thought overload

Posts tagged ‘Australia’

Overwhelmed in more ways than one

Oh, hello blog, this is what you look like…I remember you!

I have been thoroughly overwhelmed of late. University assignments, children going back to school and now the rain. Again.

It has been raining non-stop since Monday and looks like it is set in until Wednesday next week. We have had storm warning after storm warning and looks like there will be extreme weather events in the next few days. Welcome to South East Queensland, bring your gumboots and wet weather gear! There have been news broadcasts of people attempting to drive through flood waters, tourists playing tennis on flooded tennis courts and children rescued from raging torrents.

Here at Chez Vix, we are safe and away from the flash flooding. Roads are closed all around us and the poor neighbours had a tree split in half and squash their car. It’s wet, wild and woolly.  Fun times. The gloominess is getting to me, I do not do well with this weather.

Here are my top stress-busters , mental notes and conversations  for this week:

  1. Get out of your pyjamas and force yourself to take the children to school. Brush your hair.
  2. Smile and say hello to everyone, even though you look like a wet, absent-minded crazy woman who just got out of her pyjamas.
  3.  Get out the slow cooker and serve dumplings with everything. Satisfied bellies in wet weather = peace and quiet.
  4. Dumplings are a new food group, you can put anything in them. Left over ricotta is a winner, ask The Princess, she doesn’t like dumplings but ate these ones.
  5. Keep one room tidy. Pick a room, clean and tidy it and retreat there when you feel overwhelmed.
  6. Do not think about the electricity bill as you are shoving another load of washing in the tumble dryer. Just get the washing done.
  7. Star eating breakfast for once in your life. In fact, start eating properly. Crackers and fruit are not a nutritious diet.
  8. Drink more water than coffee.
  9. Do not think of looming deadlines for assignments and massive reference lists piling up. Do not even think about the Case Study for next Semester. Just keep plugging away daily and worry about the 5000 word count when you finish. Cull is a lovely word, short is not.
  10. The children will have everything they need for school by next week and so will you. The term ‘catch-up’ was coined for a reason.
  11. Playing Uno with Master 6 is a study break NOT procrastination.
  12. The clutter on the bench and piles of paperwork will find a home after your assignments are finished.
  13. The back to school expenses are astronomical but don’t the children look lovely in their new school uniforms and shoes? We can grocery shop next week ( see #4: Dumplings are a new food group).
  14. Laugh. Keys locked in the car and holding a torch in the rain for hubby ( while in your pyjamas) at 1am so he can break in  IS funny. No one saw you. Only crazy people are up at that time. And shift workers and people who are shift workers and have locked their keys in the car. And you.
  15. It’s  amusing, not sad, that there are still Christmas decorations laying around the house.
  16. Do not lament about children leaving home – they come back.
  17. Make pancakes for breakfast this weekend. Bieber loves pancakes and his girlfriend just broke up with him.
  18. Realise that you should have done Bachelor of Education Primary with all the extra schoolwork help for The Princess. Could have got a credit on that alone.
  19. Rejoice that you have dodged Homeschooling  once again.
  20. Do not feel bad when you have been caught repeating yourself, or forgetting conversations with Red. It evens out the times when he has ignored you and dismissed your words.
  21. Hearing ‘I love you’ or ‘Mum, we can’t take you anywhere’ or ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’ cancels out all the bad stuff. I do try. Sometimes I get it right. Other times I break things and spill food on my clothes.
  22. When Bieber says ‘Wow Mum, we’ve been having all the foods I like’, smile. It’s golden.
  23. Stop watching late night TV. Laying in bed, staring at the ceiling is more entertaining.
  24. Remember to take your phone off silent before bedtime. Alarms will not wake you up with no sound.
  25. Plan to do one nice thing for everyone in the family each week so that they feel special, including myself.

It is Australia Day tomorrow and while most of the festivities have been cancelled due to rain, I have planned an indoor BBQ. The children have the day off school and I plan to spend it with them.

I was a tad disappointed that Denise or Bruce Morcombe didn’t receive Australian of the Year 2012 after everything they have been through and their tireless energy and support for other parents of missing children. Congratulations to Geoffrey Rush, another great Queenslander and a fan-bloody-tastic speech. I wonder who wrote it.

Happy Australia Day to all my fellow Aussies. Stay safe and dry to all my fellow Queenslanders.

English: The Flag of Australia flying over Pea...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

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Rainy days reconsidered

I have always dreaded rainy days. They make me miserable and I feel trapped. The January floods of 2011 even gave me  a reason to fear them.

Today, rainy days have been given a facelift via my children who are complete and utter nutters and my family as a whole, who are extremely supportive. I’m so very grateful and proud.

I set up my laptop this afternoon in the family area, among all the chaos and noise, to get a bird’s-eye view of the hilarity that was unfolding. My line of sight directed to the upstairs hallway and storage cupboard . The dress-ups are located in there. Rather than pull the box out, The Princess stepped inside and all I could see was a hand extending from the open door to Master 6, who was attempting to don all manner of clothing items. Considering the day’s entertainment began with Master 6 in nothing but boxer shorts, a pink maiden’s headdress and a fake beard, I knew it was going to be a cracker of a day. I watched him as he looked down at me giggling uncontrollably, looking like a fractured fairytale version of one of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs. He attempted to drag the rest of the princess costume over his head, losing the beard and the headdress. It was like watching a butterfly emerging from a cocoon on video, except with someone continually pressing reverse, fast forward and pause. There was dancing and singing  including a final fashion parade. The Princess wearing a left over witches costume from Halloween and Master 6 as The Princess, complete with ‘fake boobs’ he described as really ‘soft and squishy’. No gender stereotyping here thank you very much. The Princess then chased Master 6 through the house demanding that he give her back her boobs (socks). I am so very glad that no neighbours decided to visit at that time, although I did notice there was a bag of cookies left by the front door from the elderly next-door neighbour who did not knock. Oh dear, I figure, he’s lived next door to us for this long that nothing should surprise him.

English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingre...

(Image via Wikipedia) A bit like these...only...gone.

The ‘bag’ of cookies turned out to be several bags of home-made cookies; peanut butter, chocolate chip, jam drops, almond/coffee and Anzacs. I would have taken a photo of this lot sitting on the couch eating from their individual bags but the cookies didn’t last long enough. The memory is also sweeter in my mind. I looked at Master 6 incredulously who had almost devoured his bag while in full Princess regalia and he said, ‘What’s so funny?’ Indeed.

Bieber managed to appear at the most opportune time – he smelled food. The Princess and her father made Potato Scallops for lunch as I read out a recipe I found online, switching back and forth between it and study. They were really good and much appreciated on this dismal day. I even got ice cream in a waffle cone. I don’t know, some days the food just appears at my desk.Bieber made me a coffee before he disappeared back upstairs to his land of ’12 year old boy’.

Master 6, finally de-Princessed, decided he would sit on top of me and not next to me. I love a 6 years old’s lack of spatial awareness which is still developing and will one day make sure he doesn’t sit ANYWHERE near me. The boy looked rather Dr Octagonapusish attached to wires and metal which I realised was actually earphones and Bieber’s mobile phone. This, and the fact he was riveted to a show on TV meant he sat on me. The phone? Probably a bribe from Bieber to get peace and quiet.

Red has been away visiting his girlfriend all weekend up in North Queensland. On his arrival he did text me. Did I really not text back ALL weekend? Yep. Terrible mother. This is the text I received from his this evening:

Umm well seeing you don’t even miss me I have decided to join the monastery up here…You and the rest of the family will always be in my mind. But I seek enlightenment now…’

The Princess intercepted this text and came downstairs to tell me that Red was not coming back, he’d joined a monastery. Huh? This is my text back to Red:

‘I thought that I would practise being a NAM (new age mother) where my progeny are free to spread their wings without my constant over-shadowing. That, and the fact that my iPhone is not my own (read: The Princess monopolises it). I got your message that you are safe and that’s all that matters to me. The knowledge of where you are is enough to satisfy even my most outrageous parenting concerns. The Princess filtered your text before I read it thus: Red isn’t coming home, he’s joined the monastery. Good luck with that. Your lovely mother xxx

This is the text I got back (from the girlfriend):

‘I love you mummy xxx Also, I kept your son safe from the scaries 🙂

Not from the scaries here though. I love these.

The Queensland summer provides plenty of these shots

You’re not making me go to Summer School

No clever title.

No clever pun.

The Princess has spoken and I almost missed it.

 

 

 

 

 

One of my units this semester is Multiliteracies (Birth -5 years). Studying this subject has caused me to reflect on my past teaching and my current parenting philosophy and what Ruth Shagoury (2009, p. 59) refers to as ‘teachable moments’.

The idea behind it and the plan

The Princess was booked in for summer school at the end of last school term. Nothing major, The Princess has a little trouble understanding some maths rules and needs more time to explore them.  Mainstream schooling doesn’t always allow for this.  We had decided together to take the online option that was offered.  Now that I am studying and considering what happened last year (January floods) and the heat that is our Queensland summer gift, we thought it would be the way to go.

What actually happened

At 9.30 am last Monday, I get a phone call from the Principal of Summer School. Yes. I forgot. Actually, I forgot the date and was wondering why our online package hadn’t arrived. Oh, I’m sorry but online isn’t an option. Huh? We decided to start The Princess the very next day and she could catch up on what she missed easily. Excuse me? Oh, and you won’t need to bring anything, morning tea and drinks are provided for the small break of 15 minutes mid-morning. Sorted. Oh dear.

The next few hours resulted in The Princess stomping through the house. Tears and tantrums turned to dishes noisily being unstacked from the dishwasher. The vacuum cleaner roaring away upstairs. Articles of clothing being tossed across my line of vision somewhere in the vicinity of the downstairs laundry. Back and forth she went. Cleaning spray and a cloth in hand busily scrubbing every surface within an inch of its life. Chairs scraped on the floor. All accompanied by hrrumphs and sighs.

Princess, you don’t have to clean the house. You do have to go to summer school. I don’t want to go to summer school, I hate it. You’ve never been. I want to do it online. You can’t do it online, they’re not doing it. But my friend is doing it online. Why should I have to go to summer school, it’s the school holidays. On and on it went.

Two hours passed. Can I go to K’s house? Sure, be back in two hours. Have fun. Off The Princess trotted to her friend’s house across the road.

The Princess roars through the door at 4pm, excitedly asking if she can stay over at K’s house. No honey. You have summer school in the morning and you need an early night. I want to stay at K’s house but I can’t because of DUMB summer school.

Insert two hours of tears. I never knew you could make so much noise feeding a cat. Apparently there are several ways for opening a tin of cat food and putting this with biscuits in a feed bowl that can make an enormous amount of noise. Add to this doors and cupboards slamming, dirty dishes thrown in to the sink from a distance and plenty of exaggerated groans and you have yourself a party.

Half an hour later, I realised the house was silent. I was concerned by what may lay ahead. I knew that assignment #2 was not going anywhere right at this moment and put down my books. No Princess. As I attempted to shut down my laptop, a small maths grid book was slid under my nose. There, in all it’s glory was a full page of maths sums. All neatly written in red pen. All correct. When all else had failed to grab my attention, convey her implicit feelings and render the required result, The Princess had produced a note. The message inside was unmistakeable and I almost missed it.

Later that evening before dinner, I overheard The Princess tell Master 6 that he had better do his homework or he’d wind up in summer school too. In a last-ditch attempt to avoid the horror, The Princess dragged out her old Year 6 maths books and busily started working through them again, employing the aide of Bieber and Red the maths whizzes in our home. I knew I had to approach this carefully. I had seen this before.

After dinner, The Princess and I sat down for a quiet moment. I softly asked her why she didn’t want to go to summer school. The answer suprised me. It had nothing to do with her giving up her freedom in the holidays. It had nothing to do with missing out on a sleep over. It had nothing to do with waking up early to walk the 2.5 km to school in the heat. It didn’t even have to do with her feeling ‘stupid’ (which was my biggest concern). No, the answer was simply this: I don’t know why you can’t teach me Mum.

A ‘teachable moment’.

Shagoury (2009) reminds us that, as educators and parents, we must be careful not to miss these little moments with children. It’s hard to always understand the meaning behind everything that children do but, we can try. Knowing the child, their background, their interests and strengths is just part of the equation. Asking questions, taking quiet moments out in a busy, hectic day,listening and observing are the ingredients for ‘teachable moments’. These opportunities serve us well on two levels. We learn so much by really listening to children and expanding on what they tell us. These little insights are ‘miracle windows’. We also learn a lot about ourselves and the way we teach.

The experiment

The  next day, The Princess went to summer school. She had resigned herself to the fact that she could at least  give it a go, in keeping with the family motto and then  return home and recount all the problems/issues/atrocities back to us in her utterly guilt-inducing and unshakeable explanation of why she shouldn’t go back. Here is her argument:

  • You took me to the wrong classroom
  • The teacher had to walk me to 4 different classrooms to find out where I was meant to be
  • If you just listened to me in the first place, Mum, we wouldn’t have been late
  • The work is ridiculous
  • You know that 15 minute break? NO FOOD
  • I walked around the school yard for 10 minutes by myself
  • I didn’t know ANYONE and nobody talked to me
  • The teacher really didn’t help me much, he was focusing on the other kids more than me
  • You never asked me if I even WANTED to go in the first place
  • You said I could do it online
  • You can still teach me yourself, you know

That last point was the kicker and she was right. There was so much more to The Princess not wanting to go to summer school. My time.

Amazingly, after it had been decided that she would not return in the morning (and that the Cowardly Mother was to be spared the shame making THE phone call to the summer school  Principal) all these little stories emerged of how she had a male teacher for the day and now ‘I’m not so worried about having a male teacher this year’. I found out that she was playing ‘Moshi Monsters on the computers in the air conditioning. The Princess also came home with a gift bag containing a ruler, and other stationery items. This little bag of goodies contained a bright, yellow sticker with the word FUNLAND with a crown over the ‘a’ (I know, the irony didn’t escape me either). The sticker has since been squarely slapped on to the front of the paper goodies bag and placed on my desk as a reminder of what I have done. You know the nobody-talked-to-me-scenario? Debunked! ‘Two boys talked to me and one was nice. One asked me if I’d had enough sleep because my eyes were all puffy. One told me not to drink out of the bubblers because it was all hot. I didn’t know what to say to the boy about my eyes’ (she had cried a lot the day before).  However, she did have plenty to say to me about her lack of provision for nourishment and water in the 3 hours she was there. I am a terrible mother. I needed to write this post. I have just read it out loud to The Princess as she sat near me, smiling with every word. This is why I am now sitting here, close to The Princess as she writes her own curriculum for summer school under my direction. Yes, I am the teacher.

P.S. There has now been yet another huge discussion about Home Schooling. The Princess begs me at least three times a year to Home School her (usually after holidays). Bieber firmly responded with a ‘No’ and wants to know why I always want to ruin his life. Master 6 emphatically responded ‘YES’! which resulted in a ‘high -five’  from The Princess. When I asked Red his thoughts, I got this :’Why does my opinion matter?’ (in a painfully whiny tone) which I translated to mean ‘Please stop talking to me and interrupting my gaming time… and ruining my life’.

In the middle of all this, my husband says to me ‘It’s up to you Bub’ and passes me a note , written on a used envelope:

I Love u c u r  m q t

I look at him in wonder. ‘I bet you can’t work out what it says’, he tells me.  The note, decoded reads:

I love you ’cause you are my cutie

Once again, all is right with the world.

Reference

Shagoury, R.E. (2009). Raising writers: Understanding and nurturing young children’s writing development. USA: Allyn & Bacon, Pearson

It’s still me: A new year, a new look.

Settlement Cove aka Redcliffe Lagoon

I hope you didn’t arrive here today and say…where the hell am I? It’s OK, you’re in the right place. I decided that a new year and a wonderful bunch of readers deserved a new look. I also decided that my blog needed a more personal feel and I had a lot of fun learning the ‘how to’ of WordPress. I am a digital immigrant so this stuff is not easy for me.

The photo in my header was taken at a place called Settlement Cove, also known as Redcliffe Lagoon. We often take the children there in summer, in fact The Princess spent yesterday there, swimming with her friends. One of the rocks beside the walkway leading to the lagoon has been hand painted in the Aboriginal dot style.

Hurry up Mum, stop taking photos

Welcome to all my new visitors and thank you to all my regular readers. I am approaching 80 followers and this will be my 40th post which is absolutely mind-blowing for me. When I began my blogging adventure I never dreamed that anyone would find what I wrote even remotely interesting. In fact I got stage fright and didn’t blog for about 7 months. A lot has changed in just 3 months. I have met and followed some amazing people and their blogs. These people inspire me, support me, delight me, entertain me and amaze me. My new blog look is a tribute to you all to display the respect and admiration I feel for you and the support you have given me. I hope you like it.

Our unofficial Christmas present

Eddie the rainbow lorikeet

Meet Eddie, the rainbow lorikeet that had the misfortune of being hit by a car, bouncing off it and then being hit a second time by my husband’s ute. My husband rescued him just before Christmas  and we thought he wouldn’t make it after being hit twice then surviving a hot car until my husband finished his shift at work. If ever there was a bird that deserved to live – then it’s Eddie. Here he is two weeks later and refuses to leave the cage thank you very much but I’m fine here.The children have tried two unsuccessful releases. We will try again in a few days.

Failed release attempt No. 1

      Our family has quite a tradition of rescuing animals. My sister started it with

      rescuing joeys from injured kangaroo mother’s pouches. My children grew up

      with that joey. Next was a wedge tailed eagle that she made a stand for  and

      hand fed.

Wedge tailed eagle in flight03

Wedge tailed eagle in flight

Dizzy Lizzy rescued a baby possum whose mother had been killed and nursed it

before handing it to WIRES. The Princess rescued a kitten and reared him when

 he was 4 days old, his eyes weren’t even open properly. He had been dumped byThe common Brush tailed possum Trichosurus vul...

 the mother and forgotten, probably when she was trying to move her entire litter

to safety.  “Lucky” is still with us today. Cosmo is also a foundling ( and some days

he is so naughty I wish someone else would find him!)  discovered as a puppy,wandering  through traffic. Many “found” posters later and he is still with us.

We have rescued a water dragon, a Shingleback  lizard ( Red called him Komodo) and a baby pigeon called Cheapa who fell from the nest and was abandoned by his parents. I couldn’t read a newspaper or use my computer without his curious pecking.

Shingleback <i>Tiliqua rugosa</i>

Shingleback Image via Flickr

I am so glad that my children care about and care for animals. I was looking for Ash ( our resident baby lorikeet) the other day as his cage was empty. I should have known better. I needn’t have worried. For there, under Bieber’s arm was the little green baby lorikeet, fast asleep.

Why I won’t be nominated for mother of the year

We are well and truly in the thick of school holidays here, in Australia. I am a mother to Master 6, The Princess, Bieber and Red. I am also studying my bachelor degree in education and have an essay, an Eportfolio and two other assignments due in three weeks. My husband works night shift. It is two weeks before Christmas and we have a guest arriving from overseas on Monday that we haven’t seen in two years. These are the makings of some fairly weird, ill timed and poor choices in parenting at the moment. We have no routine, bare cupboards and children coming and going in all directions. It is complete and utter mayhem.

I am pretty certain I won’t be nominated for mother of the year. Here is why:

  • Our Christmas tree has been sitting bare for two weeks and was only assembled because The Princess dragged it out of the garage and put it together. We decorated it yesterday and afterwards decided it looks like a dog’s breakfast. Red arrived home from Rockhampton last night, took a brief look and said “Tree looks good”. I said brief
  • There is nothing under the Christmas tree except for three skipping ropes, unwrapped. I have not done any form of Christmas shopping, baking or decorating except for the tree ( and we all know how that turned out)
  • Actually, I lie…there is an advent calendar I made for the children. It is missing days 16 – 21 because Red and my husband ate the treats when I was making it. I bought more treats but never got around to make days 16-21 and the children ate the treats this afternoon when all their friends were over.
  • We have been staying up watching movies and not taking notice of the time. My husband got home from night shift at 2am and we were still awake. The children were hyped up and we were subjected to animal noises and giggling until 2.30am
  • It has been 3.5 days since my children ate vegetables

    This looks about right

Image via tumblr.com

  • Getting like this

...and this

...and almost as bad as this

  • I let my children stay in their PJs until the afternoon, sleep in and eat chocolate for breakfast. So did I.

Image via millionlooks.com

Just like this

  • The Princess has become a better house keeper than me
  • I have not cooked a family meal in 3 days
  • Bieber had a friend over this afternoon and I forgot to shut the bathroom door. That was very nearly a horrific moment for all of us.
  • We missed our craft activity morning at the library because we stayed up, danced to music and watched movies together
  • I have not read a book to Master 6 in 7.5 days
  • We ate meals at 8pm 3 days this week
  • Bieber actually did a little shuffle on stage at his graduation ceremony after he received his senior award. I believe this is because I did not give him a pep talk beforehand and I don’t bat an eyelid when my children shuffle : in the library, car park, grocery store, hospital waiting room or wherever they feel the beat. Threshhold of acceptance = high. Setting of boundaries=low
  • Master 6 wanted to know why his clothes drawers were empty today
  • I did not know it was Friday today. All day.

OMG

Image via sodahead.com

Image via fondosdibujosanimos.com

Not me

I had no clue what day it was!
  • I let The Princess talk me into letting her watch a horror movie  and then she was so scared she slept in our bed. She has not done that in 3 years.
  • We are running out of essentials. We never run out of essentials. I could not run the dishwasher tonight because there were no tablets left.

The funny thing is…I do not feel bad. I do not feel guilty( see my post Mother Guilt).  The children are smiling, laughing, enjoying themselves and pitching in with things around the home. They are capable, smart, creative, polite and respectful. My husband is not admonishing me but supporting me.  Things are not planned, regimented, ordered or even done around here. I’m OK with that.

Not me

Not me

Image via barnados.org.au

Neighbours – and I’m not talking about the TV show

Australian soap opera Neighbours filming in Pi...

Image via Wikipedia

Neighbours‘ is an institution in Australia.Love it or hate it, there it is. Most of my generation has grown up with the show, which first screened on Australian television in 1985 and I’m fairly sure it is the longest running show on Australian TV.

I don’t really want to talk about the show. I want to introduce you to my neighbours which are nothing like the characters depicted in the fictitious Ramsay Street of TV Neighbours. Those people don’t compare to the nightmares that I have endured over the past 15 years. It hasn’t all been bad. There have been some wonderfully normal and amiable people that I have been blessed to live next door to. Some of my past neighbours and I even keep in touch today. No. What I am really aching to tell you all about are those outrageous, odd, painful, loud and truly weird neighbours. The ones with the bad habits and unacceptable social behaviour that make living next door to them unbearable at times, entertaining at others.

Here are my list of most memorable neighbours and their antics that have earned them a special place on my list:

The Arguers

They just love a good argument and will proudly display their skills at 6am, 10pm and 2am, or if you are really, lucky at hourly intervals. These arguments are identified by their stop-start nature. It’s really all the same argument just rehashed over several hours and usually but not limited to being accompanied by the consumation of excessive amounts of alcohol. I, however, cannot imagine waking up and being so angry at 6am as to have a full blown argument in the driveway of my home, spewing out all our ghastly secrets/financial issues/relationship problems. My husband and I were lucky enough to be invited to their wedding which ended (so I heard later) in an all-in brawl and security removing several individuals from the reception venue. Class act. One particular favourite argument broadcast to all and sundry was what I have coined The Red Hot Pie incident.It goes a little like this. Wife comes home from work at 1am and finds new husband on an internet dating/swingers etc website called Red Hot Pie. Wife finds out new husband has paid $200 dollars for this privilege. Wife pulls phone out of wall and clocks hubby over the head. Internet over. Husband over and out. Brilliant stuff.

The Drinkers

I like a drink. I have, at times, had a little too much. I usually embarrass myself, sing a little too loudly and fall asleep in my clothes. Not these neighbours. You can set your clock by their drinking. Friday afternoon, cars revving, loud, dogs barking ,obnoxious, yelling out at passers by. Then come the arguments, door slamming, more car revving as someone has walked out on someone else. Good, solid entertainment here. Mornings are greeted by the sound of a hundred bottles emptied into the bin outside. Ready for another session.

The Kiwis

No, I am not being racist. His nickname is Kiwi and I haven’t met his wife so, we just call them The Kiwis. The Kiwis live right next door to The Drinkers and they are also friends of The Arguers. The Kiwis are fairly harmless but are categorized by some fairly bizzare behaviour and the occasional street siege. The wife uses a petrol blower inside the house. Each to there own I guess. My husband had to rescue Kiwi from the roof of his home after he had climbed up there to have a drink? and got stranded when the ladder fell down. I really don’t know what he was doing up there to be honest but that man has a beer with him wherever he goes. The siege was a very important cultural event in our neighbourhood. A time of bonding and togethereness. Kiwi’s son had taken a hammer to his father after God knows what and Kiwi had tried to strangle him. The police were called. Weapons were drawn. Loudspeakers announced the beginning of a two hour event that had a great turnout. The crowds massed and people swapped stories. I happened to tell another Kiwi friend of mine and she said “What kind of ghetto do you live in Vix? Fun times.

The Fugitives

Last, but definitely not least, are the most famous neighbours I have ever had. As it turned out, they were on the run and had provided false identities. I had a thoroughly enjoyable visit from the Federal police after a night of frivolity which included the raiding of the premises,a battering ram and flashing lights until 2am. The two had been dressing up as cleaners and robbing shopping centres. The man had been on the run for 3 years for a rather famous robbery that I dare not write about here. I knew I should have been suspicious when he erected a virtual fortress of  shade cloth and just what was that police scanner for? Silly me, everybody does that.

The Hoarders

Presently, I live next door to a hoarder.I know it is a disease and I will not make light of that here but living next door to a hoarder is challenging and not much fun either. My husband and I tend to deal with it, as with most things, with humour. Recently, my daughter came running into our house screaming, “Mum. Mum. Dad just whipper-snipped a rat right in half. It was awesome, come and have a look”. He sure did. It had scurried right under the fence from the neighbour’s side just as my husband was trimming the edges. Awesome.

I could go on. I won’t. I have also had my fair share of really odd  flatmates too when I was at University. I might leave that for another time and another post. Now, I bet you have had some great neighbours too. I would love to hear some stories. I could write a book about mine.

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