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Day 1: Father's Day
Father's Day is not an easy thing for me to write about. My memories of the day are difficult at best, and traumatic at worst. That's the way the cookie crumbles though, isn't it? Some people have great fathers to honour and love, and some people get duds; the guys who are deadbeats, and the guys who you wish were deadbeats.

We always spent father's day weekend with him because that was the agreement. Mum got mother's day, he got father's day. We'd buy him something pretty predictable - we chose from the same group of gifts every year, and just swapped who gave him what; but he'd always give himself an extra present when the lights went out and my brothers were asleep.

I don't think it would be appropriate to write in any more detail about what father's day looked like while I was growing up, and the ones passing me by now I'm an adult (and safe) are pretty boring. I don't call my father, I don't send him a card, and I don't visit him. But oh, the guilt is there. That's the thing, you can't escape that voice in your head that says "he's still your father". In my case, that voice is my mother's, and if I talk to her about not wanting him part of my life, that's exactly what she says to me. "He's still your father".

Thank God I don't have to face it until September.


Day 2: Camp
My best camp story is actually set just before camp. I should start by saying, in Australia, camp's a bit different than what I can gather about American camp. Firstly, it tends to be something schools do - the teachers will take all the students of their year/grade (pending payment, of course!) for up to a week, to a set location. There are no counsellors or anything like that, just yourselves and your teachers.

Anyhow, when I was in year 4 (10), the school decided that they would have camp for my year as well - this was unusual as generally they only took kids in year 5 and up - it was to be a short camp, and there was a lot of excitement about it amongst the kids in my year.

That was, right up until the older kids started the ghost stories. They had us shaking in our shoes, let me tell you. First was the tale of "Bloody Mary", who died in the toilet block at our school. Then there was the ghost, I forgot her name, who followed campers around and killed them when they were using the toilet. Suddenly, camp numbers started to drop off, as kids who had previously wanted to go were now too frightened. Nobody wanted to talk to the adults in their lives about it because we'd all been warned these ghosts particularly went after children who "told".

Eventually, the teachers figured out what was going on and put a stop to all the ghost stories and pranks. After reassuring us that they were not real, they banned any mention of them amongst the students. Camp numbers went back up and we all had a great time - even me, despite falling out of the top bunk and spraining or straining (the less serious one) my wrist.

I think we were the last year 4s to go on camp though.


Day 3: Roses
My mother's favourite flowers are roses, but they've never been particularly special to me. There are Roses that light me up, though - it's a chocolate brand! It comes in a box, and all the chocolates are mixed in together, but with individual foil wrappings. My favourites have always been the mint chocolates (green wrapper, and I think the rose & trimming is silver), but really I like most of them. The only one I never eat, the Turkish Delight ones (a yellow/gold wrapper with a red rose & trimming), I throw to my partner.

I don't buy them often, because they're too addictive and because I don't see the point in spending $5 on a small box of chocolates when I can spend less than $5 and get a big, family sized block. I'm not good at treating myself with the finer things in life, even though I know how much nicer Roses are than a block of plain chocolate. I inherited that from my mother, I think.

When I was a kid, they were a great gift to give mum on birthdays and mother's day, and Christmas too. Often her best friend, T, would buy her actual roses and we'd buy the chocolates. Roses and roses, the delicious and the beautiful.


Day 4: Winter
While you're there, melting in the heat of summer, spare a thought for me with my toes turning blue. Yes, winter has once again hit us here in Australia, and though you laugh about us not knowing real cold, remember that in most states of Australia, we don't prepare for the cold. In Queensland, we don't build for winter -- we build for Summer: big open windows and doors, designed to let in the breeze and allow the air some natural circulation.

Sure, it doesn't snow and it doesn't often get below 0C, but our buildings (mostly) don't have heating. There is no real escape from winter, and that is why you will often hear me whinge about the cold. My building has no heating system - I rely on blankets and clothing and my beloved electric blanket, to keep me warm.

There's one other thing that keeps me cold, and makes me even more susceptible than my fellow Queenslanders, and that's poor circulation. If I stand in the sun at 15C, I'll be fine -- put me in the shade, and my limbs will gradually cool until there is more warmth in a metal pole than there is to my skin. Brrr.

None of this, of course, applies to those lucky bastards in the Northern Territory, who're enjoying 30C temperatures still, and will continue to do so throughout the next few months until the temperature climbs into the 40s and 50s. I'm so jealous.


Day 5: BBQ
Ah, barbeques. What can I say about barbeques? Just about anything as they've been a staple of life since I was small. Once, my mother actually won a barbeque - a Weber. It was a big round red thing, beautiful to look at, and almost completely useless to cook on, but oh how we tried.

Most of the time, though, barbeques were had on picnics or weekends with dad. I think that man lived on barbeques. He would stand there with his stubbies, his holey singlet, and his other stubbies - cans or bottles of XXXX beer; and he would cook. One of my favourite barbeque treats was when he would throw some bananas on there and they'd get all warm and smooshy and delicious. Neither of my brothers were keen on that as they didn't like bananas to start with, so it always felt like something special just for me. Since at my mother's, the closest I came to something special just for me was when I snuck my silverbeet onto my brother's plate (we had it really often because my brother loved it), it meant a lot.

Now I'm grown up and I don't even own a barbeque, but sometimes we go out somewhere and take sausages. And sometimes my brother has barbeques, because I think he finds it easier than cooking other foods.

And as far as I know, my mother still has the old red Weber, pretty to look at, and almost completely useless to cook on.


Day 6: Wedding
I was 19 when I got married. I was young, I was in love, and I believed it was forever. I didn't see the neon signs that should have told me this wouldn't work, this was a bad idea, this wasn't right for me. I saw only his eyes, and his smile, and my own heart.

I wasn't like most girls. I hadn't dreamed of a wedding all my life, and I had no idea what to do when it began approaching. I suppose in that sense it was lucky my husband-to-be was very controlling -- he took the reins and we pretty much had his dream wedding.

I did choose my dress -- though it's not like you're thinking. We were at a store called Tree of Life and I fell in love. It was a rich purple, medieval style, dress, and it was only $69. I wasn't thinking wedding dress at the time, I was just looking for a pretty dress; but after we bought it, on the way home, I suggested it as my wedding dress.

The idea was well received as my fiance loved purple - and that was the start of his dream wedding. In the end, we married in a public rotunda overlooking the Brisbane River. I wore my dress and he wore a purple suit. The irony? Our bridesmaid (of whom I have a photograph taken the day of the wedding having her upper thigh clasped by my husband's hand) and best man wore black with purple touches. Both of our mothers wore black.

We thought it was a laugh, but the laugh was on me three years later when he told me he wanted a divorce.


Day 7: Solstice
This week has included some difficult topics, but the most difficult one is today's - solstice. How do you write about something that has no meaning to you at all? I don't mean I don't understand the definition of the term - I understand it's the turning point; the longest/shortest day of the year, and that in some religions it has significance... but here in Australia, in general, we just don't do solstices.

It's a bit like Halloween when I was a kid -- it's just a day. You don't get dressed up, or have a party, or put much thought into it at all, to be honest. Most people here wouldn't be able to tell you what the longest or shortest day of the year is, and they probably don't think it matters much, either.

So it's hard, as I said, to write something about today's topic. Other deviants have spoken about Stonehenge, and the beliefs around it that involve the solstice; and I have been there and witnessed its majesty, but I don't remember enough to write about it. I will tell you that I also visited Woodhenge, which is a similar site and is thought to predate Stonehenge by several thousand years. It has been theorised that Woodhenge was used, also, in part of a worshipping journey that culminated at Stonehenge -- or perhaps the reverse is true, that the journey would begin at Stonehenge and finish at Woodhenge.

Regardless, the places are wonders. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to visit them.
It's Souljournalists challenge time again. This time I'm doing it a bit differently, and just adding each day's entry to the one piece for the week. If I write anything I particularly like, I'll copy it into its own deviation.

This week is all about favourites and personal significances.

Day one's theme is "Father's Day"
Day two's theme is "Camp".
Day three's theme is "Roses".
Day four's theme was blank, so I chose to write about Winter.
Day five's theme was "BBQ".
Day six's theme was "Wedding".
Day seven's theme was "Solstice".
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Eremitik Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
I completely agree with Ellie about your "dad" and your right to exclude him from your life. Some people do not deserve respect nor acknowledgement, regardless of what other's think you should do.

Here in the states we dont celebrate the solstice either- sure, some religious sects do but for the most part, its just another day. For me, it just signifies a turning point in the year.

0c is still cold, especially with no heat system. I am a heat guy- I love it.

Thank you once again for sharing- it is nice to get to know you a little better.
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, Ellie's very wise. :)

Yeah, I was really baffled on what to write for that one!

I'm with you, bring on Summer! Are you having good warmth? lol And whereabouts in the US are you, anyway? My brother moved to Washington (state) to be with his fiance-now-wife. He seems happy and settled. :)

Thank you so much for your comments!
Eremitik Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
For my solstice piece, I stretched the connectivity a little- I am proud of that one though.

Summer is good here. I live in New Hampshire- its on the opposite coast from your brother.

You are welcome
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love summer. :D
introverted-ghost Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014   Writer
Day 1: You have the right to choose. You have the right to say no, after everything that he has done, you aren't going to make that effort. And that is okay. It's more than okay. Anyone who expects you to put it all aside because he happens to be your father, don't listen to them. It's not their choice. It's yours. And me? I fully support you saying no.

You are beautiful, and kind, and strong, and important - but more than anything else, you are brave. And Dawni? I love you. :heart:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, lovely. :heart: My head knows you're totally right. My heart's still getting there, but I've learned to be okay with that. Either my heart will catch on and be on board eventually, or it won't -- and that's okay too.

And I appreciate the support, the kind words, and the love, so very much. :huggle:
introverted-ghost Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014   Writer
You'll be fine, whichever way it goes. :heart:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, I will. :heart:
cristinewakesuphappy Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
i felt some sort of sadness reading this especially the first entry. i have had no strong older male figure in my life. :(
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm sorry this week has left you with sadness. I'm sorry you had no strong older male figure in your life, but it's never too late to find one. I hope you do, some day. :heart:
cristinewakesuphappy Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Day one response:

The first theme was hard for me to read. I don't like that day much either. But I'm glad that there are those who can enjoy time with their parents & celebrate those 'special' events.

I sometimes even enjoy hearing their stories of where they went, what they got/gave, and so on. But not on those days. Usually I just hide out, ignoring that day & think of something else. Same with their birthdays. Both my parents are now deceased (via their vices), so in a ways I guess it's a little easier for me than you.

That said, I think it's perfectly fine to 'adopt' a role-model parent, or a friend's parents & spend time with them on those days. Maybe that's something you could look into, if that's any interest to you. No pressure, just a rambling thought.

Day two response:

What a cute story. I too did the camp thing, I think grade 5 & I was very grateful for the experience. I was in a Catholic school so most of the stories we had were peaceful songs & religious stuffz. But it was one of the most beautiful camping trips I was ever on. I miss the feelings, the smells, the crazy songs at the dinner table each night.

So did that mean as year 5 you got to go again? :D

(Also, is it okay for me to respond like this or do you want critique or something? I don't want to be a bother at all. :) )
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course it's okay to respond like this! Critique is also welcomed, but if you just want to share stories and add thoughts, I'm quite okay with that. :huggle:

Re day one: yeah. I don't have very many "real life" friends, and those I do don't really have a great deal of contact with their dads. My partner's parents are both dead & wouldn't be in our lives anyway; and the one guy I see very much as a father figure unfortunately died late last year. I do agree though that that can be a really healthy way to redirect the day! I usually give a bit of extra love to my boyfriend on the day, because he's a father without his children, and I know the day's a little hard for him because of that.

Re day two: Yay for camps! Yes, I was able to go again in year five and six. I missed year 7 because I swapped schools mid-year and the camps were each in the 'wrong' half (my first school had it at the end of the year, the one I changed to had it in the beginning).
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
Alright then. :)

Ahh I see. It's kinda the opposite for me as my friends all have family (although I don't know them). My partner's got very nice parents (and siblings) but I'm just so disconnected from them that I'm not really interested in talking with them. They don't like my likes, I don't really like theirs. But I love it when he calls his parents on those days, as I think things like that should be cherished if the parents are worthy of it.

That sucks about the camps! Good that you got to go two more times though. :dance:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

I can understand that, too. :huggle:
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