The guys go look for arches

Spring has sprung. We’ve been having many perfect days since the beginning of the month. The cherry and apple blossoms are gone and those trees have leafed out now. The magpies are swooping big-time. I have at least 6 different kinds of flowers blooming in my front garden. Many other trees have started to blossom or leaf out, also. I haven’t had to turn on my room heater in two weeks. I’ve taken the doona off the bed. And the local volunteer fire brigade has already had its first two bushfire call-outs of the year.

It all passes by in a blur, though. I get out for short walks, but I haven’t been on the bike in three weeks. I’m putting in long, long, stressful hours at work and pushing my health ever backward such that I have absolutely no energy to ride. I’ve gone from 70 percent pre-illness capacity back to 40 percent again in the past two months. And the intense work is going to last until at least the end of September. In a sign that my immune system is incredibly screwed, I got spiked in my pinkie finger by a tiny hair off of a plant in my garden a couple weeks ago. That blew up into a major infection that required a week of antibiotics. I can’t even fight off a simple staph infection in my finger!

So as I work myself closer to death, I sent the guys out to find arches. Kermit took his bike. Verne took the camera. No sense them being stuck in my 3.5 x 3.5 square metre work-from-home prison cell, too! We don’t have all that many buildings around ‘town’, but here is what they came up with.

The feature photo is a common sight in older areas around here – a half tire arching over the water meter to protect it from the elements. I can’t remember if this is something that is seen in America or not. It is not common here in ‘nice’ neighbourhoods, but is common in all the places I’ve ever lived in!

St Paul’s Anglican Church on the bike path. Constructed in 187?. There are better photos from the other side, but Verne said he didn’t want to shoot into the sun. He also said there is an arch on the Welcome to Milawa sign at the far right.
More arches at the church and some of the tree buds – these trees are now in full flower.
Some flower arches on the only piece of public art in town – none of us know what that flower is. Arches also on the row of shops behind. The two arches to the left are the original building that was once a garage. The other half of the building was added fairly recently. The far right shop is a takeaway shop. They do really good burgers there (which you can’t often say in Oz).
Kermit amongst various arch shapes on the public place recycling and rubbish bins at the main intersection in town. The two old pubs are off to the left. The row of shops is to the right. Behind me is the caravan park (closed since March except for permanent residents).
Different angle showing the shops. The restaurant on the far left is in the old garage. It features smoked meats and American-style food. I’ve never been there – I’m not much of a meat eater and smoked meats don’t agree with my digestive system. The vacant shop was an antique store on its way out before COVID with an accelerated closure once restrictions started.
The town hall built in 1885 and added onto several times over the years. The front of it is not original at all, but this part of the hall and these arched windows are original. This is next door to where I live. It has been very nice to have all the COVID restrictions because no one can rent out the hall and play amplified music until late.
And here is the decorative, not supportive, arch on the verandah at my place that hangs precariously but which I don’t know how to fix.

Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

10 response to "The guys go look for arches"

  1. By: Laura Posted: September 12, 2020

    Congrats to you and the crew for finding arches, even though I’m sure just getting out zapped your strength. I understand how difficult it can be when your immune system keeps attacking your body. I’m doing OK, but have dealt with AI problems for over twenty years. Stress is your enemy, so they tell me. Hope work can slow down a bit for your sake. You will get over this and you will be riding again. So sorry you are not feeling up to it at this time.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: September 13, 2020

      Thank you for the empathy and concern. The bartonella infection mimics Sjogrens and Lupus in many ways – but all the extensive tests last year didn’t show any auto-immunity markers. My GP was pretty convinced that my symptoms clinically looked like Sjogrens. So that is a good thing, but Bartonella is notoriously hard to get rid of – harder than chronic Lyme – so that’s not so good. Still, I just need to take 6-12 months off and just let my body heal. I have not done that since I first got WNV 3.5 years ago, but I’m just going to have to do it. Stress is definitely one of the worst things for the immune system, I agree.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: September 13, 2020

    Kermit and Verne had some good finds on their search. I especially like Kermit on the window sill with the curtains pulled back behind him. Nicely done you guys.

    So sorry that your health has taken a dip. I know you will do better and be back on the saddle exploring more of you surroundings. I will give positive thoughts that that time is soon ;’-).

    • By: The Navigator Posted: September 13, 2020

      I think the guys exhausted all of the man-made arches nearby except the post office roof, graves at the cemetery and the playground (thanks to your idea!). Not sure if they’ll go back out to get those – there’s a pond down the road with lily pads that looks a lot more fun to them. Yes, I’ll get back on the bike – just not looking forward to rebuilding all the mileage fitness yet AGAIN!

  3. By: gregblood Posted: September 13, 2020

    Good work, Verne and Kermit. Nice arches and good action shots. It’s just too bad your friend, Emily, couldn’t be there with you. Stress absolutely sucks, even for a physically healthy person. It’s the main reason I took an early retirement seven years ago. I’m very lucky I was able to do so, because if I HAD to continue working I would have become a basket case. So you guys be good to her and behave yourselves when you go on these outings.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: September 13, 2020

      The guys thank you for your response to them. I will have to take 6-12 months off soon. I can’t do this ‘feel like some degree of crap all the time’ much longer. It’s been 3.5 years. I can’t afford to retire in my 40s, but I can afford 12-18 months off. It is the only way I’m ever going to get well, and people who have been in the same situation have been telling me so the whole time!
      I hope the air quality dips below hazardous long enough to keep up your riding streak. Though we had 5 weeks straight where it was rated hazardous at some point every day here last summer, I am certain Sydney and Canberra had more days in total last summer that were of that rating. They had a lot of smoke in Nov and Dec that we didn’t get. Ours was all in Jan/Feb.

  4. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: September 15, 2020

    No tyres over watermains here, we’re far too classy, we surround them with rocks.

    Aussie hamburgers are the best I reckon, especially with an egg and beetroot.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: September 16, 2020

      Australia has much better scones and savoury bakery items than America. Better chicken parmigiana and much better dairy products (flavoured milks, ice cream and definitely cheese). Much better access to fresh fruit and veg at good prices and quality. You are also much, much more likely to find a good Thai or Indian restaurant in a rural area of Oz than a rural area of America. You can also find fish n chip shops with fresh fish that is hand-battered/crumbed many hours away from the ocean in Oz (never found that in America). But it is very hard to find a good, rather than just average, burger in Oz. It’s all about the hamburger – if that’s not good, then the toppings don’t matter (I like beetroot, no egg though – too greasy). It is much, much easier to find good burgers in America. America also does better doughnuts, margaritas and anything that involves peanut butter. So, yeah, Oz does a lot of things well, and better than America, but hamburgers are not one of them 🙂 I feel qualified to say that since I’ve spent half my life in Oz and half in America.

  5. By: Suzanne Posted: September 15, 2020

    Kermit and Verne are a great photographer and model team! Kermit framed in the window is perfect. Glad they could help you out. Your work load sounds terrible, hope you see your way clear to taking a work break asap. Work stress can poison your life, I know from experience.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: September 16, 2020

      Thanks, Suzanne. I have a great boss and love my work team – I just don’t like the work and there is waaaaaaay too much of it. If it doesn’t back off a bit soon, I’ll have to finish before my contract ends. My boss is understanding and trying to help the best she can – the workload is not totally under her control. My work is appreciated, so at least I’ve got that!

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