Sunday, August 31, 2008


Pets give unconditional love. In the past couple of weeks I've been looking at getting a new dog. We have one, a maltese shitzu ewok called Bella who belongs to my lady, but a friend of son number twos has a spoodle who has had eight puppies. This weekend I picked one out to be mine.

It occurred to me that I haven't actually ever chosen a pet of my own. Billy Jack, a dalmatian cross was given to me by my Godfather and put down by my Mum and Dad after he kept escaping from the yard. My German Shorthaired Pointer Chai was a gift from my Aunt.    L chose Calli, Jess, Connie and Gambit.   So this little feller is the first pet that I have chosen for myself.  Folks meet Ramsay, four weeks old and in four weeks he'll walk permanently into my life.


14th August

This blog has been hidden for some months. Months when I have not found a lot of time to write and that has made me poorer because I've lost contact with my blog friends. My former real life friends have all abandoned me anyway and I hid the blog because of criticisms and sensitivities associated with what I've written and the way I wrote it. Since I've lost them anyway I'm going to reveal this blog again.

14th August passed without me knowing for the first time in 4 years. In 2004 on that Saturday my Dad died and that served as a catalyst for a great deal of change for me - my marriage ended, I commenced a new relationship, bought a new house, got sacked from my job and started a new career.

I did not remember the date my Dad died this year for the first time since it happened. That seems weird to me, maybe it's a sign that I am moving on, that this midlife adventure is slowing down. That I can now start to get back into the stream and slowly paddle forward again.

There is barely a day goes by when I don't think of Dad but I am making my peace with what went before. Yesterday I was watching a Garth Brooks special on CMC and "The Dance" was played. There are some songs that make me emotional every time I hear them and that is one. So for Dad and for what has happened in the past four years please have a listen.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What's in a name?

It's been freezing here today. Flurries of sleet and snow on the nearby hills. According to the weather bureau, the most widespread snowfalls across the state in 20 years. I guess we can blame global warming for that too.

It's been noticeable standing on the railway station platform this week with the cold seeping in through the cuffs of my trousers and sleeves, insidiously tickling the warmth from my body. When the wind blew, as it did on Friday morning, you could feel the tendrils of cold reaching in and shaking the warmth away.

Have you ever had the experience where you've been watching someone walk past and there is an unfamiliar familiarity about them, an echo of a face from the past hinting of memories from a briefly glimpsed past. Such were my thoughts on Friday when a bloke walked past me who reminded me of a face from 40 years ago. A young lad at primary school called Peter Heard. I have no idea whether it was him or not, chances are it wasn't but he may have grown into a man who looked just like that one who rushed past me in the cold.

Sometimes those thoughts trigger a sort of free association of other things and I started to think about the names that were common when I was a kid and about how many other Peter's I knew, along with John's and Mark's, though few Luke's and Matthews, they were names belonging to a later generation. Amongst the girls the most common names were Jennifer, Julie and Cathy.

I never met another Laurie until I entered the Police Academy and even then he was a Lorenzo rather than a Laurence like me, and I don't see much evidence that my name will ever come into vogue, never was, never will be.

I've checked facebook and there are seven other Laurie Joyce's listed and a couple of Joyce Laurie's, all female. Maybe I should start a Facebook group.

This ended up being a post that went off in a direction somewhat different to what it started as, but it got me thinking, how common is your name?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thailand Pics 1

It seems like a long time ago now that I said I would post some photos of Thailand but I decided that tonight would be the first part of the journey. We arrived in Bangkok where we spent the first night and then travelled to Sankaburi via Kanchanburi the next day. We spent two nights at the P Guest house on the Lake over which the longest wooden bridge in Thailand spans.

I hadn't looked at the photos for a while and it surprised me how much we packed into that first couple of days. Day one we traveled by bus to the west of Bangkok getting to know our fellow travellers. There is so much to write about but maybe it is best to let the pictures speak for now.

We journeyed with Interpid Travel. So watch as we travel in a long tale boat on the Lake, visiting a sunken Wat, then on to a jungle village for our first elephant ride, followed by a trip to the Thai/Burma border, a visit to the Wat overlooking Sankalburi and then a walk along the wooden bridge in a magical sundown.

Merging Blogs

For a long time now I've toyed with the idea of switching to wordpress and even set up a bog which is a compendium of the three blogger blogs that have been public, although not the one that has been and always will be private. But Blogger has now introduced the capacity to merge blogger blogs together and I have now pulled everything from Sunrays and Saturdays as well as Visions of Oz into this one place.

I have neglected my blogs for a while now - shifting house, being sacked from my job and finding a new one, all meant time for wrting was stolen from me. And the issues I had with people criticising what I was writing did get to me. Even this blog, which is the one that has been my record of the journey, has been incognito for a number of months now. I have been debating for a while now whether I should reveal it to the world again but have decided to hold off until I actually feel like I'm making an effort to keep it going again.

I also thought when I was looking for work that it may actually have been better to keep it hidden, not because I think there is anything wrong with what I have written but because I worried about what any prospective employers may think if they came across it. I still wonder about that now.

I probably should also update people here about what happened at my last job. Truth is, I don't really know. I was told on the night of my sacking that the Executive had decided that they wanted to go in a new direction with someone who had a different skill set. Having spoken to one of the Executive members a couple of weeks ago I found out that they made the decision in February, when I was away on holiday, and that they decided to keep it from me because they wanted to get through the AGM and also wanted the financial audit completed. He reiterated that it had nothing to do with my work performance but simply about setting some goals for the next few years and they thought someone else could do a better job.

At Erin's game yesterday I saw one of the young blokes I've had a bit to do with over the years and he asked me how I was getting on. He said that he didn't trust the Executive "What happened to the theory about if it's not broke don't fix it...They said they wanted a new direction but they haven't done anything different since you left and they said they wanted someone from outside basketball and then appointed a basketball person. Doesn't make much sense to me."

Nor to me either. The hard bit for me is getting over the anger. I haven't been able to do that. I fume. I seeth and I struggle to understand why it happened. Ironic eh, having left my marriage with people suffering the same sort of emotion, I get lumbered with similar feelings of helplessness. Nothing I did wrong, just time to move on. I don't enjoy irony.

You had to be a Sumerian

News this week of the world's oldest joke which dates back to 1900 BC in Sumeria. I was expecting something like Ä man walks into a bar...''or ''My mother-in-law said to me the other day...'' but what do we get -

"Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap."

I don't get it. You had to be a Sumerian!