Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Bright Winter Day

It was sunny today. Certainly not warm, but sunny. Winters in Victoria are very different than winters in Michigan. The gum trees keep their bluey-green leaves throughout, and the grass and weeds grow lusher, probably due to the increase in rainfall.

In summer, the lawn can become a dustbowl very quickly once the hot northerlies start to blow. In winter, however, the wind most often comes from the south. There is no land between the Antarctic and southern Australia, so these winds are frigid - the air pristine.

I remember in Michigan how the snow would insulate, keeping warmth in the house simply by amassing on the roof and piling drifts against the walls. Here there is no such insulation. Despite the less than freezing temperatures, it sometimes feels much colder.

Here central heating is not the norm. We have a Coonara - a wood-burning enclosed fireplace. It heats some of the rooms, but we rarely get heat down the hall to the end bedrooms. Thus it's imperative that we have feather 'doonas' (quilts) and electric blankets.

Speaking of electric blankets, in Australia we put them UNDER us, not on top, as in the U.S. Who's to say what's best? I suppose that heat rises so maybe having them under is better?

Anyway, today was lovely despite the chill wind. The maples and oaks in our yard still hold an array of orange and yellow leaves. With the rosellas pecking around beneath, the world seemed full of color and light.

They're predicting rain for next week and lower temperatures, so I suspect soon we'll have to dig in until Spring.

Sadly, though, the Richmond Tigers lost tonight. If we keep it up, we may not make it to the finals again this year.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Getting older

What is it about getting older? I don't feel any different in my brain than I did when I was in my 20s, but my stupid body keeps finding ways to torment me. Menopause has not been kind. I developed BMS (burning mouth syndrome) last year, and after trying to find someone who cared or could help for nearly 8 months, finally came across a lovely dental professional/doctor in Melbourne who prescribed clonazepam in small doses.

Okay, so that's under control. Now I'm painting my bedroom and trying somehow to keep my body from totally succumbing to the slow, incidious increase of fat by walking and using weights. First my upper back goes into spasm, then when that's under control, my knee decides it doesn't like to carry around my bulk up and down hills anymore.

Diets! HAHAHA! You name them, I've tried them. I've lost heaps over the years, but always end up putting it back some.

So now I'm not so young anymore and seeing the weight as not so much a cosmetic problem as a health one. Do I starve myself once again for 2 years, and risk the stress that naturally accompanies it? Or do I try to cut out little things and feel I'm getting nowhere?

Well, today I'll simply try not to succumb to comfort eating. That's one step, I suppose. But will I succeed? Sometimes I remember the pain of truly bad health and am simply thankful to not feel that anymore. Other times I find things to worry about - weight, age, children, animals...

I've always been told I'm a deep thinker. I used to be proud of this in my youth. Now I think that maybe it's not such a good thing. What is it about getting older?