Hello 2020 and hello everyone – I’m back!
This is my first post for 2020, and though I do hope that 2020 is a wonderful year for us all, the words ‘Happy New Year’ are not ones I can use to kick off the year this year. It seems like so long since I’ve typed a blog post or read blog posts or done anything bloggy at all but here I am again, and still blogging 7 years and 4 months after I first started! This post is a bit of a catch up on things since I last posted.
As everyone knows, Australia has been in crisis with unprecedented bushfires extensively along the south east coast in particular, but also in other parts of the country, like Kangaroo Island in South Australia for example. The smoke from our fires has made its way to our neighbours in New Zealand and can even be seen in South America. Our air quality, particularly around Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, is terrible and very worrying. There have been human lives lost, many homes lost, over 1 billion of our beautiful wildlife obliterated, our landscapes have been burned and charred and are unrecognisable, and still fires are burning.
Rescuers are doing an incredible job looking after surviving and injured animals, but there is no local natural habitat to return them to and won’t be for some time. There is talk that our much loved Koala’s may now be an endangered species. It’s all very heartbreaking. It’s not just koala’s that we’ve lost though. There are many other species that also need our help – kangaroos, wallabies, possums, birds, flying foxes – the list goes on. Here’s a few more photographs I took of our wonderful Australian wildlife at Australia Zoo when I visited in 2016.
They say the fires could go on for months yet. Along with the rest of Australia, I hope and pray that no further human lives are lost, but I know that there will be more animal lives lost and I fear that THIS (see photos below of myself and my daughter – hover over them for captions), a typical photo that most Australian kids have, will be a thing of the past. I sincerely hope not!
A huge thank you to our fire fighters who have been working so hard to help protect us all. Thank you also to the fire fighters from other countries that have come to help. It’s incredibly kind of you and will never be forgotten.
The outpouring of care, assistance and donations that we’ve seen by Aussies across all areas where assistance is needed has been incredible. I won’t go into all the detail of what has been done but will say that it warms my heart and makes me so proud to be Australian. There has also been generous donations from overseas friends and celebrities for which we are so very grateful.
Finally – I wanted to share this video of Aussie Expat – Ben Lawson – reciting a poem he wrote. It’s brilliant. You will need a tissue or hankie. It makes me cry.
No Internet, No Landline, No Netflix!
A break from the blog over the Christmas/New Year period was always planned but I thought I’d be a little more active on Instagram and Facebook. However, not so! We’ve had no landline and no internet … which means also no Netflix (ouchy!) … for over a month!! We are still waiting for Telstra to rectify things. It’s not just us affected – others in our street are too, and we’ve discovered that the problem spreads even further afield to neighbouring streets and businesses. Apparently new cables need to be laid. Ho hum.
Anyhoo – I come to you today with the help of this nifty little device (Optus Prepaid 4G WiFi Modem) which has given me some internet access. Thank you Optus!
Christmas and New Years Eve
How was your Christmas? We celebrated Christmas with ‘The Tennis Players’ side of the family a couple of weeks before Christmas day because quite a few of them were going away for Christmas. Christmas day was spent with my family at Mum’s place for lunch and then back home for the evening to care for my menagerie (1 dog, 4 kittens). Christmas always comes with some sadness nowadays because it was just before Christmas two years ago that we lost Dad. This Christmas was a little extra sad for me because it was the first Christmas not spent with my daughter (a journalist now living and working in Cairns) as she had to work (not on Christmas Day but on Boxing Day). We still managed to have a nice day though.
On New Year’s Eve every year all my family come to me for dinner and to see in the new year. We have a barbecue (marinated steaks, sausages and onions) and have a potato bake and an assortment of yummy salads and nice crusty breads. There’s champagne and wine and beer too of course. This year Mum brought along a delicious plum pudding for dessert. We all swim in the pool, listen to music and try and stay awake. We’re all getting a little older now and find staying away until midnight a bit harder these days. Most left by 11pm but I stayed awake to see in the new year (just)!
My First Foster Kittens
My time with my first litter of foster kittens is nearing its end. In fact, the two boys have already gone and I just have the two girls now. Dependent on Holly’s weight (she’s the smallest), I think they’ll probably be returned to the RSPCA mid-late next week for desex and adoption. I will provide more detail on my kittens in a separate post tomorrow. I plan to do ‘Kitten Foster Files‘ posts now and then on a Friday (not always every Friday).
A year or so ago we had our kitchen renovated and the final piece of the puzzle to have it all looking great was getting painters in to paint the walls of the new kitchen and nearby dining room. They did a great job! The whole interior of the house needs repainting but we thought to save money we’d do the rest ourselves. The Tennis Player got a few rooms done but it took many, many months as there just wasn’t enough time. I have painted many of our homes in the past but I can no longer find the motivation or time for such a task. So, we got a quote from the same painters to do the rest of the house, and some exterior work. They were booked up for a while so it took us by surprise to receive a call saying they had a cancellation and could start next week (this week). The Tennis Player arranged to have some time off work this week so he could be on hand for moving furniture and so forth, and to help me out a bit with the dog (they are in and out that front door constantly so she needs to be kept on a lead so she doesn’t escape … also so she doesn’t get in their way) and of course – I have kittens too! They were supposed to start work on Monday but didn’t start until Wednesday – an issue with employees not turning up to work. To say that’s been frustrating is an understatement. I don’t know how anyone can run a business with unreliable employees, do you?
Resolutions / Goals / Words
I don’t make new years resolutions and I don’t pick a guiding word for the year anymore either. I do have goals in a loose sense but I don’t put pressure on myself anymore with specifics. My goals at a higher level are all health based – to take care of my health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’d like to continue learning and following my curiosities and interests, and to seek a general sense of contentment. For a woman in the throws of quite significant hormonal changes (perimenopause/menopause) this is no easy task! However, I will continue to explore ways to find my sense of peace, balance and zen.
Things I need to work on:
- I need to love myself more – who I am, how I look etc. My inner dialogue to myself is often quite brutal and mean.
- Gratitude – it helped me once. It has slipped and I need to fix that. Perhaps a 2020 365 Grateful Project might be a good idea.
To wrap up
It’s been wonderful to see some rain around these parts and they even got some further south of us where the fires are and it’s very much needed, but we need much more so let’s hope we get more. Stay safe and I’m sure that 2020 will get better from hereonin!
How was your Christmas and New Year? Did you go somewhere exciting or do something fun? Tell us all about it in the comments!
Ciao for now,
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