In the Cloisters

St Front Cathedral, Perigueux, taken from the cloisters

I could do with the cloisters right now, somewhere peaceful, serene and sheltered. Our life has been so full of surprises ever since we returned home, that we could be forgiven for feeling a little nostalgic for the certainty of travel! Everything on the trip happened the way it was planned but of course real life is not like that.

This weekend we should be far away in Sydney, having dinner with friends, attending a concert, spending an afternoon on a boat …. but no, our worm-farm composting toilet system (Dowmus) has stopped draining and cannot be used. Life without modern plumbing is fine when you are camping, but it is very strange in your everyday home. We have a ‘thunderbox’ to get by with, and bowls for washing in, a large trug tub to shower in, and all the waste water has to be carried outside. Meanwhile we are digging out the tank, a huge job that will take days. We have started the process of changing to a new system (a Wisconsin Mound) that will be more reliable.

I would have returned to the blog earlier but I became very sick last week after an earlier tick bite. The culprit was an Australian Paralysis Tick, common here in all of its stages. This large one had only just taken hold, just near my belly button, when I removed it. There was inflammation and swelling over a wide area for days, then it subsided. However a week later I began having violent headaches, then terrible fatigue and pain all over my body. Whatever had entered my blood stream from the tick bite had created a toxic reaction. Our wise woman herbalist reassured me that it was tick poisoning, which she says they now treat like snake bite. With her herbs I am recovering quickly, but I really did not need rain, mud, and digging out a sewerage treatment tank as well!

Just a short rest in the cloisters please …….

25 thoughts on “In the Cloisters

    • this is a particularly bad year for ticks, after two wet years, so warnings are out, especially in Qld …. we all need to be careful … we have pruned our path to the beach to give us a bit more space away from the ticks, yet we would not think of fencing the animals out 🙂

  1. Oh dear! I’m surprised you had time to even share this update post! That is a lot to cope with. Take care. and… super cautious with that tick bite. We have lyme disease from tick bites here and that can incapacitate people for years. Sending good wishes that everything gets sorted out soon….

  2. There has been tick bite warnings here in Pittsburgh, PA over the news media. I didn’t know they could be so harmful to humans. I am sorry for your situation and will pray for your health and the resolution of your plumbing problems. I did miss reading your blog and I am glad to see you back.

  3. Just dropped by to check why I wasn’t receiving your posts and saw this! I am amazed that your sense of humour is still intact! Take care and get well soon 🙂

  4. Oh dear… Mercury Retograde I wonder? I can’t consider what’s worst, the effects of the tick bite, missing out on your weekend away, the digging, or lack of amenities… Last year the G.O. got 33 small ticks on him cleaning up out the back at TA. Luckily I got most of them off reasonably quickly… after he mowed the lawn, did a few other things, then asked me to have a look…) but It took a stressful 2 days to find them all, and it took him weeks to stop feeling the effects. Maybe you can manage a visit to the cloisters in spirit 🙂

  5. Sorry about your misfortunes, the Wisconsin mound system originated here and we love it, has never failed here, we also have Lyme disease from ticks, the dogs have a vacination that can immunize them from the effects, but nothing for humans, except a very stringent bout of antibiotics, hope you are feeling better soon, MJ

  6. Oh my goodness! A little black cloud has been following you and it needs to go away quickly! I’m so sorry! So often the cloisters sound like shelter, and yet I have never figured out how to get “there” when I think I need it most. But I wish you well…both physically and emotionally. It’s a tough time!!

    • thank you for your kindness, things are improving in all areas … still doing all i can to recover from the tick bite … and staying as quiet as possible … juice fasting now for a few days ..shame to miss all the gallery openings and early summer fun … but c’est la vie!

  7. My goodness, that tick seems to be working its black magic inside and out. It’s so good to receive a post and know you’re on the mend quickly. Don’t overdue with all the mucking! Take care and be well soon. Hugs.

  8. Oh no! I’m so sorry to know that you’ve been unwell. Hope you’re feeling much better, and the digging out is a thing of the past. It sounds like quite a nightmare. Hugs to you, Christine.

  9. Sounds like a terrible time you’ve been having Christine – we’re so lucky here in the UK where the worst things you normally encounter are Horse Flies and the Highland Midge. Hope your recovery is full and swift.

    • thank you dear martin, it has been awful but hopefully i am recovering .. the fear of lymes disease is real here now, so the continuing soreness is a worry, but i am well looked after by my dear husband and the good herbalist 🙂

    • yes dear robin, i have been juice fasting for three days to help detox from the tick poisons, it always helps me, and of course the composting toilet system is all working beautifully again, although the disruption to the garden will last a bit longer … we had to remove a lot of soil from the cover …. and cut into the roots of the asparagus etc …. this time we will forgo aesthetics and keep the top uncovered 🙂

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