Friday, June 22, 2012


Recently in one of our local newspapers there was an article about what comprises the perfect woman's face.  Florence is a young lass in England who is blessed with what is described as the perfect face.  She scored very highly against 8,000 contestants in a competition to find Britain's most naturally beautiful face.  This contest banned anyone who had had plastic surgery or chemical enhancement.

A woman's face is said to be most attractive when the space between her pupils is just under half the width of her face from ear to ear.

Experts also believe the relative distance between eyes and mouth should be just over a third of the measurement from hairline to chin.  Florence's ratio is 32.8 percent.

I have no idea who these so-called experts are but I guess it's time you looked in the mirror and perhaps grabbed a tape measure to see if you perhaps also have the PERFECT FACE.   Would be most interested to know if you fall into that category.  My face?  No, I've not yet checked it out yet and not sure I want to.  At age 80 there is a chance some bits may have moved around a little, although out of sheer curiousity I just may do so when nobody is around watching.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I probably shouldn't be cross but I am and here's the reason why:

Richard is the son of my lifelong friend that died a few years back and we have kept up our friendship with Rich and meet with him several times each year and always take him to lunch for his birthday.  His birthday was last Saturday so we decided that the following Tuesday would be a good day to meet.

As I have blogged previously our favourite haunt, the Kwiana pub, has closed so we decided to try another old Aussie pub that we also used to go to with Richard and his mum.  We found out that they still do lunches so I booked for the 3 of us for 12.15 Tuesday (in my name).

We drove through some rather heavy rain but arrived on time and into the pub we went.  The menu was rather limited but adequate and we all decided that pan fried barramundi with chips and salad would go down well and this is what we ordered.  It was well cooked and quite delicious so no problem there.

MOH went to the counter with Richard to order our lunch and bring back some drinks.  We stayed there for a couple of hours and then walked around to a coffee shop nearby to have a coffee before heading off in our respective directions homeward.

Yesterday MOH went to do some grocery shopping and on going through the checkout he discovered he no longer has his credit card in his wallet.  This must be a dreadful feeling but fortunately MOH shares my credit card so he used that to pay for the groceries.

He arrived home to share the news of the missing credit card and we realised the last time he had used it was at the hotel where we had lunch.  He phoned them and after speaking to a few different people he was told yes he had indeed left it behind (not sure if he left it or whether or not it was handed back to him) and as it is their policy with any cards not claimed within 24 hours...... THE CARD WAS SHREDDED.

He was also told that they had checked their computer but our name didn't appear on it.  I thought this rather strange as I'd booked the table only the day before and given our surname so why didn't anything appear on their computer.

Ours is a rather uncommon surname so it would have taken a couple of seconds for them to check the phone book or, alternatively, they could have contacted our bank.  This obviously is too much like hard work so shredding the card is the easy way out.  I was also rather upset that we have to take their word that the card has actually been shredded although I am confident they were quite honest about that.

I know part of the fault lies with MOH who was probably chatting with Rich about what drinks to order etc., at the time of ordering our lunch but we were in the hotel for at least another 90 minutes and one would think they would have found the card during that time but apparently not.

I was all for writing the a letter of complaint but MOH said just let it go so I agreed I would.  He probably feels a wee bit guilty about not being sure he had the card but I don't lay the fault completely at his door.  The bank has been phoned, the card cancelled and a new card will arrive within 5 working days which is great but I'm still feeling a bit cross.  They say you should write down things that bother you and that is what I am doing....just to get it off my chest.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I have mentioned several times about how MOH and I for some years were going a couple of times each year to join with other diabetics in talking to second year medical students, podiatrists and dentists about what it is like to be diabetic.  I had to stop going a couple of years ago as it involved quite a lot of walking between different areas of the university and I unfortunately just can't do that any more.

All that aside, MOH went to the University in April for a whole day and as usual he enjoyed it and still feels he is being useful doing this.  He finds many of the students show a greater interest in the subject than some years ago which seems to show how important it is these days to be aware of how many people are being diagnosed with diabetes.

The main reason of my story is this:  A few days after the above visit to the uni MOH received a letter from the professor who organises these talks thanking him for once again participating in these practical sessions.

Part of her letter read as follows:  "As a token of UWA's appreciation for your time and in the spirit of your generosity, I have purchased each participant a chicken from Oxfam.  Your chicken will find a home in Laos, helping alleviate the desperate poverty of the people there."

An attachment read:  "No one expects to get a chicken and that what's makes this such a great gift. The fact that is also provides families in Laos with an income and the ability to start breeding more chickens just makes it even better.  It's only a little but it will change a lot.

In Laos, Oxfam Australia works to increase access to food by providing families with the initial fund to buy chickens.  Households can then use eggs to earn an income at the market or to eat themselves.  If the chickens breed, families can get more chickens....and more eggs...and more chickens...and more eggs.....

The chickens are $10 each and the website is   I just typed in "Chickens for Laos" and the page came up with all the necessary details.  We are pensioners so are unable to donate a lot to charities these days but I think we may manage to buy at least one chicken (perhaps two) and if anyone else feels they could do the same it would be something wonderful to do.  Think about it, please.


I had been rather worried for some time about MOH's snoring, breathing etc., during the night and I mentioned it to our GP recently.  Dr W suggested MOH have a sleep test but he declined and then a few weeks later our endocrinologist suggested the same thing (slightly more forcefully) and wrote out a referral.  Professor D doesn't readily take no for an answer.

We rang the office of the recommended firm and were asked to email the referral to them on receipt of which they sent a questionnaire to be answered by MOH online.  I actually did most of the answering as I am the one who is awake to hear what happens to him during the night.

We then had a call from a Dr Phung who is a sleep specialist and an appointment was made to visit him. He seemed to think that an overnight stay in hospital was the best way to approach the problem so a couple of weeks ago MOH stayed overnight at St John of God Hospital in Subiaco.

After the sleep test we had to attend another appointment with Dr Phung and the news we received was not all that good.  MOH does have severe sleep apnea.  Apparently he actually stops breathing 32 times each hour but of course immediately breathes again.  This means he has 3-5 times more risk of heart attack or stroke and, of course, he is also diabetic which carries its own risks in that regard.

An appointment was made with CPAC to arrange trialling a machine for a month which will record  the success or otherwise of using it.  It involves a little box with a mask attached which is worn whilst in bed at night.  MOH sat with it on for about 10 minutes today and didn't seem too fazed about having it on although he said the oxygen was a trifle cold.   No problem there as water can be placed in the machine, the dial turned up a bit and you then get humidity and warmth which can also prevent a dry mouth caused by the oxygen itself.  MOH usually can sleep through with the light on or if it is noisy so should be quite OK with it.

I am not sure if he will try the machine out tonight and if he does whether he will be able to use it right through the night.  I am hoping he will get used to it and use it permanently as he is very special to me and I don't want this sleep apnea getting any worse.

The machine isn't noisy so shouldn't keep either of us awake.  Fingers crossed that MOH can use it and it does work for him.  We have to return to CPAC in 2 weeks for the results to that date and if all is well he will continue with the trial for a further 2 weeks.  Then comes the big decision whether to purchase a machine or not.  We've not even looked into the cost yet. I will telephone our private health insurance tomorrow and hopefully the cost of purchasing a machine will be covered by them. 

Will keep you posted as to how it all goes....will he be able to use the machine without a problem and the big question....will it do the job we are hoping it will do for him.  One can only hope so.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Over the past week Perth has been beset with some rather bad storms.  There was even a tornado that did  severe damage to homes in Dianella and Morley, much localised flooding and loss of power to thousands of homes.  Hundreds of wooden power poles were blown over which meant there were also power lines down too.

Our area was quite unscathed apart from the odd branch off a tree here and there but....the power in our house began to do something quite strange.  Just after 7pm on the Sunday night while we were watching TV the lights dimmed and the TV acted rather strangely.  The light then brightened but we turned the TV off as we didn't know exactly what was happening.

The standard lamp would be quite bright for about 2 minutes and then would dim to less than half power for 30 seconds or so.  This continued right through the evening and we found we could have a light globe or two on but there was not sufficient power to light the fluorescents in the kitchen.  We tried boiling our electric jug and the power went completely until the jug was turned of

Fortunately we had a tiny gas stove and there was gas in the cylinder so next morning we were able to have a cuppa but had a cold breakfast which was OK.  We realised that perhaps the fridge wasn't working at full capacity even though its light was on so we couldn't really rely on any foodstuffs in it.

On the Monday morning I rang Synergy and was transferred to Western Power and I explained to the man who answered what was happening.  He said "that means they are working in the area".  I thought it a little strange that they would be working for well over 12 hours but thought with so much power loss this must indeed be the case.

By mid-afternoon that day I began to wonder why the light was still doing its 2 minutes on 30 seconds off so once again I rang to report the fault.  This time the man actually took it as a fault and gave me a fault number but explained with so many thousands of homes without power it would be next morning before anything was done about our problem.

Mid-morning on Tuesday I really began to think serioiusly about this fault of ours and had MOH pop over to neighbours whose homes were connected to the same power pole as ours and see how they were getting on.  He came back to say that neither of their homes had been affected and they had full power. On his way back MOH had looked up at the top of the power pole and noticed a single wire was broken and swaying in the breeze.  Could this be the problem perhaps?

I once again rang the authority and explained that the neighbours were not experiencing the problem we had and that we had noticed this broken wire on top of the pole.  I was told something would be done ASAP but I had to realise how busy they were.  We were not trying to jump the queue but as it was only a problem at our place all the work in other areas was not going to solve what was happening at our place and I tried to explain it was nothing to do with problems in nearby suburbs.

By mid-afternoon I asked MOH that he be the one to ring this time and this he did.  He got a young woman this time who once again explained how busy they were and we would be attended ASAP.
At about 5pm a young chap arrived, put his ladder up against the pole and began to mend that broken wire.  It was obviously broken in the high winds during the storms but in fact was nothing to do with the widespread power outages in nearby areas.  He explained it was the neutral wire that had broken and we were lucky we hadn't got shocks from the taps in the house.  Fortunately the house is well earthed and we do have surge protection in the meter box.

We checked all was well by plugging in and turning on the electric jug and when the power stayed on we knew it had been fixed.  We thanked the young man very much and he went on his way.  He said he had been told to go home as he had worked 10 hours straight and as he had been working in a nearby suburb we think he was told to stop at our place and fix this single fault and we were very thankful and grateful that he had.

The little gas cylinder finally ran out so MOH had to go to K-Mart and buy a new camping stove for $14.00 which works very well.  We had to throw out all the food from the freezer and refrigerator but as we have no excess on our contents policy we were able to claim the $106 which was approximately what the food was worth.  We had let the freezer run almost out of food as were due to defrost it.

Our main concern was that we keep our insulin in the fridge but MOH did take it over to neighbours to put in their fridge on the 2nd day and when we saw our doctor on the Wednesday we explained what had happened and he said the insulin would be OK.  The worst thing you can do with insulin apparently is to freeze it which obviously hadn't happened.

It was quite strange only to be able to have a couple of lights on during those 2 nights and on the second night we actually sat and played dominoes which we'd not done for many months.  I am not a great person for watching TV but MOH enjoys it.  He said it was a little like camping out as we did many years ago and in some ways it is nice to get back to basics without all the mod cons we are so used to.

Fortunately all's well that ends well and now we sit and have a laugh about those very strange 46 hours..

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Yes, Precious has once again grown lots and lots of new hair.  She is our beautiful winter cat once more.  I have had fluffy cats over previous years but never one that loses all the extra hair in time for our hot summers and then grows it all back in time for our winter weather.  In summer she becomes quite a short-haired cat.

This year we think she may have grown even more hair than ever before as she looks a wee bit fluffier than in the above picture that my daughter took a few years back.

The strange thing is that Precious seems to eat more for several weeks and we are wondering if perhaps it takes a lot of energy to grow all that extra hair.  I guess it does, so extra calories are needed for a while.

At this time of year she also becomes extra cuddly continually wanting go sit on my lap.  She wants to do that right now but it is really difficult trying to type with her on my lap so at this moment she is lying on the carpet beside my chair.  We know she doesn't like wet weather (is terrified of thunderstorms) and one would imagine with all that fur it wouldn't be much fun getting wet.

For the next couple of months Precious will begin to shed hair and we will find tiny clumps of it all over the house.  She doesn't pull it out, it just falls out so that by the time summer arrives she is once again our svelte little short-haired summer cat.

Long haired or short haired Precious is still our beloved little companion and we let her think she really does rule our home; come to think of it most of the time she does.  Oh dear, a clap of thunder and she has taken off to take refuge under our bed.  Mmm.  Perhaps a good time to turn this computer off....just in case.  (I don't like thunder either but unfortunately I can't fit under the bed).



I found this poem on the internet today and it reveals the way I feel about life in general.  It was written by Polly C., a young woman from Norwich in England.  I only wish I could put words together as she has done. I have never travelled the world as Polly obviously has but the sentiments she expresses are so wonderful.   I just had to share it and I hope others will see the beauty and wisdom in these words.


"It doesn't really matter if you get there or not; it's what you see along the way.
The feelings inspired when the landscape and your soul entwine.
It's someone else's smile breaking the illusion of your own life,
Showing you that everything you used to think was neither right nor wrong.
Different foods tantalise your taste buds; smells, a coloured market pitched on dusty ground
Where no-one laid a path, the lack of which means feet can walk anyway they want to.
Dreams spill from the roofs of shanty towns;
Ambitions - not trampled down, but blooming like a snow-white rose in smog.
Somebody greets you and plays you a tune on a beaten-up guitar;
It's the best you've heard all year.
Life only needs the simplest things to sparkle like diamonds,
No matter where you are or what your name is.
Suddenly I realise I don't know where I belong - everywhere and nowhere, all at once.
After all, laughter is the same the world over;
The giggle of a child with wide open eyes; a game of hide and seek outside;
The touch of a parent; the knowing smile of an old woman with lines like a map of life.
No need for fame, riches or acknowledgment to make her days worthwhile.
Why is she so happy with her tiny lot?  Perhaps she knows far more than me.
Perhaps success is the ultimate illusion .......
Coming not from climbing ladders, but from staring at the pink sky at dusk and seeing beauty.
Is it reached by chasing dreams or from feeling love inside our own hearts
Beating within us, following us wherever we go?
Or is it simply knowing who we really are underneath the clothes,
Salon-styled hair, the shoes with a name on?
We could sit alone beneath the roof of a house with carpets and comfort and watch TV
Or how about we play cards and drink Raki under Turkish stars
With new friends who stop to say "hello"?
Two men play backgammon on the pavement as scooters whiz by; what a lovely way to spend a day.
Time wasting is relative - children do it all the time...or so we think.
Maybe the truth is the other way around; life is not as long as we once believed;
Might as well spend it doing what we love.
A lady from Israel once said to me: "How nice to see your children on the train
Seeing people, seeing life.. not cooped up with just a car window watching it all go by."
And there is so much to see in this world of ours;
Sometimes we have to take our blinkers off and open our eyes just a little bit more;
See the quiet beauty of nature, feel the strength of a mountain;
Sense the formidable power of a volcano -
If only to make ourselves feel small and insignificant.
And as we tread our path we learn that every encounter, no matter how fleeting,
Can teach us something about ourselves.
Life might seem complex but can really be quite simple -
Sometimes all we need to feel happy is the beauty of a bougainvillea tree in bloom.

I truly hope you took the time to read this poem and enjoyed it as much as I did.  If you did then I'd be delighted if you could leave a short comment telling me how the poem made you feel.  It made me feel simply wonderful and at peace.