Saturday, December 26, 2009

My second best friend

Since just before I had my hip surgery I found a new second best friend. I am sure that without this new buddy, the time before and after the operation would have been a lot more difficult than it was.

I decided that if I was to have a new second best buddy, then I might as well have one that looked good, or at least stood out from the crowd.

Today I dressed up my buddy for Christmas; not too dressy, but just a little addition to show my appreciation.


A walking stick is a device used by many people to facilitate balancing whilst walking. When used as a mobility or stability aide, canes are generally used in the hand opposite the injury or weakness. This may appear counter-intuitive, but this allows the cane to be used for stability in a way that lets the user shift much of their weight onto the cane and away from their weaker side as they walk.

Some canes, known as "Tippling Canes," or "Tipplers," have hollowed-out compartments near the top where flasks or vials of alcohol could be hidden and sprung out on demand.

It may be used as a defensive or offensive weapon, and may conceal a knife or sword. Walking sticks come in many shapes and sizes, leading to their being collected.

Initially, I had no idea of the versatility of my walking stick; but as we have bonded, I can see that we could do all sorts of things together. Hhmmm …



















You are possibly wondering who my first best friend has been? Well that would be my carer, or Himself as I sometimes refer to him as. He has stepped up to the mark 24/7 over the last 6 weeks (often with my second best friend in his hand) and helped me with tasks that he probably never considered he would need to do.





Thanks first best friend!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hobnail boots marching all over Pavlova

Yesterday I had an appointment with the physiotherapist. I would normally look forward to such an event as it is an opportunity for me to see how I am progressing, correct any problems with exercises and hopefully get a tick in my book. Apart from that the physio is a very nice person, who I have known for a fair time, and who quite a few years ago, helped me get over a back injury. She is also good at massage. So, as I had been feeling a bit down and tired for the previous days I was looking for a pick me up too, perhaps some gentle massage?

All my exercises were checked, some alterations noted and then I made the mistake of saying that my hip area was tight and hard and needed some help.

Shall I tell you that, once you are captive on that exercise table you can’t move too quickly to get up and run! So I let my chance go by. In the flick of an eye she had changed into hobnail boots and was stomping all over my hip! Well not really of course, but it sure felt like it. It felt like any of those remaining hibernating areas around the wound, and the wound itself, were really getting a workover.

OUCH!







She should have recognised the delicate ballerina on her exercise table, by the white hose she was wearing, but no. By the end of it I really felt like crumbled meringue.







Postscript: After a hot shower and rest, the hip area did feel a lot better this morning. The moral: No pain, no gain!

Thanks Heather!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All I want for Christmas is …





















At this time of the year we experience the arrival of the Christmas Beetle. Sort of like the birds flying south for the winter, the Christmas Beetle seems to fly here for Christmas. I am not sure where it comes from, or even where it goes to after Christmas, but it definitely spends the season here. It would appear logical to me that they would arrive somewhere for Christmas, otherwise why would they be called Christmas Beetles? They seem to use the lights on our terrace, a place where we tend to spend time on a hot tropical evening at this time of the year, as a type of landing beacon. They are quite an attractive beetle, as beetles go, but they have a rather unusual habit. They seem to spend a lot of time, after their arrival, lying on their backs, not resting, but trying to turn back over. We have ceramic tiled floors and that seems to make it even more difficult for them. I am not sure how far they have flown, but I guess after a flight of even a reasonable distance they would be tired and would feel like a rest. Their wings are not very big compared to their body. But you would think they could do a more graceful type of landing and skid across the floor and rest. But no, graceful they are not and they don’t seem to be able to execute that manoeuvre very well at all.

One absolute instruction from my surgeon, and reiterated regularly by the physios, was that I must sleep on my back for the first six weeks after my surgery. Let me advise you that sleeping on my back is not something I have ever done. In the hospital they have a special triangular cushion which is attached by velcro between ankles and knees to “remind” you not to roll over while you are asleep! I have been diligent and kept to this instruction, but I must tell you, I have not enjoyed it!

Christmas will be six weeks since my surgery. On Tuesday I see my doctor for a check up. I have been and had my “photos” taken for the event; I couldn’t find Santa to pose with me, but I am hoping they will be good photos and my doctor will give me the news I have been waiting for.

I don’t want to appear greedy when it comes to Christmas present wishes; as I have already received my greatest present of all. The pain that I have lived with (serious levels for the last 18 months and debilitating for the previous 18 months before that) is GONE! Oh yes, there is still hurt when I push the exercise envelope, but I call that gain pain, because everyday it progresses my rehabilitation. The first few steps I took post op felt like I was a baby struggling to get that “next” foot to move to the correct place and do what it should. It was wobbly and even looked quite weird as I walked towards a mirrored wall (strategically placed there) in the hospital. Specific exercise have helped build up those muscles which have been “resting” for about four years. Now my walking looks "almost normal”. There is still a way to go but it is progressing.

However, what I really want for Christmas is …
…to be able to roll off my back, onto my side and then sleep, on my side, not on my back, for Christmas; and not look like a newly arrived Christmas Beetle. AAhhh….!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

After hip replacement surgery it is important to get back on the bike


































Days 5 to 25 (or thereabouts)

Now, think what you like, but I am not being risqué or even over the top with the exercise advice.

I am not actually suggesting bike riding, not even stationary exercise bike riding; but I am seriously looking at bike riding attire.

Let me digress… After hip replacement surgery I had a wopping great sutured wound from just below the waist to about half way down my thigh, about 25cm long.

Firstly I needed to get over the fear that if I moved at all, the wound will split apart and all that new metalwork installation would fall out and spill noisily all over the floor. Messy! I was assured and let me assure you, this will not happen. First point, it’s put together quite tightly. Next, there are lots of internal sutures between that metalwork and the skin, around 270+ in mine I’m told, all taking their job seriously. It is pretty secure. It will probably hold that metalwork in as long as I don’t do anything I have been told NOT to do.

Now back to the clothing… After a couple of days lying around gracefully attired in bed, being dragged out screaming (only kidding, they have drugs to prevent that!) and after having the first shower – be it sitting down at first – there comes the time to get some clothes on and get going again.

What to wear?

Remember the wound?

Let me tell you ladies, sexy little g-strings/thongs or even Bridgid Jones nanna knickers are not really going to be comfortable to wear. They are going to be too tight across the scar, particularly where the elastic runs, and will even cut in and hurt. Ouch!

However, I have discovered the answer to the post hip replacement patient’s dilemma regarding modesty. The bike pant; call it what you like, but get several pair in cotton elastane and a major problem is no longer even a tiny issue. They are the greatest thing because the waistband is above the scar and the firmness is supportive for you without hurting. Even on your trip home from hospital and for the time after, they will remain the most comfortable thing in your wardrobe. Well, they have for me. Remember that after a few days staying in dry Adelaide, I got on a plane and returned to the hot humid tropical north of the country. They were still comfortable, and have been worn under everything. Don’t forget that I will wear the white compression knee high socks for six weeks, so that needs to be taken into consideration when planning dressing.

So bike riders out there, when you need a hip replacement, take your knicks to the hospital with you, and they will be a great comfort.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

White Leghorn at the barre


Day 4

Successful recovery from a total hip replacement operation is a complex business.

Obviously, the surgeon has done the hard heavy duty work while I was resting. The nursing staff are there all the time to encourage, hassle and help and one could not survive without them. As mentioned before, next comes the physiotherapist, and, as the anaesthetist told me before the operation, he is not going to be your best buddy, arriving with a bunch of flowers in hand and smile on his face. Well, he did arrive with a smile on his face, but I did notice that the floral accompaniment was missing. Damm! I guess that means that he is there to make me work!

By day 4 I had managed most of the supposedly “easy” exercises fairly well, with due diligence, so it was time to get out the ballet shoes. Well, that is what I thought I should have packed, when the physio pointed me towards what I thought was a decorative rail running the entire length of the corridor outside my room.

Practice at the barre was what it turned out to be.

Perhaps not even quite so elegant as your average seven year olds ballet class but effective nonetheless. Just for a few seconds I saw myself starting a new career … but that thought was shortlived as the exercises were strictly supervised and those hibernating muscles were invited to come out to play. Ouch … and to think that it wasn’t too long ago that I had a fairly flexible exercise regime operating. How easily that hibernates.

Any illusions of grandeur were very shortly completely shattered, when, after the physio left, Himself said that, decked out in my elegant white Ted anti-embolism stockings, and missing a tutu, I looked more like a white leghorn chook than Margot Fonteyn!




















Oh well, I guess it’s back to the exercises and back to the office and no chance of a part in the corps de ballet in Swan Lake.

Sorry Barb, I will have to leave that up to you, and later I’ll have to try for the salsa classes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holding Pattern ...

I am going really well; and I will write again as soon as Atilla the Physio gives me a break ... ahhhh, here he comes again ... run ... oh OK maybe not run ...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wheelies … but it definitely ain’t hooning

Day 3


Day 2 might have been standing, but day 3 is moving on down the road!

Did you perhaps think that walking frames were only meant to be used by elderly people tottering carefully around nursing homes? I have a new found respect for those people. I must admit that the device was not something that I had considered would become my new best buddy. But, then I guess one would have to consider that a mushroom may need all the help it could to get moving.











Getting ones legs over the edge of the bed, while, at the same time, remembering to keep the body angle right, is reasonably difficult for the first time after hip surgery. Thank God for that monkey bar up there and the weight training I had got back into a while back to build up strength in the only part of my body which was (sort of) willing to get out there and do something. Push ups off the bench and bar bells must have helped. Next, get the order of action correct in your brain and then, just do it. Grab the walking frame with both (sweaty) hands and “ladies, start your engines!”

That first step took more faith than standing up the first time, but once it had been accomplished, the next several were easier. Freedom again! No longer locked to the bed and that dreaded hospital appliance – the bedpan. I will say no more on that subject!

There were no marathons to be run today, just short forays into the great unknown, with a return to base and rest, exercises, sustenance, exercises, rest, and on it goes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stand Tall ... and look the world right in the eye

Day 2

Mornings start early in a hospital.

For a person who doesn’t do mornings well, mornings start very early in a hospital!

High Dependency Units operate all the time at a much more intense rate than your average hospital room, but when there is a drip in your arm which is keeping you in just the correct state of wakefulness and low pain, a lot of it slips right on by. Blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and many other things are just monitored passively, with a tightness in your arm from the blood pressure cuff and the change of light sensation as staff move quietly around you, being the only changes you notice for awhile after major surgery.

But with hip surgery there is no rest for the wicked, and with me as bad as most, there was a strong possibility I was soon on the physiotherapist’s torture list!

The dulcet tones of the physio was heard not far away and the hint from the medical team to partake of a little painkilling assistance before he dragged me screaming from my bed to perform a half marathon, were remembered and heeded.


Surprisingly enough, once some of the machinery I was attached to, the oxygen, and I, were temporarily parted and drainage paraphernalia organized, it was not all that traumatic to stand, with the assistance of the physio and a walking frame. I feel that faith in the new prosthesis was a major issue. I just kept thinking that the new hip joint was about a million percent on the remains of the old one! I had done my homework prior to surgery and knew the moves of the monkey swing and the hippy hippy hop, and felt so pleased to be achieving that basic move – standing! That was it for now, so back onto bed, connections back in and then, I took in another breath.

Yes, I will win this one! With such an encouraging, happy support team, it would be hard not to be infected by their spirit.












Around lunchtime I was moved from the HDU back into my room. The rest of the day moved on with strict regularity; rest, pain reduction, exercise, sustenance, exercise etc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Saga begins

Day 1

Arrived at SportsMed Hospital just before 2pm. Reception staff were amazingly pleasant and checked me in efficiently and quickly. There was a comment in their handout mentioning that the process could be painful, I am sure it was not quite as I read it!

Short wait and I was shown to my room and helped to settle in. This involved “dressing” myself in an elegant pop fastened and tied surgery gown. At least it was baby blue and white stripe!

Then they checked that I was who I said I was and who they thought I was. Next I was painted from waist to knee on the side of my hip to be operated. Even more elegant, and cold.

The wait then began. Time seemed to slow right down.

Finally staff arrived to take me to theatre, so farewells were said and through the door to the theatre anteroom.

Quick introduction to the anesthetist’s assistant and the music headset with calming music and another short wait.

Next came the surgeon, armed with a black marker pen, to mark the correct leg … accompanied by the anesthetist for a short reassuring chat.

But I knew it was all going to be alright when they wheeled me into theatre #3 – my favourite number!

I slid over to the operating table and the anesthetist and his assistant went to work. A question from me “what time is it?” as I couldn’t see a clock. The answer “5.15” and that was it; lights out …….

Wake up in recovery, voices from a long way off, calling my name. Yep, I’m here, not nauseous, not fuzzy, feeling very good, but not on the ball enough to remember to ask what time it was. Dash!


I was looking for a cartoon ... I had found one, some time ago, which, at the time, I thought appropriate. However, after dealing with all the staff, and experiencing their professionalism and care, it no longer seemed at all appropriate.

So the following cartoon has no connection to My Team.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Flying south for surgery


I'll keep my seat belt fastened; arrive in one piece, so that they can take me apart and put me back together again, as a better model!














www.swamp.com.au

Monday, November 9, 2009

Who's Counting? I am!

To prepare for surgery I have to have three days without the pain medication that I have been using to keep me walking and not committing mass murder!

Ah well, I guess I will survive; but will the rest of those around me? Only time will tell.















I can hear Count Von Count in the distance ... I am only just a bit worried that it is rumoured that he is a distant relatative of Count Dracula

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oh Sesame Street, you don't look that old











Thanks Google.

I once read that adults should watch Sesame Street once a month to keep themselves up with what is happening and to help their sanity. Might not be such a bad idea.

However, my advice for parents is to watch Shaun the Sheep as often as you can. Parent training at its best. Every show has a lesson for parents, if you just take the time to enjoy the show and then five minutes to think about it. Passive psychology I think I would call it.



That's Shaun and Timmy (the baby) below.








Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Here comes the rain!


Just the short relief from the oppressive heat is great!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Melbourne Cup 2009 - share the fun

Australians love a flutter, the fashion and the horses. It’s traditionally the race that stops a nation and the 149th Melbourne Cup Carnival on November 3 will be no exception. Aussie wonder-steed Phar Lap had a heart bigger than most, now let’s prove Australia has a big heart too by making this Melbourne Cup Day meaningful as well as memorable.

Melbourne’s Flemington racecourse is unquestionably the place for punters, racing enthusiasts, socialites and fashion aficionados to be on Melbourne Cup Day, but if you’re not lucky enough to be able to see the race in person, there are plenty of great events you can get to around Australia, and still feel good at the end of the day. At Super Living the people love the exhilaration of the day, but have come up with a way to mix up the frivolity with a meaningful activity as well.

If you haven’t already chosen your venue, and you’re not going to just rush to the office TV at the last moment, with a chicken leg in one hand, glass of bubbles in the other and a couple of horses names from the office sweep* tucked in your pocket; have a look at an option that has a bet each way. What I mean is, some option that has at least some of the takings go to a charity.

http://www.varietysa.org.au/index.php?id=354
http://www.savethechildren.org.au/events/events-around-australia.html

Or, with your hand full of winnings, just go to your favourite charity and give them a little Melbourne Cup cheer also.

My favourite is:
http://www.hollows.org.au

Just $25 can save a person’s sight, someone who would not have the $25 to spare to splash out on a new dress and some bubbly, or even the cost of the office luncheon and sweep. And then that someone has a whole new world ahead of them, a chance to live a little easier and perhaps even see their kids or grandkids.

It would be like winning at the Melbourne Cup wouldn’t it?

*
http://www.sweepforms.com
Part from SuperLiving.com.au

Monday, October 19, 2009

What else can I say?










Wizard of Id - Parker and Hart

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Team Tactics




A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered
He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.


Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning ;
There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said:
"Mr Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me.
I cannot be bothered by it."


The mouse turned to the pig and told him,
"There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."


The mouse turned to the cow and said:
"There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The cow said, "Wow, Mr Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."


So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap . . . alone.


That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.


The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife.


The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.


Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.


But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock.
To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.


The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.


So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.


The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember … when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
We are all involved in this journey called life.
We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.


Or risk the chop!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Country is back for another visit

The second dust storm in a week is expected to hit Brisbane this evening, not as vigorous as the one that dumped the dust on Brisbane on Wednesday but it is passing over the same area and pushing wind in a similar pattern.

It gave Sydney a dust up earlier in the day. The thick haze is clearing in Sydney as it moves north-east, but health authorities say pollution levels are still hazardous.








Saturday, September 26, 2009

It was an omen … they should have realized it

If you are going to be successful betting on sporting events, it would appear you have to keep up with the other news that is happening around the place.

Late yesterday afternoon a tour operator (Neil Sander), who regularly takes tourists along the Great Ocean Road, noticed that one of the Twelve Apostles had collapsed into the sea.


























http://www.news.com.au/travel/story/0,28318,26127371-5014090,00.html

I am not an AFL football follower at all, but if I was a St Kilda supporter, it would not have been good news for me when I woke up this morning, to hear that one of the apostles had bit the dust.

Yes, I know that hindsight is 20/20 vision, but it was perhaps an omen.

The sports betting pop up ad on my news site told me that the odds were 2.50 St Kilda and 1.65 Geelong, so maybe they had read the news too.

I am told it was a hard fought game, played in very wet conditions, the lead swinging each way through the game; with the Saints leading at all breaks except the one that counts. It had all the requirements of a final, controversy over a goal awarded where the ball touched the posts, dissent from a player to the umpire that he touched a ball that was awarded as a goal which resulted in more points through a penalty, lots of wounded soldiers and for Melbourne … rain. It also had the Australian Children’s Choir, current rocker, Mark Seymour, old rockers (Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham), Hollywood stars (Eric Bana), an ex Treasurer and lots of wet fans.

But I am afraid that it is the result that counts and pays the money.

The Geelong Cats won by twelve points, collecting the second winner’s flag in three years.


Photos - Fox Sports

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The day Country came to Town























(photo by Charlie Brewer - News.com)

It wasn’t wearing an Akubra or Cuban heeled boots and speaking in a slow country twang when it visited the City today. It wasn’t quiet and shy, looking up in awe at the skyscrapers it hadn’t seen before.

It didn’t come quietly in the night in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables, or fresh from the cattle’s hoof on the back of semi trailers and refrigerated vans or in a monster milk tanker.

It was wild and dirty and threatened all before it; giving the city slickers a tiny idea of what our country is really made of.

It travelled around 1500 kilometres to get there, gathering more on the way.

It came as a giant cloud of red dust from the far west of the state, brazenly, straight into the centre of the city, showing off to all who ventured out to see it.

Weather forecasters said the dust, from drought-ravaged western NSW, was propelled by a change from northern to southerly winds and believe it has been one of the worst duststorms to reach Sydney in seventy years.

I spoke to an elderly relative near Dubbo in western NSW and he said it was like a duststorm he recalls which came through in 1954 and as a child he and his siblings were put in their parent’s bedroom and knelt by the bed with their faces under the covers between the sheets so that they could breathe. They bred ‘em tough then!

Click on either of the links below for some photos...

http://www.abc.net.au/science/photos/?site=science&gallery=/science/photos/xml/09duststorms.xml

http://www.abc.net.au/news/photos/#id=2693741&num=15

...and click here for what the Sydney Sails looks like on a "good day".


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time for the return of the mirrored hall stand to modern homes?














All old homes had them; the hat and coat stand just inside the front door (sorry in the entry). It held the hats (Akubra or bowler), coats (Drizabone, Bluey or Houndtooth), car keys, umbrellas, even sometimes school bags, handbags and briefcases. Everything was deposited there as you came through the door, to be found awaiting you when you needed to go out again. No searching for things, you knew where they were. This was in the days before the walk in wardrobe and the mini office in the corner of the kitchen/family room.

But the most important use for the mirrored hall stand?


To use the mirror to check that the lipstick was not askew after quickly kissing the kids goodbye, the Akubra was on at the right angle and that the back of your skirt was not stuck in your knickers/panty hose after that last minute trip to the bathroom. You always checked what you looked like, especially from the rear, before you left the building.


Your mother always reminded you to do that.

This memory resurfaced this morning, as I sat behind someone who had, obviously, not checked that mirror.


Quite elegantly dressed really, made up, nice shoes and matching handbag even. Nevertheless, her outfit was on inside out! You might think “how could that happen?” Well I do remember some years ago, rushing to get everyone out of the house in the morning; kids to different schools, “do you have lunches and homework and have you eaten all your breakfast?” “Quickly, in the car or we will be late!” A question from my elder son “Is there a special reason Mum that today you are wearing your blouse inside out?” That brought the morning to a bit of a halt. Luckily, while I didn’t have a mirrored hall stand, I did have someone who was alert that morning! The country definitely needs more lerts!

Travelling home from work a few days ago, my fellow traveller told me about a “sight” she had witnessed on her way between the workplace and the bus stop. A pretty young thing in the latest fashion – white, clingy cheesecloth (“ah yes!” the chronologically gifted of you will sigh – you will remember cheesecloth, headbands, beading and rock concerts – 40 years since Woodstock – yeek! It can’t be!). Back to the bus … She was dressed in a very short (and I report very short – even a hiccup would have seen a significant wardrobe malfunction), clingy white cheesecloth number and wearing a very obvious black g-string under it. Quite well endowed and keen to get out and see the world, her body was only just staying within the outfit. Hmmm ... she too could perhaps have benefited from the mirrored hall stand before she ventured out. But then again perhaps it would have been wasted on her, ignored as she departed.

Anyway, think about it people … even if you don’t start a revolution for reinstatement of mirrored hall stands … check, even what you look like from behind, before you rush out into the world, because, just remember, it’s a jungle out there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google … don’t spin out on me!









I really liked Dr Seuss Day, Australia Day, even Earth Day, but now you’re scaring me. UFO’s a while back and now crop circles!

Woo Hoo! Are you still there guys? Hello? Is everything OK?

I thought it was only here in the tropics that things got a bit hairy when the temperature and humidity both went up at the same time. Mango Madness; and I was going to leave that until October to talk about. Don’t get ahead of me now.

Hang in there … please!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sufficient preparation will prevent you hitting the wall on Mont Ventoux







I was sure the team had prepared well.

A lovely steak, cooked to perfection, fresh vegies, just right, a very nice red to wash it down and even finished off the meal with strawberry crepes. How more prepared than that could you get for Stage 20 of the Tour de France? Monsieur Gate would be proud of us.

Coffee and some Swiss chocolate and we were ready for the attack on Mont Ventoux.

Because of the fact that afternoon in France, well Europe really, as the Tour has been to Spain, Italy, Andorra and Switzerland as well as France, is late evening here, there have been some nights when we have been in the gruppetto (and let the faithful old DVD recorder take over) so that we can show fit for work the next day.

But last night, being Saturday, we were really prepared to see it through to the summit and not bonk (now, now, behave and look up your cycling terminology!).



So there was no DVD recorder operating.

We made it above the treeline and into the headwind, still holding strong. There the attacks came quick and fast as the top GC riders caught almost all of the breakaway.

And then it happened …

Oh, pardon me, I must digress a moment …

Here we still allow the general public to celebrate our Territory Day (1 July - marking the commencement of Self Government in the Territory on 1 July 1978) by amassing a large number of noisy munitions, oh sorry, fireworks, and then spending that one evening terrorising the populace. One could not be blamed for thinking that they had been beamed up and dropped in Afghanistan or Iraq because of the scream of rockets overhead and boom boom of the "entertainment".



The government puts on a very nice, very expensive, spectacular display for the enjoyment of all, but feels it should allow everyone to do there own thing as well, if they so feel inclined.

Very nice, very liberal and you would think that would be appreciated. But no, the bloody idiots keep it up for the next 6 months or so, especially, it seems, around midnight, for best effect.

Dogs and cats just love this type of entertainment and every year there are calls from the RSPCA warning people to “lock up their animals. Nice advice but how long should you keep them in solitary confinement to protect them from sporadic idiocy?

Our dog is terrified of firecrackers.

So, at the point when we were almost to the summit, it happened.

Quite close by someone felt the urge to recelebrate Territory Day. There was an enormous series of very loud bangs. Eight or ten of them and very loud. I jumped nearly off my bike. The dog came straight through the back door and straight out the front door, which was open as we were enjoying the gentle breeze cooling the tropical evening.

We called her, but she was terrified and leaving the warzone, at speed.

I won’t go into all the boring details but let me just tell you that by the time we got back to the house with the terrified dog shivering in fear; it was almost time for the presentations.

Damm, this was worse than the gruppetto; we would be lucky to make the lanterne rouge this time!

And the worst problem? No DVD recorder running.


So that, dear people is how lack of preparation can cause a serious failure.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fried, battered or grilled? It ain't always what it seems.



























At Mt Faber in Singapore ... the fish appeared happy enough ... and no, they weren't for the menu, just for viewing.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009 ...where?

I'm sorry! Did I miss something?

Seems I did, because I saw nothing much about it; even a search on Google (who had a nice picture) didn't c
ome up with much.











Hmm ... maybe next year ... it's the 40th anniversary then ... I think?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Music heals the soul

For the three people out there who haven't heard of Susan Boyle (surely everyone else has heard this lady sing), sit back in your seat, turn up the sound and give this lady a little while of your time ... regardless of your music taste I believe you won't regret it. And it could just make the day worthwhile!

Go girl!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Friday, April 10, 2009

Only the ones you really care about can really hurt you

An email to a friend in need ...

"I have just received a really awful email from my son, which really, really hurt me.

I walked away from the computer because I really wanted to just sit there and write back what I felt in not very nice words, hurtful words, because sometimes you just don’t want to be the adult and do the right thing… and let him know how much he had hurt me.

But because I am an adult (most of the time) I walked away.

When I came back, quite a while later, your emails were there… first a bright one, then a serious (only oldies can really understand) one, and then this one … which I read, felt really sad, then a lot better and then decided that I will send to him.

Perhaps, probably actually, he will delete it, out of hand, but just maybe, he will just read a little of it first…

Thank you Sue; and yes there is a God, otherwise I wouldn’t have had the strength to walk away, and you would not have sent me this email.

God Bless You, and Thank You, Friend!"

This is what she sent ...

SAND & STONE

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument; and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: "Today my best friend slapped me in the face."

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “Today my best friend saved my life.”

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The friend replied “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone.

It is said that it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then, an entire life to forget them.

Do not value the things you have in your life, but value who you have in your life!

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This is definitely Art

A street rages into a wild river, a road melts to the earth's core and a pier falls into an icy crevasse – Edgar Müller did it all.




















>Click below and enjoy.


http://www.news.com.au/travel/gallery/0,23607,5038127-5007153,00.html#

Wow! Yes, this is art!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Please wait ...

I know that I have been a bad correspondent, blogger and, those close to me will probably add, relative, lately!

In the last three months it seems there has have been one blanketty thing after another which has seriously tried to totally upset my equilibrium. It has definitely been shaken, and stirred, but hopefully balance (well, my type of balance anyway!) will return soon.

One day, I may even write about it, hopefully, without risk of serious litigation!

But, for now it will have to be little snippits of humour to keep (me) going.

Any of you who are struggling with teenagers, will probably relate to the cartoon below. Thank you Mr Clark!


(http://www.swamp.com.au/)













click to enlarge

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Terrorism in Lahore ... It just aint Cricket


























There will be many more stories come out in our media and in your media, wherever you are.

There will be stories and graphic images in the local media in Sri Lanka also and it will all be bad.

There will be sons or daughters who won't come home tonight in Pakistan, sons or daughters who were probably just going about their daily lives, working or perhaps even planning on a day of enjoyment at the cricket.

Why? Is there any justification for this slaughter?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dr Seuss would have been 105 years old today


(picture from Google)
Happy birthday Theodor Seuss Geisel!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Have you found this to be the situation?

It is the time of the day when you decide it is time to sit down and have a quiet five minutes. You are home from work and maybe you have dealt with the immediate urgent issues; but you would perhaps just like to sit and have a coffee or a cool ale.

Refreshments are arranged, you are just relaxing in the comfortable chair, chatting, catching up with your significant other and ... ring ring or whatever the current ringtone jars through the peacefulness ... yep, you guessed it ...






www.swamp.com.au







the bloody telemarketer ...... aaarrghhh!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day 2009






The tradition of noticing 26 January began early in the nineteenth century with Sydney almanacs referring to First Landing Day or Foundation Day. That was the day in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and the first governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove. The raising of the Union Jack there symbolised British occupation of the eastern half of the continent claimed by Captain James Cook on 22 August in 1770.
Then, in 1818, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, made the thirtieth anniversary of the day a public holiday, thirty guns counting out the years of British civilization, a tradition Macquarie's successors continued.

In 1837 the celebration widened with the first Sydney Regatta, the beginning of a new tradition — one which still continues today. Five kinds of races, including one for whale boats, drew crowds to the shore of Sydney Harbour.

Representatives of the Australian sister colonies, five in number, went to Sydney to celebrate with New South Wales in 1888, the centenary. New Zealanders were also there. Victoria had separated from New South Wales in 1851, and Queensland in 1859. (In 1863 control of the Northern Territory passed from New South Wales to South Australia.) Only Western Australia was not self-governing by 1888, having a smaller population and developing more slowly, even after taking convicts between 1850 and 1868. Essentially transportation to New South Wales had ended in 1840. Van Diemen's Land, with self-government by 1856, had gained a new name, Tasmania, having ended transportation a few years before.


Celebrations surrounding the inauguration of the new Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January in Sydney and at the opening of its first Federal Parliament on 9 May in Melbourne overshadowed Anniversary Day in 1901. Federation had been a remarkable political achievement.

On Australia Day 1988 Sydney Harbour, that 'chief amphitheatre of Australian life', was again the centre of attention. This time the extraordinary spectacle attracting some two million people to its shores was the arrival of Tall Ships from around the world and the First Fleet re-enactment.


We will celebrate with our "tradition" street cricket match and barbeque ... cheers mate!















Information from Celebrating Australia: A History of Australia Day essay - Dr Elizabeth Kwan

Monday, January 12, 2009

Warning for all young drivers … but will they ever listen?

An article in our local newspaper over the weekend caught my eye.

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,24875701-5001030,00.html

I read it with interest, including some of the comments on the blog highlighted in the middle section, and then began to think about it …

How do the people working close to the coalface of road safety get their message through to those who are scoring up high in our road statistics lists? Can anyone get through to them?

Or do we just have to wait for the theory of survival of the fittest to filter through the idiots and we will, hopefully, be left with some with brains to continue the generations.

It is just tough to think that there are going to be lots of innocent people along the way who will suffer unnecessarily, but that was going to happen anyway I guess.

Cynical? Yep, I freely admit that.

An answer to the problem? Hmm … difficult really; and I guess if it had been easy, there wouldn’t be the enormous problem, would there? Someone would have worked it out already!

However, I will go right out on the limb and say that I think that it is us who have to take a certain amount of responsibility for it. Yep us … you know, me and you, not the other guy who is not in our backyard.

Why? Maybe we needed to be a bit tougher training our kids. Maybe we needed to not give them everything “we didn’t have” and let them work for it, like our parents let us do.

There is also the issue of the cars now … a heck of a lot faster and more powerful than they were a while ago. They go just as fast in younger, inexperienced hands too. And it is not the speed that usually does the damage, it’s the sudden stop.

Well, anyway I hope the one young driver mentioned in the article takes hold, with both hands, of the chance he has been given, and makes use of it. Otherwise, he or one of his mates will soon add to this year’s statistics.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! 2009 is going to be tough

The Prime Minister said to enjoy New Year's Eve, because 2009 is going to be tough.

Ah well! That can often be the case when those who have enjoyed themselves a little too much try to open their eyes and lift their heads!

A couple of bits of humour and the seemingly obligatory fireworks to bear us up.

Let's be positive and 2009 will be OK ... more about that later ... nothing too heavy now.

And please, don't drink and drive ... walk home like Marmaduke or get a tow, ie a sober driver ... don't add to that statistic.

Happy New Year everyone!

(news.com.au google.com.au Brad Anderson & Parker and Hart)