May 2004
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The unit upstairs is up for auction later this month, so I managed to snaffle a floor plan of theirs, which is the same as ours. No wonder I'm always turning corners! On closer inspection, it's a floor plan of ours on the ground floor, which they must have snaffled first.

Ages ago, Julie & I found this sign on one of our travels. Whilst over there in April, I had to go & seek out the place where we found it & copy it down. It characterises beautifully our "interesting" style of communication. It reads:

I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
but I am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

On one of my recent visits to St John's Church, I was very pleased to notice in the March edition of "In Community", the quarterly newsletter of St John's Parish, a mention of Doris & her various encounters with the spiritual beings who populate the Church grounds.

My good friend Leon were talking the other night. We talked all about being up  & being down & one of the questions he asked was, "So what do you do when you're feeling good?" My answer shocked both of us when I blurted out, "Try not to feel guilty that I'm still alive". I'm sure a psychologist would have a field day with that one!

Meanwhile Julie is starting down her road of handing down some of her "stuff" & trying to maintain her stiff upper lip through it all.

Friday night - sitting at a cafe in the city overlooking the street. This place was one of the last that Doris & I visited before we left Canberra & I remember that we were really impressed by the service & were a little disappointed about moving away after finally finding a coffee place that was staffed by genuine people. I remember asking for the manager & noting the look of horror on the waitress's face slowly being replaced by one of relief as she learned that we wanted to compliment them.

Being really busy with work & Scouts doesn't seem to make any difference to the overwhelming need to "process". Doris has been on my mind a lot lately, & also very close, so close that I can almost feel her. Just not close enough that I can. Thank God I can at least talk to Julie & have a real conversation with ONE of my loves. I guess I'd like to reach that position where for at least some of the day, I can actually enjoy being still alive, which is often hard to do, because a big part of me is still stuck in the "I don't want to be here" theme. It's that bloody roller coaster again!

Stewart appears to managing really well with his stated intention to get on with his life & not let last year deter him from what he knows that he must do. Like any relationship, we have our good days & bad days, when one or other of us is cranky. Usually for him it's when he has a deadline approaching, for me it's when I'm tired or when I've had what Julie calls a "revelation" & need to go even further into my cave & process it.

Getting enough sleep is becoming a problem since I weaned myself off the sleeping pills. It seems it's just one more process that I have to go through. And of course as my energy depletes, I don't have the reserves of emotional energy that I would normally fall back on to get through the adjustment period. Which means it starts to drain energy at the cellular level, which is exactly what Doris kept saying to everyone. There are times when EVERYTHING aches!

Bugger. I miss Doris for her warmth & the spectacular energy that she seemed to radiate. And I miss Julie for her ability to just "be there". In the few short months that we known each other, we have developed a very rare capacity to enjoy the other's company without the need to entertain or be entertained. I'm actually looking forward to a long & happy life with this woman. I know it will be happy, I just hope it's long.

Well, there I was, hanging around town, trying not to feel too miserable & checking out the cars lined up for their public send-off on the Rally of Canberra, when I ran into Bernie Webb, who is navigating in number 40 this weekend, seen here bending himself into the passenger's seat.

Well this week has certainly started better than most. Over the weekend, I managed to fold & put away the 2 mountains of washing AND vacuum the floor & wash the tiled areas. Some days it is indeed good to be alive. While I was away in the US, Stewie pulled the home gym out of his bedroom & set it up in the back part of the lounge, which meant that I had to clear the junk out of that corner & put it downstairs. So the place is finally looking like somewhere that we can live in & my bedroom feels so much bigger & more open without the piles of washing blocking the view.

I've even had a change of outlook at work too, although it was merely a desk change. I now look the other way but still have a window seat. There's a picture of my new outlook here on the photos page. The mug says "Be nice to me! I just work here!" I've had 2 really BIG wins at work this week. Instead of just pulling data out of the database & comparing it with what we get from the stuff in the network, I've worked out how to put data back INTO the database. No big deal for most database people & it was just a matter of getting the code right. But it means that we can get automated processes to update data that we need to keep up to date but have no vital interest in it. The next big step was then to be able to write a log of all of the changes we find, back into the database & start keeping some history. The boss is absolutely rapt.

I must admit it has felt really good this week, feeling just that little bit lighter, not so down & heavy. That probably doesn't make sense unless you've been where I have. It means that I have begun again to appreciate my own company & to feel that there's a future to look forward to. I can actually appreciate breathing again, after spending so long not really wanting to that either. When people have asked me this week, "How are you?", the answer has been, "Better". Which is a definite improvement.

Julie is starting to gear up at work for a beast called a PDR, which means "Preliminary Design Review", for the Wedgetail equivalent for the Turkish Air Force. No big deal, you think, except that pretty much the whole job of organising the support, (rooms, food, escorts, yada yada) has been left to her, & this is in addition to her normal job. So it's going to be 3 weeks of "grumpy". Old joke - Do you wake up grumpy in the morning? No I let her sleep. Still it's heaps of overtime money for her.

It was an interesting experience at the Organ Donor & Recipient Family Thanksgiving Service, hearing my story read out by someone else. It was also really good to meet some real live (pun intended) recipients.

I have adopted a new theme song - "Have a lot of help from my friends" by Joe Cocker. Julie, when you read this, know that the one I'm "looking" for, I have already found.

It's a really weird feeling being married & single, both at the same time. I don't necessarily have to be home at any particular time, I can be out all weekend if I want to & no-one is particularly impacted. Please note that I did not say, "& nobody gives a stuff". And so I still have some time to continue to "process" before Julie & I get together permanently.

At the Honiara Team's training day today, I said when asked, that as well as wanting to take on the challenge of doing something useful & practical, I also had my private agenda of wanting to have lots of friends around me on the anniversary of losing Doris. In fact we'll be having dinner that night while waiting for a 2 am flight to Brisbane, so perhaps we can toast her again.

Really observant readers will notice that there is an advertising link on the front page. These guys host this site & I recommend them for some really excellent service. If you are considering setting up a website, feel free to check them out. And yes, I do earn a commission if you sign up. Nuff said.

I've just answered a frantic call from Philippa to go up to the Scout Hall & invest a new Cub Scout. Man it was fun to get among cubbies again. I volunteered myself to be the "man in the middle" for the closing Grand Howl & challenged the Pack to do better than my Pack used to do. They did! It was so loud that my ears actually went into that crackle noise that speakers give off when pushed too hard. If I didn't start out with a headache (which I did), I certainly finished with one.

Well it looks like this is going to be a laid-back weekend. Just sitting here in the bed, balancing the laptop on one knee, chatting online to the folks in America. I have invested in a wireless router that now makes the connection to the broadband, which means Stewie's machine doesn't have to be on for me to access the net. But even better, I can be online from anywhere in or around the unit. It's cool!

There was a measure of excitement today when this link came in from Julie. It points to the Wedgetail Project announcement on the Australian Defence site, celebrating the first of the Wedgetail aircraft going on its first flight late last week.

Wait for the photos to load here ...

Hmm.  This time last year we were already in New York, riding the subways & checking out the sights. And this weekend, we were enjoying the sights at Niagara Falls. I'm going to celebrate by going abseiling with a friend. Which I did & we had a blast.

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