Wednesday, March 30, 2016


There is so much truth in this and I can only wish everyone felt the same way.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Firstly I am going to share a picture of Candy with you.   She loves to sit on my lap when I am in the living room whether it be morning, afternoon or evening  I often spend an hour or so out here at my computer early evening and then she will spring up on the desk as if to ask me to leave here and go sit in my armchair.  When I don't do so she hops down and into the chair in the corner where Phil usually sits when he comes out here for a chat.   She makes herself comfortable as you can see here and often stays long after I've gone in to make our evening meal.  She is a cat that really does sleep quite deeply so she must feel very secure with us.

Now about the week that was:  I eventually received those blood test results I'd been waiting so impatiently for and learned nothing at all.  For some reason there had been 'an interference with the sample" so the test would need to be repeated........again.   I made several telephone calls trying to find out what has 'interfered' with the sample but to nobody could tell me.

I paid a visit to Dr Ken (I had to have my vitamin B12 shot anyway) and he had no idea what was meant by 'interference' but decided not to repeat the test but would leave it to the Professor as it was his idea for me to have this particular blood test.  Dr Ken said he couldn't see any point in repeating the test as the particular problem it would show up is so rare he has never come across it in all his years practising as a doctor.   He said he thinks he has seen nearly every problem it is possible to see at least once but not this particular problem.  I will now wait till I see the Professor next month and await his verdict.  For now that is behind me.

We did something different this Easter.  Grandson Luke had requested that the family get together on Good Friday instead of Easter Sunday as he works weekend and as a result seldom gets to see the family as we frequently get together on weekends.  We went up to K and B's home for lunch and exchange of eggs.   It was unfortunately a rather hot day (32ºC) but with two large electric fans humming away we enjoyed our lunch, eventually moving indoors for a while (the airconditioning was doing a great job) before departing for home.  It seemed strange doing Easter on the Friday but it was good to see our grandson as well as 2 granddaughters and 3 all there were 11 of us.   As we were leaving Luke said he'd see us at Christmas but we are hoping it won't be that long before we see him again.  He works in the hospitality trade so of course weekends are their busiest times.

The rest of the weekend we spent very quietly as neither of us were feeling very crash hot and we put it down to an over indulgence of chocolate, something which, as a rule, we eat very little of except the little squares Phil has each night after dinner.   We didn't really eat that much and still have some left but I think we will limit our intake over several days of even weeks.

Today I have an appointment at 11a.m. to see Jenny, my physiotherapist.  I've put off seeing her for some months now but my aches an pains are getting so bad I can't put it off any longer and am only hoping she can help me at least a little.   I have 5 free visits to her under my Care Plan and if I need further visits, which I think I will, I will at least get some refund from our health insurance.  I think I will ask her to treat my neck and left shoulder first and then work downwards over the coming weeks.  She knows all the sore spots and she does a wonderful job, so here's hoping.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Hope this will bring a smile to your face to begin the week well for you.  Does you cat make this type of demand?

Sunday, March 27, 2016


I may have posted this poem in the last year or two but I still find the words in it are so true.  Do we stop frequently enough to 'smell the roses' and see the beautiful things around us?

LEISURE by W.H. Davies

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 and cows.
No time to seem 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.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


The GREAT SPHINX OF GIZA, commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt.  The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.

It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.6 metres (241 ft) long, 19.3 metres (63 ft) wide and 20.22 metres (66.34 ft) high.  It is the oldest known monumental structure, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558-2532 BC).

The Sphinx is a monolith carved down into the bedrock of the plateau which also served as the uarry for the pyramids and other monuments in the area.  Because of the geological history, the nummulitic limestone of the area consists of layers of widely differing quality offering unequal resistance to erosion, mostly due to wind and windblown sand, which explains the uneven degradation of the body of the Sphinx.  The floor of the Spinx depression and lowest part of the body including the legs is solid, hard rock.  Above this, the lion up to its neck is a heterogeneous zone with friable layers that have suffered considerable disintegration,  The layer in which the head was sculpted is also much harder.

The Great Sphinx is one of the world's largest and oldest statues but basic facts about it are still subject to debate such as when it was built, by whom. and for what purpose.  Pliny the Elder mentioned the Great Sphinx in his book, 'Natural History', comment that the Egyptians looked upon the statue as a 'divinity' that has been passed over in silence and "that King Harmais was buried in it".

Though there have been conflicting evidence and viewpoints over the years, the view held by modern Egyptology at large remains that the Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500BC for the pharaoh Khafra, the builder of the Second Pyramid at Giza.

Taking all things into consideration, it seems that we must give the credit of erecting this, the world's most wonderful statue, to Khafra, but always with this reservation:  that there is not one single contemporary inscription which connects the Sphinx with Khafra; so sound as it may appear, we must treat the evidence as circumstantial, until such time as a lucky turn of the spade of the excavator will reveal to the world a definite reference to the erection of the Sphinx.

There is much more discussion about the Sphinx on Wikipedia if you should want to pursue it.  It is all very fascinating to read.

Phil has been interested in Egyptology since he was a young man and his knowledge is far greater than mind and he often quotes things to me about the early Egyptians.  It never fails to amaze me how much he retains in his memory about things he reads or hears about especially when it is in his field of interest.

P.S.  I trust everyone will have a happy and peaceful Easter weekend.

Friday, March 25, 2016


I first discovered the voice of Roger Whittaker on a double CD we bought some years ago.  This was one of the songs and I loved it then and still do.  There are several versions on YouTube but this is the one I prefer.  Hope you will enjoy it along with me.   It's called "The Last Farewell".

Hope everyone enjoys a very happy Easter weekend.  Stay safe.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


On Tuesday when I heard of the terrorist attacks in Belgium where so many people were killed and injured I got to thinking about the many dreadful events that have occurred during my lifetime.

When I was born in 1932 the world was in the grips of the Great Depression but eventually it recovered and life went on.  We didn't have a lot but we were happy.

From when I was 7 until I was 13 World War 2 was being fought in so many countries including our own.  

I remember there being trouble in Malaya but was too young to understand what it was.

Then there was the Cold War.  I don't think people in the southern hemisphere were affected as much as those in England and European countries.  Here we were being told there may be a communist under very bed and in the US that was taken even further with many being proven to be sympathisers even if they were not.

The Korean and Vietnam Wars came and went and nobody really understood what they were all about and of course communism was, I believe, at the base of those troubles.

 In later years came the invasion of Iraq and then Afghanistan and in both cases there is ongoing trouble in those areas, trouble I feel will never be completely resolved.  Phil's grandfather fought in the Afghan wars in the mid 1880's and they seem to have continued on ever since then, in one form or another.

Now we have ISIS and the terrorist attacks in so many places where innocent people are being killed, maimed and displaced.

We had the dreadful terrorist attacks first in London and then in Paris and now Belgium is suffering.

Why have I listed all these events?  Because it makes me wonder what makes mankind tick!!  Why so much hatred and so many killings.  When I sit and really think about it I find much of it is caused by regimes that want to take over places or in other cases by one religion or another.   I am not a religious person but have never criticised what another person believes in as I feel that is their right to have those beliefs.  I don't expect them to try to indoctrinate me and have never had a friend do so for which I am very grateful.

Are these present happenings worse than any that went before or just different?   Will mankind ever agree to resolve its differences and learn to accept each other as they are instead of constantly wanting to change them or take what is not rightfully theirs?

When I have these type of thoughts my mind always returns to John Lennon's song "Imagine".  I do think John had it all worked out and I can't help agreeing with him,

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


We should all remember this and I know of one lady who does quite often do her dance in the rain (not mentioning any names of course but I doubt I need to do so).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I really do need to vent my spleen and as I am not a person who is deliberately rude to anyone or stamp my foot or shout it will have to be here so please bear with me.

It has been a somewhat cooler week in Perth although still in the high twenties to low thirties with a little cloud about but still no rain.

Our new airconditioning unit is working like a charm and, in fact, is a little cooler than needed which of course can be adjusted.  The book of instructions is a revelation but unfortunately doesn't reveal a lot to us.  Derek said he hoped we could understand it all and now we know why.  I have discovered how to lower or raise the temperature which is more than Phil could do so I feel quite proud about that.    The best though has been the ability to cool the kitchen so I could once again cook and then at night cool the bedroom for a while before we go to bed so are now sleeping much better.

See how I wrote all that before I got down to the nitty gritty of what is making me mad.  You don't really have to read further if you don't went but I just had to get this down on 'paper' to get it off my chest.

You remember I had blood tests in February which had to be repeated after two weeks of no caffiene and none of my little blue tablets that help reduce pain?  OK, of course you do!   Well I had received results of the simple tests but was still waiting for the results of the test of the BIG one.  By last Wednesday (I had the blood tests on 2 March) I rang the laboratory and said results not received.  Was told the sample had been sent to PathWest who apparently are the only people who can do it.  I said yes, I knew that so they said they'd get on to PathWest and remind them to send results.

Today the results came in the mail and sure enough the blood was taken on 2 March, received by PathWest on 3 March and the results were printed on 16 March which was the day I telephoned asking about them.......and NO result of the one I'd been waiting upon so anxiously.   The same old speil about not fasting, no caffeine or my pills but apparently they put that on the results anyway.  I had put a note with the blood rest request saying I had done all the required things but apparently that meant nothing.

Now about the result.   There was a sentence on the bottom of the page saying that "Unable to 
quantitate the plasma metanephrine due to interference in the sample.    Suggest recollection and/or collection of 24 hour urine for metanephrines".

I rang them up but the chap I spoke to had nothing to do with the actual work in the lab so of course had no idea what that sentence meant.   I have now made an appointment with my GP for this afternoon and I am hoping he will be able to explain what has happened.

I certainly don't want to go another fortnight with no caffeine and no little blue pills and am hoping should I have to do the urine test that doesn't also mean refraining from all that again.

I now wonder if, when the first pathology people I went to, rang the second laboratory whether perhaps the test hadn't been done and because of the long delay it had perhaps gone 'off'.  Hopefully I will find out from Dr Ken tomorrow.   I have to pay him a visit anyway as overdue for my B12 shot.

If you read this far then forgive my self-indulgence but.............really!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2016


I must concede that there is much truth in this statement.   Hope this begins the week with a smile on your face which you'll keep with you right through to Sunday.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


This is a quite simple little poem but there is a lot of truth in it.  I guess it depends on how we see things and we do all see things differently to one another.

BOATS SAIL ON THE RIVERS by Christina Rossetti

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas;
But clouds that sail across the sky
Are prettier far than these.

There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please;
But the bow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from earth to sky
Is prettier far than these.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


NELSON'S COLUMN  is a monument in Trafalgar Square in Central London built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.  The monument was constructed between 1840 and 1843 to a design by William Railton at a cost of £47,000.  It is a column of the Corinthian order built from Dartmoor granite.  The Craigleith sandstone statue of Nelson is by E.H.Baily and the four bronze lions on the base, added in 1867, were designed by Sir Edwin Landseer.

The pedestal is decorated with four bronze relief panels, each 18 feet (5.5m) square cast from captured French guns.  They depict the Battle of Cape St Vincent, the Battle of the Nile, the Battle of Copenhagen and the Death of Nelson at Trafalgar.  The sculptors were Musgrave Watson William F, Woodington, John Ternouth and John Edward Carew respectively.

In February, 1838 a group of 121 peers, members of Parliament and other gentry formed a committee to raise a monument to Lord Nelson, funded by public subscription, and the Government agreed to provide a site in Trafalgar Square, in front of the newly completed National Gallery.  A competition was held for designs with an estimated budget of between £20,000 and £30,000.  The deadline for submissions was 31 January, 1839

The winning entry. chosen by the sub-committee headed by the Duke of Wellington was a design by William Railton.  The second prize was won by Edward Hodges Baily who suggested an obelisk surrounded by sculptures.  Criticism of the organisation of the competition caused it to be re-run.  Railton submitted a slightly revised design and was once again declared the winner, with the stipulation that the statue of Nelson should be made by E.H.Baily.

 Excavations for the brick foundations had begun by July, 1840.  On 30 September, 1840 the first stone of the column was laid by Charles Davison Scott, honorary secretary of the committee (and son of Nelson's secretary John Scott).  Construction of the monument progressed slowly, and the stonework, ready for the installation of the statue, was not completed until November, 1843.

In 1844 the Nelson Memorial Committee ran out of money, having only raised £20.485 in public subscriptions, and the Government, in the form of the Office of Woods and Forests took over the project.

The column also had a symbolic importance to Adolf Hitler.  If Hitler's plan to invade Britain, Operation Sea Lion, had been successful, he planted to move the statue to Berlin.

The column was refurbished in 2006, at which time it was scaffolded from top to bottom for access.  Steam cleaning was used together with gentle abrasives to minimise any harmful impact on the bronze and stonework.  £420,000 cost was covered by Zurich Financal Services, which advertised on the scaffolding for the duration of the work.  Before restoration began, laser surveys were taken during which it was found that the column was significantly shorter than the usually quoted 185 feet (56.4m).  In fact it measures 169 feet (51.5) from the bottom of the first step to the tip of the admiral's hat.

There is much more on Wikipedia with regard to how the statue etc was built if you should wish to learn even more than I have included here.

Friday, March 18, 2016


Once again Phil and I were scrolling through YouTube when we came across this mighty song.  The film was really great and this song made it even better.  Here it is sung my Johnny Horton.  Do sing along with me and hope you enjoy it. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Heard a person do with pharmaceuticals talking on TV yesterday to the effect that antibiotics etc shouldn't be prescribed for children under 12 for fevers etc and then I am sure I heard him say something to the effect that persons not expected to live much longer should not be prescribed drugs to prevent heart attacks or stroke!!  Now please don't quote me but both Phil and I were sure that is what we heard.

 Is this going to be the future way of cutting down the population perhaps?  Phil and I both take blood pressure medication and of course we pay pensioner rates which I think is about $6.20 per script with a couple a wee bit dearer than that.  The parting message was to talk it over with your doctor.

I will look into as sometimes what we hear on the news is not always told in full so we can get the wrong end of the stick.  I will look into this and see if I can find out the whole story.  Very interesting to a couple of oldies.

We've sort of been following the US Presidential elections and were sorry to see yet another Republican drop out after the results in Florida.  We are very thankful that in Oz we don't have a president or, if we ever did, he/she would not be elected in the same way as in the US.  I dread to think how much money is thrown away every 4 years where it could be put to use in so many places where it is sorely needed.

I have my preference when it comes to potential candidates and yet some American Facebook friends don't entirely agree with me.  The man (I can't call him a gentleman by any stretch of the imagination) with yellow hair terrifies me and as Phil said to me yesterday "If he becomes President I can see WW3 not far off!"   I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts on the subject.

Of course we have our own Federal elections due later this year and I feel that is also going to be very interesting.   I think my politics may differ from many of my blogging friends but to me that is what democracy is all about.  Freedom of thought if not entirely freedom of speech in the politically correct world of today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


There is so much truth in this simple statement....I have often proven that I am human as I have to admit to many mistakes through the years.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


I found this picture when searching for something else and thought it rather beautiful.

I was glad I found it as I needed something nice after the last couple of days.  It has been soooooo hot.  40C (104F) on Sunday and the same yesterday.   I know I promised not to mention the weather again this summer but....really.  I know our eastern and southern states are affected by El Nino but what on earth is happening in the southwest corner of Western Australia?  I believe the Indian Ocean is warming up but could that be the reason for this heat in mid-March?  All the rain from our north seems to go east instead of coming south.

I have the results of my blood tests except for the one I really want.  It is the one that has to be sent to the hospital for their pathology people to do so it takes time.  Hopefully it will arrive this week and then I can pop down and see our GP.   Just love to know what the verdict will be.

Our new airconditioning unit has been installed and is working well and it so quiet.  Derek arrived at 6.30 yesterday morning and worked non-stop all day till about 2.30 in the afternoon.  Much of that time was spent up in the roof (with tiles having been removed) in the dreadful heat.  He doesn't eat all day but just drinks water and he is very fit.  Some people have their own way of doing things and that is his way, strange as it may seem to some of us.  I think the temperature in the living room was well over 30C (86F) when the airconditioning was finally turned on and it took a while for it to get down to 24C (75F) which it is set on but it feels so wonderful.   Of course the kitchen will now be cool enough for us once again begin to thinking about cooking.   We both love salads but you often want to have a cooked meal so now we can do just that.  The other good thing is we can now cool the bedroom down or even leave the aircon on all night if we have more hot nights (last night was 26C (79F) as it is so quiet it won't annoy the neighbours.

We are promised a cooler day of 32C tomorrow and then a week of temps in the high 20s which is bearable and they are saying it 'could' rain, and with that I will make a promise that I won't mention the weather again, or at least not till next time. 

Monday, March 14, 2016


What were we saying recently about sometimes having to make excuses?   I guess you could include this one on the list.  Hope this begins your week with a smile that will remain with you till next Sunday.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


This is a passage from William Shakespeare's "MacBeth" which Phil and I often quote (or parts thereof) when we hear some bumptious twit make some outlandish statement or the world appears to be going really mad.   We think it explains everything.  What do you think?

"Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow.
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.   Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Construction of HADRIAN'S WALL began in AD122 and was largely completed in 6 years.  Construction started in the east, and proceeded westwards with soldiers from all three of the occupying Roman legions participating in the work.  The route chosen largeley paralleled the nearby Stangate road from Carlisle to Corbridge, upon which were situated a series of forts.  The Wall in its central and best-preserved section follows a hard, resistant igneous diabase rock escarpment.

 Hadrian's Wall (also called the Roman Wall,  Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in 122AD during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the Tyne River near the North Sea to he Solway Firth on the Irish Sea.  It had a stone base and a stone wall.  There were milecastles with two turrets in between.  There was a fort about every five Roman miles. From north to south, the wall comprised a ditch, wall, military way and vallum (another ditch with adjoining mounds).  It is thought that the mileccastles were staffed with static garrisons, whereas the forts had fighting garrisons of infantry and cavalry.  In addition to the wall's defensive military role, its gates may have been used as customs posts.

Hadrian's Wall was 80 Roman miles (73.0ml) long, its width and height varied according to the construction materials that were available nearby.  East of the River Irthing, the wasll was made from squared stone and measured 3 metres (9.8 feet) wide and 5 to 6 metres (26-30 feet) high, while est of the river the was originally made from turf and measuted 6 metres (20 feet) wide and 3.5 metres (11 feet) high; it was later rebuilt in stone.  These dimensions do not include the wall's ditches, berms and forts.  The central section measured eight Roman feet wide (7.8ft or 2.4 m) and on a 3m (10ft) base. Some parts of this section of the wall still survive to a height of 3 metres (10 ft).

Immediately south of the wall, a large ditch was dug, with adjoining parallel mounds, one on either side.  This is known as the Vallum, even though the word Vallum in Latin is the original of the English word wall and does not refer to a ditch.  In many places - for example Limestone Corner - the Vallum is better preserved than the all, which has been robbed of much of its stone.

The purpose of construction:  Hadrian's Wall was probably planned before Hadrian's visit to Britain in AD122.   According to restored sandstone fragments found in Jarrow which date from 118 or 119. it was Hadrian's wish to keep "intact the empire", which had been imposed on him via "divine instruction".    It is entirely possible that, on his arrival in Britain in 122, one of the stops on his itinerary was the northern frontier to inspect the progress of the building of the wall.

Although Hadrian's biographer wrote "Hadrian was the first to build a wall 80 miles long to separate the Romans from the barbarians".  Reasons for the construction of the wall vary and no recording of an exact explanation survives.  Theories have been presented by historians, mostly of an expression of Roman power and Hadrian's policy of defence before expansion.  On his accession to the throne in 117, Hadrian had been experiencing rebellion in Roman Britain and from the people of various conquered lands across the Empire, including Egypt, Judea. Libya and Mauritania.

Hadrian's Wall was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987; it remains unguarded, enabling visitors to climb and stand on the wall although this is not encouraged as it would damage the historic structure.  On 13 March, 2010, a public event illuminating the Wall took place, which saw the route  of the wall lit with 500 beacons.  On 31 August, and 2 September, 2012, there was a second illumination of the wall as a digital art installation called 'Connecting Light', which was part of the London 2012  Festival.

In 2003, a National Trail footpath was opened that follows the line of the wall from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway.  Because of the fragile landscape walkers are asked to follow the path only in summer.

There is a lot more information on Wikipedia about the Wall but far too much to include here.

Friday, March 11, 2016


Ghost Riders in the Sky is a song I've always enjoyed and I was delighted to find it on YouTube sung by Burl Ives.  It was written and first performed in 1948 by the writer Stan Jones and then in February, 1949 Burl Ives gave us this simple version.  It has been sung by many very well known artists (Johnny Cash and Frankie Lane to name but two) but this version remains my favourite.

I hope you will enjoy it along with me and perhaps let me know if you also enjoy Burl Ives singing it.  Not only was Burl Ives a wonderful vocalist he later went on to become a brilliant actor.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


As I was checking our weather forecasts my thoughts turned into verse.  I am not poetical by nature but sometimes it seems the only way to say how I feel.  Here we are well into autumn and this wretched heat continues.   Our forecast reads as follows 37C (yesterday); a slight respite of 30C today and then we have 31C, 31C, 34C, 35C and 31C and so on it goes..  (30C is 86F and 38C is just above the old century).   The had promised us 38C next Monday but fortunately have now reduced that to 35C.  One can only hope as that is the day our new airconditioner unit will be installed.

Bear with me as I poetically say how I feel about it all.  I promise not to bother you with poetry least not until the next time, whenever that may be.

And so this is autumn,
You're having me on.
The heat and the dry days
Just drag on and on.

It's half way through March
Will autumn leaves fall?
It's very unlikely
With no cool days at all.

They say that it's climate change
The boffins they know.
But we're sick of these blue skies
And would welcome some snow.

Some rain would be nice
For both people and land.
Our gardens are dying
The soil's turning to sand.

I'd dance in the rain
Should it ever arrive.
We're so short of water
To keep us alive.

Please Mr Weatherman
Have some pity on us
Just send us some rain
And end all this fuss.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


I'm not much of a dancer these days, unfortunately, but I can understand the wisdom here:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


It was a quiet week as we enjoyed a respite from the hot weather but this week somewhat hotter so summer continues through into autumn which, in Perth, is always the case.  Our eastern states cousins are also very warm whereas, at this time of year, they are  usually enjoying much cooler days.

I successfully had my blood tests on Wednesday morning, after a false start the day before and, hopefully, the results should arrive in our letterbox soon.  Public holiday yesterday so perhaps tomorrow.  Then off to see our GP for his interpretation of them and of course to have my B12 injection.

Saturday morning we had a 'phone call from our daughter asking us up to lunch at their home the next day.   Was a little warm at 29ºC but quite comfortable under their large pergola surrounded by the huge collection of frangipani in pots.

All the family were there (except grandson who works weekends) and we spent a pleasant few hours chatting about various things, including AFL football season soon to begin, the American presidential election and things in general.

K has a great idea for a quick lunch without too much work: rolls with ham, cheese and tomato which on Sunday she made up for us the way we wanted them.  All so quick and just enough for lunch.  Phil and I shared a dark ale and a couple of bottles of ginger beer as well.  Perfect for a warm day.

Great-granddaughter, just turned 8, has discovered that great-grandma likes a neck massage.  She didn't forget on Sunday.  She is so gentle and it is seems to make us closer.  I don't see either her or her younger sister often enough to really know them well as I did with my grandchildren but they seem to like Phil and me and I guess that is nice to know.

One wee bit of excitement was when we noticed some paper wasps hanging around some tiny decorative lights hanging under the patio roof.  On further inspection it turned out that two of the little 'balloons' were full of these paper wasps.  B fetched the flyspray and a couple of good bursts had the wasps either flying off quickly or dying immediately.  Apparently flyspray works very quickly on them.  I don't like killing things if I can possibly avoid doing so but these were a little too close for comfort and obviously were intent on building nests which would not have been a very good idea as far as humans were concerned.  RIP little wasps.

I hope everyone's week is going well and will continue to do so through to the weekend.

Monday, March 7, 2016


A very game (and perhaps frightened) cat:

Sunday, March 6, 2016


This could be said to be a very sad poem and yet it is very beautiful.

THE BLIND BOY by Colley Cibber

O say, what is that thing call'd Light which I must ne'er enjoy;
What are the blessings of the sight? O, tell your poor blind boy!

You talk of wondrous things you see, you say the sun shines bright;
I feel him warm but how can he, or make it day or night?

My day and night myself I make, whene'er I sleep, or play;
And could I ever keep awake with me 'twere always day.

With heavy sighs I often hear you mourn my hapless woe;
But sure with patience I can bear a loss I ne'er can know.

Then let not what I cannot have my cheer of mind destroy;
Whilst thus I sing, I am a king, although a poor blind boy.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


STONEHENGE is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire. England, 2 miles (3km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13km) north of *Salisbury.  Stonehenge's ring of standing stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.

Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000BC to 2000BC.  The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument. have been dated to about 3100BC.  Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluesetones were raised between 2400BC and 22))BC, although they may have been at the site as early as 3000BC.

The site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 and it is a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument.  Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage; the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.

Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings.  Deposits containing human bone date from as early as 3000BC, when the ditch and bank were first dug, and continued for at least another five hundred years.

Stonehenge was produced by a culture that left no written records.  Many aspects of Stonehenge remain subject to debate.  A number of myths surround the stones.

The site, specifically the great trilithon, the encompasssing horseshoe arrangement of the five central trilithon, the heel stone, and the embanked avenue are aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the opposing sunrise of the summer solstice. 

A natural landform at the monument's location follows this line, and may have inspired its construction.  The excavated remains of culled animal bones suggest that people may have gathered at the site for the winter ratther than the summer.  Further astronomical assoiaitons, and the precise astronomical significance of the site for its people, a a matter of speculation and debate.

There is much more information about Stonehenge on Wikipedia if you are interested in pursuing it.

*Back in the late 1940s Phil did some of his military training on Salisbury Plains not far from Stonehenge.

Friday, March 4, 2016


Phil and I were scrolling through YouTunes last night and really enjoying old favourites.  It is so difficult to choose from so many of those long forgotten tunes but then I discovered this one:  Love Story so beautifully sung by Andy Williams (one of our favourite vocalists).  The lyrics are here and there is so much truth in them.  Phil and I discovered each other way back then when both of us were going through bad patches.  Our love has held us together for 50 years (our 49th wedding anniversary this year) with just the occasional down but nearly all upwards and happy.  Do please enjoy this lovely song with me:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I am sure all caterpillars everywhere would agree with this:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

TUESDAY CHAT (running very late)

We have all heard the expression 'well laid plans of mice and men..... haven't we?  Today it was a well laid plan of this woman that went awry!!

I have been blithering on about no caffeine or tricylic antidepressants for two weeks and how I was going to have a fasting blood test this morning to prove one way or the other if I actually do have phaeochromocytoma.  Yes, you can look that one up of you like!!  It's quite interesting.

Many times I've said how Phil and I are late to bed and late to rise which way of life seems to suit us so well.  OK then...I woke at 8.50am this morning and headed to the bathroom for you know what when I suddenly realised I had this strange spot in front of my eyes (quite pretty really as it was yellow with a red surround) and it wouldn't go away.  I then realised my heart was thumping a bit, I felt shaky and was perspiring a little.  "Oh, no!" thought I "I am having a sugar low!!!".   Damn!!!

I did a glucose test which was only 3.5 (it should never be below 4) so I knew I was on the right track about what was wrong.  I went and woke Phil, who poor fellow, was still peacefully sleeping, and he immediately said "eat a couple of peppermints, cos that's what I do".  He has lows every few weeks but it is year since it has happened to me.  I reminded him I was supposed to be fasting and in addition to the peppermints would need a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits right away.

The tea and biscuits were promptly served and I discovered he had put a teaspoon of sugar in my tea.  I usually have about 20 grains of sugar in tea and none in coffee, and this cuppa tasted like straight glucose.  No wonder my mum could tell when someone had put sugar in her's gross!!  Anyway being the dutiful wife that I am, I drank it all.

A blood test a short while later gave me a reading of 8.5.  I know that is unbelievable, from 3.5 to 8.5, but that is what happens with a low.  You have to have carbs immediately but in doing so your blood sugar spikes afterwards.  You also feel incredibly tired for a while but now, 4 hours later, I think I am back to normal (whatever normal is in my case).  I'm glad it wasn't quite this high though.
The reason I am typing this so late in the day (1.15pm) is because just after all the above happened our lights and power flickered and then went off.   I rang 131351 and was informed that our suburb and two adjoining suburbs were suffering outages but power should be restored at 1pm.  As usual they managed to get it going again earlier than that so here I am, better late than never.  Perhaps someone hit a power pole or cut through cables somewhere.  It seems that even with underground power you can still suffer power outages at times.

Bang go my plans so it will be another day without coffee or tablets and hopefully tomorrow morning I will be off for that long awaited blood test.  Maybe tonight to be sure I'll lower my insulin injection a wee bit so my plans will not once again go awry.