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I wake early and hear Pieter meowing at the window and let him in. The rain doesnít come and I fill the clothes line with washing. I make pancakes for breakfast and feed the last bit to the dog. I watch my neighbours go out on one of their mysterious journeys, possibly to the shops. When Iíd rather still be lazing in my dressing gown doing griddlers between chores I have to go out to pick up Nick. He wants to get rid of his long hair and he lets me cut it. I walk Mellow, and pay some bills.
I wake with the alarm and decide to sleep some more and not walk the dog. I log in to work to send an email I remembered on the weekend, and find my inbox is over the limit again. I go through and delete a lot and try to think of a system to keep it under control as I go along. It is a hard day at work but I can see my holiday on the horizon and I cope. At home there is a package of wool sent from a friend who must not be knitting any more.
Yet again I wake early and canít go back to sleep for hours, and then canít wake up again early enough to walk the dog. I walk like a zombie to the shower and canít eat breakfast in my sleepy state, but I do make lunch. I buy breakfast on the way in, start the morning with a meeting and donít stop all day. I go to an afternoon optometrist appointment and my prescription is still fine. There are only two days until I am on holidays and I make lists of things I have to do before I go.
At least I slept last night, but I wake early. I manage to walk the dog. I go to work for my second last day before holidays and start the handover to my replacement. There is a constant flow of people through my office, and while that makes it hard, it is a good opportunity to illustrate what can be expected in the job. Everyone is manic and I wonder if there is a full moon. I take work home tonight so I have some chance of getting through it all before I go. I end up working until midnight.
I walk the dog again and feel very happy that it is my last day of work. I meet Andy at the station for the last train ride in for a while and canít wipe the grin off my face when I get to work. I wear down quickly. I rush to finish so I can meet the train Andy is on. I want to have a drink to celebrate and buy three silver bullets. I arrive home as a blackout hits. I cook in the dark while Nick sets up candles and his new bike light comes in handy.
On my first day of holidays I get up early and walk the dog. I wash some clothes. I do the grocery shopping and get the car washed. I have a prescription filled. I buy some stitch holders from Champion Textiles at Newtown, where I am dallying while waiting for an appointment. I spend a lot of money on a specialist and all he does is write a prescription. I donít like the cut of his jib and decline an examination. I walk the dog again and then drive to Andyís for dinner. He cooks a barbeque and a risotto.
I have breakfast with Andy. I wonít see him again for five days. It takes two hours to pack and leave for Orange. I leave later than usual and the traffic is at a standstill on Parramatta Road. I fall asleep before I am on the M4. I stop for a coffee and snacks at Lithgow and keep myself awake by rationing the lollies to one every five minutes. I buy beer and some groceries for Heidi and fall asleep on the couch after dinner. I bath Angus and put him to bed and I go straight back to sleep.
I sleep late, for me, and have breakfast with Angus. I go to Sallyís house for a coffee and buy some supplies for my holiday, and chicken and salad for lunch with Heidi and Angus before I go. I drive to the Secret Garden Cottage at Katoomba. I am gob smacked by how beautiful the house and garden are. It is perfect. I stow my luggage in the walk-in wardrobe and light the fire. I set up my knitting in the lounge room and have some snacks and wine. I have a bath. I make supper. I go to bed.
I wake to rain. The cloud stays all day with some sunny breaks in the afternoon. I think I get a bit sunburned. I walk to Katoomba for groceries and look at some antique shops. I walk the streets around the house in the afternoon looking for a public phone. I find one but use my mobile anyway. I drive to Katoomba for wine but end up in Leura where I go for another walk. I can take deep breaths. I canít normally do this. Back at the house I eat and drink too much and watch Underbelly on TV.
I stay at the house all day. I do puzzles, I knit, I watch the birds. I make breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have a gin and tonic in the afternoon sun. I take photos. I do a load of washing. I do the dishes. I hate my hair. The purple-black has faded to orange and it is very grey at the roots. It needs a cut but I donít know how I want it. I have a bath and at last read a good chunk of the book I brought. My things are spread out all over the house.
I get up and go out early. Having a day in yesterday has made me keen to be active. I take the trolley tour around the sights. I take the railway to the bottom of the gorge and the cable car back up. I stop at Leura and make an appointment to have my hair cut and coloured. I eat lunch and wander around some shops. I have the hair cut and have my hair coloured brown. I go back to the shops and buy some candles and stationery. I drive to Blackheath and buy fish and chips for tea.
I am sad to be leaving the house. I just manage to pack and leave by 10am. I drive to Leura and order a big breakfast. I buy lollies for gifts and some plants for my garden. I drive to the toy and railway museum and look around. I drive to the chocolate factory and buy some chocolates as gifts, but I forget to use the discount voucher. I drive home. I walk the dog and fill up the water bowls. I feed them all and cook a curry for us. I wash the dishes and drive to Andyís flat.
I drive home and wash clothes. I hang them out and take them in again when it rains. I tidy up the house. I drive to the shops and buy groceries and flowers. I walk out of the shopping centre into a cross between a sauna and a sunbed. I put the clothes back on the line. I pack the shopping away and put the flowers in water. I take the dog for a walk. I wash the dishes. Nick has gone out after TAFE and I donít see him. I drive to Andyís for another delicious Friday night dinner.
I go home and hang that load of clothes out for the third time. I have a shower and couldnít be bothered with the hair dryer. I drive to Leichhardt for a new knitting group. It is the last thing I feel like on a hot, humid day. I enjoy myself though, as I knew I would. I go home and fold clothes and unpack from the trip. Andy comes over and we walk the dog. I fall and somehow cut myself. We take Nick to a party and Andy goes and I am now alone in my own house.
I make today day one of trying to be more active and to not include eating as an activity. I vacuum the house and rearrange some furniture and some things. I am happy with the result. I have some ideas on what I want to do with extra cupboards for storage. My finger nails are too long and I cut them off square. It is easy, looks ok, and the edges are not too sharp. I have a dream I am appointed Singapore correspondent. I wonder about the wisdom of the appointment as I donít know a thing about reporting.
I sit at the table to eat breakfast and see a mouse run across the floor. I think about bringing the cats in but decide they will be more annoying than useful. I clean the ornaments and pictures and the parts of the chandelier I can get to without bringing in the ladder. I tidy my knitting projects and am undecided if it is best to only have one project going at a time. I watch Underbelly and finish the scarf I started last week at the cottage. I mow the grass, walk the dog and walk to the shops.
I drive to Rockdale and look in Spotlight, The Good Guys and Everyday Living. I see some furniture I like a lot. I stop off at the Metro, Addison Road and a second-hand furniture shop. I buy a green cane plant stand from The Bower. At Reverse Garbage I see a huge light-box sign I would like to buy advertising ice-cream. I check my account and pay some bills. Tonight I have bookbinding then visit Andy where I have some ice-cream. Missing two bookbinding sessions will mean I will end up with two half-finished books.
It is hump day of my holiday and that makes me feel a bit regretful. I wash some clothes and dress in jeans for a picnic lunch in the Botanic Gardens. I seem to be too fat to wear anything else. I meet Andy at Circular Quay and we buy some wraps and walk over. I catch the train back home, walk the dog and go to writing group. I tell the lady in the library that the customer is always right, then find out I am wrong. I develop a pain in my back that is coming and going.
I wake to aches and pains and wonder if I am sick or dying or if it is only pre-period pains. I take Blackie to the vet because he has lost weight and is having difficulty eating. Aaron and I drive to Alexandria and I buy a fridge, dryer and walkman, and then to a garden centre to buy some plants and potting mix. I get dinner on and go to pick up Blackie. He has gingivitis but no virus and the vet prescribes anti-inflammatories and pain killers. We eat late and Aaron goes and I leave the washing up.
I wash the towels and clean out the drawers in the kitchen and the cupboard under the kitchen sink. I wash all the contents of the drawers. It is a hot day for it and I regret not doing it while the weather was cooler. Aaron drops off a trolley to move the old fridge and freezer out. I pot some plants. I walk the dog. I drive Nick to the shops. He hires some DVDs and buys some beer and I buy a bottle of wine to take to Andyís. He cooks salmon cutlets for dinner.
I go home earlier than usual for the fridge delivery. They didnít phone in advance and I make it home about an hour before it at arrives purely by chance. I want to clean the floor under the fridge but instead do other things and have to quickly clean it when they arrive. It was surprisingly quite clean under there. Nick and I move the bar fridge to the laundry and set up the new dryer on top. I turn on the fridge late in the day and am too tired to swap the contents or cook. Nick orders pizza.
I wake with a headache and runny nose and my feet hurt. I wonder if this is what old age is like. I swap the fridge contents and wash woollens as there is no room anymore for their lazy storage until I get around to it. I go to the shops for some essential items. My cupboards are becoming bare. I eat tuna on crackers for lunch. I go for my first push bike ride in about eight years with Andy, then to book club. Back home I load songs onto the Walkman, wash dishes and fold clothes and pack.
I get up late and wash all the clothes in the basket, shower and do the grocery shopping. I sedate the dog for the journey, pack, and in two hours am on the way to the holiday house. The dog is very dopey and can hardly walk, but he sleeps all the way and is not stressed about travelling in the car. The place is rustic and it is hot. We meet the resident pet dog, Milo. I drive into town to phone Andy then return to heat some soup for dinner. Mellow sleeps on the floor in my room.
I go with the two dogs for an early walk across the paddocks. It is already hot. I shut them out to cook breakfast and eat some more of the homemade bread left by the owners. I put the walkman on and start some knitting while the dogs doze in the heat of the day. We go for another walk, along the river. The bank is tangled with blackberries, rocks and tree branches. We climb through fences and avoid cows. The dogs swim and drink from the dam on the way back and I have a swim in the pool.
We go out after breakfast and walk up the hill and along a fire trail beside some scrub. We come face to face with a big kangaroo. I canít work it out if it is a male or stroppy so get ready to hide behind trees if it looks like coming closer. It finally turns to hop away and the dogs chase across a paddock. I have lunch and read and knit then we walk to the river again. Mellow is exhausted and lies on his bed early, snoring. I go to bed early to read. I donít have dinner.
I am enjoying my holidays and I wouldnít change a thing. I am glad I have four nights in this quiet place. My legs feel sore this morning from all the walking, but after breakfast we walk around the property and by the river where the dogs chase a fox. I donít notice the fence I am climbing through is electric until I get buzzed on the head. I have lunch and a swim and we go for a late afternoon walk back up the hill and scare away another big roo and lots of wallabies. Itís my last night.
I wake after a restless night. Milo didnít go home and barked at rabbits and things on and off. I thought he would go home or I would have let him in with us. I pack and am out early. Mellow gets in the car too soon. I donít sedate him, to see how he handles the journey. He vomits up some grass before I even start the engine. He is good for the rest of it. It is good to be home and see Andy again. Nick has gone out for the night so I donít see him yet.
I go home from Andyís place fairly early and do some washing and clean up a bit. Mellow was happy to be home yesterday but then got back in the car and didnít want to come in to the house. He is a travelling dog now. Andy and I walked him in the afternoon and he now seems to be his city-dog self. Pieterís eye looks a bit better after his trip to the vet yesterday and some ointment. Nick goes out to Newtown. Andy goes home. I have ice cream and two-fruits for dinner. I have a bath.
Nick suggests he get an allowance increase in return for doing more around the house. I have been waiting for this to happen! I donít mow today because he will do it. I have always paid him to mow but that wasnít motivation enough. Now he needs the money. It makes my life easier and so I am happy. I shopped instead and bought a new toaster and kettle, a curtain for the kitchen and ottoman for the lounge room. I enjoy spending money these days. I enjoy my home too now that I have spruced it up a bit
I go back to work after three weeks off. My clothes are too tight because I have put on more weight. I wanted to get some new clothes yesterday for autumn/winter but couldnít be bothered. I leave my skirt zip undone. Before I went on holidays I would not have worn what I have on today because I look fat in it but now it doesnít bother me. I have a good first day except I leave three hours early to take Nick to an appointment with a specialist and the surgery is closed, and that makes me angry.
I am happy to wake at 6 oíclock but not happy to tread the trail walking the dog. It is windy and raining. Today is good at work and I achieve a few things. Yesterday I found it hard to focus. I go to the final book binding session tonight and almost finish the last book. Maybe one day when I have more time and am not so tired I will do it again. I walk out the door at 9.15pm and onto a bus and straight home where I have a glass of wine and heat up a pie.
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