The good news is that it is not a brain tumour. The bad news is that a relatively common brain thing called DVA (developmental venous anomaly) has now started to cause problems in Stephen’s case. His seizure was caused by a small bleed in the area of one of these things. Apparently the iron in blood irritates the brain.
Unfortunately, it means that it could happen again and she is recommending anti seizure medication. Though she stressed that it is Stephen’s choice.

The DVA shows up as a sort of spidery object on the scans. There is some evidence of proteins around it, which indicate the bleed. The mass which was seen on the original scans appears to have completely disappeared. This has only reinforced the neurologists concerns about InSight, the company that did the scan. If it had been a clear scan she would have some idea of what it was.

Stephen will have a specialised MRI called a MRV (focusing on the veins) to see if he should take anti coagulant medication for the brain.  This would help his heart problem too. Again, it would be up to him.

I suppose this is about photography and the march of technology. Things like DVAs are now being picked up through the more advanced scanning techniques. Previously it might have been impossible to know why Stephen had an epileptic seizure out of the blue.
He is banned from driving for a further six months starting today. He will see her again in about six weeks to make a decision about the medication.
Many people have DVAs and because they are present in the brain from before birth they usually just work as the normal drainage system of the brain. However, they are not necessarily efficient.

And what has happened is different to having a stroke.

We have spent the day trying to absorb the news. Stephen had an email from his sister about her health later in day which was worrying. I won’t talk about it here as it’s her business.

The featured imaged was taken on Friday night from South Perth when we were on the way home from Nedlands.


Summer is almost over

And Perth recorded quite a hot day (38 degrees). We put our air-conditioning on quite early. Stephen was going to one of his opera films, so I drove in and he went to the movie and I went to the Dome. It was Northbridge this time, but they are sometimes in Leederville. Afterwards we went down to Cottesloe for a couple of hours to enjoy the fresh air and gentle cool breeze. We are keeping folding chairs in the car and I have added a folding tray which makes a nice little table for our low chairs. Stephen read the paper and I read a book on the iPad. We had drinks, but decided to come home for tea. We have recently stocked up on salads and other food and it seemed a pity to buy food. However, we found it stuffy indoors here and have had the air-conditioning on again even though it has cooled down.


PIAF – Cello at UWA

Yesterday I went for a walk down to the river before breakfast. I caught the bus home. By the time I was returning the sun was very bright and it would have been uncomfortable to walk back. Besides, it is uphill! Stephen made breakfast.

In the evening we went to listen to Bach Cello concertos in the grounds of UWA. This is part of PIAF and the Chamber Music Festival. A very enjoyable way to spend an hour or so. We took our chairs, but found that they had provided enough chairs for the audience.

PIAF Cello at UWA3
Stephen sitting in the audience
PIAF Cello at UWA5
Solo Cellist

Afterwards we went to South Perth and watched the moon rise over the Darling Scarp. We had quite a good view down the river.

Moonrise over the Scarp

We checked out the ferry service to Elizabeth Key and found that it runs into the evenings, but later on the weekend than on weekdays. Still, quite a good way for us to get to Elizabeth Key. We have it on our list of things we would like to do one evening.

Matt and Us

Yesterday we went to see Lesley and another OT person to learn about Matt’s new powered chair. We found out how they are training him and what the process is for Matt to get his own chair. At present, he is using a spare one that they use for trials. We enjoyed finding out more and confirming our own positive experiences in seeing him operating the chair on his own.

We had coffee at the Dome in Maylands, then did our shopping.

In the evening, Mike took the WVC for the rehearsal. Raelene is in a difficult position with her mother, not sure if she will be staying there for a few weeks or not. Anyway, next week’s choir is cancelled.

I have found the correct folder for my photos and videos of the Nullabour trip. In the process I also found some photos of Mum’s house and garden on the day she was moving in. I had previously found photos of the interior, but she was interested to see what the garden looked like, expecting that the bushes and trees have grown quite a lot.

The red capped plover at Eyre Bird Observatory.


Tuesday and Wednesday

Yesterday we got up fairly early and went for a walk across the weir and around the bridge in the Canning River Park. It turned out to be about 3.5kms, not 5 as I thought, so a fairly modest walk. The day was cool and fresh and very good for walking. The featured photo shows some graffiti on the path interacting with shadows from a bare branch. Below are some more photos from the walk.

Kent Street Weir Park7Kent Street Weir Park9Kent Street Weir Park5Kent Street Weir Park4Kent Street Weir Park1

We had breakfast at home and Stephen went to WASO in the evening. I picked him up at 9.30 p.m. I didn’t go for a swim as I felt having the walk was enough exercise, and it was too cool to go to the open air pool and too far to the other one.

I had a call from DSC to ask when I would be returning to work. I was hoping to avoid having to say anything and just defer going back. But, when I was offered some shifts for next month it was hard to give it up. I booked 5 shifts and was relieved when one was cancelled today. I also put in my availability sheet for March and may be offered more work. I have heard a rumour that full time staff may be offered redundancies, which seems mad when they obviously need relief staff. Enough to telephone me when I hadn’t made contact.

This morning we got up a little later and went up to Mum’s. When I rang her to say we were leaving she was confused about the appointment we were going to and thought I was late. I clarified as best I could, but realised when we got there that the appointment for the podiatrist in the afternoon wasn’t on her calendar. She has an appointment at 9.30 a.m. next week and she had put that in on the correct day.

I noticed that her curtains were drawn in the lounge. Robyne said she has been calling her talking about a man coming onto the verandah and shining a light in her eyes. This is during the day.

Mum now has her ACROD sticker for the car and her personal alarm from Silver Chain had arrived. Even I found the instructions a bit unclear, but we set things up and were able to contact the monitoring service. She would be able to press her alarm and speak with the monitoring service if there was an intruder on her verandah. She could ask them to phone the police for her. Robyne will speak with her about this when she sees her or speaks with her on the phone.

Jamie and Tracey were there when we arrived, and I was able to bring them up to speed about the 9.30 a.m. appointment though I don’t know exactly what it is for. Jamie said he would not go away for a longer period prospecting until May when it is cooler.

Stephen took some books back to the library and found a nice cafe to have lunch. We picked him up on our way home.

A lovely cafe in Mundaring
IMG_1270 (1)
Mum and I sat down with Stephen for a little while to enjoy the garden setting

Mum and I had lunch at the cafe near Coles, using the ACROD sticker for parking, then went to the podiatrist. Mum seems confused about whether she is or is not still driving as far as Mundaring on her own, or whether she only goes as far as the local IGA for food. I didn’t check her fridge, just hoped for the best.

We left when we got back as I know she would want to rest and it was easier to keep going than to stop, rest, then drive home.


We met up with Eversley for the movie at the Writers Festival. We had gone to a talk called ‘Looking South’ where we hoped to hear from a botanist, but instead it was taken over by a certain person who is not respected in his own community. Everyone was polite, but we didn’t appreciate our session being hijacked by someone who was not on the program and had nothing of value to add. Eversley was able to give us some background on the person.

We went back to her place for supper and catchup, including with her dogs.

This morning was our swimming day and we went straight to the Riverton pool after our cup of tea. I swam eight laps. Stephen said he is getting more confidence back about being in the water (no seizure), but had forgotten his goggles so could not really swim. Afterwards we went to our favourite cafe – the Canning River Cafe at the Kent Street Weir. Stephen says he does feel that he could do the 5 km walk, but it depends on how he is feeling on the day. We have tentatively decided to do it tomorrow morning.

Stephen went to the library to do some more genealogy research. I did washing. Mum rang twice, the first time to say she has an appointment at St John of God in Midland for Friday 4th March at 9.30 a.m. This conflicts with the China course we are doing with MALA. I was a little confused, but after contacting Mundaring Medical Centre and SJOG Midland, confirmed that she has to go to the outpatient clinic to see a doctor. We think it is to do with the blood tests on Saturday, but it does seem rather quick. It seems odd to have an appointment without having a specific doctor to see.

She rang later to ask if I could bring some books with me on Wednesday. I looked around and we do have some, though not the ones I would prefer to give her. Cozy mysteries for example, which I only have in digital form.

Kent Street Weir Cafe2
The seating is under shelter, but basically in the open air
Kent Street Weir Cafe5
The Cafe



Writers’ Festival, PIAF

Friday, Saturday and today are mainly about going to the Writers’ Festival. Not that we are going to lots of talks, but Friday we went to two, yesterday two, and today we will go to one or two. Very interesting and could go on, but lack of time for writing now means it will have to happen later. The header photo was taken after going to the featured movie, the photo slightly tilted to emphasise the point of a full day of interesting events, now ended at about 8.00 p.m. There were still some people around, but most had left.

As well, I went for a swim Friday morning and completed 18 laps for the whole week in three swims. Stephen and I had a pointless argument around whether I should be the one to take Mum for the blood tests. Pointless because I had already committed to do it. I took Mum for her blood tests Saturday morning, which went well this time. We are going to see Matt before heading down to the festival for the late afternoon/evening.

After the first day of having my Sony A7R II with me, plus spare lenses in a camera bag, I am now going for the A600o with 16mm 2.8 lens. It’s a bit wide, but I wanted a pancake with slightly faster f stop to cover all eventualities. I have a 50mm 1.8 lens, but it’s a bit bigger.

So, a couple of photos from around the university.

Physics, UWA
Stephen outside the physics department where he studied so long ago.
Eggs, UWA
Eggs, outside of University House, UWA





Wednesday – Thursday

Yesterday I went to see Mum. It went quite well and I tried not to challenge her memory or question things too much. She agreed to have the blood test this Saturday and I will phone her Friday evening as well as Saturday morning to try to ensure it happens. Mum has decided that she will smoke inside the house sometimes as she is feeling anxious about the man who came onto her verandah. She is still confused about things and speaks of it being ‘yesterday’.

We watched Bridget Jones’ Diary in the afternoon, which Mum really enjoyed. It was a long time since I have seen it and I forgot how much she smokes and drinks in the movie.

Today I posted 6 tins of milk formula to Della and saw my dentist for a clean and checkup. They have become a HBF preferred provider and what this means is that of a $223.00 invoice I paid $23.40 and HBF paid $199.00. Pretty amazing!

We have choir tonight and I am wondering how it will go with both the lead altos away tonight.

Stephen saw his GP who has no news, but gave him a script for the beta blockers he has been taking since seeing the heart specialist. I took photos of Stephen working in the garden this morning. The weather is milder at the moment and the morning was quite fresh and cool in the shade.

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Desperate & Dateless

The name of a cabaret show with Ginger and Tonic, a group of four women singing about being desperate and dateless. Eversley had given us a free voucher for the Fringe Festival and we decided on this show, based on ease of access (car to Vic Park Station, then walk over the bridge to the Fringe Festival area near the Art Gallery), and price, $50 for two tickets. It was a full house and they were musically excellent and very funny. It was a Monday night, so a bit quieter than the weekend. The featured photo is of a small carousel in the square near the State Library.

Waiting for the show, Perth Fringe Festival
Waiting for the show to begin
living statue, Perth Fringe Festival
A living statue, Perth Fringe Festival

In the morning yesterday we went for a swim at my favourite place, the Riverton Leisureplex, with a 50m indoor heated pool. I didn’t have quite as much energy as two weeks ago, but managed my starter set of 6 laps.

We are having a hot spell again, with today getting up to nearly 40. Yesterday was about 34 degrees, with a cool start to the day. I did some shopping and also did an online order that was delivered this morning. Despite that, Stephen and I did a little more shopping today for forgotten things. I also managed to get 6 tins of milk formula to send to Della, probably Thursday morning.

Stephen went to his autobiography group yesterday and to a family history group at the library today. He is going to WASO choir tonight. A little worrying that he may be doing too much, but we are both feeling frustrated that after coming home early from our trip we still don’t know precisely what is wrong. Stephen had tests done last week on Tuesday, but we don’t know the results. His neurologist said she might phone him regarding an earlier appointment and I wish she would as the waiting is very difficult.

I am thinking of having another swim, this time at the local pool in East Vic Park. As it will be after sunset when I get there I can use the outdoor 50m pool.