Blackout (Post 14)

A few weeks ago we experienced a blackout, which is a rare occurrence for us. The lights flicked off, flickered back on, and then off again. They stayed off for about an hour and a half.

As it was about 8pm, the house was plunged into darkness. It was easy to see it wasn’t just us, as a quick peep out the window and we could find no light anywhere. Afterwards we found out it had spread across about 5 suburbs. I still have no idea of the cause.

The first squeal of alarm came from Kid2, who was in the loo! I assured her she was quite able to finish her business without light, and Kid1 and I went on the hunt for candles and torches. What woeful treasure we found. Once upon a time I had candles bought purposefully for such an occasion. I have no idea where they are now – I obviously put them in too safe a spot. So we collected all manner of tea lights and fragrant candles, eventually finding a couple of larger ones that would last longer.

Setting the candles up in the kitchen/dining room, we began to wonder what had happened to the Man of the House (Moth). We found him outside I the garage – his Moth cave. He’d been listening to music, headphones on, and saw no reason to change his activities when the lights went out. We left him to it. He only appeared an hour later, grumbling about lack of Internet and hunger.

In the meantime, the kids were perplexed. What to do? A quick check of chat on phones determined the blackout was widespread and not likely to end soon. So we decided to play Rummikub, one of our favourite games. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time – we had a brilliant time! Kid1 cut up a fruit platter (we’re being healthy together at the moment – 5 weeks in now) and we amused ourselves with the game and singing TV theme songs.

When the lights came back on, we got a truly hilarious surprise. In the dark, the blue tiles look like black tiles – and our game of Rummikub was a farce!!!! After an hour of sweating the strategy, all our moves counted for crap – there was barely a legitimate play on the table. I nearly wet myself with laughter.

Afterwards Kid2 commented that she’d like blackout more often. It’s sad that we have to remove the electricity to ensure there is no TV or computers. I think I’ll have to bring in no-screens Thursdays again.

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On the eleventh day of Christmas

Homeward bound today, and we left early. We needed to be out by 10am, but as hubby and I woke early we were ready to leave just after 9.

Kids1 & 2 were not happy – way too early for their teen bods. Any yet they still stay up to midnight, fighting the concept of an early night.

Back at home it’s like we have never been away. A kindly neighbour collected our mail – only 2 letters, but also put our bins out for us. What a champion. But the house still shows signs of a rapid departure on Boxing Day, with Christmas stuff still strewn across the house. At least I’d left the kitchen clean, though the kids’ bedrooms are bomb sites. I have no energy today to deal with this, especially as it’s 40 degrees outside and the heat kills any inclination.

I’ve played a lot on the iPad, cos I can now. Caught up with some emails, played Words with friends, dithered around. I’ve also looked at job sites, but there’s not much out there – to be expected in January.

Though I am not embracing it today, I plan to give the house a thorough emptying of the crap that accumulates across the year. Will probably start with our bedroom and work my way through the house. Not really happy holiday stuff, but I do always feel better once it’s all done.

Anyways, this post is late. Again. Started it last night but got distracted with the Bones episodes I was catching up on. Needed a fix after a week and a half. Now to clean.

On the tenth day of Christmas

Most of our last full day at Ocean Grove was spent at the beach – with the masses.

Hubby went early to set up our sunshade, which marks our spot. We then headed down about 2 hours later. While there is plenty of sand, we prefer the grass area – far less sand in everything, as well as far less people stomping through your setup.

The tide was out when we first arrived, but started coming in not much later, followed by lots of people having to grab their stuff to move further up the beach before it got caught up in the waves. The water won in any cases.

As a family we had have different ‘beach’ styles. Hubby like to go in no further than above his knees. With the waves this gets him wet enough to cool down. Kid2 like to head right out and body surf the waves in. She can happily stay out there for hours. Kid1 loves to head further out, where the waves are only beginning to swell and she is only a dot to the naked eye. As I am still a worrywart they must promise me to stay between the flags if they wish to do this. My preference is to walk into the beach till the water is about chest height, and rise with the waves. I don’t like the full dunking, and don’t purposefully dive under, but find they I am usually fully drenched where I am. About 20 minutes is my staying time. I’ll then head back in to dry in the sun, heat back up till I need to repeat the process.

All up we spent about 6’hours there and walked home exhausted. Hubby drove up later to collect the sunshade when he could get a park close to the beach.

It has been a blissful holiday, and our first beach holiday in years. All have agreed they want to do it again next Christmas, so on Monday I’ll contact the agency through which we booked the house to see if we can get it again. Never thought we’d be beach people, but there you go.

On the ninth day of Christmas

Catching up again….. Wednesday was a beach day & bloody marvellous. It was followed by the extended family coming to dinner again.

We were meant to go to their place but they pleaded a grotty BBQ, so they all headed to our place – an additional 6 this time. After a lovely two settings for dinner (BBQ not big enough to fit all the meat on it) we settle to recreational pursuits.

The boys played the PS3, having found a game where 3 can play at once. It is obviously an ageless game as the players in rotation included a primary school kid, a Year 11 kid, a financial advisor in his 20s and a middle aged man.

The women played Rummikub, where I did finally win one game. I had told all they couldn’t leave until I won – it could have been a long night 🙂 I still love playing games – board games, card games… But the video games ( is that still the appropriate term???) leave me totally uninterested. Part of it is my complete inability to work the controllers – who the heck needs seventeen buttons per hand? But the lads enjoy, and it keeps them sort of quiet.

It is lovely to have family that are very good company!

On the eighth day of Christmas

Well I know I have holiday brain now as I had to think about how to spell ‘eighth’. Seriously. Obviously the salt water has entered my brain and is smoothing all the fissures over.

After another day at the beach (lovely) we are having a quiet night, and I am trying to watch Bridget Jones. However the TV is also suffering from crappy reception so I hear every third line only. Not really a problem as I could probably quote it from heart. It is very rude though what is happening to Colin Firth.

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He is of course the reason I (& every same woman in the world) is watching. Alas, no Darcy tonight. It’s enough to drive a woman to chocolate!

On the seventh day of Christmas

Well though I wrote the previous post this morning I’ve only just been able to send it through. So now this one’s late too, though only by a couple of hours.

Today was well & truly a beach day, and it was wonderful. We found a lovely piece of lawn (yes lawn not sand), the sky was an incredible blue and the sea was cold – of course it was cold, it is a Victorian beach!

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Tonight was spent with extended family. Dinner at our place, cards & drinks at theirs, followed by a walk to the beach to watch the fireworks. With only a few hundred people 🙂

So, here’s to the arrival of 2013. I hope it’s a great year for all.

2002

After such a crap 2001, I had hopes that 2002 would be much better. In some ways it was, and in others it was a sign of things to come.

Mum’s decline into dementia led mid-year to having her assessed for home help services. What we realised was she was actually ready for residential low care. I packed up her home (again) and she moved into a residential home only a few minutes away from me. This was certainly better than trekking 35 minutes to where she’d been living to deal with things that distressed her. This would be at least a couple of times a week which I was finding hard to manage with 2 young bubs and working 4 days a week.

Just as Mum moved into care, I started a new job as a public library service manager. The position was a maternity leave filler, for about 14 months. The timing was right (I thought) to try out whether I was management material.

By the end of 2002, I thought I had life pretty sorted. I had a great new job, Mum was getting the care she needed and life was getting sweeter.