Kafkaworld's Blog

December 8, 2013

On Expectations

Filed under: domestic bliss,Uncategorized — kafkaworld @ 4:05 am
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I’ve been going through my late mother’s box of letters, photos and other memorabilia of importance to her, with a view to organizing it all to be passed on at some time to people who are interested.  I came across this floor plan, labelled in Mum’s handwriting.

I’m fairly sure that this is the house they lived in immediately following their marriage, when Dad was working at the hospital in Ayr, North Queensland.  What interests me most is the extreme modesty of the house by today’s standards of what is suitable for a young married couple.  It looks like a dolls’ house next to the multi-bathroomed monstrosities families currently aspire to, but Mum seemed very excited about it and I’m sure she relished being domestic queen of her own little domain.  Yes I know that sounds terribly patronising and defiant of all the feminist principles, but this was post-war 1948 and I suspect the desire for peace and safety overrode everything else.

The first house Mr K and I owned was in Townsvile, clinging desperately to the lower slopes of Castle Hill.  It was also tiny but had two bedrooms, one of which the Kafkaboys shared.  The laundry was under the house where I spent a lot of time with my buckets of dirty terry towelling nappies.  This was a blessing in disguise as it was much cooler down there than upstairs and I was grateful to escape the heat for 30 minutes with a comfortable chair and a good book.  In the chaos of parenting small children, you have to grab those precious moments when you can.

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January 2, 2012

On Shattered Dreams

Filed under: domestic bliss,life — kafkaworld @ 7:14 am
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Well not really dreams, and not really shattered.  More first world minor irritations which have assumed alarmingly disproportionate importance in my weird little world.

Last year, I read so much good advice about living a happier, better and more satisfying life, but I seemed to be so snowed under by day-to-day trivial domestic drudgery and dwindling energy that I never even began.   2011 was more of a ‘not waving but drowning’  year for me so this year, I resolved to do better.  Apparently, the trick is to work out what you are passionate about, what you enjoy doing most, and then prioritising your life so that  you do that first, then all the other crap in descending order of importance.

So, Step 1.  A To Do List, duly prioritised which I made on 31/12/11.  I love to write, so ‘blog daily’ was number 1 on the list.  You can see what happened.  It’s already the arse end of 2/1/12 and I’m only just writing my first blog for 2012.  What happened?

Well here’s the thing nobody warned me about.  My To Do List, which I expected would be completed every day, is growing exponentially, like weeds in my garden,  and I have no idea how to keep it under control.  Obviously, I can’t start Priority 1 Task on any given day unless everything from the day before has been done.  It’s day 2 of the new regime and I’m eight and a half jobs behind.  Where will it all end? I’m only blogging now because I’m so mad that my new plan is a desperate failure and I wanted to have a whinge.

So yes, I did have a small dream for 2012, and yes, it is shattered at this moment, but I’m not giving up so easily this time.  Let’s see what a tad more perseverence and a smidgen less domestic perfectionism will achieve.  Carry on and keep calm, as it says on many, many coffee mugs and teatowels.

January 10, 2011

On Torrential Downpours

Filed under: domestic bliss,flora and fauna — kafkaworld @ 9:19 am
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I love this rain.  I grew up in a dustbowl and everything was always brown and dead, or at best, struggling to stay alive.  Rain signifies life to me.  The sounds, the smells and the sights of the vegetation stretching out its boughs and branches to the rain inspires  inexplicable feelings of wellbeing in my mind and body.

Too much rain, as we have in Queensland now, is a heartbreaker.  Friends who went through the 1974 floods and had the Brisbane River running through and over their homes, suffered terribly for years afterwards.  Apart from the material losses and the dreadful muddy stench which overpowered everything, there were psychological consequences.  Just the sound of rain on the roof brought on an overwhelming feeling of dread. So many people now are going through the same hell, and I feel terribly badly for them.

Here on my tiny piece of the island, the wildlife has responded in various ways.  The frogs are joyous, as you may imagine, but there a few who have had enough and have appeared in the house, obviously to escape the rain.  Weird?  You bet, but there’s no reasoning with them.  As I have no wish to see what happens when a frog meets a cat or dog in the small hours, all frogs are gently persuaded (in clean plastic containers) to go back into the garden.  You know it’s raining hard when even the frogs look for shelter.  Meanwhile, the butcher birds (2 adults, 4 chicks) seem much more hungry than usual.  Hunting is difficult when lizards, snakes and insects are holed up waiting for the sun.  I’m happy to feed them as they reward me with such beautiful singing.  I’ve also been putting out extra sun-flower seeds for the loris and rosellas, just in case their natural food sources are being depleted by the weather.  The geckoes are indulging in cuddling and tail waving, signifying amorous intentions, while all the domestic animals, including me, are looking for warm dry corners for a place to nap.  Such is life in La Ninya

January 9, 2011

On plumbing

Filed under: domestic bliss — kafkaworld @ 3:19 am
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Okay kitchen, you’ve had your fun, we’ve all laughed uproariously at your  slapstick humour, funnier than Buster Keaton, more subtle than the Marx Brothers, now will you kindly stop exploding and flooding and generally unsettling the natives.  Your timing is impeccable.  The first flood was Christmas Eve just before a houseful of rellies were preparing to move in for Christmas. We had to turn off the filtered water so there was no ice or cold water available from fridge.  Heads have rolled for less in our family.  I think they all live on ice in summer.

Fortunately, we have a delightful plumber.  He turns up promptly and enjoys twenty minutes or so explaining that he’s never seen anything like it in his life but don’t worry, he’ll fix it.  Just have to send to Iceland for a few parts.  Eventually, later that same month, he reappeared with a very long piece of tubing and played under the sink for a few hours.  Everything was just hunky dory until this morning, I woke up to discover Trevor and the dogs frolicking gaily in the paddling pool which used to be the kitchen.  So now we’ll do it all over again.

Give me strength …

UPDATE 10/1/11 It flooded again last night.  Plumber down to final nerve ending.

August 30, 2010

30/31

Filed under: domestic bliss — kafkaworld @ 10:10 am
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Pretty colours

I try to be minimalist – really I do.  I like to paint everything in Icehouse: Icehouse White, Icehouse Blue, all as tasteful as can be, but then something comes over me and some random corner of the house will burst into colourful anarchy … like this rug which hangs over the back of a couch.

There’s no doubt about it, neutral colours are terribly terribly restful but a splash of vivid senseless colour here and there is so cheerful.

August 16, 2010

16/8

Filed under: domestic bliss — kafkaworld @ 7:59 am
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IGA Carpark, Bribie Island

How many supermarket carparks around the place have a view like this?  This is what you see as you trudge back to your car from the IGA at Bribie Island.  There’s even a seat where you can sit and gaze at Pumicestone Passage for a few moments before resuming the more mundane responsibilities of your day.

15/8

Filed under: domestic bliss — kafkaworld @ 7:48 am
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Tie-dyed Window

On Sunday, I went out of the back door of the club and immediately spotted a lovely old house.  Most of the windows were decorated with traditional net curtains, but one had a magnificent piece of tie-dyed material in lieu of curtains.  I hadn’t seen anything like it since the seventies when I remember trying my hand with batik and tie-dying in the bath. It was messy but not particularly successful.

This one however, is a beauty.

August 5, 2010

5/31

Filed under: domestic bliss,family — kafkaworld @ 7:53 am
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Signs of activity

As our neighbours have been quick to notice, there is serious action happening in our backyard, or as we like to call it, the bottom forty.  Shrubs have been razed, trees pruned, water tanks installed and a mighty construction (well, more of a little hut really) has arisen from the ruins of the lawn.

All this is because there is to be a wedding in the family and the happy couple have foolishly requested the use of the lower forty and environs in which to plight their troth followed by a family knees-up.  Excited?  You bet we are, but there’s so much to do.  Seedlings to plant, weeds to be wrestled and cats to be locked up in cupboards.  Yes of course they enjoy cupboards.  How do I know?  I just know.

So this is a photo of the Father Of The Groom’s tools after another day of pottering about.  The knee mat is a nice touch – poor old thing is a martyr to his kneecaps.  If the photo was a little larger, you’d be able to see the deck chair where I sit and issue orders and helpful criticisms about plant placement.

“No, that’s too far to the right.  You’ll have to dig it up again.  And the purple ones are supposed to be under the palm tree”.

Sometimes I have the distinct impression that my efforts are not altogether appreciated, but he usually comes around to my way of thinking … eventually.

August 4, 2010

4/31

Filed under: domestic bliss — kafkaworld @ 7:28 am
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What's for breakfast

The butcher birds, who live in the hoop pine next door, are nesting.  I know that because, for the last few days, they have been collecting cobwebs from our front verandah where I diligently refrain from doing any sort of cleaning.  Birds before cleanliness – it’s not easy but I do my best.

Because they’re so busy constructing La Sagrada Familia next door, they don’t have as much time as usual to hunt for food, and they regularly turn up for breakfast.  Civilised creatures that they are, they never expect anything to be happening in the kitchen before 11am.  I wish some others of my acquaintance, who like to ring me up at 9am and expect a sensible conversation, would follow their example.

In exchange for titbits, the birds sing beautiful carolling songs.  I challenge the heavenly host of cherubim and seraphim to do better.

August 3, 2010

3/31

Filed under: domestic bliss — kafkaworld @ 2:10 am
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Underpants frenzy

My solar dryer has had a hissy fit and tied all the underclothes into knots.  Those pesky westerlies must mean it’s Ekka Time in Brisbane.  I am underwhelmed, I mean HOORAY!  My gentleman friend insists I accompany him this year.  Originally he was going to ‘take the kiddies’ until I reminded him that they are all in their thirties now and can probably take themselves, if they wish to go.

I’ve been checking out the photos of others involved in this challenge and most of them are really really good photographers with real cameras.  Oh well.  I don’t claim to be any of that.  My 31 will be more of a daily journal illustrated with very amateurish domestic snaps.  Somebody has to do it don’t they and I’m happy to make everybody else look good.


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