Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Long term support over the journey / Anyone had to spend days alone without anyone to talk to?

Topic: Anyone had to spend days alone without anyone to talk to?

  1. Paw Prints
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Paw Prints avatar
    1645 posts
    27 December 2019 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna3,

    Before moving here I lived in a fibro house with no air con, so I really feel for you. I found my bathroom was always the coolest, I would tack an old beach towel over the window outside to stop the sun hitting the glass, put a chair in there, put my feet up on a cushion on the bath edge, wet myself under the shower, have the fan blowing in over me & spend the day reading. Living alone has some benefits, our dogs don't tell tales about how daft we look.

    Paws

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    27 December 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Ha! Love it thanks for that delightful picture Paws! Actually Sam and I ended up spread out on the kitchen floor munching on ice cubes... The kitchen floor seems to be our coolest spot.

    I was just in the Café describing the delightful evening we are having here listening to the soothing sound of circling helicopters searching for spot fires - the fire is about 20 minutes out of town now. I figure if the house burns down Housing has to move me, which solves my problem really - so I sat out on the porch tonight watching the show... Would be different if it was my house but under the circumstances it's almost the perfect solution...

    What a week we are in for here. Pats to your dog - what's his/her name again? I'm looking out my windows waiting to see the red glow of bushfires... delightful.

  3. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    1564 posts
    29 December 2019 in reply to Hanna3

    Hello

    How's things? I've been a bit absent from here, but thought I'd check in and see how you and Sam are going. I see Paws has been giving you some great advice re: Sam's anxiety. Poor little thing. Staffies are typically anxious prone, but Stormy is pretty good. I'm not sure if that's due to when I got her, I already had another dog (now passed) and my cats, and she just took cues off them. Does Sam do any 'tricks'? I've taught Stormy so many things, just for fun. She's a really quick learner. They say learning is just as tiring as a physical workout, so sometimes when it's too hot to get out and about, we do some trick training for a change. Sometimes I set up an agility course indoors and we do that too lol. Stormy loves it :)

    I've been spending a bit of time tidying up my garden. I really got stuck into the weeding yesterday and tidying up and moving pot plants around. It was quite satisfying and I slept well last night! In response to your question about the book I was considering buying - it was Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko. I might grab it next pay day. I see you're an avid reader and have been making recommendations. I'll have to note them down and have a squiz next time I'm at the library. How are you going with The Bridge?

    Katy

  4. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    29 December 2019 in reply to Katyonthehamsterwheel

    Hi Katy, nice to hear from you! The heat here is unrelenting, I had to go to the shops this morning and leave Sam alone - too hot to take him in the car. Yes he does tricks and two of his favourite games are when I hide treats around the house and he has to sniff them out (very exciting apparently!) and another where you put treats inside a plastic bowl but wrapped up in dishcloths, teatowels, etc, pile them up inside the bowl, he has to work out how to get the towels etc out of the bowl, shake them open and find the treats. I got this off the www and it's great.

    No gardening here and we're hitting the low 40s going higher every day so it's pretty awful without aircon or any insultation in a fibro house. Am wondering what to do about it... can't afford a portable aircon.

    Am loving The Bridge but need volume 2 of the DVD set and it's out on loan from the library until after New Year, rats! So I'm watching The Killing now. Just love Scandi Noir!

    I had better give Sam some attention he's been stuck inside too hot to even go to the park today. Hope we can get out in the early evening for a little while.

    I haven't read the book you mention but by all means try any of the ones I've suggested - it's always hard to know what appeals to another person, so I tried to put a fairly wide range on the list for Birdy. Take care!

  5. Paw Prints
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Paw Prints avatar
    1645 posts
    29 December 2019 in reply to Hanna3

    Hello Hanna3,

    We all find the sound of helicopters circling very soothing - not. How are you managing to sleep with all the activity? Is the fire still coming closer or have the winds changed & spared the town? Love that you're sharing the floor & ice cubes with Sam, these days I would need something easier to get up from.

    The Scandinavian's do crime drama really well don't they. Though I haven't watched any of the recent stuff, Wallander (both versions) was the last series I watched.

    I call my dog Woofa here on BB, I do realise that not being comfortable using his real name is mostly just my paranoia, but as it doesn't detrimentally affect my life I will keep doing so & save my energy for trying to change things that do matter as per my Psych's advice.

    No gardening here either, far too hot. I really need to mow, the paddock & front aren't too bad, but the back where it gets shade is shooting up as I watch It. I'm still trying to plan out my gardens. I have already removed a number of hideous plants the previous owners had planted, still more to go & I want to relocate the nice ones to make it all easier maintenance. I also want to plant some things I like, but will have to be mindful of bush fire risk so any trees will need to be away from the house.

    Paws

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    31 December 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paws, sorry I didn't see your reply until now... yes it's hard to sleep the nights are so hot I tend to stay up until the early hours of the morning - the fans just blow hot air. Today is a shocker, had to leave Sam at home while I went to the shopping centre to get into aircon - I finally succumbed to bad heat exhaustion yesterday and couldn't keep my balance, felt very sick, so today is extremely hot and I've had to go into aircon at the shops because if I get sick there is nobody to look after Sam.

    Left him at home with ice cold water and the fan on, have come home for a while now he seems OK..

    No garden or lawns left here everything is dying, we're on extreme water restrictions and the heat has finally finished off most things. It's really sad.

    Am loving the Scandi Noir stuff, Borgen, The Killing, The Bridge etc. Yes Wallander was good!

    I'm going back to stay in the aircon for a while, poor Sam has to stay in all day, hope to take him to the park about 5pm, they have New Year's stuff in there so he might enjoy watching the crowds. Am sorry I don't have any friends here yet to spend it with.

    It's a bit sad that neither of my two friends here who have aircon have not thought to check on me, nor do the neighbours although they run their aircons non-stop all day. People don't seem to have much of a sense of community any more or is it just here?

    I hope you are doing well and your doggie - in the shops they had military guys demonstrating Labradors trained to help returned soldiers with PTSD - they demonstrated how if I showed any sign of anxiety the dog was trained to lean against me for comfort. Wonderful stuff!

    I hope you are having a not too hot and unpleasant New Year - very windy and hot here. Glad the fire near us seems to have been contained but I'm sorry for people down the south coast and Victoria. Take care and best wishes for 2020!

  7. Paw Prints
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Paw Prints avatar
    1645 posts
    31 December 2019 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna3,

    Take care with the heat exhaustion, it's even more dangerous for those of us living alone. It's good to hear you are going to where there is air con & I'm sure you are keeping the fluids up.

    I hope the cool change which has been crossing has made it as far as your town in time for your NYE. It came through here late yesterday, so a lot cooler today. Glad to hear the fire near you is contained, I hope that means less smoke. Thankfully I'm not in any of the drought area's, the only down side is that there has been a lot of growth that will dry out as summer hits.

    I agree it's disappointing that your neighbours & especially your friends haven't checked up on you or even invited you over to theirs. I think a sense of community isn't as "just how it is" as it once was, especially in the towns. It does exist here, but I think that is because this is still a small farming community.

    Those PTSD support dogs are wonderful aren't they. I'm a supporter of a charity called "Whiskeys Wish" which supports veterans in getting & training their own support dog to accreditation standard. It's amazing how the dogs can identify things that may trigger their handler and how they can calm their human just by being there. Training their own dog also helps the veterans sense of self worth.

    Woofa & I are having a wild NYE. I'm on the couch with a cuppa & bickies & he let his fur down and had a liver treat before stretching out on his bed.

    Enjoy your outing to the park with Sam for the NY celebrations. Wishing you the best for 2020.

    Paws

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    31 December 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paws, I had a chuckle when I read that Woofa's let his fur down by having a liver treat! Sounds like your NYEve is about as exciting as mine - but it's still so hot I am using cold packs and wet towels and spritzing Sam down with a plastic spray bottle. No cool change here we go into the mid-40's by the weekend and I am seriously thinking of booking into a dog friendly motel here for one day and night of being cool and able to sleep!!!

    Yes I think this town has got too big and that a smaller place is better as far as a feeling of community goes (although I guess the downside is that everyone know your business). I'll be spending tomorrow afternoon in the shopping mall as we hit the 40s yet again...

    I grew up in a suburb of Sydney in the days when it was like growing up in a country village, we had cows grazing across the road, a chook farm down the street, I road a friend's pony around the streets, and everyone knew everybody (which meant we kids couldn't get up to much without someone informing our mother...) but at least nobody was left isolated. I have found it disappointing that the neighbours on each side have their aircons revving all day and night but don't check on me and Sam stuck in a fibro without insulation or aircon... I could drop dead and they wouldn't know. I went to the shops today because I knew if I had to go to hospital there was nobody to mind Sam, so I had to take care of myself first.

    Hardly anyone is in the BB Café these days, I was hoping it would be a good place to chat but it's mostly pretty empty.

    The fires today on TV have been horrific.

    There was a New Year's Eve music show on in the park tonight for the town, but with nobody to go with I didn't feel like taking a picnic dinner and just sitting with Sam... everyone is in their family groups etc.

    Do you find people tend to know your business in a small town Paws or do you find it pleasant? Sam's groomer was in a very small town about 40 minutes from here (she's just moved to Queensland, darn, she was really nice) and while I was waiting I mooched around the town and I really noticed how friendly the locals seemed to be. The groomer had moved there from the city and said the people were really friendly, but she had a young son so maybe that makes it easier. How do you find where you are? Happy 2020 anyway to you and Woofa from me and Sam!

  9. Paw Prints
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Paw Prints avatar
    1645 posts
    31 December 2019 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna,

    I find activity in the BB cafe comes & goes in waves. Sounds like we grew up in similar surrounds. I grew up on the outskirts of Melbourne, every one knew everyone, you could leave an order at the local butcher who would deliver your meat & leave it in your fridge with the change on the table if you were out. No one locked doors. There was a local dairy that got it's milk from the surrounding farms & delivered it each morning by horse & cart.

    I've found the locals here very friendly but not overbearing. I was invited to join many local groups when I first arrived, thankfully no-one was offended when I declined. (I struggle in groups of strangers with my mh I'm too likely to breakdown). Originally people I met at the general store would greet me with either "oh you're the lady with the fence" (I had the back of the property fenced 8 ft high to keep woofa in, I don't want him being shot for worrying stock.) or "you have the big dog, I see him driving around". Everyone seems to know his name, they are still learning mine.

    I realise an air con is out of your price range but could you afford a smallish evaporative cooler, just thinking it would cost about the same as a motel room, but would last longer. Kmart has a 10 litre for $79. I have an 8 litre one in my bedroom & it is big enough to make sleeping bearable.

    Its nearly midnight

    Happy New Year

    Paws

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    1 January 2020 in reply to Paw Prints
    Hi Paws, it's really interesting to hear about where you grew up and where you are now. It's 11.30 here now and I am just out of bed (couldn't sleep from the heat) and we have strong winds and intense heat here now, so I'm going to get out to the shopping mall to get in aircon for a while as they'll close early today being New Year's Day, and I'll get Sammy settled first in the cement floored laundry with a fan and ice water... so I'll reply properly later today, probably this evening as it's unbelievable hot now... I understand completely what you mean about being not OK in crowds of strangers etc I struggle with that too. My brother lives in Melbourne, but I don't know where he is now (he doesn't let me know his address we're not a close family). So will be back in touch! Take care today... poor Sam is having long hot boring days... back later on!
  11. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    1 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Paws, back just in time for the worst of the afternoon heat but all the cafes were closed and it's not especially comfortable sitting upright in a chair in a food hall reading a book for hours - but it gets me into aircon for a while I'm trying not to get heat exhaustion again. I did read reviews about a portable aircon but people said they didn't work in fibro houses - I think they just get too hot for anything to handle. What is your house made of? Weatherboard or brick?

    Funny isn't it how everyone knows the dog's name before yours, I do that I know dogs' names but not their owners! I can imagine a Great Dane doesn't go unnoticed!

    It sounds like people there have been quite OK, sometimes in country towns they don't like anyone behaving a bi differently. It doesn't sound like you get lonely - I get terribly lonely here and I'm terribly homesick. Just had a phone call from an old friend where I moved from and she said the temperature there is very comfortable. It makes it worse being in such awful heat and smoke here. I feel like I've made such a terrible mistake... I'm beating myself up because I don't know a way out.

    When I do go to the shops or anywhere it seems like everyone has family/friends to talk to, I feel like I am the only one on my own. I'm pretty introvert and do need plenty of "out" time from mixing with people - I've always avoided things like parties, I can't bear trying to make small talk... but I do like to have a couple of friends that I can go out to a café with, or have a chat with. It's not happening much here and I get the feeling it's not going to.

    Poor Sam is lying on the cement floor in the laundry I've set up a fan so he gets some circulating air. I feel wretched for him spending day after day stuck inside a hot house, when he used to have a paddle in the sea every morning and evening, and go to the outdoor cafes with me where there was a sea breeze. I feel really guilty about what I've done to him.

    Yes when I grew up in Sydney it was in a suburb that was pretty much on the outskirts, now it's worth a fortune and going under high rise apartments. I think it was a great time to be a kid as we used to take the dog and go for a swim in the waterhole down in the bush, and go for bushwalks, and without social media I think people were more inclined to talk to each other. I'm glad it's worked out for you. Do you read much or how do you like to spend your time? Cheers from us both here.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    1 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna and Paws,

    The heat and the fires certainly are horrendous over so many parts of our country.

    It has been interesting reading your comments about small towns and friendliness. I grew up in a small town and did not find the people to be all that supportive if yo were a little bit different or not related to everyone else as was the case for our family.

    I lived for decades in the city and made some great friends through work, different groups and even with neighbours. A few years ago my husband wanted to move to the country. We now live in a small town. The neighbours don't say hello even when I try to chat to them over the fence.

    I've made friends with people from other towns around us.

    Hanna, I am wondering if you contact the council if they might know of some places you might be able to take Sam and be in air conditioning. I noticed people had their dogs with them in the shopping mall that is air conditioned last week in our region.

    It can be really hard when we think about what might have been and wish we were somewhere where we aren't!

    You mentioned the BB Café, sometimes the "conversation" there can jump all over the place. It can be busy or very quiet. It is quite random.

    Years ago when I was in a flat with no air conditioning, I would sit in the bath and have the T.V. on in the door way. I had an evaporative cooler which worked well enough as long as it was not humid. Maybe make some enquiries and see if there may be a system you can have on trial?

    Wishing you both a New Year full of new opportunities and cooler weather soon!

    Cheers from Dools

    2 people found this helpful
  13. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    1 January 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools, nice to have you comment here thanks. I can imagine that small towns wouldn't like anyone to be "different" in any way. It's interesting your neighbours don't talk to you. I've come from a coastal tourist town and am used to smiling and saying hello to people as I pass them (while I'm say, walking the dog). I notice here that people don't do that, I say hello and smile and they either give me a look like I'm unwelcome or mostly they turn their head/eyes and look away. I am not at all used to this, I like to be friendly when I'm out and about. I guess in a tourist town you have to get used to having lots of people around that you don't know. Maybe it was more relaxed too.

    Unfortunately public housing never gives you a bath, only a shower - I would love to have a bath but you never get one.

    I have often found people in large cities much more tolerant of difference in others than country towns, I think in cities you have to get used to having all sorts of people around you. Towns can be very insular.

    Thanks for the tips. It's an extraordinarily tough heatwave we're going through and plenty of people in the shopping malls seem to be there because they have no aircon, or can't afford it. I certainly haven't been the only one spending time there reading just to stay out of the heat. Interesting to hear from you thanks so much.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Paw Prints
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Paw Prints avatar
    1645 posts
    1 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna3,

    Oh lass, please try not to berate yourself, you made the best decision you could with the info you had. Your loneliness & sense of isolation must be so hard. Hopefully it will only be a few more weeks before things start to resume & you will be able to get out & meet people with similar interests to yours. I don't miss human company like most people do, so what limited contact I have is enough for me.

    My 'mother hen' hat drops on my head from time to time & I tend to try and think of suggestions for other peoples challenges. It is snugly fitted at the moment so:

    The little portable evap cooler doesn't cool the whole room, but unlike a standard fan it blows cold air so as long as I stay within its range it makes a big difference & is surprisingly effective at keeping me & woofa feeling cool. It makes sleeping possible. I had a bigger one but it needed to be put in front of an open door or window & honestly it just made the hot air feel humid & was useless on really hot days.

    Just a thought for Sam to be able to have a cool paddle/splash, if you google "portable dog swimming pool" or "clam pool" there are lots available with free shipping from $20.

    OK hat off

    I've been watching the tragic rolling fire coverage on the ABC news channel. Its heartbreaking seeing all the devastation & how much of the country is burning. The firestorms are simply terrifying.

    How I spend my time varies depending on my mh & how hard I find it to be able to concentrate or absorb info. I do a lot of re-watching/re-reading what I know, trying to follow a plot in a new show/book can be difficult for me. I like reading sci-fi especially those written in the 50s-70s & prefer ones which deal with peoples lives on earth & surrounds rather than the big intergalactic story lines.

    My love of history means I enjoy documentaries/historical programs & I also like historical novels based on real events. It is also why I started tracing my family history over 30 years ago (before the days of computers/internet). Since moving here I am slowly going through all of my records adding citations, throwing out duplicates, making soft/hard copies of things. I do keep getting side tracked with finding out more about their living conditions/occupations/customs & laws.

    Paws

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    1 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna,

    How about one of those clam shells that people buy kids to use for a sandpit. I had one of those once that I filled with water.

    We have an old bathtub down the back that we use when we borrow some sheep to eat the grass down the back...when it grows! I am thinking of using bleach to clean the bath out and will then drag it under a tree and fill it with water to soak in on a hot day. I can then use the water on the plants.

    I realise there are water restrictions so maybe that option might not work.

    It is funny about how people react. I walk down the street and say hello to everyone. Some people will respond, like you wrote, others look away or even cross the street to avoid me. Ha. Ha.

    I've recently started a new job. Some of the staff have been nice, others not so pleasant. I say hello to all of them as most have to walk past my desk at the end of their shift. Some are now stopping for a short chat.

    While you are in the shopping centre escaping the heat, can you strike up a conversation with some of the people around you? Even if it is brief, it is an encounter with another person.

    Some days I have walked into the local post office for a chat with the workers and not conducted any business while there. They haven't called the cops on me yet! Ha. Ha.

    Hopefully you will connect with other people who want to have contact with people as well.

    Cheers again from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    1 January 2020 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paws, it's been really helpful chatting to you because I've realised reading what you've said that I'm thinking I just want a quiet life too. Where I lived by the coast was very quiet, but I'd been through a period of extreme stress and just wanted quiet for a while. Then old friends told me I'd get dementia and should do more, join more things, and I was a bit lonely so I made the move to Big Inland Town. Now I feel overwhelmed by the size of it.

    I also realise I'm pretty happy just doing walks with Sam, I'd love a cat, and one or two friends to meet up with at a café or dog walk. I've tried to join choirs etc but I'm finding it stressful. Maybe quiet and just being with animals and in nature is enough for me. Unfortunately it's taken this move for me to realize. Perhaps I should look at smaller towns in the area once this hot summer is over.

    I think you sound great, did you watch/read the Wolf Hall series by Hilary Mantel? Family history is fascinating.

    It's been a real help talking with you. It's made me focus on what I am really in need of - more quiet, nature and a couple of pals... I hope you are OK from the fires where you are.

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Paw Prints
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Paw Prints avatar
    1645 posts
    2 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna3,

    You haven't really had a good start there, so there's a chance things can improve for you. Perhaps once you have had a bit more time there, you may find yourself feeling more settled. Especially if you can find an activity you like that enables you to meet a one or two people you like.

    One thing you could be doing while your stuck at home is to do internet searches of areas you might like to live in. When I decided I couldn't stay at my old place for much longer I started looking on line for areas I might like to move to. Actually I started off Aus. wide & then crossed of areas I wouldn't want to live ( tropics / outback / hot places / drought prone / big cities / too remote / growth corridors etc) & I just kept narrowing areas down until I had a few areas I liked. Then I started comparing each of those areas & the places in them, it was a really good exercise for me to settle on what was really important to me & what I did/didn't need.

    I had to google Wolf Hall as I hadn't heard of it. Have you read or watched it or both? I can't remember if you have mentioned any hobbies/interests you like (sorry if you have) other than you read. What type of books do you like to read?

    Thankfully I'm not near any of the big blazes. Just a couple of small fires about 20km away which are under control. Have they managed to get the fire near you controlled or is it still a threat to the town?

    Paws

  18. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    2 January 2020 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paws,

    Good to hear you are pretty safe where you are. I think I am about as safe as anyone can be in the country at the moment but yes a megafire was not far away, we've had heavy smoke for weeks now, the RFS said outlying houses in this town could go but my address was pretty safe as I'm in the middle of town.. it's public housing so not my own home.

    My problem is so many places I'd like to live are too expensive, everywhere is becoming trendy and the rents are too high - once these areas would have been cheap. But yes I thought of looking around in the Autumn. Your idea of Googling around is good, I lack the money to move anywhere at the moment so I'm pretty stuck for now. Getting very exhausted from the unrelenting heat with no aircon.

    Wolf Hall was a book written by Engish writer Hilary Mantel and was made into a BBC television series with Mark Rylance (he's a Shakespearean actor) in the lead. It's about Cromwell and Henry VIII but absolutely fascinating I think you would really enjoy the TV series, most libraries would have the DVD of it as it was immensely popular.

    Yes I read a lot, I enjoy music, I used to love horse riding when I was younger but would fall too hard at this age, I enjoy movies and I did train at singing ages ago. Looks like I'll be indoors due to the heat for some days yet, so I'll Google around, but being on a pension means I can't afford much rent. I'm glad it's not too hot where you are... Poor Sam's completely listless from the heat I am anxious about him. Take care in this awful heat and fire weather...

  19. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    3 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna, Paws and all reading,

    There have been times when we have wanted to leave this small town. Times when I have hated it here.

    Now I try to accept we are here and to make the most of it. The extreme heat of this summer and not having air-conditioning would certainly make any place less appealing in my opinion.

    I'm wondering if there are sports grounds around you Hanna, they might still be able to water their lawns. Could be a nice place to go in the evening or early mornings.

    I've just read an interesting story of a Chinese lady who went into Tibet in the late 1950s with the Chinese army and ended up wandering with a nomadic Tibetan family for decades having no idea of what was happening in the world.

    True stories like that interest me. I get to experience the world through other people's eyes.

    Cheers from Dools

  20. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    4 January 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools,

    Yes I've certainly had a bad introduction to living here - flu, drought, dust storms, heatwaves, smoke and fires... wow.

    No chance of watered sports grounds unfortunately we are on extreme water restrictions here - only one small park in the town is kept alive for public morale and because the magnificent trees which are over 100 years old are too valuable to lose. Everything else is pretty much dead. I've been feeding the possums in my back garden they must be starving - they've had carrots, apples, banana and grapes from me tonight and are so frantic for food they are almost taking it out of my hand.

    Could you give me the name of that book and the author as it sounds fascinating and I'd love to see if the local library here has it!

    Heat here today absolutely incredible. I left a cup of water on a beside table and if you touch it the water is hot!

    I meant to say Dools that I ran into a lady this evening walking her little dog in the park - I asked her why when I pass people and smile and say Hi they either give me a blank look or mostly turn their eyes away and say nothing. In the town where I lived before everyone used to say Hi as they went past walking...

    She said she and her husband (who was born in the town where I now am) moved here 13 years ago from a coastal town in another state. They run a local pub here. She said they are moving back because in 13 years they haven't been able to make any friends, the locals are so unfriendly. I asked her about people turning their heads away when I say Hi going past and she said that's how people here behave and she and her husband can't take it anymore. He was born here but his old school friends won't mix with him now.

    So it doesn't sound great does it? She was a pleasant friendly lady in her 30's I'd guess... oh dear.

  21. Paw Prints
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Paw Prints avatar
    1645 posts
    4 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna3,

    Oh dear indeed, your park chat doesn't make things sound too promising. Especially her running a pub & still having issues. Though fingers crossed she may be only talking about people her age, hopefully when things start to cool down the older folk will be out & about more, we tend to be more willing to say hello & chat.

    Good on you feeding the wildlife, it must be so hard for them with the drought & fires. Wow if they are going through all that food you must have a lot of possums there. I dread to think how noisy it must get with them clumping over your roof at night. Does Sam cope well with them? Woofa is scared of possums, he was bailed up by a mother possum hissing at him as a puppy.

    I envy you being musical, I have two left feet & couldn't hold a tune if my life depended on it. The mystery of making music may be beyond me but I love listening to it. Lucky I don't have neighbours nearby & Woofa is tone deaf as I've been "singing" along with the traditional Welsh male voice choir I've been listening to lately.

    I hope the cool change makes it as far as your place & drops the temp there. It has plummeted here from 37 down to 15, you would probably think 37 cool after what you have been having, but it's high for here.

    Paws

  22. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    4 January 2020 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paws, I'm up late as it's still too hot to sleep. I was hoping you were safe in Victoria and not anywhere near the fires there...

    Interestingly I've found the older people here much less friendly than the younger ones - I think they have lived here all their lives and already have their social circle and don't like people they don't know. No it wasn't an encouraging conversation but at least now I know why people aren't saying hello back to me as we go past... a bit sad isn't it? Think I'm going to be looking for a smaller town if at all possible...

    So glad you are enjoying a Welsh choir! Would you believe I used to belong to a Welsh choir when living in the city - I joined because I thought it would be fun to learn some Welsh. So now I can sing in Welsh but I can't talk in it... I always sing along with the Welsh National Anthem on YouTube, it's so lovely!

    I only thought last night when I was watching the local resident possum foraging around that with everything so dry it must be hard for the poor thing to find food, so today at the supermarket I got some carrots and bananas and just a couple of apples and grapes - I can't afford too much - but I put them out tonight and they were sniffed out almost immediately.

    Yes I don't want them in my roof but so far haven't had that problem - more likely in winter I think, it's too hot now... Sam wants to chase them so I kept him indoors while I watched them take the food I left. I thought there was only one but tonight I saw two. When I went out with a bit more fruit one came walking up nearly to me to take the grapes. I think the poor things must be desperately hungry and thirsty. The drought is so dreadful it feels good to be helping some poor creature to stay alive. I guess he/she had quite a feast tonight!

    Glad to hear you are safe I did wonder today about you.

  23. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    4 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna and Paws and all reading along,

    Hanna, is there any chance you could pop in to the pub the dog walking lady owns and ask if you could possibly sit there for a while with Sam when it is so hot. You will only know the answer if you ask.

    If your town is becoming a refuge, people will no doubt be bringing pets. There might be some kind of opportunity to join people there as they too will be seeking shelter from the heat. Maybe a footy room or something with air conditioning will be made available.

    Can you ask at the supermarket if they have bags of vegetable scraps? I used to buy bags for the chooks. The pub may also have vegetable scraps you could feed the possums.

    The book I read was called "Sky Burial" an epic love story of Tibet by Xinran. I have finally found this type of book in the local library, about people's travels and lives in the section numbered approx. from 944.00 to 950.00. In the last library I visited they were in a different section.

    I'm not good at asking for help so had missed out reading this style of book for a while now.

    When I first arrived here, I attended a Church with mainly older people attending. I was asked if I would like to join their little choir. I told them I would only do that if everyone in Church turned their hearing aids off! I love to sing when no one can hear! Ha. Ha.

    Hanna have you asked the local electrical stores about possible cooling options? I am sure you have, there must be something that doesn't cost the earth that you could use.

    I seem to recall seeing someone on the internet had placed a tray of ice in front of a fan to add a cooling effect. Maybe you could Google low cost cooling ideas.

    Hope you find some friendly faces in town and find ways to keep cool.

    Regards to you both and all reading, from Dools

  24. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    5 January 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools, thanks for the book details I just looked up the local library and they have it! I've put a reserve on it as the library is due to close in 20 minutes (they close early on a Sunday). So thanks for that! I enjoy that kind of book too.

    That's a good point about the refuge centre, if they allow pets I'll take Sam there to get cool once it opens up. It's still nearly 38 here now! Due to cool down about 5pm and tomorrow before heating up again, at least we might sleep better tonight! Great idea about the vegetable scraps I didn't know about that so I'll ask next time I'm at the supermarket. Went down today and got a couple more ripe bananas and a couple of apples for the possum tonight - and carrots are only $2 for a bag so got those. Am trying to think of things that give the possum some moisture as well as food.

    I have a friend in a weatherboard house in central Queensland, without aircon she is nearly demented, she is about to get a cooler from Bunnings that goes out one window and will cool down one room - if it works it might be worth the money although it's still not cheap. I've tried ice in front of the fan but it doesn't seem to do anything, and by mid afternoon the fans just blow hot air. I bought some dog shampoo in the shops this morning and am going to give Sam a proper bath and wash down later which I hope will make him feel better at least for a while.

    It's very smoky here and the house is stuffy but I'm looking at the TV and the poor people in Eden who are exhausted and scared and feel fortunate I am not there. I do get upset for people and animals and the loss of so much beautiful habitat....

    I hadn't though of asking that lady about the pub, it's well known here but she said it's mostly a pub for the young people here - still I suppose I could go in one evening and ask, although I feel a bit awkward about it.

    I am counting down the weeks until March begins, which (all being normal!!??) should bring a rapid fall in temperatures here...

    Hope everyone is doing OK, Hi Paws too, hope you're OK there! Thanks Dools for a few great suggestions!

  25. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    5 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    I reckon you underestimate your singing ability Dools - most people can sing better than they think they can... and choirs are always glad to have another man join them, they're overwhelmingly women!

    When I belonged to a big choir in the city I asked a lovely young guy what made him join the choir. He said he joined it simply to meet women - because choirs were full of nice girls! It was probably not a bad idea!

  26. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    11215 posts
    5 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna and Happy New Year and all the best for a peaceful 2020 :-)

    To answer your question...yes...I have spent many days alone without anyone to talk to and it can be a pain or a blessing....I guess it depends on how we are at the time

    I had an excellent GP that asked me if I was happy being alone.....and I replied....most of the time yes! Just for me its those 'other' times that are lonely and feel isolated

    I live with my Chow Chow German shepherd cross rescue dog....He is a horse...circa 60kilos yet I seem to have some bogans in the neighborhood who walk their dogs off the leash and always try to attack my dog...so I dont walk him anymore

    It can be rocky road sometimes Hanna...I understand where you are coming from

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    5 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna,

    I had a little giggle at your reply, I am actually a female, not sure if your reply about males in a choir was in relation to me being a bloke.

    With everyone being anonymous on this forum, it can be hard to know what gender people are.

    My singing is not that good! I have continuous sinus issues so choke all the time and croak when I try to sing or loose my voice altogether.

    Hope you are doing okay.

    Cheers from Mrs. Dools

  28. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    5 January 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Hi blondguy, thank for posting. I guess I've been alone here for over three months due to having flu then dust/smoke so we couldn't go out then heatwaves, plus Christmas and New Year meaning every group and activity stops for weeks... so it's been a bit too long for me. Still I've resigned myself to it for the time being and just getting through the extreme heat and awful fires, so have stopped "fighting" it which actually helps mentally - just accepting I need to rest as much as possible during the extreme heat, and that things are lonely for some time.

    Yes we have plenty of bogans here too that leave huge dogs off the lead and my little mutt looks like a snack to them - it can be really frightening. Particularly as my little guy has decided maybe it's safest to attack first (he feels threatened) which is really dumb when you're little and the other dog is HUGE. So we are very careful!

    We had a blissful cool change last night it was wonderful to be able to sleep! Both Sam and I very tired from weeks of not being able to sleep from the heat. Cooling up again during the week unfortunately. I hope everyone is managing OK.

  29. Paw Prints
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Paw Prints avatar
    1645 posts
    6 January 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna3,

    So glad to hear the cool change has reached you. I hope it lasts a few days for you & you get some rain with it. We've had no rain here, but after a hazy day today the fog started rolling in about 6pm & visibility is down to a few metres now.

    I fell in love with Welsh singing when in Wales about 40 years ago on holiday. I spent the holiday driving around staying in small places & meeting the locals. I stayed in a small pub in the black mountains area, the locals tried teaching me some welsh phrases (to much laughter) & a small group of about 8 or 9 men sang some Welsh folk tunes & the national anthem. They were just the local farmers but it was beautiful to hear.

    I think Dools suggestion of seeing if you could take Sam into the pub is a great idea. Especially during the week when it wouldn't be as busy.

    Your idea to help your local wildlife had me browsing the net. So many pages had "don't feed wildlife" which I think is ridiculous in these conditions.

    Paws

  30. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3208 posts
    7 January 2020 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paws! Your trip to Wales sounds absolutely lovely. When I was in the Welsh choir one of the young women had travelled through Wales with her mother, staying at small towns, and she said in every town they went to the evening choir rehearsals - all the men of the town turned up. She said they were made very welcome and loved listening to the singing everywhere they went at no cost!

    I was only in Wales for a few days long ago, but I remember how green and lovely it was.

    Welsh is a difficult language to learn! I did know a dentist and his wife who spoke it fluently - they had deliberately moved from London to a small Welsh village where everybody spoke Welsh so he said they had had to learn it. I was quite envious as they were perfectly fluent in it.

    We had a couple of millimetres of rain I'd say from a storm this morning, now the sun is coming out hot and sunny, due to get into the 40s again in a couple of days, oh no!!! I've found both I and Sam are very tired, I try to have a good rest every day, the prolonged heat has made both of us rather listless and more heat to come...

    I understand not feeding wildlife except we are in such a terrible drought there is no moisture in the leaves if any still exist - most trees have lost their leaves entirely and are now bare. I'm not sure if they are dead or trying to conserve energy. I left out a bit more fruit last night - carrot, ripe banana, apple - and saw the possum happily munching on it during the evening. I think under these extreme conditions it's doesn't hurt to help some of the wildlife stay alive. My birdbath attracts so many birds I have to fill it over and over so they clearly are thankful for the water!

    How's the doggie? It sounds less hot where you are? I am counting down how many weeks until March and hopefully, Autumn! It's dull here - I took Sam for a walk this morning and had a cuppa out just for something to do, but without company and the hot sun out now, you just have to hunker down at home. It's a bit lonely and dreary so it's nice to have your messages, thanks so much! What are you up to, anything interesting? Cheers from Sam and me!

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up