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 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 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 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 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.