30 April 2015

A Cyclone? Here? Who'd'a Thunk It?

So, there was sort of a cyclone around these parts last week.

And I'm actually not exaggerating that much, because according to www.bom.gov.au (my new favourite website) and various news articles, winds gusted up to 120km/h and the Category 2 bracket starts at 125km/h ... so, not exaggerating much.

I woke up to a massive crashing noise at 5am last Tuesday.

It turns out this had happened to our back fence:

The culprit?

Turn's out our neighbour's trampoline decided to go for a little fly, but it didn't quite get enough air and took out the fence instead! Luckily the trampoline's netting got caught on house next door's construction fence. It was a little scary seeing it flapping in the dark as the wind gusted around it. It was quickly secured, though, and everyone was fine. Hubby also took care of securing the loose colourbond sheeting safely - he's a clever one.

The biggest impact of the storm was lack of electricity. We were out for a total of 110 hours!!!

Speaking of my huband being clever, he bought a generator the day we lost power, which enabled us to keep the fridge going during the day, operate our wifi modem (our only method of communication, as our mobile signal disappeared and our landline was out for about 3 days too) and cook on our portable griller. Hot water ran out after a day, but we were able to boil jugs to warm the MissyMoos' baths. We still had to throw food away in the end, but we were able to keep the food a little longer and cook most of it up.

The newest member of our family

We decided the near-cyclonic conditions warranted letting The Fat Cat inside. Unfortunately, she took over my chair...

The most comfortable member of our family

Lanterns and torches were our light sources.

The MissyMoos got along great for the most part and rediscovered toys they hadn't played with in ages. There were dress-ups, babies, and lego cities being built around the place. An extension of their school holidays by a couple of days didn't hurt.

I learned a few things too: how to fuel and start the generator, for instance. If you'd asked me to fill a jerry can with petrol a couple of weeks ago, I'd have raised an eyebrow at you. Now, yeah, been there, done that!

By the time Saturday rolled around, we were ready for hot showers, so we went around to my parents' place to take advantage of their hospitality and were preparing to stay the night. After dinner, though, when our neighbour sent a message saying power was back on, we decided to go home and get settled in our home again. It was so wonderful to get comfortable and get a sense of normality again about the place.

It's amazing how much we rely on electricity and telecommunication for our modern way of life. It's also amazing to know that with a bit of ingenuity and enthusiasm, we can manage quite alright without it (for a few days).

Last night I went out for dinner with some friends and we toasted to electricity!!

20 April 2015

Francesca's Festa of Favourites: April 2015

Hello and welcome to another month of:

Francesca Writes Here

If you're looking for an explanation for the reduction in my blogging activity, click here on the only blog post I've managed for April so far ... besides this one ;-)

Building upon the February Festa, we had 15 posts linked up. Thanks to those of you out there who are supporting this linky. You'll notice heavy a literary lean in the March favourites, influenced by the wonderful Newcastle Writers' Festival.

My favourite for March was from Reena at The Mummy Project. This post was a great write-up of the Family Fun Day at the Newcastle Writer's Festival. I wanted to showcase this blog to you all this month, not only because of this particular post, but also because there's so much great content there for families in the Newcastle area to discover things to do.

Given it's already the 20th of April, I'm sure there have already been an abundance of great posts written this month. So here's what this link-up is all about.


"Festa" in Italian means "party"(and, if you look around this blog long enough, you'll see that I'm a fan of throwing Italian words around). This is a place where you can add links to your favourite posts for April 2015, but here's the difference: they don't have to be posts you've written (but they can be). You can link to any post from April 2015, written by you or anybody else. 

Have you read or written something moving, funny, informative or otherwise awesome? Link it ☺

There are no rules here - it's pretty laid back. There is no obligation to read and comment on all the posts if you link up, but of course you can if you want to.

If you've linked a post or had one of your blog posts linked by someone else, you're welcome to add the Festa button to your blog. Hashtag is #frafesta for social media sharing.

Time to get linking. I'm looking forward to reading these wonderful April posts!

15 April 2015

Chasing My Tail

Life can be such a juggling act.

It's school holidays, but I'm working through, with only Fridays off to spend with the MissyMoos, as I'm saving my leave for later in the year. Meal planning has gone out the window, with my first proper grocery shop in a couple of weeks having been crammed in one afternoon after work earlier this week. The day I get an opportunity to wash sheets and towels, the heavens open. The ironing basket is overflowing. My novel-in-progress and blog lie neglected. It's Eurovision in a few weeks and I haven't even checked out Guy Sebastian's song yet! In short, the systems I have in place to manage life as a working mum of three have fallen apart and the effect is chaotic!

This, my friends, is the neverending story!


Free time is family time. Nights which would previously have been spent writing or catching up on housework have been spent as quality time with my husband. Weekends are spent doing things together, enjoying our surroundings. Day-to-day drudgery has been put on the back-burner, replaced by time with loved ones, prioritised and cherished. I've also been taking care of me - reading books, eating a sweet supper before bed, a sneaky glass of wine. In short, enjoying life.

The pendulum has swung. It will possibly need to swing back a little the other way before I go missing in an avalanche of unwashed linen, however, no longer will I work so hard that I forget to have a laugh or do something just because I want to. Why take on all the responsibility of being an adult and forgo the fun and freedom which adulthood brings?

Yes, I need to work in a paid job, but I quite like what I do and it's a great job. Yes, the children need to be bathed, fed, helped with homework, have their clothes washed - but I love them and I want to help them. Yes, I'm trying to write the sequel to Returning, but that's because I enjoy writing. The work won't go away, but the fun doesn't have to either.

I choose to enjoy this blessed life I have. I refuse to let negativity take control.

I will smile, I will laugh, I will love. Every day.

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