The Virus Diaries: My Mum

March 31, 2020 at 11:00 am (Uncategorized)

I mentioned earlier that my Mum finished painting the copper signs for my escape room business (… the one that’s not currently running). Here they are, isolating outside before getting the all-clear and coming inside.

That copper is gorgeous, isn’t it?

As a chaplain, my mother has been declared an “essential service” at the nursing homes where she works, since visitors are not allowed. I have mixed feelings about that, but at least my mum thrives in a crisis.

While visiting as many people as possible in the nursing homes, she’s also been making masks. These are the ones she made for our family:

Pretty, aren’t they? Obviously they’re just cloth: good mainly for reminding us not to touch our faces and/or to ease the fears of other people if for some reason we venture outside.

Since I needed to pick them up from her porch, and since I knew my sister’s trampoline was currently in her backyard, and since she’s my mother… the kids and I paid my mum a visit. We stayed in the yard (avoiding even the deck, since it has furniture on it) and I chatted to my mum from a safe distance while the kids jumped on the trampoline and looked at her fish.

Visiting my mum is, as far as I understand, an “orange” activity. It’s allowed, if I’m super careful. I certainly won’t do it often because there’s too much at play: my diabetes; small sticky children; both my parents over 60; my mum coming into contact with dozens of high-risk people.

But it was nice.

In other news, a long time ago, I wrote a book. This particular book was called Farting My ABCs. It was never published, because it’s too long for the fart-oriented age group and too farty for the chapter-book set.

A lot of people have been reading books aloud on video for other people to watch. It’s abundantly clear that TJ is smack bang in the fart zone. Here’s the final evolution of “The Lion Sings Tonight” (which he’s since stopped singing, presumably because the experience had reached its height):

I swear this happened before I started reading the book to him.

Anyway, so the Secret Project I’ve been working on is reading that book. But instead of sitting in a chair and reading to camera, I kept the camera on the kids. Boredom, confusion, disgust, delight: it’s all in their faces. And each chapter will be released on a different day throughout the school holidays. They’ll all be in different locations, too, because I know we’re all bored of walls by now.

Hey look! I managed to stay under 500 words today! (Nearly.)

Resource of the day: Playschool did a special “Welcome to Country” episode with a bunch of parent and educator resources. It’s here. Learning about Australia’s indigenous peoples is a vital part of a balanced education. They’re also doing a series on “Same but Different” including lots of visibly disabled presenters.

Recommended ‘donation’ of the day: I know a woman who makes amazing wings for both adults and children, including gorgeous miniature wings for hearing aids. Her etsy page is here.

Personal action of the day: With normal routines screwed up, you’re in danger of forgetting bin night. Set a weekly alarm.

Hoarding item of the day: Extra garbage bags/plastic bags just in case a lot of garbage collectors get sick and there is a minor disruption in services. If it happens it’s most likely to happen in Winter, so you can hopefully just double-bag rubbish and stick it outside as needed without it rotting too badly. Don’t buy a ridiculous amount though.


Permalink Leave a Comment

A Beautiful Dream

January 30, 2020 at 3:48 pm (Entries that matter, Fully Sick, Uncategorized)

I wrote this blog entry on November 29th 2019. It was fairly obvious I was having a manic episode, so I didn’t post it right away. I still don’t fully know if I’m going to pursue this, but although the idea has evolved considerably (more on that in another entry) it is still very much with me. So, without further ado…


Not that long ago, I wrote about the injustice of the developed versus the less developed world, and my ongoing struggle to find a solution to my own white guilt (ideally one that is actually just and fair on a global/moral level, rather than just making me feel better… but also one that made me feel better because why not?)

I may or may not write an article about the other side of that—how I’m marginalised as a woman, as a disabled person, etc. But I won’t write about that today.

Today, I want to talk about my new shiny dream of the future.

This has started because of the above thought trains, combined with the fact that I have a very hefty trauma insurance plan that it seems must surely, somehow, net me some big money sooner or later (just as soon as one of my many chronic illnesses ticks the right set of boxes).

One of the contradictions of my life is that I live in a really nice house, with air conditioning and everything. So I’m rich. But heat above about 20 degrees literally makes me sick. So I “should” have air conditioning… right? But so many people don’t… I’ve personally met many people without plumbing, or a roof, or walls. . .

So here’s my shiny new thought-bauble: If I do get a massive insurance payout (and, to be honest, the maximum amount I could possibly get wouldn’t come close to being enough for this but might be enough for some of it), I would like to buy the house immediately next to ours, knock it down, and rebuilt it as not just one dream house but two, one on top of the other, designed in such a way that the two houses can be divided in a multitude of ways

eg the bottom house is for one family and the top house is for another family;

the bottom house is for two single people living completely independently (ie with their own kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms) and the top house is for me and Chris to retire in while also caring for an elderly relative or two;

Half the bottom house is for a married couple, and the other half is studies for the family living upstairs;

Louisette and Tim house-share the top house, and Chris and I live in the bottom house, but the garage (currently both Chris’s study and Louisette’s bedroom) is converted back into a garage;

…and so on.

So it’s a fabulous, big, health-helping house for me AND an investment property at the same time.

But this is the part that is really awesome: Having effectively three houses, we could use the other two (or part/most of the other two) to house Indonesian refugees for 6-12 months each. During that time they could pay a proportion of their income (zero when it’s zero) and I could help them with English, with schooling, with getting a visa, getting a driving license, etc etc.

I used to speak fluent Indonesian and both Chris and I have teacher-ish brains so we’re well suited to help people transition into Australian society. Which is extremely helpful, useful work—especially as climate change will be making more and more refugees in the near future.

If I (or any of our parents) got sicker and we needed rental income or more space, we’d have it. Hopefully we could coordinate things so two Indonesian families were part of our mini-community at the same time (I’m a benevolent dictator, but I imagine it would be a blessed relief for anyone living here to have someone else they could talk to in Indonesian).

So if this dream came true, I’d have more space in my house (and perhaps a secret passageway or two) and I’d also be fulfilling the long-dead dream of being someone who helped low-income Indonesian people (by lifting them up to my financial level, rather than lowering myself to their poverty level as per 12 year-old me’s life plans).

I’m not publishing this article, but I’m writing it at 2am on Friday 29 November 2019. Chris and I just had a little chat about “If we were billionaires, we could….” including the above, and he was quite positive about my ideas (“Sure, if we’re billionaires”). And about having a book-lined TV room/basement. Which was enough to send me into manic mode. And here I am.

I mentioned I was manic, yes?

Right now I honestly believe with all my heart that I’ve found my true and ultimate purpose in life (this, plus writing, plus napping, plus being a loving mother and wife and friend).











When I wrote the above, I knew that Climate Change was bad, and coming soon. I didn’t know I’d be buying P2 masks that my sister brought from Queensland because there were none to be had in all of Canberra. I also didn’t know that I’d be seeing golfball-sized hail smashing windows and cars in my suburb in the same suburb.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Best interactive fiction of the decade

December 27, 2019 at 12:52 pm (Uncategorized)

My 10 Interactive Fiction Games of the Decade:

-Howling Dogs

-Counterfeit Monkey

-Cragne Manor

-80 Days

-Superluminal Vagrant Twin

-Choice of Robots

-Hadean Lands



-Depression Quest

(For influence, innovation, and skill)


This is a cut and pasted tweet from mathbrush/Brian Rushton, who is the most generous reviewer in a field where there are a lot of incredibly generous reviewers.

Permalink Leave a Comment


November 10, 2019 at 10:17 am (Advanced/Publication, Uncategorized)

It’s been a long, long time since I added any new content here, but since I mainly use blogging to talk to myself (just ask my 2.1 followers) I decided the blog needed to be separated from my vaguely professional-looking online store and (coming soon) Escape Room booking sessions, so the whole blog has been shifted over to this dusty old scene where only the devoted can find it. I’ll most likely play around with themes and stuff, so bear with me (my precious 2.1 followers). In a week or two, we’ll be back to our regular schedule at the new location aka here.

Meanwhile, here’s my son and I.

Permalink Leave a Comment

The beginning of the end

July 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, it’s still not 100% certain, but things aren’t looking good for Princess Ana. There are probably some hard decisions ahead.

So here she is, looking perfect as usual:


Update: The decision to put her to sleep has been made. We’ll tell the kids in the morning.

Update: Ana died peacefully at the vet last Saturday.

Permalink 2 Comments

Starship Adventures

December 16, 2015 at 2:07 pm (Uncategorized)

The square picture is for icons, the wide ones with the title are…er…title screens. The pointy ones just show up for a second as the app opens.

Or something like that.


Permalink Leave a Comment


October 17, 2015 at 9:04 am (Uncategorized)

For those stumbling across this (retired) site, I’m at

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Amazing Reverse-Goldilocks Belly

August 22, 2015 at 6:55 pm (Uncategorized)


Last post I wrote about how the surgeon I saw about the gap in my abdominal muscles was probably too small to be covered through the public health system. “My hands are tied,” he said. “Although you certainly need the surgery.”

I had a CT scan that revealed (among other things) the gap in my abdominal muscles is 9cm wide.


Went back to the same surgeon with the CT scan results. “Ooh, that’s much too big,” he said. “This hospital isn’t equipped for such a major surgery,” he said. “My hands are tied,” he said.


Another hospital, another waiting list, another surgeon.

Permalink Leave a Comment

My job

November 25, 2012 at 10:10 pm (Uncategorized)

In the afternoons, I pick up two girls from school and mind them. Louisette comes with me. The girls actually chose the two of us over several other potential babysitters. Louisette is delighted with the girls, and they are delighted with her. I have their mum’s permission to post this photo:


Is it any wonder I love my job?

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Reverse Man Cold

November 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm (Uncategorized)

I have what I call a bad cold – and doctors call bronchitis. I knew I’d been exposed to pneumonia, so I want to the doc to get pre-emptive antibiotics and discovered that, actually, I was quite sick.

My favourite thing about CJ today: Unlike so many spouses of either gender, he is more likely to overestimate my illnesses than the reverse.

I’ve been on meds for a few days now, and I’m on the way out of sicktown. Louisette is doing fine, although she does have a cold so CJ and I are watching her like hawks.

And here’s a random pic:


Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »