Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Philip Island on the weekend was wonderfully relaxing, if only I hadn't been so tired! The nightly spa's did wonders to my shoulders and feet, the walking wasn't too strenuous although it showed how unfit I have become. Furry animal therapy was wonderful, but made me long more for my own kitties (we are waiting to hear back from the landlord, yea or nay). One of the koalas was really showing off, sitting on the boardwalk banister and eating from placed food. I hope it didn't get patted. 

The 'Ultimate Penguin Experience' is also highly recommended. Instead of being in a concreted area with 1400 other people including kids, prams and tourist groups, we were meant to be in a small group (15) with no children. As it happened, it was just the two of us in the group.

The ranger took us to a separate beach on the other side of the island where we watched the sun set peacefully over the bay. Luckily, the weather was fantastic with quite a bit of light provided by the almost full moon. Equipped with night binoculars, camping mats, torches and all weather gear (just in case), we watched many small and large groups of penguins waddle up from the waters edge.

After about 40 minutes, we walked back along the beach, often keeping pace with penguins at the grass edge, then up some really steep stairs and back to the penguin center. Two couples of penguins were checking out the breeding boxes provided by the staff, and one of the males decided to do his mating dance, hopping and bopping around the female. It was a much more relaxing, natural and thrilling experience - the best way to see the penguins.

Churchill Island was also neat, mainly because of the kitchen gardens in the historic site. By this stage I was really quite tired and when it started raining heavily, that was a good enough reason not to go on a long walk around the island. Instead we went for a slow to arrive but very scrumptious lunch at the visitor centre.

Hive welts kept coming and going, requiring anti-histamines every 1.5 days. It's been about four weeks now with no respite apart from what's provided by the medication.

I've had to deal with far too much marking (and tutors who said they would, then couldn't, mark) and am getting stressed over how to go about reducing contact with my family. It's become ludicrous now, with bribery in addition to blackmail. I'm too sick and exhausted to deal with them any longer.

Aztex Cosmpolitan Restaurant

Aztex Cosmpolitan Restaurant 10 Thompson Ave, Cowes, Philip Island 9592 3102 Entrees ~ 10, Meals ~ 18

The entrees were superb, especially the satay sauce on the chicken & beef satay sticks. The meals (and entrees) were quite well sized, however, after the deliciousness of the first dish, the main courses were quite a let down.

The Moroccan chicken was fairly non-spiced, the vegetable couscous it was served with wasn't all that tasty, and they forgot the dressing on the salad. The pizza wasn't all that thrilling either.

So after a fabulous beginning, it was quite disappointing that the main dishes were average.

Churchill Island Visitor's Cafe

This place has a captive audience, being the only food place on the island.

We had just ordered after they had catered to a bus load, so the waiting time was quite long. However, the mains dishes that were delivered were incredible! Very large sizes and delicious, for not too much money. What more can we ask for?!

The zucchini slice was incredibly succulent, served with a good quality fresh mixed salad (fresh from the kitchen garden on the island) and wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream in a huge bowl. Yumm!

(If anyone tries their vanilla slices, please tell me - they looked like they were the scrummiest vanilla slices ever made, but I couldn't have any due to them being mostly dairy!)

Saturday, September 18, 2004

More gah....

How do you get rid of hives? I've had them for nearly two weeks now. Whenever they seem to settle down for a day and I think they are finally leaving, they flare up worse than ever! I've got rid of all dietary changes, am not using soap, using washing liquid that I haven't reacted to at all in the past, and changing clothes daily and sheets every few days. Calamine doesn't help at all - in fact I feel like it makes it worse. Jeans are the ultimate flare trigger, possibly as they are tightish. I'm sick of being covered in huge red/white insanely itchy welts. On the up side, my 5 day migraine finally wore itself out (I took a Mersyndol - the first pain killer in months). My neck is incredibly sore now.

Monday, September 13, 2004


One more bunch of marking to go... I think I'll sleep for a bit though, my neck/back is not going to forgive me for a while.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Just what I needed

Hives... the really welty, itchy kind that covers the whole body. If they are still as bad tomorrow, back to the doctors I go, even though they really can't be treated. They started at my hips, spread downwared to cover my legs to my ankles, and then went up from the hips. It has just reached my hands and top of my neck, and I hope it stops there. Add that to the excruciatingly painful ulcer I have just been diagnosed with (I thought it might have been a form of cystitis... but no - it had to be radically different and difficult to treat), and I can't concentrate for more than 30 seconds! I'm meant to be marking... For some reason my left eye looks like it has taken a whack - the cheekbone just under the eye is puffy and purple - no idea what it causing this! The doc did say that it is not unexpected that my health is crashing now that I'm not studying, and that I should not expect to see any improvement until it has finished crashing. Yay.

Saturday, September 4, 2004

Alive, but barely disappeared for a little while due to a policy misunderstanding between the domain registrar and the re-seller/host. At least that's worked out for another year.

Then my computer decided to have several hard to fix fits of possession. Eventually figured out that it was a dodgy implementation of APM (the interaction of the CPU and motherboard was not healthy).

This was after replacing the hard disk after trying to figure out why it kept throwing errors in reiser - an install of ext3 didn't fix the errors. That problem was due to the motherboard corrupting the interrupt table. At least I have a nice large drive now, which I'm proceeding to fill rapidly. I should probably think about replacing this nasty motherboard.

There went several weeks, diagnosing and dealing... More weeks have been lost to marking and trying to deal with the overwhelming need of the second years for consultation for assignments. Now, I just have to deal with the worsening depression and somehow slow (or preferably reverse) the retreating. Oh yeah... and do loads more marking.

Doc essentially forbade me to continue with honours, the psych, honours co-ordinator and supervisor agreed. So honours for me is now indefinitely put off. It's very disappointing, and I need to somehow 'move on' and stop stressing over it. This happened because my blood pressure has been very bad since the kidney infection a couple of months back. The diastolic has been around 100 far too often. I've also been told to go on a severe diet and exercise regime, that so far, I've found impossible to follow properly (especially the exercise part - too much pain and exhaustion).

Anyhow... I'm sure I'll be posting more regularly now that my domain and computer both seem to be more stable than me....