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Matthew gave me a rose on Sunday night – this is taken from one of the video clips – I was making one of our ‘cooking movies’ – and plan to end up with a short movie made up of some of the highlights.

At choir this evening I was reminded of something that happened on Tuesday. I caught the bus to Officeworks in sunshine, then whilst I was there the rain started, very heavy at first, then lighter, but persistent. I left, but decided to go down Albany Highway where I could get shelter. I checked for the hourly bus and would have had to wait about 25 minutes, so went into Eastern Antz for a coffee while waiting.

A woman came and sat at my table and commented on the rain, and I said it was a bit of problem since I was catching the bus. She asked where I was headed and said she would be happy to give me a lift when she had finished her coffee. She drank quite quickly as she had lots to do, but she still took the time to drop me at the end of our drive.

It really made my day, as you can imagine. The rose picture is here because her name is Rose.

Eastern Antz is the cafe up near Officeworks, Western Antz is the one near where we live. My terms, I don’t know what they call them.


Swan River, near Burswood

In the end I had to do a clean install and reinstall my programs on the Macbook Pro. There things started to not work properly as well. It wasn’t too much of a strain and everything was installed by evening.

I was cursing a bit on the way home from Mum’s yesterday. The couple of times we have walked down to the river lately we haven’t had good sunsets, but last night as I was driving home the sunset was great – some really big clouds and wonderful lighting, and me driving instead of near the river with a camera.

We went to the TGIF Market last Friday evening, but did not manage to catch up with Cherry and her friend as they left whilst we were waiting for our food. On Sunday morning I had a shift in Queens Park. On my own with the 5 residents from 7.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. I had made a couple of notes on my iPhone, which helped. I tried to get all the medications and treatments done correctly. But I had some fun with them as well, I think because there were no other staff. Still, it was very tiring. Stephen cooked tea for us in the evening and I took some video which has yet to be edited. I will make a short film, with hopefully all of the funny bits included.

On Monday I woke up with headache and vertigo, so rang Marie to ask if she could give me a lift to Mum’s place. Monday is her usual day for going and we had arranged for Cheryl (as nurse) and Bluey (as himself) to witness Mum giving Marie and I joint Enduring Power of Attorney. All went well and we made scrambled eggs and toast for Marie, Geoff, Mum, Miki and me. I had caught the train to Kelscott, where I was picked up by Glenn and Marie. Then Geoff drove us to Mum’s the back way through the hills. I got to sit with Miki in the back which allowed us to connect and chat. She invited me over to her house to watch a movie and I’ve let Roslyn know – might be handy for giving her some free time one afternoon as I could babysit.

On Tuesday I caught the bus to Officeworks to get a new diary, a cash book for recording Mum’s expenditure, and a file for the receipts. I also found a monthly planner and set it up with different colours for events. This was recommended by one of her doctors. I copied the EPA so that we could all have one.

Yesterday I saw Mum and we went to the bank and then the bakery. I buy bread for Stephen and I as well. Entering receipts in the book is a bit of a nuisance, but will be useful for seeing how her expenditure goes.

Mum had some forms to sign from the settlement agent, and had to send in the title deed for her property by registered mail. So, I put it all in the envelope they provided and took it to the Post Office this morning. Now at the Western Antz having coffee and writing this journal.

We’ve organised to have the car serviced and the caravan lead checked. Basically I will get the caravan over to Ken Peachey as early as I can tomorrow morning and the car service is booked for Tuesday.

I’m feeling very uneasy about not having to worry about going to work. Stephen seems to still feel he has to take care of all the cooking and is a bit under stress about it. It will take us both a little while to settle into our new roles. With Brexit and the election looming this Saturday it is an unsettled time.

I’ve realised that Mum cannot really organise her own medications, even Panadol, because she can’t remember when we takes them. I don’t think she can remember to write them down, though we will try. I’ve discussed it with Tracy, but we are not sure how to motivate her to let us take over. Tracy’s carer pension may need to be funded by Mum as Mum’s assets mean that Centrelink won’t do it. Given how much Tracy has to do it is only fair. The pension will allow her to work fewer hours so that she is more available. I think it will be her call if Mum needs to go into care as she is the primary carer, with us girls doing the rest.

I was listening to an interview with Don Watson a few days ago about how we romanticise ‘the bush’. He has written a book about it, which I have downloaded, but not started yet. That very day my new passport had arrived, with rather lovely illustrations of Australian life, including the bush plants, etc. Even our passports illustrate his point!

I was thinking about my longing to get away in the caravan, and remembered the time when we were ‘little’ and my father tried to drive through a flooded creek. Mum and I talked about it, and she is still annoyed that when she and Dad pushed the car out of the creek she was on the ‘downstream’ side – if the car had gone, she would have gone with it, together with Marie and I who were screaming with fear in the back seat. The car doors were open so that the water would go through and we were standing or kneeling on the seat to get our feet out of the water. She still thinks he was silly to try to go through it. His illness got worse, she thinks because he was in wet clothes for so long. That was in our newish Morris Minor – Dad used mining plant equipment to get everything dried out. The car was fine, but I imagine the seats didn’t look quite so shiny and new.

As a child whenever we went out in the car I would want to go off for a long trip. We used to drive from Alice Springs to Melbourne to visit Dad’s parents. Mum still resents that it would use up all of our savings! Different perspectives here. I can remember being car sick as we used to travel in the back of a Holden Ute, cream with blue canopy. A family friend gave us some lollies one year, which made us even more sick. Dad taught us how to signal him if we had any problems, thumbs up or down.

All week

Friday Evening

The photo is from our walk last Friday afternoon. This is on the Burswood side of the Causeway. Just a small touchup in Lightroom.

On Sunday I felt better. The main thing was going to the little concert in the afternoon. Matt was dropped off at the venue. He appeared to enjoy it, although once the music started he kicked the back of my chair in rythmn to the music and was saying something (don’t know what, of course) but realised that he wanted to dance. We actually had a nice time, with some rain. During the interval he was fine with us talking to other people and having tea and biccies, then once the music started it was back to dancing. Although it was good for me to get some exercise I was really looking forward to the taxi pickup.

I spoke with Bernie’s mother Pat during the interval. She used to work for the old Spastic Welfare, but with adults. It was an interesting conncetion.

Afterwards, Stephen and I went and picked up a meal at Dog Swamp Shopping Centre and took it back to Matt’s place. We heated up the main courses and had some cut up fruit for afters. We saw the Murrays, which was lovely.

Then we went to another concert at St Josephs in Subiaco with Eversley and Pam, a very different concert to the Scottish music of the afternoon. Pam gave us all a lift back to Eversley’s place where Stephen and I had left the car.

Monday was a training day, a new version of Manual Handing, fairly enjoyable. Tuesday I met with Eversley for lunch. We went to the cafe in her local shopping centre which has been revamped. Tea comes in a big pot, with a lovely cup and saucer, I may have that next time. It was just nice to catch up. I had been feeling that we weren’t getting so much time together as in the past, so asked if we could meet every couple of weeks for lunch or coffee. This was the first meeting.

Afterwards I went over to Belmont Forum to have a look at the new Aldi store that opened recently. Interesting, but very different to a normal supermarket. It was very busy, so lots of people either trying it out, or making it their regular shopping place.

In the evening Stephen went to WASO rehearsal.

I saw Mum on Wednesday. A nice day, mostly cloudy. We paid a bill and got lunch at Rosies, which had had done with Marie on Monday. We discussed the Enduring Power of Attorney and she seemed happy to go ahead to set it up. I suggested that with the physio and OT appointments at SJOG Midland that we go once, see what they can offer, and then it’s up to her if she wants to go again. Our plan is to look at walking frames when she comes to stay with us in July.

On Thursday I had another training day and got confirmation that I am booked into First Aid Training when I return in October. I finished off my May and June credit card statements and took them up to HV3 to be processed by Charles. I liked the women on my table, and felt a special connection with Brenda, who was seated next to me. Somehow just found her very likeable, and we exchanged email addresses at the end.

I had ordered a new, larger HD for my 13″ Macbook and had it installed this morning at the service department of PRA imaging. The store seems oddly bare of much in the way of cameras and their website hasn’t been working, with something new promised. But, there Service Department worked well, with staff installing the new HD whilst I waited. I’ve restored the system again from aTime Machine backup, but am getting an odd message when it starts up, so may have to do a fresh install and try using Migration Assistant to install my stuff. Everything appears to be working OK.

Marie’s birthday

Marie has her 65th birthday today. Her retirement is planned for the 13th July for a good reason, so that it falls in the next financial year. Things are in train for moving to her new lifestyle. She is seeing Mum each week on Mondays, even though she is still working.

On Thursday Mum had an appointment at St John of God to see a different specialist, I think a dementia specialist. He did the usual test, and she did slightly better than last time, perhaps test/retest learning. He asked about a lot of things and advised us that she should set up an enduring Power of Attorney, soon, because things will get worse. I don’t really know what it was like for her to hear what he had to say. We discussed a medication which may slow things down, and agreed to wait until she is a bit more settled. When we got home she was quite negative again about going back there. She has a physio appointment and a referral to OT has been made, but she can’t really understand how this will benefit her. Sometimes she seems to understand her condition and other times is in denial, which is what one would expect.

I had to leave in the afternoon, but rang her today, and she seemed OK on the phone. I reminded her to ring Marie, I knew she would want to phone her on her birthday. I asked how her shoulder is going.

I’ve asked Cheryl if she could witness the POA, and she will ring Monday to set up a time. We need another witness as well. I am worried because I don’t know where Mum will be on the matter, but hope because it is Marie and I, she will be OK with it.

We had an enjoyable choir session in the evening. On Friday I posted six tins of milk formula to China and filled the car up with petrol. We went for quite a long walk in the evening, to the train station, off at Burswood, then down to the Causeway to catch a bus home. That doesn’t sound that much, but I had done nearly the 10,000 steps for the day, which included the walk. I felt very tired by the time we caught the bus.

Today I woke up with a tension headache which didn’t shift after the cup of tea. I ended up staying in bed the whole day. I’ve been eating, so not that sick, but having some periods of feeling really unwell. I’m amazed that a couple of doses of Panadol have helped so much as the headache wasn’t that bad, yet each dose has made me feel quite a lot better in every way. Placebo?

Tonight we rented The Danish Girl from iTunes. It was very well done and quite amazingly beautiful. Even simple rooms in their apartment looked absolutely gorgeous. Maybe the subject matter of two artists lent itself to creating something that was pleasing to watch. His role had echoes with him playing Stephen Hawking, a vulnerable yet self involved character, very flawed and attractive.



There’s a cat on my car!!


Today we had lunch at the Rod Evans Centre and I picked up meals for Mum and I for tonight. I am staying overnight in hopes of getting her to an appointment at Midland Hospital tomorrow. She seems quite OK about going.

Louie greeted me on arrival, and took a great deal of interest in my car. Not just the bonnet where it is warm, but the roof. Just like a big cat would?

Here he is, looking like a big cat
Wonders why I am looking at him, and holding up my phone!

Cheryl has been here for Mum to sign another offer and acceptance for the sale of her house. It won’t go through until August 12th. It was one of two offers, Cheryl felt it was the best of the two, so we will keep everything crossed!

A History of the World

In 100 objects. We finally got to this exhibition at the Museum. Probably good that we waited because with our vouchers we got in for $10.00 each.

First off, we walked to the Victoria Park Post Office to do our passport renewals. Quite expensive for the two of us, including photos, it was around $500.00. We may have to wait a couple of months for the new ones to be ready. I’m not sure if Stephen’s British passport is still current.

We then walked to the station and caught the train into the city centre. There was a new outdoor cafe, Livingstones, where we had a morning coffee/chai, Stephen dropped off some music, and then we went to the exhibition.

Livingstone from the outside
Feeling good before we started at the exhibition

We did about 1/3 of the objects, then went to the community centre for lunch. Very basic hot food, very cheap, but the room is quite lovely. Then we headed back for the rest. I gave up a bit before Stephen, doing just over 1/3 more. Then felt in need of afternoon tea, so we went back to Livingstones.

Our afternoon tea table
My favourite object, I think it may be Egyptian, I should have taken a photo of the caption.

Afternoon naps

One of the problems with my afternoon naps is that they turn into sleeps. I worked today from 7 a.m. until 1.00 p.m., came home for lunch, then had what I hoped would be short nap. I slept until almost 5.00 p.m. I quite enjoyed the shift after my initial bad start with forgetting people’s set ups for breakfast. I’ve now got notes on my phone to cover this. Not really difficult, but makes me nervous when I go there because  don’t feel on top of things as I do with other houses. I took two residents to a dance in Midland and they appeared to enjoy it quite a lot and were holding hands dancing together.

I saw a resident from my early days at Spencer and she was much the same as she always was, attracting a good deal of positive attention from people. Nice to see.

Sunday we had a lazy start and a walk down Albany Highway in the afternoon, catching the bus back. I didn’t feel like walking, but seemed to have much better energy than I was expecting. Just shows you need to force yourself sometimes.

We had a lovely time with Matt who arrived happy and stayed that way throughout the visit. We watched Sunday night TV after he had left.

Thursday and Friday

Thursday was our day for heading homewards. We didn’t get up especially early as it wasn’t a long drive and we were quite enjoying being where we were. I cooked bacon and eggs, using the electric hotplate on our caravan stove. I’m always a little anxious about using the gas, although it is much easier to use for cooking as it is fully adjustable as you need it.

We made about three stops on the way to Perth, stretch stops, and a morning tea break at Bannister. They have quite a nice lounge/dining area as well as outside areas. The day was partly cloudy, but we had sunshine during that break.

Bannister Garden

The drive from Armadale to Perth wasn’t too bad, we were coming through in the middle of the day when there is least traffic. On arrival, we used the caravan movers to put the van into it’s parking space, then headed over to the Dumpling House for lunch.

In the evening we met with the choir at Cherry’s place for a meeting, with soup, bread and cake. We were not expecting many people, although it was a committee meeting, I felt it was good to consult with the wider choir as well. Maybe something to do with the offer of soup, but we had about 12 of us there, with just a few apologies. The discussion went well, with people making sure that people were heard when they had something to say. Some good ideas, and I think the issue of our choir director suddenly going off for a month in July, which had been a shock, was discussed and worked through.

We walked to Cherry’s place, but got a lift home as the rain was a bit heavy.

On Friday we decided to take things fairly easy. I did some washing, we got more of our things out of the van, and we had an afternoon nap. In the evening we went to the concert hall for the Vivaldi Gloria. It was something of a different style of concert, with the conductor of the Brandenburg Consort being much more informal than conductors usually are. We had hot food served at street level. This is the second time, but felt that it wasn’t such good value. The servings were very small, though tasty. We had a couple of small bars of chocolate to follow, one after the meal and one during the interval. We were on our bus home by 9.30 p.m.

Today (Saturday) has been the day of the big shopping expedition. We either got there before the crowds or a lot of people had already gone to the Aldi store in Belmont, but it was nice that it wasn’t too crowded. Stephen has done a crock pot meal, which we will have tonight.

All photos taken on my iPhone 6s


Duct tape

We are having a problem with the range hood and just before we went to Denmark I used some blue duct tape to hold up the part that is broken as I was worried about it falling down whilst we were away. I didn’t mean to buy blue duct tape, just didn’t realise what colour it was until I needed to use it.


Monday night and all Tuesday there was strong wind and rain in Albany. We had a meal with Eversley Monday night and walked home before it started. Although we actually had a pleasant day, going up to the new Anzac memorial for lunch, Stephen went through it whilst I read my book until the restaurant closed at 3.00 p.m., then did a little shopping and waited for him to get in touch to say he was ready to be picked up.

But the weather made driving quite challenging and we also had a problem with the electricity going off intermittently. Eventually we tracked it down to a problem with the power plug not being securely placed in the powerpoint and the wind making it slip out. An employee of the caravan park put some duct tape on the plug, and although it fell off once more, when I put it back and stuck it down again, it remained in place all night. For some reason, and fortunately after we had had our showers and finished breakfast, they decided to switch of the electricity to do some maintenance. Perhaps there was some storm damage.


Anyway, we had found the caravan park very comfortable, not least because of the large and well appointed ensuite, and big concrete slab. Stephen decided to try reversing onto the site and did it in one go, so we didn’t need the caravan movers.

We had a little bit of trouble with one of the indicators when we were leaving this morning and after about 20 minutes realised it was the electrical connection, not one of the pins not working. Still, once we rearranged the cords it seemed to stay working for the rest of the day.

We stopped in Mt Barker for chai and hot chocolate, and shared a ham and cheese croissant. We stopped again in Kojonup for a pie/pastie, and got some petrol. As well, we had about three short stops to stretch. A fairly easy day of driving although I did not have the energy that I had on the day we drove down with Marie and Geoff.

We are spending the night in Williams. At first sight, the caravan park seemed pretty basic, but the facilities are clean, and after sunset there is quite a lot of park lighting, which makes it seem friendlier somehow. I had a shower and washed my hair before sunset. I had been feeling very cold when we first arrived, but after warming up in the caravan with our little heater going I find it just doesn’t seem so cold outside.