An interesting week

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.

Stephen, Miki and Roslynn. Sony A6000, 16-50mm lens

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.

Joy and Robyne, iPhone 6s

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.

West Coast Eagles – taking the kick. Sony A7RII and Minolta/Sony AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 (D)


West Coast Eagles coming onto the ground. Sony A7RII and Sony FE 24-70mm F.4 lens

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.

Matt on the ride home. Sony A7RII and Minolta/Sony AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 (D)

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.

Monday evening

A not very eventful day. We walked up to Hillview Tce so that I could drop of my monthly statement for my supervisor. We walked back again, stopping at the Dome cafe on the way back, then going into the shopping centre for a few things. It was a walk of under 4kms according to my phone, so nothing like the walking we did when we were on holidays. Still, it was an alternative to going for a swim. We stopped doing that a few weeks ago and it is hard to get started again.

I bought some dumplings for lunch from our local Chinese restaurant. Walking past all of the great places to eat just in our little section of Vic Park is guaranteed to make you hungry even thoug we had a good breakfast of tomatoes and egg. Using up the squashy tomotos in the fridge.

I’m feeling much more relaxed today overall.

I wanted to mention here about the Mahler concert. I’ve been picking Stephen up from WASO chorus rehearsal for a while as they moved back to the Fortress in Northbridge. We thought the move to the Concert Hall for rehearsals would be permanent, but it was not the case. Stephen was unsure about whether or not to perform in the Friday and Saturday night concerts in case he had a seizure on stage, but decided to go ahead and it all worked out.

Eversley was able to come with me on Saturday night (we had free tickets). She is a Mahler fan and I’m not, but the concert was actually grand – it was the Resurection Symphony and the only item on the programme, which meant the audience became deeply immersed in the music. We went to the pre concert talk which was great as well. The speaker told us quite a lot about Mahler and the background to the music. It was a really special night. We couldn’t actually see Stephen on the stage as we were in the wrong part of the auditorium, probably more relaxing for me as I wasn’t watching him and wondering if…

This afternoon Stephen started to do practice on his recorder, so I got out my violin. I wanted to check to make sure everything was working as it doesn’t like just sitting in it’s case. As usual, it wasn’t much out of tune. I tuned by ear, then used the electronic tuner for fine tuning at the end. Lovely to see the green dot once the strings are on pitch. There is still one note that particularly ‘sings’ when I play it, I wish all of the notes sounded like it.




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



Southwark 4/3/15

Today was about going to a talk at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the evening and visiting the place where Stephen’s mother, Grace, was born. We have an address from her birth certificate: 1 Dolben Street, Southwark. She was born in 1911 and we were not sure what we would find in the area.

On arrival at the Tower Bridge station we couldn’t resist having a walk along to the river. We found a Christmas Market and an area with lots of cafes. Clearly we hadn’t gone far enough the previous evening. There were some clouds, but we could see blue sky and it was sunny. A very busy area even on a winter’s day. Still, the mild weather made it easy to be outdoors.

Tower Bridge
London Bridge in sunshine

Then we caught a bus to Southwark to the area where we hoped to find the house. We found the street without difficulty, but could not find number 1. A Royal Mail man was able to clarify that the numbering system for the houses was not logical, with odds and evens on the same side of the street. However, the end of the street where Grace’s family would have lived was blocked off to make way for new buildings.

Looking along Dolben Street
Looking along Dolben Street toward where Grace’s family would have lived.
Dolben Street cut off to make way for this building
The building that now blocks off the end of the street where her family lived.

We spoke to people at the little workman’s cafe. It had been a cafe for a long time and the woman could remember the area being very run down. She said that the Victorian terraces in the area had been torn down to make way for buildings (in the 1960’s) before it was clear that this area would be upgraded and the houses valuable heritage. She also remembered Dolben St before the new building went in. She said it was an old cobbled street.

Workman's cafe near where Grace was born
Stephen looking at the little cafe. The owners of the pub are going to renovate it soon and make it part of the pub.


Basically, we came much too late!

Thompson House at the other end of the street was interesting. It looks as though it would have been there when she was born. There was a blue plaque with: Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797 on it.

Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797

After talking with the people in the cafe we walked back to the main street to catch a bus. After a long wait we chose a bus back to the Tower Bridge station area, then took a bus over the bridge, then the underground. The traffic was very slow indeed and when we changed to the underground it was all so easy. We were able to get a direct line, with a tunnel which goes to the museums in the area, so it was just a matter of following the signs to the V&A.

V&A dining room
V&A dining room

It is really lovely. I din’t have energy for much, but Stephen went off for a while, then we had a meal in the cafe until it was time to go the the lecture theatre for a talk. Very interesting, about the Anglo Saxon saints, who were the ‘celebrities’ of the time. We thought we might be a bit tired, but it was so interesting that we were enthralled.

As we were leaving, the dining room was abuzz with people, and there was a musician playing a grand piano. There was quite a buzz even at the entry hall with a bar and a DJ playing music. We were able to get direction on getting a bus back to Victoria Station, basically, just go out the front entrance and catch a V1.

We got home at about 9.30 I think.