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.

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