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 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 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.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Checking my diary this morning I realised that MOH and I have quite a busy week ahead, not socialising (well, just the once really) but with medical appointments Oh! the joys of old age but nobody is complaining 'cos at least we are still here and able to keep these appointments.

This afternoon it was to our physiotherapist (had I told you that MOH had pulled a muscle in his leg?) for treatment for both of us. Fortunately MOH's leg is on the mend so more ultrasound and massage today and maybe in a week or two back on the golf course (one that doesn't have too many hills to begin with).

I had more accupuncture and ultra sound today and it did a lot of good thank goodness and yes, of course had my right knee strapped as that has begun....yeah, playing up again!!

Tomorrow we have a free day so some jobs around the house (not too many as we don't want to get carried away about it) and if it is reasonably dry a few tiny jobs in the garden. MOH bought me a new hoe so I can attack those pesky weeds....I find I can do about 5 minutes at a time so will gradually get rid of most of the wild oats at least. Now I've told him I also need a new rake or a handle for the old one and then I can rake up those weeds.

Wednesday morning is sort of both medical and social as we go to our exercise group and not only is it good for us physically, it is good for us mentally as the dozen or so others are so much fun and we do have a laugh too. On Wednesday afternoon we both see our endocrinologist about our diabetes (both had blood tests last week) and hopefully he will still be pleased with us. We do our best to eat healthy food with plenty of vegies and some fruit as well and not too many 'bad' things in our diet. We have been told by the professor that a tiny bit of dark chocolate is good each day and also a glass or two of red wine each week so life is not all that terrible.

Thursday is a social day as we are taking a young friend to lunch. It is his birthday on the 16th but as we have appointments that day he is quite happy to go the following day. He is a nice young fellow and doesn't have a lot of friends here as he lived in New South Wales for many years. We always enjoy each other's company which is great for all three of us. I had known his mother since I was 12 years old and although she died last year we have kept up our friendship with her youngest son.

Friday is going to be a little trying. We are part of a study that is being done about diabetics and every two years we have to go to Fremantle Hospital and have all sorts of different tests. Starts at 9am and if I remember rightly from last time, takes up to three hours so somewhat tiring for a couple of oldies. Good thing about it though is if we have a problem of any kind we will at least find out about it. They always provide coffee/tea and very nice sandwiches and the people involved are really wonderful.

Next weekend will probably be free (they usually are)so time to rest up a little after a strenuous week.

On the Monday MOH has an appointment with his eye specialist to make sure his glaucoma is still under good control and then in the afternoon we go back to the physiotherapist for what we hope will be the last visit for MOH but time alone will answer that one. Me, I guess I will continue to go as long as I can afford it but I will soon run out of medical benefits (my health fund allows just so much per year) so may have to cut it down a little.

None of the above is of any interest to others but I thought it a good opportunity to tell you about our exciting lives. I have known older people that had very few problems during the latter part of their lives so they missed all the excitement we are both having. With a bit of luck you too may escape all this attention from the medicos.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Many years ago when workers were in many cases exploited by their employers the unions fought on their behalf to make working conditions better. In many cases the unions were greedy but on the whole they at first did a lot of good to make the life of the working man/woman (or even children way back then) quite tolerable.

One of the things they fought for was a shorter, more reasonable working week. I can remember daubed in large white letters on the side of Mount Eliza (in white paint I guess) the words 44 HOUR WORKING WEEK. This was probably when I was a teenager back in the 1940s and eventually this came about and later still we had a normal working week of only 40 hours.

The banks and insurance companies were the first to stop being open on a Saturday so their employees worked a five day week. The banks etc did it gradually by rostering staff to perhaps work one Saturday in three until Saturday work ceased altogether and their doors were closed for the weekend. The shops of course remained open on Saturdays until midday and there was no late night shopping. Many stores opened from 9am and closed at 5.30pm and yet people seemed to manage to always get to the shops OK. There were often little family run corner stores that would perhaps open over the weekend and of course we usually had our bread and milk delivered so no need to worry about getting them at the shops. (before the days of refrigerators we also had our ice for our ice chests delivered and I wonder how many can remember that?)

I recall at one period during my working life when we only worked a 35 hour week. That was in an office in the 1960/70s when we worked from 9am to 5pm with an hour for lunch. Work it out...5 days at 7 hours per day - 35 hours per week. I then joined a state government department and our working week was two and half hours longer and I think the pay was a little less but it was a terrific job so I didn't complain at those differences.

This week I read a small piece in the Sunday Times that said that one in four Australian workers are now are now toiling FIFTY or more hours per seems that "working nine to five with an hour for lunch is SO last century".

It appears that one in four working Australians now eat their lunch at their desk with about one in six skipping lunch altogether. A survey of 600 workers by McCrindle Research found that 28% of employees ate lunch at their work desks. This to me doesn't sound particularly physically or mentally healthy but then what do I know? I am not sure what a survey of blue collar workers would show as I feel that they are required to take breaks during their working day, for safety sake if nothing else.

I know very little about so-called workplace agreements or work contracts but I can't see that anything that has occurred during the past say 10-12 years has done much to help the workers except perhaps give them more and more pay and longer working days. Is it greed on the part of the employer and the employee that is causing these longer working weeks? What happened to the days when we were quite content to have a nice 'little' home to live in with comfy furniture and a nice garden? Why is that people are building bigger and still bigger homes? Do people really need home theatres, spas etc. etc? They certainly don't have the room outside their homes to do much exercise or for the kids to play. The houses are bigger and the blocks getting smaller and smaller.

My OH and I are perhaps fortunate in that we have never wanted to keep up with the Joneses or been particularly ambitious so maybe that is why we were (and are still) content with what we have. Sure, we would be better off with a little more than we now have but that is not to be 'cos those lotto numebers just dont come up and we are both too old to have some rich, forgotten great aunt who just might die and leave us a small fortune.

Joking aside though.....I feel so sad that people are having less and less leisure time to spend with their families and I do think that children often suffer not having what we once called normal family lives when we all sat around the dining table for the evening meal and talked about the events of the day or perhaps listened to the evening news on the radio.

I really hoped that the 21st century would turn out well but I am beginning to think that in many ways, regardless of a depression and two great wars (not to mention several minor wars) the 20th century may have been better after all. When was it that people became so dissatisfied with their lot in life and wanted more and more and more? I really can't help thinking that greed is what drives too many people in this modern age.

Friday, June 11, 2010


A woman has suggested that we should all leave our porch lights on tonight in remembrance of the two Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan this past week. I think this is a nice tribute to those two brave men but one must also remember that a sniffer dog was also killed when the soldiers were killed.

Men (and women these days) know the dangers of going into a war zone but I doubt that animals do realise this. They are trained in all aspects of their work whether it be sniffing out drugs or bombs but there is no way they can be warned of what could happen to them. People joining the armed forces know that one day they may be called on to make the supreme sacrifice but animals don't have that choice.

Last week I heard a gentleman being interviewed on radio here in Perth who had been in the Australian Army and whose job involved training and working with these dogs trained to sniff out bombs. He now works for an American firm and was once again on his way to Afghanistan to work. He spoke of the heartbreak that is felt by dog handlers should one of their dogs be killed. I was also interested to hear that when the dogs are retired the handler has first choice of becoming the owner of that dog which I thought that was great.

Over the centuries horses in particular have been involved in wars and have sustained some hideous injuries and even carrier pigeons have been shot at by the enemy to stop them reaching their destination with their precious message.

Many young Australian men joined the army to fight during World War 2 and took their precious horses with them when they left to fight overseas and hundreds of those horses were killed or badly injured.

We always think of the soldiers that suffer dreadfully but seldom give much thought to the animals that are in the line of fire as well and in just as much danger. They have no weapons with which to fight back and are at the mercy of humans whom I am afraid sometimes regard them as tools and not as living creatures. I don't think this is as true now as in the past but my heart goes out to all winged or 4-legged creatures for the wonderful work they do in all sections of the community and indeed the world.

We are leaving our porch light on tonight not only in remembrance of the two soliders who were sadly killed but also in memory of that little canine soldier who died. May they all 3 rest in peace.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Having just completed a post about Western Australia and the celebration of our Foundation Day it got me to thinking about just how very fortunate we are to be living where we live.

I have visited some of our eastern states and in fact, lived and worked in Melbourne for 6 months way back then (1950-1951) and I did enjoy Victoria but to me Western Australians are so lucky to call this place home.

I complain about the heat in summer and often wish our winters were colder with perhaps even some snow (but not too much) but we are well looked after as far as our health and education is concerned although, as with everything, there could be improvements. We are always well looked after when we are ill and the education is there if students really want to apply themselves to the task.

Often I think of others less fortunate than we are and try to put myself in their place but it is impossible to do so. I lived through the Great Depression and also World War 2 and at one time my parents were quite poor (they had to leave the farm and come to live in Perth because my mum had been so ill) but I never felt we went without anything. A lot of that was because we don't really have any class distinction here and athough when I first went to school there were others who were better off than we were, I was never made to feel I was not as good as they were. It was also, I think, partly due to the fact that my parents looked after me so well, bless them both.

A lot of all that I think has to do with how friendly Western Australians were always considered to we still deserve that reputation? From things I've been hearing of late I am not quite as sure as I once was. There are a lot of nasty things happening these days and it is difficult to understand why. People are greedier than they were (of this I am sure) and perhaps there is a little less camaraderie than there used to be.

Regardless of all the above I still think we live in the best state in the best country in the world and I wouldn't change it for quids.


Today is a public holiday in Western Australia, although of course to we two pensioners it doesn't make that much difference as everyday is more or less a holiday but when we both worked these public holidays were important to us. Although Foundation is actually 1 June it is always celebrated on the first Monday in that month and not on the actual day itself.

What is Foundation Day? It marks a significant day in the history of Western Australia for it was on 1 June in 1829 that this State's first European settlers, men women and children, completed their long sea journey from Britain to the Swan River Colony. They arrived on board the Parmelia which was captained by James Stirling. They were having their first view of the mainland of W.A., and although it was a wintry day which prevented the travellers from stepping ashore until some time later, Foundation Day has always been recognised as 1 June.

Of course Foundation Day also celebrates the meeting of two very different cultures, one that had evolved from this land over tens of thousands of years and another brought to this land from across the waters. These were free settlers seeking a new promised land which they could call home. Since that time these two cultures have been joined by further arrivals from all corners of the world and each group contributes elements of its rich heritage which helps to forge our unique, vibrant Western Australian identity and culture.

This is a day we pay tribute to all those who came before us and to the citizens of today who are building our future. It should be a day of significance and pride to all who call Western Australia home.

The above writing is not all my own work but some of it is quoted from the "Celebrate WA" website where it is explained far better than I could do so so thanks to that site for its help.

I have been thinking about our State today and being an oldie I often go back to the days when we were known as the "Cinderella State", doing a lot of the hard work but not being regarded as being very important, just like Cinderella in the fairy story who was badly treated by her ugly sisters etc.

I'm not entirely sure that our eastern state cousins don't often still regard as as Cinderella. Our State is rich in mineral resources and we therefore do contribute much to the coffers of the country as a whole. It is quite controversial at present with our Federal Government wanting to bring in a big tax on mining companies who naturally objec to the idea.

It is not for me to even begin to understand politics or want to debate right or wrong but I heard the word 'secession' again recently on the radio and it reminded me that Western Australians, many years ago, had a referendum about whether or not whether we should secede from the Commonwealth and the outcome was an overwhelming YES. For some reason this was one referendum that was not upheld but I know there are many out there who still think it should have been followed through.

I merely mention the above as I think it is an interesting and controversial subject and wonder if there are any others that have thoughts on the matter.

To everyone in Western Australia....I hope you are enjoying the Foundation Day holiday and to anyone else who might read this blog, I hope you are also having a wonderful day.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I have just finished reading an article by a woman of 88 who has a son of 52 who not only cannot hear but uses very little sign language and speaks of how patient he is about his disabiity. I think he also has other problems, probably a mild form of autism.

She goes on to say that her own hearing is poor now and she now partly understands how her son must feel. I found her words very interesting and it made me think how something like a hearing problem can affect one's life. She says too that in certain circumstances one "withdraws" in company because it is just too difficult trying to keep up with the conversation that is taking place.

I can relate to this as for several years now my hearing has been getting worse although in everyday living I have no real problems. I also have tinnitus which is no great help when trying to hear. It is when I am with a group of people that the problem becomes relevant. I have a 'funny' ear which prevents me from wearing a hearing aid (I have tried twice but to no avail) but people don't seem to fully understand this. Neither do they make the effort to speak a little more slowly or clearly so you can be included in what is going on around you.

One gets tired of being told "you should wear your hearing aid" especially when I have expained to them that it just doesn't work for me or that with airconditioning and other background noises it makes a hearing aid useless anyway. You should try wearing a hearing aid when eating a meal and the sound of cutlery and crockery etc., becomes a nightmare so, even if one could wear a hearing aid, one is forced to turn it off.

If someone is lame or even blind people do make allowance for that disability so why is that when someone has even a mild hearing problem that folks seem to have no understanding of the problem and will complain if one perhaps has the TV or radio on "a little loud".

Many the time I have read letters to the papers with people complaining about background music accompanying TV shows, even the news, and yet nobody seems to take one bit of notice. Consequently lots of peoople these days don't even bother watching/listening to certain programes because of this background noise.

I am always very glad of being able to have the captions on most TV programmes and DVDs (although some are not done very well) and I know for certain that I can lip read to a certain degree (you just sort of do it without realising you are doing so) 'cos I have more trouble hearing someone speaking when their back is turned towards me.

For those who so far do not have a hearing problem (all that loud music you listened to when they were young could begin to take its toll soon) do try and be a little more patient with those who do have this problem so that they may be included rather than excluded from conversation when in a group of people.


Today is the birthday of our #2 granddaughter (she is now 33). I didn't get to see her but at least was able to speak to her when I rang her mobile phone. She was having breakfast with her folks in King's Park and I wished I wasn't so old as I would have loved to have been there too, to share some time with them and it is such a beautiful day today as well.

We chatted for a while (I do have to watch the cost when ringing people on their mobile phones...sigh) but she said she will ring me possibly tomorrow. I have now suggested to MOH that perhaps we could take her to lunch on Tuesday to celebrate another year in her life. She is difficult to buy presents for and I am hoping she will agree to sharing a meal with us.

She is apparently taking part in a 10-pin bowling tournament tomorrow and I wish her well and hope she can continue on into the finals. I am sure I will hear all about it soon.

Today is also the anniversary of D-Day in 1944 and also of my divorce way back in 1967.
Amazing how some days are special for various reasons, some special and some...not so sure!!!

MOH = my other half, or HD = hubby dearest.


I had promised to continue the story of 'meeting' my birth mother (EM) and just realised that it is 5 days since I said I would tell more, so here goes.

I have already mentioned that I'd been told by mum (my adoptive mother) that my birth mother had died when she was quite young, only to discover many years later that she had married at age 35 and was still very much alive in the 1990s and living a short distance from our home.

Having established where she was I decided to contact Jigsaw and received a lot of help from Glenys (the lady in charge of Jigsaw at that time). I first of all had to put my name on a waiting list to be counselled (1988) before I could receive my original birth certificate and was disappointed on receiving this certificate to find it did not show the name of my natural father.

After this I attended a couple of meetings at Jigsaw meeting other people who had either been adopted or had relinquished their child to be adopted and was very interested in the different stories people had to tell. Sadly some parents/children can block their names ever being divulged which in this day and age seems so sad but I am sure they all have their reasons for taking this course of action.

Next step was for Glenys to make contact with EM to establish that she was in fact the lady who had given birth to me back in 1932. I can't imagine the shock EM must have felt to have someone unexpectedly ask her if she had had an illegitimate child all those years ago. I hope it was not too cruel a thing to do to her but she willingly admitted that she was who we thought she was.

Glenys then made an appointment to meet EM and on that afternoon my hubby and I sat in our car outside the retirement home in the hope that EM would agree to meeting with me. After about 30 minutes Glenys came to us with the disappointing news that there was no way we were going to get to meet my birth mother. Glenys said EM and I looked very much alike and she felt the thought of her secret being divulged was just too much for her to contemplate and seeing the two of us together (EM and me) may make people ask questions. We felt this highly unlikely but this poor dear woman had been made to feel so bad about becoming pregnant (especially by her own father from what I have heard) that it would be more than she could bear for her secret to be exposed. One can only imagine how she must have been feeling have all this suddenly happen after nearly 70 years had gone by.

I then decided I would write to EM and send her a photograph and also my telephone number and asked if we could perhaps talk by 'phone. I received a nice reply but she declined the chance of a conversation. We exchanged several letters and she sent a Christmas card and then one day she actually telephoned me and we had a short rather stilted conversation. She shared a room with a lady who was apparently intent on knowing other people's business and as this lady was virtually bedridden it made it difficult for EM to speak privately on her own 'phone. (I know this to be true as this other lady was an aunt of a friend of mine who confirmed that this aunt was indeed a real busybody).

We did over a couple of years have several converations which became more and more personal and one day she actually told me that my father had been tall, dark and handsome and had a way with him (I couldn't help thinking to myself that he'd certainly had his way with EM). When she discovered she was pregnant by him she told him and he apparently denied it could be possible and apparently his mother backed him on this but how on earth she would know I can't fathom at all. Strangely this man married another woman 4 months before my birth. Maybe this was his way of escaping making any commitment to my mother. Incidentally this marriage of his only lasted a few years although they did have a son born in October of 1932.

Having later have met several of EM's family and learned quite a lot about the family I feel they were very honest people and the fact that she actually named my father and had received a maintenance order against him proves to me that he was the man who was my natural father and with whom EM had had an affair in the early part of 1932.

EM mentioned she had a book of Australian poetry which she would like me to read and would my hubby pick it up at the desk of the retirement home. This he did for me and I still have that book to this day. She even went so far as not want to meet him either; could it have been a feeling of shame perhaps? I also sent her a book I thought she would enjoy and I often wonder who now has that book. I have several letters and cards which I treasure very much and photographs given me by members of her family.

I noticed there was to be a fete held in the grounds of the retirement home where EM was living so my daughter and I decided to attend. While we were there we noticed a white haired lady sitting in a chair on the front verandah and somehow we just knew it was EM (our mother and grandmother) as there was something about the way she looked. We noticed she seemed to have an eye on us but would look away if we looked in her direction. Neither of us felt we had the right to approach her but just had to be content feeling we had actually seen her in the flesh. When speaking to EM the following week I asked her is she had indeed been sitting on the verandah and was she wearing a white cardigan. Her reply told me nothing; she just said "lots of us have white cargidans".

In early 1996 EM told me that she had cancer and at first I thought it was breast cancer as she said "I have a little cancer up there" but apparently it was ovarian cancer and she refused to have an operation or treatment of any kind. She said to me that it was her body and she would make the decision what would happen to that body. I tried talking to her about having an op but her mind was made up and I rather feel she was not happy where she was living and quite welcomed her death being not too far off. I feel she suffered quite a lot during the following months and felt so helpless at not being able to do anything to make her feel better.

I knew she was quite lonely and I frequently asked to be allowed to visit her (I even suggested I could pretend to be a hospital visitor) but she was adamant that this would not happen and I could do nothing but accept her decision. A number of people said if they were me they would just front up but I could not do that to her. I had been taught to respect other's wishes and particularly to have respect for older people so would not go against her wishes.

One Saturday night at the end of August in 1996 EM rang me and I knew something was wrong. She didn't say a lot but it felt as though she was saying goodbye. The matron knew who I was so I rang her and asked her to let me know if anything happened as she had promised to keep me posted. I rang EM's number on the Sunday but a stranger answered the 'phone (I think it may have been my cousin who visited her frequently) and she told me that Mrs N was too ill to talk to anybody. I was very disappointed to read of EM's death in the newpaper as nobody from the retirement home had bothered to let me know she had died.

I pondered on whether or not I should attend her funeral service but decided against it as I knew none of her brothers or sisters knew of my existence and felt it was an appropriate time to disclose who I was. I have often regretted this decision as I now know the people involved would have been delighted that I was there but it is so easy to talk about that in hindsight.

All I can say is I am glad I found who my real parents were and that EM and I became friends (unfortunately only at a distance) and I can at least rememeber voice and the conversations we had over several years. I can only hope I did not cause her too much distress bringing up the past as I did but she never complained about me doing so which made me feel that perhaps she was glad we finally did 'meet'. I told her all about her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and sent photographs and also that she was about to become a great-great-grandmother and this seemed to quite delight her. Sadly her g.g.granddaughter was born on the day of her funeral.

P.S. I rather think EM may have kept some of the photographs, letters etc., that I had sent to her because my cousin (who I later met) told me that one day when she was visiting EM she went to open a cupboard and was told very sternly "Don't look in there...those are my private things" or words to that effect. I think EM possibly destroyed those items before she died as nothing was ever said about them by members of her family.

Apologies for this being rather long-winded and perhaps a little disjointed but I write as I remember. I would perhaps like to eventually tell the story of how Angela from Family & Children's Service assisted me to find EM's brothers and also my brother and sister (the children of my natural father from his second marriage).

Incidentally I found who my father was because EM named him firstly when applying for maintence and also in whe she relinquished me for adoption so I have 2 official documents showing his name.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I talked recently about my being adopted and some of the mysteries surrounding that event, i.e. discrepancies in dates etc etc. I think I also mentioned I had got to speak to my birth mother (only by telephone unfortunately) and I have been thinking about how far that relationship evolved over several years and how it came about in the first place.

You have to bear in mind that my mum (clarification needed here....when I speak of my adoptive mother she is always my mum whereas my birth mother is always my mother (or EM), the former being more informal for the lady I grew up with as my mum) had told me when I was about 18 that my mother had died when quite young and intimated that alcohol had been involved. This occurred when on holidays at Mandurah and my mum noticed I was drinking a port and lemonade at a birthday party and having come from a teetotal family she was not in favour of alcohol. This I now think was meant as a deterrent to me and a warning about drinking alcohol. I realise now that it is really not possible that she would have known when EM had died or indeed what had caused her death, but at age 18 I didn't really think that hard about it. I had always accepted I had been adopted and that was that.

Now back to the original story....there are so many strange 'things'that took place that this story is somewhat convoluted in the telling. Please bear with me.

My mum died in 1985 at the great age of 87 after having lived a rich and full life (perhaps more about in another story) and several years after that I thought it would be a good idea to undertake some digging into my birth mother's family history with the idea of finding some medical history which could be beneficial to both me and my children and so on.

I could not find where my birth mother had died (I had assumed this was somewhere in the 1940s perhaps....following on what mum had told me in 1950) but I did find the deaths of her parents (my grandparents) and in fact visited their graves in Karrakatta Cemetery. It was strange standing there and thinking that these two people were who they were in relation to myself, we had all lived in Perth and yet had never met. I felt a little sad as I'd never had grandparents that I had had anything to do with nor aunts, uncles etc.

After failing to find when EM had died I wondered if she had married, so I paid a fee to the BD&M people to do a search but with no result. "O.K." I thought "let's extend the search a little further". Lo and behold she had in fact married at the age of 35 in the year 1945. I then searched for her death in her married name for up to 10 years after that date but once again there was no result. I kept searching and found where her husband had died but not until February, 1987 and it seemed that EM was still alive at that time. Wonders of wonders....then she didn't die when she was young. Why was I told that story? To stop me from searching perhaps? Who knows what reasons some folk have for doing what they do?

After finding John N's death I knew where he and EM had been living at that time and from then on with a little help from some friends I was able to ascertain that EM had been living in a State Housing Commission unit within one kilometre of our home. There is a lot of irony in birth mother within walking distance of where I lived. After more research we found that she had been admitted to a nursing home but still within a few kilometres of us.

Then came the task of perhaps being able to make contact with my birth mother....will continue with that story in part 2 of this ongoing saga.

Hope you have managed to stay with me this long and will take the time to read the rest of the story soon.