Sunday, September 30, 2012


That little sudden sitdown on the steps of the hotel last Thursday has set me thinking.  It has suddenly hit me that I am not the independent person I thought I was.  OK I can't do much housework any more and my gardening days are all but over but....

I have always been confident I could get around either using my walking stick (my stabiliser) when necessary out of doors and my walking frame when shopping so I can sit down when needed.  Now comes the realisation that I really do need MOH to be there beside me when attempting more than just walking i.e. walking DOWN stairs in particular.

I mentioned he had gone to the car to not only make sure the back window was clear (the wiper isn't touching the glass properly which he will have fixed when he takes it for a service on Tuesday) but also to make sure the car door was open for me to get in.

To me he didn't appear to be coming back so I decided I'd make it OK on my own just relying on my trusty walking stick as there was no railing.  Going up steps is great as no stress on my knee but obviously going down steps is a different story and so it collapsed on me.

It has been suggested that I perhaps have a collapsible wheelchair for when I go out but that wouldn't have helped on Thursday as no level entry point into that hotel that I know of.  Not only that I don't want to get to that stage that I can't go out with using a wheelchair.

I am still quite sore in the area that took the brunt of me sitting down so unexpectedly but the thing that worries me the most is that my knee is not at all happy.  I may be able to see my lovely physio on Wednesday if it works out that way (my daughter is trying to change her own appointment and I may be lucky to take the one she will cancel) and hopefully my physio can do something to help.  Perhaps though I am beyond help?  I'm sure I am now too old for major surgery such as a knee replacement so that leaves me up the proverbial creek!!

It's just the thought of becoming too dependent on MOH which puts such a burden on him, wonderful as he is in his caring of me.  Hopefully all will be well and I am feeling just a wee bit downhearted at present.  I am looking forward to spending time with the family tomorrow and I am sure that will cheer me up no end.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Today we arranged to meet our friend Richard for lunch in Rockingham.  It was a cold, windy and wet day with a maximum forecast of only 15C which is cold for Perth at the end of September.  Should we oldies venture out in this weather?  Yes, said MOH so off we set in squally conditions, driving through quite heavy rain at times.  I must admit 99% of the other drivers were being just so good with the odd one that had to tailgate someone just to be annoying and show his bad manners.  No mishaps so all went well.

We went back to the old Rockingham Hotel (this was where MOH's credit card was shredded a few months back so he was more careful this time to make sure he had it in his wallet).  We all three had pan fried barramundi and it was so delicious.  Just the right amount of well cooked, crisp chips with it and a nice little salad as well.  Tartare sauce and salad dressing too and the pieces of fish were huge.  We thought $18.50 for this meal a pretty good price.

The 'boys' each had a drink (MOH a red wine and Richard a beer) but I thought it was too cold for a cold drink so said 'no thank you'.  When the lass came to collect the empty plates (and they really were empty too) I asked if they served coffee and she said they didn't but would make me a cup.  She did this and it was a great cup of coffee too and she said 'no charge'.  Not that IS service with a smile.

There were only a few other customers there which I feel is a pity as the food in this hotel is really great.  I guess people prefer these more upmarket places these days but me, I still enjoy real tucker and not bits piled on each other in the middle of a plate with 'things' drizzled around them.  They may look pretty but you often leave still feeling hungry.  MOH agrees with me on this count and fortunately Richard does too.

OK, so that all went fine.  It had stopped raining but there was a bitterly cold wind blowing. MOH went off to get our car open and instead of waiting for him to come back for me I ventured down two sets of steps.  Unfortunately these particular steps don't have handrails but I was sure I'd be OK as I had my trusty stabiliser (walking stick) to use.   Got down the first 4 steps without a problem but when on the second bottom step on the next set my right knee decided it didn't want to work and down I went.
Fortunately I sat down and didn't pitch forward which could have been really nasty.  I caught my right side on the step behind me and there could be a nasty bruise show up tomorrow.

I realise how lucky I was although now, 4+ hours later, I can feel a few aches and pains setting in that I am sure weren't there before.  On the way home I had to keep reassuring MOH that it wasn't his fault as he kept saying he should have waited or come back for me.  He was doing the right thing in wanting to get the car open for me to get in and if I'd had any brains I'd have waited for him to come back for me.

Main thing is we had a really fantastic lunch and a great couple of hours together.  I now realise that I am not as independent as I thought I was and I will have to allow myself to be helped at certain times so that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.  We meet for lunch at this hotel again on 18 October and next time I will use the other steps where there is a substantial hand rail.  Apart from the silly accident when the cat stole my chair last year this is the first fall I've had since January, 1998 so I'm doing well.

One note I made for myself:  On Sundays at 5.30pm they have a roast dinner (a 3 course meal apparently) and Richard said it is just $15.00.  Now that does sound like a good idea so we just may give it a try soon.

Monday, September 24, 2012


On Saturday evening I had a brief telephone call from my eldest granddaughter asking if MOH and I would like to pop down for a cuppa on Sunday morning.  As we'd not seen them for nearly 2 months we of course said we'd be delighted.

Actually you don't just pop down there as it is a drive that takes at least 30 minutes but it is a drive I love as it is on the road that I remember being driven down from about the age of 8 when Dad used to take Mum and me to Mandurah for our holidays, every Christmas and Easter, until I was well into my teens. On this road you pass some salt lakes and this year I was very pleased to see there was quiet a lot of water in them although not as much water to be seen as when I was younger.

We were delighted that our daughter and her hubby were also there for morning tea and we spent a fantastic few hours enjoying coffee and biscuits and having fun with the 2 little ones.  Immy, who was 4 in February, goes to kindy and is quite the little miss these days and quite delightful.  AJ who is now 5 months is a really bonnie baby with lots of smiles and she'd love to talk.  I so enjoyed having the opportunity to have her on my lap again.  I regret not being able to play with the little ones as I did with my grandchildren years ago but age does tell unfortunately and I'm now not able to do what I did then.  I still delight in spending time with them whenever possible.

We eventually headed home with a lovely box of mulberries from the weeping mulberry in their front garden and they are delicious on their own or with cream or icecream.  I have been trying to talk MOH into planting a mulberry tree in our back garden but perhaps we may not still be here when it bears fruit.  I must find out how long it takes a mulberry tree to do that as our future is not absolutely certain of course.  We could be here in this house another 5 years, or not.

It is of course the time of year for the wattles to be blooming and for several miles wattle lined both sides of the road.  It is difficult to take photos when one is moving at 80km/hr but I had to try and show how beautiful it is.  Sorry about the movement but the colour still shows up well.

There is a large industrial area between our place and where the young family live and here you can see the large chimneys of the Kwiana alumina refinery and those overhead high voltage power lines.

We continued on our drive home and eventually turned into our street where incidentally next year we will have underground power (won't that improve the landscape a lot?) and then into our driveway.  At 82 MOH is still a very steady driver and hopefully we will still be able to have delightful outings as we had this morning for some years to come.  We don't go out a lot but when we do it is special.

We arrived back at our 'umble 'home, had lunch and spent the afternoon putting together MOH's new armchair.  I had no trouble putting the footstool together but poor MOH spent so much time getting the armrests to stay in place while he bolted them on.  Eventually it was done and he finds the new chair much to his liking.  Having put together many Ikea products we find that other companies have much to learn from the Scandinavians when it comes to do it yourself furnishings in flat packs.

As you will see the 'head of the house' decided this new chair was very much to her liking as well and now MOH will have to fight her for his new seat.  She does the same thing to me as for some reason I think she feels close to us when she sleeps in our respective chairs.  She hates the camera so I could only take this photo after sneaking quietly up on her therefore a rather unusual angle of a sleeping cat.


Today is my son's 55th birthday.  I sent him a nice birthday card but whether he will bother even opening it is difficult to say.  Someone said recently it's possible when he receives anything in the mail from me it may go straight into the bin.  I can only hope he does open the card as MOH and I wish him nothing but good on his birthday.

It is now nearly 11 years since my son ceased having anything contact with me, his step-father, his sister and her family, or his own father.  His reason(s)?  Unknown to any of us.  There was much sadness for a time but so much time has passed that one has to move on although there will always be regret that this has happened.  We all feel in many says his choice is his loss but obviously that is not the ways he feels about us.

There are many dysfunctional families in the world and ours is obviously one of them.  I am always ever grateful that my lovely daughter and her hubby are so much part of my life and although I don't see my grandchildren as much as I'd like, I love them all and my 3 great-granddaughters are extra special to me as well.

Taken in 1986 in much happier times.  My son with his daughter (my granddaughter whom I've not seen since 2001) and myself at their home in Samson.

Once again, I send my love and all good wishes to my son.  He is fortunate in having a lovely wife, two successful children and a beautiful home.  I wish him success in his future years.

Friday, September 21, 2012


We have a beautiful hawthorn bush growing in our front garden.  It is not the same hawthorn that grows in England so MOH tells me but I think this may be Indian hawthorn.  It is out in full flower now and it always to me seems to herald that spring is here.  As it is 21st September today, the equinox I felt it a good time to declare IT IS SPRING.

The first upright picture is our hawthorn and then I decided to add the one that grows next door in an entirely different form.  Our hawthorn is an upright variety whereas Gwen's is more shrubby but both are glorious.

I took the picture on what you might call and wintry, windy and wet day in Perth (notice the alliteration there folks?) and yet that hawthorn brings such a glorious brightness to the garden.


It has to be said...without that man of mine I would be lost.

I had an appointment with my cardiologist yesterday afternoon and there it was all good news as all the tests I've had (and there have been quite a few) prove that my heart is in good fettle.  This was great to hear as both my birth mother and her mother (my grandmother of course) had suffered from heart problems.

All that aside, it was what happened while sitting in the waiting room that gives me cause to make the statement in today's heading.  I may have mentioned I'd had a couple of really nasty vertigo attacks which had been put down to a problem with my inner ear on the left side.

We had been sitting waiting for about half an hour or so with these oh so boring infocommercials  (I think they are called something like that) showing on a huge TV screen but with the sound down enough to be annoying but too low to be heard.   It is not really possible, although perhaps probable, that it was responsible for me sensing the beginning of another attack of vertigo but something definitely set it off.

Fortunately just before leaving home I popped the Stemitel tablets into my handbag so as soon as I realised things in the room were beginning to move around a little I had MOH fetch me a glass of water and I took a tablet.

After a while I tried to stand but no way were my legs going to work.  I imagine it would be like being terribly drunk (without the benefit of having enjoyed a nice glass of wine too) as I've heard the comment that people are 'legless' when very drunk.  That is exactly how you would describe what happens to me during one of these 'attacks'.  All I know is that there is no way I could walk even two steps without toppling over, even holding on to try and keep my balance.

I knew they had wheelchairs available in the lobby of the medical centre so off went MOH to find one. He came back and helped me get into it and so I sat and waited a while longer.   When the doctor came out MOH wheeled me towards his rooms but the doctor himself took over and wheeled me both in, and eventually out, as he said the doorway was very narrow and he probably noticed MOH wasn't all that competent with the wheelchair.  That doctor is one of those tall, gentle people that you feel so confident with and he was just so nice to both of us yesterday.

Off now to the car with me still feeling rather unsteady so MOH wheeled me to the lift but instead of wheeling me in backwards which I didn't have time to suggest to him, he wheeled me in frontwards and then came the task of turning the wheelchair in what I can only call a fairly small lift.  The lift tried to close and then did and we ended up on the wrong floor but finally it stopped at the ground floor and we were able to get out safely.  We at least found something to laugh at as the wheelchair seemed to have a mind of its own!!

MOH then wheeled me to the seats out the front, took the wheelchair back to the lobby and then off he went to fetch the car.  When he pulled up he got out to help me and fortunately by then I was reasonably steady on my feet so was able to get into the car and off we went home.

All of the above is really quite ordinary I guess but when you think MOH is approaching 83 and not a strong man any more I think he was just so wonderful and caring and loving and just everything he always is to me.  Oh boy, do I need him in my life!!  Fortunately there are smaller caring ways in which I can help him so it is not a completely one way street but he truly is worth his weight in gold as far I am concerned.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Today MOH and I have been married for 45 years.  I thought we'd decided against cards or gifts but this morning he presented me with the most beautiful card (I am sure I'm not as good a wife as the description in the card says!!) and these lovely flowers in my favourite colour.  I tried several times to take photos of the flowers but this morning I am still a wee bit unsteady after another couple of hours of dizziness last night.  I was so thankful that I had medication given to me at the hospital last Monday as after a few hours I felt much better and this time with no nausea thank goodness.

It may seem strange to mention our anniversary and my unwellness in the same paragraph but it gives me the opportunity to say how caring MOH is and how wonderfully well he looks after me.  I know it upsets him terribly when things go wrong with me (as it does with me when he is ill) but I seem to be having these problems frequently of late and he is always there for me.  He is not used to 'nursing' people but he does his very best and it is just knowing he cares so much that is the best medicine for me.

The past 45 years have been happy ones although, as with most good marriages, there have been the odd downs as we are both only human.  The up times though have been much more plentiful.  We have a lot in common and seem to understand quite often what the other is thinking without having to say too much.  We don't have a lot of money, just a couple of old age pensioners but our fortune lies in having each other.  We both hate the thought of spending time without each other so fingers crossed we still have some years left to be together.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


After feeling so despondent today I decided that, to make me feel even closer to my family,  I would get back to the task of sorting photographs (remember those hundreds that need sorting) and when I opened a file on my computer this beautiful photograph presented itself to me.  Showing the wonders of nature it lifted my spirits so I thought I'd share it and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

It makes me think of going through a tunnel where there is danger but coming out the other side into a world drenched in beautiful sunlight.  Shows all is not darkness and gloom after all and that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it's not just a train coming in the opposite direction.



This is all a little tongue in cheek but there is some meaning in the following, particularly for we older folk.

From time to time it is necessary to replace various appliances that we use in our modern lives and it's nice to have something new but.....I am finding that the old things were simpler to use and gave less headaches when trying to understand how to use them.

Take mobile telephones for instance.  I had a very simple mobile that had a book of instructions which explained in simple terms, with illustrations, how to do everything you could possibly do with that phone.  Of course it did not take photographs, play music or other wonderful things that apparently more modern mobiles will do.  I could programme in numbers I regularly called (or take them out or change them), send text messages and make and receive phone calls without a problem.

The new one is too small for hubby's fingers and even I find them difficult to use too.  I cannot find how to programme in frequently used numbers.  I have only once managed to send a text message.  All the instructions tell us is how to take photos, send super duper text messages and other weird things that we just do not want to do.  I hate the damned thing but take it with us just in case when we go out.  MOH always takes it with him in case he needs to contact me or I him or in an emergency he can ring the RAC etc.  I even have problems making a simple phone call so try not if I can avoid doing so.

Secondly, microwave ovens.  My Panasonic after 25 years decided it was tired.  It's light went out, it's beep became almost silent and then it did a couple of funny peculiar things.  Mmm.   Time for a new one.

Now the old one had 5 heat levels: HIGH, MEDIUM HIGH, MEDIUM, MEDIUM LOW and LOW.  It also had heat from frozen, fridge or room temperatures. This new one has HIGH and then you need to be a genius to determine how to do anything other than cook on HIGH.  My #2 granddaughter tried to explain it to me the other day when she was here and I sort of think I sort of understood but not sure enough to try it out.  The instruction book that came with the Panasonic not only explained everything (defrost, cook, heat etc) in detail, it also had recipes which gave you a great idea of just how to cook certain items.  The new one has about 6 pages of what seems to me to be written in a foreign language even though it actually is in English.

I have a small digital camera with which I can take reasonable've seen a few on here recently but I am still to completely understand how it works although the instruction book in this case is reasonably easy to understand but you don't always carry the instruction book with you, or do you?
Then I have to put the photos into my computer and without me asking them to they go into iPhoto but if I want to show them somewhere (email, Facebook etc) you can't get them out of there but have to put them into another file thingie that stores photos and then take them out of there.  I try to caption them but half the time that doesn't work either.  I tried looking at the instructions on the computer but these days anything to do with computer it is taken for granted you are about 10-35 years of age and have been using computers since you were at school.  Come to think of it I think I can send photos by email direct from iPhoto but if I try it's possible I could stuff it up!!! I've got that off my chest and I won't even mention our new Victa lawn mower which has worked properly about once since MOH bought it a couple of months back.  The old faithful Victa packed it in after about 20-25 years and went to that lovely big lawn in the sky.  The new one says MOH is like modern cars.  On the old Holdens, Fords or Morris Minors you could get at and work on all the parts but not with the modern ones.

DVD/VCR control has now been handed to MOH.  I was the one (not he) that fully understood how to programme a VCR, replay it etc.  This modern DVD/VCR combination set has already decided to chew up any tapes that you trust it with and the buttons on the control are too small for my arthritic hands and MOH just manages to use it so we won't even bother going into all that as it is as boring as all the above.

This is all called progress but it has in many cases made our own progress very slow as we try and fathom out how these things work and sometimes just decide it really doesn't matter so we don't bother. I do envy the younger generations who have grown up with modern technology but usually they are too busy to explain it to us and I've not always convinced they understand all of it anyway.  lol


I've always been amused by those words but somehow today I find they have a different more sinister meaning.  I've had it up to here with the world in general.  Apart from MOH, my family and my few friends I really have had enough of everything.

This week had one of the crappiest beginnings to any I can remember.  Firstly, on Monday, my beautiful daughter and her wonderful husband were burgled.  The low life took not only my daughter's jewellery but some family heirlooms which can never be replaced.  Normal jewellery can be replaced but heirlooms are just that....heirlooms - they are irreplaceable.

That in itself was bad enough but this was obviously done by some well organised criminals as they later that night stole my son-in-law's car.  Not from outside his home but after breaking into one of his daughter's cars so it could be moved (they actually smashed a window in her car) to get at his car.  Knowing their duplicate car keys had been stolen along with everything else they had decided to park their cars at different homes that night.

While all this was happening on the Monday night I took ill.  I don't remember feeling that bad for a long, long time.  First it was the worse dizziness I've ever experienced.  I couldn't even walk without fear of falling.  Then came the nausea.  Now I have always had a cast iron stomach and probably had about 2 or 3 bilious attacks in my 80 years.  My stomach reacted to the dizziness well and truly over the next hour or two up and came everything I'd eaten.

Long story shortened...MOH called an ambulance.  Had to go to private hospital ($240 unrefundable) as public hospital was full.  Was looked after wonderfully well by a male nurse and seen by a very thorough doctor who seemed to think problem was caused by this dicky ear of mine.  Eventually home by 5.40am next morning. MOH and I both very tired and slept through till nearly lunchtime.

It was then I had the telephone call from my daughter telling me about the theft of her hubby's car.  I don't think my mind actually comprehended what she was telling me.  These scum had obviously followed them when taking the car to their daughter's place and then again when she drove them back to their home.  They had apparently targeted that car and wanted it badly enough to make sure they got it.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty down about the whole 2 dreadful days so thought a bit of shopping therapy may help.  As you know I don't get out and about much so off we set, me with my trusty walking frame and a list of goodies I'd spotted in K-Mart's catalogue. I bought a lovely new stainless steel electric kettle, a beautiful red 4-slice toaster, a new dish drainer (boy aren't the modern ones flash though?), a new small table for outdoors so we can sit and have a cuppa etc under the patio, some more garden solar lights (this I am experimenting with) and quite a few clothes for our 2 youngest great-granddaughters.  Number one GGD had her birthday a week ago so she'd already been spoiled with gifts.  I may keep these things for Christmas or perhaps not.  I am so pleased with the pretty little items I bought I'd like to give them to my granddaughter for the littlies when I see her next.

That I hoped would help put a balance back into my life but apparently not.  This morning I woke at 6am and just could not get back to sleep no matter how much I thought I was relaxing etc.  The realisation of what those horrible, horrible bastards had done to my poor family kept churning through my head.  My poor granddaughter who woke to find her car damaged and her dad's car gone and in hysterics rang her parents to break the news to them.  My daughter and her hubby whose home had been violated and their precious possessions taken....just like that.   We have put photos of some of the jewellery on Facebook just in case someone recognises something and also the number of son-in-law's car.  There is little hope that anything will come of this but one can always hope.  Perhaps the police will circulate the photos of the jewellery to various pawn shops as it is very distinctive.  I think they do do that type of thing.

I am now wondering just how long it will take for my family to come back down to earth after all this unhappness.  Knowing how I am feeling provides me with the realisation of their complete devastation at what has happened.  I love these people so much and am filled with utter sadness for them.  I guess we all bounce back from tragedy etc., but you begin to wonder just how much people can deal with.  My daughter and her hubby both have medical problems and none of these events will help and the stress can only make them worse.

Whether these perpetrators will ever be caught I don't know.  The police do their best but anyone as organised as these scoundrels were are probably going to be hard to find.  One can only hope that perhaps one of the police raids that happen from time to time may produce results.  As I say one can only hope and my biggest hope is that my loved ones will recover and be able to move on without too much bitterness tarnishing their lives.  They know we love them and are here for them if we are ever needed.  I hope they will always remember that.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I have been seeing many posts about Father's Day and dads in general and it got me to thinking about my wonderful dad.

Harry was 46 and his wife 34, when they received the bundle of joy that was me.  Not sure a couple that 'old' would be able to adopt these days but back then I think there were so many babies whose unwed mothers were not allowed to keep their babies that possibly age didn't matter as long as they were going to a good home.

Dad was of course born in the Victorian era (1885) and was quite Victorian in many of his ways.  I know little of his family as for some reason he had no contact with any of them after he and mum emigrated from England to Australia in the early 1920s.  I don't think even Mum knew anything of his family history so was he the black sheep perhaps?  We will never know but back then things were very different to today.

I know that dad had been married before and he and his first wife had a son born in 1911 and that the poor lady had died when only 32 years old leaving him with a little boy of 5 to care for.  Mum and dad met during World War 1 while working for the Sugar Commission in London and were married in 1917.  I am convinced that mum fell head over heels in love with him and I think he with her as well.

It was certainly fortuitous for me that they did decide to emigrate.  They lived on a farm in our south-west when I arrived on the scene so it was a farming life till I was nearly 6 when they moved up to the big smoke because of mums ill health.

Getting back to dad....he was a tall, good looking chap with reddish hair (when young) and freckles.  He seemed to get on with everyone, especially the ladies, and little children loved him and the tricks he would do for them.  Simples things but perhaps back then small things really did amuse small minds.  Everything was so different without television and computers and the like.

He loved cricket (would listen to the Test matches on the radio) and soccer (he had played for Tottenham Hotspurs) and eventually came to enjoy Aussie Rules football too and like myself barracked for East Perth.

Dad loved Charlie Chaplin (mum didn't) and I remember when I was older that Saturday night was picture night regardless of what was showing but Charlie was dad's favourite.  We had permanent bookings in the front row upstairs at the local picture theatre in North Perth and mum went along just because it was the right thing to do.  I think I stopped going with them when I was about 16 as boys had entered my life so I would quite often be out dancing on Saturdays.  Poor old mum though still would go along, because she should.

Dad really did have a great sense of humour, a real sense of the ridiculous and I think I inherited this from him for which I am very thankful.  I remember him telling me that if you saw a man slip on a banana skin it was so funny to see that you would laugh first and then ask him if he had hurt himself afterwards!!  I know that sounds a bit hard but I can understand exactly what he meant.

I know that dad never hit me, not even a smack, and that it was mum that had to keep me in line.  He would tell her what the rules were and she would have to administer them.  Dad was strict and during week nights I had to be in by 10pm even up until I was 18 years old.  It was different if I was going to a ball with friends but otherwise 10pm it was.  I then went to work in Melbourne for 6 months and things were different when I was back at home again.  Perhaps he realised I had actually grown up.

There's not a lot more I can tell about this man who became my father but I remember him with a great fondness and regardless of what he may have done when young that separated him from his family I am ever thankful that I knew him and even today (41 years since he died) I miss him very much.