Monday, January 31, 2011

friends and food - antidote to the blues...

it's always a pleasure to spend time with friends steph and pete - and saturday evening was no exception... dinner at my place was the order of the day so it was up early to do shopping so i could get back and start cooking - my vegan fare is always appreciated by these two - and there's nothing like deliciously tasty, fresh food, good conversation, music and much vino to push depression to the background - ohh, the beautiful bunch of flame red flowers they brought me was a lovely treat too...





we started with dips, olives, crusty garlic bread and rice-stuffed vine leaves marinated in lemon juice, followed by ratatouille stuffed zucchinis with rosemary baked garlic cloves and potatoes - yummmmm - a garden salad topped it all off while steph bought a delicious broccoli and garlic dish she'd made which complemented the meal perfectly... beautiful, juicy organic strawberries and rum balls were the perfect end to a veritable feast...





laughter is something that's never missing from an evening with these interesting and stimulating friends - nor is deeply political conversation (we have similar views about a lot of issues) - as they are also work colleagues and union delegates the conversation always involves some workplace 'anecdotes'... once we get together the conversation just flows, but i did have to start pushing them out the door around 2 am ('start pushing' being the operative words - it can then take 30 or so minutes for the final goobye!!!)...

so, after a late night, sunday was just going to be a lazy day with the temperature forecast to be 40 degrees - after checking in with the mother to make sure she was coping alright with the heat and didn't need anything i curled up on the couch and read most of the day, while allie slept in front of the fan (yes, amazingly my old girl has survived one more year and is now into her 19th - that's 133 in human years) and shadow stretched out on the coffee table until the heat of the day dissipated...






i watched a fascinating documentary in the evening - spitfire women - about the female pilots of the air transport auxilliary who ferried british warplanes from factories and repair bases to airfields all over britain during ww2 - considering they weren't allowed to take part in combat it was one of the most high-risk activities of the war with the death rate being higher than in the raf fighter command - one in six were killed...





i first read about these amazing womyn in marge piercy's novel "gone to soldiers" many years ago... and, if you're interested, i came across this article from 2007 in the daily mail - silk stocking and spitfires: the dark reality of the girls who flew dangerous wartime missions by glenys roberts...



a screenplay has apparently been commissioned based on the books “spitfire women of world war II” by giles whitell and “spreading my wings”, the autobiography of ata pilot diana barnato walker - spitfire girls is to be a co-production between the united kingdom and new zealand... unfortunately i've just checked our catalogue and 'my' library doesn't hold either of these book titles - you can find books about the 'daring-do' of the 'fly boys' in our collection - but the 'ata-girls', now that's a different matter - surely anything about feisty womyn  pushing the boundaries of male dominance in their quest for equality is something we should have on our shelves - ahhh, luckily we have access to inter-library loans...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

a depressing dilemma…

it appears my carefully constructed work fa├žade is starting to crack – i realised that when a colleague commented last week ‘you look okay sharon, but you sound totally disillusioned’… and the only response i could muster – ‘i am’…

at least there's work and life balance - disillusion and depression...

the security of a retreat in malmsbury is fast becoming a pipe dream, a once longed for illusion… after a bad few weeks involving a car accident, an assault and then the death of lucky boy, irene told me last week she's contemplating her future and the possibility of moving - and that move is likely to take her (and my louie) further away, closer to new south wales…

it's a decision that's totally understandable, but nonetheless depressing for me… the sanctuary i’ve been yearning for and which was seemingly so close now looks to be a receding dream… as is reuniting with my louie boy – i'm realistic enough to know he could never live in a flat (nor would it be fair to him - he’s used to being part of a pack, having space and barking a lot these days), and my only option as a city dweller is a flat - the rental on a house being way out of my solo-living, single-income league… that realisation has caused much heartache and many tears…

so now I grapple with possibilities for some sort of housing security as I age – the vagaries of the ever increasing cost and competition of the private rental market, or getting my name onto the community housing waiting list (available to those on low to moderate income with a percentage of 'stock' allocated for those over 55) - that though would entail cutting down a few hours to come within the income threshhold of $738 gross per week (as opposed to public housing which has a lower income threshhold) - i earn $683 per week net but then there's the compulsory weekend work for us lower banded workers… unfortunately it could take months or even years to be offered something – and that would mean trying to survive in private rental on even less income until an offer was made (which i could just afford staying here assuming they renew the lease and don't put the rent up!)… if the lease isn't renewed or the rent hike is massive (they didn't raise the rent last year so chances are there'll be a hike this year!!!) i'm fucked...

a dilemma indeed…

depression and disillusionment – a good start to a new year… and such a frugal few weeks it’s been to boot – with more frugality to come…

such a downer of a first post nearly a month into 2011 hey... while i wallow in self-pity i'll leave you with a favourite song... flame trees - sadly the co-writer and drummer of cold chisel – steve prestwich - died last week at the age of 56 (which is how old i’ll be in 3 months) – it has long been my very favourite chisels song...