17 November 2013

Short Break from Blogging...

Blogging Break...
Apologies for lack of blogs recently.  I sustained a head injury at work as a paramedic, as can be seen in my last blog post 'black and blue'...  I have not been able to think straight for the last week and hope to get back to blogging again in the future.  However, for right now I am unable to blog.
AJ Maaa

11 November 2013

13 : Black and Blue - Something Blue

The Harsh Reality of Emergency Work...
I've been involved in one way or another for the last 14 years in emergency ambulance work; from volunteer, casual, student Paramedic right through to Paramedic.  I've had the privilege of helping people when they are at their most vulnerable, invited into people's homes and their personal world, becoming a part of their life story even for just a little while.  Being with a complete stranger during the worst moments of their lives, having to apologise that there is nothing more we can do for their loved one, is tough. 
It is a privilege to be the one that is there to help, to be the very difference between life and death, to be a part of a team that provides calming reassurance in times of stress and pain.  To have the skills and experience to coordinate and manage an entire disaster scene that unfolds before your very eyes.  To be the one that is there to help bring new life into the world, to watch that very first life breath for a brand new little human being.  To share those special once in a lifetime moments with others.
Those are the absolute wonderful moments of my career, the saves, the reassurance and comfort in times of heartache that we are able to provide.  Sometimes the very sight of our green uniform walking calmly into the scene is enough to make everyone breath a sigh of relief.  Those are the reasons that I keep doing my job, why I put myself at risk day after day, night after night racing at high speed toward imminent danger and unknown emergencies.  To make a difference, to help others, to be rewarded in more ways than money could ever compensate.
Unfortunately, the harsh reality of emergency work can also mean that we too are exposed to the world at our most vulnerable, working amongst environmental and physical dangers.  More and more our work environment is evolving into dangerous and highly emotive scenes, we are dealing with people who are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, mental health issues and caught amongst the unpredictability of violent behaviours.  I have had the personal misfortune, as many of my colleagues have, more times than I care to remember of being under personal threat and caught amongst violent scenes.  Usually managing to escape physically unscathed at the very least.
Now I can add to my long list of near misses and war stories, that only colleagues can truly understand, a sad tale of when I was caught by surprise and struck to the face in the line of duty.  This is not the reason I joined the ambulance service, to be put in personal danger.  I don't expect that when I am helping another who is under their own stress and pain to be lashed out at and injured myself.  Injured in more ways than a simple physical blow can ever reveal. 
Today on this day of remembrance 11th November at 11am I too will remember all those that have lost their lives in war and fought for their countries.  I will hang my head low and remember and silently wish that we could all change and learn to stop fighting each other, as fighting and hatred does not just exist in times of war.  It exists whenever we allow it.  Lest we forget....

05 November 2013

13 : Baby Bear is Back!!! - Something Borrowed

Brother Baby Bear Arrives...

Well baby bear isn't quite back, but I am pleased to report that his brother has made it all the way to Australia to meet the boys.  The boys and I found a mysterious package left at our front door this morning.  We carefully ripped into the soft packaging, postmarked United States, hoping it was going to be a nice surprise.  Sure enough, poking cheekily out through the top of the package was a cute, soft black and white panda face.  The boys were ecstatic, brother baby bear had arrived at last after his long journey.
Although we will always be sad about not having original baby bear with us anymore, we are quite certain that he is up to all sorts of adventures wherever he is.  As, despite the state wide search, he has not been recovered. Considering he was such a naughty bear this hasn't been all that surprising, but it has been quite heartbreaking.  The boys now have a picture of baby bear proudly displayed on their playroom wall, they can look into his cheeky face once more whenever they are feeling sad and miss him.  Baby bear will always remain a special part of their childhood, even though he is no longer with them in body he remains with them in spirit.
During the car ride to school this morning it was almost as though baby bear had never left at all.  The high pitched squeals of delight that only baby bear could have caused were echoing through the car, but today of all days, no one got into trouble.  Looks like brother baby bear is set to be just as naughty as original baby bear was, and we are all very thankful for that ...
Brother Baby Bear with Baby Bear portrait...

04 November 2013

13 : Nature meets Suburbia - Something Old meets Something New

Nature v Suburbia
Living in a relatively new housing development on the very edge of the metropolitan area certainly has its up side.  Our estate has evolved around the natural flora and fauna of the area where purpose built wetlands have been created to encourage local bird life.  You really begin to appreciate how successful this mix has been when you go for a nature walk only metres away from all the newly built homes, primary school, kindergarten and child care centre.
It is special to quietly observe the local rabbits at sunrise and dawn nibbling away, to enjoy the variety of water fowl and other bird life amongst the purpose built water catchments and along the river that meanders through the estate.  However, something I don't think I can ever learn to appreciate is the ever so natural and absolute abundance of flies that accompany me on my walk.  I may have started out alone on my Spring walk today, enjoying some peaceful quiet time, however, I most certainly did not finish alone.  Instead, I managed to collect a large population of the local flies that seem to think that sticking with me and bringing all their mates along for the ride is some kind of human sport.
Despite the flies and the ever threatening wind gusts that are just part and parcel of living in a valley, I don't think I could ever tire of walking amongst nature.  I enjoy most of all watching the native birds and other animals raise their families year after year alongside our human ones.  If you are really lucky, and look very carefully, you can sometimes even catch a glimpse of a lazy Koala or two snoozing in the gum trees safely towering above us all.
 Dawn, two rabbits bouncing off in the distance ...
 Cocky season! Sulphur crested cockatoos in the school gum trees...
 Purpose built wetlands
 ... complete with natural water fowl
 Where's Wally?  A parrot hidden in a gum tree...
 A kookaburra sits in the old gumtree...

03 November 2013

12 : The Beach - Something Blue


It's nice to get away, even for a short while, and spend some time at the seaside.  We visited last weekend and, although it wasn't typical beach weather, we still managed to enjoy that unique experience that being alongside the ocean only can bring.  It doesn't take long to manage to get completely soaked in that salty water that is so hard to wash off, but it is so worth it.
We walked along the beach, collected and examined shells, wrote our names in the sand and walked through the shallow water as the waves crashed upon the shore.  Of course a trip to the beach is not complete unless you learn to skim some rocks along the water, watching out for seagulls of course, and finish off with some freshly made ice creams  I'm looking forward to this Spring weather changing into Summer so we can enjoy some more trips to the seaside, perhaps enjoying a swim next time and letting the boys loose to create some more sand castle creations.  The opportunity of simply lying back and relaxing by the shore would be most welcome. 
There is something magical about being alongside water that has a way of overwhelming your senses, with a calming effect that even a few minutes worth seems to last for days ...

02 November 2013

12 :Child's Play - Something Borrowed

Living Through Imagination

How wonderful it would be if we were able to tap in to the mind of a child, to see the world from their perspective and enjoy again the fascination of make believe and raw imagination.  I know I would love it.  Imagine if a young child had the skills to be able to write a book and tell their story, their point of view of the world.  What a fascinating read it would be.  Unfortunately by the time we are able to converse properly, particularly through written form, we have already begun to lose much of that magical fascination of make believe and imagination.
Although growing up and learning about how the world works is truly fascinating and a necessary part of life.  Losing that part of us that lives in a world of imagination and make believe, where almost anything is possible, is a sad fact.  Of course there are many of us that don't want to truly let that part of ourselves completely go and enjoy losing ourselves within fascinating sci fi stories, living amongst different worlds of imagination through books and films.  However, it is not quite the same, as adults we understand that this is make believe and can choose to lose ourselves for a short while.  As children, however, they don't always fully understand where make believe ends and reality begins.  The older we get the more we realise exactly when we are enjoying imagination and it becomes a choice. 
As a parent I truly enjoy watching my two youngest Master 4 and Master 7 act out the games that reside in their minds.  The older they get the stronger the mix of television shows, movies and books influence their play.  Through play they learn to make sense of their world, a world where make believe and reality are truly a scrambled mix.  Sometimes it can be very hard for them to understand the difference.
Before life becomes all too serious it's nice to be young and enjoy the time to play, grow and expand our minds.  Those of us that are fortunate enough to hold on to parts of that kind of thinking grow up to be truly creative individuals and often don't conform to society norms and expectations.  However, we need a world with creative thinkers that can imagine beyond the four square walls of the classroom, and tap into that creative part of ourselves that we all once enjoyed in freedom as a child.
So while we can still enjoy it I will continue to run with the boys from the pterodactyls that chase them on our walk to school, and hide from the T-Rex that inevitably jumps out at us when we walk through the 'forest' near our home.  After all you really have to watch those very fast and pesky velociraptors that force our mad dash for the car.  It's nice to be part of a world where dragons are real, even though we kind of really know they're not, and are their friends.  I envy that the boys have such loyal friends to fight along side them in a world that resides in that special place we all have deep inside of us; our imagination...

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