Oct ’23




– cold rainy blustery day.
Heavy showers overnight.
Early trip to town to drop off my Loves car for a service, so she has my car for the duration.

Did laundry.
Cooked some chicken, and precooked some meatballs to have in the freezer so that we can just use them for ‘heat and eat’ meals.

Spent the majority of the day doing blog posts and web-work, but also got a little bit of pruning done, and some soil shovelled into the barrow ready to plant a frangapani when the weather is a little kinder.


– my birthday.
Started out very underwhelming, and being that it was again cold and rainy, it was generally a lil miserable…

Did some writing to get some disappointment out of my system.

Took my gorgeous dog to the vet to get her annual vaccinations and to have her dew claws cut.
It was too much all at once for the poor love and she got very stresssed.

She recovered quickly, but I have learned my lesson and won’t put so many items on her agenda at future visits.

I mostly had a very quiet day but got a lovely Buddha for the garden bought home for me by my Love.


– trip to town to renew my drivers licence, which included needing to have a new photo taken.

Painted the frame around the fan in the bus.
Mowed the house yard and half the paddock.

Worked out how to use the new budgeting app I’ve downloaded.
I’m liking it a lot!


– finally gave in and went to our local lingerie shop as they are nationally renowned for having bras in a vast range of sizes, shapes and brands, and I’ve been having a really hard time finding something to fit me at the local bigw.

It took almost an hour of trying on dozens of bras, but i finally found two that were comfortable – one with wires and one wireless.

I have gone from being a 22-24 DD/E to a 14G!!

Did a lot of cleaning up inside today, but also got the surround to the fan in the bus finished, and recharged the security camera.


– went into town to collect the groceries but once there was told that they couldn’t process the order as the internet was down, and that I would get a message when it was ready.

Got another message to the same effect about and hour later, and then yet another one an hour after then.
And then another hour later, got a message saying the order had been cancelled.
Annoying, especially as we’re going away for a couple of days tomorrow morning!

I ended up going in to another supermarket later in the day, so that I could get some extra ingredients to make up snacks for myself for while we’re away.

Hopefully the chicken that I had planned on getting will still be on special when we get back.

Once my Wife got home from work, we went out and reorganised the bus a bit.
We’ll do most of the packing of groceries and such into the fridge in the morning before we go.
We’ll also need to drop off the dogs to the kennels on the way to the coast.


– we started out morning with packing up the bus ready for our few days away.
Once breakfast was done and we’d got all the animals ready, we headed off to the kennels with our three dogs on board.

Dogs delivered to the kennels, and next stop was to the supermarket to grab the last few bits of groceries, then we were on our way down the hill and onward to Port Douglas.

We haven’t been to this particular van park before, and we’re very surprised at the tightness of the sites.
The most cramped sites we have ever been in actually!

We initially started to put up our gazebo which we always use, but quickly found that we couldn’t open it up fully without hitting our own van AND the neighbouring van.
This is despite having let the van park know ahead of time what our dimensions were, and at no time did they tell us that we wouldn’t fit!

We folded back up our gazebo, and got out our small lean-to shelter, which whilst it isn’t ideal, at least gives our ‘kitchen’ a bit of cover if it rains.

We spent the afternoon just relaxing, and my Love had a couple of naps, which was lovely for her as she desperately needs some time off.
She been mostly working 7 days a week for the last couple of months, with the only exception being when we went away for the funeral – which isn’t exactly a relaxing holiday!

We’re planning to spend a quiet evening relaxing some more, and tomorrow will go walking and looking around what – at one point – was a regular stomping ground for us.


– woke ‘late’ around 7:30.
Been a lot of months since we last slept in that late!

Had our soup/coffee on waking, then breakfast and after changing and tidying up a bit, we headed off for a walk to the markets, about 1.5km away.

Wandered around but didn’t find much we were interested in, tho I did get a couple of bead-chains.
They’re one of my weaknesses…

We then went to the pub we always used to drink at, and my Love got a soft drink, and we sat in the cool sea-breeze and people watched for a while while we cooled down, as the markets has been very hot.

We then wandered up the road to see what the various restaurants were offering – knowing full well we would come back to the pub – being the creatures of habit that we are!

But first I needed some new pj pants, as the ones I was wearing were from when I was 30kg heavier, and they had quite literally fallen off me earlier in the day.

Sure enough, we ended up back at the pub for lunch, and I noticed that they had a $4 slaw side in the menu, so ordered that and it was lovely!
Too much of course – but delicious!

My tummy threw a bit of a fit when we got back to the caravan park – but it was definitely worth it.

Did some clearing out and cleaning up in the bus during the afternoon, and finished off with a nice warm shower, including hair wash and leg-shave.

The new pj pants are great and comfy and don’t fall down, but they’re very long!
Will have to cut a good 6-8” off the bottom.
Ohhh – and they’re a 14!!!


– a quiet day for the most part spent around camp, reading and just relaxing.

In the afternoon we did a bit of sound-deadening on the roof in the bus, which is a tedious job, but this time was made easier by having my Love to help with pre-cutting the panels for me, prior to me installing them, which makes it much easier than constantly stopping and starting to measure, then cut, then install repeat repeat repeat!

It’s still a bloody neck-breaking job though…


– pack up and head home day.
We were so lucky with the weather the whole time we were away, not overly hot, and no rain!
Feeling very lucky.

We stopped off on the way home to get the animals some food which I cooked up throughout the afternoon.

When we got home our wonderful gardener was whipper-snipping and his wife had come along to help out and was doing some poisoning.
They’re a great pair!

I got all the dishes sorted, made lunch, put away the stuff that came in from the bus including our clothing and then got a start in on doing the laundry.

We had to go and collect the dogs from the kennels, which we did after my Wifes one unavoidable appointment for the day.


– early start in the garden as soon as my Love went to work.

While we were away, our gardeners wife had done a kindness and had spread some more mulch in the vegie garden, but unfortunately she had spread mulch in areas that weren’t already mulched, and areas that I didn’t actually want mulched.

She also hadn’t put any cardboard down before mulching the new areas, so weeds and grass would come through very quickly.

On top of that, the particular mulch that we use for pathways is stupidly expensive, so not something to be tossed about willynilly…

So this morning – before it got too hot – I started scooping back up allllll that mulch into the gorilla cart, whilst I had the laundry washing at the same time.

About 2 hours in it was getting super warm as I was now in the full sunshine and despite drinking often, I could feel I was starting to dehydrate, so had to stop for the day.

Whilst I only got about ⅔ of the mulch that I’ll be able to reclaim pulled back up, that was three overfull 200L gorilla carts!

I have done the poisoning, then began the laying of the cardboard down along the northern fence-line and as each cart is filled, am spreading it around the trees and along the pathway that runs along that fence-line.

I’ve made it around ½ way along already, so it was a very productive morning all round.

The afternoon was spent doing jobs that I would usually have done in the morning like dishes, cleaning out the fridge, tidying, folding and precooking tonight’s dinner.


– a trip to town first up to return some shorts that were too big for me, and I finally gave in and went an purchased some new Pilbara work shirts.
They’re my favourite and I’ve worn them for years, but during a recent visit, our son told me I looked like a homeless derelict due to how big my shirts were, and that they were pretty much engulfing me.

Turns out I’ve gone from a mens 4XL to a women’s 16!!
I went for an 18 though, as I like them to be baggy so they don’t cling in the heat and for ease of movement when working in the garden.

My friend LC dropped in for a cuppa late in the afternoon.
Always lovely to see her.


– huuuuuge day!
Started off with doing an early morning grocery order for pickup mid morning.
After my Love left for work, I started raking and clearing and chopping under the trees near our entry door.

At this time of the year I like to have a good cleared area under the trees so we can spot if any snakes are lurking.

Did the dishes then headed to town to grab the groceries, and grabbed a hoe on the way home to get out some of the more stubborn weeds under the trees.

Finished clearing up under the trees then started on the mowing.
House yard first, then once that was done I started on the paddock.

Speaking of snakes, I was mowing down near the orchard when I spotted a snake-skin on the grass, so I stopped the mower to pick it up.
It was around 6’ long, and very fresh – that morning I would guess as it was still very pliable – and by the look of it, it was a brown.
Not ideal!

Couldn’t spot it around anywhere…

With a few breaks for drinks and something to eat, I managed to get the entire paddock done, so was pretty darn pleased with myself.

Exhausted, but pleased!

I’ve got a couple of small blue raised garden beds that I want to put around a couple of trees, so I put them together, but have decided that I want my Love to put some extra screws into the as I’m not satisfied that they’ll be robust enough without them.


– a very quiet day spent mostly inside.
Did a little bit of potting, but just generally a quiet day.


– a very cold windy and wet morning.
It fined up later in the day but stayed windy.

Made some spelt waffles which turned out very well and were super-tasty.
Could only eat half a one with some maple syrup on, but it was delicious and didn’t make me feel ick.

Went in to bunnings and got two new kid pools to store yet-to-be-planted trees in, as our old pools are cracking and brittle and are no longer hold any use as mega drip-trays.

I also got a new grey-water hose as the one on the washing machine at the moment means I have to leave the shipping container ajar at all times, and I want to be able to close it up to make sure no lil beasties get in there.

Quiet afternoon.
Watched some tele.


– another cold rainy day.
Did some garden work first up, but the scuds of rain put paid to that.

Had a lunch date with an old school friend and we spent 2 hours chatting.
It was really nice to spend time catching up.
Drove the bus there as it hadn’t been out since we came home from our weekend away.


– quiet day.
Did some computer work, canned some pickled radish and made a satay.
Vacuumed the house, and did a couple of rounds of dishes.


– planted kale and basil.
Watered the big vegie garden, PdP garden and the pot-plants.

Mowed the houseyard again as the mower is going in for a service tomorrow and I don’t know how long it will be gone.


– did an early online grocery order.
The ride-on mower was collected this morning, and I collected the groceries after that.
Also went to the nursery and got an indoor plant and a couple of pots.

Planted some fresh veg seedlings in the big garden.

In the afternoon I did some watering and potting up.

Our friend C is having a really rough time at the moment (still) and is getting ripped off blind by tradies and a co-worker, so we’re taking her out to dinner tonight to give her some extra love.


– last nights dinner was socially nice, but the calamari was very oily and made me feel a bit ick.

Our landscaper guy came this morning and dropped off some more wood-chip for me.

I finalllly planted and mulched the frangipani that has been sitting next to a hole waiting for me to get around to it for months!

Did laundry.
Potted up a couple of plants.
Watered the big veg garden.


– a blah day.
Anticipatory anxiety I think, leaving me feeling very flat.

Went out early with my Love and got some cardboard from the bins at HN who have the nice big fridge boxes that they’re very ok with us taking them away for them. We use them as weed barrier prior to putting down woodchip or mulch, and it works fabulously, and helps keep the soil nice and moist.

Made some protein jellies which are like jelly lollies but with a good hit of protein included.
An easy fix on days when it’s a bit hard to get allllll the protein in.

My love worked in the afternoon and I cleaned the bedroom wall, the ceiling fans and the tippy top of the crockery shelving.

We’re going down to the city for the day tomorrow to see our youngest daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters.


– left for the city by 8am, and were at the holiday park where our daughter and fam are staying by 930.

We sat around for a while and chatted, and did some craft with the older granddaughter, while the younger one had a nap.

Once the nap, chats and craft time were done, we took two cars and headed to the water park on the esplanade for lunch.
I tried a couple of chips but they didn’t sit well, so I had a mueslie bar.


– home duties day today.
Cooked: chook food, dog meat, and poached some chicken breasts.

Did laundry, watered the big veg garden, watered some of the houseyard, and my friend L visited for a cuppa and catch-up.


– a friend that I haven’t seen for a few years, and who is planning to move back to the area was due to come and visit today, but didn’t end up coming.
In theory she will be coming up on Friday – so I guess we’ll see…

Did some planting this morning, and this afternoon I de-taped a lot of cardboard boxes, then chopped them into various sizes so that I could use them as weed barrier along the western fence-line.

Will cover them with wood chip once I have finished laying them all out.
I’ve done most of the northern fence line already, and just have the final bits of cardboard and wood chip to finish off – probably only about 3 meters.

The lawn mower got dropped back this afternoon, so I’ll more than likely do the paddock mowing tomorrow or possibly Thursday if I end up going to the next town over tomorrow instead.


– I got brave today and put myself waaaay out of my comfort zone by going to the next town over and went to my first over 55 meetup to see about meeting some new people.

Not quite sure it’s for me, but I will give it one more try next fortnight to get a bit better feel for it, and see whether there are other people or just the three that I met today.

Once home, I mowed ¾ of the paddock but need my Love to do a stick-pick under the trees down near the chook pen before I can mow that bit, and I need to move my car and the bus to mow in their spots.

My sister is down at my brothers place and is sorting through the shipping container that has stored all the stuff from the parents house which – now that there’s both deceased, needs to finally be gone through.

I had planned to go down to help out with it, but didn’t get there due to not knowing what dates she was going, so I couldn’t manage to make it on short notice.
Not feeling great about that…


– early grocery order which was ready for collection at 10.
Checked bigw for shorts.
Still none I’m keen on.

Brought the bus into the houseyard and did some work on the inside of cleaning, rearranging and some sound-deafening ready to do some more carpeting of the roof over the coming week.

Finished the rest of the mowing.


– laundry, cooked dog food and chicken
Worked on the bus.


– meh
Worked on the bus console that we have designed and are planning to make.
Went to town a couple of times to grab bits for it.
Just meh…


– still meh.
Feeling disconnected and isolated.
Nothing specific / just meh.



my trust ride-on all loaded up!


mulched pathways and a rogue chicken!


newly planted frangipani.


my birthday rose given to me by a special friend.


more delicious pickled radish.


working in the bus before it gets too hot.


special bus-dog helper.
my favorite hat and book

wild ride




Its been a wild ride for the last few weeks, and a ride that I’m still in the midst of, and I’ve gotta say – that some of it I’m not lovin’ so much!!

I’d been starting to ‘spiral’ a bit after I last posted, but then a series of events happened that just swamped me totally, and I felt like that wild ride was taking me crashing back down through the floor…

Firstly, whilst I was seeing some small advances with our joint counselling sessions, I was feeling like the majority of any getting-ahead was happening mostly only in the sessions, and wasn’t transferring to our real-world everyday Life.
And I was feeling a bit ‘played’, by that.

Then, the State that we live in which has been suffering from the most gut-wrenching droughts, where stock had been routinely starving to death, and Farmers were walking away from their Lands in despair – was suddenly engulfed in never-before-seen ammounts of water from weeks of torrential rains, then the resulting total devastation of flash-flooding.

The majority of the stock that Farmers had been able to hand-feed and keep alive – were washed away and drowned, and the Farmers have been left with mass piles of stinking rotting carcasses to try and bury / dispose of.

Some of our family members were in the path of that flooding, with our eldest daughter having to evacuate and her home being inundated with mud and water over a metre deep – which destroyed almost all of their belongings, including precious photo albums.

And then…

And then a friends husband tragically died in a freak accident, leaving her and her two small children shell-shocked and (obviously!) devastated.

The crazy circumstance of his death, his young age, the ‘unfairness’ of it all, sent my already wobbly emotions right over the edge!

I knew it was time for a solo check-in with my counsellor, and she thankfully managed to fit me in on fairly short notice.

I think I spent most of that hour sobbing.

But there were a few things that floated to the surface for me, that I recognised were of importance to me and needed to be ‘dealt with’, in some way…

The first was about the old adage of the days being long, but Life being short – and this one hits me more and more in the face, as each day, week, month, year passes.

We have one short, important, glorious, fucked-up, amazing, beautiful Life, which is gone before you can barely blink – and in some cases, is over with before it’s even properly begun.
This also becomes even more obvious on a daily basis, when you have a life-limiting illness…

The second thing was – that I have the right to make certain (reasonable) demands of people and to have and impose boundaries around how I am treated, and that it’s ok to not put up with being treated in a way that I find less-than-acceptable or inappropriate.

That evening, My Love and I had a big talk.
Wellllll – in all honesty, I did the majority of the talking – in amongst a pile of sobbing, sniffling and tears!

I laid out how I was feeling, as best I could, and explained in brief what I felt I needed.

Two nights later, my Love initiated a conversation.

It was a conversation of plans and intentions – and I’ve heard it a number of times before, but I am willing once again to see if this time around the intention will ’stick’, or if it will just fade away as it has before…

At only about 10 days in, we had our next joint counselling session.

I was in the midsts of telling our counsellor a very broad overview of what had been going on, and was explaining that although we were only 10 days in from the conversation that had been initiated by My Love, that I was feeling hopeful, and more trusting and respectful toward My Love, when our counsellor asked if she could know what the conversation had actually been about.

My Love said “no – not at the moment”, and it felt (to me) like that was right about the moment that the session came to a stand-still.

Our counsellor – bless her heart – tried to move it along, but everything after that was just superficial chit-chat.

At the close of the session, she reminded us that we needed to revisit our conversations and to keep having them, even though it would be hard work and uncomfortable for us both.

We agreed.

That was just over 2 weeks ago.

I’ve sent My Love an email about our session – but I’ve had no response.

And there have been no further conversations…

pain in the…

I’ve been off work most of this week, having only managed one day, before my back and hip decided that they were going to cause me a living merry hell and make sitting at a desk – or doing much of anything useful really – an extremely painful process.

So midway through the afternoon on Tuesday I finally gave in and left work, heading straight to the Doctors, wanting to get some help.
Another two prescriptions and a referral later, I limped my sorry self off home, and promptly made an appointment for the next day, for the referred Physiotherapist.

Now…I went to a physio after my last hip&back flare-up back in January, but was thoroughly underwhelmed by the treatment given; which equated to about 20mins of a ‘tens’ machine on my back, whilst I did some prescribed knee-to-chest stretches, whilst lying flat on my back on a hard skinny table, and he consulted with another client, in a different room.

I left there feeling less than encouraged, with instructions to do 2 certain exercises for the next couple weeks, and see how I went.
I really felt like the care-factor was hovering around zero!

BUT – just on the off-chance that he did have a clue as to what he was talking about, I spent the next four or five weeks doing said exercises.
I can’t in all honesty though, say that I noticed any discernible difference in my healing or core-strength, than I had at other times, when my back and hips had been bad, and I had just let nature take its course.

And whilst over time my pain lessened, it didn’t fully go away, and I felt within myself that something wasn’t right, and that it had left me ‘damaged’ – and then it blew up big-time this week!

This time around, I went to a different Physio.
I’d heard a few people talking about this particular business, and all of them have been glowing reports – so I bit the bullet, made the appointment, and at the allotted time on Wednesday morning, I fronted up for my appointment.

The Physiotherapist that I was allocated was named Emma…She looked about 12… 😐

Well, says I to myself – I went to a bloke who was older than me, and it was a definite disaster – so going to a girl who looked young enough to be my grandchild (not really, but you know how it can feel like that sometimes…!) couldn’t be any worse, and with a bit of luck, her knowledge base would be fresh and current, and she’d still be in the first flushes of passion in her career, and be really good.

Well, I gotta say, and very happily so – that Emma blew me out of the water!!

She was incredibly knowledgeable, in ways that none of the previous Doctors or Therapists had been about bodily mechanisms.
She listened to my history; took a full examination of not only how I walked, what ranges of movement I had – both active and passive, but also a manual physical assessment examination was carried out.

She then taught me how and why the chronic pain was an ongoing issue, showed me just what was happening inside my body each time there was a flare-up, and explained in great depth about what “we” needed to get started on, on our way to getting it under control, and possibly even remedied.

She spent time massaging those areas of muscle that had atrophied, to get them to loosen.
She showed me a different way of ‘consciously’ walking – as the flare-up in January had left me with quite a limp, along with some noted muscle damage.
She showed me a better way of lying to sleep, so as not to aggravate the condition.
And she showed me three seperate exercises to do a few times a day, each day, at home – to help strengthen the muscles, tendons and nerves that all needed help.

We parted with an agreement that we would meet up each week for the next three weeks at least, so we could see if there was suitable improvement; to add extra treatments like acupuncture (which I’m a big fan of!) , and to reassess if we needed to change up the plan at all, or if we found that xyz wasn’t quite working.

I left the Practice feeling like I finally have someone who is “on my side”, with getting this issue sorted.
I feel like I am part of a team that is working on this, and I feel like this girl gives-a-damn about me, my pain, and my recovery.

For the first time in a long time, I’m feeling optimistic about there being a time in the future, when everything that I do, isn’t in some way impinged upon or limited by either pain, or range of movement.

Yes, I’m getting older, and we all age differently – but I can’t help but feel a certain amount of envy when I see people in their 60s, 70s and 80s who appear so much more agile and able than I am.

It’s also actually quite embarrassing when one can’t do ‘stuff’ that the average person my age would be ‘expected’ to be able to do…

I’m only a few days post-visit, and I’m not about to tell you that a miracle has happened or that I’m healed and bouncing about like a 20 year old again.
I’m still having considerable pain for the first few hours of the day, but my 10 or 11, I can get about without much if any of a limp at all, and without having to hold on to the furniture or walls for support.
That alone is a huge relief.

I’m pretty sure my large dog was getting fed up of being my mobile walking stick, but unfortunately for him, and fortunately for me, his back and shoulders are just the right height for me to hold on to, to move around!
Over the last few months, he has been an amazing help to me, especially in being able to get up the front stairs of the house in town, of which there are about 20.
I can hang on to him, and he pulls me up the stairs.
I bet he wishes I were a more successful dieter!! lol

Ive been doing my prescribed exercises; though one of them I have been doing to a lesser extent, due to the pain that it induces, which according to the printouts Emma gave me: it should be uncomfortable, but not painful.
Its been interesting to monitor myself with how I walk, sit and sleep – and to correct each of those in the ways she has taught me.
Our built-in ways of doing sub-conscious things like these, can be difficult to retrain, and take quite a bit of conscious effort!

So – even though its only early days, and only time will tell how this will evolve – I am definitely feeling quietly optimistic…
I’ll be sure to let you know how its all going, after a few weeks of being in treatment!

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A letter to my Son


I had always imagined that this was always going to be a really special year.

Grandma & Grumpa would be 90, Uncle John 60, me 50, You 30, Rian 25 and Tom 21.

Amazing landmarks for our Family, worthy of awesome celebration.
But that wasn’t to be….

I had 15 years with you, and I’ve now had to have 15 without you.

I’m sure many – maybe including you – would say that that’s been my choice, but it hasn’t been…
We both know that.

Whilst our lives may have gone in very different directions, and you’ve chosen that you don’t wish me to have any part of yours; which I’ve respected – but I can’t begin to explain the depths of sadness within me, not having you in my Life brings – and there isn’t a week, a day, that goes past, when you aren’t in my thoughts – both waking and sleeping.

One day – if you have your own children – I can only hope that you never have to make a decision that you believe is in the best interests for your child, that they disagree with…

I do however, hope that you can understand (but never have to experience), if you become a parent – what desperate agonising torture it has been, to not be allowed to go to your graduation; to have no involvement in – or even get to talk to you – on your 18th or 21st; and every other day, plus Christmas and birthdays etc.
To not ever get a reply to any attempts at communication.

But most of all – to not be able to tell you how very much I Love You, and how very proud I am for you, of the man you have worked so hard to become.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday Sweetheart, and that you get to share it with people who love you.
I’m sure your Lady will spoil you silly – and that’s a good thing :))

I love you Josh and will continue to, well beyond this Life, and the next – please never forget that…

Happy Birthday my Love.

Mumma xxx

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