Thursday, December 14, 2017

A day filled with little incidents

I woke up this morning a little later than usual.  It was almost 6:30.  But no rush.  I needed to leave the flat at around 8:45 for my appointment with the hand therapist at the hospital. Plenty of time.

I rang Jim, in Mount Helen - and woke him up.  He had been having a bit of a sleep in too.

Ian, in the flat, was not having a sleep in.  He was up bright and early.

Lindsey, in Mount Helen, was also up, preparing for her Tai Chi meeting.

Ian wandered by and asked if I had Skype on my computer.  Alas, I do not.  I stopped using Skype some years ago and closed my account.

I went for a shower.  When I emerged, Ian asked if I knew if Lindsey was doing anything unusual this morning, for she was not answering her phone.  Not that I was aware of.  I rang Jim.  He didn't answer his phone either. It was all a bit odd.

Ian was supposed to be having a Skype conference with someone at 8:30 but couldn't see a contact request from the other person. Eventually he managed to raise Lindsey. She couldn't help with the Skype issue, try as she might. And she was distracted because while she was outside, doing the early morning jobs, Rupert had tried to join her - bouncing straight through the brand new, fancy and very expensive fly screen, effectively destroying it. Lindsey said she heard a bang behind her and came to investigate, finding the destroyed fly screen but no obvious culprit.  Jim says that following the bang Rupert flew into our room and onto the bed as thought the hounds of hell were after him!

Ian didn't have time to worry about that. His video conference was fast approaching and he had no Skype.  In the end they had an audio conference.

So I am showered, dressed, packed for my therapy appointment and just sipping a cup of coffee when my phone rang.  It was the hospital.  Your therapist is off sick, very sorry. Can we reschedule you for next week.  Alas.  I will be in Tassie.  Can't come again until after Chrissie.  She heard me say that I couldn't go until after the 6th. I didn't argue.  I now have an appointment on the 9th.  Perhaps by then my hand will do some of the things the therapist wants it to do!

The only irritating thing about this is that Ian and I were in Melbourne last evening purely because I had the hand appointment. Otherwise we would have headed back to Mount Helen when Ian had got back from work yesterday. Oh well. It was quite nice having a night in town when I, at least, didn't have anything specific that I needed to do.

So. Ian is on his now audio conference.  I am in the second bedroom doing useful things on my laptop.  Lindsey has gone to Tai Chi.  Jim is at the house with the dogs.  One of whom decides to chew his slipper.  This is not unusual.  Rupert likes Jim's slippers.  Jim does not like Rupert chewing his slippers.  Slipper is removed.  Ok, thinks Rupert.  I'll chew his shoe.  Jim doesn't like him chewing his shoe either.  Shoe is removed.  A bit later Jim went looking for him and there he is chewing on my Akubra-style hat.  Not absolutely sure how he got that; I had thought it was out of reach.  Obviously not.  Rupert is removed from our room.  So goes down into the lounge room and chews on one of Lindsey's Christmas decorations and destroys a bauble from the tree.  Rupert is clearly in a chewingly mischievous mood.

Meanwhile, back in Melbourne, Ian and I prepared to leave. Ian wanted to go to the Victoria Market and to a nearby kitchen shop.  Fine by me.  I'm more than happy to go to the Vic Market and to the kitchen shop.  While we were there we had an early lunch in a deli by the market.

Time to head back to Mount Helen.  Off we set.  Hit the freeway and almost immediately came to a halt. One by one the outside lanes closed so that eventually only the inside two were taking traffic.  After three or so km of VERY slow traffic it became clear that there had been some sort of incident. In fact it was on the inbound side rather than on our side.  I don't know what had happened but it looked as though a truck had hit the bridge and there were cherry pickers and all sorts making emergency repairs.  This, of course, also occupied our side of the freeway what with emergency vehicles and other things.

We got past that.  On we drove. Finally we reached the Western Freeway.  Ian turned the radio off and opened his window.  Listen, listen, listen.  What do you think that noise is, he asked.  I have to admit that I hadn't actually noticed a noise.  Cars and freeways are often filled with odd noises.  But now you come to mention it ...  We pulled up in a roadside services and Ian got out to investigate.  It seems that the plugs holding the insulating material under the front bumper had all disappeared.  The matting was flapping about and hitting the tyres.  Ian was a bit worried that the matting or the bumper would fall off, or that the tyres would be damaged.  So we made an unscheduled stop in the Bunnings in Melton where Ian bought cable ties and gaffer tape and more or less stuck it all together.

It's a bit like building a rocket with blu-tack and string.  But it got us back to Ballarat with no further drama.  Ian has bought some more plugs. His car is in dock because it needs some quite specific tyres which he can't get in Ballarat until they have been ordered and delivered. Lindsey's car is going to the airport tomorrow. He had been intending to use the Honda but doesn't want to use it much while we are using bubblegum technology to hold it together.  I think he is hoping to plug it all back together over the weekend.

And now he and Jim are trying to reassemble the  fly screen.  Rupert and Sam are down the other end of the house, lest they try to help :-D

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Sunday was an unusually productive day.

Lindsey roared into activity first thing in the morning and set to, determined to fill the skip that was sitting by the shed, largely empty.  Sam, Ian, Jim and I made sure to keep moving, lest she decide that we too were old, decrepit and mostly useless and cast us into the skip. Rupert had no such anxiety. He's only 7 months old and, if awake, never stops moving!

The skip is now more or less full and the trailer is filled with things ready to take for recycling - probably after Christmas now.

In the afternoon, Lindsey and I headed out to Elaine to the farm shop in search of pork belly for Christmas dinner and a Christmas tree. We also called in to the vegetable stall and headed into town for other supplies.

Rupert was much puzzled by the appearance of a large tree in the corner of the lounge room, and deeply puzzled when Lindsey covered it with tinsel and glass balls 😀

While we were out hunting and gathering, Ian and Jim finished the little roof they've been putting over the outside kitchen so we can use it when the weather is mildly inclement.  You wouldn't stay dry in a raging storm, but then you probably wouldn't want to be cooking outside in torrential rain.  Oh - and Ian has now acquired a fridge so we can keep the beer and sausages cold.

I'm not sure what happened to Monday. Lindsey and Ian headed off early and I had a list of things to do, only a few of which were actually accomplished. The day just disappeared.  Still, the world hasn't juddered to a stop because I didn't properly clean the bathroom and the heavens haven't fallen because I didn't wash the stove top.  All the undone things will no doubt get done in the fullness of time.

Yesterday was enlivened by a call from Tony to say that Stella had fallen while going to the front door to get a parcel from the postie. She went to the hospital in an ambulance but fortunately wasn't particularly injured.  Shaken up but not bent or broken.  She's back home now.

In the evening Ian, Freyja, Simon and I had a drink in the wine bar under our feet, then Freyja, Simon and I (but not Ian) went to Smith and Daughters for dinner. It's a vegan restaurant about a 30 minute stroll from the flat and has Latin American themed food.  We had the feast menu which was more or less a tasting menu but with rather large portions. I quite enjoyed it, but I wish the portions had been smaller - by the time we got to the last couple of plates I was too full to enjoy them and I think I would very much have enjoyed more of the cauliflower dish they brought last.  Freyja took the coconut cake dessert home with her :-)  They've gone back to Buninyong. I am in the flat about to head to work.  It's a beautiful morning, although it's forecast to get quite hot this afternoon.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Birthday and other festivities

It was my birthday last Thursday, and a very well celebrated birthday it was too.

Ian, Jim and I had lunch at Pipers, at the top of the lake. It was a lovely meal. Jim and Ian had a salmon risotto, which they both declared to be lovely.  I had a chicken fillet burger which was equally lovely and which was accompanied by a mountain of delicious chips.

Lunchtime view of the lake from Pipers:

Lindsey had been out for most of the day. When she returned she was bearing crayfish, prawns, asparagus and French champagne. Not a bad little birthday dinner!

Freyja and Simon arrived in Melbourne for a three week visit. Their plane landed at about 22:30, by which time I was well in bed.  Ross picked them up!

On Friday, Lindsey and I went to work.  The birthday celebrations continued.  As well as my birthday on Thursday, two other people had their birthdays on Friday. We had fish and chips and birthday cake at lunchtime.  I bought a new phone - my old one had problems with the screen.  So I bought the new one for me and had the screen fixed on the old phone and passed it on to Jim. HIs phone had stopped working ages ago and he had been making do with an ancient, very definitely Not Smart phone that Lindsey had lent him. I think he was quite pleased to get a Smarter phone which he can actually use! Then Lindsey and I left the surgery earlier than usual and meandered back to Mount Helen, where Freyja and Simon were waiting for us.

Sovereign Hill was having a Christmas Market on Friday evening.  Entry was free.  It was, therefore, extremely busy. So busy, in fact, that it was difficult to move around and most of the shops were very crowded.  Lindsey bought a few bits and pieces, but there was't anything that particularly tempted me.

Sovereign Hill, open for Christmas shopping

It was less crowded at the Lakeside farmers' market on Saturday morning. The weather wasn't particularly good, although it wasn't raining. The market was nicely busy, just not jam packed.  You stood a fair chance of being able to see the things that were available to buy and not getting squashed in the process.  We bought lots of things. Wine, fruit, eggs, bread, biscuits - all sorts of things.  Ross was in a small band of people who were singing Christmas carols.  It was all rather nice

Freyja and Simon stayed in Ballarat when Lindsey and I left. They were meeting a friend for lunch.  Lindsey and I were heading home when we got a message to say that Ian's car had developed a flat tyre and couldn't have a proper tyre fitted until next week. In the meantime it had a temporary tyre fitted and was at Emily's place back in Ballarat.  Where also was he :-)  We turned round and headed back to Town to rescue him. Eventually we made it back to the house.  Freyja and Simon returned later in the afternoon and we moseyed down into Buninyong to check out their Twilight Christmas market.  We didn't stay for the carols at 7:30. Maybe next year.

Freyja and Simon stayed at Ross's place last night.  Emily came and had dinner here with us (rack of lamb with roast potatoes, broad beans, peas and mushroom sauce, since you ask). And now it is Sunday morning. General tidying and usefulness is happening here. There are a number of Christmas markets happening in various places around us but I think we have decided to hold our resources for our forthcoming trip to Tasmania.  We might have to buy a greater luggage entitlement when we come back :-D

Jim's Sunday breakfast:
duck eggs, mushrooms, tomato and bread,
all from yesterday's market

My pressure glove for my poorly hand disappeared on Thursday.  We searched for it everywhere (except, of course, for the place that was :-D ). We tidied the bedrooms, cleared up the kitchen, hunted high and low. Eventually we decided that Rupert must have thought it was a sock and taken it away.  It still seemed odd though. Usually you find the socks quite quickly and,  as far as we are aware, no sock has completely vanished. It was very clear that my hand was missing its pressure glove.  It's been for and a bit swollen since the glove vanished.  I decided that I was going to have to buy another one when I see the therapist on Thursday. Today I found it. It was sitting tucked just under Farley, who is much the same colour as the glove. The glove had been in plain sight all along but had been effectively invisible.  My hand is very pleased to have it back!

Monday, December 04, 2017


Mostly, last week was quite hot.  It was sunny, unusually humid and in the mid to high 30s.

Thursday night was uncomfortably warm and humid, with thunder rumbling gently around us.

Sam hates thunder!!  Rupert ignores thunder but also didn't sleep well. For the first time since he arrived he insisted on sleeping outside of his crate.  We think he may simply have been too hot. So Sam, Rupert and Lindsey slept in the lounge room, which has the advantage of having air conditioning.

I was awake on and off all night.  Hot, bothered and restless.

Jim, as far as I could tell, slept soundly.

By Friday, the temperature had dropped from the mid to high 30s on Thursday to single figures in Ballarat when Lindsey and I left for work.

And the rain came.

It rained quite hard for a lot of our trip to Reservoir.  There were several very, very heavy showers in Reservoir over the course of the day.

There was a severe weather warning for rain across the whole state of Victoria. Many outside events were cancelled. Caravan parks near rivers were evacuated. Some houses were evacuated.  We were not worried about being flooded, given that the house is halfway up a hill. The only concern that we might have had would be rainwater gushing down the rock face immediately behind the house and washing us away.  Fortunately, that didn't happen.  We did, however, get almost the December average for rainfall in the first 3 days of the month. Other places got considerably more rain than that. There was quite a degree of flooding, particularly in the north and east of the state, but also in Melbourne.  I have a State Emergency Service app on my phone which gives me emergency alerts for the areas that include both East Melbourne and Mount Helen. I was getting so many flood and building damage alerts for the East Melbourne area on Saturday that sometimes it sounded as though my phone was ringing!

And some places, as is the way when the Weather Dogs come out to play, got almost no rain at all and wondered what all the fuss was about!

And through all of the weather, life went on.

Ant came back from Melbourne with Ian on Friday evening and, despite the weather, they and Jim assembled the various barbecues that Ian had recently bought.  The rain held off just enough for the assembling and for Ian to prepare a fishy platter, mostly cooked on the barbecue.

Saturday the weather around us wasn't actually too bad. Ian, Jim and Ant spent the day filling up a trailer and moving a lot of the stuff in the garage to a storage place. Lindsey and I went to the Bridge Mall Market and out to the shops at Delacombe. Ant headed back to Melbourne on the  train mid-afternoon. And then the rain returned.

Yesterday, Jim and I went in Lindsey's nice four wheel drive down to Mount Martha. It was evident that some of the freeways had been flooded on Friday and Saturday. The West Gate freeway in places was covered in mud and there was obvious water damage.  Roads were wet even though it hadn't recently been raining.  And there was still patchy flooding along the way.  We went with Stella and Tony across to Flinders for lunch in the pub there.  There was a lot of mud on the sides of the roads, and there were trees and branches down.  The peninsula had clearly had some wild weather.

But not while we were there.  We had intended to eat in the restaurant at the pub but that, apparently, closed a couple of years ago. So we ate in the bistro, which I have to say was excellent.  It's been renovated since I was last there. The service was excellent; friendly and efficient.  And the food was lovely. Jim and I had barramundi with mushrooms in a red wine sauce and asparagus.  Stella and Tony had duck leg with various vegetables. And we shared a couple of bowls of chips on the side. Delicious.

Then Jim drove us back to Stella and Tony's place, and then drove us home. He volunteered!  We had decided that one would drive the outward leg and the other the homeward leg and he Voluntarily Offered to be the Designated Driver.  Which meant that I could have wine with my lunch and he did not.

It's still very overcast today, and the temperature is cool. But I think the worst of the weather has passed by. It's not actually raining today. But we might not plant the zucchini, cucumber and melon seedlings out today. I think they would not enjoy the abrupt transition from the relative warmth of the greenhouse to the chilly conditions in the garden.

Sunday lunch in the pub in Flinders

Outside kitchen and Great Dane feeding station:

All we need now is a fridge - and I think Ian has one in mind 😀

Monday, November 27, 2017


It was the surgery's Christmas do on Saturday evening.  I appreciate that it is still only November and thus a bit early for Christmas parties, but some of the people who work at RMG also work in other places which also want to have Christmas events.  Plus, of course, people have family things to do in the run up to Christmas.  So the last Saturday in November it was.

Lindsey, Ian, Jim and I relocated from Mount Helen to the flat in East Melbourne on Saturday afternoon and then made our way to Southern Cross Station.  For our Christmas do was to be on a heritage train, heading to a mystery destination.  Turned out we were going to Kyneton.  It was a long train with a beer and dance carriage, a disco carriage, a wine bar and several carriages with those old fashioned compartments with a corridor running up the side of the train.  Jim, Lindsey, Ian and I, together with the other Partner and his wife colonised one of those carriages.  Finger food was brought to us.  There was plenty of wine. People came to visit us. We went to visit them - but never leaving our compartment unattended in case other people decided to take it over!!

We had about 20 minutes in Kyneton for people to stretch their legs, have a smoke, and so on.  Then we headed back to the city, arriving back at about 11:30.  It was a good night. The only mishap was when someone passing by jiggled someone who was leaning agains the door chatting to us.  She fell against Jim who was peacefully sitting in his seat drinking beer.  The beer decided to leave its glass and deposit itself all over Jim.  He did look rather as though he had had an embarrassing accident!!  And he definitely couldn't wear those trousers again without washing them.  He smelled somewhat like a brewery, even after he had dried out.

We were not minded to wash trousers when we got back to the flat at just after 01:00. Jim had to wear his jeans on Sunday!

The weather turned on Sunday morning.  This was to be expected. We were meeting UK visitors and taking them to Mount Martha. The weather was bound to be inclement!

Michael was, for a time, married to one of our cousins. He is still, of course, father to their two children.  His second wife, Lynne, also has two children.  All of these children are now adults and there are now grandchildren. I have run across Michael and Lynne from time to time over the years. They had a house in Sheffield not far from where my flat was and I would occasionally see Michael on the bus or in town. I have also met Lynne's sons. From time to time. Over the years. We have all been at the occasional wedding or other function.  One of Lynne's sons now lives in Fremantle, not far from Perth (WA, not Scotland).

So when Facebook alerted me to the fact the Michael and Lynne were visiting Fremantle I asked if they were coming to Melbourne.  They were. Briefly. So we arranged to meet them and take them to see Stella and Tony, whom Lynne had never met and Michael hadn't seen since the late 1980s when they lived at Yarrambat and Michael was giving a series of lectures in Australia. Lindsey sent out a general invitation to the rest of the family and a small family gathering evolved.

Lindsey and I picked Michael and Lynne up and drove to the Mornington Peninsula. We tried to do some of the scenic stuff but the rain decided not to play ball.  In fact, it rained harder! So we went to Stella and Tony's place, where everyone gathered for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles. Then we went to the Dava for lunch. The rain had got bored while we were having lunch and had gone away. So Lindsey and Ian made another attempt at scenic stuff with Michael and Lynne while Jim and I took Ant back to Flemington en route back to Mount Helen.

And in Mount Helen Jim and I are on a sunny Monday.  We've had a much needed quiet day, although we did head out to the shops earlier. I have a Japanese lesson shortly (online, not a class that I need to go out for). Then we have a nice quiet evening in prospect.  And so a new week begins.

I'm not sure who took this photo of Stella, Tony, Michael and Lynne
but Michael supplied it

This was taken by an obliging young person at the next table in the Dava

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lindsey and Ian had visitors coming for dinner on Saturday evening. A childhood friend of Ian's and his wife, not seen for many years.  So Saturday was mostly spent cleaning and tidying the house and preparing a fine feast for the guests.

The guests arrived.  I realised that I had actually met them before, but in the very dim, distant past.

Ian suggested that perhaps we might eat outside, it being a pleasant evening.  Then he looked at the clouds massing on the horizon and decided not too. Just as well. About terminates later we were treated to a massive storm.  Torrential rain.Wind. Thunder.  It was quite impressive.  Although Sam did not think so!

It was a good evening.  Convivial and with lots of delicious food.

Sunday morning saw Jim, Lindsey and me heading to Bacchus Marsh to investigate the BM Makers' Festival.  I don't think we would have known about it except that Jess's dad was exhibiting in the artists' hall and Lindsey noticed it on Facebook.  We went to be supportive and to say hello.  I have to say it was worth the trip.  The main street had been blocked off and there were loads of craft stalls.  It was also the BM cherry and strawberry fair so there were also stalls selling strawberries, cherries and raspberries. We found Jess's dad and her mum. Jim and I have met her dad before a couple of times, but not her mum.  It was good to meet her at last.  We had lunch in an "Irish" pub and came home with lots of small Christmas presents and boxes of cherries and raspberries.

Monday found Jim and Ian preparing for the horses to be moved later in the week. There's a new fence going up between Lindsey and Ian's paddock and the neighbour's, so the boundary will be unfenced for a while. Nobody wants the horses wandering off. There is another paddock some of them can go in but it needed a reliable water supply. The horses' owner is coming to sort them out an take some of them away today. I think the new paddock is ready now.  Lindsey and Ian were in Melbourne overnight, leaving Jim, me and the dogs in Mount Helen.

I left for work reasonably early yesterday morning and had an appointment with the hand therapist in the afternoon. I was supposed to see her last week but was, of course, in Mount Martha. She is quite pleased with my hand. She dipped it in several layers of warm wax and put it in a plastic bag and stretched it and squished it and bent it.  It was all very exciting.  She refitted my night splint and I now have new exercises to do.  It is making progress.  Slowly :-)

I had better get ready to face the day. I'm off to work this morning and back to Mount Helen this evening.

Lunch in Bacchus Marsh:

Morning visitors:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mount Martha

On the whole it was a good week at Mount Martha.

The GP was quite pleased with Stella's progress, although he was worried about the ongoing pain in her back and organised for her to have an X-ray.

Stella, Tony and I had lunch in one of the cafes in Mount Martha on the way back.

Stella had a bit of a go on her new scooter.  We intended to have another go but whenever it was convenient - it rained!!!

Stella's X-ray showed that she has a crack in one of her upper vertebrae, which explains the ongoing back pain.

A woman came from the home help people to set up ongoing home help for them, including an hourly visit three mornings a week to help with showering, dressing and useful things, 90 minutes once a week to help with house cleaning, someone to come weekly to put the bins out and bring them in and a financial contribution towards pre-prepared meals.

Tony went to choir practice.

I went to work on Wednesday and was reunited with my car keys so could actually use the car :-)

And yesterday I went to work and then made my way back to Mount Helen. Rupert and Sam seemed quite pleased to see me.  I think Jim might have been a bit pleased too. He spent most of the week sorting out the flower and shrub beds and keeping the vegetable garden ticking over.

Stella is noticeably improving but, of course, she wants to be absolutely better rightnowthisveryminute. And it's going to take longer than that.

Across the road, chatting to Jenny and Shirley

Monday, November 13, 2017


Stella and Tony came up for their week of recuperative holiday. I think they enjoyed it, even if both of them were rather tired at the end of each day.  Having said that, Stella looked a bit better and managed to do more as each day went by.

We went out to the Stocklands shopping centre up in Wendouree for a potter around in the shops and a spot of lunch.

We went for coffee in the Old Bluestone Cafe in Buninyong that none of us had ever been in before. It's very cute and our iced chocolates, hot chocolate and carrot muffin were delicious.

Lindsey, Jim and I went out for supplies, a bed pole and a few other bits and pieces and came back with all of that - and a small scooter for Stella.  I think she was a bit surprised :-)

We had to wait in all day for someone to come and do a blood test for Stella on Friday.  They didn't come, which was frustrating. It was a lovely day and we could have gone out somewhere. Turns out they went to Mount Martha instead. Which was even more frustrating because they had been told she would be with us all week and had successfully managed to come on Wednesday to do it.  I think there must have been some muddle in the communications department!

On Saturday we took Stella and Tony to the fortnightly little farmers' market by the lake.  It was an absolutely glorious morning and the lakeside was busy and bustling.  I think they very much enjoyed the market and the lake.

On Sunday Lindsey drove Stella and Tony back to Mount Martha. Jim and I went too but in a different car. We all met up at the Dava for lunch, then took Stella and Tony back to their place. Lindsey and Jim went back to Mount Helen, leaving me in situ for the week.  Some hours later Lindsey rang me.  "Where are your car keys?"  Well, I assume they're in my backpack, where they should be.  But no.  They were in Jim's pocket in Mount Helen, leaving a completely redundant car at Mount Martha!  I have arranged to borrow Stella and Tony's car on Wednesday to go to work, where Lindsey will deliver my car keys, Stella's walking stick which unaccountably got left behind and various other bits and pieces.

Today we have been to see the GP (who is very pleased with Stella's progress). We have also organised visits from the blood test people (to the right address this time :-D ), a home care package person and made an appointment for a back X-ray.  Oh, and we also managed to stop for some lunch and sort out the pharmaceuticals. Not a bad day's work

Stella on her new scooter, Mount Helen
Photo by Lindsey

Sunday, November 05, 2017


So. The plan was to go to Melbourne in the car on Tuesday and go to work, staying in East Melbourne, leaving Jim, Sam and Rupert in charge at Mount Helen.


Wednesday: Go to work, back to the flat.


So far so good.

Thursday:  Go to St Vincent's for my 9:00 Plastics Out Patient clinic, see the hand therapist, go to work, go back to Mount Helen late in the afternoon.

Uh oh!

There was some kind of problem in the Out Patient clinic.  I waited and waited and waited and waited to see the doctor (who was quite pleased with my hand).  Then I waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited to see the hand therapist.  My usual therapist was away on Thursday so I saw a final year physio student and then a qualified therapist who checked over what the student had done.  I have more exercises to do, on top of the original ones.

I didn't get back to the flat until 1pm.  It hardly seemed worth going to the surgery so late in the day so I rang in my apologies and came back to Mount Helen earlier than expected.

On Friday I had to take the Honda in to have its brakes repaired.  The Honda place is in the centre of Ballarat. I had intended to take the bus back to Mount Helen, expecting that the car would be ready later in the afternoon.  When he said it would be ready at about 12:30 I decided to stay in town. If I had taken the bus i would only have been at home for half an hour or so before I would have had to head back into town.  Hardly seemed worth it. So I wandered into Central Square, pottered around in the shops, went for a walk around town and finally went to the library. Figured I might as well sit it out in there. I had my iPad with me and the library has free wifi.  All good.

Get a message.  Car won't be ready until 1:00.  Waited until about that and meandered back to the car place.  The car was on a hoist.  Clearly not ready yet.  In fact it was another half hour before it was ready to be driven away.  Still - at least the brakes work properly now.

Not a lot of waiting yesterday.  It was a strangely busy day for a Saturday. Lindsey, Jim and I went to the Bridge Mall market in the morning.  Then Lindsey and Ian went off, taking Rupert with them, to meet Emily for a lakeside walk and a spot of lunch.  Jim, Sam and I stayed behind and began planting seeds, sorting out veg beds and generally being useful in the garden.  When Lindsey and Ian returned, she, Jim and I went to Blackwood to raid the shop at the Garden of St Erth, calling in at another little garden centre on the way back.

And now we are waiting again.  This time for Lindsey to return from Mount Martha bringing Stella and Tony with her.  Stella escaped from the hospital this morning and they are coming here for a week for further recuperation.  Lindsey left at the crack of dawn this morning and they are due here at any minute.  In the meantime, Jim, Ian and I have tidied the house, prepared their bedroom and done some food shopping.

So an extra long long weekend for me.  No work on Thursday, none on Friday.  Tuesday is a public holiday in Melbourne and I'm not working tomorrow.  You never know.  I might even get some more seeds planted.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A lovely few days

We've had a lovely few days.

On Thursday I wanted to go to Kmart and the new one at Delacombe is closer than the one out at Wendouree.  So Jim and I went out there for a potter in Kmart and to look at the new shops that have opened since we were last there.  There's a new fruit and veg shop which had a table of produce that was beginning to look past its best.  Fill a small plastic bag for $1.  You wouldn't believe the amount of asparagus I got in my small plastic bag.  It was looking a bit withered at the end but the tips were perfectly fine.  Bargain!

Then we called in to visit our friend Pat who has recently moved into a retirement village not far from the new shopping centre.  It's very much like the retirement village that Stella and Tony live in - only considerably bigger.  She provided a lovely afternoon tea which was not bad going considering that she only had about ten minutes warning of our arrival!  It was good to see her and to admire her new unit.

On Friday I went to work bright and early with Lindsey.  I had a fairly productive day.  I've been asked to pick up some more of the admin that the nurses do, freeing them up to do less paperwork and more nursing and had some training on that.  I'm going to have to pick up some more time from somewhere to fit all the new bits and pieces in!  I got to the station on my way home to find that the train I was hoping to catch was on a platform as far away from where I had arrived as it was possible to be.  No realistic chance of catching it.  The next train was, for mysterious reasons, a coach.  It took a bit longer than the train would have but was quite a pleasant trip.  You can see more from the windows of a coach than you can from a car.  Mind you, had I waited a further 20 minutes I could have caught the train after that which was indeed a train and which trundled past us on its tracks while we were proceeding slowly along the highway. Still, I had plenty of time to read my new book or to gaze out the window. Jim was very pleased with himself.  I had originally intended to take the bus to the University but under the circumstances asked Jim to meet me at the station. He was a bit worried about whether he would be able to find his way there. To his relief he managed to navigate his way with no trouble at all.

Saturday evening saw Lindsey return from Melbourne, bringing Ian with her.  He had finally managed to make his way back from Canada, where problems with his flights saw him delayed by two days. I think he enjoyed his two days "holiday" in Vancouver but I also think he was glad finally to be home.  Sunday was a pleasantly quiet day.  Jim has been busy preparing the vegetable garden for the spring planting.  Lindsey and I went out for supplies for the dogs, the garden and the pantry. Ian prepared Sunday dinner.

Yesterday Jim and I duplicated last Monday and went to visit Tony and Stella, calling in to Katrina's Kitchen on the way. Both of them seemed to be in good form. Stella is making very good progress with her new hip. We are hoping that she might be able to escape from the rehab unit later in the week.  Then the plan is to bring them both to Mount Helen next weekend for a few days to allow further recuperation.  In the meantime, Tony has lots of delicious stews and casseroles to keep him going for the next week.

I didn't sleep all that well last night.  I woke up at around 2 and took ages to get back to sleep.  Then I had a weird dream in which Lindsey and I were in Japan at some sort of festival. There were lots of odd things going on so it took some time before we realised that there was a group of vegans trying to kill us!!  Odd behaviour for vegans.  Then Sam began banging at the door at around 6 which woke Rupert who started banging at the sides of his cage.  I'm tired out already and I haven't even left for work yet!!

Come to the, I am not dressed yet either.  Better get a wriggle on, I suppose.