32 days to Antarctica..."Man! I Feel Like A Woman" Shania Twain
Approximately thirteen minutes reading time
"... I'm also not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back." James Dean
Hello and welcome to another Sunday. Thank you for joining me. I hope that your week has been a good one.
What a week, I am thrilled that I have survived this week and well, considering that I wasn’t sure how or if I would. The Sun is shining brightly and warm today, which brings me joy. Schrodie and I had a fabulous walk, as always. There were people everywhere having picnics, playing, out and about enjoying a lovely Summer day. The scents of Summer filled us with joy as the perfume from gardens and the bush delighted us and proving, as always, to be a salve for a hard time filled with unbelievable and unbearable challenges. Gardens are being tended and lawns mowed so the scent of freshly mowed lawns fills the air. For me this is heaven. Flowers are abundant and a showcase of colour, form and texture and truly wonderful. We stop frequently to look, smell and touch as we walk, enjoying it all. The rain sustains the gardens and us all. In particular it means no bush fires for which I am always grateful. We have had much cold weather with intermittent warmth. ‘Tis a strange time and Summer indeed.
Well as you know I’ve been pushed up against the wall by my current situation. Homelessness looms and is a very real possibility for me. I have been forced to make some really tough decisions to deal with the builders as they continue to draw out my bushfire rebuild which is now over a year, and my uncertain future. Although there is not much that I can control in my life at present, I have identified my options and choices. Carefully I have considered the fallout from each and decisions have been taken.
On Monday I emailed the Site Manager and the Office to get a status update on my build. I heard nothing until Tuesday morning when the Site Manager called me. We had a good chat. He and his family were recovering from Covid Omicron, fortunately they are all well. He is working from home. He told me that my home was scheduled for practical completion on 9th February 2022, too late for me. I asked if they were installing my fireplace as per their mistake on the Contract Plan and he hesitatingly said no. I know that the decision is not his. I had a feeling this would happen but I needed to know where I stand and information is always withheld. He said that he would prioritise the build. I thanked him and explained that I need somewhere to store my belongings even if it means that I am forced to live in my car. He said that we’d work something out. This is not good enough for me but other builds seem to be more important. They took my money, told me constantly from 10th January 2020 that my bushfire rebuild would be a priority. This was supposed to be a maximum a nine month build, prioritised to six months, from the Contract signing which means that I was supposed to be home on 18th September 2020. I also received an email telling me that my home does not need to be completed until March. This is not acceptable in any capacity. I will no longer deal with these people and their pettiness, arrogance and ignorance.
My options are (a) do nothing and let them continue to waste my life and put me in danger now and in the future. They have put my life in peril and my future in jeopardy in so many ways. (b) fight like hell to go home and get appropriate resolutions. (a) is not an option. I have taken the path of least resistance because of my health and well being but I can do this no more. (b) is what I must do but the question is how? What is my best option? I don’t trust the builders. I have legal recourse but this will delay the build and my return home so this must wait. Media is an option but probably won’t help me get home. Once again I am left to my own devices. I hear Mummy telling me “if you want something done, do it yourself” so here I go, again.
I drafted an email to the CEO and one of the Senior Executive Team whose grandfather started the Company. I was curt, reasonable and scathing in my three thousand five hundred words, highlighting the most pressing issues. I outlined the facts and let it be known that I understand all the implications of what has happened throughout this build and the fallout for their company. My outrage and displeasure was obvious. I am not prepared to negotiate anymore as I have had enough. As my grandfather used to say “Enough is Enough!”. I am at the end of my tether with these people. I explained what I wanted from them and when. At about 5pm Wednesday I received a warm, friendly reply from the CEO. He thanked me for bringing this matter to his attention and apologised for my poor experience with Masterton. He told me that he would follow up on my build and had referred it to the Head of Construction who would call me directly. He told me that they would endeavour to get me home as soon as practicable. So far, I have heard nothing from anyone. I believe that the CEO understood that I am an intelligent, educated woman who will not let this go. I hope so. Otherwise, he is being patronizing and condescending, trying to placate an angry woman and brush me off, which I hope is not the case. We will see as time will make this clear. The point of no return has well and truly passed. My preference is to keep this situation amicable for appropriate and acceptable resolution but I am prepared for the alternative. I will not roll over. I fear nobody. What they have done to me is beyond unconscionable and beyond reprehensible.
I think the CEO understands the gravity of my situation for us all. I hope so. Regardless my path is set.
In the Event my house is not ready, I will take my belongings home and stand guard over them. They can call the Police. In fact I hope they do. I will call the National Media and we will see what happens. I am prepared to be arrested and charged but I will stand my ground. I will go home. I am prepared to take as much action as necessary. I will make certain that the Building Industry does not do this to anyone else. They will learn that they are in fact accountable for everything that they do. Since taking these decisions I am feeling better psychologically. This has all taken such a terrible toll on me in every way. This situation was entirely avoidable. I have stepped fully into my power. I am doing all that I can in this situation. Four weeks was ample time for them to finish my house but now there are three weeks.I have withheld sending my story to the media yet. I realise that due to advertising revenue they might not be interested, which is fine.
Now, I wait, which is in fact the hardest thing for me to do.
I can’t arrange fencing, concreting, landscaping or anything else until I know when I will be home to accept deliveries. The fridge I wanted and needed is no longer available. My option now is to spend an additional two and a half thousand dollars for a smaller fridge. Needing to store ten boxes of insulin, sometimes fifteen in my fridge takes up a lot of fridge space. Living in the country I cannot take chances with running out of insulin. Fridge size matters greatly to me. So does every cent. I can’t buy my curtain rods, lights, nothing. This will impact how I live until I have curtains and privacy. I am horrified and appalled that they have done this to me.
I have decided on temporary chicken wire fencing with star picket posts that I will install, myself, not easily to close off my back yard so that Schrodie is secure and safe. I have no idea how I will manage. I think I’ll film it and start my YouTube Channel. My friend is coming down from Sydney to help me move the wooden pallets and six palates of bricks to the back yard so that the builders can level the land. Otherwise it becomes another expensive problem with which I must deal when I have already paid them. I told him that the grass is super tall and we must wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves and boots, in case of bugs and worse case scenario snakes. I pray there are no snakes. I only ever saw one massive snake and called the Snake Catcher back in 2016. I still can’t believe it. What a bizarre experience that was for me. Suvie my beautiful Cayuga duck and Schrodie let me know it was passing across the back door along the house. This is a major reason I am having screen doors on my house. My sister told me that they are very old fashioned. I do not care! This is a story for another time. These are some of the many glamorous details about a tree-change that you never hear...sarcasm in case you missed it.
Wonderfully, this week I learned that two of my poems were selected for a major international publication, a poetry anthology. I am delighted and very proud. So far, that is five poetry anthologies in which I have been published in less than a year.
On Tuesday afternoon I was taking out the garbage and slipped on one of the sandstone rocks. In the middle of the night my left leg and knee were excruciating. All of Wednesday I was in terrible pain. Thursday I was okay then Friday the pain was excruciating again. I was lucky enough to get an appointment with my Physiotherapist. My knee and ankle are alright and there seems to be no permanent damage. Anne taped up my leg, gave me some exercises which help. I pulled the muscle in my lower back and tendon and it is pressing on the sciatic nerve. Apparently the fact that I am so flexible will mean a longer recovery but I will recover. I am still walking every day with Schrodie when the weather permits and the rain stops. I slipped in the mud while walking through the bush yesterday. We were leaving as it was too wet, too sludgy and too slippery. My friend irony stays with me. Thankfully I didn’t hurt myself but I stunk and was covered in mud whilst we finished our walk. My phone had fallen out of my pocket so we returned and luckily I found it.
Since hurting myself we are dancing to three songs a day, which is fun. I feel my bicep aching in my right arm, my weaker arm. It’s a good thing. Johnny and I are getting reacquainted after weeks apart. My playing is terrible but slowly improving once again. I feel that it is helping build up my hand muscles as my fingers hurt and ache after playing, as do my hands in general. This is very good. My left thumb has been a trigger thumb for a few weeks and hurting. I noted that holding the guitar neck aggravates this but I am hoping these are all good signs. My hands look better. The muscles seem to be stronger and are slowly filling some of the empty spaces in my hands between the bones, ligaments and other parts of my hands.
Eating and sleeping are almost non-existent. Today I made some gyoza, Japanese dumplings. I love dumplings. Gyoza are my favourite. They’re frozen and pretty good. It’s the only brand I like. I don’t have the energy or the inclination to cook or eat. I expect this to improve once we return home. I bought some steamed basmati rice as a treat for Schrodie, from Woollies. Today I opened it to give him some and it seems to have what looks like blood throughout it, covering some of the rice. Initially I thought it was the brown stain sometimes on rice but it looked red. Outside in the sunshine it looks red. The closer the rice gets to room temperature, the more red it appears. Schrodie missed out on his treat. I’ll make some calls tomorrow. I talked to my friend who said definitely make the calls. It’s revolting and dangerous. Someone probably had a weeping cut whilst cooking the rice. I’m surprised I didn’t vomit. The advice said store it in the fridge in a bag. I’ll never buy anything like that again. Yuk!!!
This week we have had plenty of fog and mist in the mornings up until mid-morning and once or twice throughout the day. I love mist, fog too. Although I do not like to be out in it, especially driving. For me, there is a magic in mist and fog. I have always thought them to be a veil between the worlds. That they are portals to the Otherworld. Where magic, mystery and mischief abound, hidden but sensed. It is dramatic and kind of romantic for me. This was a lovely bonus this week.
A few times this week I have had conversations with various people about living, most importantly living well. My eight year old nephew surprised me when we were chatting about Star Wars and Princess Leia. He makes tremendous films and one was of himself with his sister on a Star Wars Starship. They both had light sabres, how I love a light sabre and always wanted one. I had swords but not a light sabre, perhaps when I go home. I always play with the kids ones and some of them are really cool, especially with sound. This prompted a conversation about Princess Leia and he knew that she’d died, Carrie Fisher. Three days after his Grandmother. This sparked our conversation about life and death, most especially living. Our conversation was very unexpected. We talked about how our only guarantee when we are born is that we die. We don’t know when, where or how and need not be afraid of this as it teaches us that living every day as best as possible matters, more than anything else. We discussed fear and how it will rob you of your life, if you let it. Living is what matters, Life is for Living! In the words of my Hero Jon Bon Jovi “I’ll live while I’m alive and sleep when I’m dead” this leaves no room for fear. Danger lurks everywhere in life which must not be ignored but like everything in life, it must be controlled, tempered wherever and whenever possible. We aim to live every day the best we can and live our dreams, otherwise what is the point? This conversation arose a few other times this week, strangely. James Dean’s words come to mind as this is exactly how I feel about life and living. I believe in living fully and freely for the maximum experience of joy, happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment. As such I will not live with one hand tied behind my back. This is my choice, always!
This is what I do now, once again, push through fear. To paraphrase my friend, these bastards think that because I don’t have a dick dangling between my legs, they can do to me, as they please. So true. Fuck You! Fuck You! Fuck You! People are too quick to stereotype and pass judgement on others. They can think what they like. What other's think doesn’t matter to me. I have lived more than a full life. I don’t need to talk about myself and my life and I don’t need external validation or attention. My business is my own. I only share this experience since 5th January 2020 since the Black Summer Bushfire stole my life in the hope that it might help others, as I have been told countless times by so many. I hope so. Else, I would never do this at all.
I know at least a dozen people with Covid Omicron or who are recovering. Everyone keeps mainly away from potential hazards and wear masks when they are out but they still got it. They’ve all been double vaccinated. Thankfully they are all okay, children especially. I got an alert from Service NSW that I may have been in contact with someone with active Covid on 30th December 2021 in the ten minutes I was at a shop, away from home. I didn’t get symptomatic or sick, gratefully. I need to book in for my booster shot. My friend and I had it at the same time and he’s booked his booster and reminded me.
This week’s trivia was fun. We didn’t win but we won beer and had fun. It was good to be out again.
I have so much to do and my workload is ever increasing. One step at a time Theodora. One breath at a time. There is much playing for us to do as well and much fun to be had. This is necessary to counter the rest.
"Man! I Feel Like A Woman" Shania Twain’s fabulous hit is this week’s ‘Song of the Week’. I love this song. I love it’s power, it’s energy, it’s message and it’s such great, fun music, regardless of the genre. It is how I am feeling at the moment. Shania Twain is a hot, sexy, talented woman and I am a long time fan. I hope that you enjoy this song as much as I do, always.
Take care and stay safe.
These are some of the highlights of this week. Thank you for your company. As always, I hope that you leave Schrodie’s Mummy feeling a little better than when you arrived. I hope that by sharing my journey this helps you with yours in some way. Stay strong and hang in there no matter what trauma, challenges or adversity that you face. Celebrate every Joy! Celebrate every Win! No matter how small, they matter, much. I hope that my posts and pages help you in some way, interest you, make you smile or laugh. Most especially may these and your visits to Schrodie’s Mummy inspire and motivate you upon your journey. This is the only reason that I share this with you.
Do one small thing every day that makes you laugh and something to put joy in your heart and sustain you on your path. Please refer anyone who you believe will benefit from visiting us here at Schrodie’s Mummy.
I will post on Sunday, or as close to, as life allows. Pages will be posted on Wednesday and Friday.
Thank you for your understanding and support. I still cannot believe how many of you find me, organically, as I learn to do this in the hope that I can show you to keep pushing through whatever you face and not give up. The light is always there, no matter how dim or how much you need to squint to see it during the darkest times. Love and Joy are also lurking in the dark and in the shadows, every, single, day. Keep your eyes peeled. I am. This is the only reason I share anything at all. Helping anyone else, in any way, this is my Silver Lining which makes the unbelievable horrors, tragedies and more that I have faced and survived since the Black Summer Bushfire stole my life on the 5th January 2020, more than tragedies. If I can survive it all, so can you! Believe it! Know it! Live it!
Bye for now.
Until next time.
Watch this space...