Monday, May 31, 2010

Confession

I've been thinking about what I said in the last post, and wondering just why the whole 'be nice to your kids' thing has affected me so much.

I think it's because the last time I spoke to Sam, I was tired and a little cranky, and probably didn't give him my full attention.
I'd been shopping (for Christmas presents) most of the morning, and while we had some nice text messages back and forth, when I got home I had a headache and went to have a lie down.
Sam came in to tell me he was going to his Nanna's house, and I grunted something at him, not really paying much attention.

They were the last words I spoke to him though.
I wish I had said more. I wish I'd got up and hugged him. I wish I'd told him I loved him.

While I know that my kids know (knew) how much I love them (and I'm sure all parents are the same), there are so many times that we brush them off, don't listen, get angry, and leave it at that, knowing that we can make up for it later.

Well I know now that we can't.
Sam and I had a great relationship, so there's no guilt really, just regret. But it almost feels as bad as guilt. If I had those moments again, there are so many things I'd do.

It's almost cliched to say 'don't take your kids for granted'. And I didn't mean to make people feel bad about getting angry at their kids, because that's normal too. But there really are some moments you just can't get back; can't change.

I'd hate for other people to feel the way I do.

I love you Sam. I wish I'd told you more.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The ups and downs

Yesterday was kind of rough. We had one of those 'I really miss Sam' days, where tears come easily and regularly. We knew there was no avoiding it; so early in the day Anthony and I sat down to watch the DVD slideshow of photos that we had played at Sam's funeral. We cried all the way through it (Oliver was out), but it was a good release. And a good chance for a cuddle.

When I went grocery shopping later, I deliberately put my headphones on, so that I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. I used to hate it when people did that, I thought it was so rude. But it's amazing how much your perceptions change after someone close to you dies.

Like the smiling thing, behaviours that once made me cranky are behaviours that I now adopt myself. We never think about the whole lot of things we don't see when we look at others (and neither should we, I guess): that there might be a reason they look so grumpy or sad; that they have headphones on and look away when you catch their eye...

And then there's the way that people react when you talk about kids. In the past, whenever I've talked about my kids with a group of people, there's never been a little thought in the back of my head that maybe one of them might be that person who can't have kids.Or that might have lost one.
Now, that person is me.
On the whole, I try very hard to push my feelings aside when I talk about kids with others, or just focus on Oliver.
But sometimes it can get to be too much. When people talk about how much their kids are pissing them off, or getting in the way of stuff they want to do (like I have heard too many times this week from too many different people), all I can think about is 'at least you still have them'.
Usually I don't voice this thought, but instead find a way to change the subject or extract myself from the conversation. Though yesterday I did speak up, to someone very close to me who was already feeling vulnerable, and I regret that.

The other thing that I hate to see is strangers being horrible to their children. As a teacher, I was already hypersensitive to this, but I am even more so now. I have seen many examples of this over the past few weeks, and it all just adds up.
There are so many people in the world that shouldn't be parents, and sometimes it really gets to me. Why do they get to have kids when I can't? Not that it's the kid's fault; all I feel when I ee them is a mixture of pity and sadness, that they won't have the kind of life they should have.
But I get so angry at their parents, and probably their parents, and the shitty, crazy, mixed up world, that has its priorities all wrong.

So I think this ishow I ended up where I was yesterday. A combination of events and experiences, on top of a crazily busy week where many people did (and didn't) live up to my expectations of them (including one I have posted about before, who completely, very disappointingly, dropped the ball), the whole end-of-inquest thing...it's a wonder I did'n't go completely off the rails!

But, dear reader, it's out of my system now, so don't worry too much about me. Back to livin'...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

I'm trying very hard to conserve battery power, as I'm going to be without my power cable for a few more days. And I can't blog from my iPhone...(not easily anyway). But here are today's six:

A great photo of Sam
This is during a brief period where Samuel regularly straightened his hair, around age 10-11. He got sick of the hassle (and me burning his ears), and went back to enjoying his beautiful curls.

A great photo of Oliver
My little soccer star in the making.

An old photo
The boys in Sydney last year. Mr Cool and his annoying little brother.

An Interesting Photo

Trees: one of my favourite subjects lately. I like that I'm getting the hang of the exposure settings.

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:

This week's challenge was ''Stained Glass".

Morguefile Lesson Photos
Lesson 2 - Aperture and Shutter speed. Assignment 1.
This is another of my twilight tree shots (same group as last week's).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dull women have immaculate houses.

At least, this is what I keep telling myself.
My mother-in-law bought me a fridge magnet with the title slogan on it many years ago. I guess I could have taken offence at an imagined dig at my ability to keep a tidy house, but the truth is, I'm a slob.

I've tried denying it (it was clean; the vacuum's broken; the boys did it); I've tried hiding it (sorry, you can't go in there); I've tried to change (fly lady, little plastic drawers); I've even tried cleaning regularly! But the sad truth is that it's never going to change.

It's not that I don't want to have a nice, 'Better Homes' type house, it's just that I can always find so many better things to do with my time. And to be honest, I just don't like cleaning! I mean really, what is the point? You get it all nice and sparkly, and 5 minutes later it's messy again! My brain just does not do the 'tidy as you go' thing, and even if it did, none of my boys do either.
Yes, we could have tried a little harder to train them when they were young, but we weren't very good at it either.

Actually, the boys do have it in them to be neat. Oliver's kept his room for 2 weeks now (mainly because none of his friends or his girl posse - the neighbour's kids - have been over for long), and Samuel was moving towards neatness as he entered his teens (after a shocking pre-teen slob era that even made me look like a domestic goddess).
They have always been very good at helping around the house too. Both of my kids did regular chores from a very early age, and, when prompted, are always a good help in the Friday night/Saturday morning whip-around.

While this is probably setting them up for some good future domesticity, they are (were) significant contributors to the chaos. But the blame really rests on Anthony and I for the state of our house.

I knew Anthony was messy when I got together with him. When I visited him in his little bedsit, there was always stuff everywhere: papers, clothes, plates etc: fairly standard early 20s single man stuff I guess.

I was always messy too. My room was in constant disarray (minus the dirty plates), but fairly organised. Much to the horror of my poor father, who was (and still is) a rather neat and tidy person.

So when the two of us got together it was bound to get messy. Literally.
On the whole, we do manage to stop ourselves from falling into squalor: we get the sheets changed regularly, do the dishes and the laundry, and have a bit of a tidy up/vacuum once a week, but it never seems to be quite enough to make it 'nice'.

For a long time I have agonised over this. For while I freely acknowledge my slobbishness, I have always been slightly embarrassed about revealing it to anyone else.
I think some of it (OK, a lot of it) is pride. I'm this awesome, motivated, busy person, who 'gets things done'. My house should be a pristine showpiece, with fantastic artworks and my photos beautifully displayed; with shining floors and an organised, functional kitchen.
Perhaps that's why it's not. I'm so busy creating, working, pleasing others and having fun, that housework is not a priority.

Many people have said to me 'we don't come here to see your house, we come here to see you'. I keep telling myself that it's true, that they're not running their finger along the shelf to check for dust, and I know that they're not, but something in me keeps me worrying.

I think I'm going to have to come to terms with that. Because something tells me that things aren't going to change. In the meantime, I'll keep telling myself: it's because I'm so interesting...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The End

(Attention Reader - Please be aware that the contents of this post may be distressing or disturbing).

As I've already posted, a couple of weeks ago we received some news about Sam's death. A little over a week ago, we also received the post-mortem report. For a week, I put off reading it, mainly because I didn't really understand the medical language in it, but also because I couldn't.
I didn't want to see my boy's organs discussed so clinically. I don't know why; he's dead and he's not coming back. But the thought of seeing that stuff in print was too much.
So yesterday, Anthony and I went and saw our GP to talk it over with him. The coroner's office had suggested it so that we could decide whether or not we wanted to have a hearing.

The doctor went through it all with us, explaining each part; answering our questions and reassuring us.
The report showed that everything was normal with Sam: his organs were all normal and functioning properly; there was no sign of alcohol, drugs or poisons; there was no foreign substance or irregularities.
So, if you're still with me, what (probably) happened was that Samuel was sleeping very deeply, vomited (it may have been a very small amount), inhaled his vomit and suffocated.

One thing that we know is that Sam did not wake up (mind you, the doctor said this kind of thing also happens with people who are awake too), which is kind of comforting, as I can tell myself he did not suffer. There was no sign of an illness or condition that we should have noticed, and it was long enough after dinner for it to not be caused by 'eating too much', which, with Sam, was a distinct possibility!

There were two main questions that I had wanted answers to: what caused Samuel to vomit? And how can someone who is sober vomit without waking up? The doctor was not able to give me any kind of answer, but then again, the coroner wouldn't be able to either. So I have to accept that these are things that I will never know.

And that's the end. All that's left to do now is call the coroner's office, and tell them we're done. We don't need a hearing. All that will do is bring everything up again. Many of us would be called as witnesses and would have to hear all the details again. All for the same answers that we have now.
This is where it's going to end.

Ok, so it won't end. We'll never get over it, and there are still lots of things to do, memories to share; but the yucky bit is over. In a way it's a relief, but it's also a final, wrenching conclusion.
Yesterday, before we went to the doctor, I was fine, but afterwards I was tired and emotional. I was the same today too. It was very hard to keep it together, especially in the early part of the day. When I found out I was having the class I have the most trouble with for longer than I expected, I nearly lost it, and had to go and find a quiet spot for a while. I just wasn't sure I was feeling resilient enough.
Then, during the morning, I found out that my best friend's grandmother had died overnight. So I was feeling sad about that, and I just wanted to talk to her. It was just such a hard day to be at work.
This is what I had always been worried about; and one of the main reasons it took me so long to go back to work. Luckily, most of the staff at work are very busy at the moment, and working on their reports, so I could just hide. Because I knew if someone stopped me and asked how I was, I would have fallen apart.

But it got better. I managed to avoid meltdowns, and the class was OK too. I told them I was feeling grumpy, and they were actually pretty great. I was (almost) feeling normal by the time I left, nice and early.

And it's been OK this afternoon too. A lovely person at work loaned me their power cable, I've bought a new hard drive and I'm busy updating, and now I can use my Mac and update here.

So now that I've gotten that out of my system, I can go on to blogging about the lovely memories I have of Sam. Coming soon...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bloody Technology

So my lovely, wonderful Macbook: my lifeline; my while-awayer of countless hours; my photography buddy; my toy (you get the picture) has gone bung.

Well, technically it's not the computer itself, but rather the charger cable (or the actual charging port).

So I'm stuck! Anthony took the cable in last week, but they couldn't find a problem, saying it was probably my computer, and they could send it away (it's still under extended warranty).
But I don't want to that until I've done another backup, and I can't do a backup until I've got some power! Aaarrggh! What to do!

In the meantime, I've got to blog elsewhere. So they're going to be short and sweet until I get this sorted.

Please stand by....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

Late, I know, but I wanted to get them in today.

A great photo of Sam
His 'army' phase. It didn't last long.

A great photo of Oliver
Taken today. He was going to an 'army' party.

An old photo
Happier times. We went on a family holiday to Brisbane in October 2007.

An Interesting Photo

Some of my favourite photos of Sam are from when he was playing with my computer (Photo Booth). I love this photo!

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:

This week's challenge was ''Portrait of a Tree". I'm pretty happy with it.

Morguefile Lesson Photos

Lesson 2 - Aperture and Shutter speed. Assignment 1.
This is one of my experiments with exposure in the dark. It's not bad, but I couldn't quite get it right.

Friday, May 21, 2010

This could get a little out of hand

As I've mentioned before, Oliver LOVES Lego.
Actually, 'loves' is probably not a strong enough word. He is completely obsessed with it.

He's always been the kind of kid to latch on to something he likes and throw himself headlong into it: as a 3 year old he was all about the Spiderman, and when he was 5 he loved Indiana Jones. He had to have the clothes, the DVDs, the books, the stickers, the bed sheets (more so with Spiderman), and he would take great pleasure in dressing up as his favourite character. We actually own 5 different Spider man outfits, plus the branded clothes (don't worry dear readers, much of it was handed down to us!)

So now it's Lego. He's liked playing with Lego for a while now. We have always encouraged it because it's a pretty durable toy (my parents still have my Lego from 25+ years ago), you can use bits from 30 years ago with bits from today, and I think it encourages imagination and problem solving.

Oliver and Sam used to play with Lego a bit, though Sam would always make the 'really cool ships' (like this one that we still have displayed in Sam's room)
and Oliver would always be trying to take bits off them. Needless to say there was some conflict.

Since Sam died though, Oliver has gotten into it even more. He plays for hours and hours some days, pulling bits of other bits, changing the little people's arms and hair and faces, building fantastic stuff.

The other day he was building a 'house'. I used to do that when I was a kid (mainly because you could only get house bricks, windows and doors), but I wasn't very clever at it, building stand-alone walls that would fall down when you pushed them.
When I saw Oliver making the house, I thought of that, and told him that he needed to join the walls together. When I went to show him, he'd already done it, interlocking the wall bricks together, just like a bricklayer would. Needless to say I was very impressed, and started having visions of my son's wonderful career as an engineer. :)

But the thing that really worries me is that Anthony's now getting in on the act. The last couple of times we have been to Trash and Treasure, he has bought a bunch of Lego (including a couple of retro space sets). I don't really mind, as it's much cheaper to buy it there, but he's talking about buying lots more. I think he may be falling under the Lego spell. I know of adults that are hooked on Lego (one woman on EB posted recently about buying a 'Death Star' for her husband's 40th), who build the models and display them in their lounge rooms with special lights. I'm not sure I'm ready for that!!

Nah, I'm not that worried. It's nice that they're doing something together other than playing video games, and it's nice to see Oliver happy and playing. Anthony's even been doing some sorting and tidying:
(although there have been a couple of 'don't touch that one Oliver' moments). I must admit, even I'm getting in on the act a bit. I've bought a couple of little bits off Ebay.

But then Anthony started talking about painting our house 'Lego colours'. Hmmmmmm.....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sam's School

We're lucky enough to live within walking distance of a great public school.
Samuel and Oliver both started preschool there, and Samuel completed year 8 there in 2009.

Samuel didn't always like school, especially in year 5 and 6, I think partly because he was a little overweight at that point, and felt uncomfortable.
But when he got to high school, after the initial settling-in/finding his feet, he actually started to blossom. By year 8 he was getting good reports and good grades, and the teachers always spoke highly of him. Many of them came to his funeral as well.

The principal of the school came to see us not long after Samuel's funeral (she had been overseas at the time), and was able to lead the school staff through their talks to the other students as well as notifying the school community. She also brought us a couple of old yearbooks that had photos of Sam in them. Another teacher went out of his way to find photos of Sam (taken at camps etc) and put them on discs for us. We were blown away by the kindness and support we received from the school. Even the P&C helped us with organising back-to-school stuff for Oliver.

I have been in semi-regular contact with the year 9 coordinator, who was also Samuel's science teacher (and his favourite). She has been talking to the students at the school about what they would like to do to honour Sam's memory. Because he died in the holidays (4 days after term 4 ended), some of the students didn't know, and others hadn't had a chance to talk it through with each other, so she has been guiding them through those conversations.

The students were sure that they wanted to have some kind of memorial for Sam, and recently she sent me an email telling me about the meeting she had had with them.
The kids had some interesting ideas: They wanted to hold a carnival in Samuel's honour, to make wrist bands etc...she said they went a little crazy and she had to bring them down again, but eventually they came up with some ideas.

The Yearbook
The school is going to dedicate a page to Samuel in this year's yearbook, with the kids contributing some photos and quotes. As I've said before, he was pretty popular, so it's kind of fitting that the kids thought to do this for him.

The Video
The kids really wanted to make a 'documentary' about Sam: interviewing people and including some funny memories and reflections about Sam. I thought this was a very nice idea!

The Award
Right at the beginning, we asked the principal if we could contribute to an award in Sam's name.
We offered to cover any costs and provide a 'prize' for the student who ran it. When they talked to the kids about it, they loved the idea, and want the award to be along the lines of 'happiest student of the year', as that was the way they saw Sam. We thought it was a very nice idea. The year 10 students will nominate one of their peers, and the award will be judged by a panel including some of Samuel's friends (and perhaps one of us).

The Door
They also wanted to paint one of the music room doors orange, because orange is Sam's favourite colour, and because he spent a lot of time in the music room.

The Lemon Tree
This one is my favourite. Samuel used to think he was very cool when he could eat a whole lemon. I didn't think much of it at the time (just a kid showing off), but it must have been something he made a big deal about at school, because the kids were very keen to give the award recipient a lemon tree. To me, this shows how much impact Samuel had on people's lives, because it's a memory that has stuck with many of them.
We thought that it might not be the best idea to give someone a tree, as they might not be able to look after it. We told the teacher that, and after she spoke to the kids they agreed, but did not want to let the lemon tree idea go. So instead, they are going to plant one out the front of the school and create a bit of a memorial garden for Sam. What a lovely idea.
We have ordered some lemon trees from Diggers, and hopefully will get the chance to help them plant them.

As for the award prize, we will donate a JB Hifi voucher (because of Sam's love of music and video games), and a Goodberry's voucher (because he loved Goodberry's). I think that will go down well.

Writing it down here, it seems like a lot. But from what I can tell, the kids are pretty determined! I told the teacher I was concerned that we were stringing the whole thing out too much, that they might be better off not having it in their face all the time, but she said that 'they're not going to let him go that easy'.

So it's all very nice. Once again, reaffirming my belief that all teens aren't so bad. And that I chose the right school. Thanks to all of you.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book 'em, Mello!

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I've always been a reader. When I was a kid, and things were different (as in we weren't permanently attached to TVs, phones and computers), I read voraciously. There was nothing better than a day spent curled up reading Enid Blyton series (Famous Five, Secret Seven, Malory Towers), Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew etc. (My goodness, I'm showing my age, aren't I??)
As I grew older, I read more of the pap than was probably healthy - Sweet Valley High, early Babysitter's Club etc, but never really lost the love of reading.

Now that I've ended up in a library, I've rekindled my love of books. It's not that I wasn't reading, but I wasn't reading as much. Now that I am around books all day, I have started a big list of 'books I must read'.

I must say though, even though I've read many of the 'classics', I do prefer a book that's easy to read and exciting, rather than heavy literature. I can't stand books that seem as though they were created to show off the author's extensive vocabulary. I like to be entertained, to be swept away to another world.

That's not to say that I'm a Mills & Boon type girl (I've never actually read one), but I guess people would find the types of books that I most enjoy to be 'popcorn'.

Mrs P, over at 'A Study in Contradictions' asked about our favourite books. I will send her my reply and let you know if she puts it on her blog, but in the meantime, I thought I'd make a start on my top five, and ask you, dear reader, for your recommendations.

Y'see, I'm a fairly cautious reader. I can't borrow books from the library any more (thanks to a massive fine that was the result of the book getting lost in my school library for a long time), so if I want to read a book I have to buy it, or borrow it from someone. So as a result I tend to stick to authors that I know, or books that people recommend to me.

Luckily, most of the books I buy are bought from the Salvos or Trash & Treasure, so it's no great loss if I never finish it, but still, I'm cautious.

So today, I'd like to share with you my favourite books, and ask you to recommend some good ones to me. Here is my top 5 (in no particular order):

Tomorrow, When the War Began
- John Marsden (and the 6 more books in the series).

I discovered this series late. It was only 2 years ago that I picked up the first book. I had always liked John Marsden's work (in fact, he's one of my inspirational people), and saw 'Tomorrow' in the library. I was instantly hooked and devoured the next 6 in quick succession.
Even though it's teen fiction, there's enough bite in it to make it great reading for an adult.


Magician - Raymond E Feist (and the multiple-book saga that follows it).

The first three books in this series are books I can read again and again and again. I was never a big fan of fantasy fiction until I read this series. I'm still not, but I love the weird combination of dragons, aliens, magicians and royal intrigue. Great stuff!


The Stand - Stephen King.

This book is nowhere near as gross as some of his other books, but I love the story. It's nasty and creepy and political; one of those books that makes you wonder about where humanity's going. It's probably a bit outdated now (it was written in the 70s), but I'm *just* old enough to understand the pop culture and other references.


Gridlock - Ben Elton.

Ben Elton is one of my favourite writers (his TV as well as his novels). I love his warped sense of humour and the way that his green sensibilites creep into everything he does. This is my favourite of his novels. I love the surprises that happen all the way through, and the 'almost' happy ending.


And.... I can't decide on a 5th! Perhaps you can help me! In the original message I sent to Mrs P, I named '19 Minutes' by Jodi Picoult as my 5th most favourite. But I think it depends on my criteria. The books I've mentioned above are all books I could read over and over again. I'm not sure that anything by Picoult is one of them! She does write gripping, compelling novels, but they leave you drained and sad. That's OK sometimes, but I'm not sure if I could read them over and over. I'm reading 'My Sister's Keeper' by her at the moment, which is probably a little too close to home for me, but I am enjoying it so far.

And then there's another of my favourite authors, Bill Bryson. I love the way he writes: alternately dry and hilariously funny, but also eloquent. He knows his stuff, and I thought 'A Walk in the Woods' was terrific (my other possible 5th).

But I've also enjoyed other books for other reasons. 'The Life of Pi' by Yann Martel, for it's bizzare, sad storyline; 'The Bride Stripped Bare' by anon (Nikki Gemmel) for it's in-your-face-ness; and I've loved a range of biographies (often of people I was never interested in, in the first place).

So you can see my dilemma. The first 4 are easy, but then it gets tricky. And I'll probably go away and think of another 10 that I love.

Perhaps you can help? What are your favourite books/authors? Perhaps I'll find a new favourite.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank you for listening

I tell you this, and I tell you plain:
What you have done, you will do again;
You will bite your tongue, careful or not,
Upon the already-bitten spot.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


OK, so my first post yesterday was a little heavy. I know this, because people asked me if I was OK not long afterward. I am OK I guess (as much as I can be); but I am grieving, and occasionally I need to vent.

But I guess you knew that. From the first time you read my blog you knew I was grieving for my Sam. And if you kept reading, you must have known that once in a while I'd say something sad. I've said it before, but I do appreciate the way that some of you have stayed on that roller coaster, from the tame, flat parts, right through to the terrifying loop-de-loops.

That is what it's like for me too. For a while, things are going along OK: I start to see some normality creep back in, start to laugh, smile, and have fun again; and then bang! It hits me. I'm never going to see him again. It can be as simple as a smell, a sight, a memory; something someone says, but it can be anything that gives me that strong feeling of loss.

For the sake of my sanity (and that of my family and friends), I've got to get it out. This blog is my venting spot. It's where I can get it out.
It's not that I don't have people that I can talk to. I do. There are people in my life that are there for me: when I need to talk they are there to listen; just listen. Not offer advice, or try and make it about them, but just listen. I'm lucky that way I guess, because there are a lot of people who don't have that.

But sometimes there's no one. Or they're not there at the time I need to get it out. Or they don't want to hear it. And that's OK too, I guess.

One of them is Anthony. He's my partner. He's been in my life more than 16 years, and my partner for 15 and a half. But he's never been much of a talker. Oh, he talks about stuff - like politics, and renovations, and our kids, but he's not much of a talker about 'feelings'.
It's never really been a problem. I talk for both of us. It's OK by him and it's OK by me. Always has been. We've had our problems, but he's proved to me over and over again how much he loves me; in much more tangible, non-verbal ways.

It has been hard with the whole Sam thing though. Because I have wanted to talk to him. And sometimes he just doesn't want to. I guess I kind of understand. He feels this whole thing so differently to me. He cries more than me (like I've said before), and is much more likely to actually express his grief (which I know is the complete opposite of what I've just said about him), and there have been times when I've been hesitant to mention something about Sam because I don't want to upset him.
But I do sometimes wish we could have long, meaningful, heartfelt conversations. Sometimes we do, but probably not as much as I'd like.

So that's why I have you, dear reader. It's really the main reason I started this blog, and why I keep it going. I can say everything I want to say, and not worry about how people are going to react (apart from the odd 'are you OK?'); or that they're going to start talking about how they feel; or that their eyes are going to glaze over halfway through; or that they're thinking of all the things they could be doing, instead of listening to me say stuff I've said already.

My lovely readers, who are still with me after all this time, can choose when they read it. They can choose to not read it if they want to. I'll never know. But I'll have got it out, and that's what's really important.

Thanks to those of you who do stick it out with me. In a way you are the ones who do listen. I don't think there's too much difference between someone sitting there listening to me talk, and someone sitting there reading what I write. It's not like I need advice. In fact, there's not much advice anyone can give. There's not even much that anyone can say. But there's lots that I can say. That's the point.

So thanks again readers. I love having you around.

And a final thought:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

Ok, I've got that out of my system. Time for photos.

A great photo of Sam
Here's the last of the 'new' photos we found on Samuel's phone.
Very similar to another photo. He must have liked this 'theme'.

A great photo of Oliver
For my photo scavenger hunt: "The eyes of someone you love." Taken on my iPhone, hence the 'graininess'.

An old photo
Sam must have been about 10 when this one was taken. Early on in the whole 'Anthony breeding parrots' thing. He has hundreds now!

An Interesting Photo

My alternate for the EB challenge. Taken on Thursday morning when I went down to the lake. It was -3 degrees.

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:

This week's challenge was 'Perspective (lie down on the ground and take the photo).
So I lay down on the freezing ground next to the lake. I do like it, though there wasn't quite enough fog for my liking. The swan hissing while I lay there at me was a little unnerving, too.

Morguefile Lesson Photos
Lesson 2 - Aperture and Shutter speed. Assignment 1.
This is a storyboard showing the full range of aperture values (f-stops) on my camera (at a shutter speed of 1/80). If I had a more advanced camera, there would be a whole lot of dark ones as well. That's it. I'm buying a new camera for my birthday! (Shame it's another 7 months away!)

Just a rant...

Why can't this be a dream?
I had a really bad dream the other night (causing me to wake up at 4.30am!), where someone I love dearly had died. At the time, I woke up truly believing it, and was quite worried until I talked to them.

I wish I could wake up to find out Sam was still alive.

I hate walking past his empty, cold bedroom every day. I hate it, but I need to do it. It's sometimes the only way I feel close to him.
I hate walking through the shopping centre and seeing teenagers having fun and causing chaos (just like he used to do with his friends on Friday nights).
I hate walking out of a movie (last one was Iron Man 2) thinking 'Sam would have liked that'.
I hate seeing ads for new TV shows that Sam loved (like The Gruen Transfer). And wondering why I go out of my way to watch Top Gear only now, when I used to let him watch it alone.
I hate knowing I'll never get to teach him how to drive. I had already been making plans to give him my car.
I hate seeing ads for colleges and high school open nights, and knowing he won't ever get there.
I hate not knowing what to do with his ashes.

I want him back, and it's not fair.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What? It's not Friday yet??

My goodness time is dragging on this week!

I really thought it was Friday when I was packing up today. I must be getting very old. I pack too much into a weekend and feel like a 60 year old all week!! (No offense to 60 year olds, I do know some very nice ones :) in fact, they've probably got more 'up and go' than me at the moment!).

Oliver's finally feeling better too. As I've mentioned, Oliver was sick last week, and when it just wouldn't go away, we went to the doctor, who said it was probably giardia. Horrible little bacteria creatures! But thankfully he's on the mend and back at school. He was quite possibly driving Anthony mad!

I'm back to exercising, which is good, because none of my clothes fit properly at the moment! I have a lovely colleague that gave me a bag of shirts, which really helped, but I should really do something more about it! I do that many laps up and down the hill to the library, that I'm getting a good workout at school anyway, but I'm happy to be also doing my morning exercise. I've got a good walking buddy on Tuesday mornings (she will be good for keeping me honest on the very cold mornings), and this morning I walked down to the lake (in minus 3 degrees temperatures) to take some photos. The gym is OK, although I get frustrated with the way people look at me. I guess they've seen me coming there for so long; losing heaps of weight and then putting it all on again (I could just be paranoid)...But I do enjoy the workout.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Kids Are All Right

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt


Blog This, another group in my online world, asked members to "Name something that makes you want to be a kid again".

My first thought was a flashback of some of the fun things that I did when I was a kid (despite it being a lot longer ago than I like to acknowledge): getting dirty; climbing trees; building cubby houses out of the dining room table (and a couple of sheets); riding bikes with my friends all day long, only stopping for a drink or an icy pole.

Then there was the things I did back then that kids just don't do any more. Like spending a whole day reading (Famous Five or Sweet Valley High or those cool Apple paperbacks); carefully taping songs off the radio to make a mixed tape of perfect songs; sitting through an old musical because it's the ONLY thing on TV that's not sport or religious programming; spending whole days baking lots of different treats for my family and friends; pressing flowers from the garden; making tapestries or sewing together outfits for barbie (or me).

Of course then there's the stuff kids can't do any more; like turning on the hose so we could float little leaf boats down the drains; running around in the sprinklers - ooh, and slip n' slides! (All sadly very taboo in these water restricted times).

But if I really think about it, the thing I miss most about being a kid is not having to worry. It's a cliche but it's true. Life was so much simpler. Because I've been more in touch with my 'fun' side lately, it really makes me realise how much I (we) miss out on as adults.

Of course my problems are pretty overwhelming at the moment. Grief probably puts a more negative spin on it, but even the way we react to grief is telling. The way that all of us adults have reacted is very different to the way Oliver has. I've written about it before (here and here), so I won't say too much, but while he's sad, and talks a lot about Samuel, he doesn't cry, or dwell on it, or get angry at the world. He just gets out his lego and plays; or he cracks jokes; or he sings silly songs and does his best to have fun.

I'm not dismissing Oliver's grief. He does show signs of a deeper pain from time to time, and it's very likely that he'll have a few 'moments' as he goes on through life, and as he matures (and takes on the worries and stresses of adulthood), but for now he's content being a kid. And as I've said time and time again, if there's one thing that I want to (have to) do for Oliver, it's to make sure he has as normal childhood as anyone (who's lost a brother) can.

I've always been the kind of parent that encourages noise and dirt and experimenting. I love it when my kids come home dirty, because it means they've had fun. I filled my house with musical instruments (the noisy, percussive kind) because it meant my kids could be creative. It's certainly backfired on me from time to time, but on the whole it has meant that my kids could be, well, kids.

So the thing that makes me want to be a kid again is the not worrying. I'd like to have fun every day: to explore, play, laugh, sing, be a complete fool...and know that at the end of the day I'm loved and cared for and supported. We grow up, and we forget that we can still do it. Sometimes we're too busy growing up.

If I could go back there, especially now, I think I would. Even if it was just for a holiday.

Made it

Well I got through Mother's Day OK. As with other 'occasions', it is probably the anticipation that is harder than the actual day. I missed Sam a lot, but once again managed to fill my day with great people and fun.

My brother-in-law (along with another of his brothers) and I went to Groovin' the Moo yesterday. We were talking about how we probably wouldn't have gone to the festival in the past. I fear I am getting too old for festivals (I will explain shortly), and although I liked some of the bands who were playing, I get the shits with all the idiots that seem to come along with it.
So, while we both love live music, it probably wouldn't have been something we'd have gone out of our way to do. Samuel would have enjoyed it I think, but I'm not sure I would have even thought about taking him. Of course, while we were there, I kept thinking about how much I wished he was there.

James and I were talking about how we were living differently since we lost Sam. We're taking up opportunities that we normally wouldn't have: such as going to a festival, or going rock climbing and go-karting together (as the big boys did recently). The drinks on Sundays are new...I've talked about all this before, so you know what I mean.
We're sad that it took Sam's death for us to realise what was important (and I wish so much that I'd realised before he died), but we agreed it's good that something positive has come out of it.

Groovin' the Moo

The festival was interesting enough. It was a beautiful day, so sitting around listening to music wasn't a bad way to spend it. We got there early enough to get a good spot on the hill overlooking the stage, and kept it until we got frustrated with people walking over us. But then again, this prompted a move to the crowd in front of the stage, where we stayed for the rest of the night.

The line-up is here, but some of the highlights for me were:

British India - A great set, with a pretty cool cover of Nirvana's 'Lithium' the highlight. They have some good songs, I might have to buy their album. They certainly had my tapping my feet. It was also still fairly uncrowded and relaxed at that stage.

Grinspoon - I've never really liked Grinspoon all that much. I liked a few of their songs, etc, but hadn't thought much about them. I must say I've changed my tune - they put on a really awesome set. They were energetic, played and sang well, engaged the crowd, and played the right songs. I will definitely go and buy some of their albums, and would probably even go and see them again. I was my favourite set.

Silverchair - They started out a bit slow, but finished with a few great songs. Daniel Johns was pissed (or something), and alternated between saying really odd things, berating the crowd for not cheering enough, and playing/singing quite well. There were a couple of songs probably best left for a stand-alone show, but on the whole it was good. I was happy that they played 'The Greatest View', as it was one of Samuel's (and mine) favourite songs.

Tegan and Sara - They played well, and were good with the crowd, but I've never been that into them. Entertaining enough I guess.

Vampire Weekend - I really like some of their songs, and they played well, but there was just something about it that didn't get me moving enough. It might have been because I didn't know all the songs.

Perhaps it was because they played after a really boring set (for me) by Empire of the Sun. My goodness, what a bunch of self-indulgent pap! OK, so they might be musically very great, but I found their set mind-numbingly boring, even with the strangely dressed dancers gyrating around the stage.
Some acts just don't seem to understand that a festival crowd is a bit different. They are a mix of many different people, and you have to play the hits, play music that's going to get people excited. James, Phil and I had moved quite close to the stage for the last few bands, and you really noticed the difference between Grinspoon's set (lots of excited, happy, bouncing people) and Empire of the Sun (people just standing around, walking away etc). I thought Lisa Mitchell's set was a bit like that too. She just disappeared on the stage, and didn't even play her most famous song.

Anyway, it was an OK day. I think I'm getting a bit too old for festivals. I was getting very peeved with all the stupid, drunk, obnoxious, loud people, but I guess that's what a festival's all about. Perhaps I'll stick to just seeing the bands I really want to see.

But it was a good way to spend a day I didn't want to think about too much. Thanks boys.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

Trying to get it up quick today, before I go to the concert.

A great photo of Sam
Here's another of the ones we found on his phone last week.
He was almost ready to start shaving. :(

A great photo of Oliver
Ollie at his first soccer game. I think he enjoyed it! Although he was a bit sick, so he wasn't on top of his game.

An old photo
(I have tried rotating this a couple of times, not sure what's going on!)
This is me on top of Borobudur Temple in Indonesia.


An Interesting Photo
One of the photos I took while out and about yesterday looking for autumn colours.

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:

This week's challenge was 'Autumn Colours'
I drove all around looking for fabulous trees. This one was not far from my mum and dad's house. I just love the colours.

Morguefile Lesson Photos
Still learning about exposure etc. This is another I took at mum and dad's place. It think I should have had it a bit 'lighter'.


Mother's Day

I'm not sure I want Mother's Day. I've been sitting here for a while, thinking about Sam and getting sad, so I thought I'd blog for a while.

Mother's Day hasn't really crossed my mind much this week. Perhaps because I've been so busy. There hadn't been much a sense of dread or anticipation. Until yesterday. I started to think about it a bit yesterday (and obviously others did too, as when I got back from my photography expedition there was a pot of little paper daisies (I think) sitting on the bench waiting for me.

But last night at the engagement party, I really started to feel it. The speeches were what really set me off; I started to think about how I'd never see Sam get engaged. Then some of the people I was sitting with started talking about what a pain kids were, and how they'd never have them, or only wanted babies, but not kids. Of course all I could think about was how much I'd like to see mine. As painful as he was sometimes, he was also pretty awesome.
So by the time I got home, I was a little melancholy. I posted about it on Facebook, and got some lovely messages from people, which helped a bit. I'm glad people are still tuned in enough to do that for me (thank you!). This morning, it's not so bad (perhaps the alcohol I'd consumed had switched my emotions into hyperdrive), but it still hurts. I'm glad I'll be busy all day.

Every Mother's Day I wake up before everyone else. I'm a morning person; tuned to wake up at a certain time, and it doesn't change on the weekends. I might get out of bed a little later, but once I'm awake, I can't just roll over and go back to sleep. For a few years, each Mother's Day I stubbornly waited in bed for everyone else to get up, hoping for some breakfast in bed, or at least a coffee. But the rest of my family are night owls, and like to sleep in, so a while ago I realised that it was never going to change; that I probably wasn't ever going to have the 'kids on the bed' Mother's Day that I'd always had with my parents. Once I figured that out, I enjoyed creating new traditions with my family.

Not that we had any traditions, really. For the past few years, Sam had made me a card and has been getting Ollie to sign it since he was able (I'll have to dig some of them out). We'll often go out somewhere - for a picnic or to the markets, somewhere that I choose. And I never cook. We usually go out with my parents for dinner, and sometimes we do breakfast with Anthony's family, so there's always good food and company involved too.

I've never made a huge deal about Mother's Day. I've always told my family not to bother too much with presents (although I secretly do love getting them!), they just had to be nice to me (all of them), get along (the kids), and maybe give me a massage (Anthony). Sometimes they manage all that plus a pressie, sometimes they manage none of it. :) It's OK though, because the rest of the year, they show me in lots of ways that they love me and appreciate me.

My little family and I have never been all that great at 'Hallmark Days'. We make a big fuss about birthdays, but as I've posted before, we don't really do too much at Christmas and Easter. We don't even acknowledge Valentines Day or Halloween, and Mothers/Fathers Days are fairly low key (as I've described above). For the most part, I'm of the opinion that you should be able to celebrate your loved ones any day of the year, and these days seem mainly geared towards big spending (I know it's hypocritical to criticise this after I've just said I like presents, but don't worry, I'll be able to live with myself!).

Having also worked with people, and then as a teacher for a while now, I have seen the impact these days can have on those who don't fit the traditional mould. I've seen the lonely people celebrating Christmas or Easter at the movies, or at the club. I wonder how a kid who's lost their mum feels when everyone's talking about Mother's Day? What about the kid who never knew their Dad? And what about the woman who desperately wants to have kids, but can't?

Or the mum who's lost their child.

I don't really want to celebrate Mother's Day. I know that I still have one child, and maybe things will change in time, but for now I'm content to be cynical about it. Samuel turned me into a mother, perhaps before I was ready, but he made me the mum that I am now. I don't want to celebrate being a mother without him.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wow, what a week!

It's been a crazy, hectic week, that is not going to get any calmer! This weekend, we've already had Ollie's first soccer game (very cute!); I've got to do some shopping and cleaning; I'm going to try and see my mum; I'm going to an engagement party tonight; breakfast with family tomorrow morning; and then for most of tomorrow I'm going to a music festival called 'Groovin' the Moo'. CRAZY!

But it's nice to be busy. I've mentioned before that I'm one of those people who likes to be busy. And it wasn't a bad week, really. Despite the fact that I barely had time to scratch myself, it was fairly interesting and fulfilling. I'm actually enjoying the library role quite a lot.

It's also kept my mind off Mother's Day, which I have been trying not to think about too much.

As I've mentioned, the Book Fair was on this week, and we were very busy selling books. It kind of reminded me of my days in retail (my first job was at Grace Bros (now Myer) and I worked in a cinema for a long time). We actually sold more than $4500 worth of products, which was amazing considering we had to stick to fairly restrictive opening hours. This means our school earns more than $1500 to spend on resources, which is fantastic. On top of that, I had my regular teaching load, so I was working pretty non stop. I also made about 2000 trips up and down the hill from the library to the rest of the school (my school is set 2/3 of the way up a very steep hill - with a beautiful panoramic view of South Canberra) and the building which houses the library is about 20 metres below the rest of the school).

But the nice thing about working in the library is that even though you're on the go the whole time, it's pretty much over at the end of the day. You can't take books home to shelve them, you can't do the administration at home, and apart from a bit of planning and marking, there's not the frantic preparation that you have as a primary school teacher, planning for (sometimes) up to 4 different subjects in one day. Then you have to mark and assess a lot of this work as well, and plan for the next day.

In the past, I've mistaken taking home truckloads of school work as fulfilling, mainly because I didn't have anything else to do. I told myself that I enjoyed sitting with my computer and working. If we weren't doing 'family stuff' or playing board games together, my boys were generally happy playing video games or watching TV, and I'm not really into those things, so I would tend to work. In the day time, it was easier to find other things to do - I do actually like gardening, but at night, the last thing I wanted to do was watch some mindless TV show. Anthony would sometimes indulge me and have a 'conversation', but he does like TV, and I was happy to let him watch it.

But now I have photography. And boy do I love it! As I've said, I've always liked taking photos, but since I've started getting serious, it's become a little consuming!

So I'm going to go out shortly, and take some photos, because I'm actually having withdrawals! :)
I'm enjoying this new hobby so much! Actually, I can't think of a 'hobby' that I've ever had before, let alone enjoyed this much.

I've certainly tried many things: When I was younger, I collected many things, from stamps to rubbers (the eraser kind) and pictures of pop stars. I still have a nice collection of dragon figurines. I played tenor saxophone for a long time too. I've made clothes; bought a few 'drawing implements' and did a bit of sketching; collected shells with the intention of making stuff with them; made various baked treats... I'm a tragic op-shopper, a fairly passable gardener, and a pretty cook, but none of them have ever made me so interested and excited.

It's kind of nice. I like having something to do. I like the thrill of looking at a nice photo. I feel clever when I notice something that would make a good photo. I love it when people make comments about my photos on Flickr. I want to buy a bigger, better camera and make fabulous photos that I (and maybe other people) would want to display on their walls. I love it when I pull out my camera and people comment on it (this morning I was jokingly called the official team photographer, which was kinda nice!)

Now that I have a hobby, I know there's more to life than that. I guess now that I have my head more tuned in to the whole teaching thing, there's room in my life for hobbies. Perhaps 3 or 4 years ago I wouldn't have had the time to devote to it, but I'm glad that I do now.

So stay tuned, more photos when I come back!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So Nice!

I forgot to mention the nice things that happened to me today.

It's so easy to get caught up in this business of day-to-day life, and well, in grief, that sometimes we forget to notice the nice little things that happen. So I thought I'd write about the lovely things that happened to me (and my boys) today.

I had a busy morning at work today, starting well before 8am and going non-stop for a bit (it was hard-going with the headache I had from my sleepless night and tummy ache!). When things settled a bit, and I was just getting into the tidying up, a mum that's been helping in the library turned up with an extra coffee. It wasn't originally for me, but the person she'd bought it for is away, so she gave it to me. It was just what I needed at the time!

Then, when I finally got a chance to check my pigeon hole, I found this;
along with a little card that had a nice little 'cheer up' message. It came from a lovely new teacher that I have only known since I got back to work (6 weeks + holidays ago), and it was a really touching gesture. She said later that she had noticed that I looked a bit 'down', so she thought she'd give me the 'Sunshine Bear'.

When I got home, my brother-in-law was there. He had bought Ollie a little lego car (To say that Ollie is TOTALLY addicted to lego woudl be somewhat of an understatement), and some hot chips for the boys to eat for afternoon tea.

Then, another friend arrived at the house at the same time as me, with some nice beer that he proceeded to share with me. I don't normally drink during the week, but I didn't mind a beer or two. In fact, it went down quite well.

And, just as I was starting to think 'what the heck am I going to cook/eat for dinner', my mother-in-law called to say she was going to make dinner for us. She brought over some yummy stuff for us, and I didn't have to cook! Now that Sam's gone :( I am the sole cook in our house (Anthony does the odd jaffle or reheated pie, but I cook the meals. I don't mind really, he does a lot of other things - and he cleans up afte me in the kitchen!), and while I enjoy cooking most of the time, there are times when I really don't want to! Today was one of them.

These things probably don't seem like much, but it's these thoughtful; kind gestures that just mean so much. It's not that uncommon around here I guess (we do know some very nice people: my mum and dad dropped a meal off for us last week, and people quite often give me little chockies or pop in to visit), and it's been even more common since we lost Sam, but it's really these little things that make my day sometimes.

I wanted to make a point of mentioning it, because these things get overlooked so often.

So thank you to those lovely people. You made my day. I want you to know that I'm grateful you are in my life.

I'll be glad when this week is over!

Well, the ankle ended up being OK. By the next day, I was pretty much walking normally again. I have no idea what weird stuff was going on! It was almost like it needed to 'click' - you know, like you click your knuckles?

But then, on Monday night, Oliver woke at 1.30am and started vomiting. He then vomited every hour for another 4 hours. Poor kid. By 4.30, he was so frustrated. He said, "I hate vomiting! It stops you doing what you are trying to do!" (in this case, sleep). He then got up and watched TV. I guess it's good he knows when it's a lost cause!

Anthony had one bout that night too. I was OK, but last night was awake most of the night with pains in the stomach. I didn't vomit, but felt like crap. I felt pretty crappy all day today too.

So we picked up a very powerful (and quick) virus, which now, hopefully has moved on...

Because I can't afford to get sick this week! The Book Fair is so busy, and I've had too much time off already!

Not that I'm minding the Book Fair too much. It's very nice to see kids (and their parents) excited about books (my god, I sound like such a geeky librarian!), and we made a fair bit of money already.
Sometimes it feels like the librarian job is a bit of an 'add on', so it's nice to feel like I'm contributing to the school. I am enjoying the job too. My boss asked me if it might be a career path I'd consider, and I must say, I probably wouldn't mind! It would have to be one of those progressive, Technology-rich libraries, where books and computers have equal standing though!

So I've been very busy. It's not so bad, I do like to be busy, and it helps keep my mind off things that get me down, but it is very tiring (especially when you're not 100%!). And I haven't been able to get out and take photos either! :(

Monday, May 3, 2010

Don't go away, we'll be right back!!

I've done something to my ankle! Stupid body!
This afternoon all of a sudden, I stood up and my ankle really hurt! It was hard to walk. I disn't step on it weirdly, or fall over, it just hurt all of a sudden. Now it's a bit swollen and sore! I just can't seem to catch a trick!

This week we are having a Book Fair at the school, and as the librarian, it's my job to set it up and run it. It's not a problem really - it's quite user-friendly to set up (although I still think I'm going to miss something, or muck something up!)

But it's time consuming, and as part of my new approach to work and work/life balance, if I'm spending extra time at work (and I will have to for a couple of days), then I am going to have to cut back on some online time, so that I can hang with my boys.

So my posts are going to be short and sweet, or missing for a couple of days. I hope you'll bear with me, as I'm really loving having some regular readers and commenters!

In the mean time, check out some of the blogs in my side bar!

Family

Ahh family...I've been involved in enough online (and other) discussions to know that families are far from perfect at the best of times, and some families have a lot of trouble getting along. Actually, I think the only perfect, happy families exist on TV shows, and there are always going to be some crazy antics going on.

I'm not going to say I have one of those perfect families, but on the whole, they are pretty awesome.
I've just spent the weekend hanging out with my family, and I must say they are quite fantastic.
Anthony's brother Tim visited from Queensland over the weekend, and I must say I just love it when Anthony and his brothers get together. They laugh, they have fun, they joke..they just get along well.
It's a nice place to be, and I'm glad we're all seeing a bit more of each other. Not happy about the way we got here, but liking the outcome.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

Things have been pretty, well, crap lately. And sometimes when life's getting like that I lose all my motivation and don't feel like doing anything. I must say, I had a day like that yesterday, with very little accomplished; and it's taken me a bit to get moving today too.
I still feel yucky, with a constant headache and that horrible sinusy feeling, but the antibiotics seem to be kicking in, so hopefully that will change soon.
But one of the places I do like to escape to is my little online world. I'm going to write about it again soon, but today I'm glad it was there.

So I thought I'd do my six for today. Here goes:

A great photo of Sam
On Thursday, when we got that 'news', Anthony and I went and sat in Sam's room for a while. I picked up his phone and turned it on. Months ago, when I'd turned it on there had been nothing coming up on the memory card. I had thought it was just empty, but there must have been some kind of glitch, because this time, all his data was there. So we found three new photos of Sam that we hadn't seen yet. This is one of them:
It's a real 'Sam' photo!

A great photo of Oliver
I love the look of concentration on Ollie's face.

An old photo
This is another photo of Anthony and I at my 21st. When I posted the other one last week, Mum went looking and found this one. I don't think I've ever seen it!
It's funny, mum said she at first didn't recognise Anthony. He does look very different now I guess!

An Interesting Photo
This is an alternative to the one I entered in the photo of the week challenge. I love how the tree with leaves seems to be 'reaching out' to the tree without.
This was taken on Urambi Hill, not far from my house (about 7km or so).


My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:

This week's challenge was 'Solitude'.


Morguefile Lesson Photos
This week was the last week of the first lesson in my 'Morguefile' course, so I haven't got any for the new lesson yet (it started today).So I've decided to show you another of my abstracts. You can view all the photos I take for the course on my Flickr, but here are the first two assignments:

Lesson 1: Composition
I love this photo. Everything just 'worked'.

Today was also the start of a photography scavenger hunt that I'm taking part in. Soooo much fun! You can see my entries in my Flickr photostream.