It’s strange but good to be home!

 

 

 

 

I’ve just come home from living in a very remote community in the Northern Territory, Australia. I was there for a six week teaching placement and have to say that although my days and weeks were difficult, challenging and I struggled a bit even with thoughts of wanting to go home, that it was one of the best, amazing and inspirational experiences that I have ever had in my life so far. In fact now that I’m home even though I’m very happy to be here I’ve started to realise how desperately I would have liked to stay. I’m tired, missing the kids and finding it hard to adjust being back in Melbourne.

I can tell you being back here and re-adjusting to Melbourne life is almost harder than my first week in the community I was in and it’s mainly due to being around lots of people and also being in my room alone… When I first arrived in that community, all I thought was how blissfully peaceful it was and how nice it was with the sun going down as we were un-packing the car.

The first challenge that I had to face was living in a school library, only having a cold tap at the sink, de-frosting meat for all our cooking and having to check for frogs and toads in the toilet. As the weeks progressed I noticed how much I was missing simple comforts of life and a lot of things that I took for granted.

Amongst having to boil a kettle for washing dishes, I started to miss sitting on a couch, I wasn’t able to use my personal laptop for connecting to the internet (instead was supplied with the use of a school’s one), the internet itself was slow so no blogging etc, all the food I had to eat was already there and apart from a really expensive and basic shop there was no backup. We were five hours to the nearest town so there was also the factor of isolation. If it wasn’t for my fellow student teacher I quite possibly would have gone home earlier than originally planned – she was the person who I talked to, cooked with, worked with, watch movies with, etc and I’m happy to report I have made a new friend!

Apart from the teaching we were able to get go down to the local river, go for walks and when back in Katherine on a school trip see some amazing sights! A boat cruise down Katherine Gorge was probably the high-light, with amazing cliffs, clear water and a place to swim – you could not have asked for anything better to do!

Now that I’m home I’m asking myself – did it really happen? Because it almost feels like it didn’t. I’m sitting here in my room thinking – what am I doing here? I should be somewhere else, shouldn’t I? I’ve been to have a “real” coffee, eat at the Vic Markets with my Dad, gone to the milkbar because I was out of milk, sit on my bed, pat my cat and say hello to some of house-mates. The funniest part about coming back to Melbourne is apart from seeing family and friends the two things that I’m looking forward to the most is being able to use a hot tap and sitting on a couch!

I never thought I would be excited by such simple things, but there you go.

It’s strange and good to be home and there is not much else to say.

Signing off while thinking to myself – wow I can actually blog again!

 

 

 

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Where does time go?

It’s five days until I leave for Darwin, seriously when did that happen? I always knew that the time for me to leave for this trip would come but it always seemed far away like somehow it wasn’t going to happen…

When I first put my name down as a person of interest… I thought – oh yeah it could happen, I could be spending 6 weeks in the NT for my final placement etc It will be totally amazing yadda yadda but for some reason in the back of my mind I didn’t actually think it was happening.

Why, I don’t really know?

I don’t think it was until about a month ago that the thought of actually doing this crossed my mind. The plans were in place, it was marked in my diary and I even knew who I was going to be partners with but still somehow I thought that I would still be in Melbourne…

But no it is really happening!

But it isn’t just this trip that has crept up on me it is also the whole year…

I still have vivid memories of celebrating new years – my one wish was that this year had to be better than last year after being as sick as I was  and not even thinking that I would finish my course in the same time as originally planned to now thinking about what job I want… I think I got the 2012 that I hoped for…

The trip will be amazing and will probably make the year for me but if you took that away I would still think that I’ve had a great year…

As simple as it is but not getting sick again is all I needed to get through this year… It was all I needed to say to myself at the end: “I’ve really had a good year”

A lot of people I think when they reflect on a year gone by think that if they haven’t had any grand accomplishments or done ‘amazing’ things like for example a huge OS trip or whatever it is that they want… that they think “oh what a crappy year” but for me a good year really means: being healthy, getting through anything challenging a long the way and just allowing for life to be the best that it can be in the moment…

One of my favourite quotes is

“be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”

I like this because it shows me that everyone out there has hard stuff that they have to deal with and that it isn’t just you. We forget this when we’re the ones that are ‘suffering’ because it does feel like we are the only ones, that we are the only ones going through something, that we are the only ones that feel miserable… But really we’re not. We’re one in a million/billion/trillion and there is probably someone else out there is going through something a lot worse than you are.

I remember when I was admitted to hospital before I had an appendectomy and thinking “oooh this feels so awful… no one else has any idea what this feels like, etc” you know that whole ‘wo as me…life is bad, etc” the common thing for people to do when they’re sick even if it’s just a cold…

Then I got a txt from a friend saying something like “I know how bad it felt before I had my operation, etc” (this friend also no longer has her appendix) and it made me realise how a lot of people have had the exact same operation that I was about to have and that it was going to be ok… plus not only that but I was going to have key hole surgery which is much more simple than how it used to be… so out came “it could be worse”

“it could be worse” last year became something I would say every time I got sick, every time my blood got tested, every time I got asked if I was pregnant, the list goes on…

And you know it’s so true “it could be worse”…

I’m not saying you’re never going to feel awful and when something happens to you especially if you have never had that happen before it is really hard to deal with, it’s tough… It is placed there for you to go through, experience and to face up to…

And I’m sorry to have to say this, but that’s life

Just like this time that is slowly drifting away, it’s going to happen and there really isn’t that much we can do about it. These next five days which is now looking more like 4 1/2 will take the time it takes and at the end of them I will be on a plane heading for Darwin.

The six weeks though that I’m away could actually feel quicker then these next few days – now that’s the scary bit 🙂

To me life is taking the happy/amazing/great/joyful/exciting parts or the sad/horrible/awful parts and being in either of those moments… you have to take all of those things as they are and except that sometimes that is just how it is…

Signing off so I can actually do something about all this packing I have to do… eeeeek!

 

Regaining my imagination…

I want to write a story that is based on the home/house that I grew up in and possibly then have it extend to other areas of Australia that I’ve been…

I’m about to go to the Northern Territory!! I will be living and working in Pigeon Hole for six weeks and will get to be amongst the people of that community… This trip is part of what is called SWIRL or Story-writing in rural locations and is run by my uni and also happens to be my last ever teaching placement.

I am so excited, scared, and simply just awaiting all the possibilities of what will come from this experience.

When asked “what do you wish to bring?” I thought and thought for an appropriate response and came up with – an open mind. I think in this case instead of being the teacher I will be very much the learner. I don’t really know what I’m getting into, about where I’m going, what to expect or how I’ll cope living in such a remote area.

Some people might think I’m mad and I’m happy to accept that, maybe I’m mad and maybe we’re all mad. But what good would it be if all we did was sit at home and did not take on adventures like this? I don’t think I’m any less mad than someone deciding to go to Europe by themselves, am I? 

I feel very much inspired by this and I think it might have something to with always wanting to be a story-teller. For some reason creative writing to me as always been something that even though I have had to work at (a lot!!) I have still very much enjoyed…Some of this comes through with reasons as to why I wanted to be a teacher as well so equally it’s both just great!

I want to write about home because no matter how I far I am from it I’m always thinking about it, it’s always there in the back of my mind, I have such a love for the place that I grew up in that I think wherever I go it will be with me… People have often said that home is where the heart is amongst other sayings of similar ilk but to me – home is where the cat sits on your lap and where you find fairies hiding in the garden.  For me I wasn’t the one who moved – it was my mum… I have lived in other places since she moved out and am now back here but without her… It’s a long story!!!

The idea behind my ‘home is…’ is that I have a cat (last year I had two cats 😦 ) and wherever he goes I feel at home because he is comforting. The fairies though are because when I was a child I very much believed in them and I think even as an adult if you look at a garden very closely you can see that somehow they are there – they take you wherever you need to go and I think that comes back to them being ‘make believe’ or ‘magic’ – they create the colours, the leaves, the petals, the branches, the soil, etc of what makes the garden so beautiful and warm. Because they can fly – they fly with you…and it doesn’t matter where you are or who you live with…

{I think that our mind can very much be in a ‘real’ world and in a ‘fantasy’ world… ‘real’ = cat ‘fantasy’ = fairies…}

 

I am very lucky to live in an old terrace house… The floor boards creek under feet, there are cracks in the walls, there is a door with an old-fashioned key that allows you to enter a part of the garden…

My imagination as a child would be racing with stories… Stories of a made up past; I used to think of so many past lives that this house had and so many fantasy style lives that this house had…

They were intertwined with other people’s imaginations but my favourite stories were those that were merged with the author of the Secret Garden, the Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy — I remember creating my own secret garden and pretending that I lived in boarding school. The funny thing was that I took these imaginings with me…

There was an old brick building as big as big could be… It had tennis courts you see… I used to walk past dreaming of whom lived there and dreaming of all they could have had… What was this place so grand and strange…? I wonder? Who lives there?

Little did I know that red brick building that I used to imagine as a grand house was the school that I attended… I laugh now when I think back to that child who was me but in the same light I also wish I had that same imagination.

Imagination is lost somehow and that loss begins when we go to school… Is it possible to harness it and not drag it down? I don’t it’s primary school, I think it comes more once we reach secondary school…

Hopefully I can allow the very real stories of the children in the NT to open my mind to a whole new world of stories, stories that have been passed down from generation to generation and stories that will keep being passed on. I’m writing this now with anxious butterflies in my stomach just thinking of what is ahead of me…

Goodness!!!

Signing off to get some rest. 🙂 


 

I have writer’s block!!!

I have the urge to write but don’t know what to write. This is a rare occurence for me. A rare occurence indeed. Ususally I can write at any time even if it’s about the most mundane things… But this evening as I decided it was about time to write again – anything, just anything to get me going – I thought but I have nothing that I want to write about…

So instead I’m going to try this thing called a ‘stream of  consciousness’ or a continuous flow of thoughts in writing whereby I write all my thoughts as I think them… goodness I hope this isn’t over sharing

Here we go: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3,2, 1…

What am I afraid of? I’m listening in my mind to this song about someone being afraid of something to do with love but what is that I’m afraid of? Obviously I’m listening to this song because I can in some way I relate to it but I’ve never been in love so am I afraid of it? But I have had a broken heart just not in the traditional sense of it… my eyes are drooping so really I should sleep but I know as soon as I climb into bed it’s not going to happen that’s all I want to write  now… sleep gosh there is a part of me that wishes I wasn’t on holidays…

The sound of my fingers typing is a soothing sound that I like because it means that I’m writing something that’s just for me something that no one has to like it’s just for me just for me that’s what I like best about this typing though is very different to holding a pen or a pencil I feel as though somehow handwriting is nicer than typing…goodness I’m so old-fashioned why am I so old-fashioned?

If you look at my hair you wouldn’t think it was old-fashioned or the act of shaving it off maybe I’m partly old-fashioned and partly not… I miss you, you know… here I am getting that sinking feeling again of missing a person you love wait love in its traditional form isn’t all about the love between man and woman or woman and woman or man and man love can be friend and friend pet and owner etc but come on I am human I want the other kind…

Gosh people could be reading this soon what if I just deleted this entire post. Emma keep your eyes open. No. Go to bed. No awake. Awake is where you’ll be when you feel like this…

I am strong I know it other people know it and if I cry it’s not a sign of weakness it’s not it’s just not…hmmm why not have a sip of hot chocolate with almond milk yes that’s right I spent more than any normal person should on one litre of milk just so I knew what it bloody well tasted like and crap it had to taste so bloody good that I’ll buy it again why just why food for me has become an expense I mean I know I don’t need almond milk but in so many gluten-free recipes they use almond and rice milk so I thought oh what’s the harm in trying this milk it’s meant to be good for you so why bloody not the only problem is because I also didn’t want the milk loaded with sugar I got the bloody organic one I want so much to be healthy so I don’t have to go to fing hospital but I also don’t want to be poor why make people who have fing coeliac disease pay for it out of their hard-earned money why… so back to that crying thing yeah it’s happened

oh good it’s stopped sigh deep breath sigh and deep breath

ok I’m ok

19 days till I fly to Darwin why did I sign up for swirl I mean I know why but now I’m scared I’m excited but lets face it if I was lying I’d be saying I’m so excited and so honoured to be given this opportunity blah w****r is what I would call myself if I said that because it’s not true I mean the teaching thing the story telling thing great the bloody remote thing what was I thinking oh yeah I wanted the challenge crap I have to eat gluten-free food what was I thinking…oh this is stupid I’ll be fine no seriously ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ok need to change my thoughts to something different.

Saw “Annie” today it was so fantastic and being able to see it with a great friend made it all the worth while and leaving the theatre we saw a wedding party who gets married in winter idiots. oh there would have been many reasons but seriously idiots.

ok I need to stop this otherwise the whole world if the whole world is reading will know my inner most thoughts and I don’t want that…

 

Activity complete. Back to normal:

It’s always good to write like that once in a while and it got me out of my writer’s block.

If there are readers of this post please don’t take my thoughts too seriously they were literally in the moment I didn’t plan what I was writing they came to me at the moment – also I’m tired so any worry or concern or even a positive emotion has been heightened by 1,000… plus the last time I did this I was in a state of joy and there were very different results I can tell you.

Lesson of today (to writers):

Writing all your thoughts like this can be a great way to ‘unleash’ anything that needs to be taken out of your mind to you free you up and write and also you might be surprised in what you come up with – some great story could come out of it!

*note* I read over what I wrote in the end for spelling and grammar in no way though did I delete anything that I wrote – that would defeat the purpose.

 

 

Safeway, Movies, a Wonderful Friend and the Perfect Easter!

As Good Friday rolled round, my bags were packed and I was ready to go.  There was no exact plan in my trip to Kyneton to visit my friend Mia except that I knew that I had decided to get the 10:35am bus to Sunbury which would lead me to a train arriving at Kyneton station at 12:30pm…

It felt great… to get up and leave. Leave my home work, my cat (being looked after by house-mates), any potential dishes or laundry behind and go see a friend!

The first stop was the station to buy my ticket – which I happened to do so nearly two hours before my bus left – oops, but better than being late…

As I had time to spare, a trip to the coffee shop was quite appropriate. A cafe latte and flourless lemon and poppy-seed cake – ordered, I was pretty happy in being early… a leisurely wait for my bus meant that I had enjoyed my early start and didn’t feel rushed! It was great.

My bus arrived at 10am giving passengers plenty of time to board it and as I had a magazine and Harry Potter 4 –  I didn’t mind at all…

Before we knew it, we were already in Sunbury – most of us passengers got of the bus and headed straight for the train, we were wrongly directed for platform 2, luckily though we quickly realised this mistake and headed back to the right platform where our train was already waiting… back to the world of Harry Potter and a chapter later, the train had left…

It was such a quick journey that before I knew it I was greeted by the lovely Mia… we stopped by in the town of Kyneton for a bit of baby present shopping as a friend of hers was having twins – yikes…!! Hard decisions were made, but as I have since been told that the soon to be mother loved the present – I think the right ones were made…

We then headed towards her house via IGA – where we bought some much-needed lunch supplies…and some other things for later. Once we arrived to her place, there was many things to decide – like what to watch on T.V or what movie to pick for that night… ahh well life is tough when you have the weekend off…

After lots of chats, T.V watching and consuming of lunch and many hours later – it was now time for dinner… GF pasta with bacon and chicken and a cream sauce… which meant that we both sinned…oops…next year I’ll be good and eat fish… but then again some people say it’s more of a catholic thing and techniquely I’m anglican…so it should be all good right…

Yes so back to the weekend…

We decided on watching Easy A as our dinner movie…which I must say surprised me as it was really funny and I loved Olive’s parents. They were played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson – couldn’t you imagine them being your parents?!?! I mean – they were just brilliant… quirky, honest, fun…allowing their children to make mistakes etc and in their own way…or however way you want to describe it… was just great to watch. 🙂 Also the outfits that Olive wore when she was dressing as a “slut” was just so creative. ah… good film.

After Easy A, Save the Last Dance was on – another good film…with the dancing, the love, the ballet meets hip hop, how the girl had to live without her mother, etc – all caught up in one cool story…great film…

Saturday had slowly crept up and I woke with a sore throat…which I thought I could ‘nip in the bud’ or however the saying goes…

That didn’t quite happen…although I did try…

Our friend Jenna who had come home to visit her family from living in Canada came round after lunch and another trip into town – except this time to Safeway… where I picked up some lemsip, honey and a few other bits and pieces…

and we chatted and chatted and chatted… after not seeing another good friend for a really long time it was hard not to chat as we did… the afternoon soon turned into the evening… Jenna went home and Mia and I decided to pick up some Pizza… she got Honey Chicken and I got Greek Souvalki (as in the toppings were ingredients you would find in a souvlaki)…

More movies and some episodes of Sex and the City it was shortly time for bed…

Sunday rolled round… and it was time for me to check the train timetable… except neither of us wanted me to leave…

so instead an extra day…

This day was filled – with you guessed it – movies…plus a trip to Woodend – to have a look at the shops and just to have a drive… then another trip to Safeway cos we needed dinner – an indian beef curry with rice…

but before all this cooking an

EASTER EGG HUNT… we had about 20 – so I hid ten and Mia hid ten and we had fun hiding and finding and teasing each other while we did it and don’t forget the old ‘hot and cold trick’ – except I added sizziling and boiling just to spice things up…

Lots more chatting, TV watching, curry eating and now chocolate egg consuming – with a bit if not a lot of laughter later and before you knew it was time for bed…

A sleep later, the checking of the timetable… packing my bag, showering and getting dressed… it was time for me to say goodbye to Mia and Kyneton…

It was early Monday arvo – really cold as it had just rained… my throat wasn’t quite yet better and I was back on another train…this time though it took a lot quicker as there was no waiting time for the bus back to Melbourne…by 3:30/4 I was back at home, pumpkin soup in microwave and a bit more tv watching  to be had…just to finish off my Easter…

This morning I woke – to rain and cold, a walk to a neighbouring suburb and home for homemade chicken noodle soup to sooth my sore throat and reflect on what a great break this has been… tomorrow I will be back to the grind of study…

at least there will be plenty of chocolate to keep me company!

Signing off as I slowly start winding down for the night – prehaps maybe with some Harry Potter…

sorry no lesson of the day… unless you want to know the goodness of friends and movies – I think I’ve said all that and trust me even if with this cold I have now… it’s still safe to say that life right now can’t get any better… 🙂

 

The day that turned around.

Ok. So this morning was frustrating. One of being fed up with public transport and people in general. You know when things just don’t seem to go your way and everyone around you gets in your way. This morning when I arrived at uni – I thought: phew, I actually made it…

It’s fortunate that I left as early as I did because I think as it turned out that most people were not able to show up for some reason or another.

I don’t mind travelling on public transport – most people think it’s annoying and don’t like the company of others.

Here is why I like it or most of the time anyway…

  • You get to sleep if you need – although always with one eye open… lol…
  • You can read books
  • Day dream
  • Be in your own world and not really worry about anyone else – eg. traffic
  • People watch
  • Be on time – most people that I know that drive are almost always late…

Days like today though was just plain frustrating…but you know it’s the same as driving, you don’t always have a smooth run, etc… although once I become a driver – I will be loving it…fingers crossed…

Because driving when I have driven makes me anxious… the type of anxious that almost makes me too anxious if you know what I mean…

anyway back to today…

I arrive at uni – later than I had anticipated…which I really don’t like…

My ensemble group for Drama/Dance were ready to go once I got there and they didn’t seem to mind that I was late – which was ok and it wasn’t my fault so, once I got over the stress we were able to get down to work…

It’s funny how group work can be and most of the time I’ve been in groups where there have been clashes… but this time, no – there doesn’t seem to be any clashes and we’re all agreeing. Most people reading are probably thinking that it’s too good to be true, but no… I’m telling you – we all work together REALLY well.

We got through at least 90 mins of work before class started and now have a rough outline of how the piece will go, eg, a rough idea for each scene and which order they’ll be in… which is just amazing!

By the time we had this done… we had at least half an hour for lunch and my public transport chaos had been completely forgotten…

Class had begun – we did some great partner work based on trust and of course improv… one activity I didn’t really like doing but at least could see the point.

The activity that followed was looking at scripts and how we could use them in teaching – which was hilariously fun (does this even make sense??) and we kept reading script after script – which was just great…and showed how much confidence I now have with this – unlike how I was back at school…urgh…

We finished with collating our ideas on using scripts in a classroom a break and then some chatting before going home…

On my way home I needed to got to the supermarket and got lots of food…plus most of it was on special…came home in the sun… and just felt like my mood had been completely changed from this morning…

My cat was a little sulky and apparently had been in the cupboard under the stairs all day…which made me get a little worried…think I might call the vet just to get some advice…hmmm… really don’t want to go through that again…after a few cuddles with him and feeding him…he seemed alright…lets hope he is…

I had a cup of earl grey tea and home-made donuts and my outlook on the whole day had now been completely changed.

yay to good days

Lesson of the day:

Don’t let something that happens in the morning be the outcome of the day, it’s easy to get bogged down on the negatives – but more enjoyable to smile and let it go…

Drink tea for it is magical and having something sweet with it can really make it worthwhile…

Signing off – cos now it’s TV time! 🙂

The Lost Virtue

Travelling in the city sometimes makes me realise that we are losing patience… but did we in this time we live today – ever have it? Is something that I have always pondered.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean:

Today when I was on a tram, the tram was coming to a stop and three elderly ladies were standing up to leave, they were found with the fact that they had to wait for the tram to stop to leave  – but someone ahead was clearly getting impatient shown by the tapping of his or her feet… the tram did come to a stop and I decided to move out-of-the-way for these women to be able to get off the tram. I then felt that someone was trying to push their way through, the tram hadn’t even been stopped for a second and then they exclaimed in a demanding voice “Excusssseeee me” as though they were the only ones on the tram. I think they were trying to get past me – but I couldn’t move at that moment because the ladies were trying to get past people ahead of them – very patiently I must add, the tram had only just stopped – so there was plenty of time for people to move out of way and still in an appropriate amount of time for people to get off and have time to get to where they were going because everyone was moving quite swiftly and there was no need for that to happen any quicker than it was.

By the time it did, the doors were still open and more people were able to depart from the tram.

I know that we’re all busy and we need to get to where we’re going on time – but the time that it took for that to happen wasn’t even a minute – why is that people need to have everything done in a micro-second?

I posted those photos of Melbourne because I took them on a day where I truly observed and enjoyed the city I live in – there were buildings, places, artworks, statues, signage, posts, etc that I never knew even existed – when I was there with my friend, I looked at everything as though a tourist would and realised what I had been missing after all these years of living here.

I don’t know too many people who really appreciate their surroundings… except of course a little two-year old I know that thinks every flower and rock is a treasure that must be kept…

We need to do that more – take in the world as though we’re two years old and just discovering it for the first time even if we don’t get a chance to see and absorb it all – we still need to soak up as much as we possibly can and that I think includes our own city…even if you don’t live in totally awesome Melbourne.

Better yet – have the patience to wait for the tram to stop before you get up so that you don’t fall over in the process, which goes the same for J-walking so that you don’t get hit by a car or don’t shuff past people on the street because they have to walk there too. I know that I have gotten frustrated when going somewhere and that I J-walk on the odd occasion – but not to the point where mine or someone’s safety/well-being is being compromised.

Patience is so important and needs to be practiced by everyone and I’m not just talking about young people either – sometimes I think they have more than those grouchy oldies 😛

Lesson of the day:

The old saying goes “Take time to stop and smell the roses” well I say take time just to stop… look around, think and take everything in because you never know what you just might see and enjoy – in the same way as two-year olds of course 🙂

Look out for each other – we’re all just doing our best, so take a deep breath and wait until it’s your turn because it doesn’t mean you’ll miss out it just means that it’ll taste better when you receive it.

Signing off as I have a VERY early start tomorrow!