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Last night I thought my house might just float away

24 Feb


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It was the rain that woke me. I had to be up at 4am to work the Sunday morning shift at Bankstown Airport and I was doing my best to get some shut-eye but it was just so loud. The rain was loud because there was so much of it. And it wasn’t just the rain.

The roof gutters were overloaded and water was streaming so loudly past our doors and windows that I was convinced the roof was leaking and searched for it. Thankfully the roof held up.

Then the wind picked up.

I felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. It was positively howling. I will never know how the house stayed standing. The glass in the windows shook and even though they were closed the curtains and blinds were moving each time a new gust slammed into them. At one stage the wind was so furiously fast that it emitted an intense whistle. I swear my heart stopped.

I started wondering about the roof caving in on the kids as they slept. I started wondering about the streets being flooded and us being stranded.

I started wondering about driving into flood water and being swept away. How would I get us out? How would I keep us safe?

Mother Nature can be scary when she wants to be and with the intensity of current weather patterns across the world you’ve got to wonder what will happen next.

My son Philip is 9 and he asks questions all the time about possible disasters. Does Australia have earthquakes? Yes, but just little ones. Does Australia have hurricanes? No (although last night I heard of several mini-twisters). Does Australia have fires? Yes, bad ones but not in Sydney. Does Australia have flooding? Yes, bad ones but not in Sydney.

I think of silly things, like how I’ll buy an inflatable raft and put one in the house and one in the car just in case. I’ll stop up on kids vitamins and Space Food Sticks and store them in waterproof containers. I’ll build an underground shelter in case of fires, cyclones and other dangers. It can double as a panic room.

I’ll put Uno, Monopoly and some books in there. I’ll pack water, long-life milk and chocolate.

I feel like saying I’m lucky to live in Sydney is like asking for trouble (I’m knocking on wood as I speak!).

Last night I was scared to death. I can’t wait for the sun to come out again.

La Dolce Vita,

Jo Abi

Snot fun

26 May


I love how children sneeze. Babies sneeze with their entire bodies and according to my sister and her newborn, they make a little ‘let down’ sound after. Toddlers produce a lot of snot. Not knowing how to hold back, they sneeze with all their might, shooting out nose debris as far as 2 metres. If any refuse is left hanging down their face they become moaning statues until you run and wipe them up.

Children wipe their noses on their clothes. No matter how many times you tell them to get a tissue, youthful instinct takes over and the use the nearest available snot rag being their clothing and usually leave a snail trail across their cheek which is you’re lucky, develops into a rash.

We’re told not to give our children medication to dry them up. As my doctor reminded me, “It’s better if it comes out. If it stops coming out, that’s when they get infections.” So no medicine, just three children in various locations around my house sneezing their heads off and me running around trying to make sure they don’t wipe it on the lounge/bedsheets/family pet.

Winter sucks and blows (pun intended). I’m completely freaking out over our electricity bill. My mother in law who is lucky enough to be the recipient of most of my financial meltdowns has sent me two boxes full of snuggie blankets to wrap the kids in a bedtime. Still, I think it has a lot to do with their air they breath, although these blankets will help.

When I was little we used hot water bottles. They were fantastic and comforting (although my mum says they used to leak and eventually smell). They were brilliant for period pain. I think Kmart still sells them.

Tissues feel like sandpaper after half a day of blowing and wiping, even the fancy aloe vera ones. We use baby wipes in my house. It’s like fragrant angels are wiping your nose….well it’s better than tissues.

My thoughts are with you during this chilling weather. All I want to do is drink hot coffee and tea, cupasoups and sit in front of the heater, under the blankets, holding a packet of baby wipes and sucking on a butter menthol.

As my mother says on particularly cold days, “It must be snowing somewhere.” It is.

La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi

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