So I guess we are in the stage called "Getting Used to It". It is still upsetting, but no longer shocking when we look at the disaster that was our former home. I still worry, but I am not so panicked when I try to imagine where we will be living on Christmas day. I am still annoyed, but also somewhat charmed by the inner-city lifestyle of thousands of mostly young people buzzing to and fro at all hours. I have gotten used to it. I have gotten over the part of my psyche that says "no, no, no".
We have looked at about 13 different houses or apartments and the only two that were equal to what we had before the fire were way above our budget. In the end, it looks like our only option may be to wait out the reconstruction and live in temporary housing until we can move back in to our old place. There are still so many unknowns about our situation, so many frustrating things that we have no control over, but while we are waiting for it all to become clear, we have to go on with everyday life.
Spring is well underway, and Summer/Christmas is approaching. We haven't done a thing to prepare for that. We need to make plans for holiday (as in vacation) activities, get tickets to shows, schedule get -togethers, etc. Otherwise, we will be back in school/work next fall saying "how did summer get away from us?" We can't just sit and mope in our temporary housing.
Last year we went to see a ballet at the Opera House. We took a short trip up the coast, we had a big Christmas dinner at home, and we went to the Harbour to see the New Year's Eve fireworks. This year we will be hosting my nephew and we are really looking forward to showing him around. There is a lot to see in Sydney, but I also want to organize a short trip down to Pebbly Beach so he can hug the kangaroos on the beach and have parrots eat out of his hand. Hopefully it is not too late to get a hotel room down there.
This is going to be the first year that I am not making the girls pajamas for Christmas. My sewing machine was ruined in the fire and I don't have the space (mentally or physically) to sew anyway. Everyone is insisting that I make my traditional Stollen christmas bread. Even though I won't have my kitchen and I am not really in the mood, I will probably do it anyway. I don't think we are going to make a big deal about presents since being homeless makes one not want to accumulate. But somehow we have to get in the mood and celebrate.
Mira and I went for a walk on Sunday through the city, through Hyde Park, and down through the Botanical Gardens to the water. It was a warm, balmy day so we stayed in the shade as much as possible and looked at the flowers and birds. In the city the shop windows had Christmas decorations and music playing. We have been commenting that Australia needs to have its own Christmas symbols and things that represent a summer holiday. Snowflakes and pine trees just don't make sense even if they are plastic and glittery. We did see some bright yellow displays with shorts and summery items that we approved of.
Besides thinking of Christmas, I have finished my TAFE application portfolio and am just about finished with my year long Embroidery Guild course. It has been difficult to accomplish all that with the upheaval, but it has also been a grounding focus for me. Drawing and Stitching has been like a meditation forcing me to be calm and to look away from the train wreck of our housing situation.
The other thing that has been happening at this time is Mira and Valerie's end of year. Mira has moved back "home" for the summer after finishing her first year of university, and Valerie is winding up year 10. She had tests and camps, and dances to go to and she was adamant about not letting our housing chaos disrupt or take away from any of that. In the end, it all worked out and she is almost done. She had her formal dance last night and I took her to get her nails done, then her friends came over here to get ready. I still don't like the latest fashion trend of short skirts and super high heels, but I have to say, they are nice, responsible, beautiful girls. They are really living the life of the city dwellers and they are tougher than me.
This has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with - partly because it happened so suddenly and through no fault of my own. It was thrust upon us and we have had so little control over the process. The process of readjusting has been painful and slow but I am starting to just barely see a way forward. I don't know if it is good or bad to be able to accept an f-ed up situation, but the reality is I am getting used to it.
|My final project for EG|
|a parrot in some kind of cool tree at the Botanical Gardens|
|Magnolia trees in bloom|
|a bird perched just right|
|loads of lilies everywhere|
|the wisteria were mostly gone but the shade was nice|
|some kind of pineapple palm|
|a mock quince|
|David Jones window with a fab D&G dress|
|this was a good Xmas window|
|this is the one that seemed wrong|
|strike a pose with those blue nails|
|giving me attitude|
The girls before - aren't they sweet?