Monday, August 29, 2016



Well it seems I have a cold; runny nose, stuffy head etc. At least it explains why I'm feeling a bit down. It is also gloomy outside so it is hard to convince myself to leave the house. I only got as far as the mailbox today.

There is a bit of excitement here because our favourite computer game, World of Warcraft, has an expansion, "Legion", coming out this evening. The game was originally released in 2003 and I started playing about a year after that during Jasmine's nap times when she was a baby so that is more than 12 years ago! There have been stretches where I haven't played for a while (I switched to Rift when I ran out of WoW content) but they keep producing more countries, more quests, more levels, so I keep going back to it. I think it has something like 8 million players, it a pretty popular game. I believe there is a way I can look up how many hours I've played over the years but I'm a bit scared to look!



I guess some days aren't as nice as a day at the beach.

I woke up this morning feeling tired, sad, grumpy, and as if I was coming down with some minor but annoying illness. Nothing unusual there, I feel like that just about every morning! I've learned not to judge any day by the first hour or so. But today the feeling persisted a lot longer than usual, pretty much all day.

I weighed myself to find that the kilogram I'd lost during the week found its way back over the weekend. 83.5 kg. So disappointing. Yes we did have lunch out both days of the weekend and I did have some kind of unhealthy snack or dessert each day (or more than one). But I was still hoping. I'd done so well all week.

I went into a bit of rebellious mood, why keep trying?, and bought a couple of bad things while out shopping. Now my tongue hurts from too much sugar.

Oh, and I feel like going out in the sun is an intelligence test I keep failing. I've had repeated proof all my life that I can't go out into the sun for more than an hour without getting burned. Each time I say this time will be different. I have a hat, sunscreen, clothing, it's winter, I won't get burned this time! But the sun finds a way to attack some part of my body. This time the tops of my feet. When I put sunscreen on I was wearing my shoes, but once we got to the sand I took my shoes off... It's not too bad, I can still wear shoes, but the skin is quite pink and tender. This time was my fault, but even with sunscreen I always burn somewhere. So what should I do when I want to go to the beach or play outside or go for a long walk or visit an amusement park? I get burned every single time, and so does Jasmine, no matter what we do. We have English/Russian skin trying to cope with an Australian sun. Definitely need some kind of shade-cloth when we get our pool.

So anyway, got through the day more or less intact, did some of the things I had planned. Time to watch Survivor.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

At the beach


We had a family day at the beach. It wasn't as hot a couple of weeks ago when I came for my long walk, but still very nice for winter. Even the kids found the water too cold to go in past their feet.

I mostly sat on the beach and watched the kids play in the sand and splash at the water's edge. The sun was warm on my back, the fresh sea air and view were perfect. It was nice to free my feet from shoes and dig my toes into the sand. It was lovely.

New Plates!


We went on an extremely successful shopping trip today. We had eight presents to buy (Father's Day, birthdays, baby showers) and bought almost everything we needed and have ideas for the rest. And we also bought new dinner plates!

We've been using our wedding set since we were married, we chose a set to use not to store away! Nearly all the bowls and some of the plates were chipped after years of child carelessness, and the pattern had almost completely worn away. We now had chipped white plates, plus a few mismatched pieces from other random sets. I've been wanting new ones for a while but hadn't found ones I was completely happy with. So we decided as a family; the only thing I compromised on was that I'd been hoping to find something that had matching serving plates and bowls, and this set didn't. But I love them anyway.
They look a bit darker in the photos than they are in reality. They are aqua. They are from an Australian company called Ecology and are supposedly made in an environmentally friendly way.

I've kept the best of the old plates for when we have a lot of people over, and stored them away out of sight, the chipped ones have all gone in the bin. Oh that felt good!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Bump on the head


My daughter and husband leave for school/work before I crawl out of bed in the morning. By the time I sat down to breakfast today, after getting Aiden ready and off to his school, Jasmine had already been at her school for an hour. And then her school rang for me to come and pick her up. Apparently when the bell rang for her first class, she was hurrying to get there and hit her head on something metal (I'm still not sure what). She went to sick bay with a headache and waited for an hour before getting them to call me. She doesn't like missing school. But her head hurt too much to go to class.

She has a bump and a bit of a headache but otherwise seems ok, luckily. No dizziness or signs of concussion. She just sat and rested with her iPad at home. She was well enough this afternoon to come and do the grocery shopping with me. Scary when something happens to your child.

I noticed when walking around the shops that my foot is absolutely 100% pain free, which is so awesome. The new skin was tender yesterday but healed now. It feels so good to walk without that pebble in my shoe! I couldn't leave my daughter to go out for a walk today (and now it's raining again) but I certainly plan to be much more active. I could join the gym I suppose, but walking along the coast at Cronulla is a lot more appealing than a stinky gym. I am looking out my window at gloomy rain and yearning for fresh sea air and sunshine.

I know that soon I will forget to appreciate the absence of pain, but right now I am revelling in it.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's gone!


Time for a bit of a health update. I forgot to mention Monday's weight, it was 83.6 kg, I'm down to 82.7 now after four days of healthy eating so that is great. Mostly water weight but I don't care, it's gone!

Last night the plantar wart on my foot came off! Yay! Please please let that be all of it and not have it grow back. I'm not 100% sure, vinegar isn't kind to skin after weeks of constant applications, so I have what I hope is just some dead skin still hanging on. I'm left with a big crater in my foot, it's pretty raw and tender but I'm sure that will heal quickly. Very happy! In time for spring and the upcoming warmer weather.

Actually I didn't start the day off happy. Night sweats, weird vivid dreams, waking up with pelvic pain, I was tired and a bit sad this morning. Then we didn't have internet access for hours which was frustrating... I don't need internet to edit but I wanted to email Tim something he needed for the afternoon (he didn't get it in time) and I like to start the day with a cup of tea and a browse of my blogs and stuff. So I got a bit frustrated. And I didn't leave the house, which I think is bad for me. It was raining this morning, it cleared up in the afternoon but I still didn't go out. Anyway, I'm fine now and appreciating life again.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016



Pouring rain today so I stayed at home. In the afternoon I sat in front of the TV catching up on America's Next Top Model (the end of cycle 21) and did my editing, snuggled under my lap rug while the rain beat against the windows. Rather nice.

Another good day of heathy eating. I am eating enormous amounts of vegetables. When you can't eat processed junk you have to replace it with something, and I am trying to eat moderate amounts of protein and fat. So the gaps are filled with vegetables. I think I had nine "servings" of vegetables yesterday. I find they are much nicer when covered in something tasty... garlic cream sauce... satay sauce (home made of course). Not exactly low calorie but delicious! Or at least lots of spices. I have not yet learned to love vegetables for their own flavours except for a few.

Tim's father goes to poetry nights where you can get up and read your own poems, there is one tonight near Tim's work so he has gone to it to support his dad. The things you do for family!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Club


I finally made it to book club! After going once then missing three months, no one remembered me. But that is ok. The book was "All the Birds Singing" by someoneorother, it starts with a young woman living in fear as a recluse, with something or someone killing the sheep on her farm. It interweaves her lonely life now with flashbacks going further and further back, as she constantly flees from her past, until we finally get back far enough to see how it all started. Depressing book. Lots of sad sex as a prostitute, being held captive by a psycho customer, sheep on the farm being mutilated, hiding knives and hammers all round the house so she have a weapon to hand if she needs it. Everyone in the book club hated it. I at least thought it was well written, although I didn't like the subject matter any more than anyone else. It was nice to get out for a chat with other adults.

Yesterday we had icy rain, it was a bit warmer today so I walked up to the meeting then did some editing in the library, but by the time I walked home it was overcast and cold again. Well, it is winter still! And nothing like so cold as Canberra was. A jumper is enough over my shirt, don't need singlet and shirt and jumper and overcoat with gloves and beanie and scarf! So it's really not that cold.

I've eaten very cleanly for two days in a row, I know this evening and tomorrow will be the danger times as I suddenly go into sugar withdrawal/carb flu/starvation when my body realises I'm filling up on vegetables. But I will be strong! I'm eating plenty of fresh healthy food, just not the processed junk my body currently craves.

Saturday, August 20, 2016



Tim went over to his father's place to help him pull down a fence while I took the kids shoe shopping. It was a successful expedition, but there was a moment I found myself in a shoe shop sitting in front of the mirror. And realising (yet again) that I am so much more overweight than I think I am. I know I am overweight, but in my head it's maybe 10 kg, not 25! Mirrors at home somehow aren't as blatantly cruel as the ones in shopping centres. Or photos.

It didn't stop me having doughnuts with the kids.

We joined Tim for lunch with the family at his dad's place. It used to be that my sister-in-law Ping and I took it in turns to cook Sunday lunch (or dinner, depending on schedules), and for a while I was cooking every week because of Ping's early pregnancy all-day sickness, but now extended family are joining in and it's a much bigger gathering, and everyone is taking a turn. This is sometimes a problem for me as I don't always like what they cook, I was glad when it was bought rotisserie chicken and salad today! It's not just that I am a fussy eater (although I am) but several times the food has been inedible and not just by me. Burned, or curdled, or a huge pile of stone-cold mashed potato. Some can cook, but some can't. Or maybe they can cook for their little family but can't co-ordinate for so many people - that takes practice. Which I suppose they are getting now! Oh well, I can enjoy the company and pick at my food and try not to worry about my children starving. They are usually filling up on sugary fizzy drink.

I didn't get out for exercise today, I'll make sure I do tomorrow. My foot is no longer an excuse! It has turned colder again with sporadic rain but if I can't get out to walk there are plenty of active games at home on the Xbox or VR.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A walk by the sea


The coast is about 35 minutes from here, close enough that I could go often but far enough that I don't. There were plenty of other things I could/should have been doing today but I saw from the weather forecast that this was our last day of beautiful weather for a while so I decided to go! And it was lovely.

I thought on a Friday in winter it would be easy to get parking, but not today! It was 24C, perfect sunny weather. Every man and his dog was there walking along the esplanade. I had to park a couple of blocks from the coast, a long way down from the main beach. I turned my face away from the centre of town and walked along the seaside path for about 30 minutes, then walked back and even further until I got to the restaurant area where I had lunch. 1 hour 20 minutes walking without a break! And I enjoyed every minute. The path goes right along the sea, sometimes up a cliff, and every kilometre or so there is a park area with a little beach, maybe a pool (with waves crashing into it and sloping sand to walk in gradually), public toilets and benches.

I got back to the main beach and had fish and chips with a view of the ocean, but in the shade, and lingered at my table. Then decided to have dessert. Maybe not my best decision ever, but they had deep fried Mars Bar on the specials board... I'd never tried it and was curious... and my body is not used to so much exercise and wanted to replace calories! They brought it and it looked pretty blah but it was delicious. If you don't know, a Mars Bar is a sort of whipped chocolate fudge confection with a layer of caramel covered in chocolate. They coated this in a thin layer of batter and deep fried it so the middle was all warm and gooey. Surprisingly good. But very sweet of course.

I had planned to do some editing, indeed I'd been carrying my manuscript in my backpack the whole time, but now I'd run out of time as I still had to do the grocery shopping before the kids got home from school. So I walked back to the car - another 35 minutes, making close to 2 hours walking in all, this from someone who could barely walk at all two weeks ago! - and drove back to my own shopping centre. I was very tired at this point and feeling all that sun. I'm not burned, but I forgot my hat so I got a lot more sun than I'm used to. I did the grocery shopping and got extremely thirsty (I'd had juice and water at lunchtime) and was also craving vitamins or something so I bought a lot of fruit and made up a fruit salad as soon as I got home.

By the time I got home from the shops it was starting to cloud over and cool down. I'm glad I got out and enjoyed the sunshine today, indeed all this week, it is going to be much cooler next week.

PS maybe a little bit burnt

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Days in the sun


I got out to the park and did some good editing in the lovely winter sunshine. Then I walked around a bit. It's a shame that there are no paths along the river, houses are right next to it or else it is native bushland. The roads are set further back and have only very narrow footpaths. I did a lap of the park and over the little footbridge and back. The ground wasn't muddy today so at least I was able to walk on the grass right to the other end of the sports field. It was lovely to be out and I also felt that I got some work done and achieved something for the day.


You wouldn't think this simple piece of furniture could be the cause of eight months of phone calls and annoyance, would you?
Well it was. But huzzah! This morning the handyman arrived with the correct piece (they ordered the wrong one twice) and it took 5 minutes for him to put the last drawer together and Aiden now has a complete chest of drawers! Yay!

It seems that Skinky has learned to read. I was about to pick up a book from the floor when I saw a little brown head poking out from under the front cover. I lifted it up, and there he was. He has an interest in science fiction apparently, it's Asimov's The Robots of Dawn.

It was another warm sunny day and my foot was feeling good so I decided to go on the longest walk I've attempted for ages. There is a Thai restaurant opposite Jasmine's dance school and I fancied trying it for lunch, so I walked there. Nearly 30 minutes. I took my takeaway to a nearby park and ate it, then escaped from the heat into the nearby shopping centre for a while, then walked home again. All up it must have been an hour walking, with a break in the middle.

My foot was fine but I don't know about the rest of me! My legs and hips are aching! Just not used to all this movement. And it was so hot! I could hardly believe it was still winter. Everyone else seemed confused too, clothing choices ranged from shorts and T-shirts to heavy winter coats. I always get hot walking, I was suffering in my jeans and light-but-long-sleeve top.

I took my backpack with my manuscript, planning to sit in the park and edit after lunch but there wasn't a table with shade available, I ate my lunch (which was delicious) on a bench with a tiny bit of dappled shade under a small tree.

The shady way home...

An amazing array of plants seemed to be in bloom considering it is still winter here, I took photos of wattle, roses, violets, iris, lavender, and other things I have no name for.

What on earth is this thing?

A more recognisable camellia.

A rather exotic and aggressive bird of paradise.

I've been having a bit of pain in my left hip for some years now, it never occurred to me it was arthritis (I'm not old!) until I had that recent scan. I'm not sure I like knowing, I think it was easier to dismiss as transitory and unimportant before I had a name for it. But today I was researching a bit about it especially regarding diet and they talk about avoiding foods that trigger inflammation. Guess what number one is? Sugar. Sugar, then saturated and trans fats, refined foods, gluten. They recommend increasing fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, olive oil, dairy... sound familiar? Sound a bit Mediterranean? I keep getting shoved towards this same healthy diet that will apparently cure everything wrong with me, so why can't I stick to it? How come other people can? Is there a switch somewhere I can flip to turn on the will power?

Monday, August 15, 2016



My weight this morning was 83.2 kg, slightly down from last week.

I want to acknowledge how well I am feeling right now. It is "that time of the month" when, especially since this fibroid thing started, I often feel miserable and achy, and pain keeps me awake at night. But this month, apart from a little pelvic discomfort and backache, I feel fine. Happy, even. My sore foot, which for months had ranged from very painful to uncomfortable has, after a couple of weeks of vinegar treatment, settled into a range of uncomfortable to barely noticeable. The difference! I can walk without limping, with a brisk stride if I need to. Such a change from my cringing hobble. I still have to wear my supportive sneakers every day - I've tried other shoes, or slippers around the house, but they are much less comfortable - but I hope for continuing improvement.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 22 C, which should feel like spring (not really spring for a couple of weeks yet). I will be out and about it in!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dessert and Skinky


We had extra people over for our family Sunday lunch today, and one offered to bring dessert. I said yes, of course, it is always lovely when people help out if you are cooking for 14. But I was secretly thinking I would make something myself as well, to give people a choice (ok, in case I didn't like what she brought) and to make sure we had enough. But literally as I was looking through my recipe folder she texted me to say not to make anything, she would make plenty. How did she know? It's almost like she'd met me before lol. I thought it was funny, but also a teensy bit annoying because now I couldn't make an extra dessert without hurting her feelings.

So she didn't actually get to our house until well after lunch as her toddler was napping, but sent her husband over with her contribution. As I expected, it was something I didn't like - trifle. Oh well, it's not like I need dessert! I honestly wasn't bothered and I had the satisfaction of being right! (And there wasn't really enough, either.) But then most people barely touched theirs, Jasmine said to me quietly that it tasted burnt. Apparently it was practically inedible. I just hope everyone knew I didn't make it. I really wished I had made that lemon tart I was planning.

The other drama was Skinky, the little skink lizard who has been living in our bathroom for a while now. I saw him today in his usual spot and considered mentioning him to our guests but didn't bother as they don't usually use our ensuite bathroom. But I should have! My sister-in-law and her family seemed to be taking a long time to leave, standing outside the front door for ages. So I went out. And was told they'd found a lizard in my bathroom and were putting him in the garden! Little Emma was fascinated. I couldn't tell them he was practically a pet, but I was a little upset. He likes living inside in the warm. I've tried putting him out before and he comes back in, but that was the back door and I wasn't sure if he'd find his way back in this time. Family eventually left and I took a little box outside. Skinky was still sitting exactly where they had put him, and he let me scoop him into the box, he is very tame, and I brought him back indoors. He is happily back sunning himself under the heated light and eating the tiny bugs that fly around the indoor plants.

Thursday, August 11, 2016



Did I mention that working from home has its distractions? Firstly, the Olympics. I was watching a close beach volleyball game while eating breakfast today, then tried to walk away from the television, then the bastards put on synchronised diving! Second is the internet, I can scroll through cute pictures of kittens all day without a boss looking over my shoulder. And thirdly my favourite computer game (actually the only one I play), World of Warcraft, is bringing out a new expansion in a few weeks and they have released some new content in the lead up to it so obviously I need to explore that... And of course lastly I am an avid reader and get lost in whatever I am reading... it's no wonder the house is a mess and I never get any writing done. This is why I sometimes try getting out of the house to write.


Today I had lunch with my sister-in-law near her work, which was lovely. I've been to that café twice before, the food is nice but the servings are enormous! As usual, I ate less than half my meal. I did enjoy it though, and had a good chat with Ping. I walked around the big shopping centre and finally got my hands on the new Harry Potter book, then did the grocery shopping.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016



Today I had vague plans of driving over to the beach for my walk and editing work. It's far enough that I hesitate to "waste" that much of my day in the car, but it was lovely weather for it. But Aiden was home sick so I stayed home.

I'm not always sure just how sick Aiden is when he doesn't want to go to school (unlike Jasmine who would drag herself there on two broken legs, although she did ask for a note to get out of sport yesterday), but today he stayed in bed until 11 then spent the afternoon on the lounge watching TV and hardly ate anything all day. Very unlike my boy. Considering also that I was feeling rotten last night, and Jasmine has been a bit unwell for days, I think I can safely conclude he really was sick.

I put in our application to the council for permission to have trees removed from our backyard so we can get our pool. I assume the ones where the pool will go will be approved, not so sure about the ones where I would like a paved/garden area next to it. I had to mark them on an aerial photo and I could see just about every house around us had a pool behind it! That makes me hopeful that there won't be any problems. They do have a rule that you have to plant new trees (not as many, 4:1) if you take out old ones. Our backyard is currently completely covered in trees and shrubs of all sizes, no lawn or much clear space. It is still native bushland, essentially. It is nice for the wildlife, but I would like something I can use and enjoy.

We were supposed to have our national census yesterday and for the first time it was online instead of paper (you could still ask for a paper form if you wanted) but the system crashed. Despite them apparently doing extensive tests to show their servers could cope with the whole of Australia logging on at once. Oh well. I assume it will be up eventually.

Monday, August 8, 2016



I've been planning for ages to walk over the bridge one day, today I braved my fear of heights to do it - at least halfway!

The road bridge is more than half a kilometre long and 34 metres high - seems higher! There is a pedestrian bridge underneath. (I took this picture last week from down on the river bank. I'm talking about the high bridge, not the little low one.)

I parked as close as I could get and walked along the main road until I got to the entrance, which looked a bit gloomy:

But it quickly opened out to the light:

I was having some issues. My foot has been better lately but it was still hurting, I don't like feeling so isolated - I only saw three other people the whole time - and trucks passing overhead were making everything shake. It felt very high up. I decided at that point I only had to go halfway, to a little viewing point.

I didn't get too close to the rail - it was scary!
Then I walked back. It took 30 minutes altogether, only half of which was actually on the bridge, a good walk for me at the moment. I can't say that I really enjoyed it, but I suppose I accomplished something!

Back to the park


Today I weigh 83.5 kg, up from last week! My weight went down during the week then rapidly up, including half a kg overnight. My food wasn't perfect but it wasn't that bad, I don't think it was my diet that caused the gain of 1.3 kg in a few days. With my blood sugar up all weekend, I think it's infection and/or hormones or something. I'll just be extra careful with my food and avoid too many carbs.

Last week was all cold and rain but this week is forecast for sun. I went back to "my" park to do some writing. The prime benches (with tables, in full winter sun, right next to the river) were both taken (how dare they?) but I walked around for a while first and by then one of the tables was free and I got some good writing and thinking done.

A quasi-artistic view from the footbridge.

At the next table was a man with two black miniature poodles, just sitting. He was there when I got there and still there when I left. One poodle was well behaved, the other spent a lot of time yapping piercingly - the sound echoed around the hills in a rather interesting way - and chasing people and dogs who walked past. Her name was apparently "Becky Come Here". At least her owner thought that was her name, she didn't respond to it in any way! Nothing wrong with letting a dog run around in a park but owners of other dogs sometimes had a hard time controlling their leashed animals with Becky jumping in their face barking and ignoring calls to come away.

Tim finished reading my book today and seemed to like it. He's given me some feedback and written notes on the manuscript which I will go through tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7, 2016



Has anyone outside of Australia heard of Peter Allen? You might have, he married Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland's daughter. He was an ... exuberant ... singer. One of his biggest hits goes:

When my baby, when my baby smiles at me I go to Rio,
de Janeiro, my-oh me-oh...

He sang it while shaking maracas and wriggling his fluoro-ruffled hips. The Rio Olympics always makes me think of that. Since we are over the other side of the world, as usual most of the events are during our night-time but there is repeat coverage all day. I love the Olympics.

My blood sugar levels have been high all weekend, much higher than normal for what I was eating. I don't usually test myself very often but I could feel a wrongness yesterday after breakfast (two slices of low-GI toast with cheese) so I've been checking after each meal and they are unacceptably high. Jasmine has a cold, so I assume I'm fighting off germs and that is messing my blood sugar levels around. I'm not really worried, having had a glucose tolerance test recently which showed I'm still in the pre-diabetes range but improved from the time before. It's interesting that the current "official" advice even for diabetics is to still eat plenty of carbs (like the equivalent of four slices of toast at once) and just take insulin when the carbs make your blood sugar levels shoot up! Take the poison and the antidote at the same time and you'll be fine. Except that you won't be fine for long. You have to keep taking more and more antidote until even that no longer works and you go blind and have your feet amputated. But what can you do, right? It's not like they could recommend you eat less carbs...

I have a leg of lamb roasting in the oven for dinner. Mmmm, smells delicious. But I'll go easy on the roast potato.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Family resemblance


Aiden's school had an open day today. I didn't go to the assembly, which he wasn't involved in, or stay for the afternoon tea (it was pouring rain so I assume it was no longer a picnic on the grass, the cupcakes looked tempting which is a bad thing!) but I did go to visit Aiden's classroom. I hadn't met his teacher before (naughty me, considering we are halfway through the school year, but my children are such angels I never have anything to talk to their teachers about) and she came up to me at the door to ask who my child was then before I could answer said "Oh, Aiden, I can see the resemblance when you smile!" Which I though was lovely. She may have been helped by having only a short list of parents she hadn't met yet, but still. I like to hear there is a family resemblance.

I sat with Aiden and looked through his books, saw various artworks etc on the walls, made an origami crane, and learned to write some Chinese numbers. Then I left when they went off to the hall to watch the school band.

I made a very bad food decision this morning. I hadn't had breakfast yet, I dropped Aiden at school because of the rain then ran a couple of errands then suddenly realised I was very hungry and no wonder. And got McDonalds drive through. I don't even like McDonalds! But it was cold and wet outside and I had been up for a couple of hours without food and a bag full of fat and salt suddenly seemed irresistible. So I ate it. But I've made a rule that a bad meal, or a bad day, or even a bad week, is no reason to give up and say I'll start again on Monday/next month/when the planets align. I just keep going. I wanted fast food again at lunchtime on the way home from the school but I came home and made lunch instead. Good choices are still good even if you sometimes make bad choices.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

So Much For That


I've been reading a book called So Much For That by Lionel Shriver, who also wrote We Need to Talk About Kevin about the mother of a mass shooter and Big Brother about a morbidly obese sibling. All really compelling books. I'd been reading this one for a few days but got sucked into it at lunchtime and couldn't put it down, finishing it just before Jasmine got home from school! It's about a man who has planned for years to escape the rat race and go and live cheaply and simply in Africa or somewhere, and finally delivers an ultimatum to his wife that he is going with or without her. And she tells him she's just found out she has a very serious form of cancer. She needs his emotional and financial support, and his health insurance. It's about caring for someone through a terminal illness, the US medical insurance system, giving up your dreams for those you love, how family and friends don't always react the way you expect to crises. As always, Shriver is insightful and heartrending.

My husband just rang after yet another conversation with the furniture store we've been chasing for about eight months now about Aiden's chest-of-drawers, which originally arrived (last Christmas) with a piece missing. Twice we have gone through the whole rigmarole of them ordering the part and after months of waiting finding out they got the wrong part. And they never call us back, we have to keep calling them. Well today they told him they have the piece (for the third time) and their tradesman will contact me to arrange a time to come and fix it. Crossed fingers! I just think it's funny, now.

I've been continuing with the vinegar treatment on my wart, and last night the whole top came off so the rest is now level with my foot, which makes walking a bit more comfortable. More vinegar! I'm at war with this horrid thing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cold wet week


It's a cold wet week, I'll be staying inside where it is warm and dry. I'm making good progress on drafting an outline for book two. Tim is still reading book one, I want his feedback before I do my final polish on that. Then, oh my goodness, I will be looking for a publisher. I'll need to get working on the perfect query letter!

I did too much snacking this afternoon, putting me at the top of my calorie range, but I stuck to real food. Nuts, cheese, apple. Soup for lunch didn't seem enough and I was nibbling through to dinnertime.

Monday, August 1, 2016



The new Harry Potter book (... and the Cursed Child) (I always say that as cur-SED, the old fashioned way, not one syllable) came out here yesterday, I hobbled out this morning to buy it and they are sold out already! And don't know when they are getting more stock. Curses. Did the shop not realise it would be a best-seller? Did I not foresee other people would want to read it too? Mistakes were made.

My weight this morning was 82.9 kg. New week, new month, new start. I ate very well today.

When we first moved here lots of birds visited, expecting to be fed (also a water dragon). After a little while I refused to feed the magpies, and the kookaburras stopped visiting, but Sam the butcher bird continued to visit several times a week and I fed him if I had anything suitable (i.e. meat). Today I put some roast beef out for him and before he could grab it three kookaburras swooped down and scared him off!

They are at least four times his size and weight. One of them looked younger than the other two, perhaps a baby from last spring? I put out a lot more food and it was all eaten by one bird, the greedy thing. The other two sat and watched. Sam did a daring flyby and grabbed one piece.

I attach a picture I came across of a cat that for some reason I think looks just like my brother. Sorry no human picture of him for comparison. But if he was turned into a cat, this would be what he looks like.