Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Tonight my oldest granddaughter had on Facebook written but one word FAIL...I then suddenly realised just how I have been feeling of late...I too feel I am a failure.

Now my dear g/daughter has far different problems to me but her state of mind is obviously producing this feeling that she fails at everthing. Recently her baby boy died when she was only 16 weeks into her pregnancy and that is something only people who have lost an unborn child can really understand. She probably now has a feeling of sheer inadequacy which is infiltrating her everyday life. She has been trying so hard to return to normal and not always succeeding. There is support for her from all her family and her friends but sometimes people feel there is little they can do to heal the hurt for her. I am hoping time will heal this wound and that she will once again be her cheerful, busy self.

Thinking about her made me realise what my problem is too. My arthritis is so very bad of late that simple tasks such as writing Christmas cards, tidying up a few objects, washing dishes and getting meals have become little nightmares. There doesn't seem to be one part of me that doesn't hurt at some time or another which in itself is difficult to bear but when it interferes with tasks I am trying to do it it becomes unbearable. Now I do understand that this pain and inability to do very much is playing with my mind which make matters far worse. I know that people with arthritis and diabetes (of which I am Type 2) are prone to depression so I wonder is this what has happened to me? I simply refuse to take strong pain killers as they do tend to make the old mind very fuzzy and as for anti-depressants....I don't suffer clinical depression so am sure I don't need them either.

MOH is so very patient with me and tries to understand what is happening to me but he himself has been ill for a couple of weeks and only now recovering from whatever bug had invaded his body. As we head towards Christmas I can only hope that the rest of the Christmas cards will get written and posted and presents bought and wrapped in time for the big day. It's funny but even wrapping a parcel seems beyong me at times as my hands are very painful and don't function as well as they should.

Am I sorry for myself? No, not really as I have a loving husband and family who I know do care about how I am and as I always have said there are so many millions of people in the world who are so worse off than I am. Unfortunately I am the one who feels my pain and my inadequacy and therefore that I am a failure.

If only I could talk to my g/daughter about how I too feel I am a failure (for such different reasons) but I doubt somehow it would help her at all. I do however understand exactly what she meant when she typed that one word FAIL.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today MOH celebrates the anniversary of the day of his birth but what a dreadful way to celebrate! A visit to our doctor and now antibiotics. On Monday night he complained of a sore throat and then he developed and nasty cough over the next day or two. Our doctor was away for two days (unusual for him) and I had already made an extended appointment with him for this afternoon for myself. I managed to have it split in two so MOH could be seen as well. I am so glad I did 'cos the doctor said MOH had a very raw throat and a bubbly sound in his chest. I managed to get a couple of important scripts I needed and also have the doctor complete the form to go to the *Department of Transport so my driver's licence will be renewed in January.

I cancelled a lunch appointment we had arranged with a friend to today and was so glad I did 'cos MOH just wouldnt have made it. A raincheck on that and also no alcohol as you don't drink when taking antibiotics.

Poor dear...not a good way to celebrate your 81st birthday but we will make up for it a couple weeks when you should be feeling so much better and will be able to have a glass of wine as well. Something to look forward to instead of looking back on today.

*Would you believe the Department of Transport have LOST all my medical information. Surely in this day and age a government department would have a back-up system so that records just do not get lost. Apparently not.

All is can say is this: Happy birthday and better luck next year when you turn 82. xxx

Friday, November 12, 2010


Stopped by the post office again today and both mum and dad galah were in attendance on their gum tree. She flew off when we arrived but papa was working away at the bark of the tree most industriously and you could see a huge area where he had been chipping away at it. Whether it is the bark itself or some insect in there I don't know but he kept right on regardless of vehicles driving past or people walking.

It was funny to watch him as a man walked behind the tree and the galah stretched out one way to see where the fellow was going and then the other way to make sure he continued walking on past the tree.

I whistled to the galah and he turned and gave ma a cheerful look and then continued on with chipping away at the bark.

Whether their young one has hatched or not is hard to tell but at least it was wonderful to see both the adults still very active.

They are both just SOOO beautiful and have adapted so well to suburban living.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have always known my daughter is important to me but suddenly today I realised just how important she is in my life.

At times I do get very lonely as I don't get out very much apart from medical appointments and the like and I often long for the sound of a friendly voice. Yes MOH is wonderful and I know he loves me very much (he actually toldl me so today), more perhaps than I deserve and we often sit and chat about this and that which is great but.... Today the truth hit me and I knew exactly which voice it was I missed the most. My daughter's voice.

She is a very busy lady and if she reads this blog I don't want her to feel I am burdening her with this realisation of mine. I am not putting pressure on her to do anything different in her life.

Let me explain: my daughter rang me yesterday and we had quite a long chat and I felt so much better afterwards. She rang me again today and it was another long chat and I felt as though a weight had lifted off me. I had come to life again.

Just two simple telephone calls and I found myself smiling unexpectedly..at nothing in particular ... but how long was it since that had happened?

How can I tell her that the sound of her voice, even briefly, lights up my life so much without her feeling I am indeed placing a huge burden on her shoulders which is the last thing I want to do.

I love to talk to my grandchildren as well and enjoy hearing any news they may have or listening to problems if they have them and will always welcome any calls I receive from them but the one most important voice is that of my only daughter...someone I have loved so very much from the very moment of her birth and also before that day too.

We may not always agree on everything but that is the way of human nature and a boring old world it would be if we couldn't have different opinions on various issues. There have been times when we've gone 'a bit cold' on each perhaps but the bond has never been broken and I am positive it never will be. Thank you for being who you are.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Last week it seems the galahs were still using the hollow in that gum tree near the post office...only one galah was present and he/she flew up on to the light post when some dogs ran down the street with their owners. No sign of a young one but I would imagine there must be one in the nest.

I looked up information about galahs on Wikipedia and it seems they incubate for 25 days and eventually leave the nest at about 49 days so it is possible I could be lucky enough to see the baby before it leaves home...I certainly hope I do.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


So go the words of the song which continues:

"Hold on tight to those you love 'cos you don't know how long you're going to have them for.
Hold on tight to those you love 'cos they're the only thing worth living for."

This is so true but one wonders at times if one is trying to hold on too tight. There are of course other things in life that are important but those you love do and surely must come first before anything else.

Unfortunately I am not sure those you love always want to be held on to but prefer their freedom. My son chose that path and it is now nearly 9 years since he spoke to me or bothered with any of us. He must be serious because I have been in hospital 4 times during those nearly 9 years and never had a visit or any contact from him or his family at all. I have been fortunate that other family members have visited as well as some dear friends so I never felt neglected at those times.

There is a lot more going on in my mind right now but perhaps it would be diplomatic to leave it unsaid (unwritten) so maybe I am not having an opportunity to put into words what I feel. Never mind....I am only one person.

Others use blogging to express how they feel about all types of things and I wish I could but perhaps least said soonest mended so best to leave it at that.


I am feeling very heavy hearted and at the same time so helpless.

My daughter is sad as is at least one granddaughter and possibly one or two more of my granddaughters as well.

Events overtake people, events they have little control over but nevertheless these events bring a lasting sadness with them.

We cannot get into other people's mind to see exactly what is going on in there and no matter how many words we may utter we are never sure that what we say is what they want to hear. Sometimes one just keeps quiet for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

I know I am a good listener and am always willing to listen, without comment if need be, but perhaps I am now just little to old for people to bother talking to me. Perhaps nobody would think I would understand any more.

All I know is I am here should anyone need me and meanwhile I sit here feeling hopeless and unable to help....as much as I would like to do so.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I have always loved words and the English language and believed one should be competent at spelling and grammar throughout one's life.

What appalls me these days is not only the way people speak but also the way they spell. I really think a lot of it is caused by the habit people have, particularly the younger ones, of constantly sending text messages to one another on their mobile telephones. Apparently it is important to keep these messages short if possible...I am not sure if this because of the cost factor or sheer laziness but it is quite common to see 'words' such as "wanna" "yr" "yep" and so on. It is quite extraordinary and at times quite difficult to decipher exactly what is being said/written.

We oldies were taught how to write, spell and speak and I imagine this has stayed with us throughout our lives but, only the other day, I found myself answering in the affirmative to a question and saying "yep". Shock...horror!!! Did I really say that? Yes, I did and now realise how easy it is to become word lazy.

I imagine if I came back to earth in say 30-40 years time I may have difficulty in understanding what people in the English speaking countries were saying or even writing. As it is unlikely that will happen I will just have to try and gently adjust to modern jargon but try to avoid using it myself if I can.

Talking of mobile telephones...the other day MOH asked a younger woman, aged he thinks between 30 and 40, just what it is that people seem to constantly be ringing each other about. Her answer was quite simple and straight forward, "Oh" she said "they will make calls just to let a friend know they have been to the bank or some such unimportant event" which really doesn't seem to us to warrant making a call about". Is it just that they have to continually use those 'phones because they have them? One also wonders when will they get the message that using mobiles when driving a car is not only dangerous but also illegal unless they are hands free and even then I feel they are a great distraction to the driver.

When I was young we still managed to keep in touch with family and friends quite easily without all these 'mod cons' such as mobiles and computers. Oh well, once again I must admit I do not belong in this modern age...I use a computer for fun although I find these days that even they have taken the place of a good old fashioned telephone conversation. I often long for the sound of a friendly voice but it seldom happens any more. More's the pity.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Last week I said how sorry I was that the 28s and galahs seemed to have abandoned the nest in the big gum tree near the post office but lo and behold when we parked there today the galahs were back again.

Father galah flew off somewhere and then I saw mother galah come out of the hollow in the tree and pop back in again so I am sure there is a little one in there.

I have no idea what happened to the 28s....did the galahs take over the nest or was the baby 28 old enough to leave with its parents? I hope the latter was the case.

It is so worrying when you hear how so many of our native species are under threat of extinction and wonderful to see at least some of them hanging on in this dog eat dog world they now have to exist in. I am sure living in the wild is never easy and we certainly haven't helped their cause by taking over such vast areas of their natural habitat.

I'm not sure anyone has even read any of the reports about these birds (does anyone really bother to read my ramblings I wonder) but I like to keep the story of the birds up to date and will continue to do so while they are still around.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Recently my oldest granddaughter lost her baby boy at just 16 weeks into her pregnancy. My heart goes out to her and her wonderful husband but also to the rest of our family who have lost a grandchild and a nephew before they got to meet him.

As for myself, I of course have lost a great-grandchild which loss I feel very deeply particularly as I am not sure there is the likelihood of any more great-grandchilren likely to arrive in the near future. My son's children may of course eventually have children but as he has alienated his family from the rest of us it on the cards that I may not see any great-grandchildren that may arrive.

My regrets at the loss of this child are strong but I am now wondering how I am likely to feel should my son's daughter and son have children, knowing I have great-grandchidren I may never see? It is not a prospect I look forward to.

There are so many wonderful things that happen during our lives and one must always be thankful for them but at times they can unfortunately be overshadowed by the sad and bad things that occur from time to time. It is easy to say "life must go on" and go on it must but one has at times to take a moment to reflect on what might have been.

Over 50 years ago I lost a baby only a short time into my pregnancy and hadn't even realised I was expecting a child. It came as a shock to me but I'd not had the anticipation and delight of pregnancy so remembering back perhaps there was not a lot of sadness associated with this loss. It was also not a good time to bring a child into the world (shortage of money etc)so perhaps there could have also been a small sigh of relief? That sounds hard I know but I am sure there are many cases where it is also true.

Having said all that I have often wondered if the baby I lost was a boy or a girl and what he/she would have grown up to be. Who would the child have looked like and how would he/she succeed in life....all those things often come into one's thoughts no matter how long ago the event took place.

Once again my thoughts are with my granddaughter and other members of the family and I hope the sadness will eventually abate and allow everyone to go forward once again.


I have two of those beetroot/pickle containers (the ones with the insert with which you lift to make it easier to access the beetroot etc) and some months ago I realised one of the inserts was missing.
Although he is not sure it was himself MOH has a habit of wrapping potato peelers etc in with the compost and out it goes. We are often fortunate in being able to find it before it actually goes into the compost heap but not always.
Getting back to the beetroot thingie....As yesterday was pretty warm (33C) I decided it would be good to have salad for a change and when I opened the tin of beetroot (have to admit I don't cook beetroot any more) and grabbed the first beetroot container of course it was the one without the insert. I mentioned this to MOH and he said "Oh I think I may have found it in the compost heap!"
This morning, after giving it a very good wash, he produced it and would you believe it, it is as good as new. I was amazed and realised just what a good product Tupperware really is. I have now washed the insert several times, scrubbed it with a toothbrush and know that it is really clean so now I have both containers back in service which really pleases me.
I don't buy Tupperware these days as I prefer the old style items they sold years ago and one downer is that I can't remove the lids of many of the modern containers. They are just too much for my arthritic fingers/hands to deal with but perhaps just as well as I doubt I could afford them.
Incidentally, that insert must have been in the compost for at least 4-5 months since we were last having salads on a regular basis which I think speaks wonders for their product.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Oh yes it would!!! Even simple tasks are becoming difficult and I can't see any chance of improvement; quite the reverse in fact.

I decided I'd go through my linen cupboard to perhaps add to items my daughter gave me to donate to an animal shelter (i.e. old sheets, towels etc) and would you believe after only about 10 minutes I had to sit down as my back had siezed up and that was that. Nowadays the hurt works its way from my lower back right up to my neck and just aches.

On Thursday I decided to go into the back garden and do some jobs that needed doing. Out I went with my trusty secateurs and did actually manage to prune a small bush and some wayward jasmine. I then spotted some dead heads in the Bird of Paradise bush so decided they had to go too. I did manage to remove some of them but daren't lean in too far in case I overbalanced. It was then a noticed a long jasmine trailer that was in a place it had no right to be so thought I'd trim that. Bad decision as it meant traversing some uneven ground. It was then I began to think what would happen if I did fall. MOH was out doing some banking and I knew if I hit the ground I would never get up. I used to spend hours working in our garden but now....not nice that I actually feel terrified when out there, especially when on my own.

Many would say I would be better living in a retirement village or similar but neither MOH or myself feel we are ready for that type of life, well not yet anyway. We like our little old house and hope to be carted out feet first perhaps.

I very much want to stay alive but the frustrations that beset me every day make me wonder why? I love my computer and get much pleasure from being in contact with friends on Facebook. I would love to see more of my family but realise that I am of little use to them these days and perhaps more a nuisance than anything. Theirs are busy lives and I don't want to be in the way.

I have to stay around for my cat who I know would miss me terribly and of course to help MOH get through his day as he takes tablets, has to inject insulin before each meal and have eye drops for his glaucoma each night. I must be here for him as he has told me he would be lost without me. I really believe that to be true in many ways. He is an exceedingly intelligent man but would he look after himself on his own? Not sure about that so here I have to try and stay.

This may sound rather pathetic but I can't help the way I feel at times. As I've said before there are millions of poor souls on this planet far worse off than I am but that doesn't make it any easier for me to accept my own problems.

It is rather fortunate that very few people bother checking my blog or this would bore them to tears but at least it has been good to put this into words and I apologise for whinging once again.


My daughter has unfortunately inherited genes from me that do her no good at all. I have had osteo arthritis since in my 20s and which now has become chronic and prevents me from doing a great deal while on my feet. 14 years ago I developed type 2 diabetes and now she has that as well. She must often wish I'd been born with different genes so she would perhaps not suffer from these disabilities and I apologise to her for it.

I think she has inherited my sense of humour and a reasonably nice nature which is good as she is certainly not like her father (and thank goodness for that) in any way.

I can only say I am so sorry my dearest girl that these horrible things have been passed down to you and can only hope that you can still enjoy your life as much as possible. I managed to do so until into my sixties and a little beyond that and you are taking steps to endeavour to stay mobile and I take my hat off to you for doing so. Even on a cold morning like this you were out there in the local outdoor swimming pool which I think is fantastic resolve on your part.


Seems the birds have moved on....parked in the same spot last Wednesday but no sign of either galahs or 28s so maybe both lots have moved on....I missed seeing them and hope they are doing OK.

Friday, October 8, 2010


My dear little Precious is 9 years old today and I am so glad she is still with us. Since Henry's death she has become quite a different cat and I now think she was sort of in his shadow as he was such a large dominant cat compared with her.

We have had many canine friends over the years but I feel that we are now too old to own one (at least one does own a dog whereas I sometimes think that a cat owns us). At least with a cat they don't smell, bark, need a regular bath or have to be taken for a walk. I can't do the latter and I sincerely think that however good my MOH's intentions would be, he just would not do justice to a dog and give it sufficient exercise.

Precious stays in all night and sleeps on one of the beds, usually on mine. She is no trouble and doesn't often want to go outside until it is well and truly light and, when she is let out, she if often back (through her cat door) within five minutes and once again curled up asleep on a bed.

She is now losing all her long winter coat and surprisingly enough it was thicker and longer this year and we had a very cold winter. Did she know something we didn't know perhaps? She was also slow in losing the long fur and it is only now with the weather rapidly warming up that she is shedding and leaving lumps of herself all over the carpet. MOH often says when he empties the vaccuum cleaner at this time of the year that he feels there is sufficient cat hair in there to cover another complete cat.

I wish my little bubby cat a very happy birthday (she shared my fish and chips with me at lunchtime) which was a treat for her and also for us as we seldom indulge in such things. Just felt that we needed to do something different today so we did. You have to sometimes!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I wrote last Saturday about the 28 parrots and galahs that seemed to be sharing a large gum tree near our Post Office. The first week it was the 28s and the second week the galahs were in residence.

Today we parked in the same place and to my surprise it wasn't a galah feeding her young but once again a 28 parrot. Her partner wasn't to be seen and neither were either of the galahs.

This is becoming quite a mystery to me. Are they taking it in turns? Of course not but are they perhaps sharing the same nest in the hollow of this tree. I can't believe that possibe either but in nature one never knows.

I am looking forward to the next time we park our car in that spot. Will it be a 28 or a galah or perhaps neither. I can only hope they are doing OK and that any babies of either kind will grow up safely.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Sitting here and typing this blog I feel little difference, in my mind, to when I was say 25, 35 or 45 but there are things that have happened lately that make me realise I know very little about this modern world in which we live.

I use Facebook a lot and there are a couple of games I really enjoy playing and I have no problem with them at all which is good. I can use Google (and often do) and send and receive emails OK. What I am finding lately however is that certain applications that used to be simple to use, ie iPhoto, have suddenly to me become really complicated. I therefore no longer attempt to use it although my daughter says it is working properly. It just doesn't want to work for me apparently. Why change it all the time? It worked perfectly well before so......

Months ago we realised our old mobile telephone (which we only take if we go out or MOH takes with him if he is going on his own) needed replacing so off we went to buy a new one, a nice simple one we told the man that you could use as a phone and perhaps send the odd text message. We bought one and I virtually have not used it since. There were no actual instructions on how to use the phone as a phone but heaps of instructions about everything else this phone can apparently do. We do not want to take photos with it or any of the seemingly endless uses it has. MOH finds the buttons far too small but he does manage to ring me if he needs to when he is out. I am not sure if he ever gets a wrong number but wouldn't blame him if he did. I don't ask him as I know he would feel badly. There are never many calls on our a/c so probably not. I don't check the numbers but recognise most of the half dozen or so.

We decided recently to buy a combination VCR/DVD player and the remote control also has tiny buttons. I was a whiz with VCRs and never had a problem programming them or playing them back but I've not even used this one at all. Far too complicated and difficult for my arthritic fingers too. MOH has not yet mastered the art of programming the machine as the instructions are just so complicated. At least he can use it to play tapes or DVDs which is something.

I hear people talk about iPods, iPads etc etc and realise I have no idea what they are talking about although I believe one plays recorded music but I'm not sure. Nobody explains their use and I wouldn't know how to download music anyway nor would I really want to as I have an adequate supply of CDs from reasonably modern to classical to listen to.

All the above may sound a little strange to the young and I wonder if my folks had a similar problem as they aged. I don't think they really did because things back then didn't progress so rapidly. It's as though manufactures of these items are racing to outdo each other and not worrying about people who are being left behind.

I know mum and dad weren't keen on modern music - crooners and such - so I had my own gramophone to play my records in my room. Yes a wind-up gramophone...oh boy, does that age me. I actually still have it here and it still works and even have needles for it as well.

The world has certanly changed in the past 50 years but much more so as far as technology is concerned in the past 10-15 years. It has left me behind and even though at times I feel left out I am not sure I want to be bothered with it. I prefer simple things and there don't seem to be many about now.


Every Wednesday after MOH and I have been to our exercise group we park in the street near our post office while MOH checks for mail.

In this area there is a large liquor store, an hotel, a service station and various shops. There are also some very, very large eucalypt trees and I always enjoy looking at them and watching out for various birds that often frequent them.

Two weeks back on the tree nearest the footpath I noticed two 28 (Port Lincoln) parrots. I wondered what they were doing and then realised the smaller one (obviously the mum) appeared to be feeding a young one which was in a large hollow quite high up in the truck of the tree. Dad was a little lower down keeping watch. They were a delight to see and seemed to be very safe where they were

The following week we parked in the same spot and on the same tree, using the same nesting site, were a pair of pink and grey galahs. I did see a 28 nearby that seemed to be anxious about what was happening but then it disappeared.

The female galah also appeared to be feeding a chick with dad keeping watch. Had the
baby 28 matured enough to leave the nest or had the galahs just taken over. Were they perhaps looking after a 28 chick as well as their own? One can only hope that all was well with all of them.

An elderly man on his gopher came down the hill, stopped, took out a small tin and proceeded to throw bird seed at the base of the tree. I spoke to him about the birds and he said he remembered when this area was just bush and as he was 90 years old I feel he had lived thereabouts for many years...maybe from when he was married. He said there were hundreds of birds living there at that time as well as the area having lots of wildflowers. He remembered when the hotel was built and eventually the surrounding shops etc.

We spoke about the suburban sprawl and how it is depriving so many native birds and animals of their habitats and now the birds have to try and live with us and in spite of us. We agreed that progress is not always good for every creature in this world and I wondered how many others had noticed first the 28 parrots and then the galahs. I am sure there are many people that do not see these things as they busily go about their everyday tasks and, some of them, even if they did notice them....would they care?

We are told we must not feed native birds but I doubt this old man was doing very much harm just throwing them a handful of seed each day. From the way he spoke I think he also puts some on his lawn where he lives. As long as the birds do not become dependent on him as after all he IS 90 and one wonders how many more years he will be around performing these acts of kindness.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It will be 43 years on Thursday since MOH and I were married in Trinity Church in Perth and he is going to desert me for the day!! Am I mad about it? No, I am not because he is once again going to the University (UWA) to talk to the medical and dental students about diabetes. We both used to go until I became a little too decrepit to get around much and it often involved lots of walking from one lecture theatre to another which I found a little too much to deal with.

We both enjoyed being able to talk about our diabetes so that the students had some concept of what they would be dealing with once they began doctoring for real. Now, my MOH tells me, they even have the students test their blood sugar, eat something sweet and test again so they know a little something of what diabetes entails for the individual sufferer.

When the invitation came a couple of weeks back for MOH to go to UWA on the 16th I knew he wanted to go so badly and I of course told him it would be quite all right for him to do so. I will feel a little lonelier that day without him being here but it is such a good thing he does that I would never dream of stopping him and I know, at 80, it is good for him to feel that way.

He will make it up to me in some small way I know although, after all these years, that is not really necessary. I am so glad he is who he is and during the past weeks, when I have been really down and out, he has been marvellous. He has begun playing golf again (he has recovered from the pulled muscle in his leg) which I am so glad about and I think he deserves a break away from me for a day so he goes to UWA with my love and gratitude.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Saturday was eldest grand-daughter's 14th birthday and her mum invited MOH and me to join the family for dinner at the Hog's Breath Cafe in Rockingham. She knows how much we enjoy these rare outings and I am grateful to her for making a point of including us in the group.

We were lucky to find nearby parking which we later learned was only for 30 minutes so dear daughter grabbed our car keys and found a nearby Acrod parking bay for our little car. Those spots are quite few and far between so we were fortunate there was a vacant one. I get so mad when I see people park in these bays that don't qualify (no sticker displayed on their dashboard) and often feel like reporting them but I am not a dobber by nature so let it ride.

We had some delicious appetisers, followed by the main meal and really great sweets. I noticed that it seemed more a venue for younger people altho' there were several middle-aged folk there too. Perhaps, being a Saturday, more young people go out but don't quote me on that. It was certainly very crowded and a trifle noisy too so why oh why did they have to have music playing as well. You couldn't actually hear the music properly and I don't think anyone would have minded had they turned it off.

I didn't think the seating was marvellous and glad I had a chair to sit on instead of the bench and my daughter said the same thing to me afterwards. We both sat on chairs athough I must admit that my back complained quite loudly about it the next day. MOH gave me a good rub with Voltaren Gel which helped somewhat.

The highlight of the night was when g.g.daughter's sweets arrived. An absolutely huge bowl of sundae with two sparklers sparkling away on top and two waitresses singing Happy Birthday and of course we all joined in as well. I don't think that any of us believed that g.g.d would get through all that sundae but get through it she did without blinking an eye.

It wasn't a late night which was good for we oldies and we had a great drive home without a hitch. We just hope that C had a wonderful day with more to follow on the Sunday when she was going to a ten pin bowling party with some of her friends.

My sincere thanks to my #2 granddaughter for her invite. Last month we joined the family for son-in-law's birthday breakfast in King's Park and next Sunday I have been told we are all going to get together once again to celebrate Father's Day which of course was really yesterday. It just seemed a good idea to split the two occasions and I'm happy about it 'cos it means we get to be with the family once again. Fantastic.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Last night on TV I glimpsed sight of two little girls (perhaps about age 8 or thereabouts) and both of them had only one leg each. They were playing games, one was riding a horse, and I thought to myself what right do I have to complain about having shingles or my arthritis etc? At 78 I still have both my legs and arms and can still walk, albeit sometimes very slowly and a little painfully.

It is when you feel really down though that you become the centre of your own world for a while and I guess self preservation may be a part of this feeling; of that I am not sure. You look for sympathy from those that are pretty fit and empathy perhaps from those who also have problems such as yours.

There is always someone worse off than I am (millions in fact)so I offer thanks that my mental factulties are still sound (some may dispute that *_*) and hopefully I still have a few good years left. The may not be very productive years but I will still try and pull my weight and do those things I am still capable of doing.

What I am really saying is: forgive me when I have a grizzle. It's just that my pain is my own and I am the only one that feels it and when it gets on top of me I just have to have an outlet and I am understand that is one things blogs can be useful for.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I am recovering from shingles although still some scarring remains and some pain; the antibotics I was on gave me thrush; my back was so bad for a few weeks that I could hardly walk (and certainly not without at least one stick) and now I've developed a damned cold sore.

It is obvious that someone, somewhere, just doesn't like me anymore but despite them I am determined to survive so they can put that in their pipe and smoke it.

I don't like complaining to people but here in my own private little world I can do it...so there!!!

Should anyone bother to read this then just ignore the ravings of this woman who is what you may called a little bit fed up.

One wonderful thing that has come out of this is that MOH has been playing 'mother' a lot of the time and seems to have discovered a love of cooking. He made some really delightful pea soup today and we've just finished a delicious slow cooker stew. I've told him he is wonderful but he takes a lot of convincing..still I think he is.

Friday, August 27, 2010


You may remember I mentioned some weeks back that, while out for a walk, MOH had pulled the muscle in his right calf quite badly, so badly in fact that he couldn't even take a walk round the block.

Eventually I persuaded him to have treatment from my lovely physio Jenny and after several treatments and appropriate exercises he was given to do the leg finally came good. He experimented by going for short walks, first round the block and gradually a little further.

I am so fortunate that he was quite OK in the house as he is such a big help to me and this has been particularly so over the past 4-5 weeks while I have been off colour.

I kept mentioning golf to him and finally on Monday he went to the public course at Fremantle and played 7 holes. He came home a bit stiff but quite pleased to have got that far and today I suggested he go again and he played another 7 holes and was much better this time. He does get a little puffed as he has breathing problems at times but his leg is fine without a hint of trouble in it.

Our family all clubbed together and bought MOH (for his birthday and Christmas in December) one of those motorised buggies which means he doesn't have to pull the clubs along and only really has to walk around the course (and swing the clubs of course). He says he has to be careful the buggy doesn't take off without him but I think he is just pulling my leg.

I am so grateful to the family for buying this buggy as it means, hopefully, that MOH will continue to play golf for some years to come as he enjoys it so much. He is not an expert but I know he just loves to get out in the open air and trees etc. He may even get back to playing with the little club at Point Walter Golf Course as with the buggy the hills there are not a real problem any more.

He has been down in the dumps because of this leg problem but now I think he is on the road to recovery and back to being his old self again....

Thursday, August 26, 2010


A granddaughter of ours is hurting badly, she is terribly sad. A tragedy overtook her that she was not prepared for (nobody even can be) and trying to come to terms with this event is really difficult for her (and her dear husband too).

One wonders what is the best response....I felt it best to stand back and give her time and I was so delighted when she telephone us yesterdy and she and I had quite a long chat but the sadness was there.

She knows how many people love her and that she has their full support but what do you do? You don't want to crowd her and yet you feel you should do something. Unfortunately I am not physically able to do too much but mentally I am strong enough to talk through anything with her should she wish to do that.

If there is anything particular that she would like us to do she only has to ask and we will be there in an instant. If you should read this my dearest one remember we are here and would do anything we could to help lighten the load you bear.

They say time heals all wounds but some wounds do leave scars that stay with us for life. Fortunately they don't' hurt as much as the original wound but they are still there to remind us of what was.

All we can do is say we love you both very much and you must let us know if there is anything a couple of oldies can do to help lighten the load.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


In my last blog I wrote of my very first job and the girls I worked with. In May 1987 I suddenly realised it was 40 years since I had begun working with them and thought it would be great if we could meet up.

Val I had kept in touch with over the years, mainly through birthday and Christmas cards and the odd telephone chat and I had also spasmodically been in touch with Wilma. June I had completely lost touch with and had had no contact since I returned from Melbourne in 1951.

I telephoned Val and Wilma who were keen for us to meet up and then also rang June who was delighted at the idea of the four of us having lunch together. I also tried to reach Greta and Peg but without any luck. I did speak to Greta's father who told me that Greta was stricken with chronic arthritis and he doubted if she would be able to join us so I decided not to bother her.

We arranged to meet at the restaurant in King's Park for lunch and what a wonderful time we had. My mother (who the girls had all known very well) had written her memoirs so I was able to give each of them a copy of her book which I think they were pleased to have. After all they had been around during our teen years and often been to our home and got to know my folks quite well, especially my mum.

We had a photo taken together and this I treasure as two of we four are no longer here. We did go to each other's homes for meals after this lunch date but Wilma became very ill with breast cancer and died when she was only 57 in 1989. Val, who had diabetes rather badly, succumbed to her illness and died in 1998 when she was 65. I was glad that we saw quite a bit of Val and her husband Owen before then.

We have visited June and her husband Doug a couple of times but they live in the far northern suburbs which involves a lot of travelling so it is now down to birthday and Christmas cards being exchanged with the odd note being added now and then.

Looking back I feel so glad I arranged for the four of us to get together after all those years and I think they were glad also. We certainly had lots to talk about.

I often think of girls I went to school with but doubt I am ever likely to meet any of them again. None of them attended the reunion at Mercedes last year and I have never been to a reunion at Perth College. I guess I could put a notice in Can You Help? but I was never as close to those girls as I was to Val, Wilma and June so perhaps not. As I said before you can go back to the place but not the time and too many years have probably elapsed since my school days, even if I do have quite vivid memories of them.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I am writing this more for my sake than anybody who happens to check my blog (not many do which speaks volumes in itself) as it is nice at my age to sit down and reminisce about the past. I am fortunate in having a very good memory altho' at times little things do escape me.

Previously I wrote about my love for Vic Square (Mercedes) College and my dislike of Perth College and how I managed to persuade my folks to allow me to attend a commercial college to learn shorthand typing etc.

I think I was fortunate that they chose City Commercial College (it was situated above Levinsons the jewellers at 713 Hay Street in Perth) as their students were thought of quite highly by the business houses of the day.

The subjects I learned were shorthand, typing, business maths, business English, bookkeeping and business principles (including banking and that type of thing). I didn't really enjoy either of the latter two subjects which carried through into my working life when I avoided clerical work like the plague. I really enjoyed shorthand and typing and when I was 14 I obtained my Commercial Junior Certificate in all six of the above subjects. The usual age for a student to sit for their Junior was 15 but (probably partly because of correspondence lessons when I was living on the farm) I was always up to a year younger than the other girls in my class.

Having passed the Junior I was of course eligible to look for work but my Dad decided that 14 was far too young to begin work and that I should continue at CCC for a further years. Shock horror!! What would I do as I'd learned all I could and mainly practised my shorthand and typing and in particular my shorthand speeds.

One thing that amazed me was when the college asked me if I would contemplate becoming a trainee teacher at their school. I had been very good at shorthand and they felt I would make a good teacher of that subject. Having always been a rather shy person the very thought of teaching students, some of whom may be older than myself, filled me with dread so I declined their offer.

Right at the end of first term the Principal called me to his office and told me he had a very good job come in (a lot of the insurance companies etc would approach CCC looking for staff) and he wondered if my father would perhaps allow me to attend for an interview. I went home that night and using all my female wiles I asked Dad if I could please at least find out about the job. Fortunately he agreed and that was the beginning of my working career.

Friends at CCC had begun work as invoice typists and the like (they were the ones for which shorthand was a difficult subject) on salaries of about 18/6d per week ($1.85) whereas my first week's pay was two pounds five shillings ($2.50) and I received a raise in pay before I got my second pay envelope and was earning the princely sum of two pounds seven shilling and sixpence ($2.75). It was certainly worthwhile being good at shorthand!!

This first job was at the Royal Automobile Club at 228 Adelaide Terrace, Perth but in their insurance section which was known as Club Motor Insurance, an amalgamation of about 53 different insurance companies. After about two weeks in the job we were told by the boss (Norm Stehn) that the RAC had decided to start their own insurance company and that Club Motor Ins would no longer be situated in their office.

We moved to what had been a shop that had been renovated and converted into an office at 48 James Street (opposite Perth Boys' School) and next to the then Police Traffic Office and also the police training school. I met a couple of very nice trainee policemen at that time, a couple of whom I went out with a few times.

In those days all Third Party Insurance was carried by insurance companies and was not part of the car licence as it is today. All TPI policies fell due on 30th June so you can imagine how busy we were at that time of year, sending out invoices and receiving payments. You had to have your TPI receipt before you could renew your car licence.

After about 6 months the insurance companies that comprised Club Motor Insurance decided to dissolve the business and Mr Stehn made the decision to become an insurance assessor. He employed an ex-policeman (Mac) and a motor mechanic (Sid) as assessors and there were at that time 4 or 5 females who ran the office. Apart from myself there was Peg, June, and Greta (she was the head of the office although only about 20 herself). I think actually Wilma joined us a little later on so perhaps only 4 of us to begin with. We all got on really well together and the office ran like clockwork.

Eventually Peg and Greta married and then Val joined the team along with a young girl (also Val) to operate our switchboard. She was in some way related to the bosses wife and took advantage of this fact by being a bit careless in her work and cheeky too. She really got us very cross and instead of complaining to the boss I decided to look for another job. I had an interview with an office in town and was given the job and then had to go and tell Mr Stehn that I was leaving.

I was told the following Monday (by Sid) that the boss had come down into the main office after we'd left for the day on Friday and said "Sid, come down the pub will you?" They went to the hotel on the corner of James and William Streets quite regularly after work and this is where they went that night. Apparently he asked Sid why I was leaving without an explanation and Sid told him straight out that he felt it was because of the younger Val and her behaviour.

The boss called me to his office that Monday and told me he thought he knew the reason for me handing in my notice and that if Val was the reason then he would sack her. I said I could not allow this to happen beause of me so he said he would speak to her if I would agree to stay on. I said I would and he then offered me a one pound a week raise. I was horrified and said it sounded as though he was bribing me. He laughed and said 'You and June are on the same wage and have been here the same length of time so how about I give you both a raise?" This made sense so I agreed to stay. At this time I was only just 18 years of age.

I truly loved my work there and the people with whom I worked and proof of this is that Wilma and Val were my bridesmaid and matron of honour at my first wedding and Wilma, June and I used to stay at each other's homes and go dancing at the various tennis clubs on the weekend.

I actually did leave this wonderful job later that year but more of that in another story.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I spoke previously of my love for Victoria Square (Mercedes) College and the sadness I felt at being forced to leave there before I had a chance to attend the BIG SCHOOL to do my Junior and perhaps even my Leaving certificates.

Events do change the course of our lives and I am convinced that this certainly changed mine to some extent. My mother's choice for my next school was Perth College in Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley.

I was due to begin there in February of 1944 but as chance would have it my appendix decided to burst in the last week of January of that year. I was in hospital until the end of February and following that there was a long period of convalescence and I was unable to attend school until the beginning of second term in May. Mum and Dad tried to keep me doing school work at home but I don't think they ever actually procured any word from Perth College itself which to me now seems a great pity.

Their curriculum was somewhat different to that of Vic Square as some subjects studied in the senior school here had been studied by their students in lower classes. Subjects like algebra, geometry and languages had not been part of our learning at Vic Square and to start school a whole term late made it very difficult to catch up with all the new subjects. My marks at Perth College suffered partly because of this and partly because I was just not happy there. I had no incentive for achievement.

The war had not affected staff numbers at Vic Square because of course the teachers were all nuns but at Perth College there was indeed a shortage of staff because of the war and we even had a man teacher which was most unusual at a girls' school in those days. He was I must admit a bit of a character and took us for geography and science. He had a thing about the Zulus in Africa and we did play on this a bit as one of the girls would innocently put up her hand and mention the word Zulu and off he would go talking about them for quite a long time. Also, when we were supposed to be in the prep room (we would go there when we didn't have a set class) a few of us would find him in the science lab when he wasn't taking a class, and he would show us how to blow glass and all sorts of weird and wonderful things. I even remember that his name was Mr Scobie.

I didn't like Perth College as I felt some of the teachers tended to favour the girls from very wealthy families. I may at age 12 been wrong about this but I have never liked snobbery of any kind and this was how it seemed to be to me. Many of the girls went on to marry into wealthy families and I hope they were very happy.

One thing that amazed me was the fact that at the catholic school nobody went to church during the day except when the catholic girls attended a service at St Mary's Cathedral on Ash Wednesday when they would all arrive at school with little dobs of black on their foreheads. Shirley and I would have fun and tell them they had dirty faces and we would all have a laugh about it. At Perth College however we had to attend chapel every morning before we began our lessons. This was of course a Church of England school and one of the heads was actually a C of E nun (Sister Rosalie). If we got the chance we would hide in one the cupboards so as not to go to chapel which I am sure was very wicked of us.

Although I would have stayed at Vic Square for a further 5 years my only thought was to leave Perth College at the first opportunity. I felt the best way would be to say I would like to do office work as perhaps a shorthand typist. Although I think Mum was a trifle disappointed at this choice she agreed and I was therefore meant to go into the commercial class in my 3rd and 4th years at Perth College. It took two years to do a commercial Junior certificate because you had to study other subjects as well.

When I finished my second year there we were told that the commercial class was booked out for the following year and I'd have to do another year in between. I was horrified at the thought of this and finally persuaded my folks to allow me to attend a commercial college in the city.

One highlight of my time at Perth College was when the war in the Pacific ended which was of course the complete end of World War 2. We were, I remember, allowed to go to the shop on the next corner to buy a special newspaper that had been printed to commemorate the cessation of hostilities. I think we had to queue at the gate (of course wearing our hats) and about 10 girls were allowed out at any one time. As one arrived back another would be allowed to go to the shop. I think I still have that newspaper in my possession but can't guarantee it.

I had 3 special friends at Perth College and their names were Hillary, Pam and Betty. I often think of them and wonder which direction their lives took. I remember a few of the other girls as well and one in particular later became a lifelong friend although we hardly knew each other at Perth College.

I have beeen invited to school reunions but have never felt the inclination to attend. I doubt I would know anyone there and I feel I am a little out of their league or the other way round perhaps.

Soon I will tell of my year and a bit at City Commercial College and my very first job.
It may not be all that interesting to others but I am enjoying reminiscing about the early years of my life so bear with me with patience please.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


My daughter has just talked about her days at primary school in her blog and it made me begin to think about my own school days.

While we still lived on the farm in Narrikup I did correspondence lessons so was able to write and read a little when we came up to Perth several months before I turned 6.

We were renting two rooms in a very large two-storey house at the top of Wellington Street and my parents decided to send me to the nearby state school. I don't remember much about it but apparently I became ill and the doctor said it was a sort of nervous breakdown (what? at age 5? never!!). He must have been a very wise man 'cos he asked lots of questions about what had happened in the past couple of months. He was told about us having to leave the farm because of mum's poor health and also about me beginning school. He asked lots of questions about that in particular.

As it turns out (and I am sure he was correct in his diagnosis) I had been placed in a Bubs class as I was (under state school jurisdiction) too young to be in Standard One. He came up with the idea that my young mind had rebelled at being taught things I already knew and was causing this "illness" I was displaying.

I have no idea how mum and dad afforded to do so but they enquired at Victoria Square College (now Mercedes College) in Goderich Street near St Mary's Cathedral to see if I could be enrolled to attend their school. I was accepted (although a protestant) and they had 3 stages in the Bubs class so I was in Third Bubs and could go on learning new things.

I loved that school so much and although all but one of my school friends were Catholic it made no difference at all. I loved the nuns that taught us (even one who could be a bit cranky at times) and was devastated when my mother, in her infinite wisom, made me leave at the end of Standard 6 because the school insisted that from the following year ALL students in future would have to take religious instruction. She had been bought up a Baptist and although she didn't attend church, back then she definitely didn't want me to become a Catholic. It was so silly as Shirley (she was the other protestant in the class) and I always sat at the back of the classroom when the lesson was Catechism so of course heard all of it anyway. If after six years I'd given no indication of wanting to become a Roman Catholic what on earth made my mother think it would happen if I partook of those classes.

In Standards 1 and 2 (they used to have combined classes) we had Sister Mary Leila and she was as real sweetheart. Of course back then the nuns wore full habits so you only saw their facea and hands which made it difficult to determine their ages but I think Sister Leila was quite young and wonderful with young children.

In Standards 3 and 4 we were taught by Mother Aliquot, a very tall woman and quite strict but a very good teacher. Like my daughter we did sewing and Mother A always used to say my stitches looked like hen's teeth, whatever that meant. She wasn't over keen on my writing either so although I had very good grades there were obviously some things at which I wasn't completely perfect. We of course used dip in pens with inkwells set in the desks.

It was during those years that we also learned to knit and we used to knit articles to send to our soldiers who were away fighting in World War Two. I actually learned how to turn the heel of a sock which held me in good stead in later years when doing serious knitting. We knitted socks, scarves and I think balaclavas as well and it was a lot of fun. I often wonder what the soldiers thought of our efforts.

In Standard 5 we had Sister Mary Ligouri (not sure of spelling) and she could be quite cranky but also lovable as well. She was older (she had lines on her face) and I was fortunate to be an excellent speller as she would give you a smack on the hand with her little wooden ruler for each spelling you got wrong. One girl (Pat) just couldn't spell and poor thing was always getting little sharp smacks with the ruler for her mistakes. She was a bright girl but just not good at spelling.

Apparently I was a bit of a talker and Sister Liquori was say "you could talk the legs of an iron pot my girl" which I thought quite a strange expression but I knew what she meant and tried to keep quiet. The females in our family do have the gift of the gab so guess it is a genetic thing. I tend to write the same way...sort of gabble on a bit.

The war was hotting up and we had this underground air-raid shelter outside our classroom (I am sure there were others as well scattered around the grounds) and I can remember having air-raid practice. The bell (or siren perhaps) would sound and we'd all have to scamper to the shelter and sit in there for some time to get used to doing so. Although northern parts of our state (and Darwin) were bombed by the Japanese we were fortunate that they never made it south to Perth.

Our Standard 6 teacher was Sister Mary Norbert and she was very young and fresh out from Ireland. She was a very devout Catholic and in fact gave Shirley and me some "holy pictures" which none of the other nuns had ever thought of doing. Mum found mine in my school bag and was furious and I often wonder if this was the beginning of the end for me at Vic Square.

I used to gaze at the buildings which housed the classes for Junior and Leaving students and dream of the day when I would be part of it (we littlies were never allowed in that area) but the bubble burst and the dream was no more. I do feel that had I continued at that school I would have gone on to do my Leaving and even university perhaps. How our lives can be changed so significantly.

The memories of my just over six years at Vic Square are so vivid and so happy too. I attended a reunion a couple of years back and actually met Sister Mary Norbert who had taught me in Standard 6 and yes, she did remember me. Maybe because I was not a catholic but I don't think that was it entirely. Teachers do tend to remember students from year back. She of course by this time would have been in her early 80s and was living in a retirement village but it was still nice to meet up with her and we had a really long and interesting chat.

At the reunion I learned that several of the girls I'd known so well at school had died which was sad but as we are all getting much older it is of course inevitable. I am glad I attended the reunion but the school had changed so much that I barely remembered it which was a pity. As they say "You can go back to the place but not the time" which was the case on that occasion.

My sincere thanks go to those 4 nuns who played such a large part in my life for six years, the formative years. I am sure they taught me a lot that was good and I am glad I attended a Catholic school as I think it made me more tolerant of other's beliefs and faiths. You don't have to all believe exactly the same thing but you can still get on well together and respect other people regardless.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Shingles on my face of all places.....pain, blisters, swollen eyes and cheeks...YUK! I am so glad to have such a wonderful caring doctor who seems to have prescribed correctly (now on cortisone for 5 days to help relieve swelling) as it is at last starting to subside, just a tiny bit. Not nearly as painful as before and a little less swelling. Right eye closed right up this morning but now half open so that is great although vision a little blurred in that eye. Hope that's not permanent!!!

Dr Ken saye he will continue to see me every day until this is over and done with and I can't ask more than than from a very, very busy doctor and he bulk bills too which is fantastic for me, so no cost.

MOH has been wonderful and looks after me well and doesn't even laugh at how I look which is so kind of him. He is so concerned as hie mother had the same thing back in the 1940s and he remembers how she suffered. Of course back then only ointment to put on the face and cover it up with bandages. At least I don't have to do that with the advent of special medications etc. Great to be in the 21st century.

You can be thankful that I don't know how to publish photos as this would be one nobody would want to see....it could be used to frighten children and that would not be nice.

I have some pics stored in my camera to show family just how awful their mother and grandmother looked.

When I think of how many people around the world are so much worse off than me I know I shouldn't complain but as said before....my pain is my pain and I must be allowed at little grizzle now and again.

Monday, July 26, 2010


On Saturday our son-in-law telephoned and said he was arranging a family breakfast at King's Park on Sunday for the family to celebrate our daughter's birthday and would MOH and I like to come along. We don't often go to these get-togethers (I think family think we don't get up early enough) so it was with much delight that I said we would love to come.

Our lass usually takes a day off work for her birthday but as she has to fly to the country (to do with work) she unfortunately this year has to work on the birthday itself. We will miss seeing her tomorrow but work sometimes has to take precedence.

We arrived early (which is a change for us) and found the cafe quite easily and sat down to enjoy a nice breakfast and the company of not only our daughter and her other half but also four grandchildren, our grandson-in-law but also our two great-granddaughters.

I had a really bad day on the Saturday with my back but fortunately got up on Sunday morning and it was behaving itself a little better than usual.

After breakfast we wandered down to the wishing well (don't think I've been there for over 30 years) and it was wonderful to watch the youngest great-grandie asking for coins to throw in the wishing well. Her mum took some photos of her which I hope will come out well. She also took (on time exposure) a photo of all of us and am wondering how that one will turn out.

No-one will ever know how much we appreciated being asked to join the family or how much we enjoyed the outing. Had to rest up a bit for the rest of the day but it was well and truly worth it.

Many thanks (for thinking of us) to our son-in-law from his outlaws (no sorry, his in-laws).

P.S. I couldn't believe how many people were in King's Park on Sunday morning, spread out all over the park. It certainly is a very popular venue for families, tourists etc. You always have to be thankful for the foresight in that area of land being made available for everyone to use. It is so close to the city and as a piece of real estate would be worth millions of dollars. I feel it is worth the world to those people that enjoy it so much and can only hope those who use it look after it for future generations.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I hate to admit it but I am damned well totally fed up, with myself and nearly everything else as well.

Fed up with not being able to do the things I used to love to do.....knit, crochet, sew, do cross-stitch, work in the garden, go out and about etc. etc. If I want to go to the shops I need my walking stick if not going too far and if I really would like to actually look at things I need my walking frame which doesn't always fit through aisles or I feel I am in the way of others. I am not agoraphobic and yet I spend nearly all my life in my home, not even getting out in the garden as I once did because I fear I may topple over if I'm not careful.

Fed up with being lonely as all my close friends are gone now and it's impossible to make new, close friends when you are in your 70s. You become close to people over the years and I've not enough time left to me to do that.

Fed up with everyone being so busy these days.....many years ago MOH and I both worked fulltime and he attended university as a part-time student and yet we still found time for family and friends. Folk just don't seem to have the time any more and it makes me feel so sad. I sometimes actually wonder how many more times I am likely to see people before I drop off the perch. I am not part of their modern world and yet I am always interested in what they are doing and would love to hear about it.

People no longer want to spend time talking on the telephone and that is something I used to enjoy doing. When V from Canberra and I have our two or three hour chats every month or so I feel so alive. We can discuss any subject without ever falling out even if we don't agree which is how friends should be. She will soon be 88 but is as bright as a button and very knowledgeable about the world in general much of which she learned about as the wife of a diplomat.

This sounds like one long whinge and I guess it is but with the exception of perhaps a couple of people who perhaps will read this and think I am a little bit 'dippy' I don't care. Just had to get it out of my system in the hope it will help do something but not sure what.

There is a lovely little poem called "Leisure" by W.H.Davies and I think it says about how life has changed considerably and people are constantly on the go and don' stop and enjoy the simple things in life.

What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this, if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

I should be so thankful that I can at least use my legs to walk .. that I have legs ... that I am still alive to enjoy watching the birds, the clouds in the sky, the beauty of flowers and trees and listen to beautiful music and bird song. Why should I crave for more than all that? I guess the problem is in my mind when sitting comfortably here I am not old..but then I get up and realise what I feel inside is not happening on the outside and yes, I am indeed quite old. Hopefully, at 78, I am allowed the odd grumble or two so you must forgive me for indulging myself thus.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


In 9 days it will be 57 years since I walked down the aisle to marry a man whom I should never have married.

It is a long story and one of which I am not completely proud of...how did it happen? It was sheerly by accident that I first went out with him...he wanted someone to partner him to the wedding of a mutual friend and so we went together. It was a great wedding and I thought that would be that but no, for some reason this fellow kept on wanting to see me and even after my folks built a new home several miles away he would ride his pushbike (young people couldn't afford to own a car back then) over each and every night. All a little overpowering you might say and, thinking back on it, I think it was exactly that. A habit that should have been broken but was not.

I could do nothing alone and my mum could see this becoming very serious and, in her infinite wisdom, she unfortunately suggested he and I become engaged. Her reason was because the two of us had decided to buy a block of land together and she felt that this was not right for an unmarried couple. People had strange ideas then as you can see. It wasn't as though we decided to move in together as young folk do these days!! It was just a block of land as an investment for the future.

Trying to cut a long story short....we became engaged on 19 July, 1952 and we were happy (I think) and to be honest I now feel that it was more a physical attraction than a mental one. Plans were made for my 21st birthday party early in 1953 and then plans for our wedding in July of that year.

The reason I say we should not have married is because he was incredibly jealous of everyone, male or female, who wanted to share any of my time and one good example was when a school friend came up to Perth for a few days. She was invited to our home for dinner and when I explained to 'you know who' that perhaps he might not come over that night as she and I had not seen each other for some time I thought he would take the hint. No, he turned up as usual and immediately tried to take over the conversation. I tried to politely suggest that he give J and I a chance to chat but he then started in to tickle me (anything to get my undivided attention) until I gave him a playful slap on the cheek and told him to stop it. Wow, what a reaction. He jumped off his chair and on his way out slammed the front door so hard that my mum came running down to us to see if we were OK.

It was then that mum and my friend sat me down and tried to talk sense to me and said I would be making a rod for my own back if I married this man. I knew they were talking a lot of sense but all I could see was the hurt that would be in those big brown eyes of his and couldn't bring myself to do break off the engagement. You can pay dearly for being a softie.

Anyway, the wedding took place on 18th July, 1953 in St George's Cathedral in Perth and we spent our honeymoon at Yanchep Inn. The next sign of severe jealousy on his part occurred several weeks after our wedding when I received an invitation to a girlfriend's Kitchen Tea. He asked me when we would be going and when I explained that it was a girl only thing he couldn't believe that I would even contemplate going anywhere without him or that he hadn't been invited!!! I couldn't believe this but I did go to that party without feeling in the least guilty about leaving him on his own for a couple of hours. I was still thinking it a bit of a joke that anyone could react like that.

Several things happened in the next few years where jealousy became a real stumbling block in our marriage and yet when our daughter was born it was OK for him to go with a couple of mates to a dance at the Embassy Ballroom. Also on my 24th birthday he went off fishing with friends and left me to my own devices. It was obviously one rule for me and a different rule for His Lordship. (this a nickname family members have bestowed on him over the years).

Eventually he went off on his own more and more, fishing, shooting and yes, drinking too although when we first met he didn't drink much at all. Perhaps I drove him to it but I don't really think so. He came from a family where all the men enjoyed their beer and I think the habit was catching.

We had been married barely a year when he asked his mother why she never asked us to her home for a meal and her answer was "because you make every meal time a misery". His grandmother also reprimanded him and told him "if you are going to talk to your wife like that you need not come into this house". This, after all, was their son and grandson and I was only an in-law and I began to realise they were sticking up for me and not for him. Something wrong here was my thought.

When our second child was about 18 months old I had had enough and walked out and went to stay with my mum. A few nights after this he met an uncle and aunt of his and told them I had left him and the aunt's reaction was "I am not the least bit surprised!"

Don't get me wrong, I am no whited saint and have done things I shouldn't have done as we all do through our lives but I do know I have faults and make mistakes and try to admit to doing so but this man was never wrong, at least not in his eyes.

Eventually things came to a head in 1966 when one night he was going on and on and I knew that if he didn't stop I would hit him with something and being a non-violent person this was not my way of resolving a problem. I walked out the door at about 11pm and never returned. I was wrong to leave the two children there but I just had to take the iniative and go, go, go away...as far from him as I could on foot. (His mother had actually said to me one day that I should pick up a heavy frying pan and hit him with it if he didn't behave himself).

I ended up at my mother's home and explained to her what had happened. He brought the children around and asked where I had been and I told him to mind his own business. He had the audacity to say I could have our daughter but he would keep our son and that his mother would help care for him. This backfired on him as she said she was well past the age of caring for a child and so I had the two children with me which I felt was likely to be the case anyway. It was a risk I had taken and which turned out for the best as I could never have lived without the two kids being with me.

One more risk regarding my children was when speaking to the excellent lawyer I had he suggested I tell my husband that he should have the children. I was aghast at this idea as I would never have forgiven myself if I lost custody of them. The lawyer said that from what I had told him he doubted my husband would want them. He said I should suggest to my husband that he engage a housekeeper to help care for them himself and the children and this I did. The reactiom? "Do you really think I want somebody in the house to spy on me and know what I am doing?" It was a risk I took and it paid off thank goodness. Big sigh of relief on my part and my sincere thanks to a very good legal person.

A divorce took place in 1967, I married again and have been happy with my second husband for going on 43 years for which I am very thankful. Even the Supreme Court judge chided my husband at the time of the divorce in regard to actions on his part and I was more or less made to appear blameless.

Some of the above seems to have had a delayed recation with my son as he decided eight and a half years back that he wanted nothing further to do with any of us although prior to that time he had more or less fallen out with his father anyway.

I realise now that I should never have married A in the first place and the biggest regret is that my daughter has to bear the brunt of it as she still tries to do the right thing by her father and sees him when she feels she must. She tells me that he is still as arrogant as ever he was and to me he sounds as though he is even worse. To her I say I am sorry for any agro she has to go through at his hands but she has a good family support group so I know she will survive.

Over past years I have had several conversations with A on the telephone and he goes on and on talking endlessly about himself, how many people think he is wonderful and how clever he is. You sort of listen and try and say "Oh, yes" occasionally and try and find a reason to end the conversation ASAP. There is no such thing as a real conversation as far as he is concerned as his own voice is all he wants to hear.

He has had a partner for many years now and I know from what she herself told me, that she has stayed there for security (particularly for her own son) and is obviously willing and capable of putting up with much more than I could put up with. I wish her well because all the money in the world would not have made me stay a minute longer than I did.

I made a mistake, was fortunate to have two lovely kids one of whom is my friend as well as my daughter, or at least I look on her that way.

It is water under the bridge and nothing will change any of it but we must move on as best we can and hope that others don't make similar mistakes.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


As you know I was adopted by an English couple who emigrated to Australia in 1920 with the son of my 'dad' from a previous marriage (his wife died when quite young).

Thus, during my life I had no grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins per se. I have mentioned that dad had no contact with his family in England so no connections whatsoever on his side and my mum's mother had died in England when I was only 5 so knew nothing of her at all. Mum's father was quite a wealthy (but somewhat stuffy) fellow who would send me an English pound note every Christmas so, other than that, I really had no contact with him or mum's sister or her family.

Of course both mum and dad are long gone as is my adopted half-brother and I felt their loss very deeply and still do, particularly mum and dad. For various reasons I didn't have a lot of contact with my half-brother's family and was sorry when his widow died several years ago.

What are my thoughts about this: Have I been fortunate in not having to deal with the deaths of grandparents and other close relations? Is it better to have the love of those people and then feel so sad when they are gone from this earth or perhaps best not to have had them in the first place? Thinking back I think mine was quite a solitary, lonely life as my parents were 34 and 46 when they "got" me and my half-brother was nearly 21. There were no real family friends so there were seldom any visitors to our home although we occasionally used to visit people...there was nobody to whom I felt very close.

I wonder if this has made me different to people who have been part of a larger family with grandparents (even great-grandparents perhaps), aunts, uncles etc., or even those who have had loads of family friends? I know I love my own two children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren as I am capable of being hurt by things they perhaps say or do (or don't do) even when no hurt is intended on their part so I know I am not absolutely devoid of feeling.

We moved house many times during my youth and I attended two different schools and didn't live close to any of the other children who attended those schools. I really didn't get the opportunity to make strong connections with school friends (travel was difficult during the war years with petrol rationing etc) as we lived so far apart from each other. When we moved on we lost contact with friends in that neighbourhood as very few folk had telephones and some people didn't even have a car.

I always feel sad when I hear of the death of someone's relative or close friend or someone I have known and admired but is it the same for me as for others? Am I perhaps lacking in some emotion that other people have. Should I even worry about this? Why do I feel this way I wonder? I certainly don't want people to be upset when I eventually die as it will be my time and nothing can be done about it. Perhaps I am a fatalist and believe what will be will be. Who knows what I am going on about...thoughts rambling on now and getting nowhere.

Should I delete this post? No, I won't because I want to try and come to terms with who I am and still don't think I have done that yet. I will publish the post and I can read it again (even if nobody else does) and perhaps the puzzle that is me will suddenly be solved. At least for me if for no-one else!!


The few that follow my blog will know that MOH is 80, going on 81. Over all he is quite fit although he suffers from Type 2 diabetes, has some osteoporosis and also mild emphysema and what is possibly mild asthma. All these things are pretty well under control and he still plays golf, or will again when the pulled muscle in his leg is completely better which I am hoping will be very soon. He's made sure the battery for his buggy is still charged so the determination is there thank goodness.

O.K. I have set the scene, so what happened the other morning made me laugh (but not out loud). MOH had been having a bit of a breathing problem during the night and when we woke in the morning he said "I am wheezing like an old man". I could have said "but you are an old man, my love" but realised that of course in his eyes he is not old so....I let it go.

I have known people of 60-70 and even younger that let themselves 'get old' but while you can keep on keeping on that's the way to go, particularly mentally, even if the old body is slowing down somewhat.

I can only hope that his old body is around for some time to come 'cos "I need you to be there for me. I would be lost without you".

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Although it is now nearly 40 years since my dad died he is often in my thoughts. He was something of a mystery in some ways, none of which will ever be solved by me as there is nobody to ask about him.

Hang on...I am getting a bit ahead of myself. Who was this man? He was the wonderful man that agreed (with his wife) to adopt a baby girl. He already had a son of nearly 20 years (his first wife had died when only 32 years old) and it is not known why this couple could not conceive but his wife really wanted a child and so they became my parents in 1932. I have already explained about my adoption in a previous post.

As previously said dad was a bit of an enigma....I do know he didn't marry his first wife until 9 days prior to the birth of their son. I also know that after emigrating to Australia he had no contact whatsoever with any of his family or his first wife's family. Was he perhaps considered to be the black sheep of the family? Perhaps that could have been the case. His family was never mentioned and none of them went to the wedding when he married my mum. Something was surely amiss and it is no good speculating what it may have been.

I do know he came from a very respectable family in London; his father was a wheelwright and coach builder employing several men. What did he do to become an outcast from his loved ones? He had an excellent job with the Sugar Commission (chief clerk) which was important during the first world war because of the shortage of sugar. I also know that George V presented him with an MBE for work he did during that time. That is also a mystery as I have no idea just what he did to merit that award. Mum told me that she thought he used to sometimes go to one of the underground railway stations to meet a train and either hand over or receive a package of some kind. All another mystery to which there is no answer.

After the first world war there was a worldwide influenza epidemic and I am told dad became very ill and after he recovered his doctor advised him to leave England where the climate was bad for his health and emigrate to warmer climes. The decision was made to go to Australia and, of all things, take up farming. What a choice for two city people who previously had only ever done office work.

They sailed on the "Euripides" and arrived in Australia on 9th May, 1920 with dad's son who at that time was 9 years of age. They disembarked in Albany and they farmed three different properties in the Great Southern at Chorkerup, Redmond and finally Narrikup which is where I lived for nearly 6 years.

They had many adventures and misadventures (including their house burning down when they lost all their possessions) during their 17 years of farming and finally were forced to give it all up as mum had become very ill and she was told by her doctor that they should leave the farm. It was very hard for them as they had battled through the depression in the early 1930s and virtually had to walk off the farm with only their personal possessions.

Life was something of a battle during the first year or two in Perth but somehow they managed to send me to a good school and I often think now of the things they went without to do that. I know my mum only had one good dress to wear if she needed to go out at all which restricted her somewhat and probably dad had just the one suit. In those days the men wore shirts with detachable (starched) collars so they could wear the same shirt for several days by just wearing a clean collar each day. Seems strange to us now but that was how things were 'way back then'.

Dad eventually got a job as a travelling salesman for the Rawleighs company and he was a great success and was often "best salesman in W.A." and if I remember rightly one year he achieved best salesman for the whole of Australia. He had a very bright personality and got on particularly well with women and children. My mum always reckoned he could pick up an item from your front garden and actually sell it to you. This may have been stretching it a little but he was certainly a wonderful salesman.

I never knew dad fall out with anyone and yet having had red hair one would think he would have a temper. He very rarely ever went mad at me, in fact I don't remember him ever raising his voice to me. He would tell mum about any restrictions he thought should be placed on me like being 'in' by 10pm when I was a teenager and that type of thing. He certainly never smacked me so my memories of him are of a very gentle man with a great sense of humour (he loved watching Charle Chaplin movies) that seemed to get on well with everyone. He used to love to do tricks to make kids laugh and I remember mum used to make a rabbit out of a pocket handkerchief and dad would tell the kids to stroke the rabbit and then make it 'jump' just as they went to touch it and he'd have the kids in fits of laughter. Probably sound silly to people these days but back then it was just so wonderful to watch him.

When I was very ill just after I turned 12 and my life was in the balance he told me that if I got better he would buy me a push bike. I think it was his way of trying to give me a reason to live and it obviously worked OK. I don't remember him as being an over emotional man so perhaps that was his way of telling me he loved me.

He loved to listen to the Test Matches on the short wave radio and he also enjoyed Aussie Rules football (like me he followed East Perth) although he had been a soccer player in his youth. He had played for Tottenham Hotspurs as a goalie and actually had his England cap and I think played for England in Germany at least once. In those days it was amateur football only so of course they couldn't be paid but he said when they came to get dressed after a game there would be a pound note in one of their shoes which helped cover their expenses. He broke his ankle playing soccer but fortunately it didn't seem to affect him in later life.

When I was about 16 and we were living in Fitzgerald Street in North Perth dad liked to wander across to the park that was opposite our home and watch the North Perth soccer team practising. One day he offered to show them his experience in goal and in doing so he broke his little finger when trying to stop a ball from going into the goal. He was then in his 60s and I feel he then decided he was perhaps a little too old to play.

My biggest regret is that he and mum separated when I was about 22 years of age. They say it is hard for children when their parents split up but I sometimes wonder if it is not worse if you are grown up when it happens. Dad was made to think that I somehow was involved in this split that occurred and I did not see him for many years which deprived my two children of having a wonderful grandfather which seemed most unfair. I was so glad several years before his death to be able to tell him my side of the story and he then realised I had had nothing whatsoever to do with my mum deciding she wanted them to part. At least my children got to meet their grandfather but by then he was quite old and living in a retirement home. I so regret all those lost years. He died in 1971 when he was 85.

There are so many great 'little' memories but this post is already too long so best I leave it there, at least for now.

We don't have the opportunity to choose our dads but I don't think I could have done much better than I did with the one I had. He was brought up in the Victorian era so was of course a little old-fashioned in some of his ways but I know he cared very much about me and I adored him and still miss him very much. Thank you so much for being my dad.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Dear one was off to see his eye doctor this morning and once again everything is going along nicely. His pressures were both about 18 which is great.

What is this all about? Glaucoma ... which fortunately was diagnosed before it advanced too far, the pressures were brought down and with nightly eye drops (I pop the one in his 'bad' eye and he does his 'good' eye) we have kept them down.

MOH is really funny about eye drops. He is hopeless trying to put a drop in his left eye but can 'do' his right eye without too much of a problem. Says it's 'cos he is right handed so have to take his word for it. It has been a worry for me when I've been away in hospital (two lots of 10 days for my hip ops) but he seems to manage OK, or so he says. I suggested he bring the drops up to the hospital when he visited at night but I feel he thought that was carrying things a little too far.

Glaucoma is one of those eye complaints that can creep up on you without you realising it so it always worth having eyes checked regularly. One of the things that does happen is that you can lose your peripheral vision which I imagine would make it difficult to drive a car etc. So far MOH doesn't seem to have any problem in that regard but you have to keep on top of these thing as eyes are so precious, just as MOH is precious to me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


MOH and I are voluntary participants in a diabetes study at Fremantle Hospital and we have to attend every two years for tests, tests and even more tests.

We had to be there at 9am this year and to have fasted since the previous evening. First off blood tests, then weight and height measurements (I have actually grown in the last two years which I put down to my two hip replacements....my surgeon said it would straighten me up thus helping my poor old back a little - they did check the measurement twice and yes, I am a little taller). ECGs (multiple of) and photos of my eyes, breathing tests (had to breath in and out very deeply for 6 minutes and then the usual blow test you do for asthma) and then tests to see how sensitive my feet are. Even had blood pressure tests done on my ankles...never had a cuff on there before and it hurt a little too. Should have had a few more tests but the silly computer went bung so not sure what they would have been.....perhaps find out in two years time.
I am sure there were other things they did to me but can't recall what they were right now; there was just so much going on.

Eventually some lovely sandwiches and a cup of coffee and then a lengthy interview with so many questions. Incidentally, we had already completed about 12 pages of questions, including a list of our current medications, at home before we went to the hospital.

The people in the diabetes unit at Fremantle Hospital are real people people if that makes sense. All have a great sense of humour and are so great. It was good to see Wendy again whom we knew from when we were in the Field Study for 6 years (she is married to our lovely professor - our private endocrinologist ... he was there too of course 'cos he is head of the department).

As I said we arrived at 9am and finally left at 1pm - we were fortunate to find an ACROD parking spot right at the front door of the building....a disabled parking spot for those that don't know what ACROD stands for....so I didn't have far to walk and I had my trusty walking stick.

I must admit the following day I was a bit stiff and achy which I think was from climbing on and off the 'beds' for various tests but being stiff and achy is sort of par for the course with me anyway so no complaints. At least I am alive to feel the aches and pains and that is the main thing I focus on.

Why do we do this and subject ourselves to all these tests? We both feel that anything we can contribute towards research of this insiduous disease must in time benefit future generations and as a dear member of our family also has Type 2 diabetes who knows if grandchildren may also succumb one day. I think it is important for folk to not only be organ donors but help in other ways with worthwhile research projects.

Tracy told us that they would like another 600 volunteers to help fill out the study so if anybody knows of anyone that has diabetes and lives in the greater Fremantle area could you perhaps suggest to them they volunteer to take part in this study.

All being well MOH and I will be back there in two years time....hard to imagine at that time he will be 82 and I will be 80. Nothing like being positive about the future!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I mentioned recently that we had a busy week, with one of our appointments being with our lovely professor who looks after us regarding our diabetes. We prefer to be private patients rather than attend a clinic when you have no idea who you are likely to be seen by, plus you can sometimes wait for up to an hour or more.

We both went in to seem him this afternoon (we already knew we had good results as we have a copy of our blood tests sent to us at our home) and he was extremely pleased with our glycated haemoglobin (that reveals what our sugar levels have averaged out at over the past 3 months). It was a case of SNAP as MOH and I both came up with a 6.8% which is an improvement for us both compared to last time so that really is good.

Our respective blood pressures were good as well and I actually had a lower one than MOH...133/58 compared to his 137/57.

O.K. said the professor, I don't think I need to see either of you for another 6 months and as we normally had been seeing him 3-monthly we felt we had achieved good results. It is not easy always trying to eat well and even exercise as one ages (I do very little compared with MOH) but we do our best and it seems to have paid off so far.

Why am I writing this? Mainly because I feel very pleased with US and I can't shout it from the rooftops but I can make a statement here and that is what I've done....for my own satisfaction if nothing else. Forgive me for being self-indulgent but perhaps we all should be just that occasionally.


This morning I was sitting in our kitchen enjoying a cup of coffee with MOH (he had made the coffee so it tasted really good) and I was looking at the shrubs outside which were covered with rain drops, although by that time it had stopped raining, the sky was blue and the sun was shining.

Suddenly I noticed that one raindrop was glowing with a wondrous green light, so green it was quite unbelievable. I then moved my head slightly and was rewarded with nearly all the colours of the spectrum....yellow, orange, red, blue, purple and green (but no indigo).

I must have sat there for five minutes or more just enjoying the wonderful display of this one simple raindrop and it made me think just how fantastic good old Mother Nature is and some of the pretty things she sends for us to view.

Do people spend sufficient time in their busy lives these days seeing, hearing or even smelling, the splendour that is out there...completely free of charge? The chirp of a bird, the perfume of roses, the colours of autumn leaves, of which we sadly have far too few in Perth although I saw some magnificent specimens when we were out this afternoon. I think we have had enough cold days and nights this year for the colours to be really brilliant.

I know this was only about one single raindrop but it made me feel special and I felt it had turned on this display just for me to enjoy. Thank you for the privilege.