Saturday, 13 April 2013

Getting Ready for Winter

Sat around the table on a Friday at 4:30pm surrounded by my co-workers, my Mom, who is visiting for 3 weeks, was surprised by how many people don't have proper climate control in their homes here.  I've been telling her about it for years, but I think hearing it from the locals, and so many of them, drove it home.  It is that time of year in Australia when, despite it still being 29C out, we turn our thoughts to the cold weather coming.  In addition to the actual weather conditions this year, I'll also be thinking about my health during the long, wet season, and not just my physical health.  Whilst seasonal depression is often thought of as a Northern hemisphere problem, it can just as easily creep up on you in the Antipodean region.  While the months between May and September creep by, the dark comes upon us early, and the rains keep coming, nights at home without heat (either because you don't have it or you can't be arsed to start a fire in your combustion heater) get long and exhausting, even if it is only 14C/60F in your house most evenings.  I generally crawl into my waterbed with my dinner, and watch TV from about 7pm onwards.  That doesn't help keep me motivated and active enough, so this year, I'm making a few changes, particularly as winter will show it's face soon after one of my international visitors leaves.  I plan to use my 3 month old gym membership at least twice a week, and I have a stack of books to read.  I've also joined a few interest groups and am actively trying to meet more people and get out of the house more.  That combined with a few practical heat savings tips around the house, sealing up gaps in the walls and completing a big ensuite reno with a nice new shower...and heat lamp, and this winter should be mint!  I'll let you know how it all goes.  If you see me blogging more, that's a first indication it's all working.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The 5-year mark

I am a very firm believer that Facebook and other social media outlets are literally shortening our attention span.  Someday there'll be research on this.  The fact that I haven't blogged in over a year is evidence.  Why write a paragraph when I can just as easily shout out a line or two that gets more of a response and greater (instant) interaction.  Seeing my nieces and nephews with iPhones and other devices makes me cringe.  I want to buy them a plug in phone or a book...or a passport.  There's nothing like a good read or some overseas experiences to broaden your mind.

I started out just wanting to travel, then wanting to live abroad for at least a short period.  As we know, meeting a sexy foreign dude sometimes changes the path considerably.  In a little over a month, I will have lived in Australia for 5 years as a permanent resident.  I've gone from provisional permanent, to completely (independently) permanent, to a proper citizen.  Knowing from Day 1 of my (2nd) arrival in Australia that I was here for good hasn't always been a pleasant thought.  Thankfully, those days are over.  Although my other half still gives his workplace too many hours of his life, I've had time to develop my own interests, and I can say without a doubt that I'm happy here now.  Hmmm, maybe Kafka was right when he said there's no point to writing when you're happy.

Today, I got home from work, checked the mailbox, and saw an envelope from the Department of Transport.  Knowing full well my car rego wasn't due for a few months yet, the only other thing I could think of was a speeding ticket.  Before I even opened it up, I thought I might have to run to the JP at the local council to pass it along to the old man, as he's been driving my car quite a bit, and we all know who the creeper is in this little family.  But lo and behold, it was my driver's license renewal.  Who would have thought I'd been living here long enough to need to renew my license.  What a thing - times flies, when you'e enjoying your life.