FAREWELL, YE OLD COCK!

FAREWELL, YE OLD COCK!

As a family, we’ve come to the agreement that our old cat, Jesse, is about 17 or 18 years old. Our youngest child (22) would have been about 5 years old when Jesse and his brother James joined us.

David, Mathew & Jess
Jesse with his ‘bros’ in his middle age

James was lost during a thunderstorm, quite early on. Both cats ran away, but we found Jesse in the end. He’s always been a wild and tough old tabby. Even though domesticated and sterilized, for his first 10 years he had a large territory – a neighbour theorised it was as much as 5km and couldn’t believe we’d had him fixed.

It wasn’t until we moved to Esperance though in December 2007 that I began to connect to Jesse. Previously, he was ‘something I put up with’ and this was because he was always away from home, at one of the neighbours and I felt he only came home to see if it was dinner time.

When you move to a new place, it is recommended that you keep your cat inside for some weeks – 2 to 4 weeks, perhaps. I decided that to be sure, we’d keep him in for 3 weeks. And surprise, surprise! By the end of this, that darned cat was sleeping at the end of our bed.

At first, of course, he’d settle where he wanted to and was very stubborn when asked to ‘move along please’. However, with some perseverance on my behalf and gentle nudges, he learned that he was allowed only at the end of the bed, on one of the corners and on the towel provided.

And then he was moved along to NSW, across the Nullabor from Western Australia, in Eric’s car with our other, younger cat. He handled that very well. And he settled into his new home in NSW, becoming even more domesticated. He didn’t create a large territory for himself, just visiting across the road occasionally. And luckily we live in a cul-de-sac, so he wasn’t in too much traffic danger.

Eric (my husband) comes from a farming / country background and therefore ever since we’ve had cats – if they were sick or injured – he’d make comments like ‘I can always take him down the back of the garden!’ 🙂

Of course, he never did. I didn’t want to visualise my lovely and gentle husband ‘knocking off the cat, with his bare hands’.  And Jesse and Eric grew even closer, with Eric’s lap being the preferred place to hang. And, just recently (for some unknown reason) Eric began to address Jesse as ‘me old cock!’. 😀

We grew sentimental in our old age!!

So, this brings me to the sad ending that Jesse died last night. He had been physically deteriorating for a couple of years. He was skinnier, too many bones showing through. He was hungry and thirsty all the time. And when he wasn’t hungry, he was asleep. Even more than cats usually sleep – which is like 16 out of 24 hours every day! He wasn’t complaining though, didn’t seem to be in pain – apart from arthritis. And we decided that everyone gets old and unless he was obviously suffering, then we wouldn’t be seeking out drugs or other treatment.

It happened so fast. About 8.30pm he gave a cry when he was gently moved off a lap. About 11.45pm he dragged himself out of his cat bed and staggered across the floor, falling and clearly not able to keep upright. He defecated. We put him into his cat bed, with water nearby and extra towels and went to bed. He wasn’t complaining.

A couple of hours later, I heard the tinkle of his collar bells indicating he’d moved and listened for his footsteps down the hall. But they didn’t come. After a while I went to check and he was sprawled on the floor just outside of his bed and miaowed to me as I approached.

We brought Jesse to bed. Our other cat was on the end – in her corner. But we broke the rules and placed Jesse between us, on top of the doona, but with towels under and over him to keep him comfortable. He started out in his cat bed on top of the doona, between us, but soon crawled out and crawled as far up as he could – seemed he wanted to be close.

Eric tried hard to sleep – he had an early meeting. But I lay ‘drowsing’ with one hand in his basket, which he kept nudging. Then when he was out on the doona, I kept talking to him and patting him. He kept trying to purr between his gasps for breath. By this time, he did have some pain. He’d occasionally throw a 180° as he tried to get away from something. But otherwise, he breathed heavily and miaowed occasionally.

Eventually, I woke up with a hand on him and could feel he was no longer breathing.

I didn’t think I’d be sentimental about this, but it was clear that he wanted to be near us and we obviously cared about him. He has gone from us now, but will be remembered with love by his family.

Farewell, ye old cock! xx

20160501_164604
In old age

 

Jesse 1

 

ABOUT ME – Trish Nankivell

I’m an Australian wife and mother, born in Ireland and aspiring to be a fiction novelist.

Eric & Trish May10
My beautiful husband xx

This has been a dream my entire life – but it is only now in middle-age that I have begun working on that.

Blog writing (I call them articles) began when my husband Eric and I took long service leave in 2013 to base ourselves in Spain – and I kept a travel blog. More personal and humorous than what I write in Random Thoughts.

This site, Random Thoughts, compels me to write when I have particular topics that irk or inspire me – and I’m trying to bring in some lighter subject too.

Since being introduced to Friday Fictioneers (Flash Fiction) I endeavour to write 100 words based on a ‘photo of the week’ and seeing what it inspires you to write. I don’t follow it every week; I mean to, but then it’s suddenly too late 🙂

Through National Novel Writing Month @NaNoWriMo I’ve written two draft novels in 2015 and 2016. This April 2017, I’m working on the 2016 novel – editing, adding more words and rewriting (all at the same time). Completion is winning in nanowrimo –  not quality of writing – so it’s a fun goal setting and writing experience. Especially good for procrasti-writers! 😀

I’ve great ideas for improving and evolving my 2015 novel, but that needs to wait its turn; and I always notebooks with my scribbled ideas around the place.

In 2017 I’ve enrolled in a few courses through the Australian Writers’ Centre @WritersCentreAU – Blogging for Beginners and How to get more Blog Readers, 2 Hours to Scrivener Power and Copywriting Essentials. I also enjoy following their podcast ‘So you want to be a writer’, available through iTunes.

Another great podcast I’m following is The Bestseller Experiment @bestsellerxp, also available through iTunes. These two Marks endeavour to write and publish a ‘bestselling novel’ in one year – and in the process they gather useful information and interview a huge range of people to do with the industry of writing – authors especially, but also people who provide information on ‘how to find your voice’, ‘kindle direct publishing’ and ‘how do I get an agent’. But, I have to say, the author interviews are fantastic – Joe Abercrombie, John Connolly, @SarahPinborough (hilarious and rude!) Michael Connelly, Ben Aaronovitch and Joe Hill, Michelle Paver and Joanne Harris. Loving it!

Hope you enjoy these writings; they are the beginning of my future! Trish

MILLIONAIRE HOT SEAT – DREAMING

MILLIONAIRE HOT SEAT – DREAMING

Hello all my friends out there!Hot Seat

Well, if you didn’t know already you’re about to hear that I’ve made it to an audition for Hot Seat. In Melbourne, this coming Tuesday 11th April.

In case you don’t watch TV quiz shows – Hot Seat has evolved from ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ and is still hosted by Eddie McGuire.

So clearly, this audition is on my mind and I had a crazy dream last night.

The main crux of this dream is that I sat down (at a long meeting table) with the other wanna-be contestants and we were presented with our written test. AND I COULDN’T DO IT!

There were random and wild reasons why I couldn’t do it …. and here goes the story 🙂

An assistant to the show gathered us up and lead us to this meeting room, and then put a sheet of questions (the exam) in front of each of us, and left the room.

I look down at the first page – and can’t see anything on it! It was blank – a grey page, not white – and empty. I look around at the others and they’re all heads down and working away. I make a disgruntled noise, like ‘I don’t get it!” 🙂

Funnily enough in this dream, even though it is an exam situation, they all engage with me. And they’re going ‘what’s wrong?’.

“There’s nothing on any of my pages!” I say, and I then look over at the pages of the people closest to me, and their pages are also blank – but these guys are answering questions. The assistant comes in and asks what’s going on. And I show her my page!

“There are questions on there, Trish” she says.

“No there aren’t,” I’m becoming quite cranky and flustered by now. “Um, maybe you could turn the lights on,” I say.

“The lights? It’s bright enough in here,” says the assistant, huffily.

“Well, I have terrible eyesight, so maybe that’s it,” I answer and one of the contestants gets up and finds the lights. Voila! I can see. Thank God!

And then, WTF. The questions don’t make ANY SENSE. First of all this should be a multiple choice exam, like the show format. What I see are columns of letters and blanks and on a further page, numbers and blanks, and further along still there are random questions – but no multiple choice.

I stare (blindly) at the letters and blanks – it’s like on Pointless, where they offer a category, say ‘Famous Musician Eric’s’ and then give letters and blanks and you have to work out the names of their bands, or songs or their surnames – yeah? But these are letters and blanks – with no context.

I tell you, I’m pulling my hair out now – and there’s a lot of hair to pull out! I’m freakiHot Seatng EFFing and carrying on – and I grab up my exam and dash out of that meeting room. As an aside, by now we aren’t the only ones at the table. There are people gathered at the other end – famous people like Mark ‘The Beast’ and Anne Hegarty ‘The Governess’ from The Chase, and they’re all talking loudly and laughing and causing a HUGE distraction.

I rush out and find another room close by, with a large table, and I plonk down on it with my exam. Directly in front of where I’m sitting, there are curtains or sheets or something dumped there, like they’ve come in from the clothesline. And within seconds, OMG, I’ve got my paperwork tangled up in them. For fuck sake! I’m standing there shaking out these EFFing sheets and the assistant comes up “What are you doing, Trish?”.

“I’ve got my EFFing exam lost in these EFFing sheets,” I’m yelling, tears pouring down
my face and I’m almost bald by now. And then, a most amazingly transcendent thing happens …

David Duchovny appears at my side! Ahhh, he is the host of my Millionaire Hot Seat dream and he now asks ‘What is wrong here?” And after that first lustful, breath of air, I revert back to the screaming harridan and begin to get stuck into Mr Duchovny about the absurdity of this audition exam.

“It doesn’t even make any sense!” I cry out, waving the papers (now recovered) about. “What the fuck are all these As and Bs about – random letters with no context. What have they got to do with your show format? It’s a lot of bulldust and I’m over it. Leaving now!”

David speaks to me calmly in his lovely Duchovny voice (Ahhhh) and I’m momentarily distracted by that …. but then I turn around and leave. I find myself outside with a long bridge to cross and I begin running across it. I’m running, running and David is chasing me with long, loping, sexy action movie type running – and I stop suddenly. Shit! I drove the other contestants here. We car pooled. (I know it doesn’t make sense. It’s a dream! I don’t know any of the other contestants!) 😀

I can’t run out on them; that’s not fair. So I turn around and start to walk back, head down, fists clenched and breathing hard. And David starts talking to me as we walk back. He begins by telling me I’m lazy, I’m giving up, what a loser! Ha! My inner demons haunting me in my dreams.

Then somehow it comes up between us that perhaps if someone read out the questions, because clearly my problem is that I have bad eyesight :). If the questions are read out, then I’ll be able to complete the test! You beauty! For a few seconds … and then it hits me, I still have to deal with all those EFFing letters and blanks, which don’t make any sense at all.

The dream ended. Sorry folks. Clearly, I have entered panic mode! I thought I was only worried about my appearance and how I could sound interesting when speaking into a camera for a minute (part of the audition, if I make it past the test). But no, no, no – arrgh.

Well, bring on Tuesday is about all I can say. Fingers crossed – I could use $1M, or $250,000, $100,000 – I’d settle for $10,000. 🙂

Ciao, Trish

Grounded

Timely advice from Liz. Sucks what she’s been through but at least she was able to recover. Tricky times when your body can’t keep up with your mind and enthusiasm.
Something looming ahead for me!

Liz Byrski

It’s been a funny year so far – in fact funny is probably the wrong word – dangerous might be better. Yes, it seems to be developing into my year of living dangerously! It began with a fall in late February when I was on my way to a work meeting. I was ambushed by a small variation in floor level and tripped and fell onto my left arm. When I looked up it was into the faces of four horrified students who promptly rescued me. I’d forgotten how humiliating it can feel to fall over in a public place, especially when you can’t immediately scramble to your feet and brush it off with a laugh. The students were lovely and I was eventually restored to a vertical position and taken to the medical centre and then sent for an x-ray.

What seemed at first to be a torn ligament…

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Australia Day 2017: A Dreaming

Australia Day 2017: A Dreaming

So, Australia Day 2017 presents with an expected peak maximum temperature of 35 °C. Typical. What’s new? Perhaps, an increased awareness of the heartache and anger of our Indigenous population and a willingness to engage in the conversation. Perhaps.

I don’t often participate in Australia Day celebrations – not due to any sensitivity I hold for our Indigenous Australians, hurt and damaged over the tragic history they’ve experienced since the arrival of the British Empire; no. It is more to do with my own laziness and it is always hot and I don’t enjoy the heat. Also, my idea of a ‘lucky’ day off is to ‘be’ and not ‘do’, ‘retreat from’ and not ’embrace’ people and to ‘disappear’ between the pages of a good book.

On this day, however, I choose to at least attend the Citizenship Ceremony; a dry event (I know from personal experience) but a chance to welcome, in solidarity, our newest ‘Australians’.

Our town celebrations are being held in a local park only a short walk from my home and despite the promised horrible peak temperature, I decide to walk instead of drive. I leave home dressed in a light long-sleeved ‘cheesecloth’ shirt, hat and sunnies and carrying a shady umbrella. ALL bare patches of skin have been lathered in both Factor 30 sunscreen and Mozzie Repellant. I smell chemically divine.

I arrive at a bustling park, with too many cars and too many people. The local brass band plays, competing with the sound of hundreds of chatting people, many screaming and laughing children and the background noise of food truck motors – as there are a number of vendors selling such things as egg and bacon burgers, lamb and gravy rolls, cold drinks and barista-style coffee.

In those first few moments, I stand apart glancing around and I notice a group of Indigenous Australians gathered in the part-shade/part-sun of a small stand of trees.

They are a mix of the old and young, well dressed and scruffy, quiet and rowdy; some sit, but most stand – holding up posters and waving the Aboriginal flag of black, yellow and red. Colours representing the ‘Aboriginal people of Australia, the Sun and the red earth, the red ochre used in ceremonies and Aboriginal peoples’ spiritual relation to the land’. (taken from Wikipedia)

They talk among themselves, occasionally someone shouts out – it is difficult to make out what they are saying – but their signs and posters say it all.

“Invasion Day 2017” “Forgotten people” “We were here first” “Justice Day” and “Change the Date” to name a few.

Nobody in this group of people is smiling.

For 10 minutes I stand hidden behind my shady tree, attention switching from this group of unhappy Australians – not a standard Australian flag among them – to the noisy and laughing crowd.

Sporting crazy hats, t-shirts and thongs; waving little hand-held Australian flags, holding their cold drinks in stubby holders with “We  Australia” “Proud to be an Aussie” and “100% Aussie”. With their t-shirts covered in slogans such as “My ancesters were First Fleet” or “Proud to come from Convicts” and invariably their clobber and accessories either in the well-recognised Aussie Green and  Gold colours or (more likely) emblazoned with the insignia of British Imperialism. The Australian flag with stars representing our Southern Cross, and the British’s ‘Union Jack’.

These people are having a great day!

This white conservative, middle-aged and ‘naturalised’ Australian woman (born in Ireland) strolls to the nearest drink vendor, joins the queue and then asks “How much for a bottle of water?”

“$2,” answers the vendor.

“I’ll take 20 bottles, thanks!”

“Sorry, how many?” asks the startled teenager.

“20 bottles of water, please,” I repeat.

“Okay, that’s $40. Thank you,” she says as I hand her two $20 notes. She then starts handing down to me, the cold bottles.

I haven’t thought this through clearly, I think. I don’t have a bag and I’m suddenly juggling 20 icy cold bottles and my umbrella. People nearby help to load me up and I smile gratefully.

A mass of black and buzzing flies have taken just this moment to harass me – targeting my face and head. Or were they already there, but now that my hands aren’t free to perform the laconic ( or is that ‘iconic’) ‘Aussie Salute’ and swat them away, they seem to have proliferated?

Sort of stagger-walking, I head toward that group of Aboriginals – one eye on the ground looking to avoid trip hazards and the other nervously eyeing off the people standing at the front of the group. I realise now, that they have begun to ‘eye off’ this crazy white woman, who seems to be zigzagging her way toward them.

I stop and say “Hello. Water?” and try to make eye contact with anybody, over the stack of bottled water.

Only those at the very front have heard me and they look at each other, shrugging their shoulders. Nobody makes eye contact with me. I’m wondering if that’s a cultural thing, when suddenly four or five kids streak forward and grab some bottles, running off with large ‘white’ grins on their faces and laughing loudly.

“Cheeky buggers,” I murmur.

“What the fuck do you want?” yells an aggressive-looking man, perhaps about 30 years old. He moves closer to my personal space, his whole body radiating anger.

A couple of the nicely dressed young women of about his age, glare at him in rebuke. One puts a hand on his arm.

“Easy, Jimmy,” she whispers. Then she steps forward, nods and smiles at me and takes a couple of bottles and starts passing them back into her group.

As the load in my arms quickly reduces, I see that the group appears to be relaxing. There are more smiles and occasionally someone will raise their water bottle towards me, before taking a sip.

“Thank you,” says the same girl who stepped in to calm Jimmy.

“You’re very welcome,” I say, smiling around at the group. “I’m new in this town. I’m from WA and we have Yamatji and Noongar around where I’m from. I’m sorry, I’m not educated in Indigenous culture; but, I do know that Ernie Dingo is Yamatji, from the Murchison mob,” I exclaim.

I’m sure I hear someone in the group mumbling something about that ‘white fella, Dingo.” So, I guess there’s discrimination and racism within the tribes too.

“I worked with a group of Aboriginals when I was a girl, at a convention. They were Nana …. Naana …,” I stumbled over the name, my memory letting me down.

“Ngaanyatjarra?” the girl asked, frowning and elbowing her friend, who was listening closely.

“That’s it, yeah,” I laughed. “Not a tribe, I think, but representing some of the tribes in Western Australia. I think.” Smiling at them, I then ask “What’s the name of your tribe, in this area?

“Wiradjuri,” a few of them call out together. I laugh again. Clearly, I have more of an audience now.

We stand together, looking around us and sipping cool water in a companionable silence.

Then I say, “It must be hard for you today, to be here and watching these people enjoy themselves; celebrating a history that denies you place and (for you) begins a time of genocide of your people. A lot of hurt.”

“Yes,” said the girl. Many nod their heads at this. “And we stand excluded even more today, because we also want to remind them of that displacement and damage and at this particular time, they don’t want to remember.”

I drain the last of my water and ask the girl, “What’s your name?”

“Bethany,” she answers.

“I’m Trish, Bethany. Nice to meet you,” and I hold my hands out to her. “Tell me,” I ask as we shake hands, enthusiastically. “In Wiradjuri, how do you say ‘friend’?”

Bethany looks surprised, but answers “Mudyi.”

“Mudyi,” I repeat.

“And, ‘welcome’?” I ask.

“Gawaaymbanha,” she responds, grinning.

“And I wonder, how do the Wiradjuri people say “peace”.”

Bethany’s expression sobers suddenly, as she replies “Gwandalan.”

I nod and say “Gwandalan, Bethany,” as I walk away from her people and towards the space set up for the Citizenship Ceremony.

*** *** ***

Note: This is a work of fiction. If I was a braver person, this could be a conversation I would have, but for now it only happens in my ‘scenario-planning’ imagination.

I use words from the Wiradjuri language hesitantly. I ‘google’ researched (again) and these were the closest descriptions for the words friend, welcome and peace that I could find. Hopefully, no offence caused. And if anyone does know the correct words, I’m happy to be told.

(http://www.wiradjuri.dalang.com.au/plugin_wiki/wordlist) (http://www.housenameheritage.com/hnh_wsc_aboriginal.asp)

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Winner

nano-by-the-numbers

National Novel Writing Month 2016 (NaNoWriMo) and another small novel down. Two years in a row for me – and that is the great thing about the program. A want-to-be author, who has only started blogging since 2013 and not done any creative writing since she was a teenager, has now written over 100,000 words of fiction.

When you are a wife and mother (and most often at work) you put aside all the dreams – at least I did. My desire to write is deeply buried; with my creative muse. And all things practical take precedence.

Even as things have changed, it has been hard to realise that I now have the time and my own permission to pursue this area of interest. Lee Child only wrote his first novel in his mid-40s, so a late start is not unheard of. Of course, Mr Child’s total life and career background has been fertile ground for his imaginative and action-packed thrillers. For me, a simple mummy-type background hasn’t been a breeding ground for amazing ideas J!

The first novel in 2015 About Lucy sits in the romance genre; and is still in draft mode and needing beefing up. At the rewrite, it will change and not be as light, with a bleak beginning; but that will be the impetus for the rest of Lucy’s journey and there will still be room for the light and funny parts. A lot of rewriting to be done. And ironically, I only began to imagine what to do with a rewrite as NaNoWriMo 2016 approached; when I was supposed to be thinking up the next story.

The Shimmering is the 2016 effort and is again a romance, but with a foot in the door of ancient Ireland. In fact, the novel is set in the modern age, but there are faeries living ‘almost’ among us – remnants of the Celtic Gods. And my main character, Jenny, is a direct descendant of these Celts and therefore unwillingly becomes the main attraction in a supernatural happening – called, The Shimmering.

I think this second book has more depth to it. I’m happier with the quality in this second attempt at writing a ‘novel in a month’.

I have two ideas for the next stories rumbling around in my head and while I’ve got the writing habit happening, I shall begin on them. The first is an imagining of losing a young child at the airport – and how that happens; how do we react and what happens to the child (how does the child handle it?). The second is a ‘zombies living among us’ story. I know; Zombies! I read eclectically and clearly, I’m going to be an eclectic writer J.

I’ve written on this site before about NaNoWriMo and how it is a vehicle to get people to write – who otherwise mean to, but procrastinate, think they’re not good enough, it is something other people do, etc. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a month – from 1st November to (pens down) midnight 30th November. You’re a winner if you reach that 50,000‑word target.

I tell people I’m a winner, because I achieved the goal of 50,000 words. Most people go ‘oh yeah, that’s good’ or ‘good on you’; but I don’t believe that they realise – me and the other ‘winning’ participants wrote a small novel in 30 days.
Out of a beginning number of over 400,000 (I don’t know the 2016 numbers, but in 2015 there were 431,626 adult participants) only so many finished. In the entire world. And I was one of them! You can see from the graph that it is a small number of people who reach that 50,000-word goal.

 

I have a way to go before I’ve got something that’s publishable (basically, I’ve written two first drafts) but this is a massive achievement for me.  @nanowrimo #nanowrimoworks 😀

When is it okay to hunker down and look after yourself?

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated in June 2016 that ‘at the end of 2015 there were 65.3 million refugees; that is, one out of every 113 people on earth and that was an increase of 5.8 million on the previous year. This is mainly driven by the Syrian war and other protracted conflicts.’  http://www.unhcr.org/emergencies

An article by Reuters in December 2015 estimates:

  • 2 million refugees fleeing wars and persecution
  • Almost 2.5 million asylum seekers with requests pending in Germany, Russia and the United States
  • An estimated 34 million people were internally displaced – with Yemen reporting the highest number of newly uprooted people at 933,500 – after civil war erupted in March 2015
  • Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan; as well as Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Congo and Iraq – have all lost people through displacement, due to violence.
  • Many refugees will remain in exile for many years. The chance that a refugee will make it back home (today) are lower than at any time in the last 30 years.

These figures are only those for refugees brought about through the violence of war and fighting.

This week the news is about 90% destruction in parts of Haiti through the passage of Hurricane Matthew. The numbers of dead are high, but it is the number of people who are displaced and have nothing – estimated 300,000 that is worrying. This is a country that hasn’t recovered from the earthquake of 2010.

Historically Haitians escape to the US, due to poor lifestyle and corrupt government, but are routinely returned to Haiti because it is decided the refugees ‘do not suffer reprisals when they are returned’. However, anecdotal stories would suggest this is incorrect

emergencies2

* * * *

I’ve barely touched the tip of the refugee iceberg with the above notes. Let me tell you though that I worry about a world where so many people are displaced, unhappy, persecuted – with nowhere to feel safe. They need somewhere to belong and while some countries have opened their arms – such as Germany and Italy – they do so at the risk of their countrymen rebelling and at the risk of losing their own cultural identity.

Losing cultural identity doesn’t sound too bad – does it? Globalisation is the holy grail in this modern age – globalisation equals loss of cultural identity. However, I believe that there is a genuine and healthy need to nurture cultural identity – and that is for both the country that has accepted these refugees and for the refugees , within their new country.

I’d suggest that the healthiest and happiest people are those who celebrate their cultural uniqueness. They know who they are, their people, their history and where they belong.

Those who are ‘lost’, who haven’t been nurtured in the wealth of their heritage; perhaps they have moved around a lot and don’t have a sense of community. These people ‘suffer’ in their lack of identity.

* * * *

I sit here in ‘comfort’; that is, I’ve a roof over my head, food on the table, clean water. There is money for movies and a book and too much takeaway. Financially, we are in ‘start-up’ mode again, due to a recent relocation, so we feel poor. However, we have prospects and as long as we work hard and continue to have some luck, we’ll be okay; because life in Australia is safe.

Yet, I continue to despair at the plight of refugees. Previously I have written about my disgust at the way our Australian government handles our domestic refugee intake and how government and media encourage us to fear refugees. The media certainly encourages us to fear people based on religious beliefs or ethnicity.

The question remains – How do we help these people in dire need while keeping our own freedom, culture and security intact? And I still don’t know the answer.

I feel “How dare we be comfortable” when so very many people are suffering. At the same time, I’m not willing to give up my freedoms or comfortable life; so, stalemate.