Author Archives: Allyson Everard

About Allyson Everard

Writing science fiction with character.

If It’s Just A Cold, Why Does It Feel Like Bubonic Plague?

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What a time to fall ill! A lot of things are happening, there’s an interstate move coming up (any minute), which means packing and sorting, and then there’s the third book in my science fiction series still to finish.

I’m not a tablet-taker, outside of coffee and alcohol (only occasionally now), I don’t take drugs at all until I catch a cold or a flu and my nose is running and I can’t sleep for choking on the stuff going down the back of my neck. So I hit the cold and flu tablets and the side-effects give me extra symptoms, mainly sleepy and queasy, although the lack of energy is more likely to be the bug itself and not the medicine.

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To Boldly Go Where No Backhoe Has Gone Before – Well, on our block, anyway.

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Where was I? Oh, yes, out on the 250 acres of wilderness block in the Northern Territory, aiming between two trees in a backhoe I’d only taught myself to drive that morning, putting a road in down to the flatland below the steep hill.

Fortunately a backhoe is a fairly slow-going machine, although it does speed up on a steep incline, and this was steep. The bucket down and scraping along the surface acted as a brake and I was able to keep between the trees. It was a job that needed repeating several times to scrape down to clear earth, but that first time through the maze and all the way down the hill to level ground felt good. I hadn’t taken out a single tree (I like trees and our intention with the block was to enjoy the wilderness).

Turning around, of course, meant I had to come back up again. That was actually scarier. I kept everything low because the feeling was, if the bucket had been up, the whole lot might have tumbled over backwards.

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That night, Greg returned home to find the backhoe missing. Fortunately, I wasn’t missing with it, and I could show him what I had done with the road down the hill – and point out the backhoe on the way. :D

As it was after dark when Greg got home, we drove the length of my road by car with the headlights on. Greg was quite impressed. The road stretched almost one km (about half a mile). Returning up the hill to our campsite, Greg noticed the same issue I had with the steepness of the hill. Knowing I had run up and down several times, he asked the obvious question.

“How did you get the backhoe up each time? Did you drive it up backwards?”

“No,” I replied.

“Bloody hell,” he replied, “I would have.”

So, where was the backhoe?

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A Snap Decision And A Leap! Our House in the Mountains!

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It has all come together beautifully – and we’ve landed something special, a house at the Southern tip of the mountain range that runs down through New South Wales and into Victoria, incorporating the Snowy Mountains, Kosciuszko National Park (Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s tallest mountain) and Alpine National Park and others, with many mountains along the way.

On the NSW side, Mount Perisher’s Ski Resort reports that the 2014 snow season has seen some of the biggest snowfalls in decades with over two metres of snow falling in a two week period and has extended it’s skiing season all the way to Oct 10 (Australia is officially in Spring now). We’re moving beyond Perisher, further south (away from the sun) and into the next state, Victoria, so let’s hope it’s not snowing during any part of our move!

The house itself is three bedrooms in glorious isolation, with a romantic open fireplace and a combustion stove in another room which will probably be my choice of office. I’m not sure, as yet. Why am I not sure? Because, although we intended to, we haven’t actually seen the house. It was a snap decision and a leap, and that makes it even more exciting. :D

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THE KNIFE! From The Khekarian Threat, out now on Amazon.

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Sturn grabbed at her shirt as he reached her, ripping it open with his left hand, his right swinging into action with the knife even as Aleisha gave a squeal of terror.

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Moving House… Maybe.

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We may have a move on the way – I wasn’t going to mention it until we were sure, but our preparations are impinging on my blogging activity, which is why my posts have suddenly dropped away.

I will do my best to post at least once a day and will certainly continue my ‘Wilderness Adventures’, but there will be times (as you may already have noticed) that I don’t make it in at all.

We are still waiting for final confirmation and once we get that, I can tell you more about where we are going to and what’s happening.

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Backhoe Lesson 101 – Just Do It.

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Out there in the wilderness on my very first day alone, I had envisioned a day of writing, only there was a backhoe to master, a hill to work out and a road to put in – I thought I had better start early.

With the driveway Greg had already put in at my back, I had three options off the hill. Right, left or straight ahead. On closer inspection, it became clear that I only really had one option. The right side of the hill dipped away far too steeply to consider, dropping into a gully that a person might climb but not walk. To the left was a little better, except for when the rocks formed a cliff drop closer to the bottom. So, straight ahead it was, steep as it was, or give up entirely and find another way into the block.

I wanted to keep the trees, also, so needed to find a suitable way through them that wouldn’t take me over the edge of something and leave in a crumpled wreckage at the bottom of the hill. It was morning still and the sun was barely up. Greg wouldn’t be home again until after dark, and I didn’t want to spend the day trapped in wreckage.

First off, though, I had to learn those controls. What did what? For starters, the pedal was a three-pronged monstrosity – each prong doing something different as it titled the main pedal in a different direction, and of course it had different levers, which raised and extended the arm into different configurations, raised and tilted the bucket at the front or the scoop at the back, and lowered or raised the feet that helped steady the machine through certain operations. All of these jolted the machine alarmingly if employed too roughly. It needed a gentle touch.

With that sorted and a plan of action in mind, I lowered the bucket, aimed between two trees and started off over the brow of the hill.

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SO SHE WOULD DIE NOW? – from the Khekarian Threat, out now on Amazon.

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So she would die now, and for what, for not cooperating? Words of protest tumbled into her mind, but none of them made it past her tongue. It was all too quick.

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