wings and things

What to do if your computer overheats.

In the southwest of Western Australia we are experiencing a heat wave and, at 7.30pm the thermometer in the kitchen is nudging 38 degrees C to over 40 and apparently tomorrow will be even hotter. Oh that’s great – the air conditioner in the car stopped working a week ago and I have to take Ming up to Perth tomorrow for his surgery on Tuesday. I am going to be so worried about the animals in this heat (yes I’m just a tad worried for Ming too). Ming suggested he drive himself up for the surgery (that’s how nonchalant about it he is) and I have to admit I was a bit tempted but no, of course not.

So we are booked in to a hotel within walking distance from the hospital so that we can have a ‘night before’ get together with friends, a good sleep, then walk up to the hospital at 6am on Tuesday. Ming spent a couple of hours with Anthony at the nursing home today and we got Ants home yesterday for the afternoon so I am hoping he will remember what is happening and why I am not visiting. I will ring him of course but that is problematic in itself because he is often unable to remember how to answer the phone. But Ants hugged us both and wished Ming luck and said he would understand if I didn’t see him for a few days.

Oh, that’s right – this is about what to do if your computer overheats.


Put a frozen package of something or other under it and it will gasp with relief!


Banishing grey

This afternoon I ventured outside to catch a glimpse of something, anything, to free myself from the grey hopelessness of exile.

Earlier in the day, I had been to the local shop (in this little country town we have one shop, a butcher’s, a pub, a garage and a post office). For the last few weeks I have been reluctant to go to any of these places for fear that someone will ask me about Ming’s car accident, for fear that I will stumble into defensiveness, for fear that I will cry in public. So far, I have braved the shop twice. Today was my third time and I thought I would be okay, but when the shopkeeper looked at me knowingly and asked how I was, I started to say fine then, without warning, my eyes filled with tears and, when she reached over the counter to hug me, I was undone. Thankfully there were no other customers and I recovered myself quickly, making a quick escape to home – to my hiding place.

Yesterday someone asked me how Ming was coping with the fact that his ute (truck) was wrecked and the question almost felt like an assault. “He doesn’t care in the least about his ute; he only cares about the children injured. The ute doesn’t matter to any of us,” I said, my heartbeat thundering.

This afternoon I ventured outside to catch a glimpse of something, anything, that wasn’t grey. Each photo I took reminded me of how important hope is, and of how important every single member of my family is to me.



The email

I received an email this morning that contained some harsh words and some kind words:

Get your act together.

You are doing fine.

Make a great meal.

Go for a walk.

Forget about your NanoWriMo failed attempt – get back to your half-written novella.

Make a list of things you need to do and put it on the frig.

Recharge your camera and start taking photos again!

Get the paper work sorted into categories and do NOT panic.

Try to conjure something to look forward to.

Stop being so hard on yourself.

Stop sulking.

Practise smiling in front of the mirror.

Keep going.

There was much more to this email but those were the main points. The sender’s voice was strong but loving because the sender was me.

Have you ever sent yourself an email?


Love story 117 – Without

During this strange and difficult year (Anthony going into the nursing lodge, Ming’s spinal operation, and my loss of employment), Ming and I have somehow emerged from the quicksand of my grief and his rage and we are beginning to cope better. This evening we began a list of things we have to do, and buy, to keep this place ticking along properly. It is still a shock to me that Anthony is no longer at home and in charge of these things but, as Ming rightly pointed out tonight, this hasn’t been the case for some time.

Ming’s catchcry is always ‘teamwork’ and my response is always reluctant because he is so bossy. We have, however, dealt with our tussle with a truce handshake so tomorrow he will do the lawns and I will do the bills and other paperwork, and we will not argue. We will begin to transform our disorder into order, bit by bit by bit, without Anthony.

It is this withoutAnthonyness that seems to have suffocated my energy. I don’t feel quite present and I keep losing all of my todays. But Ming is okay and much stronger at the moment and tonight he asked me to lean on him more so I agreed. But I won’t really do this of course because I have to pull myself together so that I don’t cripple him under the weight of a temporary bout of despair. Without tomorrow, today would sob itself to sleep.

There is (I think, but I’m not sure) always, always, always, hope.



Despair came to visit today even though I had already told it to go way so many times and thought it had finally given up. It knocks on the door a lot and I ignore it and feel safe because the door is locked. But today, it picked the lock and broke in and, whammo, smashed me just as I was putting the kettle on. And when I fell down, it kicked me and kicked me until I begged it to stop, to please go away. It stopped kicking me but it didn’t go away.

So that was a few hours ago and I have since gotten up, washed the tears off my face and am now developing a plan of how to get rid of it because it’s sitting in the living room, waiting. Do I play the waiting game too and hope, in time, it will give up and go away? Or do I go into the living room and confront it. Despair has the advantage of course because it stopped me from doing all of the things I wanted to do today by snaking its way into my conversations with my son and non-conversations with my husband. It burned the kettle dry and whipped the wind up to blow all of the clean clothes off the line and into the dust of the driveway.

It’s pretty clever, this despair, because it has positioned itself in the middle of the house and created a sort of dividing line between my son’s room and my office, so every time he and I have tried to have a chat, it whips into the conversation and, with incredible skill, turns all the good words into corpses, turns our blue eyes black and laughs derisively when we both slam our doors and give up.

The trouble with banishing despair is that it might simply go somewhere else and inflict itself on someone else, so I have to figure out how to kill it. It has never been so presumptuous before, never made itself so at home before and, when I last sneaked a peek, it was dozing comfortably in the living room, waiting. Waiting for what though? Is it waiting for another mother/son argument, for another wife/husband disappointment, for another bird to be killed by the fox, for another glass of my tears?

How will I kill it before it kills me? I know it hates me laughing because once I saw it shrivel when I laughed. And I know it hates me loving because once I saw it vomit when I hugged Ming and Ants at the same time so maybe I can kill it with more laughter, with more love. But somehow I don’t think that will be enough. After all, this despair has already been able to permeate all of our laughter and love with little drops of dead fly poison.

I wish I had the solution to this predicament.


Little Chooks 1 and 2

Little Chooks 1 and 2, our two identical Araucana hens, went missing weeks ago and, even though I thought that the fox might have nabbed them, I hoped they were sitting on eggs somewhere.

So, you can imagine my relief when Son told me he’d seen one of them emerge, rather bedraggled, from underneath one of the sheds, the other afternoon. This means that she is definitely sitting on eggs deep under that shed and, hopefully, we’ll soon see some offspring.

I haven’t seen either of the Little Chooks myself, and it isn’t the same shed as the one where Sussex and Malay produced their chicks (see a previous post). With them, we could at least see underneath the shed and watch the progress, leave water and food etc. The shed that Little Chooks have chosen is impenetrable, so I will just have to wait and hope.

Hope can be risky.