Thursday, December 27, 2012

Idiopathic Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

Well that was a  mouthful!

I've learned a lot about my cat's liver in the last few weeks.

Cilla stopped eating when we moved to Darwin.  Too much of a shock, I suppose.  She didn't seem to be bothered, just lost heaps of weight.  Anyway, as I now know, this is a VERY BAD thing in cats.

Apparently what happens is that when they stop eating, they start to try to metabolise the fat in their bodies (particularly if they're a little 'heavy').  Cats' livers are made to metabolise protein, not fat, so their livers get overloaded with fat and start to not function.  This leads to a cat with yellow ears (jaundice), and other symptoms of general unwellness.

Cill was not moving much the Sunday before last.  She'd lost heaps of weight, so much that I could feel her spine.  This was a worry as she's always been quite portly.

Anyway, I took her to the vet and she ended up staying over night and had lots of tests.  On the Monday I was informed that she had the above mentioned disease, but of course I didn't really hear what they were saying.  Had to do lots of internetting thingys to work it out.

So, she's been in hospital being force fed through a tube in her neck for the last week and a half.   For about the first week she was very distressed.  Her pupils were enormous, I assume from terror, and she was very floppy.  Thought I might lose her.  But in the last few days her eyes have come back to normal.

Today she came home and I will be nursing her until she gets better.  This means force feeding her a high protein diet through a tube into her stomach.  Here's what it looks like:

She is being really good about the whole thing.  She sits quite comfortably while I push stuff down the tube.  Apparently it will take four to six weeks of force feeding to get her back on track.

Don't ask about the vet bill!

I'm glad she's home.  However, her companion cat is less than impressed.  She's doing lots of hissing and bad behaviour.  Don't know what this is all about.  I suppose after a week and a half of being an only cat, she's a little jealous.

Monday, November 5, 2012

North to Alaska (Well. No. North to the NT.)

Life has been a bit full on for the last month or so.  I finally decided to move to Darwin and have now been here for nine days.

The reason for the move was to find work.  I was a bit sick of sitting at home collecting the dole, which went nowhere near providing enough money to pay the mortgage and eat.

Anyway, within five days of getting here I found a job which pays more than twice what I was getting at the factory in Tasmania, so the move seems to have worked out.  (Taps self on forehead and says 'Touch wood'.)

There have been a couple of big monsoonal storms since I got here, which is lovely (I don't think the cats would agree.).

So... I have a well paying job which starts on Wednesday, I have an airconditioned bedroom and I'm around people I've known for most of my life, and we are all getting along well.

I'm pretty happy and can deal with the sweaty weather.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Having fun in the studio

I've been playing in the studio quite a bit lately.

Here are some bits and pieces:

She  has a new home.  A friend in Canberra has bought her.

Called this one Mouselini:

 And this one is one of my faves:

Oh Whoops.  Can't find it in the morass that is the brain of my marvellous Mac.  Maybe later.

Here she is:

Anyway, plans continue for the big shift up North.  This week I'm going to sell most of the furniture.  I hope this will pay for the move.

It's great to be playing around with the arty stuff.   Makes life far more bearable.  Provides a little purpose.

It's nice to see several paintings at the same time.  I had thought I was being horribly cliched by doing only paintings of cats.  But now I see they are all quite different.  So maybe I'll keep playing with them.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Playing around and trying to be a bit less SERIOUS.

Well Here's one of the things that happens when I try to get stuck into arty worky:

Cats, computer, beer, phone.....

And here's one of the results. 

What a funny looking couple.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Choices, choices.

Ah well.

I've been  applying for jobs in Tas for several years now.

Almost goes without saying that this has been without success.  I'm not related to the right people!  I've never lived (and tried to find work) anywhere that it's this hard to find work without the right relations.

Strangely enough,  I think I might've been discriminated against because of my qualification as well as my relations.

Soooo, I think I've decided to leave.  Even though I love the weather and the ground.  Such a wonderful place to grow a garden.  But it's time to go.

Have been doing a few paintings, and can do this anywhere.  Here's one:

Kind of liked this.  I know it's twee, but it was fun.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hello Again

Well, it's been a while.

Have spent the last few months looking for work and contemplating moving state to get work.

So anyway, I went to Darwin over the weekend.  It was surprisingly pleasant.  So now I'm looking for work in Darwin.  I haven't given up on work here, but it  looks like there is well paid work up there and bugger all down here.

It was great to be up there and good to catch up with lots of people.  On Monday I had lunch with a friend who lives in Sydney.  We lived down the road from each other in Bungendore.  She moved to Sydney and I moved to Tasmania.  By pure coincidence, we were in Darwin for the same three days. 

I stayed with my brother for one night while up there.  He lives at the place my parents used to live in.  It's a gorgeous tropical paradise.  Here's a little indication of what it looks like and what one might do while there:

Feet up, beer in hand. Seriously can't complain.

Back in Tas now and I've decided to apply for work in both Tas and Darwin and see what happens. 

It was great to be around people I know and in a place where I feel comfortable.  As much as I love it in Tas, I haven't been able to establish myself here other than having a mortgage on the house. 

I think I'd like to spend more time sitting on the verandah drinking beers with my brother.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Very Happy

I've had a wonderful couple of weeks. Very Lucky Me!

The opening of the exhibition in Hobart was a huge success.  There were about 150 people there, which is pretty impressive.

The work which won the major prize was this one by Susan McArthur

'Engagement' by Susan McArthur of Burnie

It's a combination of headwear made by Susan, plus her daughter wearing it and giving a very significant look, and memory of her son serving in Afghanistan.  A really strong work.

The Premier came in and chose her favourite, which is this lovely piece:

'Just by Reaching Out' by Pam Thorne also of Burnie
The whole process of collecting work and setting it up was made an absolute (although exhausting!) delight by the many people who helped.

I feel privileged to have been part of the whole process.

In the meantime, there has been cooking of home grown produce and an intrigue in the workplace.  More later.....

Monday, May 7, 2012

Golly I'm Excited

For the last four months, I've been working on curating an exhibition of Tasmanian women's art.  It's a competition with a ten year history, and now it's all coming together.

Here's the final selection for exhibition at the Moonah Arts Centre

The show starts on Friday and is being opened by the Premier.  I'll be driving down on Wednesday with a carload of gorgeous art and spending Thursday hanging the show.

Can't believe how excited I am about this whole plan coming together.  It's such a great opportunity and hopefully more work will come from it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Was going to post a cogitation on the effects of alcohol and how it is to not use it, however have used too much of it tonight, so will rethink and possibly post about sobriety tomorrow.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Not too bad

So, here's how I keep the oven closed when I'm baking:

There's currently a lovely stew baking away.  Very happy with that, but would like the oven door to stay closed without the assistance of the propped chair.

Please don't look to closely at the grot on the floor.

Apart from that, all is well.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Life

Yep.  I need to get something going on.

Here's the clag around my bedside table at the moment:

And that's not the half of it.

So I've decided to get rid of all the crime fiction.  This week I'm going to read 'The Great Gatsby' - again.

I think, of all the characters I've ever read, I most identify with Nick Carraway.  I've read that book so many times.  Fell in love with it in high school, and not just because Robert Redford played the Gatsby part.

I'm looking forward to the new version, although I don't understand the need for 3D. 

Apparently Tobey McGuire (Spiderman for farks sake) is playing Nick.  I can see that, but I don't think he has the solemnity.  I'll wait and see.

Gaaah!  So many books, so little time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Poor thing

My neighbours (over the back fence ) have a dog.  I'm sure she's a lovely thing but tonight when I was hanging out my washing, she was crying.  This isn't the first time.

I'm at home most of the time at the moment so I know when anyone is about.  This poor dog gets no company at all.  I think I've seen people in their yard maybe once in the last two weeks.

What should I do?  I've had a bit of a barney with the neighbour about something insignificant but would like to offer to walk the dog.  She needs company.  I understand that that is the nature of dogs.

Might call the RSPCA tomorrow for their advice.

Any advice is welcome.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's Autumn

And it's struck hard.  There's snow on the mountains hereabouts.  Quite beautiful.  I'm just glad my brother (who lives in Darwin) came down to visit last weekend and not this one, 'cos it's freezing.

The cats enjoyed his visit.  Here he is with Cilla. 

I don't know if Burmese are bred to have less dignity.  Whatever, they are dags.

Yesterday was fun.  I went to a meeting which was held in Campbell Town, a couple of hours South of here.  The great thing was to look at the landscape.  Lots of snow up North but none in the Midlands.  Interesting.  On the way back we got a spectacular sunset view of Ben Lomand.

It's interesting that the landscape in the Midlands of Tasmania is very similar to that around where I used to live in New South Wales.  Sheep everywhere!  Just like home.

To finish, I'll add a pic of a couple of my favourite objects.

They're made from orange plastic and wire and are great playthings.  I bought them in Wagga a couple of years ago.  I think they are from Africa.  It would be great to know where they came from.  They are wonderful creatures to play with as they both have fabulous expressions.  I hope the people who made them were paid properly.

I'll let them say the cheerio's.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fun Fun

Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous.  A long weekend with  perfect weather.

On Saturday I went for a drive to Evandale to see the Glover Prize .  This is an extraordinary landscape painting prize.  Always beautiful work, but a apparently a little contentious this year as the winning piece featured Port Arthur and Martin Bryant . Apparently very disturbing to some, not surprisingly.  It was interesting that much of the painting was a photograph of Port Arthur.  The whole thing looked very much like a Romantic work.  Quite beautiful, but disturbing.  My favourite kind of art.

Yesterday I did a workshop on creating sea-birds out of clay.  So much fun!  And lots of lovely people.  Here's what I came away with:

One of the people running the workshop said it looked a little like a Leunig bird.  I was quite flattered and am really revved up to make more of them.

And to end, today I am working from home.  Here's what I have to contend with to get anything done:

She keeps attacking my hand and chewing the end of the pen while I take notes.  Not helpful, Dusty, but lovely company.  I keep having to move the keyboard out of the way when she leaps up on the desk.  I've already had to go wireless with both mouse and keyboard because Dusty's sister, Cilla, kept chewing through the cables of the old ones.  Now all I need is a force field to keep Dusty off the desk.

Life could be a lot worse.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Road Trips

Well.  In the last couple of weeks I've been to Zeehan (twice!) and to Hobart.  This makes about 2000 km in total, but it's been worth the trip.

I'll take a brief side trip here to say I am currently drying home grown tomatoes.  And here they are:

Happy little vegetables in the dehydrator.  There are about four trays of them and lots more on the bush out in the garden waiting to be eaten.

So, I went to Zeehan yesterday for an International Women's Day event and to 'launch' the Material Girl exhibition.  On the way we stopped at a spot near Tullah, and this is the shabby view we got:
There are mountains and mountains and masses of forests.  It's beautiful.

So when we got to the hotel, I waddled out on to the veranda  to have a fag (yes I'm a nicotine addict) and this is what I saw:
Frankly not too shabby.  That's only a fraction of the vista taken over the top of the hotel.  It went on for miles and miles each side.  Gorgeous.

So now I'm back at home with my furry  children.  the '2012 Bendigo Bank Material Girl Exhibition' has been launched at an IWD event, and I think I talked a few arty types into entering, the car worked going both there and back (phew!)  and all is well.

Monday, March 5, 2012

We're all getting on with it

Here's a little pic from my studio:

It's little arty pieces against shadows of the sheers up against the wall of my studio.  I love the shadows from the curtain.  The colours are really rich.

I'm still technically unemployed, but working most of the time on organizing the Material Girl exhibition.  It's a challenge as I don't really know anyone in Tasmania so I'm making new contacts and trying to be sensible.  It's a fantastic opportunity.

Doing new things is always a challenge.  One can't help but second guess oneself.  I'm always assuming that I'm not doing it right and that an anvil will soon drop from above.

All I can do is my best.  Hope it works out.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

And here's another thing I don't understand

My brother was beaten up on Friday night.  He was in his home and not harming anyone.  Someone came over and belted him.  I've heard garbled reasons for why this person might want to assault him.  None of which make any sense to me.

My family is in Darwin, which is a bit 'frontiersville'.  That's why I left 30 years ago.  But I still care deeply about my family.  When someone threatens my 84 year old mother, I get a little disturbed.

I have no idea what this is all about.  I know that my brother is very unhappy and I wish him well.  I've suggested that he come down here and stay for a while.  It would be good for him to get a way from where he is.

Bit of a worry, really.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is always shocked by complete bastardry (Is that a word?)

Just heard back from the union about conversations with the ex-boss.  Apparently he owes me a week and a half of pay, but because I walked out, I owe him two weeks pay.

I would LOVE for him to pursue this, but he wont. I'd wrap him around the legislation any number of times.  But it isn't worth my while, or my energy to pursue any of this.

I'm just really glad that I'm not in that revolting environment anymore.

I'm having much more fun being a curator and looking for other proper arty work.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Getting on with it

Here's a nice little sight from my back door the other night:

It's lovely to be drawn back into nature and see beauty.

Life is progressing.  I have a new contract as the curator of a statewide exhibition of women's artwork and have been working on this for the last few days.  There isn't much in the way of pay, but it provides great experience and loads of new contacts.  Hopefully it will lead to more work in the industry.

I've also just gotten off the phone with Centrelink.  Because of the ex-boss' behaviour, they have decided to qualify me for payments immediately.  Normally there would be an eight week wait because I walked out of the job.  I think it's pretty funny that the ex-boss is the reason that I'm on benefits immediately.  He'd hate that.

In the past, I've had horrendous high blood pressure and have been on drugs for this for about the last six months without much improvement.  Yesterday, after two weeks away from the sweatshop, it was tested and found to be completely normal.  This was a pleasant surprise.  In fact, I'm feeling a little giddy today so might not even need the drugs.  What a relief.  It's amazing how circumstances can effect your health.

And I also want to say a big THANK YOU to all the marvellous friends who have helped me through the last couple of weeks.  You know who you are...

Friday, February 3, 2012


Just got a call from the union and they've been onto the ex-boss asking for my employment records.  Apparently the response from the factory was that they believe I owe them money and they are going to take me to court.  So the union said 'OK, fine. We'll see you in court.'

So, long story short, the ex-boss is going to send my records to the union.  I'll also provide copies of all my pay slips and they'll do a cross check and we'll see where we go from there.

I think it's extremely unlikely that I'll end up in court.  The ex-boss is basically full of it.

Here's a little Billy Bragg as a fun ending:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yeah, whatever.

Got another suicide threat from the ex-boss today.

Yesterday I sent him a message querying the fact that I wasn't paid for the time I put in last week.  His response was another whimper for sympathy.

Given that I've spent 15 months working there and never had a word of praise, only of criticism, I don't care.

I hope I have met the worst people I will ever meet.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Moving On

Well, I've forwarded the ex-boss' e-mail to the police, the union and to the local member who supported a grant application from the company.

He had no way of knowing that I'd found a friend hanging.  To be honest, I don't think he'd give a rats. The man is incapable of empathy.

I'm not sending anything back to him.

On my part, I'm trying to get on with it.  I'm no longer having flashbacks to finding my friend dead and have finally found the energy to clean up a bit.

It's always surprising to discover how toxic a place has been only after you've left it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don't know quite what to say

Yesterday I sent an e-mail to my ex-boss telling him I would not be back in his sweatshop and that he should forward any documents relating to my cessation of employment to my postal address.  I also said that I would refer the matter to the union if I wasn't satisfied with my final pay, etc.

Here is his reply:

That is fine by me
Just tell anyone from the TCFUA that they can come look for my body in the bush between Railton and Merseylea where I already have a piece of vacuum  cleaner pipe planted.
I have done my best to keep people employed
The only thing I will be sad for is the 15 other people who will lose their jobs

 I'm a bit shocked.  Apparently this is not a new threat.  But, having been the one to find a suicide, I'm not exactly amused by this type of threat.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Today I quit my job.

I've never left a place of employment under those circumstances.

Usually I give heaps of notice and train my replacement, but today, I'd had enough.

Yesterday the owner's daughter was incredibly rude to me.  She's always sure to call me 'Darlin'' when she does so.  I find this really offensive.  I've asked her not to call me that, but she persists.  Patronising sod. 

Today I was called into the office and confronted with printing that was allegedly under par.  The boss started on his usual rant, so I just butted in and said -'Consider this my notice'.

I gave him a letter saying that I would be finishing next Monday, but after an hour or so of nothing to do, I decided to leave.

I am sooooo relieved to not be there.  My whole body has relaxed.

However, now I have a mortgage to deal with no job, and not able to get on to the dole for quite some time.


Sunday, January 22, 2012


My last post was a bit pooky.  Don't like being a whinger, but sometimes life is a bit tough and the depression thing gets the better of me.

So I've been trying to focus on the good stuff.  This mostly means the garden.  So here is the house when I moved in:

And here is the house now:

It's only been two years.

Yep, it was greener then.  But the trees are doing very nicely.  Do love the plants.

I have a mad tomato bush producing madly in the back yard and will have to dry some of the fruit.  Lucky me to have dried tomatoes all year.

Otherwise - another job interview tomorrow.  Hope it works out.  It sounds interesting.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Sometimes life gets a bit to be a bit difficult to deal with.  I have no physical disabilities, but I struggle with depression.

Been having a bit of a hard time lately,  given my financial and job situation.

Some years ago, I found a very good friend hanging.  He'd left himself where he knew I would find him.

His death meant, for a number of reasons, that I lost all of my savings.  It wasn't much money in the scale of things, but it's made my life a bit more difficult than it might have been as we had shared investments without proper documentation.  There's a lesson learned!

At the moment, I'm really struggling financially and can't see a way out.

I'm trying to remind myself that I can do stuff.

And here's a complete switch.  I thought about doing some embroidery, but was prevented by this:

Yes.  It's a cat sitting in an embroidery hoop.  I'm sure she was trying to be helpful.

Then this happened:

Cilla checked out the fabulous quilt I was given for christmas.

So good of them to remind me of the good stuff.

So it doesn't really matter that the car is f*cked, the oven and stove are also out of commission and I have to go to work at the sweatshop tomorrow.