Yesterday’s National Press Club Address was almost the end of me. The lies and obfuscation were exhausting.
To have a temporary break from messy, nasty politics - and other Australian and world crises - is necessary; These things must be left aside for a breather once in a while to save a person’s sanity.
So, herewith, a more personal blog post:
In 2013, moving from the southern state of Victoria to live in the subtropics of south-east Queensland was a BIG challenge. We loved living in Victoria, the state of our births, but family had moved away and July days in Gippsland (Victoria) had temperatures too often too close to freezing.
Our daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons were (are!) living in Queensland and, what was at first just a glimmer of a thought, eventually became an idea upon which we acted.
We joined them.
There were a few reservations,
‘But, what will I do when the weather is very hot?’ A question for my daughter.
‘That’ll be your chance to just sit inside by the air conditioner and read’ was the answer.
‘Oh, ha!’ I scoffed.
But that is exactly what I have been doing a lot of this summer.
The days are hot at this time of year and I wonder how much longer I can tolerate the humidity.
But I know I will.
One day, in a month or so, we will suddenly realise that the days are sunny and warm, but the air no longer has the thick soupy feel. Our skin will feel dry and breathing will be easier.
Lately, on some days, I gently slip-slide into the pool, holding a ‘noodle’ floating device. I cannot swim because my right hip is not working properly, but that’s okay. It’s peaceful floating. I can gaze at the sky and watch fluffy white clouds floating in that lovely Queensland sky.
Looking towards the rockery at one end of the pool, today I see the peeping head of a small water dragon. Gradually he tip-toes to the pool’s edge and then stops. He is playing statues, thinking I won’t notice him if he remains as still as a stone. But I keep watching from my floating position and eventually he moves to another rock and surveys the pool – and me.
We share our backyard with these beautiful Eastern Water Dragons. We also have magpies, noisy miners, lorikeets, currawongs and the not so popular, crows and (screamingly noisy) corellas.
We have only had one snake, which was harmless but we called the snake catcher anyway, to take it away to a better place.
There are butterflies, bees, beetles and countless other helpful insects. Small geckoes run up the walls, searching for mosquitoes – of which we have too many.
There are cane toads.
Each night at bedtime, my husband, armed with a torch and plastic bags, thoroughly surveys the back and front yards. Bagged toads are put into the fridge, then the freezer. Once a month he takes the (now frozen & well dead) toads to a place where they ‘mulch’ the toad bodies to make cane toad lures.
It’s one way of limiting the spread of these killers of native animals.
So, it’s summer time on the subtropics, where I never thought I’d be.
The young (schoolboy) grandsons we moved to be near have grown and changed. They now drive their own cars, have university degrees and go to work.
It’s not the same world we came to join nearly seven years ago.
But I am happy to be a Queenslander. (Well… almost).