Author: projectnariah

The Beach

Spring has finally sprung and that means that Nariah Beach is now officially open. During the winter the Council shuts and bolts the gates that lead down to the beach, but it never really stops anyone from jumping it. Really the gate is more of the councils way of telling the town that there is no licensed or paid life guard hanging around, so if you’re going to go down there and you drown, then it’s entirely your fault.

In all honesty the beach isn’t a beach at all. It’s more of this sand bank that is above the water level down at the local creek. No one knows why it’s there because it’s not entirely natural. If it was the sand would not be that golden colour that you see on the beaches in Sydney and up and down the coast. It would be more red. Yet somehow the creek river bed has this flawless sand bank made of beach quality sand.

I guess it’s just one of the many mysteries that seem to surround Nariah, like Ben says.

The Beach is the main hang out area for all the teens in Nariah during the summer. The local pool was shut down two years ago after the crocodile indecent and after a lot of consideration (and a few missing fingers) the pool was surrendered over to the crocodile and left alone. I have to hand it to the council, they did try their best to try and give the crocodile a really good deal if it decided to leave the pool, but in the end the council realised that there would be more then just fingers that would go missing if they continued to bother the crocodile.

So with the pool closed The Beach is really the only place that we can go, stay cool, work on our tan (safely, with intermittent sunscreen applications) and just generally hang out without our parents hovering over us.

You would think that a place that is virtually just a sand bank on the side of a creek would be boring and lack any kind of interest, but that is not the case. The creek itself is a mystery, because no one knows where it gets it’s water supply from. The current guess is that it has managed to find some way into our neighboring towns water supply but that has yet to actually be proven, so for now it is just a guess.

Plus chances are that if it is true, the neighboring town might start charging the Creek for the use of the water, and God only knows how that length of water is going to respond.

Anyway, with the Beach now open it means that we’re able to go somewhere while the plans for the new indoor pool have been put on hold. The council hasn’t been able to figure out how the scrub on the North East side of town managed to make it’s way from wherever it came from, or why it is purring, or even how they are going to be able to push development forward.

They’ve got a pool going on down at the Metropolitan Hotel and so far everyone one is betting that they send in the negotiator again to try and reason with like they did with the crocodile. I don’t know what they could possibly offer the scrub, considering that it’s a group of trees, but the council has yet to run out of ideas for things that they can offer problematic situations, so chances are they’ll have something good to offer within the week.

In the mean time everyone is starting to get all their beach gear ready so the moment the days start to hit 25 degrees, we can head down to the Beach and just enjoy the sunshine, before it gets too hot, and before Dad starts playing that Beach Boy’s Song again. You know the one I’m talking about? It’s goes:

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I want to take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go,

– Grace

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Spring has Sprung

When I was little my mother liked to say this poem every time spring arrived:

The spring is sprung, the grass is riz.
I wonder where the boidie is.
They say the boidie’s on the wing.
But that’s absoid. The wing is on the bird.

I can’t exactly remember who it was that wrote it at this point in time, but I’ll try and google it and find out after I post this up. It’s a cute little poem that I think about now because without hesitation Mum would always say it as we walked out the door on the first day of spring – regardless of whether it was sunny, or belting down with rain.

Its one of the things that I miss about her being gone. She always had some little poem or saying that was perfect for the moment, and I never understood how she remembered them all. She wasn’t a literacy professor or anything like that, but she did delight in reading and I guess that is where she came across a lot of these sayings and such.

When the first of September hit last week, I kind of expected to see Mum looking out the kitchen window, humming to herself as she did while she made coffee for her and Dad, before turning to me and asking how I slept.

It’s still strange that I’ll never be able to see that play out any more.

Like everywhere else in Australia, Spring has hit Nariah and I was expecting a lot of strange things to begin to happen, but nothing did. Everything has been super quiet on the weird front, especially since the appearance of the new scrub on the north east side of town. You know, the one that purrs. People have actually taken to seeing if they can take cuttings of the trees and grow their own miniature versions, like bonsai trees, so they can have a smaller version of the purring trees in their house. So far all reports that have been going around town have shown that there is no way to get a cutting out of the scrub, home and re-potted before the cutting dies and turns to dust. I’m still waiting to see who will be the first to realise that their cutting may actually live if they bring all the materials that they need to the scrub instead of transferring the plant home. So far my money is on Eric’s Grandmother, who has been talking to everyone and finding out what they have been doing so she can be the first with her own potted purring tree.

Other then that everything has been really quiet around town. I’ve been told that this is normal and once it really starts to warm up I’ll start to see things get back to the way they normally around town, but in all honesty I’m not looking forward to it. I’ve been enjoying the way things have been and I’m not counting down the days until summer comes and something else starts to happen around town.

Dad just got home and showed me the community calendar for the next couple of months and I didn’t think that Nariah was going to have so many community events. For example:

September

  • 11th – The Beach reopens for the summer season
  • 12th – Market Day
  • 16th – Spring festival
  • 26th & 27th September – Nariah Show

October

  • 3rd – Market Day
  • 6th – Book Fair at St Mary’s Church
  • 10th – Clean up Nariah Day
  • 17th – Market Day
  • 23rd – Community Production of Hairspray Opening Night
  • 31st – Market Day

They’re just the community ones. Dad told me that there are a number of council meetings and committee stuff that hasn’t been put in the community calendar because final dates have yet to be finalised. I can’t see why it’s taking so long, other then the fact that there are numerous people who make it their business to be on ever little committee in town. I don’t know where they find the time honestly.

I’ve got to finish up now. We’ve just hit preliminary exams for Year 11 and I’ve got one for Maths first thing tomorrow that I need to study for.

Before I go I thought that I would share with you this music track, it seems appropriate given that spring has finally arrived.

– Ben

The Purring Scrub

We’ve just recently had a new addition appear on the boarder of Nariah, and it’s unfortunately not a Mall.

About a month ago, when we started to have some trouble uploading to the blog, people started to notice that the treeline was starting to get closer. No one thought anything of it, it’s not uncommon for the Nariah Beautification Committee to suddenly start planting things unannounced and for flower beds and trees and various other items that can be used to beautify a community to pop up out of no where. Everyone just believed that this was just another one of their projects that they were doing when they weren’t working on the lake in Centennial Park and left it as that.

Then Yesterday everyone looked out their windows and we noticed that the treeline was no longer just a treeline. It had become a secondary scrub-land on the outskirts of town and no one had noticed it creeping closer. I suppose because we all thought that it was a project by the Nariah Beautification Committee that we put it out of our minds, until it was suddenly there in our faces, like a clown at a birthday party.

Anyway, the council was not happy (to say the least) and got in contact with the president of the Nariah Beautification Committee (Harold Flint) and started to ask all these questions like “What were the Nariah Beautification Committee thinking about putting a new scrub-land to the North East of town?” and “How did you get the funding for something like this” and “Well we’re not going to look after it, it’s your responsibility” and “Where are we going to put the new arcade, movie theater and indoor swimming pool complex?“. The Nariah Beautification Committee however has completely denied any involvement in the sudden appearance of the new scrub, saying that they have been far to busy trying to work out whether or not they want ducks, swans or geese to live on the lake at Centennial Park once it has been completed.

The Council agreed that that was a very hard decision to make and conceded that the Nariah Beautification Committee had nothing to do with the sudden appearance of the new scrub-land to the North East of town.

No other groups have come forward either to claim responsibility for the scrub-land since it’s sudden appearance across the road from the Hospital, and all the local youth group have claimed that they have had nothing to do with it, that it is in no way a prank that has gone horribly wrong, and even if they did do it they wouldn’t tell you!

Ben commented saying that his Dad is going to have to add negotiator to his resume because he was the one that was sent out to the scrub-land to find out more information about it, and we were luck enough to go with him when he did.

You would think that this place would dark and scary but it’s not.It actually reminded me of the illustrations from the Gumnut Babies or Blinky Bill, not at all like the forest from Disney’s version of Snow White. I was actually kind of upset that we didn’t think ahead and bring a picnic with us.

As Ben’s Dad started to roam around and look at the trees and their root systems to see how long ago they had been planted, the rest of us were more interested in seeing if there were any good trees that we could climb, because the scrub on the other side of town has really weak climbing trees and if this scrub didn’t then all the kids in town would be in favour of keeping the scrub around. Regardless of who planted it.

Grace lost her footing at one stage and used one of the trees as a way to balance herself, so she was the first one to notice it. The Trees vibrated when you touched them. It wasn’t the kind of vibrating that you could feel if you touched an old fridge or if your mobile started to ring, It was the kind of vibrating that a cat would make if it was being petted. Actually, that is exactly what it felt like. It felt exactly like the trees were purring.

None of us believed Grace until we all gave it a go and found out that she was right. Ben’s Dad was amazed when we showed him as well and started to mutter about getting a scientist out to have a look at the trees to see if they were stable.

As a result the new scrub-land has been cautioned off, at least until Ben’s Dad or the council comes to a decision about what they are going to do with a purring scrub.

I don’t know whether they know this or not but the four of us discovered that the trees in the scrub were totally better for climbing then the other scrub and we’ve spread the word around town. We’re trying to get a committee together to see if we can save the scrub and not have it sent back to where it came from. We have a few good arguements, but we all agree that our best on is: Who has been hurt by a purring tree before?

– Juliette

And We’re Back

Hey everyone,

We kind of owe you an apology, we have been really MIA lately and that sucks because we made a deal to update you all on what is happening in Nariah and we haven’t upheld our end of the deal. So we’re really sorry about that.

Between interference with the local WiFi and the Bike Track getting so excited that it literally threw someone off their bike from it’s vibrating, plus the lack of sleep that I have been getting due to Nora, well we’re actually surprised that we have been able to do anything at all.

It’s not like we haven’t been writing either, it’s just that we haven’t been able to upload anything. But we will be able to explain everything over the next couple of weeks while we try to catch you all up.

Nothing really is ever simple here in Nariah, I can definitely attest to that. So why should trying to upload a couple of posts a week to a blog be any different.

Anyway, things are finally getting back on track, we’re getting back to our normal schedule this week, and we’ll be adding a few surprise posts over the next couple of weeks to try and update you all on what has been happening here during our unintended Hiatus.

– Eric (with Ben, Juliette and Grace watching over his shoulder).

Edit: Just so it’s clear, we were only doing this so Eric didn’t blame everything on us! – Grace

The Bike Track

One of the best places to play in Nariah when you are between the ages of 5 and 14 is the Bike Track out the back of Nariah. It’s hidden in the scrub and can sometimes be a little tricky to find, not because of how old it is or anything along those lines, but because it’s slightly temperamental and will disappear when it feels like it’s not being used as much as it would like to be used.

In short, it turns invisible when no one is using it as a kind of temper tantrum. I’m pretty sure that if it was human it would wail and flail about like a three year old whose mother or father refuses to buy it a lollipop.

When the Bike Track does throw one of these temper tantrums the council likes to send someone out to console it and try to make it visible again. They say things like:

It’s ok that no one is visiting you, no one visits the airplane in the park unless it’s market day or the Year 12 Muck Up Week.” Or
How is anyone ever going to be able to come and visit you at all if you keep turning yourself invisible?
Or my personal favourite
You will turn yourself back to being visible again, or so help me I will remove all the signage and NO ONE will come and play with you at all!

The last one is usually a last resort when everything else hasn’t worked and the kids are starting to get restless.

To be completely honest the last time the Bike Track went invisible was when I was ten, and it over heard a couple of the teenagers in their car complaining about how boring it was. It took three different council members and the promise that they would add in some new jumps and trick stuff in order for it to become visible again. The teens involved still haven’t heard the last of it and are still reminded of their failure to adhere to the age old saying: if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.

I know this because my older brother was one of the teens who was involved.

Earlier this week the Bike Track went invisible for the first time in over five years and no one could figure out why. All the teens now knew how sensitive it was and we refuse to say anything horrible about it out loud. It was being used frequently because of the Annual Council Bike Safety Awareness campaign that involves tips on the best way to do a Superman trick on your pushbike and the best way to to remove all slime that gunks up the works when one of the ghosts from Eric’s Grandmother’s B&B decides to borrow it for a joyride, before they realise that you can actually forget how to ride a bike.

Especially if you have been dead for more then twenty years.

Ben’s Dad was the one called on to go and have a talk with the Bike Track and find out what the problem was. It took two hours of searching and a few swear words before he reported that apparently someone had been using the Bike Track on a motor bike.

Now there are very few rules that come with the Bike Track (other then you don’t insult it within hearing distance), but one of the biggies was that you don’t ride motorbikes on it. Once upon a time you had been able to but that all changed.

When the Bike Track was new and just created, it was happy for motorbikes to use it. The more the merrier, right? But like all toddlers, it got too excited and threw a guy who was riding a motor bike into a tree after vibrating so much in happiness that it threw the motorbike and it’s rider clean off. The Bike Track felt horribly guilty and has since refused to allow motorbikes anywhere near it’s paths, until it was ready.

Plus it got all embarrassed because the Race Track over at the show ground saw and because the Bike Track kind of has a crush on the Race Track, it doesn’t want to do anything stupid that could ruin the potential relationship.

Normally this would have caused a problem. The Council would start complaining about the teens and their motorbikes and not thinking about other peoples feelings. We would respond saying that we don’t use the Bike Track anymore and the Bike Track can’t actually be defined as a person because it’s a series of paths created by the Council. The Council would then reply that we shouldn’t discriminate against someone because they’re different and that we would all be grounded if we kept up that tone of voice.

None of that happened though.

Ben’s Dad had an idea and started to work on plans for a Motorbike Track, not far from the Bike Track, but close enough that they could be friends.

So far the idea has passed both the Council and Bike Track and the Bike Track is beyond excited for it’s new younger sibling. All the kids are saying that when they ride the Bike Track it’s vibrating with happiness, which makes using it all the more fun.

Parents however are double checking that all kids are wearing their helmets before they leave the house.

– Grace

A Note on Wednesdays

I hadn’t been in Nariah more than a day when I started to notice how strange the town was, not just because of the strange goings on and the ghosts that live in Eric’s Grandmother’s B&B or the animal that lives next door to Eric’s Grandmother’s B&B that is surely part werewolf. It was all that but I really noticed that Nariqh was strange because of Wednesdays.

Wednesdays outside of Nariah are considered to be Hump Day. The day in the middle of the week that seems to drag on regardless of if you are a student or an adult at work. Wednesdays are just a horrible occurrence.

In Nariah they took it one step further and completely removed the day from their vocabulary. No one in Primary School says: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

It’s more like: Monday, Tuesday, the day we refuse to recognise, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. 

Which, between you and me, doesn’t have the same ring to it as the original.

I can, however, understand why they would want to do this.

Wednesday is one of those days that always seems to drag on and never end. On Mondays you groan because the new week has begun and you need to go back to work or school. Wednesday is that horrible day in the middle of the work/school week that just seems to drag on and be a pain in the neck. Teachers seems to be extra slow at explaining things and slightly short tempered, Students don’t have the same attention span that they had at the beginning of the week, employees go about things at a slower pace and employers sneak back to their offices and play Candy Crush Saga in order to pass the time.

Even clocks seem to go extra slow on Wednesdays.

So I can understand why they wouldn’t want to acknowledge it, but they’ve taken it to the extreme. All the calendars had Wednesday wiped from their pages and with each new calendar or planner bought, you get a free pen so you can rename it whatever you want it to. When we got our new calendar, it came with a whiteboard marker and now Dad has made up a list of names that Wednesday can be called and rotates them so every Wednesday isn’t the same.

With no one calling it Wednesday however, it does get a bit confusing when you’re trying to make plans to meet up with someone on that day as everyone calls it a different name and no one knows what everyone else is calling it.

The only place that is consistent and lets people know what they have renamed Wednesday to on their calendar is the Council, who renamed Wednesday to Chocolate Fudge Sundae which everyone agrees is confusing, with there already being a Sunday, but no one has brought it up at a council meeting yet so no one has started the momentum to have it changed. Plus if you go down to the Flying Fox Cafe, opposite the Council, and say that it’s Chocolate Fudge Sundae you get a Chocolate Fudge Sundae for $1.

Trying to keep track of what everyone calls Wednesday is next to impossible because they are constantly changing what they have called it. Apparently we weren’t the only household to get a whiteboard marker with out calendar, and a lot of families like to change Wednesday’s new name. Grace’s family is one of these and she said that they even have a challenge where the best new name doesn’t have to wash or dry up the dishes for a week. So far she is on a roll with six weeks off drying duty and another four owed to her whenever she wants to claim them.

I’m actually considering suggesting this to Dad, but I’m worried that he may rig it so he wins each week.

– Ben

Technology

Technology is a funny thing here in Nariah. Mostly because in certain places it doesn’t work, like at school for example. I’ve told you before about what happens to the computers in the Library if you try and search for something outside of what you are supposed to be learning. They kind of hiss at you, sounding like a cat, almost like they are berating you for looking at things that you know you shouldn’t be looking at.

Whatever Net-Nanny settings they have on those computers is really, really strong and if they sold it they would make millions.

Imagine being a parent, unsure of whether or not your son is looking at pornography or something like that. You could type a few things in, make sure that if he did search for porn sites the Net-Nanny would catch him and BAM! Instant cat hissing if he does start searching for porn.

I told my older sister Maggie about the idea, when I was over for dinner the other night, and she laughed before telling me that the computers hissing had nothing to do with an amazing Net-Nanny program and everything to do with magic. It was another hour before I was able to find out exactly what she meant.

Maggie told me when computer were starting to become common in schools the parents at the time were worried that they would use the computers at the school to look at things that they shouldn’t, especially around younger more impressionable children. So under the advice from Nora, one of the ghosts that lives at Eric’s Grandmother’s B&B, they got in contact with this Old Hermit that lives near the town dump.

The Old Hermit came and looked at the computers before disappearing for a couple of days. When he returned he brought with him that box filled with dust and a spell written on an old piece of cardboard. All the Librarians needed to do was write the spell in a word document, sprinkle the computers with the dust and hit save at the same time and the students wouldn’t be able to access anything inappropriate without anyone knowing.

Three days later a student (who will forever be unnamed) tried to search for something outside the school’s curriculum and suddenly the computer started to hiss.

I’m not too sure how true that story is, but I have been this old box sitting on one of the filing cabinets in the Librarian’s office and if they need to do that to all the computers when they arrive in the school, it explains why the Library is always off limits for the day when the new computers arrive.

The computers aren’t the only things that work strangely at school.

None of the students are able to use their mobile phones. The moment you step onto school property your phone shuts down until 3:35pm that afternoon when the final bell rings for the day.

I don’t know how they do it, but I think that it’s got something to do with why the front office asks for a copy of our phone numbers at the beginning of every year.

Teachers and parents, however, are still able to use their phones just fine when they visit so I’m sure that that has got to be the reason.

Or when all the students started to bring phones to school they brought the Old Hermit in again.

I don’t know if the Church’s in town got the Old Hermit in as well, which seems highly unlikely, but you can’t use your phone during sermons there as well.

And depending on your internet provider, Wi-Fi strength varies depending on which house you live in. The older the house, the better the Wi-Fi. Besides Ben’s place, Eric’s Grandmother’s B&B has really good Wi-Fi, and it should because the ghost that haunts the front office does a lot of the bookwork for Eric’s Grandmother because she doesn’t know how to use MYOB all the well and in order for her to send her BAS off at tax time she needs to have good internet.

Plus a couple of the younger ghosts have a thing for cat videos, and like to watch recordings fans have uploaded to YouTube of Broadway shows that they have gone to see.

I’m sure that they know the whole plot of Wicked just from these short illegal videos.

The other place that has surprisingly good Wi-Fi is where the sink holes are across from the Pre-School. Ben told me that during one of his Dad’s visits to the area, they discovered that the place gets even better Wi-Fi then at their house. The Giant Clawed Hand seems pretty happy about that as well because if you walk by you can sometimes see it using Councillor Michael’s laptop or watching Vines on his iPhone (both of which were in his car when the Giant Clawed Hand grabbed it).

Since that news got out a lot of people (re: high school students) have been flocking to the area to use the Wi-Fi. The Giant Clawed hand doesn’t seem to mind all that much, just as long as you give a gold coin donation to help pay for the internet costs.

Which is pretty handy and it gets a lot of teenagers out of their rooms, so parents aren’t all that upset about it at all. In fact they quite happily hand over a dollar or two if the teens are heading over there.

So while technology does work strangely here, at least we can’t complain about the lack of Wi-Fi.

– Juliette

Welcome to Nariah: Part IV

Nariah has got to be one of the weirdest places that I have ever lived in. Sure I’ve only ever lived on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, but it never got as weird as what it does here in Nariah. I’ve been here a month now and this whole place is very strange – at least to me it is. Dad, well, he’s not too worried. He doesn’t get too worried about most things, that is just the kind of guy he is. Even when Eric’s Grandmother invited us to dinner on night in the future and said that the ghosts would be on their best behaviour he took it in his stride and laughed, promising that they will get a treat if they do.

I don’t think Dad believes that Eric’s Grandmother wasn’t joking. I don’t think he believes that a lot of the things that have happened in Nariah are true. Like the sink holes over near the Pre-School, he was asked to go out and see if there was anything that could be done about them. When we got there the Giant Clawed Hand was walking around, and by walking I mean using two fingers to imitate legs like Thing does in the Addams Family. It went completely still when it saw (sensed?) us and didn’t move again until Dad started laughing and commenting on how creative some of the local pranksters are. The Giant Clawed Hand then started waving enthusiastically at Dad before disappearing into the hole that it came out of while Dad did his job.

Good news is that Dad thinks that he can do something about the sink holes. Bad news is that the Giant Clawed Hand and whatever it is attached to might have to move away from the Pre-School. Dad’s still working on how to fix the sink hole problem so for now it’s fine where it is as long as it doesn’t snatch any more cars.

Dad thought that he move to Nariah would be good for us so we could get out of the funk that we seem to have been in since Mum died. I’m not too sure how moving out here was supposed to do that, but it has diverted my attention away from the sadness I feel whenever I think about Mum. I wonder if any of the ghost’s at Eric’s place can crossover and see Mum? I’ll have to ask next time I go over.

I also want to get a look at his neighbours animal. Eric doesn’t call it a dog. Apparently while it does have some resemblance to a werewolf there are parts of it that aren’t canine at all. When I asked him what he meant he said that it didn’t matter and then muttered something about scales.

Despite all the strange happenings that take place here in Nariah it’s a nice town. Everyone seems friendly and so far I haven’t come across someone who is particularly horrible or cruel, so I suppose despite everything that has happened so far this place is alright. It could be worse.

A lot worse.

Dad works for the council, as an engineer/environment manager or something to that degree. I’m not exactly sure what he does, I’ve never been to his workplace or really had an interest in that kind of thing, but from what I understand his job here in Nariah is to look at things, like the sink hole across from the Pre-School, and figure out how to fix them or improve them. Once he’s figured out the sink hole problem, Dad says that he’s going to look into improving the football oval so that when football season finishes this year they can get it ready for next year.

That has got to be the worst part about moving in the middle of the year, everyone is already in their sports teams and can work really well together, so at least until the summer sports start up, I’m not going to have much to do – unlike Grace, who plays Netball, and Eric, who plays Rugby League, both of which play for the town teams and are pretty good at it. I watched Eric last weekend and I can see why his Uncle is considering driving down to Canberra for the team trials that they have. I don’t know whether or not Eric wants to go and try to play football full time, but it would be an interesting experience all the same. And he would be just one of the many people that I have learnt have gone on to play football professionally from Nariah.

It’s getting late and I need to go get ready. Dad is taking me to the Chinese restaurant down the main street that is supposed to be really good, and if it’s as good as we’ve been hearing about then I don’t want to miss it.

Until next time.

– Ben.

Welcome to Nariah: Part III

When you get lost in Nariah it is always best if you stop the moment that you realise that you are lost, otherwise you’ll get even more lost and the State Emergency Service will be unable to find you. I learnt this the hard way when I was younger and going off to ride my bike at the Bike trial when we first moved here, but I think that it applies to things like blogs as well because I think that we can all agree that I would have been the better person to write the first blog post. Juliette gave it a good go, and I commend her for her efforts, but it could have been better.

I want to take a moment to talk about a couple of things that she mentioned in her post.

  1. Yes I was upset that I didn’t get the first post – but I’m sure that somehow the whole straw drawing thing was rigged so that Juliette could win. I don’t know how, but I’m sure that Ben might have done something to make it so she would win because she has been really nice to him. Like, really nice.
  2. If anyone was going to join this project because they liked Ben, it would be Juliette, why would she be so nice to him otherwise?

Now that that’s been dealt with we can move on.

Before Ben came, my family was probably the last family to move here to Nariah and that was when I was five. I don’t remember much before then. I actually don’t remember much before getting lost of the way to the Bike trail, but Doctor Monroe told Mum and Dad that that is perfectly normal when a child is traumatised. I don’t understand now how getting lost could have been so traumatic, but then again Doctor Monroe is a Doctor and knows more about these things then I do – but hopefully I will know more one day. Especially when I start University to become a doctor.

Not everyone believes me when I say that I want to become a Doctor and I can’t understand why. I’m not sure if it has something to do with how I act or if I just don’t show my interest in medicine outside of my bedroom, but I honestly do want to become a Doctor. Ever since I first saw Grey’s Anatomy.

I know it’s not the most accurate of medical shows, with all the drama and everything and I should watch RPA or something like that to get a better understanding of what life as a Doctor would be like, but… but… it’s so addicting. I mean the whole story line between McDreamy, McSteamy, Addison and Meridith had me waiting to see what was going to happen next. And I know that will never happen, at least not until I’m fully qualified, but it has sparked my interest and that is what I want to be.

Dad just asked me if I was having trouble getting onto the internet. I’m not; I don’t think I’ve ever had problems connecting to the Wi-Fi. It’s not as good as what is at Ben’s house, but I can’t complain. Apparently he’s having some issues trying to find out Nariah’s weather for the next week because he wants to renovate the back garden and he can’t do that if it’s going to rain all week. I didn’t know what he was talking about because as far as I know whenever you search for Nariah’s weather in Google it never shows up. Dad should know this. I think he’s getting forgetful as he gets older. Anyway, our best bet to figure out what our weather is going to be like is to look at Griffith’s weather and then assume the opposite, because when it’s sunny there, it’s usually rains here.

Oh! I just got a text from Elisha, one of my best friends, to go and hang out at the Casablanca Café, so I’ve got to get going.

Oh and Eric, your neighbours with their animal that looks like it is part werewolf aren’t the only ones that can hear Nora banging on the pipes. Some nights, like when it’s going to rain, the sound carries across town. Luckily everyone knows that it’s just Nora and not something else, but the sooner you can get to the bottom of Nora’s sudden change in behaviour the happier the whole town will be, I think.

– Grace

Welcome to Nariah: Part II

The funny thing about Nariah is that it seems a lot smaller than what it actually is. The town has a population of about six thousand, but I have never seen everyone turn up to a football game or even carols by candlelight. If they did I think that we would need a bigger park to hold it in – but I suppose that is something for the council to think about, not me, and by me I mean Eric Samson.

Sorry about rambling a little bit, that has just been on my mind for a couple of days while I’ve been trying to think about what I am going to write for my first post. You would think that it would be easy, just explain a little about the town that I have lived in for as long as I can remember, but it’s not that easy when you actually sit down and try to write it.

I tried to talk to Nana about it, but she just looked at me with this strange look on her face, like she was trying to work out why I would think that writing about Nariah was such a good idea. Then she put the biscuit tin down, smiled and said that I would figure it out. I always do.

I know that Juliette has talked about Nana and her B&B in her post but she didn’t give you the full story. Nana has been my legal guardian for most of my life – since Mum and Dad died, or disappeared, not one is really clear on what exactly to declare them even after it’s been more than ten years since they went poof. Poof is the best descriptive word that I can come up with to describe how they just vanished after going out for a hike with a group of friends and never coming back. No one from the group came back. It would have been big news but a person just vanishing like that out in the Back Scrub is normal, at least it is in Nariah.

I’m not too sure about anywhere else. When I told Ben he just looked at me, as if he was trying to work out whether or not I was playing with him. It took three other people from our year to convince him that I wasn’t messing around with him.

I think that is part of the reason why Ben thought this blog was such a good idea, or he just didn’t think we had enough to do, what with homework and all that normal High School stuff; which is what I should be doing, but I’m not.

I’ve lived with Nana in the B&B most of my life since Mum and Dad went poof and it’s a pretty good place to live. Sure we have a few problems, a couple of leaking pipes, squeaky staircase, ghosts that think that it is fun to invade your dreams and make you afraid of the dark. You know, the normal B&B experience.

Recently we’ve been having a couple of complaints about the noise that the ghosts make, or one ghost in particular: Nora.

Nora has been a fixture of the B&B for as long as Nana can remember. Nana says that she used to play hide and seek with Nora, a game that would last days as Nora would hide herself between walls and refuse to move until Nana gave up. She used to play with me as well, but I used to hit the walls once I learnt her trick and it always made her come out of hiding. Something to do with the vibrations making her feel bad. Anyway, recently Nora has taken to banging on the pipes loud enough that it carries over to our neighbours, and normally that wouldn’t be a problem but they’ve just recently adopted this animal, that I’m sure is part werewolf, and as a result of the banging it starts to howl. When we asked Nora why she was banging on the pipes, Nora refused to answer.

Ghosts are not the best at expressing their feelings in a productive manner.

We’ve also got this new ghost that just kind of freaks me out. I don’t know whether it is a child or if it is a really small adult that has been compressed, but when you catch a glimpse of its face you realise that it has no eyes. And if that isn’t enough to give you the shivers then it extracurricular activity of just walking through you when you’re distracted will – literally. As far as ghosts go he’s not the scariest but the lack of eyes and no concern for personal space is enough to make him my least favourite of the ghosts that live here.

Both Nana and I have told him that it’s rude to walk through people when they don’t know that he’s there or if they are distracted but we don’t think the message got through to him because he didn’t give any indication that he heard us and five minutes later he walked through Nana as she was making one of her famous flourless chocolate cakes.

Nana has invited Ben and his Dad to come and have dinner with us, promising that the ghosts will be on their best behaviour. When she said this, Ben’s Dad just laughed and said that he would bring a treat for them if they managed to fulfil that promise. I don’t think that he understands that ghosts have no need to worldly possessions. Sure they hang out in places where they die, but usually that is because they have some kind of unfinished business, like trying to get a message across. In the case of the eyeless child, well, I don’t know what exactly he would want because all he seems to do is stare eyelessly at people and wait until their guard is down before walking through them, which even Nora agrees is rude.

I’ve got to go now. Nora has started her banging and the howling is going to start very soon, so I’m not going to be able to continue for much longer. Thanks for stopping by.

– Eric