Tag Archives: science fiction

More Foxes – Then Something Happened!

003

I saw foxes daily, the local population seemingly fearless – Foxes are an introduced species to Australia along with rabbits, both brought in and deliberately released for hunting purposes by early colonists. Both species did exceedingly well here and have since become pests. In rural areas where sheep are bred, foxes are killers of lambs. Farmers take after them with guns or lay out poison and do what they can to eradicate them, but foxes (like rabbits) continue to thrive in this country.

In my first few weeks here I saw many foxes daily, sometimes quite late into the morning. I mainly saw them in the surrounding fields but also watched them returning to the hedgerow next to our house. The locals knew of them there, in fact I’ve been warned twice about the large family of foxes living on my doorstep, so they must have been there for quite a while.

Then something happened. Overnight they were gone. No one hunted them. Hunting foxes is done at night with spotlights and guns, I’d be very aware of such activity close to home. No one poisoned them – 1080 is the poison of choice and any property using it must put up warning signs as it’s so lethal.

The foxes just… went. Was it that they took notice of me and moved out on my account? Was it that they didn’t like being so close to a house now occupied? It didn’t seem to bother them in the first month or so, they never tried to hide from me.

[Continue reading…]

Night-time is Another Planet.

004

It was one o’clock in the morning and I was standing in the loneliness of our front yard, our house remotely situated and still strange to me after my move here – armed only with a torch, its batteries weak and its light fading – An animal fight had woken me, drawing me out into the dark and the cold.

We have two cats, an old girl and a young ‘un named Houston who’s a go-getter, a let-me-at-‘em and I-want-to-play type. This was his second night outside and I knew there were foxes about.

The wind blew and the branches of a tree danced across the roof like scuttling creatures. I shone the torch upward and into the tree. Glowing eyes looked back at me and I knew I had found Houston.

Then I saw the foxes. Two of them were right in our yard with a third one on the road. I had seen flattened patches in the long grass and weeds, coming upon them as I slowly worked through the chore of bringing it all under control, and I thought of foxes then. Now it was confirmed. In fact there was a large family of them living in the hedgerows right next to our house.

What did I do? What could I do? Houston would not come out of the tree with foxes so close. I was in no danger, but when it’s the middle of the night and you’re cold and in a strange place, the scrutiny of any kind of hunting pack is downright creepy. Night-time was like another planet.

I retreated inside. Ten minutes later, determined to see if I could collect the cat (and to see if maybe the foxes had gone), I opened the door to find Houston on the doorstep and more than eager to come inside.

Since then, he’s decided that inside is the best place to be at nighttime. Smart cat!

[Continue reading…]

An Old House in the Mountains.

013

It’s strange when you move to a new house and a new location, especially when the house is an old one and isolated – the sounds are different and particularly noticeable at night, all so unfamiliar – creaking for the most part, but strange sounds too – was that a thud, a crash, a door opening?

It’s weird, the first night, the first day, the first week. I’m on my own because my husband is back at our last house and still working in the city, so I need to deal with things alone (some things won’t wait until his next visit).

This house had been empty for months before I came here, and the garden (I’m told) has not been looked after for years. That would be why the wildlife crept in close and snug – foxes that live in the hedgerows and hunt or hide in our garden. There’s snakes too, the dangerous, deadly kind, so no, I won’t be picking them up for photographs – I’ve seen two of them right by the front door.

There are other creatures as well, rats and mice and birds and possums, under the house or in the ceiling. I had bees move into the chimney, and thus into the kitchen. One night one of the cats caught a bat and left it for me by my office door. That’s right, a bat got inside during the night.

So… I guess as I have nothing prepared on the Wonder and Joy of Writing, I can spend a few posts on what it’s like moving into an old house in the country. Let the adventures begin…

[Continue reading…]

WRITER LOSES INTERNET – Oh Shoot!

213

Yes, it has been awhile, and my goodness, losing the Internet hurts when you’ve grown used to it.

Where have I been? I’ve moved house, deep into the Alpine area of Victoria, Australia, way, way out in mountainous country. Do I love it? ABSOLUTELY!

Yes, I’ve had adventures too, but let’s leave that for another time. The IMPORTANT STUFF:

AM I WRITING??? You bet the heck I am! In fact, as much as I love you all, I’ve decided to take the advice of a friend who told me awhile ago – “Less blogging, more writing.” Yes, Rob, that’s you. You were right! The book comes first, blogging comes second.

No, folks, I won’t disappear again, I just won’t blog four times a day.

I want you all to know that I am alive and well, extremely happy in my new location, I am inspired and writing, and all is well in my world.

[Continue reading…]

Our First Visit, a Round Trip of 25 hours, but Wow!

 001

Google maps indicated our trip to our new house would last in the range of 7 to 8 hours each way, depending on which route we took, so we figured with an early start we could turn it around in 16 to 18 hours – a long day, for sure, but possible (we have two cats and didn’t want to leave them alone for 2 days) – but it turns out Google doesn’t take into account road conditions or restrictions to speed limits, such as tight curvy dirt roads up and down mountains and the round trip took a whopping 25 hours.

[Continue reading…]

Still Out and About – More Delays.

099

I can’t believe the many wonderful changes happening in my life at present, on more than one front, some personal (all good, though) – Above and beyond packing and moving, things are still tremendously busy, and I still need to leave my desk and go into town for a day occasionally (this time to look at a car), and there are a couple of long weekends upon us.

Right, you got it, that means more delays in blogging from me.

[Continue reading…]

Back on Track – Mostly.

061

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks – as a sci-fi writer more in sync with a solitary lifestyle and ensconced in a silent office at home in a rural setting, it came as rather an aural shock to spend several days in the full hustle and bustle of city life while we got our signatures witnessed and various official forms lodged in our quest for a new house.

Getting up early is not problem, we rise between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m. on weekdays simply because my husband prefers to be at work by 7:00 (so he can finish earlier to gain us some semblance of an evening together) and needs to travel two hours each way into the city and out again. So, we were out of the house by 5:00, dodging kangaroos in the predawn light and admiring mist in the valleys and various town lights as we drove through them. I don’t often get to see this, so all of it was wonderful, but at 7:00 a.m., I was released into an unfamiliar shopping mall to find my own way and to wait the day out (ten hours).

It was interesting and different, although I admit it grew into a field of noise and distraction. I hunted out quieter zones between coffee and pit stops as I bided my time without turning the whole into a shopping-fest. I’ll have you know, I did very well. I know it sounds like a Whoopie moment with much shopping and merriment, but it was not that sort of visit. I bought a bunch of crossword books (Killer Sudoku, Kakuro and Cryptic Crosswords) which kept me quiet and mostly out of harm’s way.

[Continue reading…]