Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Xmas

It's nearly time for us to go and get on the plane back to Brisbane, for Christmas with my family and a bonus - surprise! - family wedding.

I hope you have a wonderful, lively, happy, funny and entertaining Christmas and New Year. I'll be back here in Bunbury in the New Year, and I'll be back to blogging ... I don't know when.

Blogging is a funny thing. Sometimes it fits right into your life and provides an outlet and a means of communicating thoughts that would otherwise not get an airing. Back in Townsville I seemed to have a fair number of such thoughts. Here in WA, for whatever reason, I don't seem to have so many.

Either way, it's probably time to end this blog called A Town and a Half. But if I start up something new, I'll definitely let you know.



Friday, December 04, 2009

Redback Spider

Redback 1, originally uploaded by &Naomi.

I had never seen one of these in the flesh before, so I was very surprised when this one appeared out of the old cardboard box I was carrying out of the garage. Promptly dropped the box, squealed and ran inside.

A little bit later, I got up the courage to go outside again, to take a photo and to see if he was alive or dead. Turns out he was alive!

But not for long.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Strawberries, originally uploaded by &Naomi.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Apricot Harvest

Apricot Harvest 3, originally uploaded by &Naomi.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Space

The Lil, originally uploaded by &Naomi.

Western Australia is an enormous place. Perth often describes itself as the most remote city in the world; for all I know that might even be true. As I rode along the river path yesterday, I wondered to myself why that didn't make our life here feel more like an adventure. Back in '06, when I was temporarily working at that minesite, I just loved the wide open space and I was exhilarated at the thought that there was nearly nothing between me and the big brown central part of Australia. Why does a similar thought now make me feel so sad and lonely?

I know that we are lucky to be here. Hayden is lucky (along with being talented and clever and extremely hardworking) to have found a job so soon after getting made redundant. We are lucky to be fit and healthy. I am lucky enough to be studying something I really enjoy. We're living in an enormous house (well, enormous for us. It's considered averagely poky in WA). That's lucky, isn't it? But knowing you're lucky is not the same as feeling it.

We have more space here than we know what to do with, but what I recently realised was that the space we make use of in this house every day is roughly the size of our flat in Townsville. What I want to try to do over the summer is to spread our life out a bit. I want us to relax and take in the big space that's all around us. To try to love it and live it, rather than being intimidated by it. I'm going to re-arrange our house a bit, to make better use of all these extra rooms we've got. I'm expanding the garden. And I'm going for bigger space around my blog photos and words.

Do you think it'll do the trick?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Estuary

The Estuary, originally uploaded by &Naomi.

On Monday, Marny and I went kayaking on the Estuary. It was not as calm as it looks in this picture - it was quite windy, with swirling clouds in the sky. But it wasn't cold at all so we decided not to be daunted.

Each in a long red kayak, we paddled out across the water in the direction of the setting sun. Even though the wind was coming quite strong from the side, we made it nearly to the cutting that leads out to the open sea. Marny was all for going through the cutting, but I was really battling the wind, and I got scared that instead of paddling into the channel, I would just smack right up against the rocks at its mouth. I really didn't want to smack up Marny's beautiful second kayak. We agreed to turn around.

On the way back, we took it easier, and let the wind and tide drift us gently around to leeward. It was a long, circuitous route home around the edge of the big estuary. The sun was really going down now, turning the clouds a beautiful swirly grey. As we'd let ourselves drift quite a bit, the home stretch was long and dead into the wind, all the way back to Marny's house in the dark. By the end, I was tired - but good tired. Pretty good exercise for a Monday night, I thought.

My arms were stiff and sore for the next couple of days. And my tennis lesson on Wednesday night was horrible. I was in no position to start learning to serve. But I'm feeling much better now. Hopefully we'll go out paddling again on the weekend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


101109, originally uploaded by &Naomi.

What a lovely birthday! I got completely spoilt with presents, lots of lovely messages from friends and family all over the world, a fancy dinner on the town, and as you can see, cake (pity I didn't manage to take the photo before there were a couple of bites taken out).

I also squeezed in time for a bit of reflection on what has been a big and eventful year. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but I think that it was around this time last year that we heard that things were not going to go the way we thought with Hayden and his old job in Townsville. We started wondering then what the future would hold, but I don't think I would ever have predicted Hayden spending time not working, a couple of fun freezing months in New Zealand, then washing up on the other side of Australia and taking up studying again.

Though I'm still feeling a bit mixed about our move to Bunbury (has that been coming through at all?) there are some wonderful things about it. We've been hanging out heaps with Hayden's cousin Marny; we're trying out living in a big old house in the suburbs; and the study I'm doing (Master of Arts (Writing) at Swinburne) is really very enjoyable. If only studying could stop being an expensive hobby and start being a paying job ... well, if I was going to turn this into an opportunity for making some kind of resolution or goal, I think it would have to be something like that.