I am told that people who blog about their employers, and what goes on at their workplace, may find it difficult to find future employment. I can say that as from Christmas Eve, Michelle, my very valued and respected immediate superior, is off on three months long service leave. That leaves me as the entire environmental health team. I shall have outside contract support in building matters, as I am not qualified as an Australian Building Surveyor. I am reasonably capable, but I am Kiwi trained and qualified. Oz building rules are different. This year I shall work towards qualification.
But generally it is not wise to discuss what is going on at work. A whole fertile field of literary endeavour is therefore closed to me. Seriously. I could write a book. Maybe I will after I retire if I can ever afford to do so. In the meantime the Shire and its shenanigans is off-limits.
That leaves me. Write about what you know.
I have been silent lately. Sorry if you missed me. I have been brooding. Depressed people do that, I am told. I tried a while ago to wean myself off the Fluoxetine (Prozac) by cutting my dose in half. The Doc had warned me not to, but I figured I had been on it long enough. Doc was right, I was wrong. In any case, this is probably the worst time of year to be going off such medication anyway.
Christmas is a time for family, and right now I feel as if I don’t have one. I do of course. I am distant father to daughters in another country, abandoned husband, eccentric uncle, visiting black sheep brother, oddball son. Sheesh, I am a whole family wrapped up in one. I did not go to Perth to spend the holiday with my sister and nieces and great nieces and nephew, because I am on call here. Perth is too far away to respond to a call out.
Yes. Christmas is a family thing. It is because of this, that I turned down a couple of kind invitations to Christmas lunch from local friends. I declined because I felt would have been like an outsider, and – worse – undoubtedly would have been depressed watching their cheerful celebrations and thinking of How Things Once Were. As it turned out, even celebrating alone I was correct about that. But at least it is easier to deal with when there is no one else to make excuses to, or to see me feeling sorry for myself. Also, I wanted to chat with my daughters on Skype. By the time I got hold of them, it was late Christmas day where they were, though still mid morning here. The conversation was cheerful and things were looking positive when Sumana reported that “Mum and her partner” had arrived. I baled.
Later I logged in to Facebook to wish all and sundry a Very Merry Christmas (much cheaper than Christmas cards and more sincere since the words are my own). I saw that one of our NZ friends had posted a picture of my ex enjoying time with them. That was the final straw. I deleted my Facebook account in a petty fit of pique and spent the remains of the day in brooding resentment. Stupid. I know. Merry Christmas. That is all I have to say about that.
I spent subsequent days doing stuff, and napping. I cleaned and polished the car until it looked and smelt new, inside and out (apart from some stone chips, and some annoying scratches on the bumper that I did not do, and that Carl can’t explain). It took me seven hours over three days, working in temperatures between 32 and 35.
Cleaned the bike. Tidied the shed, cleaned out the fish pond. Found the other two tadpoles that I had rescued last year. Still there. Very fat and nearly ready to metamorphose. I refilled the pond, dechlorinated the water and returned the plants and tadpoles to it. Carl dropped by and told me he had delivered a frog the day before, while I was taking a nap. He had found it when cleaning out the water trough at the dog pound. I have seen no sign of it yet.
I figured out why there are no leaves or developing fruit on my apricot tree this year, despite the beautiful blooms on the branches in Spring. I could not understand why leaves seemed to begin and then vanished. Then I twigged. In a word; Resident Possum. She is clearly hungry. I feed her carrot peels and ends, lettuce and capsicum and other vege scraps. Obviously not enough to divert her from the tree.
I built her a little feeding platform and sometimes I go out and talk to her while she is eating. I got pretty close the other night, speaking soothingly as I slowly approached with a carrot. I got so close I thought she might take it from my hand, but she panicked at the last moment and shinnied up the tree. I put it down on the platform for her and as soon as I moved far enough away she clambered down to take it. She loves carrots.
She is getting a lot of scraps because I am eating a lot of salad and healthy food now. I have lost 8 Kgs in 6 weeks. Still a long way to go according to the arthritis specialist I saw earlier this month. She is Indian, and English is not her first language, so I guess that when she asked my weight, and I told her, I should not have been taken aback with her reaction. “That is too much! You are obesity!”
“Personified” I said.
Movie review: No Spoilers.
On Friday 27/12 I drove to Albany to watch a movie. I had my phone on vibrate in my pocket, and I thought at one point just before I arrived at the theatre, that I had been caught out. But it was something I could deal with over the phone.
I had gone to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I have loved the book this movie is derived from since I was a tad at Bunnythorpe Primary (1959-60), where a teacher (whose name I forget) read it to us in instalments. The best thing about going to school, and the only school thing I really remember from that time.
I really liked The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; the first episode of Peter Jackson’s version. The deviations from the well – remembered book plot were understandable and forgivable, and in my opinion Martin Freeman is the perfect Bilbo. However, the second film though still enjoyable, left me a little dissatisfied. Beorn’s chapter was a gloss and I would really have liked for at least that section, for Jackson to have stuck to the book. Some of the new plot lines introduced, and deviations from the original, were now rather annoying. This was a book that I somehow believed, probably irrationally, did not need any alteration. However given the introduction of other plot elements, it seems to me there was opportunity for a more inventive and sensible use of the ring. But perhaps not.
I did like the 3D.
In all despite my protestations, I still enjoyed it. I was disappointed that it ended. I am looking forward to the next.
The fact that Jackson could make three films from this little story just shows how much might have been done with the Lord of the Rings. Not to belittle the mighty achievement that it was, but important elements were omitted that would have been valuable in my opinion if only to contrast the subsequent violence. Farmer Maggot, Tom Bombadil, and of course the importance of the ending was lost, that brought the whole thing home; The Scouring of the Shire. In my opinion this was a very important part of the book, putting the entire story into a more personal context. Still, when all is said and done, Jackson is a millionaire and I am sitting in a 1 BR flat behind the child health clinic in Katanning. What do I know?