Notes from the last week or so are in my offline journal as I want to keep this one for our travels.
I forgot to attach the battery cable after checking that the lights were working. We could hear it on the road and had to stop on Sheperton Road in a bus stop to fix it. Two buses came by whilst we were there, I hope they did not find it too inconvenient.
This morning we set out at about 9.00 a.m. Although we had done most of the preparation on Saturday and Sunday, there were still a few things to do. We woke up at 6.00 a.m. and Stephen was first in the shower.
We took the route up through Toodyay, which gave us a chance to stop at the bakery for morning tea (a shared pastie and our choice of coffee or chai latte). We sat on the balcony and wondered how Goomalling would compare to Toodyay as a place to take a mini break. Apart from that, we had one stop along the way, just brief.
When we arrived at the caravan park we were given a choice of where to park, so chose a place with lawn as well as a platform for the caravan. We checked out the toilets and showers which seemed very cold at that time of day. We put up our new rear awning, with a bit of a struggle as we didn’t look up the instructions first. Not too difficult as we got the hang of it. Of course, Ken Peachy staff had shown us how, but that was a few weeks ago.
Our closest neighbour has a large dog, and has set up a little fence to keep him contained. The dog doesn’t know whether to protect his caravan by seeming aggressive when we go by, or seek our attention so we will pet him. We err on the side of caution and keep away.
We had a rest after setting up, then after a cup of tea, went for a walk around the town.
The possum theme comes up again…
As with other small towns in Australia, the locals appear to take great pride in their town. There are sculptures along one side of the main street and many old building have been renovated and put to use.
The tiles appear to have been made by local children.
We did some music practice on our ukes whilst enjoying a Jack Daniels and coke, then I went to have my shower. I had checked out the further ablution block which was newer than the one closer to us. It has ensuite style individual bathrooms. This proved the best option for my shower and elevated this caravan park to 5 stars!
It’s been an interesting week. On Monday I took Mum’s only prescription tablet and had Webster Paks made up of four sets of Panadol, together with vitamin D and the blood pressure tablet. This is to try to ensure that the BP tablet is taken at a regular time each day and that Mum does not overdose on Panadol. She gets frequent headaches and forgets when she has taken Panadol.
Of course, it is no fun for her to have this taken out of her hands. She has been talking about wanting to go home (she realised that she was thinking of her house at Kingswood St, not the granny flat). Last night and this morning it got a little heated, but I tried to listen properly to what she is saying, rather than defending our position. She still does not see that she can’t manage on her own.
On the other hand, we’ve had some good times. On Tuesday, we met Robyne at what used to be River Abilities and she was able to get a good quality wheeled walker with a seat. We had lunch together afterwards. And did a little more shopping for skivvies.
Yesterday we had wanted to go to the Rod Evans Centre for lunch, but there had been a burst pipe and the restaurant wasn’t operating. Mum took a walk down to the end of our drive and back, finding the walker very easy to use. She walked with us over to the Dumpling House where we had the lunch special.
Today we went to Floreat to the Kiosk overlooking the beach. We sat in the outside area, using blankets, our own and some provided by the cafe. We had coffee first, then had soup and toast. Very nice and warming. I found a way to circumvent her paying for everything by taking my purse as well as hers to the counter, so that we paid for our own lunch. She then wanted to give me $100.00 for petrol, this felt too much, though she means it for the full week, so I put $50 back into her envelope in the safe. Whew!
Only three more sleeps until she goes home. Not that she is any trouble to us really, but she feels I am too controlling and really longs to be her own person again. That will be OK until she finds it too lonely. However, she will have Jamie and Tracy there.
I feel that it is too difficult for us to do – to ensure that she showers and washes her hair regularly and doesn’t take too many Panadol, and to try to explain why we think she cannot be independent any more. We probably need to start the process of finding a place for her, and can only hope that by the time something becomes available she is less aware.
Something really good this week is that Stephen wrote to Della and she sent us some news. Yaxuan’s granny is away and Della and Tony are trying to take care of their daughter by themselves, quite challenging for them. The good news is that they are considering having another baby. This is a very big decision to take, especially when they are relying on Tony’s parents to help them. But, I hope they can make a decision that is right for them.
So, the photos are of us with Joy and one of the photos of Yaxuan that Della sent. All taken with iPhones.
On Tuesday I dropped the car off for a service. I met Eversley and Rae for lunch, we tried the new Antz, and had some light food. Then the power went out in our section of Victoria Park, so we went to the Dome so that they could have a coffee. It was very enjoyable catching up and we made a date to watch a movie at our house before Eversley leaves for Indonesia.
Wednesday I went up to Mum’s place. We went to the bank to set up transfers to Robyne and Jamie of part of their share of a gift from Mum. The teller joked that she wanted to be one of Joy’s children as well. She suggested that the line entry read ‘love Mum’, a lovely idea. Then we did some shopping. I had a bit of a chance to talk with Jamie and Tracy about what Mum needs in the way of care. Which sort of reinforced that we had better start the process of looking for long term care.
Although, I have to say, she has been staying with us since yesterday afternoon, and not only is she eating with us, she seems far more alert and with it than when we visit and she has been alone for most of the day in her granny flat. Jamie and Tracy call in for coffee, etc., but Mum doesn’t remember when we visit her. However, she seems to be holding onto things a bit longer, though we still need to let her know things more than once.
Thursday Stephen and I went to Zenith for a workshop on the Ukulele which was very enjoyable. I was feeling tired and thought I might not participate, but Helen, Stephen’s Uke teacher invited me to come along and sit in. They had lots of coloured instruments for participants to use. We had a coffee in the Claremont Dome afterwards before catching our bus for home. It rained just as we were getting off the bus, Stephen had to protect his ukulele, and I was glad I hadn’t taken mine.
We had a good session at choir with Mike, who started to teach us a new song.
We had planned to meet with Marie Hastings and the children on Friday and were thinking of taking them to see the BFG. But Marie rang to say that both she and Alyssa had colds, so had to cancel. I had made a date with Miki to go and watch a movie at her house, so I contacted Roslyn. We went to her house. We took the ukuleles and Roslyn was able to do some chords with Stephen. Miki wasn’t too sure about this activity. She gradually got comfortable with us and we sat with popcorn, sort of watching a movie, but also reading one of her books. Ros was able to go out and do a big shop without Miki protesting. We went home feeling that we had had a very nice time with the kids. They are so well behaved, a bit shy at first. Callum’s interest in trains continues and he spent time building train tracks in his room during the music session, then joined us for the Lego movie.
On Saturday we had a slow getting up, but I was still able to get to Mum’s by about 10.30 a.m. It took us about an hour to pack. We brought her pillows and rugs for sitting outside, as much as possible wanting to recreate what she has at home. Mum was saying she felt miserable about having to go away, but she seems to be settling in well. Robyne came over in the afternoon and was good company.
Today we went with Matt to the football, Westcoast Eagles versus North Melbourne, and our team won, thank goodness. Not that any of us are normally football fans, but we still enjoying it as a family outing. I took photos, including telephoto images and a bit of video with the Minolta/Sony AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 (D). I was interested to see how it would do for sports photography – not too bad and fairly easy to get action shots, maybe thanks to the IBIS in my Sony. Of course, I wasn’t in the position of having to get critical shots and I wasn’t close enough to get really good sports action shots, but was pleased with how well it went.
Matt appeared to enjoy the outing. He liked the coffee I had made for him, but did not appear to want anything to eat (I had fruit for him). Which is a good thing as it might have spoiled his appetite. Tin was lovely as usual, getting us to and from the grounds, and making a special effort to get as close as possible considering the roads were blocked off when he came to pick us up around the end of the 3rd quarter.
Marie and Geoff came over in the morning. They took Mum out for some shopping and afternoon tea. She isn’t quite sure why she is getting all of the attention, but Marie does visit her once a week, so seeing her Sunday instead of Monday isn’t a problem for them. Marie is feeling happy ahead of her retirement date in 3 days time.
And the Liberals and Turnbull have confirmation that they can form a government, they are finally in a position to have enough seats. It’s not the sort of result that political parties like, but I like it, they will have to work very hard to get legislation through, which should curb some the extreme right wing ideas. Shorten and Turnbull are already talking about co operating to get work done. The hard right and hard left won’t like this, but we do so hope that they realise that ditching leaders all the time is not in their best interests, it just makes the major parties look like idiots. Except for getting rid of Abbot, that is.
The two major parties are playing silly games with media reporting that both parties are considering their options of replacing their leaders because of the very close result. This is so stupid, we didn’t vote for the leaders, we voted for the parties. All this changing things at the top means nothing if the parties do not present us with clear and detailed policies that there is some chance they will stick to if elected. Why should one person have to take the blame. We are sick of it, just learn and move on…
We went down to Brighton Beach after Stephen’s movie, but it was so still that the air did not seem clearer than in the city. Nevertheless, a walk along the beach was good for us.
Sunday was a quiet day. We had Matt to tea as usual and he seemed mostly happy. There have been short times on both his latest visit when he seemed to be a bit upset and trying to tell us something, but without clear language he doesn’t have much chance of letting us know precisely what it is. Our questions got us nowhere, so we all moved on. His taxi was half an hour late and he relaxed until it came.
I was finding myself worrying about Mum, so went up to see her, knowing that Marie would be there. We discussed a few issues and I also had a chance to talk with Jamie. He admitted that he hadn’t expected her to be so dependant so quickly. We are trying to work out the best course of action and I will have a chance to discuss it with Tracy tomorrow. I had a rest and left Mum’s at about 3.00 p.m. I saw Bec and the children briefly, nice because I see Mel and her kids a bit, and have caught up with Roz’s kids too.
I’ve got the dates when Jamie and Tracy will be away and will pick her up on the day they leave and take her home the day after they get back.
We had a bit of a problem with the lights on the caravan, so I took it over to Ken Peachy yesterday morning, getting there a bit after 8.00 a.m. I think. We had put the caravan in the ‘go’ position the afternoon before. They checked it out, but said it appeared to be a plug problem, not the cord leading into the plug, and they adjusted the plug. They also adjusted the handbrake for us, it was much too tight. Mike said that handbrakes are always a problem and we should always use jocks when parked. We do.
I did some desk work, paying bills, and sorting out things to do with Matt’s powered chair (he will pay $4,000 towards the cost), and his 4WD course with Scott. He may have to sit in a special seat, like a baby seat, but for adults. If only he could still prop and walk a little, as he used to do, it would mean not having to always lift him. Easy when you can use a hoist, but not really possible with the car, unless attaching it to the top of the car to swing him in. I sent the forms by email, then posted hard copies.
I prepared our dinner, heating things up and putting prepared salad in a bowl. I did too much food, we both left some of the pasta. Still feeling odd and fretting about Mum’s care.
This morning I went to a place to look at display kitchens before coming over to Leederville to meet with Stephen. I didn’t exactly feel inspired by what was on offer. However, very plain kitchens are cheaper, and it will come down to a mix of what works and the price. I don’t feel ready to get someone out to do a quote.