Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Adelaide Bushfires

hi everyone,

I received a couple of emails asking about the path of the fires and if we were anywhere near them. Although we are in the Adelaide Hills, we're in a different path to the fire. We are safe. I really appreciate your emails and questions seeking clarification as to what you're seeing on the media.

There were rumours heading around on South Australian social media that an incinerator was lit and embers from that caused this horrific burn but the owner of the incinerator has denied that and clarified. He's also very teary and upset and has suffered loss himself.  I guess in any tragedy like this people are keen to rationalise the trauma and seek to place responsibility or blame. The Country Fire Service (CFS) have pinpointed a glass bottle combined with unmaintained, overgrown properties and 45 C and erratic strong winds were certainly a contributing factor to the origins of the blaze but as yet investigations haven't occured. They have not occurred because resources have been busy combating the blaze and saving homes, animals and managing the evacuations.  Obviously trees have also come down and blocked major roads so once they're cleared, investigation teams will be able to get in there.




The fires have so far taken about 10 homes that we know of but CFS suspect many more once investigations take place. Native animals are fleeing the heat and losing their homes too. Many koalas are approaching homes for relief and some, as pictured, are entering air conditioned shops for relief.

If you're keen to see the photos collected so far, click on this link below.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/photos-fnlmw1po-1227173559481/?page=1

It's devastating visually and also to read about it. After hearing about dozens of dogs and cats that were not evacuated in time, I had to shut it off because I became really teary and sad.  The thought of those innocent animals perishing in such a manner just really tore strips from my soul and even now as I type it, I'm sorry for your soul reading it.

As with any Australian crisis, Australians also band together. The facebook groups with hundreds of people offering free accommodation, free hotel rooms, free meals and what not is overwhelming. It also moves me to tears. People who have huge warehouses and offering space for animals, horses are in ovals and on properties and people are collecting goods, home wares and pets for evacuees who have lost their homes. So far, no lives have been lost but again fire services have not yet been able to return to some ground.

If you're to explore this information further, head to the CFS website. There are currently 65 warnings and incidents occurring. All of these areas have homes. Some of them are built up suburbs like Golden Grove, Houghton, Inglewood and more.



http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/home.jsp

It's just so unreal.

Thanks again for the messages.

xx
Cath



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

video

Quick New Years Message!

Hope you have a good one!

see you on the other side,
Cath
x

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Xmas Message

video


TV Free - Reading Room

View into Lounge room from Reading Room

Carissa's room

My room 

View from front hallway

Lounge Room with original fireplace

And so the nnoving begins...

Don't want to start a bush fire!

Not a bad attempt...

One of the huge trees in the yard... this is a gum tree.

Carissa's offer in UoS...

Gift from a friend.. cinnamon and nutmeg candle

What's left of a water feature after an out of control truck ploughed into cars killing two.


Ollie in his xmas present

Ollie's keeping mamma warm..

Carissa may choose U of Birmingham yet...

Visiting cat...

Reading our minds with his radar vision

Friday, November 14, 2014

Official!

Dear Catherine

Congratulations, your award Bachelor of Social Work has now been assessed as complete and will be legally awarded on 24 March 2015. 

Please go to >uni link< 
to confirm your graduation preference before 02 March 2015.

Kind Regards

Student & Academic Services

University of South Australia

I've been waiting a long time to see that email. I'm still recovering - is that normal?

Is it fair to allocate some recovery time?

I didn't think so but my body might be disagreeing with my head.  And alot of my friends and saying "well, you probably are burned out' and I'm like 'Really?" 

I'm sleeping ALOT.

Hope you're well,
Cath

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lightning Images


As I mentioned previously, Adelaide had a brilliant storm the other night. It moved across the nation and affected Victoria and flooded streets in two hours. 

My Texan friend found this link of awesome pictures of the storm.

Thanks for sharing it mate!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephanieanderson/adelaide-storm


SA Power Networks posted this awesome map of all of the lightning strikes.

I imagine it's caused quite a pain on the ass for them! 

 

We're always reminded how Mother Nature remains the boss of us!

Loved it

Cath

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Degree? Done!

hi everyone!

5 weeks ago I posted here. Gee, the time flies by!!  I thought I'd pop by and say hello
and update you on what's happening here in beautiful Adelaide.

Tonight there is a ferocious thunderstorm with lightning striking all over the place. It's just so gorgeous!

I was driving home just now from Hoyts in Norwood. If you want to read about Norwood, here is what Wikipedia offer you. It's the  suburb next to mine and it's a pretty tree-lined type of suburb, pretty affluent and I'm a regular there. I enjoy loads of the shops in Norwood. The main stretch is referred to as 'The Parade' and you can read about it HERE!  I love that despite it being a pretty rich area to live/reside there are also a mix of less than rich people living in the area. The area is also littered with buskers whom I support just for their time even if they're not talented!!

Anyways, I was leaving Norwood tonight after seeing the new Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman movie 'As I go to Sleep" which is about post-traumatic amnesia: a fascinating medical brain injury.   I was exposed to brain injuries in my final social work placement and become even more fascinated by how amazing the brain is.  I found myself wishing that I had realised this in my 20's and by now I'd be a certifed brain expert!! Alas, I am neither in my 20's nor a brain expert, but keen nonetheless!

So, in other news, I have finished my degree. Yup. I've been waiting four long years to say that. Type it. Live it and think it!

I have submitted all of my pieces of assessment and boy, did they put us through the ringer on the way out. It was symbolically like a beating before they let us out of their clutches!  To say that I'm relieved wouldn't cut it. I am SO OVER IT.  This weekend was the first weekend where I haven't had study committments!! That's a wonderful feeling to re-connect to my life wholly! I slept in guilt-free! And sat on the deck with the cat, reading a book guilt-free! I cooked a heap of meals and froze them for my ready-to-pop pregnant friend, Nicole! It was divine...and then to top the weekend off, I went to see that film I mentioned above. It was great but the trailer for that Liam Neeson film Tomb Raider something or other really got my attention!



On a total side note I have created this silly little salad that I am dead set addicted to!   I became all too familiar with this little dish while I was studying and wanted a quick, somewhat healthy lunch.

From Coles, buy a packet of tandoori chicken breast pieces (already cooked and delicious) (pictured)

To suit your serve size, add chopped cucumber, bunch of chopped coriander, one shallot, dash of light grated cheese and chuck in a bunch of that chicken. I drizzled Deli-Style honey and dijon mustard vinaigrette (pictured)cracked salt and pepper (of course!) and voila  - it's a tasty little bowl of love just ready for a taste.

Anyways, it's about 9.30 pm here and I'm gonna go chill out with a cuppa and read some more. It's so lovely to read non-study stuff for a change. I'm trying to get through "The Gold Finch" and the other book that I am about to start reading is The Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons"  

The book depository says this about The Gold Finch.."Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2014. Aged 12, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart.  Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle."

So I hope you are well. Are you? Leave a comment if you wish or not. Email me if you prefer. That's always lovely too. I promise to write more now that I have more time on my hands!

Best to you,
Catherine
x

Monday, September 15, 2014

Random Bits and Pieces



I visited the doctor recently and he told me that I have terribly low Vitamin D!  We have finished winter here and I have been indoors for awhile so that could explain some of it. However, Adelaide has had a burst of sunshine of late so this weekend I sat outside a lot gardening, trimming plants, and having hot tea on the deck with three, count them, three different visitors. So lovely. I had previously moved my sun bed back into the house to keep it dry from months of rain so out it went and I languished on that for hours reading.

Reading a new book my supervisor loaned me. It's written by Andrew Gottlieb and is a piss-take on 'Eat Pray Love" and it's titled 'Drink, Play and F*ck"  - I love it. It's hilarious. I'd very much like Daniel in Vermont to read it as I think he'd get a lot out of it.  I am also behind on responding to emails to a couple of people. 

People crack me up, seriously. I was recently in hospital (nothing serious, I'm fine...) and just ran into one of the girls that I met while in there. I said to her, laughing ' I didn't recognise you in civilian clothes with a bra on and not strapped to a beeping machine!" ha ha - she's so cute. It's funny how small the world is, really. There is certainly not a lot of room for fucking around and deceit.

Deceit is the best word that I can muster when thinking about the sweetest friend I have, Jess. Jess is 30 something and like me, a final year social worker student. She's a country girl that moved her. Jess is the girl that gives and gives and rarely takes. And when she's encouraged to prioritise herself (because sometimes we need to...) she struggles with it. So imagine my disgust, to hear that her fiancee of two years had cheated on her. What. A. Dog. I despise him to my very core. Just now as I am typing this, I am blocking him from looking at my linked in profile. He tends to and I have zero respect in any maintaining any connection with him, personal or professional. He has hurt the most beautiful person by pouring battery acid over her future, her trust, her head and her heart. She is still protecting him by not telling people the 'truth' on why they've broken up. 'An amicable break up' is what people are hearing. I was privileged to hear the truth. She said "I just couldn't lie to you" and I'm glad she didn't. She's broken but mustering the courage to face day to day. Of course, I just want to rescue her and get out of her there. She's still house-sharing with the cretin, cheating pig.  It infuriates me that he is being padded and protected despite his emotional and physical choice to cheat on a girl that gave him everything.

Everything is moving and shaking here in gorgeous Adelaide. I'm still keen to leave though and Mackay friends are hip with it. They're sending me different snapshots of employment in my sector and it's all very exciting. I still have not told my mamma. She's going to be out of head with happiness about it. Speaking of mamma, she's recovering beautifully. She has finished her chemo treatment ... what a day that was.... and is fit, tiny and feels like she's '30 again' - she says. Our relationship is just wonderful. It's grown exponentially since I put my foot down and demanded no association with her husband. And she has respected that and managed it so beautifully. I have invited her to my graduation in March where I shall don a different type of gown and she will no doubt weep again!  There were certainly stages in the last  4 years that I doubted that I would make it this far and attend the graduation at all.

All is well here for me. Studying at the moment while I am at home and listening to the best spotify playlist ever! It's a Sunday morning wake up pre-made one by some genius. I'm tempted to write to him and give thanks! 

Thanks for reading.
Cath x

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Muddled!

I'm in two minds again! What the f*ck is wrong with me?

I've been chatting to an old trivia friend, Macomber (George) who is living in Montreal and now I want to move to Canada instead of Mackay! And, I have another Canadian e-friend, Ed who lives in Lethbridge that is keen on seeing some gigs over his side of the world.

The inconsistency bugs the crap out of me but if I apply the whole 'world is my oyster' phrase, it's probably normal that I would change my mind a hundred times given the freedom of choice that accompanies that phrase.

Carissa also had a bit of a tiff with her daddio on her 19th birthday (oh, the timing is not lost on me...) and now I am not so confident about her living with him.

Maybe I'll have to wait until she leaves for Birmingham and pull up my tent-poles then.

Moving to Canada would be a-fucking-mazing but what a major head-fuck to figure out my eligibility, accommodations, expense budgets and the like.

But the best thing would be that if I was based in Canada for 12 months, I could visit USA friends based there. I have quite a few that I'd like to visit but they're pretty scattered around the place.

Loads of work there in Canada (over 1700 jobs) for qualified social workers and it part of the Commonwealth.  Like here, Government social workers, get paid much more and looks pretty equivalent to what I'm on now.

Now I'm all confused and messed up, god damn it.


Edit: 13th Sept: Is it positive or therapeutic in some way to try and untangle thoughts via a blog? I think so.  I am now leaning towards moving to Mackay once Carissa goes to Birmingham and holidaying in Canada/USA from there. That's a more solid achievable foundation to work from.

Hope you're well,
Cath

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Suicide


It's everywhere and still silent. Still leeching into the homes of people everywhere no matter what their social standing. It seeps into the lounge rooms of every family like light through a cracked door.  No matter what their life experiences. The top class education, support and 'happy' outward exterior counts for nothing. " I knew he was upset but I didn't know it was that bad'  - it's inescapable. It takes the lives of celebrities. It takes the lives of sportsman. It takes the lives of every day mums and dads. It takes the lives of the beautiful girl. That fat kid.  The victim of sexual assault. The offender that can't see past his past choices.  The star football player. The plumber. The soldier. The kid next door. The child of a friend. It's brutal. It's final and it's an epidemic; it's suicide!

Today I received word of a school friend's son who has taken his own life.  Again, a person reached a dark point in their depression where checking out is 'their only answer' to the woes and grief that they're facing.  I look at his photos and see a fit, gorgeous young man. Playing footy. With a girlfriend. With prospects. Smiling with his mother and his brother. All of that doesn't count when you're buried in depression... the insidious disease that it is. People write about it. It is sometimes an outlet, seeping through the cracks,  for artists to create passionate work either in art or music, or plays; or drama - it's a creative source that feeds and destroys at the same time.

When I was living in the UK, I attempted to slice my wrists with a razor while I was sitting in the bath. I was only 19 maybe 20 and thought my life was done. It was a tumultuous time in my relationship with Phil and I felt alone, isolated and hopeless in dreary Bedfordshire. Looking bad, my troubles were NOTHING and I'm so glad I didn't do any serious damage. I didn't even scar. I'm gladder that I didn't succeed in my attempts. Whilst my life hasn't been spectacular, it's been a good run so far. Of course, at the time I felt buried in helplessness, was dead on my ass broke, unhappy in a relationship, resentful and couldn't go home. Where else could I go? It was surely the best decision. At no point did I think 'Mum would be sad'  - I simply thought 'this is the best choice' and was pretty locked into that way of thinking.

Phil's cousin, Jim, who I adore to this day, knocked on the bathroom door and that interruption and subsequent hug really prevented me from following through. To Jim's credit,  he never told Phil. He just held me for awhile and smiled warmly at me. We laid on our tummies listening to records for awhile and drank hot tea... and it was just what I needed.

Now as a 42 year old successful educated woman, I'm so happy that I got through that dark cloud.  My heart hurts for these young ones that make that decision not knowing that their depression or dark space can be a temporary place.  My heart hurts for the soldiers who have bruised brains from all the trauma they have seen or participated in 'in the line of duty'.  My heart hurts for people who are buried in depressions. There is a way out. Don't lose sight of that. Please - talk to someone. Get help.

 And if you go on anti-depressants, ensure that it's coupled with counselling. Either through a psychologist, a social worker or a psychiatrist.  Anti-depressants particularly SSRI's only lift the physical fog to give you a head start into the day ahead. The fog that it lifts provides clarity. This clarity is the optimum stage for receiving counselling. Don't be scared or intimidated by that C word. It's a clinical word sure but therapy comes in all forms. We all practice therapy.  It helps us unburden our psych of the stuff that invited the fog in the first place. The self-esteem. The worthlessness. The hopelessness. The 'why bother?'  - something started that........and perhaps it's complex. It's layered but it's workable.  What was life like for you before you remember the fog? You were there once. Can you be there again?

If you don't have a connection with the psych/social worker, move onto someone else. You're worth it. You don't have to be polite to them. Find a connection and talk it out.Relationship is the key to any change. If you can't talk and form a 'relationship' with your worker, move on. Relationship building is the blocks of communication.  Don't let it bubble to the surface where you feel pushed into an inescapable corner. Suicide is not the answer.

RIP Zeke.

xx