an auto wrecker who "might" be able to get me one for $80, and online - in the US of A I could buy one for $25.  It's hard to believe that something performing the same function could range so vastly in price.  The dude at Volvo needed the Vin number to be able to search, so with him still holding on the phone I went downstairs again to get the Vin.  The second trip down and then up the stairs really kicked in the glow glands!

So I'm off for a tepid shower.  Mum always said that to cool down the shower must be tepid because either a hot one or a cold one stimulates blood flow and heats you up.  TLOML will be finishing work shortly and I'm looking forward to spending some time with her this afternoon.  It's an adjustment, TLOML going back to work, but I think it will be fine.  I will have more time to blog, more time to read, and now that I have finally worked out the enrollment system at the University (is that a secret test to see if we are smart enough to go to University?) I will soon be starting school.

I'll be interested to see if the FMS gets better or worse in the heat so far it seems to be much of a muchness but I am dutifully keeping my pain diary (if catching up the last two weeks could be called dutiful...) so if there are any significant changes it should be evident.  I do know, for me, that being cold makes everything hurt more.  I get more muscle spasms and more joint pain specifically.  I'm wondering if the heat might have a bad effect on my fatigue levels...  Oh well I'll know soon enough.  Any thoughts?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Constant amazement and the super road trip

TLOML and I just sat down to watch some TV this evening and by complete happenstance stumbled across an interview with The Chef, with whom we went to school.  I was in school with her from years 9 - 12 and TLOML was with her from Kindergarten to 8 and then 11 to 12 (the final two years of school saw us all at the same school).  We, the two Displaceds, were stunned to see The Chef on TV as neither of us had ever seen her on TV before but more to the point we wondered what she would think if she could see the two of us, laying back on the couch in our underwear, holding hands, and watching TV.  I think it would be a reasonably safe bet that we are the only two women named Displaced that The Chef has ever met.  I wrote about The Chef once before in a blog I called "Thoughts on vulnerability".  I don't suppose any of this is all that interesting aside from the fact that I am so constantly (literally) amazed by the turn my life has taken.  Suddenly I have been transformed from someone on a long run of misfortune to The Luckiest Woman In The World!

The week in Sydney was very hectic, TLOML and I had to debate a little and juggle the competing priorities of each of our friends and families.  On top of those moments of friction (that were all handled amicably and with ease) my body was freaking out a bit and was giving me a few very painful days.  Last Friday, the 13th LOL, I had my last appointment with Dr McLovely and aside from filling up with petrol she was our last stop in Sydney.  TLOML and I began our journey north.  She had said so many times "I hate long car rides!",  "I need to stop AT LEAST every two hours".  I just shook my head because I not only LOVE long road trips but I am very goal focused so I push on and delay stops as long as possible.  She had told me that she liked to relax in the morning and then head off after a leisurely layabout morning...  I had told her that I need to get the work of driving done before I will relax and do anything "leisurely".  It all looked quite foreboding!  We had five days to travel 2400km.  It seemed almost a certainty that this journey would be the cause of our first fight.

The first night was spent with my brother and his partner and that took us only about 450km out of Sydney.  The plan was to try to get up the coast in the morning so that we would have time for a swim in the surf before going to my brother's.  There are few places in the world with beaches more beautiful than the Mid North Coast of NSW.  Seemingly endless tracts of white sand and the glorious South Pacific sending in wave after wave makes it a very appealing place to anyone who enjoys body-surfing.  Everything went pretty much according to plan with one rest room stop en route and plenty of snacks that were cleverly packed by TLOML.  By mid afternoon we were swimming alone on a beautiful beach.  TLOML is particularly keen to swim where there are waves because her tropical island home is inside the Great Barrier Reef and is therefore inadequate in the wave department.  I love the surf and always have but I can't really trust myself any more.  I used to be a very strong swimmer but I have to dial it way back now and make sure that I pace myself.  The last thing I need is a big exercise induced flare while I am trying to drive up the coast!  The night with my brother was great.  We had a delicious dinner with super tender steak and vegetables.  Time slipped away far too quickly.

I woke early in the morning and found a few extra corners of space in Shermie (my car) to jam in some of my old tools that my brother's partner had been minding for me (for 12 years LOL).  I will be needing them if I am going to make myself useful around the place here.  We headed off in fairly good time.  The second night was also planned.  We needed to travel about another 450km to The Gold Coast where we were staying with TLOML's step-mother for the evening.  TLOML was pretty keen to get another swim and we were shooting for a stop at Byron Bay.  Unbeknownst to either of us Byron has been bypassed by the highway and I completely missed the turn off.  It was such an unobtrusive sign!  I was sure there would be another exit but after about 10 minutes still heading north it became apparent that there wasn't one!  Oh well Brunswick Heads would have to do.  TLOML pouted a little about missing Byron but we were in agreement that going back was too much of an inconvenience so she picked up the lip and we made for the gorgeous surf beach at Brunswick.  We had a lovely swim, the waves were a little too choppy for body surfing but it was still refreshing and invigorating.  We arrived in Surfer's Paradise with time to spare.  We had a terrific evening with TLOML's step-mum, including beautiful accommodation on the 37th floor AND dinner at a seafood buffet where I managed to consume about 100 oysters.  (I know I sound like a terrible piggy but there was a challenge involved!!!)

The third day we were planning to have an early swim in the surf and be on the road by 10am.  TLOML was having such a nice time with her step-mum that we decided to skip the swim and leave a bit later.  Still not a single cross word between us!  Step-mum (who is lovely!!!) made us the most beautiful gourmet sandwiches for the road - smoked salmon, ricotta cheese, multi-grain bread, avocado - absolutely scrumptious!  We had vaguely planned to head to the most northern surf beach in Queensland but unfortunately on this day we hit quite a lot of rain.  I was not making great time but skipping the swim allowed us to reach Rockhampton for the night.  This night was spent in a strange motel.  My Minnesotan friends would call it "different".  For a start the woman at the desk seemed so incredibly depressed that she looked like something from 'Night of the Living Dead'.  The entire outside of the motel was tiled in big pseudo travertine tiles.  When we managed to get inside the room we found that everything but the ceiling was tiled too!!!  There was a single bedside table with the name of the motel written on the top AND on the drawers in permanent marker, the jug and the bar fridge were similarly labeled.  Still the sheets were clean, TV worked and we were together!

Day four was trying because of some quite heavy rain and the almost complete lack of overtaking lanes on the two lane "highway".  The day before had featured occasional signs saying "overtaking lane in 5 km" presumably to prevent us taking big risks overtaking but on day four no such signs appeared.  I guess one saying "overtaking lane in 347 km" might not have been as effective.  We actually could have made our destination on day four with just a little more endurance but we decided to stop about an hour south.  We stayed in a nice motel and ordered food from the restaurant, none of the furniture or appliances were labeled with the motel's name so this motel appeared to have a higher standard of clientele.

Right on schedule we arrived in the morning on Day Five and were home by early afternoon.  We even unloaded the car, though doing that nearly finished me off.  I gratefully collapsed and was lovingly cared for by TLOML.

So here we are.  Still not a single argument nor a cross word.  Every decision has been reached by consensus.  It's almost freaky how well we relate and how easily we get along.   We are both quite emotional and sensitive women yet we seem to be able to help each other get through and over things more easily.  It occurred to me that we defuse each other.  Somehow we give or say the right thing at the right time.  It is almost like between us we have a self-leveling mechanism that settles and resolves the issues that each of us has sometimes struggled with alone.  It feels like we have always been together in the way that we manage to interact with virtually no anxiety.  I can truly say that I have never had any relationship, in any capacity, even in work or in friendship, that was so harmonious.  She is slender and beautiful with sparkling blue eyes that make me melt from any distance and I am completely, head over heels, besotted with her.  I'm my own flawed and dilapidated self and yet she loves me, I mean, she really loves me and constantly demonstrates it with care and affection.  Between us there is an easy flow of loving words and acts that completely back up and support the words.  Doing not just saying.  I am quite sure that we should be handing out nausea pills to anyone who has to spend time with us together.

We sometimes wonder what might have happened if a fortune teller had shown us a picture of this time and place when we were schoolgirls together 32 years ago.  We both think we would have said "Why wait?"  The interesting thing is that the answer to the question "Why wait?" was only revealed by the waiting.  We have each learned some hard lessons and seen some dark days; enough to know that something as beautiful as this needs to be cherished and protected; enough to know that, as perfect as it feels right now, there will be obstacles and difficulties we need to face together as time moves on; enough to know just how much we should appreciate each other - we know how lucky we are.

So what would The Chef think?

I hope she would be happy for us both!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A New Life Begins...

I can't believe that it is nearly two weeks since I wrote a blog...

Believe me it has been an amazing ride!

This afternoon, my car was loaded on a barge and set sail into a brisk north easterly breeze.  Poor Shermie (my car) was jam packed to the roof with all (well nearly all) of my possessions.  It was the last leg of our 2400 km journey.  We are here.  We are "we".  We are astounded, excited, and frequently delirious with delight.  I am now ensconced on the couch at TLOML's house which is now, as of today, our home.

Tomorrow, I will try to write the real story, I'm just too tired and happy to do more than write this note.

Thank you Herbert.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

On the move again!

Oy Vey!

Tomorrow I am returning from the tropics to glorious Sydney.  TLOML and I are being picked up at the airport by The Best Friend, which is wonderful.  Then back to her house to see The Boy and home to The Horsewoman's house to pack up my things and get ready to move... (again)...

I think I have moved seven times in the two years that ended on Christmas Eve.  It has been far far too often.  This coming move will be my eighth in twenty-five months.  The last move was the hardest...  Culling twelve years of accumulation into six checked bags across the Pacific was exhausting, heartbreaking and expensive.  I was ruthless and I am still looking for things I left behind.  I had this stupid outfit of girl clothes... white pants, a mauve tank top, and a crinkled floral over-shirt of white with mauve flowers...  I have the bloody ugly shirt that I never liked, and the tank top that goes with nothing else I own, but can I find the damn white pants (the only useful part of the outfit) anywhere?  *big frustrated sigh*  I just have to console myself that I made the best decisions I could at the time, as TLOML so often says "We are all just doing our best".

Part of me is dreading the return to Sydney because it is going to be incredibly hectic.  We both have people we love who we want and need to see.  In the four months since I returned to Australia I have reached out over and over to my old friends, my friends from school and university, my friends from my crazy early jobs and even my ex-girlfriends and without exception they have welcomed me into their lives in spite of my pathetic attempts to maintain contact over the decades.  I can't just jump in my car with TLOML and smile and wave and yell "So long and thanks for all the fish!"  I love and appreciate my old friends and I really want to get a chance to see them again this trip and thank them.  I will be leaving The Boy and although I know he is an adult now he will always be my baby, for that matter he is also one of my best friends and is a trustworthy confidant and a thoughtful adviser.  I have really enjoyed being as close to him as we have been the last couple of months.

Of course there will be other trips to Sydney but this move is really significant.  I am packing up and piling my junk in the car and heading 2400 km (about 1500 miles) north with every expectation of staying there forever.

TLOML and I have had a busy and quite stressful couple of days tying to get ready for the return to Sydney and struggling to coordinate the competing priorities of the people in Sydney, and even to some extent, the people up here.  Still we have not had a cross word or a moments disagreement, if anything we have both been a calming influence on each other.  We are well aware that "real life" will not be the same as either the lazy days or the frantic preparation this "holiday time" has provided but I'm pretty certain we will be fine.  I will be studying and she will be back at work and I think we will eagerly anticipate our time together.

So here I go again another giant leap of a move but somehow this one just feels different, it feels right and it feels relaxed in spite of the chaos of the time in Sydney.  I do feel anxiety about getting everything done and seeing everyone we really want to see but I have not had even one moments anxiety about if this is the right decision or if TLOML is the right person.  I named her TLOML and that continues to be the most apt and accurate description.

We will be fine because we will be together.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

2012 Might be the end of the Mayan calendar...

It might be the end of the world but it is the beginning for me...

I don't care if the world ends in 2012 as long as we all go together.

Eleven is my lucky number - I was born on the 29th day of the month.  When I choose numbers for anything I choose ones that add up to eleven...  47, 56, 83, 29 etc...  If I go to an auction I choose a bidding number that adds to eleven... 155, 128, 173, 92 etc...  I had great hopes for 2011.

Throughout most of the year (2011) it was appearing NOT to be all that wonderful.  I was sick, I was unloved, I felt unlovable.  Those of you who have read my early posts pretty much know how dark 2011 was for me.  That is until the 11th month.

At 11.11am on the 11th of the 11th of the 11th I wrote a wish list.  Since the day after I wrote that list my world has been as different as ice is from fire.  My life has taken a 180 degree turn (should I say a 182 degree turn?).

The first and most substantial change that will occur in 2012 is that I will be relocating from Sydney to a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef.  I will be living with TLOML who is without doubt the most beautiful woman, inside and out, I have ever had the privilege to love.

Soon I will commence study for my Masters which will give me a focus and an opportunity to succeed.  Most importantly it will give me a viable intellectual activity that I can do while lying down...  I still need to spend a generous part of my day horizontal.

2012 appears before me as the happiest and most fulfilling year of my life and I AM READY!

I am ready to be happy, ready to be loved, ready to love, ready to study, ready to accept my health, ready to succeed, ready to be fulfilled.

If the Mayan's are right that is just fine with me.  If they just ran out of room on the stone well that is fabulous too!