Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A watery tale: Bundaberg floods

Everyone in Bundaberg turned into a flood photographer today. There were traffic jams all through town. Everyone was carrying their digital camera or phone. At first it was a bit of fun. We squelched through the park down to the edge of the bank. We went to the river and marvelled at the current and height along with everybody else with nothing to do (which it seems is most of the population of Bundaberg). Then we drove over to East Bundaberg which is low lying and when we get a lot of rain, always floods and always has. This information is valid because my mother lived some of her young life in a house at East Bundaberg and remembers the 1954 floods. It was there, wandering about with my new camera, that I started to feel like an intruder, a voyeur, a gawker. People have had to leave their houses and will have lost everything. This is the sad tale of all natural disasters, but as they stood out on the footpath watching the trail of amateur photographers traipse by their homes, I was struck by their dreadful situation, and all those all over the state and elsewhere who are going to spend weeks and perhaps months, trying to get back to normal. Nevertheless, here are just a few pictures.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Countdown 24: Christmas Judy

My favourite Christmas distinct from Christmas carols!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Countdown 23: Christmas Dancin'

Not the highest quality of videos but lots of fun! Thanks to Ellen on fb for sharing :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Countdown 22: Christmas Waits

And now for something completely different.....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Countdown 21: Christmas Britten

My favourite from Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols. That is all.

Except to say that this is one of the few pieces that after a live performance of it I was left blubbering for about 10 minutes. And I'm still not sure why. That's music for you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Countdown 20: Christmas Sexsmith

I'm not sure why I didn't take any notice of this song when I watched this Rockwiz Christmas the first time round in 2007. Because I did watch it. Maybe it's that I'm not a huge Whitlams fan. (Yes I know...unAustralian of me...too bad). Anyhoo...while I was watching this on Sunday morning it appeared to be one of the most perfect Christmas songs. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Countdown 19: Christmas Bottles

you can have all your fancy schmancy traditional Christmas songs and your celebrity pop star covers but what about the bottles?

Thank you Youtube for being so apparently random....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Countdown 18: Christmas Me

I played this a year ago today. I just happened to click on it this morning so as a result it's now your Saturday December 18 Christmas Countdown. (And no, I'm not sure why I played the repeat either).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Countdown 17: Christmas Rolf

This is sort of irresistible really isn't it?

Isn't it?.....

Perhaps it's just me with my memories of singing this in music class at West State School growing up in good old Bundaberg.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Countdown 16: Christmas Can-Can

Ok...yes...I am slightly addicted to these fine singing gentlemen now. But how could I not be? They're dancing the can-can!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Countdown 15: Christmas chorus

Joyful, light, really bounces of my favourite choruses from the Messiah

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Countdown 13: Christmas Ships

I do like this one a lot. It's all jaunty and it's about ships! What more could one ask of a Christmas song?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Countdown 12: Christmas Fairytale

I'm sure I've posted this before but too bad. Stompingly Christmassy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Countdown 11: Christmas Chestnuts

This is lovely. I'm using it to pretend it's cold and wintery here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Countdown 10: Christmas Gravy

This is an Australian classic song written about Christmas. I love it. That is all for Friday. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Countdown 9: Sussex Carol

There's something soothing about a nice traditional Christmas song on a Thursday afternoon. And harmony, always harmony.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Countdown 8: 12 days of Africa

thanks to Celia we are all going to all enjoy this today!
i love it :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Countdown 7: Beautiful River

We're going all a bit reflective and soulful today with our Christmas countdown.
Such a beautiful song....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Countdown 6: Gleeful Jingle Bells

It's a little Jingle Bells Glee style. Sadly, Glee has gone all ridiculous in its second season (if that is indeed what we are up to). Instead of being a drama/comedy/satire of life in high school USA - style with musical accompaniment, it is now a High School Musical, with storylines thin to the point of non-existent. The only interesting character left is Kurt. Anyway, I continue to watch it because the musical arrangements and choices are pretty amazing.

I may or may not buy this Christmas album. It's a toss-up between that and the Messiah. Oh wait...I already own the Messiah.

Decision made then.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Countdown 5: Carol of the Bells

This is one of the very few albums of "popular" Christmas albums I own. Nice. Sweet. Pretty.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Countdown 4: remain seated...

This has been doing the rounds and what is Christmas without a little bit of the Messiah (even though technically it was written for Lent/Easter). And this is arguably the most famous bit, although not my favourite part. Anyway, this even gave me a few goosebumps on first watch (thanks Murray on FB) so I'm sharing with you on a very rainy Saturday in Bundaberg.

Oh...and I believe it was one of the King Georges who began the slightly weird tradition of standing during the Hallelujah chorus. You may remain seated at computer throughout if you wish.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Countdown 3: Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day

This is one of my all time favourite traditional carols and who better to sing it than the choir from King's College Cambridge?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Countdown 2: War is Over.....?

I chose a modern classic for Day 2. Let it take you where it will.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Countdown 1: Deck the Halls

It is fair to say that I have not been the most diligent of bloggers lately, but with December arriving it is time to get up, get with the program, and get in the Christmas spirit. I intend to do this through song. If I can manage it, there will be one Christmas song a day on The Spiralling Shape from now until Christmas Eve. Who knows, maybe I will go kerr-azy and also post one on Christmas day. The rules are, genre is unrestricted - classical, pop, religious, secular - all Christmas songs are welcome on my blog. Well, that's really only one rule isn't. One is enough. We begin today with a favourite, one that I actually find myself humming all year round which is slightly strange, and here given the Pomplamoose treatment. For those of you unfamiliar with Pomplamoose, their "treatment" of songs is always outstanding. I think it is particularly appropriate for the first day of December. Let's all Deck the Halls, our loungerooms, our kitchens, our front doors and wherever else you would like to deck.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Takeaway Coffee 2.0: The deception of froth

Longtime readers of The Spiralling Shape may remember my battles to get a decent takeaway coffee. This task is made more difficult by the fact that I have switched to decaf in order to stop jittering. Some places Don't Even Have Decaf. Can you believe it? What kind of world are we living in. Anyway, a while ago I wrote some rants about The Coffee Club and their disproportionate froth to coffee ratio (n.b. I have most likely used those mathy type terms incorrectly). I resolved never to go there again. And I have stuck to my oath. The trouble is, if I want the best takeaway decaf in town I need to drive 15 mins into town and then all the way back to the edge of town where the uni is situated. Is it worth it? Some days - yes. Most days - no. So this year I started making my own coffee at home and taking it with me to work. Impressed by my frugality? I sure was. However, times change. I am still struggling postop to get organised in the morning. There is no leaping out of bed, charging through the shower to start the day with vim and vigour and a coffee in my hand as I head out the door, eyes shining in anticipation with what the day may bring. Instead I sort of quietly get up, slowly eat my breakfast, shower, dress, throw together a crappy kind of lunch and make it to work around 9. What about the coffee I hear you crying? (That is if you have persevered this far in reading my post). Well, there is now a Muffin Break at Sugarland which is On the Way to work and they do a fairly respectable decaf takeaway. The muffins are okay as well. I have switched to flat whites so as not to get caught out with the froth deception. But so far have had three quite acceptable coffees from there. You do have to stand there and wait for them to call your name, which I am not fond of, but still, if everything was perfect what would I write about here?

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Well that was much better, in terms of weeks and their relative goodness. In fact there were moments when we may have been close to excellent. This week at work we began assessment for students for our 2011 program. This requires them to attend the campus to complete a literacy and numeracy test. They then have to return to be interviewed by yours truly. I spent all of Thursday and Friday interviewing prospective students. The majority of them were tremendously excited about the change, the big step they were making in their lives to return to their education. Many of them have inspiring stories and their joy at being accepted into the program knew no bounds for many. This is the part of my job that I enjoy. Despite the fact that we are in the middle of being "restructured" for the umpteenth time, budgets have been cut and the understanding from upper management of what we actually do seems to be negligible, I know that education does make a different to peoples' lives, in many and varied ways. Offering adults the opportunity to return to education in a free program that supports and encourages them all the way through is a privilege and one that I hope is not lost in the new age of tertiary education which every day seems to lose sight of what its "core business" actually is.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I am now a social media expert

This unscheduled break in my writing an article about We Can Be Heroes and Summer Heights High is brought to you by the need to explain the silence of The Spiralling Shape over the last week. Let's have a look at the days of last week shall we and see what transpired:

Monday: Copies of book arrived. Much joy, relief, happiness. Went to choir and bashed out notes for Christmas concert. Came home. Got the "it's not you it's me, I've changed how I feel, don't wait for me anymore" on flipping facebook chat. (Realised later that I can probably claim to be a "social media expert now"). Went to bed sad. Slept briefly.

Tuesday: Woke up at 4am. Still sad. Got out of bed at 8. Couldn't speak for crying so took a sick day. Stayed home. Wrote a fb message. Realised heart was breaking. Not a pleasant feeling. Started to feel better by the afternoon thanks to wonderful friends. Went to bed and slept much better.

Wednesday: Woke up. Not so sad now as a little bit mad. At myself. Kept this to myself and my journal. Will not share it here. Attempted to write what I am now discovering to be slightly gibberish. Had lunch with Jinxster. Excellent times hearing of travels in Vietnam and Cambodia. Went to work in the afternoon. Came home. Taught the piano. Talked with sensible adult piano student. Felt stronger. Resolved that no more contact would be best course of action for some time. Watched Glee and wondered how it had got to be so crap. Watched IT Crowd and was quite disappointed with it.

Thursday: Wrote some more in the morning even though concentration was extremely poor. Went to work in the afternoon. Started smiling and laughing. Pleased with own resolve and strength.

Friday: Struggled to write anything proper. Faffed about on internet. Went to work in the afternoon. Actually did some tasks that needed completing. Progress good.

Saturday: Went to breakfast at Indulge. Bought groceries. Tidied whole of messy house. Did all washing. Had a three hour nap. Feeling calm and peaceful. Watched news of Burma only to be interrupted to by very unusual, confused, fb chat. This time did not feel sad or mad or anything. Just wondered what the point of that had been. Went to bed.

Sunday: Went to markets and bought some six dollar earrings. Went to beach for coffee in the afternoon and stopped at the lavender farm with Jinxster. Came home. Booked tickets to Tasmania for January. Caught up on Burn Notice, Ashes to Ashes, watched Big Bang Theory, Bones. Went to bed. Realised that some weeks are crappier than others and that one had been a doozy.

Monday: Woke up resolved to have a better week this week.
Am doing so.

The end.

Monday, November 8, 2010

something for the shelf

Here is the real thing. I have held it in my hand. First thought...what a relief. Second's shinier and a bit bigger than I imagined. Third thought...I am scared to look inside in case I find a mistake. I think I shall just put it on the shelf for a while.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The book

Tremendous excitement and relief today as I got word that my book is now printed and available for purchase. This book, Event TV, is basically what my PhD thesis was all about. I am thrilled that it is in print. The publisher is PostPressed, an small, committed academic press in Brisbane, who distribute their publications online through e-content management. I am delighted that there is a student price which is ten dollars cheaper than the RRP. I am also just basically delighted that they agreed to publish something that most likely will never sell 10000 copies, that they believe in publishing academic work from young researchers in small volumes. John Knight, the editor has a strong belief in the traditional values of academia and for that PostPressed should be celebrated. If you are interested the link is here.

(For some reason blogger won't do the link properly so you'll have to copy and paste if interested) There is a table of contents as well as the reviews/comments that appear on the back cover. I am extremely grateful to Geoff Danaher, Jennifer Elsden-Clifton and Jason Jacobs for writing such lovely things about my work and letting me use them. Apparently, now I need to organise a book launch. Who knows about such things? Not me, but I think I am going to have to find out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

hats, sweeps and Foucault

Such excitement what with hats, and sweeps and new books finally arriving in the post. I shall let these pictures paint 1000 words.

Monday, November 1, 2010

of writing, aging, music and other things

I feel I should post something but not sure what so here we go. I am not doing the novel writing in November thingo that so many people seem to be having a go with. It's enough to keep drafting a paper, blogging, tweeting and facebooking without a novel looming over me as well. Good for them though. I hope they make a million dollars. Well not really, but you get the idea..good writing wishes and all that.

I am now officially "working from home" most of the time on my research fellowship. Finally. It's only taken since June to get this happening. I'll tell you why. 1. Teaching. 2. Operation. At last, my teaching, student duties have died down after the end of term and I don't feel the need to run into uni every morning. It's much nicer to get up in a leisurely fashion, breakfast, shower, meditate etc, and write for the morning. At this stage it's all very drafty, and as always after having a long break from writing "proper" stuff, I seem to have forgotten how to do it but surely that's all part of the fun? Isn't it?

And yes, I did take my brave pills and attend a 20 year school reunion on Saturday night. hmmmm. 20 years is a long time, but what this confirmed for me was that essentially people don't really change, they just become taller, fatter, louder, quieter, more or less intense versions of themselves. It was all very interesting. Best bit...chatting with the two guys who I had been right through primary school with as well.

Anything else? Well I am off to Brisbane again on Friday. This time to see Leonard Cohen on Saturday night. I am flying as way back in June Qantas conveniently had a instead of the usual 200 dollars or so it usually costs (ONE WAY...THAT'S RIGHT) I am there and back for 140 bucks. An hour in a plane or 4-5 hours in a car. Decision was made.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Well hello Friday

Well hello Friday! Thanks for this awesome headache you have seen fit to bestow upon me. It's really proved helpful as I worked away to meet my quota of words this morning about satire and the television mockumentary. Haha on you though because I got them done and am feeling very pleased with myself. Perhaps this afternoon you might like to bother someone else with a headache and leave me alone. I have to go into work you see and those two things (work and headache) rarely play nicely together. It's just a suggestion you know, but I would appreciate it if you could give it your full consideration.
With all good wishes

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Has it really been 21 years?

I am feeling all a little bit nostalgic for the late 80s, early 90s at the moment. It could be something to do with the fact that Saturday night sees me going to my 20th year school reunion. Eeeeeeek.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Three days away

Three days in Brisbane did a great deal towards my ongoing recovery. I stayed with the wonderful Anne and Matthew in Clayfield and was beautifully looked after with great food and conversation. Friday afternoon we went for a brief saunter round the shops at Toombul. Of course I found things to buy. I believe this to be one of my special talents. Anywhere I go I can find something to buy. This time it was two dresses (one of which was 5.95) some earrings half price at Sportsgirl and a lace kind of headband. I also bought three beautiful bunches of asparagus for 4 dollars which we had with our dinner on Saturday night.

Saturday we went out. Firstly, we drove over to the South Side to visit my book publisher. He is a lovely, intellectual man who is not very well but maintaining his enthusiasm for life, ideas, and beliefs. We drank tea and chatted for two hours. Then it was lunchtime so we drove to West End and treated ourselves at The Gunshop Cafe (I have the name correct now unlike my tweet at the time). My risotto was delicious. Then we wandered up and down the street. I spent some considerable time in the Avid Reader picking up things and putting them back again, but did find a book on Banksy on the bargain table at the front which seemed like too much of a cooincidence to ignore so I bought it. And then we ran into my musical friend Murray sitting outside The Forest, an unexpected treat. We chit chatted and Anne noticed some poor backpackers trying to buy mangoes at the fruit shop next door. (They were squeezing them instead of smelling them to see if they were ripe). After that we were growing weary and stopped briefly on the way home for a coffee somewhere I forget the name of.

By then it was time to get ready for the opera. Aida by Verdi at the Lyric Theatre. We were sitting four rows from the very back. It was Very Far Away. Still, we could read the surtitles and admire the staging in its completeness. Costumes and choreography were impressive. However, my taste in opera doesn't go far beyond Mozart comedies actually. Given that, the three hours passed quite quickly.

Sunday we made our way to GOMA for Valentino. This was supposed to happen way back in August but was delayed by my operation so I was really looking forward to it. The pug fashion parade on the lawn outside was a surprise in more ways than one, but the dresses were the real highlight. It was slightly, disappointing they had run out of exhibition catalogues. I bought some postcards and fridge magnets instead. As you do.

Then it was lunch and time for home. I am little weary today, having not walked that far in quite a while but all well worth it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

fillums and musik

Well I didn't get to South Solitary on Friday night. I swapped it for a wonderful evening of fun and laughs with my darling sister in law. I introduced her to Beautiful People.

Yesterday though I did get to see Creation with Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. It was a beautiful film, a lament for Darwin's daughter Annie who died at a young age, his coming to terms with her death during the writing of the Origin of Species, the battle between religion and science, and the question of a separate issue. I found it very moving and still find myself thinking about it today. Then I stayed on and watched a documentary about the Vietnam War - The Most Dangerous Man in America. Not having been alive at this time I am pretty hazy on the details of the Vietnam War so this was fascinating. It was the story of Daniel Ellsburg, a top man for many years working within the US government advising on policy and strategy in Vietnam, who after some time of seeing the hypocrisy of what went on in private compared to the public face of the various administrations from Kennedy through to Nixon, decided to release what became known as the Pentagon Papers exposing the increasingly farcical nature of America's involvement in Vietnam. Moral courage was the theme and it was strong and inspiring.

This morning I went to see the Italian film Mid-Day Lunch, about a man who lives with his aging mother, and ends up entertaining three other elderly ladies for lunch. It doesn't sound like much when I say it like that but it was a reminder to take life for what it is, to enjoy the little moments, of sharing, of friendship, of food, of wine and of laughter. Tonight at seven I am going to Exit through the Gift Shop. I made sure I bought my ticket this morning so I wouldn't have a "can't be bothered moment". For in between all this I have played at a choir concert last night and this afternoon. I am a little bit tired. Accompanying takes a fair amount of concentration even if the pieces are pretty easy. But I am looking forward to Banksy's exploits on film. What has been really wonderful has been the crowds at the films. I overheard so many people this morning saying they had been to all or most of the them. And while next weekend I am going to Brisbane for opera and the Valentino exhibition, today I feel fortunate to be just where I Bundaberg.

Friday, October 15, 2010

intensive arts and cultcha

The end of the week is here once more. I welcome it with a headache and a weekend of film going and concertising ahead of me. Yes I realise "concertising" is not a word. I have just made it up. We are lucky enough to have the Sydney Travelling Film Festival here in Bundaberg this weekend. It starts tonight with South Solitary starring Miranda Otto and directed by Shirley Barrett. All I know is that it's set at a lighthouse which is good enough reason for anyone to go to a film. More lighthouses in films is what the world needs. I'm sure you agree. Then tomorrow I hope to get to Creation (about Charles Darwin) and one more in the afternoon before rocking up to the Barolin Street Uniting Church for our Orpheus Singers Concert "Flying Free". The theme of all songs is birds, flight, etc etc. Then Sunday morning there is a art market at the Art Gallery from 10am, another performance of the choir concert at 2pm and then I plan to get to the final film, Exit through the Gift Shop, a documentary about Banksy. On Monday I may well be a little tired.

We're not used to such intensive arts and cultcha in these parts.

Friday, October 8, 2010

At long last....

There is some movement on the manuscript to book front. I am dealing with a small academic press, and today I got the news that the text has gone to the printer and the cover is in process. There is a "blurb"...some complimentary quotes and quite possibly there will be a photo of me.

I am trying not to get too excited just yet but fingers crossed not long now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In which our heroine wins a raffle...

I know, the title of this post sounds tremendously exciting, but settle down. That all happens a little later in the story.

It's arts festival month in Bundaberg. On Friday night I went to a live music, multimedia event in Alexandra Park where images of the Burnett River were projected on to screens around the Band Rotunda, accompanied by live music. It was very beautiful, peaceful and calming. It was meant to be followed by a magical fire lighting event of a sculpture. Let's just say that was a bit of a fizzer and leave it at that. However, there was wine, and Thai food so all was well.

Last night there was a concert at the Moncrieff Theatre (which is less of a theatre and more of a movie house that pretends to be a concert theatre) by The Idea of North. For those of you who have not encountered The Idea of North, they are a four part a cappella jazz vocal group who sing everything, and sing it exquisitely. The concert was probably once of the best vocal performances I have ever seen. The harmonies were so spot on, and they reeled off horrendously complicated syncopation with ease. My favourite was...well everything really. The absolute highlight though was when, in a crowd of 500 people my name was drawn out to win the free CD!!!! Yes, little old me, who never wins anything. I got to go down to the "merch" table afterwards (I believe that's what it is called in the "biz") and take my pick.

I was very special.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Post op poetry

Who knew that one of the effects of having an operation would be that you start writing weird, and quite possibly,very bad poetry? Not me, but it's happening whether I like it or not. So in the interest of any Spiralling Shape poetry aficionados I now have a companion blog for poems only, (so as not to alienate any SS readers)

You have been warned.

To write is to draw a map: tentative explorations in creative writing

(something I have never been good at)

The link is down the sidebar as well.

it is just like riding a bicycle

And so the day finally came when I returned to my accompanying duties at choir. We had practice this afternoon for our concerts on October 16 and 17. I had not touched the piano since August 23. HA - it is just like riding a bicycle. I didn't fall off and scrape my knees or anything, although missed a couple of key changes in songs that they hadn't learned before I left. Got them right the second time though.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wise words....

And by the way, everything in life is
writable about if you have the outgoing
guts to do it, and the imagination to
improvise. The worst enemy to creativity
is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

Note that I am not the one in the tiara

I have sadly neglected my blog over the last week. Some of you may be wondering - did Wendy survive her return to work? The answer to that fascinating question is yes, but she had a number of moments where she alternatively wanted to scream, cry, and indeed laugh for all manner of reasons. It's a challenge to be away for four weeks doing absolutely nothing and then return as if nothing has changed. Because, in fact lots of things have for me at least. Some of the emotional rollercoasterishness can apparently be explained by my hormones. As my lovely GP explained to me yesterday, they will be "all over the place" for a while until things settle down.(i.e. my body gets used to having only one ovary instead of two).

Still, this week was cheered considerably by my birthday on Wednesday and the Jinxster's birthday on Thursday. As always, we celebrated with lots of eating. Wednesday night I went out for Chinese and had mini chocolate cakes with my family. Thursday saw the traditional Libran lunch ( our numbers have dwindled to two so we encouraged a ring in in the form of Sue...she bought us presents!). We Indulged as is the tradition. Last night we went to Restaurant 55 where we gorged ourselves on beautiful food. For your information and enjoyment I had the herbed rack of lamb followed by Zuccotto (sort of tiramusu meets chocolate something..mmm). There was also champagne! And today we have had our work morning tea which was cake cake and more cake. I think I may have had enough cake now.

For your further enjoyment see our happy smiling cake cutting photo:

Note that I am not the one in the tiara.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday is my Monday

So after a predictably ordinary night's sleep (I remember you 3am, 4:30am, 5 am etc) I am off to work this morning. I have remembered to put on my watch. I am wearing make up. I am wearing a new skirt in an effort to be colourful and happy about the whole experience. I am about to prepare some lunch to take with me, because I think that's what I used to do in the dim distant past of a month ago. Now, I just have to remember what I actually do when I get there and hope to heck that nobody bombards me with a heap of unpleasant tasks.

I may leave early.

Monday, September 20, 2010

No zooming for me

Yesterday I drove.

Today I drive.

Tomorrow I will drive.

I have driven.

It was like I had never been out of the car which was good. I am just a little more cautious than usual with braking into corners and at the lights. In my mother's words I have had to stop my typical "zooming" just because I am little tentative with the seatbelt leaning on my stomach. Still, there were no ill effects. I drove around and about the neighbourhood, to Foodworks, and to my parents' house and back. It was all very exciting.

In less exciting news I only have two more days until I go back to work. But in more exciting news, when I do go back to work there is only a week and half until the term is finished. This is good. Some marking of essays will await me, and a STEPS Completion Ceremony on October 11th and then I am done, done, done with teaching for some time. Let's say....MARCH.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

wasting time on facebook and the like

I'm now very good at walking, going for walks of about 15 minutes a day plus extra walking round the shops, at the beach, round the house and yard etc. My panadol intake has decreased markedly. I can sleep on either side of myself which is lovely and amazing and will never be taken for granted EVER AGAIN.

I will be starting to drive again either tomorrow or Monday so I will be able to take myself places. Again, this will never ever be taken for granted.

I have spent the week watching the following:

Firstly, Shine a Light on The Rolling Stones. I wanted less live concert footage and more archival footage. Still, I had to be impressed with Mick Jagger's stamina and energy. And I also had to be impressed with Keith Richards. Just because, you know, he was not only upright, but could actually play the guitar.

I then rewatched No Direction Home, perhaps the finest musical documentary I have seen. Bob Dylan is fascinating, but what is more interesting is the era of social and political upheaval within which Dylan is situated.
Here is the song that struck me the most:

Then I bought myself the Black Books complete series on DVD. Because at the moment I'm quite into buying myself presents. I have made it through Series 1 and 2. I am saving up 3 for tomorrow. Here is my favourite moment so far:

(embedding is disabled but it is well worth going to YouTube for a look)

I also finished rewatching Series 1 of Beautiful People which I adore and am about to start Series 2 this evening.

Apart from that there has been a number of outings for coffee and lunch, my mother's birthday today, and a fair bit of sitting on the lounge wasting time on facebook and the like.

Monday, September 13, 2010

There's no place like home

I am sitting at home. My home. On my comfy lounge. With my cat who has clearly missed me. Evidence of this is his attention seeking behaviour and desire to sit as close to me as he possibly can. I am enjoying the view of my back garden from my large (newly cleaned) windows and listening to music. Oh, and I am also writing a blog post. I have had my first cup of vanilla green tea since August 23. It was lovely. And I have just been visited by a friend from choir who brought a pretty arrangement of flowers which I have had to banish to the bedroom away from the flower destroying cat. You'll have to take my word for it that they are nice as I forgot my iPhone cable to take photos. I am also revelling in my newly painted green front door and my proper doorbell. It's brass. I would give you photos of them as well but see the sentence above about the iPhone. Perhaps later.

Later on another friend is going to visit which will be delightful. And then I plan to watch some dvds that have been waiting on my shelf for many a month. It will either be the Scorsese documentary on the Rolling Stones or my series on American comedy Make Em Laugh. Both of them are yet to lose their plastic wrapping so you will understand it's a big moment.

As far as operation recuperation goes things have moved ahead in leaps and bounds since my last post. Well perhaps not leaps and bounds, but steady steps at a strolling kind of pace. I have been going for a walk with my Mother every afternoon. We now make it about ten minutes or so which is good. I have also been grocery shopping, to Bunnings, to the beach, out to lunch, out to breakfast and to the doctor (not necessarily in that order). I can lean down and pick things off the floor if I need to. I can make my own cups of tea and light meals and snacks. I can sleep on my left side. I look forward to the day when my belly button stops hurting when I lie on my right side. It's okay for a short time but then something starts to pull. Because the big thing they took out was on my right side sometimes it feels like I am hollow there. I don't go back to work until September 22 so am looking forward to keeping on keeping feeling better every day. The best thing about this is that when I do go back there is only a week and half of term to go and then I am done, except for marking some essays. After that it's research research research until March. Bliss.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

sheet music from days of yore

The great spring clean/operation recuperation of 2010 continues. I am doing very little but my parents are working like trojans. Their mission in life, which it seems they have chosen to accept, is to clean every inch of my house whether it needs it or not. And this morning I am sitting quietly waiting for a man to arrive to clean my windows and wooden blinds. My contribution has been the sitting down jobs, mainly involving cleaning out my music cupboard which was an unmitigated disaster. I could never find anything. While going through the music on Monday I found the following lovely sheet music from days of yore.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wendy's Weeks of TV. 2.0: "Oh", they said....

"Oh", they said, "you'll be able to to watch so many movies and read so many books! It will be just lovely".

Truth be told I didn't much feel like doing either of these things until earlier this week. It started on Monday night with GO playing Hairspray. In my humble opinion this might well be John Travolta's greatest performance ever. I could watch the final musical number many many more times and still not be sick of it.

Tuesday my mother and I watched Fiddler on the Roof. This is one of my all time favourite musicals as well. Topol is still amazing in the lead role, and I love the fact that there is no happy ending. And since I was very young I adored the opening violin solo played by Issac Stern over the credits. It's stunning.

Wednesday I was left home alone for the first time so I indulged in not one but two romantic comedies. Love Actually and Strictly Ballroom. The first was better than I remembered. The second may well be the only good film Baz Luhrmann ever makes. And I make this bold statement without having seen Australia and with no plans to ever do so.

Thursday I watched the fabulous documentary on the ABC about music and the brain. There were also some episodes of the IT Crowd and The Good Life. Both are classic comedies which I can watch over and over again. And Friday I watched Life on Mars which I am ashamed to say I have never seen before but I am love love loving. I also rewatched Chicago. I don't normally like Richard Gere in anything but he does a pretty good job as Billy Flynn and Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zwellwegger are impressive. It's such a good musical.

I am yet to start reading anything more interesting than facebook and twitter. Shantaram looms large on my bedside table. I just can't bring myself to pick it up yet. It's quite heavy and I can't lean it on my stomach. That's my excuse at the moment anyway.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

operation recuperation

Well here we are in the second week of Operation Recuperation. For those of you who are unaware I have had an operation that removed a "whopping great thing" doctor's terms that is a cyst that from the evidence on the scales weighed between two and three kilos. I am four kilos lighter than when I went to hospital last Tuesday. I also no longer have a right ovary. Apparently, one is more than enough for all the things that ovaries are needed for. Apparently, I also have endometriosis which will require follow up treatment and control. Who knew? Not me? I thought I was pretty normal.

Anyway, here are some things that I have discovered I have been taking for granted:
Sitting down without thinking about it
Standing up without thinking about it
Walking without thinking about it
Getting into bed without thinking about it
Getting out of bed without thinking about it
Bending down to pick things up off the floor. I am becoming adept in using my toes to pick up items of clothing etc.
Eating real food not classified as either "clear" or "free" fluid.
Sleeping in any other position apart from on my back
Lifting anything heavier than a pillow
Wearing clothes that sit on my waist/hips etc
Driving. It is not permitted for a month.

But, I hear you cry there must be some good things about having four weeks off work. Sure. I can now wear dresses without looking like I am pregnant. My stomach is flatter than it has been in years. Every morning my mother or father brings me a cup of tea and piece of toast in bed (I am staying with them for the moment). I get full control of the television. People bring me food when I ask for it. I don't have to eat at the table. I get first dibs on the recliner chair. I got lots of flowers, cards, chocolates, texts and visitors. And as we speak my mother is out buying me some new clothes.

For let the word ring out...there is no occasion that does not require new clothes. Ever.