Tag Archives: Life this Week

Explore:- Travel, Investigate, Research,

Earlier in the year I read a book that definitely took my fancy.

The House between Tides…..Sarah Maine.
Her debut novel and one I’d definitely recommend.
Set in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides it’s centred around an old family home, a ‘crumbling mansion’ on an island that is only reached during low tides. Two timelines a century apart, two stories about the earlier inhabitants and the ‘last in the line’ who has come to explore the possibility of renovating and restoring the house to its earlier state only to discover it’s not as easy as she thought. Tucked into the storyline of an artist and his young wife, house parties, wildlife colonies, forbidden love, belligerent crofters, property rights plus a mysterious dead body are descriptions of sights and sounds of the island which catch you by surprise
The sand steamed slightly as the re-emergent sun turned the shallow pools into ripples of quicksilver”
so much so that they have you turning back the page to reread and savour again
BUT it was the access to the house at low tide that interested me.

Now most of you know that whenever possible we ‘winter in Queensland’ – Far North Queensland…… at a place called Bowen. Just offshore from Bowen, well within sight of the town is a small island, an island with a lighthouse – one of Queensland’s oldest!

A couple of times during winter the day time tides are low enough for a very special event – Bowen’s Walk to the Lighthouse. Read all about it HERE. It has become a well organised community event, a yearly fixture on the town’s calendar enjoyed by locals as well as many of the seasonal visitors.

The start is always at Dalrymple Point – where you can wander down and begin the trek across the sandbar or just stand around, explore the foreshore and watch the others enjoying the experience. Whichever you choose don’t forget the coral can be rough on feet so shoes of some sort are needed….not your best Sunday ones because your feet are going to get wet at some point .

What do they do once the walkers have reached the island – wander round the base of the hill, scramble up the hill to enjoy the view, take in their surroundings and
explore the lighthouse!

Turning around to come back to the mainland you meet up with streams of walkers young and old all coming the other way.
The walk takes about 2 hrs – a bit more if you stop along the way
You never know who you might meet and what you might see

These giant Red Starfish are a favourite find for those who look around and explore the shallows. But then they are not hard to find as they are there for all to see
when the sea level drops

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some years we’d try to visit other parts of Queensland
spend time in places we’d normally just pass by on our 4 day drive north from home
or plan an actual road trip to places unseen before …off the beaten track
where you never know what’s round the corner

Places you decide ‘you must go to’
ones to get to – to explore – to appreciate- before it’s too late
Like the trip we took in 2012

Exploring the Undara Lava Tubes

I know this isn’t my usual ‘words only’ Monday Musings post but for me it fits in
perfectly with the suggested topic for Life this Week.
EXPLORE.
In some ways this pandemic is reminding us of roads previously travelled and places previously explored – I think it’s nearly time to start thinking about finding new ones.
Given the chance what are you up for next?

In the meantime perhaps you’d like to dip into some of those days.
https://cranethie.com/2012/09/12/so-where-do-we-begin/
https://cranethie.com/2012/10/03/light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/
https://cranethie.com/2012/10/10/butterflies-flowers-volcanoes-and-kangaroos/
https://cranethie.com/2012/11/28/who-got-a-surprise-at-mt-surprise/

You should find the photos will open/enlarge with a tap/click

Oh and pop over to Denyse Blogs to see how others are exploring

Thoughts from the pathway

Funny what you think about while walking along the street

A few years ago my doctor said I was overweight, I remember that visit quite clearly and for some reason when I was out walking the other day it popped back into my mind.

I wondered how people saw me at that time – was I chubby, plump or did I actually look fat?   I know I certainly didn’t want to look like those descriptions and was most put out when he actually said that with a height of 157cms/ 5ft 2ins weighing 74kgs/163lbs (over 11 stone) was not a good look.

His reasons for concern were raised BP and the hip pain I had complained about.  At that time it was my hip that bothered me more than my back.  With the loss of some of the kilos the hip pain vanished which was a good thing because at one stage I found it difficult to walk up any stairs and much to my annoyance had to use lifts or escalators to get around large shopping centres, multi-story buildings and car parks.

Of course when the back started to play up a couple of years later and exercise was the last thing on my mind one or two….or even more….kilos went back on again but now, knowing the cause of the back pain (spinal stenosis) and how it can fluctuate from day to day (meaning come and go but never go away permanently ) we are constantly working on forms of exercise

Anyway as I slowly sauntered my way back from the park I went on to think about ‘What DO I want to look like’ and ‘How would I like others to see me’.  I knew I didn’t want to be ‘skinny’ or ‘thin’ as that is not a good look especially on an on older person.

Though I have to admit, I don’t actually admit to being 78 very often, I have no idea what a 78yr old is supposed to feel or do so I just live my life the same as before ‘cept that at the moment there is a bit more emphasis on food and exercise.

Anyway back to body shape, my body shape.

I think I would like to look trim (sort of slim with shape) – trim seems to imply toned, in good condition, and that’s what I’d like to be.

Having a shaped body would be great – someone once described my shape as like an H – same at the top and bottom with not much of a waist so dresses with belts are out lol.

Yes, having a shaped body would be great and if there are no fatty bits flopping around it would be even better 🙂

Maybe toned would be a good thing, and I can achieve that by continuing with visits to the gym using the equipment and hand weights as well as walking for the fun of it…..oh and the back strengthening exercises as well

Half hour exercise a day and all that lol

I have just one recurring thought though….will I be satisfied when I am back down to the suggested goal weight or will I be greedy and want more?   Knowing how hard it has been to get this far how will I manage to achieve that – will it be feasible or will my mind say ‘Forget it?’

Time will tell I suppose – we’ll cross that path when we get there 🙂

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s early Monday morning – the bin men will be round soon – circumstances have changed, the dreaded UK strain has reared its head and Victoria is back in lockdown AGAIN – for a very short 5day circuit breaker time.
Restrictions include…. Masks on inside and out ‘cept your own home, no visitors to home, 4 reasons only to leave home, 5 km radius from home zone, outdoor exercise with household or one other person only 2hr limit, no gym (or golf) so the bands and weights used last year have been getting some use on the back deck….work from home if you can which means the Australian Open can continue because professional tennis is a means of employment but without spectators because entertainment has been cancelled!

Time for breakfast then ponder how to fill the day. At home – Healthily
Such exciting times 😊
How do you manage to make your days interesting – exciting even – when restricted?

Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week – Self Care.
Linking to #MondayMusings hosted by Corrine at Everyday Gyaan

Time gone by

I hope this doesn’t distress anyone — It’s something I feel I must write.
A follow up to last weeks post
It is also a fairly lengthy post — so you may choose not to read it

It all began with a tight painful feeling in the chest and shortness of breath……an ambulance was called and it was off to the hospital where they ‘didn’t know for sure’ but thought the problem was ‘a travelling blood clot’ (pulmonary embolism). Various unknown tests done, oxygen levels low so assistance given which helped.
Tests ‘inconclusive’ MRI needed, no clot but ‘serious lung infection’ so decision made to be transferred to a hospital closer to home where lung specialist is.

Oxygen level going up, chosen antibiotics seem to be working, Covid test negative, possible if all goes well she could be home for Christmas. Happy once her phone was charged and she could talk (breathlessly) to family.
Days later (Christmas Eve) told not well enough to go home…..”seriously pissed off but knows it’s for the best”.

Sudden turn for the worse, now sedated and intubated to help with recovery…… then septicaemia (sepsis) reared its head, medication changed, next 48 hrs vital but so far response is good.
31 December: Condition – serious but stable
2 January: Condition – deteriorated now critical but stable

By 5 January Drs are taking a different tack.
Covid negative- responded to septicaemia treatment but original lung infection has re-emerged. Trying to wean her off life support but lungs keep collapsing so ‘they may ask permission to perform a tracheostomy’. Cardiologists are monitoring her heart, on steroids for weak muscles. They’ll keep trying to ‘wean’ her.
The next day her husband signed the consent form
No luck getting her to breathe on her own so operation went ahead four days later
Now being ventilated in a different manner.

Day after operation there is the first bleed – a known complication. Appears she has a ‘weak trachea’ ??..hence the bleeds so more steroids to try to strengthen it.
Days pass, problems getting her lungs to work on their own without the ventilator, other organs strong plus good brain activity. Drs say it’s just a matter of time before she responds.

19 January: Decision made to give blood transfusion because of trachea bleeds – blood count good, transfusion has not been rejected, no change in condition. Hopeful this will make a difference.
Couple of days later news she now has an infection….family told nothing to worry about “ it’s something that can happen if you’re in hospital for a long time….however (not actual words) it’s playing havoc with her vital organs, but don’t worry they are dealing with it”. (Bloody golden staph!)

Many days of no change, respiratory condition still the same, no progress. Has been un-sedated at times but not responding as they would like.

29 January: Not doing well, getting weaker, drs doing all they can 2 steps forward 1 back. Condition gone from critical stable to critical.

1 February — Goodnight Patricia ….sleep well my little one ❤️

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s been a difficult time for family spread over 3 ‘continents’ – a husband and a son….hers not his…. living locally, other children plus extended family in UK and us out here.

Because of different time zones communication was difficult (husband not internet savvy) so son set up a messenger group where he posted up dates. Even though we all spoke independently to each other it meant nobody could complain they ‘weren’t told that’ even if they read it at a different time to others. It also meant I was able to refresh my memory to be able to write this post.

Language could have been difficult – English is mainstream now not the 2nd language it used to be but it was a help to have son’s Cypriot partner available when meeting with specialists.

Covid regulations meant no visitors – same worldwide restrictions only eased in exceptional circumstances. After applying (and reapplying) to the hospital director husband was only allowed four very short visits in the eight weeks, he was reliant on daily bulletins same as everyone else. Patsy’s son none (except to ‘view his mother’).

COVID stopped any travel in its tracks. One of Patsy’s daughters booked early on to go and visit and help husband- then all flights cancelled. Sister planned on quarantine before being able to help nurse Patsy (for when she would be discharged) but it became difficult after flights were cancelled….and then sadly not necessary. Strongly voiced emotional disappointment.

Also something that happens many times after a traumatic event like this. Strongly felt views on ‘decisions taken at hospital’ are emerging, little cracks are appearing……..why the operation….we know it’s not what she would have chosen , why not have left her to recover slowly in her own good time (or not) how on earth was she infected with golden staph (we should sue them )

Now there are other ‘arrangements’ to make. Husband and son are doing that without the healing cocoon of family close by. Something that expats, still with strong ties to family (and a country) elsewhere, have to cope with.
Patsy is being repatriated to England- her long time wish – the decision made to honour her wish feasible but so difficult to execute (well, involved more than difficult) especially with a pandemic ‘raging’ . It will happen, all in good time. So will husband’s return to England sort out other legal ‘problems’ but nobody knows when.

Then, all things being well and local Covid restrictions allowing it, children will be able to farewell their mother, grandchildren their Nana, and siblings their sister

~~~~~~~~~~~~

In a very reflective mood today, I like to think my early attempts at loving kindness meditation were felt by Patsy.
I’ve been assured she died peacefully with no pain, in a quiet warm safe environment

It’s nearly time for my second early morning cup of tea then to start the day. Supposed to be fair to middling 20c/68f cloudy with a low chance of rain……no grizzles from me about the rain because even though we’ve had enough of it lately to ‘float an ark’ I still have vivid memories of the 10yr Millennium Drought .

Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this week.

So what am I going to do….

It was a beautiful sunny day last Friday so B and I had coffee outside a local cafe and ‘caught up’ with things we hadn’t spoken about on the phone. It always amazes me that we can talk on the phone quite frequently and still find things to discuss in person 😊

‘So what am I going to do’ I asked her.
‘It’s been a b*gger of a week’ I said!
Just one of those weeks when it seemed as though the whole world was out to get me……one tiny piece at a time.

The internet has been playing up – it’s been so slow it’s obviously playing somewhere but definitely not in our house. The ISP says they don’t know what the problem is, maybe changing to the NBN might help except The Golfer is still holding out on that one.

The ironing board wouldn’t stay up so I had to resort to doing a few necessary bits Mother in Law style on the kitchen bench.
The Golfers mother always ironed on the table – using a thick blanket, the sheets she’d laundered that week with a very large piece of towelling on the top. Back then she ironed everything – including my F in Laws white cotton Y fronts!


We couldn’t remember the last time we’d had so much summer rain – the promised La Niña has been making itself known with flooding in states north of Victoria….the rivers are certainly running up there. In Melbourne we’ve had lots of wet days – some very humid – along with some rather nice ones (hot even) but not enough to say it’s the way summer usually is. The BOM is suggesting it’s reached its peak but it’s still going to be wet for the rest of the season over here in the east of Australia. With nearly 6 weeks of summer gone I suppose all we can hope for is a lovely sunny dry Autumn come March.

And that’s the reason for the white fly I discovered on one of the Fuchsias ☹️
As I’m not a pesticide user it means treating with diluted dishwashing liquid.
Which meant another trip to the big green barn for a new spray bottle.

And then there was the embarrassment (annoyance more like) of discovering after sewing two ‘side seams’ I’d actually sewn a sleeve to the back of a little cardigan…..something I don’t ever remember doing before. I did wonder why there were more rows of green above the last white stripe but thought …..maybe I’d miscounted the rows and knit a couple more than needed. Rustle around in the bag for the next piece and out popped the front and not the expected sleeve. Grrr!

‘Come on B help me out here’ was my plea.
‘My usual relaxation isn’t working……the lie down, tense and release each part of the body, quieten the mind and then breathe one. The one from old yoga days. I need something else.’

I’ll have to admit I have never practiced meditation but B has suggested something called ‘loving kindness meditation’. She ‘thinks’ a lot of my irritability/stress is to do with my sister’s illness and basically by quietly sending/reinforcing loving thoughts to her and myself things should in time get better.

And now here…as I’m enjoying an early cup of tea…..is where I have a question for you.
Have any of you had experience with this practice?
is it as simple a process as she suggested or is it difficult to accomplish?
I can see lots of reading and y/tube watching coming up as I consider it but look, any recommendations from you are welcome. Help me out readers please

Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week.
Joining Esme at her Senior Salon

When does it happen….

This is going to be a bit of a ramble so you’ll have to bear with me as I gather my thoughts together.
What I’m wondering is when do your children decide they are the parents and you are the child?
Did my daughters make a conscious decision to change roles…they were to be my surrogate mothers – I was now their daughter. How long did it take them to consider it. Did they have to think about it or has it been happening slowly …just below the surface ….and I’m only just noticing it.

Before Christmas we drove further east to Woori Yallock, to see a grandson’s ‘new’ house, his first house. One he’s saved hard for since he first started work, in fact right from his first ‘after school job’ in the local supermarket when he decided to deposit some of his pay into a designated ‘house account’ Now aged 25 that decision has paid off.
Anyway there were little ‘remarks’ from one of the girls as I went up to the high part of the back garden with its great view of the Yarra Ranges
“Be careful of the steps Mum, we don’t want you tripping.”

Someone called out to me while we were up…..of course I didn’t catch what they said.
”Mum, I reminded you to put your ‘ears’ in, did you do that.
Have you got your hearing aids in”

Then there were the ‘instructions ‘ on how to care for the lovely little succulent garden given to me at Christmas by the other girl. “They are so easy to look after Mum, especially for people of your age bracket”. “If you like I’ll explain slowly how you can get new plants from the older ones”

I was a little taken aback by that but did have a little smile at her new found hobby – role reversal of daughter talking to mother like you would a child…..didn’t like to remind her I’d been growing them for more years than I can remember and they’re not ‘just succulents’ but have names that I know ……..when I can remember them😊

(Of course, thinking about how hard a year it was for us all, maybe my girls had been good at covering up their feelings but subconsciously became tetchy with everyone …..including me.)

I mentioned the other day I had no ‘word ‘ chosen for this New Year……at the moment I’m seriously thinking about using consider – to think about. Thinking about it there’s lots of things I have to consider this year – so much to deliberate on – talk about- but as it’s only the first Monday of January I’ll reflect on it at another time.
First things first – I feel the need for another cup of tea coming on 😊

Have you come up with a word/ thought/saying to deliberate on…
Or is it all balderdash to you??

Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings  – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week

I’m done….

I’m sure the best of us (and maybe even the worst of us) have had thoughts of family during this year. Like them or loathe them, live on their doorstep or on the other side of the world, I’m sure they entered our minds at some time or another. And like those times when you ‘can’t have’ something you seem to ‘want it’even more, that longing for family might have been more pronounced for some than it had ever been.

My close family is spread all over the place, some in the UK, some in the Middle East and us down here in The Colonies …..as my mother used to describe Australia. This separation has never bothered us, we are another generation in a long line of generations raised in military style, used to packing up and moving on every few years, settling in but ready to move again when necessary. Keeping in touch, knowing we would ‘catch up’ with extended family when the time was right.

Next sister – Me – Little sister – Baby brother 1998

My little sister Patsy is sick…….really sick.
And for the first time in a long time I miss her.

We had already planned to visit her again this year in Cyprus where she lives.
Well, that didn’t happen did it.

Looking ahead and making new plans to visit late next year has been one of the things that’s kept me going over the past few months.
Well, they aren’t looking too good either.

Our international border (in and out) closed back in March this year and with the way things are going……with the worldwide escalation of new cases – not a slowing down, and now a mutation, a new strain, a variant of the virus evident in the UK (and possibly other countries) I really can’t see it opening in March 2021 as has been mooted.
Yes, vaccines have ‘arrived’ but they won’t be available to the general population for quite a while and my personal thoughts are that the virus isn’t going to disappear ‘just like that’

Trying to look on the bright side of things I know Patsy is being given the best care available but it’s so hard to be upbeat when someone you love is in pain and there’s nothing you can do about it.

So I’ve decided I’m done with here for this year. I can’t concentrate anymore
I’ll be back in 2021.
Hopefully in a better frame of mind …..because I’ve been a real misery lately.
And hopefully having heard better news about my lovely little sister.

She (in yellow) and me Paphos 2014

Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings  – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week

It’s all go go go

So, we had months and months of ‘nothing’……go nowhere – see nobody. Time enough for some to realise they really needed people in their lives…..time for others to realise this was how they liked it. Peaceful quiet homebodies who would venture out occasionally and as long as their basic needs (food home health) were covered were content to work with how things were.

I suppose we are lucky here in Victoria ….and other parts of Australia…..in that (apart from returning from overseas Australians who must do a mandatory 14 days) our long months of quarantine/restrictions are nearly over and our lives are slowly moving towards what is being called a COVIDsafe Summer.

We are definitely not back to where we were,…..45 days of no community transmission does not mean ‘it’s been beaten’, ….memories of 20,000 Victorian cases (700 a day at one point) plus over 800 Victorian deaths are still strong……we’re still ‘ruled’ by a combination of numbers and space/distance – there are some circumstances where The Mask is still required – but on the whole we can smile at others with uncovered faces 😎….

All that has meant that pubs, cafes and restaurants are doing a roaring trade again…..well those who have managed to survive financially or who are willing to try and trade out of their financial woes.
Also subject to new guidelines, leisure centres (gym and pools) have reopened – so more and more ‘retired oldies’ are braving the new world, exercising and meeting up with friends…..and most are enjoying it.

I now realise that because of a ‘we must get together’ need others had, after 2 (large, 12 people) lunches, 1 (small 6 person) coffee gathering, 1 book club meet plus 2 gym sessions in the last two and a half weeks I’m ‘peopled out’….
I’ve seen and been seen, compared experiences, reassured other’s we’re ok…
Selfishly, now, after such a short time, I want my quiet back…..

There are new things to do – books to read – maybe, just maybe places to go.
I’m working on some small waistcoats……similar to these HERE
Adding a band of fair isle means (just as before) I need quiet uninterrupted time.
plus pen paper and charts 😊

March 2012
March 2012
March 2012

So what’s on my mind this Monday afternoon?
I know I had a couple of episodes during this time when everything just ‘got to me’.
It’s been hard to put my finger on the cause – I’m confident living a quiet life wasn’t it.
Rightly or wrongly I’m putting it down to the uncertainty of the way things were.

Maybe this ‘new normal’ life’ we’re being offered needs to be filled with a mix of fast/slow – quiet/‘noisy’ days ….just like it was before!

How about you……do you have any ideas on how you will approach your ‘new life’.
When you get the chance that is 😊


Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings  – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week

Seen Outside…..

Even though daily life activities here in Victoria are being expanded day by day, restrictions eased, doors opened that have been shut for months, we are still not able to travel long distances so I’m still reliving trips away to places far far from home. I’m thinking armchair travel is going to be a way of life for a little while yet.

I once saw the climate in Melbourne described as Temperate but quite variable…known for its changeable weather patterns …lol four seasons in one day isn’t far from the mark. It can be hot and dry, it can definitely be cold and wet but what it isn’t is tropical…..except on some really hot humid days we might get in the summertime 😎

So one of the things I look forward to seeing when we are out and about in Queensland ….because I’ve never seen them growing in Melbourne and they just seem to shout out Tropical ….are the beautiful Bougainvillea which seem to grow like weeds, they are everywhere. Bright bursts of colour climbing over and around anything and everything reminding me of the big climbing Banksia roses that do well down south.

This week I’ve been reminding myself of some seen on a trip in 2009
I hope you enjoy them as well

We saw this lovely pink and white bush in a car park of all the places at Winton.
all on its own and looking a little out of place amongst the natives.
Maybe self sown

The actual flowers are the little white ‘bits’ in the coloured bracts

But what I did like was the way some businesses used it decoratively.
This was a lovely white strain growing up an archwayin front of a cafe in Longreach
It had a really nice cool look to it and there didn’t seem to be any thorns on this one.
which is possibly why it was placed so very strategically in front of the cafe

You can see the little flowers more clearly here

Now this to me was the most appealing of all
Mountains of colour at several spots along the main street of Bowen
One side of Herbert Street is higher than the other
and there were several of these fabulous covered crossings along the street.
(sadly removed during a ‘street renovation’)

A beautifully shaded area under those enormous Bougainvillea shrubs
Those bench seats looked so inviting

Thank you Kay (at Musings) for the inspiration……for this post.
To enlarge click or use the two finger slide

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bougainvillea.
https://floridata.com/plant/553
https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/plant-finder/bougainvillea/9441670

Sunday Selections is hosted by Elephants Child.  Find Nature Notes at Rambling Woods. 
Denyse Whelan Blogs is the home of Life this Week
Linking also to  – Travel Tuesday – My Corner of the World – Our World Tuesday.

It’s happening slowly…..

The warm Spring weather has been playing hard to get so the garden has been coming to life really really slowly. It was so cold and miserable over Winter I’m only just (very slowly) warming up myself so at the moment it’s‘ chaos reigns’ out there I’m managing to do a bit of weeding and general tidying around and about but …strangely I’m noticing things that are emerging from places I didn’t think they were planted. I certainly don’t remember planting those Iris in that spot.

That little piece of white flowered snow in summer (Cerastium) next to the bluey mauve Brachyschome wasn’t there last year but I’m pleased to see it. It reminds me of my Dad, he used it a lot in odd spots. Set and forget he’d say!

The lavender under the washing line has been good this year – shame it’s nearly time to cut it back….The Golfer cut the grass the other day so it looks green and tidy from this angle …it certainly won’t look so green come later in the summer when it gets hot and dry. It’s hard to plan a time to cut when we’ve had rainy days because he likes it to dry out a bit but like in all things nature doesn’t play fair!

And of course there is the early flush of Spring roses to admire. The little ‘blue bed near the line’ as I jokingly call it has been mulched so it’s right to go but there’s still a lot of work to be done on the bed at the bottom of the garden. A Bad Back limits me at times and it didn’t play fair last year so even though it doesn’t look too bad from a distance it’s when I realised what I thought were some long leaves of Iris was actually invasive couch grass that has grown tall I knew I’d be trying for half hour time spots. Rain has stopped play at the moment 😢

The little blue bed near the line 😊

And a few from the bottom bed – names unknown.
(everything opens with a tap or a click)

Today I’m joining in the fun of Sunday Selections hosted by Elephants Child.
Nature Notes can be found at Rambling Woods.
Denyse Whelan Blogs is the home of Life this Week