Saturday, September 20, 2014


Excerpt from the news in Perth:

"PERTH has basked in its hottest September day on record - powering past the previous mark that has stood for nearly 100 years.

By 2.46pm the temperature in Perth had hit 34.2ºC -which was well past the expected maximum of 32ºC.

The old record had stood for 96 years - the mercury reached 32.7ºC on 30th September, 1918."

Now I'm all for setting new records but this type I can well and truly do without.  This is the middle of spring and if this is a taste of our summer then I am voting that we don't have summer here this year.   I just can't believe how hot I still feel and at 4.22p.m. it is still 26.7C in the city.

Fortunately we are promised a cool change but with it we may have thunderstorms which I hate.  I guess this causes somewhat of a dilemma for me.   I detest thunderstorms as much as I detest hot weather but for it to cool down I may have to put up with thunderstorms.  The rest of the weather report reads as follows:

"Rain, possibly heavy, and winds of 30-40km/h and gusts up to 60km/h will lash the city from 9am Sunday morning.

Typical spring weather is forecast for the rest of the week with highs of 20-21ºC in the metropolitan area."

Big sigh of relief and I'm hoping this very hot day is a one off for at least 3-4 months but that may be wistful thinking on my part.  Hopefully we will get the much needed rain and give the storms a miss.

Incidentally for those that still use fahrenheit 34.2ºC is 93.6ºF.

Friday, September 19, 2014


This girl of ours is proving to be super intelligent and learning so fast.   She has now been with use for six weeks and has, being a cat, taken over our home and our lives.

Candy amazed me a few nights back when I was in the bathroom using my Seretide puffer and preparing to clean my teeth.  I'd filled a glass with water when Candy jumped up on the vanity and began to drink water out of my glass.  I stopped her from doing this and washed out the glass and refilled it.

I'd left the cold water tap running a little and what did she do, after peering at the running water for a few moments, but begin drinking from the tap.  Now it has become a nightly ritual when I go into the bathroom.  I find her waiting outside the bathroom and when I leave the tap running a little, in she comes and up she hops and has a drink of water.  

I mentioned I'd not been able to get her to use the cat door.....well! today she used it to go both in and out which means we won't have to worry about propping it open giving an easy access to flies in hot weather.  As tomorrow is forecast to be 32ºC (89ºF) we feel very pleased about that aspect of it.  For a week or more I'd been gently pushing Candy's head against the little door so knew it would open.  Gradually I pushed a teeny bit harder so she would eventually go through the door.   I'd done that this morning and propped the door open again.  She came in and knocked the little prop away.  We then heard the door swinging and realised she'd let herself out.....all by herself.   The rest of the day she has gone out or come in at will so another problem solved.  Another good thing too is that today she doesn't appear to have used her tray at all so that too will save us time and money as well.

Today she again found a scrunched up plastic bag, brought it into the living room and placed it at my feet with a little miaow as if to say "Present for you mum."  Once she's done that she loses interest in it completely.

Plastic bags are not the only presents we've received unfortunately.  Three times yesterday Phil had to rescue legless lizards Candy had brought in and then to our sorrow it was a honeyeater.  It was already dead so nothing we could do about it.  How on earth Candy caught it we have no idea, but this particular type of medium honey eater does attack our finches cage most days and we are wondering if one had landed on the cage and Candy had been quick enough to catch it.  If ever we see doves we shoo them away and are trying to teach Candy not to touch any birds.  We can only hope we eventually succeed in doing so.

She has still slept on Phil's bed every night for 42 nights but a new routine has begun.  She now hops on my bed, walks around on it, and sometimes on me as well.  She looks into my face as if to say goodnight and then jumps across to Phil's bed and settles down for the night.  No matter how late we get up in the morning there she always is, on the foot of Phil's bad.

As Phil said to me yesterday "This cat has been good for you, Mimsie" to which I replied "I don't think she'd been bad for you either, mate."  She has really filled that huge hole that Precious left behind but she's not taken the memory of Precious away.  She will always be there as she was very precious as well.

Yes we are on a winner here if we could only find a way to counteract those 'smells' she sometimes fills the air with.  I've been told there are biscuits you can buy to counteract this but have also been told by the person who has tried them for his cats that they don't really work.  Ah well, I guess it's a small price to pay to have such a beautiful creature share our home and our lives.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Forty-seven years ago today I walked down the aisle of Trinity Church in St George's Terrace, Perth, on my brother's arm to stand beside my fiancee and make our wedding vows to each other.

I think today of Betty who was my bridesmaid and her husband Eddie, Phil's best man.  My daughter Karen who stood with us and my son Steven who was in charge of the wedding ring.

My mother was there along with my sister-in-law Jean and her daughter Wendy.  There were also several close friends and afterwards we had a small wedding breakfast in West Perth before heading down to the south-west for our honeymoon.

There have been highs and lows along the way during the past 47 years but many more highs than lows and Phil and I have never regretted our decision to be together and finally become man and wife.  I am hoping we did our best for Karen and Steven and gave them a good life as well.

It has been quite an ordinary life but as the years have rolled by we have had lots of fun, some wonderful holidays, and enjoyed watching our family grow.  We now have six grandchildren and 3 great-granddaughters all of whom are loved very much.

During those years many of the people with us on that day have passed on and I remember them with much affection.  My mum left us in 1985, my brother in 1986 and my sister-in-law and our friend Eddie are also gone but not forgotten.

Phil and I exchanged anniversary cards this morning and as we did so we looked at each other, smiled and agreed it's not been a bad life and we'd do it all over again.  We don't give each other gifts any more as there is nothing either of us really need but we have decided to have lunch out which is something we rarely do these days so another outing for the two of us.

I know I told the story of our wedding and shared these photos earlier this year but I just wanted to relive the day for a few moments and that's what I've done with great happiness.  Yes, love is a wonderful thing when shared with another person.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Once again I share some of the beautiful flowers and wise sayings that were contained in an email River from Drifting through Life sent me a few weeks ago.

I hope these brought a smile to your face to end the week, and it will travel with you into the weekend.  Have a good one.  Share you smiles with others and help make the world a happier place.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


We've now had Candy with us for five weeks and I doubt any cat has settled down as well as this one has.  It's truly as though she's been with us forever.  She is so gentle and nothing seems to upset her at all.   I may have mentioned our lovely cleaning lady has a phobia about cats so with Precious she was fine as Precious would run outside until Jenny had gone, but Candy comes in and looks as though she may jump on Jenny's lap.  We make sure she doesn't of course (I don't think she actually would do so) and all is well.  Each fortnight I've managed to have Jenny stroke Candy's head while I am holding her (Candy that is) and today Jenny actually spent longer doing it so I am hoping with such a gentle little cat we may be able to help lessen Jenny's cat phobia.  Strangely enough Jenny's mum (back in the UK) also has a cat phobia but far worse apparently as Jenny said her mum would actually scream if a cat came into the room she was in.  I am not happy with spiders or thunderstorms so can understand what it is like to be afraid of something but am ever so thankful I've always loved having a cat in my life.

When the four weeks were up we let her out last Thursday and she was all over the garden sniffing and investigating everything.  She disappeared for a while and we were worried but after about an hour back she came and lay down under the patio for a rest.   I can't teach her to use the cat door though, which is a problem.  I partly open it and let her push herself through it but she's not keen and up till now we've propped it open with a little tack hammer I have so she can get back in the house, or out again if she wants to go out.  Just how I am going to make her push that little door open I am not sure.  I leave it unbolted and she will sit in front of it but make no effort to go through it.  Hopefully one day she will want/need to go out so much she will just do it.  We can only hope.  It is locked late afternoon and she stays in until about 9 or 10 a.m. next day.

This calico cat of ours seems to have a plastic bag fetish.  No matter how well I hide them she finds them and brings them to me with a little miaow as she drops them at my feet.   Once she's done that she loses interest in them.  They are those small see through plastic bags one keeps vegies in and when I am cooking dinner and there is an empty one I will pop it in a bowl next to where I'm working to either save or put in the recycle bin.  I've even hidden these bags beneath another large item in the bowl but she still finds them.  She found two yesterday and brought them to me and I can't help smiling when she does it as she looks so serious.  At least if I ever lose a plastic bag I can be sure Candy will find it for me.  Today she actually found one of the larger plastic shopping bags and that had to also be brought to me as a gift.

Candy has 'discovered' her scratching post and uses it to scratch (which we are pleased about), to play with the 'mouse' that hangs from it and also to sit on and look out of the front window.  She sometimes mistakes her own tail for the 'mouse' and it's hilarious to see her chasing her tail and the mouse in turn. You'd think she'd topple of but she never misses a beat.

"Now I've lost both of them"

 "You're taking my photo again aren't you?"

 I've not had to buy her any toys.  She loves pages out of our TV Times rolled up in a tight ball to chase, and the toilet roll or paper towel innards cut into smaller pieces.  She picks them up in her mouth or her paws, throws them up in the air and I feel she'd qualify for the Olympics with some of the gymnastic exercises she performs.  She is a pure delight to watch.  Here she is watching me taking her photo but you can see the roll of paper near her that she had been playing with.

"I know you think I'm photogenic and I'll pose for you any time you want me to"

There's still not been a night when she's not slept on the foot of Phil's bed.  Thirty five nights in a row without fail.  Seems I am the one she sits on in the afternoon and evening but it's Phil's bed she prefers at night. There are nights when it's too warm for Phil to have the eiderdown on so he folds it back and then during the night when he feels cold he has to pull it back up.  Nothing seems to upset Candy though as she just resettles and is back to sleep in a few moments.

I still look at her and think to myself that this is the cat I saw on the Facebook page of APS and my daughter had already fallen in love with her photograph (the first one on this page) as I did, and now here she is here living with us.  We feel it was meant to be as when we visited APS she stayed with us nearly all the time until we took her home.  Candy we are all so glad you liked us and are happy with us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Firstly I must apologise for being somewhat tardy of late.  I only need to have a few various appointments,  have time out and about, and it rather jiggers me up for a few days.  I will endeavour to get back into gear soon.

Apart from medical, dental appointments, Phil and I had rather a lot on last week, so let me explain.  We don't visit zoos or beautiful parks and take pics of animals and birds so what do we do?  We pay our annual visit to our optometrist.  Oh, what an exciting life we two lead.  This time we headed eastwards to Kelmscott which happens to be the suburb in which our daughter and her hubby live as well as #2 granddaughter with her daughter, who incidentally celebrated her 18th birthday on the 4th September. 

It was, in fact, our daughter that recommended we see this optometrist as she and her children had been to him over the years and she still goes there for all her optical needs.  He is quite expensive but I feel our eyes are very important and he never fails to be caring, is never in a rush and will answer all your questions and makes sure you receive the best attention possible.

This is the front of his premises with the caption on the window that reads 'EYE CARE FOR YOU" which I feel says it all:

I had my eyes tested and it was discovered the sight in my left eye had deteriorated so a big decision.  I want to see as well as possible and it seemed silly to have new lens made for my old specs so I decided to spend a small fortune on a new pair of glasses.  Our state government pays us $50 every two years towards spectacles and HBF (private health insurance) will also pay as well, but a pittance when you think of their yearly premium.  Anyway I paid a deposit of $500 and of course had to choose new frames and there was a really great selection:

I finally decided on a pair I liked and which felt right and then sat at the little table on the right of the picture to have the optometrist fit them and make sure the multi-focals would fit OK.  I also have them darken when in sunlight as I my eyes don't like the glare.  Mr P didn't think Phil's specs needed any change and to come back in 12 months so little expense there as Medicare covers most of the cost of the eye examination.

It is a 45-50 minute drive from our place to here so I had deliberately made our appointment for 11.30 as I knew it would probably take well over an hour until all the business with the optometrist was done and we could pop over to the shopping centre opposite to have a snack.  There is a really nice shop which sells pies, bread, cakes etc and we opted for steak and mushroom pie and a cup of coffee each.  The pies were delicious with real steak and lots of mushroom too.  The cakes looked so tempting but we were both very good and decided a pie for lunch would suffice so didn't succumb to temptation.  This is the shop and while I was sitting eating I took the picture looking down the mall.  It is only a small shopping centre (there is a Coles but IGA has closed down):

After we'd finished eating we headed back to the car but I then remembered Father's Day on Sunday so stopped at a florist of all places to buy some greeting cards and oh yes, an anniversary card as we celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary on the 16th.  I also bought a few birthday cards to send to friends later in the year.   I get out so seldom I need to stock up when I get the chance.

Phil very kindly told me to wait while he drove the car round to pick me (one way thoroughfares you see) and although I was grateful for him doing so I thought my back was going to give out on me but I leaned against a post (hope I didn't look dreadful doing that but had no choice).  Fortunately he was very quick but while waiting, to take my mind of me, I took this photo looking down the driveway and across to where you can see part of the Darling Range in the distance.  Kelmscott and surrounds are actually in the foothills of the Ranges:

We then drove around to Albany Highway (which is a very long road that runs from Perth right down to Albany on the south coast of W.A.) and we actually found the correct turn to get us back on to Tonkin Highway for the long haul home.  As this is not our normal stamping ground we've missed the turning in the past but this time were determined to get it right:

Tonkin Highway runs across the bridge you can see in the picture and we have to turn right from Albany Highway and around a hairpin bend so we can then head left (south) down the highway.  At last we have it down pat so will know in future which way to go.  Here we join Tonkin Highway:

and to the left you can see the Darling Ranges (or Darling scarp) in the distance.  This would once have been a huge mountain range which has, over the centuries, been worn down by weathering.  I really loved the cloud patterns in the sky that day.  Looked to be very windy up there:

After a couple of sets of traffic lights we turn right and head west and homewards:

Over the years a couple of what you might call mansions have been built along Forrest Road.  This one is relatively new and it is seldom, if at all, we've seen signs of life here although there does appear to be some lawn and perhaps some gardening done.  Difficult to see through the closed iron gate.  Not that I'm a sticky beak (perish the thought) but it took so long to build and seems strange there is little sign of life there.

This mansion has been here for some years (there was a story once that because it was built in swampy ground it was gradually sinking but it still looks pretty substantial).  There is a smaller, single storey, house next to it and beyond that again a huge chook (hen) house so it would seem there money was made from chickens and eggs.   They also had emus which seems to have almost disappeared and last week I noticed there were goats in the field as well.   This dwelling is very impressive when seen my passing motorists and, as you can see, it is well inhabited:

As we neared home we drove through what is now Cockburn Central where there is a railway station, and a HUGE shopping centre called Gateways.  It is so big, and being extended, that most people I've spoken to hate going there as parking is a problem.  As for me, it is so big that even using my walker I am unable to walk through all of it.  If I tried to do so I think I may have to stop for a rest at least half a dozen times.

Near the railway station there are being built a large number of these blocks of apartments.  Phil always makes the comment as we pass by that it reminds him of East Germany where, after the war, the communists built dozens and dozens of apartment buildings.  We only hope that there is good upkeep here as it would be a great shame if it began to look rundown as was the case with some State Housing Commission blocks of flats in various areas some years ago.

Finally, after being out for about 4 hours, we arrived home and I collapsed on a chair on the front verandah and admired these beautiful azaleas in full flower.  Those dark pink blooms at the back belong to the pale pink azalea on the right.  It throws different coloured flowers each year:

While admiring the azaleas I noticed several large weeds growing in the garden at the end of the verandah so called on a weary hubby to "please pull them up before they go to seed" and he did and here you can see the top of his head as he bends down to pull weeds.  He is wonderful isn't he do to as I asked after all the driving he'd done during the day.  He may have some faults but I'd not give him up for anything.  Those are pansies in the hanging baskets and EC and River, if you look very closely you can see my solar spinner hanging just above the pansies.

That all happened last Friday and then on Saturday after watching the AFL football (our team unfortunately lost but play again this Saturday so fingers crossed for a win) it was a quick trip to Big W to buy some wool (we still call it that even though it is synthetic) to finish a crochet rug I'm doing and also to buy presents for Father's Day.  I always give Phil a gift, and also my son-in-law and grandson-in-law a small gift each just to say thank you for the grandchildren and great-grandchildren they have helped bring into our lives.

On Sunday we drove up to Kelmscott to our daughter and son-in-law's home for afternoon tea where we were joined by #2 granddaughter and her daughter, and #1 granddaughter and her hubby and their two little girls.  Although it was showery on an off we were quite dry under the very large patio they have at the back of their house and they had the large gas heater on as well.  We were also celebrating #1 great-granddaughter's 18th birthday with a really rich chocolate cake (I think they are called mud cakes?) and of course sang "Happy Birthday" as she blew out the candles.  All in all a very pleasant afternoon.

After those three successive busy days it took me a couple of days to recover.  This afternoon I am off to see Dr Ken for a Vitamin B12 injection.  I have one each month for three months and then a break of three months and so on.  Tomorrow our cleaning lady will be here for an hour and then a few days quiet for me to fully recover before at least 3 appointments next cuts (both of us), our endocrinologist (both of us) and me back to the dentist to see if he can doing something about this bottom denture of mine that just hurts too much to wear for long.

I never complain about aging for I am ever thankful I've (we've) been granted these extra years above our three score and ten but sometimes it becomes a bit daunting.  No matter, I intend to keep on keeping on as long as I can so you're not done with me yet.  I am not sure about continuing with "Telling it on Tuesday" as our life became quite commonplace for many years but leave it with me and I'll see if I can find anything that sounds interesting enough to share with you.

I do hope everyone is keeping as well as possible and, wherever you may be, your life is continuing to your satisfaction.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TELLING IT ON TUESDAY (Part 30...1970s and into the 1980s)

Do you know, I'd sort of forgotten it was Tuesday.   A few mild medical hiccoughs of late that have thrown me off course a little.   Phil has developed a type of dermatitis in unusual places (his right arm and on each side of his waist) so cream to be applied 3 times a day.  He also discovered when he visited his eye specialist yesterday that his eye pressure has suddenly, for no known reason, shot up to 20 so off with the old eye drops and now two different eye drops with one of them twice a day (morning and night)so more to concentrate on there as well.  The glaucoma in his right eye has been under good control for some time and I am concerned that the op on the cataract in that eye may have caused the increase in pressure.  Not sure that is even possible but just a thought.  His left eye has always been quite normal and as his specialist had laryngitis yesterday he didn't find out as much as he would have liked.

 I had a recall to my GP who is concerned about cramping muscles all over my body (even my hands at times) and had various blood tests done to try and find why.  Nothing very startling resulted although low magnesium so increased to two tabs a day and no more statins for a month.   The other concern he has is with regard to my calcium readings.  He has decided to hand that problem over to my endocrinologist that I will see on 17th so that visit will be interesting.  I have no regrets about growing older and of course then have to put up with the "little things that try us".

To make it easier for me so I don't have to think too much I decided to dedicate this post to the story of wayward cyclone named Alby that decided to pay a visit to the southwest of Western Australia while I was still working for the Forests Department.  Hopefully, by next week, my mind may have returned to normal (whatever that is) and I can return to 'our story'.

 In part 29 I told of how Phil and I both became State Government Public Servants.  Phil did his job with a will but not entirely to his enjoyment although he accepted any challenges he was set and felt compassion for many of Homeswest's customers who tried hard often without much reward.  There were, of course, always those who wanted everything for nothing and they were difficult to deal with.  I was glad when he eventually retired as I felt the job wasn't doing him any good and his health was suffering.  We are maybe financially poorer because of his retirement but I wouldn't have it any other way as I still have him beside me and without him I would be of little use.

I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed 12 years with the Forests Department, first the research branch and then the Extension Branch which not only dealt with forestry itself but recreation in the forests.  I worked with some wonderful professional officers and couldn't really fault any of them and I missed them so much when I had to leave my job so suddenly after that stupid truck collided with my little Escort.  If only I could have returned after a short break but after nearly twelve months I was still having treatment for my neck so it was not meant to be.  It was the best job I ever had and the regrets have remained with me over the intervening years.  I am still so thankful that I have since had contact with nearly all the wonderful people I worked with.

While still at Research Branch I also did some work for the Fire Control section when every two or three weeks I would arrive at work at 7.15 a.m. to set to work to radio to various divisions the daily weather forecast which I first had obtained from the weather bureau.   Weather is of course so important when there are large forests to care for and prescribed burning to be done to decrease the amount of litter in the forests etc etc.  I thoroughly enjoyed doing the weather forecasts as not only did I feel it was an essential part of our work but also at the same time kept in touch with various officers in the other divisions throughout out state.

My ability to use the two way radio stood me in good stead as I was able to help out when Cyclone Alby ventured right down the Western Australia coast in 1978.  I will devote this post to the story of that cyclone that just kept on keeping on and on and on:

Severe Tropical Cyclone Alby was regarded as the most devastating tropical cyclone to impact southwestern Western Australia on record.  Forming out of an area of low pressure on 27th March, 1978, Alby steadily developed as it tracked southwestward, parallel to the Western Australia coast.

Between 1st and 2nd April. the storm quickly intensified and attained its peak intensity as a Category 5 cyclone on the Australian cyclone intensity scale.  After turning to the southeast, the storm underwent an extratropical transition as it neared Cape Leeuwin (the southwestern ernmost tip of W.A.).  The storm brushed the Cape on 4th April, bringing hurricane-force winds before rapidly losing its identity the following day.

In Western Australia, the combination of Alby's fast movement and hurricane-force winds caused widespread damage.  Along the coast, large swells flooded low-lying area and numerous homes lost their roofs from high winds.  Further inland, bushfires were worsened by the storm as it brought little rain, generally less than 20mm (0.79 in) along the coast.  Five fatalities are directly attributed to Alby while two more resulted from the fires.  The resulting damage was extensive, with monetary losses reaching A$50 million ($45 million USD).  Lightning strikes in our southwest caused over 90 bushfires and overall roughly 114,000 hectares (281,700 acres) was burnt.

I remember one of the chaps from one of the southern regions reporting he'd driven into the forest to check and found an area about as large as a football field where the trees were laid flat as if driven over by a giant bulldozer.  The surrounding forest was all still intact.   There were many equally fascinating stories told about effects of cyclone Alby, most of them about some kind of destruction or other.

I remember driving over a bridge on my way home that evening and my car was constantly bombarded with gravel from the side of the road.  It was quite frightening to be driving home in those conditions and when I arrived home I discovered our back fence as well as two of our smaller trees had been blown over by the force of the wind.  As you can imagine, damage around the metropolitan area was far worse than that and for months afterwards you could see the effect it had on the trees.  One side of them was much barer than the other and it took quite a while for them to recover and look normal again.

I went back to work the next morning to once again help as much as I could in Fire Control and it was amazing to see quite senior officers of the Department arrive back looking so weary and blackened by the smoke from the fires.  It was a case of all experienced foresters, regardless of their rank, doing their all to combat the damage caused by this cyclone.  We have always held our breaths over the years when news of a cyclone heading southwards is heard and are ever so thankful when, as is normal, they lose their intensity before reaching too far south.  I think the experience with Alby made us realise what people in the northern areas of Australia go through quite regularly during the cyclone season.

If you are at all interested in finding out more about Alby and the effect he had on our area you will find plenty of information on Wikipedia and other sources.  I didn't want to bore you with all the details but rather just mention the fact of the very tiny part I played at work which, compared with others, was quite infinitesimal.

I do hope you are all enjoying a reasonable week without any cyclones in your life.