This is another one of those times where I am typing directly into WordPress instead of going through the writing, leaving for a day or ten, editing process that means that sometimes my posts are slightly out of date.
Also, in the great tradition of writers (ha), I am writing this update instead of writing something else. I “should” be following my own advice and writing to senators, ‘Oh budget how I hate thee, Let me count the ways…’ I found the budget TL;DR version in the ABCs breakdown of the budget “winners” and “losers” and my plan was to go through each of the categories and explain why the priorities were all mixed up, including stories from my personal experience, and my thoughts on what should be happening instead. But every time I opened even one of the categories, my blood pressure rose, I had a million things I wanted to express, and my ideas got all tied up and tangled as my blood boiled rather than helping my brain to think, so I only took a couple of notes and then gave it up for the time being.
I really, really want to respond. But I have to take care of my own health. So I need to find a way to spend a small amount of time engaging in the budget and writing a response, quickly followed by a large amount of time pushing it all as far away from my mind by doing something like going to the beach, hanging out with friends, or singing along with Taylor Swift so loudly that I can’t hear any other thoughts in my head. That’s the plan.
But the plan will have to wait, because I’m sick today.
Three awesome things happened yesterday. The first thing was, I got an air-conditioner installed in my bedroom! The first weekend I was here, back at the start of February, I turned off the air-con in my bedroom and the whole system shorted out. I was without power for most of the day because I thought it was coincidence. I figured probably everyone else was out of power as well. I got a massive headache from not having a way to heat water for coffee. Finally, in the late afternoon, with my Dad on the phone, I found the switch and fixed it.
Anyway, I put in a request to get the air-con fixed, but when eventually someone was sent, all the guy did was walk in, declare it was toast, and remove the cord. He said he would arrange a replacement.
Months passed. I guess I could have followed it up earlier. But… ceebs.
Last week I finally put another request in, and yesterday a guy in a tradie costume waltzes into the school front office (where I now work… don’t know if I’ve revealed that yet here), looks me straight in the eye and says “We need your key.”
“We’re putting in a new air-con.”
“You’re what?! No way!” I was so excited I couldn’t get the key off its ring fast enough.
Unfortunately, though, when I went home after finishing at 12 (I only work mornings) the donga was locked and not a tradie in sight. So I had to schlep back to the school and get Elle, my boss, to find out their contact details. “They’ve probably gone home for lunch,” she said. Pretty soon one of them called back and said he would drop the key back. So I sat waiting outside, hungry and thirsty, and he pulled up in the ute and leaned out of the window, key in hand as I ran just as eagerly to grab it back.
Aaaaaaaaanyway. Eventually one of them, not the one involved in all the key passing, came back from lunch and got started on the installation. I always feel super awkward being around when tradies do stuff in my house. Especially since it was in my bedroom. He had to move the bed out of the way, which was fair enough, but he also put his tools on my bed, which I thought was not really okay. I offered to help carry the huge box air-con, but he gallantly refused, getting help from my neighbour instead, so I sat on the couch and crocheted like the proper little lady I am.
I always feel so elitist, too, when I have tradies in the house. Like, why aren’t I just doing it myself? Well, because I’m not trained and qualified, that’s why. But I don’t know whether I should sit around and chat. Should I make him a cup of tea? I feel like I’m under the microscope, like everything I’m doing is being scrutinised. Really he probably doesn’t care. So I did some writing and that took me away somewhat. My uneasiness only increased when it later transpired on Facebook that I didn’t even know his name. But the Facebook thing came about because I was impressed that he actually swept the floor afterwards, which I totally didn’t expect.
See, I’m trying to do this thing where I try not to post statuses on Facebook, instead I write them down and incorporate them into blogs later. But I obviously slipped up with that one yesterday. I worked it in anyway. It’s just a repeat for those who follow me in both places.
Anyway, the experience wasn’t too awkward, and I got an air-con out of it! When he was finished I offered him some slice that my neighbour had given me the night before, but he regretfully declined, saying he was still full from lunch. And we joked about how now I can nap around the clock, no matter how hot it is. So innocent I was then, not knowing how relevant that would soon be.
The second awesome thing that happened yesterday was that my friend Nurse Jaye invited me to join her at a running club that some other balanda ladies do. “Run/walk” she called it. I soon discovered that it was interval training, which is sporty-type-person code for “HELL”. So why was it awesome? Well, because I discovered I could actually keep up, while maintaining a conversation. At no point did I want to die, and when I got home I was full of energy and cooked myself up a massive veggie satay stir fry. So what could have been disastrous just added to my list of awesomeness.
The third awesome thing happened while we were on the run/walk; Jaye invited me to go camping on Friday night with her and translation lady (srsly what is her pseudonym), at the invitation of an old lady, one of Jaye’s patients, to old lady’s homeland. SO EXCITED! I haven’t been camping since January. And never on Elcho Island.
After I finished making and eating some of my veggie satay stir fry last night, I was going to make a cake for the new girl who works in the office, because it’s her birthday today. I’ll call her Unknown Relation, because we’re in a bit of confusion about how I am related to her. Her mother thinks I call the girl Dhumungurr, which is like son-in-law’s niece, but she herself thinks that I call her Gurrung, or perhaps Mukul Rumaru, I can’t remember which way it goes. This all makes no sense to people who don’t know about the Yolngu kinship stuff, and my head is too full of metaphorical sand to explain it. So suffice to say, that if she is my Gurrung, then I can’t talk to her properly, but if she’s my Dhumungurr it’s an easier relationship (I think). So I’m hoping she’s wrong and her Mum’s right. That way I can continue joking with her.
So I was supposed to grab some ingredients from Jaye — raw cacao powder and almond meal — to make a chocolate cake without refined sugar/flour/cocoa, but we forgot at the end of the run/walk. I drove over later (I have the use of a car at the moment) and picked it up, but I was late getting started and didn’t end up finishing the cake until like quarter to eleven at night, which is way past my bedtime. The cake had burnt on the top AND bottom (hate that oven), so I had to resurrect it by slicing it and laying pieces flat, cutting out the carcinogens, drizzling some hurriedly-made chocolate syrup on top, and finishing it off with some shaved chocolate. In the end I was quite proud of my effort. So I fell into bed, leaving a mountain of dirty dishes in the kitchen.
All of the awesomeness from yesterday is related to what happened today.
I have been battling ear infections in both ears for a couple of weeks now, but this morning I woke up with a huge lump in my throat, feeling absolutely rotten. I am sure that I pushed my body too hard with the run/walk, and thus weakened my defenses.
I got ready as per usual and tried to convince myself to go to work, but to no avail. But I had to give Unknown Relation her cake, so I went in, gave it someone else in the office to give to her. As soon as I was home I went straight to bed, with the pedestal fan blowing on me and the brand-spanking-new-timing-couldn’t-be-better air-con thermostatted at 25 degrees Celsius.
I woke up at 10:30 when my sister rang for assignment help. I successfully helped her without actually waking up (win), had some food, went back to bed at 11:30. I drifted awake from a very restful sleep, thinking, hmm, it’s probably about 1pm. I looked at my phone. It was 3:08! What a sleep.
And now it’s almost 5. I’ve had some more lime-and-honey drink and vitamin C mix, eaten the last of my paracetamol (Oh no!) and my brain is getting foggy, it’s time to eat some more and go back to sleep I think. My aim was to write and publish this post in one session, but I have had to skip parts to fill in later because: energy depletion.
The jury is still out on whether I will make it to bible study in two hours.
Update at 8:30pm: I did not go to bible study. I really wanted the social interaction and spiritual energisation, but I still feel rotten and I don’t want to spread my sickness around.
So the last element of awesomeness from yesterday that is relevant to today is the camping invitation. Today is Wednesday. The trip is Friday. I desperately want to go, but obviously can’t if I’m sick. So fingers crossed I can recover in the next couple of days!
This blog post turned out way longer than the blog police recommend, but if you’ve made it this far you’re either really bored, or you enjoyed it 🙂