Happy today because....

Started by Steve, April 14, 2007, 10:39:40

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That's such lovely stonework, @Ulrich. The funny thing is, the three last photos we took today kind of parallel yours. We went back to Mt Hallowell, a regular haunt (see also here). Usually what we've done is to walk from Ocean Beach Road through the Mt Hallowell Reserve to Lights Beach Road, and then complete the loop on the road - which you can see on this map:

...so from the car symbol on the right-hand side of the map along the yellow track to the car symbol on the left-hand side, and back along the road marked in red. The road section is deadly dull to walk because it's flat all the way around and, well, a road. So we had another idea: Just to walk to the top of Mt Hallowell, have lunch at the Kordabup lookout (triangle), and then simply backtrack. We'd actually never walked this track in the other direction before, so that was in itself a new experience!

We didn't take many photos because we've documented this walk several times - just a couple at our lunch destination:

It was a really cold day here, a bit of a contrast to the spring weather we had all last week - the maximum was 13 degrees Celsius, but most of the time the apparent temperature hovered around 8 degrees. This is a good day to do uphill walking through a forested hillside - you don't end up overheating. Also, in the forest you're sheltered from the cold winds blowing on a day like today. But up at the lookout, the icy Antarctic wind blasted us and we cowered on this side of the rock in the pictures to eat our sandwiches and sip hot tea from a thermos, and didn't linger after that.

Just to the left of Brett's ear you can see Lake Williams, and if you look closely just under my left hand (right in the picture) you can just make out Hanging Rock which we walked to a while back (see here). The headland in the distance (just above and to the left of Brett's head) is Point Hillier, which we also walked recently. It is exciting to start to recognise in the distance the places you've walked before, from a lookout point. But it was so cold and windy in that spot that we couldn't even line the horizons up straight in a dozen attempts!

The walk back was mostly downhill, and we thoroughly enjoyed the different perspective. This is one of our favourite walks - it combines Karri Forest, granite monadnocks similar to the Porongurup Ranges (see here), and scenic views over the countryside and coastline.

Also it has a really impressive series of natural rock "castles" - one of which has an extensive cave in it (which you can see inside shots of in the links above).

Mt Hallowell provides an excellent all-body workout because of its considerable gradients, twisty-turny paths, uneven footing, boulder-crossings, obstacles, etc, so that you're using muscles you never use walking on easy footing. All the while, the birds are singing, you're surrounded by nature, the air is fresh and carries wonderful damp-earth, eucalyptus and other distinctive plant aromas, and you're not having to put up with horrible music or other people's sweat, unlike going to a circuit training class.

We had a really happy outing today - and we weren't even exhausted after walking three hours, which was a bonus!  :)
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This morning I went for an ultra-early walk around the conservation area of our farm when the temperature was just above freezing (brrrrr) and found the whole place festooned with thousands of spiderwebs, made visible by the dew!

Ghostly webs were absolutely everywhere! I went back for the camera. It's hard to capture what it's like to see masses and masses of spiderwebs glowing in the early morning sun all over the landscape, but at least this will give others some idea of this morning, in this part of the world...

Spiders are such excellent meteorologists - we've got a sunny, still day coming up today and they got ready to go "fishing".

Also there were lots of "tightropes"!

So now you can all go and put on Lullaby:winking_tongue

It's great to see evidence of the place teeming with life. Thousands and thousands of spiders that usually live unobtrusively in the bushland - and millions and millions of insects beginning a population boom with spring only a week away here.

The valley floor section in which the spiderweb photos were taken burnt in a hot fire three years ago and was completely black afterwards. Thankfully, it was able to be contained so that only a 10 hectare section burnt; we've got 50 hectares of bush all up, and there's more on adjoining properties. By keeping fire areas relatively small, as the Indigenous people did with their mosaic burning (which we replicate here), more animals can escape and/or re-colonise from surrounding unburnt bushland when the vegetation grows back. But if fire areas get too large, it wipes out millions of individual animals and plants, and not infrequently, entire species of e.g. orchids that only grow in tiny little areas.

Here's the valley floor three years ago after the hot fire:

You can see that there's really nothing left on the ground after a hot fire:

Australian sclerophyll plants are fire-adapted and grow back from their bases, or through the next generation when seed pods open in hot fires. And, if you're doing mosaic burning, most of your fires are "cool" anyway and don't cause this kind of razing to the ground (but even that, in small areas, occasionally, can be useful for plants that open seed pods only after hot fires).

Anyway, you can see how it all looks three years later - the nutrient recycling from ashes has acted as fertiliser for new plant growth, so you get spectacular flowering displays 2-3 years after fire. It's going to be another amazing wildflower year here, and it's already starting. Taken this morning:

These are pink and blue "foxtails":


Curry flowers (they smell like curry, hence their name):

Basket bush:

Tea tree (which makes excellent honey...)

This is a climbing sundew (Drosera sp):

This is a carnivorous plant - the red things on the stems aren't flowers, they are "sticky traps" for catching midges etc. We have several dozen species of Drosera at our place, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Here's some more examples of Drosera species (it's an international genus): https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=drosera&iax=images&ia=images

Because we have such poor soils in many parts of Australia, we have proportionally more carnivorous plants than average. I read somewhere we've got around 40% of the world's carnivorous plant species described so far.

An all-round beautiful morning this morning:

This is the world's largest species of mistletoe - the Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda) - it flowers spectacularly in the summer - you can see that, and more information about Australian sclerophyll ecology, in an old post here. That post was done a year after the hot fire.

There's more photos on Flickr directly, but this post already has "photo overload" so I'm not putting any more on - with the exception of this lucky shot of two Australian ravens. ♥

It pays to "zoom in" on this photo to have a look at the remarkable eyes of these birds. ♥

Very happy this morning to be stewarding this 50-hectare conservation area.  :)
SueC is time travelling



Last time we went on an outing, it was a warm, sunny day - so much so, I applied sunscreen for the first time since the sunlight began returning to our hemisphere. I put on light cotton pants and a long-sleeved breathable special keep-you-cool-and-UV-protected type shirt. I did not look at the radar map.

The latter turned out to be a bad oversight. Within 20 minutes of driving towards the coast, rain started to come down. It wasn't just coming down, it was bucketing down in squalls, the light levels were suddenly akin to a nuclear winter, and the horizon was pitch black with ominous clouds promising further deluging. Oops.

Having come within 5 minutes of our destination, we decided to park at our hiking target and wait it out for half an hour. (We don't have smartphones, on purpose; therefore we had no portable radar information.) In Western Australia, fronts tend to bucket heavily for half an hour or so, if they're gonna, and then calm down a bit. So we nibbled at carrot sticks and cheese wedges and watched the horizon. It eventually lightened slightly, and we decided we could chance walking in the lighter rain that had replaced the drubbing.

Sadly, the lack of usual preparedness for all eventualities included that our thermal hiking pants weren't in the car, where they normally live, as they had recently been laundered. So while we had raincoats in our backpacks, Brett was in jeans and I in cotton pants; and we knew that we'd get soaked from the raincoats down. Nevertheless, we were here, we needed some exercise, the dog was happy to be out, let's go!

We did an 8km return from Eden Road to Nullaki Hut, with the temperature now down to 8 degrees Celsius and the wind gusting to 40km/h. When you're not properly dressed, feeling cold means walking faster, so we got to Nullaki Hut in under an hour, even though that's the net uphill part of the track. There we nibbled fruit and peanuts and watched the rain come down outside, before making our return trip, which was even faster due to a combination of now being on a net downhill, and turning into homing pigeons at the thought of the warm cup of tea we'd have back at our house.

We took two quick photos to remember our adventure by.

As you can see, Brett, being male and of British descent, is better able to hide being cold than I am - what with all the men don't this and that / British stiff upper lip stuff. Also, unlike me, he didn't end up with chilblains all down the front of his legs. And in case you're wondering, my pants were made from curtains stolen from an opium den.
SueC is time travelling



Recently we bought a new dish drainer. The old one as usual had gone manky after a decade - the plastic had started to split around the metal, and rust was seeping out. Ever noticed how dish drainers usually come either in plastic, or plastic-coated metal, and neither items last over 5-10 years? (Perhaps not? ...most people apparently have dishwashers now; in our house we don't have enough people to justify it and even when we have guests staying it's so easy and fast just to do dishes in the sink - in that case you just have one person drying up to make room for more things...)

So we found a really well-designed stainless steel drainer that we're hoping will last for another 30+ years. It even has a cutlery caddy so you can put cutlery upright and in order rather than higgledy-piggledy, horizontally, with half of it sliding back into the sink and never drying by itself.

Since I usually prepare food, Brett usually washes up - I love making stuff, Brett enjoys an excuse to listen to audio drama, win-win. So when we got the new drainer, we agreed that the cutlery handles should generally be facing up, for hygiene reasons and also to avoid getting stabbed by the pointy ends of knives. And I mentioned that the possible exception would be spoons, since they nest if they go spoon-side down and then don't dry properly.

Next time I was putting dishes away in the morning while waiting for the kettle to boil - first time from the new drainer - I noticed with astonishment that all the cutlery handles except spoons were up, and that knives, forks and spoons were in separate sections.  :cool  It made it so easy to put these things away.  :smth023  When I thanked Brett, he said, "It's really not much trouble to separate these things and face them the right way when you're washing up."

I told him that with my family of origin, just the suggestion that spoons would best go the other way up by itself would have caused screaming, shouting and general World War III, and there's no way anyone would have taken care over putting each cutlery type in separate sections. In my birth family, people didn't even bother to rinse dishes. When I left home at 16 I started rinsing my dishes. Later I studied Environmental Toxicology one particular semester, and I remember visiting my family over the weekend and deciding to speak up - previously carefully avoided (while looking in secret disgust at the streaky glasses and the detergent film over everything). But, I'd now learnt about the serious health effects it's possible to get long-term when continuing to ingest detergent residues - as we will especially from drinking vessels, soup and cereal bowls, cutlery and food storage containers - so I decided to mention it, and to suggest that everyone washing up (which included me, but not male members of the household  :pouting-face) also rinse from now on, what was the issue, there was a double sink etc.

And the screaming immediately began. Apparently I was some kind of lifestyle Nazi. My mother was puffed up like one of those puffer-fish at the seashore, and bright red to boot, eyes like slits, throwing a tantrum over how hard she worked and didn't need life made any harder for her. (My mother spent at least six hours a day watching television, more time than she actually spent working - she did the bare minimum of cleaning and cooking and complained incessantly about how hard she worked. She had no external responsibilities. I ran my own household and spent at least 10 hours each weekday studying for my undergraduate degree. It mystified me how she had no time for anything, and how she always typecast me as lazy and herself as extremely hard-working.)

After a while, the screaming died down a bit. There was little support from the males in the family for the suggestion dishes should be rinsed - after all, I was doing a "hippie course" at university (B.Sc. in Environmental Science/Biology) and the hippies were always eating brown rice and banging on about how we shouldn't cut down trees or wear synthetics blah blah. As they didn't wash up it did give them less platform for how it ought to be done, but it was interesting that they didn't mind ingesting detergents. I voiced a general comparison: Should we now hang up the clothes after completion of the suds cycle and before the rinse cycle began? Think of all the water we could save, and after all, it didn't matter. Detergent residue on clothes or on dishes, what did it matter? But - in my birth family, things are always done because of how they were always done. There is no reflection, no flexibility, no opportunity for new data to affect anything - in short, no learning, just rigid rituals either arrived upon personally or passed down from other people.

Recycling? Not in my birth family - not once we came to Australia and the social pressure was off and the bins were big and the easiest thing was to just dump everything in it. When I was in high school and still living with them I volunteered to coordinate the recycling for the family. They refused to cooperate. Nobody wanted to wash out the milk bottles, food cans etc before they could be recycled, and suggestions they be included in the standard washing up were met with more screaming and shouting. (I always hated this; it's not until I grew up and saw how lots of other people lived and behaved that I realised just how extreme my own family's aggression was - and I'm not even going to start on the violence.) If I wanted to recycle because I had nothing better to do and was such a greenie, I could wash out the containers myself. So I did; but of course whenever I wasn't there, the containers just went in the ordinary rubbish.

One disgusting constant feature in the kitchen, courtesy of a family ritual passed down by my mother's step-father apparently, was the plastic milk bottle with the top cut off it, stuffed with organic waste, pill packets and other "small rubbish" and left festering for days by the side of the sink. The reason for its existence apparently was to stop the main kitchen bin from getting mouldy and needing to be cleaned out regularly. Once the milk bottle was full, it was carefully placed upright in the rubbish bin. I suggested that we start using a dedicated organic scraps bucket, not kept on the sink top and taken out every day to a compost heap we could start outside. More screaming. All that extra work: Specific trips to the compost heap, managing the compost heap, rinsing the scraps bucket, rinsing and recycling the milk bottles properly.

Appeals about resource conservation and the health of the planet fell on deaf ears. Everyone else except the minority greenies were throwing their rubbish in landfill, so what difference would it make? Appeals about setting a good example and about doing the right thing in our own lives were mocked as do-goodery. If I wanted to recycle or compost anything, I could feel free and go ahead, but not expect anyone else to participate. (The key principle of free-dumb, when you think about it: Don't agree to do anything for the good of the group, society or the planet. Everything has to be about what you want and what makes life most convenient and fun for yourself in the short term.)

Years later, when recycling and composting became often talked about positively by the breakfast programmes my mother watched, she made a concession to composting by taking out her organic scraps and throwing them randomly around the landscape, where they became an eyesore and a fly breeding ground.  :1f631:  :1f632:

With that kind of background, I am grateful every day for the sanity of my life with my husband, and for the ease and harmony with which we share a household. We've never had a screaming match over how to run our household. We've not had to talk much at all about recycling, composting and household hygiene - we were each doing that separately already before we met. We occasionally discuss and agree on better ways of doing things; tinkering around the edges.

When soft plastics recycling became available here last year through Replas, we didn't even have to talk about it: From then on, we had a separate bag for collecting soft plastics, and we included dirty soft plastics like cheese wrappers and mince bags in our standard washing up, hanging them from the outdoor clothes line to dry if necessary (because soft plastics have to be clean, like all other recycling). The screaming at the suggestion of this would have lasted an eternity with my family of origin.

Oh the bliss, of living with a person with similar values and attitudes. :heart-eyes No arguments about rinsing your dishes, leaving the spoons up and everything else down in the cutlery caddy, recycling, composting, general hygiene and neatness, nutrition, occasional upgrades to the way we do things, etc - just mutual cooperation and shared thinking and problem-solving. And it's not just in this I'm lucky; it's also that I live with a man who pulls his weight around the household without having to be asked - in Australia, the vast majority of households are still stuck with women doing more hours on household tasks than men - and that's even if both work fulltime outside the home as well. Study after study shows it; some women spend more time cajoling men into household tasks and subsequently thanking them than it would have taken to do the task themselves - even among younger generations (although those come off a bit better than GenX and older).

A friend of mine who was married to a man who was quite happy to sit back and let her do the majority of the housework recently divorced, after years of trying to change this. People only change if they want to, and he didn't want to - he'd make token efforts if he felt the relationship's future was in danger otherwise, and not until. The total irony is that he was heavily involved in campaigning for social justice, and would go dangle fliers off pedestrian bridges over freeways and spend hours in socialist group meetings - but in his own home, he was happy for the situation to be inequitable. Talk is cheap and action speaks so much louder than words. Plus: Why would anyone think that justice in wider society is important, but ignore it in their own home?

More irony: After the divorce, he moved into a male share household, and he was ringing up my friend complaining about how dirty and untidy that household was. OMG! He no longer lives in a self-cleaning, self-tidying house!  :1f62e:  :P

I read an article a while back which posited that Australian women required a different kind of heroism from the men they live with than the heroism that seems heroic to many men - like the heroism of doing dishes and laundry without being asked, or bathing their own toddler. I'm really lucky that I'm with a male who understands this, and lives by it. I've been in a fair few houseshares travelling around Australia in the first five years of my 30s, and I've never, ever been in one where the males didn't in some way, shape or form try to pass off things they didn't want to do to the women. Mostly they'd sit back and say, "If you want it clean and tidy, you make it clean and tidy - I'm fine like this!" and go back to drinking beer and watching TV and letting their dishes rot in the sink. Sadly that's how it was, every time, the exceptions in my own generation are so few in this country. My friend was married to someone like this - and thankfully I am not. My husband is a jewel. ♥ He understands that we shouldn't take advantage of others but pull our own weight, and that justice, equality and respect are at the very basis of love. ♥

Nearly 14 years married, no regrets. ♥  It's not that we're perfect, and it's not that we never have conflicts or say and do things we shouldn't, but it's that the basic pattern of the relationship is one of justice, equality and mutual respect. ♥
SueC is time travelling


First this:
Quote from: SueC on September 08, 2021, 02:28:09most people apparently have dishwashers now; in our house we don't have enough people to justify it
I would find it hard to part ways with the dishwasher. I could easily find ways to justify it. No, doing the dishes is not the worst household chore (if there'd be a machine that would fold my washed clothes, take my money!). I can find it relaxing. It's more that it is something that needs to be done straight away. Sure pots and pans don't normally go into the dishwasher, but that is something you can bear with and is often taken care of towards the end of the cooking.

Before I'm turning into a sapient housewife, let me address the hero thing. The rational part of my brain says that it is a rather sad state of affairs that doing the obvious would make you a hero. Many other parts of my brain can't see these obvious things. It just doesn't come naturally. But it can be trained.

Nature or nurture? I was raised to always clean up after me and vacuum clean the house, mow the lawn, etc. and was always encouraged to do things without being told to do them. I remember one episode when we were visiting a family in Mexico and my mother told me to help clearing the table. The mother of the household was surprised and asked my mother if she taught her boys to help out in the household. I was surprised too. Have they not come further in Mexico? At the age of 16 I thought the entire world had moved past these stereotypical divisions of what is appropriate for a man to be doing.

In all my long term relationships, it's been obvious that doing the tedious and heroic effort is something both will have to take responsibility for. And whenever someone has done the laundry, that person will get praise. I don't do it for the praise but it's nice to get the recognition. I know I am not as orderly as my girlfriend and often I get that it plain writing. In general I do, however, think that living together in a household demands that all parties take responsibilities. I do most of the cooking, because I like doing it.

After having said all this, I know that I very well could have vacuumed all the dog hair from the hallway instead of typing this. The lure of instant gratification won this time. In my book, dog hair on the floor is nothing to get angry about. Not respecting that the responsibility of taking care of things and getting things done is shared, is far more serious. I know there is sometimes an uneven division of this in my household. But I also know there is only one person in this household who is making sure the wifi is always working and that we have have a sound system that (even though the record player currently is out of order (working on that)) serves our purposes and to a reasonable cost. This last bit is obviously a joke but I couldn't agree more with the notion of domestic equality. I think most men in this country would agree. Equality has been and is a mantra here and while I'm the first to say that we still have a very long way to go, I think in some regards we have reached a bit further than what it was like 50 years ago. People in general frown upon the stereotypical male who won't accept responsibilities at home. And people who don't recycle, well, they are surely a bit odd.

Speaking of recycling, we do communal composting here, we fill paper bags and throw them in the bin. Then, at least once a year, a van comes by handing us as much soil we want. I like that a lot.

I don't want to come off praising the place I'm living in as the most progressive and best country of all. This is, like all other countries, a shit country in many respects. But in this area, I think we are on the right way.


Scandinavia has a good worldwide reputation for making a lot of progress with social justice, which is great. Unlike the USA and Australia. You guys also score well for appropriate and thorough sex education and prevention of teenage pregnancies, and women's reproductive rights to limit family size and have access to safe pregnancy terminations if needed - just have a look at the doings of the "Texas Taliban" recently to see how that's looking in other parts of the West...

No country or person is perfect, but some are definitely easier to live in/with than others, for the average person. Denmark usually does really well on its national happiness score, which I think is so much better than GDP for assessing quality of life - and the two don't have a big correlation!  :)

Re dishwasher, far be it from me to make anyone feel guilty, especially as I have a clothes-washing machine instead of a copper.  :yum:  It's just that we actually find it faster to wash up by hand than to load a dishwasher, and then offload again, and maintain the dishwasher - having previously lived in households with dishwashers. I'm very organised at preventing excessive washing-up making, by rinsing things that don't need detergent as I go and being efficient, and Brett is even faster than me at washing up spotlessly.

You sound happy to have a dishwasher, and may you have joy in it. And I'm happy this afternoon because my apple and berry strudel has just finished baking after infusing the house with delicious aromas, and when I've fed the animals I can reward myself with a slice of it!  :)

SueC is time travelling


Quote from: SueC on September 08, 2021, 11:55:42Denmark usually does really well on its national happiness score
Indeed, the happy Danes. I think æbleskiver have something to do with it. They are doing many good things through policies and legislation to make life easy for the people. My guess is that corruption is very low in Denmark.

Quote from: SueC on September 08, 2021, 11:55:42You sound happy to have a dishwasher, and may you have joy in it
I am :)
I know I can live without it if I have to. But currently, I will sing its praise across the valleys.

Quote from: SueC on September 08, 2021, 11:55:42And I'm happy this afternoon because my apple and berry strudel has just finished baking after infusing the house with delicious aromas
Do enjoy it!


Quote from: Pongo on September 08, 2021, 12:52:20
Quote from: SueC on September 08, 2021, 11:55:42Denmark usually does really well on its national happiness score
Indeed, the happy Danes. I think æbleskiver have something to do with it.

Until a couple of minutes ago I had no idea such a thing existed in this universe!  :)

These look so good I absolutely have to make some; they will add greatly to our happiness.  :cool  A couple of years ago I learnt how to make chocolate nut horns...they turn out well and have been on the "repeat regularly" list...

Also I learnt to make Lefser, which you'd be familiar with but is totally exotic here...

Only thing is, they're so filling you don't have to eat anything else for 10 hours afterwards!

We also love Kavli, which a Danish friend who worked in our region a while addicted us to. Do you know of any way to make these at home and have them come out as good as the ones they send in boxes all over the world?

A fun fact: Brett was reading Stieg Larsson and initially thought Aquavit was a brand of mineral water hahahahaha!  :lol:  The protagonist was often having open sandwiches and Aquavit...

Well, Brett and I are definitely Hobbits, and take a lot of happiness from good food and being home. Here's some of the hippie food we make and eat and inflict on our poor guests:


SueC is time travelling


Quote from: SueC on September 08, 2021, 13:46:49Also I learnt to make Lefser, which you'd be familiar with but is totally exotic here...
I have never tried these but I can imagine what they are like. Looks very tasty.

Quote from: SueC on September 08, 2021, 13:46:49We also love Kavli, which a Danish friend who worked in our region a while addicted us to.
Sorry, have never heard of this. To me Kavli is the maker of melted cheese in tubes.

Aquavit as mineral water...well, a majority of the finnish population would drink it like that :D


Regarding the hero thing:


Bwahahaha, @Pongo:beaming-face  :1f635:

That's very typical dumb-Aussie male and also a good demo of the Dunning-Kruger Effect - the amazing confidence with which he holds his ridiculous views.

A disproportionate amount of people like this make it into politics, especially in our country and the US - remind you of anyone?

Lefser is Norwegian apparently, and I got the recipe from John Seymour's classic self-sufficiency book. It's a pancake made from mashed potato and rye flour, done in butter not oil and traditionally topped with smoked fish and sour cream. :yum:

Kavli is a brand of sourdough rye crispbread, totally different to Ryvita which is good, but Kavli is superb...

Melted cheese in tubes? Is that a bit like the American cheese in spray cans?  :1f62e:

Happy today because it's our day off and we can go walking. It's raining and apparently going to do that all day but we are going anyway - this time with appropriate clothing for the weather...

SueC is time travelling


Quote from: SueC on September 09, 2021, 02:10:48A disproportionate amount of people like this make it into politics, especially in our country and the US - remind you of anyone?
They are here as well. Though they are maybe not as prolific as the world known examples.

Quote from: SueC on September 09, 2021, 02:10:48Kavli is a brand of sourdough rye crispbread, totally different to Ryvita which is good, but Kavli is superb...
Ah, it's the same company that makes the cheese. Don't remember seeing that one. We have a lot of varieties of crispbread here.

Quote from: SueC on September 09, 2021, 02:10:48Melted cheese in tubes? Is that a bit like the American cheese in spray cans?  :1f62e:
Maybe it's similar. This is perfect for camping as it can stay unrefridgerated for a couple of days. Also ideal to use as a treat when training the dog.

I'm happy because I have manage to do what I set out to do today workwise. On the minus side, it feels like I'm getting a cold.



Cosy Corner when it's not raining

I'm happy today because we went back on our first hike since I caught my first cold in two years - symptoms started last Wednesday night. Highly annoying - especially considering we're taking all the recommended pandemic precautions - but I walked along appropriately distanced behind a guest in a corridor when they coughed suddenly and so I got the aerosols with what turned out to be the highly transmissible RSV that's currently spiking in WA - found this out AFTERWARDS when I ended up with a particular set of symptoms. (We're social-distancing in WA but no mask recommendations at present because we currently don't have Delta or any other form of COVID in community transmission - though that's not going to last now that NSW is an incubation vat and infected NSW truck drivers are coming through at least once a week because of the lag times between incubation and viral shedding, and test and result.)

I happen to be super susceptible to aspiration pneumonia due to having a paralysed vocal cord - it makes swallowing a problem when you're lying down at night, and things can more easily go down the trachea than in "normal" people. So when I get a bug, it tends to get delivered down into the lungs, grrrr. No matter in this case; RSV goes straight to the lung epithelium anyway and I'd inhaled the aerosol in the first place. So I had unpleasant ants-crawling-in-the-lungs sensations for two days until the immune system won (which I helped along by resting aggressively, staying super hydrated, good nutrition, extra VitD, VitC, zinc and lysine, etc); then it was cleanup time - getting rid of all the dead cells and gunk.  :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:  Unpleasant for anyone, but especially so if you can only retract half your larynx and the paralysed half just hangs there accumulating gunk which you can't just flick off like a normal person, so you end up retching and choking quite a bit. How I wish for a special vacuum cleaner attachment at times like this...  :triumph:

Aaaanyway, by today I reckoned I was up to a shortish hike, so we did the 7km section from Cosy Corner to the camping hut and back documented previously for our Christmas hike (lovely photos...gorgeous part of the world!). At Christmas we went on past the hut to the far end of Dingo Beach, but today it was raining and I didn't want to overdo it while still not 100%. We often do this little walk because it's one of the nearest to drive to from our place, and such an enjoyable one - spectacular beaches, islands and coastal cliffs, and a clifftop walk through rather lush, Hobbity woodlands, with a hut to stop in before going further or returning. If you keep walking you can do a 20km return to Shelley Beach or do 600km to Perth meandering around the long, scenic way - because this is a section of the world-famous Bibbulmun walk trail.

It felt good to be out again and to climb my first proper hill since last Wednesday. The rain was mostly drizzle but lasted all day and the landscape is overflowing again all over the place, plus the unsealed roads were pure mud today - this unseasonally wet winter has caused a lot of damage to roads, culverts etc throughout this district.

But the humidity was good for my recovering lungs, and we chucked in a short beach walk at the tail end of today's excursion so the dog could chase waves.

This was Jess chasing waves at Frenchman Bay years ago - the bigger dog is the now deceased Toby, a neighbour's dog we used to walk.

After that I was ready for home and cups of tea. I had lots of interesting things planned for the afternoon, but after lunch I ended up hibernating in bed with a book because my body told me this would be a really good idea while I'm still cleaning up a respiratory infection. So some of these interesting things will have to happen tomorrow instead. Fingers crossed we can go for a proper long hike on Sunday, when better weather is forecast.

PS: The dog says she is super happy today and it was like Christmas. She says her monkey has been rather impaired and making coughing sounds for a week and not walking her nearly as much as usual and that the previous two days had been truly lamentable in that department. So today, after taking an eternity to get out of the house - why don't monkeys just get up and go, why do they have to boil kettles and make tea and drink tea and have first breakfast and second breakfast and wash their monkey faces and arrange their monkey hair etc etc etc - anyway, after her monkey and the useless monkey took an eternity to get out the door, she FINALLY got to have a ride in the broom-broom and a decent walk, and a session of wave-chasing.

And when she got back, her monkey was cutting up ossobucco into bones and stewing meat (the monkey says that's because when you have four legs in the freezer, you can't always make Italian-style Ossobucco or Jamie Oliver-style Chilli Con Carne made with ossobucco), and while the monkey kept most of the bucco, she got all of the osso today and spent two glorious hours chewing, because one of the sections was from near the hock and as big as a saucer. After that she curled up on the sofa, batted her eyelids at her monkey to get a cuddle, and slept for the rest of the afternoon...

SueC is time travelling


Happy today because Daniil Medvedev won the US Open final - and did that on his third wedding anniversary! Very funny that the guy handing him the cheque said, "Happy Anniversary!"  :happy

Well done to him breaking through to win his first major title - he's always interesting to watch because he plays with his brains, not with brute force.  :smth023  Also his head doesn't inflate when he wins something; nice to see.

Great women's final this year too. To watch I preferred their semis where it was Davida versus Goliatha both times, and all-court diverse playing versus dull power baselining. The worst thing is if you get two power baseliners doing an "I can hit harder and scream louder than you" contest - so dull and aggravating to watch. Good to see finesse winning over grunt in both semis.  :cool
SueC is time travelling


Visiting a "fat tower" on Sunday made me happy:

Too many secrets, too many lies...