Thursday, December 15


This is supposedly the Season of Good Cheer.
Not much that I have seen, would seem to bear this out.

I have not been out and about in the shops very much, but the grim faces and crabby people would suggest it is anything but the Season of Cheer.

I am still struggling with darkness, and have not posted because of this.
My dratted knee seems to be slow to heal, and the pain factor is something else again. I was convinced it had become infected again, and spent the best part of a day at the Hospital waiting for blood test results, and xrays, and an Orthopeadic Surgeon to give a verdict on the red, burning, swollen and bruised looking knee. When he finally came to inspect the knee, he decided it is not infected, but suspects there has been bleeding into the tissue, which has caused all the problems. Result of Warfarin.

I refuse to take it any more, and will take my chances on other 'dire' consequences. Haha. Have yet to tell my GP of my decision, but if the knee improves and heals perhaps I will reconsider..

I suspect this is what a lot of peole should be doing!
Most of all, me! {Someone sent me this pic in an email, so I hope the photographer does not mind me using it here.}

A day at the Hospital is not for the fainthearted, and it is spent in an entirely different rhythm to life on the 'outside'.

I wisely took a book to read, having had experience with the ED when Gom had frequent visits. I never got the chance to read though, as I was seated outside the small 'office area' where an extremely motormouthed woman and her small child were waiting, along with other hapless victims. She was covered in tattoos, from head to toe,  and piercings, which she kept saying were not an indication of drug taking, which she kept assuring anyone who passed, she did not, would not, and will not ever take. I assume the weird hair and the caked makeup were not indicators either. She never shut up for the whole time- 2 1/2 hours!!- and we heard all about the rotten men in her life, the 4 children she now has, the fact that she is having another, and so on and so forth. All told in the most appalling grammar, and a grating loud voice. In the end I wanted to scream or leave, but could find no escape if I wanted a verdict on the dratted knee.

I did see several people I know, who came to say hello, and wish me well. Most of them staff who I have met either socially, or through my SIL, who works at the Hospital. He kept coming to check on me, and my son had delivered me, held my hand while I cried as the Dr took the blood, and returned later to collect me.

I do question the wisdom of having had the surgery so soon after Gom's passing. I seem to become very emotional, and can cry at the drop of a hat- to my horror. I am a coward, and my veins wont 'give' so having blood taken is a real ordeal.
Feeling unwell is a pain in the knee!

I just love this little pic, from the same email as Smile.

I wish everyone a pleasant and happy Season.
No music tonight, too tired.

Wednesday, November 30


I made 
Plans before going off to Hospital, to have my new knee fitted.
As is always the way with Plans, life takes over, and the Plans never seem to work out the way we imagined they would.

I bought this new little bed for Honey, thinking she could sleep in it, until I was strong enough to lift her on & off my bed.
While I was away, she did, in fact use it, (though not while she was staying at my Granddog's house- he claimed it then, and she chose my daughter's bed! and stayed there, whether my son in law approved or not!)  and was very cosy during the stormy cold weather and even the warmer weather breaks.

Once I was home, Honey decided she wanted to be on the bed again, so we had a few discussions about the fact that I could not be leaping out of bed to ferry her to food, water, and comfort stops.
It all worked out OK in the end and I soon devised methods of doing her bidding! haha.

My son bought me some Pre-Op flowers before the Hospital visit, which I thought was a very nice touch.
I was also spoilt with in-Hosp flowers, but I neglected to take any pics.

The Hospital stay became another lost  Plan.

I developed some problems which no one foresaw, so I had to have blood transfusions, and oxygen, and Ventolin, and antibiotics, and an extra 3 days stay in the Hospital.

Gave me time to observe some really comical antics and examine the state of other patients reactions to various events.

I confess the first 3 days are very hazy, and at one stage I thought I had been transferred to another Hospital! Which caused much hilarity to the Doctors. I suspect it was the extremely strong painkillers I had to take, and am still taking.

Another hitch was an infection in the site, for which I am still on medication, and it still causes me ugly degrees of pain. I have composed a lot of posts, in my head,  since my return, but the pain of sitting in a chair at the computer just plain beat me to the floor!

I must say, the actual function of the knee is doing really well, and so I persevere with the pain barrier. Plus, each day seems a little better, if only in patches.

I was in a ward with 3 other ladies, one with a broken spine, from a hideous accident where she fell from a small terrace, and her friend also fell, and landed on top of her! She was in a great deal of pain, and there seemed to be little that could be done for her. At least she was not paralyzed, but she had very limited movement, and a horrible brace contraption, which reduced her to tears every time they fitted it on her.

Another lady had dementia, and had fallen and broken her hip. She was everyone's darling, such a sweet little person, and she woke me one night, calling my name, and said "Meg I love you." I was astonished, but replied I loved her too, and she went back off to sleep.

The other lady had had a knee replacement the same as mine, but she did not understand why she couldn't have blood tansfusions and oxygen like me. She was from a foreign country, and did not speak very good English, and she was very resentful if I got to have first shower. She became convinced I was getting special treatment, and though the nurses assured her it was not so, she remained somewhat sour in her attitude to me. She seemed to be like me, in that she had a horrific level of pain, and to be fair to her, she was 84! Why would you bother, at that age? I kept asking myself. I have promised myself if the other knee breaks down I will not have it replaced.

Foreign lady decided she did not want to go home, on the day I was being discharged, and she refused a shower, and sulked away. The Physio girls came to talk to her, and the nurses told her she was ready to go home. Doctor had been around, and told her she could go home. Her desperate daughter was pleading with her to let her take her home. Finally I could see no progress, so I made myself a busybody, and told her I really admired her for her courage and her progress. Whe she said she couldnt lift her leg the same as me, I assured her I was a lot younger, and she was doing very well. With that she broke into a smile and declared she would go home after all! Much to the relief of everyone.

They do warn it is very painful, but they can never indicate how hideous the pain will actually be. I would rather give birth to 4 babies than live through that again.

One of the things that made me laugh was the procession of visitors the foreign lady had. Her lovely daughter and son came to visit often, but it was other visitors who gave me much cause to laugh. One short stout aging couple came huffing and puffing in one afternoon. The woman was smiling defiantly, and had very flushed cheeks. Her hostile husband more or less came in swinging with rage and indignation over something, and they proceeded to have a blazing row, all in their own toungue, which was a pity really as I would have liked to know what it was all about. Body language and pitch of voice can give away many secrets. I was not surprised that the male shouted something nasty sounding and stormed off out of the ward, ignoring the patient, who had sat in bed, very quietly. His rotund little wife pinned a smile on her red face, muttered what I assume was goodbye to her friend and she departed too.
I could not help but wonder why people would come to visit a sick person, put on a hideous display like that and rage off?

I had asked my friends and family not to visit, as I feel there is little to talk about, and seeing as I was drugged to the eyeballs, it seemed I fell asleep at the drop of a walking frame.

My family ingnored my pleas, and did visit- my son every day, bless him, though I told him he didn't need to.

I had made a foolish mistake by asking for Vegetarian food, as I had been told that was the best food/diet. Somehow the Vegetarian got changed to 'veglac' whatever that is, but I can tell you, it was horrible, and they even managed to stuff up lentils, which I rather like. There was also something called a Nut Loaf on the menu, and when I finally decided to give it a try, I was bitterly disappointed to find it tasted foul, and looked like a roll of dog food. I loathe milk so in the end I had very little variance in the daily diet, and attempts to get it changed proved fruitless. So, should I ever be in Hospital again, I will just ask for Full diet.I hasten to add, while Hospital food is never wonderful, the general meals I saw others having, seemed to be perfectly nice to me!
My lovely daughter probably saved my life, by making me the most delicious omelet I have ever tasted, and then my son brought me some lovely fried rice.

We are having very humid weather, and they skies are sullen and grumpy looking. When it rains, far from cooling things down, it increases the humidity.

I have had some bad days, but feel as I heal, my mood is lightening. I did not wish to post, while down in the dumps.

I am getting out my quilty books and thinking about sewing, once I can sit for longer periods of time. I can walk without my walking stick about the house, but still use it for outdoors.

Jean Michel Jarre, Oxygene 2

Tuesday, November 1

'New' Histories.

I have a theory that we all re-write our history constantly. Editing, changing small details. Usually we strive to have the history memory show ourselves in a favourable light.

I am often amazed to hear a friend's version of an event we both witnessed.
Relatives seem to have very different memories of events, even though everyone was present for the same occasion.

"That is odd" I think, "I dont seem to remember it being quite like your version"

I suspect, that everyone, who does something they later query the wisdom of, or doubt, begins to justify their actions, and rationalise the behaviour. It would seem to be human nature.

Over time, I have finally learnt, not to insist contradict, or present my own version.
At the end of the day, weeks, months, or years, it does not matter a jot, who has the more accurate recollection.

I tell myself it will all be irrelavent in a hundred years. I suppose the wonderful stories of our ancestors' supposed humourous doings, are mostly made up, or retold so often, they have no bearing on the original event.
I guess photographs are a better record of the past, but I have found even they can lie, or give a very false impression.

I have a lot of letters I wrote to my mother, and she kept them to re-read, and I am quite surprised to read of things I have forgotten. I have some of her letters to me, and two precious letters my Grandmother wrote to both of us.

It seems sad to think that letter writing is a dying art, and very soon, even emails will possibly be 'old hat'.

I often think of the odd expressions that were part of my childhood.

There were many, such as 'As useless as a one legged man in an ar$e kicking competition.'

Or 'As useless as a one armed paper hanger.'

I once told my daughter, when she was a rebellious teenager, that 'Perhaps it is time for you to hump your bluey!'
She was utterly dumbfounded, and later, when the heat had cooled from the disagreement, asked me what it meant.
I suppose I must have learnt it from my Australian grandfather, as it means to take your 'bluey', which was a man's bedroll as he made his way around the country, searching for work. Therefore to 'hump the bluey' referred to packing up the bedroll, and other meagre possesions, and slinging them over his shoulder, or hanging it upon his back, and moving on.

Those poor old chaps would have loved to have a modern Backpack!

This cloud does not appear to have a silver lining, but does, however,  appear to have a golden silhouette.
Now, I have just discovered a pie I was cooking has overflowed and the contents are burnt onto the bottom of the oven!

Augie March, There is No Such Place.

Tuesday, October 25


When Gom & I were much younger, and both still really "Alive", we sometimes took a weekend break in the Center of Sydney City.

An odd choice you may think. We lived in a quiet dormitory suburb, about an hour's travel from Sydney City, so the hustle and bustle of Sydney city was quite a novelty- just for one weekend!

It reminded us of other, younger,  trips to Sydney, taken from Christchurch, before we resided in Australia.

On most of those trips, we would stay at some Motel, close to Kings Cross, or, as it is locally known, 'the Cross'.

My first visit was quite shattering, in the sadness I saw, of miserable lives, drug addicted young girls, 'on the game' begging for custom. The sad, and the lonely, begging for 'love' or some comfort, be it drugs or sex.

It seemed a whole world away from the life I knew, and lived. It was certainly very colourful, and there was also, much to laugh about and much to admire, in the form of buildings, locals, and bars. It is true, the Cross never sleeps.

Our accommodations were usually comfortable, and most adequate for our needs.
On one trip, we had prepaid for accommodation, on the recommendation of friends. Imagine our horror when we could find no one to admit us and acknowledge our booking. A fellow guest let us into the building and ascertained which room we had been allocated. The stained bedcovers were the first 'clue'. The second was the mobile cupboard when we opened the door. No, it was not a new and fancy peice of furniture- it was in fact a heaving haven for scurrying cockroaches.

We dumped our bags, took our key and set off to find new, and more sanitary and pleasing accommodation!
We found a very nice deal close by, so checked in there, then returned to the Cockroach Palace, retrieved our luggage and left the key on the desk.  Thankfully, our money for the booking was refunded to us, on our return to New Zealand.

No wonder the Customs officers seemed to be laughing at us when they read our 'intended staying address'! Perhaps Cockroach Palace was notorious.

For one of our weekend breaks, after we became residents, we decided to try an inner city high rise Motel. Our son and his lovley partner were living close by, and they were very excited to meet us and take us to their favourite Chinese Restaraunt for a meal on the Satruday night.

We arrived on Friday night, and were happy to see our rooms were nice enough. We went off to explore the city sights and then wandered close to the Motel to find a bar, for a drink or meal before we retired for the night.

I was disgusted with our choice of Club. It was a ~insert name of most famous Church beginning with C~ Club, situated down some stairs in a basement location. It seemed to have men only customers, and one particularly objectionable individual made us feel most uncomfortable as he rudely began effing and blinding as hard, and as loudly, as could. I glared at him, which only seemed to trigger more vile language, and I was amazed to find the other patrons and the staff all turned a blind eye and deaf ear, to this boorish pig's behaviour. I am positive he was not a Tourettes sufferer. I know this will offend some, but I decided he was a 'retired Priest' who detested women, and most of mankind.
Perhaps the fact that the Bartender addressed the disgusting old swine as "Father" was a further clue!

We did not linger, and left to spend our night sleeping.

Hahaha! Fat hope. We discovered that the High Rise Motel became a megaphone for every scream, crash, fight, swearing attack, fire engine siren, ambulance siren, revving of engines,  and screeching of brakes. Then, just as we were thinking it was becoming quieter in the early morning hours, the trash trucks began their rounds, emptying what sounded like a thousand broken bottles, into the huge maws of their vehicles.. The cacophany of the city was echoed up the walls of the canyon, which is what it all became in the night.

When our Son and his lady arrived to collect us next day, we were having an afternoon nap, trying to regain lost sleep!
The Chinese Restaraunt had delicious food- every other soul in Sydney agreed, and we had to wait some lengthy time for a table. It was all worth it, however.

I think that is the last weekend away, that we took in Sydney City.


Honey has had her tumours removed, and seems to be coping, apart from wanting to chew the stitches on the leg! Another trip to Vet to get it restrapped and purchase a Cone for her head. She was so miserable wearing it, I took pity on her and removed it. At this rate she will bankrupt me!!
I take her back today to have it all rebandaged.

My surgery has been moved forward and I am told I cannot be 'bumped or postponed' on this list. I attended the Hospital to see the Surgeon again, yesterday. All systems go.

Tomorrow Son & I are attending an Information session at the Hosp, where they take us through the op, visit the ward, and generally give us as much pre information as they can, so we/I will know what to expect.

Son may possibly be away while I am in Hospital. Not sure of his return date, so am hoping to be mobile and active when I escape get discharged. I am just like Gom, in that I detest being incapacitated and having to be in Hospital.

We are having a very hot streak of weather, and it is raining now, so humid. We were looking forward to the "Southerly Change" to cool things down. I guess, in the Northern Hemisphere it is a "Northerly Change" you will look forward to having arrive?

When we lived in Christchurch, we absolutely dreaded the "Nor Wester" which blew across the Canterbury Plains and gained ever more heat as it travelled to the Eastern coast, which is where Christchurch is situated

Janis Ian. In the Winter.  (Because, it is still Winter in my heart.)

Wednesday, October 19


Are the Crappy Bits winning?

I sometimes wonder.

Justice seems to have taken a holiday.

I am told, 'Don't worry, there is Karma'
I don' think so.

I cannot see where the Karma might be, in this devastating tragedy, in my home bay.
This is a large scale disaster. We are told the guilty are 'prepared to give one million dollars towards the cleanup'. Whilst admitting no guilt! What??
The Company that own this rust bucket of shite, are in the region of millions in proft.

I totally despair.
Morty, on the other hand, has a different perspective.
In the old thoughts of Alfred E Neuman, "What, Me worry?"

Here is SG with Granddog. I love Granddog almost as much as I love SG (or my Honey) . However, I am reluctant to see Granddog licking the face of SG, which is the next pic in this series.

Son and I watched the All Blacks victory over the Wallabies.
This is Pinky, watching the game. He was placed there, in Gom's chair, as a Good Luck Symbol.
As you may guess, Pinky has been in the family for many years. I am sure he was delighted with the final result, though he did not appear to show much emotion.

This coming weekend Pinky will have to work extra hard, to support our All Blacks, for a win for the World Cup.
Who knew I could ever bother about Sport!!

Often, when our Walls surround us, we forget to see the pain and despair of others.

I have learned of much pain and suffering of someone who was dear to our family, for a number of years. She is not now, really, a part of our family, but she remains in the hearts and minds of all of us.
We feel her pain and wish her love and healing thoughts, in her difficult days. Love to you, M.

Honey, my little dog, is scheduled for suregery on Friday. I am hoping she will come through OK. She will aslo have the cast removed from her back leg, so we are hoping all will be well with that, as well as her tumour removal.
My surgery is scheduled for 11th November, so hopefully it will not be postponed. However, if an accident or somenone younger needs surgery, I will totally understand. Such is life.

I keep thinking of The Rose, as sung by Bette Midler. A Song of Hope.

Thursday, October 13

Life's Sticky Bits.

Life's Sticky Bits.

Sometimes, the 'glue' we have come to regard as part of our lives, becomes unstuck.

It becomes difficult to remain hinged, one might say. We (I) feel as if all the parts have become separated, and one (I) wonders how to gather it all together again.

I bought some plants, hoping to find some continuity in life, of recent times. Some, such as this sweet Pansy, have survived the onslaught of slugs and snails.

Some planter pots became weed paradise, interspersed with a large cat sitting in a pot. Was he pretending to be an innocent flower?
This pic was taken as King Morty sniffed SG's proffered hand. Just before he, Morty,  attacked and scratched SG on the face! Morty is one disturbed cat, whose troubled kittenhood remains a mystery to us. We often refer to him as "Moriarty", or "Psycho".

Another sweet pansy, which has managed to survive the snails.

I have a date, to have my total knee replacement surgery. In the meantime, Honey has damaged a ligament in her left back leg, and is in a plaster cast, for approximately 8 weeks, while it heals.
I broke down when I took her to the Vet. I could not bear it if anything happened to Honey, after my year from Hell.
Honey may yet need an operation. We are hoping it will not have to come to that.

My Pre Admission Clinic visit was full of surprises. Not none all of them were pleasant, and some were totally odious.
It seems they have decided to create new, and highly undignified steps, to perform, and cause embarrassment. Not everyone is happy with this development. Some protest vigorously, or refuse to have them done.
I, being from the old school of 'Obey' did not relish the test, but neither did I refuse.
I later consulted the Internet to see why this new procedure was necessary. I remain unconvinced as to the value. I simply forgot to ask at the time of the procedure. I am sure my brave daughter would have questioned it all, at the time of request. She is much braver than I am.

I have composed many posts, inside my head. None of them have made it to print.
I have been trying to catch up with my favourite blogs, and have not managed to cover all of the wonderful posts I know are out there, waiting to be enjoyed.

I am indescribably sad, and horrified at what is happening in my birthplace, the Bay Of Plenty of New Zealand. It cannot be repaired soon, and the price is far more than any man-made fines, or useless jail terms.

I see Oil and all it's ugliness, as an evil we should be without, in this modern world.

Joan Baez, singing Dylan

Tuesday, September 20


This seagull's persepective, might be quite different to what we see, when we look at him/her, with only one foot.
We tend to think, "Oh how tragic!"
But, perhaps the gull's perspective, would be, "Oh, How lucky I am to still be alive, and able to manage, with only one foot!"

The bleak day notwithstanding, this gull made a good fist at fighting off other gulls, who might have competed for any scraps that could be forthcoming!

On our trip, we found some of these Sea Urchins, or Kina, as we called them in New Zealand. This is how they appear, when alive. They also appear to be very prickly, once they are 'deceased',  as they wash upon the shore.

The action of the sea, sand, and the waves, gradually removes the spines from the wonderful delicate shells, that were once the home, and skeleton, for this creature.

We discovered many of these deceased creatures on one of the beaches we visited on our travels. My son decided he would like to keep some, as he loved the form and delicate structure of the now vacant homes.

They are truly a work of Nature's  art, and the wonderful patterns are so lovely.

We collected these specimens, and though their former occupants were now deceased, some of them still had the remants of the former tennants, so to speak. Some still had the remnants of the spines, and so we were a little wary of collecting them.

Thence commenced the journey of getting the deceased creatures'  homes, to our home!

We enclosed them in a plastic bag, but soon realised this would not be enough to prevent the all-prevailing stench, of the remains of the prior tennants of these homes.

So, on our first night accomodation after we collected the creatures, Son decided to stash them in a handy Skip, in the Hotel car park.
Next moring he retrieved the offensive package, and set off to purchase zip lock bags, in which to seal the creatures. Several layers of zip lock bags later, we set off for our next destination-all odour seemingly contained.

Thence followed a nightly routine, where son placed the package in the local accommodation's skip, or garbahe bin,  and then he retrieved it each morning, and added another layer of zip lock, and restashed it in our boot.

Imagine our horror, one morning, when we heard a leaf mulcher being vigourously applied to the current Motel's yard! Son sped off to retrieve the package, before the leaf/mulch/deposits were emptied into the skip!

As you can see, we did get them home safely, and Son spent some time cleaning them, and ensuring they are now odour-free.


A small story, for opinions, or persepective..

A small boy was deemed by his teacher, to be "Annoying".
The teacher told the child he was so annoying, he needed to go and 'annoy the door', in his class. This was in front of the other pupils, who had apparently also declared the small student to be 'annoying'.

The small boy duly went to the door, and 'annoyed the door' in a manner he thought appropriate.

However, the teacher decided he was not so much 'annoying' the door, as 'having a conversation,  with the door', so he told the small boy to "Go outside, and annoy the pole".

I found this story so sad, and so wrong on many levels.
Am I wrong in this evaluation?
Is it a matter of "perspective"?

I confess there was a certain admiration for the small boy for 'running with it'. On the other hand, what sort of message does it send to the small boy, and his peers within the classroom?

Opinions would be welcome.

Chris Isaak Two Hearts.
My first choice was 'I Wonder', but it did not play, and I could not find another version.

Monday, September 12

Kaleidoscopic time

How strange to think that time can pass so slowly, yet at the same time, seem to flash past before the eye can blink.

Our trip was truncated, due to many reasons.

Sadly, I did not find myself able to relax and enjoy it all.
Much of the journey was tinged with sadness, as I recalled being in many of the locations with Gom.
We were rather impressed with much of the highway.
It has been extensively upgraded since I last travelled that way, with Gom.

We visited the "Hippy Village" of Nimbin.
It is a very interesting place, with obviously great significance to the local Aboriginal peoples.
My personal views were, perhaps, not flattering to the influence of other,  later,  peoples.

I felt it had a tired, sad, faded and jaded appearance, and time would not seem to have dealt kindly with much of the idyllic thoughts and plans from previous years.
It all seemed a little contrived now, to my eye. But who am I to judge, or even pass much comment.

We could only find 'Backpacker' accomodation in the area, and it was mostly of the rudimentary type.
As I said, I am too bl**dy old to be traipsing down some corridor, in my raggedy night attire,  in search of a toilet, in the middle of the night. Or even a shower, in the cold light of day.

We found a 'Bates Motel' some miles out of town. It was very isolated, and we were the only guests. Strange noises,  and leaking dripping taps,  did nothing to comfort us, and in the night it poured torrential rain with no letup. I kept telling myself the owners dog, Molly, looked very comforting, and well cared for, and thus reassured myself Molly's owner could not be a mass murderer, or even a ghoul!
It was ridiculously cheap, and having an ensuite was a highlight, in spite of the dripping waters.

 Byron Bay is ever an engaging destination, and the day we visited, it was almost sunny. We largely had wet, and somewhat cold, and miserable weather for much of our trip.
I must say, my son's driving skills leave nothing to be desired in the face of hideous wet roads, and almost monsoonal deluges.
I was delighted to see this Bag Limit for fishing at a Beach we visited. How lovely to think there were enough fish to require limits.
Of course the down side was the thought that man has been so greedy, as to require 'bag limits'. I think this beach was Flynn's Beach and close to Port Macquarie.

We did spend some strange nights in some 'interesting' accomodation. Not all to be recommended, but most to be discussed and (later), laughed about.

There were some sunny patches, and some beaches were sure to be delightful in the full heat and shine of Summer.

Hardy and enthusiastic surfers seemed to be out in most of the beaches we stopped off to visit.

This beach we loved, spent some time walking up the sand, which seemed to be almost pristine, and recenly washed. I never fail to enjoy the salt wash line of the surf, and the little kelp seeds, on the sand.
A small child had left these little footprints in the pristine sand. They somehow made me sad.

This is a carved statue of someone called Henry, who lived and loved on this beach. I have forgotten the name of the beach.

This is a Bush Turkey, which apparently Henry used to call his 'Chooks' and he fed them, when he was alive. It seemed he patrolled the beach, and kept it clean and tidy.

Upon my return home, I was greeted with a letter, advising me I had a re-call for my recent mammogram.
I was not worried, as I had had a biopsy and extensive investigation last year, for a minor condition.

When I attended the re-call Clinic, I  noticed a Jigsaw on the table in the waiting room. We were six women waiting for the tests, and the news, and some were more nervous than others.
I was struck how comforting women can be to each other, when a crisis demands.

We talked and laughed among ourselves and the Jigsaw remained untouched, but I kept remembering how Gom and I had loved to do Jigsaws together, when he could still see.

I was the second to be told all was well, and so I hope the other ladies all had positive outcomes, from the tests.
When I came home, I found a Jigsaw that Gom had never attempted, and I set about doing it by myself.

I found it engaging in a sort of numbing fashion, and I did enjoy the way it gobbled up my thoughts. A good friend came to visit and placed some pieces, and, inspired, went home to get a puzzle out to work on for herself.
I did finish the puzzle and here is the proof!
I did a further simple, smaller jigsaw, but feel I might take a break, as they say.

Dire Straits Private Investigations.

Wednesday, August 17

Follies and Foibles

I am going on a Road Trip, with my son.
We have decided to take the opportunity to visit some rellies, who live at the top of this State, New South Wales.
This is a trip that Gom and I had long planned to take, but somehow events conspired, and we did not take the journey.

Son and I are planning to be very flexible, and just take it all as it comes. We have no destination, apart from the rellies at some stage. We will see where time and tide take us.
I have always wanted to do a trip this way. Leisurely and slowly, with no rush or time limits. And no definite  destination.

Gom was a man of 'plans'- though he seldom let me know of his intentions, and calculations, before the journey was begun.
We would set sail, and he would then inform me that we would be at So & So by 5pm and heaven help us if we needed a comfort stop, or were dying of hunger, it was all go go, until we reached the destination, and we could wet ourselves or suffer dehydration and starvation.
Arrival as close to his estimation as possible, was what the trip was about.

At times this was almost alright. Howcver there were times when it was breathtakingly, clenchingly,  uncomfortable, in the case of the toilet breaks. Hunger would often  make both the children & I grumpy to the point of misery. To say nothing of thirst, once we had used our supply of beverages.

The most horrible of these regimented trips was a time when we were booked, for the 6pm sailing,  on the Inter Island Ferry, which sailed between Picton, in the South Island of New Zealand, and Wellington, on the North Island of New Zealand. This was a four hour trip, and not always pleasant, as Cook Straight can be notoriously rough.

We left Christchurch in plenty of time to make a visit to his daughter, who lived with her mother, not far from Picton. When we arrived, our daughter was not home, so off went Gom, hell bent for Picton.

The children and I were starving, as well as needing a comfort stop, but there was no stopping Gom. He was very reminiscent of Toad of Toad Hall, behind the wheel of the car.

We reached Picton around 1.30pm, and Gom became convinced he could get the car a berth on the 2pm sailing of the Ferry. I told him that was all very well, but our needs came first, and with 2 young hungry children, we needed to refuel. Gom, not to be thwarted, dropped us off in Picton township and motored off to the Ferry.

Imagine my horror, when once more, relieved and refuelled, we ran to the dock, to find it empty and no cars in sight and the Ferry about to sail.
The children panicked, cried and felt abandoned. I felt quite murderous thoughts, towards Gom.

A man appeared at the car ramp, and beckoned us to 'Come this way!'  'Has  father left you behind, haha?'

I spent most of that Ferry trip in aggrieved silence.

Thankfully, we spent that night in a Hotel in Wellington, but had Gom been alone, I am sure he would have begun the long drive up to Auckland immediately, upon driving off the Ferry.

In other news, Beloved Brother has taken a Sky Dive.
I was rather horrified to learn he was to undertake this venture, and said to my Son that I have lost my sense of Adventure.
Son asked if BB was "adventurous", and I replied that I felt the word was "foolhardy".

 Here is BB about to leap from the plane, with his second born son, giving him the thumbs up, in the plane. Second Born's turn was to be next.

Here is BB flying. I wondered "Is this the face of terror?"
He tells me it was not, but remarked that the rush did strange things to his face and beard!

I told him I had visions of cheek flaps beating off his ears, but I can see they were well protected by the helmet!

Here he is, in what he tells me is the magic part of it all, flying and soaring above the earth, with the panoramic view, and the wonderful feeling of weightless flying.

He did land safely, and says he would do it again, in spite of an initial exit, halted, due to a 'problem', and a landing to refuel before taking off again, for his actual jump!

Second Born says he will never jump again.

I wondered how the photos were taken, and BB tells me the tandem man has a camera strapped to his left wrist, hence the wonderful shots of all the action.

I do admire BB his bravery, (or foolhardiness.)

Of course, I am extremely glad he enjoyed it all, and landed safely back on land.
In other joyous news, he is to be a grandfather again, so he is looking forward to that, very much.

Saturday, August 6

One of THOSE drawers.

Do you have one of those drawers?
You know the ones that contain anything and everything, and seems always to be overflowing.

Gom used to despair at ours. He would always suggest I rid the drawer of really essential items, such as a tin opener which only partially works. But, it does have a great bottle top remover!

Or, the egg slicer, that Gom insisted was seldom used, which would then, produce a flurry of boiled eggs to be sliced to use in salads and such. Or, the cheese slicer, which I doubt has ever actually been used, but then... one never knows when it might be needed.

There are the collection of non stick-surface-safe-utensils. Spoons, spatulas, fish slices, forks,  and tongs along with the vegetable peelers, with brushes and other pitting/gouging features. I will admit the vegie peelers don't seem to figure largely on the list of  'most used', but on the other hand, they are handy if we have visitors, who wish to peel or slice.

Being left handed, I am rather protective of my pet vegie peelers. They almost become rendered utterly useless if right handed people use them. My knife collection is sadly lacking in left handedness, due to the righties in the family using them all the time.

Then there are the seldom used Pizza slicers, the sandwich cutter, the knife sharpener, from my Grandmother's era,  which still works really well, for me at least.

There are the garlic presses, some of which are almost useless. The ladles, the whisks, the spoons for various purposes.
The Parmesan grater, which is almost more trouble than it is worth.
The really blunt kitchen scissors, which are really just large, useless,  'normal' scissors and should be discarded.

One of these days I WILL clear this drawer out, and discard the useless items.
It won't be today.


I bought a chilli plant for my son B. He loves chilli, and this plant was named Bruce.
Bruce did remarkably well, for me, who has permanent brown thumbs. Bruce bore two lots of fruit, and they were nice and mild and provided son B with some tasty zing to his meals.
You can see, the last baby is rather deformed and late to ripen. However my brown thumbs have actully produced the Parsley in the same container, so I am pleased about that.

The violets continue to produce healthy looking leaves with much vigour, but nary a flower shall grace their parents.

The Nasturtiums valiantly try to grow, and they produce gems of dew, and even have a few buds, which will no doubt flower in due course.
Unless, of course they are ripped out, in the course of a 'garden makeover', currently being undertaken by son B, with a little help from me.


Small Grandson, who is growing up so quickly, it frightens me, informs us he loves classical music, and jazz is really his favourite, but he hates heavy metal rock, and loud guitar. What a sensible lad!

Ottmar Liebert, Duende del Amor.

Monday, August 1


It seems I am paralysed, which may seem like an insult, to people with physical disabilities.

My paralysis is, I think, in my mind.

I seem to have days where I can think, and can contemplate,  a life to be lived.

But then come the dark days, when rising from the coccoon of my bed seems terrifying, and I cannot see the point in even trying to pretend I am functioning.

I am not sure whether I should blog about this. It would seem, somehow to be, almost obscene. Other people seem to gather their wits, and carry on with their lives.

I could offer no judgement or comment on other's grief path. I suspect we all have to follow our own path in the healing, of a loss by death.


We have had a birth in the family, which is to be celebrated, with much Joy.

Mum, Dad, and proud Big Brother. We welcome, little Hayden to our wider family.

A daytrip to a soothing beach was pleasant diversion today.
We sat, and listened to the soft swash of the waves, on the small serene bay. We watched young children delight in the sheer joy of being alive, with parents who doted upon them,
The feel of the sand, and the sun, and parents adoration, seemed so full of joy and happy memories in the making.

Ah to be wealthy, and able to afford Real Estate, in that small but beautiful community.

Dreams are free.

New life is always a joy, and this little boy will bring enormous love, I am sure.

Don McLean: And I Love You So.

Thursday, July 21


Amidst the tides and swirls of grief, I try to take time to see the rainbows.
This one came across the Valley, where we live on the hill.

It really was spectacularly bright and glowing. I wondered about the preponderance of rainbows we have had lately, across the Valley.

We saw a bight one the day after Gom passed away, after the thunderstorms, which had raged for the whole weekend while he was dying. I told my children, perhaps it was Gom, trying to tell us not to be sad.

We have had one of the wettest Julys ever, with the wettest day in 23 years. We have also had the coldest July day, for 8 years.
My heart has been frozen for many of these days, and some days it is an effort to just get out of bed.

I have discovered grief has Tides. Some are Seventh Wave tides, and some are just too overwhelming to name. They sweep over me when I least expect them, and there is no predicting how each day will be, or where the tide level will take me.

My Nice Neighbour, who has also lost her husband has taken me to the beach, on a glorious sunny day. We walked up part of the Skillion which is above the sea, at the end of the beach.
I saw a fisherman catch a fish, on the rocks far below, and I could tell, it was too small to keep. He looked up as if the say. "I will not keep this one." and he released it back into the water. I felt strangely comforted at the sight.

Mrs N N and I went out for lunch today together, and we consoled each other and laughed together about some of things we feel and notice.

There are bizarre things that strike the mind, when least expected.
The Undertakers, who came to take Gom, wore the most ridiculous striped trousers, with odd waistcoats.

We decided they looked like the Circus Band Members, and half expected them to bring out their trombones!
We asked each other why they would dress in such strange clothes. We finally decided it was to give family something to laugh about, at a time when everything was too ghastly to be fully realised, and stunned numbness was the predominant feeling.

My health checks have been completed, and it seems my heart is fine... well,  physically, so I am told, and I have the pictures to prove it.

There are ridiculous things happen, such as, after cancelling Gom's credit card, and having to watch it being cut up ~ which was very confronting, somehow~ I get two letters in the mail 2 weeks later, with  new Credit Cards, one for each of us, in shiny mint condition. I just cut those up myself. 

Perhaps once all the Legals are tidied up, and sorted out, I might take a trip to my homeland, to stay with family.

I am making no plans or decisions.

I just take a day at a time.

Friday, June 17


I am not sure why I named this post Solace.
At present, there is no solace, other than I am a scooped out hollow, which is frozen. Every now & then a hole appears in the ice, and it flows out as hot scalding tears.

I wanted to write to thank you all for your wonderful kind words of support and your love and kind thoughts. I wish I could thank you all personally.
I have not been much on the computer. My days are often blurs.

I have had a small stay in hospital, a mystery infection of some sort, but now 'they' tell me I am to have cardiac investigation. Like Les, I was glad to get out of Hospital.

I feel I am too raw to write about much.
I will just say, I have double grief, as little Leo is no longer with me. I cannot write about that for now, and I grieve as much for both of my "Leos". Some time I will mingle their ashes and they will always be together.

Gom's favourite quilt I gave him. He spent his last days constantly wrapped in it's vibrant, warm love.

Here he is with his beloved mate.

He gave me these beautiful roses, to thank me for looking after him. We had yellow roses for him at our private goodbye.

 Here he is with his beloved Daughter, on her wedding day. He was so proud he was well enough to walk her down the path to be married. He was so ill, and so tired, he did really well.

Here we are together, just before I took him home to put him to bed. This is the last pic of us together.

This is where it all began, 45 years ago. 

There seems to be no solace for me, at present.
My Beloved Brother and Sister came from New Zealand and spent 6 days with me. I did so appreciate their visit. Family are a type of solace, I know.

Scott Joplin, Solace

Thursday, June 2


Gom passed away peacefully on Sunday night at 1.30am. I am so glad I was holding his hand, when he took his last, peaceful breath.

He had a horror of hospital beds, and of the thought of strangers washing him.
In the end none of that was needed, and we managed to care for him right to the end. We had wonderful help from our Doctor. He made 5 Home visits to medicate Gom, and make sure we were alright.

A Palliative Care Nurse came on Sunday afternoon and fitted a syringe pump, to keep Les completely comfortable. She is a kind, loving, and very empathetic Nurse, and I appreciated her lovely hug as much as everything else she did and helped us to do.

Les did not wish to have a funeral, so we are having a Private Cremation on Friday afternoon, for Family only.

His little dog Leo is so confused and seems to search constantly for Les's return.

Friends, both near and far, are comforting and supporting me as much as they can.

It all seems unreal, really. I have to just take it an hour at a time.

We were married for 45 years, and it is going to be so hard to live without him.

Thankyou for all your caring thoughts you have sent us.

When we first met, GOM always played this song for me, on the local Jukeboxes in Cafes.

Dusty Springfield, I Only Want to Be With You.

Friday, May 20

Teo Toriatte

A song from Queen seems to be appropriate.
I hope you hear the words.

We are living with "End Stage" which is very confronting.
And very fearful, for all concerned.

I know so many of my friends have already faced this journey.
I know so many of you have managed to survive this hideous trasition.

I do not not know how we will ultimately traverse this phase.

We take each day as it comes, and read our part from what transpires in any given hour.

We have support of Palliative Care. We have had ACAT assessments done, advising of high levels of Residential care.

We are yet to have the Community Nursing Care to visit.

I wish to care for Gom, in our home, untill the end of his time. We have been advised this should be possible.

There is no further medical intervention or investigation to be undertaken. He has ceased his Transfusions, and is visibly weaker, each day.

I try for strength each day. I have lovely support from our Son and our Daughter, and also our Granddaughter.

I have a recently bereaved Mrs Nice Neighbour to support me.
Our new GP is so supportive, it is comforting to know we have his backing care.

Queen, Teo Toriatte

Friday, May 6

Looking for the Treats..

I am looking for the Treats in Life, free or otherwise.

They do not seem abundant at present.

We have learnt sad news of Gom's decline, which cannot be reversed, and which is progressing much faster than we had thought.
I had suspected as much, so requested an appointment with the Specialist, who confirmed my worst fears. There will be no trip to the City Hospital, for life improving procedure.

Gom had a choice of continuing on with transfusions, or ceasing altogether, along with 2 other choices. We were told that life expectancy would only be 4 to 6 weeks, if he ceases to be transfused.

I cant describe how badly I wanted to cry, and scream. I forced back the tears, and put on a brave face, for Gom's sake. He took the news quite calmly really. I suspect he knew in his heart, that his time is short.

We will just have to make our last days together as lovely as we can. Gom is aware of what is happening, and the fact that our days together are numbered now. We have had some really nice time together, recently, talking about how things will pan out. It is nice to think we can still have a laugh together, in spite of the grim outlook. We have both found humour to be a great salvation in times of extreme duress, and distress.
Times in our life together that have rocked our foundations.

Today was a Free Treat, in a way.
Gome slept late, and when he woke, he got up by himself, and came to tell us he wanted to take me/us, out to lunch, for a Mother's Day treat.

We were astounded, as Gom has been so tired and listless, it was amazing to see him so determined to go out. He managed to shower and dress himself, and even put his shoes on, without help.
Our son took us to a Club, and we had a lovely lunch, with Gom eating more than we have seen him eat in 4 days!

When we came home, he was happy, and warm, and he said he had really enjoyed our time out, and he seemed content.

Palliative Care is needed, we are told.  I have contacted an Aged Care service for help. I will not be holding my breath for when either will eventually 'get around to us'. This area has the reputation as being what is termed 'God's Waiting Room'.

All I know is, we are determined to keep Gom home, with comfort and his beloved Leo, as long as we possibly can.

Sadness washes over me in engulfing waves, that threaten to drown me. I must remain strong for Gom's sake. He told me he will go into Hospital, if that will make my life easier. It breaks my heart, to think we lost a year of such closeness, because the Dr's we had would not medicate Gom when I asked them, as he was so changed and irrational.  Our new GP is incredulous we have suffered so needlessly.

No looking back, and taking each day as it comes is the best we can do now.
Queen, Long Away.

Sunday, April 24

This Day

This day, I stopped to admire the Free Treat of my lovely, soft pink, single petalled Camellia. Not a raving beauty, but somehow a simple soft, and complete flower that brings me much joy. It reminds me of the delicate Briar roses, that grew wild in the dusty little streets, close to the Railway line, in the small country town where I grew up. We used to pick the roses, in those dusty roads, and admire their simple beauty, the hint of perfume. They were best left to their prickly traling branches, as they soon wilted, once picked.

We have an extra Long Weekend, here in Oz, and also New Zealand, because of Anzac Day, 25th April,  falling so close to Easter.

I have blogged of Anzac Day before. It is to commemorate the fallen, who fought in World War 1 and World War 2, and also, all the other Wars which have claimed the lives of valiant Soldiers, Sailors and Air force personnel,  not least being the hideous, (and I believe wrong,)  Vietnam War. Service men and women, were altered irrevocably by these Wars, and indeed, any War, and perhaps, it was the 'lucky' whose bodies died.
Many survived, to spend a living hell, for the remainder of their 'lives'.

Their shattered bodies may have healed, but the mental scars and the long term health issues haunted them, and their families, forever.

I did not intend a dark post.

Here is Honey, absolutely refusing to look at the camera. She badly needs a grooming, and a haircut- or wool clip, to be more exact! She reads me just thinking about the scissors, and she scarpers!

Here is Gom, sitting in his chair, with his beloved Leo at his side.
Gom is not travelling too well, these days. He is very tired and very weak at times. He needs regular transfusions of blood every week.

He does get a lot of comfort from his little Leo, being so loyal. There are mornings when I fear to look at Gom, but when I see Leo there, I know he is looking after him.

Yes, yes, the socks... Gom refuses to wear slippers. He says only 'Old Men' wear slippers, and when I gently suggest he has become an 'Old Man' he scowls.

I am managing better now, with support from our new GP. I still have rough days and sad days, but Gom is calm now, and I can better cope with the highs and lows of our lives.

Some folk suggest I pour a little too much 'personal' into the blog. Perhaps I do, but I have learnt my blog ~friends can be a very supportive and comforting bunch, in times of dark despair!

Oh to be Morty, who can abandon himself with utter ease. Here, he is so relaxed as to be almost limp! What a great art.

We have had mixed weather for the Long Weekend. It has been very warm, then quite cool, and we have had a few cold mornings, Cold early evenings, humid midnights, and a few sprinkles of showers. Four Seasons in one weekend! 

Quilts on, quilts tossed aside! I had a sleepless night last night, so I read a lovely book, and this morning, I finished it!  It is 'Jacaranda Blue', by Joy Dettman, who is an Australian author, and I recommend it to anyone who loves an Aussie story, with true colour. To me, her stories rank up there with Tim Winton, who is a fantastic Aussie Author.

Reading has become a luxury, a stolen pleasure.

Roy Orbison, Blue Bayou