Thursday, June 17, 2010

Adventures in Oz

This morning I had to get up and go deal with our pump yet again. For some reason the power to the shed where it's plugged in died. Might have had something to do with the rain and wind. What a great way to start the day and it only got better.

We had winds gusting to 100km/hr, driving rain and lightning in the afternoon. This in the equivalent of the northern hemisphere's December. It took down trees everywhere, the native vegetation park looked like the trees had been mown. We shut the shop at 2pm because there was no way the power was coming back any time soon. Fortunately, the worker responsible for clearing downed trees off our section of road used his head. He drove the dozer back to town along the rail trail. I'd brought a saw along just in case but I'm pretty sure it would have taken an hour or more to ride home if the trail hadn't been cleared. This on a ride that's normally 15 minutes.

The pub next door lost the roof from a bungalow out back and part of their front veranda. Tin from the bungalow roof ended up across the highway wrapped around a tree 10 meters off the ground. A house a couple of k away lost it's entire roof. We were lucky. All it did to our place is blow the back door open which fortunately is so far under a veranda that no water got in.

I went over to pub to see if they needed any help. Here's what I love about country life: as I talked to the owners maybe half a dozen people pulled up to see if they could help. Everyone was touching base and making sure everyone else was okay. Sure, a lot of these folk are rough as guts but they care about and look after each other.

We dug out some candles and our torches for light. I trudged across the highway to the creek and filled some buckets so we could flush the toilet. Claire made dinner on the barbeque and we ate by candle light. Our pre-bed play with Em consisted entirely of games where she got to sit in my lap.

Me: Emlyn, it's 10 degrees in here, you need warmer clothes.
Em: No, I'm warm.
Me: Yes, put on this jumper...
Em. No, no, No, NO!
Me: Look, if you're not cold why does every game involve you sitting in my lap?
Em: Cuddle me

She did tell me a fabulous story though. She gave me a piece of paper that she'd carefully folded up.

Me: What's this?
Em: It's your ticket.
Me: My ticket for what?
Em: Vesher.
Me: What?
Em: Vesher!
Me: Take that dummy out...
Em: Adventure.
Me: An adventure like with pirates?
Em: Yes we sailed on ship to island and there was a hole and the wormmies got the hole from the wormmy store and they went wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle, wriggle and got it out for us. *
Me: Breath my love, breath. Got what out for us.
Em: Treasure.
Me: I love this adventure.

The power came back on after 7 and and a half hours. I've got to say that that was pretty quick work and that I'm a little disappointed. As unpleasant as it was to sit around in a cold house it was also kinda fun. A nice, safe adventure to break up the routine. For us at any rate; tomorrow will show just how bad it was for everyone else.

Friday, June 04, 2010


Okay, I can talk about other things really. No seriously I can,, well that said, I've got to get this off my chest:

Meccano has re-issued it's classic metal construction set. When I saw them for sale I bought two for Emlyn despite her being less than a year old. She's just under three now and we're going to wait a bit longer to break it out. I don't really care if she takes to it or not, but she's going to have the opportunity for that kind of constructive play.

Em is an intelligent, curious and energetic human being. You can almost see the potential radiating out from her, like some kind of Van der Graaf generated nimbus. I don't understand how anyone, male or female, could see that potential and want to limit it in any way. It makes me grit my teeth to think of it. Saying to your daughter "I love you." while shoehorning her into a narrowly defined gender role is the very height of destructive ignorance.

I can and will denounce, demean and fucking destroy if necessary, anyone who tries to limit my daughter because she's female.

Photo from