katiefoolery: (Renji wasn't paying attention there)
So, a subtle comment was just thrown my way, relating to June, the sixteenth day therein and how my most "recent" LJ post happened to fall thereon.  Why yes, that was almost a month ago.  I've been doing things.

Well, sort of.

Mostly I've been on holidays.  That's hard work, that is.

I also went to visit the parents and the boy and the Sonia, during which visit I overcame my laziness enough to take some photos during the course of an hour-long walk.  You may now all gaze upon them in lieu of a post containing actual substance.

Firstly, in case anyone has ever wondered what Beechworth actually looks like, here's a fairly indicative image for you: )
katiefoolery: (Oops...)
So, uh, I was in Beechworth for the last couple of days.  My apologies to those people who didn’t know and who tried various non-government approved voodoo methods in order to summon me to msn.  I didn’t know I was going until the day before and I had to leave at seven in the morning.  Seven!  I had to get up at six.  Six!  Although that was mostly so I’d have time to check my email (not that I’m addicted to the internet or anything).

However, it seems the whole world is conpsiring to make me feel younger than I am at the moment.  Take this conversation that occurred whilst booking my train tickets, for instance.

Me: Hi!  I’d like to book a return ticket to Wangaratta
Booking Guy: OK.  Do you have a student concession?
Me: No.  (Curses!)
Booking Guy: Are you under fifteen?
Me: O.o

I’ve long suspected (based on listening to my own voice mail message once) that I sound like a hyperactive twelve year old on the phone.  Now I have more proof to add to that suspicion.

And yesterday, as I was waiting for my train, my parents encountered someone they knew from Beechy.

The Da: Yes, we’re just seeing our daughter off.
Me: Uh, hi.
Guy from Beechy: Going back to Melbourne, then?
Me: Yep.
Guy from Beechy: Back to school?
Me: O.o
Pause.
Me: Well, I work in a school...

And then my mum takes great delight in shouting out, “Are you kidding?  She’s almost thirty!”

The bit that got me was he didn't even suggest “uni”, just “school”.  I always thought I at least looked my age, even if I didn’t sound it.  Still, I’m not complaining.

And now for the obligatory photos.  (Click on a photo for a larger version.)

I call this one “Magpie After Having Consumed a Bug”, mostly due to the fact that I just missed getting a photo of it sitting there with bug legs sticking out of its beak.

Magpie


The next pic looks rather rubbish shrunk down like this.

*glares at it*

I do love the evening light, especially the way it strikes this quite spectacular gum tree on the border of my parents’ property.  If only my camera could accurately capture the quality of the light as my eyes see it.

Gum Tree


And here is a lovely crescent moon.  It also looks better in the larger version.

Moon


And finally, a picture of McNaught Comet as taken by my Da.

McNaught Comet

And finally, a plea.  My friends page is so long at the moment it makes me dizzy to look at it.  What did I miss while I was away?  Anything exciting or sad or scary?  Please let me know and point me in the right direction so I can comment on it.
katiefoolery: (My country)
I wish my camera phone took better pictures.  Actually, what I really wish is that I hadn't forgotten to take my camera with me to Beechworth, but I'm over that.  I've moved onto the camera-phone-hate.

Nevertheless, it was all I had and I used it when necessary although I now have cause to curse its complete inability to focus on anything, anything at all and its general crapitude.

With this bitter disclaimer out of the way, I hereby present for your viewing pleasure, the following images...

Oh, this cat has a hard life.  How tedious, to be forced to spend all day napping in the sun and occasionally being woken up in order to be fed.  No wonder she always looks so damn smug.  Notice the sun.  There was a lot of that.  I approved.

Canola is a big crop in the north east.  It grows heartily even in the midst of the severe lack of rain and it looks incredibly impressive.  Fields of yellow, stretching out to the horizon...

Well, this is a cute little house.  It seemed to require me to take a photo of it, so I did.  Who am I to argue with cute little houses?

Grammar rage!  Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrghghghghghgh!  I saw the same ad on TV, too, with the same lack of spelling.  Are things really this bad?  Are people now unaware that the plural of any word ending in "y" should be "ies"?

See, I told you it's a hard life for Buffy.  She really knows how to look relaxed, does that cat.


And that was my trip to Beechworth.
katiefoolery: (Glum)
Oh, I am sick.  Indeed I am.

*cough*

*cough*

*sniffle*

How awful, for this means I am given an extra two days off, meaning my first week back at work will consist of Wednesday and Thursday and my regular Friday off.  Pity me.

Mind you, I’d be enjoying it a lot more if I could actually do things such as breathe through my nose or swallow without feeling as though someone has stuffed a bushel of razors down my throat.  But, on the up side, I get two days off work!  Huzzah!

*cough*

I think this could be revenge for my forgetting I was supposed to be a rain magnet.  These duties completely slipped my mind when I went up to Beechy and the weather remained warm and blue-skied the whole time I was there.  In revenge for this lack of inclemency, I have been gifted with this virusy thing.

But did I mention the two days off?

*snuggles medical certificate*

In non-sickly news, I managed to cope for almost two days without internet in Beechworth.  Of course, I was on it right up until I had to leave and I may have responded to comments on my LJ when I got home last night at, oh, say, around eleven thirty at night.  While I was up there, though, I managed to have a couple of revelations and they are as follows.

The internet seems to have affected me to the point where I hardly ever open WordPerfect any more.  That word-processor used to be one of my greatest loves.  I clung to it when Word tried to overwhelm it and I considered myself one of its greatest fangirls.  And now?  Now, I don’t care what programme I use to write.  Well, as long as it’s not MS Word.  I don’t bother with prettying things up the way I used to.  In fact, it now seems wrong to put only one space after a paragraph and to indent the next line; I'm more accustomed to leaving out indents altogether and double-spacing after paragraphs.

In related news, I think I’ve made a decision of sorts regarding my writing.  I’m going to take some of my favourite stories of recent years - Apple Pye, Postcards, Why I Ran Away and Joined the Nunnery and an as yet unfinished and un-named story - do a final edit (or in one case, a first complete draft) and just post them on my LJ or DeviantART for people to read.  Because I’ve realised that’s really my main aim in writing - for people to read what I’ve written.  My biggest disappointment in not being able to get Postcards published so far isn’t that I won’t get paid for it or get a publication credit.  No, it’s that people won't be able to read it.  And I really want people to read it.  I love this story and I simply want to share it.

So I shall.  Along with others.  And if I get the re-draft of Nunnery right, [livejournal.com profile] crazedturkey might actually be able to start a club of Ikvar fangirls.

*loves Ikvar*

Speaking of DeviantART - who out there has an account?  Let me know so I can watch you.

Hehe - “watch you”.  I love it.  It sounds so stalkerish.  Which is probably the reason I’ve set my status to “lurker”...
katiefoolery: (The open road awaits)
Well, I'm off to the land of internetlessness, otherwise known as Beechworth.  That’s not entirely fair - there is internet there: dial-up.  I remember dial-up.  Oh yes.  I got a lot of reading done when dial-up was around.

Also, I think it would be a bit rude if I turned up at my parents’ place and then said, “Hey, I’m off to spend the next couple of hours on the internet.  Just bring my cuppa in later, will you?”

Just a bit rude.

I’m only going to be away until Saturday, but I have a list of things to do already being compiled in my head.  For the most part, I’m hoping to get some writing done.  There are a couple of projects I really work on and I think they could be a lot of fun.  I just hope I can summon up the discipline to make a start on them.

Before I go, I want to wish [livejournal.com profile] flippyfrog much luck with the jamboree. Don’t let the pink get to you! Be strong!

Ah well.  For now, I am off to make the most of my remaining internet time.  Be good while I’m gone!
katiefoolery: (The open road awaits)
Every couple of days for the past week, my dad’s been ringing me and letting me know how cold it is up there in Beechworth.

“Minus four this morning!” he’ll say.  “But it got up to eight degrees later.”

Or,

“We had no water this morning because the pipes had frozen.”

To both of which (and all variations thereof), I say:

“Argh!”

Because I hate the cold.  I’ve often thought that this has much to do with the fact that I was born on the coldest day in the history of ever.  I never want to be that cold again.

Or something like that.

And yet, we’re still going up to Beechworth for the next two and a bit days, because it’s the school holidays and it’s the thing to do.  Even though I’m going to freeze.  And people will mock me.  This includes both of my parents and my Timothy, all of whom have absolutley no problems with being SO COLD YOU CAN’T MOVE BECAUSE YOUR JOINTS HAVE FROZEN.

And they think I’m the weird one, just because I like being warm.

I will see you all on Saturday, when I have vague hopes of having caught up on my writing quota.  Indeed, I have even vaguer (and more deluded) hopes of pulling ahead!  I think it’s the cold... it’s done something to my brain.
katiefoolery: (Default)
I am a rain magnet.

Really.  If anyone out there is in the midst of a drought and would like some relief, just call me in and put me up for a couple of nights.  I assure you that rain will follow, especially if I only bring t-shirts and skirts and no warm socks to speak of.

It mightn’t be a lot of rain, but it’s better than nothing.

They haven’t had rain for weeks in Beechworth.  Every time someone looked up, they’d encounter an endless blue sky or possibly a duck, depending on their luck.  It’s been one long, unbroken stretch of fair weather and a complete absence of any sort of precipitation.

Except maybe in the vicinity of any air-borne ducks.

We met my parents and the Boy and the Sonia in Euroa for a birthday picnic lunch.  The Boy and the Da’s birthdays fall within eleven days of each other, so it was a combined meeting for the exchanging of food, presents and, in the case of the Sonia, ’flu germs.

It was rather hot for March but despite this, white fluffy things were noted forming in the sky.  They couldn’t be clouds, could they?

Well, to push an analogy too far, they certainly weren’t ducks.

I went back with the parents to Beechworth, like some sort of hostage exchange: my Timothy got a bottle of tomato and chilli sauce and my parents got me for two nights.  On the way, the fluffy white things were seen to increase and multiply, occasioning further comment.  It got the point where the Da had to admit they were the first clouds in a very long time and not simply figments of a collective imagination.

And then, on the second day of my visit, it rained.  For most of the morning, the first rain in weeks soaked steadily into the ground and I had brought it with me.

I also brought a strange fog which descended quite rapidly, obscuring the hills that are virtually on the doorstep of my parents’ house, but this was less impressive than the rain.

I charge a small fee for my rain magnet services but I think you’ll find it’s worth it.

In other news, here are some photos from my trip. )
katiefoolery: (Default)
I have this weird theory that borrows a little from the whole concept of parallel universes and probably has much to do with being brought up by a mother who used to sing to biscuits in the oven, encouraging them to cook.  But matriarchal (and possibly hereditary) madness aside, my theory goes a little like this:

Ever been in a situation that could have been deadly if just one thing had been different?  Ever crossed the road just before a car crashed into the pole where you were standing?  Ever made a choice that turned out to be life-saving?

I've done this; several times.  And every time it happens, I feel hollow and washed-out, as though I'm only half there.  This is where my theory comes in, possibly involving parallel universes.

So, there's this idea that, for every action you make, there are dozens of others you could have chosen and in some place (I have no idea where), you did make that choice and the world is a different place.  So, instead of picking that lemon on the lower branch, I could have chosen the riper one on a slightly higher branch and because of that, peace was spontaneously declared in a war-torn African nation.

Nevertheless, my theory is that sometimes, instead of there being a dozen alternate possibilities, sometimes there are only two.  You either die horrifically in a car accident, or you don't.  And my explanation for that empty, washed-out feeling is that half of your body still believes you did die and has to be talked into reason by the other half.

It's a bizarre theory, but I'll stick by it until someone can disprove it categorically.

My reason for sharing this theory is that, last night, I almost choked to death on a small piece of tuna.  Seriously.  I suppose it was its revenge for being eaten.  But there I was, innocently chewing away on said piece of tuna when it decided to take a detour.  Thankfully, after wheezing and choking about for a bit, I managed to cough the cursed thing out and I went on my merry way, munching the rest of my dinner with incredible malice.

And my theory held - for the rest of the night, I felt as though I was only half there.  Either I died choking on a piece of tuna, or I didn't.



In other news, my internet addiction continues unabated as I acquire myself a flickr account.  After acquiring said account, I ran into the limitations of a free account and took all of five minutes to decide to upgrade.  Well, I have a lovely new camera - I need a pretty place in which to show my pictures off.  Don't I?  At any rate, I have now uploaded pictures from my recent trip to Beechworth, none of which were obscured in any way by annoying people.  I'm almost disappointed by this fact.  My favourite picture from the trip would probably be this one of a silvereye, which was spotted whilst having morning tea on the back verandah.  That is, we were having the morning tea, not the silvereye.



The following is a picture of contrasts - modern Southern Cross Station and the classic lines of the Savoy Hotel across the road.  I cropped out the yellow safety barriers and the workers in fluorescent vests, because that would only imply that both the budget and timeline of completition for the station were being stretched beyond their limits, wouldn't it?



Here, you will see my parents' cat, Buffy, with the dirty look for which she is famous within my family.



For more photographs with comments, please follow this link.

If anyone else has a flickr account, please let me know and I'll friend you.

Back!

Jan. 15th, 2006 09:01 pm
katiefoolery: (Default)
When people ask me what it’s like in Beechworth (and it happens more often than you might think), I usually tell them it’s the most quiet place I’ve ever been to.  And that’s saying something, considering I work in a library.  This is part where we gloss over the fact that it’s a school library and it’s only ever quiet when the doors are shut, the lights are out and everybody’s gone home for the night.  Because teachers can be even noisier than students, if they put a little effort into it.

But to return to Beechworth - it really is quiet.  Even when I lived in a side street in Watsonia, I thought it was quiet.  Now, living on a major, six land road near a minor intersection and a bus stop, I think it’s an oasis of calm.  At any given time, I can stop and hear nothing but the occasional car whisking past, one or two birds and a silly little insect that that seems to believe that its mission in life is to shriek “jeeka-jeeka-jeeka” all day long right outside the window.  It’s as though the town takes any extraneous sound and just buries it deep in the honey-coloured granite on which it’s built.

Mind you, this quiet I’m referring to only exists at my parents’ place.  Go into the centre of town at any time after about nine of the morning and you’ll find it to be very far from a haven of silence.  But I don’t have to do that.  I can just sit inside and gaze out at lovely country scenes whilst listening to the sort of silence that isn’t provided by six lanes of traffic and a bus pulling to a noisy stop every five minutes or so.

I probably haven’t achieved as much as I wanted to on my stay in Beechworth, mostly because just lazing about reading a book or playing crib with the Ma is more attractive than actually doing anything.  I also lay some blame squarely at the feet of the fact that five days in Beechworth passed a lot quicker than I expected them to.  And although I experienced withdrawal symptoms from my Timothy, Pickle and the internet, I managed to cope.  Just.

In fact, I’ve even picked out the house we want to buy.  It’s on the Beechworth road, about ten minutes from my parents’ place and even though it’s green, it has the most plendiferous views over the mountains leading up to the Victorian alps and Mount Buffalo.  I’d never get any writing done, because I’d spent all my time starting at the view, but that’s beside the point.  And so is the fact that we’re not actually going to be buying any houses at any point in the immediate future.

It does look quite nice, though.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that I even dream differently when I’m at my parents’ place.  I can’t explain it, but there’s some difference there.  For a start, I actually remember more dreams than I do normally.  I can’t remember them very well now, but I do recall a dream in which many cats were swapped around, until I ended up with Pickle again and another dream in which some fellow LorFers and I misbehaved in some sort of school class, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Which is often the day of dreams, I suppose.

Ah well - here we are, back to normal.  I shall miss the peace and beauty of the country but hopefully, they’ll serve as a reminder of what I’m trying to aim for with my writing.  One day...  One day, I’ll be there in my country house, with my Timothy.  One day.


P.S.  I missed you all.
katiefoolery: (The open road awaits)
I had so much fun writing last night that I think it might have been illegal.  I sat down and the words flowed.  In short, I haven't been this engaged with a story since I first wrote Postcards, and that was almost three years ago.

Yes, it was a piece for LorF.  And all the way through, I kept thinking that LorF can't be bad if it reminds me how much I love writing.  Sometimes, I doubt my love of writing, especially when it's difficult or when I'm at the editing and drafting stage.  Anything that lights the spark of enthusiasm again has to be a good thing.

It's also been a long time since I experimented with how something was written.

All in all, I think I can say that a fun time was had by me and that I hope to repeat such fun times during the next five days, when I'm up in Beechworth and far away from the internet, msn and all things LorF.

Not to mention all things Timothy.

I don't know how I'm going to cope, really.  It's not as though I don't like spending time with my parents - I wouldn't be going if I didn't - and I can keep in contact with my Timothy via the wonder of mobile communications... but I will so miss him.  And my internet.  I might have to get the Da to crank up the dial-up connection to appease my cravings.

For now, I shall bid you all goodbye.  Hopefully, I will return on Sunday with stories written and books read and photographs full of stupid tourists who've walked in front of my shot... again.

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