Daily Prompt: A Source Of Anxiety

Ghosts in the machine
Ghosts in the machine (Photo credit: gideonc)

The Ghost In The Machine

Every month I go and spend a weekend with my sister. We generally sit up way too late talking and laughing about all sorts of things. On several occasions we started hearing a woman’s voice even though we were the only ones in the house.

At first we thought that it must be someone passing by on their way home from the nearby pub. Then we thought it was rather late for that. At 2am everyone in this quiet little country town would have long ago gone to bed.

This happened on two or three consecutive visits and both of us were starting to get a bit uneasy about it. The house is an old one and my sister had a couple of unusual experiences there when she first moved in ten years ago but she’d never heard voices before.

We grew up listening to mum’s stories of spirits that she had seen and my sister also seems to be sensitive to such things so we were really starting to believe that something out of the ordinary was happening in the house.

Finally one night as we were about to go to bed we heard the voice again but this time my sister was a bit closer to where the sound was coming from and could hear the words more distinctly. It turned out that it was the anti-virus program she had installed on her computer announcing that it was doing a scan.

We were immensely relieved and had a good laugh at ourselves for being so suggestible.

Daily Prompt: Keeping Up With The Jones’

Travel Guides
Travel Guides (Photo credit: Vanessa (EY))

My Dream Trip

I often daydream about what I would spend my money on if I were to win big on the lottery, the only way I’m ever likely to get rich. I’m not as mundane as Hubby, who, when asked the “What would you do?” question starts talking about investments. I like to think about the fun stuff that we would do after our finances were taken care of.However, I don’t daydream about having a sports car, a luxury mansion or my own private jet. I am happy with my ordinary life and so is Hubby so although I would like to have a nice home I don’t see us living ostentatiously. It’s not our style.

Travel is one luxury I would enjoy spending my newfound wealth on though. I make the most of any trip I make and I don’t have to go first class but I dream of one trip where money is no object. One thing I would dearly love to do is to sail from Australia to the UK or vice versa as I did as a child but this time I would do it in style.

If I were sailing to the UK I would start my journey by travelling to Sydney a few days before my ship sailed and would stay in a 5 star hotel close  to the harbour with a view of the water. A bit of shopping and sightseeing would put me in the holiday mood. Naturally I would already have bought new clothes for the trip as the jeans and trackies I usually wear are hardly suitable for wearing to formal dinners on board ship.

My first choice would be to travel on one of the Cunard or Holland America line ships or possibly one of the smaller cruise ships.  I like a ship to feel like a ship. If  I wanted to go to a resort I’d go to one. I would have a suite of my own so that I would be sure of having  plenty of room to move and a view from my window. My suite would have a balcony where I could relax by myself with a good book. I would disembark to explore at every port of call along the way.

Cunard ship Queen Victoria at Station Pier Mel...
Cunard ship Queen Victoria at Station Pier Melbourne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would love to travel the Suez Canal route as I did when we emigrated. I would visit Cairo and the Pyramids and maybe try to find out where my grandfather was stationed when he was in the army there in the 1920s. However, I’d be equally happy to take the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope and visit Capetown, South Africa.

English: View from the Table mountain, Capetow...
English: View from the Table mountain, Capetown, South Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a relaxing voyage I’d arrive in Southampton ready for more travels around the UK and Ireland before flying home to Australia.

Links:

Daily Prompt: Keeping Up With The Jones’

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/cruise-news/10315098/Sailings-from-Britain-to-Australia-a-step-closer.html

http://www.wotif.com/hotels/accommodation-sydney-harbour.html

Daily Prompt: Fear Factor

English: Words associated with Fear
English: Words associated with Fear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fear of Falling

I used to think that I had a fear of heights but what I really have is a fear of falling. I am not worried about flying, well not much, and I can enjoy the view from the top of a tall building providing there is a comforting wall all around me but ask me to climb a ladder and I turn into a quivering mass.

I don’t think that I was always afraid but certainly by the time I went to school I was. At my first school in England we had to do gym. One of the things they would make us do was to walk on a plank suspended between two large stools. I don’t suppose they were very high but they seemed so to a five year old. I was terrified to do it but too shy to tell my teacher. I’d just try to make myself invisible and keep going to the back of the line. In those days they would probably have made me do it even if I had said something.

If we went to the playground I wouldn’t go on the big slide because I didn’t want to climb up the ladder. I do wonder if I had an early experience that made me afraid. Mum did tell me that once when I was very small my father brought me home from the playground covered in blood after a fall. I don’t remember this incident at all but maybe that was the start of it.

Fear of falling has continued to be a nuisance all my life. Occasionally on outings I’ve missed out on doing things because they involved ladders. Last summer at the Maritime Museum in Sydney I found that I could not tour most of the ships on display because doing so would have involved climbing down ladders.I would love to sail on a tall ship but even before I became too unfit to be much use I would not have been able to pull my weight because there was no way I was ever going to climb the rigging. I’ve never been to the top of a lighthouse for the same reason even though I would love to do that too.

When I was younger I could sometimes overcome my fears if the motivation to do so was great enough. When I was a Steamranger volunteer I was for a short time able to climb onto the roof of a train carriage. My greatest achievement I think was to climb Ayers Rock. It’s not the done thing to climb the rock these days, it’s considered disrespectful to the indigenous people who consider Uluru to be a sacred site. However, in the 1980s a lot of people did it. Hubby and I were there with an American pen friend of mine and although she and I were both a bit anxious we decided that we would try it. Hubby elected to remain on the ground. I really expected that I would be too scared to go on once we got past the first section where there was a chain link railing to hold. Surprisingly I wasn’t; it felt firm underfoot, not slippery and although we resorted to some undignified sliding on our bottoms on the way down we both made it to the top. I could never do that now.

English: Looking down the trail of Ayers Rock,...

English: Ayers Rock, Uluru, Australia Deutsch:...
English: Ayers Rock, Uluru, Australia Deutsch: Ayers Rock, Uluru, Australien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The worst thing about this fear though is that it means that I am unable to do certain jobs around the house.  I can’t wash or paint my ceiling unless I employ a long-handled brush but the most aggravating thing is trying to change lightbulbs. I’m fine if I am near the wall, I can just about manage on a step-ladder but if it’s in the centre of the room I to into a state of near panic even if Hubby is standing by to catch me. As I get older it seems to be affecting me more. In the car steep driveways and ramps worry me. I sometimes resort to closing my eyes when we have to use them. Luckily I’m not the driver!

I have to admit that I’ve never sought treatment for this problem. It’s never really been a priority for me. I’ve just learned to live with it.