survival mode

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Moving house is stressful for anyone. For a middle-aged Aspie Bunny with hypersenses and a painful autoimmune condition, it is a nightmare of monumental proportions. In the two and a half years I have been in Sydney, I have moved five times to date. Each time, I felt aged by a few years just from the ordeal itself! The grand move from the little old house in Paddington to living on campus was the most emotionally fraught one, because of the ugly entanglement with that Louise character, who I now know is a con artist with a string of victims scattered all over her shady past. I wasn’t the only victim in that particular episode, and I escaped with relatively minimal financial loss. Panda, the sweet innocent Greyhound that Louise adopted, paid the ultimate price of suffering and finally losing a leg. And Greyhound Rescue footed the entire $5000 bill, though I am so glad for Panda that they stepped in to save her and she is now in a good home. I cannot reiterate enough that Greyhound Rescue are heroes and should you ever want to adopt a Greyhound, or help towards their daily needs, please go to their website. I am sure they will welcome any donation in kind or money that you can give!

Anyhow, this time around, it was a straight forward and unemotional move. I simply need a larger space, so that I can bring half my work home. I don’t want to depend solely on working in the art studio at my campus. We are now living in the main campus, and need to travel via university shuttle bus to and from the other campus, and the shuttle bus doesn’t run in the weekends or during university shutdown periods. There are also days when travelling via shuttle bus is an immense struggle, due either to sensory shutdown, or a physical battle with the autoimmune condition. I want to be able to continue working at home regardless, so I decided to move the ‘soft’ work to homebase – the fabric work, that is. Well, after some time on the waiting list, Providence decided to smile on me, and I managed to secure a slightly larger studio unit just three doors down the corridor. Thus began the grand exercise on Monday.

Each time I moved, I have done so very much alone, yet, just when I thought I would break down from the immense pressure, mentally and physically, just at the most crucial moments, I have been incredibly blessed with people who pop up to me in one way or another. This time, I thought it would be an easy and simple move. How difficult could it be to move just three doors down the corridor? Indeed, it was simple, but not at all as easy as I had expected. Perhaps middle age has at last caught up with this Bunny in a profound way. Still, I am grateful for the young lady who took care of Lucy for the afternoon, and the re-appearance of an old friend, who came for two hours and did most of the heavy lifting (he was the only former housemate who was not from hell but rather someone I really enjoyed sharing the home with) .

Without going into the details of intense physical dramatics of the day, I ended the day collapsing in a sorry heap in bed, next to my beautiful and patient Princess, suffering the frightening effects of full on vertigo and nausea. I crashed into bed, shivering like a giddy blob of messy melty jelly, the world spinning wildly around me in a vertiginous swirl of dancing elephants and gut wrenching nauseating bouncing rubber bubbles. Poor Lucy, I didn’t have strength to bring her out for our evening walk, but she did not complain, she merely lay there in bed, her beautiful head gently rested on me, emanating warmth and tacit empathy.

Lucy doesn’t like moving either, I sense her heightened stress levels too, but she has been taking everything in her elegant and regal stride. She very quickly figured out that this is now our new home, stopping only once at the door of the former unit as we walked down the corridor. Since that one time, after just telling her, “Not there anymore,” she now trots past that door without turning her head for a second glance, and heads straight for our new unit.

For the first few days, we lived among the mess of boxes and bags, and I had to resort to takeaways and / or hastily thrown together meals. My mental-physical balance went out of whack as a result. Eating out is also insanely costly here. Not sustainable at all. Needless to say, the kitchen was the first thing I got organised! The first thing I cooked was an old traditional peasant dish – steamed minced pork. The mince was mixed with a salted egg, preserved vegetable (tung choy), a dash of soya sauce, spring onion, and a fresh egg to bind everything together. I steamed it in the rice cooker, on top of the cooking rice. An easy and quick meal, though somewhat lacking in the veggie department. I was too exhausted to cook a side dish of veggie at the time, but eventually bought a pack of baby spinach leaves from the IGA and chucked that into all subsequent variations on the theme (the minced pork dish lasted for a few meals, as per usual!). Breakfasts were also hastily put together affairs, and I must say I was quite thankful to have the spinach wraps! The latest achievement were the minced pork patties coated in crushed oat flakes cereal and baked in the ovenette. I wanted to shallow fry them but found that the electric cooker hob had broken down.

Well, it’s Saturday, and I have finally made some visible progress in the unpacking, organising and tidying of our new space. It is coming along really nicely, and I am very much looking forward to starting work again. There is also a tad more space for my Princess Lucy to zoom around in!


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