jmgoyder

wings and things

Things that go bump in the night

You know the other night when Ming and I had that argument and he fled from my wrath to his shed? Well, the argument was about the fact that even though he moved into his shed months ago, he still hadn’t cleared a lot of his stuff out of his bedroom in the house. I had been extreeeeeeeemely patient about his procrastination until that night, when I snapped, the reason being that this bedroom was to become my new office so that I can get out of this little back veranda hovel that the mice like to invade (they like paper).

After Ming stomped off to his shed, muttering things like “You always make me feel so bad”, and me shouting, “Just clear your stuff out tomorrow or I will chuck it all out the front door!” he and I reconciled via texts and he promised to do the job the next day.

Well he kept his promise because at exactly midnight I was awoken by some very noisy activity in his ex-bedroom (which is adjacent to mine). I lay there grinning like a hyena listening to what I realized was Ming moving his stuff out of that room. This went on for about an hour and then all was quiet again, I tiptoed into the next room to find it totally empty! Elation! Then, on the hall table, Ming had left a long list of things he would do when the sun came up. I grinned again and went back to bed.

It wasn’t until after breakfast, that I discovered that he had simply moved all of his stuff into the living room! But it’s okay now – all of it is in his shed which now resembles the chaos of a crime scene (what happened to my neat and tidy boy?)

But my room is ready for me now and I am so excited! It is a room with lots of history because it used to be Anthony’s mother’s room, then it was the office where I wrote my PhD, then it was Ming’s childhood bedroom. We have now taken the huge musk-pink carpet mat out (over 40 years old) to reveal the beautiful jarrah floorboards, and Ming has vacuumed from corner to corner and cleaned the windows inside and out, and we have arranged for a handyman to fix the cracks and holes in the wall and ceiling. Then we will get my painter friend in to paint it crimson (just joking – white!)

It is a big, light-filled room with a view to the front paddock from the north-facing windows. That’s where I will put my desk, computer etc. tomorrow!

The interesting thing about this little adventure is that, for me, it feels like I will have my own beautiful space in this house for the first time in 20 years. It’s not that I felt deprived but, having married an older man and moved into an already established household, I have never quite felt a sense of ownership and, in terms of making any sort of mark, I have done very little in the way of interior decorating, renovating or changing anything – so much so that when Anthony’s relatives drop in they feel they have stepped back in time!

I have decided to call this old/new room my writing room. A new beginning. It will be wonderful to move out of the hovel of an office I am in now where things go bump in the night constantly, especially in the ceiling where rodents, goannas and possibly snakes have sprinting competitions.

Ah, the joy of change!

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Tomorrow is always waiting for you.

Today was pretty awful and was made worse by a mother/son argument that escalated into recriminations, guilt, and ‘walk away’ tactics. To some extent, this worked but Ming and I were still so miserable – he in his shed and me in the house. So we began texting each other and have now established that I am the boss and he is the slave and he has even called me ‘Commander'; this is a good move.

Oh the joy of tomorrow! Of course tomorrow brings a fair few uncertainties but it mostly brings the excitement of anticipation, adventure and something new and fresh … and a new Ming, a new me and, maybe, a new Anthony!

Tomorrow is a gift.

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The Land of Blah

For several days now I have been in and out of the Land of Blah – you know, that place where, even when you stub your toe badly, you can’t be bothered saying ‘ouch’. It’s a funny sort of place, this Land of Blah, but not in a way that makes anyone smile; smiling is kind of frowned on here because it depletes energy and you need energy to get out of the Land of Blah.

I never choose to visit the Land of Blah but sometimes I accidentally wake up there (nightmares can do this), or else I am sitting with Anthony in his room in the nursing home and I am transported into the surreality of his confusion so much so that his blank expression becomes mine.

Sometimes I meet people I know in the Land of Blah and it shocks me. ‘What are you doing here?’ I feel like asking them but of course I don’t because it is a place of such silent mystery and private misery – a paradoxical place of in-between.

I don’t like it in the Land of Blah so I usually manage to clamber out and up into my normal life. And this is what I see: a beautiful peacock family.

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Robyn's photo

And the Land of Blah once again recedes into its own grey nothingness.

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Sitting ducks

I have a new respect for birders and people who take photographs of wild birds. This morning I went outside with my camera specifically to take photos of wild (as opposed to tame) birds.

There was an abundance of course, all flying to and fro, landing in the trees, frolicking on the lawn, singing raucously, and playing hide and seek (from me!)

So I had to content myself with my happy-to-pose-for-you sitting ducklings.

Here is one of Michael Jackson who has developed some stylish markings on his head:

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And here are Misha and Freckle:

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I will keep trying with the wild birds ….

Tomorrow.

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The wild birds!

We have a lot of crows, parrots, doves, magpies, willy wagtails, wrens, and other wild birds, who hang around a lot more then they used to here. This is obviously due to the overabundance of wheat (which is what I give all of the peafowl, guinnea fowl, and the gang).

This afternoon I decided to sit down and watch quietly as the wild birds fluttered and tiptoed into the tame birds’ little sanctuary. Tomorrow I plan to take better photos but here are a couple of Gutsy9 sharing a bowl of wheat with two crested pigeons.

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(I actually thought these guys were doves until I googled their description. I feel really knowledgeable now.)

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The peachicks have chosen a new bedtime tree

Queenie’s chicks have become incredibly assertive. They take the food out of her mouth, fly at her aggressively if she is in the wheat bowl, and now they even choose the bedtime tree. Last night they decided to move to another tree while poor Queenie waited in the original bedtime tree. These two peachicks are absolute brats!

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But Queenie doesn’t mind.

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Queenie and chicks

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They were waiting for me outside the back door this morning so I tossed little bits of bread to Queenie but the chicks got to them first, like miniature vultures – gleefully chirping!

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Go to bed!

They go to bed (in their yard) but then they come back out again, and they do it over an over again – argh! Ming was never this difficult when he was a baby – mmmm. The problem is that they hear my voice and assume I have bread or lettuce (which I don’t always have). Freckle, Misha and Michael Jackson seem to want to eat my feet off. Funny – yes, scary, yes! Okay, I am going out now to put them to bed and, if you never hear from me again, it will be due to a duck drama! Oh and now Baby Turkey is stuck on the wrong side of the fence – great!

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House of cards

We live in a very old house – part of it is over 100 years old and, ironically, it is that side of the house that is the most structurally sound. Other parts of the house have become problematic over the years – bricks crumbling on one side, the ceiling in the big bedroom breaking one day when a builder put his foot through it and nearly fell into the house when repairing some of the roof. Obviously these things have now been repaired (well, bandaged!)

On the weekend a few more things fell apart; the back veranda door fell right out if its grooves, onto an outside table (it has been threatening to do this for some time). Luckily, the table saved it from smashing into a million pieces of glass. Then its accompanying fly-screen door fell out of its grooves into the house (these two door have a very close relationship).

Then, as if all of the doors in the house were following some sort of evil ritual, the shower door in the bathroom also fell out of its hinges – well, sort of. You see, it was a sliding door that had stopped sliding, so, in order to get into the shower, you had to hold your breath and squeeze through a small gap. Yesterday, Ming became so annoyed with this that he took half of the door off and propped it against the remaining bit of the door. He didn’t prop it very well, however so, when I had to go to the loo in the middle of the night, I bumped into it and it fell into the shower recess. Thankfully, it didn’t smash and is now outside with the rest of the rebellious doors.

Today, the kitchen door is nearly off its hinges, the front fly-wire door doesn’t close unless you force it to, and the key to the glass front door won’t work properly (which means we often have to climb into the house through a window, although that won’t be necessary anymore since we now have an almost door-less house).

Ming has been trying to fix all of these things this morning and has done a great job and I am very proud of him for trying to do this kind of thing by himself when he has never been taught. I like the way he is figuring out how to fix things without anybody’s help and with very little nagging from me. He is doing jobs I used to watch Anthony do, and he is doing them willingly and cleverly.

I had a pretty grim weekend with all of the doors in my own house-of-cards breaking, or falling, but I guess that’s what has to happen before the ‘fix you’ thing can happen. Anthony always waited until things were totally broken before he would address the situation: doors, pumps, hoses, fences, vacuum cleaners, me.

My pompholyx was finally healed enough for me to visit Ants yesterday and, when he saw my scarred hands, he reached out and stroked my wrists with his cool fingers, and watched me carefully as I smiled through unshed tears of utter misery at being separated from him.

Me: I can’t even do the bloody dishes because I am not supposed to go anywhere near rubber gloves or detergent.
Ants: Well bring me home and I can do all of that for you!
Me: But Ants, it’s nearly 3pm – it’s too late to bring you home now and, I hate to say this, but you are too sick with the PD to help me – you will only make it all harder.
Ants: (Silence)
Me: Oh great, so have I hurt your feelings now?
Ants: No.
Me: As soon as my hands are better I will pick you up to go out – is that okay?
Ants: Has to be, doesn’t it.

Then, surprisingly mobile for that time of day, Ants walked me out to the parking lot and waved goodbye. I stopped at the end of the driveway to the nursing home to check in the rear vision mirror that he was going back inside the nursing home. I watched as he slowly turned the walker around and limped back to the nursing home doors which opened automatically. And, when he disappeared through those doors, I tried not to think about anything except how well those doors worked!

Oh and the ducklings keep getting through the faulty door of their chookpen – argh. In one more week they will be too big to get out until I open the gate (which hopefully won’t break before then!)

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The best thing about a house of cards is that it is so interesting!

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My favourite duckling!

Okay, so I wasn’t going to name the ducklings but I can’t help myself now because they are surviving so well AND chasing me everywhere. They somehow know that my voice means lettuce or bread and they pretty much attack me every time I step out the door.

‘Michael Jackson’ is the dancing duckling and, before today, I thought the twins were identical until I noticed that one had a a lot of freckles (‘Freckle’) and the other one had more of a mish-mash of colouring and personality and beauty, so I have called her ‘Misha’.

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I know I shouldn’t have favourites and of course I love Michael Jackson and Freckle and Misha equally but let’s just say that for this week I am quacking with Misha!

Misha is named after someone with a better name – and this is sent with a love quack to her!

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