It was a week of turning points. Full of art, artistic opportunities, reflection on what is important and steps to better health.
This week I met Sasi Victoire, an amazing artist, and was delighted to go to her house. I had heard about her through the Book Creator’s Circle, and it turns out we know many of the same people in Lismore, and her daughter is a Baha’i. We had chatted a bit on email and she had said, ‘Do come visit if you come to Cairns?’ Sasi has self published some children’s books and seemed like a good person to talk to as she had worked with a company called Everbest who I wanted to find out more about.
Now usually I reserve surprise visits for people I know very well, but we don’t travel to Cairns that often so I thought when I found out that I had to go for a blood test, important to my ongoing battle with psoarsis, on Tuesday why not ring Sasi and see if she is available. Problem was I couldn’t meet her until 6ish and would have family in tow. Sasi didn’t mind at all, and said she’d cook a curry.
So it was we set out Tuesday afternoon, with me still practicing my driving (another saga I hope will end soon). I lasted until El Arish, not far really, but I did drive! Next time I’ll go to Innisfail I promise. Hawkeye did the rest of the drive. As usual we had the music on, and he sang a lot, enthusiastically and slightly out of key (he’s a dear).
We arrived in Cairns, and set out for a short trip to Office Works. Many things are in short supply in our town, or slightly more expensive, so when we head to Cairns we go looking for things we need. I noticed that they do signs for community groups and prints – huge ones for $99, and reasonable ones for $30 – I made a mental note to think about doing some of my printing next time I am up there.
Then we went to have some lunch to make sure I was well and truly ready for my blood test. I had one on the weekend and had had to fast for that one, and it hadn’t been the most comfortable experience in the world. So this time I made sure I drank lots and was able to eat. This was all in the quest for better veins with which to present my blood! We went to one of those Macca Cafes, which looks so much less like a maccas, it had retro lights with orange and blue patterns on it, and pleasant red square chair blocks that were comfy to sit on. The two youngest went and played in the obligatory Macca’s playground, and we reflected on how my daughter is going to be too old for those playgrounds soon. We read the paper and there was an article about Speeding ticket revenue on the front page!
Blood tests, eeks, you’d think I was used to them by now. The blood test place was not crowded when we arrived. I had a very specific time I needed to test done so we had come a bit early to ensure we were not late. The lady at the desk was not that impressed, ‘You’re a bit early then.’ I didn’t say anything though, and just went and did what you do in waiting rooms – read health and decorating magazines. The kids were not worn out from the Macca’s playground, and youngest decided to very loudly critique the patronizing nature of the current children’s program that was playing. My daughter took up a whole couch to do her weaving, and then when she struck a knot and declared herself ‘BORED. ‘ My eldest just settled in for a good old read.
I left the youngest two in full ‘we’re going to make this waiting room time interesting for us and everyone else’ gear with Hawkeye, and went in for the blood test. The lady taking the actual blood test was a lot more pleasant than the counter person. She distracted me with a strange comment about an allergy caused by furniture that was now being recalled. She then got me to sign all the stickers for the different tests. She wondered what they were all for, and I explained a bit about the new medication I will be going on for psoarsis and they have to check everything! She commented that her daughter had a form of psoarsis and she hoped it would not get so bad (like mine, thanks lady for reminding me). To be kind I just said, ‘you’re daughter will probably be fine, not many people get it as bad as this. There are quite a few kinds.’ Anyway thankfully she changed topics a bit, and then the test was over.
Then we could leave, youngest will still commenting on the dismal nature of the kids programming, and my daughter was explaining to someone in the waiting room why her weaving had come a sudden end. We left and it was time to visit a teacher in hospital.
On the way there we went past some mud flats. Hawkeye being the explorer that he is took a step in, and it was like sinking sand, and I said ‘Did you have to do that just before we go to hospital.’ He unrepentantly wiped his feet on the grass, afterall anything can be cleaned if you just find a way- everything has a solution. Anyway his love of mud, dirt and ability to have a good laugh and fish, is part of the reason he is such a great Dad.
Just before the end of the holidays one of the teachers from Hawkeye’s work was in a terrible accident. He survived but is facing a long recovery time in hospital. It was good to see that he was okay. Although he can’t even sit up for two weeks. From there we went to buy some fruit to take with us to Sasis, and some chocolate, although I wasn’t sure she would like chocolate a lot of people avoid it now, so it’s not always a good gift.
Sasi’s house was really an artist’s house, with two large red doors like old church doors at the front. It had textured slate flooring that massages the feet. There was a large butterfly at the front verandah. Two charming little dogs came out, and the kids were no longer bored (well at least for a while, kids love to say their bored!)
Sasi welcomed us. It was one of those evenings you never forget, where the whole atmosphere is going to stay with you forever. Sasi’s husband, who had his first case that day, arrived home shortly after. He was a warm and friendly person who everyone felt at home with. The dogs were positively beside themselves when he arrived. We had something cold to drink and a chat, and then we chatted as she cut and diced vegetables, and cooked papadams and prawn crackers (part of an array of evening dishes). We had brown and white rice mixed together as well at dinner that night. My children loved chatting to both Sasi and her husband about everything. They found out Sam (the black dog) was blind and Ella (white and brown) was very affectionate. There was a grumpy, boss cat that was not around much as she doesn’t like kids anymore.
Sasi played some of her daughter’s music (a singing doctor, with a degree in languages). We spoke about many things, which I won’t recount in any great detail here, except to say it was a special evening. It was fantastic to meet someone interested in empowerment and women, and so into their art as to be forgetful of wordly things. Sasi’s family obviously value education (Sasi has taught art from primary to senior year levels), art, and connecting to people. Sasi values friendship as well. It did turn out she didn’t like chocolate, but luckily we bought some cheescake, strawberries and mandarins so we could make a fruit plate and top the cheesecake.
The children loved the dogs, and that they seemed to understand human language (Sasi says ‘there’s a lizard on the wall’- Sam perks up ears and looks).
It was quite late when we left Sasi’s house, but the whole family had a thoroughly wonderful time and felt quite enriched by meeting her and her husband. Hawkeye drove us home, and to keep himself awake had a good old sing (slightly more in key – perhaps his sinuses were clearer.)
(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved