Monday, August 24

Life as a Cake Tin

Once upon a time, Cake tins were held in high esteem, and were reused over and over again.

Life as a cake tin was once quite a grand position to have. the cake tin being almost essential to life as we knew it. Cake  tins housed cakes. biscuits, shortbread, gingerbread, slices, all the good things.

At huge baking marathons, they would be used for the take- a- cake for the school cake sale day, or the School Fete. Of course the slightly inferior tins were used for those occasions. The Best tins would be kept at home for personal, and special use.

Pre Christmas, the tins would be filled with full rich Christmas cakes, with brandy added, and shut away to mature in dark cupboards, with DONT TOUCH!! warnings.

Short bread, and various other special biscuits and sweetmeats, would be stored in these tins, in readiness for the Special Day. Such things as Christmas Mince Pies would be stored away, usually in the same tin every year. I never understood Christmas Mince, and never will. I find it revolting.
Many tins were labelled underneath, with the name of the owner, so that they could be returned to the owner, after such things as Fair Day, Christening Day, Birthday, Engagement Party, sometimes for the small hasty discreet wedding when the bride was 'up the duff', and a quiet, discreet little marriage was deemed the best way to handle that little slip.

The joys of raiding the cake tins, while parents were off milking the cows, or coping with the hay making, and shearing time,  all that entailed lunches and  smokoes. Though surely if there were any stealing of cake or biscuits, baked specifically to feed the crews, there would be hell to pay and often very sore rumps. The humble jam sandwich was a much better after school snack option!

Sometimes the tins were used for less exciting objects, such as stamp collections - remember those?(Though I am sure the fanatical stamp collector would not regard that as a step down the ladder, for the humble cake tin.)
Or for button collections, ribbons, lace 'notions' which is really a word for bits and pieces and  oddments used for sewing or embroidery.

Perhaps, when they got really shabby, they would be used for nails, screws, corks, bottle tops, nuts bolts, small tools, or, bicycle patches, for those endless punctures on over full tyres.
Young boys would look forward to a 'Nanna cake tin' they were allowed to take for those endless treasures, such as bugs, pieces of string lumps of rubber, for making slings, to fire at each other in fun, or not always fun. Sling shots were apt to be banned, so they needed a good hiding place, so the 'Secrets' tin was a great hideaway from prying brothers or sisters.

AS time passed, and plastic became the new god for containers for all manner of items, inevitably cake containers, and the humble cake tin became old hat. The modern young wife wanted to have her kitchen containers to be matching. Green and cream was a popular colour scheme I think in those days of the '50s. Later came the glaring bright Burnt Orange, the Avocado, a sort of sickly green, also a mix of brights for various containers.
The very early plastic was looked upon with scorn. It smelt terrible, and no self respecting man was going to eat cakes from 'stinky poisonous plastic'. Perhaps they were right to beware!

As more time passed the plastic became slightly more refined, the horrible smell disappeared. Tupperware came to be, and every good housewife worth her salt had to have her Tupperware cake containers, and serving dishes, and all manner of other less noisy containers for her baking and cakes.

Children were actually quite delighted. It made sneaking cakes or biscuits a lot easier. The lids didn't clatter like tins!  Often the lids were much easier to remove too, which aided the stealth.

Nowadays it seems the cake/biscuit tin is very out of fashion. Any Op Shop houses plenty of orphan tins, which the retiring older generation have passed along. No place in small homes for such things. Always supposing someone could be bothered baking!

It seems a little sad somehow. My Son in Law gave me some delicious Shortbread for Xmas, and now that the tin is empty I suppose I should just throw it out, but I am thinking to repurpose it for storing batteries. You know those damn things you always fail to find when you need them. I am finding them in all sorts of strange places so I think a move to one location, will be a step forward. Plus the tin gets a new lease on life.

No pictures today. It has been such a dark grim day, it looked more like an English Winter day, than an Australian Winter day.

k.d. lang. Smoke Rings.

Sunday, August 23

Running on "E".

 The term running on "E", dates back to the days when we lived in New Zealand. Invariably I was the one who drove the car to take the children to and from school, and to go to the nearest shopping Mall to get our groceries, etc. 
Gom on the other hand, used the car for Hotel business, and other outings involving using the car. Therefore, it was agreed, he would be the one to see to the mechanical wellbeing of the car. Which included filling the car with petrol.

Imagine my wrath, when I would discover I was driving a car with a petrol indicator pointing to "E".

It would happen too often, and sometimes I ended up stranded, with children, on the road, with miles to walk to the nearest petrol station. Of course I would feel quite enraged.  Usually, I had to try to find a phone, to call Gom for rescue. 
This was the days before mobile phones.

Well, you may say, why was I a slow learner? Why did I believe his faithful promises it would never happen again?  Why did I not check the petrol situation before I set out in the car? Well, I would reply, I was running a Restaurant in the Hotel, and would quite often be running a little late after the lunchtime clean up, to go and collect the children, so Gom's carelessness was the last thing on my mind. Plus there were no easily accessible petrol stations near our Hotel, which is why Gom agreed it was logical for him to fill the tank.

Often when we set out for long trips, Gom would suddenly discover, in the middle of nowhere, lo and behold! Somehow, we were once more 'running on E'! Many hours were wasted, while children and I waited for the return of Gom, after some trek into the distance to find some petrol.
When I would berate him for the fact he hadn't checked the petrol, he would blithely reply that he was sure we had enough to get to  our destination. "It is never empty when it says E!"

To say it was infuriating, is a huge understatement. I told all and sundry of Gom's habit, and it became a standing joke among our friends, that any life situation, when things were not going well, was a "Running on E" situation.

Much of my recent life has been running on E.

On to other topics. 
This is a photo of Zane and Honey just owning the sofa, at my new home. 

They seem to be happy enough leading happy lives, apart when I leave the house for any length of time. Zane has taught Honey how to howl and bark, which is odd, because they never did this, at the house. It is a real bother, because if I have to be out or away for any length of time, out of consideration for my neighbour, I need a dog sitter. 

As I now have a date at last for my shoulder replacement, I am lucky enough to have a very good friend, who has offered to come and stay with the dogs for me. I am not sure how long I will be in Hospital, but it would seem overnight will be a tad too short.

I am booked to have the surgery on 10th September, which is rather close! 
I am not sure whether to be happy or nervous.

This next photo is of Colin. He is my doorstop, used while I have the back door open. I did not make him, though I once upon a time would have. I decided he looks so sadly, I had to give him a name.

These are some tulips I bought myself.  They are over now, but they looked lovely while they lasted. I have been trying to get some pots in the courtyard area, to try to cheer the sad yard up.

I also got some Polyanthus, which seem to last well, but as they have to be in a pot too, they are a bit sad looking at the moment. I have some herbs which seem happy, and some that are just bloody miserable looking!

The courtyard is a dismal failure at present. The sinkhole has still not been attended to, and the ugly bricks are all uneven, and now growing green. A maintenance man came to water blast the green away, as it is a danger, but when he saw the mess in the yard, he went away. Said he will be back once the damage has been repaired. Hah!

I am still waiting for the plumber to return and instal a new sink for me.

Come and live in a Retirement Village they said. You will love it they said. It will be relaxing they said. It will be peaceful and tranquil in the rainforest they said. All your cares re maintenance will be taken care of they said.

Well Har bloody Har! Doesn't seem to fit the description at the present.
Every day there are water blasters, leaf blowers, roof blowers, edge trimmers, lawn mowers. Vehicles reversing, sirens blasting for testing the emergency evacuation/fire procedure.

Some days I feel like screaming "Shut up! I came here to die in peace!"

Not really. Only kidding.

Shane Nicholson, Second Hand Man. 

As a Postscript, I very sadly learned that my longterm Blog and Facebook friend Ann, of Ancient One's Place, has passed away. I send sympathy and respect for her loss, to her family, and many friends. 

Tuesday, July 28

When The Lights go Down

Days go by with rapid succession, seemingly faster as I age.
Posts write themselves in my head, but I fail to get them written down. I also find navigating this blog is harder on the iPad, and the Mac laptop. Need to get some brush up lessons. Would love to upload some photos of my few plants, but I have also lost the track to do that?

It is nice when it is sunny, and we have had some lovely clear days just lately, but, oh! the freezing days, and frigid nights! Remaining indoors is the best option, but Zane loves a walk, and I feel mean when I don't take him. Poor dear little Honey is so slow on walks now, I try to sneak off without her. Her little legs are buckled and bent, making her progress so slow, poor Zane gets rather impatient to be off. Honey is happy, and well, just elderly, and slow.

I have a courtyard, with brick paving, and I had it fenced so that the dogs can get out. I also bought some fake turf, for their use. Unfortunately the pavers were very uneven, and as I am afraid of having further falls, I requested that the sinkage be rectified. Finally, some men came to do the paving repairs, but then they discovered there is a sinkhole in the corner of my courtyard! 
After much consternation, examination, and exclamation, the hole was barricaded, with an ugly blue bin, and bright orange barricade 'gates'. The dogs can access the damaged part...I refuse to try to deal with any deposits they may leave, inside the barricades.
It is going on for two months since the subsidence happened and in the meantime many people have come to inspect. Finally, I am told the problem has 'been given to a Contractor'. Oh yeah? Well, that is news to me. Zane did try to nip a foolish man, who came to inspect the site...with no permission from me. Really, Zane was within his rights, I guess, though I a, sure if he had taken a chunk of calf, it would be seen in a very different light.

I still await surgery dates for the shoulder. Frustrating .

Also, the lights going down... Well, odd things seem to be happening in that area. My internet gets turned off on my iPad and phone, unexpectedly. Thinks go bump in the night, phone rings once, at odd hours. A curtain fell off the window, seemingly impossibly.  

I am for the most part, happy with my little villa. It is just the right size for me. I am still settling the way I want my furniture, but at the moment I am happy.piece by piece I am getting things 'my way'.

I can't get this to do as I wish, so I will close.  Music for today, All About The Bass. Morgan James

Thursday, July 23

Long Time Gone

It seems so long since I have posted on this dear old Blog, I have more or less lost the art of writing.
My life has changed so much recently, I scarcely know where to start.
I have sold my house, and moved, to what I call Raisinville, but don't tell the other residents!

I have bought a very nice little villa, and am very slowly getting it arranged to my liking. The Village is quite large really, and I have met few of the residents. I am lucky though as I have a lovely friend who lives in the village, ... we used to work together 27 years ago!

My body decided it hates me, and has given me all sorts of new trials and aches, to test my metal. Hopefully the last one, of a run of catastrophic accidents, including a broken wrist, broken sternum, is a broken shoulder. I am currently awaiting a shoulder replacement.
It is endlessly irritating to be disabled in this way, as find there are many things I am unable to do, including driving my car. This severely limits my activity, but my lovely daughter J and my Friend M, have been so good about taking me out, and ensuring I am ok. Mrs NN still keeps in touch, so it is lovely to see her.

i had the Treat of years recently, when I met, for the first time in real life, Beautiful Mary! Every bit as gorgeous in person, as I knew she would be. Formerly known as Blue Mountains Mary. I was treated again that week, with a visit from another Internetty friend, who came up from Sydney, to be my advocate and great comfort company, when I went to see about surgery for my shoulder.
Such beautiful people. Such treats for me, and the laughter truly is medicine!

i treated myself to a laptop mac, and though it is handy, I find I am much slower with the typing!
I have contact still, with a lot of former blog friends,via Facebook. it is lovely to keep  in touch, but I do miss the fun days of blogging, with all the laughs. About 8 years of friendship!
So many changes in my life.
I will never be the same person, I know, but I am still trying to find ways to deal with my grief, and my altered reality.

Roy Orbison, Blue Bayou.

Tuesday, February 24

i need to delete a programme

ihave be able to access my blog to begin posting again

Tuesday, November 26


I will try to remember the long distant past, with some of my Life's Free Treats from childhood.

A friend mentioned that she likes to see trees in towns, and it made me remember how much I loved the trees in the small township where I grew up.
The main street was a divided road, with an avenue of trees in the center. Provided wonderful shade in the heat of Summer, and the 'elders' of the district, who came to town to do business, would often be found sitting under the cool green shadows of those lovely trees.

It seems ridiculous, but I cannot remember the name or type of trees they were, but they were deciduous and so in the Winter's cold, they had shed their leaves and allowed the warm rays of winter sun to penetrate the avenue. I loved those trees, and the small town still has the old trees in the avenue from long ago. It is rather nice to visit and find the memory of those trees and that avenue are not false, and it is still the way I remember it all. So many memories disappoint on revisitation.

Makes me think that someone with care, and aesthetic appreciation must have designed that street.It is still the main street of the town, and passing traffic on the way to busy cities,  still travels that tree lined avenue. No doubt in the near future there will be a by-pass highway built, so that traffic does not have to slow down to travel that main street, of that somewhat sleepy town.

There were shops lining each side of that avenue, and there was a large Post Office, with wide concrete steps leading up into the interior. Sometimes people would sit on those steps and smoke a pipe or cigarettes. There was a wonderful bookshop that sold toys and novelties, and it also had a small lending library of books in the back of the shop. One of my best friends got a school holiday/Friday night job at that shop and she would ensure we got the best (adult) book choices to read! Skulduggery in country smalltown!

There was a large "Bargain Store" which sold everything from women's and men's clothing, shoes and slippers,  to linen and haberdashery.  Oh, and there was fabric!! It was my school holiday/Friday night employment and I loved that shop, and the lovely lady who managed it. A girl I had always been very wary of, was the other 'girl' and I got to be very fond of her also. Turned out she had been very wary of me, also! We had much fun, and I somehow loved arranging all the stock, and keeping things orderly. Even serving customers was alright, though I had been initially very nervous.

I remember the heated excitement of Christmas Eve, before I was a older, where there would be a Santa Parade down that street, and all we children of the district lined up on the footpaths, to watch the glitter and excitement of seeing Santa. Never mind that he often smelt distinctly 'beery'. Or the fact that his beard and wig were often slightly askew. It was very hot at Christmas time in our part of the world, so a bulky man in a hot, thick red suit, with beard and wig, were probably a big ask.

Of course the Santa sleigh was a large truck, with Santa seated on some type of chair on the back of the tray. From memory there were some elves? fairies? angels? little helpers, in the shape of teenage girls?  throwing lollies at the crowds. It was all very crowded and hot, and I suppose, given that weary parents had to try to settle feverishly excited little people off to sleep, it might have aided in tiring us out.

Of course as we got older, we felt we were far too sophisticated to join the Santa Parade. As teenagers we would parade that avenue, on Friday nights,  hoping to catch glimpses of our recent 'crush', and it was smalltown entertainment for us, and the place to see, and be seen. We would dress in our finest, and strut about the street, giggling, I suppose, though I was never much of a 'giggler' and eyeing off others to see what the latest trend was, or who was 'going' with who. It was a time of innocence, and harmless fun.

My days of part time employment ended, and I joined the full time work force, while I waited to begin my Nursing Career.
And therein lies another era for me.

Dean Martin, "That's  Amore" 
That is from my teenage years! So long ago. I am not even sure it was Dean Martin who sang the original.

Wednesday, November 13

Some days, time stands still...

Very depressed, and dark post follows. Please do not read further if you are distressed by raw emotions.

It seems so long since I have visited here, I feel I have forgotten how to even use the computer.
I have a new version of Windows now, and can't seem to master the photos, so there will be none added to this post.

When I figure out all the things I have forgotten, I may post something.

My son's journey through his battle with cancer, was so harrowing and terrible, it has left me permanently disabled, it seems. When he was first diagnosed with the rare, strange cancer, in his left foot, he made light of it, and even nicknamed his foot. We read up as much information as we could find, via the internet. He realised that his leg would be amputated, because the tumour was too large to be removed. He joked about having a tattoo on his leg, of dots, with a 'cut here' message attached.
The reality and the shock of the actual amputation was so hard, there was no laughter to be had, though he struggled valiantly to keep his head afloat. He tried to use his black humour to get him through that bleak and terrible time.
Not everyone seems to suffer such grief about amputation. My son suffered from so many problems regarding the manner of the amputation, and the inability to get pain control, and a decent fitting prosthesis, and an ignorant Dr telling him he may well never be able to have a prosthetic.

Just what a severely shocked, traumatized, sick, and grieving man needs to hear. Bastard.

There were the snide remarks about 'pity parties' on one hand, (only an arsehole would say such a thing, and some of them were female)  and 'how brave' he was on the other.
The truth was he was neither, and in the end, after the diagnosis of the cancer having metastisized to his lymph nodes, he knew he would not have long to live, and he could not be bothered to keep up a facade for people, so he withdrew, and did not want contact with the world.

He was very brave during the last weeks of his dying. He knew there was no treatment, but was advised that he could have radiotherapy, to slow the growth of the secondary tumours, which had become open, disgusting, and distressing wounds, and to help relieve some of the pain.

He finally died around a week after the radiotherapy. The staff could see him dying, a little each day.

His last week was an agonising battle with pain and distress, and grief. All the medications failed, all the pain relief failed. I wished it was me, who was so ravaged with pain, grief, and agony. If I could have traded my life for his, I would have gladly done so.

I have days when there seem to be possibilities,for some type of future,  but there are many, when I don't have any, and it all seems pointless and bleak. There are the moments when someone phones, who does not realize my son is dead, and that is so hard to take. Not their fault at all, and though I tried to notify everyone, of course, there are inevitably people who are missed.

I took myself and my daughter on a short cruise to try to get us both right away from our grief filled surroundings. It seemed initially, to work very well. We both enjoyed the trip, even though the weather left a little to be desired and at one stage we were in the snow! It was all so different from anything we had ever experienced, and there were no associated memories of either Gom, or my son.

We both returned refreshed, and for the first two days, I felt as though some of my energy had returned. As is common with grief, something came along to take me right back to the beginning, and I cowered in my bed, unable to face the world.

I live a hollow facade of a life, in many respects. No one wants to really know how you feel. No one needs to know.

I am almost too afraid to voice my innermost feelings. I rarely do.  No one wants to hear the truth.

There are so many overwhelming hurdles to be crossed. I have no stamina. My inclination to live has gone, but my heart still beats, and my lungs still fill with air, involuntarily. I long for rest.

Sorry for the bleakness.

Sunday, August 4

Winter's bitter gifts.

These may not seem like winter's gifts to anyone. However they were our "gifts" however hideous they may seem, and indeed are. The poisoned chalice.

I realise some of my wonderful Blog friends have not heard from me for some time, and that is because my life has turned to utter custard, shite, bullshit, agony, it what you will.

My beloved son, passed away on June 21st, after a hideous death process, from metastatic cancer. He was initially diagnosed with cancer in his foot. A very rare cancer, which is almost arcane in it's existance. No treatment or cure, and very little known about the type of sarcoma.
He had his leg amputated, to supposedly eliminate the cancer, in May 2012.
The next months of his life were to be hideous and gruelling. Full of mourning, agony,  and bitter regret. He never recovered from the shock of the loss of his leg, and he never had a decent prosthesis in the time he spent supposedly healing and adjusting.
He never did heal properly, nor did he, or I, adjust and accept the amputation of his leg.
From all the information he/we gained from the internet, limited though it was, concerning his particular cancer/sarcoma, we knew he would get metastasis, though no one thought it prudent to explain that to my son, when they took his leg.
As it happened he was diagnosed with metastasis in December 2012, and it had spread to his lymph nodes, in his groin. 

I don't really wish to write about the ensuing months of his agony. The horror of his death, begging me to kill him, as he suffered so terribly, when all the palliative care drugs failed. No one to blame, but something no one should ever have to endure.
I was glad I was able to keep him at home, as he had a particular horror of dying in a hospital.

I have days when I am so paralyzed with horror, I just cannot think or function really. I have days when I am almost a robot, on auto pilot. I am numb and frozen, and a grief counsellor suggested this is a protective mechanism my body has, lest the full horror of it all floods my being, and the result would be total insanity.

You may ask what could possibly be a 'gift' from this. It is the gift that my son has no more suffering to endure. No more mental terror, and horror, at his situation. No more pain. No more anguish.

For me it is horror in the memory. But, for him it is blissful, painless release from his unspeakable suffering, both mental and physical.

The song that was played at his service, was "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd. I think he would have approved.

He loved a lot of his short life,he enjoyed so much music and fun with friends,  though he despaired at the "last days of Rome" nature of life as it is now. A part of me is glad his suffering and endless struggle  with ethics and 'real life' are over.

Who ever wants to lose a child. A baby that was carried and formed in your belly. It is wrong, ....wrong.

Saturday, April 20

Of Shoes and, not ships, or sealing wax.

I am trying to renovate my life. I am realising I need to be shedding much of what I once enjoyed and loved, and moving on to new 'nakedness', as it were.

A sort of Less is More idea. These dolls I made gave me much pleasure, in their creation, and much pleasure in designing and sewing,  their clothes, and making many of their shoes, using leather and glue and trims and cork, or leather, for the soles..
I loved cleaning the greenware, firing the porcelain, painting the faces and firing the paint.
Then the construction of the bodies, if they were cloth. Many of them have plastic armature, which acts as a skeleton, so the dolls can be posed. The full porcelain dolls required some skill to 'string' and that was an art in itself...heaven forbid you shatter a limb!

I did not sculpt the dolls myself, but enjoyed choosing which artist's dolls I would make. I loved the variety, and the differing styles of dolls. I really enjoyed the wonderful friendships I made, with fellow doll enthusiasts, and the many laughs we shared in classes, and at Doll Shows.

The time and season for porcelain dolls now seems to be past, and I have sold my kiln, as I can no longer life heavy weights. 
In fact, since moving to where I live now, I have not made a doll, and I discovered the joys of quilting and that took over my life for a period of years.
I did manage to knit some dolls clothes, for my 'babies' and also a little sewing of clothes, but there are still naked dolls, and sadly, I know now I will not get around to clothing them.
For me, their season has ended.
(Incidentally, for most people the season has ended I suspect. They were a fad/craze that has run it's course, and the hundreds of dollars spent on greenware, eyes, armatures etc will never be realised in monetry ways) The pleasure, however, was priceless.

I initially began my dollmaking career at a Studio. I was quite good at constructing the bodies, and soon became 'employed' so to speak, for the students who did not care for those chores.
I loved working with electrical conduit pipes and joints to construct skeletons for the really large dolls, and the Man of the Studio and I, could often be found working out problems together, amidst tools and glues in the garage of the Studio..
The Lady of the Studio was all about painting, so my love of construction and 'working things out' became a benefit to their business.

Once I had my own kiln, I did not attend so many classes, but was on call for the construction of dolls- Christmas was rush hour, as doll makers raced to complete gifts. It was fun, and I would spend evenings with Gom, watching TV and sewing the dolls together. Better still, I got paid for my skills, so it was win win.

For a number of years, I was not ready to part with my 'family'. I loved each one, and had happy memories of the process of making them. We used to have cabinets, in our living space, filled with my happy dolls.
Then the time came that they were banished downstairs and I did not see them so often. Guests would stay in that downstairs room, and I wondered if they really liked the dolls staring at them.
Everyone has differing tastes, after all.

I still love most of the dolls, but in a practical world, I need to quit them now.
When my son became ill, he was living downstairs, with the dolls. He had intended to make his own life and move away, so we had not worried about the dolls.

Once he became ill, we decided to let him have his treasures and art surround him, and so the dolls have been banished, and I realise the time has come to part with them.

My daughter actually dislikes this doll, but I love her attitude, which I think the sculptor captured very well. I made jewellry for her, necklace and earrings, and was so happy with her suede shoes, which are not visible in this shot. She is posable, so she can assume several positions.

I have been reading many of my old blog posts, and cannot help but think about how much my life has changed in the last few years.

I so loved my patchwork and quilting, and miss it in my life, but the paralysis of my present life, prevents it, somehow.
I know, if we could see round corners, we may not continue this journey.
People say, life is all about the journey... well my journey has become almost unbearable.

It has reached the point of "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off!!"

On a lighter note, as I was sitting in the Doctor's Waiting Room, I suddenly noticed this huge Orangutan enter the room!
She was cunningly disguised as a Leopard!, in a huge, bright Leopard skin sort of tent. With matching handbag! "Goodness!", I thought."Quite dramatic!"
Then, entered a mother with a small boy child in tow, plus a babe in arms.
The boy child turned, and was suddenly arrested, at the sight of the Leopard! He was so startled he gasped, said OH,  and then he pointed, at the Leopardess..
The beautiful Leopardess smiled at him, and asked him his name, then she asked how old he was?
He held up five fingers, and his mother hastily said he is Two.
More children came into the waiting room. All seemed enchanted by the wonderfull Leopardess! She was so delightful to the children, and they all seemed drawn to her wonderful disguise.
I could not help but smile and admire her wonderful boldness. Her smile lit up the Waiting Room!

When I look back on the music I have posted, or listed here, I am happy that I have such a wide-ranging taste in music. Over the years it has given me so much joy and pleasure, I constantly think I want to thank all the musicians of this world.

Bob Seger, Against The Wind.

Tried to post this video, failed dismally. Am I "Losing It?" haha. or not....

It has rained, dismally, all day.
I hope tomorrow has some space for sun.

Monday, April 8

Some Random Thoughts.

I call this pic, which I shamelessly stole from some email or other, my "familiar" my friendly Crow, telling the Cosmic Clown, who keeps attacking us, that he damn well better watch out!

Recently, we were having a clear out of various unwanted pieces of furniture. I had a lounge suite, which though still very comfortable, had been relegated down to the garage, because it was surplus to our needs after we bought a new leather lounge suite.
After Gom died, I was trying to downsize the massive pile of 'things' he had stacked in the garage, and the old lounge suite was one such item. Because it was still very comfortable, and of sturdy good quality, I washed all the covers and advertised it 'Free' on a website.
Next day I recieved a phone call, asking if the lounge suite was still available. "Yes". "Great" said the person whose gender I knew not, from the voice calling, "can we come and collect it?"
"Please do". I asked my daughter to come and help me with getting it out of the garage, as my son was, by then, disabled.
There came a knocking on the door, and I opened up to see a smallish, somewhat, 'mufflered' person, and a very thin woman standing expectantly at the door.
"Oh, Where is the strong man?" I stupidly said, then thought, that is being sexist, so I next said, "Oh, are you it?"   I cringed and died a little!!
I had expected to see some burly man to load the suite. I felt so stupid after blurting out those words.

My daughter nearly died laughing later, every time she thought about how flustered I became.
The first 'person' at the door, was a woman by figure, under the layers, but she had a very strong beard, in that the stubble was quite thick, and dark. We could not work out if he /she was being a man or woman. There was a man in the vehicle, but he seemed to be disabled also, ie, incapable of helping with the furniture. Anyway they decided they liked the lounge & chairs, so we helped load them in the their rather clapped, and battered,  old station wagon.
They left, with the vehicle positively bulging with pieces of lounge suite, and we were left to wonder and ponder.
Then, to our horror, we found one of the corner seat cushions (shaped, so useless for anything else) from the sofa was left behind! I should explain here, that the cushions,  and the back,  and arm pieces all detached from the suite, so there were a lot of pieces and cushions to deal to.
I felt awful, as the lost cushion was no good to us. I duly tried phoning back the number I thought was the enquiry number, on my mobile phone, explained why I was calling, but was told it was a wrong number.??? So we never did find out who they were, or what they thought about the missing cushion. Perhaps they felt that was the reason the suite was free.
I felt awful, as I would never sell, or give away something that was missing a piece or defective in any way. Unless I made it clear whatever the defect may be. I have put our old mower out on the berm, and it has been taken away, by a nice polite man who asked could he have it? I replied please do, we are having a cleanup. We are fortunate here, we can have six household rubbish, or garden waste, Council collections a year. It is so helpful, and if 'pickers' come along to take stuff, they are welcome to it.

This is a picture of me, holding Zane, my son's gorgeous dog. He is such a treasure, and we are so glad we got to rescue him. We can not imagine how anyone could have parted with him, he is so affectionate, and devoted to my son. It was like they were made for each other. He is Corgi/Chihuahua cross, and is just such an obedient clever little boy. We all love him, ...even Honey seems to be quite fond of him.


I have been thinking of bizarre things, as I am often wont to do.
I see those, "Who would you like to invite to dinner, from the departed in history?" questions.

My take on that would be, "Who, from history, would you most like to slap?"
I posed the question on facebook, and got a couple of laughs. We all agree, the choice is just so wide, there would be many candidates I could think of. Henry the Eighth being one, for being such a pig to his wives. (which really is an insult to pigs, because they are gentle creatures, and far more intelligent I would imagine.)
Or Idi Amin, for being an inhuman monster.
As to the living.... well, there are one or two, who spring to mind, and Kim Hung Dung is one of them.

I dreamed it was the end of the world, because Kim Ill sicko had pushed 'the' button. I was amazed at how quickly the cloud reached us, and I was also amazed at how calm I was.
Of course I think none of us can really know how we would react to anything, until it happened to us.

I have been on an Aeroplane that was struck by lightning, and it shuddered and bucked in the sky. I just felt really calm, and was amazed at a normally, very efficient, capable friend, who just panicked. She shook violently, and could not stop shaking for the remainder of the flight. I calmly ate my meal and was not the least bothered. Gom remarked that I had not even grabbed his hand!
I am more afraid travelling in a car, than I am in a plane.

Today my lovely daughter, and my granddaughter took me out to a wonderful peaceful Bamboo Buddha garden nursery, and cafe. It was so beautiful, I would like to return. We then went to have a meal at our local pub, and it is always pleasant and very convivial. We met a friend, and his son, and had a chat. Such a nice outing.

I recently treated myself to a Tablet. I have had such pleasure using it to read blogs, facebook, mail and various interests,on the internet,  from the comfort of my bed, or lounge chair. How lazy I feel, how priveleged. How guilty, when I think of the poverty that abounds in the world.
I am sure my Grandmother, who loved gadgets and new technology, would have loved it all!

My daily horrors and fears threaten to overwhelm me. My son is getting weaker, and is frequently drowsy with drugs for his pain.
If I stop to dwell on it, I just go into blind panic and terror.Distractions can be music and mindless TV.
I find I am too frozen to read books now, or do my beloved patchwork.
I wonder if I will ever recover.

Sheryl Crow, Every Day is a Winding Road.

Thursday, April 4

April Showers.

Could be April Downpours!

I can scarcely believe it is April. I had a much loved Aunt, whose birthday was in April, and my Grandmother named her Lorna April. She was never known by either of those names, but I always felt April was a pretty name. I loved her dearly, and after my mother died, she became my surrogate mother in a sense, because she was always there for me, and we shared some wonderful laughs over the years, until her death. I still miss her greatly.

Every now and then, I try to remind myself, that before my whole world changed forever, I used to be a quiltmaker, patchworker, embroiderer. This is a photo of a bag I made some years ago, and have only recently begun to use. I am amazed at how much it can hold!
I have forgotten the name of the designer, and I apologise to whoever it is. I changed several things on the embroidered panel, but much of it is the same. I loved making it, and wish I still had the mojo.

This second picture is of the back of the bag. It has handy side pockets, and an inner pocket of large dimensions. It can hold an amazing amount of 'stuff'.

I have been attending a course, run by a lovely Psychologist,  designed to help Cancer sufferers, and their Carers, (and taking this bag along). I have found the course immensely helpful and grounding. In my moments of panic, I can think about what I have been learning, and try to put it into practice.
I so admire the young women battling their personal battles. And, indeed the older sufferers, who are dealing with Cancer.
I am sure I would not so so well. Of course, I also believe we have no real idea of how we would cope with any event, until we experience it personally.
As a carer, I have difficulties of a different nature, and of course, there are dark days when I feel I am drowning in panic and terror.

Easter seemed to bring it's own demons, and as Easter is the Anniversary of my Grandmother's death, I always find it hard.

When Gom & I were younger, we would host a party on "Black Friday" as we called it. ( As my GP said, he has never understood why it would be called "Good Friday", since the story goes they hung the poor chap for an agonizing death.)

The weather kept nice for the campers over the weekend, but yesterday turned into the day from Hell, as far as the weather goes. Pouring rain, cold temperatures. Today is another horror day. I awoke in the wee hours, remembering I had forgotten to put out the rubbish bins. Since it was raining, I was reluctant to rise from my warm bed.
However, once I heard a truck rumble up the street, I dug myself out, put on a jacket and sandals- yes silly choice I know! I stumbled downstairs and out into the dark. To discover my neighbour was out doing the same as me. We had both forgotten the night before. Luckily we were in time, and so the bins are now empty again.

This is a pic of my first camelia opening up. I am  not expecting many flowers this year, since the camelias had a somewhat balding haircut earlier.

This is a picture of my son and daughter and I when we went down to Sydney and my son and daughter went to a Nick Cave concert at the Opera house.
A wonderful friend had organised for Brett to meet Nick Cave after the concert, so that was special for him, as he has been a long time fan.

This is a huge cruise ship which was docked at the Quay, and we were told it was on a 99 day cruise. I wished I could go on a cruise.

This is the Opera House, behind a ferry that crosses to Manly. I tried to get another photo of the Opera house without the Ferry, but it was blurred.

Recent days have been hard, Brett is becoming weaker, and seems to eat little. There are days when he doesn't get out of bed.
Some of his wonderful friends came to visit him over Easter, and took him out for lunch, but he was very tired when he came home, though admitted it was great to see his friends.
I feel it makes him sadder, to think of all he has lost, and is about to lose.

I was not really a fan of Nick Cave, so didn't go to the concert, but there are one or two of his songs I do like, and I was going to suggest one, for my song for the post.
However, I cant remember any titles of the songs I do like.
So, I will just leave it at Nick Cave.

Sunday, March 10

What the ????

Just trying to post a normal post.
Get all these new and confusing questions.
I know it is a long time since I have posted, due to 'reasons', but what the hell?? I just want to post a little news....or not, depending on how interested anyone might be, or how much they 'give a shit'.

I know if you scratch the surface of anyone's life, you find crap and grief unlimitted.

Some of you might know, that over the past 3 years, my life has turned to custard, or more likley curds and whey.
My Gom died, a sad death, at home here with us to nurse him, and care for him, every step of the way.
When he died, it ws a merciful death, with an absence of pain and a majority of relief for him, from his suffering.
As a family, we were devastated. I guess most families experience these feelings of despair and hopeless grief.
My son suffered particularly and needed some detoxing for his newly developed alcohol addiction. He successfully completed this course, and was planning his new life and career. He lost 21 kilos, swimming and exercising, and he nursed me through a very troublesome knee replacement with hideous complications.
Then we were dealt with the blow of a diagnosis of a cancer, rare, and strange, in his foot, after 6 months of complaining to the same GP, about pain and a growing lump in his foot.

Initially, I refused to believe it could be a cancer of any type, let alone a sarcoma. It is so rare, noone had really heard about it. The end result of that, was they amputated his leg, below the knee, and he was lied to, and told his cancer had gone.
It truly was a lie, and he now has metastatic lymphatic tumours of this rare, inoperable and untreatable cancer. In reality he is dying. He is 45 years of age, and struggles to come to terms with this prognosis. Every day is a new torture.

He was initially going to sue the GP, who kept fobbing off the foot pain, as 'catastrophizing'. He decided he will likely die before the case would come to court. However we have lodged complaints re the doctor in question, and he is no longer consulting with patients. I have little faith in that minor detail, but I had my own complaints to lodge regarding his dismal performance as a GP.

We feel that, essentiallty, the GP assigned a death sentence on  my son, because of failure to idenify early tumour. Once it has passed a certain size, death is almost guaranteed. He did not have the relevant tests performed, and eventually my Son had to beg for an Ultrasoud. Which immdediately rang hideous alarm bells.

I have been struggling with all of this, as you can imagine. I thought I was going insane or suffering dementia. So many things I have found difficult to deal with. Now I have a diagnosis for my f@ckwittedness, and hopefully the injections will help solve this damned health glictch. Left untreated, it said death in 3 years. You have no idea how inviting that sounded!

I mostly try to maintain light and ludicrous views of the world. I give up. It is too much of a struggle just lately, and when I can cry, it is such a relief.
I feel like a monstrous balloon that is filled with all sorts of horrible stuff, and I just with someone could burst the balloon, so  I could cry. And when I do manage to cry it is like a floodgate, with no stopping the overflow. I guess the resultant relief is worth it, but is it horrible to have meldowns unexpectedly in Doctors offices, or shops.

On a lighter note, I have received some beautiful hugs, from complete strangers, when I have had some embarrassing breakdowns. Most people can be so kind, when the occasion calls for it.

My son says people are no damn good, but I dont believe that, and I think most people are good when necessary.

Time to retire,
Buddy Holly. Raining in my Heart.

On another humurous note, my legs and ankles have become something quite alien. They reseble some Aquatic creature, who is suffering from some type of mumps condition, of the webbed feet and ankles. The resulting waddle is remiscent of some constipated Pelican, and consequently, I stump along with mumpy feet and ankles, looking like some non-functioning atomoton. I am now on a drug to prevent this happening....but it would seem to be non effective.
So the waddle walk continues. haha!