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There are many things from the last few weeks that I want to write about, but can't write about here. They're too important or private for the Internet, or not mine to write about in public.

I can write about the small things which have consoled me.

It has been so lovely to be welcome, to be able to be there, without a fuss made about it. I have felt grateful that there has been space for me to cook, do dishes, make tea, do all the small domestic acts that allow me to show love and care for the people around me.

I have felt quiet and steady and useful, because others have nurtured that tiny sprout of a feeling, after weeks and weeks of feeling helpless and overwhelmed. I like to be quiet and steady and useful, now and then, because it carries me through and makes me strong.

I woke up this morning and the first worries that sprang to my mind were about work, everything that needs to be done today, tomorrow, before Monday. That is a consolation in itself. I know I'll get it done, one part after another.

It is tremendously consoling to have a sense of myself as someone who can do what is needed, and provide comfort and care, even under difficult circumstances.

And I have been buoyed by the love and care of others. J, who has helped me to be strong and given me hugs when I wasn't, and all of Pink Hair Claire's wonderful words that I can carry with me whenever I need to, and House Claire who has made it easier to cook for people that I love, and my wonderful family, and all of the people who have sent messages of love and support.

The last couple of months have been hard, for a whole heap of reasons. But I think it's going to be okay. Now is the time for putting my house (literal and metaphorical) in order, finding a safe space for future adventures.
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I need a tag for entries that say: "hey, I know That Other Thing that was stopping me from being social is over, but now This New Thing is happening, so I won't see much of you, still."

This is another one of those entries.

I am back in Australia, and am now working full time (officially, rather than merely unofficially) in an actual office with my name on the door. Far more importantly, J's family is going through a very difficult situation, and I want to spend as much time with them as possible.

So I will probably be dividing my time up between work and family and home. I would still like to see people, but I think I will not have a lot of time and will mostly want to be at home, when I'm not doing other things. I want to nest and tidy, and make people tea, and cook for people that I love.

I'm going to try to make sure that work is something I can corral into my actual office time, and spend as much of the rest of my life as I can making small beautiful spaces and small beautiful things for the people around me, and for myself.

So, um, I guess what I'm saying is that once again: it's not that I don't like you. I do like you, very much! But there are some other things I need to do, for a while.
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Today has been busier than I initially intended. We thought we might perhaps go to Seahorse World and Platypus House, just for the morning. Except that we accidentally stopped off at the Beaconsfield mining museum on the way, and it turned out to be awesome. The new mine has been built right next to the old one, so there are lots of odd juxtapositions of old crankshafts and waterwheels with the new shaft in the background.

This bit is mostly about the museum, and seahorses, and nature and stuff. )

This evening I have mostly been marking, but I took some ukulele breaks. And I played some ukulele-piano with my mother! We went through her songbooks, and played some songs she knew that had guitar chords written on them. And then we played some of the songs from my songbook. Her piano is much, much, better than my ukulele, but she's never just sat down and played from chords before, so I had to (very inexpertly) explain how it worked.

My little ukulele sounds so plinketyplinky next to the piano, but neither of us minded. It was so much fun playing around and working some songs out together! We totally jammed!
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I am in Tasmania!

The first thing I have learnt about Tasmania, in my careful observations, is that there seem to be more interesting beetles here than in WA.

The second thing that I have learnt is that almost every street we drive down seems to have at least three houses on it that I desperately want to live in. There are lots of old, rambling houses that come in an odd jumble of styles. They seem to be built larger than many houses in WA, but that might just be because I've mostly been in more rural areas.

Today we dropped my brother off at his friends' house. It was raining outside, and we went through the back garden, overgrown grass and sculptures and bathtubs full of herbs and bicycles leaning against walls. The rain dripping through the veranda, and then into the kitchen, and people start coming down the stairs and in from the rain. And the kitchen is so warm and cosy, wood everywhere and a low ceiling and old sofas and a long kitchen table, music playing and bustle.

I really like my brother's friends. One is his very-good-friend-who-he-hasn't-seen-for-months, and I love seeing how happy they are to meet again, all hugs and smiles. I am so proud of my brother for so many reasons, and one of them is that he's good at showing his affection for his man-friends.

Oh! I want to live in a lovely old house with a warm kitchen full of friends-who-live-there and friend-who-drop-in and a shambling garden and the smell of spices!

I love our current house, and our current household, and I am being a bit greedy in wishing for what we have only more so. But there are moments when I do: floating in the lovely space of a cosy kitchen, the rain outside cocooning us, colour and affection everywhere.


Nov. 2nd, 2010 05:25 pm
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My brother spilt tea on PinkHairClaire's laptop the other day. She was awfully nice about it, and has been trying to get by with her netbook, but it seems an inconvenient way to do things when you are studying. Do any of you guys have a laptop that you're no longer using that you wouldn't mind giving/selling to me? I am also willing to swap for Stuff, if there's Stuff I can help you with.
rhyll: (Default)
* I just got a care package from my mother, and it is awesome! A little sketch of Frida Kahlo, and a warm scarf with a hood, and a letter, and a book, and little chocolates, and love. My grandmother told her that J had just headed off, so she sent me some Care to keep me warm. Oh! I am very spoilt, in the love that I get.
* I wrote a ukulele song! It is about small things, and things that I like. It is not very good at all, but I am still very excited to have written a song. It's not a thing I ever imagined that I would be able to do, and it's only because liz has been so very encouraging that I even tried.
* This week has not sucked nearly as much as I thought it would. I've been sick, and have had a heap of marking, but I've been giving the house a lot of love so it feels like a lovely little nest, and the marking has actually been pretty interesting (and, at times, hilarious).
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* I am going to be in Sydney between 18th and 24th of February. Actually, I will mostly be in Armidale or doing a workshop during that time, but I will be free the evening of the 20th, I think. Does anyone want to have dinner/put me up? (Also: are any of you guys in Sydney?)
* My brother is quite wonderful. He told me a story about his mice: his house has lots of mice. They like to hide behind the microwave, and poop. So, one day they used the microwave, and a poor little mouse came staggering out and died a dramatic death. Very upsetting! After considering the problem carefully, they got rid of the microwave, because who wants such a terrible killer in the house? Now the mouse hang out somewhere different, and more hidden, and everyone's happy. For some reason I find this story very cheering. It reminds me that people are not so bad, after all.
* My family is pretty excellent, did I mention? I like Παπού playing tavli with Ms N and debating, Γιαγιά's stories and her popping some dessert into Ms N's mouth mid-sentence, Byron's attempts to lure Brotherdear or J into playing with him, Strati's standard response to Relationship News ("well, when are you bringing them around?"), Lorraine's quiet strength, GirlCousins' willingness to debate ethics and morality, Motherdear's automatic carbon-neutralling of my flights, Fatherdear's continual attempts to work out where he is and where he wants to be. I am very lucky!
* Ms L came around the other night to work on my story. It's quite wonderful to write with/for someone who's that expressive - I am usually so nervous when someone reads my work with me near, but I really enjoy all of her laughing and approval-faces and questions. Also, it is fun to make demands like, "draw a thing here that is like a rubbish bin crossed with a cloud, but sparkly".
* A couple of nights ago I had a dream that my first complete thesis-draft was finished. It still had lots of 'insert research here' bits, but it felt so amazingly good. Like a dream about flying, where you're simultaneously surprising that you can do and at how wonderful it is.
* A couple of nights ago I had a dream about


Nov. 24th, 2008 11:47 am
rhyll: (Default)
The last few things have helped me remember how much I love the feeling of being at home. There are at least four places that feel like 'home' to me, and I feel very spoilt to have that. So, some thoughts on home:

* Maybe you missed Lisa and Jessica's show, 'Take Me Home'? It was pretty awesome, and I wanted to buy just about everything. Luckily, you can see photos of the art, and of lots of people appreciating the art, here.
* Sometimes, the nicest thing for me is to be in a space that has just been tidied, and that is full of love, and to just potter around and do nothing in particular.
* Nath and I went to visit my family on the weekend, and it was quite lovely. Yiayia told us stories about her mother, and about herself, and I had so many feelings that I had to cry a little, even though they weren't sad stories. And I had nice chats with Strati and Lorraine, and played tavli with Papou (who was very impressed with Nath's tavli).
* Isn't it nice to have big dinners with friends? Where you all cook together, and sit around, and extras drop in, and everyone is relaxed and happy? I want to live near all of my friends, so that we can do that every night. I would like my life to be like that.


Nov. 21st, 2008 10:29 am
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It must be hard, sometimes, having your Littles grow up into Slightly-Less-Littles, and run off into the world and do Unwise Things, and have Adventures. I do far fewer Unwise Things than I used to, which I imagine is something of a relief for my parents (and the many other family-types that care for me). But I'm still finding my way in the world, and trying to work out how to do friendships and relationships and work-stuff, and I imagine it is hard to watch sometimes. I am still so unsettled, and I know that sometimes people fret that I might not work out life in a way that makes me happy and safe.

Sometimes I want to scoop up the people that I love and fix everything for them. I want to make them cocoa and shut out the scary parts of the world and the things that make them cry. I know that there are a lot of people who feel the same way about me. And I know that sometimes I make them sigh, and fret, and they don't understand why I do the things I do.

I'm getting better, though. I feel like I'm learning, and I'm mostly pretty happy, and I'm better at working out what makes me unhappy and fixing it.


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