The ‘la mère’ part of the title will be revealed in due course, but first let me tell you about the little guy leaning precariously into my pond for a drink. Just for the record, he’s a tortoise, not a turtle.
Tortoises are land animals. Instead of flippers, they have stumpy little feet with claws, and as far as I know, they can’t swim. Bear that in mind for later.
When I first noticed this little guy in the garden a couple of weeks ago, I thought he was an escapee, and apart from putting out a bowl of water near his hiding place, I left him alone. In fact, I forgot about him until yesterday when Mogi’s high-pitched barking sent me out into the garden to investigate. I quickly raced back inside for my camera!
As you can see, Mogi’s presence, and relentless barking didn’t seem to bother Sir Feral Tortoise one little bit, but my presence instantly sent him back into his shell. Clearly he was wary of humans.
Eventually he came out and stuck his head in the water. I assume he was drinking, but he could just as easily have been trying to catch my fish.
Sneaking up for a closer shot, I was just in time to see him topple into the pond head first. He could have just overbalanced, but I suspect I startled him.
Handing the camera to the Daughter, I raced over to the pond and saw him just floating there, a couple of inches below the surface. He looked kind of, surprised, as if falling in had never occurred to him.
Needless to say, I didn’t wait around to see if he could dog-paddle his way out. After fishing him out of the big pond, I put him down next to the little pond, where he’d be able to reach the water without doing tortoise acrobatics.
Since then, I’ve done some research, and apparently we have native Snake-Neck, or Long-Neck tortoises here in Australia. These guys have webbing between their toes and claws so they can swim. Unfortunately, I’m still uncertain whether Sir Feral is a native that just happened to wander onto my property [like the echidna], or an escapee that has acclimatised to our bush conditions.
Whatever Sir Feral may be, he seems quite happy here, and comes out at dusk to drive Mogi crazy. If there are any tortoise experts out there I’d really love to know what kind of tortoise he is!
And now to the ‘la mère’ part of the title. La mère is French for mother, and refers to me. I am a mother, and a bit of a mother hen as well, but to be honest, I was more interested in the sound of the word than its meaning. Plus there’s a nice bit of irony there – I’ve always thought of myself as cautious and plodding, rather than quick and impetuous. 😀
So… this Mère doesn’t do New Year’s Resolutions because, well they’re kind of pointless, aren’t they? I mean, how many of us actually follow through on them? I know I never do.
That said, I do believe that New Year is a great time to take stock of the year that was, and 2013 has been quite a year for me. On the upside, 2013 was the year I self-published two works of fiction, and was included in a third publication.
2013 was also the year I posted a modest little how-to on my blog. I wrote it as a release from frustration, and in the hope that it might help some others who were as non-smart-phone savvy as I was. Realistically, however, I expected that post to sink into the mire of general disinterest. Instead it gathered views like a snowball hurtling down a mountain.
As at December 31, 2013, that modest little how-to has generated 30, 749 views. For those interested in statistics, that’s about three times the number of total views I had during 2012, bringing the total views for my two years of blogging to 62,504.
Views for my ordinary posts doubled as well, but the run-away success of my tech writing both thrilled, and dismayed me. After all, I was done with tech writing, wasn’t I?
I have a love/hate relationship with the concept of fate. On the one hand, I believe, utterly and completely, in free will. On the other hand, fate seems to have played a big part in my life, often pushing me in directions I didn’t want to go, directions which turned out to be right, in hindsight.
So was the sudden success of my tech writing down to fate, or just random luck? I will never know, but when I first started looking for a paying job, back in July of 2013, my prospects were rather dismal. I had a lot of computer related skills but, officially at least, they were all far too many years out of date. Then the consultant mentioned that I could upgrade my training qualifications via a 16 week course.
I don’t want to sound overly dramatic, but I literal felt something go ka-thunk in my mind.
As most of you know, I did the course, and have been applying for training positions since December. I’ve received no offers yet, but I believe 2014 will be the year I Get A Job! At 61, that will be something of an achievement. 😉
So those were the highlights of 2013 for me. I didn’t write as much fiction as I would have liked, but overall, I think 2013 was a very good year.
I hope 2013 was as kind to you as it was to me. Happy New Year and roll on 2014!